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Thank God thats over.
Can we get the f’ckin ball out now.
But the Levy was dry
Hope nobody got hurt when the window slammed shut yesterday. Tottenham and Arsenal are the big winners of the window for me, Jeff, and I am completely flabbergasted at Daniel Levy’s ability to play the long game. Bartering the Lo Celso price down to almost half price is pretty astonishing business, and bringing Fulham right down towards that €25m mark for Sessegnon is equally impressively stubborn.
Slight shame that they couldn’t pull off Dybala, as that would have been a pretty impressive transfer deadline day if they’d managed it. Regardless, reports have him getting the price down to 67m! Hard not to contrast with Edward Woodward spending an entire summer bartering Leicester down from £80m to £85m.
Bring on the football!
Liverpool should be delighted
Thank God the wait is over. I am hoping a win against Norwich will shut up the Liverpool fans who are crying about a lack of transfers. You’d think a fan base that lucked into TAA would want to see more youth get a chance. Even Hooever looked ludicrously good last season, why sign people who will obstruct their paths. I can’t understand why anyone would want more signings which risks disrupting our harmony and balance.
And that’s my point. Coutinho, Neymar, Pogba, Mangala and countless others are all recent high profile failures. Veron and Torres (to Chelsea) were record transfer failures at the time. Paul Tomkins has written countless times about the fact that transfer fees are no guarantee of success, so Spurs, Everton and everyone else have the risk that although they’ve tried to plug their gaps it might not work.
From a Liverpool perspective, we should be delighted that our entire squad is settled. Everyone on our team has the benefit of being settled in at home and their families are also relaxed. People seem to forget that footballers are humans and in many cases new transfers are humans who don’t speak the language, are uprooting their families and having to settle in to a new work place under the eyes of millions.
Bang average Arsenal
In the context of the forthcoming season, the net result of Arsenals transfer dealings is that they have basically just added a new left back.
Ceballos replaces Ramsey. Is he an upgrade? I highly doubt it.
Luiz replaces Koscielny. Is he an upgrade? Lots of factors here. He’s not as injury prone but probably not as solid a defender so lets call it even.
Pepe replaces Iwobi. Is he an upgrade? Probably. But Arsenal lose a very useful squad member in Iwobi.
Martinelli is not ready for a 1st team place.
Sidiba is not going to play a part this season.
Tierney is the only new addition who adds squad depth. Is he an upgrade on the current left fullbacks? Probably but he’s currently crocked so we won’t know for a while yet.
In terms of quality added, I’d say Arsenal have just about added a smidgeon. In terms of quantity though, the effect is negligible.
As you were then. Therefore how can anyone say it has been a resoundingly successful window for Arsenal.
Andrew (KLAXON ALERT: CBs NEEDED) Stevens
I’m sorry but if you’d told any Arsenal fan back in May that the only new centre back for the new season would be David Luiz, there would be at the minimum a hefty amount of “wtf-ery” going around. This is Arsenal, the team famous for attempting overly pretty passing and having a core about as firm as jelly. And as an answer to our defensive problems, we’ve signed the bloke at the centre of perhaps the biggest defensive collapse of modern times during the 2014 World Cup. Not to mention he played an “integral” role in Chelsea’s huge defeats by Bournemouth and Man City last season. An emotional player who, let’s be fair, enjoys the “dark arts” of the game signing for Arsenal in the same season as VAR is introduced to the league – what could possibly go wrong!
There’s no point citing his passing stats, Arsenal fans have had nigh-on 15 years of great passing stats. All Arsenal have done, once again, is take an expensive problem out of Chelsea’s hands, as if we learned nothing from Petr Cech and William Gallas. We’ve made some impressive-looking signings elsewhere – and yes, I know proclaiming transfer window “winners” and “losers” is a fools’ errand – but David Luiz will be nothing short of a disaster.
Ben, AFC (clearly, on the fence about the whole thing)
Initial transfer window thoughts from an Arsenal fan – not too shabby, but could’ve been better.
We signed an 18-year old long term prospect, who knows how that’ll turn out.
Tierney needs to be better than Monreal and Kolašinac for us gooners to get excited, he should have a half-decent chance of accomplishing that.
