On What Next For Arsenal and More

If ever a country needed a football match or nine to take their mind off everything…

Judging by the back pages, you wouldn’t believe the season hasn’t finished. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s taken the warped wheel which comes with a £200m insurance package. He’s grabbing all England’s best young talents, so they claim. Bravo.

What for the rest of us? Arsenal’s future is hamstrung by the absence of a technical director. Newspaper reports yesterday claimed some at the club were surprised Sven left. Hopefully not the ones charged with replacing him, eh?

The summer of reconstruction is the one where the heart is ripped from the squad. Raul said recently anyone who is coming to the final years of their contract is in a ‘sign or sell’ situation. There’s half-a-dozen this summer which is potentially a huge sum off the wage bill but with no upside of fees incoming.

That was always going to be the case and a painful one to bear. The only way, feasibly, for us to raise funds at present is selling either of the wage heavy Ozil or Mkhitaryan and hope to replace with better ‘value for money’. Or promising youngsters sold for high value which given the reaction to Serge Gnabry’s performances last week will be too emotional for some to hold onto.

Selling Ozil is more complex than value for money. Part of the message is about selling your perceived best players; how does that filter through the squad? A lot of that answer comes in who is signed as replacements. If there is a sense of purpose and quality, it’s an easier sell.

Key Man and All That

Naturally, it depends on the style the manager wants to play. We know he’s happy to chop and change the line-up accordingly. That’s, to some extent, driven by the lack of quality in defence until recently. I know what you’re thinking: it’s a long way of spelling “MUSTAFI” but he is what he is. Largely OK, never worth £35m and certainly error-prone.

We’ll recoup a third of what we paid if we can blindside someone. A ‘blind auction’, with a player or goods, piled into black binliners. You could end up with 200 mint personal stereos or Mustafi. Buyer beware and all that.

It’s these kind of thoughts which promote the thought of just how reliant upon Sokratis and Koscielny remaining fit we are if third or fourth is to be achieved. Anything which punctures the Spurs myth that Pochettino is a fantastic coach is very welcome indeed.

The circus is out of control. No trophies and just three consecutive seasons of Champions League? By those standards, Wenger is a god among men and Guardiola bears the world on his shoulders in some footballing Atlas way.

Never let it be said that hyperbole gets in the way of some kind of truth, eh?

It’s quiet as always but if you haven’t read Goonerholic, I suggest you do.


You may not have heard what John Barnes had to say on recent events. It is well-worth listening to.

’til Tomorrow.

5 thoughts on “On What Next For Arsenal and More

  1. Blue Yonder says:

    Barnes makes a good point – education is needed. But it isn’t only that. For many, sport (in this case, football) is often the main/only thing of value in their lives and success for their team is what they live for. Thus, any target, anything to bring the other team down is attractive. Plus, subjecting opponents to ridicule is good fun isn’t it?
    Quite frankly, I don’t know that even education can change that. Banning offenders from attending is one way and games in empty stadia another – except the latter also penalizes the visiting team and the majority of fans who do know how to behave.

  2. thrill says:

    thanks for the post. you are 100% correct. If we sold ozil and dropped 20m on Suarez , people would be up in arms. However if you brought someone who made an immediate impact and contributed anywhere from 10-20 goals and assists, that is job well done. easier said than done too

  3. Bill says:

    Thanks for the post yogi

    It’s going to be difficult to sell either ozil or Mkhitaryan because of their wages. Ozil wasn’t interested in going to PSG even though it seemed like a great opportunity so I suspect his playing career is no longer critical factor to him and he probably would rather stay in London and bank his big paycheck even if he is not playing regularly. I doubt he is willing to move unless someone gives him a bigger contract or a large bonus or both and which team is going to do that for a player who is clearly on the downward slope of his career arc? As you mentioned in a comment several weeks ago, the only realistic hope for moving him is a team in Turkey and even that seems like a long shot at best. Moving Mkhitaryan is probably not going to be quite as difficult as ozil. I suspect both of them will be on our roster next year.

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