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Cup final thoughts: Wenger’s monumental act of defiance

Arsenal 2 Chelsea 1
From Goodplaya at Wembley

JUST wow.

There are so many things I could spend a while writing about but really I feel it has to be about Arsene Wenger.

What a monumental act of defiance that was, the conjuring of something that went so emphatically against the grain, that appeared so at odds with the optics. Going into the game, we were, on quite a number of levels, not a club in very good shape. Add to that the sense that when the going gets tough, Arsenal tend to get hammered. Then throw in the quality of the opposition, the fact that they’d have just loved to properly kick us when we’re down and the leaving out of Cech.

And yet. And yet he did it. And in such style.

It was the most magnificent of retorts to so many people, me included. It was two fingers stuck straight in my face and it was absolutely magnificent. Hats off, fair play and all that.

He is a man whose record defies the norms of footballistic scrutiny. I honestly don’t think you can plausibly argue that the league record has been good enough since 2005. We haven’t once mounted a proper league title challenge in 13 years. Forget all the carping about a sense of entitlement, no club of Arsenal’s size and stature would unthinkingly accept that.

And yet, for me it is equally implausible to argue that all those years of Champions League qualification and these three FA cups in four years count for nothing. Winning the FA Cup is amazing. No ifs, no buts, no qualifications. It is, for me, so, so special. It’s not a consolation prize for not winning the league, it is just a wonderful, historic competition that only doesn’t matter to those who don’t get very far in it.

It’s funny how growing older changes us as football fans. I can pinpoint the dates of family occasions in the 1990s simply by cross-referencing them to my encyclopedic memory of Arsenal games at the time and yet nowadays I often can’t remember who we played a month ago. But one great thing I find is that the older I get, the greater the sensation when times are good. The more you realise just how special a moment it is. And so it was yesterday.

There has been a real sense of groundhog day about so much of Arsenal’s recent history. The league campaigns have been pretty similar in many respects. None of them worth more than a sentence or so in any history of the club.

But not yesterday. As we roared the team on, it felt as though we were willing them on to a victory that for so many reasons will warrant far more than a sentence or so in that history book.

Whatever happens over the next few days (and I have genuinely mixed views), yesterday was the day Arsene Wenger reasserted why he is one of the preeminent figures in Arsenal’s 131 year history.

This, on so many levels, was the greatest Arsenal FA Cup final victory I’ve ever seen. A day to truly savour.

39 Responses to “Cup final thoughts: Wenger’s monumental act of defiance”

  1. James says:

    Yes your right. Now, WENGER OUT!

  2. Sean casey says:

    I’m delighted for arsene. He deserves great credit. He built that club from the brink of bankruptcy. I am sure with arsenal at the helm we will see the glory days once again. I cannot understand why people like piers Morgan dislike him.
    Sean casey

  3. slc gunner says:

    What a great day for the Arsenal. A great team effort with everyone chipping in. When I saw Ozil make a slide tackle (which really should have been a free kick to Chelsea having seen the replay), things were looking up.
    You’ve got to love the BFG. What a presence, what a man. I was actually surprised that he didn’t make it into the original back 3 when that change was made. With a Koscielny on one side and Mustafi/Holding on the other. I think it would suit him. His lack of pace is less likely to be exposed with the extra protection.
    It’s interesting. I grew up supporting Arsenal in the late 70s. It was a golden era. 4 cup finals in 3 years, even if we only won one of four. In my lifetime, there have been three great eras at Arsenal: 78-80, 88-93 and 97-05. When you think about it, 2014-2017 with 3 cups in 4 years does need to recognised as well (hopefully 2017 is not the end, but just a beginning). Our expectations have gone up, and the allure of the FA cup may not be what it once was. But still, there’s no doubting that teams are playing their first 11 (ok, maybe not the keepers) and going for it when you get to the latter stages.
    Does it change my mind regarding Arsene Wenger. No, I don’t think so, but I do admit that the heart is chiming away at my head asking to give him one more chance. Regardless of what happens this week, he has to be congratulated for this win. Given the fact that we lost 4 defenders in the 2 weeks leading up to the game, to come away with a victory over none other than Chelsea has to be one of the best feelings. Of course, the players also deserve a lot of credit. Well played Arsenal!

