Interlull = Transfer Speculation: Full backs edition

65

Step right up, step right up. It’s the Interlull and without football your life is empty, meaningless and shallow, right?

Well, it doesn’t have to be because instead of football we have increased transfer speculation. That’s the real excitement here. Forgot beautiful goals, slick passing moves, skill and desire and all those other irrelevances, it’s who is going to buy another human being from who that really drives us.

bellerinelmundoAs ever there’s some Arsenal involvement. First up, Hector Bellerin.

This morning’s guff comes from El Mundo Deportivo, Catalan sport daily and a publication with more than a little history involving speculative guff about Arsenal players.

Their headline reads: If Alves goes, the objective of Barcelona is Bellerin.

However, the article itself is quite bonkers. It’s not the usual ‘Let’s unsettle an Arsenal player’ kinda thing, it links the young Spaniard with a move to almost every big club in Europe. They suggest the following clubs are interested in him:

  • Bayern Munich (they have ‘come to learn’ this)
  • Barcelona (obviously, he’s Catalan innit)
  • Manchester City (Guardiola)
  • Manchester United
  • Chelsea
  • PSG (because Serge Aurier is a lunatic)

And that’s only some of the big clubs that want him. They go on to say that Bellerin is in no rush because he’s happy at Arsenal and has signed a deal until 2019 (we think it’s 2020 actually, but our vision could be slightly off on this one).

Anyway, it’s a massive jumble of an article, and while the Bellerin – Barcelona connections are going to be dragged up over and over again, especially as they look to replace Alves, there’s not much in this article that should have Gooners worried.

We’re giving this one a solid 10 on the poo-o-meter.

10poos

Meanwhile, the Independent this morning link us with Portuguese left-back Raphael Guerreiro who currently plays for FC Lorient.

With Kieran Gibbs unhappy at being a peripheral figure this season and Nacho Monreal established as first choice, the England international is set to leave in the summer, and Arsenal will need a replacement.

Guerreiro is 22 and has made 27 Ligue 1 appearances for Lorient this season, scoring 3 goals, so it remains to be seen if he’s willing to play understudy for a little while. But certainly in terms of age and profile he fits the requirements if Gibbs does go.

As such, a decent 5 is in order.

5poos

More as the Interlull progresses no doubt.

65 COMMENTS

  1. Worth mentioning that we are on very good terms with Lorient. We bought Koscielny from then, while Coq, Campbell, and Sunu (remember him?) were all on loan there.

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  2. Unless Arsenal start acting like a big club Bellerin will go, jus like Fabregas, RVP and Nasri before him, it might not be this summer but the one after is a possibility.

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        • Not everyone, but definitely RVP. Other than Arsenal, no club would’ve given an injury-prone striker 9-10 seasons. Then he is fit for one whole season; he is top-scorer in the league. He decides that he’s too good for Arsenal and moves to a direct rival. Let’s face it, all those players have won trophies with other clubs but we did more for RVP than anyone else. If we could’ve expected loyalty from anyone, it was RVP.

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          • Bit of a denial if you think none of the other top clubs wouldn’t have taken a punt on Van P if we didn’t renew his contract and let him go on a free.

            And not to justify him, but it was stated that he wanted to say but felt the team as it were weren’t good enough and tried to force Wenger’s hand into buying more WC players.

            Something a lot of fans are currently having issues with.

            The moving to United thing is a downer.

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    • Yeah and perhaps he can look at Fabregas wonderful experience at Barca as a guide.
      Investments can go down as well as up….

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      • Yeah it was such a disaster!!

        151 games, 42 goals, a Spanish league, a Spanish cup, a World Club cup, a super cup and 2 Spanish super cups in 3 seasons, if only he’d maintained the massive success he had with us with them!!!

        And at Chelsea he’s become a premier league and league cup winner, and this whilst we’ve done what? 2 FA Cups, there’s no argument that can be made that he didn’t make the right decision.

