Koulibaly to Arsenal after we beat Napoli, The Black Panther is a Gooner, Merson, Overmars and Dubai here we fly!!

Arsenal news round-up – 18th March 2019

With the FA Cup quarter-finals upon us and the coming international break, it will be a quiet time on the pitch for us.
So let’s do another news-round-up, of intriguing events over the recent period.

UEFA Europa League – Rennes win, Napoli is next, and the King of Wakanda plays for Arsenal…

We did well to defeat Rennes in the second leg, though Napoli is up next. They have been Juventus’s strongest challengers in Serie A, and they have top players like Koulibaly. But so do we. And they can fear us as much as we can fear them.

Carlo Ancelotti is coming back to England, but with his Napoli side in our Europa League quarter-final.

We’re playing the first leg at home, and this will be a key advantage. They will need an away goal, and thus will be open, and we can exploit their defence. However, our defence, of course, can be weak, and we need to make it count when required.

Ancelotti is beatable, too. We have done so before when he managed Chelsea.

Koulibaly could lose so badly that he sees us as the future and joins next season….

In seriousness though, it is daunting but possible to get the win. And if we do, it’s either Valencia or Villareal in the semis.

Chelsea got a comparatively easier draw, though the way things have unfolded, an all-London/Premier League final in Azerbaijan could result.
And it was nice to see the Black Panther and King of Wakanda himself make an appearance though.
The moaning of some about this is very funny, largely for its patheticness. I don’t see why this is wrong, and what did people expect giving his penchant for doing such at Dortmund? It’s just fun, and people like Mr. Cundy may have had more career success if they had a greater sense of fun on the pitch. He, amongst others at Talksport, have been huge critics of Auba’s act, but then if they opt to be humourless, it’s their business really.

Dubai friendly


The world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and Dubai, await our side

Lots of teeth gnashing here. Why? I don’t really get it. Nor do I really care if we’re going out there.

It’s just a friendly.
And let’s be frank. Since I feel there is a ready explanation here, potentially.

Who is our stadium and shirt sponsor? More to the point – where do they come from? Dubai IS one of the United Arab Emirates.

For all we know, we’re contractually obliged to do this. And as their flag carrier airline sponsors us it makes sense. Some of our officials are going to Rwanda as part of their sleeve sponsorship deal. It could be the same thing happening here.

The UAE’s airline DOES sponsor our stadium and shirts.

So it’s not as big as some are making out.

Since a number of our squad originate from warmer climes, it may suit them to get away.

The sponsorship point is just speculation – though it wouldn’t surprise me if it was true.

All the same – the club is offering tickets for this, and a trip to the UAE to see the team (albeit for a friendly) could be good.

What do you know?


The club, on its Youtube account, released some funny quiz competitions between some of the players earlier this week.

The Black Panther apparently is smarter than Petr Cech.

And Mavropamos can speak English after all.

Mesut can school Elneny.

But Kos the boss and Mkhi make a fine quiz match.

This was all pretty comical and kudos to the club’s social media team for doing this.

The players apparently are multi-lingual, and in some ways, we British people are hamstrung in learning languages when we spread English around the world. Yes, it’s handy when travelling, but it also limits learning new perspectives. I credit the players for handling themselves so well in English, which is naturally different from their own mother tongues.


The Merse’s struggles


Paul Merson is an Arsenal legend, and despite some comments he’s made this season that irked some, he still at least holds my respect. And let’s be honest, our defence is still rubbish, despite our current fourth-placed position (which he himself has praised).
In 1994, he made a notable press conference where he stated his addiction issues, and he came back strongly under after he cleaned up. Merson prospered under Wenger in the latter’s initial season, and after he left also had some good moments at Middlesbrough and Aston Villa.

It’s sad to see The Merse struggling again.

But some latest points he made have been saddening. Addiction is a life-long condition, and it takes time to overcome. But to see him relapse isn’t good.
He has my warm wishes and stands as a key part of our successes in the George Graham period.

Overmars as a technical director?

Monchi, or Mr. Verdejo to use his real name, is going back to Sevilla. Thus the link between him and Arsenal is apparently dead.
But does this mean club legend Marc Overmars is coming? He seemingly is keen to be our new sporting director, and he certainly has the goodwill at the club, and the technical pedigree, to be such.

Overmars got the first goal at Wembley, when we beat Newcastle 2-0 to secure our second Double.

We all remember him for his goals in the 98 Double season, though his model at Ajax could be replicated here, especially as we won’t buy at the very top table for a while to come yet. With Mislintat gone, and Monchi returning “home” to Sevilla, Overmars is another sure candidate for the role. We need somebody who not only can help us create a strong footballing philosophy, but also help us sign young talent and develop them ably. Arsenal is richer than Ajax, but then we do play in a better league and in a commercial context is a bigger club (though I’m not forgetting their four European Cups to our zero which is a silly point not to acknowledge). So clearly, Arsenal is a bigger and in some ways better challenge than Ajax. We’ll see how this unfolds, but if it’s true, I’d welcome it.

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