Burnley Review: Sweet PEA As Willock Impresses

There’s no way of doing a Likely Lads anymore. Pubs full of TV screens, phones pinging every few minutes amid chatter about City “blowing it”. Only sleeping all afternoon and evening allows you to enjoy the flitting between matches on Match of the Day.

Or if you like watching the raising of hopes and rapid dashing of Scouser dreams.

I’m not sure how I’d feel as a Liverpool fan, yesterday and this morning. 97 points to finish runners-up. One defeat all season. That’s tough to take but you’d feel proud; gutted and irritated by the draws as well. Missed opportunities.

Which is something we’re familiar with. Beating Palace or Brighton put us in the top four but we cocked it up. It wasn’t even magnificently, just tepid performances and individual errors. Missed penalties also cost the team and individual dearly. Missed opportunities.

That’s a theme we carried on yesterday. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the shaving of a post and the angling of a boot away from winning the Golden Boot outright.

Pierre-Emerick was happy to find that peeling back the gold paper revealed a chocolate football boot underneath…

He scored twice and for once it’s great to write about a defensive error gifting us the lead. Auba’s ruthless finish emphasised Mee’s sloppiness. His second, an equally impressive and emphatic angular volley, reinforced PEA’s reputation as a finisher. The ball from Iwobi arced through the air with Aubameyang watching it all the way before giving Heaton no chance.

Burnley’s goal…of course they scored; it was an away game. The defence is the major area of work this summer. Mavropanos needs a season on loan to bring him back up to speed. He is a promising defender but he desperately needs game time.

Where There’s A Willock, There’s A Way

Unai must be wondering why his rotated teams couldn’t win earlier in the season. Only PEA and Nacho remained in the XI from Valencia yet barring a thirty-minute spell in the first half, we were comfortable. How did that come about? Burnley on the beach?

Maybe Koscielny steadied the ship when Mavropanos went off injured after half-an-hour. That’s harsh as it points to Dinos as the cause of the uncertainty and he certainly wasn’t. The XI was rejigged so much that Emery could have picked nine from the crowd and got a similar performance in the first half.

We’re beyond worrying about that. Baku takes all the focus now in a defining match for the season. There’s been plenty of talk about Emery getting a “free pass” this season; if we beat Chelsea then he gets one next season in my eyes as well.

That won’t sit comfortably with some. However, there is a great deal of rebuilding to do in the next three months and while the suits may possess the will, will we have the funding? If ever a club needed quick action to prove purpose, it’s us. That said, I’m not expecting too much if Edu is taking over recruitment as well as his other duties.

We shall see.

The Young Ones Are Baku

Emery pointed toward a different future while talking about Joe Willock’s impressive performance:

We need to use the young players. Aaron Ramsey started playing here when he was young and every player can first take chances and after use these chances to get improvement to be with us. Today for example Willock and Eddie Nketiah played 60 mins and 30 mins and used the match to help us with a good match for both. Our responsibility is to give them chances and find the best performance as a team. Young players at Arsenal in the past and present need to have the opportunity to be with us everyday in training and after they can show us if they can play with us in matches.

Unai rebrands Arsenal ‘Kindergarten FC’…

Nketiah and Willock did enough to seal their place in Baku rather than Danny Welbeck. The latter hasn’t played for six months. No matter how ‘sharp’ they think he is, that lack of match fitness is a major issue. That and the small matter of him being a free agent this summer.

We want to win the Europa League but must also give preference to players who will are the club’s future not its past. I am aware of the hypocrisy contained in the following, however. Cech in goal doesn’t bother me. If you question his professionalism in a final, you are mad. He’s not going to throw the game just because he will be a Chelsea coach in the summer.

And if Aaron Ramsey were fit, I’d play him. So my theory about the future is a little skewiff; I didn’t claim it was perfect…

Emery is giving the players plenty of rest time ahead of Baku, with the Spaniard set aside next weekend for carnal lust:

We will train three days in London and then next weekend we will have it off

And on that puerile note, I’ll sign off.

’til Tomorrow.

76 thoughts on “Burnley Review: Sweet PEA As Willock Impresses

  1. Thanks Yogi my man!

    A joy to have you back and Arsenal getting the win. Willock and Nketiah continue to get developed properly given the positions they play. Definitely 2 for the future, next season possibly.

