26 Goals, 14 Assists, £121 Million Quoted: Is Mbappe Arsenal’s Man?

At 18 years of age, most prodigious talents are still at the cusp of breakthrough, but not for this young French stalwart. 1.78m height does not strike fear into the heart of defenders, but his blistering pace with unreal close control, unpredictability and ice-cold predatory movement inside and outside the box surely does. This guy is the player of the future. Any club willing to take the risk with the big sum of money touted; who can keep him grounded, working with a world class coach; is set for his world class performances in the striking department  (barring injuries) for the next 12 years at least.

The Bondy(France) born player scored an incredible 26 goals and created a further 14 goals for his team mates in his debut season as a professional player, winning the Ligue 1 and going as far as the Champions league semi-final with Monaco. It comes as no surprise that he was included in the UCL 18 man squad of the year. So it’s safe to say that he is among the 18 elite players in Europe at the moment..not so bad for an 18 year old.

L’Equipe reported that Arsène Wenger and Gazidis were spotted in Nice of France, and the rumoured deal was Mbappè’s. It should come as no surprise for a man who once said (back in 2010)that a player who is worth £30m should be able to score hat-tricks in every match, but then went out of his way to sign Mesùt Özil from Real Madrid for £42.5m in 2013/2014. So it’s safe to assume that his outlook on big money transfers has changed considerably at the turn of the present decade.

This young lad is the sort of striker Arsenal need to mount a sustained title challenge for years to come. If Arsène can prize him away from Monaco, then his coming to the Emirates stadium will not only complete our attack, but will inspire our academy players to make the final strides of breaking through to the first team; that they can hit the roof yet so young. 

I use to be anti-mega transfers, especially to Arsenal, especially for very young players, but this Mbappè guy is worth every penny being quoted for him. I hope he will heed the wisdom of the sages who have advised him to sign for a team where he will be given the chance to develop and reach his full potentials. Arsenal is such place. A look at Anthony Martial and his ordeals at Manchester United should be enough to persuade him to. 

“Where do you think he might finish? Somewhere where he is sure to play. That is why Deschamps made that statement.

He thinks he needs to play, but I’d say the boy has made enough of an  impression to be sure that a club who spends £100m for you gives you the red carpet treatment.

You have the generation of  players now between 24 and 28 years old who should come in next for the Ballon d’Or.

You have Neymar in there certainly, maybe Griezmann can come in, you have Mbappè”      

-Arsène Wenger.

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European Success Will Not Be A Picnic.

Fans and critics alike are up slabbing off Arsenal for a potential 2nd place UCL group stage finish in this year’s competition after a 2-2 draw at the Emirates stadium with PSG gave the visitors a slight advantage over Arsenal. Inasmuch as I didn’t like the draw one bit, I must admit that it was far from a soft match. PSG are a team with artists and specialists in almost every position, making them a very difficult opponents to play against. It doesn’t mean they are unbeatable, far from it, but they are no pushover either.

What I have come to realise is that Arsenal is very marketable; write anything sensational about them and it goes viral like wildfire, hence the media won’t stop looking for any crap that will get them cheap attention. In this group, we haven’t lost a single game. We have outscored PSG as at match day 5; and if not for the stupid away goal rules, we are on top. So what’s the big deal?

“Sometimes you go through spells when you win a bit less..”

“…we have a special strength in the squad, a consistency in results, we are unbeaten in 18 games..”

..but we have to continue without losing and transform draws into wins.” -Arsène Wenger

Spurs crashed out the other day from a shitty group and it was no news. 

Now their argument is that as usual, Arsenal would be paired with a group topping team in the knock out round, hence won’t progress. It is pure fallacy and very unreasonable. Please don’t say that to them because they will tell you Arsenal haven’t progressed from knockout round for 6 consecutive years. Well wait until we fail to progress this year before sending us all to hell. This competition is meant to be the gathering of elites, of competitive teams who relish challenges; not some glory hunters who want to stroll to the final and play a team as wonderful as Hull City. In every competition, one has to beat the best to be the champion. Istanbul 2005 should come to mind.

This season’s champions league should be a true marker on how much the ARSENAL team have progressed. I am in no way saying we shall win it as we are far from the favourites, but that should not stop us from being ambitious. I am a strong believer of this team. Arsenal are capable of producing  special moments. Who knows, we could clinch our first UEFA Champions league trophy with this new found fighting spirit we produce in patches. To all you Arsenal fans who are worried that we might not finish as group leaders; know what you wish for! The very teams you dread might finish 2nd in their various groups. Believe in your team and fear no opponent because; European success will never be a picnic! To a very good season in Europe! Cheers.

-Fair Play Gooner

No victor, No vanquish.

