Feed on

The Silly Season Begins

The start of the Euros might have obscured the fact that the transfer window opened on 14th June and from now until the end of August, NewsNow will be refreshed continually as transfer stories (most of which are complete rubbish) break and develop. The window closes officially at 11pm on 30th August as Jim White clad in his yellow tie breaks down in tears on live TV and Sky reporters frantically sip hot coffee while shivering in club car parks all over England waiting for managers in their Range Rovers to confirm or deny deals. 

In this article I thought it might be interesting to look at what Arsenal might do in this window. I will focus predominantly on incomings although as we will see, the management of finances has never been more important and the consequences (seemingly for all clubs except one) of mismanaging their profit and loss account has never had more potentially vicious consequences. 

I won’t go into huge depth about the various rules  by which we have to abide. There are those in the GHF fraternity who understand them better than me and I am not fit to touch the hem of their garment, but I’ve just tried to provide a bit of context, so please be gentle with me if my suppositions are wrong. 

Profit and Sustainability Rules  

PSR rules prohibit all clubs in the Premier League from accumulating losses in excess of £105 million over a three-year period. Not all club spending is captured by the £105 million limit: infrastructure, women’s football, investment in youth and community work costs are all deductible for PSR purposes.

UEFA has helped accelerate the complexity of the situation with changes it has introduced over the past 18 months. Any club competing in European competitions will have to adhere to rules limiting spending on player wages, amortised transfers and agent fees to 70 per cent of overall revenue by 2025-26. The move towards that benchmark began with the limit set at 90 per cent this season and 80 per cent in 2024-25.

Squad Formation Rules 

If that isn’t complicated enough, we have the league rules on squad formation. 

Per the league’s rules, clubs can name a squad of 25 players but  the 25 players cannot contain  more than 17 who do not fulfil “homegrown” criteria. So, you need at least 8 homegrown players.  “Homegrown” means a player who, irrespective of nationality or age, has been registered with any club in England or Wales for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons before his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21).

Players under the age of 21 do not need be included in our 25-player squad, and clubs can field as many under-21s as they wish throughout the campaign.

Players we are (currently) retaining are listed below. *Players marked with an asterisk are homegrown.

Kai Havertz

Gabriel Jesus


Jakub Kiwior

Gabriel Magalhaes 

Gabriel Martinelli*

Reiss Nelson*

Eddie Nketiah*

Martin Ødegaard

Thomas Partey

Aaron Ramsdale*

David Raya*

Omar Rekik

Declan Rice*

Bukayo Saka*

William Saliba*

Albert Sambi Lokonga 

Emile Smith Rowe*

Nuno Tavares

Kieran Tierney 

Jurrien Timber

Takehiro Tomiyasu

Leandro Trossard

Fabio Vieira 

Ben White*

Oleksandr Zinchenko 

My sense is that at least 7 of these players will be sold (or go on loan) and it may be as many as 10. Thirteen of this list are not home grown. But several may leave . Probably 4 homegrown players could leave this summer. If they do, we must sign 2 homegrown players over 21 to replace them or just carry a smaller squad. 

Under 21’s 

The following players were on loan all season: 

Charlie Patino

Mika Biereth

Brooke Norton- Cuffy

Marquinhos (who I believe is returning permanently to Brazil) 

Other notable U21s who may be considered for first team action are: 

Amario Cozier-Duberry 

Khayon Edwards

Taylor Foran

Jimi Gower

Ayden Heaven

Karl Hein

Jack Henry-Francis

Ismeal Kabia

Myles Lewis-Skelly

Zane Monlouis

Ethan Nwaneri 

Michal Rosiak

Charles Sagoe Jr

James Sweet

Reuell Walters (Reuell has apparently refused a new contract and is destined to leave) 

In addition, Chido Martin Obi who is not old enough to sign a pro contract in England is likely to leave for Germany.

Transfers – A Murky Pool.

In a long business career where I got heavily involved in film finance, takeover deals and property deals I scarcely ever found myself working on insurance for transfer deals. While I would love to have scuppered a big Manchester United transfer or held up a new Tottenham purchase but I never had the opportunity. I was peripherally involved in John Hollins’ transfer from Chelsea to QPR which he describes in his autobiography. I was aware of a number of complicated machinations affecting Lassana Diarra’s transfer to us from Chelsea and the last deal I had any foreknowledge of was the ill-fated deal which saw Willian move to us from the Bus Stop. A friend who has strong Chelsea connections told me about this deal several months before it actually happened. 

Having once sat next to a football agent at a charity breakfast at Claridges, this was really no hardship. He was a repulsive character who dripped arrogance. He was almost a cliche in the way that he talked and his outlook on life. Someone who gave you the impression that the world of football revolved around him and had little to do with players. Those of us old enough to remember football transfers in days of yore when most of the action seemed to take place at motorway service stations or railway stations will suspect that a lot of nefarious dealings took place around transfers with many household names involved. It always seemed singularly unfair just to sanction George Graham for the ‘bung’ he received from Rune Hauge over the transfer of Pal Lydersen when so many other big figures in the game went unpunished for similar offences. Reference the transcript of the notorious legal action between Alan Sugar and Terry Venables for examples of what went on. 

Today’s transfers are complex, often protracted affairs and one suspects that brown envelopes are no longer traded at Watford Gap at 11.30 at night. Transfer negotiations are compressed into the windows in the summer and (less frequently) in the winter. The amounts involved are so large that transfer strategy is an  incredibly important part of running a modern football club . It is an area that has been conducted in a very different way at Arsenal in recent years 

Changing Times at Arsenal 

During the post-season break in 2020 Arsenal decided to change their modus operandi on transfers. This coincided with the departure of Raul Sanllehi which seemed to be associated with a review by KSE’s emissary in London, Tim Lewis, now a club director, of the transfer of Nicolas Pepe from Lille a year before. From that moment onwards, Arsenal’s transfer dealings appeared to interested observers to be informed by a much tighter strategy with a transfer committee in place and Josh Kroenke ultimately signing off all transfers. This change also coincided with a willingness to continue to spend big and to recruit younger players with a high ceiling. We saw the recruitment of White, Ramsdale, Tomayisu, Jesus, Zinchenko, Trossard, Jorginho and Kiwior. Last window saw us recruit Havertz, Timber, Raya (on loan) and the mega-deal for Declan (‘we got him half-price‘) Rice . These players have taken us into contention for the title. 

So what will happen in the window that has just opened ? 

I’ve started with outgoings because they may determine who we end up buying. Those likely to leave: 

Highly likely departures



Sambi Lokonga 








It is impossible to assign very accurate figures but if everyone on this list did leave we could expect to receive somewhere between £100- £140 million 

Possible departures 

Jesus (possible fee £25 million) 

Zinchenko (possible fee £25 million) 

Hein (possible fee £5 million but may go on loan) 

Smith Rowe (possible fee £25 million) 

Vieira (possible fee £15 million – may go on loan) 

Kiwior (possible fee £20 million) 

All the fee calculations here and above do not take into account additional clauses and incentive payments . 

The clickbait transfer stories try to link almost every player with a move and I am very sceptical that we could  oversee (or need to oversee) an exodus like this. I think some of our younger players with no obvious pathway to the first team are likely to leave while players whom we need to upgrade or who need to move for the sake of their careers will move on. 

So, I expect to see all of those on the ‘Likely Departures’ list leaving and in addition, we may see Kiwior depart and Vieira going on loan. I desperately hope ESR stays and gets more opportunities. He is home-grown and would ideally have to be replaced by another homegrown player. Why sign, say Conor Gallagher, if you have to let ESR go? 

Potential Signings 

I have been told that there will be a strong focus on signing breakthrough players between the ages of 16-19 this summer. I don’t have my own scouting network so can’t identify likely recruits but it does seem perverse to me that we are focusing here while seeing Patino, BNC, Walters and Biereth go and failing to retain Martin Obi and possibly Cozier-Duberry. If we want to recruit and retain the best young talent we have to find a way to develop a pathway into the first team. At least, Ethan Nwaneri may well join the first team squad next season. 

I think we need to sign players for the following positions: 

A goalkeeper (two if Hein leaves or goes out on loan).

This would be a back-up to Raya but we would need a third keeper if Hein moves, even if out on loan. Hein doesn’t appear to be trusted to be the number two keeper despite being the Estonian national keeper. The Athletic has reported that Hein has been persuaded to sign a new contract but will probably go out on loan and assuming he stays, my suggestion would be to try to resign Wojciech Szczesny although he seems destined for Saudi Arabia where he will be first choice and will be handsomely remunerated to play in empty stadia. He would count as homegrown, he knows and loves the club and may have unfinished business. Arteta may even let him have a fag in the showers! He has more top-level experience than Raya. Other possibilities are Kaspar Schmeichel or Fabianski. Any keeper would need to be able to hit the ground running and be competent with their feet. The older generation of keepers are less adept in this regard but are shot- stoppers .

The most rumoured keeper is Bijlow, the Feyenoord keeper. He is a very modern keeper and will really challenge Raya who we will be buying shortly on a permanent basis, but Bijlow has a very worrying injury record. Justin Steele of Brighton is also rumoured to be a target and is homegrown.

A left sided defender (one who ideally can play at left back and centre back). 

Kiwior is regularly linked with a move back to Italy. He improved last year, mainly playing at left-back and is a regular for Poland. He is a good passer but may stay as back-up to Gabriel. If Zinchenko leaves, I think we may sign Kadioglu, the very highly-rated left back from Fenerbache. He fits the age profile and is highly mobile. If it were my choice (as if!) I’d keep Tierney who is a fine full back and can play as a centre back in either a three or four. The apparently favoured choice is Hato of Ajax who can play in both left sided positions. He is 18, but already skippering the side and has just signed a new contract.  Timber will hopefully be able to play a full part next season possibly starting at left back.

A midfielder (one who can play box to box – ideally an 8). It is not inconceivable we might sign two.

Every indication seems to suggest that Partey is being sold, probably because of his injury record although I sensed a deterioration in his level at the end of the season when he returned. My choice would be Youssuf Fofana at Monaco, a current French international who is likely to be available for £25 million as he has one year on his contract. Douglas Luiz would fit well but appears destined for Juventus and would Villa sell to us? Adam Wharton at Palace would fit very well (and is homegrown) but would cost around £60 million. I really like Sabitzer at Dortmund but he doesn’t fit the age profile. Arteta is keen on Zubimendi at Sociedad but he seems to prefer to stay in Spain. 

A wide attacker (ideally one who could also play through the middle).

My choice here would be Xavi Simons at PSG who impressed me enormously playing for PSV a couple of seasons ago. Alternatives are Eze (homegrown), Olise (who is very injury prone and we must leave Palace some players!) , and Bakayoko of PSV who  impressed against us in the Champions League.

Would I buy a striker? Given the emergence of Havertz – no, but we’d need to keep Jesus and use Martinelli more through the middle if we want another striking option.

Possible pure  striking options are Gimenez at Feyenoord, Solanke at Brighton ( homegrown) and Zirkzee at Bologna. I don’t personally like the idea of Osimhen who looks like Aubameyang Mark 2 or Toney who apparently has not impressed Arteta with his personality. But some sources suggest that if we can buy Osimhen at a reduced price, we would be keen to recruit him as he is keen to play in the Premier League. Hopefully my scepticism is unjustified but I think a marquee signing like Osimhen would possibly produce some disharmony as it would potentially displace Havertz, who is much better upfront than midfield and the Nigerian appears a high-risk signing with a very large ego. 

