Marquee
920
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7.4K
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over 13 years
I think we keep him, offers us something different from midfield playing alongside a Xhaka or Partey with his Ramseyesque runs.
However I believe the argument to sell is that he's very valuable as an asset now and while he might perform well in Newcastles set up our style of play might not get the best out of him, thus cash in while we can. Another Iwobi type sale essentially.
Legend
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14K
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about 14 years
So annoying, I cant post images. I had attempted to post an image of lasagne. 
Saint Totteringham's Day on the final day is on like donkey kong. They have Leicester away, with a crowd, and with Leicester playing for the top 4. 

First Team Squad
530
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1.3K
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over 12 years
I just wanted to come and say how ludicrous it is that Benteke hasn't been sent off. Absolutely farcical.
Legend
1.7K
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10K
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over 13 years
Should have seen red for the elbow to the face in the first half, yes it was a little tap but still a strike to the head.
why we were sitting back and resting on a 1-0 lead is baffling, wasting time with 30 minutes to go, deserved to concede - pity it had to be to Benteke.

We were very lucky to nick it at the end, Ooedengard with a great ball, Martinelli did really well to get to it.....
Starting XI
1.3K
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3.5K
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over 8 years
The potential leg breaker on Chambers should usually be a red card too. I get really bothered by the commentator's argument there that it was so early in the game and maybe later on it could have been a straight red. In my view it shouldn't matter whether it's the first minute or the 97th minute or whether it's a dead rubber or a cup final, a foul is a foul and a bad challenge is a bad challenge and the rules are still the rules. I expected the guy who escaped the red to end up scoring the winner as often happens. Chambers may be lucky not to be facing another year out after that one. 

Anyway nice to finish with a few good results although going on a run of wins after we're out of everything and it's too late is hardly a new thing for Arsenal. 
Marquee
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7.4K
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over 13 years
From Arseblog today;

Auba's maybe an inch higher, and that's a red...
Absolute fudgeing farce.
Oh and Peter Walton "not a read on Elneny due to negligible force".
Legend
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14K
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about 14 years
Pretty ridiculous. I wish I could post images because there was a great tweet showing all the non-reds against us, it was crazy. I know it's often swings and roundabouts on these things but it feels like a bit of injustice with the reds given to our players versus the non-reds for opposition this season. A lot of examples. 
Marquee
920
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7.4K
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over 13 years
Saw some interesting commentary around cards & VAR and dug up the following;
This season we're bottom for VAR decisions with -6 in our favour, with Liverpool & WBA in the same boat. Source; ESPN (https://www.espn.co.uk/football/english-premier-league/story/4182135/how-var-decisions-affected-every-premier-league-club-in-2020-21).

We're second bottom in terms of number of fouls per cards, source; Reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/soccer/comments/m9685y/premier_league_fouls_per_booking_202021/)

The latter does have to be massively caveated with the fact it can't take into account location of foul (i.e. last man straight red vs congested midfield).

It doesn't excuse our season given the amount of times we've imploded without the help of the officials, but we've definitely had a tough time.
Legend
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14K
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about 14 years
Taking over sp*rs was not to be, but we can console ourselves with the fact that we won't be in the Europa Conference League. 
I am really looking forward to saturday night games next season, rather than the horrid Friday/Monday cycles of the last few years. I am so over that. 
Saw a tweet from Tim Stillman, suggesting Arteta's decision to keep Pepe benched for Willian for the first 3 months or so probably cost us top 4 or top 6. Hard to argue with that I reckon. Our overall form since Xmas has been top 2/3 of the league. 

Marquee
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7.4K
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over 13 years
Loan watch
Saliba scored the winner for Nice last night, and Willock scored again. These loanees will either make us some decent coin or be solid for us next season.
Schalke relegated makes Kolasinac difficult. Torreira won La Liga (unless he didn't qualify due to minutes). AMN has had fat Sam telling him to take the RB spot at Arsenal. Guendouzi did f*ck all at Berlin but seemed to get more international minutes but is out injured. Mavropanos played a bunch for Stuggart who finished 9th in the Bundesliga.

Saliba, Willock, AMN the only likely returnees from that list.
Marquee
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7.4K
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over 13 years
Tell you what though, that Yves Bissouma from Brighton would be perfect for Partey. He's such a good ball winner, strong, good bit of pace and can pick a pass. 
Legend
2.8K
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14K
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about 14 years
The rumour mill in full swing now. 
Wouldn't mind Bissouma at all, looks a great player. There's chat of Nketiah + cash for him, which would suit everyone you would think. Balogun is set to take Nketiah's spot as the bench up and comer next season, and looks to have a bit more in his game. 
Lots of chat about various forwards, but who leaves? Sounds like Willian will go, and perhaps Lacazette. That would free up the room I guess. But Auba aint going anywhere, I want to keep all of Pepe, Martinelli, Saka and Smith-Rowe, and Balogun will be promoted to the first team proper, so not sure where the space will come from, particularly with no european football. If we get a new forward or two in then it surely Nelson will go too. 
We really need midfielders and fullbacks. Ceballos gone, Elneny perhaps will go to, at best would be the 4th/5th choice squad player like he was this season. There's a lot of chat around that Xhaka will go to. We need at least two in the position I think. Unless Arteta really does see Willock as a central mid long term, which I very much doubt. 
Fullback, the big area to bolster. Sounds like Bellerin is going. Chambers has done well, but is he a bonafide starting RB for us? Maybe. At worst he covers CB and fullback so is a valuable squad player. Is Cedric in for next year? Where does he stand? He wasn't even 2nd choice at RB or LB by the time we got to the end of the season. I think we should be in the market for a top quality RB, and perhaps a Cedric type who can back up both sides, or maybe even bring AMN back into the fold, depending on his desire. 

