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October 2016
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What’s next Arsenal?

By Pararealist

Man oh man.

I am sure that there are many Untoldians out there wondering what’s next for Arsenal.

Well we know what is next, the FA Cup. Are we going to make sure we retain it, will we succeed or will the forces that plan against us be out to stop us from retaining it?   All in the theme of “any team can win the FA Cup, that’s what makes it soooooo good” mantra of course.  A team defending and winning it twice in a row would probably defeat that theme, and make other teams less interested. Alright. 🙂

Anyway, we’ve got Aston Villa, ooohhh, some gasp as they remembered that game. Then they sigh in relief as they remembered it was not AV alone that gave us such a terrible day. The refs were fully committed to stopping Arsenal, for what ever reason…

Arsenal buried that skeleton soon after and although aware of “the villains” (should it not be “the villans”?) threat, have no need to fear any skeletons, not as long as we approach the game with the focus needed.

Aston Villa is looking “good” appearing to be safe for the moment from the drop through the dreaded trapdoor to the Championship league. Their game in the final will depend a lot on if they truly escape the drop. It can give so much confidence to an already “starting to perform” team, or they could just be relieved and satisfied mentally and not give us any trouble.

On the other hand, if they do drop, there may be just enough pride to say, let’s go for it, with a nothing to lose energy to kickstart them on the final day or they may completely disintegrate.

So what have we really learned? Nothing except that Aston Villa can go either way, and it is probably best to consider them a real threat; do not underestimate them and be prepared for any surprises they may throw at us.

We all want to retain it, in fact it would be better if they had a new cup made, we’re keeping this one.

So, let’s get to the summer. Clubs are wheeling and dealing already, rumours are flying and everyone, well most are excited, and will be excited until the window closes, and it has not even opened yet. I read that VanGaal said, “United players are going to have to accept that more players will be bought and there will be increased competition”. I wonder if this is straight up or just his way of saying, “Some of you are not up to what I need, you better start making plans, you know who you are.”

Now in contrast listen to our manager saying, “I like Depay of course, but Arsenal does not need him, we have many players in that position already.”

What can our players take from this statement? Of course they do not even need to think about it 🙂 they already have to concentrate on being fit in order to get into the team. Still they know that they cannot relax, one slip and someone else takes your place.

Are they any players at Arsenal who are worried? I suppose from recent events and rumours it appears to be Chezzy who would have grounds to be worried, but he already would know that, if he is serious about being #1, and I guess he is either going to step up mentally and put pressure on Ospina or fade away after leaving Arsenal because he made the wrong decision. Ospina is there for that purpose too, to push him so we shall see.

I hope Chezzy steps up another level and does not become impatient. He has already achieved much beyond his years and needs to learn other things too.

So, we come to the Champions League for next season. Many are shouting, now is the time to get a few more top players to challenge for CL. On face thought, that may seem correct, but many of these people probably do not watch CL teams and their performances. When I watch these teams like Barca, RM, Bayern, PSG, Juventus etc. I know we can beat any of them. Our team has grown in stature. Of course with any additions Arsene Wenger makes we will only get stronger.

I think Arsenal’s next goal is the PL trophy, not that it is more important than CL, but for the moment it is to us really, we are in UK and that is the top trophy here, so now we want to start taking that back home too.

Still, being in CL and being able to beat any of those teams, we have a good chance of going to the final again and winning it, but we need a big squad of good players, with no filler players, but players who see the dream before their personal glories, players who settle to live comfortably with their families and become Arsenal rather than chasing, always chasing more money.

There are not many of them about, that’s what makes it so hard to find those sort of players, but of those type of players only some will give the dream the time of a contract or two, then they may get nervy and move on.

What we will plainly see in summer is who and what type of player Wenger buys, this will probably be in direct relation to who will be most likely to leave Arsenal, many of  us have different players in mind who are likely to go.

Fact is, we do not really need anyone as I see it. I’m not letting the blips of Chezzy tell me that we need another GK. If Wenger buys someone , it is because he will know where we need him, something that I for once can’t see not being privvy to more information.

So we come to Theo. Theo Theo.

From Arsenal website 08 May 2015 we can read,

On whether he plans to talk to Walcott at the end of the season…
Yes. We are already talking to him.

On whether Arsenal have to sell if Walcott doesn’t sign…
Today I’m not in that kind of mode of thinking because I just think I want him to stay. When you go into negotiations with a player it is with a desire for him to stay. He looks keen to do it and I am keen to do it, so let’s see what comes out.

On whether he feels he has to sell him…
The press is always focusing on what you do in case of failure. We are always in the mode where we want to be successful. In case of failure, we’ll see but in case of failure – that will only be in December next year.