  4. Henry Root says:

    I’ve not posted on here before but wanted to say that this blog encompasses the feelings of so many. Wenger deserves enormous respect especially as on Saturday he outplanned, outmotivated and outthought Conte who is ( rightly ) lauded as the coach of the season, He did have a last hurrah in him and I hope he now steps down on a glorious note with the praise of the Arsenal faithful ringing in his ears. It is time to go but everything must come to an end and Saturday would make a glorious end

  5. Moemantai says:

    Arsene knows best…Wenger definite in!!!

  6. Elvis says:

    Great post.

    Wenger has earned another year or two in my view, with a massive wad of cash to buy some great, great players. Time to say goodbye to Ospina, Debuchy, Gibbs, Chambers, Campbell and Sanogo. And maybe a few others.

    There needs to be an inquest into why we have to put up with weak, non-performances like Watford (h), Bournemouth (a), Crystal Palace (a) and Bayern (h and a) when we can do what we did on Saturday. How is that even possible?

    I became an Arsenal supporter in 1971 so I have enjoyed FA cup final wins in 71, 79, 93, 98, 02, 03, 05, 14, 15 and 17. This was the most satisfying of all. The defying of odds against exalted opposition, the overcoming of a defensive crisis from hell, the electric performance itself, the manner of scoring the winner seconds after conceding, the captain’s heroics, and the sparing us all of John Terry’s mawkish, self-promoting gesture he had no doubt planned on his last game for Chelsea set it above all the others.

  7. longtallgooner says:

    Agree with you Elvis about the buzz of this victory. I’m long in the tooth and remember the euphoria about our comeback in the 1970 Fairs Cup final. This performance and victory is up there with the best.

    My heart agrees with you on the Wenger contract, but my head is still so unsure. The inconsistencies of our performances, especially in the games you highlight, points to some serious failings with the coaching. But here we are with another contract so we just need to get on with it and support Wenger and the team. Perhaps some restructuring in the coaching setup might help- I’d love to be a fly on the wall behind the scenes.

    Yes, a good clear out required. I like Gibbs and would give him a chance. Will we get any more out of Theo though? I also wonder about players we bring in like Podolski who were good performers elsewhere but didn’t flourish here – we need signings now that are going to get a good run in the side.
    Much will depend on Alexis’s mind I fear.

  8. MDP says:

    A magnificent cup final. Probably the most enjoyable in my 43 years as an Arsenal fan simply because that performance was so unexpected. So many highlights well summed up by Elvis.

    It’s now hard to be objective about the expected 2 year deal for Wenger after a weekend like that. Our hearts are all trying to rule our heads yet the reality of the season just gone and the groundhog feeling of the last few years is there, nagging away, impossible to get away from.

    I’m still unconvinced that the club will send out the right messages for the future and signal that Arsenal are ready to put a side together that can compete and challenge at the highest level.

    Wenger’s first task is to convince Alexis to stay. Without his goals next season, the next campaign could crumble before it’s even started. He has to stick with the new formation in my opinion as it’s given a solidity that I haven’t seen in years and makes the need for an out and out holding midfielder less crucial. It’s also providing that balance that’s been sorely missing and so many of our squad are thriving in this system. Finally we need to see additions of the highest calibre which could prove as hard as convincing Alexis to stay. I think a world class striker is again top of the list with maybe someone of the Benzema level possible.

    I’m in if he can achieve the above this summer but it seems a far bigger mountain than overcoming Chelsea at Wembley.

  9. PD says:

    Agreed on the Cup Final. It was one of the greatest Arsenal days I can remember. Wonderful stuff…..and I was glad for Arsene above anyone else because he has been through a terrible time. Regardless of whether you feel it is his own fault or not, it’s been horrible watching him hurt the way he has.

    As for the future…..firstly, just to say that anyone who thinks Arsene has signed a new deal because of improved results lately is delusional imo. There has never been any doubt that he was going to sign.

