Reading between the lines of Arteta’s press conference

Happy Friday to you.

Mikel Arteta met the press (over Zoom) yesterday, and just over three weeks after we won the FA Cup, we’re back up and running again. As you can imagine there was a lot to get through, with the manager being asked about fitness, Covid-19, fans being allowed back in the stadium, transfers, contracts, the futures of individual players, Black Lives Matter, and more.

The easiest way to do this is by highlighting the most important/interesting bits, so let’s do that, starting with:

Gabriel Magalhaes

When a player is in London on Monday for a medical, there are expectations that he’ll be announced not long after. The thing about transfers is that there are all kinds of little things involved which can prevent the deal being fully completed. There are two clubs involved, the player, his representatives, so there are lots of Is to dot and TsRead the rest

‘I can only do that with you’ – Messi spells out why Man City move is crucial

The notion that Lionel Messi might stay at Barcelona is getting more and more unlikely, and quotes recently attributed to him might go some way to explaining why he apparently wants a move to Manchester City.

The Argentinian looked completely drained at the end of Barca’s horrific 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Though the Catalans had lost disappointingly in European football’s premier competition against both Roma and Liverpool, Messi’s body language against Bayern was different and suggested he’d had enough.

With the team around him unable to muster up decent performances on a weekly basis, and deals being done such as the Arthur Melo/Miralem Pjanic swap which made no sense other then financial, the chances of silverware both on a personal and club level were getting slimmer.

“The call (to Guardiola) happened, and Messi said to Pep: ‘I want to win the next two Ballon … Read the rest

The kids are….a fiscal necessity

Player 2019-20 Premier League minutes
Gabriel Martinelli 475
Joe Willock 696
Ainsley Maitland-Niles 1269
Reiss Nelson 614
Eddie Nketiah 636
Emile Smith Rowe 97
Bukayo Saka 1743
Total 4910

This season, Arsenal gave more than 4,000 minutes to academy graduates [and Gabriel Martinelli] aged 22 or under for the first time in over a decade. They also finished 8th in the Premier League table. This is not to assign blame to the academy players for Arsenal’s poor league season but the two facts are not entirely mutually exclusive.

It’s well established that there is a trade-off between points and development. As Arsene Wenger once said, “You pay for the education of young players with points. At some stage, I must say, as a manager you feel lonely to stand up and say, ‘No, I want this boy to play because he deserves it.’ You learn your job at 23-years of … Read the rest

Report claims Man United midfielder has retired from international duty after a falling out

It does feel like most club sides see international football as an inconvenience rather than a matter of pride when it comes to letting players play for their country, so there is likely a lot of relief when someone retires from international duty.

Man United midfielder Nemanja Matic has 48 caps and 2 goals for Serbia, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be adding to that after a report from Serbian outlet Mozzart Sport.

They claim that he’s had a falling out with the Serbian FA over how certain things were handled, so he’s decided to retire from international duty.

READ MORE: Man United should move for €20m rated outcast to improve their team and allow youngster to go out on loan

It’s an interesting situation because they go on to suggest that he was going to be in Serbia’s upcoming squad and he’s an important player, so they aren’t … Read the rest

Pre-season kicks off with a win + Arteta communication anticipation

Morning.

So we played our first game of pre-season last night, beating MK Dons 4-1, and scoring all the goals in the process. I watched the first half, didn’t see the second, and as ever with games like this there’s not a huge amount to be read into them. First and foremost this was a fitness exercise ahead of the weekend when we face Liverpool in the Community Shield. Still, there were a couple of interesting things.

We got our first look at William Saliba in an Arsenal shirt, for one. With all due respect to last night’s opponents, he’s obviously going to face much more challenging opposition in the Premier League, but you can see what’s going on with him. He’s tall, quick, and good on the ball, his passing was excellent. What I liked most about that was how much intent he put into those passes: the weight … Read the rest

Chelsea can immediately recoup €20m as Chilwell signing frees up outcast to move on

Usually one player coming in results in another leaving the club, and that appears to be the case with Chelsea and Ben Chilwell.

The Guardian reported that Chelsea signed the Leicester City man for a fee of around £50m, so it will be interesting to see if he lives up to that price tag.

Any doubters will wonder if Chelsea have made an error by paying so much, but it looks much better when you realise they can immediately get some money back by selling Emerson Palmieri.

READ MORE: How Chelsea’s new defence will look next season with Ben Chilwell and two additional signings

Football Italia have confirmed that Emerson is now free to join Inter Milan after the arrival of Chilwell, and the Italian side could end up paying as much as €20m to make that happen.

They point out that it’s even more likely after Inter refused to … Read the rest

Arsenal have to sell, and the market knows it

Things are starting to move a little bit in the transfer market for Arsenal. Gabriel Magalhaes was in London yesterday to complete his move to Arsenal. There was a medical, everything appears to be sorted, and it’s now just the matter of an announcement. Hopefully there are no last minute hitches with photos or something to delay things.

In seriousness though, his arrival boosts our central defensive options, you can see how he might be seen as one to play alongside William Saliba in the future, but it also means our collection of central defenders has grown. Something’s gotta give there. And here’s the thing, the fact we’re completely overloaded in this position means our leverage in the market is not great.

Everyone knows we’ve got to sell, so it’s not as if interested clubs have to prise us away from assets we don’t want to lose, they know that … Read the rest

Barcelona are bracing themselves for an approach from Man United for Lionel Messi

The next few weeks at Barcelona are going to be fascinating, especially if Lionel Messi does manage to force his way out of the club.

The Argentine superstar is 33 so he probably has two or three years left at the highest level, so it does suggest that his next club will need to have a chance of immediate success.

It’s so easy to link him to Man City because of Pep Guardiola and their financial backing, but it also sounds like Man United are going to have a real run at trying to sign him.

They’ve been trying to sign a right sided forward all summer so Messi would be a perfect fit, while he would also bring a whole new level of threat that could elevate them to the elite level again.

READ MORE: Lionel Messi’s decision to quit Barcelona came after harsh words from Ronald Koeman in

Read the rest

Arsecast Extra Episode 369 – 24.08.2020

Welcome to another Arsecast Extra, the Arsenal podcast, with myself and James from @gunnerblog.

On today’s show we chat about the Champions League final, the departure of Freddie Ljungberg from the coaching staff, the hiring of a specialist set-piece coach, the impending arrival of Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille, and some of the other transfer rumours doing the rounds – in particular the midfoeld players we’re linked with. James tries to pick his Community Shield team, we make our guesses at how much we’ll spend during the transfer window and how much we’ll bring in, and there are questions about some of the new players joining the Academy, worries about the lack of outgoing transfers so far, players last longer than they used to, the top BBQers at the club and loads more – including Batman waffle.

Remember, you can send us questions via which we’ll try and get to … Read the rest

‘Life is too short’ – Man City want to turn the page with UEFA

For years to come, the 2019/20 season which has taken over a year to complete, is bound to be talked about and remembered.

From the enforced suspension of all of the leagues because of COVID-19 to having to condense the end of the season into a period of a few weeks with games every few days, it has been totally unique.

One of the major sporting issues involved a potential Champions League ban for Manchester City after UEFA had accused them of Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches.

An appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport was ultimately successful for the Premier League club, and now chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, wants to draw a line under the matter.

“Life is too short to carry grudges,” he said to Manchester City’s official website and cited by BBC Sport.

“It is one of the most prestigious competitions in the world of sports … Read the rest