Transfer Update, Young Guns, and the World Cup Welcomes England

Ornstein has spoken:

Jay Leno decides today if he’s coming to Arsenal but reading between the lines, we probably won’t find out for a few days yet. July is a production line of new signings. Sokratis is pencilled in already and more are likely to follow. It is reassuring to see us working effectively in squad strengthening at this early stage.

Of course, Ornstein let himself down with the Torreira comment. Some are still pushing that his medical is tomorrow and that there will be an empty seat on the Uruguay bench for their match against Saudi Arabia.

We’re none the wiser which goalkeeper Leno is replacing. Napoli want Cech for a season although they are also looking at PSG’s Areola. Presumably, they think he might make a right tit of himself so need some back-up now Pepe Reina is AC Milan’s Pepe Reina and not Napoli’s Pepe Reina.

Ospina, however, is peculiarly and perpetually linked to a move to the Super Lig. It is the only destination touted for him. Ever. Genuinely, I do not think I’ve ever seen such ‘brand loyalty’ in a nation’s transfer market. Even ageing players face a choice of China, MLS or the Middle East. Not Ospina though. He is Turkey or nothing. Not even a return to Ligue Un or his homeland: just Turkey.

You can make a case for either to stay or go; they are both much of a muchness and both have their own peculiar weaknesses. Cech’s are rooted in age catching up with him in much the same way it did with ‘Safe Hands’. Nothing he can do about that beyond retiring gracefully.

Ospina is Ospina; a strange signing given how short he is. At time when the average ‘keeper is 6’5″, we signed a relative Oompah-Loompah.

Young Guns, Go For It

Elsewhere, the Under-21s are participating in the Checkatrade Trophy next season and from memory, some of the group games must take place at the Emirates. It will be interesting to see how Arsenal approach the ticket pricing on that, particularly with the notoriously low crowds the competition attracts.

The Academy sides participation is the thin-end of the wedge for some. They remain convinced this is the Premier League clubs using a backdoor to get their youth teams into the Football League. If a European Super League comes into existence, that might happen anyway.

The young players can only benefit from it, as Per observed yesterday. Their learning curves are not steep enough when it comes to bridging the gap between the academy and first-team football. In ‘the good old days’, they had the South-Eastern Counties League, followed by the Football Combination where they mixed with old pros and those with knackered knees. But they learned valuable lessons.  That gap isn’t closed for young players today, so if this helps…

Two being given their chance of Calum Chambers and Rob Holding. Reports suggest Unai Emery wants to see how the pair develop during pre-season training before deciding on their futures. Fulham is suggested as a destination for Chambers, but Holding is very low-key.

The pair deserves a fair crack of the whip after Arsène threw them under the bus on more than one occasion. It will be interesting to see if – or how – they handle a coach who is intense on the training ground after Wenger’s laissez-faire – or lazy fare, depending on your viewpoint – approach.

The same holds for Hector Bellerin. He’s apparently an ‘untouchable’ with Emery feeling he is first-choice without competition. Lichtsteiner, useful for experience and leadership, will very much be a cup full-back.

En-ger-lund, EN-GER-LUND

Which brings us to the World Cup. Belgium swatted aside Panama eventually, after 45 minutes of obdurate defending. Martins ‘ice-breaker’ was an outstanding finish while Lukaku took his goals well but there’s no doubt that Panama are the weakest team in the group.

England on the other hand were surprisingly bright to begin with and Kane took his opening goal well. There followed a masterclass in bad refereeing. Short of spearing, Kane and the England team faced every kind of grapple and impediment at corners. It’s baffling that the VAR didn’t give at least one penalty, particularly when Kane was almost bodyslammed to the floor.

The referee seemed entirely laid back about everything bar the penalty England conceded. Not even waiting for VAR confirmation, he booked Walker. Had VAR made him look again, his ego would have taken a battering. England didn’t play badly and compared to the opening games in recent World Cups, it was a lot better.

Would a taller goalkeeper have stopped the penalty? Pickford got a hand to it so there’s a sense that a 6’4 goalkeeper had a better chance of stopping it; who knows? Peter Shilton was short and had a poor record at saving penalties. Just to screw the theory up, Paul Cooper of Ipswich, shorter than both seemed unbeatable from 12 yards for a while.

Anyway, England won and that’s all that matters. When it came to goal difference, we were never going to seriously rival Belgium. Had Jack Wilshere been in Russia, we might have unlocked the Tunisian defence a lot more often; ifs, buts, and maybes.

