On Pepe, Koscielny and Other Transfer Gossip

It was only a matter of time. The discovery of Lord Lucan in a Chigwell cellar means that Arsenal face just one more opponent: can they announce Nicholas Pepe before we find Wally. Or his aliases Waldo, Holger, Charlie or Walter. I’m not sure who to back in this one. DB Cooper is limbering up. He stands no chance; we found Shergar.

Unai Emery offered little hope of a swift resolution to the Pepe situation. “This one at the moment is not closed,” he said after last night’s draw in Angers. “But he is one we are following,” the Spaniard admitted. Which is just as well because the Lille president said it’s a done deal. More eloquently than that but you get the gist.

Which is well and good, because people need to get stuck into the fantasies of how well he will perform next season. Can he play left-back? Reports claim Kieran Tierney won’t be joining until next Wednesday; the eve of destruction or Deadline Day as Jim White calls it.

That means the Scot is a week away from match fitness. That’s not just about how far and fast he can run. Tierney must erase the defensive training Celtic gave him and learn to gambol around the pitch with no particular purpose. That’s the Arsenal Way of defending in the 21st century.

The defence ought to be pre-occupying Emery’s mind. Laurent Koscielny is hellbent on leaving with a queue of fans masquerading as Uber drivers outside Colney waiting to take him wherever he wants. Unai hopes they won’t be needed.

Koscielny, he declared, was “a very important player for us.” We know; we’ve seen Mustafi play although, in fairness to the German, he did reasonably well last night. Keeping the French international suits Emery’s purposes

Respect Yourself

“With respect, it’s better for us, it’s better for the team,” he said in his post-match press conference. Reports claim Koscielny staying won’t be universally popular in the squad. Some think his refusal to tour unprofessional and damaging to the team, others disagree. However, Emery is the one paid to make those tough decisions and he’d prefer that the former French international see out his contract.

Edu is in talks with Rennes which suggests a move is the likeliest outcome. Emery admitted there is not much they can do to change his mind over “a very personal decision”, a point he reiterated later in the conference. Arsenal, he said, “are respecting that.”

The bigger picture sees the impact it has on the defence in the manager’s eyes. “We want to be strong in our defensive line, working with the players we have now,” he noted. “We are speaking about the centre backs, but we have a lot of centre backs.”

Numbers aren’t everything because Emery believes publicly that “we have good centre backs.” We’ve just chosen to keep them hidden.

The next week is going to be busy. Having reached this stage of proceedings without signing one defensive reinforcement for next season, we’re now looking for two in a week. It isn’t going to happen which means one of Mustafi or Koscielny isn’t leaving. A frightening thought; age is Koscielny’s foe whilst both are fighting demons about being in the Arsenal side if they stay.

Emery hinted that is the situation. The club is “thinking if we can improve with other players”. The time for thinking is over; it’s now about doing.

There’s still no announcement on Nicholas Pepe.

Cue Witticism About Not Looking Back On Angers

Bizarrely though, there are claims Sami Khedira is part of the price we must pay for loaning Daniele Rugani. What have they been smoking in Turin?

There was a football match last night, in case you didn’t notice. It genuinely was a game of two halves for us. The first, instantly forgettable, while the second with its attacking verve, promised much for the new season.

We should have won; Aubameyang missed an absolute sitter close to the final whistle. Reiss Nelson, so often the spring of the attacks down the left, scored the equaliser from close range and looked lively. It will be interesting to see how Emery rotates him with Pepe, not forgetting Iwobi as well.

Nothing much to read into the game, however. Nor is there going to be in Sunday’s thrashing at the Camp Nou. From there on in, it’s all about the Premier League and being ready for Newcastle the following weekend.

Pre-season is almost over. Just the signing of Nicholas Pepe to be announced. Nothing from the club so far…

’til Tomorrow.

40 thoughts on “On Pepe, Koscielny and Other Transfer Gossip

  1. Jonnygunner says:

    Too easy YW…too easy!
    Good morning sir-you are rocking it at the moment YW.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  2. andy1886 says:

    Any sign of Pepe yet???

    Barca Thrashing YW? You negative ninny. Never would have been thrashed under dear old uncle Arsene (cough). Say what you like about the club but they know how to drag out a transfer saga. World Class.

    Did you see that Zaha was still being linked? Clearly the plan of Attack! Attack! has been revised to ATTACK!! ATTACK!! ATTACK!! as the only way to get around our defensive woes. If it happens I will eat my hat (I don’t own a hat btw).