    As for whether it’s the right decision…….take out the FA Cup glory, take out the ‘negative atmosphere’ that Arsene feels has contributed to our slump in Feb/March. The simple fact is our ‘title challenge’ ended this season on 18th December. For all those who said after last season, that Arsene deserved one more season based on coming 2nd, how many of them are now saying he deserves two more seasons based on this end of season run ? We simply will not win the league again with Arsene in charge. It’s completely illogical to say there is evidence to suggest we will. If we accept that, then ok…..but please, please don’t pretend otherwise & start banging on about ‘we’re only x points behind with x games to go’ when we falter next season & show all the old familiar failings.

    As for giving him a wad of cash to spend…..Elvis – 3 of those players (Ospina, Debuchy, Chambers) you want rid of Arsene bought since his last contract renewal. I think you can add Gabriel, Elneny & Lucas to that list. Will Asano ever get a game for Arsenal ? I doubt it. Is Mustafi a 35m player ? Nowhere near as yet. Arsene has been poor in the transfer market the last few years & the thought of him having a massive amount of cash to spend does not fill me with joy.

    Finally, it’s great to see that there’s so many of us oldies on this blog….(I’m in my mid-40s)…maybe that’s why the debate on here is so much reasoned than on so many like arseblog !!

  10. Dan Evans says:

    Arseblog, give me strength! There just isn’t enough to say about Arsenal to feed a daily blog, twice-weekly podcast and 24 hour news site. Mind you, there’s a little bit more you could say about Arsenal than Goodplaya finds time for, though it’s always good quality and food for thought when it arrives.

  11. MDP says:

    I’m actually going to stand up in defence of Arseblog. Can’t say I read it every day and I’ve found the forum a waste of space because it’s flooded with bollocks due to the amount of followers. However, the matchday live blog is excellent and the next best thing to being at the match or watching on telly. The news site is always up-to-date and well managed in terms of only publishing factual stuff with substance. The podcast is often a good listen and recently had great interviews with Perry Groves and Ian Wright. Plus, I recently linked to the Rocastle/Wright BT Sport documentary from Arseblog and it was unmissable. The guy behind it seems fairly objective, very knowlegeable and well connected and researched. Can’t say I always agree with everything said, I mean I left for a while due to the continual Arteta love-in and ignoring the defensive midfield issue but my advice is cherry pick the good bits. The guy deserves a medal for finding something to write about every day, it’s free and always changing.

    I like it on here because it’s a relatively small community of fans, similar in age it seems with interesting views. I actually look forward to reading some of the posts from you lot as much as reading Playa’s articles.

    Anyway, each to their own and all that. Just felt I should offer the view from the other side.

  12. N7 says:

    Nice summary Goodplaya and thanks for all the work this year.

    It was indeed an epic day and certainly awesome to see Arsenal playing with aggression, focus and confidence. MORE OF THAT PLEASE! BREAKING OUT THE CAPS LOCKS!

    It’s too easy to take Arseblog for granted – frankly it’s amazing the way the content gets churned out so quickly and to such good quality. I also think he tries to remain neutral or at least caveats points, which is always going to be tricky to get right! Also…is he obliged to be un-biased? It’s his blog, after all!

    On Arsene, I think comments like the one from James (top) epitomise why I want Arsene to stay. For me, it’s got more to do with a deep desire to prove naysayers (nayshouters?) wrong. The logical arguments may be there, but for as long as they’re shouted in an ungrateful way, I can’t say I want to associate myself with them. I realise others may disagree!

    Anyhow, have a good summer, all!

  13. King Henry says:

    Out this summer should go – Szczesny, Ospina, Debuchy, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Wilshere, Campbell, Sanogo and Akpom. That would bring in about £40 million plus a handsome reduction from the wage bill.

    Chambers is probably worth keeping as backup in central defence and at right wing back if Wenger persists with 3 at the back.

  14. MDP says:

    There’s a few no brainers in – Sanago, Debuchy, Campbell, Jenkinson, Apkom, Ospina, Lucas Perez (shame he didn’t get more chances and Gibbs (with our thanks and best wishes).

