Arsenal 21-22: Brexit FC

Tuff Ghost

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I think £35m is reasonable for Odegaard in this market. If Real want more, then they can keep talks going for Maddison (doubtful anything happens due to the cost) and Aouar (I would not be shocked to find out they like Aouar a bit more than they have let on this window) and see if anyone becomes willing to sell for a better price late in the window.
 

67YAZ

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Mid-20s is right it Odegaard advocates for Arsenal. And he well might given he knows exactly what he’s getting into and no other club will offer him the wages Arsenal can. Plus, with a Madrid so Mbappe focused, I bet Arsenal can push the largest payments into 2022-2023 to line up with that desired transfer.
 
Did you know that Nicolas Jover moved from Man City to Arsenal this summer? The Athletic subscription required for this link:

https://theathletic.com/2764470/2021/08/12/the-arsenal-signing-you-wont-know-but-who-will-play-a-crucial-role-this-season/

He was Man City's set-piece coach. Free kicks and corners at both ends have not exactly been areas of resounding success for Arsenal over the past few, um, decades, so anything that shines a spotlight and maybe leads to an extra goal or two scored or saved is fine by me!
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Apparently both Auba and Laca are sick and out tonight. News first broke about Auba and now Ornstein has said Laca too. I've spent all pre-season complaining about how shit we are with the two of them playing together and now we have neither.

I will hope against hope that we're actually in advanced talks to sell one of them. But I'm sure they're just sick.

Big chance for Balogun and/or Martinelli. My guess is that we'll line up like this:

--------Balogun-------
Saka--ESR--Pepe

with Martinelli the first man off the bench. But I could also see a Willian cameo. (puke emoji)
 

Tuff Ghost

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Optimistic Me: Balogun gets the start, has a big night, and runs away with the striker job, while Lacazette heads off to Serie A and Aubameyang, unfortunately, continues on in his sunset phase, hopefully at least as a super-sub.

Pessimistic Me: Willian starts as a false 9, they drop 3 points to Brentford, and go 0 for August (Chelsea and City next).

I'm also starting to think that Odegaard is inevitable at this point (Arseblog post). I think (a.) Arsenal (and Arteta) want him as their top target, (b.) Odegaard wants a starting job, which he's not going to get at Real Madrid, and (c.) Real Madrid will be happy to cash in.

Arsenal’s eagerness to do a deal, which could cost up to €45 million, should be helped by Real’s financial situation; they need to raise funds and will also be trying to offload Dani Ceballos.

TV2 states that Odegaard will not be in the Madrid squad for their opening game of the new season with Alaves.
 

shaggydog2000

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Apparently both Auba and Laca are sick and out tonight. News first broke about Auba and now Ornstein has said Laca too. I've spent all pre-season complaining about how shit we are with the two of them playing together and now we have neither.

I will hope against hope that we're actually in advanced talks to sell one of them. But I'm sure they're just sick.

Big chance for Balogun and/or Martinelli. My guess is that we'll line up like this:

--------Balogun-------
Saka--ESR--Pepe

with Martinelli the first man off the bench. But I could also see a Willian cameo. (puke emoji)
I would guess it would be Martinelli up front with Balogun getting a chance as a sub late, but we'll find out soon enough.
 

shaggydog2000

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Looks like they want to ease Saka back in. Balogun and Martinelli both starting.

Arsenal: Leno, Chambers, White, Mari, Tierney, Xhaka, Sambi, Smith Rowe, Pepe, Martinelli, Balogun.

Subs: Hein, Bellerin, Cedric, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Tavares, Elneny, Saka, Nelson

Runnar, son of Runnar isn't even making the bench, and neither is Okonkwo. Nice to see Lokonga starting, I hope he supplants El-neny as the first choice backup in CM and even gives Xhaka some competition for his spot once Partey is back.
 

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Lots of reports that Odegaard will be joining Arsenal today. Definitely great news if it turns out. Willock plus a few million euros for Odegaard is great business. I would think this ends talks of a Maddison transfer, but you never know I guess.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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The reported 30m pounds is a good price for Odegaard.

It’s crazy that the truth about what’s happening with Auba and Laca hasn’t yet really come out. They are reportedly doubtful for Chelsea and I can’t see that happening with a normal kind of illness. So it seems like either Covid or some kind of bust up with Arteta but who knows.
 