FT Arsenal 2-2 PSG. It was an exhilarating match foe both teams. Arsenal were brilliant in patches. In the second hal they corrected their shortcomings in the first half, however it was not enough to take the whole points from a very strong PSG side.
As it stands now, PSG will qualify ahead of Arsenal as the group leaders, even if we have better goal difference; because of the head to head rules. Well let’s hope we don’t get very strong opponent in the last 16.

I must mention that Gibbs is not producing a performance worthy of an Arsenal player. Ramsey was ok today, but we missed Santi’s crafts. Giroud needs to run more and help defensively. Finally our September run of draws continued in a night where Arsenal showed just a bit more heart than they did at old Trafford last Saturday.

The battle for SUPREMACY has yielded neither a Victor nor a villain, but the balance has been tilted towards the visitors. To better days. COYG!!

The Battle For Group Supremacy.

Arsenal returns tonight in the UEFA Champions league match day 5 at home to PSG. Both teams are separated by goal difference. It will make this encounter all the more exciting because there is everything to fight for; whoever wins this match tops the group-realistically. Unai Emery will bring his team to Emirates at the back of a comfortable 2-0 home win against Nante in the French league 1 while Arsène Wenger’s men snatched a late goal for a 1-1 draw with Manchester United at old Trafford.

It should be noted that back in September, the reverse fixture in match day 1 produced a spectacular performance from both teams which ended in a 1-1 draw. Both teams have gone on to win the next 3 matches with their various opponents to sit with 10 points each at the top of the group-with Arsenal leading PSG by +3 goals. It must be noted that Arsenal have never been in such control of the group stage like they are in this year’s competitions- in quite a few seasons now. Hence, it’s of utmost importance that we produce a match winning performance to end the group contest-realistically.

Many might argue that there is still one more round of matches for everyone, but don’t be deceived, whoever wins today’s wins this group. Unai’s bosses would want him to progress as the group leader to have a better chance of making the quarter finals. Arsène on the other hand would want his team to avoid the very big boys in the second round, hence he would want to win the group stage.

Comparing these two teams, there is not much difference between them. But here, I will tip Arsenal to get the better of them because;

  • We drew with them at Paris playing poorly.
  • We shall be having the little home advantage playing at Emirates stadium affords us.
  • The boys will want to get back to winning ways after two back to back draws.

Both teams do not have new injury worries, though some papers are reporting that Di Maria is a doubt for today’s game. Let’s hope the boys produce a performance that will install us as the group leaders in today’s battle for group supremacy. COYG!

-Fair Play Gooner.

Alexis And Özil’s Contract Stans Off.

                   Source: Getty Image

The details of Mesut Özil and Chilean Alexis’ contract extension are not known to anybody outside the boardroom at the moment. However, that has not stopped speculations in various section of the media on what might be or not be the reason for the “delay” in their contract negotiation. Rumour has it that they both are demanding in the excess of  £200k/wk in wages amongst other things.

The duo joined Arsenal few years ago from two of the world’s biggest teams; Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Mesut Özil is still Arsenal’s record signing at £43M. Alexis arrived in a big money move for around £35m a year after the former was signed. They both have formed the spine of what is now the new look Arsenal; and are they a delight to watch? Talking of which this VIDEO is a prime example of how good they are.

“If you love to watch football, you love Mesut Özil”

-Arsène Wenger

In today’s world where teenagers command almost half that wage to sit on the bench most of the time, it looks quite cheap to pay them that money-to be honest. No one would doubt the input of both players. They have been absolutely outstanding for our team and are the players we look up to when we need inspiration. Özil’s artistic vision on the pitch and Alexis tireless forward displays week in week out deserves a reward from the Arsenal big wigs. 

If they can get some more deadwoods like Debuchy, Sanogo and  (recently) Mertesacker off the wage bill, then there would be enough cash to balance the books. Let’s face it, these players have little to offer us now. Debuchy is not even a backup to Bellerin, Mertesacker is further down the pecking order behind Mustafi, Koscielny, Gabriel and Holding. (Not forgetting Chambers on loan at Middlesbrough). Sanogo is a conundrum. I believe these players would be axed by next summer-if they are not moved on by January transfer window.

“I chose him because Alexis is a guy who can take people on and I knew that would be a quality that would work. He’s always a player who is not scared of anybody”

The good thing about Alexis and Özil is that they came in with huge reputation, lived up to their hype and are developing well under the watchful eyes of Wenger. Alexis has added penalty box predation to his lockers while Özil has added goalscoring to his many strong points. These are markers that these guys are not gonna relax on their laurel as they are as ambitious as they are winners. These are the type of players Arsenal need to hold onto at all cost, hence they should be given what they are requesting. Bayern Munich would pay Özil that amount without blinking. Juventus would be too glad to prize Alexis away from Arsenal.

So their contract renewal would represent a further show of intent that Arsenal are no more a selling club, and that we are well and capable of competing with the rest of European heavyweights. Let’s secure the future of our best players. I am convinced that this will be a golden generation for Arsenal.