    Baku, here come Arsenal!

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  2. Interesting interview from Xhaka, “i feel proud to have been part of the history of arsenal and i hope i can contribute to a win in the europa league final” sounds very, i don’t know if i’ll be here next season ish.

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  3. Mavropanos looks as rusty as the Titanic. Yes he needs game time, but he looks a million miles away from a regular. Holding will be back next season along with Bellerin, but a new CB is a must. Kos a creaking and Monreal isn’t far behind.

    We need width. Nelson could come back from Germany, but it’s gone very quiet on him lately. Suspect we will go heavy for Zaha or Fraser at Bournemouth. They both have pace and can beat players. I’d prefer Fraser of those 2.

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  4. He looked good in the first game against Arsenal. I think We have to up our contingent of home-grown players, which means we’ll probably take a hit on it.

    C:
    Pete the Thirst,

    I prefer Sarri from Rennes over both of them and wouldn’t come with that PL/English/UK bump for the player.

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  5. Sarri could be amazing.

    But he needs a lot of polishing yet. Reminds me of a lot of players with bundles of potential we’ve taken punts on over the years.

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  6. MesutsLeftFoot,

    We can always hope and maybe Ozil is somewhere in that region?

    Sod off the both of them and please take Miki as well.

    Sorry if I sound harsh in assesment of arsenal players. But the fact that Ozil and Miki cant feature north of London is just silly. Then top it with the fact that that mikis on 200k/month and Ozil on 350. Its just silly and sad.

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  7. Hello all. Glad I stopped back into ACLF missed all you guys. Havent really missed much in terms of the footy action except for the game against Valencia. Shame that we stumbled late on. I remember a few weeks back we were surpassing last year’s point total and we thought, wow there are a handful of matches left we could pick up 8-10-12 points if we go on a run! Nope, just enough losses and draws to render our last win useless.

    Been arguing with some nutjobs on the internet about the importance of Laca/Auba. Some say that Lacazette getting votes for player of the year is a joke because of poor output. My question to you all, how do we continue to make best use of our two strikers?

    Lacazette is a serious battler up there and is a great all rounder to lead our line. He has won headers over towering EPL brutes. Key headers that lead to goals. I get visions of RVP, one touch, turn, shot low and hard. I think Laca is the best all rounder striker we’ve had since RVP and is always capable of magic. Giroud was also a good leader up there but he needed good service, couldnt pull a twist/shot out of his arse like Laca can.

    Curious to see what happens. We need to keep our attack going and bolster up the back. If we can eliminate 10-15 goals next year we should be in top 4. If we can eliminate 30 goals and score 30 more we are competing with pool and city at the top. Not likely that we will get there, that is a lot of goals mateys. I am hopeful (not really confident though because we never fix the defense) that we can get in some solid CBs to straighten us out.

    Damn how many years have we said this in the off-season? Feels like we are stuck in 2012 all over again

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  8. I’d play Ramsey as well if available. I disagree on ace he though. Leno is better especially playing out the back. Chelsea will likely press us more, so I would be more comfortable with Leno. I think our defenders will feel more secure and clear about their responsibilities. Cech is a top professional but he isn’t as good now.

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  9. We go to Burnley, knowing they will play aggressively and try to knock us off our game. All of this happens yet we are up for it and win handsomely. On the road, and in the oft-feared northwest, to boot. One win in the run-in was all we needed for top four but crap was what they served up until ytdy when it was too late.
    There should be at least a mini-fire sale to unload the dead wood but that’s wishful thinking.

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  10. Great post Yogi. Thanks for the review of the game. Nice to win an away game.

    We are the only team since the turn of the century and probably a lot longer to have the golden boot winner and still finish outside the top 4. Theoretically it should be almost impossible for a squad with Pea and a solid secondary option in Lacazette to miss the top 4. That tells you just how historically bad our defense has been the last 2 seasons. It also gives a clue to how weak the squad really is outside of those 2 players. To add more gloom to the equation we are losing our most influential midfielder on a free transfer and our best CB is rapidly aging and may leave also. There is a lot of rebuilding to do in the next few transfer windows. History clearly shows if we are really going to count on our youth players for a lot of high leverage minutes then we are almost certainly going to be spinning our wheels in the mud for a while.