    Personally I’d add Theo to that list as I have the last two summers. At 28 it’s probably our last chance to cash in and get his large salary off the payroll. He managed 19 goals last term which is to his credit and the only thing to consider but he only managed 9 the season before that, 7 before that and 6 before that so there’s no guarantees. I don’t see him fitting in to this side especially if we deploy the back three again next season. Surely Mahrez would be a big upgrade as a much more technical Arsenal type player, would be much more flexible in the new system and he found the net 18 times 2 seasons ago so has goals in the locker.

    I’m wavering over Szczesny. Cech is number one but can Martinez step up? I’m sure Wenger thinks so and that’s probably the plan but I would feel more comfortable with Szczesny there. Sounds like Juventus is his destination.

    I’d love to see Jack succeed at Arsenal and there were times last season when I wondered if Jacks fight and leadership qualities might have been an asset during those really low points. However, I feel his silence after the cup final may suggest he’s moved on mentally and perhaps it will be hard to refuse a good offer.

    Chambers is a definite one to keep for me. Rob Holding has surpassed him by a country mile but he’s still a very good player with great prospects. Maybe one day he could partner Rob Holding, who knows? Possibly another loan but won’t complain if he’s in the squad next season.

    As for the transfer market… in an ideal world I’d love to see Arsenal able to do what Man United did last season with Pogba and go out and do what it takes to get Mbappe (despite not being in the CL but maybe having the name and profile to pull it off) showing some real muscle, assets and ambition. I think this is what it would really take to persuade Alexis to stay. But… I just don’t think Arsenal have what it takes to fulfil this option and Mbappe looks destined for Madrid. Just hope this distraction doesn’t cause Lacazette to slip out of our hands and see us shopping lower down in the Lucas Perez type market again.

  15. slc gunner says:

    MDP: I agree with the list of outs in your first paragraph. I also agree re Theo and thought last year was the year to let him go. He did have a decent season, but doesn’t offer enough outside of the goals. He has only started 1 game since the switch to a back 3, and I would not change that formation.
    I also agree re Chambers. Although Boro were relegated, they actually had a decent defensive record (their major problems were in attack) and Chambers was a regular, with experience at both right back and centre half. I think he could do a job on the right-side or middle of the back 3, or even as backup for Hector/Ox in the right wing role. I don’t think he comes in as a starter to the back 3, but would provide good cover. Where the back 3 is concerned, we would have BFG, Kos, Mustafi, Gabriel, Chambers, Holding and Monreal as options. That is too many, even if Chambers and Monreal can also play outside of the back 3. I would sell Gabriel. While he has played well on occasion, he is too erratic for me and lacks positional sense. He’s been at the club for 2 1/2 years and just hasn’t been consistent enough. He is also a few years older than Chambers and Holding.
    Jack is a tough one. If we keep the players we have, big if I know, I can’t see him getting in. With the back 3, he would challenge Ramsey mainly, and possibly Ozil/Sanchez. But his form for Bournemouth was iffy, and he was even dropped for a few games when they switched to a front two. His injury record has not been enhanced with the latest break. When I saw him play, he was only ok and didn’t show any of the Jack magic that we all love. Maybe give him a 12-month extension and see how he does. We need to be careful that this does not turn into another Diaby situation. As a side note: Ramsey was excelling in his role since the formation switch and is now a guaranteed starter for me if we retain it (which I hope we do).
    I would love to keep Szczesny. Cech is still very good though and he would be my #1. Can we keep Szczesny happy as #2 for a year or 2 under Cech before making him the #1 for many years to come? I don’t know. Martinez is decent and would be ok as a #2, but my preference would be Szczesny.
    Giroud is another to possibly let go if we find a top class striker. Welbeck’s movement puts him ahead of Giroud imo, and if we add a striker, that could put Giroud at #3. Sanchez is also another option through the middle. I like Giroud and am happy enough to keep him as that impact sub (every player’s dreaded accolade), but he will play less and less I feel.

  16. King Henry says:

    Chelsea are getting rid of Costa. If Alexis digs in and does not sign a new contract would you do a deal with the devil and agree to a straight swap?

  17. MDP says:

    Not for me King Henry.

    Costa’s a talented striker no doubt but he’s a trouble maker that has failed to get on with all his managers at Chelsea as well as being petulant on the pitch and this has impacted on his form. His all comps goal stats at Chelsea read 21 in 2016/17 then 16 before that and then 21 before that. His final season at Atletico he got 36 but before that it was 20 then 10 then 8. Not worth it for me.

