On Medicals, Arsenal’s World Cup Woes, and Transfer Rumours…

A quick trawl through the back pages sees the assertion that Lucas Torreira will undergo a medical now. It was Wednesday but the hacks realised belatedly that Uruguay face Saudi Arabia and gently shifted the focus of the articles.

I’d still be amazed if he is undergoing a medical; I cannot think of a deal which took place during the tournament nor a head coach who permitted it.

Elsewhere, Crystal Palace are back in for Jack. As I’ve said previously, the only mistake we made is not tying Wilshere down last summer to recoup a fee. If you’re not keen on a player, that’s a footballing decision but for a club which is self-sustaining, we needed to be the sharpest tools in the box in that sense.

What’s done is done, and the hope is that the new management structure will avoid these issues in the future.

Other than that, the transfer talk returned to Stephen N’Zonzi because Sevilla want Marcos Llorente; there is logic to these stories, you see.

Which means, cue fanfare, it’s World Cup time. England play later today with Danny Welbeck hoping to be the first Arsenal player to be part of a winning team in Russia. Elneny, Lichtsteiner, Xhaka, Özil, Monreal, Iwobi; not a win between them although Switzerland probably feel like they won.

Brazil, once again, failed to live up to the hype. If the 2014 squad leant too far toward 1974 in their ethos, this side seemed to be more 1982. Not that good, but as ever, Brazil deceived and there was no flattery about it. Neymar Jr. didn’t impress and once again proved there is more hype about him than substance.

Some rave about him, but the only time I can recall him instantly putting in a ‘big match performance’, is Barcelona’s 6 – 1 win over PSG.

England Expects…Not A Great Deal, Actually

Stephan Lichtsteiner underlined the experience he brings to Arsenal. A yellow card for unceremoniously dumping the over-rated one to the turf. That happened with 31 minutes played; the remaining hour or so saw him give a defensive lesson of anticipation, and tough play without incurring the referee’s wrath. That experience is something we need and a positive sign for Hector to learn from.

Granit Xhaka was quiet, which I think was only to be expected against a superior midfield. He put in his shift, which is more than can be said for Shaqiri, whom Lee Dixon rightly called ‘lazy’.

Germany meanwhile, were overwhelmed by their own inefficiency and Mexico’s lightning counter-attacks. It’s fair to say that the Germans couldn’t have hit a cow’s arsenal with a banjo, aside from one effort which hit the post. Ochoa looked like an upgrade on Ospina, as he dealt with everything Germany threw at him. But you know in the English game we’d be moaning about a lack of height of some deficiency and eyeing a replacement.

Mesut Özil did what Mesut Özil does best: flicked passes here and there, incisive through balls occasionally throw in for variety. It was a very Mesut Özil performance, which is good as he is, of course, Mesut Özil. We’ve seen him play better, we’ve seen him play worse.

England enter the fray tonight, with the weight of expectation on their shoulders. It’s a lighter weight than before although the knives will be out if they don’t beat Tunisia. Make no mistake, those knives will be as sharp as they ever were which will test the new-found chumminess between the squad and the hacks.

Other than that, it’s all quiet on the Arsenal front, so ’til Tomorrow.

82 thoughts on “On Medicals, Arsenal’s World Cup Woes, and Transfer Rumours…

  1. Out of all the Arsenal players on show so far in this world cup, Lichtsteiner has been the only one to stand out. Even at the age of 34, his experience, stamina and combative determination are an example for any of our players. Alas, we won’t be selling Ozil or Campbell on their recent showings. Lets hope they improve so we can up their transfer value.

  2. VAR seems to have put a stop to the pushing, pulling , in the penalty box before the kick is taken, (Swiss goal excepted) I am glad the goal stood I don’t want to see everything micro managed.
    So far for me I thought the French penalty was harsh, Jesus was overly dramatic going down but it was a penalty. It would appear that VAR is open to interpretation.

