Pepe Move Edges Closer As Mustafi & Kos Head For The Hills

I’m sorry Chuck and Flavour, I want to believe the hype. You get sucked into the maelstrom surrounding every new signing, despite knowing that football’s history is littered with players about whom you shouldn’t have believed the hype. But you do, knowing they may be dogged by the same ill-fitting suit of inconsistency.

Nicholas Pepe according to the media and everyone proclaiming themselves a friend on Instagram, is on his way to Arsenal. The doctored images of him in the glorious new home shirt prove it. And the bookmakers are close to closing the market, the surest sign of a done deal. It’s always worth checking out the latest offers from betting companies to make sure you get the best bang for your buck in a fluid market.

Nicholas Pepe is coming to the relatively new home of football. Highbury remains the Home of Football; the Emirates is trying hard but is some way short of being a successful heir.

I can’t work out whether I’m excited by the signing of Pepe as a player or the fact that someone at Arsenal worked out how to spend £72m on a £45m budget. Yes, we’re into net spend territory. Vinai didn’t recognise £40m as the budget; that’s because the questioner was £5m out in his calculations.

It was the perfect escape clause. The simple answer to any question on transfer budget is “we don’t discuss our budget publicly because it weakens our hand in negotiations”. Boom! Where does the interrogation go from there; it’s closed down.

Instead, argumentative souls such as myself, think there is some double-talk from the dynamic duo. That Enos and Junior briefed them not to divulge anything. It was a fightback, not behind the bike sheds but Vinai used fighting talk.

Raul, the wise old head, remained silent. He waited on canvas skirt, leaning on the top rope, for Vinai’s hand to tag his but adrenalin coursed through the younger bureaucrat’s veins; he was on a roll and scented blood.

Strained Relations

He isn’t the only one being combative. Social media, the bedrock of sanity and measured debate, saw one genius pour scorn on those who think £72m is better spent on a central defender. The way the pound is tanking, it’ll be £73m by the end of the week. I’ll put my hand up; £73m on several defenders is a more useful way to spend our money given the state of our back four.

The real world has two answers to that. Firstly, why must we be excited by signing a £73m player? Beyond the obvious club-record signing part, that is. Something about the deal is ‘odd’. Not in the ‘net spend’ odd, just the timing. Pepe wasn’t the player Junior told us to get excited about but Wilfried Zaha went the same way as Ryan Fraser.

Prior to the Africa Cup of Nations, I hadn’t seen Pepe play. I don’t watch Ligue Un; I don’t think my marriage wouldn’t withstand more football. It’s bad enough with the English, Spanish and Italian leagues plus all the cups and internationals. Two’s company, etc.

My relationship with the city of Lille is strained. I passed through once, en route to Vienna for our first away match in the final edition of the Champions Cup. Our bewildered looks on the coach matched those of the locals who saw an English coach draped in Arsenal flags, lost in the back streets. Our drivers, hellbent on leaving the motorway, finally did so

Buying a European Road Atlas on the outskirts of Dover as we headed to the ferry forewarned us of our drivers’ limited geographical knowledge. It was a long journey, some 36 hours from The Gunners Tavern to the Praterstadion; we just made kick-off.

Don’t Let The Door Hit You On The Arsenal On The Way Out

Pepe enjoyed two good seasons with Lille after signing from Angers. His rise is remarkably similar to that of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, albeit a lot quicker. I just hope we don’t end up with another pale shadow of a player.

Equally, I hope we don’t end up regretting the signing. A scenario where we score 100+ goals but 70 or so, leaves us mired in a battle for sixth and essentially worse off than we are now. The hope in me, the pre-season dreamer thinks with the attack we have – including Pepe – can fire us into the top four.

The cynic, the devil of doubt on my shoulder, thinks the defence we possess undermines that positivity. That conceding 50+ goals in the last two seasons isn’t a record we will improve upon. We are, to coin a phrase, our own worst enemies unless Unai and the coaching staff get to grips with the ill-discipline in the group. Signing new defenders is remedial action required two months ago, not with nine days of the window remaining.

Particularly as we’re on the verge of losing two centre-backs:

So there you have it. Ornstein, the Sage of Salford, spoke. Mustafi doesn’t want to go but Arsenal want him out. He’s mad to try and stay. Every mistake is under the microscope. The opprobrium of the masses comes with a misplaced pass so god knows what he’ll get if he cocks up like he did last season at the Etihad.