My view of all that?
We are talking to Theo but there is no progress, stalemate really. We want him to stay on our terms he wants to change the terms, we are negotiating till the end of season, if we (Arsenal) fail that can only be next year (when Theo’s contract is up).

So it looks like Theo will be at Arsenal till the end of his contract whether he signs or not. Brendon Rodgers said the same thing about Sterling, but he said it in oh such a threatening way. We can only hope that Theo does not take it as an assault on him and react in a defiant way.

I have read many things about Theo, his work rate defending and much more. I for one hope Theo gets his head back fully at Arsenal, work to improve himself all the time and does not let fame turn his head for any length of time. Come on Theo, you need Arsenal as much as Arsenal wants you.

Anyway, that’s me done.   I just wanted to write some of the thoughts going through my head at one time or the other. Don’t take it all too (or do) seriously.

How do you all see Arsenal’s progress untolding (oh could’nt resist 🙂 it) next season?


The books


15 comments to What’s next Arsenal?

  • Micheal Ram

    I think the departure of current players from Arsenal should be undervalued. The notion of many superstars leaving Arsenal but still remain competitive is very true. I can imagine naive and greedy ex-Arsenal players wishing they would have stay and be part of this dreamy team. At this moment, I feel any players will be dropped if performance dips. The competition is healthy and almost equal. So, what’s left is players’ morale. It’s plain obvious to see the current team is very balance and motivated thus on a great form. Subs and bit-part players should work more to improve and be patient for the right opportunity. If their cameos are exceptional, then current first eleven will have be on their toes. A good cycle of such events will create a wonderful squad. A wonderful squad will win championships. COYG!

  • Dex

    I think AW will sign a new eeper. But I hope that Szczesny is loaned rather than sold as I think he will be a world class GK in time.

    We have Podolski, Campbell and Sanogo who I don’t see at Arsenal next season. Flamini and Rosicky also look likely to depart. I think Tomas will want more playing time given how much football he’s missed due to injury. Talking of players with horrendous misfortune with injuries, Diaby has widely beven. Touted as on his way, but I hope the rumours of a pay as he plays deal are true and he stays.

    So, that’s at least six players leaving… Who will come in? Playing Fantasy Manager, I’d like an experienced keeper to come in until Szczesny is deemed ready, a defensive midfielder to challenge and compliment Coquelin and a striker. Oh its ooooimple this management lark in it??? 🙂

  • Gord


    You do know we have youth keepers, with one about to leave the youth age group? In any event, I have a couple of comments about how big (and old) the youth keepers are. The first comment is

    The other is a couple of comments later.

    Damien is apparently out of contract this summer, and I believe has to moved up to the adult age group now. He had 7 appearances for Argentina’s U17 and U20 teams, and 1 for the senior team. He has 8 appearances for Arsenal.

    To bring in a keeper, probably means releasing Damien.

    While I think everyone knows what Podolski brings to Arsenal, I don’t think people have a good idea of Sanogo, and or much of any idea about Joel Campbell or Wellington Silva.

  • Dex

    Thanks Gord. I forgot about Wellington!

  • Gord

    A Liverpool website brought up a table that was in the Daily Mirror (it was an image, so you had to manually type everything in, bleech) about how many touches teams were getting in the opponents penalty area per game, and using the data to show everyone why Liverpool needed another striker.

    I don’t care for the strength of Liverpool’s team. But data is data.

    The penalty area was never designed for purpose, it was just assumed. It may be that touches near the opponents goal has meaning, it is not necessarily true that the penalty area is the optimum delineator of that.

    The original data also had how many points that teams had up to game 35 (34 for Arsenal). I visited the Arsenal website, and picked up the shots on our goal, the shots we got on target, and the shots we didn’t get on target. Oh, and we have goals scored.

    Just looking at the touches per game data, it does not appear to be a single mode distribution. Some of the other data might be single mode distributions. Hence, in some ways what I have done is comparing apples and oranges.

    Many of you have run across correlation coefficients, usually in the context of someone using a spreadsheet and clicking some button, and out pops this number. That correlation assumes that we are fitting a straight line to the data, and the sign of the correlation indicates the sign of the slope of the line fit. There is another way to calculate correlations, and that is to assign a rank to each value, and then correlate the ranks. In many circumstances, this rank correlation is a stronger indicator of a relationship.

    As we might be dealing with multiple distributions, outliers are possible. Normally the linear correlation is calculated with respect to the average (mean) value. To reduce the effect of outliers, I also calculated correlation making use of the median.

    The relationship with the largest correlation, is that between shots on target and goals scored. In terms of rank, the correlation is about 0.95. In terms of linear (straight line) effects, the correlation is about 0.9.

    The relationship with the weakest correlation, is that between shots off target by a team, and shots faced by the team. Which is reasonable.

