On The Transfer Turkeys & Being Streetwise

Transfer deadline day and reports this morning that FIFA is considering changing to a ‘global’ transfer window, which closes the day before a league season begins. English clubs, it’s claimed, regret voting for the shorter window this summer and want to go back to the end of August close date next summer.

The turkeys, it seems, aren’t that keen on Christmas after all.

I don’t expect much from Arsenal today, certainly not in the buying department. Our main business was done long ago and maybe we’ll add Demagoj Vida, but it’s unlikely as his fee leapt from €20m to €30m overnight. I know the pound is sinking like the Titanic but that fee-inflation is ridiculous.

And I’m wary of us signing him, as well. This smacks of a ‘good World Cup’ signing, the sort who sends a Karel Poborsky – alarm ringing in my head. That’s not to say Vida didn’t play well for Croatia or that he won’t play well for us, it’s just a bit, well, panicky.

It speaks volumes about the dearth of central defensive talent with the skills we need. Such as defending; that seems to be a big problem for us these days. We’ll see if a week on the training ground and the competitive environment improves matters. I’m not holding my breath, certainly not where Shkodran Mustafi is concerned.

And I will say this. Vida looks a better player than Mustafi so it’s not all bad news in that sense.

Others who I’d expect to be involved today revolve around sales. Carl Jenkinson is unlikely to attract any overseas interest so English clubs need to get their skates on with the Football League transfer window closing today as well. I can’t see him moving to a Premier League club, to be honest.

Flash…Uh-Huh…Saviour of the Universe!

The only deal which is definitely on is Lucas Perez to West Ham. It makes sense; he’s a West Ham kind of player, mixing occasional flashes of brilliance to break the mundanity.

£5m isn’t a bad price either. A bad price is the fee we paid for him. Reportedly worth £17.5m, it was another moment of madness in the transfer market which became all too familiar under late-era Wenger. For a player we passed on earlier that summer. Sigh.

When you look at the players who are set to leave this summer – Ospina, Campbell, Perez, Welbeck, Jenkinson – in footballing terms, none of them must be sold today. They can all be sold before the end of the month if an overseas buyer can be found. Equally, we don’t need to sign anyone to replace them. They genuinely are surplus to requirements.

Which leaves the speculation surrounding Mohamed Elneny. I doubt he will leave for another English club but he could do. It’s no surprise he’s touted as one heading for the exit. Lucas Torreira’s arrival pushes him further down the pecking order and I’d venture Guendouzi’s performances this summer have the same impact.

The Egyptian ticks the box as a squad player. Experienced, useful, and one whom Emery likes for his ability to recirculate possession. It’s not enough with our defensive weaknesses. We need more protection than just using the ball well.

Elneny misses an ‘edge’. Not the leaving an elbow on someone’s face in a friendly Lichtsteiner-sh*thousery kind of edge, but cynicism. I guess the term is ‘streetwise’, a little bit of the dark arts. I read earlier in the summer that Pep’s philosophy is based on regaining possession in five seconds or commit a foul to break up play. That kind of cynicism. Which Torreira has.

When’s A Door Not A Door?

A transfer window which closes today for buying but not selling seems a typically half-arsed English compromise. It needed the selling window to close as well to be truly effective. Instead of moving that, we’re seeing the big clubs leading the charge to the way things used to be. I’d like to charge back to the way things used to be as well. Plurality of ownership, for starters.

One of us is likely to get their wish and I’m guessing it’s not going to be me in this instance.

The ‘fun’ ends at 5 pm tonight which is a very civilised and English hour, leaving plenty of time to nip to the pub once everyone leaves Premier League HQ to celebrate the end of another successful summer. Then the real football begins…

’til Tomorrow.

50 thoughts on “On The Transfer Turkeys & Being Streetwise

  1. Damned early for you YW……toilet problems?
    Also…….does everyone else have to fill out the boxes before posting…..or just those of us you don’t like 😉

  2. After the Kroenke bombshell, I’m finding it hard to build up the enthusiasm.

    Unfortunately, we’re not Arsenal any more.

