6 thoughts on Arsenal: the Present may look grim, but the Future looks bright. Here’s why…


I’ve been thinking too much. I’d say we all have.

Here are ‘6 thoughts on Arsenal.’

1. So transfer fees are going to fall. I’m not worried for Arsenal as Xhaka’s price may fall to £20M but then so does his replacement’s. What is going to be fascinating is the fire sales. Firstly, I think of the elite potential that some Championship clubs have that may need to be sold to help them survive. I recommend watching Ebe Eze at QPR and Ovie Ejaria on loan at Reading from Liverpool. Both look like what we hoped Alex Iwobi was going to be. Potential game changers.

Then you move on to players at bigger clubs. We need an athletic DM and West Ham are apparently in financial trouble. Declan Rice has some of the best stats in Europe. 

If West Ham are in trouble could we get half price Zaha?

Players that we are allegedly interested in may see their prices plummet if their clubs need to survive. Are Leicester going to need to sell more than the ‘one sale per season’ policy they’ve had recently? I think of N’didi. You may be thinking of Soyuncu?

Two players that were probably beyond our reach may drop to the £40M mark.

You could look worldwide and I could go on forever with names, so if you care to do so, I’d advise looking at players from clubs in financial jeopardy then looking at their squads. Mings, Diop, Buendia, Tarkowski. I’ll stop.

2. Arsenal might be positioned perfectly.

Projecting forward, I’d imagine that clubs will either be more reluctant to spend or can’t spend.

So, what’s the new method of improvement if knocking on the Chairman’s door goes silent? 

I’m thinking it’s two areas in particular.

Clubs will have to rely on their academy’s. We have arguably our best crop in most of our lifetimes with another wave (Balogun, Azeez etc..) coming through. 

Advantage Arsenal.


Clubs will have to hope their coaches can improve what they have. Regardless of what we think of David Luiz as a player, he’s been exposed to some of the most successful coaches in modern football. He, amongst many others, says that Mikel Arteta has the potential to be “one of the best coaches in football.” 

Advantage Arsenal.

3. Not only is Arteta being complimented for his work at Colney, but he seems to have the golden ticket.

Many coaches fail simply because the players lose respect for them or never respected them from the outset.

Without knowing exactly what happened this week, it sure seems like the players were divided almost 50/50 on taking wage cuts.

In swoops Mikel. Done. 


Let’s remember that this is an area that he can only suggest not enforce.

I’d say Arsenal have a coach who holds the golden ticket. The one that all coaches strive for. The one that Emery felt the need to try to earn from minute one by asking the players to take a few steps closer to him (you remember that cringy video?).

The golden ticket is maximum respect.

4. I picked up on another aspect of coaching that impressed me about Mikel Arteta yesterday. On his .com video he mentioned that the videos that the players are currently watching on individual improvement are not given with solutions attached. He’s making them tell him how they would change certain scenarios. This may not seem like a big deal but most coaches I’ve come across are too insecure to allow a player to problem solve when giving them the answer and therefore seeming clever is an option. 


5. Are we looking at Willian, Boateng, Kurzawa and Fraser because them being free allows us to go for our primary targets in other more important areas? If for example, we got Kurzawa and Boateng and sold Kola, Sokratis and Mustafi giving us the money to buy Thomas Partey by selling three squad players AND getting upgrades in Boateng and Kurzawa, isn’t this what needs to happen?

6. I always like to think what I would do if I was the Arsenal coach. During these times I would be giving daily drills and exercises to all my players that would make them two footed. I’ve never understood why this is not a prerequisite of a professional footballer. It’s frankly embarrassing to watch a professional player refuse to make a pass on the run because they have to shift it. I’d give an example but it’s almost all of them so…  This would be easy and reap huge benefits as it’s the small details that separate these elite sportsman.

Thanks for reading my 6 thoughts.

Did this prompt any thoughts in you?

These 6 could have been an individual blog each but I’ve learnt something recently. I’ve learnt that in this time of difficulty, that I’ve been given a chance to slow down and prioritize my family.

I hope you are all well are taking advantage of this opportunity too 😊


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6 Responses to 6 thoughts on Arsenal: the Present may look grim, but the Future looks bright. Here’s why…

  1. Uwot? April 18, 2020 at 10:31 am #

    Excellent write up.Full of positivity.what we need in these doom n gloom times.Tend to agree with you re the transfers.There will potentially be a lot of clubs having to bite the bullet with some of their star players.Rich pickings on a shoestring budget!

    • Mike April 18, 2020 at 1:29 pm #

      Thanks for the kind words! I know Arteta wants deals wrapped up quickly but if we are patient I think as time goes by more clubs will become more desperate to sell. May be smarter to wait to buy?

    • Nikki April 18, 2020 at 2:15 pm #

      Great write up.
      I agree and disagree with the points you make.