    The relationship the graph was looking at, was between goals and touches. Both kinds of correlations are about the same at about 0.83. There are other factors which contribute to goals than touches in the opponents penalty area; but so far as the data analysed is concerned, it seems reasonable to expect that a certain fraction of touches in the penalty area lead to goals.

    Somewhat surprisingly, the correlations between touches in the penalty area and shots on target is a little lower. What is probably happening is just another example of not enough data, and the two values are actully quite similar.

  • Laughing Lizard

    Not sure which Real Madrid or Barca team you have been watching but I seriously doubt we could beat either of them over two legs. They have a wealth of talent which we can’t match. Of course upsets do happen but they are rare over two legs. Barca and Real Madrid are arguably the best teams in Europe and we’re not near their level. Are we going in the right direction? Yes but I still think we need someone better than Welbeck and a strong DM in the Matic mould. I believe we’d be favourites for the league with a couple of world class players and we now have plenty of money so there’s no excuse for not being ambitious. I’d like to see us fighting for first right up until the last day as I’m sure Wenger would too.

  • Jammy J

    I believe Szczesny will be sold, but rather than buying another keeper, Matrinez will become 2nd choice. Its not that i think Szczesny is a bad keeper, but in my opinion we have 2 better options. Keeping Martinez third choice again and we may run the risk of him wanting to leave. Personally i think he will be a huge success and become one of the worlds top keepers, so that would be a real shame to see him leave.

    Most probably Poldi will be sold to im guessing will be his former boyhood club and i cant really see Campbell fitting into the squad unless he makes a large improvement, so i imagine he’ll be sold also.

    As for Sanogo; despite hes poor scoring record for Arsenal, ive actually be quite impressed when ive seen him play and believe he has the potential to develop into a complete striker; just needs a bit more refinement at the moment. The only problem here is fitting in Akpom and Welbecks development as well. Im guessing either Sanogo or Akpom will be sent out on loan again (or both depending on who we buy) but would be extremely surprised (and disappointed) if either is sold.

  • Gord

    Arsenal loanee Josh Vickers scoops player of the year at Concord Rangers.

    Congratulations Josh!

  • Menace

    Gord – I’m sure there are many Untolders who are very thankful to you for the ‘current’ research that you present us with (including your maths & general knowledge). Thank you.

  • Andy Mack

    2 (I think the last 2 mentioned) of these 4 will go;

    Transfermarkt says Poldis contract finishes this summer, if not then it does become difficult. Apart from Koln (who probably couldn’t cover his wages) who else would want him. Half his game is excellent (seriously under appreciated by most) but the other half (defending) is really weak and very few bigger teams can carry that anywhere except a centre forward…..

    Sanogo is still very young and can be a real handful for defenders. His finishing still lets him down but if a couple of deflected goals gives him confidence then he could become a golden boots winner (provided he can stay fit!). He’s a very different option to Danny, Alexis and Theo. Probably closer to HFB but with a bit more pace…. I think we’ll keep him (maybe on loan) as a different option for the future.

    Campbell is a difficult one. He hasn’t had enough time with us to form a justifiable opinion, so we’ll have to go with whatever the coaching staff decide as they have seen a lot more of him than we have.

  • Gord

    Menace (or others?)

    I hope I am doing well. 🙂

    I needed a break from doing other things, which is why I went through that data about touches per game in the opponents penalty box.

    I had never run across that statistic before, so it would be interesting to hear what others use it for.

    Do people understand the correlations that I talked about? Do they want to know how to calculate them for themselves?

    I have more computing power here. A hard disk died (and I still have data stranded on it), and the replacement (used/refurbished) replacement died just when I set it up. But the new computer is about 1.25 times as fast on floating point, almost twice as fast on integers, and has 4 times the memory. The new computer has a single precision GPU which runs circles around the CPU, once I learn how to use that in my regular programming.

    Which isn’t going to help Arsenal against Swansea tomorrow. But, I will be cheering. Oh, I think the U21 play tomorrow as well.


  • Menace

    I have been successful in my application for a Cup final ticket so I will be booking one tomorrow. I will be at the game tomorrow evening – horrible time 8pm & get home around midnight. The TV bastards do not consider fans & in particular junior gunners. How can kids go to a game that late?

    @Tony please do an article on junior fans & the ignorance of TV companies.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Regarding Theo,

    I read somewhere. Theos little child had to under go a surgery. So, may be its not the contract situation.

    Theo is not greedy as some reports suggest. Some reports say he wants to be the highest paid player at ARSENAL, but i dont think thats the case. ARSENAL do reward their performers, remember Ramsey got a hike(as reported) last year and that only one year into his new 5 year contract.

    I hope all isues are sorted and Theo stays here. Theo is a good finisher. And he has scored 22 goals before. We have a 20+ potentially a 30 goals striker in our hands.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Yes Gord.