Current rumours reveal Arsenal’s audacious plan: and it might just work.

By Sir Hardly Anyone

Not everyone has gone bonkers over the story that Arsenal are going to sign Fellaini on a free, but there is quite a bit of that coverage around with agents in discussion, a medical happening and so forth.  Maybe by the time you read this the transfer will have happened.  Maybe it will have gone the way of 97% of other rumours.

Certainly if it is going to happen and is going to follow the pattern of other seasons we’ve analysed it will happen now, because that is how it goes.   The long running transfer sagas are mostly ones that never finish.  Most of the players we do sign only appear on the rumours a couple of days before they sign.

That’s a generalisation of course, but looking back over the last few years when we’ve done the regular table of rumours, the actual transfers that do happen just suddenly appear and are done, without a long build up in the press.

But why sign an old man?

One good reason could be as a stop gap because we have a fair number of younger players coming through, and all the manager is wanting to do is steady the ship for the next year and plug a gap at a modest price.  That is perfectly reasonable but of course encourages headlines such as “I’m Done With Transfer Window Already – Fans React To Marouane Fellaini To Arsenal Talk” as Inside Futbol put it.

But maybe we should also note at the same time other headlines such as the Cannon’s “Arsenal plan €15m transfer for 20-year-old forward they’ve ‘closely followed’,” for in an unusually upbeat manner they say, “Arsenal join Liverpool and Tottenham in the race for 20-year-old PSV winger Steven Bergwijn, according to reports in the Netherlands.

In fact there is a pattern emerging of buying and bringing through some youngsters, while employing older players at the back.   And there is a feeling among the transfer spotters that this is the moment Arsenal will act, as with TalkSport who say, “Arsenal set to make big name signing before Sunday” although I am not sure if they are not having a bit of a laugh with “big name” as that piece was about Sokratis Papastathopoulos.  If we keep signing Greeks they will have to do the programme in a bigger format.

As for Fellaini, this has been called a “shock” by the Telegraph and others who are easily shocked, although I suspect there is little left in football to shock anyone these days.   But if Fellaini (who is 30) and maybe Lichtsteiner (who is 34) come along with Sokratis (who is 29) that will give the team a really solid base of experience to allow Holding who is 22 and Mavropanos (who is 20) to flourish in the team.

The only hiccup I have seen is the little note that Man U “manager Jose Mourinho has made it clear that he wants to keep Fellaini.”   Oh yes and according to the Telegraph, “Whether Arsenal are able to agree a deal with the player remains to be seen and it is likely that he will delay making a decision until after the World Cup.”

And I wonder if there is another elephant lurking (not literally) in the room.  Actually I think that there is a plan, and it goes like this…

The management team at Arsenal feel that Ramsey is the key to what Arsenal can do this summer and that it is worth spending a fair amount of the money available on tying him down to a long contract.  It is said that he’s on around £5.5m a year at the moment and wants a significant pay rise – to maybe £10m a year.

This would of course be in addition to the rather hefty salaries that have been agreed with Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.   On the other hand if Ramsey were to leave that would mean more expenditure in terms of bringing in a replacement and paying hefty wages.

In this scenario Emery tells Ramsey he is a major part of the team, spends money there, and then buys such older defenders for lowish fees as are needed to enhance the back line away from home.

And so another point falls into place: these older defenders will only be used away from home where we had such difficulty last season.   The thinking is, carry on as before at home and notch up a series of results akin to that achieved in championship winning seasons (as we just did in 2017/18), while getting back to the sort of away form that is more in keeping with a top six club.

Away from home last season Arsenal won four and drew four in the league, losing 11 – a total of 16 points.   If we look at the team above Arsenal (Chelsea), they got ten wins and three draws – a total of 36 points.    So how do we convert last season’s poor away form into a decent top six form and pick up those extra 20 points without disrupting the magnificent home form and without breaking the bank?

Simply by bringing in older players who won’t expect to play every game, and having them play a very solid “none shall pass” back line approach, while allowing players like Aubameyang, Ramsey and the rest to nick the odd goal, and equally allowing the younger team members to flourish and grow in home games.