      1. Ebe Eze is great, but I can’t believe people sleeping on the single best player that propell West Brom towards promotion. Which is, Matheus Perreira. Please look and analyze him Mike. There’s a lot of Championship player that can make us better, which because of Covid and how Championship players seems to be underestimated until they are emerges in the EPL, like Grealish, McGinn, Buendia, will make them much cheaper than imports player.

      My list on player that can improve us and om budget are:
      a. Ollie Watkins (This guy is so underrated even though he got the awards for best player in the Championship and also an Arsenal fans)
      b. Benrahma (Not much has to be said)
      c. Matheus Perreira (Comparable to Aouar and Havertz plus a threat in set pieces)
      d. Kalvin Phillips (Xhaka with more energy)
      e. Baptiste Santamaria (We need to be all over him, if Partey is not visible or we focus on quantity plus quality in budget)
      f. Ben White (Looks good and more of an interceptor passer than a high tackler, suitable as a partner for Saliba)
      g. Baldock (A great right back who can play in midfield too)
      h. Hassane Kamara (Decent Kolasinac replacement, 7 MOTM for Reims, high interception and tacklers, can play in midfield, his age profiles is not too young, so complimentary with Tierney)

      2. I don’t think we need to overrate our academy too much. I think they need to prove themshelves first, unless it’s really neccessary like Saka case. Balogun seems to be bigged up by a lot of our fans. If he is like, Moukoko from Dortmund (break goals records in every age group, star in uefa youth league, just look for him) i can understand. But he is not, and i believe we need to ease him up and give him a loan opportunity, like Nketiah.

      3 &4. Agree with your point

      5. Kurzawa and Boateng are declining heavily. Especially Kurzawa. Not a good investment on our wages, stay away from them.

      6. Agreed.

      Hopefully we can be much better next season with a more prepared Arteta and a better squad.

  2. Cape Town Gooner April 18, 2020 at 10:56 am #

    Excellent article…….but one point of concern. We have some really talented forwards in our youth system, some already becoming regulars in our first team and other real possibilities for the next season. BUT where are our defenders…..why no centre half or either backs, why no attacking midfielder in the Rocastle mould? How many centre forwards can we accommodate….or who will become inpatient in a crowded field?

    If you haven’t already seen the hour long BBC documentary on Rocastle and Ian Wright give yourself a treat. It’s on YouTube and is very much about Rocastle. What players they were… can measure Ian Wright by the fact that he was our top goalscorer ever until Thierry Henry, and he only joined Arsenal at the age of 28! Rocastle may be a ‘once in a lifetime’ player but I hope that we can uncover another one.

    And I agree with all the points made by Mike McDonald……..just keep the faith.

  3. Nikki April 18, 2020 at 2:51 pm #

    It seems my first comment is too long, so it’s been moderated.

    So, to sum up:
    Great write up Mike, i agree with point 3,4 & 6.
    I slightly disagree on points 1,2 & 5.

    Points 1: Try looking and analyzing Matheus Perreira, Mike. He is being forgotten eventhough he is the best player at West Brom, and helping them towards near promotion. He is comparable to Aouar or Havertz and great at set piece too.
    Other player to look out for on budget: Ollie Watkins, Benrahma, Kalvin Phillips, Baptiste Santamaria or Sangare, Ben White, Hassane Kamara (7 MOTM as a LB, great defensively), Baldock.

    Points 2. Balogun and others are great, but needs loan. Try looking at Moukoko from Dortmund, if we have that kind of talent, i can understand fast tracking him.

    Points 5. Boateng and especially Kurzawa are declining heavily. Stay away from them.

  4. Victor Thompson April 18, 2020 at 4:11 pm #

    Hi Mike,

    3. comments to consider; ( 1 ) George Best was just as good on his left foot as he was with his right when he played top rate football. He wasn`t naturally gifted as Santi was. He used to spend hours when he was playing schools football, to develop his left foot skill.

    ( 2 ) I am reading “Wenger Arsenal, the Legend” by Jasper Rees and he has factually recorded that Arsene was a decent footballer who played for a mumber of lower grade French teams including his home town Strasbourg. He was always a grade above his colleagues but he attracted a lot of Coaches from those teams because he was an introvert who spent his youth studyiing how to best make the most tactically from fast, powerful players. He was simmering as a coach in teams nationally while many French international players who had played with him were making names for themselves. He blended with Max Hild, his coach at Strasbourg and Paul Frantz, another welll respected player and coach. By the time he went to Galaxy 10 in Japan, he was well known and regarded as a scholar of the game with whom many of the coaches in France sought advice from him. Arteta profited from his coaching and he admits that he follows many of Arsene`s ethics. ( 3 ) Willian has caused us grief throughout his career with Chelsea and in the latter stages this year he played as well as he ever has. I hope we can get him as he still has two seasons left in him and he would be a great mentor for our Academy players.

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