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Gary Seven

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  1. We will find out. I figure it will go pretty well for awhile. Then it just depends.
  2. I worry (well, worry probably isn't the right word since I would actually find it kind of funny) how Alexis' and Jose's egos will exist compatibly. Alexis seems to need to be the center of attention. He's often seemed to be playing more for Alexis than for Arsenal. How much freedom will Jose give him? How will Alexis react when Mourinho, as he inevitably will, subs him? Will Mourinho bench him if he tries to do too much on his own and starts giving the ball away or making bad passes? Can Jose put up with Alexis' eccentricities in exchange for his match-winning abilities? I don't know. It will be fascinating to see. I honestly could see it going badly just as easily as well.
  3. I would argue that the ones leaving are generally expendable and some should have been moved on long ago. The squad was far too big. No room for new signings or for youth products to get their chance. Out with the old, in with the new. Arsenal needs better players. Even Alexis (reports of unpopularity and disruption aside), if replaced by Mkhitarian and Aubameyang, well that's a positive to me.
  4. Maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part, but I can see this marriage between Mourinho and Sanchez going very sour. Huge egos. Not sure Alexis will be that happy in Jose's system, which tends to stifle creativity more than encourage it. We'll see. Maybe it will be a stroke of genius. But I can see it going either way. Possibly quickly.
  5. I'll throw my two cents worth in here. In retrospect, it was a mistake to keep Alexis this year. Should have sold him on and replaced him. He has become a problem and may have cost the team a chance at finishing in the top 4 (although it's still possible). But I say that as someone who advocated keeping him, even if it meant running down his contract and losing him for nothing. I thought his presence gave the team a much better chance of getting back into the top 4 and that would more than offset the financial hit of letting him walk. After all, despite all the doom and gloom, Arsenal finished 5th last season with 75 points -- more than in the 2nd place finish the previous season. No other club had ever compiled that many points and finished outside the top 4 in the Premier League era. They finished just 3 points behind City and 5 ahead of United. So it wasn't such doom and gloom as is portrayed in retrospect. I thought that once the transfer window was closed Alexis would be professional and give his best effort. But he has largely gone through the motions and by all accounts he's created a lot of division on the team. Hopefully he'll be out the door tomorrow. Looking back, I should have seen a red flag when Bayern dropped their interest in Alexis last summer because of his salary demands. At the time, they looked a better bet than City to win both domestic and European trophies. They're still a better bet than United, but I guess money must have been his primary motivation all along (certainly his decision to jilt City for United would seem to be purely based on money). As for Ramsey, Wilshere and Ozil, I would be surprised if the first two aren't extended. I think there's a good chance Ozil will stick around as well. He seems to genuinely love the club and living in London. So we'll see. Whatever the reasons for both club and player that it wasn't done sooner, I don't know. Honestly, the thing that has disappointed me in recent years is the club's inability to improve on the defensive end. Sometimes I think Arsene (who I will always love for his contributions to the club) has been too loyal to his players. He's put too much faith into players who either never reached their potential, have been too inconsistent or simply weren't good enough in the first place. He's probably put too much faith into a system and a philosophy as well. But things seem to be changing now and I remain the eternal optimist. Several players were moved on in the summer who probably should have been moved on sooner (maybe Arsenal's pay structure made that difficult). Walcott, Coquelin and soon Alexis will be gone. But it looks as though they'll be replaced by Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan, which I see as a plus. Possibly the young stud Malcom as well, if not this month maybe in the summer. The current window seems to be largely the work of Sven Mislintat, the new head of recruitment who came from Dortmund. Changes seem to be happening throughout the club. Whether they can salvage a top 4 finish this year (or do as United did last year and win their way back into the Champions League by winning the Europa) remains to be seen. But strange things are afoot at the Circle K.
  6. They paid £35 million for Oxlade-Chamberlain. By the way, Keita is a nice player. Good signing for Liverpool.
  7. Brings to mind two old adages: games aren't played on paper and don't read too much into preseason.
  8. Just the other day I was remembering how last summer everyone had practically crowned Real Madrid as champions this year. Barcelona was in crisis and RM looked unbeatable. Before they played in Miami, BeIN sports was interviewing fans of both clubs and even the Barcelona fans didn't think they had a chance.
  9. I saw him play a fair few times at Monchengladbach and he was excellent. I was excited to get him too. He was a tough, aggressive (maybe too aggressive to the point of being undisciplined) deep-lying playmaker. He's had some good performances for Arsenal, but just not consistently. He seems unfocused much of the time. Hopefully he can overcome it.
  10. Is this going to be the new Gerrard vs. Lampard debate?
  11. Just been watching my favorite Spanish club, Valencia, crushing Las Palmas. Luciano Vietto, who they just picked up on loan from Atletico a few days ago, has a hat trick. His lofted his third goal over the keeper's head and into the net from almost the center circle. What a start to his Valencia career! I'm guessing the decision has already been made to pick up the option to buy at the end of his loan deal.
  12. A lot of buzz today about Arsenal possibly buying Cristian Pavon from Boca Juniors. I used to watch Boca all the time, but don't get the game from Argentina anymore. Supposedly a top young talent. Anybody seen him? Looks like it could be a busy January for the Gunners. Possibly Alexis, Coquelin, Elneny and Walcott out. God only knows who in.
  13. Thanks Stan! Seems like a very welcoming place so far.
  14. Haha. Thankfully I'm a very laid back person, so I don't get angry about it. But it can get frustrating at times. But beautiful at times as well.
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