Mo Elneny faces a must-win game against Russia while Ospina will look to prove me wrong by having a blinding game as the final group gets going and Colombia face Japan.

’til Tomorrow.


93 thoughts on “Transfer Update, Young Guns, and the World Cup Welcomes England

  1. Morning

    Apart from our game last night, I thought the refs so far had been very good.
    VAR is a little confusing as to whether it’s used and when. However when watching on TV as opposed to live, not all incidents are shown, leading the ref intervening in our favour.

  2. I really love late winners when the beaten side are as negative as Tunisia were last night.

    They tried every trick in the book & were aided & abetted by the officials so the fact that they had no time to respond was sooo sweet.

  3. Ofcourse you England lot would complain without noting Ashley Young doing a Ashley Young and hitting a player with a flying elbow and the ref saying play on, anothet ref with VAR and he might not have been so lucky.

    Anyways, Chambers ans Holding are interesting but I fancy one will stay and one will go.

  4. See what can happen when Kane doesn’t take corners eh woy. Such a shame he plays for spurs. He is a proper striker.


  5. Who would have thought it would be Brazil stinking the place out and us lighting up the world cup!!

  6. As far as GKs, I would get rid of both of them and go with Leno and Macey. Macey as the CC and FA Cup GK and Leno the PL and Europa League

  7. C,

    I think you have to go back 16 years till the 2002 world cup for the last time we played a good game at a world cup. This is what we celebrated yesterday!

  8. I know Torriera isn’t done and dusted but the efficiency with which we have gotten Leno, Sokaritis, Lichtsteiner and Torriera is quite impressive and a different feel about Arsenal.

  9. Good afternoon YW Et all. The Ref hier soir was terrible. Your absolutely correct YW that the Arbitre had an ego and ultimately spoiled the Game.

    England had they taken their first half chances should have been 4 up by half time.

    Ozil didn’t impress the other night. Iwobi was no where to be seen. Lichtensteiner is interesting character. What Arsenal will need in terms of experience character in dressing room and on the pitch. I did not see the Uruguay match.

    Colombia have it all to do. It’s the perfect shop window for Ospina.

  10. I had to turn off the commentary last night….Being half Scottish and half French I cant cope with English commentary on their games. “best football of the tournament” was uttered at least twice. Obviously missed the Spain Portugal match.

  11. C,

    First time we’ve signed a decent keeper in years. Cech was always past it when we signed him they had no need with Courtouis there. 19.6m is good as well. Now if we can wrap up TORRIERA I’ll be happy. I see apparently Bellerin is one of 5 players Emry said he definitely wants to keep. That’s a bit of a blow for some. I reckon Ozil has one season left unless his attitude changes or he produces a blinder of a season

  12. That’s a fantastic free kick from Colombia…. very very clever…. not sure what the Japan keeper was up to but they deserve to be level!

  13. MesutsLeftFoot,

    Yup, I was one of the few who was completely against bringing in Cech and he had one good season and then you saw exactly why Chelsea were more than willing to sell him. Leno is quality, there is no doubting that and while the world focused on Sane, it was a bigger surprise in Germany that Leno was dropped. The other thing is that, he is still only 26 years old but has been first choice since his teenage years at Leverkusen.

    Bellerin is a blow for some (still don’t understand why you would want to sell because replacing him would b equal to what we sold him for) but keeping him is brilliant because he has all the makings of a top 5 European RB, just needs coaching which he will get from both Emery and Lichtsteiner. Ozil, I think will be fine, he has flourished under demanding managers and its funny to me that all the blame is falling on him for Germany’s match yet that back 6 (4 defenders, Kroos and Khederia) were all over the place and were quite shit. The other thing is, having followed and watched Emery’s sides even before he went to Sevilla, he will get the best out of Aubameyang/Ozil/Lacazette/Mhkitaryan.

  14. Great post yogi. Loved your pun about Areola.

    Engerrland played well yesterday. Their poor finishing was poor by anyone not named Harry Kane and there were some nervy moments and misplayed passes at the back which could have cost them but in the end a stoppage time winner overcomes all faults. A win against Panama and in the next game and we are thru to the next round. I predict a deep run in the knockout stages. I know it’s way to much to hope for but England vs Mexico in the final would be loverly

  15. of Course it’s better C, but that is what happens when the transfer team does it’s job rather than moonlighting as a commentator for TV.

    We have a proper structure rather than a pigs breakfast

  16. I do think though, that people need to understand that Leno is a modern German GK even down the flick back hair and he is not Lehmann both in style and demeanor.