Much has been debated regarding David Luiz from Chelsea – yes, he is 32 and a tad rash, but for gooners to be happy we have to ask ourselves “is he a better centre back than all our other options?” I believe the answer is yes.
Ceballos, I can’t get excited (yet) at a “Big Club’s” reject player. Think Denis Suarez or Mateo Kovačić last season, neither had great seasons, though Kovačić at least had some achievements.
Nicolas Pepe, here is the exciting part. All those Ligue 1 goals, and our transfer record being broken thrice in 24 months (Laca, Auba, now Pepe). Hopefully he can adapt quickly and be our first decent winger since 2011 Samir Nasri (yes it really has been that long).
Koscielny going was disappointing, but 34 and injury prone means it’s not the worst thing.
Iwobi!? That was a surprise. Not that he left, but that we received 35 million. Just like with the Ox to Liverpool, 35 million for a winger who never scored more than 2 (Ox) or 3 (Iwobi) goals in a premier league season is a damn good deal. You could make the argument that both clubs are paying for potential, but ask us gooners if we think either of them will come as good as some of their new fans may expect…
I still wish that we got an actual good centre midfielder (Xhaka is rubbish) to partner Torreira, as I don’t know if Willock is ready to step up this season, but the window turned out being a heck of a lot better than expected a month or two ago when we seemed to have only 45 mil to spend. Credit to the board for backing Emery in both major windows now, time to win some silverware! Bring on Newcastle on Sunday!
Andrew M, AFC, Australia
This window has been brilliant for us, much much better than we could have dreamed of at the beginning of the window – which was very much doom and gloom with only a suspected 45 million to spend.
The new management team have really done some great work and plugged most of the squad issues – pros and cons:
1) We now have an actual left back – AML has done brilliantly filling in. For a young guy who see’s himself as a winger or CM has been excellent for us – and Tierney looks like a snip at 25 mil if he can stay fit
2) A proven world class CB with massive prem league experience and didn’t get fleeced doing the deal – Luiz will be a massive upgrade on Mustafi and Chambers and can provide plenty of fun – football is meant to be fun!
3) We got Pepe – wow – still can’t believe it – we now have balance up top and have cover – really hope he plays a 4-3-3 – especially when that should keep Micky out of the side and possibly Ozil (both too slow of feet and thought)
4) Our midfield options look great – Willock is so much better than Xhaka already – he made Xhaka look the player he is – error prone and slow of thought again (like the other two in point 3) – we will be playing quick transitions this season and those 3 slow us down where as Willock/Guendouzi/torrera all speed the game up – coupled with Pepe and Auba flying in from the left and right – lots of goals and fun again!
5) We kept Laca and Auba – can’t believe that but wow!
6) We still have Holding and Bellerin to come back after a long time out – the defence could be great if it is RB – Bellerin, LB – Tierney, CB – Luiz or Sokratis, CB – Holding (to be joined by Saliba next year) – wow an non laughable actual real defence!!
1) We didn’t get rid of Mustafi – damn – everyone knows how poor he has been and no one will touch him
2) We sold Iwobi but still have Micky and Ozil – really sad to see Iwobi go – don’t feel he ever had a proper chance – reckon we will regret that one
3) If we do revert to a 5-3-2 – Having nightmares about a back three of Mustafi/Sokratis/Luiz – has any team had all three CB’s sent off in one game – no – well we will be the first.
4) Will we play 4-2-3-1 just to shoe horn Ozil in to the number 10 – he will never be the player he was IMHO – and is a liability even in this formation
Manchester United (8th) will be no where this year, same with Chelsea (6th) and Sp*rs will be 4th – City to win the league, Pool 2nd again (due to lack of business in transfers unless they do a Sp*rs) and us third – pushing for second – and yeah i live in a fantasy world and it is a very happy place at the moment 🙂
Joe (it’s all down to the new kit and Wrighty’s video – Brush your Teeth hahaha)
Can’t we just end the 2019/20 season now?
Top of the table, great new signings, the promise of William Saliba to come.
This is probably the best any Arsenal fan will feel all year.
