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March 2018
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Welcome Henrikh, Welcome Pierre-Emerick. The complete review of our new players.

By Josif

Ahead of our first chance to see Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Emiliano Francois Aubameyang for the first time at a home game, we take a look at our two new players, and bid them welcome.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is only 29 but it is safe to say he is the greatest Armenian player of all times. He has been voted for the Armenian player of the year seven times in the last eight years. If you think it’s nothing, it’s worth mentioning that he was named as the best footballer of post-Soviet countries twice in a row (2011, 2012) which makes him second Arsenal player to receive this award. Andrei Arshavin won it three times.

Mkhitaryan’s childhood wasn’t an easy one. His father Hamlet, a former footballer himself, died at the age of 33 (brain tumor) when Henrikh was just seven. His family showed great courage after such a tragic event and Micki (nickname given by Jürgen Klopp) managed to make a great success both as a footballer and as a person. The fact his whole family is a football one – his mother worked with Armenian FA and his sister with UEFA – probably helped him a bit. He took a trip to Brazil without anyone else when he was only 13 where he upgraded his technical skills as well as his knowledge of Portuguese while training with Sao Paolo.

Speaking of languages, it is very important thing to say that Micki speaks seven (!) languages which makes him a bit like Arsene Wenger. He takes interest in the formal education as well which is another moment why Henrikh and Arsene are supposed to be match made in Heaven.

Now, I have to do a rather unpopular thing and compare him with the player we gave to Manchester United for him. Alexis Sánchez, also a brave person who grew up without a father and in extreme poverty, has always had a communication issue and sometimes it was due to his northern Chile dialect that was, as I’ve been told once, a problem even when he played for Barcelona. Similar things happened with Gabriel de Abreu who left Arsenal for Valencia last summer. With Micki, however, communication with his team-mates should not be a problem.

As a player, Micki has played against Arsenal for three different teams: Shakhtar Donetsk, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United. He scored the opener for Borussia Dortmund in their 2:1 victory at the Emirates in 2013-14 with a low shot just outside the box.

Micki’s technical ability and versatility almost match his exceptional linguistic skills. He can play across the midfield – as a right winger, a left winger or as a No. 10. I have a feeling we might even see him in the Cazorla role given his quickness and skill-set – ability to receive the ball, take it forward under the pressure and to find his team-mate with the precise pass using either foot. Mind you, Mesut Özil had his best season when he was aided by Santi Cazorla from the central midfield.

As we all know, Arsenal are his second club in England. His spell in Manchester United was short and rather unsuccessful, mostly because Micki is not used to be stuck in the parked bus for 90 minutes. He likes to play actual football which is considered as Eighth Mortal Sin in The Great Book of Jose Mourinho.

However, even from that ugly spell we can find three moments when Henrikh was allowed to show his true face. His first Premier League goal was the winner against Tiny Tots at Old Trafford, his scorpion kick against Sunderland (let’s forget for a second it should have been ruled out for offside) was a masterpiece and his goal secured a huge victory for Manchester United in the Europa League Final against Ajax.

As every player, Micki has a flaw. And, it’s literally a big one. Mino Raiola, Big Sam among the football agents, is the guy who took Micki to Mourinho’s custody at the first place. In fact, Raiola’s behaviour was so bad during that transfer that Watzke, president of Borussia Dortmund, was resolute that Micki would never return to Borussia Dortmund (unlike other prodigious sons of Borussia Dortmund such as Mario Götze, Shinji Kagawa and Nuri Sahin who have all returned to Borussia).

At the end of that transfer saga, Borussia Dortmund had to sell Micki to Manchester United given that Micki had had only year left on his contract and hadn’t been interested in signing a new contract. It seems to me that Arsenal have been reluctant to work with Raiola with Donyell Malen being the only Raiola player in Arsenal in the recent years (I might be wrong, feel free to correct me) and even Malen was sold last summer.

As pretty much every attacking player we have signed in the last few years, Micki is a huge fan of Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal style of play. He expressed his fondness to our style of play while he was playing for Shakhtar and now he can actually participate in the ressurrection of Wengerball.

Don’t you feel excitement when you think of passing triangles between Micki, Jack and Mesut before they create a sitter for Aubameyang or Lacazette? If you don’t, what is wrong with you?!

Welcome, Henrikh, may you have a great stay beyond 2021 at Arsenal Football Club!

Pierre-Emerick Emiliano Francois Aubameyang is a Gabonese striker and the most expensive Arsenal signing ever. Borussia Dortmund have announced that he was sold for €63.75 million euros which translates roughly to £56 million pounds.

Just like his old pal Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang represents a relatively small football nation in terms of the international success (I almost put the “…just like Jack Wilshere doe”-part here but I decided not to) which means that, fortunately, he won’t spend next summer avoiding racist attacks at World Cup in Russia at which FIFA will once again turn their blind eye on.

Also, there is another thing that Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan have in common: both come from the football family. Aubameyang’s father Pierre Aubameyang is a former Gabon international player and a scout for AC Milan while his brothers Catilina and Willy have both played for the national team. All three sons of Pierre Aubameyang had played for AC Milan youth categories with Pierre-Emerick having by far the most successful career. It’s been reported that Pierre Aubameyang had instructed his son to join Arsenal due to his long admiration for Arsene Wenger which is probably just a coincidence as we all know Aubameyang Sr was probably mesmerized by that free-scoring George Graham’s Arsenal or by Bertie Mee’s Invincibles.

Pierre-Emerick (or PEA as he is usually referred to) won The African Footballer of the Year in 2015. If he had opted to play for Italy, France or Spain – he was eligible to play for any of those and even represented France at U19 level – he could have been The European Footballer of the Year. His mother is Spanish which is why he would like to play in Spain one day. I hope that won’t be the case and that he will score 100 goals or more for Arsenal in the next three-and-half years.

If you think I ask too much from him, let me remind you that he has scored 100 goals since the beginning of 2015-16 season. That’s  100 goals in two-and-half seasons or FORTY goals per season! And he is yet to play with Henrikh AND Mesut in the same team!

Also, here is a few more facts that make his Borussia Dortmund numbers even more impressive.

In 2013-14 and 2014-15 he scored “just” 41 goals. In 2013-14 he played mostly as a winger because Robert Lewandowski was still the main striker in the club. He still managed to score 16 goals in all competitions which was a pretty decent return for a winger. He had also played as a winger in 2014-15 until Klopp realized Aubameyang was the best central forward in the club. PEA scored a goal against Arsenal in a 2:0 victory in Dortmund. Fortunately, PEA prefers scoring goals against another English club.

As you might have read elsewhere, PEA has played against Tiny Tots four times. He has scored four goals and his fifth was disallowed wrongly for non-existing offside which should prepare him for the PGMO service. Whilst he has lost both encounters against Tiny Tots this season, it shouldn’t be a bad sign. After all, Alexis Sánchez has beaten Tiny Tots as an Arsenal player (and scored a goal in the process) before losing to them as a non-Arsenal player.

He also scored a goal at Anfield in the 4:3 defeat in 2015-16 Europa League match even if he and Micki gave Borussia Dortmund a 2:0 lead in the opening seven minutes of the game.

PEA’s main quality is pace. He’s been regarded as one of the quickest players in the world alongside Hector Bellerin. As for his finishing… Well, PEA has scored almost 150 goals since 2013. He prefers the ball in space which should be a feast for Mesut Özil and his through balls.

Welcome, Auba! May you earn your own statue like another guy who once wore No. 14 at Arsenal but if you do, please, don’t become a shit pundit!




11 comments to Welcome Henrikh, Welcome Pierre-Emerick. The complete review of our new players.

  • Goonermikey

    Reference Santi, it is being reported that he is named in our Europa League squad. What’s your take on that?

  • jjgsol

    Thank you for an excellent and informative post.

    I also appreciate the humour.

    I think that we will have to dampen down our enthusiasm for a few weeks at least whilst our new players settle in.

    Having sold our 3 top strikers, I suspect the rest of the team will need to chip in with goals in the short term, before our new strike team take off.

  • Well, we have come right down in the number of players that we have registered in the 25 man squads. I have just received the list from Andrew for us to publish and I think it is running at something like 22 players instead of 25. I suspect he was only left off last time because we had 25 players who were to be listed, but with several now having gone on loan there is space – so why not, he is being paid, and is most certainly part of the club.

  • Terry

    I once wrote in suggesting Coquelin as Arsenal’s solution to our DM problems and was generally laughed at.

    But you know after Wenger gave him a go I have to say he did okay in the role.

    Though Coq’s gone and that position remains our biggest problem – mainly because we need someone in their to compensate for all of Xhaka’s brainfarts. It really is a problem as goals are scored so quickly in the Premier League so one mistake and the attackers are in. I defy even the top defenders trying to cope with Xhaka constantly giving the ball away.