  3. Morning. It seems a little optimism has broken out about England based on very little other than a couple of half decent pre-tournament friendlies against poor sides and the fact that we have a nice smiley media savvy manager. I fully expect that once the whistle blows England will go back to doing what they do best – under performing on the big stage and being generally crap. If you can get good odds an are a betting man or woman I wouldn’t rule out a little punt on Tunisia this evening.

    To be fair to Mesut it appears he did learn something new at Arsenal last season – how to defend like an incompetent Muppet (yes, I know that’s not his forte but it was very Arsenal).

  4. Wenger thinks Kante( Chelsea) is the most influential midfielders that he has seen, if the report is to be believed. This is from a manager who shunned Kante when the latter expressed interest moving out of Leicester. Wenger then was saying that Kante costs more and yet paid more than what Chelsea paid to Kante, when he signed Xhaka. When on another occasion, when some one asked Wenger why he did not sign Payet, he said that in his squad there are players like him.
    JW news today about who are interested. Pity that his contract was run down, again Wenger’s doing, not giving him a new contract and then offloading him. At least we could have got the transfer fee.

  5. Contrary to common opinion not every loves Brazil, for me they’ve grown too cynical and fally-down cheaty to love, and the football isn’t even that great any more. Bearing in mind that it’s only possible to really enjoy the tournament once England are out (which shouldn’t be long) I hope that Mexico do well, and that Argentina crash and burn.

  6. The games are good in showcasing talents. I think a lot of people who opposed Lichtsteiner’s signing will now understand why he was signed.
    I look forward to Harry Kane scoring a brace today.

  7. andy1886,

    Contrary to common opinion not every loves Brazil, for me they’ve grown too cynical and fally-down cheaty to love, and the football isn’t even that great any more.

    Agree with that completely.

  8. Morning/Afternoon all.

    Well I thought Hirving Lozano was pretty lively for Mexico – winning goal aside. He had been in scintillating form for the title winning PSV side (23 goals, 8 assists). Proved to be an obdurate obstacle all game long for German’s right back, Kimmich, who was unable to nullify his threat.

    Still only 22. Lozano is the very pedigree of player required at Arsenal, on the left.

  9. Its been a tournament where I think the big boys just haven’t shown up.

    The Germans seemed to not show up and Khederia and Kroos looked slow and unathletic and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see Goretzka or Gundoghen in for Khederia and Reus replacing Draxler. Agree with Yogi though, the Germans had plenty of chances but were not clinical and every pass looked a bit heavy.

    Torriera, will come and I’m excited. I know its all been done and dusted outside of the medical, but I wonder if the medical will be completed and everything announced, along with the rest, will be announced after.

  10. Want some shocking stats:

    Messi has now missed 4 of his last 7 PK’s and overall in his career, Messi is a 1 in 4 PK taker.

    Basically Messi is bang average at best taking penalties for all those that say players should bang them in.

  11. I must say the var at this WC has really added to the drama. How typical of the international refs to make it look so easy whilst in the prem all season mike Riley’s cronies have been bollocking it up. The sooner we get international refs in the prem the better. I have no idea why we can’t have foreign refs in the premier league.

  12. Dukey,

    Do you really think the English FA would be able to handle the fact that the best managers, players and refs are all non-English.

  13. Thanks for the post yogi.

    Go England. I think they will have a good tournament. I am not expecting them to win the World Cup but I will be surprised if they don’t make it to the round of 8 and I predict the round of 4.

