On Welbz, Ramsey and What the Transfer Tea Leaves Tell Us

Gareth Southgate unleashed his inner Wenger last night and played a Carling Cup side against Belgium’s Carling Cup side. The Belgians won – unsurprisingly – and it’s all Mesut Özil’s fault; I’ve got the stats to prove it as well.

Was it was disturbing that Danny Welbeck didn’t start? Marcus Rashford bears the cross of being the ‘next greatest living Englishman’ but Welbz is more likely to shin it in. With Lucas Perez returning to pre-season training early so he can “impress” Unai Emery, Welbz no-show won’t make a good impression if Emery makes decisions on vacuous levels.

There is, of course, the small matter of Danno’s contract. It expires in 2019 – as does Campbell’s – and reports emerged earlier this year that he batted away the initial offer. That may prove his undoing. I believe we’re overstocked in distinctly average wide players: Welbeck, Iwobi, Perez, Campbell. Two of them – at least – ought to be shown the door. Despite a lackadaisical approach last season, I would persevere with Iwobi for another season, to see if Emery can coax the footballer out of him.

It is also telling that despite loan spells, Campbell and Perez are yet to attract permanent offers. Or if they have, those offers are the only ones in the history of transfers to remain entirely off the back pages.

Missing out on the England team despite being the second highest scorer in the squad must hurt Welbz. Like Jack, the lack of regular first-team football is damaging his international aspirations. Think about this for a second: England took Eric Dire to Russia instead of Wilshere. That’s how damaging it’s been.

Jacko’s talking Turkey about his future which is a strange move for a man who rejected a loan to AC Milan because he wanted to remain close to his family.

Talking Turkey

I doubt he is going to Fenerbahce; Ospina’s been going to Turkey every year since the 2015 Copa America and he’s still at the club.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the ‘British Core’ – whatever that was – isn’t entirely lost to the club. Aaron Ramsey “is enthused” about Emery’s arrival, suggesting that he was disillusioned under the previous regime without actually saying that.

The same article claims the deal for Lucas Torreira is all but done; powerful word ‘but’, especially in this context. However, with his agent and Sampdoria both telling the Italian press on a fairly regular basis that it is done, it’s hard to believe it isn’t done. Portugal could do us a favour by knocking Uruguay out of the World Cup, but I wouldn’t bet on it. And if they don’t, it will be Mesut Özil’s fault; I’ve got the stats to prove it.

Anyway, there’s a sense of purpose about the club, which is the key to a good start. Emery immersed himself in the squad for his interview(s) and knows much about the players already. Stats only tell him part of the story, he and his staff will see things through the training sessions and match reels.

Too much reliance upon stats is not good for the health: Luddites of the World UNITE!

The outgoings will tell the story of Emery’s reign, as much as the signings. Eight players are out of contract at the end of 2019; in all honesty, Monreal and Ramsey are the only ones I’d lose any sleep about leaving. That includes Jeff; it means he, Welbeck, Akpom, Campbell, as well as one of Cech or Ospina, are surplus to requirements.

We won’t lose all of them. One of Welbeck and Akpom will stay unless we have eyes on another prize.

Fickle Public Speaking

That can’t be ruled out. Ivan mentioned that they hoped other business would be concluded this summer and we assumed he meant Sokratis and Torreira. Perhaps they have other ideas as well. It would be curious if they acted mainly on the spine of the team without looking at the width.

The trouble is we don’t know yet how Emery will set the team up. The presumption is that he will use one of his previous systems but they may not be the case; he could just continue with a flexible 4 – 3 – 3. Who knows but the transfer business of the summer will tell us more.

Today is a ‘kicking your heels’ day at the World Cup which is a blessing in some respects. You can have too much of a good thing.

’til Tomorrow.


55 thoughts on “On Welbz, Ramsey and What the Transfer Tea Leaves Tell Us

  1. Michael says:

    If Turkey is the option for Jack, there can’t have been many options, its like a poor mans USA

  2. Pete the Thirst says:

    Akpom Baby – U2’s latest album?

    You mentioned the ‘O’ word again…that led to profanity and apartheid last time!

  3. Limestonegunner says:

    Excellent round up, YW. I’ve got the stats to prove it.

    I’m still recovering from Nicky’s outburst and MikeSA’s response yesterday. World Cup rest day. We need it!

