Arsenal 23-24: Watch this Space

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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What do youze think of Havertz? My first reaction is, really?
I think he's a gamble but I'm excited to see what happens.

Havertz was really an 8/10 attacking midfield player at Leverkusen, when he looked like one of the brighest young talents in the world. Since going to Chelsea he has never really been given an extended run in his best position due to their instability and also because each manager has eventually decided that their striker options were so poor that they might as well play Havertz as a false nine. First Tuchel decided he liked Havertz there more than Abraham, then after Lukaku bombed Havertz got redeployed there again, then after Auba bombed he got put there again by Potter and Lampard. Realistically, if Havertz had come to England and just been so transcendentally good as an attacking midfielder then maybe these managers wouldn't have kept moving him off the position - their willingness to use him as a striker is probably due in part to him not pulling up trees in the very limited time he had in his favorite role, plus having other players like Mount in similar positions. But these were also crazy teams and crazy times at Chelsea.

All in all, I'm excited to see what Arteta can get out of him. Assuming he takes the role that Xhaka played last year, its a position where you get a lot of opportunities to attack open space after switches or make runs into the box to get on the end of play that originates on the other side with Odegaard/Saka/White. If a player like Xhaka could get 7 goals and 7 assists in that role, there is some real upside to see what a player like Havertz could with the same kinds of opportunities and situations. I also think Havertz will open up some other attacking possibilities for Arsenal because he is threat to run behind the defense - perhaps after Gabriel Jesus drops and lures the CBs up the field - in a way that neither Odegaard or Xhaka could do.

Havertz isn't going to be nearly as defensively responsible as Xhaka, so I think Arsenal will definitely have to switch some things around to account for that adjustment.
 

67YAZ

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I’m also seeing Saliba signed a new deal & Timber has a medical scheduled for tomorrow. Massive summer for the Gunners.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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25m euro for Xhaka, who will be 31 in September, is very good business. Just goes to show that when you put your players in positions to succeed on the pitch, their value rises (duh).

I'll very gladly take the L as one of the (many) Arsenal fans who said at the time that the club was making a mistake not selling him to Roma for the 12-13m euro they offered in summer 2021.

It seems like Arsenal will now focus on selling players for the next phase of the window, and then depending how that goes we may get another addition or two in late July or August.

Balogun (most likely) or Nketiah will surely go. Balogun has lots of interest but I bet Nketiah has some as well within the PL.
Tierney will go, most likely to Newcastle or Villa.
Holding seems very likely to go, probably for a nominal fee to a PL club in the bottom half of the table.
Tavares seems like a loan candidate to me but I'd take a 5-10m fee just to be rid of him if we could get it.
Pepe - pray that the Saudis come to our rescue.
Cedric I think ends up with some kind of contract termination.
Patino and Trusty seem likely to head out somewhere for small fees in the 2-6m range.

Partey is the big question mark. If he goes, we're bringing in some kind of younger like-for-like replacement like Lavia. I would be happy to keep him but if the Saudis offer enough money it might make too much sense. I also wouldn't be surprised if the club is quietly determined to part ways this summer due to the allegations.

I think the big unknown beyond Partey is whether Arteta is satisfied with his options in attack or looks to bring in somebody else. We have the numbers but how much trust does Arteta really have in Nketiah or Nelson (or Balogun if he stays)? At the end of the day, is Trossard the only attacking sub he really trusts and is that enough? Does he envision playing Hazard enough in a forward role to make that moot?
 
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SidelineCameras

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Declan Rice deal is finally done. The holdup was starting to make me nervous.

What a summer for Arsenal, still seems so surreal. I am not an x’s and o’s football guy but it feels like an Arsenal summer usually has so much more drama and last-minute shenanigans, this just feels so…so….confident and professional.
 

shaggydog2000

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Declan Rice deal is finally done. The holdup was starting to make me nervous.

