Hailing the Arsenal transfer ‘masterplan’ and more…

Date published: Friday 2nd August 2019 9:52

Thank you for the e-mails. We have had a great week. Mail us at theeditor@football365.com


Arsenal are nailing this…
The Arsenal masterplan, it seems, is to rather than hamstring but to get the most out of the market that they can at the current moment whilst resetting the wage bill in the process.

Ozil, Mhkitaryan on a combined £550k a week and on the bench or injured often is daft.

Pépé reportedly joining for £100k a week I am seeing. Ozil departs in two years, after that hopefully the highest wage earner will be much, much less than it currently is and the squad as a whole has parity in the wage department to bring quality to all areas. There are similar tales elsewhere, Liverpool and Man Utd seem keen to not spend cash until wages of current players are removed from the books first. It really is there to be seen at a few clubs.

Whilst everyone gets caught up in this £45m (and Arsenal are still within it based on initial payments for players this summer), which club in their right mind goes into the market saying ‘We’re Rich!!! Fleece Us!’.
Thom, Newport


…I’ll admit I don’t know exactly how football transfers work. There are lots of moving parts involving several parties. However, I suspect most substantial ones do work in a similar way to Pepe’s impending move to Arsenal. Very few clubs have so much cash laying around that they can make a one off £72m payment. Even those that do would surely see this as financially irresponsible.

The impact of another season without Champions League football on Arsenal’s transfer budget was estimated at £45m-ish. IF Arsenal finish top four or win the Europa League this season, let’s say there’ll be at least £80m to spend next summer. The £13m or so we’ll have to pay to Lille and the few million to Celtic should we get Tierney would still leave us with at £60m.

The suggestion that Arsenal should take two years of pain is pretty short sighted. A £45m budget is an indication we currently in a year of pain. Extending that further by signing only one player and essentially regressing would mean we end up further away from the Champions League places as those around us spend and improve. The likes of Aubameyang and Lacazette would see the lack of ambition and agitate for moves. That two years could quickly turn into another 10.
James Wheaton


…I’ve been thinking about how Arsenal are conducting their transfer business and Andrew from yesterday afternoon asked an interesting question. The way I see it Arsenal are investing in the hope of their ‘Coutinho’ moment. Not so much the player but his sale.

Pepe, Saliba, Guendouzi and Torreira have all been bought with the intention to make money. These aren’t long-term signings or players set to be pillars of the club for years to come because that sort of player and game doesn’t really exist anymore. It’s about 2-3 year cycles and a constant recycling of players bought and sold for a substantial profit. Buy Pepe for £70-odd million over five years, he’s a star and gets the club in the chumps league again but sell him in three years time for £120m and jobs a good’un. Minimal initial outlay, chumps league moneyz and enough money made from the transfer to start the process again or look at someone further along their footballing journey for a bit more money (an Allison or VVD).

Once upon a time we bought players and they were to make the team better but these days it’s to (obviously still) enhance the squad but they must also have a high resale potential. Liverpool nailed it over the last few years and went toe to toe with a club who use tenners for post-it notes, with Big Boy Raul offering up as much in his ‘we have to outsmart the market’ soundbite. So in answer to Andrew, no it won’t hinder their budget as we will continue to set up these deals and then start to cash in hopefully with some extra euro super duper league cash coming in too. Simple right? What could go wrong…..
Lee (Modern football is about selling smart which AFC are…erm….ah jings)


‘Arsenal still need a defender’ and more thoughts
Morning mailboxers, a few transfer thoughts from my, hopefully not too blinkered, perspective;

1) Staggering thought that I live in a world where Harry Maguire is likely to be the most expensive defender EVER. He’s a decent defender, no more no less. It is absolutely ridiculous and frankly I’m amazed that more people aren’t raising eyebrows. If United improve this season it will be because their attackers finally click. A VVD style defensive transformation this will not be.

2) Arsenal may be very excited about a shiny new attacker. Good for them. I’ve not actually seen him play but heard good things. HOWEVER, you still have no defenders and if this is not addressed there is absolutely no chance of a top four finish this coming season, which surely has to be a target?

3) Everton repeatedly buy players from overseas for decent sums and seemingly without any real competition. Ever wondered why that was, and then why it doesn’t really work out? No chance of them troubling the top six.