    I think we need to start rebuilding by dumping the $30m/year in wages of Ozil, and Mkhitaryan. Neither have been effective this season and both are getting older and the downward trend in their ability to influence is only going to increase. I think we also need to get whatever we can for Xhaka, Mustafi Elneny and may be even Iwobe. If someone is willing to offer us silly money for Guendouzi and/or Bellerin we need to make logical decisions rather letting our emotional attachments over rule common sense. Its going to be an interesting summer.

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  11. Thrillbo

    Lacazette has definitely been better this year and I agree that his all around play has been excellent at times and he and Pea are the cornerstones of our squad rebuilding. However, comparing Laca comparing to RVP is a rather large dose of hyperbole when Laca only scores 13 league goals in a season.

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  12. Bill,

    The most influencial midfielder that influences for a handful of games and then phones in sick for a month or so at a time-not for me Bill.
    Name me any other top team that has an influencer crocked as often as Rambo-you won’t be able to.

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  13. Bill,

    RVP….another sicknote.You love ‘em tonight don’t you Bill?
    We nurtered him for years…and when he’d fully recovered,he went to United….that’s loyalty for you.

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  14. Damon,

    True, but I truly do believe in Emery’s ability to help grow youth that have already make the breakthrough. I also think he would be brilliant on the flanks and I imagine he would get similiar instructions to Iwobi but offer more end product.

    I would rarher buy him and pay the PL/English/UK homegrown player for like a CB as opposed to a winger.

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  15. Jonnygunner

    I agree with your point about Ramsey being injured a lot. Unfortunately none of the midfielders who have been able to stay healthy have had much in the way of positive influence.

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  16. Adebanjo:
    Bill,

    How many seasons did RVP score beyond 15 goals for us. I can only think of that one unbelievable injury free season before he jumped ship.

    You’re right. RVP and Ramsey are similar in that when they were healthy they were influential and both had one really fantastic season but neither could stay healthy.

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  17. In my opinion, if we could offload any of Ozil or Mikhi, Mustafi, Elneny, Xhaka, Guendouzi or Bellerin.

    We need a CB, LB, Winger. Also I’m factoring in that Holding will be back and Chamber’s may get a run in the squad.

    Potential CB targets which don’t come with a Premier League price tag:

    Magalhães – Lille (CB)
    Sarr – Nice (CB)
    Viergever – PSV (CB)
    Leite – Porto (CB)
    Luperto – Napoli (CB) * This one is a risk as he’s never been outside of Italy

    Left back targets:

    Koné – Lille (LB)
    Tagliafico – Ajax (LB)
    Telles – Porto (LB)
    Grimaldo – Benfica (LB)
    Rui – Napoli (LB)

    Potential wingers:

    Araújo – Lille (LW)
    Younes – Napoli (LW)
    Pépé – Lille (RW)

    In an ideal world another defensive midfielder:

    Soumaré – Lille (DM)
    Sadilek – PSV (CM)

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  18. No doubt that Ramsey was our best central midfielder this season when healthy. Torriera started well but faded and guendouzi impressed early in the season with his energy but he really fell off after the adrenaline fueled hot start faded. I hate losing Rambo but I understand why the club didn’t want to overpay for a player who can’t stay on the pitch. Its a knock on effect from the financial mistake they made with Ozil and Mkhitaryan. If Ramsey could stay healthy it would be different but Its not very likely that his muscular injuries are going to become less frequent as he moves into his early 30’s. We can’t afford another underperforming over paid central midfielder until we can get rid of the other ones.

    The real mistake has been poor management of contracts. We will have lost Ramsey, Wilshere Cech Welbeck for free and we got nothing useful when we traded away Sanchez. We compounded the mistake by making Ozil the highest paid non goal scoring player in the history of world football when it was clear that his skills were fading. I think he has created a grand total of 3 PL assists since he signed that contract 16 months ago.

