On Folk Heroes and Young Guns Going For It

When he walked through the door last night, I wasn’t expecting our sixteen-year-old son to tell us he’d bought souvenirs back from his school trip to Budapest. In truth, I expected him to moan that, despite having a fridge and cupboards bursting at the seams, there was no food in the house.

No, he surprised us both with an admission he had indeed purchased souvenirs. For no-one in particular, just souvenirs. The first raised eyebrows; a cigarette case embossed with Soviet-era insignia.

How do you follow that? What about a Matryoshka doll? A plain back turned to reveal the smiling face of Uncle Joe Stalin and in reducing size, Lenin, Marx, Brezhnev, finishing up with Engels. All popular folk heroes in Hungary…

The astute among you will know that personal anecdote means there isn’t much going on in the Arsenal world at present. Manchester United are spending money left, right and centre but are the chosen club to be in crisis.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s agent Mino Raiola – for it is he – is looking after his other client, Paul Pogba. The Italian’s words essentially said United’s squad is a bit sh*t and they never realised it when Pogba returned to Old Trafford.

Raiola and Mkhitaryan could say the same for Arsenal. A shame they don’t, in fact. If we lose his pay then we can invest elsewhere. It’s fair to say that the Armenian has underwhelmed since joining the club.

At least Özil has hope that he may find a league more suited to his languid style. Fenerbahce have some sponsors in place but need more to pay his wages, in much the same way we tapped Pepsi – or was it Coca Cola, I forget – to pay for Johan Neeskens in the 70s.

Wages of Sins

Whatever the case, the pair plus Mustafi are the three sales necessary to allow the wage bill to be restructured. Mainly toward bonuses; I have no issue with Ozil’s £300k per week so long as it is loaded toward reward for ‘achievements’ such as qualifying for Champions League football rather than being base wage heavy.

Then again, as Swiss Ramble pointed out earlier in the week, do you trust Arsenal to spend money wisely? I know his target was Ivan but combined with Dick Law, they proved they knew ‘dick all’ about football transfers down the years. The good deals are easy to recall because there were so few in recent years. The bad…

The other area is the judicious use of youth, getting the promotion of young players to the first-team right. Talk of Reiss Nelson being a regular, to me, seems fanciful. Yes, he started some games but 18 of his 23 Hoffenheim appearances were from the bench. I don’t expect any different this coming season.

Freddie Ljungberg’s promotion is seen as key to this. He’s followed the same route as Steve Bould to the first-team coaching staff but will be hoping avoid the same fate. That fate is dictated (a lot) by our expectations. I’m not saying we, the fans, are deciding who stays and goes of the coaching staff but we certainly create an atmosphere where it is easy to make a scapegoat out of a man.

The same goes for young players. In years gone by, there was some patience afforded youngsters. Now, the immediacy of the world requires those players be ready for the first-team. A footballing Smash if you like; just add water and you have the defender/midfielder/striker as needed.

If only life were that simple.

Safe Hands, Butter Fingers

It is according to David ‘Viv Nicholson’ Seaman. He wants Arsenal to spend, spend, spend on a goalkeeper so Bernd Leno has competition for his place. That’s not going to happen; there are higher priorities. However, feel free to remind me of that dismissal of Seaman’s concerns when Leno picks up a serious injury on September…

Joe Hart or Jack Butland were Safe Hands solution. The latter I can see as an Arsenal goalkeeper but the former? I’d rather bring Jim Leighton out of retirement such are Hart’s frailties.

It’s a big season for Emi Martinez. He’s apparently decided to stay at the club but is Seaman right to raise concerns about a lack of experience at this level? Martinez and others won’t get experience at this level without playing so if he is #2, he plays every cup match in every competition; no exceptions, no matter the opposition. Just as we did with Cech but with more risk attached.

For what it’s worth, I think we’ll go big for a goalkeeper next summer unless one of the academy players shows exceptional potential.

But let’s get this summer done first…

’til Tomorrow.

21 thoughts on “On Folk Heroes and Young Guns Going For It

  1. Andy1886 says:

    Afternoon All. Let Emi be back up, as YW says we have other priorities. But we do need to get Tierney done, it can’t be that difficult surely? Then again this is Arsenal we’re talking about.

  2. Welsh corgi cardigan says:

    Good to see you back at your usual sharp and witty self.

    Sort of half arsed about Gazidis but there’s no denying that he’s the architect behind giving Ozil 350ks a week.

    This rather sorry state of finances, not to say piss poor, somewhat implies that Gazidis in his actual work also did quite poor.

  3. Paulie Walnuts says:

    Welcome back YW.

    I hope those able are doing their utmost to get Mustafi , Mikhi & Ozil on their way to pastures new.

    Mustafi has been a bit of a disaster…but lack of pace , physical presence & an ability to switch off at vital times isn’t a great combination. I’d be delighted to take £20M for him but doubt if anyone else is dumb enough , so I suspect he’ll have to either be a makeweight in a transfer in or loaned out.

    Mikhi has certainly underwhelmed & I believe we’ll have the same problem offloading as with Mustafi.

