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June 2021

Sead Kolašinac deal confirmed; Media on the look out for potential parallels.

By Sir Hardly Anyone, our transfer correspondent

Way, way back before the dawn of time, when woolly mammoths roamed the earth refereeing Premier League matches and “strong and stable” didn’t mean allowing terrorists into the country even though they were on European wide watch lists because those lists were created by foreigners and were therefore not to be trusted – I suggested in my normal modest way that “Despite all the negatives about Arsenal’s parlous state, Arsenal make a major signing“.  (Actually the date of the article was April 15).

I explained myself, as indeed I feel I always must (what with the decline of literacy in the UK in recent years owing to the education cuts) by saying

“So in case you ain’t heard yet, Arsenal have signed Sead Kolašinac (note the accent); he will transfer on 1 July.  What is particularly interesting is that just as with Lucas Pérez, Everton, currently endlessly talking about how they have managed the deal of the century over their stadium, and how they are on the up overall, (rather than on the down, which is what new stadia normally offer), have been pipped at the post.”

And now Arsenal have caught up with me, and agreed it is all true.   As for Everton, they are still getting knocked around a bit, as revealed in the story that “Romelu Lukaku admits staying at Everton ‘not an option’ and claims ‘I know where I want to play'”  I am not quite sure where Romeo wants to play but it is not in Liverpool, the city with the worst adult literacy rates in the country (Liverpool Echo 7 Feb).  Or the club which had its worst ever international break this past season (Independent 30 March 2017) or indeed which clocked up its worst ever performance in the past 20 years in the match against Arsenal in March 2016 (Metro).

Anyway, to make it quite clear:

The Bosnia-Herzegovina international Sead Kolašinac will join Arsenal on a free transfer when his contract at Schalke expires on 1 July.  He is, at 23, a mere stripling.

Of course doom and negativity must be part of any story (it says so in the constitution) and so “The arrival of the German-born left-back casts doubt on the future of Kieran Gibbs, who has yet to negotiate fresh terms at the Emirates Stadium.”  (Guardian)

Actually speaking of the Guardian, (which I must admit has done some brilliant political work in the last month or so but just can’t get it together when it comes to football) “Arsenal manager. Wenger, chief executive Ivan Gazidis and majority shareholder Stan Kroenke have targeted a run at the Premier League crown next season.”   Now that is a revelation.  Mr Wenger, Mr Gazidis and the American fella have “targeted a run at the Premier League crown.”  Blimey.  They don’t make writers like that these days.

(Actually they do – Tony.  Try the Express, the Telegraph, the Mirror, the Mail…)

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Schalke have kindly told us that their ex-man has signed with Arsenal until 2022 adding,

“Sead Kolašinac will complete a move to Arsenal FC upon the expiry of his contract with Schalke 04 on 30th June 2017. The reigning FA Cup winners, who finished fifth in the 2016-17 Premier League campaign, have agreed a deal with the 23-year-old left-back which runs until 2022.”


Meanwhile the chit chat about the big time deals with Kylian Mbappé and Henry Onyekuru also rumble on.

Now if you have been paying attention you will have seen the requirement expressed in an earlier article for Arsenal to be ready for the start of the season, unlike last season when it is said we were not ready.

This is quite a challenge, I must admit.   Last season, taking all competitions into account, we had one defeat in the first 20, one of our best ever opening runs of the 21st century.   If there was any unsteadiness it was due to Arsenal having players good enough to play up to the end of the Wretched Euros, as they are known.  Thus these players didn’t come back in time for the start of the new season.

That doesn’t apply next season of course, when there are no Euros, but the implication that one should have stand by players who are good enough to cover in such circumstances but not get games at other times is a tough one to deliver.  But the target is set: better than 1 defeat in the first 20.  It’s going to be a tough call and shows how high the demands are now set within some sections of the crowd.

Anyway, more transfer news:

“Hector Bellerin flirts with Barcelona and Olivier Giroud delivers ultimatum in fresh headache for Arsenal”

That’s in the Telegraph, and I must admit flirting with proven child traffickers does not sound a very healthy thing to do.

The Telegraph, admitting it does not have a blind bit of evidence to suggest that Hector was lying when he said he was staying, also said, “there is an obvious potential parallel with how Cesc Fabregas became progressively more determined to return to Spain.”

Now this is a new way of doing transfer predictions: finding potential parallels.  So if a player is rumoured to be going to Blackpool we might say “there is an obvious potential parallel with how Alan Skirton moved on in 1966”.   That is if the phrase “potential parallel” actually has any real meaning, in that by and large and not to put too fine a point on it, things are parallel or not.  What, I wonder, is the potential for parallelity?  Perhaps it is a measure of bendisity.

And now we also hear that “Giroud has also indicated that he is not completely happy at Arsenal following a season in which he started only 11 Premier League games but still scored 12 goals amid 18 substitutes’ appearances.”  Actually Giroud reached a point in which he scored more per minute on the pitch last season than Messi, and the last report we had said that he most certainly wanted to stay.

The Guardian tells us that “Despite chasing another striker, Wenger sees Giroud as especially valuable because he is so distinct from his other attacking options. Giroud’s aerial strength and ability to hold the ball up allows Arsenal to vary their tactics.”  He also put in the cross for the winning goal in the Cup Final, as I recall.

So there we are.  First transfer done.  Now to work out how to go 20 games unbeaten at the start of the season.  But we’ll have to ditch some more of the “25” from last season, first of all.

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9 comments to Sead Kolašinac deal confirmed; Media on the look out for potential parallels.

  • colario

    ‘I explained myself, as indeed I feel I always must (what with the decline of literacy in the UK in recent years owing to the education cuts) by saying’

  • MickHazel

    The Guardian tells us that “Despite chasing another striker, Wenger sees Giroud as especially valuable because he is so distinct from his other attacking options. Giroud’s aerial strength and ability to hold the ball up allows Arsenal to vary their tactics.”
    I thought Wenger was stubborn and always refuses to change his tactics. At least that is what the media have always maintained. So are they now admitting they were talking b******s.

  • MickHazel

    There is a lot of talk about Lacazette coming to Arsenal for £50million. I just looked at his record for France… 11 appearances and 1 goal. Compare that to Giroud … 62 appearances and 26 goals. Lacazette is behind Giroud in the pecking order for France selection and unproven in the Premier League. Can someone tell me the logic behind pursuing him at the sort of money being talked about because I don’t get it.
    If Lacazette is worth £50 million what must Giroud be worth!

  • insideright

    If we are going to continue to play ‘three at the back’ (or at least have it as a regular option) then we need at least three players who can fill the two positions of left-sided centre-back and left wing back as well as full back in a back four.
    I would have thought that keeping Gibbs as one of those three is a real option.
    Unless, of course, Cohen Bramall is already being considered as a first team squad player for next season without the benefit of a loan season to get him more used to regular playing responsibility.

  • Chris


    as far as I am concerned, I believe Gibbs will stay. To begin with, he qualifies in the homegrown rule. Then he is a very decent player, we never heard or read anything about him being unhappy about not being first choice and he always gives it all. And he can switch positions on the left side. We need players such as him. Can’t have 18 stars.

    As for Bramall, he’ll probably need a season or two to get into the thick of it – if he shows he’s got what it takes.

    With our latest addition, we disprove all the fake news about arsenal spending at the last minute – unless it will now be applied ‘at the last minute of the previous season….. – and we add someone who can play in multiple positions. I think our defence is as good as can be.

    About the striker situation, can’t see Lacazette coming. Wouldn’t be surprised if AW breaks the bank for Mbappé. And Mbappé join Arsenal because of AW’s record of making young footballers world class like no other coach in Europe. And contrary to teams like Barca or RM, he’d have more guarantee to play at Arsenal.

    And considering the galactic heroes MU are now for winning the Europa League, don’t let anyone anymore say it is not a trophy….

  • BFG

    Just saw a video of Sead scoring the quickest own goal in world cup history. Let’s hope it was a one off.

  • Ben

    The FA Cup youtube channel talked about Wenger’s tactic for the final. Watched it yesterday and was surprised someone was talking about Wenger and his tactics not being stuck in the stone ages.

  • If Mr Wenger pulls off the Mbappe transfer I will eat my hat and I wear a crash helmet

  • Nitram

    MickHazel/Sir Hardly

    “If Lacazette is worth £50 million what must Giroud be worth!”


    I know that, because he’s crap.

    And I know that how? Well, because that’s what the media and aaa’s have been telling me since the day he arrived.

    Except they are wrong. They are very very wrong.

    As usual, when judging players some of it is subjective. A matter of personal taste, and as such the only thing to do is to produce statistics to support your subjective opinion.

    And that’s exactly what I did back in May 2015.

    As has recently been done with goals per minute comparisons to Messi and Kane, I did a goals per minute comparison with his then contemporaries, and this is how it came out:

    The stats show: Mins Pld Goals(pens) = Mins per goal Mins per goal(excl Pens)

    Costa…1960 19(0) = 103..103

    GIROUD..1597 14(0) = 114..114

    Aguero..2270 22(4) = 103..126

    Kane….2317 20(2) = 115..128

    Silva…2391 11(0) = 217..217

    Hazard..3109 14(3) = 222, 282

    -As you can see when you exclude penalties, Giroud had the 2nd most efficient goal scorer in the PL behind Costa.

    I’m sure, if this goals per minute comparison was extrapolated across his entire Arsenal career he would still be right up there, if not top.

    A vastly underrated player that I’m sure would be far more appreciated if only he played for Man Utd or Spurs or Liverpool, or just about anyone else actually.

    I love the guy.