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  19. Ozil’s goal + assist totals in PL games in the last 4 years are 25, 17, 12, 7. The only possible explanation at this point is the vision to see and the ability to create and execute those brilliant final passes has slipped away from him. Father Time always wins and once a player starts the downward side of their career arc the slide does not reverse course.

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  20. HenryNorrisDialSquare,

    Really? You’d unload Guendouzi and Bellerin?

    I’d let Kos go before either of those two.

    I think we can all agree Ozil and Miki should both be on their way, but we also all know they’re riding those contracts, or we’re part paying them at the very least

    Makes my blood boil seeing either of them in an Arsenal shirt these days

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  21. Afternoon,

    Ozil continues to laugh at the club by expressing his intention to stay at the club until at least 2021 when he will re-evaluate his position. He’s telling the world that he intends to run down his contract again and either tuck Arsenal up by expecting them to give him another amazing deal, or go for free. It seems that he can dictate terms to the club whenever he feels like it with the threat that we will get nothing for him if his demands aren’t met and the ridiculous wage packet he gets seems to pretty much make him unsellable. I don’t see the club being willing to take the hit on him just yet, as it would be a massive climb down to effectively admit that the gamble didn’t work, but it must surely be time to just get rid.

    Bill, I think the last player to win the golden boot without his team getting into Europe was Kevin Phillips in the 1999/2000 season when he scored 30 goals.

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  22. Hello all , good chatter again today. I’m not sure I would let go of Guendo, give him another year or two to see what happens. But he needs to be the 3rd option , keep Lucas the Terror , maybe Xhaka . But we need more in the midfield, we need a force in there. Unai runs the 2 man midfield duo, it’s hard work controlling the game in there and we need a stud.

    I checked RVP stats, he had 3 years in a row scoring 18/30, then switching to manure and bagging 26. I wasnt trying to imply Lacazette is on the same level as RVP. Just that Laca is the best all around striker we have had since RVP. The lone man up front we can bag something out of nowhere in big games… A hopeful crossed fizzed in, a brilliant first touch, a turn, BANG into the net.

    What we have with Laca and Auba is truly thunder and lightning up front. One is a fighter, going up against big bald brutes, powerful runs and shots. The other is electric pace, anticipation, movement… Lets hope we can keep those boys running and healthy next year. Give them some more support from midfield and defense and lets take that leap back to being an elite team.

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  23. Damon,

    Well some one else suggested if we could get good money for them and I’m re-iterating that. Do a Chelsea and if we can sell for good money but put in a buy back clause or first refusal clause then happy day’s. There’s no guarantee that either or them are going to be a Lee Dixon or Emmanuel Petit. If you could guarantee that level of consistency, run in the squad and performance/skill level, then I’d say no we definitely don’t want to sell. Otherwise, lets make some money.

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  24. With the whole Ozil thing. If you were in his position, why would you leave? You’re guaranteed first team football. You’re on £350k a week. You aren’t going to get that salary or recognition anywhere else. Of course you’d run down your contract and there’s sod all anyone can do about it. Unless we offer him to a Turkish club and agree to pay his salary. Which is as good as having him on the books still. So we should all just give him a break and praise him for the exceptional talent that he is and hope he will put in a couple of good performances along the way. Ozil is a good player. His skill level and understanding of the game surpasses the rest of our midfield. If we had some decent winger’s and another box to box midfielder to take some of the pressure off of him, we might get more from him. Ozil can’t carry a team and doesn’t play well when he is the central focus of a team. This is all coming from a fan who doesn’t like how team Ozil went about getting him his contract. But that’s done and dusted now and we’ve got to get the best out of him. It’s as simple as that.

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  25. HenryNorrisDialSquare,

    No you cant blame ozil for accepting and wanting to see out his big bucks contract. It’s not his fault our management offered him the deal. It just kind of sucks from our viewpoint as fans. Another instance of is really missing out on the big money window for selling a player. Easier to say that in hindsight. I still think Ozil has something to offer for the team, but not sure he will carry us to victory. Where was he (and many others) on the road this year???

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  26. Of course you can blame Ozil.

    Has he no professional pride?

    He is already a very rich man with more than he could ever need.

    He is a bloody disgrace is what he is.