So if we make the sort of signings I suggest, our outlay would not be massively more than our incoming fees. Add an Osimhen and we could be looking at an outgoing of £230-250 million with very high wages as well.

After the clickbait subsides we tend to get very authoritative information from Ornstein, Romano and Charles Watts who have a real inside track at the club. We will watch with keen  interest and performances at the Euros may give us insight into where the  real value lies and who the emerging stars are. Certainly as a club in a reasonable PSR position with a decent revenue stream next season, Champions League football and the opportunity to raise a considerable sum from outgoing transfers we should be one of the best-placed sides going into the window. 

Buckle up it may be an interesting ride! 

269 Drinks to “The Silly Season Begins”

  1. 1
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks TTG, an overview and a half sir.

    I am happy to leave the actual names to MA / Edu but I’d like signings in exactly the same areas as you plus a back-up for Ode. I’d cut my losses on Vieira now and much as I will hate it I honestly think it’s better for ESR to go now. A jewel of a player like him should be playing every week. TTG named Conor Gallagher and it made me think that the fact that he is in the England squad (CG that is, not TTG) and ESR isn’t is just plain wrong.

  2. 2
    TTG says:

    Gareth tried to have a conversation about the Euros but I pointed out I always go on my fishing holiday in June/ July ….. and I’ve lost my boots ( they’ve actually disintegrated)
    I only mentioned Gallagher as an example . I’m not advocating his purchase . I now believe we are after Onana

  3. 3
    OsakaMatt says:

    Fishing will probably be more enjoyable than following our Euro campaign if history is any guide.

    I realized Galagher was just an example, but his name made me ponder the relative merits of the two players. I entirely agree with you that we don’t want him.

    I have read the Ohana stories before and on his day he is very good I think, but I also heard from Everton fans that he has days when he just phones it in and I did wonder if MA would ever buy a player with questionable commitment.

  4. 4
    North Bank Ned says:

    A comprehensive survey of the transfer landscape, TTG. Bravo. Your likely departure list, I would imagine, is close to Arteta/Edu’s, but I think we will do well to sell half of them in the current market, where PSR casts a long shadow, and very well if we move on two-thirds. My guess is that the funds raised plus what overhead we have under PSR will limit us to a handful of major additions — and Arteta will only buy where he sees it will strengthen the squad.

    It looks like a backup keeper to replace Ramsdale, another box-to-box midfielder to replace Partey and a winger to provide relief for Saka are the priorities. Even then, that may prove one more recruit than we can sustainably manage, although there are promising youngsters in ACD and Charlier Sagoe Jr to audition to be Saka’s understudy. I would worry that even if we got all three on the wish list, it would leave us short of bringing in cover for Havertz and/or a Plan B at centre-forward. That might mean Nketiah will stay unless we get a rich offer for him, although it is possible that Arteta might see Nwaneri ending up playing in a Havertz-like position.

    Taylor Foran and James Sweet’s contracts end at the end of the month and are not being renewed. They are both on the free transfer/released players list submitted to the PL. The full list is here: https://www.premierleague.com/news/4030596

  5. 5
    Trev says:

    Thanks TTG – I especially enjoyed the bits about your own connections and experiences in the shenanigans. Trying to predict who we might bring in is an absolute lottery and I also ausoect the departures will be heavily dependent on the PSR rules and having to maintain the correct number of homegrown players in the squad. Biggest example of that coukd well turn out to be Nketiah. He is clearly never going to be first choice but he is homegrown and we were already top scorers in the league last season. With too strikers very rare and extremely expensive Eddie could stay while we spend on other areas.

  6. 6
    Bathgooner says:

    A well thought out and stimulating piece. If we get our asking prices, I would sell Yierney, Nketiah, Nelson, ESR, Vieira and Partey (though there are rumours that the latter prefers to see out his last year with us rather than going immediately to Saudi for bags of loot). If we don’t get our asking prices then I’d keep every one of them. However I would of course sell Lokonga and Tavares for whatever we can get. I agree that we need better cover for Ødegaard especially if we let ESR go – Vieira just doesn’t cut it.

    While I’m happy to rely on Edu/MA*’s judgement, I’d like to add Neto to the front line options – he can spell either winger and also might even be able to cover for Ødegaard. I wouldn’t want Onana – Oh No NO! – if Partey doesn’t leave, we don’t need him and TTG’s observation from Everton fans does fit my impression of him, c.f. Belgium this week. I’d rather have Luis tho’ as observed above, he seems to be heading to Italy. I don’t think we need to add to our defenders with Timber coming back and I don’t think anyone is going to buy KT3 with his new hamstring injury until he can prove his fitness again. We clearly need a backup keeper or two – your suggestions of Steele, Schmeichel or Fabianski fit the bill.

    Que sera, sera!

  7. 7
    TTG says:

    Le Grove has a piece on Pedro Neto who has been linked with us for some time
    They show his injury history. It does not make good reading
    I think I would pass at the fee quoted. As the wretchedly unlucky KT showed last night players with a tendency to break down don’t often grow out of the problem. KT may be hard to move if his injury is as bad as it looked . I hope he can mend soon but despite liking him, and wishing him well it would be better for his career if he leaves ….and stays fit. I think a return to Celtic beckons .

  8. 8
    Bathgooner says:

    Two excellent points, TTG @7 with which I cannot disagree. Leopards do not change their spots so Tierney is a cautionary tale for us over Neto. We will get peanuts from Celtic, if anything, for him as they will have to have a whip-round to get near his salary.

  9. 9
    ClockEndRider says:

    Great article, TTG , providing us with lots to think about. As Ned and Bath point out in the drinks, PSR looks to be the greatest concern across the Premiership this season. Having finally shown the rules have teeth – only when confronted with the prospect of an external regulator, mind- clubs will not dare to breach again, surely. I imagine it is this, along with the Euros – which has led to the so-slow-as-to-be-motionless start to the transfer window, which is now almost a week old.
    I too favour a left back as cover, a replacement for Partey and cover for Saka in order to create the “minimum viable product” in terms of the team. I don’t see that a team which produced so many goals is in urgent need of more direct goal power. Rather the objective should be to create top level cover for the first half of the season. I saw in another place that there is only 1 midweek free up until new year, given international breaks on which our players will almost all be involved. And that is if we go out of the League Cup in the first round we are due to play. This season will, even more than last, be a war of attrition, with the spoils going to those clubs which can manage the players’ minutes. Man City are, unsurprisingly, the exemplar here. Reducing the minutes for Saliba, Gabriel, Odegaard, Rice and Saka will be key, I think. All of these played above or around 3000 minutes in the Premiership last season. Saliba played every minute of 38 games. Rice played the equivalent of just shy of 36 full games. 3000 minutes equates to 33 and a third full games out of 38. These figures don’t include cups and internationals. Not one C115y player played 3000 minutes. Not even a goalkeeper. The highest outfield minutes went to Rodri and Foden – 2931 and 2857. Then they begin to rapidly drop away, with 4 players – Silva, Haaland, Dias, Akanji – being around 2550. 28 and a third games. Stats from FBref.

  10. 10
    Sancho Panza says:

    Respect to TTG for a very detailed and interesting article. My short reply won’t do the original article justice.

    Looking at the list of likely departures I’m not sure 100 to 140 million is realistic given the external caution all clubs are under (apart from one – oh the injustice of being singled out). Would 80 be more realistic given not all of them will be sold? And if not all of them are of interest to other clubs, for what we think they are worth, we would then be dipping into the possible departures pot if there are new players we really want to bring in.

    The possible departures pot contains some names I would be reluctant to see go elsewhere. Namely Jesus, Kiwior and ESR.

    It might be that the total sales we make are the following if there is any interest in them:
    Ramsdale 20m
    Sambi 10m
    Tavares 5m
    Patino 5m
    Nelson 10m
    Biereth 10m
    Jesus 25m

    That would give us 85m to add to the 80 odd we have raised by other means for potential transfers. Enough for a back up keeper, a midfielder to challenge Partey and a wide player to back up Saka more than Nelson was ever capable of doing.

    Just a thought but if we didn’t sell anyone of consequence because no one was meeting our value and there was no one available to buy for whatever reason what would people think of our chances of top four and cup runs next season? I suppose it would very much depend on injuries which we got reasonably lucky with last season.

    I’d be concerned that the depth of quality in the squad wouldn’t be there given the number of games we will be playing.

  11. 11
    OsakaMatt says:

    @10 several good points SP.
    On your question about our chances if no sales / no buys I would be fairly optimistic I think as we certainly went close this year. However, I think at least Rammy will move on and so the only must get is a back-up keeper.

    Did you mean Eddie instead of Jesus in the list of players to sell? Just wondered as I think most would probably sell Eddie before Jesus.

  12. 12
    North Bank Ned says:

    SP@10: My two cents on your question would be that the answer depends on whether City keeps Bernardo Silva and keeps de Bruyne fit and whether we remain as injury-free as we were last season. Assuming no sanctions against City, they will be the one to beat again. ‘Pool will probably take a season to settle under Slot. ten Hag will need another season for Ratcliffe to sort out the mess that is the Red Mancs’ squad. Emery should be able to keep Villa in the mix for a CL spot but not challenge for top spot, while, in Maresca, Chelsea has finally hired a coach to fit their squad. The neighbours will be the neighbours.

    As you and others rightly point out, managing the workload on the players is going to be the key to success next season.

  13. 13
    bathgooner says:

    A point well made CER, that squad management to prevent burn out and overplay-induced injury will be critical to any success next season and our purchases must be targeted to facilitate that option without the drop off in quality we have seen in the last season or two when key players have been replaced.

    SP, your values strike me as more realistic than TTG’s whose comprehensive piece covered so much ground, including amusingly, his experience of a sleazeball agent, that I forgot to challenge him for his overoptimistic assessment of our potential incoming – he must have forgotten his earlier assessment of Edu’s salesmanship – or is he just setting an impossibly high bar for his end of window assessment?

    I wouldn’t sell Jesùs this summer. He’s currently our best alternate for Havertz, Saka, Martinelli and indeed Ødegaard, not to mention potentially, if his fitness drive comes good, an excellent option at ‘centre forward’. Given the schedule, his versatility is invaluable and he’ll certainly get plenty game time.

  14. 14
    North Bank Ned says:

    Long Bloomberg interview with Ratcliffe, which underlines the enormity of the task he has taken on at OT, along with more sympathy for City’s lawsuit against the PL’s related party transaction rules than one would like to see. Less surprisingly, he doesn’t like the idea of a football regulator, either.


  15. 15
    Sancho Panza says:

    Matt I would prefer to sell Eddie over Jesus but was looking at the more likely interest in the latter from other clubs.
    I still think there is a player in Eddie if only he would show it ob the big stage more often.
    And on another note how poor was that England display this afternoon. Ben White knows.

  16. 16
    Goonersince54 says:

    Very in depth post from TTG
    In my humble opinion, given we had the best defensive record in the league without Timber, I don’t think we need any extra defensive cover.
    We’ve got 6 multi purpose players across all positions in Benni,Tomi,Gabi,Willie,Kiwior and Timber, and at a pinch Zinchenko, if he stays.
    Only exception is a backup keeper.
    I think Edu/Arteta will be focused on defensive midfielder to complement Rice, with Timber and Zinny as cover if needed.
    With Jesus getting the surgery cleanup on his knee, he will be back fully fit for new season, and when fit he had a great rapport with Gabi on the left side of attack, and can play anywhere across the front line.
    He wouldn’t be on my list of players for sale during summer.
    Leo can also play across the front line, and Kai has proved his worth in the forward role he has been playing.
    We scored a shedload of goals last season, so I don’t see the need to go mad on an out and out striker, which could fundamentally change the way we play, rather a more adaptable forward with plenty of penalty box goals, but can also create outside the box as well.
    So for me, 2 top tier buys at most, with maybe a 3rd buy at a more reasonable price, in a position we are not expecting.
    Let’s remember that Edu and Arteta have known who they want for many many months, and I don’t doubt informal talks have already taken place, and possibly even verbal or prenup agreements have been initiated.
    We are one of the biggest Clubs in the world, and for the first time in many years are now elevated to a position where along with City and Liverpool, most of very best players in the world who want to play in the EPL, want to play for us.
    London is the still the beating heart of England, and we are currently the Kings, why would any top player want to be anywhere else.