Marquee
920
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7.4K
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over 13 years
Arteta's previously stated he wants to play a 4-3-3 but we don't have the squad for it. You'd hope this summer moves us towards it, which would hopefully mean Willock fits better in that shape more than the 4-2-3-1 we've settled on this season.
Cedric is a super interesting one. I don't think he's so bad at LB he justified putting Xhaka there, so I wonder if it's an inter-personal thing within the team or with the manager? Just seems odd as he's not looked awful at fullback and at times seemed to pull ahead of Bellerin in terms of quality.
Legend
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14K
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about 14 years
I feel that Arteta sets up quite uniquely each time, and that it wasn't a case of Xhaka being considered better at filling the same role as Cedric. 
I think Arteta just decided that adapting a different left sided role for Xhaka was a better solution than having Cedric attempt to imitate Tierney. 
The other side however is more telling. I think Cedric and then Chambers both looking better than Bellerin as the season progressed was a sign of Bellerin having a foot out the door. He will go now, and we have to decide if Chambers is the real deal on that side, or if we need to purchase a starting RB. I'd be going with the latter, as much as I like Chambers. 
Chambers looks to be a very valuable squad player for us though. He can cover three positions and he has showed real desire and attitude to take the RB spot the way he did this season. 

Legend
2.8K
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14K
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about 14 years
An important element in our thinking for this season is the reduction in games, and the better rest periods between games, that comes from no european football.
We simply don't have to carry as big of a squad. 
That should really help the recruitment situation in terms of simplicity. 
How many in each position do we really need? If Cedric was to stay, would replacing Bellerin with a new RB be all we need in terms of fullbacks? If Maitland-Niles decided to listen to fat Sam and come back and accept a fullback role, could we feasibly sell Bellerin and buy no one?
Saliba in, Luiz out, appears to be all that is needed at CB. 
I don't want to lose any of ESR, Auba, Saka, Pepe and Martinelli. Add Balogun to that who will surely be promoted to the squad and that's 6 players for 3 roles, even allowing for both Willian and Lacazette to leave. 
Maybe we just spend ALL our money on midfielders????
Legend
2.8K
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14K
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about 14 years
Obviously a caveat there that Leno stays, Ryan is signed on a free, and we therefore need no recruitment at GK. 
Marquee
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over 13 years
So much of it depends on who leaves in addition to the outcasts.
I think we'll also see them need to be more ruthless with loans. If we don't have Europe is it best for players like Martinelli & Falogun to go on loan rather than riding the pine? It's not an easy call, but being ruthless and prioritising their development will be key.
Legend
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14K
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about 14 years
If we make a purchase that some of the rumours hint at, like Buendia or Sterling, or getting Odegaard on loan again, then perhaps I could see that. 
But if we don't make a significant forward purchase, and we get rid of Willian, Nketiah, and maybe Lacazette, then we could probably at least carry the likes of Balogun through to the January window, to wait and see how we're going in the League and FA Cups, where their game time might predominantly come from. 
I can see Martinelli being a strong bench option for us next season. He's the sort of player who can energy and goals when things aren't working and we need a late one, like the Crystal Palace game. 
Marquee
920
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7.4K
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over 13 years
In other news, anyone else enjoying the shambles that is the Sp*rs new manager hunt? Can’t get the bloke back who sacked them, Conte falls over because of a lack of transfer market support, and Bayern beat them to one of the best managers in Germany.

Must be time for Big Sam, surely!
Legend
2.8K
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14K
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about 14 years
Sounds like Xhaka is off to Roma then. Interesting. 
I wonder if he was always leaving at the end of this season, perhaps agreed with Arteta last year to stay one more. 
Midfield is looking very empty now. The rumours I'm reading seem to suggest that Willock is up for sale, and he didn't really play in a midfield two in any case. This would leave us with only Partey and Elneny for those roles. At least two purchases required? 
Marquee
920
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7.4K
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over 13 years
Agreed Paulm. If Elneny stays we'll need another contract for him sorted too so we don't lose any coin on him. 
I'm feeling weirdly confident of us spending more money this summer than many expect.
Logic being we've seen Ozil, Papa, Luiz, Mustafi all leave the club. Guendouzi, Torrera, Kolasinac all look set to go to. We could also see Xhaka, Bellerin, Mavropanos, Nelson, Nketiah, Willian, Soares, Lacazette, AMN, Willock, hell even Leno moving on too.

While we might not be getting £50m+ transfers for these players, the small amount of fees made on their sales + the cash available from the wage bill being significantly reduced would put us in a strong position to invest well in key positions.

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