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

(Video) Connor Coady gives beautiful interview and Reds wonder what could have been

Connor Coady scored his first England goal last night, and the Wolves captain gave a memorable interview post-match.

He spoke brilliantly to ITV – and you can check it out in the video below:

Coady was a highly-rated member of the Liverpool Academy and under Kenny Dalglish, it looked like he might get a proper chance in the first-team.

But Brendan Rodgers came in and Coady dropped down the pecking order and had to make his name in the lower leagues instead.

Now a Premier League and international star, many Reds on Twitter questioned if the … Read the rest

Worrying signs at Man United as star blames toxic dressing room for forcing him out of the club

It’s amazing to think that things were actually looking very positive for Man United after the Covid-19 shutdown earlier in the year.

Bruno Fernandes made a huge difference to the team and they were actually quite exciting to watch for a while, but they’ve done nothing to build on that this summer and looks like the downward spiral is beginning again.

There’s little sign of positive feeling on the pitch after some dreadful performances and a questionable transfer strategy, but some reports are now suggesting that all is not well in the dressing room either.

READ MORE: Photo: Man United fans get a first look at Edinson Cavani in the club shirt

Our colleagues at Stretty News picked up on a report from Italian outlet La Repubblica, and it looks like Romelu Lukaku has lifted the lid on how bad things are behind the scenes.

He blames Paul Pogba … Read the rest

Marketing

Assessing the outright success of a transfer window before your new players have had a chance to settle in and, you know, play, is a tricky assignment. One can only look at it from a purely administrative point of view at this stage- which areas did Arsenal identify according to our understanding and in which areas did Arsenal manage to recruit?

There is a cautionary tale about judging on any other basis. Last summer Arsenal absolutely needed a high end-product wide player and they bought one at great expense in Nicolas Pepe. It didn’t make the team any better (which is not to ‘blame’ Pepe personally, you understand). We will have to wait and see exactly how the pieces fit and allow all of the variable factors that determine the success of a transfer to eventuate.

Arsenal acted quickly on the majority of their signings. Matri, Soares and Willian were … Read the rest

'Treating him like crap'- Man United fans bemoan treatment of star

Manchester United fans were not too pleased to see Sergio Romero was excluded from the first team’s Champions League squad, directing their concerns to the club.

The Argentine goalkeeper was said to be the subject of interest from Everton but those at Old Trafford were against the move.

It’s believed that had to do with the Toffees’ offer being a loan move and not a permanent transfer and so United rejected it.

Romero’s wife reacted by publicly publishing a rant online, which many fans found rather amusing yet saddening.

Many felt the experienced keeper had earned his right to whatever move he desired given his service to the club over the years.

Fans said the following:

“Romero, we the fans appreciate you and wish the club and manager gives you the respect that you deserve…”

“Feel bad for Romero, he had done nothing wrong yet he is surplus to requirement.”… Read the rest