  17. 17
    OsakaMatt says:

    I suppose the proof will come with the summer’s pudding but I thought TTG was about right with the 100-140 for the sales. Though the key proviso is it will very difficult to move all of them on…….

    To be honest I couldn’t be bothered to stay up late / get up early for the England game but I definitely agree Benny Blanco knows! So does Clive, though if Kiwior leaves then I would buy someone (I have no idea at all if the rumors he wants to go back to Italy are true)

  18. 18
    Bathgooner says:

    Clive @16, you sum up my opinion far better than I do myself. Couldn’t agree more. I await with interest, which players Edu & Mikel pull from their magic hat.

  19. 19
    Trev says:

    Clive, many thanks ! You’ve saved me a lot of typing time with that great post.
    I’m over here with Bath in the couldn’t-agree-more camp.

  20. 20
    bt8 says:

    Thank you TTG for that ever so comprehensive assessment of our transfer prospects. Mo mention of the imminent arrival of Lamine Yamal being my only disappointment. 😉

  21. 21
    North Bank Ned says:

    Clive@16: Excellent post, but do we need to sign a winger so Saka won’t have to play every minute of every game?

  22. 22
    TTG says:

    Today Cozier Duberry has decided to seek fresh pastures . Like Walters we never saw him in a first team shirt . I think the upshot of this may be us buying a feeder club in Europe to give us somewhere where up and coming prospects can play . To lose Martin Obi , Walters and ACD is very disappointing but maybe inevitable. But it does make the supposed model of focusing on bright , young talent a little questionable if they don’t play and move on for nothing

  23. 23
    TTG says:

    Btw Great post Clive . I’m sure Mikel and Edu have a very clear plan

  24. 24
    bathgooner says:

    A gutted KT3 has returned to Colney for treatment to his damaged hamstring. According to John Carver, Scotland Assistant Manager, if he returns to Germany he’ll be coming as a supporter!

  25. 25
    bathgooner says:

    Good point, TTG @22. There’s no point in luring and developing the world’s best young talent and then seeing them stomp off for nowt, frustrated at the lack of a clear path to first team opportunities at the club. A feeder club where they can compete at a higher competitive level than the under-18’s does seem a logical development.

  26. 26
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@22: I have advocated for a B team playing senior football in the lower leagues, as is allowed in Spain, for some while, but a feeder club in one of the European leagues would serve the same purpose.

  27. 27
    North Bank Ned says:

    Also, the youngsters need to be given some games in the cups. And not just on the bench. Minutes on the pitch. A chance to show their worth but also a glimpse for them of a pathway to breaking through.

  28. 28
    OsakaMatt says:

    @26 Ned,

    Yes, practically there isn’t much difference between a feeder club and a B team. I prefer the B team model myself as it would say Arsenal on the tin.

    And come to think of it, we could leave the B team in the league when we move to the Super League in the future. Though I fear a few not be fully on board with that win-win idea 😉

  29. 29
    TTG says:

    Olise and ESR
    Both prodigiously gifted though only ESR is a full international. Similar age, both very injury prone and both homegrown. Olise is moving to Bayern who are triggering his £60 m release clause . I expect if ESR goes we will get £ 20-25m for him .

  30. 30
    Trev says:

    TTG@29 – so the lesson is to sell injury prone players as early as possible. That seems to be the only difference as the club has persevered with ESR hoping that he would eventually overcome his problems which he apparently has not.
    What did we get for Olise when he left the club versus what we might achieve for ESR ? We certainly did not get the £60 million ?!

  31. 31
    OsakaMatt says:

    Palace had to sell now and we didn’t two years ago when ESR’s value was far higher.

  32. 32
    North Bank Ned says:

    I don’t know how it compares to other elite clubs, but we seem to have a lot of injury-prone players coming up through the ranks. If you read about the U-21s and U-18s and our players on loan, there always seems to be a decent chunk out injured or coming back from injury. Is it just that the level of fitness expected of Academy players now is beyond what young bodies can bear?

  33. 33
    North Bank Ned says:

    Trev@30: We got exactly the same for Olise when he left in 2009 as Chelsea and Man City did when he moved on from them in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Zilch. Reading, which he joined after his one season with Man City Youth, was the first club to get any money for him when Palace handed over £8 million in 2021. Reports say Reading will get a ‘sell-on’ cut of any fee Palace gets for Olise, so they might make a chunk of that back.

  34. 34
    North Bank Ned says:

    It is also worth recalling that Olise was a seven-year-old when he left Arsenal for Chelsea.

  35. 35
    OsakaMatt says:

    In the end Chelsea spent 7 years on Olise’s development, got nothing when he left and then would have paid 60m to get him back. I am not particularly laughing at them (though I am of course) but it’s a funny old game sometimes football or a funny old business in this case.

  36. 36
    bt8 says:

    Teamtalk website report:

    “Arsenal are reportedly closing in on the signing of Sporting Lisbon striker Viktor Gyokeres with Mikel Arteta throwing his weight behind a colossal deaL”

    Make of it what you will.

  37. 37
    TTG says:

    This article is headed ‘ the Silly season ‘ and the Gyokeres rumours all emanate from one Portuguese source and have not been verified anywhere else . Until one of the ITK journalists picks this up I wouldn’t get too excited . Darwin Nunes got an awful lot of goals in Portugal as did Gonçalo Ramos who went on to PSG and didn’t set the world on fire . We were due to buy Osimhen last week according to some sources so I’d hold fire on our next striker . It’s also an awful lot to spend prior to June 30th . I thought we might sell first

  38. 38
    ClockEndRider says:

    I wonder whether the exceptionally low level of activity is due to an agreement between clubs without PSR issues to punish those that do by restricting money flows until the next PSR period opens.I hope so. The only activity seems to have been between clubs in the latter camp, notably Chelsea, Villa and Everton.

  39. 39
    OsakaMatt says:

    Villa do seem to be paying the Chavs a lot of money for Maatsen. No idea if he is any good but he only just made the Dutch squad as a replacement for an injured player. Am I paranoid enough?

  40. 40
    bathgooner says:

    Matt @39, it’s a scam, as explained here by Keenos:

    Transfer merry-go-round circumnavigates PSR

  41. 41
    OsakaMatt says:

    Oh I see, thanks Bath. The Grifters are coming to a league near you soon.

  42. 42
    North Bank Ned says:

    CER@38: Wouldn’t such collusion be illegal under UK competition law? No doubt City’s lawyers are already looking at it. It is not as if they have anything else to do…

  43. 43
    North Bank Ned says:

    bath@40: It is not so much a scam as more of the short-termism that got clubs into their financial predicament in the first place.

    One of the basic tenets of life is that any rules created by one set of lawyers and accountants can and will be end run by another set of lawyers and accountants.

  44. 44
    ClockEndRider says:

    Ned@42, yes but I would think football is too small, unimportant and not impacting on any particularly large group of customers to merit a competition enquiry.

  45. 45
    TTG says:

    The competition to buy Chelsea was intense and at one stage involved Sir JimmRatcliff, if I remember rightly . Todd Boehly won the race and one gets the impression that he thought he had seen wrinkles that nobody else had- hence the long-term contracts amortising the cost of some extremely expensive purchases .
    But eighteen months or so on and it looks like Boehly wasn’t as shrewd as he 5hought he was being. This short-termism in financial management is very ill-advised and digs a bigger and bigger hole for our friends at the Bus Stop . Factor in the fact that they have blown the whistle on themselves when discovering ‘ irregularities ‘ during due diligence and it looks to me highly unlikely that Chelsea can qualify for the 25/26 Champions League – and with their wage bill that’s very bad news ( for them , frankly I’m delighted). When KSE bought Arsenal they took their time to make major changes and we thought they were very quiescent ( I certainly did) but in retrospect they have built a very coherent strategy . Chelsea seem to have a strategy of selling all their Academy stars and replacing them with expensive purchases of young players on long-term contracts . Tgat doesn’t look clever to me .
    Incidentally my throwaway line about Conor Gallagher may not be so throwaway . I hear we have enquired about him to Chelsea .

  46. 46
    OsakaMatt says:

    If Gallagher arrives then it will obviously be all TTG’s fault if it goes wrong.
    Of course if it goes well then I reserve my time-honoured rights as a football
    supporter to claim that I always said he was a top, top player.

  47. 47
    OsakaMatt says:

    Manure supporters seem to think Ratcliffe will somehow make everything alright again, personally I am doubtful he is quite the shining knight they imagine.

    To be fair I’m can’t think of any PL club owners (including our own) that I am
    not doubtful about, except of course 115ty and Riyadh Rovers – I am quite sure
    about them.

  48. 48
    OsakaMatt says:

    On thé other hand can Boehly possibly be as stupid as he seems?
    I have never met the guy obviously and I assume he has been good
    at some pointless thing to accumulate a large sum of money but as TTG points
    out he behaves like a short-term scam artist who will do a bunk and
    leave an absolute shit show behind him. It’s odd. The cunning hand
    of the snollygoster or is, as usual, Occam correct?

  49. 49
    OsakaMatt says:

    On another note, I suppose I should set up the half ton with commiserations to
    KT and Kiwior. Hasn’t been a good couple of days for our left backs. Perhaps
    Zin and the boys will buck the trend for our left back fraternity.

  50. 50
    bt8 says:

    Sneaks in just to break up Matt’s roll. Matt, you must have found some good sake on the other side of the international date line.

  51. 51
    North Bank Ned says:

    Well snuck in for the half-ton, bt8.

  52. 52
    OsakaMatt says:

    I’m reliably informed it’s the season to be silly bt8 🙂
    a ripple of applause for the half ton though….

    I forgot the congrats to Kai for qualifying, though it seems that Xhaka bloke stole the plaudits again.

  53. 53
    TTG says:

    Well in goalhanger Bt8 after a breathtaking run from Matt !
    Wealth and intelligence can be strange bedfellows as illustrated by one or two wellknown figures in public life . Actually I don’t think in Boehly’s case it’s intelligence he lacks, it’s judgment . He imagines he sees a better way to do things . His record at the Chavs so far suggests his vision may be impaired and there may be a dash of arrogance . I think the Mudryk transfer was a gesture to his public that was poorly thought out

  54. 54
    Bathgooner says:

    I think you have nailed Boehly @53, TTG.

  55. 55
    North Bank Ned says:

    On the whole, Boehly’s record as a financier and investor across a broad range of industries is pretty good. His Chelsea performance appears to be a huge anomaly. He has a reputation for being hands-on from the get-go at any enterprise in which he gets involved, then stepping back once he thinks he has got the business repositioned. Taking the role of sporting director at the Bus Stop would fit that. But it’s scarcely the job on which to cut your teeth in the football industry. More than a lack of judgment, I would hazard that he just didn’t have a grasp of how the football business works, especially the bits involving the players and the team, rather than the financial side. He has a lot of experience in media, entertainment and Hollywood, but that is of scant use when it comes to dealing with the proverbial wet Wednesdays in Stoke.