Of course this tactic wouldn’t win us the league – if we did hold our current home form and improve to match Chelsea’s away form we’d have been second, still 17 points behind Manchester City.   But I’ve been voicing the view for a little while that with the sovereign wealth fund  of a nation behind them, Manchester City are going to have to implode through internal feuding and wars in the Middle East, or a collapse in the price of oil and gas, before anyone catches them.  We have a Bayern Munich and Juventus situation in the PL and there’s nothing Arsenal can do about it.

So there is a plan.  Of course I don’t know if it is the plan that is being hatched, but it is a viable plan.  Sort out the away form by using lower cost highly experienced older players who can’t play every week, get 20 more points, come second, and see what can be done with winning the FA Cup (again) the League Cup (why not) and the Europa League.   I quite like that.  In fact I’m glad I renewed the season ticket.



New from the Arsenal History Society

Arsenal in the Summer 1923: another Knighton allegation but the evidence is against him once more.


19 Replies to “Current rumours reveal Arsenal’s audacious plan: and it might just work.”

  1. I think certain special individuals command such influence in any game that not targeting signings and a system that best utilises them is naive.

    However Ramos proved why one player is not enough, quite pointedly.

    And yes I concur with Going DS is quote right, but it will become apparent that it was never just Arsene, but all he stands for. The legacy must be undone.

    Cue Neville wanting Simeone. The appointment although probably not what was wanted by 99% of Gooners let alone the Anti-Arsenal-Arsenal it seems a positive appointment.

    Suggesting that we have somehow turned a corner now I feel is hugely disrespectful to the Colosus leaving.

    And our measly (reported) transfer budget is laughable and requires the same tactics employed by the man departing ro bridge the gap in an extreme economic climate.

    Toby was brilliant for Belgium last night, so I wonder what he doesn’t fancy, or is it just that like Kyle Walker he was stand out and the only real star left is Kane and only a move abroad could provide a significant step up, which culturally I feel he might struggle with and also given that only a few people can afford him right now of those suitors.

    What does concern me is the threadbare squad we posses.

    For me guarantees for starting births should only be afforded to the following:


    With in my opinion the remainder only commanding rotation spots.

    We are without Koscielny which gives us no first team level player @


    I add attacking midfield or 10 as not unlike Low I am somewhat underwhelmed by Mesut’s performances, but seemingly he answered his critics with a goal, even if Germany lost whilst fielding a half strength team and going through the preparatory motions.


    All provide good options, but provide 7 of 11 alternatives.

    As far as I’m concerned the following are either surplus to requirements or have lacked the quality expected at this level; or simply are getting on and are better use as liquid assets or should in the case of Danny be starting and that comes with a move elsewhere (thank heavens he made the plane, stay fit son)


    Which given the clear out last summer and January is a modest number, however Welbeck has been filling the void as support striker/WF, Mustarfi is supposed to start at CB and it’s also out LB and both Goalkeeping options for the first team.

    Nelson, Nketiah and Willock need a bit more time, least time required first and so on.

    Nelson required a proficient fullback in behind so he can forget forward. Willock likewise is prone to letting people run off him Xhaka style and Nketiah will have to be introduced carefully to ensure his career isn’t scuppered as is the case for so many of our young gums, older too.

    The definitive upside to a less than satisfactory season, even if strides forward were made, had to be Maitland-Niles who’s composure, resilience, and generally unbiased ice cool attitude to the tasks presented can only bode extremely well for his and the club’s future.

    So really we can add him to the list of options, could he nail down a starting birth over the course of pre-season? Surely yes. However at DM, he has looked at times hesitant and a little cautious if not tenacious and full of bounding energy. I dare say his approach to his ideal position is pragmatic given the stakes, maybe he can have a word with Xhaka. But it goes without saying having a utility man, so young, virile and mature is a gift, let’s hope it keeps on giving.

    With several players returning from loan and on the fringes of the first 11, we could see a return of Perez who’s contributions in terms of goals and assists cannot be scoffed At, whilst Cohen and Jenkinson must cieze the opportunity presented, with both full back positions in need of supplement.