What a summer for Arsenal, still seems so surreal. I am not an x’s and o’s football guy but it feels like an Arsenal summer usually has so much more drama and last-minute shenanigans, this just feels so…so….confident and professional.
Yeah, it's surprisingly competent and the drama is more about waiting for announcements than it is about the weird crazy rumors you usually hear about Italian and Turkish teams wanting our surplus players, or Arsenal being in it up until some other team swoops in and offers 20% more. In past years I'd hear they signed somebody and get a bad feeling about could they possibly fit, but now it's more a curiosity about how Arteta will create a fit for them. Timber and Havertz are not going to play like the guys in the same position before them, but it feels like Arteta signed them because he saw their abilities opening up a new way for Arsenal to raise their playing level, and I want to find out how that is.

I get a feeling if we can shift Partey to the Saudi League, we're getting one more midfielder as well. That is a crazy one offseason rebuild for a team that played as well as Arsenal did last year. It's bold.
 

lars10

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Yeah, it's surprisingly competent and the drama is more about waiting for announcements than it is about the weird crazy rumors you usually hear about Italian and Turkish teams wanting our surplus players, or Arsenal being in it up until some other team swoops in and offers 20% more. In past years I'd hear they signed somebody and get a bad feeling about could they possibly fit, but now it's more a curiosity about how Arteta will create a fit for them. Timber and Havertz are not going to play like the guys in the same position before them, but it feels like Arteta signed them because he saw their abilities opening up a new way for Arsenal to raise their playing level, and I want to find out how that is.

I get a feeling if we can shift Partey to the Saudi League, we're getting one more midfielder as well. That is a crazy one offseason rebuild for a team that played as well as Arsenal did last year. It's bold.
Feel like it was somewhat necessary too.. past two seasons have been derailed a bit with injuries.. so adding younger players and depth should help.
Also think it would be difficult to expect xhaka to continue to play at a top level for too many more years.
This team with Saleba had an elite defense.. or at least closer to it. Adding passing and quickness in midfield should only help make the offense even more dangerous.
 

shaggydog2000

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Feel like it was somewhat necessary too.. past two seasons have been derailed a bit with injuries.. so adding younger players and depth should help.
Also think it would be difficult to expect xhaka to continue to play at a top level for too many more years.
This team with Saleba had an elite defense.. or at least closer to it. Adding passing and quickness in midfield should only help make the offense even more dangerous.
I completely agree. They needed to get younger and healthier in that area of the field, and the players they tried to bring in for it on more modest contracts didn't work out. Changing that many parts of a team that worked so well, and spending that much to do it is a sign that Arteta isn't afraid of change and has high goals. Arsenal was definitely a lot more risk averse before.

With Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, White, and Partey out there Arsenal were an elite defensive team. The numbers showed that pretty clearly. The injuries to Saliba and Partey in particular hurt that. With Rice hopefully a lot sturdier and Jorginho to back him up, and then Timber filling in on the right, Kiwior on the left side, and Tomiyasu just about everywhere that defense might be built to stay at an elite level for a full season.
 

litigator02

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Was anyone else at the game tonight? The score line captures what a lopsided contest it was, but I still walked away feeling GREAT about the team, and particularly the back line. Tomi was moving without issue, Timber is just blazing fast and looked like he would be equally comfortable at any point from goal line to goal line, Saliba more than earned the constant crowd chants…I could see a lot of clean sheets this year.

(But my god, Karl Hein is like a walking heart attack inducer. He keeps the ball at his feet FOREVER.)
 

litigator02

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Arsenal America’s website is shitting the bed for the noon ticket release today. They just got done redoing things, they’ve said, following similar problems last year. Feel sorry for, and annoyed at, those guys…
 

The Gray Eagle

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I love this Ramsdale story in the Player's Tribune. He's kind of a lovable goofball lad (if he's on your team, at least) but he talks about some intense stuff that he's dealt with and also about his brother being gay and how everyone needs to stand up to homophobia, online, on the pitch, and in the locker room.

https://www.theplayerstribune.com/posts/aaron-ramsdale-premier-league-arsenal-soccer-england

I’m so proud to say he’s my brother. I haven’t talked about it before, but with everything going on in football right now, I thought it was important to mention. Oliver is a lot like me, in many ways. He’s a regular bloke. Loves football. Loves knocking about with his mates. Loves the Gunners. He’s proud of me, and I’m really proud of him.
Over the years, I’ve probably bit my tongue a few too many times — both in dressing rooms and on social media — whenever I hear homophobic comments or stupid things being said. And I think maybe my brother has done the same, thinking it would make my life easier.
Well, all that ends today.
It’s not the easiest thing to be open like this, but there’s never a “right time.” I’ve been working on this story since the start of the summer, and my family has given me their blessing.
If I’m telling my story, I’m telling it proper. When I signed for Arsenal, I could handle all the stuff that was said about me personally. But a few of the comments involved my family, and they totally crossed the line.
I can already hear the comments.
“Oh shut up, Ramsdale. Stick to football, lad.”
But this is about football. Football is for everyone. If you disagree, maybe you’re the one who needs to shut up and look in the mirror.
The last few years especially, you see so much negativity and toxicity in football. Whether it’s on social media or at the grounds, it feels like a lot of people have lost all perspective.
After I publish this letter, as sad as it is to say, I know that I will receive messages about my wife, and about my brother. Other players receive even worse messages, especially my Black teammates. For some reason, the social media companies don’t seem to have any interest in stopping it.
But for me, it’s not about stopping it. It’s not about the trolls. I know I can’t reach them. For me, it’s simply about standing up for what’s right.
It’s about who I want to be as a person, and as a father.
I want this game I love to be a safe and welcoming place for everyone. I want my brother, Ollie — or anyone of any sexuality, race or religion — to come to games without having to fear abuse.
And when we lift a trophy at the Emirates Stadium, I want my brother there with me.
What could the trolls tell us then? Not a thing.
 

Jake Peavy's Demons

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Just a few quick things:

Community Shield match on in a few minutes. If we can be victorious, it would really get our confidence going.

Appears talks are really heating up with Brentford's GK, Spanish international David Raya. Would be an eye-opener if it got across the line. His distribution is very good -- better than Ramsdale according to analytical measures.

The flip-side of the equation is current #2 Matt Turner going off to Nottingham Forest. Fee not officially known, but Simon Collins, a Tier 3 source, is indicating £7MM.

Knocking £7MM off essentially for David Raya, who is thought to be had in the £25-30MM range (originally £40MM) would be good business IMHO.
 

shaggydog2000

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I watched it. It was mostly pretty even, and the two goals didn't come during dominant periods by either team, they were both a bit flukey. I think Tierney was just on for the Palmer goal and he may not have been covering him properly. The City own goal was a pretty random deflection. City was City, pretty stifling and slowly trying to choke you to death, and they had a lot of the ball. Saliba did well covering Haaland, and Timber looked really good at the Zinchenko role. In the shootout De Bruyne bounced once of the crossbar for a miss, and Ramsdale made a nice save on Rodri, and that was it. Not a huge amount of exciting open play. But we won, so now it's a huge decisive, momentum generating game.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Great win today, even if it’s only the Community Shield. We needed to beat this team given our piss poor record against them.

Both sides were still getting up to speed so the match lacked a bit of crispness in some of the play. But the game had genuine intensity and clearly each team wanted to win.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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David Raya come on down.

Not a move I ever imagined happening this summer but I've warmed to it.

Competition for places is good. I like Ramsdale and think he is a pretty decent young keeper for us who could one day be a great keeper. If competition helps him get there by lighting a fire under his ass, so much the better. And if he reacts to competition negatively, then he probably wasn't the right guy for the long term anyway.

Raya from an analytics standpoint is very good. One of the best in the PL last year in terms of goals v. post-shot XG and also very comfortable on the ball. Especially in the biggest games against the most sophisticated tactical teams, having that kind of keeper is a huge advantage. Ramsdale is pretty good with his feet compared to a traditional PL keeper but he can definitely be flustered.
 

Seven Costanza

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In other transfer news, my sister in law has been pulled out of a brief break from soccer employment by the hated Arsenal.

After 8 years at Chelsea and a few months in other employment, the Arsenal made her an offer she can't refuse. They've got ridiculous notice periods over there but she'll be running the tours operation at the Emirates come November. She made it very clear she'll remain a fan of the best team in London though.

It's like working for the Yankees. I'm equal parts thrilled for her and disgusted at the same time.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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In other transfer news, my sister in law has been pulled out of a brief break from soccer employment by the hated Arsenal.

After 8 years at Chelsea and a few months in other employment, the Arsenal made her an offer she can't refuse. They've got ridiculous notice periods over there but she'll be running the tours operation at the Emirates come November. She made it very clear she'll remain a fan of the best team in London though.

It's like working for the Yankees. I'm equal parts thrilled for her and disgusted at the same time.

So tour and ticket hookups for the Gazza Gooners?
 

Zososoxfan

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In other transfer news, my sister in law has been pulled out of a brief break from soccer employment by the hated Arsenal.

After 8 years at Chelsea and a few months in other employment, the Arsenal made her an offer she can't refuse. They've got ridiculous notice periods over there but she'll be running the tours operation at the Emirates come November. She made it very clear she'll remain a fan of the best team in London though.

It's like working for the Yankees. I'm equal parts thrilled for her and disgusted at the same time.
How are her saboteur metrics?
 

Seven Costanza

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I don't know about tickets, but once she gets settled I'm sure something can be arranged tour wise for those of you who admit London is blue. :cool:

+WAR for her saboteur skills. This is what I'm banking on.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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If there's something to be picked up after many years at Stamford Bridge, it is definitely how to sabotage yourself.
 

candylandriots

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In other transfer news, my sister in law has been pulled out of a brief break from soccer employment by the hated Arsenal.

After 8 years at Chelsea and a few months in other employment, the Arsenal made her an offer she can't refuse. They've got ridiculous notice periods over there but she'll be running the tours operation at the Emirates come November. She made it very clear she'll remain a fan of the sixth best team in London though.

It's like working for the Yankees. I'm equal parts thrilled for her and disgusted at the same time.
;)

this is basically the one time I could get away with this one.
 

lars10

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In other transfer news, my sister in law has been pulled out of a brief break from soccer employment by the hated Arsenal.

After 8 years at Chelsea and a few months in other employment, the Arsenal made her an offer she can't refuse. They've got ridiculous notice periods over there but she'll be running the tours operation at the Emirates come November. She made it very clear she'll remain a fan of the best team in London though.

It's like working for the Yankees. I'm equal parts thrilled for her and disgusted at the same time.
In what year will she be employed with Arsenal?

edit: or put another way.. was this post written six years ago?
 

Jake Peavy's Demons

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Beaten by minutes by MMS!

Our back-line depth has already taken a hit. Reckon Tomiyasu will start away at Palace next Monday. Unfortunately all of Timber, Zinchenko, & Tomiyasu are injury-prone and now Timber did his ACL. Hopefully we can keep LB going decently until Zinchenko and Timber come back.

Quick thoughts on the game: very disappointed we seemed to coast and not up the ante in the 2nd half. We got hit on the counter, & it was way too nervy for this poster's liking. Fortunately, I have faith Super Mik got in the squad's ear after full-time.
 

lars10

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Beaten by minutes by MMS!

Our back-line depth has already taken a hit. Reckon Tomiyasu will start away at Palace next Monday. Unfortunately all of Timber, Zinchenko, & Tomiyasu are injury-prone and now Timber did his ACL. Hopefully we can keep LB going decently until Zinchenko and Timber come back.

Quick thoughts on the game: very disappointed we seemed to coast and not up the ante in the 2nd half. We got hit on the counter, & it was way too nervy for this poster's liking. Fortunately, I have faith Super Mik got in the squad's ear after full-time.
Felt like Arsenal stopped playing on that counter because it seemed to be a head injury.. feel like Arsenal were still pressing in the second half.. they had a lot of chances even towards the end of the game… they just didn’t find the back of the net.

Two major injuries this early are more concerning.. need more depth this year with CL games.
 

litigator02

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I'll take the devil's advocate position and say that I'm not that stressed out about Timber being out for a while. The defensive depth (especially with Tierney still on the team) just seems so solid.

LB - Zinchenko (expected back for Palace) Tierney, Kiwior*, Tomiyasu*
CB - Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior, White*
RB - Timber, White, Tomiyasu, Partey*
 
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Time to Mo Vaughn

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THat totall
Beaten by minutes by MMS!

Our back-line depth has already taken a hit. Reckon Tomiyasu will start away at Palace next Monday. Unfortunately all of Timber, Zinchenko, & Tomiyasu are injury-prone and now Timber did his ACL. Hopefully we can keep LB going decently until Zinchenko and Timber come back.

Quick thoughts on the game: very disappointed we seemed to coast and not up the ante in the 2nd half. We got hit on the counter, & it was way too nervy for this poster's liking. Fortunately, I have faith Super Mik got in the squad's ear after full-time.
Let's not forget Tierney's fantastic health history. I wonder if Arsenal will now keep him with Timber out.
 

BostonJack42

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I have been advocating KT over Zinchenko for awhile but Timber looked better than both of them.
 

shaggydog2000

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I think the idea is to improve the rotations. Swapping Partey into a fullback role lets him come into the midfield and rotate with all those players and back out to the wing area. The only fixed position is really Saliba. Gabriel is very good as a CB, but should only really be playing in that position. If you're going to pick only one permanent CB, it would be Saliba because he is just as physically dominant but a better passer. Everybody but Saliba can basically show up anywhere on the pitch, and that should create chaos. I don't think it's paid off yet, and against the best offensive teams I think we're going to see Gabriel playing. But theoretically, this should help against teams that play a low block because you can create more rotations to pull them out of the block.
 

litigator02

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Plenty of griping online from people who wanted a new signing today, but I have to say that I don’t mind going til January with the current squad. Seven defenders (yes, counting Partey … it is what it is) ought to be enough to rotate and absorb an occasional injury or two. As @shaggydog2000 says above, there’s good versatility amongst the back line … not to mention that Rice could play a little CB in a pinch.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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That was fun!

You can't underestimate how much getting Zinchenko and Jesus back into the squad is going to help this team. Eddie has done really well but Jesus is just different gravy in terms of his ability to impact different parts of play and to bring the best out of our other attackers.

Lots of talk about Kai Havertz but I think its pretty overblown, its been four games and he is adjusting to a different kind of role. Getting into the box and scoring goals is something he needs to be doing more frequently in the long term but for the moment he is providing a lot of energy and probably a better defensive contribution than Xhaka just because he is so much more mobile. I actually kind of like the situation in which Havertz plays the first 60-65 minutes and runs like a madman when the game is at its most physical and high intensity then Vieira comes on and plays another 35-40 minutes (assuming 10 minutes extra time these days) when there is a bit more space for him to operate. This also meshes well with our common LB substitution pattern of Zinchenko eventually giving way to Tomiyasu or Kiwior, as it keeps some balance on that left hand side.

On the downside, Partey is apparently out until after the next international break (ie, possible return date the fixture at Stamford Bridge on October 21). But if Zinchenko and Rice can stay healthy its not that big of a deal.
 

smokin joe wood

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That was fun!

Lots of talk about Kai Havertz but I think its pretty overblown, its been four games and he is adjusting to a different kind of role. Getting into the box and scoring goals is something he needs to be doing more frequently in the long term but for the moment he is providing a lot of energy and probably a better defensive contribution than Xhaka just because he is so much more mobile. I actually kind of like the situation in which Havertz plays the first 60-65 minutes and runs like a madman when the game is at its most physical and high intensity then Vieira comes on and plays another 35-40 minutes (assuming 10 minutes extra time these days) when there is a bit more space for him to operate. This also meshes well with our common LB substitution pattern of Zinchenko eventually giving way to Tomiyasu or Kiwior, as it keeps some balance on that left hand side.
Kai compares to Granit pretty favorably. Dribbled Past % is pretty striking here.
70465
 

BostonJack42

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I think it's way too early to write of Kai - but man would I love to ESR get some of those minutes. The kid's a talent and just to leave him on the bench is a crime.
 

lars10

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I think it's way too early to write of Kai - but man would I love to ESR get some of those minutes. The kid's a talent and just to leave him on the bench is a crime.
With champions league and other non league fixtures there should be time for everyone.
 

shaggydog2000

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Kai compares to Granit pretty favorably. Dribbled Past % is pretty striking here.
View attachment 70465
I really want to like Havertz, he does seem to work hard, and I fully understand that having bad bounces and flubbing a chance right in front of the net is not representative of all your skills or predictive of future finishing. These sorts of charts give you the feeling that he does a lot more that is harder to see. But, it doesn't help that whenever Vieira comes on, the team just flows better. And it's not like Vieira is a proven player in that spot, he was pretty inconsistent there last year. It's like playing Partey at RB. I can see the tactical reasoning behind it, but so far it just seems to bog the team down.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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I really want to like Havertz, he does seem to work hard, and I fully understand that having bad bounces and flubbing a chance right in front of the net is not representative of all your skills or predictive of future finishing. These sorts of charts give you the feeling that he does a lot more that is harder to see. But, it doesn't help that whenever Vieira comes on, the team just flows better. And it's not like Vieira is a proven player in that spot, he was pretty inconsistent there last year. It's like playing Partey at RB. I can see the tactical reasoning behind it, but so far it just seems to bog the team down.
I was pretty down on Vieira last year. Some flashy dribbling that would turn into nothing. He's looking completely different in a small sample size this year. That Arteta already has him high on the depth chart off the bench already says something. He may actually turn into a valuable weapon.
 

shaggydog2000

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I was pretty down on Vieira last year. Some flashy dribbling that would turn into nothing. He's looking completely different in a small sample size this year. That Arteta already has him high on the depth chart off the bench already says something. He may actually turn into a valuable weapon.
I agree with all of that. He showed flashes, particularly in the Europa league, but just didn't seem to be on the Premier League level last year. It's been a small sample size, and when he is fresh and everyone else is a bit worn down, but he looks much more ready to handle the level of play this year.
 

smokin joe wood

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I really want to like Havertz, he does seem to work hard, and I fully understand that having bad bounces and flubbing a chance right in front of the net is not representative of all your skills or predictive of future finishing. These sorts of charts give you the feeling that he does a lot more that is harder to see. But, it doesn't help that whenever Vieira comes on, the team just flows better. And it's not like Vieira is a proven player in that spot, he was pretty inconsistent there last year. It's like playing Partey at RB. I can see the tactical reasoning behind it, but so far it just seems to bog the team down.
I'm far from a soccer expert but Viera's skills are very different than Havertz. I think that's a good thing and seems to already be bearing fruit. Havertz presses well, holds up play and, in theory, is good in the air. Viera makes/attempts progressive passes with regularity but doesn't do any of the things Havertz excels at. They complement each other well, it's good roster construction.
 

shaggydog2000

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I'm far from a soccer expert but Viera's skills are very different than Havertz. I think that's a good thing and seems to already be bearing fruit. Havertz presses well, holds up play and, in theory, is good in the air. Viera makes/attempts progressive passes with regularity but doesn't do any of the things Havertz excels at. They complement each other well, it's good roster construction.
I don't disagree with any of this either. The team just seems to flow better with Vieira out there from what I can see. There has been something that just doesn't feel right about the team offensively so far, but hopefully having Zinchenko and Gabby Jesus back will help with that.

Also, Edu may have actually gotten money for Pepe, who is going to a Turkish team that sounds like an alien race on Rick and Morty:

View: https://twitter.com/GFFN/status/1699937036134748291?t=sVKvf3qx-sBAtFyzF3E-SA&s=19


Arsenal will obtain a £3m fee in the departure of Nicolas Pépé (28) to Trabzonspor, according to sources contacted by Get French Football News.
Even if it's 3m in Turkish Lira, it's still worth it to get him off the books without eating any of his salary.