Arsenal 2019-2020 - Because Thursday Games are the Best Way to Start the Weekend

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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But seriously, does anyone know where this spending came from? Ownership finally realizing that failing to make CL is more expensive than the cost to make sure they qualify?
 

Koji’s Slider

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Per media reports:

-Eddie is indeed going to Leeds
-Mustafi is on his way to an unnamed Ligue 1 team.
-David Luiz has signed for two years and an 8m transfer fee
-Tierney is having his medical, and is going for 25m.
-Iwobi is on Everton’s radar, Arsenal already rejected a 30m offer, Arsenal want 40.

If Iwobi and Mustafi get sold in the next few hours, I have to imagine Arsenal have another deal, maybe Upamecano, or what I would love to do, is get Coutinho on loan and buy Umiti in a package. That’s silly season I know, but that’s what this window has done to me.

This window has been incredible, 9/10 so far.
 

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wow, only 8M for David Luiz. Does that mean no more Sideshow Bob jokes - or ALL the Sideshow Bob jokes?
 

shaggydog2000

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wow, only 8M for David Luiz. Does that mean no more Sideshow Bob jokes - or ALL the Sideshow Bob jokes?
Well Elneny cut his hair and is maybe on the way out of town, so about the same amount of Sideshow Bob jokes?

Looks like Iwobi is going to Everton for 40 mil, which helps offset the purchases. If they can make some cash off of Mustafi and Ozil (which maybe doesn't happen until January because of the US system?) they could end up close to revenue neutral this summer while definitely improving the team.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Assuming the Luiz and Iwobi deals go through, this was the best Arsenal transfer window in forever. I hope Raul Sanllehi is jogging down the hallways of the Emirates doing the Sam Cassell big balls dance.
 

shaggydog2000

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Assuming the Luiz and Iwobi deals go through, this was the best Arsenal transfer window in forever. I hope Raul Sanllehi is jogging down the hallways of the Emirates doing the Sam Cassell big balls dance.
And they can still sell guys to non-English teams, so some surplus guys like Elneny, Mustafi, and maybe even Kolasinac now that Tierney is in hand can be sold. If not, they're all valuable to some degree as depth.
 

ConigliarosPotential

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So, when did Arsenal last have a summer transfer window like this one, as far as plugging holes is concerned? A few possible answers:

2014: Alexis, Debuchy, Ospina, Chambers and Welbeck coming in (Vermaelen was the only player of note going out)
2003: Fabregas, Lehmann, Clichy and Senderos coming in (van Bronckhorst to Barcelona, and of course the immortal Oleg Luzhny leaving on a free to Wolves)
2001: van Bronckhorst, Campbell, Richard Wright and Frannie Jeffers came in (Sylvinho left for Celta Vigo that summer)

And that's basically it since the modern summer transfer window came into force in the late 1990s, I think it was. There have been other seasons in which holes were plugged that were of Arsenal's own making, like 2012 (Cazorla, Giroud and Podolski came in along with Bellerin on a free from Barnsley [!]...but van Persie and Song both agitated for and got moves that summer) or 1999 (when Anelka left and Henry and Suker were signed, and Sylvinho's arrival heralded the writing on the wall for Winterburn). But really, if you go back and look through the Wenger era, the squad rarely received a summer transfusion of talent like it has this year - certainly not since 1997, when Petit and Overmars headlined a class that also included useful bit-part players like Grimandi, Manninger and Ian Wright doppelganger Luis Boa Morte.
 

lars10

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So, when did Arsenal last have a summer transfer window like this one, as far as plugging holes is concerned? A few possible answers:

2014: Alexis, Debuchy, Ospina, Chambers and Welbeck coming in (Vermaelen was the only player of note going out)
2003: Fabregas, Lehmann, Clichy and Senderos coming in (van Bronckhorst to Barcelona, and of course the immortal Oleg Luzhny leaving on a free to Wolves)
2001: van Bronckhorst, Campbell, Richard Wright and Frannie Jeffers came in (Sylvinho left for Celta Vigo that summer)