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Being reported as officially done by a Tier 1 source:

View: https://twitter.com/FabrizioRomano/status/1428014837448257539



Paperworks completed between Arsenal and Real Madrid. The agreement for Martin Ødegaard on a permanent move has been signed, contract until June 2026. #AFC Ødegaard can be considered a new Arsenal player. Here-we-gø confirmed.

Martin Ødegaard to Arsenal, here we go and deal confirmed! Permanent move - bit less than €40m to Real Madrid. Personal terms already agreed on five years contract. #AFC Edu and Arteta wanted Ødegaard as only priority since June, strategy was correct… and now, done deal.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Arsenal are also about to finally have a backup goal that is not Runarson. I expect Runarson to move somewhere else and become a top 10 goalie in the world just like Scezny and Emi Martinez did as soon as they got out.

View: https://twitter.com/David_Ornstein/status/1428047941751746576


Arsenal on verge of agreement with Sheff Utd to sign Aaron Ramsdale. £24m + £6m in add-ons (only likely to apply if/when 23yo is established 1st choice). #SHU initially wanted £40m. Proposed deal 4yrs + 1 option. Not in squad vs #WBA
 

teddykgb

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Odegaard and a backup keeper are not the transfers this squad needed to catch up. Completely mystified as to what the plan is at Arsenal. Arteta may not make it to the Jan window.
 

coremiller

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Odegaard is a good signing, and the kind of player Arsenal should be targeting, but I'm completely mystified by the Ramsdale transfer. 24m for a backup keeper is just bizarre.
 

teddykgb

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Yeah he’s a good player but they had him last year so he’s just maintaining status quo. Also I don’t think he’s a perfect fit in the Pep style system Arteta wants to employ but they needed to secure him and get more help
 

Tuff Ghost

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Odegaard and a backup keeper are not the transfers this squad needed to catch up. Completely mystified as to what the plan is at Arsenal. Arteta may not make it to the Jan window.
Odegaard is a good signing, and the kind of player Arsenal should be targeting, but I'm completely mystified by the Ramsdale transfer. 24m for a backup keeper is just bizarre.
Yeah he’s a good player but they had him last year so he’s just maintaining status quo. Also I don’t think he’s a perfect fit in the Pep style system Arteta wants to employ but they needed to secure him and get more help
A few quick counter-points:

1. Sign me up for the "status quo" of the last 22 matches of last season. Once they introduced Smith Rowe in December, and then added Odegaard in the January window, they were actually a pretty good club:

Record: 12-5-5 (41 points out 66)
Goals vs Goals Against: 38 - 20 (+18)
xG vs xGA: 35.5 - 25.5 (+10)

2. Odegaard was one of their best players. I'd probably place him third (after Tierney and Saka). He was instrumental in their ball progression. A simple way to look at the value he added was the xT (expected threat) added after he made a pass. (xT is a metric used by Tom Worville & The Athletic)

Last year, per 90 minutes in the Premier League, he was right up at the top of the list of xT added.
One final means of slicing the data is to try and give credit to those players who “unlock” others, perhaps not doing the bulk of the ball progression themselves, but enabling their team-mates to do so. By looking at the xT that the player that receives your pass creates, it’s possible to try to give credit to those passers in midfield who are making line-breaking passes or evading pressure and passing into space, allowing their team-mate to go on and create more danger.
43561

Arsenal become much less reliant on Tierney and crosses coming in from the left when they can have Odegaard playing in the half-spaces on the right. He is exactly what the 5-channel attack needs. Arsenal look at their worst when they have too many strikers/wingers (Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe, Martinelli, Willian) out there at the same time. Playing with Smith Rowe, Saka, Odegaard, and Aubameyang is a much more creative lineup.

3. Ramsdale (23 years old) is almost certainly being signed to challenge Leno for the #1 spot in the near-term and become the future #1. It's not just money spent on a traditional backup keeper, they have bigger plans for him. If they wanted a backup only, they would have went with the cheaper veteran solutions like Neto or Johnstone.

4. They upgraded CB (White), backup LB (Tavares), midfield (Lokonga), and added back an essential creative midfielder in Odegaard. It's hard to complain from my perspective. Everyone they brought in is young. They are not challenging for a title anytime soon, but they have a solid young team that should be capable of challenging for top-6 this year and then continuing to grow and mature together into a better squad in the coming years.
 

mikeford

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Ramsdale isn't really being signed as "the backup keeper", he's being signed to take Leno's job because Leno A. wants out and B. has been ass cheeks for like a year and a half.