Well that took a long time didn’t it…Less than one hour after the window shuts and the mailbox is full of whining Man Utd fans. ‘Woodward cocked it all up!’, ‘our season is finished!’. ‘what a shambles!’, ‘we’re an embarrassment!’. For fcuks sake the only embarrassing thing is the pissy entitled ‘fans’, who literally cannot wait to complain. Probably already had the email typed out.
As one complained, we needed a central defender, a full back and a winger. And we fcuked it all up by getting a central defender, a full back and a winger.
We did more business than every other club in England FFS. The cost of players is almost irrelevant these days, and clubs just don’t have to sell, so complaining about cost is pointless. And its not your money!
I’m a Utd fan, and desperately hoping for a return to the good old days. But spending my whole bitter life bemoaning everything, with my more than half empty glass, would seem pointless and totally unenjoyable, so why?
Instead of endlessly crying about us not spending enough billions, why not spare a thought for Bury supporters, who live in the real world.
So it’s the dawn of another season and I am mentally digesting the closure of another bs rumour-ladened transfer window. I think my club (United) have done ok, not brilliantly, but it’s difficult to be sure as it depends on the development of the players already there.
Defensively, we signed what we needed. A starting RB and a CB who will hopefully organise and compliment Lindelof. The team leaked goals last season so with new additions, and hopefully De Gea rediscovering his mojo, we can improve massively in this regard.
Midfield is still a concern as we lost Herrera (and Fellaini) and didn’t bring in a replacement. As it stands, we need Fred to show why we bought him and Matic to show that he isn’t in permanent decline. McTominay will continue developing and we’ll see what Pereira brings, as this season is his chance to show he deserves to be a Utd player. But the worry is where the goals and assists from MF are coming from other than Pogba.
In terms of forwards, we have two of the most promising young players in the PL in Rashford and Martial; one tries too hard, the other not enough and lets his head drop when things don’t work out. Neither have scored over 15 goals in a season and now they have to do at least that to make up for the loss of Lukaku. There are some promising youngsters who might be great but are likely to be inconsistent. Then we have Sanchez – who knows if he’ll turn up pre or post lobotomy. Brain swapping with an orchestral pianist for his unveiling video has not gone to plan. Somewhere out there someone is making a right balls up of Beethoven’s 5th.
All in all, we’re taking a risk by backing youth and the other players to improve massively. If it happens then it will be a credit to Ole and the other coaches. But the question has to be asked if this is through choice or if Ole’s hand is being forced by another summer of weakness in the transfer market. Either way we seem to have a strategy in place, which makes a change, but us supporters will need patience with top 4 the aim this year. We have a tough start and 10 or more points from our first 5 games would be an excellent return because this momentum, and the faith in Ole as a result, will make a big difference.
Garey Vance, MUFC
As a Palace fan i’m pretty used to football being bloody hard work at times, but this summer is showcasing how badly run the club is. We ended the season knowing we were in dire need of a striker (doesn’t have to be really good just top Benteke’s 4 in 2 years!), a 2nd left back, another option on the wing, a more creative midfielder and after the sale of AWB a new right back. Also its well known that we have the most experienced (euphemism) squad in the premier league.
Fast forward to the penultimate day of the transfer window and we had signed a 3rd choice keeper on a free and made Jordan Ayew’s loan deal permenent (although not great for us last year, an ok back up for £2.5m). So fair to say we hadn’t solved any problems. But as usual we’re told there’s plenty of business expected in the last couple of days, so still some optimism. We end up with Gary Cahill on a free (at 33 not really helping our ageing squad, plus not really played for a year), James McCarthy (at 28 a relative youngster, but hardly played in 2 years) and Camarasa (pinning hopes on him being a more creative midfielder, so we at least sorted 1 problem!).
So through the 3 months since the season ended we have only potentially sorted 1 of the desperate needs for the club. We’re supposed to be an established premier league club but are run more like the Dog & Duck XI. Also as usual we’ve left it so late none of these signings have had a preseason so probably won’t feature for the first 4-5 games. I’m guessing the reluctance to spend any serious money indicates that once again we are slipping towards the financial abyss. There’s been rumours for the last 6 months that the American co-owners want out and have withdrawn their financial support and unless we find a buyer we will be sliding back to the championship which we’ve worked so hard to stay away from. There’s also the added problem that some key players are out of contract at the end of the season and none of them are willing to sign new deals, so this time next year even more recruitment will be needed and i’m not sure if a year is enough time for our crack management team to put a plan in place!
