With or without cheese: welcome Nacho

By Walter Broeckx


People who tried to understand what Wenger said during this transfer window knew that if we would bring in someone it would be player(s) from Spain or Germany. He openly said that those are the two countries with the best youth education system for the moment and that this was the place to search for good players. I think the record of their national teams speaks for itself as both are near or are the top in the last 10 years.


We ended up with a Spanish player who plays for Malaga: Ignacio (Nacho) Monreal Eraso. The Nacho is the commonly used abbreviation from Ignacio. A bit like someone who is named Anthony becomes Tony.


For the sake of if I will call him but his eaten name from now on, sorry nickname and just call him Nacho. After all we are going to be friends in the next seasons so as a friend I can call him Nacho I think.


Nacho is 26 years old and will be 27 later this month. So an early happy birthday to you from my part. He was born in Pamplona in Spain. Pamplona is a city in the Bask region of Spain so people from there will say he is a Bask. In fact we already have one Bask at Arsenal. Mikel Arteta who is born in San Sebastian.


For those not knowing where the Bask region is I can tell you it is in the North West of Spain. That part of Spain between France and Portugal one could say. And to make things more funny I can tell you that Santi Cazorla is not a Bask (as far as I know) but he is from Asturia and this region of Spain is also situated next to the Bask region. So we now have 3 Spanish players and all from the North West of Spain. I don’t know if that helped him for signing up with Arsenal but I think he will have two players from the same region around it so I can imagine they will be helping him to find his way at Arsenal.


And with another Bask around him, with his former team mate around him I can imagine Nacho getting the help he will need to adapt to the PL to live in London and to England.


But we are not here to talk about Spanish regions but let me add that those regions are the rather “cold” regions from Spain. Colder and wetter for Spanish norms of course. So this might help them adapt better to the colder and wetter English climate a bit.


Let us talk about football now. Nacho  is a left back who started his career at Osasuna Pamplona. The first Spanish team I saw live at my local team when it still was playing in the top of Belgium football. Still remember it was 2-2 the final score. And still remember me going to Barcelona on a holiday a few weeks later in September and (sorry to admit it now) going to see Barcelona play in the Spanish league in a home game against…Osasuna Pamplona. Final score … 2-2. Does this mean that my local team was as strong as Barcelona in those days?


He played 5 season for his local team Osasuna and then went off to Malaga in 2011. He started his career at the same time as Santi Cazorla over there. And now joins him at Arsenal a few months after Cazorla. He played 127 games for Osasuna and scored 3 goals in those games. Not a lot but left backs usually don’t score a lot.


He was the regular left back for Malaga also scoring one goal in some 42 games. So every 40 games he will score the odd goal. But his main job is to defend the left flank of course.


He also got 9 selections for the Spanish national team. If you see that players like Arteta, Michu and a few others never were called up for the Spanish team it should mean that he isn’t a bad player at all. Unless of course we think that the Spanish coach is a useless person who knows nothing about football.


At Malaga he and Santi played that well (along with 9 others of course) and so they reached the CL this season. Then their rich owner didn’t stump up the cash anymore and as a result Santi Cazorla came to us. But despite that Malaga still are 4th in the Spanish league and have topped their CL group. A group with AC Milan and Zenith St. Petersburg and Anderlecht. Finish on top of that group is rather good I would think for a team in financial turmoil.


So a player from Malaga and Spain cannot be a bad player. Well that is what I think but what do I know of course.


He should be 1,79 meter big in Spain but somehow when in English he is only 1.78. Did he shrink on the plane? But that is around the same height as Gibbs. More or less.


Of course we wouldn’t be Arsenal if we bought a player that was never mentioned amongst the 80 or so names that were linked to Arsenal. So all the media and the ITK (In The Knows) proved that they know nothing. Could call them ITKN where the last N stands for Nothing.  It also took a lot of time before all the “i” were dotted and so. Much to a desperate twitter world that I was following with amazement.


So a target that was kept under the radar of other clubs till the last minute so nobody could step in and hijack the deal and as a result we don’t know much about him. As he played a Belgium team twice this season and our TV channel paid some attention to Malaga as they played Anderlecht in the CL group (to be honest I didn’t watch them all as I am not interest in Anderlecht at all) and so I could find some people who remembered a bit about him.


Their conclusion was : a skilful player, rather fast, good pass, good crosser and very focussed. One said a typical Arsenal left back. So I think we can expect him to join the attack a bit in a Gibbs way. Not in the Santos way.


About his character I know one thing. I know he is a brave person. I just know it because he signed for Arsenal. Because you have to be brave to come to a club where a part of the supporters is waiting for the first misplaced pass, the first mistakes (and according to the medical he is made from flesh and blood so human) to be torn to pieces by the “it’s never good enough” part of our fans. So he is not just taking the other teams on but also has to take on a part of the fans who are very critical for each and every error.


But Nacho I just want to let you know that there are other supporters. There are may Arsenal supporters out there who want you all the best. Who want you to succeed in your Arsenal career. And we (and I count myself amongst them) will do all we can to help you in your career at Arsenal. We will be cheering you on even when things don’t go your way.


Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea for all of us to just support you in making this big and difficult step in your career.


All the best Nacho and a warm welcome to the mighty Gunners from Untold Arsenal.

61 Replies to “With or without cheese: welcome Nacho”

  1. Spain is certainly the place for a top bargain at present.

    Le Boss has managed to pick up two quality Spanish Internationals for much less than the price of one Andy Carroll.

  2. Well 2 things from ur write up walter;
    1. U think we’v been in for him all this while but kept it under the radar, a full transfer window to sign a player you knew nothing about? Wow! So what was the sticking point? He was afraid of the AAA? Or the gestapo? Or OGL was too generous in his offer and malaga had to spend all this time convincing him to pay less? I hope nacho’s a panic buy for the sake of your friend wenger, cos if he isnt, the old boy proves again his irresponsibility
    2.From the article it would seem that the AAA is the predominant fanbase, that would contravene UA views that they are a tiny minority. If they are so minor, yet have so much influence over happenings in the club, it must seem that the AKBs are too docile, no voice, no volume, “dulling out the ems”, timidly hanging on to wengers apron strings, or maybe just hypocrites, shouting support for the boss in UA, but probably booing in the stadia. Thats if all these negative connotations are indeed attributable to them and if UA is to be believed they are indeed in the tiny minority

  3. Welcome to arsenal nacho. I havent seen you play, i don’t believ you are among the top left backs in the world(cos i’d hav heard of u), but i believe you will be an improvement on gibbs(you dont need much to be, he’s’ hardly been impressive when not injured), and u obviously are betta than santos, everybody is

  4. No maybe Malaga didn’t want to sell him at first Uk?

    About the AAA.

    One person with 150 character at his disposal can ruin the cheers of 150.000 people who want to support you.

    Do you know that there are scumbags around (sorry no other word) who tweet to a player that they “hope he will die in a fire”.

    Reminds me of the terrible insults Ramsey got last season. They also wished him all kinds of bad things.

    How would you feel if people would send such messages to you? And when you have a wife and children?

    If you want to be on the side of such persons be my guest but please do it somewhere else. I don’t want to have anything to do with such people. When I read about such things I feel deeply ashamed of the behaviour of such people.

    And with Santos seemingly out of the picture those people will search and find a new victim. Just as the bullies in school always need a new victim. So who will be next to aim their own inner frustrations at?

    Maybe you can give us a clue?

  5. Thanks for all the info, Walter.

    Yes, welcome to Nacho. The best premier league signing on Deadline Day. Arsenal does it again.

    Let’s hope the fans give him a warm welcome. I think they will. More than four thousand say they like the news on the Arsenal web site.

    @ uk However, I don’t see the need to use our new signing to insult our other players.

  6. A typical example of how no matter what the club does it’s wrong. If we don’t buy, ‘Wenger’s lost it and doesn’t care. We are in terminal decline’. If we buy a striker, ‘what about the defense, and that joke of a left back’, if an injury causes a weakness in the squad, which is addressed by buying a player, ‘it is a panic buy, and if he were any good I’d have heard of him’. (Self) Righteous anger seems to be the perpetual state of some of our so called support.

  7. @pat,
    No intent to insult, really. Just saying it as i see it. I don’t blame the players, its the coach i blame. And besides the players get lots of good words directed at them too

  8. @uk

    Very clever, having insulted Gibbs and Santos, you’re now claiming you didn’t mean to insult them, and insulting the manager as well. I just don’t see this as a way to support a team.

  9. @walter
    A lot of teams seem not to like selling to us, yet we are always so eager to sell. Does it have anything to do with the fact that we are a selling club?
    2.I’m sure for every threat made to our players, there are thousands of good words said. The other players that get stick are brave? Then we need brave players. Also, threatening text messages are only sent to arsenal players? I’m sure madrid fans dont send such texts to messi, i can see how that has destroyed his career. Henry, viera etc didnt get such messages, cos they were universally loved.
    Excuses, wat UA is best at.
    As long as u employ shit players, they will recieve stick,if u want it to stop get good players. Torres recieves stick from chelsea fans, benitez does. Lucas used to recieve stick from scousers, one told me then that i couldnt mention win in the same sentence as lucas, wen i askd if lucas played in a liverpool win, yet sometime later, if lucas wasnt on the team sheet, scousers get worried. Thats why they are paid truck-loads in wages

  10. @pat
    You can support the way you want to, thats your prerogative. I dont think i hav to call gibbs the best left back in the world for me to support arsenal. I like gibbs, but i think he’s’average or below so at best. And i think santos is definitely below so. I hope nacho is better than both and becomes 1st choice, and i hope in time gibbs gets good enough. I dont hav any hope for santos, iv seen him since the 2009 confed cup and ive never seen him hav a good game. I dont think dats insulting, you may, but then if i were u, i could think you insulted me too

  11. @shard,
    If nacho was a panic buy due to gibbs injury thats fine, but if you had to chase him all through the transfer window, then thats rubbish,even messi will probabbly not be chased throughout the transfer window by a serious minded club. Thereafter if he doesnt hit the ground running you’l’ give him another 3months to settle in

  12. And shard, yes if you are weak in attack and defense and strengthen only defense, you ought to be asked “what about the attack?”

  13. @ Walter
    Very nice article and lots of humourous parts as well. Thanks for the write up.

    How much do you get paid to blog your nonsense? And who pays you? And why?

  14. @uk

    Is it beyond the realms of logic to suggest that Malaga had to wait to find an adequate replacement themselves before allowing the Nacho transfer?

  15. uk

    Or you could feel happy that at least one aspect of the side has been potentially improved on. While still wanting more. I wanted a striker brought in too. But I also understand that the club operates within certain restrictions and everything I want isn’t always possible, or even correct.

    Buying Nacho, does give us the option of playing Santos at left wing, allowing Podolski to be another option at the striker’s position. And we’ve also recalled Afobe. Ideally, yes, I’d want another striker. But we still have solutions.

  16. @uk : The AAA are a small part of the fan base. However they are the most vociferous part, similar to how the religious extremists are. Like AQ gives a bad image for all Muslims, the RSS for Hindus and WBC for Christians.
    They are hate mongering, illogical and do bad!
    I am a Wenger supporter (that’s why I love this site 🙂 ), however I’m not against criticism of Wenger or the board. The thing pissing me off is the media (ARSENAL CRISIS!!! AGAIN) and the vitriol of the AAA. Booing players on the field is never helpful. Make constructive criticism, give valid data and coherent arguments. Even AKBs appreciate that. Don’t regurgitate BBC, sky or Le Groan .

    To those wishing for sugar daddy clubs, racists, cheaters, or fickle owners go support other clubs. If you want all four of above choose Chelsea :-*

  17. Actually, we had been linked with Monreal before January transfer window opened. To be honest, I myself thought Malaga would be reluctant to sell him given that they are still playing in the Champions’ League.

  18. @Uk, Nacho has been called-up in the Spanish national team again. Surely he can’t be that bad! Spain are world and European champions, or you’ve forgotten.Gibbs is not an average player as you want us to believe, I remember Ashley Cole was a shade better, but not that far away at his age.
    People like you said Gilberto was not good enough, until when they realised his importance when he was inujured or suspended. I know with people like you, you would never be satisfied even if 10 more players were added to the squad.

  19. @sav
    Im paid by the AAA, same amount arsenal was paying cashley. Ive asked for a raise too, keeping my fingers crossed and staying away from driving

  20. @tasos
    No its not beyond the realms of possiblity. Is it beyond the realms of possibility that if malaga didnt find suitable replacement they could hav told arsenal @11pm on the 31st jan, to go to hell? If we wait to that point on the transfer window to find out, is it beyond the realm of possibility that it wasnt a priority and we could have done without the signing?

  21. @uk, cool down. You breath fire.

    It’s not about what you want or your friends want. It’s about ARSENAL. It’s about what is right for ARSENAL. And people in charge of running our beloved club know that better than us.

  22. @shard
    What i expect is effort, we are not the best right now, i expect management to show some desire to put things right. You may not get what u want in terms of strenghtening the squad, but u do need to be seen to be doing your best. The same we ask of the players and supporters if the club is to move forward. Now u may say i’m not doing a good job supporting the club, my reply will be, i’m damned tired supporting the management’s’decisions, been doing that a long time and it aint working, have decided to be real with them

  23. @elvis
    Aq may give muslims a bad name true. The good muslims could counter that by countering the message of aq. Lets say they want to but they are afraid of aq backlash, are akbs afraid of aaas? Be honest, are u guys?

  24. @uk

    Ultimately fans wanted to see some activity, some signings and the club have made one and a Spanish international at that.

    Whilst I’m not celebrating from the rooftops at the same time one is better than none.

    Besides we can pontificate all we want about transfers now, the window is has closed and we have what we have so lets get behind the team and see where that takes us.

  25. @john w
    I said so. I think nacho is a good player. I havent seen him play, but he’s’been capped by spain and he’s a regular @malaga, thats gud enuf for me(shouldnt necessarily be for wenger). What isnt is taking the whole window to do the deal, like we dont give a shit what the outcome of the negotiations are

  26. @john w
    I said so. I think nacho is a good player. I havent seen him play, but he’s’been capped by spain and he’s a regular @malaga, thats gud enuf for me(shouldnt necessarily be for wenger). What isnt is taking the whole window to do the deal, like we dont give a shit what the outcome of the negotiations are
    I dont think our club management is running the club well enuf, and i dont see them acting like they plan to change, gazidis says ‘the people running it’ are accountable to the fans, im just telling them they scored another ‘F’ in the gone by transfer window

  27. Uk,
    in stead of using your time trying to educate us you could better use your time and go to Arsenal house and offer your services and do something at the club. I’m waiting for the result of your excellent management skills, your superior vision on how to run a football club.
    don’t mind if I’m not holding my breath till I see the results of your superior knowledge. I don’t think I would be around that long if I don’t breath.

  28. @uk are you trying to prove to us that the more you sign the more you’re a success? What do you know about management? Have you any record of management that you can say that you know when the club is not well managed and you have a better idea on how it is run. And thirdly plz can you name one club that is been managed the way the Arsenal is been done with out a sugar daddy and reckless spending and buyz but has achieved what this management has been able to achieve

  29. Well no matter what the negative types think, I wish the lad well and hope he does displace Gibbs for longer than anticipated. Now we need more competition in other areas of the pitch to up the concentration levels because the quality is there already, there’s just no fear of losing your place through mistakes.

    @Walter, I cannot remember reading anywhere that he is a skilful player but under Wenger im sure he will be allowed to express himself. Poor lad though, being the only signing will be under the microscope.

  30. @walter
    U are welcome.
    I wont go to arsenal house to do that, rvp did well enuf over the summer, he got kicked out, i get kicked out, i’l’end up wher i am now. So i’l’rather stay.
    But if u wanna hold ur breadth, be my guest, i could time you. My record is 62seconds, maybe u can do better? No?

  31. @UK
    I bet you have already sharpened your knife in gleeful anticipation of Nacho’s first mistake so you can plunge it into Wenger’s back.

  32. @mick
    Everybody makes mistakes. Fab made one against barca, we lost. He made anoda against spurs, we lost at home to them for the first tym in like foreva. Yet we all love dat guy man. All u hav to be is a gud footballer, thats all

  33. Don’t know about him, but I trust Arsene judgement. Besides, only 8 M.

    The bad news only he can’t played in Champion L.

  34. I must say how surprised I am to learn Gibbs is due to be out longer than the three weeks originally reported.

    At least our luck has changed for the good by having a 24hr respite to recruit an adequate deputy. Had Gibbs not been injured Wenger would have bought nobody this transfer window. Out of Nacho and Gibbs I would have Gibbs all day long, so hoping he us not out for his customary length of time.

    Santos might be played on the left wing where he is very capable, or when he returns, so might Gibbs where he too is very capable, having staeted out as a winger. Contrary to belief, Nacho is not a winger, he is an out and out full-back. I’m expecting him to be surprised by the physicality of the Premiership’s teams but expect him to adapt fast. Knowing Wenger, he will be converting Nacho into an attacking DM soon.

  35. Welcome Nacho, but we have twats and deluded so called fans but don’t you worry after a few wins the uk’s will never show their butt’s again not until thunder strikes but that will be at the end of the season.

  36. @kampala
    Yea, @d’end of the season thunder may well strike. I hope its not the thunder of europa lge, or non-european football

  37. I suppose uk is catching fun here as he seems to have just come in from outer space.
    It’s a common knowledge that the priority over this transfer window was to get Theo to sign a new contract. Unfortunately, this took a better part of 2 – 3 weeks to sort out. Who do we blame for that? The club or Walcott? I guess uk would have the answer to that.
    Until the issue of Walcott was resolved, the players to be bought during the window could not be concluded upon as we would have needed to acquire a top replacement for him.
    This partly explains why Wenger was slow in the transfer market coupled with the injury to Gibbs.

  38. I find it amazing that comments from certain individuals all season have been all about buying, buying, and buying. Now we have gone on and done that, a Spanish international at that, and the very same people come out with various reasons they’re not happy. And they try to deny that the AAA dont exist? If they dont like the way things are going on at Arsenal then they should just find another club to support, simple. And see if we care.

    Its become so bad that going forward to spare myself the grief I’m just going to skip comments from certain posters without even making an attempt at reading them, no matter what they are saying.

  39. Considering the way some so called fans are reacting to the acquisition of Nacho, it’s like they are afraid that Arsenal will improve defensively which is something they don’t want as there will be fewer things to moan about.
    If the quality of a player that is good enough for the Spanish national side at this time is being doubted for Arsenal then something definitely must be wrong somewhere with these folks.

  40. @yommex
    Ur really funny, it take the transfer window to sign your own player? Theres no excuse akbs won’t come up with. So they used up their entire energy to sign up walcott, and were then too drained to pursue other signings? Wonders will never end

  41. I dont care if arsenal sign a player or not, wat i care about is having a competitive team, if we need new players to achieve that? So be it. A1, you know why we are talking now? Cos when we did @d’beginning of the window, u said the window just opened, wenger will strengthen, he knows that his squad is weak and he cares more, bla bl bla… A week later some other excuse, a week ago, u said wait wenger has said he’s’working on it, he’s keeping it close to his chest etc. Now its closed,u say this was his plan(the best) all along. I wont hold wenger accountable for buying or not, i will hold him accountable for the strength or otherwise of our team. He got the praise for henry, should take the stick for santos. He took d’praise for 2004 he will get the stick for 2013

  42. I think Arsene has done a good deal to get Nacho after Gibbs’ injury during the late Window.
    Any player who is currently a Spanish international must have credentials worth having.
    I hope young Miquel will now be moved a tad closer to the first team, as an understudy, while Gibbs is recovering.

  43. @Walther “One person with 150 character at his disposal can ruin the cheers of 150.000 people who want to support you”

    This “one person” can affect you only if you allow this to happen. As they say you cannot control other people’s actions but you are in full control of your reaction. Not to mention that 150,000 voices are quite capable not just to counter but completely annihilate one dissenting voice. That is what pretty much is happening to Uk in this debate. The negativity and personal attacks leveraged @uk in repsponse to a very moderately expressed non-mainstream oppinion is just appalling.

    Perhaps, this could give Walter some nice inspiration for an article as well.

  44. Andrei
    Tnx. Totally agree wit u. Dont worry, im perfectly capable of handling myself. I believe wen ur on the side of truth, you’re covered

  45. what the fuck is wrong with you lot? weather is was a panic buy or not. we have cover for gibbs and need to thank the lord that santos won’t be playing left back [hopefully]. so shut up and watch him play. seeing him of youtube, seems to be ok, so lets wait and see.

  46. Off topic, watching Bremen v Hanover right now & Djourou is looking really good, looking very composed & hardly put a foot wrong. I maybe wrong but he seems to be a bit more relaxed than I ever saw him playing for us. Not sure if the boo boys have anything to do with it.

  47. @Al

    It is nice to hear that about Djourou.

    He seems a great bloke and we can only wish him well.

    There definitely is a lot of pressure on the players at Arsenal.

  48. UK………..your views, while clearly pessimistic and denigrating to some of our best players and the manager specifically are, as everyone else’s here on UA, perfectly legitimate as simple opinion. BUT you stating that you’re on the side of ¨truth¨ is pretentious, presumptuous and narcissistic indeed. I get the distinct feeling that, based on your strange syntax and your rather aggressive and rigid expression of your views,as well as your conviction that you are on the side of truth, you are a young, angry and litigious person spoiling for a fight and absolutely convinced of your legitimacy and insight for the Arsenal.
    Well, there is room enough in the Arsenal family for everyone who loves the Club and wants the best for it, regardless of how they think that can be achieved.

  49. Yommex,
    So, a multimillion dollar enterprise can only do one thing at a time and everything else waits? Can you chew gum and walk at the same time?

  50. @Bob, some people can’t type and think at the same time.

    Very pleased we have a decent player at left back but surely the monolithic structure that is Arsenal can focus on more than one thing at a time and the Walcott saga shouldn’t distract from purchasing players.

  51. Welcome to Arsenal Nacho…I hope that you have a great time and contribute to the team’s progress!

    (The omens seem good…even a Rupert sounds half positive in his comments)!!!

  52. @domhuail,
    U sound pissed off, i honestly cant take the credit for that. Maybe wenger can. The “piss-off domhuail trophy”
    . There indeed is room for verbose lexicologists too in the arsenal kingdom.
    @bob and rupert,
    My thoughts exactly. Akbs can accuse me of calling wenger and arsenal unambitious money lovers. But @least they cant say i called the clubs management retarded, and needing 7months of full concentration,leaving other activities; to get walcott to extend a contract. I dont see how that can be used to excuse the club, it sounds like further condemnation to me

  53. @robl
    Were u trying for suicide mate? How in God’s name could u hold your breadth for 142secs? Real impressive man. How r u doing there walter?

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