  56. 56
    TTG says:

    Summed up very well Ned.
    ‘ I understand baseball, can soccer be a lot different ? ‘ . That mindset leads to major problems which he is suffering now . It’s a good thing he has a lot of money ( or Clearlake Capital has) because he’s wasted most of it so far at the Bus Stop 😝😝

  57. 57
    Bathgooner says:

    I have been led to believe that they are bankrolled by the Saudis.

  58. 58
    North Bank Ned says:

    bath@57: Don’t be led too far. The Saudi sovereign wealth fund (PIF) has allocated funds to Clearlake’s various private equity funds, as have many sovereign wealth funds and superrich individuals. However, no investor can account for more than 5% of a fund’s assets under management, and 1% or less is a more typical commitment. In the ‘fit and proper owner’ assessment of BlueCo, the consortium that is Chelsea’s ultimate owner (60% owned by Clearlake and 40% by Broehly and other investors), it was testified that there was no Saudi investment in the deal. Had there been, I assume, it would have scuppered the acquisition, given the PIF’s stake in the Barcodes. Clearlake’s internal credit platform, White Star Asset Management, probably was the source of the funds. That also doubtless has Saudi assets under management, but, again, an influence would be indirect.

    Both Clearlake and Broehly have good relationships with Saudi money (the PIF has also invested directly in one of Broehly’s hotel projects), and there are some riyals in the cigar box in which Clearlake keeps its petty cash. Yet that falls short, in my book, of bankrolling the club.

    The bigger potential conflict of interest would be if the PIF uses its ownership of its four clubs in the Saudi Premier League to buy Chelsea players at rich prices to alleviate PSR pressures at the Bus Stop. Watch the transfer window closely, and try not to get sand in your eyes.

  59. 59
    North Bank Ned says:

    That should be Saudi Pro, not Premier League, of course. Freudian slip; getting ahead of myself for the day when Riyadh buys the PL outright…

  60. 60
    bt8 says:

    Re: Ned @58. Quite some excellent roiling of the riyals in the cigar box. Corporate money shuffling being a desperately dirty business, and especially it seems where the Saudi royal family is involved but of course I wouldn’t want to cast aspersions, sandy or otherwise.

  61. 61
    OsakaMatt says:

    When you’re a murderous kleptocrat what’s a little fraud amongst friends

  62. 62
    Trev says:

    Ned @58 – an extra spoon of corn flakes for the monks is in order. Excellent work, as usual !

  63. 63
    TTG says:

    I appreciate that not all Holics will have England’s best interests at heart but I think it is a remarkable achievement to take a group of possibly the most talented players we have ever had and to oversee them playing like a mediocre pub team
    I had it in my mind that Southgate was born in Croydon , a place I find terminally boring having lived there once , but he is from Watford . It would be difficult to decide which is the more tedious place ( sorry if I’m offending anyone from Watford) and maybe this has affected Gareth’s approach to football . Certainly he and Ben White’s friend Steve Holland don’t seem to be able to inject any speed or tempo into our football . The last two games represent three hours of my life I can never recover but they seem like three days

  64. 64
    bt8 says:

    Blogs on Kane today: “Maybe Ben White was right’, is possibly one of the things they were thinking, but you must have questions when you watch Kane drop another 2/10 performance and you don’t get a chance.”

    Is there a similar Kane-sized reason why Bayern didn’t win the German title for the first time in a decade?

  65. 65
    North Bank Ned says:

    We are so used to watching elite club football, in which the players are not only technically gifted but have also spent tens of thousands of minutes together practising intricate moves and absorbing a playing style and philosophy, that international football inevitably looks disjointed in comparison. That said, this England side looks more ponderous and incohesive than most. It also looks like a side in transition that hasn’t yet fully worked out its tactics or the right balance of players. However, tournament football is all about the result, not the performance. Fair play, England has topped its group, however, unconvincingly, but from here on in it is win or go home. No excuses and no place to hide.

    There is an interesting mind exercise to be done: go around every club that has supplied a player to this England squad — Arsenal, Aston Villa, Bayern Munich, Brentford, Brighton, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle Utd, Real Madrid and West Ham — and ask yourself, if they could swap their manager for Southgate tomorrow, would they do it? I thought not.

  66. 66
    Trev says:

    Can you imagine Arteta’s reaction to what was happening last night ?
    The Slovenian back line moving up the pitch with impunity as Kane was standing next to Geuhi in ours. No movement on the pitch resulting in no passing options – no left wing and Walker making Saka come towards him to collect five yard passes with a full back up his arse waiting to kick him as soon as he touched the ball.
    Foden and Bellingham getting in each other’s way and repeatedly giving the ball away with sloppy passes.
    Pickford pointing at his own head while screaming at defenders who were constantly pressed due to the compactness of Slovenia allowed by Kane (see above)
    So Southgate finally twigged that the team was completely unbalanced. His solution was to bring on Anthony Gordon at left wing after 88 minutes and 50 seconds.
    Nuff said.

  67. 67
    Trev says:

    Ben White knows.

  68. 68
    bt8 says:

    Removing the plodding Kane and bringing on the speedy Watkins in his place could go a distance toward opening the shut vent that Southgate has confronted. Take off Harry and breathe in a gust of fresh air, why doncha?

  69. 69
    OsakaMatt says:

    TTG @63
    Look on the bright side, at least you didn’t get up at 4:30AM to watch the torture that was the last England game. I am with Ben White from now on, the highlights later will be fine.

  70. 70
    bathgooner says:

    That’s a very wise plan, Matt @69. Highlights????? You’re optimistic. However on current form, you can be confident that their next match won’t take up more than a couple of minutes of your morning.

  71. 71
    bt8 says:

    What do you do if

  72. 72
    bt8 says:

    You want to make a cheeky little run

  73. 73
    bt8 says:

    (Sans cba)

  74. 74
    bt8 says:

    To the magic 3/4 ton

  75. 75
    bt8 says:

    Or, even more ambitiously and quite

  76. 76
    bt8 says:

    In the tradition of the drinks

  77. 77
    bt8 says:

    (Still sans CBA)

  78. 78
  79. 79
  80. 80
  81. 81
    bt8 says:

    A more bold run directly to the full ton

  82. 82
    bt8 says:

    Would the man from Donegal have settled for 3/4 ton

  83. 83
    bt8 says:

    A question to be pondered

  84. 84
    bt8 says:

    Silly season you say ttg?

  85. 85
    bt8 says:

    Single furrow if needs must

  86. 86
    bt8 says:

    No tumbleweeds here

  87. 87
    bt8 says:

    Tumbleflowers only it being the blooming season

  88. 88
    bt8 says:

    Blogging technology seems to admit it

  89. 89
    bt8 says:

    And a dash of stream of consciousness

  90. 90
    bt8 says:

    Hardly ever hurt anyone

  91. 91
    bt8 says:

    Single furrow or lurker participation

  92. 92
    bt8 says:

    Both modalities have their upsides

  93. 93
    bt8 says:

    Did I say Ronaldo is a prick

  94. 94
    bt8 says:

    Well somebody was bound to get hurt eventually

  95. 95
    bt8 says:

    Almost time to feed and walk the dogs so

  96. 96
    bt8 says:

    Lurker participation is here in some

  97. 97
    bt8 says:

    Canine form

  98. 98
    bt8 says:

    Or modality

  99. 99
    bt8 says:

    Ronaldo is what he is

  100. 100
    bt8 says:

    A preening and entitled prick

  101. 101
    bt8 says:

    That’s a non lurker lurker assist by CER with thanks

  102. 102
    bt8 says:

    And CBA too

  103. 103
    bt8 says:

    102 refers to 101 not to 100. Big difference.

  104. 104
    OsakaMatt says:

    A spectacular run bt8, an early morning drink on the bar for you sir.
    Unless of course you brew your own?

  105. 105
    North Bank Ned says:

    An honorary moo to that.

  106. 106
    OsakaMatt says:

    Our cursed left back thing continued as Zin followed Kiwior and KT out the tournament
    though this time it was with the highest non-qualifying 3rd position points total (a noun phrase that just rolls off the tongue) in the history of civilization.

    Apparently 8 gooners march on to the knockout phase. Plus Xhaka and Malen to represent the once of this parish club – though does Malen count I wonder…..

    I think the Swiss have a fair shot at beating Italy and I am looking forward to France vs Belgium. Or Saliba! Vs Leo as I see it.

  107. 107
    bathgooner says:

    An extraordinary ton, bt8, albeit garnering a yellow card. A fine memorial to cba who might have interspersed the stream of consciousness with some musical interludes – some good, some not to my taste but probably not bad.

    Here’s one that I associate with cba:

  108. 108
    TreVAR says:

    Sorry but after studying the replays for nearly 12 hours I have some bad news for bt8.
    His “ton” @100 will be asterisked in the records and disallowed as he provided his own assist.
    There is also a new rule in operation during the Euros and strangely in keeping with England’s performances the numbers on the 30 or so passes leading to the assist should have been going backwards.
    Sorry (not at all ) to have spoilt the celebrations.

  109. 109
    Trev says:

    Bath @107 – indeedy 🤣🤣

  110. 110
    bt8 says:

    A lovely tribute Bath. Another one for cba by a band he praised more than once on here: Wait for it …

  111. 111
  112. 112
    bt8 says:

    An asterisk, Trev?

  113. 113
    bt8 says:

    I worked hard for that ton.

  114. 114
    bt8 says:

    And one for Trev:

  115. 115
    TTG says:

    Extraordinary virtuosity Bt8. Well done
    You are clearly quite mad but that is nothing unusual on this blog
    To be really mad you have to have an accumulator on England to win the Euros coupled with the Conservatives to win the UK election .

  116. 116
    bt8 says:

    A bit closer to topic, Lucas Nygaard, 18 year old Danish keeper, welcome to the Arsenal. Signed to the academy so I don’t know if that’s one of the positions we needed to fill with Ramsdale and Hein believed to be leaving.

  117. 117
    bt8 says:

    Another news item has us “strongly linked” with 23 year old Catalan keeper Joan Garcia from Español. That sounds more like replacing Ramsdale or Hein.

  118. 118
    bt8 says:

    Just caught your reference TTG to the Tory politician betting scandal, which I hadn’t heard about. Andrew Toney mist be a Tory?

    (Time Magazine reports: “it appears that some members of the Conservative Party and members of the Prime Minister’s security detail attempted to cash out on the surprise election date by placing gambling bets. If investigations reveal that officials did in fact use insider information to gain an advantage in betting markets, these members could be convicted of a criminal offense under section 42 of the Gambling Act. As of now, up to 15 members of the Conservative Party are reportedly being investigated by the Gambling Commission, the government body responsible for regulating gambling in the U.K.”

  119. 119
    TTG says:

    Mustn’t get too political on the blog but both Tory and Labour candidates and officials have been investigated for betting on the date of the election and a couple have bet against themselves to lose! Six weeks is a long campaign and we have a week to go.
    Re the keepers , Hein has signed a new contract but will , I suspect go out on loan . It looks like the Espanol keeper is the latest and possibly the most likely to become Raya’s stand-in . July 1st is likely to see the start of serious purchasing because of PSR rules .

  120. 120
    OsakaMatt says:

    @106 having checked I realized Ukraine went out because they finished fourth in the group and my rambling was just incorrect rambling 😢

    Am I sensing a certain longing for the UK election to be over? Alas our poor cousins across the pond who I think have the first presidential debate shortly and then 5 long,long,long months until Election Day,

  121. 121
    Trev says:

    bt8 @114 – how very dare you !
    They don’t write song lyrics like they used to 🤷‍♂️

  122. 122
    bathgooner says:

    bt8 @110, cba did indeed frequently praise and share the Ramones. I never heard what he saw in them.