4) A fellow mailboxer mentioned this and it struck a chord. Why are Spurs actively trying to sell Rose and for what would be a small sum in today’s terms? I feel that this coming season could actually be his best yet. He’s settled, mature (ish) and fit. He’s got everything. Sign the Fulham lad, yes, but just not to replace him.

Oh, a right back would be handy too please Mr Levy.

I did have more but frankly I’ve forgotten. I’m very tired from staying up all night, celebrating Spurs’ terrific Audi Cup victory yesterday. Get in!!!
Dave, Berkshire Spurs


Football fans are so fickle
This won’t be the first time this has been said, so here goes nothing…

Reading the mails of various football fans over the past few weeks, I find it striking how nothing ever seems to be good enough for some people.

For some (I’m thinking of Man U and Chelsea fans here) that have grown tired of big-money signings, they cry out for the ‘yoof’ to be blooded in to their team, thinking that this infusion of enthusiasm and work rate will solve their team’s problems. Then when there are inevitable teething problems as these young players gain experience at the top level, they will be berated and unfairly criticised by their own fans saying they aren’t good enough. This has already happened with Marcus Rashford at United and we will probably see someone like Tammy Abraham thrown under the bus by Chelsea fans if he struggles this season.

On the flip side of that, there is another type of fan (calling out all of the neurotic and anxious Liverpool fans here) who seem to think that they desperately need big money signings when the solution to their problems could be staring them right in the face. While I do think Liverpool will struggle to keep up with City this season, I still find it astonishing that Liverpool fans are in a state of panic about a team that is clearly one of the best club sides in world football, with one of the best managers in world football who is excellent at nurturing young talent (Rhian Brewster, Harry Wilson etc).

Both types of fan need to be more patient and be willing to trust the ongoing process at their respective clubs. It is undeniably difficult to find the perfect balance between young players being brought through into the first team along with importing the star quality from abroad, but if fickle football fans could just chill out a bit and think long term instead of short term more often, they’d be making life a lot easier for the manager and players they supposedly support.
Ciarán C, Chelsea fan, Ireland (I’m starting to worry about the overwhelming positivity of Chelsea fans in the mailbox or maybe I’m the neurotic one….)


Pre-season For Dummies – A Guide
As the transfer window grinds to a juddering close, with the rumour-meters turned up to 11 and hysteria in overdrive, it’s so hard for serious fans to make sense of what’s going on at our own clubs, let alone the others. So I’ve culled from all the comments and articles out there, a set of useful rules to follow for transfer season:

If your club has signed a bunch of players – say upwards of 4 – you have a dynamic plan to reinvent the club. If other clubs do it, they are in transition and will struggle to settle with that many new players.

If your club has a player returning from long term injury, he is like a new signing, and could make all the difference. If it’s another club – they’re just papering over the cracks and their lack of spending. He won’t survive the first game, and they’re rushing him back too early.

If you’ve won all your pre-season games, you’re entering the year in a terrific vein of form with a settled team and tactical maturity. If you’ve lost all your pre-season games, it’s all about the fitness, and everybody knows that pre-season has no bearing on actual results.

If you’ve signed a young player, it’s a buying promise and potential. An investment into the future. If other clubs buy young players, it’ll never strengthen their first team, where they need the investment.

If you’re buying an old player, it’s a smart investment in a player who won’t expect to play every game. If it’s others, they’re just a retirement home.

If you have players going from the academy to the first team, you know all their middle names, their histories, strengths and traits, what their preferred foot is, and you know exactly how many goals they’ve contributed in pre-season. If other clubs have academy players – they’ll never win anything with kids.

If your club spends all summer working on prising that one key player away from another club – it’s strategic, and effective brinkmanship. Looking after the money. If it’s the other clubs – they are clueless dolts who deserve to fail.

If your club visited 2 continents and 4 cities in pre-season – they’re connecting with the fans and getting valuable exposure and conditioning. If it’s another club – they’re just selling pot noodles and chalking up the air miles.

If you beat Real Madrid (or Inter Milan) you call it the Audi Cup (or the International Cup). If you lose, it’s a meaningless pre-season friendly.

And lastly, if you’ve signed a player for 70 million, its a statement of intent. If it’s anybody else, it’s jacking up the already bloated price of players, and football’s gone mad.
Ved (this is Alexis Sanchez’s year, or it isn’t) Sen


Looking back on where we first met…
Jamie’s email got me reminiscing and yes Jamie, I’m with you – particularly the 1995/96 close season (so yes, pre-Wenger). As Arsenal fans we were used to hard-working but ultimately just about above average players such as Kevin Campbell, Ian Selley and David Hillier. However that summer I remember reading in the papers about the rumours of Dennis Bergkamp and David Platt from Internazionale and Sampdoria respectively. This was a whole other level of footballer: players whose names were known across the world who were also coming from sexier clubs in a sexier country. The kind of club we still didn’t know a whole lot about and rarely used to see on TV, apart from of course on the fabulous Football Italia presented by the masterful James Richardson on C4. But this was a weekly treat, much like Sky football at the time. There was no Sky Sports News. There was no relentless clicks on the internet to get updates by the second. There we no smartphones whereby information was accessible whenever, wherever. We would either check teletext or the papers.

My Dad was in the Army and at the time was stationed in Germany so I used to make the daily four-mile round trip walk to the NAAFI (for those not in the know it was basically the military version of a Spar shop) to pick up, hopefully, the latest copy of The Sun (purely to do with their sport excellence and naff all to do with the page 3 reaffirming my adolescence and the direction I was going in….) and would immediately open the back pages to see some spread around Bergkamp or Platt. The tangible sense of disappointment I felt on a daily basis when there was no signing confirmation was only blown apart by the elation I felt when in fairly quick succession (if memory serves) they both signed.

They truly were halcyon days where summers seemed to last forever and the world just seemed to spin a bit slower. And then we only went and got Vieira!


…Jamie, I could not agree more. I remember spending teenage holidays (usually in Magaluf or some such) in the early 90s spending an insane amount of cash (relatively, and for a young lad, meaning about four quid) on whatever English rag my mates and I could find each day and then inhaling every single scrap of news and reports of matches. Given that my team were invariably in whatever the second div was called at the time I usually had the added treat of being able to read all of the match reports from week 1 and tingling with excitement knowing I’d be on the terraces the following week. I’d read each article slowly and often multiple times, as if any one of them might contain the answers to the meaning of life itself. Magical times…
Mike (with no Ceefax there would be no internet, fact) WHU


…In response to Jamie’s request for transfer sagas of yore, there are many Tottenham-centric ones I could regale the mailbox with, much to the joy of Spurs fans in their 30s and absolutely nobody else. However I’d like to share how I learned of Jurgen Klinsmann’s second signing for my beloved club, in those pre-smart phone days of the 1990s. For context I should point out now that my dad brought me up supporting Spurs – whereas my mum, whilst ‘supporting’ them, would still happily say things like “well that was a good goal wasn’t it” if Bergkamp put Arsenal up 1-0 with a cracker. No, mum, it wasn’t.

On the day Jurgen came back to Spurs in 1997, I was round at a friend’s house. Normally back then you would learn about transfers via ceefax and teletext. Not me on this occasion. Somehow my mum became aware of his return before I did, and thought the most appropriate course of action was to excitedly phone my friend’s house to tell me. My friend’s mum answered and handed over the receiver, but before I could even finish saying ‘hello?’ she started singing “HE’S COMING HOME, HE’S COMING HOME, HE’S COMING, KLINSMANN’S COMING HOME” down the line, before hanging up.

We have never spoken about it since. It was so odd, that over the years I’ve wondered if I just made it up, but I know that it definitely happened.
Dan G, THFC (obviously)


Thank you F365 family
Been a regular on f365 for more that 20 years and it’s difficult to think of a better thing this website has done than publishing the email about Michelle. They have smashed their target and if you read the donations most of them mention F365. This girl who isn’t going to have the joys of life we have had is going to have an amazing time with her family and I love the website has helped them. Seen loads of names on the donations I recognise, well done guys.
Graham Kirk, Sunny Manchester (flooded in August!)

(Seriously, we are so proud of you guys for this. Like tearfully proud. Here’s the link if you still want to donate. I had a very moving e-mail from Dave this morning. He is very, very thankful and so are Lola’s family. They spent yesterday hitting F5 and wondering who F365 are. They know now. Love to all, even when you are being c***s – Sarah xxx)


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