It’s going to be a long grim season for us. We always make a slow start and then find form after Christmas. However this year i can’t see it happening. I know you shouldn’t read too much in to preseason results but apart from 1 game ours have been horrific! Parish & co will probably pin the blame on Roy (not his biggest fan, but handling the situation well and can only work with what he’s got). I can’t see any half decent manager wanting to replace him.
Ray, Leicester (ignoring the Zaha situation as that is tipping me over the edge)
And finally…a preview
The season is about to begin, and I have finally found time to jot out some words on my season preview:
1. I’ll begin with my team – Chelsea. Finally, there is some sense with the board that having world-class infrastructure everywhere is of no use if decision making regarding first-team football is not coherent with the same. We are inward-looking. I can’t be happier for the arrival of Petr Cech which to me is the most important decision (love you Frank, but this decision is the key). It’s not because it’s a former player, it’s because it’s Petr Cech – someone who has a superb mind not only about football but about many things about life (a great worldview). He is not yet a sporting director, he is starting the role bottom up which is how it should be as he is not yet a pro. Let him connect the first team, academy and board for a year or two and let him grow organically. The next best decision is the hiring of Lampard, Morris and promoting Joe Edwards. All three made in Chelsea, all three have importantly pedigree. Abramovich didn’t hire them just because they were Chelsea, but he sees potential. Joe Edwards is an upcoming English coach. Arguably, the coaching set-up at Chelsea boasts some of England’s best coaching staff. These were long overdue radical changes. With the exit of Luiz, Cahill, Hazard et al., the club is totally embarking upon a new direction. Not all academy players will turn out to be superstars, but that’s the thing. If they don’t turn up to be superstars, they should be squad players who get to play 30-40 games a season. Then sign superstars in positions we need (one or two). That way we don’t waste money as we did in 2017. I expect us to score more goals, but importantly, also expect us to concede a lot of goals as it is going to take time to settle many things. But this is one exciting season where finishing 10th also won’t make me sad!
2. The Manchester clubs – after 2006, first time a team is having high odds on a hattrick of titles. Man City have strengthened in areas they were weak (and those areas were minor to begin with). But their barometer as always is what they can or cannot do in Europe. If Pep does not win in Europe again, what happens next? As for United, are there signs of a coherent plan from boardroom till first team? Is mimicking Ferguson’s blue print even relevant today? I am not convinced they’re a top 4 team (but who the heck knows?)
3. The London clubs – Arsenal and Tottenham have had superb transfer windows. Arsenal will be like us – score more, concede more. Nicholas Pepe is a superb signing. They should win more games away from home now. Arsenal’s season now entirely depends upon their ability to not concede more. As for Tottenham, they’ve finally got spending power, a coach who attracts players (I still think it’s Pochettino’s pull power than that of Spurs) and genuinely a well run club. Is it time Pochettino takes cups seriously because I don’t see them winning the league or CL this season.
4. Liverpool – they’ve exhausted quite a bit of their funds last season. Established attackers may not want to come to Pool as they know they won’t be a starter in that front line. It’s a catch-22 when it comes to squad positions. Can they build upon last season’s success? Will teams find ways to beat them? I still don’t think this Liverpool team is a title winner. Had they signed 1/2 more stellar signings or close to stellar players, would have been convinced more.
5. Wolves, Leicester, Everton – watch out for these three teams. All three teams have bought well (Everton relatively look most weakly to me of the three). All three have ambitious young coaches. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the three even break into top 6 this season.
6. Continental Europe – I have a keen eye on Serie A now that Conte (haven’t forgiven him for what he did, but doesn’t take away the fact that he’s a top coach) has players he likes at Inter. Sarri at Juve is another crazy combination. Also feel Atletico may have a title challenge again!
Aravind, Chelsea fan.