By Sir Hardly Anyone
The shape of our new squad is starting to emerge with the Odegaard and Ramsdale transfers looking possibly like the final elements in the puzzle, although I’m still unclear of the future of Aubameyang and Lacazette.
But then up pops this gem:
“Bukayo Saka could be set for a shock Arsenal exit this summer as the Gunners frantically look to raise transfer funds. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will be forced to consider selling the academy graduate if the club fail to qualify for next season’s edition of the Champions League.”
Now that story appeared on 4 Apr 2021, on Eurosport’s web site and when taken in twice it seems “this summer” actually means “next summer”. Pesky things these little words like “this” and “next”, and journalists, well what do they know about words. It’s not as if they use them every day.
Anyway, we decided to take a set of stories that are appearing on websites the morning of 18 August. Here are ten more predictions.
1 Just Arsenal: a poor Arsenal defence
“The Gunners remain one of the most fragile members of England’s top six and could end this campaign in a disappointing position again because of their poor defence.”
Of course we won’t know until the end of the season, but we’ll get a taste of this one as time goes along but the fact remains that last season we had the third best defence in the league and it has not disintegrated over the summer. That’s from Just Arsenal.
2. The Express: Arteta to be sacked
“Arsenal change their stance on Mikel Arteta sacking as Antonio Conte stance comes to light.
“Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is already fighting for his job following his side’s 2-0 defeat to Brentford on Friday night. “For all the hype around Arteta, we still haven’t really seen what he’s about.”
It would however seem unlikely that having got through two highly successful managers in the last couple of years at the behest of journalists and bloggers that Arteta will not be sacked. Apart from the cost who would we get? But the Express thinks he’s going.
3. Arsenal’s next manager when Arteta sacked
“Brenden Rodgers and Steven Gerrard have been linked with the Arsenal manager’s job as pressure mounts on Mikel Arteta – after just ONE Premier League game.”
But really, neither Rogers nor Gerrard will become Arsenal manager this season nor next. I would expect a huge outcry from fans if either did. That one from Scotzine.
4. Auba to Barca
“Barcelona are ‘confident’ about signing Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang despite their player registration issues, according to reports.” So says the Express.
Auba might leave but Barca seems unlikely given their financial disaster. But of all the stories so far it could happen if Arsenal have a new centre forward lined up and Barca get some cash.
5. Players will go to WHU rather than Arsenal
“West Ham more attractive than Arsenal for transfer targets with European football on offer as club legend Ray Parlour worried Gunners will have to pay huge salaries for players to join them.” So says Talk Sprout.
TalkSport don’t do yesterday, so Arsenal’s 25 years in Europe (the all time English record and second in Europe only to Real Madrid) counts for nothing for them as they prefer four modest seasons in Europe in the last 20 years which is WHAMs record.
6. Only two or three players are of top four standard
“Mikel Arteta, compared to Chelsea, United, City and Liverpool, is working with absolutely nothing. Maybe only 2-3 of our players arguably enter any of those sides. That is a staggering difference in quality.” Just Arsenal News
But figures from Football Observatory at the end of last season showed just how highly rated our players actually are. Just because a lot of Arsenal fans follow the media in denouncing Xhaka does not mean that they are right and the statistics of the Observatory are wrong.
7. Living in the past
“Merson says he is struggling to see what the plan is at his former club, claiming they are ‘living in the past’. Merson wrote in his Sky Sports column: ‘It’s worrying at Arsenal. You’re still thinking: “Where are they going?”
Arsenal’s tactical transformation last season was something no one had ever seen before and led to Arsenal being the second best team in the league through the last two thirds of the season. The problem is that to understand it you need to read statistics, and most ex-footballers can’t cope with statistics. It was probably all that heading of the ball.
8 Arteta’s job not safe
“Eurosport’s Dean Jones has claimed the Spaniard’s job is ‘isn’t safe’ like it was last season.” Express
Our view: It would be the height of folly to take Arsenal onto a situation of having four managers in five years. His job is safe. Our owners might have been swayed by the media a year ago, but they are now fully conversant with the change around last season, and were annoyed the media couldn’t understand it. (We have that one since one of us was in a zoom meeting with Josh Kroenke and he brought the matter up).
9 Six more Arsenal players going.
“Mikel Arteta and Edu are open to selling Hector Bellerin, Sead Kolasinac, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson, Lucas Torreira and Willian.” TBR
It is possible that these players will all go, but the trouble is, the media’s constant negative portrayal of them makes it hard for Arsenal to make any reasonable sales. Certainly regular managerial changes always give this problem.
10. Arsenal to sign Aouar
Links to Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar have resurfaced in recent days with Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano revealing that the Gunners – as well as north London rivals Tottenham – are in contact with the Frenchman’s agent.
But when Football.London, owned by the Mirror, are reduced to quoting a story that has just appeared in the Mirror, and then cites the Mirror as its source, it usually means it is not true.
- Arsenal’s fouls dropped by 22% last season – but did it help?
- Amazingly, in 2020/1 the more clubs tackled, the more goals they let in!
- How Arsenal’s 40% decline in tackling over the past five years has sparked the revival
- The Great Arsenal Untruth: does it matter?
- As football supporters we are being brainwashed.
- What Europe knows about Man C but the English press haven’t told you
- Arsenal v Manchester City Women’s Continental League Cup semi-final – match preview
- How Man City’s problems began to arise…. nine years ago
- The media pile into Manchester City, but where have they been all this time?
- Manchester City accused of over 100 breaches of Premier League financial rules