I admire him being willing to fight for his place but, honestly, there comes to a time to cut your losses. Laurent Koscielny knows this:

Koscielny knows he is a lost cause as far as we’re concerned. That only strengthened his desire to get the hell out of Dodge.

Ten Is A Tall Order

My son asked me this morning how I would judge the transfer window with the following criteria:

Pepe, Ceballos, Saliba in; Koscielny, Mustafi, Ramsey, Welbeck out.

I’m not sure I give that any more than a 6 out of 10 and I think that’s being generous. Saliba is next year’s model. A promising signing for sure, but not for this season. We need to land two more defenders to get it up to an 8/10, as well as selling Elneny and Jenkinson. We have youth aplenty who can come in for the early rounds of the domestic cups and Europe.

Add in Xhaka to the sales and I give them 10/10 for the window. I don’t think that’s going to happen by the way.

Plenty to think about, however, as far as strengthening the squad – by purchase or sale – as well as a busy week on the pitch. It’s almost here; you can almost smell the new season in the air. Either that or the sewage farm sprang a leak again.

’til Tomorrow.

65 thoughts on “Pepe Move Edges Closer As Mustafi & Kos Head For The Hills

  1. Pepe coming in offers us goals, pace and creativity and work rate in a position many have called fir that very thing in. People wondered how we are going to replace Ramsey’s goald, well Pepe can do that and add some.

    Pepe, Ceballos Tierney and say Rugani (on loan with option/obligation to buy) and that would be a quality summer where we realistically upgraded 4 spots in our XI.

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  2. C,

    I’d give you three of the four but until we see how Ceballos performs it’s a but premature to say he’s an upgrade on Ramsey and even if he is it’s only a loan deal unless RM have a change of heart.

    Overall an excellent post YW, am in complete agreement with your analysis of the TW so far. I’m a bit concerned that the Tierney deal has gone quiet but we shall see.

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  3. We still need one of them thingy majigs..what are they called again..you know those ones that like to try and keep the ball away from our goal. The area where we have players who don’t really know how to stop the ball from going in our goal.

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  4. Until recently I loved your blog……down to earth and always interesting. But what has come over you in the past few weeks?……nothing but either doom and gloom or totally disparaging of everything and everyone Arsenal
    We all know that Arsenal are crying out for the central defence to be seriously strengthened but why just keeping telling us what we already know, why keep repeating the same line?
    Where is the optimism that should be creeping through your blogs, where is the effervescence that once permeated everything you wrote. Where have you given the new signings, or Unai Emery a chance to succeed…….you seem to anticipate failure at every turn.
    No doubt last year you would have approached the signing of Guendouzi in the same way…..and have had to recant pretty quickly.
    So please …….can we we get back to the old YW, and the immensely blogs that we enjoyed.

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  5. andy1886,

    Can understand the reservations, but think Ceballos might feature instead of Xhaka next to Torriera but we will see. Pepe has the potential to replace Ramsey’s creativity and goals plus more.

    One thing is for sure, this will be a different sort of Arsenal than we saw last season. Instead of needing goals from our midfield because Iwobi or Mhkitaryan as wideman didn’t offer it, we now have the potential of Pepe. Our midfield will be interesting because if its Torriera and Ceballos, they can dictate and play that double pivot that forms the base.

    Ceballos is on loan but then again, its Madrid and contrary to my mate Bill, they are different and do things so different.

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  6. Allow to add your comment to the list of things I’ve disparaged, Norm. Which is a shame because I always liked Norm in Cheers.

    Guendouzi? I mentioned him when Torreira signed, the following day when I wondered how the midfield would fit together and a largely positive comment after the 5-1 twatting of PSG.

    Where is the optimism indeed? I look at our current squad and wonder why anyone has optimism with the defence as it is. Signing Pepe at the moment is like buying a Ferrari only to find it is wider than your garage. You know at some point it is all going to end in tears with our inability to defend to Premier League standards going to cost us more than we gain in an attacking sense.

    But the only people I disparaged in today’s post were Koscielny, Mustafi – even then I was positive about him – Enos, Junior, Raul and Vinai. Surely nobody is defending that lot?