  17. We need a new GK. Cech is clearly past his prime and Ospina is a decent back up at best. I am not confident about jay Leno but if that’s the best we can do then so be it. We have argued a lot about Wojo and perhaps it was a mistake to sell him but he was in the last season of his contract and with Arsene as the manager he did not seem very likely to sign a new contract so it made sense to sell him while we could still get something for him. If we had known Arsene was going to be fired it might have been different but no one knew that at the time. In reality Roma didn’t want to keep him and we all assumed that Juve bought Wojo to replace Buffon but instead of promoting Wojo they bought a new GK which I think says something about Wojo. In the end getting $10M for a back up GK in the final year of his contract who probably would have left on the free turned out to be good business after all.

  18. I agree that the ref and the VAR officials in yesterdays match had some head scratching decisions. I understand the ref missing those tackles on Harry Kane since they were away from the ball but the VAR should have been used to call at least 1 of those a penalty.

  19. I don’t know which TV feed you get in Europe but I really enjoy listening to Jorge Perez-Navarro announcing the game on TV here in the USA

  20. Dukey:
    Who would have thought it would be Brazil stinking the place out and us lighting up the world cup!!

    We hardly lit up the World Cup! I’d say the stand out game has been Portugal vs Spain and the team that most lit up the tournament so far has been Mexico, beating the current World champions! A team ranked 12 beating a team ranked 21 hardly ranks as lighting up a tournament. pfffff

  21. Szczesny starts.

    Have to say, outside of Diouf, Senegal have some quality players even leaving Kouyate on the bench.

  22. BiLd are reporting Leno is having his medical and has been handed a 5 year contract….I wait in anticipation.

    On Ospina, there has been talk on this side of the pond of Ospina making the move to Mexico giants Tigres and being one of the highest paid players is Lig MX

  23. england 2
    referee 1

    a victory for football last night

    the tunisians were a shower of shite and the referee wasnt much better

    systematic fouling, deliberate time wasting, flukey penalty…. i could go on and on and it was all allowed to happen.

    my other half is latvian and she knows bugger all about football but even she said last night ref might as well have had a tunisian shirt on.

    we did well last night and it was refreshing to see us playing some of the best football in the world cup thus far and the likes of the germans and the brazilians stinking the place out.

  24. Bouldie stays, Lehmann goes for Emery’s staff:

    Head Coach: Unai Emery
    First Team Assistant Head Coach: Juan Carlos Carcedo
    First Team Assistant Head Coach: Steve Bould
    First Team Coach: Pablo Villanueva
    Director of High Performance: Darren Burgess
    Strength and Conditioning Coach: Julen Masach
    Goalkeeping Coach: Javi Garcia
    Goalkeeping Coach: Sal Bibbo
    Data/Video Analyst: Victor Manas

  25. VAR has been highly questionable with its use so far.
    I thought there had to be an obvious miss by the ref and not just a different opinion? Maybe I am wrong.
    Aussies were completely stiffed v France.

  26. Well done to England. Deserved the win, even if most of us who aren’t English were privately smiling at the thought of a draw until Kane popped up

  27. YW ,
    Jack would have needed to improve significantly from his last 2 months of the season to have had an impact at the Cup.
    I thought it was his worst period of play at the club.
    Kept failing to stay on his feet, lots of turn overs from his passes, not much overt passion in his performance.
    Wherever he is next season, I hope he plays to his potential.

  28. Thr Polish defenders just switched off completely and Szczesny tried to save his defenders but was left in no mans land.

    The ref waived on Niang as the Polish midfielders were passing it back to Szczesny. If you England lads thought the ref was against you, the Polish will feel like the refs just fucked them royally because it WAS CRYSTAL CLEAR that Poland was just resetting and Niang clearly had a better advantage than any Polish player.

    I have literally NEVER seen that EVER

  29. Phil,

    Sorry mate, the ref just fucked Szczesny and Poland. As a ref, you don’t waive the player on after stopping possession to let him go to the sideline for treatment and then as Poland passes it back and the ball is inflight the ref waives the player on and its a clear advantage for Niang.

    The opening goal took 2 deflections and Szczesny had no chance at all.

  30. C,
    Just saw the replay.
    You are right. The red absolutely stuffed them.
    Why isn’t VAR used for that ? Or is it purely the ref’s discretion when he lets the player back on.

  31. This part by YW had me delirious with laughter, “Napoli are also looking at PSG’s Areola”. 😂😂😂😂😂

  32. Borges Spinelli,

    Yea, the ref just fucked them royally.

