Arsenal fans should not be worried; the process will include selling a Saka or Saliba

Editor F365
Arsenal defender William Saliba celebrates scoring a goal

If Arsenal want to be like Liverpool then they need to sell like Liverpool did with Philippe Coutino. It’s nothing to worry about.

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The only mail we got on that Liverpool win
A win, and played marginally better than toilet.

I’ll take that.
Aidan, Lfc


It’s all part of the process
I understand John’s fear about Arsenal’s ability to hold on to top talent – and while I believe that Saka, Martinelli, Saliba etc… will all sign one more contract at Arsenal – they (and our other young stars) won’t all sign two (or more) contracts. Accepting this reality allows us to do what’s required down track.

In the next 2-3 years one of these bright young stars will be sold – and I think the process requires us to do so. I don’t think Liverpool get to their heights without cashing in on Coutinho. Arsenal will need to do the same – cash in a star and reinvest not necessarily in a direct replacement, but where needed in the squad.

Much has been written about Arsenal giving players away for free. In my opinion those were all (in the big picture) the right things to do (and at least now we’re finally learning to include sell on clauses). The mistakes in the past five years have been things like not selling AMN for 20 million, or saying no to City’s 50 million for Sanchez only to trade him for Mikhataryan a few months later. Not being willing to sell high has cost Arsenal in the past – I think fear has been an inhibitor.

So the next step in the process is seeing if can Arsenal learn how to sell a player at peak (or rising) value.
Steve (Gooner) Australia


Enjoy this Arsenal side, fella
In response to John Matrix AFC’s letter. My God, cheer up.

It doesn’t get better than it is now. Almost every player we have is fit, performing and rising in value. The club, fans and players are more connected than they have been since probably May 2006. The new songs are brilliant. It’s clicking and it’s fun again. Yes, it will be shit again sometime in the future, but we’ve been in the doldrums so much recently, just enjoy the moment for what it is and stop fretting.
Niallo, Giddy Gooner


No, you can’t enjoy this Man City side
Nice article there by Dave Tickner. Looking forward to the one about the Qatar World Cup which he’s no doubt equally ‘fascinated and enthralled’ by when he wonders at the architectural majesty of the stadia (built by slave labour) and gets bored by the numberwang of those who died during construction.

Or should we perhaps stop aiding the sportswash despite how well their teams play football or how impressive their stadia are?
James Outram, Wirral
(At least the Golf authorities, players and media are making an effort)


Do Man City have the worst fans?
I feel from reading this site’s mailbox and many comments sections on Youtube videos the past few days that Man City officially have the world’s worst fans. Barca fans have held this title for a long time due to their ridiculous sense of entitlement, bad sportsmanship and more recently their severe delusions over their clubs financial state. One thing I can say about Barca fans is whatever their failings it isn’t a moral issue which is why they have been kicked off top spot.

Dave Tickner did point out City’s absurd excellence and I doubt anybody can deny this. No Pep team has ever been better to watch, his Tiki-Taka Barca side may have been ruthlessly efficient but apart from the regular wonder goals they sent you to sleep (even before the opposition defenders). Also it is not wrong for anybody to enjoy Haaland breaking records with ease as it is fun and he is such a likeable sort of chap to boot.

City and their fans used to be very affable, nobody but Utd fans really seemed to have any issue with them, a neutrals favorite you could say but that has drastically changed in recent years. The problem with City fans is not actually as they claim the success, impressive football and their enjoyment of it, you can’t fault them for that. It is their inability to just admit their owners are even the slightest bit terrible human beings.

They love to deflect and point at how bad the Glazers are (and they are terrible owners) but using a club you don’t care about as your own personal piggy bank until you can sell it for billions is not the same as being a human rights abusing dictator. City fans however don’t seem to recognise this or at least pretend they don’t. Any acknowledgment of their owners questionable behaviour is always followed by some comment straight out of the moral relativists handbook.

City are a well run club but it is easy to run a club well without the constraints of petty things like finite money and following the rules like non-state owned clubs have to. Of course any mention of these things will cause any City fan to accuse you of jealousy, of leveling false accusations or for the most left wing of them being Islamaphobic.

The hypocrisy of City fans was certainly highlighted through tributes to Ukraine while they ignore the atrocities their owners (and Newcastle’s owners also) have been committing in Yemen for over half a decade. A war that has cost the lives of over 130,000 people.

City fans actually staged protests against their previous owner Thaksin Shinawatra over his sacking of Sven Goran Eriksson. The Centenary Supporters’ Association issued this statement in regards to Thaksin “We give unconditional support and have a culture that cannot be bought at any price. We have welcomed his financial support without too many questions but we are not blind”. So sacking a Swede caused protests but an owner that imprisons gay people and journalists, murders innocent Yemeni’s civilians by the thousand is perfectly fine to fans. Seems like Sheikh Mansour discovered his club’s fans do have a price and bought a culture of silence (this isn’t just a joke about the non-existent atmosphere at the Etihad).

Is it impossible for these fans to enjoy the success and admit they are not particularly enamoured with the owners? This doesn’t seem hard but is beyond any City fan I’ve come across and that is many. Do they think the Abu Dhabi government will give them the same fate as the Saudi’s gave Jamal Khashoggi or get them banned from the Etihad if they just be honest? Manchester isn’t Abu Dhabi so fans could protest their owner if they wanted, human rights and LGBT groups could be causing a fuss outside every home game too but I guess it’s just a symptom of modern day society that nobody in that City seems to care at all.

I know I’ll most likely just get replies to this proving my point but I’d love at least one City fan to write into the mailbox proving me wrong, but even then that is just one so you are still winning the worst fans award.
William, Leicester


Here’s a nice Man City fan
With reference to Monday morning’s mailbag and the delusion gripping football fans I would like to point out:

1) Manchester City make money just like every other club. I’d be totally naive to believe that our owner does not have considerable resources BUT we also receive a shed load of money from television rights, prize winning, ticket sales and even sponsorship from non Abu Dhabi-based businesses. Let’s have a bit of balance when talking about Manchester City’s finances instead of reference to technicalities, fraud and Mansour buying himself a season ticket.

2) Like many people I too am shocked that Manchester City pay their players and that the amount they may get paid may influence where they end up playing. I was under the impression that all footballers played for the love of the game and in some cases actually pay the club’s for the privilege of putting on a red shirt and falling over. When are City going to be banned for paying their players? I’d suggest a wage cap of £4 a week. Perhaps then United may finally finish their rebuild and sign some of our best players. Thankfully there is no historical precedent for this.

3) I remember when Manchester City really were rubbish and not just finishing 5th for a couple of seasons rubbish. In fact City have been significantly rubbish for much more of my life than we have been good. We once had a stuffed toy managing us and he wasn’t even our worse manager.

Not once in all that time was my enjoyment of watching Manchester City dependant on how close the league title race was. When we scored 10 entire goals and didn’t score a goal at home for half a season not once was I comforted by Rooney’s goal of the season against Bolton (fine goal though it was). When we had no realistic hope of winning the FA Cup did I ever suggest not entering it. Does this make me a better fan? No it makes me a normal fan like pretty much every other fan who supports their team and finds enjoyment and frustration in equal measure regardless of what is happening at any other team.

If the EPL becomes a one horse league and the money goes along with Haaland, KdB, Diaz etc then I will have some great memories to go along with the great memories of City when we were bad. I will make more memories and find new heroes in whomever wears the sky blue. In sickness and in health til death do us part.
Richard (Manchester, still walking in a Keegan wonderland)


Record collector
It may be harder to judge whether a record may or may not be broken.

Just picking one from the article, Van der Saar’s 1113 minutes without conceding doesn’t beat the UK record of 1196 minutes (Chris Woods, at Rangers in 86-87) and nudged a more remarkable effort into second place. Steve Death, all 5ft 7 inches of him, went nearly 1100 minutes (I’ve seen 1074 and 1103 cited and can’t find me an old Rothmans) without conceding in the lower leagues in 1979, finally beaten by an own goal.

The height’s no mistake. He was tiny.
Rob Evans


This is a thing now
With reference to Luke in Dublin and adding ‘with cheese’ to Royal…

If anyone can stop themselves adding ‘spaniel’ whenever the new monarch is mentioned, then they are a bigger person than me.
Speckled Jim (AFC)


…Luke (Hold the lettuce), I hadn’t thought of Emerson Royal with cheese, but I will from now on.

However I do always mentally stick a “Cod” into “Emile Smith Cod Rowe”.

I have issues.
Toby (I don’t even like cod roe)