    Oh, and the coach drivers from 1991. Maybe you took umbrage at that. Are you one of them…?

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  7. YW,

    You forgot to tell Norms that the optimism cause from people like me.

    Defensively, well we kniw we will be a train wreck potentially but attacking, we might just outacore our way to 4th place and then worry about fixing the CB’s next summer.

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  8. Great post Yogi

    I won’t believe the Pepe signing until it actually happens but I will be very happy if it does.

    Pepe does not help but the reality is that we are in rebuilding mode and part of the focus is on the next few years rather then just next season. We need to add potential superstar quality players to our roster at any position and based on the stats he has put together in France Pepe could potentially be a superstar wide forward and possibly a difference maker for several years. No doubt we still need to rebuild the defense but how many chances do you get to buy a young potentially true difference making player at any position so I say go for it. The big concern is players we have brought in from France has never come very close to replicating their productivity in the PL. Chamakh, Gervinho, Giroud and Lacazette have all seen their numbers plummet when they come to England but we have to hope Pepe can buck the trend. If Pepe and Ceballos both work out it could mean we might see Mkhitaryan, Ozil and Iwobe all lose their place in the regular starting 11 and in my mind that would be addition by subtraction. It would also me we could do the right thing for Nelson and Saka and send them on loan and hopefully give them have a chance to develop properly.

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  9. C

    Torriera did not look like a DM last season. I know he can’t do it by himself but the theory before last season was that his energy and his presence in the midfield would make us less vulnerable to counter attacks but that did not happen. From what you have said Ceballos is more of an attacking player then a defensive player and the Ceballos/Torriera pivots does not sound like a very sturdy defensive alignment. If we play Ozil in front of them it makes it even worse.

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  10. The old cynic in me tells me that the thinking behind the Pepe deal (from both club & player) is that he`ll only be with us for a couple of seasons.

    If he`s a big success we sell him to one of the money clubs , probably PSG for £100M , which in effect means we`ve got him for nothing, now.

    Of course , the only problem with this plan is if he doesn`t perform …& we`re left with an expensive dud on our books…..

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  11. Great article YW. I missed reading your take on things, and reading C updating us on here, and Dukey doing his ‘thang’.

    I think we will be balanced this season. I don’t like the timing of the game against Liverpool, but if we click we could get a draw away and that would bode well for our chances this season.

    For me Martinelli’s pace and potential is what I like the most about him. Pepe’s got pace too and he will be a good player for us.

    While we sign defenders after getting rid of Koscielny and Mustafi, I think we could be a formidable team this season.

    Emery needs to phase Xhaka out of the premiership as appropriate. He can play against Burnley and teams lacking creativity but he shouldn’t be close to any game against top 6 opposition.

    From preseason games I’m thinking Ozil is in a good place mentally now that he’s married, the season will tell if he sustains his newly found motivation.

    Interesting times at the Arsenal, long may it continue.

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  12. Bill,

    Torriera can’t do it by himself and he was very defensive and if you think he didn’t have an influence, well so be it. Your missing the piece where the whole team struggled defensively. Its quite interesting that Xhaka was part of the problem and NO one player can defend a whole midfield by himself. Ceballos isn’t purely an attacking player, he is a #8. He does the defensive side while also linking play. Every player that can pass and dictate play isn’t purely an attacking player who can’t defend. Your making a judgment based on what you have heard and not what you have seen.

    Your saying a pivot of Torriera/Ceballos wouldn’t work, how do you know? One thing we do know is that when Xhaka’s pressured, the opposition scores. Having seen Ceballos for club and country, when he is pressured, he is like most spanishish pivots and can get out of it.

    Fuck me your a pessimist. 3 strikers, 6 defenders 2 GKs is Bill’s preferred formation.

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  13. Sell Mhkitaryan and Iwobi. They seem to blocking the paths for young players and they have both hit their ceilings. I watched Iwobi at the AFCON and I think Ceballos would expose his laissez-faire style of football.

    Jenkinson, Elneny and Xhaka can be sold. If we get a back up right back, Maitland Niles should go back to playing in the middle of the pitch.

    The central defenders linked with us so far have been: Kannemann, Rugaini & Umtiti. Juventus have spoken against the sales of any of their defenders, while Barça wants a sale while we seemed to be looking at loan deals. No mentions of Kannemann in the rumors anymore, but it’s certain we need central defenders.

