One week to go. Send your mails to firstname.lastname@example.org
Arsenal’s reasons for optimism
Nick J, here’s the reason for the optimism around Arsenal’s transfer dealings. For the first time in at least 10 years they’ve bought players to plug the huge holes in the team.
Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sokratis – are they technically better players than what we have? Arguably no. Do they have better attitudes than our current players? Probably yes. Arsenal’s defence has never lacked individual talent, they’ve lacked personality, leadership and grit. Tick one, hopefully sorted at least in the short term.
Leno – solid young goalkeeper to either put pressure on or replace a 36 year old Cech. What’s not to like? Sometimes players don’t work out, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t sign them. Tick two, hopefully sorted long term.
19 year old prospects – Arsenal are what Arsenal are, don’t think you’ll hear many Arsenal fans heralding any youth prospects as the saviour of the team.
Torreira – similar to you, genuinely excited about this one. Arsenal have needed a defensive midfielder since Gilberto Silva. Of the three CDMs you mentioned only one of them is an actual defensive midfielder. So tick three, moving in the right direction.
So we’re excited because for the first time in living memory they’ve bought the players we need and not 5 attacking midfielders.
All your other concerns are based on Emery playing a 433 and him shoehorning the existing players in to it. That would be a bit silly surely? We should just wait and see but for once the Arsenal squad looks well placed to start moving up the league instead of down.
…I know it was just a ‘meaningless friendly’, but I’ve a few thoughts on the Chelsea vs Arsenal friendly last night:
– Arsenal look like they are far from sorted defensively and need some time to bed in their new players and system. It shouldn’t be surprising given how much the spine of the team has changed. I hope Emery has the guts to leave Sokratis or Mustafi on the bench if Chambers or Holding step up.
– Chelsea looked far more comfortable and fluid in the first half, all despite the club looking in disarray only a few weeks ago.
– Hodson Odi looked extremely dangerous on the left wing for Chelsea against the experience of Bellerin. Pacey, powerful, and has a decent final ball. One to watch for the new season as someone who could step into Hazard’s position as a long term solution (and hopefully England’s left wing in the coming years).
– Guendouzi also looked really sharp and creative. Like Xhaka, but he could also put in a tackle or win the ball back without clattering someone down. I do think if Ramsey goes, it may be worth re-investing in a different position and put a bit of trust in some of these youngsters.
Away from the game, but as a casual Arsenal fan, I do hope Ramsey goes soon. I appreciate players should look out for themselves and their financial interests (or desire for more silverware), but it gets to a point where the protracted talks just harm the club, how they can plan for the season ahead, and what quality replacement they can get if needed. Personally I’d prefer a potential club captain that wasn’t prepared to risk the preparation for the season over what I assume is money.
Jake (Yerry Mina? Mourinho is just setting up the perfect set piece team for the VAR future isn’t he) Bristol
Klopp and kids
In response to Kris’ mail about Liverpool buying a replacement for Coutinho…
It all seems a bit champ man. Brewster, Woodburn and Wilson will see their paths to first team football even further away.
From the bits (albeit quite limited) I’ve seen of them, all 3 seem really exciting and if I were a Liverpool fan, I’m not sure I’d want to block their paths any further.
I’d love to see all 3 get some good game time this season but I am a Wales fan!
Any Liverpool fans worried about their first team chances? All I’ve heard is giddiness over new signings, which is fair enough as they look exciting, but further signings will potentially hinder these players. Mourinho gets lambasted for playing and signing 29 year olds but you seem to be in danger of doing the same.
Rob (give kids a chance) S.
Advice for Jose
Am I the only one that finds the continuous references to examining Klopp’s transfer business and delivering success versus Mourinho’s wearing a bit thin? The reason Klopp, as well as some other PL managers, is not under the same media scrutiny as Mourinho is because Klopp comes across as a friendly, likeable bloke whereas Mourinho a whinging, grumpy, b*tch.
Some advice: Lose the ‘me against the world’ attitude, stop criticising your own players, your fans, your club that employs you and just do your f**king job.. And if you can’t do that, then expect the furore you yourself create in your press conferences with the never ending pessimism that is everyone else’s fault but your own.
One week to go
In response to Kris, LFC, Wirral regarding my clubs current status
What do they still have to do?
Recruit George Agdgdgwngo to conduct one of his infamous phone scams on Mr M Ashley, and have him wire all his monies to Mr R Benitez’s bank account.
What if they do this?
Rafa will then be able to break our clubs 100 year old transfer fee record, and recruit a striker with more ability than the current bunch (if the answer is Rondon, then the wrong question is being asked). If not that, then at least bring in some players to promote a bit of healthy competition at full back, centre back, centre midfield, on the wings and up front.
What do I expect them to do before the close of the window?
Sell our captain to free up the necessary funds (along with the Mitrovic money) to bail out House of Fraser
What if they do this?
House of Fraser will make it to Christmas, and the owner will enjoy an extra large turkey with arsehole sauce…. afterall, you are what you eat.