    Its been an interesting World Cup so far. 5 of the top 6 rated teams in the FIFA rankings have playing and none of them have won. I thought Mexico’s win yesterday was a masterclass in counterattacking football. They only had 40% of the ball possession but they consistently cut apart the more talented Germans. To me that is the most exciting style of football to watch and its the best way to attack when you don’t have a significant talent disadvantage. We have talked about it for a couple years now. The tempo of most of our games at Arsenal especially in the last 2 1/2 years has been as exciting as watching paint dry. Most of the blame rests with Arsene and while dropping 100% of the blame game on Arsene feels good, I don’t think it’s accurate. Arsene never threw up a caution flag or tried to slow down Cazorla on the occasions when he would try to pick up the tempo but unfortunately none of the current group of players seemed willing or able to take on Cazorlas role of trying pick up the tempo. I guarantee that arsene was just as frustrated as most of us when his players would throw on the handbrake and settle for making 10,000 short ineffective passes around the midfield but he had lost the players and didn’t know how to fix the problem. Hopefully a new manager will bring a new energy and a commitment and the players will get on board and embrace a higher energy higher tempo style of play

  14. Ah, the World Cup. 25 years or so ago I looked forward to these as it offered us a first glimpse at many great players from South America that we’d never seen. Now there are few players we’ve never seen before. 25 years ago the game was played at a much slower pace and the players weren’t burnt out form a long season of club, cup and international team matches.
    Nowadays I often feel guilt after watching a few games. Guilt that I’ve wasted a precious warm summer day watching subpar football. ..as my body and waistline call out for exercise.
    Glad we signed Ozil – now lets sell him for a paltry transfer fee and invest in an up and comer!!

  15. Arsene on Lichtsteiner and Xhaka:

    “Lichtsteiner is too slow to deal with the pace of Marcelo, Coutinho, and Neymar on the left. Xhaka’s positioning has been poor and hasn’t been able to contain the Brazilian midfield.”

  16. C,

    I thought that Lichtsteiner did okay actually – but then I haven’t worked a day in football…

    Please, please, please let someone on beIN Sports ask Wenger why a man in so much demand (allegedly) didn’t get the RM or PSG jobs that all his supporters claimed he could’ve had if he wanted them.

  17. YW,

    Aww YW you’ve gone and spoiled it. I still want to know why the ‘genius’ is still unemployed though.

  18. C,

    Aha! As much as I love and respect le professeur, there’s a perspicuous reason why he is no longer in charge of our club.

  19. YW,

    Wasn’t sure and I don’t have social media but if Arsene made that comment about Kante then anything is possible.

  20. England will beat Tunisia. While there’ll be a few head in hand moments in the game, England’s superiority in the final third should be the decider – if the youngsters hold their nerves.

    I predict a gruelling 1-0 or 2-1 scoreline.

  21. The stadium is rocking with Panamanian support. Same Mexico yesterday I am sad the USA didn’t make it but it’s fun to see the excitement this is bringing. I hope the Canal men can have a good showing.

  22. Fuck me, Mertens continues to show that he is one of the most clinical and brilliant strikers in Europe.

  23. Volgograd has been hit by a plague of flies before the England game.

    Is it a co-incidence that John Terry has just arrived for commentary duties?

  24. Belgium are the first “big” team to burst into life and only just. 45’ looked like the same pattern. This has been good for the competition, I think, keeping it open in the groups with these teams faltering: Argentina, Brazil, Germany. Even France looked pretty unconvincing. Just the first round of course.

    Loved what Mexico did yesterday. Brilliant football, brilliant tactics.

  25. I was wrong about Belgique. They’ve laid down the marker for Team England to follow. Can they follow suit?

  26. Haha England will beat Tunisia and next thing you know, people will be saying they have what it takes to win thr World Cup…

  27. Couldn’t agree more. I can’t stand the modern day Brazil. I don’t care who wins as long as it’s not them. And I’d agree with Yogis comment on Neymar. Seriously overrated, especially considering the size of his ego.

    Contrary to common opinion not every loves Brazil, for me they’ve grown too cynical and fally-down cheaty to love, and the football isn’t even that great any more. Bearing in mind that it’s only possible to really enjoy the tournament once England are out (which shouldn’t be long) I hope that Mexico do well, and that Argentina crash and burn.

  28. So, how does one counter teams that just want to hit on the counter?
    Sit back, make them come out, or just sit contently with the ball, and be patient-especially if the other team is at home.

