On Reducers, Tactics, and Negotiations

A morning blog which is crisper than Lucas Torreira’s reducer on Son Heung-min, but like any Hollywood blockbuster, you’ve seen the best bit with the opening; the rest is as ramshackle as the German defence. That was Mesut Ozil’s fault, according to Uli Hoeness. He hasn’t said that publicly yet but it is only a matter of time before the rehabilitated old tax fraudster does.

The Armenian head coach is probably trying to figure out how he can rope Ozil into the blame for their defeat to Gibraltar, which was the Rock’s first ever win. There’s no surprise at the victory. Wrestling, acting; it was only a matter of time before he turned his hand to something else.

It’s a slow news day. Granit Xhaka offered his view on Unai Emery’s impact and unsurprisingly, it’s positive.

We needed some time to get to know the character and philosophy of the new manager. It is going well and I am improving.’

‘On a tactical level, the manager has really helped me. But we can still improve

Granit Xhaka on Unai Emery’s arrival and impact

What helped more, I suspect, was being hooked at half-time at Stamford Bridge when the red mist had descended over the Swiss international’s eyes. That was a wake-up call; a sign the Spaniard wasn’t taking any crap from anyone.

The recurring theme of squad interviews is that Emery is more tactical than his predecessor, more in-depth and generally, more intense. More hands-on; more this, more that, more of the other. Just more, to be honest.

Alex Iwobi said the same recently; it’s shown in his performances for club and country. An assist last night after generally bamboozling defences this season in the best form since he burst onto the scene. A promising return.

Eyes Right

On the subject of managers who prepare tactically and well, there’s an interesting chat with George Graham in the Scotsman here.

Talking of predecessors and predecessors talking, Arsene believes Aaron Ramsey has a strong hand in negotiations with the club. He’s seemingly oblivious to the club pulling out of the deal rather than the other way round.

It is a further sign of the changes at the club. Wenger admitted he knows nothing of what is going – disingenuous? Moi? – but more importantly, how our funds are being used. I have no doubt that the deal would not have been withdrawn were Ivan or Arsene still in charge of negotiations.

Raul Sanellhi’s eyes face the Academy and youth players, and on how we can produce our own ‘Masia’, freeing up more funds for experienced professionals in key positions.

A different approach which while not setting out to ‘kill careers’ is certainly not above putting significant obstacles in the way. Ensuring the team is served first and foremost; throwing youngsters in at the deep end but not under a bus.

Will that come with time? The presumption is that the new Adidas and Emirates funds will bolster our ability to compete on wages. We’ll see whether that theory works over time.

’til Tomorrow.

27 thoughts on “On Reducers, Tactics, and Negotiations

  1. LSG says:

    Thanks Yogi for an entertaining column. I think if we hear correctly that it was in the region of 185k/week that it was a reasonable deal and surprising the club withdrew it. Perhaps it isn’t just Sanllehi but Emery advising the club against it with his assessment of the player, as some suggest.

    If we do but good young talent who can grow into an established side and flourish, that’s fine, I suppose. But it might mean a more extended period before, if ever, we see Arsenal challenging. So we’ll see. The upcoming windows are pretty important.

  2. Danny says:

    Reading Xhaka’s comments today, I cannot help but place them in different light than those of Bellerin and Iwobi. After all, he is the senior professional and captains his country. There are signs of growing tactical awareness, the occasional look backwards is an advance. Where I find his development a little difficult, is when every pundit in the game, is regularly highlighting his malaise to protecting our goal. Is it not obvious, even under Wenger’s laissez-faire tutuelage, that adjustment was required.

    As well, as wanting to keep his place, I suspect, Xhaka is benefitting from the gnarling terrier beside him, intent on disrupting and interrupting oppostion possession. Torreira at a tender age looks a master of his own game. Fully aware of his role, not of the one bestowed upon by the coach.

    Through my own gritted teeth, I accept this team has room for Xhaka and the authority that he passes the ball. I just hope this is no false dawn and so far this season, with the improvement you can evidence, there remains, plenty to suggest a lack of natural tactical awareness could yet be the unmigitable final straw.

  3. andy1886 says:

    Fascinating piece on George. I do feel sorry for modern fans who missed out on that era, I doubt that there has been any other time in the club’s history where the fans and the team were so closely integrated. After the disconnect of the latter Wenger years it’s good to see that chasm narrowing but I doubt that we’ll every see those days again, At least not while we have the game dominated by TV and foreign investors looking to make a killing off the back of it all.

  4. ferkov says:


    Aye. Cracking article.thanks YW. He’s never been one to hide ,so I find his self sustained absence from The Arsenal present a bitter pill.
    Maybe he was just too uncomfortable with Arsene’s way, that he preferred to keep quiet. Let’s hope this is his first step towards reconciliation. There are others ,but none so charismatic that link us now back to our past glories.