Now whether or not he's a good signing to be your #1 is another question entirely.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Ramsdale isn't really being signed as "the backup keeper", he's being signed to take Leno's job because Leno A. wants out and B. has been ass cheeks for like a year and a half.

Now whether or not he's a good signing to be your #1 is another question entirely.
My guess is that Ramsdale will be starting for us by October or November. At the very least I think he'll be given every chance to win the job.

I think the fee is reasonable. At its most basic, the guy sold for 18m last summer to a lower table club, then proved himself for another season in the PL and got called up to the England squad. You'd always expect him to cost more under those circumstances, and a jump from 18 to 24 isn't all that much.

I only dislike the transaction if it keeps us from doing something else, like buying a new striker or RB. But I don't actually think that is the case. There seems to be money and the major stumbling block is moving the incumbent players out in those positions. We're just not going to buy a new RB when we already have four RBs at the club. And we're not going to buy a new striker unless we can move Auba or Laca (and Nketiah too).

Overall, I think the summer business has been good. I'm entirely unconvinced by Arteta and Edu. But when guys in their positions are under pressure to keep their jobs, the big danger is always that they make stupid short term decisions that burn the club long after they're gone. But all the summer buys have been promising players in the 20-23 age range who should be building blocks for the next manager if (or when) Arteta flames out. The young core of this team is really promising: Ramsdale, Tierney, Gabriel, White, Lokonga, Odegaard, Saka, ESR, Martinelli are all building block players in that age 20-23 range that can develop together. Maybe Saliba, Balogun, Tavares, Azeez, or Patino end up in that group too.

Still a lot of work to do in moving deadwood players out of the club.
 
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Still amazes me how young Ramsdale is. Seemed like he was in the EPL for ages with Bournemouth. I'm not sure if Ramsdale really proved himself last year. There were a number of saves that would have kept Sheffield Utd competitive last season. Decent long term move if he develops further.
 

Zososoxfan

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I like Odegaard as a player and that's a reasonable fee. Arsenal are still a mess, but that's a good deal. He's 22 years old and still has lots of room for growth. He can be part of just about any rebuild unless a manager has a very rigid system and is unwilling to incorporate any inherited players.
 

coremiller

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I guess I just don't see any reason to think Ramsdale is particularly good. For the seasons we have post-shot xG data, Leno has been better than Ramsdale, with Ramsdale below PL average. Why not just extend Leno? If you're going to invest in the GK position, why not buy somebody actually good?

Arsenal's business has been decent in consolidating their improvement from last season but they haven't done anything to address the squad's fundamental problem, which is that they are heavily reliant for goals on two highly-paid strikers on the wrong side of 30 who can't play together. That combined with Pepe being something of a bust (he's been ok, but not anywhere close to worth his massive fee/wages) gives Arsenal not much near-term upside.

To be fair, I'm not sure there is a good solution to this problem. But they certainly haven't found one yet.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Arsenal's business has been decent in consolidating their improvement from last season but they haven't done anything to address the squad's fundamental problem, which is that they are heavily reliant for goals on two highly-paid strikers on the wrong side of 30 who can't play together. That combined with Pepe being something of a bust (he's been ok, but not anywhere close to worth his massive fee/wages) gives Arsenal not much near-term upside.

To be fair, I'm not sure there is a good solution to this problem. But they certainly haven't found one yet.
I agree this is the biggest issue holding Arsenal back from being a team that can challenge for top four. There probably isn't anything to be done about it this year other than to play only one of them at a time and hope that Auba recovers his past form. Arteta did the former most of last spring and I would expect that to continue now that he has enough other options to play in the three behind the striker. The latter is totally uncertain but not a good bet in my opinion - especially in the PL, strikers just don't age well.

The reality is that Arsenal are at least two years away from being able to challenge any of the top teams in the league. The goal should be to finish 5th or 6th this year, improve their play overall, and then spend big on a top level young striker next summer (with Lacazette then out of contract and Aubameyang going into his last year) to take the team to the next level. Its not a bad plan, but who knows whether Arteta and Edu can execute it.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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It’s crazy that the truth about what’s happening with Auba and Laca hasn’t yet really come out. They are reportedly doubtful for Chelsea and I can’t see that happening with a normal kind of illness. So it seems like either Covid or some kind of bust up with Arteta but who knows.
Now we know. The club says Auba and Laca (plus Willian and Runarsson) all tested positive for Covid last week. I have no idea why they didn't just acknowledge that last weekend.

