Arsenal fans getting upset at the Jorginho signing is rightly derided by sane Gooners in the Mailbox, while there are thoughts on Liverpool.
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Arsenal got it absolutely right with Jorginho
The Caicedo vs Jorginho comparision is incredible.
Sure Caicedo is 10 years younger and has had a good season but why on earth do people think an unproven 21-year-old with a whopping 26 Premier League games experience, 0 trophies, 0 caps in European competition, that has never played in a major international competition and a year ago was playing for the mighty Beerschot in the Beligum division is a better buy for league leading Arsenal than Jorginho who has many years of top level experience in Italy, was one of Chelsea best players over the last half decade winning the Champions League & Europa League, won Euro 2020 as one of Italy’s best players and was named the 3rd best player in the world after Messi and Lewandowski a whopping 13months ago.
I’ll tell you why, because Caicedo is valued at £80m and Jorginho is a £12m player.
In another alternative world, if Caicedo had six momths left on his contract and had a not had a great last dozen games and was valued at £12m and Jorginho had just come back from the World Cup as a winner and Chelesa wanted to build a team around him with 3 years on his contract and valued at £80m then peoples’ perspective would be completely reversed.
Yes recent form and age comes into the price but more important is the length of contract and desire of the club to keep or sell the player.
Arsenal need a player for this year, we have an amazing chance to mount a title bid and what we don’t need is another overpaid unproven player a la Pepe.
I also don’t get this idea that he’s too old or slow. Is Xhaka or Elneny quick players? You know Xhaka, Elneny and Jorginho are all born within 15 months of each other?
Jorginho never had pace to lose, but equally is younger than Pirlo was when he went to Juventus and arguably had his best years, younger than when Xavi Alonso went to Bayern, 2 year younger than Cristiano was when Juventus paid Real Mardid £100m and most ridiculously of all the same age as Aubameyang when he signed his new 3 year contract in 2020 after winning the FA cup for Arsenal. At that time the “experts” (Chris Sutton I’m looking at you) told us we had to spend “whatever it takes” to keep Aubameyang and build the team around him.
Anyone that chooses paying £80m for Caicedo over £12m for Jorginho is bonkers.
Paul K, London
…The delusion from fellow fans was just beyond me yesterday. Somebody said to me “why are not thinking about the long term with these signings?” Oh! so now you want long term. I thought you wanted to win the league? We’re so attracted to shiny things. My neighbour changes his car every year, so I should too.
I don’t even see a reason to try and justify Edu. No matter how long you’ve supported this club, one thing is certain; you don’t want this league as much as Arteta or Edu. They answered a question that we should have all known the answer to. You’re halfway through the season and you find yourself in an unexpected first position. You can only have two additions to see out the season. Would you rather have experienced premier league players Trossard & Jorginho or would you rather have two youngsters with only one full season behind them in Mudryk and Caicedo?
On the deal itself I never bought into the “Jorginho is rubbish” crap. I think playing in a 2 man midfield at Chelsea was always going to expose his weaknesses and you can see how much better he was at the Euros.
This is why the January transfer window must end. Beyond that why FFP must work. How do you describe this apart from completely and utterly insane. How long are we going to sustain this hyped-up, drugged-up lifestyle?
Damola Bremen (it’s ridiculous that we are having this conversation)
…This morning I’ve been wondering a lot (while I’ve meant to be working). Jorginho to Arsenal? Hmm, not sure I felt happy about that when I first heard it as I’ve felt that we’ve so often been done over by Chelsea outcasts when sent to us. Whilst I think he has been an excellent player, he does seem to be past his best. However, we do need a midfielder, Chelsea need to shed players and we are getting him for close to £10m. I suppose that does make sense after all, especially looking at his solid stats.
I went on to also wonder why, if Declan Rice has intimated that he wants to come join the Arsenal, didn’t we bid for him this January window? Then I got me thinking more, if Chelsea don’t nab him, then we could well buy Caicedo AND Rice in the summer. Now I think that would be an extraordinarily shrewd move.
Jorginho is a worthwhile gamble then as he is a tight and consistent choice. Our midfield will then looks super strong leading into the following season covering the Premier League (as champions??) and looking to challenge for the Champions League again. Ooh, now that starts to feel like a decent bit of business.
Then, before I return to the aforementioned ‘work’, I got thinking about our striker situation. Martinelli has now extended and can cover for Nketiah/Jesus and has Trossard covering his own position should this happen. In the summer we receive Balogun back from the Ligue un. From what I gather, he has been doing pretty well over there and could come back to help cover our striker situation.
Therefore, our squad for next season has the potential to be covered in almost every position more than once over with world class/borderline world class players. At the very least they will have wonderful experience amongst them, and that’s in spite of being currently the youngest squad in the league.
My goodness, whatever Stewie says from his troll’s lair, this looks to me to be some serious uptick in general management of a club that felt for far too long like it was being mismanaged.
JazGooner (returning to work, while refreshing the January Deadline Day blog)
READ: Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd among the Premier League 2023 January transfer window winners
Pressing issues at Liverpool
Lots of interesting takes on what is happening with Liverpool this season. My own initial thought at the start of the season was that the players were mentally and physically struggling from last season’s pressure and intensity, given the shorter break they had over the summer. The longer our poor performances and results continued the more it seemed this was not the reason.
It then looked like all the issues were down to the midfield not operating as it should and not backing up the attackers, nor helping the defence and leaving them exposed. There has been a big gap where our midfield should be. This is still the main issue, and it’s clear we require a complete midfield replacement.
For me, what is just as big an issue is the forward line not pressing like it should. It’s no coincidence that our best performances this season have been when Firmino has played. Him and Mane were the pressers in the front line, which allowed the team to push up as a unit behind them. Luis Diaz when he arrived also was very good at triggering the press. Without these players it hasn’t worked.
Darwin Nunez has the desire to press, and does so, but it’s not coherent and he chases everything, when sometimes he shouldn’t. When he’s played around fairly easily, the whole team is out of shape and with the midfield not having the legs anymore, leaves us exposed. He is improving in this, but still needs coaching, or just to learn to reign in his enthusiasm.
Hopefully soon with Diaz and Jota returning from injury, we may see an improvement in the forwards pressing. Will it improve the whole team? A little I feel, but the midfield issue still needs resolving. This season is at this point a write off. We won’t be qualifying for next season’s Champions League, and that will be a blow to our re-building plans.
One thing I do believe though is Jurgen is still the man for the job and to start building his second great side (hopefully). It’s not a complete re-build as the forward’s have already been replaced, just needs Nunez and Gapko to learn the way the forwards press. Despite the number of goals we concede, the defence would be considerably better with a working as it should midfield.
We have a number of issues this season, and will be interesting to see how we solve them.
Where’s the blame for Klopp?
I really am surprised by the lack of blame laid at Klopp’s feet for Liverpool’s current situation.
Yes, he has earned some time after he delivered some success to the club ( on a shoe string budget of €700+ million) but how long are Liverpool fans willing to give him? He has shown no signs of being able to change the situation bar spending more money and trying to continue with the only gameplan he has: “heavy metal football” and long balls.
But can he be trusted to spend the money? He greenlighted the transfers of Nunez and Gakpo when the midfield is clearly in need of upgrading. Who’s to say he won’t go out and spend the money on another pacy forward he can run into the ground, with enough change leftover to buy another shrewd signing from the Championship.
Anyway, this wasn’t what I was wanting to write in about. I wanted to talk about the obvious solution for Liverpool: Klopp and Liverpool go on a break à la Ross and Rachel. Makes perfect sense. Klopp doesn’t know how to improve the situation so why not get someone in who’s more tactically adept. Like Big Sam. He’s used to rescue jobs, he’s used to playing long ball style football and more importantly he’s available.
Get him in today while the windows still open and give him a few million pounds for signing on fees and he will sort this mess out. He’d have Liverpool back into Europa League contention where they might be still appealing to the likes of Bellingham in the summer. Get Klopp back in for next season then, give Big Sam the England job and everyone’s happy again. Bish bash bosh.
READ: Liverpool and Everton transfer sh*tshows torn to shreds as Caicedo is January window loser
Imagine Pogba under a proper Man Utd manager…
Way back at the beginning of September I wrote an email wondering if Paul Pogba may have had a bit of regret for not staying at Man Utd for Ten Hag. Fast forward a few months and with Ten Hag setting Manchester United on the path away from being a punchline to a bad joke and with Juventus docked 15 points in Serie A and also now competing in the Europa League I wonder if that is more the case now.
I even feel a bit sorry for him (well compensated though he is) since he could not have known that Man Utd would have ended up such a basket case when he joined what was surely presented as an exciting new project with serial winner Mourinho, with Ibrahimovic, with Rooney still and now he made a decision, probably also based on emotion to go to Juventus which probably seemed the safe choice at the time – compete in a good league and win things – while also being a club he has strong emotional ties to and it seems to have backfired.
Obviously I don’t know the terms of his deal or what clubs were in for him, but it’s hard to imagine Real Madrid or Barcelona not willing to give him a decent contract for a free transfer, and given Juventus’ financial situation and the comparative lack of money in Serie A I can’t imagine Juventus offering more than Man Utd did; basically I don’t believe he moved to Juventus for financial reasons and I think he could have made more money and won things elsewhere. So I am sad for him that this second stint at Juventus will probably not end up as successful as he would have hoped, especially after the chaos and toxicity at Man Utd.
The contrast between his second stint at Man Utd and now is night and day. And while I’m sure there’ll be a deluge of emails to say Pogba was the problem at Man Utd all along and now he’s causing all of Juventus’ misfortunes now, and probably the war in Ukraine, I think I’ll always be a bit sad that we failed Pogba at least as much if not more than he failed us.
The Arsenal game was a fantastic example of how much better we look with Casemiro and I would love to have seen Pogba play with someone as classy, calming and intelligent as Casemiro. I would have loved to have seen him play in a Man Utd team that was pulling in the same direction to win things and where players were built up – just look at Ten Hag’s handling of Sancho.
Obviously we don’t know if Sancho will come back as the player who took the Bundesliga by storm, but it’s also not the point in many ways; Ten Hag identified that a player was not performing and was not in a good place and put the player’s needs first – a complete contrast to Ole getting Martial and Rashford to play injured or Mourinho bullying Shaw. I don’t have any doubts that Ten Hag would have got more out of Pogba.
Which leads me to the Eriksen injury. While probably the player I’d most like to see play along Eriksen is Juan Mata – probably two of the nicest seeming men in football, I think Man Utd could do a lot worse than bringing in Pogba on loan. I obviously think this is extremely unlikely to happen, but it could suit Man Utd in that we have an extremely talented footballer deputise for Eriksen, it could offer Pogba some sort of temporary redemption and it could alleviate financial pressure on Juventus so each party gets something from it. It won’t happen and Pogba would also be mad to have anything to do with a certain section of Man Utd’s toxic fanbase, but it would be worth it just to see Souness’ blood pressure go through the roof.
Every time I think we’ve reached peak Everton, it turns out there’s more mountain to climb.
Owen Davidson, EFC
There was some football
Well done Newcastle and happy for their fans. It’s been long overdue. Enjoy!
Darryl, Cape Town