And that's basically it since the modern summer transfer window came into force in the late 1990s, I think it was. There have been other seasons in which holes were plugged that were of Arsenal's own making, like 2012 (Cazorla, Giroud and Podolski came in along with Bellerin on a free from Barnsley [!]...but van Persie and Song both agitated for and got moves that summer) or 1999 (when Anelka left and Henry and Suker were signed, and Sylvinho's arrival heralded the writing on the wall for Winterburn). But really, if you go back and look through the Wenger era, the squad rarely received a summer transfusion of talent like it has this year - certainly not since 1997, when Petit and Overmars headlined a class that also included useful bit-part players like Grimandi, Manninger and Ian Wright doppelganger Luis Boa Morte.
That was one of my major frustrations with the Wenger era..at least at the end. I'm not sure if it was the owner or Wenger that was making decisions not to bring people in. At times it felt like Wenger was too comfortable coming into the fall with a similar team that he had ended with.. with the hope that players like Ramsey, Walcot, Wilshire would come back healthy and play the whole year.. and they never did.

I like this more aggressive Arsenal.. because not only did they fill holes..they added depth and versatility on their offense as well.
 

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Suffice it to say that there is no way Wenger would have ever sold Alex Iwobi. He just didn't have it in him to be ruthless when a homegrown player wasn't good enough.

Its also notable that bringing in Pepe and Luiz involved working closely with two superagents with whom Wenger swore off doing business, Jorge Mendes and Kia Joorabchian. And if we succeed in selling players like Mustafi and Mkhi, you can bet that these guys or similar folks are going to be essential to the process. Joorabchian in particular is apparently quite close to Sanllehi and Edu. His specialty is Brazilian players and he has facilitated a lot of deals with Chinese clubs. I would not rule out him paving the way for Mkhi or Ozil to eventually go to China or MLS and/or brokering some kind of arrangement that brings Coutinho to Arsenal in the future.

These guys are arch scumbags but the reality is that they control where players go, both in terms of incomings and outcomings. If you're not willing to work with them, you're cut off from a big part of the transfer game on both ends.

Its definitely a new era in terms of how business is conducted.
 
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BostonJack42

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I am sure at some point Iwobi will have a decent season and there will be some hand wringing about why we let him go - but I for one could not be happier. For me, he was a tremendously frustrating player to watch. Wonder who else they will offload before the rest of Europe's windows close. I wouldn't mind never seeing Mkhi or Mustafi again. Xhaka too but it seems like he's well liked by the manager.
 

shaggydog2000

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The team has really turned over in the last two calendar years. I would think that out of the players with major roles, only Bellerin, Xhaka, and Holding will date from before then. And the last two were only added 3 years ago.
 

mikeford

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But seriously, does anyone know where this spending came from? Ownership finally realizing that failing to make CL is more expensive than the cost to make sure they qualify?
If you actually map out the spending and the player sales, Arsenal only spent like 45m THIS window.

They're on the hook for more with Pepe and I believe Ceballos being deferred but all we heard was they had about 40m to spend THIS window and it looks like Raul kept it around that figure. And the net spend could still go lower as we could still sell Mustafi or Elneny to a continental club because their window isn't closed yet.



Honestly amazed at the business Raul managed to get done in such a short time frame. He must've had a lot of irons in the fire before the US preseason tour. Not crazy about old ass Sideshow Bob being a mainstay in our backline but he does have 3 UCL winners medals so how bad can he REALLY be?
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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If you actually map out the spending and the player sales, Arsenal only spent like 45m THIS window.

They're on the hook for more with Pepe and I believe Ceballos being deferred but all we heard was they had about 40m to spend THIS window and it looks like Raul kept it around that figure. And the net spend could still go lower as we could still sell Mustafi or Elneny to a continental club because their window isn't closed yet.



Honestly amazed at the business Raul managed to get done in such a short time frame. He must've had a lot of irons in the fire before the US preseason tour. Not crazy about old ass Sideshow Bob being a mainstay in our backline but he does have 3 UCL winners medals so how bad can he REALLY be?
I'm with you on Luiz. I've never been a massive fan, but I think he's the perfect stop gap to Saliba, and allows them to sell Mustafi. Not to mention he's an absolute steal at 8m, comes from a rival for the top 4 l, who's unable to replace him. He also absolutely excels at the long transition ball. One of the best in the league, which could be wonderful linking up to Pepe, Aubamayeng, Lacazette and Ceballos this season.
 

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I'm with you on Luiz. I've never been a massive fan, but I think he's the perfect stop gap to Saliba, and allows them to sell Mustafi. Not to mention he's an absolute steal at 8m, comes from a rival for the top 4 l, who's unable to replace him. He also absolutely excels at the long transition ball. One of the best in the league, which could be wonderful linking up to Pepe, Aubamayeng, Lacazette and Ceballos this season.
I've never been a fan of Luiz either...but to be fair, he's always played for clubs I've hated.
Suffice it to say that there is no way Wenger would have ever sold Alex Iwobi. He just didn't have it in him to be ruthless when a homegrown player wasn't good enough.

Its also notable that bringing in Pepe and Luiz involved working closely with two superagents with whom Wenger swore off doing business, Jorge Mendes and Kia Joorabchian. And if we succeed in selling players like Mustafi and Mkhi, you can bet that these guys or similar folks are going to be essential to the process. Joorabchian in particular is apparently quite close to Sanllehi and Edu. His specialty is Brazilian players and he has facilitated a lot of deals with Chinese clubs. I would not rule out him paving the way for Mkhi or Ozil to eventually go to China or MLS and/or brokering some kind of arrangement that brings Coutinho to Arsenal in the future.

These guys are arch scumbags but the reality is that they control where players go, both in terms of incomings and outcomings. If you're not willing to work with them, you're cut off from a big part of the transfer game on both ends.

Its definitely a new era in terms of how business is conducted.
Great post - spot on both re: Wenger and also working with Mendes/Joorabchian. When the old "better the devil you know..." discussion was being had at the end of Wenger's reign, this was one of the prime arguments against Wenger staying. And while it's far from certain that this summer will be the positive turning point that Arsenal fans have all been waiting for, it's exactly the sort of transfer business the club needs to have been pursuing.
 

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Not the most exciting game of all time, but the goal was pretty, both the way AMN attacked the ball, pushed it upfield, and looped it to Auba, and the finish. They kept a clean sheet away from home, and they got the points, so there's nothing to really complain about. This is also far from the team we'll be seeing out there in just a few weeks, so it is a good start.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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This is probably the worst lineup they'll have out there all season, so to come away with 3 points on the road is a great result.

Two big matches early in the season in weeks 3 and 4 away vs Liverpool and then home vs Tottenham. Need to get the first time players gelling together.
 

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This is probably the worst lineup they'll have out there all season, so to come away with 3 points on the road is a great result.

Two big matches early in the season in weeks 3 and 4 away vs Liverpool and then home vs Tottenham. Need to get the first time players gelling together.
I think we'll probably have to brace our belief in the new roster against the getting 0-1 points out of those matches, cuz both squads are still a little better and seem to be starting in form.

If we get more than three points out of those two, though, were obviously winning the treble.
 

shaggydog2000

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I think we'll probably have to brace our belief in the new roster against the getting 0-1 points out of those matches, cuz both squads are still a little better and seem to be starting in form.

If we get more than three points out of those two, though, were obviously winning the treble.
Well Pepe, Lacazette, Ceballos, and Luiz should all be ready to start by that time, and there is an outside chance that Holding could too. This team could be considerably improved over the squad that was out there against Newcastle.
 