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        • If you saw his face when his own barca fans boo’d him off then you’d appreciate that it’s a time the 2faced Spaniard would like to forget. After the initial jubilation he was a shadow of his old self, irrespective of silverware.

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          • So despite trophies and stats to prove otherwise his time at Barcelona was in your opinion a failure because of the look on his face for 10 seconds when the Barca fan boo’ed him?!

            Arsene Wenger’s pulled all sorts of faces and has been boo’ed several times by Arsenal fan’s over the last couple of weeks does that also make him a failure in your opinion?

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          • Of course us arsenal fans would never boo one or our own players or berate them for a downturn in form…

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          • PetyB, would that make the player feel good about his time with us?

            John C, As I said, If you’d see his face… I don’t think he has a particularly good feeling about his time there.

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  3. Just riffing on the idea of Gibbs leaving and Elneny having joined… Maybe we will see a reshaping with pace up and down the wings (a la Bellerin) and by contrast possession and security in the midfield. Fun to speculate… Kroos and Granit anyone?

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    • Where would you play Kroos? I’d rather get Lukaku and Wanyama(1 year left on contract this summer). Also, while the kid from Lorient might be a good prospect, this is the time to get someone Jose Gaya. He’s already established and very reputed in La liga. I don’t think Barcelona, RM, or United need a LB this summer. Chelsea do have Ake but they might still compete. We should be able to dangle the CL carrot and sign Gaya over chelsea. City might try to get him at which point he certainly won’t come to Arsenal, but we should try at-least.

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      • Lukaku yes, Wanyama not if he came with a guarantee that Spurms would be relegated every year for the next century.

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  4. The shit starts now to defelect attention from our failure this season and think about the rumours of the summer singing that never comes.

    Some of it not the club fault, but some of it our great PR department. The war chest I’ve heard is 100/150 million this summer!!!. Laugh or cry, we all know there will be no quladdy in da market, LANS in jack, El, Santi

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    • Our PR department is football equivalent of crack for me! I’m buying! I’m using! Helps me forget… So it’s Lukaku, Reus and Kroos for me. Taxi’s for Walcott, Sonogo, Ox, Rosicky, Arteta, Flamini, Debuchy ans Szczesney.

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    • I dont think dodgy ‘news stories’ about two players leaving has anything to do with club PR. Usually its used to get people on board. Dont think selling two players fits into this bracket.

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  5. Would be sad to see Gibbs go but wouldn’t blame him for wanting more game time. Been a good servant to the club and a little unlucky that Monreal cranked up his performances so well.

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  6. Wouldn’t begrudge Gibbs leaving, can imagine being out of the England set-up probably compounds his situation and at his age he should be playing regularly.

    It’s not his fault- but wherever he goes I’d be surprised to see him make it through a season unscathed. He is very much part of the extremely fragile group of half a dozen or so players we have, it hasn’t helped his career at all.

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    • Now that he is definitely second choice and restricted to cameos here and there,he stays injury free. Such is the renowned Arsenal injury luck.

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  7. But the real question is who should be making the transfer deals this summer.

    Why should this utter failure of a manger be allowed to spend a single penny of the club’s cash during the coming close season? Why should he remain our manager after the end of this campaign? How can this sad, deluded loser – who can’t now finish above even Spurs and Leicester – be allowed to continue in his post?

    Yesterday, Wenger was moaning about the “negativity” surrounding the club. He just doesn’t get it, does he? It’s so sad that a club of our stature and history is being controlled by people who have no idea of what the name “Arsenal” stands for. And how can a man who managed us for 20 years not see that what has happened over the last few seasons is completely unacceptable?

    We are now a sad, pathetic joke. At any other top European club, Wenger would have gone years ago. This season’s predictable collapse should have been the absolute last straw . But somehow this tragic man – who clearly has no idea of just how utterly ridiculous he looks right now – is about to carry on regardless and take us into another season of underachievement and disappointment.

