Arsenal getting closer to signing Emi Martinez replacement

Arsenal’s GK Replacement close!

Reports on Sky Sports suggest that we are close to signing a replacement for the departed Emiliano Martinez. We are so close in fact that he could be here in time for our evening kick off against West Ham on Saturday, that is of course if he signs and then is registered by midday on Friday.

Our attentions now seem to have turned to Dijon keeper Runar Alex Runarsson a 25-year-old Icelandic footballer who has been at the Ligue 1 side for two years.

Seeing as Brentford seem set that they won’t be selling David Raya to anybody, although it has been reported by David Ornstein that we could go in for Raya and then he would return to Brentford on loan, but that of course would defeat the object of buying him.

So, here are Alex’s last season stats below:

Ideally, we would like someone with zero errors leading to a goal and someone that has clean sheets in every game during a whole season, but even world class Manuel Neuer would struggle to hold those records in the Premier League and every other competition throughout a whole season.

If Arsenal do go out and sign him then I would argue, why don’t they use Matt Macey and try to bring him up to the standards that Martinez was at, seeing that Macey is 26 years old and knows pretty much how the club operates. But of course having just two keepers at the club wouldn’t be enough if one was to get injured, and selling one of the two best keepers the club has had in a long long time, would automatically force you to have to go out and buy, as we are now seeing.

Here’s hoping that whoever we do get in as our new goalkeeper will not be just a panic buy because we have let a talented, passionate and experienced player go as arrangements to keep him had fallen through. Gooners?

Aubameyang’s Barcelona link is an unwelcome distraction

The transfer window will be shut in a few days time; with no serious transfer activity going on in Arsenal, one may not really care when the transfer window closes. However, with recent reports linking our top scorer Aubameyang to Barcelona, it won’t be out of place if one wishes the transfer window closes today.

According to the Sun, our top scorer has agreed to join Barcelona but the transfer would only be possible if Auba demands to leave.

The Gabon striker, who pockets a basic of around £200,000 a week plus huge bonuses at Arsenal is under contract at the Emirates until next summer, but that has not stopped the media from suggesting he is unhappy at the club and would love to leave the club, especially now we are not doing too well.

The media can formulate stories to make sales but reporting a story that may not be totally true will only cause panic in Arsenal. Why would anybody think that a player who has just been made team captain, who earns a lot in terms of wages and who seems to be enjoying life at Arsenal, would want to leave the club? Some will say he wants to leave because he is interested in winning trophies. Yes, I agree he needs to win trophies but if he needs the trophy so badly, then he wouldn’t have signed for Arsenal at the first place. When he was leaving Borussia Dortumd, he could have simply gone to Real Madrid or Barcelona, who were also interested in acquiring his services then.

With the arrival of Mikel Arteta to Arsenal, we seem to be enjoying a relaxed and positive atmosphere, which may eventually lead to the club doing well in the long run. Right now, what Arsenal needs to do is to try as hard as possible to hold on to their top stars, especially when they are interested in signing a replacement this January.

Barcelona are probably looking for a ready-made player who can fit in immediately, as a short and long term replacement for Luiz Suarez, who is currently down with a long term injury. Barcelona, however, should be made aware that Arsenal is not ready to sell their most in-form striker, not now and not even in the future. There are good players at the FC Barcelona academy, they should be looking at promoting a player from the academy to temporarily replace their Uruguayan hit man until next summer, when they can then search for another readymade player, who will be ready to play for them.

Aubameyang is an Arsenal player and, for now, he does not look like he is tired and ready to leave the club. Barcelona should be look elsewhere and leave our player for us.

We are Arsenal and we are proud.

Sylvester Kwentua.

Arsenal should sign Stones now, not in the summer..

If we are signing John Stones, let us be fast about it

The rumours are getting stronger; the news has just refused to die. John Stones seems to be nearing a loan move to Arsenal and if we are to believe what we read online, then it is only a matter of when and not if, regarding John Stones transfer to Arsenal. I can’t wait to have him at Arsenal. I have sorely missed having the rugged, experienced English born type of defender at Arsenal.

With the way Arsenal is quietly going about their January transfer business, it is quite funny that the media still has a way of monitoring their transfer business. So many news websites have recently been reporting the possibility of Arsenal signing John Stones this winter transfer window, although several others believe the transfer may not happen until next summer.

“According to British journalist Daniel Cutts in The Sun, a major transfer target for new Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has met with his agent in London to discuss the possibility of signing for the Gunners before the end of this month’s winter transfer window.

Manchester City defender John Stones has emerged as a defensive target for Mikel Arteta at Arsenal having worked with him at the Etihad Stadium for the past two years.

John Stones earns £100,000 per week as salary at Manchester City and he is said to be considering a loan move away from the Premier League champions to boost his chance of making it to the 2020 European Championships this summer with the England national team.”

If The Sun is to be believed, then Stones will be in Arsenal before the end of this January transfer window. If that happens, then it will be a good deal. Stones will not be coming to Arsenal to replace any player; rather he will come to Arsenal to fill in for Chambers, our versatile defender, who is out with a serious injury. Stones will be motivated to play well, to boost his chances of making it to the 2020 European Championships this summer with the England national team and this could mean something good for us. We need experienced defenders who have played at the top level and who have won trophies. Stones has won trophies with Manchester City and having him in the team at this time of the season, will do us a lot of good. Arsenal should please be fast about it; Stones should be brought to Arsenal, no matter what it may cost. Won’t Stones be a good addition to the team? We are Arsenal and we are proud.

Why haven’t Arsenal Announced Arteta Yet!

Can we just announce Arteta as coach already and stop the suspense please?

Am I the only who is getting fed up with the way things are going at Arsenal or are we many? I am so fed up with how we run things at Arsenal. Somebody please get us a coach already.

The Arteta story has circulated on the internet a lot, that many people feel that signing a coach, should have been a forgotten issue for Arsenal; unfortunately, it is not. Mikel Arteta has been all over the news, why has he not signed yet?

Mikel Arteta is somebody I always respected as a footballer but as a coach, I have not really seen anything from him, to make me appreciate his coaching career. He has been Guardiola’s assistant for years now and the believe is that he would have learnt a lot from the Man City boss right? Well, yes I agree but what I won’t subscribe to is Arsenal making him their coach, knowing so well he has no experience of managing a first team. We will be taking a lot of risk handing over the reins of Arsenal to Arteta.

We have read and listened to different arguments from different football analysts; some are in support of Arteta, others are against his appointment. Our legendary coach, Arsene Wenger seems to be in support of his appointment, if what I read on the internet is anything to go by. With the support of an Arsenal hero, then why has he not been appointed already? This simple thing for Arsenal to do at this moment, is to appoint offer Arteta a contract.

However, my choice of a coach for Arsenal is not really of importance at this moment. What is important to me at this period is for Arsenal to have a manager who will oversee the affairs of the first team. If the club deems it right to hire Mikel Arteta, then I have no other choice than to support him. If the club feels he is the one to change our results, then I give him my full support. All I want is for the club to just announce a coach already and stop keeping the fans in suspense.

Why are Arsenal finding it so hard to appoint a new coach?

Hello gooners! How are you doing? Are you feeling good? What a joyous moment we find ourselves in at this moment at Arsenal.

I keep on scrolling sport news sites hoping to read if Arsenal has signed a new coach. But as days turn to nights, I keep getting disappointed. Why have we not got a new manager yet? Are we being avoided by high class managers or we are not just doing things the right way? I probably feel managers are not willing to manage Arsenal, or they have given the board some conditions and they are finding it hard to come to an agreement.

Weeks after sacking Emery, we are still without a manager; Ljungberg is not our manager, he is just an interim manager. A club as big as Arsenal should be able to attract a world class manager in a matter of days. We have the money and we have the players to make our club attractive. We also have very experienced people running our club. So what is really the problem? Is it a spiritual problem or what?

Every day we hear Arsenal is either talking to this manager or the other, but such talks have not yet brought home something positive. Now, the coach of Napoli, Carlo Ancelotti, has been sacked and like expected; the news is all saying Arsenal is interested in hiring him. Are we now with no sensible direction that we just flow with events, instead of creating events? Who is doing the talking and how long will the talking last?

Patrick Vieira, Mikel Arteta, Allegri; are all good managers and would do a good job if given the chance to coach Arsenal in my own opinion. Why have they not being signed up yet? What is delaying their imminent announcement?

Freddie has not done that badly as interim coach with finally getting a win, but even he knows that a club like Arsenal needs a world class coach who will in turn make Arsenal a world class football club once again. Let us please do the right thing on time and move on to the next stage of the season; which is trying to qualify for the UEFA Champions League.

Sylvester Kwentua.

Would Arsenal fans accept the return of Alexis Sanchez?

Would Arsenal accept Sanchez back?

Alexis Sanchez, signed as an Arsenal player in July 2014, is one player who gave his all to Arsenal until probably his last few months. He spent four years at Arsenal, playing more than a hundred games; scoring more than 60 goals.

We all can agree that Sanchez was a multipurpose player for Arsenal. While at Arsenal, he played at both wings and centrally; and he did this with so much professionalism. Until he started trying to force himself out of Arsenal, he never gave Arsenal a below par performance. Do we all remember the FA cup final that he shone so well and helped us win? Do we remember how he always had this way of making the team play well, whenever he was on the pitch? Well, Sanchez gave his all for Arsenal and we can’t deny him that.

Ever since Sanchez left Arsenal, have we had a winger who can light up the wings whenever he plays? How many wingers do we even have at Arsenal currently? The ones we have can be described as just average players and not exceptional wingers. The wingers we have at the club at this moment don’t seem to know how to make impact from the wings, like how wingers are supposed to. Apart from maybe Iwobi who tried making things happen in his way; with his skills, who else can we say made our wing play interesting?

Now, I am not a football agent, neither am I trying to market Sanchez to Arsenal but I strongly feel Alexis Sanchez still has good football in him, and all he needs is a club that will allow him to thrive in his own way, with his skill and finesse.

You may argue that Sanchez didn’t make an impact at Manchester United, but I would love to counter the argument by asking you how many attacking minded players have flourished under Mourinho? If Sanchez had gone to Manchester City, don’t you all think he would have fared better? Don’t you think he would have probably improved his game at the Citizens? Sanchez is an enormously talented player and a Guardiola would have helped him improve, so I think.

Sanchez is currently on loan at Inter-Milan and at the end of the season, he may probably come back to Manchester United but would he love to remain at United? I doubt he would. Arsenal should try bringing him back to the Emirates for at least two seasons, in my humble opinion.

Sylvester Kwentua

Were Arsenal right not to buy Unai Emery’s top targets?

If Emery actually wanted these players, why didn’t Arsenal get them for him?

The ex-Arsenal coach, Unai Emery, according to reports, had asked the board to get him three players, who he was sure, was going to help him get Arsenal playing and winning games, the Arsenal way. The apparently, didn’t get him these players.

The three players, according to tribalfootball, are England centre-back Harry Maguire as a solution to the club’s defensive problems, and Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha, and Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey. These players are actually good enough to play for Arsenal, but would they have made a difference, if they were bought? Who knows?

Harry Maguire eventually moved to Manchester united, and from what I have seen of his games so far, he is not really spectacular. He maybe English and may have the experience of playing top flight football with Leicester City, but his game currently at United makes me feel he may not have been the solution to our defensive problems. The board may actually be commended for refusing to sign a player who may not add value to the team. Maguire was sold for over 80 million and spending this amount of money for a defender would not favour Arsenal.

Wilfried Zaha, the ever running and energetic player may well actually have added value to our team; but then, we thought about Pepe too. However, the difference is that Zaha had Premiership experience and Pepe had not played in England prior to his coming to Arsenal. Pepe is yet to justify his huge price tag but would Zaha have justified his, if he was bought by Arsenal? We never can say because he was not bought.

Thomas Partey, is a wonderful player but if his current form at Atletico Madrid is anything to judge from, then he may not have fitted well into the Arsenal system. Arsenal’s board may not have gotten these players probably because of their price tag, or because they felt they were not going to really add value to the team, but if these players were given to Emery, do you think they would have made Arsenal more formidable? I don’t think so? What of you?

Sylvester Kwentua

Arsenal’s Season 2018/19 Review & What We Can Hope For Upcoming Months

An away victory against Burnley on the last day of the Premier League 2018/2019 was not enough for the Gunners to secure the fourth position. They ended just one point short behind the city rivals Tottenham Hotspur, but there was still hope to win a ticket to UEFA Champions League by winning Europa League.

Arsenal FC have faced Chelsea in the big final in Azerbaijan, but once again, underperformed when it mattered the most. The match was lost, which means the squad from the Emirates will once again battle against tier two teams in the Europa League.

The season behind us is surely going to be marked as the year of departure of Arsene Wenger. The French expert was the captain of this ship for 22 years! The board appointed Unai Emery and here are some of the highlights of his early work.

EPL Performances

It’s an opinion of a majority now. Arsenal definitely had a good shot to end in top 4 last season. The main opposition, Tottenham, have lost eight games in 2019, which left many opportunities for the Gunners to beat them in the race. When we look back now, Arsenal FC needed only two victories (six points) from the last five EPL fixtures to be 4th. However, they have collected only four. There were no derby matches involved at all, which just makes the final standings more painful. Overall, the number of victories achieved on the road (only 7) is too low to achieve some significant success in the EPL.

Some of the brightest spots we would like to mention is long term stability when it comes to efficiency. This was secured by pairing Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette up front. Both players have had amazing records and scored a lot of goals. Aubameyang even won the Golden Boot, while also being awarded as the player of the year by choice of Arsenal’s fans. There is a lot of room for optimism when it comes to season 2018/2019, but there have to be many improvements in the back line. Here are some stats when it comes to defending:

–    Arsenal conceded 51 goals in 38 games in the previous season

–    Tottenham and Chelsea allowed only 39

–    Man City and Liverpool conceded only 22/23 goals

It is more than obvious that something has to be done in order to become competitive again. Some of the players definitely should be replaced. It is also fair to mention there were numerous injuries for defenders throughout the whole year.

Performance in Cups

Truth be told, Arsenal FC were nowhere close to winning a cup trophy this season. Both appearances in the FA Cup or the EFL Cup have ended in the early stages. Right after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed as the new head manager of Man Utd, Arsenal have faced the Red Devils. They got defeated quite easily 3-1 in front of the home crowd.

When it comes to the EFL Cup, Arsenal have successfully skipped all lower division teams before facing Tottenham in the Last 8 round. Lilywhites were more successful and advanced to the next round.

Performances in the Europa League are marked as a success. The squad took a big majority of these very seriously, with a couple of exceptions in the group stages. We all enjoyed watching some brilliant football in a 7-3 victory on aggregate against Valencia CF. Aubameyang had one of the best matches in his career in game number two in Spain. The final of course wasn’t meant to be. Arsenal are currently 10/1 to win the Europa League with the Best Betting Sites In the UK, while Man Utd are at 6/1 and AC Milan at 14/1.

Which Players Performed Well?

Besides the attacking duo we mentioned above, there is only one player we would like to mention here. Aaron Ramsey had missed the first part of the season because of an injury, but his return had significantly improved the results overall. The Welshman was one of the key pieces of machinery in the midfield. There was no agreement between him and the board though, as he left Emirates this summer and joined Juventus. There has to be a proper replacement brought in the upcoming weeks. Someone has to feed Lacazette and Aubameyang with goal opportunities right?

Players Who Should Leave Or Get Benched?

Shkodran Mustafi is at the top of this list for us. He was nowhere close to the form he showed playing for Valencia CF in 2015 and 2016. This player has made numerous mistakes which had a direct impact on final results. The fans are not happy with the way he performed at all, so don’t be surprised to see the German leave London in the upcoming months.

Sead Kolasinac has been solid when it comes to offensive players, but he is hardly going to become a standard member of starting roster without improving in the back.

First Impressions About Emery?

Even though he’s been around for one season, there are already groups of fans demanding Unai Emery’s departure, not appreciating Europa League finals achievement. Even Wenger or Sir Alex Ferguson have started their managerial campaigns with questionable results, so it would be unfair to judge a book by its covers. The upcoming season though leaves no room for slacking. Fans want a trophy and to stay competitive in the EPL title race. The club is stagnating too much when it comes to English top tier division of football. Emery has a list of players he would like to see at the Emirates. Now it is up to the board either to approve it or decline.

Conclusion

Season 2018/2019 was not unsuccessful. The whole uproar created by the departure of Wenger was huge, so it takes time for wounds to heal. Reaching Europa League finals, while ending 5th in the EPL, above Man Utd, can hardly be described as a failure. Transfers in the upcoming weeks are surely going to play a huge role in establishing a team for long-term success. If Arsenal spends at least 60% of the money on new players as their opponents do, the success is almost guaranteed.

Arsenal player ratings against Napoli with two players 9/10

The boys did excellent against one of the best teams in Italian football and fully deserved the win over Napoli, in fact, the only real disappointment is that we never won by more.

The change in performance from the Everton game was huge, this was an Arsenal display that was a pleasure to experience, they played great as a team unit with some great individual performances.

Arsenal Ratings.

Petr Cech – 6

Cech only gets a six simply because he was never really called on to make any significant saves or for that matter, make any howlers.

Sokratis – 7

Very assured performance and when you consider the potent attack that Napoli have then it makes his performance all the more satisfying.

Koscielny – 8

Put in a captains performance and played as if he was as fit as a fiddle, you would never have thought he was one of the players we were concerned about before the game even started.

Monreal – 7

Of all the defenders Monreal looked the weakest link but he deserves a 7 for being part of a unit that kept a clean sheet and nullifying the Napoli offence.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles – 8

What a change around in performance from the woeful display against Everton to this fine display against Napoli, he impressed all night long and I was so close to giving him a 9

Lucas Torreira – 9

Now, Torreira does deserve a 9, he bossed the midfield, he was relentless all night and it is a shame that he has not been credited with a goal, simply put, he makes a huge difference.

Aaron Ramsey – 9

So close to a 10, he was brilliant all night, Napoli had no answer to him, his goal was clinical and we are really going to miss him, certainly a man for the big occasion.

Sead Kolasinac – 6

Probably our weakest player on the evening, he did well don’t get me wrong but his touch let him down a few times and he was not the best crosser of the ball, but overall he did ok.

Mesut Ozil – 8

Far better from the German and he showed why we all get so frustrated with him, he was at his sublime best, just a shame he cannot be more consistent but he deserves credit for putting in a fine display.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 7

Clearly not at his sharpest but he was busy and kept the Napoli defence on their toes, did an efficient job all things considered.

Alexandre Lacazette – 6

Not his finest game and I have him with Kolasinac as our weakest player on the night but he tried and he made room for others to shine.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 7

By definition, he gets a slightly higher ranking than Lacazette whom he replaced, simply because he did better in the 20 odd minutes he had than what Lacazette had in his 67 minutes.

Alex Iwobi – 6

Never really did anything in the time he was on the pitch but he was all over the place hunting for the ball and did his defensive duties when not going forward.

Barcelona speak out on Dembele to Arsenal rumours

The Barcelona coach, Ernesto Valverde, has put an end to speculation we could make a summer move for winger Ousmane Dembele, stating he remains a key component of his squad.

Signed for an jaw-dropping £135 million last summer as a replacement for Neymar, Dembele has failed to live up to expectations at the Camp Nou and failed to make any impact on the first team, partly due to his long list of injuries.

And that led to speculation we could swoop in and offer him an £88 million escape route, with Emery reportedly in the transfer market for a fast, direct winger that will take the defender on rather than stand-him up and pass it, thinking of a certain Alex Iwobi.

Indeed, speculation continued to grow over the past week after Barca splashed out and spent a good chunk of money to acquire the services of Brazilian star Malcom from Bordeaux, who is tipped to develop into a real top-class winger.

But despite all the speculation and crazy rumours that Barca are willing to let Dembele leave for a cut-priced fee, or even on-loan, Valverde is adamant that Dembele will get his chance to prove himself at the La Liga Champions.

Velverde said: ‘Let’s hope it’s his season,’.

‘He is an extraordinary player. The past year has been complicated because of the injuries, but even so he has brought us a lot .

‘The important thing is that there is competition within the team. There are a lot of matches and we can not handle them with only eleven players.’

We have seen Emery spend a lot more money than the £50 million he was supposedly going to get at the beginning of the transfer window, and so far I have been impressed with the signings of the Spaniard.

So the news Dembele will not be coming to the Emirates in the coming weeks will come as a big relief, the 21-year old still has a lot to prove to be worth the £88 million we would have to spend to nail down his signature and I would prefer Emery saved his money and spent it on a player that can make an impact at the club now, not in two or three years time.