Auba is apparently now testing negative and in contention for Sunday. Laca is out.
 

mikeford

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I guess I just don't see any reason to think Ramsdale is particularly good. For the seasons we have post-shot xG data, Leno has been better than Ramsdale, with Ramsdale below PL average. Why not just extend Leno? If you're going to invest in the GK position, why not buy somebody actually good?
Why not just extend Leno?
Because Leno does not want to play for Arsenal anymore. He is also not very good.
 

lars10

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I guess I just don't see any reason to think Ramsdale is particularly good. For the seasons we have post-shot xG data, Leno has been better than Ramsdale, with Ramsdale below PL average. Why not just extend Leno? If you're going to invest in the GK position, why not buy somebody actually good?

Arsenal's business has been decent in consolidating their improvement from last season but they haven't done anything to address the squad's fundamental problem, which is that they are heavily reliant for goals on two highly-paid strikers on the wrong side of 30 who can't play together. That combined with Pepe being something of a bust (he's been ok, but not anywhere close to worth his massive fee/wages) gives Arsenal not much near-term upside.

To be fair, I'm not sure there is a good solution to this problem. But they certainly haven't found one yet.
I think the only additional positive is that their young players are a year older. In addition to the signings and hoping that Auba returns to form.. there’s also the hope that Saka and Smith-Rowe are able to stay healthy and will improve. Part of the reason Auba has fallen off is because he’s getting zero service (and possibly due to that looks wholly disinterested). With Ødegaard back and the others hopefully there’s some semblance of some better movement and more creative passing that could improve their play and goal scoring chances. At times at the end of the season (when healthy (big when)) Arsenal looked very dangerous..or at least far more dangerous than the plodding one chance a game offense they were a lot of the time.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Ben White apparently out today, probably with Covid.

Nightmare start to the season for Arsenal between the Covid cases and the injuries to Partey and Gabriel.

We’re just not going to have anything resembling our first team until after the international break and we’re very likely to be on 0-1 points after three matches given who were playing.
 

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Ben White apparently out today, probably with Covid.

Nightmare start to the season for Arsenal between the Covid cases and the injuries to Partey and Gabriel.

We’re just not going to have anything resembling our first team until after the international break and we’re very likely to be on 0-1 points after three matches given who were playing.
Shit ton of money tied up in players that can't play today:

Laca - Unavailable
Gabriel - Unavailable
White - Unavailable
Partey - Unavailable
Odegaard - Unavailable
Auba - Potentially unavailable

Maybe we can start two keepers?
 

mikeford

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Auba is on the bench.

This car crash of a start to the season might actually save Arteta's job since now he has a bunch of excuses for why we're bad.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Arteta won’t be fired tomorrow despite arguably deserving it. But he really should be given about 7-8 matches after the international break to show that he can string some wins together with the team he has built and if it’s not coming off at that point, pick up the phone and offer Conte anything.

The rope should be very short at this point. And he is lucky to have it.
 

mikeford

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They're going to be 0/9 going into the break and probably have 0 goals.

They may also already be out of the League Cup.

He should be gone already.
 

lars10

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They're going to be 0/9 going into the break and probably have 0 goals.

They may also already be out of the League Cup.

He should be gone already.
More thrilling analysis from Mikeford

edit: I don't wholly disagree that Arteta be fired, but there are plenty of reasons why he should be allowed a stretch. The team played well at the end of last season and have been plagued with sickness and injuries while also trying to integrate a ton of new players.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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More thrilling analysis from Mikeford

edit: I don't wholly disagree that Arteta be fired, but there are plenty of reasons why he should be allowed a stretch. The team played well at the end of last season and have been plagued with sickness and injuries while also trying to integrate a ton of new players.
There are obvious excuses that can be made.

But also a LOT of the same old shit we've been seeing for ages.

-Tactics that fall apart as soon as every single one of his first choice players aren't available.
-Plenty of possession but complete lack of cutting edge, with a CF who hardly touches the ball.
-Depending too much on players like Cedric, Xhaka, Holding, and Mari selected and kept at the club for their tactical discipline but who simply lack the physical traits necessary to compete at the highest level.

I'm sure things will get better after the international break when we can field our first choice team and the schedule gets considerably easier. But I've seen enough of Arteta and his unwillingness to learn from his own mistakes or question his own steadfast beliefs that I really question how good the team can really be under him.