    I watched a compilation of Lacazette for the first time yesterday and he seems very Arsenal in style and a step up from what we have. I think he’s our best hope but not sure he’ll be enough to convince Alexis to sign. Impossible to really assess how this summer is going to unfold. Will we really play hard ball with Alexis or will we be glad to get away with selling him abroad opposed to one of our rivals?

  18. PD says:

    It’s an interesting one King Henry. He’s an asshole but you know, maybe Arsenal could do with an asshole !! I think he’s driven by money though & he’s probably looking for even more than Alexis/Ozil are….

    I’d definitely keep Chesney. It seems Ospina is on his way for 3m….food for thought for those who deemed him world class. What’s the going rate for a world class 28 year old keeper ? It’s not 3m, that’s for sure.
    As for Jack…my heart says yes but……

    It’s going to be a long, painful summer….but when aren’t they ?

    I know I’m going to be in the minority on this but : I don’t think Arsene will stick with a back 3 next season. I think he did it out of desperation & it’s just not him so he’ll revert to a flat back 4……not only that, I won’t slate him if he does. I think our recent failings in the league have been much more mental than tactical. If we don’t change the mentality there’s no system that’ll get us over the line.

  19. Elvis says:

    King Henry – it’s a no-brainer. Costa is a proper striker. If Arsenal want a testosterone-charged wound-up bully leading the line they know exactly where to look. However, let it be noted that Diego Costa is ungentlemanly, unhinged, uncontrollable and unshaven. For all his ability in putting balls into nets and so on he is not, and never will be, Arsenal class. Case closed.

    Besides, Rob Holding politely and correctly informed him that he is a nutter during the FA Cup Final, (which Arsenal won incidentally).

  20. slc gunner says:

    PD: you might be right regarding formation. The system is not everything and it would be wrong to say that it is the key to success next season. We lost to Spurs and there were games where we switched to the old system (4-2-3-1 or whatever you want to call it) when we needed a goal. But overall I do think we were more solid defensively with a back 3 (or back 5 if you prefer). To me, it partially solves a problem where central defenders are concerned. It is very hard to buy them and strength in numbers can help. I don’t think Cahill and Luiz are great centre halves but in a 3 with Azpilcueta, they are definitely a stronger unit. Also, our attack has not really been impacted. Walcott was the player to lose out, but we scored 2 goals per game with the new system, so I don’t think it hurt us. Players like Ramsey improved as well.
    Your point was: what will Wenger do? Traditionally he has not been defensive-minded, and so it’s quite possible that he goes back to 4 at the back. That would not surprise me at all. I hope he doesn’t.

  21. MDP says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Wenger reverts to a back 4. It’s been integral to all his sides until recently and it’s not his style to be so tactical.

    I personally was a huge fan of the back 3 with the players we’ve got as it simply made them look more comfortable. Our centre halves looked less exposed; the need for an out and out defensive midfielder seemed less crucial; our central midfielders were able to get forward more and the whole side just looked properly balanced for the first time in a number of years.

    I think that mental strength and leadership can undoubtedly be called into question but did the new formation give some of the players a platform to express themselves more freely?

  22. PD says:

    The problem with this side always has been not being able to cope mentally & physically at crunch times in the season when teams come at us with all guns blazing. Arsene complained about teams getting easy games when the opposition were already ‘on holiday’ but look at our games : MU, Stoke, Southampton, Everton… slc mentioned we reverted to a back 4 against both Hull & Leicester at 0-0 to get the wins we needed. We also played for 75 minutes v Everton with a 4 after Kos got sent off. We were also poor against Boro with the 3 & completely battered by the Totts.
    You take out the two Cup games (& I know we were really good v City & simply magnificent v Chelsea) & the evidence for the 3 at the back isn’t as clear cut.
    For me too, both the Ox & Bellerin finished the season on fire : we stick with the 3 next season and only one of them can play. (assuming both stay)