    I’m sure I’ll get over it.

  3. @Silly S,
    Think ahead to this weekend and our proposed sorting out of the quiet part of Manchester, think of our newbies, the power we have in attack, our re-organised watertight defence and the immaculate Ems playing surface.
    If you are not already drooling with anticipation……. you can’t be a true follower of Arsenal FC! 😉

  4. nicky,

    I’m with you, Nicky. We’ve got the skills in most areas of the park and on pre-season’s evidence players seem to be working hard for each other and the manager. My only worry is the lingering culture of uncertainty and unconscious handbrakery, Arsene’s direst late-era legacy. So I’m hoping for a massive barrage of supportive noise from the stands to convince the lads that something new and good is definitely up and happening. At least Citeh will be wondering who we are this season – a short-lived but invaluable element of surprise!

    Wish my lungs could be there…

  5. Jonnygunner

    I use a Mac with Chrome and tried what JW1 suggested, to no avail, so I blame Yogi, it might not be his fault but….

  6. Having had a bit of a thunk about it, I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that as worried and disappointed as we are, there’s not much we can do about the ownership issue (unless we can all dig under our collective sofas and scratch a few billion pounds or so between us)…………? Anyone?

    I could perhaps scratch together a few thousand rand (probably worth about 10p on your side).

    All seriousness aside, from a footballing perspective I think we’ve got a lot to look forward to.

    We have an absolutely exquisite attack that will hopefully really start firing under Emery.

    IMO we have one of the best, if not the best, front lines in the EPL.

    We have a defensive mid that will probably actually get to play and not be “coached/instructed” to ignore defensive duties and do the charge of the light brigade stuff we’ve seen for the last decade or so.

    We have some really exciting youngsters we will hopefully see develop into stars.

    I suspect our defense might even prosper to some degree under actual coaching and tactical instruction.

    I don’t expect miracles, but I think we can all be excited to see the lads get out there and give it a go.

    Win, draw or lose, I’m ok with it as long as we see effort, determination, and hopefully some sign of progress.

    All that said, I think the AST could have been a touch more circumspect about their response to the Syrup acquisition.

    Considering that there’s precious little they can do about it, should they not have looked to build better relations with the Syrup enterprise in order to stand a chance of remaining vaguely relevant?

    As it stands they’re got two chances of staying involved going forward, fat and slim.

    To my mind one should perhaps step back a bit and contemplate before a body like that reacts.

    Yes the rest of us can debate and express our disappointment, but there is no real role for us and we don’t stand to lose any influence by doing so, but I think AST were a bit hasty IMO.

  7. It might be fixed now, it might not. Reading some comments about a recent plug-in upgrade, it seems this cause an issue with comments.

  8. Lucas deal is all but done. That leaves 7 players to fill the from the three: Aubameyang, Lacazette, Miki, Iwobi, Welbeck, nelson and Campbell. Plus Özil if desired.

    I assume Campbell will Be loaned or sold before the overseas window shuts. So that leaves 6. I think everyone would agree who the first choice three are but none of them are natural wide players and I think it’s an area we could do with strengthening….

  9. So as one window closes yet another stays open, and the smell of Silly Kronke and Chocolate Tea-pot Factory wafts in, where do we all believe we, let me rephrase that, where do we believe Arsenal, the team, will finish the season? After all we cannot do anything about the singularity of Stan’s wig collection, although we can refuse to buy the of the Visit Rwanda abomination of a home shirt.

    I’m predicting a buoyant third place in the PL, behind City and Liverpool. Why? New manager, new impetus, new players (ok, we are still a bit dodgy at the back) and issues elsewhere. United look, well erm, rather disunited with the Sulking One throwing toys out of his playpen. Spuds are about to move into their new toilet seat shaped home, have not invested in their squad and had a lot of players away this summer. Players who may believe the tabloid hype about how good they are, or are not. While Chelski also have a new manager Sarri’s arrival was later than Emery’s. They also an increasingly distant owner and the squad appears to be selling stars – what odds on Hazard going by the 31st? I cannot see any other team breaking into the top 6 this year, despite the investments by others.

    I’d be happy with 3rd this year. Not ecstatic, but happy.

  10. In a strange way it feels we’re going back to Arsenal of the 1980s. Somewhere between 4th & 6th but not serious about challenging for the big one.

    I suppose we don’t have much option but giving Uncle Stan a chance to prove the critics wrong. You never know…

  11. Also those ITK have Aaron Ramsey signing a contract (like a new signing – AW)

    Although those same ITKs told us Arteta was seen at Arsenal’s training ground signing a contract to be our new manager…

  12. We have a good mid and good attack. Defence problems confirm that lethargic movement in transfer was not squarely an AW problem. Defending is ultimately a team effort hopefully the new gaffer will be keen on this and save Mustafi who can be clueless.Am optimistic for a good season

  13. I have to agree about Elneny. Many things to like but I said after his first performance for us that he would have to become more physical to be effective in the roles we needed him to play. He hasn’t.

  14. MikeSA,

    You have a point about the AST but since they had already warned about the dangers of single ownership, their condemnation of it was almost required. They could have articulated an interest in working with KSE under the new structure and hoped to engage further. However, Stan holds grudges and their previous criticisms of him and especially his consultancy fees not only stung but have cost Stan millions in continued fees, I am not sure there was any chance of working with KSE. Since Stan was obliged in written and legal form when he became majority owner to formally meet with fan groups and has violated these promises (he claims his required attendance at AGM fulfilled this additional obligation undertaken), I can’t really blame AST for being unwise.

  15. Afternoon,

    Elneny was the best option we had within the squad for that position, but it was always a case of hoping for an upgrade in the next transfer window. We finally have that and Elneny rightly becomes a squad player, or leaves the club.

  16. Wavey,

    That is exactly my thinking and playing in the FA, CC and even early Europa League matches is where he is now and having him as backup to Torriera isn’t a bad option at all.

  17. Great post yogi.

    I think Emery will help our defense and we will concede fewer goals then everyone expects but we are going to struggle to score more then we believe. PEA and Lacazette have the potential to score 40 league goals between them which is the best we have had since the halcyon days of RVP and Theo. However 40 league goals might not be enough and after those 2 no one else is even a legitimate threat to score. If either of those 2 struggle or get hurt we are in real deep water. After PEA and Lacazette the talent level in the squad really drops off steeply. 4th place would be a huge accomplishment. I hope we bring in another CB before the window closes

    Damon. Sorry to hear about your domestic situation. My prayers for you for a quick and painless as possible resolution

  18. Elneny shares a trait with too many of his teammates – he isn’t a bastard on the pitch. For years I’ve said we’ve lacked bastards and agitators. Players of this role are valued in hockey. They get under the skin of opponents and often force the opposition players to think of retribution rather than scoring. Opponents think twice before occupying space with an agitator – sometimes that split second of hesitation is enough to snuff an attack.
    The invincibles were skilled but they were also physically imposing – and they had bastards like Keown, Viera and Lauren. Opponents had to worry about crunching tackles so they may have been less quick to occupy space in areas where these men were.
    Its been years since players feared a game against us.

  19. Victor Moses is the PERFECT example of something that I have said for years…..judging players purely based on their talent and not taking tactics and their manager into account in modern futbol can be foolish. Under Conte, Moses was excellent and a KEY player as arguably one of the best RWB’s in the PL over the last 2 seasons but now under Sarri he is surplus to requirements because as a RW he is well behind Willian and Pedro and Moses isn’t even close to a RB.

  20. Haha and the oracle Ornstein has spoken and said business is done unless an exceptional deal happens but the deal for Ramsey isn’t close at all.

  21. Interesting that Sky are reporting that a deal for Welbeck to move to Southampton has fallen through because of wage demands despite him being in the last year of his contract.

  22. Earlier this afternoon, they were reporting Southampton as being adamant that no contact took place between the two clubs. I wish they’d make up their bloody minds 🙂

  23. Philmar

    Elneny’s biggest problem is he offers nothing other then the ability to ping a lot of short passes around central midfield. He is Denison with a little better engine.

  24. C

    Chelsea could afford to carry Victor Moses and his lack of endproduct when they had enough firepower upfront but now they need more from the right side of their formation.

  25. Bill,

    No, its a change in formation because Alonso doesn’t seem to fit in Sarri’s plan and playing as a WB is completely different than playing as a FB. For instance as a RWB your responsible for all the work up and down that flank but aren’t really expected to offer much end product but as a FB you have more. Like it or not, Alonso and Moses were EXCELLENT as WB’s for Chelsea under Conte but might not fit in another role. For instance Aszpelacueta is a much better RCB than he is as a RB which is his actual position.

  26. Crap, Welbz is also entering his last year? We are bleeding financially because we signed good players to superstar contracts and then can’t unload them while we are able to get a decent transfer fee. As a result Wilshire walked for free and he’s only 26. Sanchez left…Ozil’s threat of leaving for free forced us to accept inflated wage demands. Ramsay situation looks to be resolving in a similar fashion. One of our veteran keepers will go for virtually nothing.
    I think I liked the early Emirates days better when we were skint but still 2nd or 3rd.

  27. So if/ when Pea or Laca are injured, to Bill’s point, who scores?
    We can expect maybe 10-20 from Ramsay, Mhiki, OZil, Iwobi,
    But we appear to lack any back up strikers, particularly If DannyWel leaves.
    Could be the difference between finishing 3rd and 5th6th.

  28. My favourite quote of the transfer window:

    “If we are happy with our squad and cannot improve our squad, sometimes it’s better to keep our squad together… why not repeat a similar season like last year?”

    Mauricio Pochettino wants the fourth-place trophy…

  29. NB,
    Yes, he could develop nicely,
    But he wasn’t listed in the first team squad on Arsenal,com,
    So I don’t expect much premier league game time.

  30. …except that Pochettino makes sure he develops replacements for players that get poached. He sold Walker knowing that Trippier would be an able replacement..if Alderweireld has been sold then Davison Sanchez would be ready for first team service…and Danny Rose would be replaced by Ben Davies.
    Pochettino is holding on to his young stars . We were being poached by Barca, Citeh and Chelski and still had to find replacements.
    The 4th place trophy was a goal of Arsene years after the new stadium was built and spending shackles had been removed.

  31. In recent years, Wenger followed the deluded dictum that you can do the same thing all the time and achieve different results! Hence he was not a coach, but was more interested in his own longevity in the Club. Poch , a proper coach developed players and used tactics differently to achieve results he wanted. I am seeing Emery doing the same. There is hope, IMO.

  32. C

    Wingback is a place you can stick a player who gives intangibles such as effort and energy but does not bring much end product. However in order to make that work you need to have enough firepower in the rest of the squad. Chelsea does not have that firepower so they have to sacrifice a player like Moses or Alonso.

  33. Bill,

    Your right to a certain extent but Sarri prefers and only really uses 4 at the back so because of that players likE Moses and to some extent Alonso simply don’t fit not that they are bad players.

  34. C:
    Bill,

    Your right to a certain extent but Sarri prefers and only really uses 4 at the back so because of that players likE Moses and to some extent Alonso simply don’t fit not that they are bad players.

    Moses and Alonso are not bad players but very limited. They are not good enough to play as forwards and if they can’t play fullback then they are useless on any team that does not use wing backs. Even in a team that plays with wingbacks their lack of end product is an issue unless the team has a enough firepower in the rest of the starting 11.

    The evidence to date suggests that kolasinac fits best as a left wing back and he does not work very well on a PL team who plays a back 4.

  35. Bill,

    Alsonso had 7 goals as a WB, I think his end product last season speaks for itself. You are literally the king of generalization.

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