  4. Limestonegunner says:


    True but I’d rather live in Istanbul than most US cities, bar NYC and SF/Bay Area. Worse options out there but footballistically a big step down for Jack.

  5. Damon says:

    Sorry, I’ve a fair bit to add to the end of yesterday’s fun… I posted this on the last thread but copied and pasted back. There might be one of two more after this too…..

    To be fair, they’ve got a squad full of saleable assets at any given minute. It’s up to them who they jettison. I choose that word carefully too

    Real had bought Bale, but were Ozil so integral to their team, he would not have been sold. They had plenty of other saleable assets at the time.

  6. Damon says:

    Actually, fuck it, I’ll leave it.

    I think most of the regulars know my views on stats. Mike even alluded to it himself in humour yesterday. I’ve nothing personal with anyone here, but must say it amused me reading all that. I don’t want it to all get political and racial though. This is football people, it should transcend all that silly billy behaviour

    Sadly, I think we’ve a bit of this tosh to wade through before AFC gets back to being a football club. Happy to play my part in that, where I see fit though, as not all the rows are necessary.

    Enjoy a sunny Friday with no football chums

  7. C says:

    I remember so many told us that it would be a mistake to let Jack go and we should have signed him then sold him….I know hindsight and all, but if clubs didn’t want him on a free…

    Welbeck is interesting because in a high pressing system he could most certainly be a useful CF3 or squad winger but does he want that, not sure. Plus, he is good for a couple of goals, even if he knows nothing about them.

  8. C says:


    Your right about sellable assets, I mean they basically got rid of James Rodriguez who then became integral to Bayern both present and future.

  9. C says:


    He is on a 2 year loan but all parties want it to become permanent with discussions set to take place after the WC

  10. Damon says:


    It’s mad some of the talent that they let go. 2 year loan deal seems a bit weird too, no?

  11. C says:


    It is insane, thats why I don’t subscribe to any normal transfer rationale when it comes to Madrid….people forget they sold Higuain too.

    2 year loan deals are only weird in England, most countries actually regularly use 2 – 3 year loan deals: Cuadrado to Juve, Koman to Bayern, James to Bayern just to name a couple bigger ones but its quite common.

  12. Bill says:

    Great post yogi

    I am not sure if it was a good idea for Southgate to play a B squad. It would have been nice to keep the momentum and the confidence at top level. I would also rather played japan in the next round. However finishing second does give England an easier side of the bracket it I think. If we can win against Columbia then the next game is against the winner of Sweden vs Switzerland. All games are difficult at this level but those next 2 games are not intimidating and we have a good chance to reach the final 4.

  13. Bill says:

    I suspect Real Madrid has some limitations with regards to money and wages and even they to make some financial compromises. They have a whole squad full a salable assets and they move players James and Ozil and higuain because they have other players who play those positions who are more effective and more important. They would not move players they feel are critical to their success

  14. C says:


    Mate, Di Maria literally was MOTM in a number of matches and in the CL Final and they sold him. I know you try to make sense or rationalize things but Madrid’s transfer policy is something you shouldn’t.

  15. Michael says:

    Another feature of Madrid’s transfer “policy” they don’t want ugly players, hence bid for Beckham as opposed to Ronaldinho…so being good isn’t enough by itself.

  16. Pete the Thirst says:

    I see Sol Campbell was watching the England game at the Playboy Club in London yesterday. For somebody that wants to improve their credentials he ain’t going about it the right way.

    What about following the example of the other Campbell, Kevin, and go for a drink with the fans after a game?

  17. Pete the Thirst says:

    Oh and Props to Nicky and MikeSA for the exchange earlier.


  18. Borges Spinelli says:

    Excellent write as per norm, YW.

    Speaking of stats, I’ll offer a few to delight fellow ACLF devotees.

    Contrary to what our eyes saw, Germany launched the most attack: 252

    Toni Kroos completed the most passes: 310

    Unsurprisingly Spain has had the best passing all tournament with: 2089.

    Iran had the best defense: 149 tackles/clearances/saves

    Proves that stats only tell half of the story.

  19. Borges Spinelli says:

    If I had my way, the door would be shown to (as YW put it) all of our “distinctly average wide players: Welbeck, Iwobi, Perez, Campbell.”

  20. Bill says:


    Their policy makes sense to me. If they have to sell someone they keep the players they think are going to be more important to them in the next couple seasons. They sell higuain because they have Benzema. They sell ozil because they have Modric, they move James because they have Isco.

  21. Bill says:

    I am sure Madrid would rather have kept Di Maria, Ozil, James. Higuain if they could. They are all excellent players. However, they can’t afford to keep all of them so I assume they keep the players they feel are most important to future success. Their success in the last few years argues that their decisions are mostly spot on.

  22. C says:


    If only it was that simple but whatever makes you happy makes me happy 😁

  23. Woolwich Freddie says:

    I can actually see Welbeck doing quite well in an Emery side, although strictly as a wide player. Perhaps, he should learn from Them and just admit it’s his best position (unless the injuries magically dry up and consistency suddenly becomes a realistic ambition).
    I’m losing patience with Iwobi but he has ability and I tend to agree it might be worth a new manager having a go. However, will he be energetic enough for the system?I
    The other two I thought did well when we called upon them but have not covered themselves in glory elsewhere (and everyone, it would seem, has the state to prove it).

  24. Bill says:

    A lot of the stats we use in football can be misleading. I am quite sure Germany were close to the top in ball possession, passes completed and chances created but they were terrible. The only stats you can’t manipulate are goals scored and assists.

  25. Bill says:

    Madrid has to succeed at the highest level and no team can do that if their executives are making random nonsensical decisions will their player and squad composition

  26. Dukey says:

    Harry Kane can manipulate his goals scored record!

  27. Phil says:

    Have to love the occasional stouch!

  28. Phil says:

    Like it or not, all professional sports rely on stats to help frame their fitness programs, and assess performance.
    Whilst they can measure a player’s level of intensity, they can’t measure the level of passion. So Ozil is pretty well fucked.

  29. Bill says:


    The only thing Ozil brings to the team is creativity in the final 1/3. He does not score, does not defend, does not set the tempo and he can only play in a relatively forward position and he was being subbed off around 70 minutes. Players like Modric, Kroos, Isco, James are just as influential and provided more then enough creativity and they were a lot more versatile From Madrid’s perspective they had plenty of creativity without Ozil so if they had to sell someone it made sense to sell him. It seems like they made a very logical decision to me.

  30. Bill says:

    Madrid bought Isco in 2013 and they already had Modric who were both more versatile then Ozil and they had more then enough creativity without Ozil and they had to sell a couple players to raise money to pay for Bale and Isco.

  31. Borges Spinelli says:

    Precisely, Bill. Going forward l/term, Emery has to build his team around a more formidable Number 10 who offers beyond what our incumbent does. A player capable of dragging his underachieving team forward with a moment of magic.

    Ronaldinho, Bergkamp, Rivaldo, Zidane, Kaka (at his best) Steven Gérard, Lampard, Scholes were all capable of deciding games singlehandedly. Ozil in 5 seasons with us, has yet to engender confidence for a considerable length of time with his output/workrate.


    The only thing Ozil brings to the team is creativity in the final 1/3. He does not score, does not defend, does not set the tempo and he can only play in a relatively forward position and he was being subbed off around 70 minutes. Players like Modric, Kroos, Isco, James are just as influential and provided more then enough creativity and they were a lot more versatile From Madrid’s perspective they had plenty of creativity without Ozil so if they had to sell someone it made sense to sell him. It seems like they made a very logical decision to me.


  32. Bill says:

    In the past there has been some debate about the logic of Real Madrid’s squad building methods. The point of all of that is to support my contention that there is logic behind the decisions they make. The idea that any club could have their success without having smart people making their decisions seems strange to me

  33. YW says:


    Damon – your wish is my command. Pictures can be added, so too apparently gifs which I’ll try another time.

    You can’t ‘quote’ a picture; it just brings the text through but whereas before, the quote functionality was lost entirely, this time it seems to work.

  34. YW says:

    Copy and paste YouTube code for embed works directly. No comment required which I guessing is down to the direct paste of code.


  35. Damon says:


    This is excellent! I can’t remember what I wanted to post at the time but it’s still excellent. Thank you

  36. Michael says:

    Thats great YW, I just need to learn how to do it now!!!

  37. Damon says:

    I trust your new toy isn’t going to distract you from getting today’s post up?

  38. Damon says:

    I’m looking forward to both of today’s games. Whatever happens I’ll be glad to see the back of two of these four. I think both games will be fairly lively too. A brawl and a load of red cards is about all this World Cup has been missing so far

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