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  27. If Ozil hadn’t figured since Christmas he may well have had enough & decided to move on but UE had little choice to use him more once Mikhi & Ramsey got injured. He just couldn’t cut his nose off to spite his face.

    Ozil can still do it against lesser teams (mainly at home) but he’s still a virtual passenger when we’re struggling & this just highlights how ridiculous his contract is.

    Unfortunately we’re not good enough to be able to freeze him out even if Emery wanted to , so unless Ozil himself wants to leave for a new challenge or better weather we’re stuck with him for a while yet.

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  28. “Bill, I think the last player to win the golden boot without his team getting into Europe was Kevin Phillips in the 1999/2000 season when he scored 30 goals.”

    Wavey Dave. Thanks for the info about Kevin Phillips. Having a high scoring striker on your roster has a strong positive influence on results and its difficult to miss the top 4 with a golden boot winner in the squad but I guess it does happen once every 20-25 years.

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  29. With regard to Ozil I am not sure how much petrol he has left in the tank. Players lose their skills at different ages and Ozil’s downturn has come earlier then we had hoped. He has been playing at a high level for many many years and has a lot of miles on his legs. He has won a lot of big trophies and has a huge international fan club and on top of all of that he is extremely wealthy and knows this is his last big contract and he has nothing left to prove. I don’t like it but I can understand why he struggles to get motivated . Once age starts to erode a players skills and motivation it tends to get worse the older you get

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  30. Damon

    I don’t think anyone would suggest we should actively try to unload Bellerin or Guendouzi. However, if someone is willing to pay us a really high transfer fee then it wold be a mistake to hold on. If rumors are true at one point we could have gotten really large transfer fees for Wilshere, Ramsey and we certainly could have sold Ozil for quite a bit of money

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  31. Bill,

    A fair summing up of where Ozil is at present. The problem is that he is currently already part way through probably his last big contract and there is little to attract him to depart early. 😎

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  32. I think Ozil May be willing to move if it were to a place like PSG or Istanbul as long as he does not lose any money and can keep up appearances to preserve his massive online/social media following from Arsenal supporters, hence his constant statements about his love of Arsenal and desire to stay. He wants it to be the club’s fault.

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  33. I understand that stats are not everything but Guendouzi has not been an effective attacking midfielder but he is also not a defensive player. He played 2144 league minutes this season but had 0 goals and 0 assists so the lack of end product means he is not likely to be effective as box to box or attacking midfielder and he is not a defensive player so I am not sure what his real role is going to be.

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  34. Bill,

    He turned 20 exactly one month ago. His passing stats are good and he is more mobile than Xhaka. He’s cheaper than him. Perfect bench player whom Emery overused. We’ll find out if he develops further next season. Why sell him now when we need to add midfielders even if we keep him? Now if PSG come and offer 40m, I listen. But 20, 25? Not worth it.

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  35. I’d rather sell Xhaka than Guendouzi who earns a healthy wage and is prone to major errors. Xhaja’s Ceiling is basically known whereas Gurndouzi can improve and already had shown the ability to be an effective midfielder in the PL at a young age.

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  36. Agree entirely about the potential of Guendouzi. He was originally signed for loaning out, I seem to recall, although Unai’s immediate need over-rode the plan.
    His work-rate for a youngster is excellent and with the right coaching, he could become an ever-present member of Arsenal’s first team for years to come.

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  37. There’s no point selling youth with heaps of potential for loads if Kronke is just going to guzzle the cash for himself. If it’s reinvested (eg: Coutinho, mental money, buy Van Dijk).

    But that will categorically not happen in Arsenal today.

    Freezing Ozil out would be one tactic, but from the behaviour he’s shown I think he’d actually be glad. Out of the limelight, can’t get booed off and still picks up his outrageous basic salary.

    Its the perfect example of why performance related incentives need to be used in tandem with a healthy but not obscene basic package. You play well, the team do well, win trophies, you get paid more money.

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  38. LSG,

    Remember mate, Bill doesn’t value midfielders and its either they can score goals or their shit. Its interesting we want to build a talent team that can challenge but apparently Bill will listen to offers for anybody and thinks he can simply, ‘replace’ them.