    Anyway…time will tell. Reports of the new left back are good so that’s a good start hopefully. Gibbs has been a real let down for me so I think this will be an improvement. Hopefully Chesney will be back too & that’s two squad improvements made with a net gain. (maybe 15m by reports)

  23. PD says:

    As usual, the transfer window seems to last forever. Alexis seems sure to go but sadly I think we’re going to have massive problems getting rid of the deadwood : Ospina, Gibbs, Jenkinson, Debuchy, Gabriel, Lucas – can we find anyone to pay their wages & a transfer fee?
    And no sign of a new deal for Chesney which seems crazy. Or the Ox. Then there’s Ozil. Are we still offering him 250k? If so, why ? There’s hardly a queue of clubs chasing him. I’d withdraw the offer & let his contract run down rather than pay him that much.
    At least Lacazette seems to be happening but then with arsenal you never know do you….
    All in all, not a lot of good news. And as for Gazidis annual Q&A. Jesus, what an exercise in utter shite yet again. Utter waste of time.

  24. MDP says:

    Yeah, the summer tedium is firmly upon us. It has however been softened by the more gritty speculation of Lacazette, Mahrez, Lemar and Mbappe. As I write it seems quite possible that 2 of those 4 could join us in the near future.

    In my mind Mahrez is a right sided winger and Lemar a left sided winger so I do question if there is the remotest possibility that we could push for both players? I’m sure both could probably switch flanks but why play them in there least favoured position? The two departures I fear the most are Sanchez and the Ox. I know he’s no wing back but could Mahrez replace the Ox? If Sanchez departs would Lemar be a decent replacement?

    The black cloud over this summer is the thought of losing Sanchez to a rival club. He’s apparently made up his my mind and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if that’s Manchester City. I’m not sure I’ve seen a more driven player who’s natural love of the game is put before anything else which made him a breath of fresh air. It would be a real sucker punch to lose him to another Premier League club. But I’m not certain that playing hard ball is going to do anything other than be disruptive and prolong the agony. If there’s a chance to bring in a young quality winger like Lemar then maybe we should cut our losses with Sanchez and drive for a decent fee to reinvest. I know his goals and assists would be a huge loss but maybe 3 new offensive players could take up the shortfall and breathe new life into this club.

    A bigger fear is the spectre of the past. The tendency to never do enough to bolster the squad. Is a striker, a winger and a left back enough for Wenger? If Sanchez could somehow stay, I would be comfortable with that. If not I don’t really see us moving on significantly from last season. Having watched the young French side tear England apart with 10 men I’d love to see us get a part of that in Lemar. I think Lemar, Lacazette and Mahrez would represent an exciting and different direction for Arsenal.

    As for Ozil I tend to agree with PD. But, with so many potential departures elsewhere I feel Wenger will want to keep some of the more established players at the club. I’d put Theo in that bracket as well. Theo for his goals and Ozil for his sublime passing. Neither player do enough for the team to warrant a huge pay packet but I can see them hanging around.

    It’s time to make a statement as one of the wealthiest clubs in Europe. We’ve got the stadium, we’ve got the sponsorship deals and the tv money. It’s time to use our advantage before others catch up and go a step further. I don’t see why the outgoing dead wood need hold that up.

    Apologies for the ramblings but that’s the summer for you!!!

  25. slc gunner says:

    In terms of new players, I think we’re ahead of previous years with two signings already in the bag. Lacazette has great stats, albeit in the French league. The other possible negative is that he has yet to establish himself in the French 1st 11 – but he’s had competition from Benzema, Giroud and Griezmann (even if the latter is not an out-and-out striker). But he’s just turned 26, so time is on his side. If you look at the strikers on the market, he was one of the best available: Mbappe, the lad from Dortmund whose name I can’t spell and maybe Morata are the others that come to mind. Kolasinac was in the Bundesliga team of the year, so that’s a good sign.
    However, it’s the new contracts and the player sales that need to accelerate. Sanchez is the biggest, with Ozil and Ox also very important. I’ve been willing to let Ozil go, but you would then have to find another creative player in his place. At this stage, I think it would be best to keep him. Szczesny and Jack are the other two conundrums. If we were to keep the rest, then while it would be sad to see them go, I could live with those 2 departures.
    I think we’ll find clubs that will take the players that need to leave – one or two may be loaned, but I’m less concerned about this group right now.

  26. PD says:

    Problem is such, if Ozil signs now for 250k per week, he’ll retire at Arsenal as we will never find anyone to buy him. 4 years at 250k pw is roughly 52m quid. It would be one of the worst financial decisions the club would ever make.
    Withdraw the offer & talk again at season’s end. If he goes on a free, so be it.

  27. PD says:

    Slc, not such. Bloody auto correct.

  28. MDP says:

    I think Lacazette is a really good, solid signing and probably the best available. I’m a little curious as to why Aubameyang from Dortmund hasn’t been considered (it appears) but something is clearly keeping him out of the transfer headlines. Anyway, Lacazette has great goal stats and I hear the only reason he hung around at Lyon until he was 26 was loyalty and playing in their new stadium which is credit to him. Also, the compilation videos make him look very much like a slick Arsenal type of player who will fit in with the way we play!

    Reports suggest Sanchez is asking for £400,000 a week to sign a new deal. I found it interesting doing the maths to see what that would cost us. A 5 year deal would be 104million or 3 years would be 62.4 million (but can’t see him agreeing to a 3 year deal). £300,000 a week would be 78million over 5 years. Interesting figures when you consider holding onto him for another 12months could lose us 50 million. I personally think it could well be the Alexis camp putting the pressure on to engineer a move but maybe it’s worth slapping £300,000 a week on the table, take it or leave it. £400,000 seems too much to me especially as it will set a presidence for the future. Anyway, this doesn’t seem cut and dry at the moment and it would be lovely to keep hold of him.

    I think attention will now switch to outgoings but fingers crossed for a couple more big signings before the summers out.

  29. slc gunner says:

    PD: I would not let him see out his contract. We either sign him up for another 3-4 years or we sell him now. You can’t run the risk of losing out on 30-40m if he leaves on a free transfer. Given the crazy market, I think we can get up to 40m for him now. I see where you’re going with the 52m over 4 years, but if he goes, we would need someone to replace him. We don’t have another #10 that is ready. Ramsey is not that player, and Jack cannot be relied on. A replacement will cost money (up to 40m) and any decent #10 is going to be on over 100K a week (sad but true). Maybe Lemar is that player. He is young and I have not seen him play.

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  31. MDP says:

    I have a few things nagging at me right now.

    It’s all very well taking the tough stance on Alexis, you don’t sell to a rival and all that. But, aren’t we opening ourselves up for another unsettled season? Come January we’ll face the rumours, transfer speculation and the very real chance he could sign a pre contract. Are we not just prolonging the agony for another 12months and facing another tough summer next year? This is Arsenal’s own making, is it time to deal with it and move on? I’m not 100% on this but I question whether we should be taking the money for Alexis, getting the Lemar deal over the line and getting in another big signing. Looking forward rather than back. We could look bigger mugs next summer if he walks into City on a free. Just hope I’m wrong on this one.

    I can’t help feeling we’ve learnt nothing when I hear Theo and Wenger have cooked up a role for him in the new system we’re playing. I can’t see any place what so ever for Theo playing this way unless we revert to four at the back in certain situations, even then he’s average at best. I’m just baffled on this one. We’ve got to identify our weaknesses so I hope Everton do come in with an offer for him. We might have more depth than we’ve had in a long while but we’ve got to up the quality if we’re going to compete next season. (Apologies to pick him out but as you may know he’s a bug bear of mine for the money he’s on. A good lad but simply one of the weak links).

    An optimistic start to the window but please don’t let things turn sour. We’ve got to show some balls, ruthlessness and some managerial brilliance to pull this out the bag. My optimism is starting to wane, come on Arsenal!

  32. MDP says:

    If the PSG link for Sanchez is true then we have to grab it with both hands. It goes without saying that it will leave a big scary void in the squad that if left unfilled will see us slip even further behind our rivals. I think Sanchez had made his mind up long ago, it would be the correct and by far the best option to sell him abroad and as I say above, avoid more disruption and heartache in the coming season. It’s then all about investing the vast sums of money we have available to re-build for life without Sanchez. That’s where my confidence in the manager is low. It requires a ruthless hand to identify the weaker members of the existing squad and finding quality upgrades. It will also require paying the inflated fees we’ve seen elsewhere this summer. Again, I’m not confident in our ability to do that but setting Sanchez free is sadly the right thing to do.

  33. PD says:

    Arsenal’s problem this summer seem to be fairly simple : we can’t sell players we don’t need because there isn’t demand for them & we’re struggling to keep players we should keep because there is demand & they see other options as better than us. The deadwood are going nowhere, Alexis seems determined to go, Ox too by the looks of it, Chesney is already gone…….and we seem happy to sell Chambers (who is still young enough to maybe become good enough ?) but keep Gabriel, who we already know isn’t good enough….again, demand for one, just not for the other.

    Some food for thought for the do-gooder Gooners ? (if only they were capable of it) Ospina’s as good as Chesney apparently but yet Juve in for Ches & the likes of Nantes in for Ospina. Ozil as good as Sanchez but yet loads of big clubs in for Alexis & nobody in for Ozil.

    As for transfers in…….I thought in the current crazy transfer fee climate 50m+ for Lacazette was decent but 60m for Morata I have to say sounds like a much better deal…………even worse there seems to be zero indication of Arsene wanting to but a midfielder : our current midfield options are simply not good enough to mount a proper title challenge, nowhere near good enough.

    I just can’t see any way this summer is going to end well……

  34. MDP says:

    Bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. Bored.
    The transfer window has gone very Arsenal!

  35. MDP says:

    Just read that we’ve had a third offer rejected for Lemar after upping it by 5 million Euros. Of course this is all rumour but if true, they never learn, do they? We did the same with Suaraz and Higuain. I also heard that a 10million bid from West Brom was rejected by Arsenal for Gibbs. An incredible offer for a player who is third choice and can hardly string a run of games together without injury. I’m preparing for the usual summer of disappointment with the same old dilusional antics from Arsenal.

  36. PD says:

    2 days to the Charity Shield. Anything any clearer ? Apart from Ospina staying ( yay for us : a player we didn’t want to stay & who wanted to leave is staying simply because no-one wants to buy him – a lose lose for everyone!) & Chesney leaving (a brilliant talent let go because of a cigarette) then no, nothing is clearer.
    How much more Arsenal can this summer get?

    At least Coq is injured. Given Arsene tends to buy players we desperately need only when he has absolutely no choice, sadly I see this as good news.

  37. MDP says:

    Positives are Giroud looks to be staying. I think Lacazette needs time to settle and those two could rotate quite nicely or even play together at times. Both will play significant parts in Arsenal’s season in my opinion. Loved the physicality and ball winning of Kolasinac in the Emirates cup and he offered a real presence and invention going forward. Two good buys. I don’t see why Lacazette can’t be a success in the Premier League but like Morata and Lukaku, it remains to be seen whether they can reach the very top in the Premier League.

    Still think the Sanchez situation could explode in January (assuming he stays) with speculation of pre contracts and media speculation potentially unsettling the changing room and the fans, especially if we have our usual dip in the New Year. Wish I could feel more positive like most Gooners but there could be an exodus next summer and no big transfer fees to re-invest. I hope I’m wrong!

    I’d certainly pick Chesney over Ospina and wonder why Cech isn’t doing what Buffon is doing at Juventus and mentoring him as the next first choice at Arsenal but maybe we can get a few more years out of Cech. I always quite fancied seeing Butland at Arsenal next.

    Still a couple of players short with or without Sanchez. We have the numbers but still require some upgrades if we are to challenge. Guess we’ve got to wait for the outgoings before we see any action. Such a messy, very very Arsenal summer. Would still like to see Lemar and Seri come in.

    With the season looming I really like the back 3 system but expect a few wobbles at the back with Kos suspended, Mustafi, Holding and Chambers (who I’d prefer keep over Gabriel) all still behind in pre season sharpness. Hope we wing it in these early matches and don’t start on the back foot as per usual. Will we ever learn?

  38. N7 says:

    ‘Playa I know you’re a busy man but I’d love a season preview from you sir!

  39. Elvis says:

    Kolasinac looks like a proper signing.

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