On this day doing ‘on this day’ was a bad idea

Morning.

I could look up the internationals to see who with an Arsenal connection played, but I can’t be arsed. It’s an Interlull. The sooner it’s over the better. So, what else to do on a day like this to fill the blog space but an ‘On this day’, as I delve back into the archives.

October 11th 2003

Young Gunner John Halls is going on loan to Stoke. He says:

“My aim is to try and impress Tony Pulis and get a regular place in the side and also impress Arsene Wenger because he has said I am still part of things at Highbury.”

He certainly impressed Tony Pulis because he signed permanently for Stoke that December, then had spells at clubs like Reading, Crystal Palace, Brentford and Aldershot Town.

Later, after football, he became a male model. Or just a model, I suppose, but when I say ‘male … Read the rest

Exciting: Young Man United star garners praise from South American legends

Manchester United fans may not have known who Facundo Pellistri was before he joined the club but it appears many Uruguayans do.

The young winger joined from Peñarol during the summer transfer window, sealing his move dramatically on deadline day.

United supporters may have been hoping to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho for the right-wing position but instead Ole Gunnar Solskjaer invested in two young wingers.

Amad Diallo was the other signing but he arrives in January, giving Pellistri a chance to make a mark quickly before that happens.

Edinson Cavani and former Red Devil Diego Forlan have both had plenty to say about the 18-year-old which should excite fans.

Read the rest

Liverpool & Man Utd devise project which will shift power to the elite & abolish the EFL Cup

Liverpool and Manchester United have been working together behind the scenes on potentially the biggest shake-up in English football since the foundation of the Premier League.

As revealed by the Telegraph, ‘Project Big Picture‘ will effectively tilt power in favour of the elite, stripping the bottom 14 clubs in the top division of having a vote in decision-making processes.

One glaring issue with this alone is that long-standing top-flight clubs such as our rivals Everton, who have spent a record 117 seasons playing at the pinnacle of English football, will no longer have a say.

Other changes listed in the report include a reduction of the number of teams in the Premier League from 20 to 18 – like the German Bundesliga – and abolishing the EFL Cup and Community Shield.

An interesting idea is one of the promotion system, which could involve both clubs up for … Read the rest

Real Madrid tipped to move for world class striker after he shines at international level with a current Real Madrid star

Although there’s no sign that Erling Haaland is looking to leave Borussia Dortmund anytime soon, there’s always been a feeling that his stay in Germany will simply be a pit stop on his way to something even bigger.

He’s proven that he’s an elite striker and he keeps thriving every time he steps up a level, so it’s easy to see him going to Real Madrid and tearing it up.

Mundo Deportivo have looked at that prospect again today, and it’s suggested that the move could be likely after Haaland linked up superbly with Martin Odegaard for Norway today.

READ MORE: Video: Real Madrid starlet Odegaard produces a fine assist for Haaland vs Romania

His first goal came after the Real Madrid playmaker took the defence out with a fantastic through ball, and the report confirms that Real Madrid are very interested in making the international link up happen at … Read the rest

Thoughts on the Nicklas Bendtner book/podcast/interview

Morning all, a quick Saturday round-up for you.

As an add-on to yesterday’s Arsecast with Nicklas Bendtner, I’d really recommend his interview with the always superb Donald McRae in the Guardian. The headline tells you plenty: ‘I became too fond of the lifestyle that came with the money‘.

For me, when reading the book, it was the thing that jumped out at me most. Not that it should be any surprise to anyone that he liked to party, but even so I was a bit taken aback at times at just how much alcohol was a consistent factor in his life. From an early age, as soon as the money started to come, so did the drinking, the nightclubs, the friends and the hangers-on who always float around people who are happy to spend their own money on a good time. There’s a lot of detail in … Read the rest

United have chance to sign top target who's available for just £40m

RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano will reportedly be available for relatively cheap, giving Manchester United hope of sealing a transfer.

The French talent would’ve been a fantastic addition to the squad this summer and it’s believed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and co considered making the move.

However, Upamecano ended up staying put and United didn’t end up signing a centre-back at all, instead bringing in two right wingers, a left-back, a central midfielder and a striker.

While that was disappointing to many supporters, it does leave room for Solskjaer to go back in for his key target.

However, signing the young defender won’t be easy as there many lining up to secure his valuable signature.

According to the Mirror, Upamecano has a new deal that means he can’t move anywhere until next summer but his release clause has dropped from £52m to £40m, though he will only join a Champions League … Read the rest

Jack Grealish admits his schooling of Liverpool was ‘actually a weird one’

Jack Grealish put Liverpool to the sword last Sunday – and we are not ashamed to admit it.

The Englishman was incredible at Villa Park, scoring twice, assisting three and cutting our defensive-line to shreds with multiple intricate passes.

It turns out Grealish wasn’t even fully fit for the game – and found his own personal performance unexpected and ‘weird’.

“It was actually a weird one,” Grealish told the Guardian when discussing the victory. “I had a fitness test on the day of the Liverpool game (last Sunday).

“I hadn’t even trained for the two days before it because I had a sore hamstring. I didn’t expect to play the way I did.

“(It) doesn’t come around often in your lifetime as a footballer, it was crazy.

“I’m capable of these types of performances. The aim is to do it every weekend like some of the players in this (England) Read the rest

‘Just being horrible’ – Jordan Henderson wants to see England’s nasty side against Belgium

The next England game, against Belgium at Wembley on Sunday, is bound to be one of Gareth Southgate’s toughest tests as manager.

The ‘Red Devils’ as they’re known, are ranked as the best team in the world at present, and with the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and others at Roberto Martinez’s disposal, it’s easy to understand why.

Liverpool midfielder and Three Lions stalwart, Jordan Henderson, has reiterated exactly what he’s expecting from his team-mates, as they go looking for the victory that would see them leapfrog Belgium at the top of the League A Group 2 table.

“We need to have the same identity all the time – that’s playing with passion and desire and just being horrible to play against,” he is quoted as saying by the Daily Star.

“It’s about being really good defensively but also having flair and attacking license to go forward … Read the rest

Mesut Ozil’s Arsenal career is heading for a sad end

Morning.

As expected Arsenal named their Europa League squad yesterday without Mesut Ozil or Sokratis in it. The restrictions on foreign players meant that Mikel Arteta had to choose two players to sit out our European campaign – a decision he has to make about our Premier League by October 20th too – and those were the two casualties.

It’s not a surprise based on what has happened this season. Neither player has been involved in a match-day squad, not even for the Carabao Cup, and there were efforts to move Sokratis on before the transfer deadline. It didn’t happen, but for some time it’s been obvious he has been some way down the manager’s pecking order.

When it comes to Ozil though, the lack of surprise doesn’t negate the fact it’s a big story, a major issue. He remains our highest paid player, in terms of stature and ‘star’ … Read the rest

'Outmanoeuvred': Leading agents lift lid on Man United's botched negotiations – report

Manchester United’s players and leading European agents think the club’s recruitment system is inadequate, according to inside sources.

The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell has had ‘conversations with numerous intermediaries in recent days’ and found that there was ‘an overwhelming consensus that United would perform better if they hired a best-in-class sporting director.’

Whitwell quotes a leading European agent as saying ‘the problem of United is they do not have a clear sport strategy.

‘When you talk to United, you are not talking to football people. This is a pity because they are such a big club, such a historical club.’

Meanwhile, the same reporter claims to have been told by a United dressing room source that ‘several players feel the club “did not fight to the death” to enhance the squad for Solskjaer this summer and that the “sporting direction” at the top of the club has too often been … Read the rest