JimBoSox9

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Well Pepe, Lacazette, Ceballos, and Luiz should all be ready to start by that time, and there is an outside chance that Holding could too. This team could be considerably improved over the squad that was out there against Newcastle.
Yeah, but it's a quick turnaround for those guys to be fully integrated, especially under a manager who trains for about two dozen formations. I'm not saying don't be optimistic, I'm just saying those games are more likely to be an early litmus test of that optimism than a validation of it.
 

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It was a pretty good showing today, incorporated the new guys a bit more and showed that when everyone is fit and ready, this really should be a better team than last season.

Ceballos was excellent. I was disappointed at the loss of Ramsey, but Ceballos looks like an ample replacement. His ability to control the ball in tight spaces is mesmerizing. Two assists in his first start, not bad at all. If this is how he is going to play, I hope they can find a way to free him from Real Madrid permanently.

Luiz looked okay mostly. He had a beautiful deep, diagonal pass to Aubameyang. On the other side of things, he made a dangerous pass across his own net early (worked out fine) and appeared a bit flat-footed and out of position on the Barnes goal.

Ashley Barnes may be one of my least favorite players currently. The constant complaining, the knee to the back of Torreira (making a gesture that the sun was in his eyes, ha), the hand to the ear after his goal... Very dislikable guy for an opposing team’s fan. I was hoping for a second yellow for him at the end when he was aggressively complaining about his yellow.
 

mikeford

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It was a pretty good showing today, incorporated the new guys a bit more and showed that when everyone is fit and ready, this really should be a better team than last season.

Ceballos was excellent. I was disappointed at the loss of Ramsey, but Ceballos looks like an ample replacement. His ability to control the ball in tight spaces is mesmerizing. Two assists in his first start, not bad at all. If this is how he is going to play, I hope they can find a way to free him from Real Madrid permanently.

Luiz looked okay mostly. He had a beautiful deep, diagonal pass to Aubameyang. On the other side of things, he made a dangerous pass across his own net early (worked out fine) and appeared a bit flat-footed and out of position on the Barnes goal.

Ashley Barnes may be one of my least favorite players currently. The constant complaining, the knee to the back of Torreira (making a gesture that the sun was in his eyes, ha), the hand to the ear after his goal... Very dislikable guy for an opposing team’s fan. I was hoping for a second yellow for him at the end when he was aggressively complaining about his yellow.
That lot at Burnley is the new Stoke. Just thuggish behavior across the board, with Barnes the leading man.

We looked pretty shaky defensively, I thought. A lot of chaos in the goal mouth. On the flip side, you can absolutely see the class in Pepe. At one point he took some poor saps soul with a nutmeg but was coalesced on by like 3 other Burnley defenders after he beat the megged one.

Much better start to this campaign than last. Ceballos looks like a gem already.
 

shaggydog2000

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Cebbalos did have a great game. It looked incredibly hard to get the ball away from him, and he really pushed it upfield. And Pepe looks to bring a lot of speed and skill once he's fully in shape. Luiz doesn't look to be a huge step up defensively, but he did move the ball well and seemed vocal and animated. If he can get the team better organized at the back that will be welcome. I'm feeling better going into the next two games than I think I would have at any time last year.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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We haven't looked all that convincing in the first two matches but that is only to be expected given the number of new players coming into the squad, very young players getting their first taste of the Premier League, and players likely to be integrated into the lineup who remain out of action. The next couple games will probably provide a reality check but I wouldn't swing too much to the side of despair if we end up with two poor results.

Mainly, I think we have a lot of upside for improvement over the course of the season for three reasons:

The side will almost certainly improve once our first choice fullbacks are available in September or October. While AMN had a very nice game against Newcastle, fullback play is still a big weakness right now. Monreal does his best but he just doesn't have the legs to get up and down the field all game and his lack of quickness at this age makes him a liability in one on one situations. I really like AMN but he just hasn't played that much fullback in his career and it shows. In particular, I think he just doesn't close down wingers fast enough and allows too many relatively uncontested balls into the box. This puts unneeded stress on our central defenders, who obviously aren't the strength of the side to begin with.

The midfield is a very intriguing group but really, really young and inexperienced beyond Xhaka. Between Guendouzi, Willock, Ceballos, and Torreira you've got an average age of 21 and a total of about 50 Premier League games ever started. Finding the right combination for each match will probably be Emery's most important selection problem. But there is a lot of room to grow and improve in this position just given where these players are in their careers.

Finally, this side has more potential on the wings than any Arsenal side in a very long time. It doesn't mean that potential will be realized but if Pepe turns out to be a top player (no guarantee but a strong possibility), and to a lesser extent if Nelson develops into a pretty good young dribbling winger on the other side, that will give a totally different look to opponents. Nelson still has everything to prove but there is clearly some serious potential there and him establishing himself would really benefit the side going forward. Choosing three out of the Nelson-Auba-Laca-Pepe quartet to start each match would put the manager in a nice position in terms of tactical options. And in the long term if we could end up with young tricky dynamic inverted wingers on each side of the field, that's a huge building block for the future.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Good read on Arsenal's tactics and limitations over the first couple games. The issues with width really underline how much we should benefit from getting our first choice fullbacks into the mix over the next couple months.

 

67YAZ

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Good read on Arsenal's tactics and limitations over the first couple games. The issues with width really underline how much we should benefit from getting our first choice fullbacks into the mix over the next couple months.

Good piece. This bears watching against Liverpool:

If Arsenal can work on baiting the opposition into pressing them, we’re only likely to see more and more of this sort of pass. Particularly now Luiz is playing in defence. With the pace Arsenal possess up front, this could become an incredibly dangerous means of attack, though it remains to be seen whether other sides play such a sloppy high line while failing to pressure the ball as Burnley did at times on Saturday.
The Pool back 4 have not been as organized and efficient as most of last season. Some of this is losing Alisson, but some of it is also lapses in midfield coordination while pressing that leaves the CBs exposed.

In their final of 3 meetings least season, Wolves were able to continually get Matip isolated on Jota with balls over the top. That created some excellent chances, but Wolves didn’t have enough quality running with Jota to convert. But if this is Pepe/Nelson going 1v1 on Matip/Gomez with Lacazette and Aubameyang crashing down into the box...that’s going to be a real test of how well Adrian & VVD can keep the backline plus Fabinho organized.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Good piece. This bears watching against Liverpool:

The Pool back 4 have not been as organized and efficient as most of last season. Some of this is losing Alisson, but some of it is also lapses in midfield coordination while pressing that leaves the CBs exposed.

In their final of 3 meetings least season, Wolves were able to continually get Matip isolated on Jota with balls over the top. That created some excellent chances, but Wolves didn’t have enough quality running with Jota to convert. But if this is Pepe/Nelson going 1v1 on Matip/Gomez with Lacazette and Aubameyang crashing down into the box...that’s going to be a real test of how well Adrian & VVD can keep the backline plus Fabinho organized.
Interesting point. Some more route one football seems like a good idea for Arsenal, both for the reasons you state and because we're still just not that reliable at playing it out from the back, even with a better set of midfielders this season to execute the strategy. I'm glad that Emery wants to build a team that can play confidently from the back and pass neatly around its own box. But I'd rather we not test it out against Liverpool at Anfield.

If Arsenal are still in the match after 30-35 minutes, I think it'll be pretty tight the rest of the way as the pressing gets less frenetic, with a result not out of the question. But I'm afraid we're just going to get our doors blown off early, which tends to happen to us at this ground.
 

67YAZ

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.If Arsenal are still in the match after 30-35 minutes, I think it'll be pretty tight the rest of the way as the pressing gets less frenetic, with a result not out of the question. But I'm afraid we're just going to get our doors blown off early, which tends to happen to us at this ground.
So far this Liverpool squad has been a lot more like the 2017-18 vintage than last season - somewhere in the match they will have a ferocious 20 minute stretch, the rest of the time will be good quality attack with some lapses in the back. With no midweek game, maybe Klopp has been able to iron out some of the wrinkles.

The matchup within the matchup I’m looking forward to is Ceballos-Firmino. Ceballos looked so good - always tidy and composed - last week, but Firmino relentless against playmakers in the middle of the pitch.
 

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Well one thing is pretty clear to me: Emery is not the guy who's getting Arsenal back to the glory days.
Has he started the same lineup twice in his time at arsenal? He’s brought in a lot of decent players, but he never plays the best ones all together seemingly ever.. and his lineups for big games have been atrocious
 

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Has he started the same lineup twice in his time at arsenal? He’s brought in a lot of decent players, but he never plays the best ones all together seemingly ever.. and his lineups for big games have been atrocious
I dont think he's bringing in any players. It's formerly Sven, now Raul and now Edu doing that.
 

lars10

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I dont think he's bringing in any players. It's formerly Sven, now Raul and now Edu doing that.
Fair.. I figured he’d be involved in those conversations.. but it’s true he doesn’t seem to know how to integrate his talent on the field.
 

67YAZ

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You’re being too harsh on Emery. He went into Anfield without the quality fullback that could actually slow down Liverpool. Ceding possession wide and then looking to get PEA & Pepe 1v1 against CBs in the space behind the marauding Liverpool fullbacks was a reasonable plan.

Pepe muffed a break away and David Luiz got caught out twice doing David Luiz things (wandering upfield seeking the ball instead of marking tight).

Getting Bellerin & Tierney back and settled in will make a world of difference.
 

mikeford

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No, I'm not. He presided over a monumental collapse in the final 2 months of last season, got us humiliated in the Europa final and now this.

The man does not adapt on the fly. He changes personnel and doesn't change formation to suit them. He's mediocre and Arsenal need better than that if they're ever gonna pull out of this nosedive as a club.
 

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I think by definition if you reach a European final, you can't call the end result "humiliating", even for top-10 clubs. I mean, if that was humiliating for a club with history and expectations, how did Manchester United feel last year?

People were singing Emery's praises when things were going well last year. Now he comes in, wins a few games, but (God forbid) loses an away match to the European champions, and of COURSE MikeFord is ready to fire him out of a cannon.

Edit: what stock phrases and critical tropes should we expect him to bust out next? I'm betting on "stage is too big for him", but we could also see "no creativity", or "tries to force his system on his players", and there's always a chance of "game has passed him by", just out of habit after so many years of lambasting Wenger.
 
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Monreal has been sold to Real Sociedad, leaving Arsenal only Kolasinac (ugh) at left back for the North London Derby. Given the price of the sale - €250k, paid in installments (!) - maybe it'd be better to have him play one final match and accept the risk he might get injured?

Also, Elneny has left on a season-long loan to Besiktas. Can't imagine he'll be back after next year, either.
 

shaggydog2000

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Theres an option to buy on that Elneny loan. Please exercise it.
Elneny's agent is talking up playing in England again, so maybe the loan is for a year, and he'll try again next year to drum up interest from British teams, with Besiktas as the fallback. I think he could play for another EPL team, he's solid but unexciting. He's not going to be a starter in the top 6, but he could play for a lesser team in the league on a regular basis. It's not great losing Monreal right before the North London Derby, but we know one of he or Kolasinac has to go now that Tierney is coming in. Monreal is more flexible, but we know there's not much tread left on those tires. I'm ok with him going, but I'd prefer he play tomorrow.
 

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With Monreal leaving, I am worried that Emery is going to go with a 3-4-3 today and get Kolasinac in there as a left midfielder. He did not start Kolasinac as the left back in a back four frequently (I think about 8 Premier League games) last year and I am not sure he really trusts him in that position. He tends to get caught too far forward and can become a defensive liability. If he plays in a 3-4-3 and one of Lacazette, Aubameyang, and Pepe start on the bench, I will be pretty disappointed.

I’d like to see them just embrace their strength and go out there with an attack-minded approach. Emery is interesting as a tactician and how he approaches games. I think the game plan against Liverpool was a thoughtful approach and actually was decent at crowding the box and limiting (relative term) Liverpool’s unstoppable front three. He chose to sacrifice the wide lanes that the (also unstoppable) Liverpool fullbacks took advantage of, but the crowded middle led to a ton of blocked shots (most blocked shots in a Premier League game so far this year... of course this also means they gave up a ton of shots). Liverpool is amazing and a quantifiably better team, so I think that is why they lost and not just Emery.

Regardless, today, I just want the best players on the field and I think that means a 4-2-3-1 that includes Aubameyang, Lacazette, and Pepe.
 

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With Monreal leaving, I am worried that Emery is going to go with a 3-4-3 today and get Kolasinac in there as a left midfielder. He did not start Kolasinac as the left back in a back four frequently (I think about 8 Premier League games) last year and I am not sure he really trusts him in that position. He tends to get caught too far forward and can become a defensive liability. If he plays in a 3-4-3 and one of Lacazette, Aubameyang, and Pepe start on the bench, I will be pretty disappointed.

I’d like to see them just embrace their strength and go out there with an attack-minded approach. Emery is interesting as a tactician and how he approaches games. I think the game plan against Liverpool was a thoughtful approach and actually was decent at crowding the box and limiting (relative term) Liverpool’s unstoppable front three. He chose to sacrifice the wide lanes that the (also unstoppable) Liverpool fullbacks took advantage of, but the crowded middle led to a ton of blocked shots (most blocked shots in a Premier League game so far this year... of course this also means they gave up a ton of shots). Liverpool is amazing and a quantifiably better team, so I think that is why they lost and not just Emery.

Regardless, today, I just want the best players on the field and I think that means a 4-2-3-1 that includes Aubameyang, Lacazette, and Pepe.
I imagine, even though they’re pros, that it’s difficult to find form when your lineup and formation changes on a weekly basis. I just dislike how often Emery uses formations as an excuse to not put his best players on the field at the same time...especially in big games. Against Liverpool the main problem was Luiz.. but also that their offense was playing 2 on at least 4 almost all game.

Edit: he also made poor subs super late. Who cares if you lose 4-1..put in some offensive players and show some urgency early in the second half when you see your strategy has failed.
 

Tuff Ghost

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
55
Quincy
My main takeaways from the North London Derby today are:

1. Guendouzi was excellent. Great energy, fighting for the ball and helping extend possession, and one beautiful assist. I really hope this was a breakout game for the 20 year old.

2. I’d be fine with Xhaka not starting another game. There are all sorts of options in the midfield between Torreira, Guendouzi, Willock, Ceballos, so no need for him to get extended chances to make more mistakes like that ugly penalty today. Error prone guys like him and Mustafi can simply kill a whole game with their one big gaffe.

3. I hope a healthy set of Tierney, Bellerin, and Holding can change the whole composition of this defense in the coming months. Any improvement there and this can become a really exciting team with a legit chance to get back to Champions League football next year.
 

Tuff Ghost

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
55
Quincy
I am happy to roll with Leno right now. They had bigger holes to fill this window and I think he is probably above average and pretty decent with his feet. Now, if things break well this season, they get back into Champions League football for next year, Holding is playing well at CB, and Saliba looks ready to come over and make impact, I think it is okay to start thinking about devoting some budget to replacing him.

The save he made on Son today was wonderful, but I don’t think he is a starting keeper for a team with title aspirations (which is certainly not Arsenal currently).