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  14. C,
    My first choice central midfielders would be:
    1.Ceballos,
    2.Torreira,
    3. Guendouzi,
    4. Willock,
    5. Õzil
    in a midfield trio before Xhaka appears.

    Willock, Ceballos, Torreira & Guendouzi as 6 & 8. While Õzil or Iwobi can play in the hole as a #10 depending on circumstances and the opposition. In a year Emile Smith Rowe will be integrated and Martinelli could also play like a #10 like Lacazette.

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  15. C

    It’s only pessimistic if you believe the negative and you are wrong. I have been right about a heck of a lot more things then I have been wrong about over the years. I think a better description is realistic.

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  16. Good afternoon I’d add H Mhiki to the list of those to go out.

    The addition of Pepe poses the question where is he going to fit in? He does not score goals. Pepe is going to start on the right.

    When Bellerin is fit again the right hand side is going to be decent.

    The Arsenal Vision Podcast Clive and T Stillman both in their wisdom state Xhakas days are numbered.

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  17. I think it’s asking way to much to expect Ceballos and Pepe to set the PL next season but I am optimistic about the long term prospects for Pepe and hopefully Saliba will be worth the wait.

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  18. With regard to transfer budgets, I don’t know why any club would divulge how much they have to spend. And maybe they don’t. Maybe it’s all media-driven. Emery uses his grasp of English to answer questions about the transfer budget by not answering. Wenger, with his tighter grasp, did much the same. So, what is truth? A few seasons back, Gazidis was said to have said that Wenger had 70 mil to spend that summer. Wenger spent only a portion of that amount and was flogged for being parsimonious. So, did he really have 70M? And, if Arsenal don’t have 45M to spend this summer, how much do they have? Perhaps it’s why we keep being linked to transfers that would far exceed the stated budget.

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  19. If we can get Pepe and Tierney and move players like Ozil Mkhitaryan xhaka Mustafi out the first team regular slots and eventually out of the team then I will consider this a highly successful job by our front office brain trust. I am less pessimistic about the kronke’s over the long term then a lot of us. This team clearly needs to move as far away as possible from the front office domination mental stagnation characterized the last part of the wenger era and completely rebuilding the teams front office and infrastructure and rebuilding the team was never going to be easy and a few missteps were inevitable. I am not suggesting that Kroenke is a great owner but I think his biggest mistake was to fall in step behind Arsene. The owners wanted to be be AKB’s because that was the easy thing to do. Once they finally realized Arsene was well past his prime they started with hiring Sven and Raul and then sacking Arsene. Josh and Stan have certainly been actively trying to reshape and rebuild the club in the last couple years starting at the board room.

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  20. wenger had more than 70mil.
    he just preferred to buy 5 shit players and give them world class wages with it every window instead of buying a world class player every window for 5 windows.

    gazidis was a cock for letting him. always on about not bankrupting the club and keeping the powder dry and values of the club. – non of which mattered when everyone was getting new contracts and payrises and bonuses for achieving fuck all.

    both complete bullshitters and pointess rubbing salt into old wounds.

    the very fact weve signed pepe on a limited budget shows how full of bullshit wenger and gazidish were when it came to transfers and the finances.

    pointless talking about them in the same breath.

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  21. Lari03

    Only time will tell but no matter how talented you think he is expecting Ceballos who has only started 17 league games in his career to instantly become an impact player in the PL season is probably overly optimistic.

    Ras

    Last season Pepe scored 22 league goals and created 11 assists. He certainly won’t match those numbers in the PL but he should be a threat to score double digits or may be low teens at some points. The reason I am optimistic about Pepe as a wide forward prospect is because he is threat to score goals and creates assists and he can dribble and he is really good on the counter attack.

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  22. Bill,

    Should be entertaining for the neutral. We should be great on the counter and terrible when other teams counter attack us. Great for everyone else, frustrating to say the least for Gooners.

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  23. The 40- 45m could be the amount of money we can spend in upfront part of the negotiations. Looking at who we have bought and who we have sold it could be the answer. I haven’t done the sums, but I’m sure someone will correct me if I get it wrong.

