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

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

‘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

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

Worrying signs for Chelsea as vital new signing picks up an injury on international duty

There’s never a good time or situation for an injury to occur, but this might be one of the worst for Edouard Mendy.

He’s just joined Chelsea and he’s trying to establish himself in the team, while this international break is pointless for Senegal as it’s just meaningless friendlies that nobody really cares about, so these reports will be worrying:

Describing missing games “at the very least” is never a good sign because that shows that it’s not clear how bad the injury is just now, and Chelsea could really do with Mendy recovering quickly.

He might not be the highest profile or the most exciting addition to Frank Lampard’s squad this summer, but he’s certainly the most important … Read the rest

Tactics Column: Aubameyang makes his case to be Arsenal’s middle man

The trademark goal of Mikel Arteta’s early Arsenal reign, seen against Manchester City, Liverpool, Fulham, has a familiar ending. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang lurks on the far side of the pitch, the left, before the ball arrives at his feet at the final moment. And he scores. The perfect use of Arsenal’s best goalscorer.

But is it a waste of Arsenal’s most intelligent mover? Playing Aubameyang out wide has meant another striker, namely Eddie Nketiah or Alexandre Lacazette, has started every single game since Arteta took over. Even Joe Willock, off the bench, has filled in the sort-of-false-nine-pressing role in the centre of the frontline, with Aubameyang remaining on the left.

But moving the Gabonese into the middle of the pitch against Sheffield United on Sunday allowed Arsenal to have an additional creative player on the pitch and the Gunners instantly looked more dangerous. It might sound counter-intuitive to say Arsenal could … Read the rest

Video: More positive signs for Barcelona’s Griezmann as he wins the ball back and scores from distance for France

We may never really know what happened with Antoine Griezmann at Barcelona last season, but his transfer didn’t go to plan at all.

There were rumours that Diego Simeone had run him into the ground, he didn’t like being played on the left, Suarez and Messi wanted him to fail and he had injury issues, so it’s likely that multiple factors caught up with him.

He’s got a chance to start again with Ronald Koeman and it does look like he’ll be played through the middle this season, so the Barca fans will be happy to see that there are more encouraging signs around his game.

He’s struggled to find the net in La Liga but he scored for France tonight after showing some hard work to win the ball back, while that persistence was rewarded with a deflection that took it beyond the keeper:

Pictures from TF1

It’s possible … Read the rest