Ratt Mitchie – NUFC (hope for survival, expect relegation and a new manager)
Some transfer window perspective
I’ve been reading and not contributing to the recent editions of the mailbox (post-World Cup) and I’ve found it hard to bite my tongue and not rise to some of the comments being made. There has been so much doom and gloom from (generally) the fans of the biggest clubs in the country.
The reason for my mail is my club (AFC Wimbledon) are going through what a lot of Football League teams go through annually and that is the wholesale change our team. Since the last game of the season, we have lost our best ever goalkeeper, our long serving right back and club captain, the finest centre back we’ve ever had, our most creative central midfielder, our workhorse central midfielder, our right winger and the clubs record league goal scorer. Add that to a fair chunk of squad players that also left, and we started pre season with about 7 first team players!?
This brings me on to my reason for messaging. For any of you stressing that your respective managers haven’t signed that backup striker you need yet or you’re worried that starting the season with only 4 centre backs is a fools game or maybe it’s getting to you that your rivals have spent £100+ million more than your team, spare a thought for us bottom feeders!
We haven’t come near to breaking our club record transfer fee this summer (about £50,000 so you know!) but we still head into the season with a cheery blind optimism. Some of you are writing off 18/19 already, why??? Embrace the unknown. It’s what makes football so infuriatingly addictive!
Imagine going to the first game of your season, not even properly knowing half of your teams names. How would that make you feel?
All of those songs about your favourite players, we haven’t got ANY yet. No heroes, no villains, yet.
Personally, I can’t wait for it all to start again!
Cheer up people, it’s only a game after all!
Chris Hardy (ok, it’s soooo much more than just a game!)
As we are still a couple of weeks out from the start of the season and given that conversation topics (beyond that of tiresome transfer rumours) are limited I was hoping now might be an opportune time to see if I could sneak the topic of football trivia questions into the Mailbox.
Everybody will have been faced with (and been driven demented by) various trivia questions in the past and I was hoping the Mailbox might share their favourite ones as I am sure there are some gems to be unearthed. For instance, two of the best ones I have heard recently are:
Name the player who has: (i) played for five different clubs without ever commanding a transfer fee; (ii) scored in a Champions league final; and (iii) captained an FA Cup winning side?
Who Am I: I have played with each of the following players at club level but never for any of these clubs:
Liverpool – Sturridge, Benteke, Joe Allen, Jose Enrique
Arsenal – Kolo Toure, Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira, Sylvinho
Tottenham – Peter Crouch, Kyle Walker, Darren Bent, Emmanuel Adebayor.
Richard (can you tell I am bored at work), Dublin
Ah Adonis… What’s wrong with Stan??? ….. “ the fact him and his family take millions of pounds out of the club to line their own pockets”. You should apply to get on arsenal tv with comments like this.
Imagine…..a successful businessman, buying a business, making huge profits and having the gall, the temerity, to take some of these profits for himself and his family. What an absolute disgrace. Lock him up and throw away the key I say.
Even worse, their net spend over the past 5 years is a measly £257m. The Bloody Money Graber
Hammer (Brackets) Mchammerface
…Arsenal were certainly not “well stocked” in the DCM department.
Elneny was the only one that could have even been considered a defensive midfielder and I still have reservations over whether this is his natural game.
Maitland-Niles may well become one but I see him more of a box-to-box.
Torriera is the first World Class specialist we have had in that position since Gilberto left. The others can do a job filling in but we have to hope the boy can play the whole season.
As for Xhaka – last season he was a walking liability as most of the goals we conceded early on in the season were down to him. In short, just because Wenger thought he was a defensive midfielder doesn’t mean he was.
Arsenal can be criticised for many things and I’m not sure how we’ll do next season but in terms of round pegs in round holes, we’re better prepared than we’ve done in years.
You simply can’t argue that a club, who have only just recruited a new coach, is better prepared than one that got their manager in nice and early, have done most of their transfer business early and have given these players pre-season friendlies.
There are still question marks over the future of the two Belgians and Willian at Chelsea, and while our major headache is Ramsey a) I don’t really know where he fits in the team and b) if Barca wanted him as part exchange for a perm or loan deal for Dembele, I’d bite their hands off.
Under Wenger all we had was blind hope, under Emery there are numerous logical reasons to be cheerful.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
Your article on five players who returned and succeeded missed off the mercurial Citeh favourite Shaun Wright-Phillips, who left Citeh for a huge fee to Chelsea and returned shortly after, which is a great excuse to revisit possibly my favourite blues song: “Shauny Wright is f*cking brilliant, We sold him for 20 million, Brought him back for just a million, Stupid Chelsea b*stards…”
Ben B, MCFC
Steven Chicken missed a pretty important point in his Chelsea-Sarri write-up. Alonso and Moses were wing backs and pretty integral to Chelsea’s attack last season so its foolish to claim that they were neglecting the defensive responsibilities of a full-back, which will be rectified in a back 4… Y’know because they weren’t playing as fullbacks.
Still. Hoping we make top 4 as a title challenge this year is surely beyond our reach
Sood CFC ( Alonso as a left back is going to be a liability)