    Can’t stand teams that don’t come out and play, but understand that is futbol, and them are the breaks. Does not mean that one can’t build a strategy to match the same ole’ same ole’ set-up’s that pack the teams into their box-all day long.
    England should be up 3-1…

  29. Walker is a thick ex-Spurs goon. How Tunisia is even in this game is a miracle. If anyone could finish in the 1st half wearing a red shirt apart from Kane who has had no service, this would be 4-1.
    Hang in there Tunisia!

  30. Well done to Tunisia for sticking with their principles and trying to play futbol. Their nanager is a massive Pep supporter and wants his players to actually play futbol and not defend for their lives and then try to counter.

  31. Dukey,

    To be fair mate, Ashley Young has gotten away with quite a bit including a loose flying elbow that if caught is surely a yellow.

  32. Dukey,

    The worst ref performance has to be against us…atrocious.

    Wow! What has the ref done now? Are you sure we’re watching the same game? #ISmellExcuses

  33. If this ends in a draw, England have only themselves and their shit finishing to blame.

    Could you imagine if Tunisia got a late winner…..

  34. My prediction came true…

    Borges Spinelli:
    England will beat Tunisia. While there’ll be a few head in hand moments in the game, England’s superiority in the final third should be the decider – if the youngsters hold their nerves.

    I predict a gruelling 1-0 or 2-1 scoreline.

  35. C

    Making Bellerin “untouchable” is a bad decision if true. I had hoped good sense would prevail but I guess not. I suspect the stories we heard about someone willing to pay $45-50M for Hector were rubbish. No one in their right mind would pay that much. The only reason I want to sell him is because if those rumors were true he was hugely over valued and no player in the world should be untouchable and anyone should be for sale at the right price. Even I would not want to sell him if we can’t get an over valued transfer >$30-35M

    Sometimes these sort of reports are not accurate. If we are going to believe every thing that we hear then Ramsey is going to be an integral part of next years team

  36. If someone would be willing to offer us $45-50M for Hector then we will most likely regret the missed opportunity in a couple of years. 4-5 years ago we supposedly could have sold Jack Wilshere for a big fee. We could have used that money to pay for Higuain or Suarez or some other CF who was better then Giroud. That might have changed a lot of things.

  37. Bill,

    You are the epitomy of drinking the Arene cool-aid. Ozil, Lacazette, Mhkitaryan, Elneny, Aubameyng and Xhaka, all players who have flourished pre-Arsenal in teams that play at tempo yet you say they are only capable of playing tiki taki without acknowledging that it was ALWAYS Arsene’s way or the highway whether it was player, ex-players, coaches or really anybody associated past, present or future with Arsenal.

    You say Arsene is shit at coaching defenders uet you judge defenders and want to get rid of a 22 uears old who just a year ago was being called one of the best in the PL and with potential to be one of the best in Europe for a RB/RWB who is on his last leg. You HATE square pegs in round holes uet thats you solution ay RB.

    I don’t mind discussing topics with you but FFS, use your right brain not your shit brain.

  38. C

    I have never said like that about Lacazette or PEA. My only complaint about Mkhitaryan is he does not score enough goals to be an effective forward.

    With regard to the other Ozil, Elneny and Xhaka you have watched the same thing as I for the last 2 1/2 years. I know Ozil could play at tempo at one time but that was a lot of years ago and things have changed in the last 5 years. Arsene did not try to stop Cazorla on the occasions when he would drive the team forward and you know as well as I that Arsene would not have stopped Mesut if he had made the commitment to push the tempo. The other 2 are ball possession players and you have always liked ball possession players and you tend to over rate players you like and I think this is another example.

  39. Leno for 22m euros (£19.3m), thats a great bit of business. Still young ar only 26 and has shown great instincts, quick reflexes, really good distribution and command of his box…he needs a change of scenery and is a really good piece to fit into Emery, Mislintat and Sanllehi’s revolution.

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