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  39. Limestone

    I agree completely that Guendouzi was overused this season. I think Emery wanted his energy on the pitch. Its just my own bias but I don’t think passing stats are all that useful. If I remember correctly Denison’s passing stats were extraordinary and so are Elneny’s. Its not that difficult to pass the ball around midfield when the opposition is defending deep and waiting to hit on the counter attack. I think there can be a place for ball possession players with a lot of energy but those are not difficult to find and if we really expect him to develop into a difference making highly influential midfielder then he needs to either develop end product in the final 1/3 or morph into a really top notch defensive midfielder and history has shown that neither of those are a slam dunk certainty, especially the former. We waited a long time and used a lot of high leverage minutes Ox and Iwobe to “come good” and neither developed end product so I suspect our best hope is for Matteo to develop into a defensive player.

    All that said I certainly would not look to offload Guendouzi but I would consider selling if someone offers a good transfer fee. Every player is for sale if someone offers enough money but to me the only real untouchable players in the squad are Pea and Lacazette because players with their skill set are much much more difficult to replace without spending huge transfer fees. If we had a player like Van Dijk he would be untouchable. Ball possession and energy midfielders or fullbacks are a lot easier to replace.

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  40. Cbob –

    I agree you can blame ozil, and I am not happy with the current situation. You can blame him for not putting in the performances, not having any fight. Not being able to control an away game against lower tier opposition. Blame him for being crap most of the year , scoring a couple cute goals and not much else.

    I cant really blame him for taking the mega contract, as a professional man with kids, family. Grandparents who immigrated and work hard labor everyday of the year, no days off, barely getting enough time to spend with grandkids. I’m 5 years into my career, have been a team player throughout. If another 5 years go by and 33 year old me gets an offer from a mega shit corporation like amazon,netflix etc worth 5x my current salary. I’d have to think long and hard about what it means for me and my family. Do i cash checks for a couple more years , save enough to bank it and provide for family?

    on the flip side. ozil is just playing football, not slaving away for some corporate buttmunch.

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  41. Couple of interesting statements there chaps. Damon, spot on, there’s no point selling with Stan siphoning funds out of the club for his other ventures. It needs to be re-invested back into the squad. And you’re 100% correct performance incentives should be part of the course. But when you’re trying to sign big name Charlies whereby Arsenal F.C. isn’t their first choice. Giving them major bucks and guaranteed first team football is a HUGE bargaining chip in securing their services. Perhaps it’s the recruitment that’s wrong. After all look at Liverpool getting Andrew Robertson from Hull for 9 million. Best LB in the Premier League this season by miles. Rated at 50 million now!

    That said, surely even Stan isn’t that blind to see that this squad needs investment and he needs to back the manager in the transfer market.

    Bill great point about Ozil. He’s a wealthy man, ageing and he’s done it all in terms of trophies. So understandably his motivations to win on a cold night in Wolverhampton/Leicester (add any away trip to this list) are going to be nil to none. But he can be useful at home against those teams languishing in the bottom half of the table. Which means we can rotate one midfielder at home at least on those occasions.

    We need a team that is good on the road. That can show some mettle! If we can improve our away form we are in the top 4. If we can reduce the number of goals we concede by 20 we’re in the top four. I’m not talking about winning the league because we’re miles away from having a title winning team. But not making top four next season means UE needs to go and we should take a chance on Nuno Espirito Santo.

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  42. Stan hasn’t siphoned off much money from the club. By my rough estimates, what we know of is 8-10m total in the past. The problem is he doesn’t do anything for the club and doesn’t even insist on full use of the club’s resources—we had so much cash available for years that Wenger didn’t spend and the board didn’t demand to be used to improve the team’s competitiveness. Sales are going to be a crucial part of financing squad rebuilding because we need the money and KSE will do nothing to help out.

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  43. Bill,

    Why does it have to be either a DM or an attacking midfielder? Why can’t Guendouzi be a top class box-to-box midfielder who does a bit over everything in midfield and simply bosses a midfield ALONGSIDE a DM and an attacking midfielder.