  123. 123
    North Bank Ned says:

    The Academy has had a clear out of keepers with Hillson, Ejeheri, Graczyk and Cooper all having been released and Arthur Okonkwo joining Wrexham, where he was on loan last season, leaving only second-year scholars Rojas and Brian Okonkwo, so it is little surprise that replacements are being signed. Nygaard will be joining the U-21s.

    The rumours about 23-year-old Joan Garcia are intriguing. He only broke into the Espanyol team in the second half of last season, so he has only 14 La Liga 2 games under his belt (plus one La Liga game in each of the previous two seasons) but his stats look slightly better than Raya’s when it comes to his passing, sweeping and cross catching and much better at shot stopping. With Ramsdale almost certain to leave and Hein’s future uncertain, Garcia would likely be No. 2, and pushing Raya for a place (which meets Arteta’s MO for every position), but would Garcia want to be on the bench at his age instead of playing regularly, and would we be better off having an experienced keeper as Raya’s cover?

  124. 124
    TTG says:

    Your reserve goalkeeper is a heartbeat away from a long sojourn in the first team involving Premier and Champions League . I favour an experienced keeper like Kasper Schmeichel who might be on the down slope ability wise but is able to handle a long stint under pressure .
    Garcia is very inexperienced and you might want to loan him out to get experience which defeats the object! The last number two keeper we signed with a similar level of experience was Runarsson who was an unmitigated disaster . One senses the goalkeeping coach has a lot of influence at the club but it hasn’t been the smoothest of transitions towards Raya has it! In fact since mad Jens we’ve only had a few goalies I really rated – Szczesny , Leno and Martinez ( and him only latterly ) – several like Cech , Almunia , Ospina , Mannone and Runarsson left quite a bit to be desired and we have two decent ones at the moment but Ramsdale is getting ready to go .

  125. 125
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@124: Fair point. Man City showed the value of having an experienced keeper in Ortega to step in when Ederson was injured, as did Liverpool with Kelleher when Allison was out. Although Kelleher is only 25, he is an established international. Garcia would be a gamble in that respect, though Arteta may see him as an upgrade on Raya to be introduced the season after next.

    Cech was too far over the hill when he came to us; I agree Almunia was nothing special; I liked Ooooooospina, who is still in the Colombia squad, although no 2 to Vargas now; Don Vito never got much of a chance but went onto have a respectable career; as for Runarsson, less said the better. I note that you left Fabianski off both your lists.

    Arthur Okonkwo may turn out to be one who got away, but we’ll probably have to wait a decade to know. Meanwhile, Leno seems to have dropped down the Germany pecking order; he didn’t make its Euros squad.

  126. 126
    bathgooner says:

    The lack of any real Arsenal transfer news is underlined by Blogs’ stream of (I suspect hungover) consciousness about acquaintances called Mark. He does mention Arsenal once, tangentially.

  127. 127
    OsakaMatt says:

    We wouldn’t include the here today, gone tomorrow Ryan?
    I’d have Fab in the not bad list with Cech and Woj I suppose.
    Though all three were better before or after joining / leaving.
    Difficult to rate Emi on his time at Arsenal as he was our No.1
    for less than a season but Leno was the best since Jens until
    Aaron arrived and then Raya.

  128. 128
    OsakaMatt says:

    Just watching another Xhaka masterclass as Italy are being rolled over.
    Rieder, who I must admit I know nothing about, looked a good player.
    2-0 with 15 minutes to go and Italy have been woeful so far.

  129. 129
    TTG says:

    I forgot Fabianski. Difficult after he rushed from his goal in the dying embers of the 2014 Cup Final, almost prompting a penalty shoot out. He’d be on my average pile of keepers. He improved over time but lost us a Champions League game in Porto and a Cup semi final against Chelsea . Not for nothing was he known as ‘ Flappy’!

  130. 130
    OsakaMatt says:

    I think we have to accept that our goalkeeper coaching was not all it should have been when Woj and Flappy were playing. Both had higher upsides than we ever got from them I feel

  131. 131
    OsakaMatt says:

    Also, unlike Germany and Denmark, we would never have gone off for a bit of weather in the South London Working Mens Club Beerest Belly League that I had the great honour to play in.

  132. 132
    OsakaMatt says:

    Great, if iffy, penalty from Kai

  133. 133
    TTG says:

    If we start awarding penalties for handball in situations like that the game becomes a farce . I still can’t believe the Saliba oenalth away to Chelsea. IFAB is an ass

  134. 134
    Trev says:

    Here’s a couple of goalkeepers for your lists –
    Willie Warmuz – signed in January 2003 – I believe as cover for –
    Rami Shabaan – signed in 2002 who broke his leg while at Arsenal – now has a fruit and veg stall back home in Sweden.

  135. 135
    Goonersince54 says:

    I think the Arse website is really stretching it, when they have a front page pic of Gabriel
    spruiking him as ” featuring in Brazil’s win at the Copa America “.
    So there am I, thinking he has played a big part, only to find he came on for the last
    4 minutes when the game was all over. !!
    Martinelli didn’t get on the pitch at all, having played only 7 minutes as a late sub in their first game, which Gabriel didn’t feature in at all.
    So clearly neither of them are first choices in the Brazil lineup, which whilst not good for their ego’s, certainly reduces the wear and tear on their bodies after a long domestic season.

  136. 136
    TTG says:

    I have studiously refused to follow Untold Arsenal for years . They are the ultra right wing of the Arsenal fraternity .
    More recently Tony Atwood has written some insightful stuff on the Citeh scandal and this piece suggests a direction of travel for football whether Citeh survive or not. I agree with most of his thinking . The world is becoming a peculiar place!

    This is when foortball starts to change 2: the Man C case

    In his previous article he suggests an extreme fate for the now bankrupt Barcelona !

  137. 137
    bathgooner says:

    Thanks for that link TTG @136, and the tip to read their other article on Farcelona -which is also worth a read and predicts a dire Citeh-Group driven future for La Liga.

    I don’t look at Untold Arsenal very often. In the past I have occasionally found their articles un peu de trop but they also make good points at times. I’m not sure how they qualify for the label ‘ultra right wing’ but the Arsenal have had some fine ultra right wingers over the years, including our current number seven! Perhaps you’ve been listening to the BBC too much where that epithet is being widely applied to all and sundry these days.

    If C115y are not appropriately sanctioned, whether through success in their specious lawsuit or through wriggling out of or appeal against the 115 charges then mass resignation from the Premier League by all clubs bar C115y and their acolytes followed by creation of a new top tier with strict financial rules will restore a competitive league the like of which we will not see if there isn’t a successful outcome from the charges.

    The article is well written and argues exactly the point I made in the Drinks many weeks ago that mass resignation would be a sensible response from the other PL clubs if there is an unsatisfactory outcome to either of these legal cases that does not change the skewed financial landscape.

    Why worry about ‘field tilt’ when the most important factor in the game is now ‘accounts tilt’?

  138. 138
    bathgooner says:

    Yesterday’s piece by Keenos is a nice reminder that the Arsenal is now a well run club and that short term expediency, as practiced to an extraordinary degree by Farcelona, and appears now to be the PSR compliance strategy of Chavski, Villa, Everton and the Saudis has long term consequences. Can’t wait for the fire sales and the bailiffs.

    Remembering the A to Z of transfer speculation

  139. 139
  140. 140
    Uplympian says:

    Interesting development indeed Bath – I was very sceptical with a similar deal concluded at the Bus Stop recently and not sure how this would affect our balance sheet as well as very long turn viability. Maybe Ned based across the pond has a better understanding of how this works over there – is it a regularly occurrence and a new feature?
    On a separate note today is a mini TDD for those clubs with acute PSR concerns and some wheeling & dealing going on right now. Fortunately our very well run club is on top of this and we can re-commence signings as from tomorrow.

  141. 141
    Countryman100 says:

    Interesting development at Villa Park. Douglas Luiz, who played very well for them last season, is confirmed as moving to Juventus. Seems PSR linked.

  142. 142
    OsakaMatt says:

    Villa sold Luiz for 50m euros to ease their PSR concerns I suppose as Uply mentioned above.

  143. 143
    OsakaMatt says:

    Sorry C100 😂

  144. 144
    North Bank Ned says:

    Bath@139: It is common in US pro sports for owners to make their team(s) and their stadium(s) separate business entities. If anything, it is becoming more common as sports stadiums become the anchor properties in multi-use sports/leisure/entertainment/retailing property developments. There are huge multi-year tax losses to be harvested under US tax laws when any sports business is acquired. Those can then be used to offset owners’ profits (and personal incomes) elsewhere. If the reports of selling the Emirates prove well founded, it is intriguing that Kroenke is using a US, not a UK entity for the transaction.

    The ownership and management of the Emirates Stadium are already separate from each other and from Arsenal FC plc, although all three businesses are owned by Arsenal Holdings, plc. so the PSR impact of any sale would be dictated by how the deal was structured — and whether the PL has replaced PSR with a spending cap by the time the sale is closed.

    Something else to watch in the proposed expansion of the Ems is whether it is converted into a multi-sport/multi-use stadium. That would be attractive to the NFL’s ambition to establish a global/European conference. Adding a retractable roof would let it stage indoor sports like basketball, as well as more concerts and other non-sporting events, making it revenue-generating 12 months a year.

    As an example of some of the accounting duck and diving that might be possible is that Kroenke’s StadCo LA, which owns the SoFi Stadium in LA, charges his Rams NFL team a peppercorn rent (one dollar a year) to use the stadium; it charges the Chargers, which he does not own but also plays there, the same, but both teams get only a minority cut (18.5%) of the stadium naming rights, with StadCo La owning the rest. Yet having multiple teams there would boost the overall value of all the stadium-related sponsorship deals (and would make calculations of arms-length fair value far more complicated for the PL).

    All of which to say, is that jiggling the stadium ownership would not just be all about PSR.

  145. 145
    North Bank Ned says:

    Uply@140: I only read yours after posting the above, but I hope it addresses your questions.

  146. 146
    Bathgooner says:

    It seems that despite our earlier longstanding interest and indeed, declined bids for his services, we no longer see Luiz as the solution to our current midfield requirements. Or was it just that Villa needed the £50m before 1 July and we have little flexibility to spend until 1 July?

  147. 147
    Bathgooner says:

    Spotting a short run to the ton and a half, rolls the ball over to a muscly centre back smoking a cigar at the corner of the 6-yard box.

  148. 148
    North Bank Ned says:

  149. 149
    Bathgooner says:

    Ned @148, Love it! And loved a Hamlet. Not sure if they’re still around.

    Pings the ball across the box.

  150. 150
    Sancho Panza says:

    We’re you supposed to inhale?

  151. 151
    Bathgooner says:

    No. Simply to savour the taste. Though most cigarette smokers did.

    Well in for the unconscious ton and a half, SP.

