Arsenal finally admit to dallying in the transfer market

Arsenal supporters received a direct message from the club yesterday. The message read: we are ready to sign Mustafi but… we also want to sign a striker… and we are trying to keep the cost of the Mustafi deal down in order to sign a striker. The direct part of that message? Arsenal are once again dallying in the transfer market.

David Ornstein is the BBC Reporter who covers Arsenal. When he tweets or writes about Arsenal the source is most likely Arsenal. It’s safe to say that the tweets he sent out were meant to communicate on behalf of the club.

The first read:

Arsenal is saying that they don’t like the price Valencia is asking for Mustafi. However, Valencia should see right through the idea that Toprak and Kjaer are real alternatives. Because if Arsenal were serious about either player they would have walked away from Valencia and gone out and signed one or both of those players.

Arsenal, I mean Ornstein, goes on to clarify why Arsenal don’t like the price for Mustafi:

There’s the big tease: Arsenal don’t want to spend too much on Mustafi because they are trying to save money to sign a striker. It’s a strange attempt to appease and excite the Arsenal fanbase.

On the one hand they are saying that they could have a deal done but they want to make sure they have enough money leftover to buy a striker. That is exciting. It means that Arsenal have a plan and that this striker is a big enough name that he’s going to cost a lot of money.

On the other hand it’s an admission that Arsenal are still penny-pinching and an admission that they aren’t being decisive in the market. Both of those facts are what got us into this problem in the first place.

The second tweet needs a little more dissection. First, the speculation is that the striker in question is Griezmann. He’s a known Arsenal fan and even plays with Arsenal on his Play Station. This is the modern equivalent of having Arsenal bed sheets. He also has a release clause for £85.5m. All Arsenal would need to do is convince Griezmann that he should leave Diego Simeone and come to London. Therein lies the problem.

Getting Griezmann at Arsenal would mean rebuilding the club around him as our star. The problem from Griezmann’s perspective is that Arsenal have a track record of taking big stars like Griezmann and not building around them completely. Specifically, Arsenal have a record of dallying in the market then making due with the players we have and not quite getting over the line. We did it with Cesc and now we’ve done it with Özil and Alexis.

So, in a weird way, not buying Mustafi in order to have enough money to buy “a striker” sends “a striker” the message that Arsenal are going to keep doing the same things that they have been doing for the last 10 years. Why would he trust that Arsenal are going to do what’s necessary to build around him when they won’t even buy the center back they so clearly need — a player who wants to join Arsenal!

The other speculation is that this striker is Lewandowski, Lukaku or even Mahrez. Griezmann is just the example, no matter who the player is, if it’s Griezmann, Lukaku or Mahrez (Lewandowski is too old), the club should be targeting building a team full of winners who want to get Arsenal to the next level. The next level being “winning the League” and “winning the Champions League”. But I don’t think we are talking about Griezmann here. I think we are targeting someone a few notches below him.

Arsenal have beaten the fans down now for 15 years saying that we are a poor club. Arsenal is not a poor club. This is the 7th richest club in world football in terms of revenue. This club will be top five richest club in terms of revenue next year. Arsenal also have £250m cash on hand with well over £100m of that available for buying players.

Not only that but Arsenal have saleable assets. Theo Walcott would be a quick sale — you won’t get top dollar for him but teams would love to have him. His salary could be combined with the salary of someone else like Joel Campbell or Ox, who would also be easy to move to pay a mega salary for a player like Griezmann. As well, some of our younger players like Rene-Adelaide, Gnabry, and Akpom could all be used to generate cash to cover costs. Obviously, you don’t have to sell all of them but a few of them would be enough. Gnabry would fetch £10m at least and the chance that he’s getting into this first team this season is very slim.

The books are all available online. We all know how much cash they reported to have on hand and we all know that the Swiss Ramble estimated the available transfer cash at £100m. With the way that Arsenal pay for players in installments and with the incoming television money increasing Arsenal’s spending power I would suggest that Arsenal’s transfer budget should be somewhere around £120m.