He won't get fired right now so its moot but I think a ruthless club truly committed to winning would already be on the phone to Conte.
 

teddykgb

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Can you spend the way Conte demands? If yes I think you should be on the phone anyway because things are sliding into a type of permanent mediocrity. I think Arteta is implementing some Ok ideas and truthfully Arsenal may have had 3 or 4 of the best chances today but managed to squander them all but a manager of Contes pedigree at this point may be needed to ensure this drop doesn’t become permanent
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Can you spend the way Conte demands? If yes I think you should be on the phone anyway because things are sliding into a type of permanent mediocrity. I think Arteta is implementing some Ok ideas and truthfully Arsenal may have had 3 or 4 of the best chances today but managed to squander them all but a manager of Contes pedigree at this point may be needed to ensure this drop doesn’t become permanent
I think we could in theory if the Kroenkes allowed it but I'm skeptical they would do it. The club spent a lot of money this summer but my suspicion is that the owners see it as the single big financial push they need to make, when it was really the minimum amount they needed to spend to stabilize the club in the 5th-7th positions but not enough to get the squad quality necessary to compete at the top. Conte isn't going to a club that doesn't give him a chance to compete for the biggest prizes.
 

mikeford

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Arsenal has spent more money than any team in England in this window. They can't do that every window obviously but it's like... we spent all the money Conte could ask for already.

It feels pretty clear to me that even with a fully healthy squad, this team has no identity, no purpose and no PLAN on the pitch. It's not like they appear to be out there with a gameplan they cant execute because they're missing parts. There is just nothing. It's late era Wenger stuff. Roll the ball out there and our talent should carry us. Except it doesn't because that doesn't work at this level.
 

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Was interesting towards the end of the game I actually thought Arsenal created a few decent chances. But, the defensive structure was just a setup for failure from the get go, unless that was just Tierney freelancing then that's a totally different problem.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Was interesting towards the end of the game I actually thought Arsenal created a few decent chances. But, the defensive structure was just a setup for failure from the get go, unless that was just Tierney freelancing then that's a totally different problem.
This article from Michael Cox nicely breaks down how and why Chelsea were able to create so much joy down the right. I don't think it was really Tierney's fault. If anything, its just a damning indictment for Arteta. The one thing he is supposed to be good at is the tactical chess match and yet his team lacked solutions for very basic and forseeable issues that flow pretty logically from the matchup of a 4-2-3-1 against a 3-4-3.

Chelsea is a very talented and well drilled team and I don't think anybody, Pep included, has really figured out how to best counter their system. But Arsenal didn't come close.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Some progress on outgoings this week.

Torreira seems all but certain to be going on loan to Fiorentina, for a 1.5m euro initial loan fee and then a 15m option (which might become an obligation with a certain number of appearances). All in all, that seems like a good solution to a bad problem.

Willian seems very likely to go to Corinthians, although its not done. I'm sure we will eat a lot of his remaining salary to make it happen. But just take the L and move on.

Kola seems very likely to go to Fenerbahce and rejoin his buddy Mesut, although we still appear to be negotiating the details. He came for free, never really fit the team, made a bunch of money in wages, fought off those knife wielding guys with his bare hands, and will likely leave for free.

That would leave Eddie, Nelson, Bellerin, and maybe AMN. I'd love to see Laca and Elneny move on as well but I don't see it happening.
 

mikeford

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Crystal Palace offered 10m for Eddie

If we could get them to bump that up to 15, I'd do it in an instant. We don't really have any leverage as he'll be out of contract after the year.
 
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Andy Townsend and Leon Osman broke down how Chelsea ripped apart Arsenal on The Analysis Show on PLTV. Showed how Xhaka seemed clueless on some of Chelsea's counter

I also really recommend The Analysis Show
 

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Apparently a Qatar Sheik has made a bid for Arsenal. For once I'm conflicted about wanting a new owner for Kroenke. Pick your poison I guess.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Apparently a Qatar Sheik has made a bid for Arsenal. For once I'm conflicted about wanting a new owner for Kroenke. Pick your poison I guess.
I don't think this is real.

There is this guy on twitter who is a member of the Qatari royal family and probably does have some connections to the people who run PSG and the Qatari Investment Authority but is also kind of a renowned Twitter clown and not a principal decision maker himself. He tweeted a couple cryptic things about Arsenal yesterday and people are running with it. I wouldn't put much stock in it until/unless there is some other confirmed source.

Here are the tweets. Pretty thin gruel.

View: https://twitter.com/khm_althani/status/1430292561818685441


View: https://twitter.com/khm_althani/status/1430308919881125893