    Jack Wilshere seems increasingly likely to depart, which for me is like our heart has been ripped out, ‘again. Song, Cesc prematurely and only illuminates further by the departures of RVP and Alexis to the Red Devils.

    Humbly I will suggest that addressing DM and CB are key to our progression and I would rather we spent here now, than elsewhere.

    Should something become available at LB, or RED become available, surely this has to be next.

    If reports are to be believed, we are imminently due to sign a 34 year old with a wealth of experience to assist Hectors development and ensure that he isn’t requires to play 3 games a week again.

    This with an optional 12month extension sounds frugal and rewarding and represents a pragmatic approach to squad depth.

    Still no news on Meyer, whilst William Carvalho is now tipped to join West Ham, which will surely prove beneficial after Portugal managed another shut out with him on duty to prowl the entry to the defensive 3rd.

    Meanwhile the Seri link has cooled, whilst Liverpool are closing in on the second midfield enforcer we are lead to believe. Similarly, City and Utd are looking to address that area already holding key men in that position. Chelsea are said to be following suit, but reasonably it will almost certainly be a late flurry of mediocrity once departures have been completed.

    In the near future we will certainly get an insight into the plight of the Russian owned clubs plans for the future, even if planning for a new stadium has been shelved indefinitely.

    With key names such as Morata and Courtois odds in to move and the Hazard still top of the Real bucket list, the fans will he desperate to hold on to something. But should those three depart, I’ll wholeheartedly expect that an less exodus could and likely will occur in SW London. With William seemingly quietly content to wait for Josè to come for him and Cesar, just what the doctor ordered for any of Spain’s top 3, As Germans and any of EPL top 6. Kante will surely be considering his options if these players depart. And PSG are making steady headway in their attempts to fall in line with FFP rules.

    Notabel clubs on the up:


    In flux:

    Real Madrid

    Future dependent on transfers:

    Man Utd

    Victims of success rightfully or somewhat questionably earned:


    Hovering around top 6 and to be watched due to reasonable income and fanvase:

    Bayer Leverkuesen

    It seems everyone else is ripe for the plucking, as the top 3 increase the gap,

  2. I hope that the Fellaini rumour turns out to be another of the vast majority which turn out to be nonsense. The thought of him wearing an Arsenal shirt horrifies me.

  3. While his height and strength in the center of the park would in most cases effectively close the proverbial back door , yet his flailing elbows and regular tendency to foul the opposition would surely be a red card magnet !

    Unless of course all that past unpleasantness of the PIGMOB with AW has been washed clean ? And we are able to start with a new slate .

    Does anybody here believe this ?

  4. “we have a Bayern,Juventus situation we can do nothing about”
    Well maybe not making that nice neat move up the Holloway Road,instead looked properly at our fan base and realised that to really go up to the next level it was imperitive that we found somewhere where an 80 thousand stadium could and should have been built.
    If those Men from Woolich had not done something similar the conversation simply would not exist.
    Hill-Wood and co should have annonced “that We are Arsenal football club and not…. Islington fc.”
    To under use our assets in such a wasteful way remains THE Great Unspoken Folly.

  5. Let’s give manager due respect.
    If he wants to build a new side around Ramsey,let him proceed.
    There is much merit in it, in my view.
    As for Fellaini, one would hope this is just newspaper talk. 😉

  6. Looks like we’ve signed Lichtsteiner; can’t say I’m too over the moon about getting a 34 year old. I guess that’s what happens when you’re given a joke of a transfer budget when you have so many positions you need to strengthen.

  7. Welcome to Arsenal Stephan Lichtsteiner. Enjoy the roller coaster ride with us next season.

  8. Arsenal having the physically strong and big size Fellaini in the Gunners forward line next season will be great. The guy is good. In fact, the former Arsenal manager, Monsieur Wenger should have signed him in his prime from Everton before David Moyes left Everton to Man Utd and signed him. I think Marounane Fellaini can operate in multiple positions on the field of play as I often watched him played as a striker, a midfielder and he can defend too using his height advantage like Giroud does for Arsenal.

    Despite the opposition to Fellaini coming to Arsenal by Jose Mourinho, the Man U manager which didn’t come as a surprise. For, he wouldn’t want to see Arsenal strongly strengthened this summer but only to give his Man Utd team a tough competition for the PL Title win or edge them to a 4th place finish. Arsenal could even win the PL Title this season if they strengthen their PL Title campaign squad correvtly and wisely.

    Futhermore, if at the end, Arsenal do get hold of Sokratis, Marounane and Lichtsteiner, the 34 year old Sweden World Cup captain, for their experience, it will be a wise signings by Arsenal this season. For, these trio can bring their combined experience to bear positively for Arsenal in the PL next season. But after Arsenal might have completed the signings of these trio before the WC kicks off which I think has a risky angle to their signings if any of them should fall pray to serious injury that will sideline him for long to deny Arsenal playing him. Let’s hope then that no injury will happen to Fellaini and Lichtsteiner for Belgium and Sweden and for Arsenal supposedly. But I don’t know if Greece will be at the Russia 2018 World Cup for Sokratis to play for them.

    Even if Arsenal ended up signing these 3 experienced players, they’ll still have unfinished business to conclude until they’ve signed a top quality striker this summer for option and cover to complement the high profile strikers of: Aubameyang and Lacazette at the club. For, as things stand now in the Gunners senior team squad, there is no credible striker at Arsenal who can be said will complement the efforts of Auba’ and Laca’ when the season pans on during the season’s campaign next season.

  9. Jammy, take note if Arsenal spend correctly and wisely this summer as they’ve appeared to be doing already with their signing of Lichtsteiner according t9 reports. And if they will conclude the signings of Sokratis and Fellaini too with that of Sokratis signing looking to be more sure than that of Fellaini signing which is still at the rumour stage and with no concrete evidence in the rumour. It will surprise many Arsenal PL Title win doubters next season to see Arsenal who relatively spent low during the summer due to cash crunch win the PL Title next season to the amazements of Man City, Man Utd, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.

  10. Samuel – I like your optimism, but you also say that we are going to win the quadruple every single season haha.

    I don’t know enough about Sokratis, but it’s nice to see on AAA websites like JustArsenal they are already all attacking him (along with practically everyone linked to our club). Did anyone honestly believe that the whinging and moaning would stop once Wenger left? Seriously, just click on any article on and see what these sorry excuses of supporters are saying about Arsenal. This proves beyond doubt who was in the wrong with the whole WOB vs AKB nonsense.

  11. I note that UE has shown that he is not a ditherer by swiftly picking up a player of some defensive experience ! And that too on the cheap.
    Go Unai !
    Welcome Stephan Lichtsteiner , to the Arsenal – probably the best ever club in the world .
    WOO HOO ,HOO !
    Up the Gunners!

  12. Let’s give credit where credit is due.

    The rumor mongers got it right for once.

    Who’s next?

  13. Re the new guy Lichisten signing. Isn’t it a joke signing a 34 year old?
    All the years the Wobs criticized Wenger for non elite signings and look what they are getting a 34 year old crooked player.
    Is the club moving forward with such kind of signings. If so then why was Wenger criticized for keeping Per Chec Arteta Rosicky beyond there 30s?

    We we’re told all those years that once Wenger leaves we will be getting elite players and will win the league on a canter.

    If the malcontents have any answer to this one please enlighten me.

  14. Lol stop flirting you two (Sam + Jammy).

    I agree with most of what Sam says, ever the optimist; a league win is on the cards if we can get our act together for the season start

    Mesut Ozil; David Ospina, Alex Iwobi, Nacho Monreal, Mohamed Elneny, Danny Welbeck and Granit Xhaka will be the only WC attendees, with some quality omissions, namely Elneny who has not been able to recover sufficiently, Ballerin who will need to set his sights on Euro 2020 and Lacazette who’s lack of form has seen him lose his place in the French set up, courtesy of Kylian and Osumane who have proven their credentials at two of Europe’s long standing and new elites.

    Pain in the Arsenal report this as a worry scenario and endemic of the clubs regression. However with a very narrow squad one might say that the lack of depth and the emergence of young talents has seen a shift towarda development, quite a difference to the spoils of the pre 2004 squads of the Wenger reign and largely not quite as ramshackle as some of those teams deployed in our period of austerity.

    One could also argue alternatively that Armenia and Gabon being largely unlikely to make the cut for any WC the number of participants could have been closer to 12 if Chech and Iwobi had also been part of participating nations.

    Still not the 15 Which set the record in 06′ (the year of Mesut) and some way off the new record of 17 and 16 Which go to City and Real respectively this same WC year.

    With Lichtsteiner also soon yo be named amongst the Arsenal contingent, the number of actual attendees is actually 8 and could yet increase.

    With a reported fee having been agreed at around €19m for Sokratis and the players father also stating that a move is imminent after a rejection of Rivals United who finished second and four places above Arsenal, a steady stream of additions seem to be arriving to address weaknesses in the squad in terms of depth and quality alike.

    Here is some of what you can expect the still pace full back to deliver and help foster in our young and almost totally home grown academy product, the one Hector Ballerin.

    With one in we now turn our attention to the second and almost certain to arrive in the near future ‘Greek Man’ Sokratis Papastathopoulos, cur one of my personal favourites, the clean out tackle. Try it when you have a low center of gravity and the othwr guy is pushing 6ft, timber!

    At 6.1 he adds significant height and being typically Greek, it’s very much a case of Spartan what is your profession? I think the resounding answer would be ‘point guard.

    At the fee quoted, Dortmund will be hopeful of never seeing an Arsenal representative or former employee again very curtly.

    This is as Sam suggests a very astute signing. I still want Diallo, who is reported as being Dortmunds first choice replacement, which could be very possible with the player wanting to continue his development as part of a first team 11. An unfortunate situation which could also be the case with Max Meyer who is linked with Hoffenheim, although if that were certain, I very much doubt whether there would be any reasonable suggestion as to why either club or the player would delay an announcement. We shall see, if the young man is keen to make the cut for the next international competition, it may be advisable to play his trade in a too league, oh Bundesliga is 2nd, well a more challenging football climate may be an alternative wording.

    So it would appear that Carl is for the chop, the positive being we now have 2 RB’s. Been a while.

    Another notable aspect of the pending signing of Sokratis is that he is a CBR. I say this because Arsenal have been linked with Çağlar Söyüncü who has experience on the right side of a back 3 but primarily plays CBL in a back four with usual partner, Manuel Guide, apt name really for the partner of a budding player.

    At 6’2″ the young man has many comparable traits to 2 other young players in his position, both Laporte and Rugani. Still not quite the finished article, he is well suited to the Gunners and adds much to a increasingly credible looking defence.

    With the two afore mentioned alternative either having been signed at an almost astronical cost or being part of the transition of a regenerating Old Lady, it seems unlikely that either Rugani or Benatia will be leaving this window, but this is ‘modern’ football.

    My opinion has yet to change, Diallo is proving himself to be more than admiral at LB and with pace, explosive strength, tactical awareness and aerial presence, with an abnormal amount of technical ability and an eye for a pass, he makes the perfect balance between deepening CB cover and adding quality and cover at LB with a serious chance to make the 11 on the cards.

    What we currently have in defence.

    Mustarfi •
    Monreal •

    * provisional player unavailable or likely to arrive

    • potentially on the move.

    With Monreal entering his last year and Mustarfi dividing opinion, being omitted from the German Selecao covering the cost of potential signing of Caglar Söyüncü would seem practical and pragmatic, with Monreal proving himself a reliable option he would command a reasonable fee with 3 years left in him, with cover and effective fitness management, a massive boost would be a change in tempo and style, with both Italy and Spain providing those.

    Equally a move to Valencia could well materialise after the team came in for German last summer, but due to a failure to agree a fee and the a replacement being unavailable at short notice, that bridge may be bridgeable, should the Spanish outfit up their offer to something closer to the reported purchase price of around £32m, something around 27 should prove enough, and still reasonable given the players age and stats and experience.

    That would make the difference around £9m to Frielberg’s valuation of Söyüncü. Which would give us 3 new additions for an outlay of just £28m and potentially Monreal reducing that to around £20.

    What I would like to see in defence.


    It also may be worth noting that Bramall, Söyüncü, Holding, and Mavrapanos need not necessarily be registered in EPL as a result of their ages. And only 2 of which would enhance the HG talent quote.

    Meaning you can have 11 for the price of 7 and one need not be registered until January at least.

    With 4 competition and games guaranteed on a Thursday, game time is not in question, you will play.

    Let’s keep everything crossed we can get the Sokratis deal done and dusted soon and show we mean business and address our Achilles heel. Having outscored 2 of the 5 teams above us, having equalled Spurs total and fallen short of Liverpool’s tally by a mere ten goals given the hype surrounding their attacking prowess, which owed largely to the record haul of No Salah who brought home nearly half of their haul. Obviously the league too scorers were the efficient City who broke the league scoring record with 106 goals.

    So for me 3 in two out in defence.

    To add substance we can shift our attention to midfield, which is also rather depleted but first attack, it’s quick.

    With Aubameyang certainly proving his worth in just over a handful of appearances, scoring at almost 1:1 PLG he starts and surely the sale of Lacazette would not be readable at this stage with his value somewhat reduced by poor form and omission from the France WC squad. I feel if we are going to continue our tradition of player development then 3rd option striker has to go to Eddie who has proven his merit at U23 and made his way into the England U21 set up this season, with a string of superb performances in the title winning group. Matching the achievements of Arsenal U12 who emerged league winners earlier this season.

    For me Danny (Welbeck) hinders Nketiah’s progress and his in turn is hampered by the first and second choice options. And no doubt I will be sad to see him depart but looking at his contract situation, with just a year left, I have to ask whether failing to recoup some if not most of his value makes sense? For me it’s a know and he has earned a starting birth, at 27 he poses a very good investment for the many body of the chasing Lament on, it is unlikely that a route past Team Sky (Too 6) will come anytime soon, but I think it’s time the boy stepped out of the shadows of those household names who have blighted his career almost as much as injury.

    The WC will prove a worthy test site, for his fitness, amongst car thrives, second hand dealers and hatchet boys, with the odd spit of forbidden prospecting going on.

    11 defenders 7 registries
    3 CF 2 registries.

    14 + a conservative estimate of 3 GK all registered = 17 players just 12 registries. If 2 of three GK are HG as exoected (Macey + 1), it would also satisfy half of the HG players requires to avoid omitting any of the final 25.

    Leaving you a whopping 13 births to meet the quota of 4 HG players and cover the 6 midfield positions utilised.


    So we are almost certain to Kantian

    Ramsey CAM
    Elneny CM/DM/CB

    Utilising 4 of 13 births and covering all 6 positions, handy but far from ideal with so few personnel.

    Some question marks surround Xhaka but I expect he will remain and face increased competition for starts. And Niles will certainly be named as part of the 25 man team whether registered or not.

    Which brings us to the supplements, namely:

    Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock, however, with the new manager, keen to assess all his options from all age categories, Sheaf, Tsu, Beilik and Kelechi Nwakali will all be hoping for a chance to impress and stake a claim on a first team position. Although it seems unlikely that any other than the first two will make that step up this year, they will have opportunities to impress with players unavailable in early pre season due to WC participation.

    This is where we consider Wilshere, he adds to HG status and we only have 6 names to call of 13 without him, if we include Xhaka and Niles. And we only need 2 further HG talents in my selection, retaining the player seems wise, even if we aim to make a little money a little later.

    With much made of a supposed drop in form towards the season close, I can only say,; 2 years out, kids, doubts about recovery and some smoking. It’s only good for us he rests. Pre-season is massive for this boy.

    With all the names loitering around, I still remain hopeful of picking up a cheap DM performer at WC, Meyer and Golovin.

    With Leno 3rd choice in the German set up, I cannot reassert strongly enough, not good enough. A case of ever since the audacious Lob on Seaman by the buck toothed Wizard. Oh he meant it.

    If we could only make a few pennies on Perez, Jenkinson, s fee of the elder academy players, especially the tsft of GK, 3 of whom are over 21, Cech and Ospina. To add to the trio of Mustarfi, Monreal and Welbeck, we could well make enough to reinvigorate out squad.

    If someone says we weren’t working on these deals going ahead already, make sure you leave your post code, or IP address so I can find you.


    The future is Red & White is it Holding(s) Too?

    It’s all about building on stone. U n Ai can make things happen, with a little careful value for money spending.

    Stephen is a great start.

    For once Sam may well be as right as his usual match day squad predictions, I.dstimate about 85% accuracy ranging to around 95%.

    Say it with me now:


    This squad is better than it shows, a lot better, Emery is no catalyst, more the trigger for the inevitable. Zizu summed it up, a new voice, Josè will relate, if we win, he will be the happiest supporter on the planet.

    Let’s do it for the General, he bled and does for your sins.

    For our doubters here is what said about our LB Cohen.

    His undoubted potential earned him a place on the pre- season tour of Australia and China, playing against Sydney FC, Chelsea and Bayern Munich.

    A keen sprinter in his youth, his previous football experience had all been at non-league level, with Kidsgrove Athletic, Alsager Town, Nantwich Town, Market Drayton and Newcastle Town. He is on loan to Birmingham City this season

    Championship is where you cut them, and if he tempted to ship both Mavrapanos and Holding there in the second half of the season, once EFL Cup is over and EL group stages.

    We got so much space in the squad it’s insane.

  15. I agree that it might be wise to sign a couple of FREE elder statesmen in key positions for 1 or 2 seasons and it has been done before with very good results for that matter.

    1)MANCHESTER UNITED (2001) SAF signed a FREE 35yr old Laurent Blanc for 2 seasons. In answering his critics SAF said he previously had 35yr old Steve Bruce and 36yr old Bryan Robson at United playing full matches. Blanc played 48 games & United got 3rd place in 2002 and…. you guessed it! the title in 2003.

    2)BARCELONA (2004) Rijkaard added s FREE 33yr old Henrik Larsson to a brand new star studded Barcelona front line with Ronaldhino and Eto’o both of whom were 23-24 at that time. Barca won two straight titles and -look away now- substitute Larsson assisted both Barca goals against Arsenal in 2006 CL final! Amazingly Larsson was offered a third 1-year deal which he turned down.

    Will the strategy produce similar results for Arsenal? Unfortunately it is not an exact science, moreover winning the title will require Man City under-performing in at least 13 games and probably losing 7 of those games, they basically have to get out of the way for a less powerful team to win it and that’s just not going to happen… or could it?

    The old boy-recruitment plan seems to be a cost effective way to stem that avalanche of away goals, given that we already have an attack that was close to delivering 80 goals last season. If the strategy works in our favour we could get back into top four and win some of the metal-ware available in 2019

  16. Sokratis, Lichtsteiner, Fellaini: GazidEmery’s arsenal starts looking a lot like 16-17 west ham with hart, evra, fonte, zabaleta … surely THE example to follow.
    after reading that, i’ve just watched again gazidis promising we would be “electrified” – no less – by the new man: i hgad a good laugh, thanks, ivan.
    i’d like anyone to explain to me how very talented young defenders (chambers, holding, mavropanos, …) are going to toughen up in away games, by NEVER playing in away games.
    as for osei-tutu, whose should-have-been-so-bright future has just been obscured by a guy whose signing is preposterous beyond belief, he now has only one sensible thing to do: run, jordi, run, far, far away from that loony bin.
    i try not to think of AW finding out about this mess … four weeks on, and the work of a lifetime is already going down the tubes …

  17. England must believe …

    with Kane and Deli Alli in the squad, England will be competing for the most dives in the tournament. Will they be punished for them?

    But in any event, England must believe that they will be coming home after the first round.

  18. I still have to laugh. All these people who know better than highly paid, qualified and vastly experienced professionals. I honestly don’t understand why Arsenal recruited a manager from a top European club when there are so many of our own supporters who are, apparently, far more able and would have cost less a mere fraction of the salary.

    I feel completely robbed that we didn’t recruit one of these incredibly knowledgeable people from within our own fan base and we could have then looked forward to a season of P38 W38 D0 L0 GF 200 GA0, together with three cups……………

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