But here is where Arsenal put their thumb on the scale and Ornstein says that Arsenal have to factor in salary, agent fees, and transfers into their transfer budget. If that is truly how they are doing this then Griezmann is off the table. Arsenal have already spent £45m in transfers, with salary and agent’s fees that’s probably £60m. Arsenal next want to sign Mustafi and let’s say they get him for £15m, that’s another £20m off the transfer budget. That leaves just £40m left to spend. That’s not Griezmann, that’s Lacazette. And that makes this story so much more underwhelming.

Getting Griezmann in at Arsenal was always fanciful at best. Wenger and Arsenal are, instead, just doing what they have done for the last 10 years: wasting time in the transfer market, being cheap, and showing a willingness to put important deals at risk (Mustafi) in order to try to get the very last dollar out of every transfer. It’s infuriating but at least they are finally honest about it.

Meanwhile, Arsenal play Leicester this weekend with a makeshift back line and most of our star players lacking 100% fitness. Arsenal have already dropped three points and a further three could be on the line. If points were as important as money, I guarantee Arsenal wouldn’t drop them.

Qq

63 Comments on Arsenal finally admit to dallying in the transfer market

  1. One more thing: I don’t care if Arsenal get good deals in the transfer market. I didn’t fall in love with Arsenal because they got Patrick Vieira on the cheap. I fell in love with Arsenal because they beat Man U at Old Trafford. Back in the day, Wenger was able to exploit his specialized knowledge of the players in France in order to get great deals. That specialized knowledge has dried up and good deals these days are rarer than good film adaptations of comic books. So, without that specialized knowledge I expect Arsenal to simply buy the players they need and spend the money they have. It’s pretty simple, actually, and would free Wenger up to do what he really loves; coaching. Then, maybe, we could have another title run one day.

    Though I doubt it, he seems to enjoy bargaining more than actually coaching.

    • Arsenal should definitely spend the whole wad all at once then account for it over several years because they certainly won’t have to buy players next year.

      I mean, it’s sort of like buying a house, but you only plan on buying a house once. Not every year…

        • So does the price of players, you can’t look at your increased revenues as buying you better players unless it is rising faster than others in the market, or if you, somehow, are able to find…value.

          • If we spend all of the cash reserves this summer Arsenal will still be able to buy players next summer. They earn massive profits every season, building the cash reserves season after season, even after spending over £100m in the last three seasons.

            I know what you’re trying to do/say here and it’s flat out wrong. It’s a lie. Arsenal have huge cash reserves, they have huge revenues, the revenues are growing, they have massive assets. If they spent every dime in the “transfer account”, all £100m+ of it, they will still be able to buy more players next season.

          • They don’t earn massive profits every season. The last year they made a profit before player sales was 2011.

    • I’m not advocating not spending cash reserves, just talking about pretending 100m is 120m because you can “spread out the payments”. By all means spend the 100m

  2. All the ingredients are there for a backup defender option and a bargain striker option, or Mustafi alone and a “we tried” from Arsenal. Such transparent nonsense from the club.

  3. I actually believe we will sign Mustafi, although for the life of me I can’t understand the PR logic behind those tweets. Just try and imagine this infotmation coming from a different club. Hey you guys, I know we need a central defender but with the money in the piggy bank we’ve been collecting from selling boy scout cookies, we can only afford Mustafi for free so we can then try to get the bestest footballer in the whole universe. It’s getting ridicilous by the day.

    Here’s what I think will happen. We will buy Mustafi and probably overpay a bit, and then in the last days we will get someone who is not the striker we need, but a relatively big name, like James Rodriguez, and then play him on the wing. And we will not know whether we should be satisfied with this or no, so we give it another season to see, until next summer comes and the same story starts all over again.

    • An upgrade to the team is an upgrade to the team, so I will take James on the wing over Theo Walcott. Yes. Or Mahrez if we “settle” for him. But this strikes me entirely as Arsenal paving the way for doing not much of anything. I do think we’ll get Mustafi and then nothing else will happen. Either we don’t really care to do more in terms of buying players who are available, or we actually are delusional enough to believe that a big name player worth crazy money wants to join us right now. If we actually believed that, why would we tell the world that we were trying to do that? And that we had tons of cash set aside for it? That would so not be Arsene’s modus operandi. It all smells like nonsense to me. As usual.

    • I think you may be on to something here; we sign Mustafi and then James (Ospina’s brother-in-law) who is in the discard bin at Real. We pay 40m for James and then have another Ramsey on the squad; an attacking midfielder too slow to play the flanks, not quite right to be a striker.