    Apparently that isn’t a decision that can be reviewed but I mean FFS, surely common sense would take over in that instance.

  33. Phil,

    That comment wasn’t for you.

    Also, Poland have the worst luck, not only that decision but Senegal’s first goal took 2 deflections.

  34. Common sense, in the age of automation is a diminishing commodity.

    In earnest, I couldn’t fault anyone but Szczesny and his defense for the 2nd goal. It was madness, rightly punished.

    Borges Spinelli,

    Yea, the ref just fucked them royally.

    Apparently that isn’t a decision that can be reviewed but I mean FFS, surely common sense would take over in that instance.

  35. It is difficult to believe Szczesny is an improved GK, after leaving us. Today game demonstrated his ever present problems.
    Cech was a superb GK at Chelsea , particularly before his head injury. Chelsea were convinced that his performance dropped significantly after his head injury . Hence, Jose then their manager opted to use Courtois at main GK, and called him back from Atletico where he was on loan.
    Cech moved across London, after his request to Chelsea owner Roman to let him to go to Arsenal,against Jose objection ,was approved. Cech wanted to stay in London to facilitate the continuance of his children’s education. Not sure, whether his children no longer have to go to school in London. Hence, I will believe about his reported loan exit to Napoli, only when it happens.

  36. England should have comfortably won that game 3 or 4, Nil.

    The ref was crap, and some of the post-match video shows the Rugby/ NFL tackles on the England players in the Tunisia penalty area was beyond surreal, and at least 1 penalty should have been awarded.

    Well done to Tunisia for putting up a terrific effort, but that Kane goal (spits at memory) ensured the right result was arrived at.

    I am/was a big Chezzer fan, but he was at fault for ‘the’ goal – which was nothing to do with the ref.

    Ras, Je suis d’accord avec toi @ 1:31 p.m.

  37. Phil:
    So it seems that Emery agrees with C and myself re Hector!
    Sorry Bill.

    I think you are right. If someone was really willing to pay us $45M then we will be talking about a missed opportunity in a couple years

  38. I’d take Golovin in as a Santi replacement if he was available….. Looks a good player.

  39. Bill,

    Or we could be talking about ome of the best RB’s in Europe (seems to be the general consensus of the talent just needs to be developed) and then you will be saying I’m glad we didn’t sell him.

    At some, you need to realize that Arsenal as it stood isn’t going to be the Arsenal moving forward especially since you acknowledge that Arsene was past it, didn’t give a shit about defending or teaching players to defend, focused purely on tiki taki futbol, etc. New era mate, get with it!

  40. MesutsLeftFoot,

    Yup, think it should and hopefully will be Leno and Macey.

    Golovin, I would take him but Torriera will give us quite a bit of what we missed with Santi out.

  41. C,

    Can’t believe it was 19mill in todays market. Especially when athleticos keeper is 60mill buy out. Crazy.

    Two good signings though with Sokritis and potentially Torriera still to come. I still think there’s a few surprises to come transfer wise

  42. C

    “Or we could be talking about ome of the best RB’s in Europe (seems to be the general consensus of the talent just needs to be developed) and then you will be saying I’m glad we didn’t sell him.“

    We will never know who we might have bought for that $45M. Our new transfer team could buy a really good player with that much money. That is a lot of money to be passing up for potential. Waiting on potential has been a losing bet for a long time.

  43. C

    Not going to happen for Egypt in this World Cup, I was hoping they would be better. Russia has been amazing.

    I will bet my next 3 paychecks that you thought Elneny was brilliant and the best player on the pitch today before he was subbed off.

  44. MesutsLeftFoot,

    That is brilliant business and excellent that they took advantage of his release clause plus the fact Leverkusen were allowing him to leave after all he has given to them. Some will loom at the price tag and not the player which would be a massive mistake.

    Leno, Sokaritis, Torriera and I fancy one maybe 2 more suprises and now its just icing on the cake. What will really be interesting is to see who is sold because I think there will be some players sold that some Gooners might not want to see go but don’t fit into Emery’s stylr play.

  45. Elneny was about as useful as a chocolate teapot. if he wasn’t a gooner all ready after these two displays you would certainly not be wanting for us to sign him.

    no surprise the tempo has been raised by Egypt once he went off.

  46. Egypt’s attack has been really been underwhelming. They have not looked like scoring. Thankfully Salah can take penalties.