    Ozil however is still highly regarded , despite his recent struggles with us. I can see someone in Spain taking a punt , particularly as there seems to be a lot of money sloshing around over there.

    Reiss Nelson has it all to do. He may need to leave permanently to achieve it.

    Joe Hart ? No , no & thrice no !

  4. Dalm says:

    No other cub seems to have our troubles with buying and selling – and it doesn’t feel like they do it in the media spotlight….

    VAR again giving dodgy decisions at the WWC

  5. Kenny says:

    Good to read you again Yogi.
    I hope you’re in fine fettle now.

    Top marks for Iwobi for scoring Nigeria’s winning goal against Cameron at the AFCON in Egypt.

  6. C says:


    Personally, I would rather Martinez than Hart not only because he could be the cup GK but wages as well.

    Martinez is a talent and at 26 years old, he’s not as young as many are led to believe but he also was unlucky. When we bought Cech and Ospina he was always set to be #3 and he has shown well on loan, and if people talk about the Championship being so tough then let him be our Cup GK. I think the thing that often gets overlooked with Leno is that it was only year 1 in the PL and he grew and got better and better as the season wore on.

    Part of Leno’s problem was just how distarious the 4 in front of him where at times especially after the loss of Bellerin and to a certain extent Holding. Just chatting with some of my mates(who are Manure and Chelsea supporters), they even made the arguement that outside of Ederson and Allison, you could make q strong case that Leno was a massive reason why we even had a slim chance at top 4.

  7. Wavey says:


    I wouldn’t be as concerned with Martinez as back up and cup GK if the 4 in front of him were solid, but they are not and Bellerin isn’t back at the start of the season. I know we have more important positions to fill, but we could throw away a route into CL if Martinez has a shaky group phase in the EL.
    I’ve seen news that Cahill is available on a free. He isn’t a long term solution, but maybe he would provide a stop gap if we cant sort out our CB situation this summer. He is better than Mustafi so that is a start. If Saliba is going back on loan for a season, wouldn’t Cahill be back up? I still want an experienced, but younger CB to come in. I’m not sure our budget can handle it though.

  8. andy1886 says:

    Morning Wavey, this season is going to be tricky anyway. We simply aren’t going to be able to fix the defence with the funds we have and the inability of those doing the deals to buy and sell players. Tierney really should have been done and dusted by now, dragging things out until the last minute has never been a good strategy in the past, why would it be now? I’ll put money on the fact that the club want fees for Ozil and Mhiki for example where in reality if we could just give them away it would be a good deal for the club. Watching AFC do transfer windows is like wading through treacle (with the added bonus that the club might fall flat on it’s face and drown in it too).

  9. Dukey says:

    I’d be happy with Emilio Estevez as back up goalie.

  10. C says:


    Tend to agree about the back 4. I do think a CB is needed and primarily one with pace. Cahill, not my cup of tea but I could understand why you mention him. Saliba loaning back seems not entirely a bad thing but would still leave us short. There is still time and I do think we will start to see movement after all the tournaments are over in the coming days.

    As for a younger CB, I would personally like to see Bielik be given a chance not only because he was superb all campaign but also for his versatility with being able to play as the pivot opposite Torriera.

  11. Anderslilya says:


    Exactly, dodgy VAR! They didn’t even look at the stonewall penalty Sweden should’ve had in the Semifinal.
    And todays 50/50 when Morgan ultimately dived was never a penalty!

  12. C says:


    Its a shame that the referring and VAR have been as much a storyline at the WWC as the likes og Netherlands arriving a World Cup before many thought they would, Sweden finishing 3rd after not winning a match last time World Cup, France once again struggling in the big matches.

    With that said, Rapinoe and all the pressure she sas under aftet having a go at Trump rightly deserves everything she is getting and to think that 2 of the core members of Netherlands core are ours is as good as it gets.

  13. nicky says:

    While I agree with most who maintain that our defence needs strengthening, it mustn’t be forgotten that Messrs Bellerin and Holding will be re- joining the squad soon.
    And although our defence was much maligned last season, we actually came very close to achieving 4th place.

  14. C says:

    Watching Raul Jimenez, he reminds me so much of Luiz Suarez in the way he plays.

  15. C says:

    Watching Raul Jimenez, he reminds me so much of Luiz Suarez in the way he plays, minus the biting, I mean all the good stuff.

  16. Dukey says:

    This martinelli geezer. I’ve done the maths.
    Flop 91.4%
    Success 8.6%

  17. Bill says:


    The USA women were awesome so I can conveniently ignore the Gold cup results.

    I understand the discomfort some feel with VAR and there will be growing pains and a few missteps but I think it got all of the calls correct. The handball against Ellen White which cost England a goal would never have been called because it happened so fast, however, it was a definitely a handball. She would not have been able to bring under control and score without using her right arm so it gave her a significant advanatage. The foul in the final against Alex Morgan was definitely a legitimate foul IMO. She was kicked in the chest by a high boot.. Football fans see what they hope to see and there was probably never been a penalty given where someone who supports the opposing team did not think it was a dive and that will never change.

  18. C says:

    Really liking the signing of Saliba whether its a sign and loan back or a deal like Liverpool had for Keita were we pay next summer and he comes then.

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