  4. Another way to look at this set of tweets is that they could have had Mustafi in but it was more important for Arsenal to save money and fit some arbitrary transfer budget than to have a settled back line against Liverpool.

  5. Well written and so correct. The problem is shortsightedness, get the players you need and winning the PL or the Champions league and any outlay is very quickly recovered plus of course playing in front of an excited capacity crowd. Arsenal will very quickly lose a lot of it’s amazing support unless they get their heads out of their ass. Usmanov must be pulling his hair out||||

  6. Dear Timbo
    Your writing above is thoughtful and sad.
    I feel your pain.
    By now we should be challenging the big boys ….with our quality.
    We waited long enough
    We all know about Arsene’s lack of tactically prowess, but the mentality haven’t changed, even with the change in players.

    I’m actually afraid of this coming season.

    • I’m not afraid anymore. When Liverpool got their 4th I genuinely laughed, and hoped they’d get 7. Arsenal deserve to be humiliated. I used to feel sorry for those still attending matches, now I see them as mugs, who deserve to be humiliated. Get me once shame on you, get me twice shame on me. Get me to pay for a £500million asset in London and pay obscene wages to the staff for underperformance and zero sporting ambition-no chance

      • So what? Isn’t us being constantly in the top 4 the cause of much angst? Like it’s a joke by now.

        I’m not talking about you because you’ve said how important it is, but generally, the very same people who make fun of that achievement will complain the loudest when we fail to get there.

        As for the financial implications of it, with our cash on hand, and the PL’s TV money, this isn’t going to be a huge problem.

        By the way, when people make their calculations about the budgets and the cash from the TV deals coming in, do they account for the fact that clubs can’t use the TV deal funds to increase their wage bill by more than 4m?

  7. Another transfer window comes and goes without improvements that are desperately needed. The rubbish about factoring in wages etc. Is just that, rubbish. Everyone knows that no transfer fee us paid up front in full, and wages are paid over the life of the contract, so they are future payments not out of the held cash reserves. SSDD as far as Arsene is concerned.

  8. Very well written. But who’s squeezing the tube, is it the Board, Wenger, Gazidis, Law or a combination of them all?

    Who really sets policy? That for me is the question.

  9. Anothe way to look at it is that Arsenal have released a soundbite to keep the fans off their backs until the transfer deadline. In the meantime it will be “we are working hard”..”but there has to be agreement on 3 sides”. Then the transfer deadline comes and Koscielney and Gironde are back, Gabriel just two weeks away and he doesn’t want to stifle Holdings or Chambers, Iwobis or Gnabrys development. Then the scramble for 4th and knockout phase of the CL begin. Meanwhile The Emperor signs a two year extension while he and Stan snigger at the mugs still going to the Effiminates Stadium doling out their hard earned cash to pay for being mugged

  10. Arsenal, according to Swiss Ramble, have more cash on hand than any other club in WORLD FOOTBALL. More than ManUre, Bayern Munich, and f***ing Real Madrid. I certainly don’t advocate spending all of that and I understand the financial realities of having a certain cash reserve. On the other hand, a proper footballing club with real ambition would view cash above that bare minimum as an opportunity to invest in players. It’s like playing with house money and it’s so frustrating to see us quibble over £5M when we are currently the richest club (in terms of cash reserves) in world football. A club with real ambitions would realize that cash on hand is means to an end, a way of buying footballers who might otherwise be beyond our reach to improve the team. A company which views the balance sheet as the end all and be all of its existence keeps that money in the bank.

    • I propose a new motto for Arsenal. What’s latin for “Making a s***load of money while treading water”?

  11. I used to not get too upset about the few million pounds like Kroenke took out of the club each year as a consulting fee but it seems now that we are looking for every last dollar to make the CB and striker purchases. How about KSE put the money back in the club to make Mustafi and this secret striker. As for the latter, I’ve been thinking since I saw the AFCamden tweet about it that he was referring to Lewandowski or Griezmann. Starting to think it is Lukaku.

    • I put emphasis more on what Darren said about the Everest analogy. I thought the Everest referred for PL, but if it’s CL and Arsenal negotiation team werebin Germany, it would probably players from Muenchen. Although there lies the problem, why would said player leave their cluh anyway? If he want to win the CL again, surely staying at his club is more beneficial. I’m afraid we will get nothing if we’re too stuborn.

  12. The realization that the attitude among people who run Arsenal is the same ,run the club successfully enough in top 4 and generate profits, and this is damn disappointing.I have been following Arsenal for 12 years now and it seems Arsene is not the only problem, the next guy who comes in will also not be spending money as “We cannot compete” with big clubs. Last year and the way this year has started has made me like a fool for following a club who are not interested in winning, if they were then something shud have been done by now. and excuses given by Arsene after Liverpool match were very different from what he said before the match. This is all too bad for Arsenal fans….season already seems over.

  13. No ambition at the club – nothing more than a cash cow for Kroenke’s American sports interests.
    Do everyone a favour and sell up to Usmanov – someone with an ambition to win things…

  14. I’m a bit surprised about Gnabry assesment from you, Tim. I thought he has a strong case to stake a claim in the first team, especially if Iwobi injury is bad. Honestly, even if I’m in a minority, I even would felt happier if we pursue Julian Brandt and recreate their blossoming partnership in Olympic. One is a top scorer in olympic, and one is top assister (7) in olympic too. He also come from Leverkusen, with Schmidt as his coach. He would have no problem, pressing from the front and aware of his job in defensive phase.

  15. It’s the same every year Wenger sits on the fence bleating, waits till all the available players that could improve the team have been signed up by other clubs. He says money is available?? then why is the German C.B still not signed, he talks a lot of rubbish. Time for a new coach who has some ambition.

  16. If Arsenal fail to make any more significant signings this summer, and he subsequently signs a contract extension, then the only logical conclusion will be that he’s fully complicit in Kroenke’s penny-pinching approach to Arsenal ownership. The long-term implication of that for the club is that that policy will not likely change even after Wenger’s eventual exit. No top manager will want to come to the club, except perhaps for someone like Tuchel who’s used to working on a budget and relying purely on coaching and organization to compete with financial behemoths.

  17. I see it this way; we’re no longer a choice destination for players. What’s the “project” at Arsenal that supposedly Wenger sold to Ozil over the phone in 2013? What’s the ambition? How long is Wenger going to be at Arsenal? What is the point of top four finishes and early Champions League exits if only to showcase your talents for “bigger” clubs?

    What message would this send to Mustafi? We like you, but not THAT much… I believe he may be interested to come, certainly we can pay him more than he’s making at Valencia, but he must be wondering wtf?

    I’m pretty sure we’ll end up with Mustafi by end of next week. Then we’ll probably bring in James Rodriguez because Real don’t want him anymore, his price is reasonable for the talent level and he has a connection to us (Ospina’s brother-in-law). We’ll play him on right flank, square peg meet round hole.

    • I would love to see that happens
      Mustafi and Rodriguez would be a dream summer
      but it looks so unlikely now

  18. “So, in a weird way, not buying Mustafi in order to have enough money to buy “a striker” sends “a striker” the message that Arsenal are going to keep doing the same things that they have been doing for the last 10 years. Why would he trust that Arsenal are going to do what’s necessary to build around him when they won’t even buy the center back they so clearly need — a player who wants to join Arsenal!”

    ===

    So painfully true. We have a proven record of NOT building teams around star players, and you can chalk this up to another reason why top players don’t want to come to Arsenal. Wenger is a stagnating penny-pincher who won’t build a successful squad. If I were a player of any ambition, I’d be looking elsewhere.

  19. If the club considers all future years spending from each transfer as part of the year 1 transfer budget then there is just no hope. That is just soooo stupid.

    • I think it could be argued to be a reasonable approach (read conservative :)). It also means that there is no pressure on subsequent year budgets for prior transfers in. So, this year, the money set aside is free and clear of any commitments for acquisitions made in the past.

      • But it is beyond conservative and just inhibits the club. As long as you always only count current actual costs against that years budget, and do not put unaffordable future costs on the books, then as long as you keep the same approach there is no problem. With much of the annual income fairly consistent then what us the risk?

        Just seems a silly approach where the word conservative is just an excuse for being stupid.

        • I believe it is more a definitional issue. And does not change the actual cash available. The cash needs for prior acquisitions, Ozil, for example, are already set aside. They don’t need to be accounted for each subsequent year, and reduce available cash. I think.

  20. Tim, if I understood the math, Arsenal had between £100m (Swiss Ramble) – £120m (Tim 7AM). Of this £60m has already been spent. Which leaves between £40m – £60m for Mustafi and a striker. That’s just not a lot of money in the current market, especially if Mustafi is going to cost between £30m – £35m (£25m alleged asked for transfer fee, plus salary, plus agent fees). This seems more an issue of economics than criminal negligence.

    OK, going to shut down for a while and avoid the flamethrowers …

  21. I think from the outset Arsene has no intention of fighting for EPL trophy this season. He is only making provision to ensure that the natural 4th place is not short changed by the likes of Mourinho, Gouadiola, Conte and Klopp. Buying a quality player for his target will therefore be an overkill

  22. It’s so frustrating!
    All these talks about the price tags and saving money for a striker and then yesterday I read that Juventus rejected a 16 million bid from Arsenal for a young midfielder! Do we need any more of that now?

  23. Selling our best players for years, with the promise we can then compete financially. Even Gazidis said something about us being at a spending level of someone like Bayern. Now we find ourselves here, and still doing nothing. Its unbelievably frustrating.

    Arsenal feels stale from the top down. The tactics, the coaching, the lack of spending. Its all just too predictable. A big signing would ignite the fans and the players. If we cant attract big players, that’s down to Wenger. I hope he can go out on a high in his last year, but the omens are not looking good at the moment.

  24. Will there be any WikiLeaks in the future that can hold Arsene accountable? I would have to grab my popcorn then.

  25. Finally managed to watch the game today. I know I know, first game of the season and I missed it and all that. Sigh..Wish it could be helped.

    Already knowing the result helped I guess though I still ended the first half frustrated.
    First. We actually really got a penalty. Wow. And then Walcott blew it. But then he scored a great finish.
    We started with some good pressing, but this wasn’t to last long. Ramsey isn’t a very good presser.
    It was interesting that Elneny was playing deeper than Coquelin and they both switched sides just before our goal, with Coq now playing on the left. I wonder what brought that change on. Elneny playing deeper was probably because of Liverpool’s press and although we struggled to play through the lines, we also didn’t give away the ball too much. Xhaka and Ozil should help us cope with a press even better.
    The danger was down our left with a few crosses coming in which could have led to goals. The goal when it did come was unstoppable, and just such frustrating timing. (I also noticed that Iwobi was now on the right with Theo left. Don’t know if that’s significant at all)

    Whatever the reason, our mentality was really poor to start the second half. Sleepwalking onto the pitch, conceding stupid goals with the midfield in no man’s land. Neither tracking deep enough, nor positioned high and wide enough to contribute in attack. Abandoned the young defense and a struggling Monreal (I did say Gibbs has had a better pre season than Nacho)

    Bellerin allowed a runner on the inside and Ramsey made a show of jogging back rather than coming back all the way, which allowed the Liverpool player (Mane?) to come onto his right foot and cross to Lallana to score. Cech should have stayed on the line. Monreal was late, but was still on the cover.
    The third goal was the worst. Bellerin and Holding unaware of Coutinho in the box, and TWO other players unmarked in the box with Coq and Elneny both stood watching. A nothing cross led to a goal, and then Coutinho nearly got a hattrick with Firmino dancing around Chambers and again the rest of the defense just watching. Cech saved though.
    The Mane goal I have less to complain about. Chambers could have fouled him but Monreal was there on the cover. That Mane played past them and scored a far post finish deserves some praise rather than just calling it poor defending. Ox did the same a minute later. Unlike for Liverpool though, our midfield was missing.

    A few more thoughts. Two injuries meant that Akpom couldn’t come on, and he would have made a difference in the last 15 mins. A presence in the box such as when Bellerin crossed in, or Alexis lifted the ball in.
    Chambers seems like he reads the game very well as long as the ball is on the ground, but once it goes in the air he gets caught either late to it, or under it.
    Theo had a good-ish first half, but anonymous second half until he tripped over the ball when he could have turned and shot.