  152. 152
  153. 153
    TTG says:

    Thanks for the Liew article C100.
    He is a terrific writer and kinder to Southgate than I would have been although as he points out fate overrides everything .
    Tonight I thought Southgate got almost everything wrong that he could . He picked the wrong team and encouraged them to play at a funereal tempo ( contrast with Slovakia or the Spain v Georgia game ). At no stage did they escape the press by moving the ball quicker . Half-time made no difference, presumably Gareth was doing the crossword and was stuck on 4 across. He left his substitutes ridiculously late , no wonder Toney wasn’t talking to him.
    Then having amazingly found themselves ahead his game management was far too passive . Frankly it’s hard to watch England and then watch the other teams in this competition. I can’t imagine what Switzerland will do to us . They’ve got Xhaka I’ve always rated him .
    When Gareth sidles off into the sunset a very rich man I’m trying to decide what level of club he should manage . It wouldn’t be a league team if it was left to me . I notice the Dog and Duck , Chislehurst are short of a leader . That will suit him

  154. 154
    Bathgooner says:

    Ned @144, apologies I did not see this response until now. Thank you for such an interesting and well-informed response. The monks deserve an extra slice of cheese with their nightcaps. I will be fascinated to see if this development occurs.

  155. 155
    OsakaMatt says:

    Thanks c100, a finely written piece by Liew. My own faith hadn’t extended to staying awake for this one so I can’t criticize any fans who left early. Seems we got out of Durham and Saka got shuffled round the pitch. I did watch the Switzerland game yesterday and they played well, I expect the soon to be CEO of Chislehurst will keep it tight and play for penalties.

  156. 156
    Goonersince54 says:

    Bath @146
    To be fair, Villa valued Luiz at over 100ml, also get 2 good quality players from Juve ,
    [ which we didn’t have on our to sell list]+ the 50ml.
    Don’t think Emery was ever inclined to sell him to a PL rival anyway.
    On the subject of transfers,
    I see one Omari Hutchinson, whose chose not to sign a new contract with us, and went to Chelsea instead, has just been signed by Ipswich for a club record 18ml, plus addons etc.
    Hardly played for the Blues in 2 seasons.
    I don’t think we got anything for him when he left, out of contract, ? [ Ned can confirm].
    But not bad business for Chelsea.

  157. 157
    North Bank Ned says:

    Clive@156: Yes, Hutchinson’s contract was expiring the summer he moved to the Bus Stop. The transfer was for ‘an undisclosed sum’. I can’t imagine it would have been more than chump change, if anything at all, expecially as he was coming to the end of his contract. Chelsea got a loan fee of £850,000 for him from Ipswich last season. Hutchinson was another of our youngsters who had a number of first-team matchday call-ups but never got off the bench and onto the pitch, even though he was a full international while still playing for our U-21s.

    SP: Well in for the ton and a half.

    C100@152: Thanks for the link. It’s a good read. Liew is right that the only thing that matters in tournament football is whether you win or not. However, I hope we are not going to get glowing tributes to Southgate’s bravery in sticking to his guns, not panicking under pressure, and not bowing to the pundits’ demands that he change half the team at halftime. His England team were second-best for nearly all that game, except for a couple of moments. I re-up the question I posed earlier to all football fans: if you could swap your club manager for Southgate tomorrow, would you take up the offer? I hazard that you’d have to go a long way down the pyramid before you find a club that would take up the offer.

  158. 158
    bt8 says:

    If you haven’t seen this interview of Mikel Arteta by Guillem Balague from a few weeks ago (as I hadn’t), I highly recommend it.


  159. 159
    Goonersince54 says:

    Thnks Ned
    As for Southgate, when if ever has a old school defender appointed as Manager, ever played anything other than conservative football.
    TTG is being very kind in nominating him for the Dog and Duck job.
    He would have got very short thrift at the Golders Green Ramblers back in the day.

  160. 160
    Countryman100 says:

    Vertonghen own goal for Belgium against France.


  161. 161
  162. 162
    bt8 says:

    The Liew piece on Saka is spot on as you said, c100. True and effective teams are made of such stuff. Many thanks for the link.

  163. 163
    OsakaMatt says:

    To be fair to a much maligned (certainly by me) France and Portugal were equally unappealing. Ronaldo and his unfeasibly large ego did at least make me laugh I suppose.

  164. 164
    OsakaMatt says:

    A much maligned England I meant to write

  165. 165
    Bathgooner says:

    Much but justifiably would be more accurate. I didn’t see the French game but saw them earlier in the tournament and was somewhat underwhelmed. The ‘great’ Mbappe’s ego seems to be getting in the way of not only his finishing but also the team’s balance. As for the Portuguese, it’s hard to think of a team that has collected a larger proportion of the most unlikeable players on the planet. What is it about that very pleasant nation full of friendly and helpful people that causes its footballers to become whining, snarling, diving cheats? Not to mention the world’s most preening narcissist ((c) TTG).

    Simply to observe the failings of others, does not make the criticism of the England coach’s lack of flair, lack of ambition, inability to act quickly to change a failing team and of the England players’ failure to rebel unjustified.

    Ben White is right.

  166. 166
    North Bank Ned says:

    C100@161: Thanks for the link. An accurate assessment of Saka. His consistently high level is often underrated. He is ill-served by the England set-up; Walker hasn’t provided anything like the overlapping options that Benny Blanco does, and there is no MØ8 equivalent. I hope he doesn’t get thrown out with the bathwater when they pull the plug on Southgate.

  167. 167
    Countryman100 says:

    I bet Poldi’s chain of kebab shops will do a roaring trade tonight after Turkey beat Austria! Cracker of a game!

  168. 168
    OsakaMatt says:

    Yeah, I enjoyed that one C100 but I was expecting that after seeing their group games. It’s been a good tournament on the whole so far with quite a few exciting games to go with the usual boring duds. Holland / Turkey should be a good 1\4 final too and looking forward to Spain vs Germany. I think the other two will be very dull unless there is a sea change upcoming unfortunately.

  169. 169
    North Bank Ned says:

    From our where-are-they-now dept: Zech Medley, a lanky 23-year-old defender we sold to KV Oostende for £150,000 in 2021, having played 7 minutes in an FA Cup tie for our first team, has signed for League Two Fleetwood Town. He had become a free agent with the Belgium club’s bankruptcy.

  170. 170
    OsakaMatt says:

    Back in The Arsenal colors for Medley then, I always hoped he’d form a centre back partnership with Ballard. Though I vaguely remember reading that Fleetwood were headed for bankruptcy too!

  171. 171
    North Bank Ned says:

    OM@170: They should certainly be in tune as a defensive pairing. Ballard, like Omari Hutchinson, Omar Rekik]and no doubt other of our youngsters, were all full internationals despite not getting a senior game in our colours.

    C100@167: Another cracker of a game was Colombia v Brazil in the Copa America last night, with top of the group at stake. There is a good chance of a rematch in the semi-finals, too, assuming Brazil beats Bielsa’s Uruguay in the quarters. Uruguay ran an underwhelming US team out of the competition at the group stage. The subsequent piling on the US head coach, Gregg Berhalter, makes the criticisms of Southgate look genteel. The 2026 World Cup is in the ‘home of soccer’ (that is the US, according to the ads, in case that fact had passed you by). Having a competitive US team in the World Cup has become an obsession. The standard of men’s US football is immeasurably better than it was even five years ago, but it is not at the truly elite level yet, and, as the Copa America has shown, other nations have improved as well.

    The Copa America is being played in the US as a logistics rehersal for the World Cup, and it has been part fascinating and part horrifying watching VAR being operated in stadiums not built for football. The cameras aren’t in the right places to give even the camera angles that the PL has, and we know how well that works for offside, let alone the sophisticated semi-automatic offside technology used in the Euros. As a result, Copa America VARs are drawing the lines with what appears to be an Etch-A-Sketch.

  172. 172
    TTG says:

    It would seem that we are making our first move of the summer . We are linked by Romano with Calafiori the Bologna defender who impressed most observers in the Euros, although my first view was his unfortunate own goal against France. He redeemed himself with a lovely assist against Croatia. He is that very special beast ; a left sided central defender who can also play left back If we did sign him it would probably mean a departure for Kiwior and we would all hope for a permanent sale north of £20 million . Watch this space . I expect our activity to hot up in the next two weeks ahead of formal pre-season training , although Mikel took a mustard keen group out to Marbella for some early work . This included ESR who I hope will stay . It seems weird we are beginning training before Rice , Saka and Ramsdale have finished their exertions from last season .

  173. 173
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@172: I suspect there will be a lot of auditioning in Marbella, with Arteta and Edu having to decide to stick or twist with quite a number of youngsters. I note that the new goalkeeper Lucas Nygaard and Charlie Patino are not listed in either the new senior or Academy squads on the club’s website, so presumably, those are two whose coming season is still up in the air. Ethan Nwaneri is listed as having been given the No 63 shirt for the Academy, so his promotion to the senior team looks to be still in the future. The Academy has no goalkeepers listed.

  174. 174
    North Bank Ned says:

    Raya permanent signing now official.


  175. 175
    TTG says:

    The latest credible gossip concerning us suggests that we are getting close to agreement / or have agreed a fee with Bologna for Calafiori. The fee mentioned is around £42m .
    More concerning is the suggestion that we are selling Kiwior to Juventus for….£13m . This may be tittle-tattle and one hopes it is because it would represent a financial loss on a player who is a cutrent Polish international, had over 30 appearances last season and is in his early twenties . It looks like we are loaning Sambi Lokonga to Seville with an
    option to buy for about 15m( not sure if that’s Euros or £ ) He has been with us for three years , out on loan for two of those years and the deal is subject to a number of mystery clauses . That’s a deal that might wash its face but if that price for Kiwior is accurate that’s a worry

  176. 176
    OsakaMatt says:

    Then there were 6 in the Euros. After the departures of Leo and Jorginho, the remaining Gooners are Aaron, Rice, Saka, Kai, Saliba and the now official Raya. Minus the two keepers all are likely to start and the best of luck to them.

  177. 177
    OsakaMatt says:

    15m for Sambi would be excellent but I will believe that when I see it I think.

  178. 178
    North Bank Ned says:

    More from our where-are-they-now dept: Zak Awe, who came up through our ranks before leaving for Southampton’s U21s on a free a year ago, has gone on loan to Accrington Stanley in League Two. I only mention it to give OM the opportunity to suggest Awe’s appropriate partner.

  179. 179
    bathgooner says:

    Interesting background to Calafiori and the possible expansion of the stadium (not related) from Le Grove here:


  180. 180
    bt8 says:

    Calafiori sounds like it ought to ne an actual meaningful word in Italian but Google translate appears to suggest that it is just a surname. Calla lily didn’t even appear to n my answer box. Anyway, if this story has legs I might just go out and water my flowers.

  181. 181
    TTG says:

    My gardening adviser ( Mrs TTG) tells me it is Canna Lily and we purchased one last week in Norfolk. I hope Calafiori is a little hardier

  182. 182
    OsakaMatt says:

    @178 thanks Ned for the opportunity but it may shock you to learn I am struggling to think of the right partner for Awe. I wonder who it could be.

  183. 183
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@181: Please inform your gardening advisor with the greatest tact and respect that calla lilies and canna lilies are different beasts, and neither are true lilies.

  184. 184
    North Bank Ned says:

    UEFA has swept the Manchester City/Girona and Manchester United/Nice ownership conflicts of interest under the table for next season’s European competitions. That excruciating squeaking sound must be UEFA’s financial control board members contorting themselves into impossible positions.


    It’s full speed ahead for the multi-club model, and damn the integrity.

  185. 185
  186. 186
    bt8 says:

    Thanks TTG and Ned for your opinions on matters lily-related. I’m not sure how it has materially improved my life but I do feel better.

  187. 187
    TTG says:

    My gardening adviser says she knew about Canna and Cala lilies but was merely pointing out we bought one last week! I will not delve further .
    The Calafiori video is very interesting. This will enable us to follow the four big defenders model that Guardiola completed for C115y. He looks a better left sided starter than Zinchenko defensively .
    Last night Saliba was sublime in a tedious French team . Interesting that according to today’s gossip De Bruyne and Fernandes are being allowed to talk to Saudi teams

  188. 188
    Sancho Panza says:

    I wonder why Biereth hasn’t encouraged interest from a mid table EPL club. £4m looks like a bargain price to me.