    A loan CB makes sense, a stop gap until Saliba arrives next summer. And decide on a formation and stick to it, then the players will be more consistent too. A 4-3-3 would be ideal, we can’t afford to have the luxury of a pure #10 in a 4-2-1-3 or whatever, the midfield is too weak and coupled with our back line would be asking for trouble. Which means sign a LB (Tierney) pronto!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  3. C says:

    Good stuff Yogi my man! Shaking off the last of the pre-season rust in time for the start of the PL.

    Pepe, well it drags and I’m sure its just adminstrative and the English FA doing their thang!

    Barca at the weekend, will probably end up as a 1st half of excitement and then the youngsters in the 2nd.

    If Khederia for 2 seasons is what is needed to grab Rugani for a 2 year loan, well I’m not opposed. Might be able to sell Xhaka(who I like and rate btw) to help raise funds especially with Torriera, Guendouzi and Ceballos in the fold not to mention Willock.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  4. C says:

    YW,

    I know you mention Iwobi, what about moving hin centrally, bringing in Khederia as the ‘experienced vet’ but not featuring a lot but would be able to sell Xhaka.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  5. Grim says:

    Hi Yogi
    I wanted to ask your thoughts on what might be going on backstage with the defensive set up at the Club.
    I guess we get told via the press etc. that the dressing room won’t like Kos staying. We never get told why our defence is so inept though.
    Do we and have I missed it?
    Having seen the world class defender* Senderos been minced by Drogba on so many occasions I actually worried for his mental wellbeing; to having Squillaci, Cygan, Gabriel Paulista and possibly Mustafi going from experienced, admired and international defenders prior to and post their spells with us. Kos having his injuries and the always the unfit Vermaelan. Our defence has been suspect since the Invincibles. What’s the common fault?
    There can’t be a problem with ALL those players, surely?
    Last year we looked good for those 21/22 games then Holding got crocked and the defence went awol.
    I think Holding (staying fit) Chambers (good season at Fulham) Bielik (highly rated at Charlton) and possibly Mavropanos should be let have a go.
    With Saliba joining next year. New-ish manager, new ways, young players etc.
    In my fading memory O’Leary, Rice, Adams and Keown (send and return) were just pitched in and let get on with it.
    Adams probably got more from the disaster at the 88 euros then if he had sailed through his footballing life unscathed.
    There has to be more to the problem obviously but what? I doubt pointing to the likes of Bould being to blame at a major sporting institution would make sense, naive? Just a Wenger hangover that’s gonna be hard to shake?
    We could get VVD and turn him into a slow reacting, midriff hugging, penalty box random psychotic brain fart disaster that our current World Cup international German defender has turned into. Maybe a tad strong?
    I like Sokratis though.

    * I am qualifying this with the fact that Switzerland were ranked No 3 in the World for most of the time he was their main defender along with Arsenal stalwart Djourou, yep another car wreck of promising talent unfulfilled.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  6. YW says:

    C

    The fee for Khedira is probably a few million and continuous supply of designer crutches…

    Sell Xhaka? Count me in, unless he’s happy being a guiding light in the domestic cups and EL group stage.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  7. C says:

    YW,

    A few million for Khederia plus Rugani on a 2 year loan(thats what’s being reported in Italy) I would gladly take it.

    Agree about Xhaka but I would prefer Khederia who is more in the mold to teach the likes of Guendouzi, Willock.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  8. andy1886 says:

    Grim,

    I wouldn’t presume to speak for YW but my thoughts are that it’s quite simply that since the Graham era defending hasn’t been a valued activity at Arsenal. If your main job is considered to be something of an after thought why would you be motivated to perform on a regular basis? If your team mates aren’t encouraged to support you and you’re hung out to dry on a regular basis is it any surprise that you might struggle? After twenty years of this sort of thing the culture is well and truly established and it’s going to take a huge transformation to turn things around.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  9. YW says:

    Grim

    I touched on this recently. Either the players (a) aren’t listening to instructions, (b) understanding them, or (c) are out of their depth at this level. If it is any of the three, first Arsene and then the new regime, are negligent in not replacing them.

    I think some of the problems stem from a lack of confidence in defensive partners. When players have to think about their team-mates as well as opponents, that’s an unwelcome distraction. If you look at how many times we are caught out of position, then it must be part of the problem because I can’t see how someone like Sokratis, an experienced defender, is being run ragged so often. Unless he’s just bloody useless and Dortmund defensive partners continually baled him out.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  10. Grim says:

    Thanks Andy.

    That’s quite a scary thought but then maybe the modern tactical game is just passing me by.
    It’s interesting that Newcastle let in less goals than us last season and yet we were the third highest goal scorers.
    That seems such a waste of a good opportunity to take us back up to at least third.
    Having Xhaka constantly giving the ball away right in front of you can not help.
    I completely agree with the cultural aspect of your reply. 20 odd years of doing it one way will just take time to undo.

    Cheers

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  11. Grim says:

    Hi Yogi

    cheers for the reply. Sorry I did not read that post, will have a butchers.

    What you say makes complete sense on a day to day basis but as you point out why does an experienced player like Sokratis lose the plot.
    Confidence is a big part and may be the reason we nosed dived after Holding’s injury. He is good at keeping trouble further up the pitch.
    Andy’s point about culture is more worrying as that fits my narrative of not all these lauded players can all turn up and then turn to melted chocolate while at Arsenal.
    That will take longer to undo, but as you point out newer players doing as they’re told might be the first step to solving the problem.

    thanks

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  12. Las says:

    Please my God. No Khedira, please no Khedira. I don’t mind keeping Özil even Iwobi. I would even let Mustafi leave, but no Khedira, please. 🙂
    I honestly think we already have our old(ish) defender in the form of Nacho so we don’t necessarily need another.
    Any development on Mustafi leaving?
    I am not sure which TW is worse. That one when we signed Cech only or this.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  13. andy1886 says:

    Dukey,

    Nice to see but I’m not counting any chickens until we bat. This is England after all. Will be interesting as an Essex man to see if Siddle can still do on the test stage what he does so well in county cricket after being out of the Aussie side for so long.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  14. Dukey says:

    andy1886,

    Both of us have the poorest batting line ups I think ever at the moment. It will be a series of low scores I think.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  15. andy1886 says:

    Dukey,

    Yup, I put in for the ballot at Lords, went for Day 3 in case it didn’t last to days 4 or 5. Didn’t get tickets sadly.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  16. TH14 says:

    Damon,

    Damon. How the hell did you beat me to that information
    For God’s sake, I work with skysports international
    You must have some inside information or you are a psychic

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  17. Adebanjo says:

    Grim,

    I think it’s the culture at the club. Just take a look at some of those players after their Arsenal days. I say Paulista defend against Barca as though his life depends on it, I even heard the signing of Coquelin hailed as an absolute steal.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  18. Dukey says:

    122/8 to 233/9. I could cry. (If I was an Aussie).
    That total has put them in pole position now with our poor batting line up.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  19. Bill says:

    Great post Yogi

    Good news about signing Pepe. He adds the potential for some real star power which every big team needs. I have to admit I am surprised that we could pull this deal off. My hopes for the new front office have skyrocketed the last couple weeks. Now that they are no longer shackled with Arsene perhaps we won’t hate the Kronke’s as much. They were totally useless for all of those years but once they finally decided to move on from Arsene things have looked more positive and it looks more like they care. The willingness to splash $72M certainly says something positive.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  20. JonJon says:

    the wonders of social media eh.

    tierney by the weekend then we just need a CB or two.

    cb still going to be a massive issue. i quite like the idea posted above about having faith in holding, chambers and mavrapopodopaskippydipidopolous. only issue is holdings still fucked from last season and theres talk of him not being unfucked until october/november.

    which means new year.

    leaves us in a tad of a pickledicklement with the likes of koscielny and mustafi needing to do one.

    what also leaves us in a tad of a pickle is the lack of quality cbs out there available. utd are needing to find 80mil for maguire ffs hes not even world class which speaks volumes.

    if we can offload a few and jump into the magiure domino effect we might be able to nab someone. but other than a loan, a freebie or going with the yutes i dont see what much else we can do at this point.

    oh and khedira can fuck off. about 10 years too late on that one. hes shit.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  21. JonJon says:

    australia got lucky with anderson going off injured
    he’d have ripped through the rest of them at 120-8

    doesnt help having archer and wood out either.

    bowlers win you matches – we have a tendency to go with too many batsman – theres no pressure to score runs because the beleif is the next man will get them. leads to complacency and collapses.

    and not enough bowlers – so we get into situations where we cant finish them off when weve got them cornered.

    3 seamers for 70+ overs at test level is going to be detrimental at some point when they tire out.. lose the line and length as well as the momentum and get desperate…. like today.

    anderson would have fucked them when we had their pants down earlier in the day but unfortunately it wasnt to be – and we dropped curran so what can we expect.

    should have fucked burns and denly off instead and gone with more bowlers but white balls gone to our head and we go into games thinking we can smash 1000runs..

    got 5 days to bowl teams out…twice…

    so pick more bowlers.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  22. Andy1886 says:

    Who’s this Pépé geezer? Can he play RB until Bellers gets fit again?

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  23. Blue Yonder says:

    Pepe in, confirmed by Arsenal.com, is great news. While it does not (yet) address the defensive needs, it will give Arsenal one of the best attacks in Europe. And Pepe’s described work-rate will provide solid link-up in midfield which may (MAY) rub off on others. Are you listening, Mesut?
    If Tierney comes, we will have strengthened the left side of the defence substantially. And with Bellerin and Holding soon returning, one has to be elated.
    I felt last year that Emery’s arrival would revitalize the team but I guess it wasn’t likely to happen overnight. Now might still be a little early but as new blood arrives and some of the old (please God) depart, the process should accelerate.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  24. Blue Yonder says:

    YW,

    YW: Either the players (a) aren’t listening to instructions, (b) understanding them, or (c) are out of their depth at this level. If it is any of the three, first Arsene and then the new regime, are negligent in not replacing them.

    Couldn’t agree more. And perhaps one more: perhaps the Arsenal of the last decade have acquired a country club image around the league, such that players coming in know it will be watercress sandwiches all the way. Time to dispel that, if so.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  25. C says:

    With Pepe in the fold, we now have the potential to not burn out Lacazette and Aubameyang but instead play them together or alongside Pepe with potentiall Iwobi on the other flank. The attacking options are endless and I for one am over excited because Pepe and our attack has both short term and long term potential. Aubameyang the only winger/striker over 27(I think Lacazette turned 27 this year).

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  26. Dukey says:

    C:
    Pepe/Lacazette/Aubameyang

    That 3 can rival any in the PL.

    We also have a defence to rival any of the bottom three!!

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  27. Damon says:

    Absolutely spot on mate

    JonJon:
    the wonders of social media eh.

    tierney by the weekend then we just need a CB or two.

    cb still going to be a massive issue. i quite like the idea posted above about having faith in holding, chambers and mavrapopodopaskippydipidopolous. only issue is holdings still fucked from last season and theres talk of him not being unfucked until october/november.

    which means new year.

    leaves us in a tad of a pickledicklement with the likes of koscielny and mustafi needing to do one.

    what also leaves us in a tad of a pickle is the lack of quality cbs out there available. utd are needing to find 80mil for maguire ffs hes not even world class which speaks volumes.

    if we can offload a few and jump into the magiure domino effect we might be able to nab someone. but other than a loan, a freebie or going with the yutes i dont see what much else we can do at this point.

    oh and khedira can fuck off. about 10 years too late on that one. hes shit.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  28. Damon says:

    Without wishing to become a broken record….. Absolutely spot on mate 🙂

    JonJon:
    australia got lucky with anderson going off injured
    he’d have ripped through the rest of them at 120-8

    doesnt help having archer and wood out either.

    bowlers win you matches – we have a tendency to go with too many batsman – theres no pressure to score runs because the beleif is the next man will get them. leads to complacency and collapses.

    and not enough bowlers – so we get into situations where we cant finish them off when weve got them cornered.

    3 seamers for 70+ overs at test level is going to be detrimental at some point when they tire out.. lose the line and length as well as the momentum and get desperate…. like today.

    anderson would have fucked them when we had their pants down earlier in the day but unfortunately it wasnt to be – and we dropped curran so what can we expect.

    should have fucked burns and denly off instead and gone with more bowlers but white balls gone to our head and we go into games thinking we can smash 1000runs..

    got 5 days to bowl teams out…twice…

    so pick more bowlers.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

  29. C says:

    Damon,

    I actually disagree about their not being quality CB’s out there that can be had. BOTH of the CB’s at RB Leizpig arw absolutely brilliant, their young but experienced and are full of quality. Probably could be had for 20-30m and if they want, take one of our youngsters on loan.

    Rugani at Juve would be really good for us and if we have to spend 4m on Khederia to get Rugani on a 2 year loan then maybe we should do it.

    Maguire, nope not for me. Sure he is great in the air but he can’t turn and he just doesn’t do it for me. 80m for Maguire, not in a million years for me.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll Up
%d bloggers like this: