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Bid rejected, Insigne & Casillas linked. We need ‘A Dribbler’….

Right after half time in the Last 16 stage of the 2005/2006 Champions League at the Bernabeu, Henry picked up the ball just inside the Real Madrid half, ghosted past several Madrid players before finishing at the far post leaving Casillas helpless…

In the 2007/2008 Champions League quarter finals at the Emirates we were facing Liverpool. The scoreline was 1-1 at this stage of the game. Liverpool seemed to have settled for a draw with about 15 or so minutes. Hleb picked the ball up outside the Liverpool 18 yard box facing several defenders.

He performed the skilful move known as La Croqueta in Spanish (Shuffling the ball quickly between the feet- Santi does it a lot) to beat 2 players and then he glided past 3 more before being brought down by Dirk Kuyt but the referee waved our penalty protests…

These two instances above all have one thing in common- The dribbler.

When we are faced by teams that park the bus, we end up just passing the ball in front of 2 banks of four hoping for an opening. No matter how much pace we have at that time it doesn’t help in such a case. Most of the time we end up over-committing more men forward only for us to get sucker-punched on the counter.

This past season exposed several deficiencies in our attack that have been well documented, from the lack of a clinical striker to lack of pace and movement…

In my opinion the lack of a proper speed dribbler(s) was also one of the reasons our attack faltered, especially when space is limited or when we are facing hard pressing teams like Southampton away for example.

In the 07/08 season we barely had problems with teams that parked the bus. This is because Hleb and Rosicky (the former moreso) would take the initiative and dribble past several players to create openings for the likes of Fabregas and Adebayor to latch into.

When that season ended, Hleb packed his bags for ‘greener’ pastures while Rosicky suffered from an injury that would keep him out for the best part of 2 years. We brought in Nasri that summer who only began to show consistency for us in his final season with us. He had the ability to play the ‘Hleb’ role especially when teams parked the bus against us. An example of this was that Fulham game when the commentator described Nasri’s 2nd goal as having ‘the touch of an angel…’.

We have been desperate for a while for such a player.

Last summer, the regulars here know I was desperate for Di Maria over Ozil because of this. I wanted him to come here and play as a no.10 as Ancelotti does with him at Madrid and its paying off for them.

This is not to say Mesut can’t dribble, Wenger last season said he is an excellent dribbler – even better than Zidane according to him. Wenger said Mesut needed to be selfish at times and take responsibility because he has the ability to do it. I can remember Southampton away when he took the ball just past the halfway line and made a 50 yard dash right through several defenders before taking a shot that was deflected onto the crossbar.

Santi can dribble quite easily but unfortunately he doesn’t have pace to make him even more dangerous. Wilshere can dribble very well but the issue with him is that he tends to over do it sometimes which leaves him susceptible to bad tackles. He needs to add some finesse to his dribbles like how Iniesta does, since it allows the player to be in more control of the ball. Jack I feel goes in all power which is not very wise at times in my opinion.

Ramsey is quite good actually but we shouldn’t have to rely on him to do it from such a deep midfield position, ditto Wilshere. This leaves us with the Ox. In my opinion if we are not going to buy such a player, I would fully back the Ox to be that player. In pre-season last year Wenger played him as the no.10 in some games where he impressed me with his dribbling ability. Having a player that can dribble at such pace and power from a central area of the pitch is invaluable especially considering how CMs are often the slowest players on the pitch.

At the Allianz Arena he completed 10 take ons he attempted. He was a nightmare for them in that match. I can still remember when he went past 4 of their players in 1 move. They had to hack him down at times to stop him.

Having such a player is invaluable. When Real Madrid faced Atletico Madrid in the CL final the latter often chose to sit very deep in their half. Bale and Ronaldo were very ineffective for most part since Atletico limited any space to run in behind. Real Madrid’s best player was Di Maria because he was able to beat several players in very tight spaces to create chances for his team-mates. He was excellent.

Wenger said we need to score more goals next season and addressing this issue will go a long way in helping us to achieve that.

The likes of Liverpool and City could carve apart even the best defences since they have players like Suarez and Aguero who can do it. Chelsea have Hazard, Madrid have Bale, Ronaldo and Di Maria, Bayern have Ribery, Robben and Gotze…and so on.

We need such a marquee player. Could Ozil be the man?…

In my opinion Alexis Sanchez would be the guy that I would pursue in the current market. However, I don’t make the decisions at the club but I hope Wenger shares my point of view.

Written by K-TR7

Transfer Gossip:

Laurent Koscielny has said we need at least four top signings this summer if we are to be competitive this coming season.

We allegedly had a bid for keeper David Marshall rejected by Cardiff.

Spanish newspaper AS is reporting Arsenal want to sign Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

According to the Metro, Arsenal will make a £17million bid for Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne, should he impress at the World Cup.

According to John Cross in The Mirror, Arsene Wenger has spoken directly to Zinedine Zidane in an attempt to broker a deal for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata.

There you go, that’s it for this Friday….


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257 comments on “Bid rejected, Insigne & Casillas linked. We need ‘A Dribbler’….

  1. Excellent post Kt… the type of technical post I expect from you… I enjoyed reading that.

    Morning again Rico et al…

  2. Arsenal have had a £6million bid for David Marshall rejected.

  3. Morning, Good Post.

    Chamberlains dribbling against Ecuador was superb. I definitely agree we need a pacy dribbler and my number 1 target would be Di Maria he would literally rip most defenders in the prem to pieces. What a player Hleb was though, where did we manage to pluck him from? Shame all these players are lured by Barca, they all usually turn out pants lol

  4. Is that confirmed ts?

  5. Hleb came from the same club as Gnabry Vfb Stutgard…
    Hleb was frustrating as he hardly shot on site but he was one reason why we nearly won the title in 2008…

    Personally between if we were to buy from Barca I would buy Pedro as he will offer us something different…

    Its just an opinion but certain inviduals will start name calling because opinions will differ…

  6. Yes… but they asked for £10m

  7. Morning all..

    Good post Kt, thank you…

    Chamberlain is going to be missed by England that’s for sure, thankfully Roy Hodgson won’t be rushing him back.

    I actually hope he returns home, gets the right treatment, a good rest and then be fit and ready for our new season. Think this is one in which we’ll see OC play really well….

  8. The Marshall story is in the newspapers, as far I can see, neither Cardiff or Arsenal have confirmed any such bid…

  9. … according to Daily Fail btw….

  10. Apparently… Vela said if he joins us he has been told he can leave in January if he does not like it… hmmm??

  11. I rest my case Ts… All made up no doubt….

  12. Dear oh dear…

    Clement Grenier expected to be ruled out of World Cup for France due to adductor muscle injury. Morgan Schneiderlin could replace him.

    As I was saying yesterday… maybe its better if we wait and get players as knowing our lack if we sign a player he will get injured in the WC… assuming the said player will represent his country…

  13. Thanks ts.I also saw a stat that the Ox completed 7 dribbles vs Ecuador which is the most an English plater has ever completed in a single match since 2008.

  14. Thanks rico.

  15. Lol Rico.. I will check to see if CoF or goal.com are reporting it.. that will confirm as they are normally so ‘reliable’ :-) :P

  16. kt- you are welcome;It was a very good read… I always like to learn from a post or be reminded of something so…

    But stats are shite! :P and that is coming from me… lol

  17. Good Morning Chappies and Lasses

    Nice article Kt. an analytical and technical post

    I would like Pedro or Sanchez (or both at the same time). imo better than buying Benzema.

  18. Morning all, dribbling that’s what I always wonder about in the modern game, the OX can dribble and to me he is the only one we have, having issues with my comment this morning and that’s a super post from KTR7

  19. Rico, hope you don’t mind me posting this for Kev?

    I know Mr Kev and Rick love their history so…


  20. Hiya Dev my buddy. Howdy?

  21. D-day remembrance…


  22. I remember reading somewhere some years back that Wenger prefers to recruit players with vision over dribblers since he feels thay the former are likely to be team players to allow him to play combination football while the latter are likelier to be more greedy and individualistic.I don’t know how true it is but its interesting nonetheless…

  23. Why we get linked with Benzema I just don’t understand, he’s just another Salomon Kalou but playing for Real Madrid, he is just not that top class as some people rate him, ginge.Pedro is someone I can accept and he can perform since we know we can’t have Marco reus

  24. from the net
    Fred Hermel: “Benzema has admitted joining another club would be taking a step back. “

  25. Hiya Ginginho. you selected to play for Brazil yet??? :P

    KT…..players with a vision are more beneficial to the team. But you need both. you need those with a vision, but you need dribblers as well. If you have a player with a vision and who is a dribbler than that is a bonus.

  26. Thanks Luznic.Dribblers are very important imo.Real madrid cannot score goals like the ones we did vs Norwich or Sunderland-those require alot of team chemistry that takes time to build but we all know how unlikely that is to happen there…however having 3 excellent dribblers behind Benz opens up any defence they face.when the Ox is out we look hopeless at times when a team decides to sit deep..we need a player that can take the initiative like a Henry would.

  27. Exacly Devil.we have no balance in the team.we have so many players who prefer ball to feet in order to dictate the game but we have very few runners off the ball.Only theo Ozil and ramsey constantly move in matches.

    Players that can dribble and also have vision are quite few in the market and that means they are expensive.Reus for me would be a dream but I don’t think he is attainable this year.I want Alexisas an alternative because if anyone here watched him at Udinese before moving to Barca knows how talented he is.he has the ability to be that Aguero/Suarez type of player.he is that good.

  28. Ts, we can’t afford to wait imo, otherwise either player valuation will increase or we’ll be left picking up the bargains…

  29. Am surprise that up till now wenger has find players to buy. This old arsen wenger styles. He is so stupid of breaking fans heart every season. Since January those areas should be underlined. He is busy looking for goalkeeper. What ashame? Chelsea has new two players on last winter windows, now they need up to five players. Eto for arsenal you are kiddy. Wenger should be sacked and replace him with another person.

  30. ts I loved hleb despite his defeciencies.he was excellent at dribbling.even cesc said he loved playing with him.many gooners were not bothered when he left but I was devastated when he did.he was so vital to us in 07/08.

  31. You talk facts KT and I have wondered, could it be the coaches now favor no dribbling because of results, because a dribbler is bound to play to the gallery at some point but the touch and pass can split defences, I concluded by saying the must win syndrome will kill the game of football, dribbling also makes for entertainment and the tiki taka can be boring at times, so like you I support a dribbler and no one does it best like di maria……..I hate to be a pessimist but he is out of our reach

  32. Morning Kt, Devil and luznic

  33. I think we had gervinho a very good dribbler, but finishing was poor, but do we find coaching to improve these area, ox is good. But there is another young man who has that ability too Serge Gnabry pretty good at running at opponents with pace, I thought he should have received more games last season

  34. Gabriel. Arsene Wenger has just signed a new 3 year contract. Suggesting he should be sacked before the transfer window officially opens or the season begins is crazy..

  35. Dev, I wanted the no.6 shirt but Selecao offered me the no.10 jersey instead so i turned them down… :P

    I am a Junior (1982) fan myself… lol

  36. I counted 8 dribbles by Ox against Russia.

  37. Luznic- ditto…

    Its called the beautiful game for a reason… but this days its about winning…

    I have been to Afghanistan and seen kids with relatively no future who will do anything to have a kick around without stepping on some mines… or get to watch a game of football whenever they want…

  38. Kt- there are different type of dribblers.. and the best ones know when to dribble…

    Ox is good in games where we are under long spells of pressure when he could probably carry the ball and win a free-kick in opponents haldf to relieve the pressure. Other than that if my memory serves me right he hardly has the chance to dribble in this league…

    Personally, I do not value the American football/rugby type of dribbling where some players just run with the ball for no reason just to in the end lose the ball… Townsend/Babel etc

    Hleb knew when to carry the ball or shoot…
    Serge Gnabry is also an excellent dribbler…

    Personally, I thought Barjkley was the best player on wednesday as most of his moves had end results… imho

  39. Morning Adam.

  40. Who do you think we will sign during this transfer window Rico?

  41. Luznic i agree with you.thats why i loved watching Brazil at world cups.dribblers may have ‘tunnel vision’ at times but they are damn fun to watch.

    Though i can understand why wenger seems to prefer players with vision more.Looking back at the wilshere goal vs norwich or Rosicky vs sunderland are the sort of goals you can score with such players.with the right chemistry between the players that sort of combination play is so devastating against any opposition.Madrid scored like 150 goals this past season in total but none of their goals involve that sort of combination play to such levels of precision…

    However we tend to overdo it sometimes.we try to ‘walk the ball to the back of the net’.A player like Ronaldo in wilshere’s position would put his foot right through the ball instead of flicking it to Giroud…it may go in or it may not but that highlights the difference in the mentality between the 2 players.

  42. I have no idea Adam. Hope we soon find out though….

    I liked what Koscielny had to say, hopefully IG was reading!

  43. Or should I say AW…..

  44. Morning All
    Morning Rico.
    Interesting post KT. As you say, in these days of parked buses, someone who can dribble defo brings something to the table, tactically.

    Morning Coach…

    My Uncle was at D-Day, he was in the Navy, if I recall he was on the Canadian beach…
    He remembered the young wounded soldiers when they brought them back from the beaches, crying out for their Mothers.

  45. Loew backtracking his recent comments.. lol
    Löw: “To be honest I am a bit surprised by the reaction to Mesut. He was German player of the year & is hot for the World Cup!

  46. I agree ts.knowing when to do it is critical too.Players like Quaresma and Nani are excellent at dribbling but they don’t have the right timing most of the time.

    You are also right about the Ox but i feel he can be nurtured to do it for us consistenly in the league.he has the tools to do it.he just needs to stay fit and i can see him becoming excellent for us.

  47. Reading between the lines I thought that Kos, emboldened by the fact that he has become a decent player rather than a liability who can’t dribble, was saying to Wenger “Do your job or I’ll do mine somewhere else”. I doubt it will make the slightest bit of difference though.
    Wenger’s mindset will be to look at how many points we finished off the top last season, put that down to injuries and bad luck and carry on carrying on.

  48. Last time I saw Adam he was dribbling!

  49. Morning Kev..

    I thought something similar Adam…

  50. I thought so Rico. I am, as you know, something of a mystic. I can smell bullshit, even through an ipad.

  51. It is sad Kev;Lives were lost for no reason other than for idealogy and money.

    The funny thing is most of the veterans a few I have met said they could not even discuss the war due to the horror…

    Still the world has not learnt from the horrors of war…

    On a lighter note…

    I thought you would be enjoying the sun somewhere in France Kev re. d-day anniversary? 70 years wow?

  52. Ronaldo at MUFC used to be so fun to watch.he had so much flair.nowadays he seems like just a scoring machine with a lot less flair…he also has become more individualistic too.its a sign of the times in modern football methinks.Players with flair are so few nowadays.Even Brazil bar neymar and marcelo are no longer exciting to watch.

  53. Well I’m staying positive Adam as I said yesterday.

  54. He’ll do the polar opposite to what Kos has suggested….

  55. Lol Kt… football is a business; as Rico will say ‘Simples’. :)

    Its we the fans who may harbour sentimental views about the game…

  56. I know Rico. I can feel it in your posts.

  57. Personally I loved what kos said about players.he has the right mentality.I loved how he said we needed a 30 goals per season forward especially.he is beat mates with Giroud but he knows that is not going to happen with him up front.

  58. I really hope AW has a top transfer window and finally keeps you moaning lot quiet… And ‘people’ say women whinge!! ;)

  59. Watching these great men over in Normandy I can only weep at how many lost their lives for our future. We owe them a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid except through our remembering them with total respect.
    Imagining what it must have been like for a young man of 20 something years to have faced that is sobering and moving for me.

  60. I was dribbling in Amsterdam not so long ago…

  61. lmfao Rico ‘And ‘people’ say women whinge’… so true..

    Have you heard from Dg from Holland?

  62. Well said Brudder!

  63. Spot on Adam.

  64. Nothing from DG Ts…

  65. Hope he is well Rico and enjoying his harem.. I think I had his contact will drop him an email later…

  66. Regarding Ozil ts I think Low knows when he is on form he is the best German player.he has to put his arm around him because he seems like the sort of player who needs it.however i agree with Ballack’s criticism- he needs to take more responsibilty.

    This is new to mesut.he has never been top dog at any of his previous clubs.at madrid Ronaldo is the alpha while at Bremen Diego was the alpha.In terms of technical ability i’d say he is as close to perfection as you can get.

    What he needs now is to grow into the role of the alpha.he needs to take games by the scruff of the neck as the best players in the world do.he has so much potential and you feel if he can tap that extra 15% he will be the best player in the league.

    Wenger sees that and i suspect thats why he isn’t going to shop for an AM.he wants Ozil to be the alpha.

  67. I agree kt-

    Did you read or hear how AW described Balo’ recently…

    He said Balo’ is like Ozil, they both drift in and out of games but both are world class… he said he can understand how ‘some’ fans may not appreciate such players but fans have to realise the game is too easy for such players…

    Teh second time he has described both players in those words.. first time was when Balo’ was at Inter and he was asked if he preferred Balo or El Shawaray (spelling)

  68. So do I Ts, have emailed him before and heard nothing so hope you get more joy…

  69. Morning all. Adam thats my fear too.We won a cup and finished closer to the top than we have for a long time . All reasons for the club to sit on it’s hands and tinker rather than go all out to build. All great managers have realised that even after winning things they have to refresh. We really havent won that much and badly need to supplement sooner rather than later. If we wait until after Brazil it leaves little time for pre season and the bedding in required.

  70. Morning Rico…..Arsenal pull out of Fabregas deal, will he go to Chelsea I thought Mourinho always wanted a player who tracks back and I don’t see Fabregas as that man, if Mourinho signs him then he sure doesn’t know what he wants or he just hates Mata

  71. I see the Academy have signed a left back….

    Elias Chatzitheodoridis – hope he never becomes a first team player… ;)

  72. Lol… Elias Chatz for short aka DJ chatz

  73. Luznic; Jose does not decide who to sign from what i have heard… Marina and Roun decide.. not even Roman

  74. I remember that ts when wenger described Balo.You feel if such players can exert more influence in matches they would be untouchable.Look at Cesc foe example who creates just as many chances for teammates like mesut but he appears to be more dominant in matches.Mesut will be decisive for like 20 minutes where he is devastating and then spend the rest of the match going through the motions.if he can exert his influence over matches like cesc does you wonder how good he potentially could be…am sure Wenger wants to find out.

  75. Hi Potter. I thought the most disturbing thing recently was Gazidis’ suggestion that Wenger was irreplaceable.
    As for new faces? If Cesc isn’t good enough..

  76. If cesc goes to the chavs i doubt mou has any say in it.if he had i doubt they would be interested imo.

  77. If we sign players who are involved a long way through the WC, they will get little pre-season anyway as they’ll need a holiday..

    I know it’s really frustrating to hear all the gossip about who is going where, like Costa and Fabregas to Chelsea but as yet, Liverpool are the only PL club to have signed players.

    None of us truly know what the club have planned, we may be left disappointed again but somehow, I don’t think we will. Not now that AW has signed a new contract and the money we have is clear to everybody.

    AW would have to be the most stupid of all men if he thought he could get away with another poor transfer window…

  78. Why are we worrying about who signs the players for Chelsea??

  79. Ts ‘from what I have heard’ – you quoting from The Metro or CO? ;)

  80. Kt- for some reasons there are not many takers swamping in for Cesc..even Pele’ has stayed away thus far…

    I thought AS Monaco could do with Cesc especially with their new manager Leonardo Jardim being described as the new AW even though he is Portugese…

    I think we could still get Cesc yet… I think we will only bid once we know teh fee..

    Contray to what sky are saying re £30m release clause the player himself said the fee is in the region of £100m; its funny how we fans fall for anything when even Song has a release clause of £56m but think Cesc’s clause is only £30m.

    Below has some interesting info on clause:


  81. Mourinho would spend any amount of other people’s money to piss Wenger and the Arsenal fans off. He loves mind games and like all very small men, has a psychological need to be heard and that always leads to bullying.

  82. Its always from metro as you know Rico. :P

  83. Cesc’s Clauses: 30m€ First Option, Right of First Refusal clause. This is the one most people don’t get. FCB have to either get a bid in and accept and no matter that offer, say it is 40m€, we have a right of first refusal to buy him back for 30m€.

    Or if FCB decide to sell without having a bid in, they must inform us & we have a right of first refusal for the 30m€.

    We do NOT have an option where we can go in blindly, pony up 30m€ and FCB HAVE to sell to us, this is where people are getting confused.

  84. His release clause is 200m€. Barcelona have confirmed it to the press.

  85. Hiya,

    In our 09/10 team Nasri and AA23 both were better dribbler to Cesc but Cesc was one with vision and due to that none of them got # 10 role. The problem with most dribblers is most want to beat their man even when simple pass is on they would want to beat the man and that is what hurts teams at times. I remember back then Nasri at times would beat same player twice. That is something we don’t need.

    The good thing about MO is, if he wants to beat his man he does it easily and when he wants to pass he does that too easily.

    Technically, he is both Cesc and Hleb in one person.

  86. Totally agree re the small men comment Adam, I know a few and all have that same ‘bullying’ quality….

  87. exactly Adam Mourinho will do anything to piss off the Arsenal and AW but who ever he signs, his negative football will still be his undoing

  88. In my view, Barca need money and they know both AFC and Cesc want each other… and we have money to burn and we always pay unlike other IOU buyers on the markey

    Barca were trying to prey on our emotional attachment to get us to table £50m or get a bidding war going as if a bid of £80m comes in from Psg or Monaco as an example we have to match it or pay or pay the 35m euros..
    Since they still owe us some money we will be bending over backwards to get shafted..

    AW is a poker player and will always hold his cards close to his chest…; AW will always put the future of club first over his own ego imho.. we may not agree but I sincerely believe so…

    Fingers crossed AFC fans will be surprised if indeed Cesc has to move… ;)

  89. Ts – I do much prefer your comments which start with ‘in my view’ rather than ‘from what I heard’ – The latter makes me wonder if you are often sat on AW’s shoulder when he’s talking to IG…

    Or maybe Jose’s when he’s doing his transfer business…

  90. And because Barca did not win anything this season… we do not get our installment; so in my view we will be shooting ourselves in the foot if we go in and buy him now…

    That will mean they bought Cesc for £20m used him and then sold him back to us for a profit…

  91. I hear you Rico…

    Re Jose even Harry tight pants Redknap said it on TV that the club hierachy buy the players not the manager..

  92. S2S I agree with your post especially about Ozil.he needs to take more responsibility though.Jogi Low abd even Ballack have suggested that.if he can exert influence the way say Suarez does for pool he would be unplayable.

  93. Thanks Ts, just like to keep HH ‘real’.

  94. That’s how it should be, the manager should only be involved in identifying which players he wants and nothing more…

    However, AW likes to do more…

  95. Afternoon Rico, a busy morning for moi…

    It’s a beautiful warm, sunny day in London Town…

    Just having a refreshing cuppa in Tottenham Court Rd…
    Defo T-Shirt weather…

  96. I am sure that we’ll see no transfer business concerning Arsenal, this side of the World Cup…
    Arsenal return to training around 7th July (I think)…
    It would be nice to have a couple of Freeski’s signed up by then…

    The real transfer biz, as we all know from past experience, is still some 86 days away…
    It’ll soon go… ;-)

  97. Afternoon Kev, it’s lovely here too :)

  98. I reckon we’ll see one, maybe two before the WC kicks off :)

  99. I’ll have a bet with you Rico….

  100. its such a shame kev that we seem to drag our feet when it comes to transfers.teams like liverpool and dortmund are almost done if not done while we are not even close.for once id like to see us sign players before preseason starts.

  101. Watching the ladies play last weekend and then hearing the manager was leaving,
    I was wondering who signed the two Japenese girls…Surely not.

    Wenger says that..We are unlikely to have any new signings this side of the world cup.
    Must be players that are in the squads of the teams out there.

    Because Liverpool and Chelsea have just gone about…
    ……………….business as usual………………Haven’t they.

  102. Fred, Chelsea haven’t signed anyone yet, all they have done is sold Luiz.

    Liverpool have been busy but would we have been pleased if AW signed Lambert or this other guy?

  103. I agree KT, surely it makes sense to have any new signings settled and integrated, not only with their new team, but also, in most cases, a new country/culture…

  104. 1st of july I know rico is the official date(press releases).

  105. Lambert ..Would have in the last window.rico

  106. I really like this post because it highlights another dimension we are lacking. I totally agree that a dribbler can unlock doors (or parked buses) because he puts doubt in the minds of the defense – if I go tight will he go around me? I think the best way to accommodate a dribbler in own team while also fixing other weakness is to add one at left mid/wing.

    However, consider this: Messi averaged last season 4.6 dribbles per game, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain averages 1.5 for reference. Draxler averaged 4.1 (!), Di Maria 1.4, Alexis Sanchez 1.1, Antoine Griezmann 0.7. (whoscored.com)

    So trouble is that the best goal scorers in their leagues last season (Griezmann 16 goals/ Sanchez 19 goals) are not the best dribblers (Draxler (2 goals), Di Maria (4 goals).

    So what to do? I would still go Griezmann/Sanchez because pace was a big part of the problem for us when Walcott and Ox were injured. Then its about encouraging players to run more and beat players without fear of losing the ball against those bus parking teams.

  107. But Liverpool have announced deals now fred, so signings can be done..

    Kev, but they’ll all be in Brazil and then on holiday :)

  108. Any decent striker on loan would have done me back in Jan Fred….

  109. I saw that one too Lee, more money coming our way then…

  110. Chelsea have sold one for 50mil and bought one for 30mil.
    costa deal done..ain’t it.

  111. Not sure re Costa, haven’t seen any story saying it’s done though just yet

  112. Vela set to hold up Chelsea’s Diego Costa deal

    ARSENAL could yet throw a spanner in the works of Chelsea’s move for Diego Costa as they ponder activating Carlos Vela’s buy-back clause.

    Vela has emerged as a target for Costa’s current club Atletico Madrid with Diego Simeone apparently ready to pay £8m to land the Mexican.

    Atletico have already lost David Villa this summer and are reportedly keen to bring in attacking reinforcements before letting Costa leave as well.

    It is believed that Costa has already passed a medical at Stamford Bridge and will join Chelsea in a £32m deal after the World Cup.

    But Atletico may not be willing to sign off on the deal until they have a replacement already in the bag

    If I was Arsene Wenger I would do what Mourinho does to others. Sign Vela on the cheap and bugger up his plans for Costa…!!!

  113. Afternoon all, kt interesting read, brought back the memories of the 08 side, Hleb was at times as frustrating as he was good,his goals return was disappointing, perhaps down the team wanting to walk the ball into net at times..Ts, had to hand in my WC score predictions for the group stages, last night, thought i had more time, certainly sure to give you a laugh. LOL Rico 12:31, exactly, AW likes to do a whole lot more, imo.

  114. Rico, I wholeheartedly agree! I’d try and fuck that little toe rag up like he’d do to us!!!

  115. Rico, can i have a slice of the action as well? lol

  116. And we’d get a good player Lee… I hate that little gobs***e!!

    Hi Bt, too much eh…

  117. And I know that’s not very ladylike of me but Mourinho brings out the bad side in me… ;)

  118. Rico, ah well, try paddy power and see if Nikki Bs’ pants are giving any odds.

  119. very good post ktr…….agree with everything u said…I think we do need a dribbler IMO if he improves his decision making wilshere might just be the answer as IMO he is the best dribbler in the team much like hleb….hi Rico and all have w signed draxler yet?

  120. What action Bt?

  121. Hi snap, no is the simple answer…

  122. Thanks Bt62/roger.

    I love cazorla but i feel we need an alternative to him especially in big games on that left flank.we need a more athletic version of him ideally a dribbler in the mould of Alexis.it would be great with theo on the opposite flank.

    The reason i chose Alexis is because I think he has a big goal scoring potential if you watch him for Udinese/Chile especially.he also dribbled a lot more before going to barca where he has been inhibited a bit to allow messi to flourish.

    Di maria would be fine but i doubt he is leaving.

  123. Rico, sorry if i confused you.meant signings before WC kick off bet, nothing else.

  124. Ah, blonde moment Lee, sorry Bt… ;)

  125. Thanks Snap.I would advice jack to watch iniesta as i think he is the prototype of how to balance dribbling and when to keep it simple.his decision making is what sets him apart from other midfielders who possess similar tools.he doesn’t do fancy tricks just for the sake of it.when he dribbles he is immense.he is my favourite player in the world.

  126. Hi roger, didn’t see you there…

  127. Lee sorted it Bt, I do tend to have a few blonde moments in my life where I can’t see the bleedin obvious.. ;)

    Bit like our dear manager really….

  128. Rico, we all have our little moments. lol

  129. So AW has six days to ensure I win my bet…..

    How much am I set to win? ;)

  130. :) Bt, I think we do….

  131. true krt…..I love iniesta too and like u I think jack should learn of him…the problem with jack isn’t talent he is one of the most talented in the squad..he just needs to focus on keeping things simple an not try to force things….I like Alexis too he ha always looked like a cf to me

  132. Just the one Lee? ;)

  133. Kt, agree with your take on Santi and our left wing, always thought with the right player there, we would be a lot more dangerous.More pace and power combined with the ability to dribble, deliver a final ball and a few goals. The problem is we have more pressing issues elsewhere,Kossers call for 4 players is not far of the mark.

  134. Double or Quits???

  135. Hey Rico, can you explain to me better how the Arsenal/Vela interest holds up Chelsea/Costa? If Chelsea trigger Costas release clause believed to be 32m, even if Atletico want to keep him if Costa wants to go, he goes. So even if we are in for Vela I would doubt this buggas up Chelsea? Atletico would be the ones more put out, no?

  136. Rico, i think you just had another blonde moment @ 2:19. lol

  137. Oh ktr7, I am a huge Sanchez fan, so with you all the way on that one mate. Sanchez plus a decent enough striker like Remy and I would be totally satisfied.

  138. Deal Kev :)

  139. roger, according to the Express, At Madrid want to sign a striker before they allow Costa to move. Their target is Carlos Vela so if we nip and sign him, it could muck up any deal for Costa to Chelsea…

  140. True Snap.decision making is an underrated aspect in football.for example Quaresma is likely to dribble past his man 8/10 times bit after that he’ll make the right decision 4/10 times.a player like Muller will beat his man 5/10 times then he’ll make the right decision 8/10 times.Iniesta is the best of both worlds since he’ll likely score 8/10 in each of the categories.

    When jack improves his decision making like ramsey has he can be very very good.Ox also needs to improve his decision making too.

  141. Where do those figures come from?

  142. Why Bt, the WC kicks off in just under 6 days and I reckon we’ll sign a player before the WC starts…

  143. Ginter looking out Frieburg,is he any good? One for the German footie specialists in the house.

  144. Bt – are there any in the house? ;)

  145. Rico, i’ll take it back if it happens, no offence intended and i’ll send you the price of a Cobra or beer of choice, if it happens,

  146. Bt62 Ginter is worth a punt imo.he can play CB/DM.

  147. Rico, it appears not, most have all vacated the premises.

  148. Express are wrong imho… Costa is being held because of Curtois.. before the semi’s when Costa deal was agreed provisionally chelsea said that loanee could stay for another season but as per usual chelsea style they have gone back on their word…

    Bt, Ginter is the shitesnits… he is the only u-21 player from last tournament to make the full krauts squad and he is not from M’glash, BVB, S04, B04 or BM…

    Wath loves him to bits… I will describe him as the new Thuram or Kohler or Cavanaro…

  149. No offence taken Bt..

    I don’t believe we have any football experts, we are all just mere fans with opinions and observations… :)

  150. Nani is link to us…

  151. Regardless, I still think getting Vela would be a sensible idea…

  152. Kt, i know we have been linked in past, the quote i saw was Ginter ask/telling he was going to leave around 10m. Ts, names mentioned there are some boots to fill.I see you were in good form earlier today.

  153. I don’t think we will sign anyone until at least mid July

  154. Adam, possibly a database full of stats somewhere…

  155. Might as well pay up now Rico……….

  156. Rico,isn’t everybody an expert when it comes to football. lol

  157. Nani again JM, not seen that one yet this summer…

  158. No chance Lee ;)
    :) Bt, not me and I would never pretend to be… lol

  159. Roger, i believe that Ath do not set out an explicit release clause figure e.g Falcao fee last summer and Aguero before

    They use the Suarez/Liverpool model where a minimum figure of X has to be met before a club will be allowed to talk to any of their player …

    If you remember last season when Emma and I suggested that we should be going for Costa instead of Suarez, his clause was around £20M but when Liverpool bid that figure it was rejected but a fee of £25M was accepted… The player however turned down Liverpool because he needed to get an EU passport…

    He stayed and signed a new contract where his clause was increased by only 7m Euros; at that time koke also re-newed his contract and had his clause increased to £56M… that shows Costa was not rated then…

  160. Bt- I always put my neck on the line mate…

    folks my not like or respect it but hey free world until Rico/Wath tell me to bugger off :)

  161. Now Ribery is out of the worldcup…

  162. Ginter stayed at the black forest club last summer as he wanted to make the world cup squad… BM were after him too…

    Considering Freisburg went from UEFA cup qualifiers 5th only missing out on last day to S04 the season before to finishing 14th this season when they lost their best players including kruse; Ginter was the stand out guy imho

  163. True… he was rushed by today and he got injured in his first training…

    Grenier too is out so both my players Schnerderlein and Cabella have an opportunity to shine…

  164. rushed back*

  165. Dont forget the chavs lost out to Monaco re Falcao last summer…

    There is always someone with unlimited cash it seems… ;)

    Psg and Monaco must have something to say in this window… or maybe FFP is biting hard? :-)

  166. Ts, i hope you don’t take offence, there is no disrespect intended, if it we’re taken that way, sorry.I value your opinions on european players,as my knowledge is limited, as i don’t see many european league games.Maybe should not have used the “Expert” word,but easier than typing “someone with more knowledge on German football than me” Keep up the good work, as you say it’s a free world.

  167. Bt, if a 20 y.o defensive minded player starts 39 games in all competitions in the Bundesliga and UEFA cup as a DM/CB and only gets 1 yellow card the whole season then he is either the son of the German Mike Riley or he is a top top player… :)

  168. Bt, no offence ever taken mate…
    I only fall out with Micko and Wath on here but only because Wath likes pragmatic cough cheap players like Bony and Micko well he owes me a drink… lol

  169. Ts, I have to say that I don’t at all remember you suggesting we should go for Costa..

    Liverpool were interested in him and I recall someone saying he was a nutter….

  170. .. Bt, and I come on here to learn …from peeps with something positive to say on football or general history like Kev, syg, potter, Fred and all the other senior individuals who frequent here.. ;)

  171. I’m going to be pedantic here too.

    Just because the newspapers suggest a particular player could be heading to a particular club and it doesn’t happen, why do fans assume that a club has lost out on signing him??

    It’s all newspaper bollox as we Arsenal fans should know since we seem to be linked with every player there is playing the game but seldom, if ever do names we see in the newspaper end up at Arsenal..

    Ts, if you keep saying ‘I heard’ or ‘I told you you’, I’ll be telling you to bugger off… ;)

  172. Lol Rico, true Emma said that…
    I said we should bid for him to force Liverpool’s hand?

    My views were that if we were going to get a nutter then we should get Costa as he would be cheaper… then again I said he won’t move because he needed to stay 7 more months to get an EU passport…

    You asked me how I knew about that or I was making it up… same as when I said Costa would join Chelsea when AW said in January Costa deal would be more than 60 bars or so… lol

    You didn’t remember me saying about Negredo either until I posted an old post which you reprimanded me for so… ;)

  173. Yes m’m… i will say i read instead then if it makes you happy… ;)

  174. I still don’t remember either Ts….

  175. It’s not about making me happy Ts, it’s about you not sounding like you sit in the Arsenal board room or any other clubs. You don’t want to set yourself up for a fall..

    If you are telling us that you have an inside to the club, then fine and if you do, please tell us who Arsene Wenger is about to sign… :)

  176. So am I a liar? :)
    Holland and Barrats have sales on fish oils you know :P ;)

  177. I love it when you get all masterful Rico! :lol:

  178. Ts, he sounds pretty good to me, do you think in your opinion, he’s ready for a move to a big club? Ts i can understand the Bony thing as well, syg mentioned Falco the other day, all seems pretty quite on him at the moment. I know he’s injured, but have you any thoughts on his future at Monaco after his recovery?

  179. I don’t Ts, are you? ;)

  180. True and I apreciate that Rico…

    I never claim to be know an insider… I only report what I hear or read…
    In all cases I discretely said who I get my info from without breaching trust…

    Before last summer I mentioned certain players that we would be linked with like Josuha and Cabaye even before the window… I even mentioned to Syg on the last day of the January transfer when it was just the 2 of us when all HH were out to the Curry House…

    Rico, I know you are always a good spot so I hope no offence taken on fish oil joke? ;-)

  181. Oooo Errr Lee ;)

  182. ..’we would be linked with like ‘ … should read make a bid for…

    Bt…I don’t know anything about Falcao… all I know is nearing AW say on Canal+ that he preferred Cavani to Falcao as Cavani could play anywhere along the front 3…

  183. hearing*… I should really read over my post before…

    Hard though with me sitting in the office with the computer screen and browser minimised so colleagues can’t see I am doing f@@@ all, all day but blogging on HH.. :P

  184. Maybe you don’t see how it sometimes comes across Ts, if I was sat by you I’d poke you in the ribs! ;)

    The Holland and Barrett comment – well, as you say, I am a good sport and I need to be to on here… ;)

  185. Ts, i would just be happy with someone, who would just stick them away on regular basis never mind been able to play in 3 different positions.

  186. Bt, I’m with you there… We want and need a proper goal scorer, not another mr utility man….

  187. lol… we are talking about Mr 75 minutes here. He sees things his way…

  188. Perhaps if he didn’t, we would have won the PL last season…

  189. The question is who though…

    The top strikers can’t be cloned yet or bought off the shelf ;) unfortunately in my view strikers of today are not in the same calibre as they were in the early 90’s…

  190. Later folks… got the m25 anticlockwise trip to make…

  191. Rico, you can always poke me in the ribs… ;-)

    Or kick Adam… :-D

  192. I’d willingly do both Kev :P

  193. Ohh nurse…. :-P

  194. I take it as a privilege Rico. :)

  195. Zak Ansah, just signed for Charlton, will join their development squad and hopefully push on to the first. Good luck to the young lad, i say.

  196. :) Adam and rightly so… lol

  197. And so do I Bt….

  198. thx tsgh 3:30

  199. Evening Adam..

  200. Yes thanks Adam, you?

  201. It was a quickie but yes, quite tasty. Jasmine rice, prawns ginger and crispy seaweed with sweet chilli sauce. You?

  202. Adam. The bbq is going to be cleaned tomorrow and see daylight for the first time this year. Then it’s LM burgers with sweetcorn, peppers and onions…. All with a home baked bun of course and plenty of chilli sauce…

    Oh, and a skewer full of garlic :)

  203. Sounds lovely Adam apart from prawns… :(

    Quickie for us too, made a cheesy leak pasta bake with a breaded topping with chive on Wednesday and just cleared the rest up.

    Quickies are the best I’m told, I think I read that in an article in the Daily Star.

  204. How decadent with all that garlic. I quite like the LM burgers but the last ones I think I overcooked and they got a bit rubbery. I took your advice and hot her veggie sausages and I reckon they are the best I’ve had.

  205. I do love a pasta bake. We are off for a birthday do tomorrow afternoon/ evening at a mates house. I don’t like parties much because as you know I am fiercely anti social.

  206. As you know Adam, I love garlic. Glad you liked the sausages, I love them too. May I be so bold to recommend her sausage rolls, they are truly delicious. Meat eaters would struggle to tell the difference imo…

  207. :) re the parties Adam, I too dislike them immensely.. For a similar reason.. ;)

  208. I will get some on Sunday Rico. Off now. It was great chatting earlier. Really. :)

  209. :) Adam, have a lovely evening….

  210. Meat eaters would struggle to tell the difference imo

    Probably because you don’t eat meat. I have had a few LM products as they come from Fakenham and I know a lot of the staff there. Sadly I have to say I’m not that keen.

  211. But I did once Potter and loved a sausage roll and I love the LM ones as much, if not more.

    Of course they won’t be for everyone’s taste…

    Have you tried the mozzarella burgers?

  212. I’m off now, you folks all have a great evening and catch up tomorrow..

    Night all…

  213. Germany: Weidenfeller, Boateng, Mertesacker, Hummels, Howedes, Lahm, Khedira, Reus, Kroos, Schürrle, Müller

    No ozil tonight

  214. Just went on to her site to look at them but it wanted me to accept cookies . Well biscuits I quite like but I get enough rubbish coming through as it is.

  215. Reus just got injured and possibly out of the WC…

  216. Schurle and Poldi combine again… super finish

  217. Is it me…I think that Fab is ours as soon as he sets foot in the UK,
    is wenger trying to get him on the cheap,
    is wenger thinking fab has reach his peak,
    maureen thinks his worth buying..he ain’t a bad judge…is he
    for the life of me..I just can not see Fab playing for the chavs,
    off down the pub..see what the cockney boys think.

  218. Ozil and Poldi combine superbly… super Poldi scores to take him amongst top 3 German scorers

  219. Pedro bid in allegedly…

  220. WoW Klose of all people exceeds Gerd Mullers all time record…

    Shame we could not get him in January

  221. Poldi was fantastic tonight. German has in this 2 half, a player with left foot, playing in the left side ans it’s diferent

  222. Fred,
    Tottenham Hotspur couldn’t get one in….gertcha
    When the Poles knock England out of the cup…..gertcha
    When the dogs left a message on the step…..gertcha
    Bloody cockneys !

  223. arsenal bid for Pedro according yo reports…..would be happy with him tbh…but I still want draxler..lol

  224. I’d prefer Sanchez to Pedro…! Sanchez all day long for me with a pacy tricky winger and i’d be double happy… throw in Khedira or Schneiderlin and even better and to top it off Ginter…. Now that would be a proper summers transfer dealings.

  225. Gawd blimey, it’s me ol’ mucker Micko…

    Bleedin’ ‘ell, ain’t herd from him for bloomin’ yonks…

    How’s trick me ol’ china plate???

  226. Wath, we ain’t buying anyone…

    2 or 3 Bosmans, and that’s yer lot…

  227. Pedro?

    What, Arsenal signing the geezer who writes Le Grove?!!!

  228. Morning all.

    Pedro? Who made that one up? ;)

  229. Just about to pee down on Earls Colne….
    All Black v England on now, think we’ll come second!
    Morning Rico and all….

  230. It’s raining and dark here too Lee. Morning to you….

    Best I get the television on, I’d forgotten..

  231. Thunder and lightening now. :(

  232. A bit cloudy but still dry in SE London

  233. Morning Rico, Lee and all. It’s still bright here but there is no air in the air. This is bad because I feel incredibly spaced out this morning. :)

  234. Morning Kev and Adam…

    Spaced out? So unlike you Adam. ;)

  235. I know Rico. It is unusual for me. It’s come over rather grey now.

  236. Apparently Adam, we are due two weeks rain in just an hour today and the entire weekend is forecast to be horrid.

    So much for cleaning and using the bbq later….

  237. Morning Rico, I can’t see you using that BBQ today, not unless you have a tent of a shed that you can cook under… ;-)

    Morning Adam, just listening to some Jimi Hendrix…
    I think that our Jimi liked a bit of vape, Purple Haze and all… :-P

  238. Rico. I am due to stagger round to a friend’s garden party later so I hope all the rain falls in the country. Apparently the farmers need it for the wheat or something. :)
    Pedro would be ok as a wide man. Bundles of pace. I recall watching him live when we played Barca.

  239. Still not raining in London

  240. :) Kev, neither can I…..

  241. Think it’s widespread Adam, so take your brolly.. ;)

  242. Morning Kev. Jimi liked everything. That ended up being his problem. Great player though. :)

  243. Rico, how is the rugby going?

  244. I shall Rico. Thanks for the tip. :)

  245. 9-9 Kev but Sky Sports has now crashed after a hefty thunder bolt…

  246. Hopefully you won’t get the rain Adam.. :)

    New post up now…

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