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  24. Bill,

    To he fair to Ceballos, he is also ONLY 22 years old and its not as if he is playjng behind some good to decent players, he was playing behind fucking Modric who even before he won the 2018 Ballon d’Or was considered top 5 midfielder in the world and Kroos who, up until last season, was widely regarded as one of the best in the world. I think simply saying he only started 17 matches without realizing who he was starting is kind of a weak arguement. Lets not also act like Modric, Kroos and Casermo weren’t the starting midfield that literally helped them win 4 CL since 2013 and they were ALL in their prime.

    How many 21 year olds get in ahead of them? Also, how many players have literally won Player of either the U21 World Cup or European Championship without scoring or assisting? That is the talent Ceballos possess.

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  25. Andy

    I really am not ignoring the importance of defense and I really hope Emery can do better this season with our organization and defensive mentality. If we don’t improve the number of goals we concede then Emery needs to be sacked. I hope we add Tierney and another CB. I would not be surprised if our defending costs us the top 4 next season but I think for the longer term we need to have star power in the squad and I am excited about the long term prospect of Pepe as a wide forward. You can’t turn down the chance to get a player who can be a star. I hope that makes sense.

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  26. C

    The last time we bought the supposed best player in the European U21 tournament was Yaya Sanogo. Hanging your hat on that is a not a very strong endorsement.

    It does not matter who Ceballos was playing behind because the bottom line is he has almost no experience. No matter how talented a player is, expecting someone coming from another league with almost no experience in his home league to instantly set the PL on fire is probably overly optimistic

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  27. C

    I am not suggesting the Ceballos is not talented or he is going to be a long term bust, However, we don’t have him for the long term and he has to come good instantly. I am suggesting there is good reason to be concerned that he might struggle next season. You point out the fact that one of the reasons he has not played much is because he is only 22 years old and that is part of the problem.

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  28. Bill,

    Sorry mate, but nobody said Yaya was the best player at the tournament, they said he scored goals. Massive difference their but its okay, thats what you have me for 😉. He has no experience other than his 133 appearances whether they be starting or as a sub and was good enough for Madrid to sign and not want Arsenal to put a clause forcing us or even wanting us to sign.

    Again, you want talent, we are getting it but just because they don’t score goals doesn’t mean they are talented.

    FYI, it does matter who your playing behind especially at that age. I mean FFS Phil Foden is CONSTANTLY being discussed as one of the most talented young midfielders in Europe but can’t get a match because he plays behind De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and David Silva. To think it doesn’t matter who you play behi d is simply fookish mate.

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  29. Bill,

    His age isn’t the reason he hasn’t played much. Him being 22 years old means he is young, sure but he hasn’t played much at Madrid because he came to Madrid when Modric, Casemiro and Kroos were in their prime and helping Madird win the CL and Zidane being fiercely loyal to them. Madrid lost Llorent this summer to Atletico because of the same reason.

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  30. to be fair, ceballos really was the nuts at the u21’s and of all clubs, real madrid signed him. hes played over 100 games at club level including CL finals so hes got experience at top level.
    cant compare him to sanogoal. he was a postman and another wenger project.

    and pepe is the second best player in france – he just went under the publics radar because of the jizzfest over PSGs superplayers but when you consider spurs payed 65 mil for that midfielder no-ones heard of and for anyone who has seen pepe in regular action, 72 mil for one of the best players in europes a fucking steal and he will tear up this league. hes not gervinho mk2, this kids the real deal and can play.

    if he was brazilian, has shit hair and spent 90mins trying to get everyone sent off and con 100pens he’d have cost 200mil.

    cbs going to be an issue and depends who gets offloaded first to what type of player we bring in but im thinking tierneys done by the weekend and thats the budget done, then we’ll be looking at a stop gap for a year until saliba comes. a loan or a freebie like cahill.

    if we manage to offload a few in time for the maguire 90mil domino effect we might end up signing more than a stop gap but we’ll have to wait and see

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  31. JonJon,

    I would gladly have Rugani on a 2 year loan from Juve(its been bantered about) which would give us a player who not only is invested for 2 years but is 24 years old so he would need to play well to get paid.

    Completely agreed about Ceballos and Pepe, problem is, people will look at their age instead of the talent.

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  32. Lari03:
    C,
    My first choice central midfielders would be:
    1.Ceballos,
    2.Torreira,
    3. Guendouzi,
    4. Willock,
    5. Õzil
    in a midfield trio before Xhaka appears.

    Willock, Ceballos, Torreira & Guendouzi as 6 & 8. While Õzil or Iwobi can play in the hole as a #10 depending on circumstances and the opposition. In a year Emile Smith Rowe will be integrated and Martinelli could also play like a #10 like Lacazette.

    I’m interested where you would place Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Lari03. I know he’s likely to have to deputise for Bellerin this season, but I hear so many people saying AMN’s best position is in central midfield, but have only seldom watched him play there – so if Emery moved him infield, where would you (and C) place him in that list, out of curiosity?

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  33. Noon Gunner,

    I would place him above Willock and probably on par potentially with Guendouzi. He and Guendouzi are obviously different types of players but I do think talent wise they are on par with Maitland-Niles probably having a bit more talent.

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  34. I do find it a bit funny though that last season and before that people wanted us to spend money on top quality young-ish players especially to help add more goals and creativity yet its as if people are questioning the Pepe signing. I’m confused, you want quality, you have to spend and we got him now. A front 3 of Lacazette/Aubameyang/Pepe has the potential to he as good as any 3 across Europe and could fire us into the top 4.

    Look at the clubs around us:
    Manure – their in shambles and Lukuka looks set to leave and Pogba wants out and their back line is worst than ours

    Chelsea – lets see how they fair without Hazard to save their ass

    Spuds – for as far a head as people have openly discussed they are ahead of, it was us who allowed them to finish 3rd last season.

    I’m excited and sure bringing in Tierney would be massive and a CB would be exactly what we need (Rugani on a 2 year loan makes soooo much sense) but I also think there’s a real shot at battling for 3rd.

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  35. C

    I think Pepe is an excellent signing. We need stat power on this team and we can’t pass up the opportunity to get him.

    Our front office and manager don’t seem to rate Maitland-Niles. He has been average playing wherever we need an emergency fill in but the way he has been used suggests they think utility guy probably is his ceiling. His chance of ever playing regularly in our central midfield probably were finished when they brought Guendouzi and instantly put above him AMN in the pecking order. Now it looks like Willock has passed AMN.

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  36. C
    Well said Sir! The blog is now a caricature of a depressive and utterly joyless narcissist, whose only purpose is constant demonstration of their melancholy. Every action by the club is seen as strewn with potential danger and failure. Really if you are this joyless as a football supporter, I recommend changing sports!

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  37. Bill,

    Average at RB but he has performed well in midfield when given the chance. Think he is used that way because of his talent, pace and quickness but its not always a bad thing.

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  38. C

    It’s a question of whether you think a winger is / was a higher priority than the defence. As we’ve agreed earlier this week, we pretty much don’t have a fit centre-back worthy of the name. Personally, I’d say two central defenders is the minimum we required.

    I don’t recall anyone wanting better strikers / creativity beyond times when it became blindingly obvious that Walcott, Giroud and Sanchez we’re busted flushes. Indeed, most people were totally hacked off when we missed out on Lemar.

    We might have forwards to rival other teams but our defence is on a par with some of the worst. Until we sort that out, we’ll see plenty of goals but too many in our net for any sustained improvement to arrive.

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  39. Jojo,

    I hate pessimism BUTTTTT I am not going as far as calling Yogi(who I have known and chatted with for years via ACLF) a narcissist. Now Bill, that’s a different story.

    I just think there is much more positives and sure our CB’s are horrid, I don’t think everything can be fixed this summer.

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  40. YW,

    Personally I think they were equally important because we needed another consistent goal threat even before Ramsey left. More to that, we needed a winger who could play with both Lacazette and Aubameyang when we only played one or the other.

    I do think we need a CB but that, to me, just seemed a matter of selling before we buy but also with the hope Holding comes back fit. We do need a CB at least simply because both Kos and Mustafi look unlikely to stay, Mavrapanos needing match time desperately, Holding coming back and Chambers just not a CB.

    With that said though, if Emery wants to press and play from the front, getting players to fill those can help our back line. I actually think that’s why Tierney is so important, because with him and Bellerin as our FB’s, you have players with plenty of pace going forwars but also in recovery. Then you could have Guendouzi or Ceballos paired with Torriera focusing on sitting infront of the CB’s but having the quickness and athleticism to cover. Xhaka’s lack of mobility at times was part of the problem.

    I do think bringing in 2 CB’s at this point might be a problem chemistry wise but 1 would do the job.

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  41. C

    Mainland-Niles has hardly played in central midfield with wenger or Emery and our front office continues to bring in players who end up higher then him on the depth chart so it seems very clear our decision makers don’t team rate him. I admire your persistence but you have consistently over rated players like Maitland-Niles for as long as we have been together in the comment section.

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  42. Yogi

    We definitely need a couple CB and the defense might cost us a top 4 spot next year. However I don’t think you can turn down a chance to bring in a player like Pepe. Not many wide forwards out their who can do what he does.

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  43. Bill,

    When he has featured there he has played well, he has played RB or RWB because Bellerin got injured and they didn’t trust Jenks. They may be trying to turn him into RB2, who knows but them but at the same time, he also shows promise in midfield. Time will tell but lets not also act like he has been consistently given the chance to play in midfield.

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  44. Morning

    I see that Tierney didn’t make the match day squad for the (albeit dead rubber) second leg of CL qualifiers last night

    Make of that what you will…..

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  45. YW

    I’ve cleared my cache numerous times now, still can’t hold my details.

    It’s not the end of world for me, but thought you should know

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  46. I’m just happy that you are back and I can read you day after day. This is the best thing about Arsenal
    BUT I am lost about Arsenal. Kos.. KOS?! How could he… He was really one our remaining hero (at least mine)… this really shows how chaotic our lives become. Özil saga can be interpreted as the mistake (however costly) of the leaving bunch (Wenger and Gaizidis) but this with Koscielny and all the transfer fake-activity suggest the Arsenal as a whole malfunctioning. I am kinda anxious as PL kick-off in the corner.

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  47. Funnily enough, Las, I was just running The Clash’s I’m So Bored With The USA through my head and adapting it to I’m So Bored With The Pre-season.

    Yes, it’s as shit as it sounds but at least I had Joe Strummer’s voice spitting out the lyrics.

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  48. YW,

    I used to go to work for Magnificent Seven. I was on the tube going to Canary Warf (day in day out giving out free papers, you know that advertising papers, some 20-25 years ago, and people actually loved those papers) my walkman on and max volume “ring ring, 7:00 am. move yourselves to go again, cold water in the face brings you back this awful place..” I loved those times. I fell in love with Arsenal because my landlady (near Finsbury Park) ordered some new furniture but her husband was out somewhere so I helped her took those stuff upstairs and in exchange, the missing husband later took me to Highbury against West Ham. We won (2:1), I fell in love… and still in. With Clash too. 🙂

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  49. I chose to be optimistic. First, if we get Pepe, we have a player who can run at a defense. He alone got seven penalties last season.That is critical when a game is going stalemate. That is the number arsenal as a team got last season. We got Cebalos. He can bail himself out of tight situation. Those two attributes our team lacked last season. We were not as sh**t last season. Despite all, Tottenham edged us to top four by a point last season. It can only get better.
    My worry is Emery. His addiction to 4231 is worrying. Most team in England already know how to stop a 4231 team. Clog the midfield with extra player or two, suffer, wait for counter attack opportunities. With the players he has now, he can do a 433, 442, and when we play City or Liverpool a 4141.
    Looking forward to the new season. Our defence looks like the problem. But for me, we don’t have a battler for a defensive midfielder who can break play and initiate attack. Get one and our defence should be OK.

    Las,

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  50. The years of pain and disappointment has crept into our psyche as Arsenal supporters. So I’m not surprised that now that things appear to be looking up, we are still unsure. I chose to be optimistic.
    If we get Pepe, we get a player who can run at a defense and make them commit error. For his effort last season, he alone won seven penalties. This is the total that all of arsenal players got last season.
    We got Cebalos. He can play himself out of difficult situations. That was our nemesis last season. Whenever we are crowded out, we make silly mistakes.
    With Pepe, we can play a 433. That attack is look fearsome. Most EPL clubs have learnt how to deal with a 4231 coach like Emery. Now he can play 433, 442 or even a 4141 when we face Liverpool or Man City.
    On defence, we have fair centrebacks especially when holding and bellerin are back. The problem for me is that we don’t have a typical defensive midfielder who can break play and initiate attack. We need one. If we get one, our centrebacks would look good.

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