  189. 189
    bathgooner says:

    Ned @185, interesting link. Thanks for posting.

    Ned @184, quelle surprise? Might the screeching not be the simultaneous ripping open of fat brown envelopes?

  190. 190
    bathgooner says:

    TTG @187, Saliba was imperious against the Portuguese and even Lugs and Ferdinand managed to praise him though that world class wanker Jenas felt that Salina hadn’t really been tested enough in the first time to allow one to assess his quality or lack thereof. Between him and that other WCW Danny Murphy, it was an excruciating broadcast. I must remember to turn the sound off next time those muppets are involved.

  191. 191
    OsakaMatt says:

    There’s been more than enough time to assess Murphy and Jonas’s quality or lack thereof and Bath has nailed them both appropriately. Whoever comes through the Spain / France semi should be odds on to win it I suppose.

  192. 192
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@187: I would be delighted to see De Bruyne join Al-Ittihad. City, and Haaland in particular, would be diminished as a result, I believe, sufficiently to affect the title race.

    If we sign Calafiori and have a fully fit Timber next season, does that reduce the need to sign a Partey replacement?

  193. 193
    ecg says:

    I can’t believe we haven’t done the double yet. What’s the point of having comments…

  194. 194
  195. 195
    ecg says:


  196. 196
    ecg says:


  197. 197
  198. 198
    ecg says:


  199. 199
    ecg says:


  200. 200
    Countryman100 says:

    We’re under a Labour PM!

  201. 201
    Countryman100 says:

    And you know what that means!

    Great assisting run ecg!

  202. 202
    Sancho Panza says:

    Does it mean Bukayo Saka is Minister for Sport?

  203. 203
    North Bank Ned says:

    Well in for the double ton, C100, despite now being surrounded by Lib Dems.

  204. 204
    North Bank Ned says:

    C100@201: Ganex raincoats and the pound in your pocket worth 19s 6d?

  205. 205
    bt8 says:

    Well in c100, and well in Starmer.

  206. 206
    bt8 says:

    And well in Saliba, Saka and Rice to the Euro semis. England would probably be odds-on favorites to win it if they had Benny Blanco. 🤪

  207. 207
    OsakaMatt says:

    Trademark goal from Bukayo and nerveless stuff in the penalties.
    Still looks like Raya is the gooner most likely to come home with
    a winners medal though.

  208. 208
    OsakaMatt says:

    Lots of nice things being written about Saka today.
    To be honest I was mostly just relieved and happy for him when his penalty went in
    but we already knew how brave he was from watching him week in, week out.

    Anyway, I attach Barney Ronay’s take on it all,

    Well written as usual though I disagree about Pickford (I am sure that there is some tortured logic that can be used to justify the most successful since Banks reasoning but we all know Pickford is meh) and disliked the little dig at MA for overplaying Saka.

  209. 209
    bathgooner says:

    An interesting link, OM. I have never been a fan of Ronay and you summarise the positives and negatives of his piece well. Saka was by far England’s best player on the night though it didn’t stop the BBC panel creaming their jeans over Foden at half time. The elephant in the room is the lumbering drooling ox waddling around the centre circle who was never in the 6-yard box when Saka swept the ball across to where he should have been.

    My take from these Euros is how Saka has generally been simply tackled by opposition defenders rather than kicked, scythed down or simply assaulted. I think we would all agree that at times in the past two seasons Saka looked in need of a rest but much more than that he needs protection from calculated physical impairment by opposition strategists and their heavies.

  210. 210
    Goonersince54 says:

    We actually had 7 players still in the mix at major competitions as of yesterday although you wouldn’t know it in the Holic Universe.
    But our 2 seemingly forgotten Gabi’s can now go on a well earned break after Brazil lost on penalties to Uruguay in qtr final of Copa America this morning.
    They were both essentially bench warmers with hardly any playing time, except Martinelli who came on late in this game.
    Not sure if they are entitled to a months holiday now, but if they are, then they won’t be back at the Ems till the week before season kicks off.
    I assume the same will apply for our Euro boys, which will make for some interesting selections for our 3 games in August.

  211. 211
    TTG says:

    Was it Napoleon who preferred his generals to be lucky rather than good? Well he would have liked Southgate then. The bloke is utterly hopeless . Playing Trippier at LWB was a stupid , conservative and unproductive move and yet again the game was getting away from England and he failed to read it and brought on subs only after they scored . Bukayo saved him .
    I thought Bukayo , Mainoo and Konsa were excellent and Declan did a very sound job . Foden is very overrated and Kane is a statue , never where you need him to be .
    I bet Trippier is there again on Wednesday

  212. 212
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@211: Southgate’s problem at LB/LWB is that his only left-footer who plays there is Luke Shaw, who probably doesn’t have 90 mins in him yet, let alone 120. That said, the right-footed Eze looked an upgrade on Tripper when he came on.

    ‘arry’s time is done, in the sense that he is not a modern centre forward. He is a 4-4-2 era striker. I know Tuchel played a nominal 4-2-3-1 at Bayern with Kane as the 1, the same formation that England plays, but Bayern’s is much more of a 4-2-2-2 in practice, with Sane giving Kane the support he used to get from Son.

  213. 213
    North Bank Ned says:

    OM@208: Thanks for the link to the Ronay piece, which wandered down a couple of rabbit holes. On his Pickford assertion, one proxy for a goalkeeper’s success would be minutes played per goal conceded.

    Pickford concedes a goal every 123 minutes for England, despite having broken the record for most minutes without conceding a goal, which he did in the 2020 Euros by three minutes (previous record was 723 minutes).

    Comparable numbers since Gordon Banks (a goal conceded every 115 mins) for keepers who have at least 30 England caps:
    Paul Robinson (151 mins)
    David Seaman (149 mins)
    Chris Woods (137 mins)
    Peter Shilton (134 mins)
    Joe Hart (134 mins)
    Jordan Pickford (123 minutes)
    Ray Clemence (101 mins)
    David James (84 mins)

  214. 214
    TTG says:

    I take your point about Trippier but his average position was pushed way up above his normal position. If you are going to have a wing back starting from some way into the opposition half he becomes an offensive player who you can ask to press and track back . As you say Eze looked a better option but we could have started Gordon there or even Palmer . Trippier is profoundly unsuited to the role unless you expect him to play primarily as a conventional full back in a back five
    I think it underlines how muddled and unimaginative Southgate’s thinking is

  215. 215
    TTG says:

    Arsenal are apparently trying to sign ( or technically re-sign ) Dan Bentley the Wolves no 2 keeper . He was a junior at Arsenal .I saw him come on as a sub in the December game as would a number of our number who were at the game .
    He’s homegrown but having Hein at the club (presumably he will go out on loan ) it isn’t clear what will happen to Ramsdale but if he is being sought as a no2 it is a low key signing
    Wolves are expected to replace Bentley with Kasper Schmeichel who would seem to make sense as a target for us

  216. 216
    North Bank Ned says:

    TTG@215: Hmmm! Another Brentford connection. He was there for three seasons from 2016-17. I wonder who the Bees’ goalkeeping coach was at the time…

  217. 217
    OsakaMatt says:

    @213 Thanks for the numbers Ned. Looking at the list I would
    have Pickford down the bottom with Robinson and James in
    no particular order. Shilton and Seaman apart, England haven’t
    had many world class goalkeepers in the last 50 years!

  218. 218
    OsakaMatt says:

    Assuming there is no reaction after the Swiss game then Shaw has to start. If he breaks down then so be it but you have to try.

    It is not a great Dutch team by any stretch so England certainly have a shot at getting to the final.

  219. 219
    North Bank Ned says:

    Cozier-Duberry has signed a four-year contract with Brighton. I suspect he will do well there if given the chance, which he is likely to be.

    OM@217: Somewhere in the depths of Castle Ned is a copy of a wonderful if somewhat quirky old book by an FT journalist, Peter Chapman, The Goalkeeper’s History of Britain, which charts the fortunes of the country as reflected in its goalkeepers. Hardly any decent England keepers in the past fifty years sounds about right.

  220. 220
    OsakaMatt says:

    I found it Ned 🙂


    Agree on Cozier-Duberry, if he is good enough it’s a good chance for him.
    As it’s a PL club I suppose we will get a fee now

  221. 221
    bathgooner says:

    An interesting analysis @213, Ned and pretty much confirming my own memory of those glove butlers apart from being shocked to see Gordon Banks being eclipsed by so many and Paul Robinson at the top! However while the goal concession rate is a measure of a keeper it’s not solely down to him as the defence in front of him has a major role to play.

    If you think England has had a paucity of top goalkeepers in the last 80 or so years, spare a thought for your northern co-islanders where I suspect there would be no-one with a goal concession rate above 90 minutes.

  222. 222
  223. 223
    North Bank Ned says:

    There is press speculation in the Black Country that Ramsdale may be going in the opposite direction to Bentley.

    OM@230: Cozier-Duberry reportedly left on a free.

    bath@231: Fair point about the quality of the defence in front of a keeper, although most of those defences/keepers were conceding a goal only every other game or better in round numbers, so they were all solid.

    A quirk of Gordon Bank’s numbers was that he conceded more than two goals in a game on only four occasions across his 73 appearances for England. All four games were in the old Home Championship, two against Scotland and two against Northern Ireland, including the 8-3 game in 1963 when Jimmy Greaves scored four and Terry Paine got a hat-trick.

  224. 224
    North Bank Ned says:

    C100@222: I see there were six ill-stared members who applied in all 25 ballots last season and weren’t successful once. Even if the chance of success in the ballot was 50-50 (in practice, it would have been much less given the oversubscription), there is only a 1 in 33.5 million chance of that happening. I also see the club is giving them and the around 300 other members who applied to 20 or more ballots without success last season the opportunity to buy a ticket directly for a pre-Christmas game next season.

  225. 225
    TTG says:

    As Scots read this – can I emphasise it was England 9 Scotland 3. Frank Haffey was the Scots goalie . But not a very effective one .
    The big issue about English keepers is that there aren’t many in the Premier League . In 1966 we had Banks, Springett , Bonetti, Hodgkinson, Hopkinson , Stepney , Waiters , Withers etc etc .Our keeper was Jim ‘ Fingers ‘ Furnell.
    You’d never moan about Raya if you saw Jim !

  226. 226
    TTG says:

    To show what English football coukd be like with a sense of adventure here are the goals from that 9-3 win. Sorry to my Scottish brethren- but not that sorry !

  227. 227
    TTG says:

    I misread Ned’s comments in my rush to put up the 1961 game. We scored 8 against Northern Ireland in 1963 as well as the 9 at Wembley in 1961 . Anyone who thinks Harry Kane was a patch on Jimmy Greaves as a finisher should look at his record for England.
    Might we see Kane left out of a major final as Greaves was ? Highly dubious knowing Southgate’s approach and the fact that Kane is captain but it’s hard not to believe we need more mobility at the centre of the England attack .
    The 4-2-4 that England played under Winterbottom in 1961 was revolutionary and saw England some great victories but it did not bring us much success in the 1962 Workd Cup in Chile.
    There was no significant Arsenal involvement in the England team at that time . If you watched them then you’d know why!

  228. 228
    bathgooner says:

    Thanks TTG for reviving an unpleasant memory. For several months after that game a frequent response in Scotland to being queried on the time was, “Nine past Haffey!” I believe the poor man had to emigrate to Australia.

  229. 229
    bathgooner says:

    An interesting take on the Arsenal’s analysis of its ticketing experiment in ’23-24 kindly posted by C100 @222, from Keenos at She Wore:

    The GOOD and BAD of Arsenal’s end of season ticketing review

  230. 230
    Countryman100 says:

    What’s your view Bath? You’ve directly affected.

  231. 231
    North Bank Ned says:

    Here are the highlights of the 1963 England 8 v 3 Northern Ireland game, which was Alf Ramsey’s ninth in charge. Of the England XI, only Banks, Moore and Bobby Charlton would start the 1966 World Cup final less than three years later, although five others, including Jimmy Greaves, made the squad.

    Terry Neil, Billy McCullough and Eddie Magill were in the Northern Ireland team that day, as was George Eastham for England.

    Peak Greaves v peak Kane? Not even close.

  232. 232
    North Bank Ned says:

    bath@229: The key point Keeno makes is that, given that demand for tickets exceeds supply, should the ticketing system aim to let a few fans go to many games or let many fans go to a few games? There is an element of a moral choice, I suppose, but I would suspect that the club has made the marketing-based decision that the ‘many fans, few games’ choice is more effective at sustaining scarcity-driven demand. The solution is to increase the number of seats in the stadium, which will turn 20 the year after next. I have read that that is under consideration and that the Ems was designed with future capacity expansion in mind, although I have no idea if that is true.

  233. 233
    Countryman100 says:

    Giroud coming on for France!

  234. 234
    bt8 says:

    Madrid are getting Mbappe from Paris but probably would rather have Lamal from Barcelona, especially after what he did today. What a progidy!

  235. 235
    North Bank Ned says:

    That was a high-quality game. Spain are the better side, but France should have won the game. That said, Spain will take some stopping whoever they play in the final.

    bt8:234: There was some scuttlebutt at the start of the year that ‘Pool was interested in Lamine Yamal as Mo Salah’s replacement. Good luck with that.

  236. 236
    OsakaMatt says:

    It’s the international end for several of that French team I guess including Giroud but they have done outstandingly well as a generation with two World Cup finals

  237. 237
    bt8 says:

    re: 234. So good that I invented a new word for him, progidy presumably being even better than prodigy. Liverpool are good at spotting talent but Barcelona aren’t behind them in the ability to see that Lamal is amazing

  238. 238
    bathgooner says:

    C100 @230, I think Keenos sums the ballot up well and makes several very good observations. Personally, I was able to navigate the old online queue pretty successfully, tedious though the process was and, still having Silver Memberships, happily gave up my Season Tickets in 2019 when I found it a chore to travel up to watch Unai Emery’s team every fortnight and when I began to resent the domination of my calendar by an experience I found far less enjoyable than it had been. When I reverted to using the Silver Membership, the online ticketing system for Silver Members worked as well as it had done before we got our season tickets in 2010. I was able to attend as many games as suited me which in truth was most home games.

    However online access to tickets changed suddenly in January 2023 when it became absolutely impossible to get tickets in the second half of season 2022-23. Whether this was due to bots or to a massive reduction in Silver ticket allocation as suggested by Keenos, I have no idea but I do believe that the Silver allocation has been slashed. Clearly something had changed and something had to be done. I did badly in the ballot for most of the season. The first game in which I had success was the Liverpool FA Cup tie in January and the first PL match was the midweek game against Luton but we were successful in the last two PL home games which was a pleasant surprise.

    The club clearly had to do something given that demand appears to outstrip supply to a massive degree. A ballot is probably the fairest way to manage this pressure. The ballot now determines which games I will attend as I will, as last season, apply for all home games and attend whenever an opportunity arises thus, ironically, my calendar is again being determined by others!

    Ned @232, I think the ‘many fans, few games’ choice is clearly the correct moral choice. In contrast to your observation, I distinctly recall Arsene saying that the design of the ground was such that expansion would not be possible. I sincerely hope it is.

  239. 239
    North Bank Ned says:

    bath@238: Thanks for that recollection of Wegner’s. Reading around, I came across a report that said that during the planning discussions, Islington Council capped the capacity of any new stadium at 60,500. Perhaps, the stadium design was set by that.

    If you divide total matchday revenue by stadium capacity to get an annual revenue per seat (which one of the trade publications does to produce an annual ranking from which the following numbers based on the 2022-23 seas are taken), Arsenal ranks fifth among the top European clubs at €1,944, behind the Red Mancs (€2,032), the neighbours (€2,148), the Bus Stop €2,181) and PSG (€3,192), but ahead of ‘Pool, Barca and Bayern Munich. Matchday revenue accounts for 15% (Chelsea and Liverpool) to 22% (us) of total revenue for top PL clubs (City is an outlier at 10%, but they have other sources of spondulix), so upping the number is a significant objective. That means more seats or more expensive tickets and beer, plus more stadium usage for non-PL football (such as summer tournaments and WSL games) or non-football events.

    While the Ems was ahead of its time as a football stadium, it was a generation too early to be a multi-sports/events venue, as the newest stadiums are. A make-over seems inevitable sooner rather than later.

  240. 240
    OsakaMatt says:

    Nuno apparently off to Lazio for a season on loan with an obligation to buy for around 7/8m. Bit more than I thought we would get for him I must admit. Perhaps it’s Lazio’s way of apologizing for the sins of yesteryear.

  241. 241
    Depressedgooner says:

    Howdy all, been watching the Euros with apathy for the most part but its a great experience for those of an Arsenal persuasion without knackering them too much for the start of the season.

    I’m currently experiencing a bit of a low low period so my online activity is quite small at the moment, I still read everything even if it does take me a while.

    Big thanks to all posters and repliers, your hard work does not go unseen but I regret not replying to everything, I have to pick and choose my moments, stay strong my fellow gooners.

  242. 242
    bathgooner says:

    Good to see you in the Drinks, DG. Your encouragement is widely appreciated.

    Take it easy and I hope you feel stronger soon.

  243. 243
    North Bank Ned says:

    DG@241: What bath said @242. Always good to see you in. Stay strong.

  244. 244
    North Bank Ned says:

    Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi are exiting the Barcodes with unexpected haste, which raises questions about whether they jumped before they were pushed.

  245. 245
    bathgooner says:

    Ned @244, I wonder if all four of their limbs are intact?

  246. 246
    North Bank Ned says:

    Avoid embassies would be my advice.

  247. 247
    OsakaMatt says:

    Congrats to England, pleased for our Arsenal lads of course.
    And oddly we have 2 goalkeepers in the Euros final though neither
    will start.

  248. 248
    Depressedgooner says:

    Never thought I’d be pleased that an Aston Villa player scored a goal

  249. 249
    TTG says:

    Watkins is a well-known Gooner though!

  250. 250
    TTG says:

    Raises glass to Ollie Watkins!

  251. 251
    North Bank Ned says:

    Well in for the double ton and a half, TTG.

    To those who watched the Copa America semi-final between Colombia and Uruguay, what a game! It was not a technical classic, but blood-and-thunder, end-to-end football, with 10-man Colombia holding off Uruguay for the whole second half. Argentina v Colombia final on Sunday in Miami. Should be intense.

  252. 252
    OsakaMatt says:

    If the coaches of England, Columbia and Spain obligingly selected Aaron, Raya and Ospina
    fpr the Euro and Copa America finals it would have a pleasing symmetry to go with Martinez.

  253. 253
    OsakaMatt says:

    Enjoying a bottle of morello or di scansano, it’s a dry red made from
    Sangiovese grapes considerably less bitter than Koeman and Van dijk.
    🍷🍷 a glass each for you gentlemen

  254. 254
    bathgooner says:



  255. 255
    bt8 says:

    I’ve missed most matches of the Copa America and Euros in an attempt to recharge my batteries for the new season of club football which has been quite all-consuming these last two seasons I’ve realized.

    But on the original subject of TTG’s original post, David Ornstein reported the following about the outward transfer of one of Kompany’s (if apparently not Arteta’s) favorite young midfielders: “Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga is set to undergo a medical on Friday ahead of a season-long loan move to Sevilla.

    The 24-year-old’s loan will include an option to make the move permanent for a fee in the region of €12m (£10m).

    If Sevilla activate the purchase option, Arsenal will keep a 25% sell-on clause of any future move Lokonga makes.”

    Here’s hoping that 25% turns out to be hefty if he does move on to say, Bayern in a couple of years

  256. 256
    bt8 says:

    In the battle of the Adriatic in the women’s semifinal at Wimbledon, the Italian beat the Croatian, and the victorious Paolini becomes the first ever Italian woman finalist at Wimbledon, and the first woman to reach the final at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon in the same year since Serena Williams in 2016.


  257. 257
    North Bank Ned says:

    bt8@255: Presumably, Sambi’s sale price is depressed as Sevilla will be picking up his £50,000 a week salary while he is on loan.

    Sambi might end up at Barca if he makes good. Sevilla’s new coach, Xavier García Pimienta, has deep Barca roots.

  258. 258
    Trev says:

    Bt8, yep, she’s 28 years old now, pretty much unheard of in terms of big wins and before Wimbledon had never won a match on grass. Hers was the longest ever women’s semifinal at Wimbledon.

  259. 259
    OsakaMatt says:

    10m for Sambi doesn’t sound too depressing, in fact it is as predicted by Sancho way back @10.

  260. 260
    Ollie says:

    260 not out? Looks like Jimmy Anderson has retired then.

  261. 261
    Countryman100 says:

    My daughter’s boyfriend, according to her, is currently frantically googling ways of getting to Berlin for Sunday.

  262. 262
    Countryman100 says:

    Was going to cost £20k so she’s persuaded him to go down the pub with her instead. Sensible girl.

  263. 263
    OsakaMatt says:

    Let’s hope Southgate’s luck holds. Also I hope MA has told Declan and Bukayo to tap up a couple of the Spanish players after the game

  264. 264
    Trev says:

    C100 – that will only cost £18,000 😉

  265. 265
    Trev says:

    After the obligatory shopping trip, of course !

  266. 266
    North Bank Ned says:

    The youngsters’ exits continue. Reuell Walters has joined Luton Town, newly relegated to the Championship, and the man mountain that is Taylor Forlan has joined Bromley, newly promoted to League Two. As previously mentioned, Amario Cozier-Duberry has gone to Brighton. However, a couple of other prospective departees, Charlie Patino and Omar Rekik, are in our U-21 squad for a game against Borehamwood today.

  267. 267
    Trev says:

    The better we – the first team – get, the harder it is for the youngsters to get in.
    They basically need to go from reserve team player to full international in about 6 months – if they’re lucky. When a league challenge has to now be virtually perfect I guess the club can’t afford to accommodate the inconsistencies of young players trying to break in.

    It also begs the question as to whether the academy has a useful place in the club. Without the shop window of the first team, are we ever going to get fees for these players that justify the cost of development ?

  268. 268
    bathgooner says:

    Trev, I think the Academy will continue to play a vital role for the club, even if the vast majority of graduates fail to make the grade at Arsenal.

    A world class graduate once a decade along with half to a full dozen a decade who flirt with the first team or its squad or nearly make the grade and move on to have a good career in the game at or near the top level is a decent return. Since the abolition of the reserve league many years ago, the key to a young prospect’s final development is judicious use of the loan system, as we have seen increasingly over recent years, while the possible acquisition of a ‘feeder club’ in another league might be helpful.

    I’m not too concerned about the shop window issue. Those with a scouting role in the game will know where to look for young talent.

  269. 269
    Bathgooner says: