Good morning, nothing on the transfer front today and I suspect that Wenger’s cheeky transfer business for the season is over. Unless Arsenal are forced to sell Alexis, which Per Mertesacker doesn’t think will happen, then I think we are moving on.
Ozil is almost certainly staying. He stated that he’s happy at Arsenal and I don’t blame him. He’s on huge salary (about to get better), he’s settled in to the rhythms of the city, and he has a manager who has carved out a special niche in the team just for him. Not many teams play with a dedicated #10 so it’s not a bad gig if you can get it.
There will be more speculation over Arsenal potentially signing a number 8 but I’m not seeing any smoke. I’m just seeing the red-tops steaming. I do wonder if the speculation over Lemar and Mahrez is as backup for if Alexis leaves but that’s not exactly a number 8 signing.
I have a feeling, based on quotes from Ramsey, that Wenger is expecting Ramsey to pay off this season. Wenger has publicly announced that he is sticking with the back three (not in every match but they are starting the season this way) and Ramsey feels like it’s a system which suits him:
“The system suited a lot players,” he said. “It gives us a platform to build from.
“I felt good in that formation – it freed me up to get forward a lot more and get into some dangerous positions so I really thought it worked for us towards the end of the season.”
As I have shown in my analysis Ramsey is exactly right, the system allowed him to get forward more often and created opportunities for Arsenal – increasing Arsenal’s offensive output. But the system also didn’t make Arsenal more defensively solid. Arsenal’s defense is the problem and Wenger has a huge hurdle to climb to get the team’s defense down to where it needs to be to win the League. So I’m excited to see if those 10 games were just a blip or if the formation change really makes a difference defensively. To measure that, without people complaining about sample size, we will need to see 10 more games.
Wenger has made a number of changes to the backroom staff, bringing in Jens Lehmann. I think this is also supposed to help the defense? My favorite part of this deal is that everyone gets to make the same joke, “how long before Lehmann starts yelling at everyone?”
Down in Sydney Arsenal have a match tomorrow. The debut of Lacazette. Pre-season friendlies are always good for hyperbole.
And Arsenal announced a third kit. It’s black and pink. I like pink. I wear pink often. Pink is a power color. Pink and black are an excellent color combination. I just don’t buy Arsenal kits any more. I don’t have a reason why I stopped, I just did. I think maybe it was something about a curse. Like when I buy a kit, the player leaves the next season? I think that’s why I stopped.
I thought for a minute last season that I might buy an Alexis kit. You can thank me for one last season with Alexis. It’s all me, for not buying a kit.