    This was always going to be a tough game. Liverpool came into it with less disrupted preparations and more games. Our best defender, midfielder, and striker were out. But, I still believed we could have won. This had almost nothing to do with transfers, and not much to do with fitness. Just the panic that sets in once we concede/go behind. That costs us. And that is a more complex issue, but hopefully something the players will also take it upon themselves to improve. Once the second goal went in, the midfield gave up all pretense of tracking back. It wasn’t till the 70th minute or so that they regained a bit of control.

    • Agree with you that that match was more down to our players being less prepared. They did not look like a team, and no amount of transfers would have fixed that.

    • ‘This had almost nothing to do with transfers, and not much to do with fitness.”

      ===

      You really do talk a lot of nonsense, Shard. Even Wenger disagrees with you on this one.

      Sorry, the spin isn’t working.

      • So I’m not allowed to disagree with Wenger now? Yipes, and I thought my always agreeing with him was the problem and why I was a ‘spinner’.

        Pray tell me oh wise one who’s all sense, why your opinion is factual and my opinion is spin? Is it only because you disagree with me? Or is it because I don’t see every single defeat or goal conceded, as a larger statement on our manager and club’s philosophy? A club, which by the way though hasn’t won the league, has come a long way in the past 3 years in terms of trophies won, squad quality and has shown improvements in its league positioning. Oh yes, Wenger’s ruining us and every single fact related to our club has to be said to show this and everything else is spin.

        Now that’s a googly.

  26. As for the transfer bit. Arsenal have the money. There’s no excuse there. I don’t care about the Mustafi negotiations etc. As long as we get him or whoever else, before the window shuts.

    As with fitness with the leave etc, we’re building a squad for the whole season. If it takes till the last day of the window, then so be it. But done it must be.

  27. On why Arsenal keep money. Apart from a conservative attitude which the club has generally held, the only reason I can think of is that it is used as collateral by Kroenke or his other businesses. Is this possible?

  28. I understand the frustration at not seeming to do enough to surround our current stars like Ozil and Sanchez with similar top class talent Tim, and while I do recognise the disappointment of not fully taking advantage of Fabregas while we had him, I feel in the latter case the financial constraints still being felt after the stadium move at least make that situation more understandable, if not any less disappointing.

    And before he left he could play in a team that consisted of:

    Almunia (I know)
    Sagna
    Vermaelen
    Koscielny
    Clichy
    Song
    Fabregas
    Roricky
    Ramsey
    Arshavin
    Van Persie

    Not a bad team at all, and on paper, at least to me, a team I’d be pretty excited about if we had it even now.

    Sure it could have been better, but it’s not like Fabregas wasn’t surrounded by significant talent, even when we had to make profits every summer in the transfer market.

    I guess I’m just saying that I do agree that Fabregas deserved to be in a better team and squad,but I feel like the narrative that the manager failed him might be a bit unfair.

    The general consensus, as I understand it, seems to be that during that period of time we actually properly just didn’t have the money, as opposed to now, when we do actually have money, but seem unsure about how to spend it.

  29. Feels like more than people who can get through with a transfer we have invested more on people who can come up with weird reasons for constant failure be it transfer or the games

  30. those tweets were bull and everyone who’s been associated with this club knows that. arsenal are trying to preemptively excuse their failure in the transfer market. they come up with some excuse as to why arsenal have an incomplete team every single year.

    it’s embarrassing, really. on one hand, you’ve got arsene pretending arsenal are broke and on the other hand you’ve got ivan gloating about how much money arsenal have. to find success, they need to be on the same page but they have different agendas. arsene’s is to be this super-prudent financial guy who finds success with patience. ivan’s is to gloat to his colleagues/grad school mates and other contemporaries about the cash cow he’s been charged with managing. like i said, embarrassing.

    arsenal is trying to wait valencia out but valencia are in trouble and they need that money. the £3 million or so that arsenal are trying to squeeze out of this deal is unlikely. £3 million goes a long way in spain when you’re not real madrid or barcelona, especially when you’re talking about taking valencia’s best defender this late in the transfer window. they may not get a replacement? arsenal seem to be oblivious to the fact that other teams have business to conduct as well.

    this is exactly why arsenal struggle in the transfer market. wenger seems to prefer protracted negotiations hoping for a sweet deal. while there’s nothing wrong with a sweet deal, no one wants to subject themselves to arsenal’s dallying. for crying out loud, mustafi isn’t even training with the team and has been forced to train on his own until this deal is done. no club, agent, or player wants to deal with arsenal’s slow-motion process. no one likes doing business with wenger. bring back david dein or someone who could get these deals done in a timely manner and let arsene focus on getting the team ready for match day.

    • What we do know is that Wenger is a powerful voice within Arsenal. That he has the final say over transfers, and as revealed by Kallstrom, can overrule anybody to sign a player.

      What we also know is that the negotiations are not carried out by Wenger personally.

      What we don’t know is where these two facts intersect.

      The idea that Wenger loves bargaining, or likes dilly dallying. I get why it’s there, and it is not unreasonable, but it is still an assumption. He could, just as likely, be upset by it, but disinclined to interfere. Or maybe he’s ok with whatever the negotiation team do just as long as they are working on the targets he has in mind. ‘Everybody has their job’ is something he often likes to say as regards players and coaches. Why shouldn’t that extend to other professionals in the club? Maybe he just doesn’t get too involved with the money matters until he’s called by Dick Law and co to ask him about it.

      I think we’re at this point of frustration with the transfer market because of the end results, and I can understand that, but the process is virtually an unknown. Both at Arsenal, and for the market in general.

  31. going back to the previous thread where the implication is that monreal was targeted, i don’t know that i agree. certainly when you look at the goals, the free kick was not down the left. the second began on the right and happened to finish on the left when cech came charging out. the third liverpool goal was monreal trying to manager a 2v1 with clyne overlapping and playing in the cross (iwobi was injured up the pitch). the fourth goal was mane owning calum chambers. seriously, chambers did so much stabbing on that play, i thought i was watching a friday the 13th movie.

    • forgot to mention that on coutinho’s second goal, if holding were tight and knew exactly where coutinho was, he would have easily cleared that cross. instead, he lost his man and coutinho shinned the ball in.

  32. Just saw the match. It was hard to stomach at times. It seemed so many of our players were the worst versions of themselves. Walcott unable/unwilling to get on the ball or in the game, Alexis on a different wavelength from everyone else, Ramsey trying to do too much on his own, Coquelin unaware of space and team mates when in possession, Chambers isolating himself by taking poor angles, Chamberlain and Iwobi falling asleep defensively… I could go on. Before the free kick went in we were at least solid if uninspiring but the second half became a shitshow of the highest order after Liverpool upped their intensity and made some tactical tweaks.

    In a battle of two rather frail sides, I thought Klopp adjusted his team far better. In the first 10 minutes, we were finding space on the break, so Klopp had them sit back more, which made us have to play backwards and through Coquelin and Holding, neither of whom really wanted the ball. The team lost confidence as a result and almost handed them goals from individual errors. Then, Moreno was getting isolated and being punished for his forward runs by Walcott, so Klopp had him stay further back and concentrated on denying the angles in behind him, which basically took Theo out of the game for about 60% of the contest because he made no adjustments of his own. Switching flanks with Iwobi was a fruitless exercise. Firmino wasn’t getting in the game in the first half, so Klopp had him play deeper while pushing Coutinho higher and he became a real problem for us in the way Sanchez wasn’t for them, pulling our young CB’s out of position and setting up space for Mane and Coutinho in behind. After Chambers scored his header, bringing on Can brought more control and poise to midfield and they saw the game out pretty easily.

    From our point of view I thought Xhaka should have started. Coquelin’s aggression did directly lead to Walcott’s opener but he was slowing down our transitions because of his very limited vision, poor awareness of space, and suspect technique. After he came on, Xhaka played much more perceptive passes despite being up against a massed defense. Similarly, though Ramsey started in high fettle he was too easy to mark out of the game and didn’t move the ball fast enough when he received it. Cazorla would have made more of such positions and his set piece prowess was badly missed. When out of possession there was the same sort of half hearted commitment to pressing that was on display in our worst losses from prior seasons. It cannot continue. This team needs an identity in and out of possession which it hasn’t seemed to have found in the offseason.

  33. Wenger and the big gulu do not let us down again this season we are tired with your money issue. Look how we are now hastily looking for a player and yet we had all the time to scout.

  34. And the other shoe finally drops on Mahrez who signs a new contract with Leicester City. Do he and Vardy have the same agent because we’ve been played like a piano by those two.

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