    But once again I think the solution can be found in-house. Why don’t we just play Kolasinac in there? Against Leicester on the opening day I saw how he scared Leicester’s wingers so much they ended up switching flanks. He’s played the position in German and I honestly think attackers would hate to come up against him in midfield and Xhaka would be too scared to give the ball away if he’s got Sead barking orders at him.

    This would also give greater confidence to the defence, have an actual defender in there that can drop in when necessary rather than a makeshift one like Elneny and mean we can actually play Kolasinac, who quite frankly is being wasted sitting on the bench.

  • para

    If these players are allowed to function the way they are used to, that is play their game, then i know we will have a good attacking force.
    Any attempt to change them will inevitably result in under performance and frustration, not just for the fans but for the players.
    These types of players have made their mark by being who they are and are capable of turning a match on it’s head. We have not have many players of that ilk recently, at least not in numbers.

    I myself am looking forward to seeing the nearly new Arsenal do their thing.

    I do however wonder at the frailties that should just not be happening to season players, players that are usually affected only by a family matter or tragedy, but then they do not play until they have got over it.

    So, what causes these ridiculous mistakes and drop of form, that we only expect schoolboys to make during their learning curve, or only perhaps just one instance in a team of 11 players, but to see a whole team play like they have been told “the world is ending just after this game”, is something that even the most positive person just cannot explain.

    But still, i do think Arsenal is on the move up, and it may take a few games to become a permanent fixture of our game, there are probably a fey changes still to come, and probably some very surprising ones too.

    I am quite willing to be surprised.

  • para


    It seems that some can see things that others cannot or refuse to see. The game is a flowing entity, ever changing and not a stagnant thing. If one does not adjust to the game, like one has to adjust to life, well one ends up constantly trying to batter a wall down using just one’s head. That head will inevitable suffer damage and cannot function properly.

  • Kwesi

    Terry, I read your mail at football365. Kolasinac is an interesting one. He is too good to sit on the bench. We need his physicality in there somewhere.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    So, there was a Bertie Mee’s invincible Arsenal team which I never heard of until today? But that must be in the old 1st division. I’ve always think the only invincible Arsenal team that was is the Arsene Wenger’s 2003-2004 unbeaten team in the Premier League.

    My only concern is, Mkhitaryan may probably have lost a fraction of a yard of his pace due to his advancing age. But generally, he should be a good creative and attacking player for Arsenal if his past stats at the clubs he has played before can be taken as evidence that support the claims that rates him a top quality player. Let’s see what he’ll give to Arsenal in his game against Everton tomorrow at the Ems.

    But wouldn’t it be pathetic if after the euphoria by the Arsenal worldwide fans that welcomed the arrival of Aubameyang to the Emirates Stadium but only to in 3 days after he has joined Arsenal learn that the Emirates Stadium goers and the TV Arsenal games watchers won’t see him start the Everton match in the PL for Arsenal tomorrow after spending £56m to sign him? Le Boss in his charts with the media today has said, Auba is sick with a fever bug and he’ll need to be accessed medically before it can be known whether he can start the Everton match or start it from the bench. Well, this is rather an unfortunate news. Nevertheless, Auba should do all he can to become fully recovered from his sickness to start the Everton game tomorrow. For, and cork and bull story by him will not be tolerated by the Arsenal Ems and TV games watching fans.

  • Loved it, chuckled all the way through, but I know how good these guys are already. I know how many PEA can score, and simply I’m itching to see them all together, let aloneness my desire to see another consummate attacker added, there is one space left for a starter. Am feeling one bench spot for a further attacker and we could upgrade Jacks partner and Elneny. But if love for Mo to cement that spot, a Drwadnaught that has no trident, but simply anti war head early intervention system. Now that would be some tech to have.


  • Desmond Horgan

    hello chaps, Do you have any idea what the truth is concerning The club’s apparent

    disinterest in ensuring jack wilshere remains at Arsenal for the forseeable
    i know Wenger said before christmas that his contract would be sorted out early in the new year well it is February now and all I have read is that LIVERPOOL AND sPURS want to talk to him while apparently we have offered him a reducrd contract with no guarantee of rgular playing time which of course he needs in order to go to the world cup
    we gave jack the captaincy for I think one game Jack said how proud he was and they took it away again what the hell is going on shortt of telling hi m to eff off they couldn’tbe more hostile towards him and I couldn’t blame him if he followed the ox
    Des Horgan

  • It is quite possible that matters have been arranged with just a few details being sorted, or club and player agreeing not to say anything until a set date. Remember also that a lot of players like to manipulate things like image rights to reduce their tax, and Jack might be doing that.
    The bloggettas and other clubs will always make noises just to disrupt – that is par for the course.

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