How Arsenal are untying their transfer knot

Earlier this week Unai Emery exposed just how close Arsenal are to their Financial Fair Play limits while considering new player signings.

In an honest but self-defaming comment on Arsenal’s transfer situation, Emery, amid speculation that Barcelona’s Denis Suarez and/or China-occupant Yannick Ferreira Carrasco could be arriving at Colney any day, said this about the January window:

“We cannot sign permanently. We can only loan players. (…) We can sign players later on.”

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Ramsey in January: Sell or keep?

As this blog wrote earlier about Ramsey and if he’s worth a contract extension or not (before the news about contract talks breaking down last week), it concluded that he does deserve an extension but nowhere near what he is reported asking for.

Now, everything points toward the exit door for the Welshman, even more so than when Özil and Alexis where in a similar position one year ago, as his agent have commented, “The club made a decision. Life goes on,” and, “He didn’t want to leave, but now there’s no other option,” when confronted about the news on Twitter.

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Thoughts up to dry: Is Ramsey worth an extension?

Similarly to Alexis and Özil’s situastion at this time last year, another key figure at Arsenal, Ramsey, is edging uncomfortably close to the tipping point regarding his summer-expiring contract.

Why he is yet to extend his contract no one knows. Is it a money issue? Does Ramsey want to play more centrally? Is the Welshman yet to click the pen ready because he wants to see how Emery’s Arsenal unfolds? Or is it Arsenal who are stalling? Again, we don’t know. But regardless, is he worth an extension?

What does his stats, comparisons to others, potential for replacement and his role at the club tell us?

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The final acts of Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal – A long read

A stroll through the final 12 years of Le Professeur’s time as “the boss”.

While riding the tsunami of success after the Invinsibles season in 03/04, and the six other trophies Wenger and Arsenal plundered since his appointment in 1996, they set out on a bigger adventure as the club announced a new stadium to stand ready in 2006. This is when the final acts of Arsène Wenger’s reign in north London began.

A time Wenger himself described in May 2017 as, “That was, for me, the biggest period of pressure between 2006 and 2014. If you told me today I’d do that again I would say ‘no thank you, I’ll leave that to someone else.’”

It is a tale of a new time, difficult choices, successes and failures, and a surprise ending.

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Making some sense of Arsenal’s transfer window

The summer transfer gossip always gets way out of hand, especially for glistening Arsenal eyes. Media put their flashiest bait on the hook and don’t have to wait long before we eagerly bite. Ousmane Dembélé is available for sale? Of course he’ll join us, even though we don’t have Champions League football or the money, and the fact that a number of bigger clubs would be drooling at the opportunity.

It makes dreamers out of all of us. Even the most cynical bastards, like me. But let’s be realistic for a moment.

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Arsenal can make moves this summer. Here’s how

Taking a close look at Arsenal’s squad registration and Short Term Cost Control situation before the summer spending begins.

The transfer window has opened, and before every silly season I, and hopefully the club, go through the logistics of the squad and how much the club can actually spend on recruitments before it shuts on August 9th.

There haven’t been any deals yet from Arsenal this transfer window. Although, as usual, many have been reported close to signing for the club. The only changes have been in the staff at the Emirates.

Wenger and two handfuls of staff have so far only been replaced by the new head coach, Emery. The Spaniard’s own staff has yet to arrive: Perhaps the reason Arsenal haven’t finalised any player signings yet.

A massive overhaul of the staff is imminent, there has been significant changes to the squad in the last year and the potential for further changes in the squad is there too, in Emery’s first summer at Arsenal. But how?

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Keywords for Arsenal ahead of the last battle in Madrid

Negatives and positives, the club’s dreadful away record and Wenger’s thoughts.

Arsenal had grabbed hold of the long straw in London before Atletico’s Griezmann snatched it right out of their hands with ten minutes left on the clock. The Gunners were left with the short straw in a performance only held back by an absolute calamity of a goal conceded, but the signs were promising. It’s now time for Arsenal to go to Madrid and nab the long straw back.

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Arsenal leave stars in London against Man Utd

Squad info and how the team will likely line up against Man Utd, and in Madrid on Thursday.

Arsenal facing Man United on Sunday, between the two ties against Atletico Madrid, is awkward to say the least. Even with nothing to play for in the league, a lot of pride and importance is involved in a rivalry like the one at Old Trafford. It might also be Wenger’s last ever battle with Mourinho. It puts the Frenchman in a tough predicament.

How should the Gunners line up against Man United when every one of their starting players are crucial against Atletico on Thursday? Which is also one of Wenger’s most important games of his career.

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The managers most fit to take over for Wenger, according to Arsenal’s stated wishlist

Arsenal have begun their search for a new manager for the first time in 22 years, with possible competition from Chelsea’s Abramovich if his notoriously fragile patience runs out again after the season.

On Friday’s already infamous announcement, Gazidis revealed the different principles the board will be looking for in their candidates for the fresh Arsenal job.

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A compilation of tributes to Arséne Wenger

“I am in a job where you always look in front of you. Unfortunately, the older you get, the less distance there is in front of you.”

“When I retire, I will buy a season ticket, wear red and white, and hope Arsenal win on a Saturday”

– Arsène Wenger.

There has been a thunderstorm of tributes and people wanting to give their last appraisal of the manager since the announcement on Friday morning, which revealed he will be leaving after the season.

It seems like actually every person in the football sphere has contributed. And that speaks volumes to the impact Wenger had on them and the world of football.

Here is a fraction of what people have said.

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From Russia with concern

(This was written before the Newcastle game. There’s obviously more reason for concern now…)

Arsenal were almost victim of another comeback story in Moscow. If not for a moment of shocking brilliance from Welbeck, who suddenly seemed to channel his inner Neymar to put the tie to bed, in a period when CSKA had seized all the momentum. Arsenal’s season could have concluded then and there.

At 0-2, few Arsenal fans could help but envisage CSKA’s comeback coming to fruition. “It’s happened to Barcelona against Roma, it happened in spirit for Juventus against Real Madrid and Salzburg is currently doing it against Lazio. Of course it’s going to happen against ARSENAL!”

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James McNicholas: The football writing/acting chameleon, and the back side of sports journalism

How a fan became one of the most prominent voices on everything Arsenal, and stories about Sir Alex Ferguson and how it all came down to the colour red.

James McNicholas’ story of how he became a successful football writer depicts the back side of journalism that contains freelance workers, as well as two passions which compete for his time and energy in two extremely ambitious occupations.

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Arsenal today and evaluating Arsène Wenger’s possible successors

The heated and never-ending discussion about Arsène Wenger’s future at Arsenal seems to reach new heights every year. After two consecutive seasons of sub-par results, even by rare optimistic fan’s standards, Arsenal seem to have lost more and more identity in their style of playing. And that was what us fans usually held onto when we under-performed, we might not be winning enough but we “played beautiful football”.

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