  5. C says:

    Well done to our Women who put Chelsea to the sword 5-0

  6. C says:

    Good stuff Yogi and I wonder if Germany is blaming Ozil for the fact they haven’t scored a single goal competitively since his retirement🤔.

    Xhaka next to Torriera is proving to be exactly what the Swiss needs. Torriera is doing what he did at Sampdoria but is also showing the talents that prior to his role at Sampdoria saw his as an ACM. The biggest thing for Xhaka though is positionally he is growing and that is something he showed in Germany and for his country.

    Simlly put, Iwobi has to start.

  7. ferkov says:


    Don’t usually stray there , as I’m a bit old and get disoriented easily, but I had a look at a Nigerian soccer twatter feed. They are raving about Iwobi. Better than JJ! Eagles Messi !
    But it is Twitter.

  8. C says:


    Iwobi was superb from everything I read but thats not surpriseing given his form for Arsenal. Iwobi is certainly a talent with his dribbling ability and now he is adding end product, early but exciting days should he continue with his confidence.

    With him starting on the RW and letting Ozil play centrally with Aubameyang on the other side, its certainly exciting.

  9. ferkov says:

    Thanks Yogi for an entertaining column.I think if we hear correctly that it was in the region of 185k/week that it was a reasonable deal and surprising the club withdrew it.Perhaps it isn’t just Sanllehi but Emery advising the club against it with his assessment of the player, as some suggest.

    185k ,reasonable, Ferkin mad. What will bring these walls crashing down I wonder?

    If we do but good young talent who can grow into an established side and flourish, that’s fine, I suppose.But it might mean a more extended period before, if ever, we see Arsenal challenging.So we’ll see.The upcoming windows are pretty important.

  10. ferkov says:


    Sorry. Clearly don’t know how this “quote ” thing works.

  11. LSG says:

    Ferkov, I guess it seems reasonable compared to the rumored demands earlier of Ozil money.

  12. ferkov says:


    Yes mate, I totally concur, and it built up some fan antipathy for Rambo, those rumours. He’d be better throwing in a couple of correcting comments than saying “my agents handling it” if that’s the case.
    Either way, these figures, for running about like! Hard to see it sustainable. But I’ve thought that for a decade at least. …

  13. C says:


    Don’t forget that Ramsey, and Welbeck, told Arsenal thanks but no thanks prior to the Ozil and Welbeck saga.

  14. ferkov says:


    Presuming you mean, Ozil and Sanchez.
    Don’t recall there being much consternation at the time about Rambo and Welbz’ stance . Seemed the done thing at Arsenal.

  15. ferkov says:

    YouTubed the Reducer from Tory boy YW.
    Disappointingly legal. But reassuringly dominant. He’s the 50:50 ball winner / play breaker, we’ve been crying out for since Gilberto.

  16. C says:


    That is, and when Ramsey and Welbeck turned down those contracts, not much was made of it but I also think the whole Ramsey situation could have been different should he have signed then and even now but his agency is taking every chance they get to take shots at the club.

  17. philmar says:

    ‘Sign or sell’ is the position we should have with every player entering their last year. NO exceptions. I would have sold Ozil and Sanchez at the beginning of last year. I would have done the same with Ramsay in August. We would have been a better TEAM – a cohesive group of players with shared goals willing to work hard towards these goals – WITHOUT Ozil and Sanchez. We would have had funds available for younger cheaper motivated replacements. You don’t have a team when there are 3 or 4 players whose primary goal is to look good for prospective employers, or worrying about getting career ending injuries.

  18. ferkov says:


    I get what you say, and agents are guttertrash by default, whoever they represent. I do think that the last few years of Wenger Gazidis axis would have been very uncertain for players, as which way they should jump.
    Now we’ve got a The Three Wise Men in charge , and a clearer route ahead, with a universally appreciated change of style , I think the fence sitters have lost their excuses. Jump or get pushed.. Seems like Rambos had the latter, I hope Welbz gets the message.

  19. ferkov says:


    Fair points.
    Don’t think we had any offers for Ozil.
    Not sure I believe the stories out of the Ramsey agency, that there was £50 on th table from Manure. He let Ox go for 30 at a far less convenient time.

  20. C says:


    Exactly but I also think Ramsey was hoping Arsene and Ivan stayed because he knew that they would give in all the way up until Ivan left for Milan. Time is up and come January, I would be willing to accept anything that is thrown at us for the pair….better to accept something than nothing.

  21. C says:

    So Kos has retired from France and said:

    “France’s World Cup victory did me a lot more psychological damage than my injury did me. He [Didier Dechamps] called me once for my birthday in September. Otherwise, no [contact]. Lots of people disappointed me. Not only the coach. It feels like a hit on the back of the head. When you are in good form, you have lots of friends. When you are injured … after a certain period of time, you are forgotten about.”

  22. C says:

    Well look at that, England playing Route 1 futbol to success.

  23. C says:

    Well well, they are ripping Spain to pieces.

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