  47. Bill,

    Waiting on potential UNDER ARSENE. Potential though saw him as widely considered one of the best in the PL just 2 years ago and he is STILL ONLY 22 years old. In this market, we would have basically bought another RB for the same price and who knows even if that player would habe worked out.

    You really need to give players a chance under Emery, not to sound like a dick but your exactly the type of Gooner who worries me….the ones that judge players based on how they were or weren’t developed under Emery and just want to buy but don’t seem to realize that Emery throughout his career has beeen BRILLIANT at developing talent…young talent.

  48. Bill,

    Just send your pay checks now then. He was good and they got beat because the Russian CF is a mountain that the CB’s couldn’t handle.

  49. C

    Russia has been surprisingly good but Saudia Arabia was terrible and Egypt is not nearly as good as we have been hearing so the Russians opposition has made them look better then they are. Egypt has looked a lot more dangerous and they have moved the ball around a lot better in the last 20 minutes.

  50. The World Cup is great but the biggest and best news of the futboling day is that we signed a top quality GK that is only 26 and we no longer have Cech and Ospina as anything other than backups..unless we sell or loan them out.

  51. Bill,
    We won’t need the £45m from a Hector sale.
    Sell Mustafi for £25-30m. That will rise sufficient funds to reinvest on our remaining targets.

  52. Sad it didn’t work out with Jack, but he has had many opportunities, and obviously the new boss couldn’t guarantee want Jack wanted.
    I suspect that Ramsay’s price just went up.

  53. C,

    We needed an overdue change in management – – – – – – CHECK
    We needed a change in scouting methodoloy – – – – – – CHECK
    We wanted a change in transfer market dealing – CHECK
    We needed a new GK – – – – – – CHECK
    We needed defenderssss – – – – – – CHECK
    We needed a capable contract negotiator – – – – – – CHECK
    We needed a DM – – – – – – CHECK
    We need a squad overhaul of deadwoods – – – – – – PENDING
    We need a LW/LM who scores at will – – – – – – VACANCY UNFILLED
    We need a CM/AM – – – – – – VACANCY UNFILLED
    We need

    Overall I’m happy with the state of affairs. While everything hasn’t been perfect (playing personnel wise) , at least on paper, we are heading in the right direction, steadily building moment. COYG

  54. Most telling part for me that things have changed and will continue to change for futboling reason and not financial reasons, Jack said:

    “I felt that I was ultimately left with little choice but to make the decision that I have due to purely footballing reasons,”

    JJ, guess your prediction of Jack staying didn’t worl out too well.

  55. C,

    With Jack leaving..i wonder if we’ll sign someone else or maitland niles will step up.

    Happy with Leno. Hope he does well. Happy they’ve kept bould as well. Refreshing to see so many new coaches etc. A few more players and we’ll look good. Lucky we’ve got so many not at world cup tbh

  56. I do wish Jack all the best, think he is a gokd futboler. Think he would be ideal for a club like Wolves who play some brilliant futbol and could easily end up in the top of the midtable sides next season. Jack and Ruben Neves would be brilliant to see if Jack can gain any sort of form.

    Also think he would do well at Bournemouth and if he wouldn’t mind leaving England than Sampdoria would be a nice landing spot.

  57. MesutsLeftFoot,

    Will be interesting to see if its Maitland-Niles and Elneny who fill essentially the 3rd and 4th midfield roles. Bringing in another would either mean one of the aforementiones are being sold or loaned or Ramsey is off.

    Hapoy with Leno and good to have Bouldie stick around, now we actually get to see what he can do, but also fresh faces and ideas is important.

  58. C,

    Ramsey will stay I can’t see us allowing he and Jack to leave in same Summer unless Emry really wants a clear out. I’m surprised he’s not gone for Nzonzi tbh.

  59. MesutsLeftFoot,

    Why can’t you see both leaving? I can but we will see what happens. Interesting times ahead for sure. Think the thing is, I could see a clear out especially since we haven’t heard anything about Ramsey entering negotiations. Guess we will wait and see.

    Think there will be some moves made.

  60. Apparently the Sampdoria President confirmed Torriera has left the club:

    “Torreira has left for €30million. I bought him from Pescara when no one believed. We bet and we won, paying just €3million. The money that comes in is used to keep the club going.”

  61. Poor jack…a way better player than elneny amd probably better than xhaka. So too is rambo. Its the tortoise that is elneny that needs shipping out….absolutely useless for Egypt yesterday .

  62. I think Elneny could soon be sold. He is one of the expendable players that we have. Preseason will be the sieve to really sift the dead wood out of the club.

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