    That balance player in midfield that every great midfield has. Look at the best midfields in Europe: Juve, Citeh, Barca, etc….they all have a balance to their midfield with players like Raktik, Pjanic, Veratti, Gundoghen, Kroos(before), Thiago, etc; who simply boss midfields and sure they score a goal every now and then and sure they help out defensively, but they are brilliant midfielders who simply link everything together. Liverpool are WIDELY respected as one of the best teams in Europe and are in the CL Final for theb2nd year straight but outside of the odd Wjanidum goal, you wouldn’t even put goal threat or end product in the aame sentence as ANY of their midfielders.

    Vieira was that player, was he a DM…nope, that was Gilberto Silva, was he more of an attacking midfielder, nope that was Bergkamp but Vieira did a bit of everything. What if I told you his best goal return in the league was 6, how about if I told you he I don’t think he even hit 50 goals for Arsenal…would you believe me? But do you doubt his impact?

    Personally, it comea down to needing end product from your wingers and therein lies the problem and its why we should be chasing Sarri or somebody similiar. That would then give us 3 players who are true goal threats and taking pressure off players like Guendouzi to score goals and finally quiet you down a bit about having either strikers or defenders on the field. 🤨

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  44. thrillbo,

    Yep. About right but, I may be wrong, Ozil is a multi millionaire abusing his talent. Your right to screw the Corporate wankers hardly compares. Goos luck to you.

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  45. Stan has not been as tight with the money as we seem to believe. Last season we bought Lacazette and Pea and gave Ozil a huge contract and brought in Mkhitaryan and last summer we bought Leno, Torriera, Socrates and Guendouzi. Arsene spent money on players. I am not defending stan because he is certainly not the ideal owner but he has allowed the suits in our front office to spend money. The problem is that during the Wenger era a lot of really bad decisions were made and the money was poorly managed and contracts such as Ramsey and Wilshere were allowed to run out instead of making logical decisions with regard to selling. May be I am wrong but if we can raise money with well thought out selling I suspect that Stan would not prevent our football people from spending that money..

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  46. C

    We have been looking for the next Vierra ever since he left. He was a unique player and not likely to be replicated and suggesting that Guendouzi can somehow play that role is probably not realistic. Suggesting that he can be the next Tony Kroos or Veratti is not as unrealistic as hoping for the next Vierra but even that is a big leap of faith. Do everything midfielders are relatively common and you don’t need to overspend to get a good player for that role.

    There is a big difference between actively trying to off load a player and selling a player if someone is willing to over pay. I am not suggesting that we should actively be trying to off load Guendouzi but I think we would be foolish to hang on if someone is willing to over pay for him.

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  47. Henry

    A rising tide raises all ships and it was not just Ozil but every player on the entire team was more effective at home. I think Ozil played better in home games because the whole team played better. We can’t afford to carry a $350K/week player who we can’t use in road games and whose ability to influence the game seems to be rapidly declining with age and whose level of motivation is at best uncertain.

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  48. Ozil played in 15 league home games this season and had 2 total assists. The idea that he was really good at home is probably another example of us seeing what we expect or hope to see rather then what really happened.

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  49. The other thing to consider is if we actually find a player who is effective attacking midfielder when we play on the road I suspect that player would want to play in our home games also.

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  50. LImestone

    The devil is in the details and exact amount that you consider overpaying is tough question. I would take $28-30M. We bought him for less then $7M and I doubt that he is the only relatively unknown U21 out there with the potential to do what he does.

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  51. Limestone.

    I realize it was a couple seasons ago but PSG paid $32M for Julian Draxler who was consider an ultra elite prospect and PSG tends to overpay. Guendouzi is not really close to that level as a “prospect” so I think $40M is high. If we could get $25-30M would be an excellent value for us.

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  52. Also, I’m less inclined to sell since we don’t have a great structure in place for identifying and buying players. Sven I would trust to use the money cleverly—he has a track record and the signings last summer we’re pretty sharp ones that helped us. We are in a bit of a transition in that area and I don’t know if I really trust Raul, Emery, Cacigao (the chief scout now) and Edu while still working for Brazil to be the most organized and effective group to act in this summer. The January targets were not inspiring.