    How long can this madness continue?

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    • An “utter failure” of a manager would be Tim Sherwood or Paolo Di Canio, not Arsene Wenger

      We can still finish above both Spurs and Liecester

      Mesut Ozil came to Arsenal to play under Arsene Wenger. Wenger also signed Alexis Sanchez and Petr Cech. If a world class player is available, he can sign him.

      Wenger isn’t going anywhere so get behind the team

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      • Why are you mentioning Tim Sherwood and Paulo Di Canio? They got sacked by their clubs as soon as they showed any period of underperformance.

        Even all the big clubs which have underperformed this season have seen their managers sacked or will leave at end if this season – Maureen, Pellegrini, Brenda, LVG.

        Wenger has clearly underperformed with the resources he has available. He is fortunate that the owner is only interested in 4th place ChampIons League cash, so he knows his job is safe.

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        • Those names were cited because “Utter Failure” is overstating it by quite some way. The kind of exaggeration we get when we’ve become comfy with not having to tumble down the table for a long period.

          All of those other clubs under-performed worse than Arsenal by all expectations at the beginning of the season. Title holders, Biggest wage packets in the league, biggest financial powerhouses, and all three figured to come in ahead of Arsenal.

          Liverpool was excepted from the above. But it’s Liverpool. They’ve been BINO for a while now.

          Perhaps he feels his job is safe because he’s the only of the Big Clubs to have actually been putting up a run for the title until the bad patch of form, and there’s still an (admittedly quite slim) outside chance to get there.

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          • It’s funny how people use Liverpool as an example of what Arsenal could become if we change manager, however in the 12 years after their last league title campaign i.e. 1990 -2002, Liverpool won 2 FA Cups, 2 League Cups and a UEFA Cup!

            If only our success was as good as their failure!

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    • Everyone is entitled to their opinion but I think you’ve been a bit disrespctful with how you’ve chosen to describe a manager who has brought us success that none of us would’ve dare dream about in the mid-90s. He will go eventually!

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    • “A sad, pathetic joke”? “Utter failure of a manager” (or even of a manger)? Really?

      Currently third in the most competitive league in Europe. Consistently successful (maybe not as much as we fans dream of, but even so…). The most respected manager (outside of a coterie of so-called Arsenal fans) in England and much of Europe.

      I suspect if you’d just been served a freshly drawn pint of your favourite libation, you’d still consider it half-empty.

      I recognise that you regard yourself as an Arsenal fan. I have some respect for that. But I don’t regard such “fans” as yourself “supporters” any more, because you don’t support the team, you take every missed opportunity, every poor performance, as an excuse to insult and pour scorn on the Arsenal and its players and manager. You’re in the “fan” business, not for Arsenal’s sake, but just to give yourself kicks. And you get your kicks from insulting people.

      I’m getting very angry. Not at the Arsenal, or Arsène Wenger, or Theo Walcott, or even Stan Kroenke or whoever the latest butt of these insults happens to be. But at fans who have no class. At johnny-come-lately fans who think they “deserve” success because that’s what they’ve come to expect under Le Prof and know nothing else, and at long-standing fans like yourself, who have been given a taste of glory the club hasn’t known since the 1930’s and appear to regard it as a personal insult if it doesn’t continue and reach even greater heights.

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        • Couldn’t have put it any better clock-end-mike. well palyed!

          You laid down the gauntlet beautifully. No shades of grey. Simple, are you a “fan” or “supporter?”

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      • Sorry Clock-end Mike but you are wrong.

        There is an inherent dishonesty to the way Arsenal and in particular Arsene Wenger run the club and they are committing one of the biggest crimes you can commit in sport, the crime of playing within themselves.

        Arsenal are the 6th or 7th richest team in the world, with the largest cash reserves and highest gate receipts but settle for nothing more than qualifying for and being knocked out of the Champions League at the last 16 stage.

        Arsenal’s and Arsene Wenger’s modus operandi is dishonest to the core, it’s the football equivalent of Usain Bolt jogging down the track in the Olympic 100m final, or a boxer that won’t throw a punch, in any other sport Arsenal’s behaviour would be reviewed with the suspicion there’s a fix on. Premier League teams have been fined for not putting out their strongest team but we’ve been doing in every week for several seasons now, preferring to have our resources stuck in a bank and not on the pitch.

        How many clubs would love to have the cash that Arsenal have available?! I would suggest 16 in the premier league and every club below that but Arsenal won’t use those resources to try and climb to the top, hell no, but they will to keep everyone else below them at arms length. We’ll buy enough quality to finish top 4 but just not enough to win, even though we could buy that striker we need, as i said it’s dishonest.

        So you might be happy with that deceitful behaviour but you have no right to criticise those that aren’t!

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        • I’m sorry for you if you believe that.

          Only an “Arsenal fan” (and not a supporter) would even think of accusing Arsène Wenger of dishonesty — pretty much no one else in the game would (with the possible exception of a few headline-seeking pundits and journalists and a certain Portuguese ex-manager). Le Prof wears his heart on his sleeve, he’s respected by all those who have served with him and played under him, and the last thing you should be accusing him of is dishonesty.

          You really think he settles for qualifying for the Champions League? You really think he’s satisfied with getting no further than the round of 16? You really believe that he deliberately fields under-strength teams? He loves football, he would be the first to speak out against dishonesty. He wants to win, but like most managers, he wants to do it his way, with entertaining football — and history has shown that he can.

          You really believe that he hasn’t tried to find just that striker who would fit and complete his team, who might displace the likes of Welbeck, Giroud, et al to mere supporting rolea? Not just any mult-million-pound striker who can be bought off the supermarket shelves, mind, but the player who will play for the Arsenal, respect the club, and give 105% for the manager? We know he tried hard to sign Higuain and Suarez in the past (though I never wanted Suarez at the club); he hoped, but failed, to sign Eden Hazard (a player who could have become a far better player at The Arsenal than where he is now). Who knows who he would have liked to sign last summer? Do you? I don’t believe he just signed Cech and then sat back and said that was enough. But maybe you know his mind and what goes on behind his office door better than I do. I’m only guessing, based on his recent history of breaking the club record to sign Özil, and of persuading Alexis to come to Arsenal.

          Le Prof said recently something to the effect that two of the biggest bargains whose signing he’s been involved in have been Paddy Vieira and Mesut Özil. The point he was making was that Vieira was signed for a not-so-significant sum, a real bargain; and that paying a club record fee (by some way) for Özil was just as much a bargain. In other words, he’s prepared to pay the cash for the right player. Not waste money, but spend wisely.

          I don’t criticise people for disagreeing with me. But I do criticise people who show such a total lack of respect. I’m sure it’s borne out of frustration, but that doesn’t justify such insults as I was commenting on.

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          • To answer your question, i do think he settles for only qualifying for the champions league, he said himself he’d take 2nd place twenty years in a row if offered, so it’s come right from the horses mouth.

            Yes he has deliberately fielded weaken teams, remember when Arshavin was our best player and Wenger left him out of the FA Cup semi vs Chelsea because he wanted to see how the team would perform without him?!

            The striker issue is the very definition of dishonesty, he could have bought either player you mentioned but didn’t on the grounds of cost, even though Arsenal could and can afford it. He’s then gone on the complain that we don’t score enough goals even though Giroud (who he said was good enough) is performing to the same standard as he has every other season he’s been with us, which as we know has never been good enough to win us the league.

            And what does it mean when he says that Vieira and Ozil were the biggest bargains of his career? It’s completely meaningless statement.

            Sorry Clock-end Mike but you’re confusing being an Arsenal Supporter with being an Arsene Supporter, and i know which one i am.

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          • No, John, I’m an Arsenal supporter, and have been since the early 1970s, long before Arsène Wenger, and will be after he’s gone. While he’s our manager, yes, I will support him.

            I could argue points with you (yes, he hasn’t always fielded every strongest player, neither has any manager, but he wasn’t dishonest about it; the reason he didn’t manage to sign Hazard, for example, was, if I remember right, that with the wages he was being offered by Chelsea it would have meant completely busting the whole Arsenal wage structure to outbid them, it wasn’t just the transfer fee; the reason he didn’t manage to sign Suarez was apparently because Liverpool didn’t honour a release clause in his contract; I don’t know about Higuain, I think he just chose to go somewhere else). You think getting who you want is just a matter of money, obviously — throw enough money at any problem, and it just disappears. You’ve got a lot to learn about life if you think that.

            I don’t agree with everything the manager does, but I’m not arrogant enough to think I know better than he does how to manage a football team. I respect him, but I don’t worship him. I just don’t believe he deserves the insults (accusations of being an “utter failure” or of persistent dishonesty) that people who claim to be Arsenal fans hurl at him.

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          • A very sensible set of posts Mike. I am now of the belief that we need fresh ideas as we have become stale. For all Arsenes assets and he has many his faults have become too repetitive. I like you have supported Arsenal since the 70’s and will never forget going to Wembley in 78 and the disappointment, my friend broke down crying at the final whistle. The joy the following year against United will never leave me. I was 16 and witnessed Arsenal lift the fa cup. Oh how times change hey. Fucking Internet has a lot to answer for.

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          • Oh, and Fatgooner, I’ll own up to being Ivan Gazidis if you admit you’re really Jose Mourinho 🙂

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          • Clock-end Mike your massive contradiction isn’t missed on me.

            You write that we didn’t purchase either Hazard or Suarez due to not offering enough on wages and transfer fees, you then say that offering more money wasn’t the answer, which obviously was the answer if we didn’t offer enough of it!! If you’re wanting to dissuade those with gripes about the manager you need to find an argument without such an obvious hole in it.

            That and saying that he isn’t dishonest, but he is sometimes is, also doesn’t strengthen your argument.

            I know that a lot of these issues are in isolation relatively minor but added up they represent a pattern that many of us want to see changed and the man’s personal support is being withdrawn by many, polls would suggest the majority.

            I’m sorry you don’t like it but we’re going to have to respectfully disagree with one another.

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        • “Arsenal’s and Arsene Wenger’s modus operandi is dishonest to the core, it’s the football equivalent of Usain Bolt jogging down the track in the Olympic 100m final, or a boxer that won’t throw a punch, in any other sport Arsenal’s behaviour would be reviewed with the suspicion there’s a fix on. Premier League teams have been fined for not putting out their strongest team but we’ve been doing in every week for several seasons now, preferring to have our resources stuck in a bank and not on the pitch.”
          This exactly is the problem with Arsenal, the board, Wenger and the players. It’s alright to lose to the worst Manu team ever, it’s ok to play like shit and lose to Westham at home, it’s ok to finish fourth every season, it’s ok to play like clubfooted hippos in the champions league group stage, shoot themselves in the foot in the knockout home game and ultimately exit the competition, it’s ok not to buy a single outfield player despite having more cash reserves than all other English top tier clubs put together, it’s ok to be also rans, as long as we make a ton of profit and hoard even more money in the cash reserves.
          I’m not going to insult Arsene Wenger but with his attitude and the permanent mistakes he makes, we’ll never be a top class team. Just like refusing to sign top class players to take us to the next level, i had hoped Arsenal would sign Pep Guardiola after he became available, and Wenger would retire gracefully with a standing ovation for his achievements but no, we’d rather stick with the status quo, finish below Tottenham and Leicester and go trophiless for another season. With our resources, we ought to show a lot more ambition and fight but the board, Wenger, players and most fans are happy with mediocrity.

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  8. Fatgooner how are you so sure that post Wenger era will be a really successful one? What happens if the same situation like Man Utd. arises at our club? Which manager do you suggest? Also read yesterday’s arseblog and you will find a lot of insight to as how changing our manager will lead to a complete overhaul of the system and not just the manager. We should only advocate something if we are prepared to face the consequences. COYG!! Let’s at least support the manager and the team this season and leave this negativity till the end of this season..

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    • Why are you so negative about what might happen when Wenger eventually leaves?
      Have you considered that there is a possibility that things might actually improve? Or are you just a glass half empty type of guy?

      When Leicester got rid of Pearson in the summer and brought in Ranieri, all the fans were disgruntled by the decision (even Lineker tweeting something negative). Look at them now – they are going to win the fucking Premier League!

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      • Whether the fans are happy or not is irrelevant. Lots of teams change managers and lots of managers don’t succeed, and a few of them do succeed.
        There was an enormous shout for us to get Klopp (who I personally like and think may do well in a few years time) but he hasn’t miraculously changed mugsmasher fortunes.
        Similarly do you really think Ranieri (who is also one of the few managers I like and the man that built the squad for MaureenO) would have Leicester in the same league position if they played in the CL and had the benefit of some iffy officials?
        We’ve had comments on here over the years saying we should get such footballing greats as Owen Coyle, Paul Jewell, David Moyes and many other non-entities.
        Of course we should be wary of changing the manager…

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        • Klopp’s first season and they are 7 points behind 4th spot with a game in hand. He has come to a club which needs a complete overhaul. Arsenal is more or less set up with either very good or great players in most if not all positions. One or two signings would take us over the edge, although, this season, I feel our squad was good enough, and has indeed underachieved. As for Liverpool, they need at least 5 or 6 players, as well as an entire system change. Judge Klopp next season after he has had the opportunity to paint Liverpool in his chosen colours.

          As for Arsene Wenger, he has had at least 3 seasons since the shackles of paying off the stadium debt came off. There is absolutely no excuse now not to seriously challenge for the league – rather, we 11 points behind the leaders and require 3 snookers. There is no excuse for Arsene Wenger not to put in a real challenge where we are in real contention come May.

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  9. we all know bellerins gonna leave for barca in next 2 3 years. we sell superstars we buy prospects… sadly.

    u can downvote this comment. but you still know deep down that its the truth.
    sincerely, a sad gooner.

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    • If I name 3 superstars we have signed in last 3 years, Ozil, Sanchez and Cech. Can you name what superstar we have sold in last 3 years. If you can I’m willing to believe your truth??

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      • they were all unwanted players at their clubs which were upgrading them (2 won champions league afterwards the other have courtios themselves) n were wanted by likes of liverpool other than us n we didnt have any superstar to sell really. any so called big club buys 2 3 or more of these players each season. we are not the one who buys the superstar big teams are after. man city chelsea real barca bayern psg man utd. they all have the players we “almost signed”. but all in all… i said it man you can downvote it n argue it but are we the club who buys pogbas or suarezs? or are we the club who sells bellerins?
        deep down we all know its sad but still stan true

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          • really? we almost signed everyone mate, literally. its a advertising aproach if u havent figured it yet. called “hope” which also is killing us. next year is our year coyg… we’ll sign only top top elneny n gabriel. we are strong enough. cant find anything that upgrades us. on our day we beat anyone. we’ll win it all.
            fuck u

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  10. When you’ve got two good left backs it will be sad if one of them goes. Let’s be honest, it’s hardly like Pascal Cygan or Igor Stepanovs have announced they would prefer first team football! To all the Wenger out campaigners let’s remember he’s a quality manager with a record that speaks for itself. There’s a problem at the club with balance. The balance between spending big and bring through and relying on the youth at the club. If Wenger finally gets the message then next season could be very exciting, if not, then I’m joining the “out” clubs after many months, maybe years even, of sitting on the fence. With all the protests, surly a message must have got across. Let’s give Arsene one more chance.

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  11. Can we not just leave the AW issue for the moment and enjoy some idle transfer speculation. Is there anything better.
    So I was thinking we need to shift a few and some will retire or go to the USA. Benteke is having a stinker but I would definitely do a swap deal to move a stagnant Walcott out if the club. Reus would be a great addition. Lukaku may well be too expensive now or could we off hire a gibbs and ox as a part exchange. OG to juve may not be too wide of the mark. Kroos? Can’t see him at real for too much longer.
    Elnenny looks like the inexpensive holding strong midfielder we need. Now a big strong fast a b d intelligent ccentre half.
    Nothing else to do enjoy the speculation.

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  12. Don’t want to be overly negative, nor do I think it will happen this season or even next. But, how many of us would truly begrudge Hector a move to this Barcelona team? Likely to win the champions league this year and maybe next year too. As much as loyalty should mean a lot, footballers are professionals like anybody else and like in any other job this is a form of career progression. Also, the development he could make learning from players like Alves is surely tempting.

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  13. I dunno. He could be a flop or a bit part in spain. If he sticks around here, he could be a legend. My advice, stay in London, and chose immortality, rather than pissing off and turning into Cesc or Cashley. Namely, cunts.

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  14. I am equally disappointed in our overall position. But it’s unreasonable to say Wenger’s a failure. I’m very positive he means well for the club and I still believe he’s the best man for Arsenal. He’d leave eventually and when he does you’d all know what a giant shoe he’s left to fill

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  15. The players we may move on are/should be :

    1)Arteta
    2)and Rosicky.

    I mentioned last summer they are great players. Rosicky is one of my favorite players, silky skills, fantastic vision and 100% commited. But Tommy is injury prone and aging. He may have a lower footballing age but the wear and tear will only continue to make him less available to us.

    Ditto Arteta. He has been an absolute stalwart for us brought in to stabilise a sinking ship for Wenger with key departures and inexperience aplenty. But again wear and tear issues should have meant we should really had moved him last summer.

    3)Walcott

    Should the England man continue to show erratic form, we have enough pace around the team to compensate. At 27+, his pace will start to wane. Should we sell him on for a suitable price, we can use the money and the freed up wages to finance a more nuanced and crafty striker to complement the physical Giroud and the more direct Welbeck.

    The rest of the team should be kept.

    Metersecker as I mentioned is a much better player and an important one than many imagine. We have opportunity to bring in another Cback if need be (or should Hayden rise to the challenge), but Per’s experience is invaluable. His positioning is an asset. He will start to take a senior retiring role over next couple of seasons to smoothly transition in Gabriel-Koscielny or a new Cback.

    Flamini. Ditto as above. A much better player than many imagine. He found good equilibrium with Ramsey for a while. Coquelin coming back in has struggled with Ramsey and to some extent Elneny until recent game and it has cost us a good 9 goals over 5 games! Flamini is a very useful player to keep as a senior voice and for experience/back up particularly because he can perform a utility role. With Chambers coming in (likely) to cover Bellerin as a Rback alternate, Flamini can act as insurance in the position too at the same time adding a third DM. My feeling is we still need one more CM/DM because Ramsey and Jack are injury prone and this even with Flamini in the squad. What you do get from Flamini at very least is he won’t be discontent with coming off the bench to cover during difficult injury hit periods.

    The other area we need to be aware of is at Lback.

    Monreal has been excellent. Gibbs is a decent alternate but we really need to be concern with talent scouting a younger player to groom in place of either over next 2-3 seasons.

    Other than that, the basis of this squad is very solid with plenty of experience in every position and young potential coming through.

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  16. I’ve always said it, the only thing that separates Wenger from other top managers in the game is his stupid lack of ambition demonstrated in his stupid reluctance to strengthen the squad with a few world class players and make Arsenal more competitive.

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