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  53. LSG,

    We completely lack energy in midfield and Torreira has small legs
    I think we all appreciate why UE likes to play him and for such a young guy he has had an excellent season. Eye catching.
    I do understand why Bill wants to avoid the mistakes of not selling when we have the chance but that surely is with players we have misgivings.
    Step up Xhaka and Mustafi
    They are Arsenal players and I like them but…
    Also forget Ozil
    He will see out his contract now. Stop pretending we can sell him

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  54. Ok much as I dislike removing players who may well be central to our euro final
    E.g. Xhaka delivers our corners and is made of the right stuff

    Leno
    AMN Sok Kos Nacho Sead
    Xhaka Torr
    Ozil
    Pea Lac

    Enough to win COYG

    After transfers

    Leno
    Bell Sok/Kos Holding LB
    CM Torr Matteo
    Pea Lac RW

    3 nice signings

    Yoof?

    AMN bielik Mavro (what happened to the non league left back we signed. Sell him Bill!)
    Willock Chambers (sorry not convinced at all)
    Smith-Rowe
    Reiss Eddie Baka

    Boom

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  55. Arsetralian

    I understand that stats don’t tell the entire story but you can’t just ignore them completely. This season torrierra had 2 goals and 2 assists in 2300 minutes and guendouzi had 0 goals and 0 assists on about 2200 minutes. You don’t expect the deepest DM to produce. You’re suggesting we should plan on a midfield with almost no goals or assists next season?

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  56. Thats one of the reasons I think we should sell Guendouzi if someone is willing to pay us a reasonable transfer fee. Realistically with Ramsey leaving we lose almost all of our end product from the midfield. I think we need at least 1 midfielder who can score a goal and perhaps more important create some assists and that is not Guendouzi or Torriera and buying a midfielder who can give us endproduct is going to cost money. We also need to move on from Xhaka and upgrade our defense with a better deepest DM. However, if we buy 2 new midfielders and Torriera is a holdover there is not much room left for Guendouzi.

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  57. Arsetralian.

    The other issue is you are committing to Guendouzi as a full time starter in the most advanced midfield position. You are putting a lot of faith in your belief that he is the next great thing but our history certainly very strongly suggests that you are most likely over rating him.

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  58. Bill:
    Thats one of the reasons I think we should sell Guendouzi if someone is willing to pay us a reasonable transfer fee. Realistically with Ramsey leaving we lose almost all of our end product from the midfield. I think we need at least 1 midfielder who can score a goal and perhaps more important create some assists and that is not Guendouzi or Torriera

    I’m not sure that I agree completely with all of this. Yes, Ramsey is going to be quite a loss, but I wouldn’t sell Guendouzi yet. I think he’s the most exciting prospect I’ve seen since Cesc – truly do.

    Torreira I agree on, he’s not that player for us, despite starting life as a footballer as a striker. With that said, I don’t think it’s fair to level him with charges of only/ 2 goals and 2 assists. We’d all been crying out for a modern day defensive midfielder for ages and ages. We’ve now got one. I don’t want him scoring lots of goals or getting too many assists. It would be the start of the “Song” effect

    On Guendouzi, I think he could play that role and definately see him as a box to box style. He hasn’t been given a chance to fill that role this season, understandably. His range of passing and vision to see a pass is superb for a player his age. I’m not saying he’s going to be the next big thing, but he’s done enough for me to give him a couple of years to see how he develops, at the very least

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  59. Damon,

    Interesting discussion. I would keep Torreira as a DM to break up play and pass. I’d buy a box to box mid and continue to develop Guendozi in first team squad.

    You ok YW?

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  60. Damon

    Fair points. I think you are over rating Guendouzi but I only have a lot of history to back my argument and may this is finally the player who is different then all of the dozens and dozens of other players that we thought were great prospects.

    With regard to Torriera. Perhaps things will get better but we had him for the whole season and I did not see any evidence of improvement in our defense. My thought is we should replace Xhaka with a true defensive minded deep lying midfielder and Torriera probably fits better in the high energy box to box role. If we do that ideally we would have a forward attacking midfielder who brings the threat of end product and after losing Ramsey we don’t have one of those in the squad.

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  61. Congratulations to Santi. Named in Spain squad after 4 goals and 10 assists this season. If only our creative midfielders could match those stats….

    Krystien Bielik scores for Charlton in second leg of League 1 playoff semi final.

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