DECLAN RICE BID IMMINENT (June 7th, 09:47pm)

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Arsenal, as expected, is trying to do their summer business early. The transfer tweeters are sounding the internet alarm that after the Europa Conference Final – a CHONKY bid will go into West Ham United.

Now, a few things seem to be working for this deal.

  1. Arsenal has been having meetings with Declan and his people since before Christmas. That sheepish look in the game after the World Cup when he was giving Arsenal praise was because he knew we wanted him.
  2. There are strong rumors David Moyes is going to exit West Ham after this final. One would imagine if there’s a new manager coming in, they will want to have outbound transfers settled before they land
  3. West Ham needs a BIG rebuild this summer. No point in fannying around for 8 weeks to get rid of a key player. They need cash fast so they can get the bodies they need.

There’s a lot in our favor on this deal, and I honestly think one of the most important things is that we’re a local club. He has a young kid, he lives in London, he doesn’t want to move away from his family and friend.



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William Saliba summer sagas are a thing. Will he go on loan? Does he deserve to go on loan? Will he come back and be happy? Now we’re down to ‘will he sign?’ One of the newspapers is running a story that points to problems with the William Saliba contract negotiation.

‘Shocked at demands’

‘Arsenal prepared to treble wages to £120k a week’

‘PSG circling’

What did we expect?



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Arsenal’s summer of madness is about to kick off very soon. Mikel Arteta and the squad will jet off around the world to recuperate and get planning for the season ahead.

The club will have majority of the deals they want to progress well in the works, but I suspect there are is a number of potential players they are interested in that are more complex and risky that they are keeping and eye on.

Players exiting is going to be massive this summer. There are names we know are most certainly gone. Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney, Sambi, Tavares and Granit Xhaka will be out the door, no doubt.



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Arsenal exited the season on a high, wallopping Wolves 5-0, in the sunshine, in front of a beered-up crowd.

It looked like a beautiful day. One, that on reflection, really felt special.

Arsenal fans have been through a grubby 15 years. Arsene Wenger hung on far too long, our rivals caught up around us, we made poor replacement hires, we made average technical hires, we let a corrupt exec run amok behind the scenes…. then one day, everything clicked, and Arsenal finally started behaving like a mature club with a plan.

In football, when you are winning, everyone is a genius. Right now, there’s no club on the planet that looks sharper.

Fans are onside



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It’s the final game of the season – Arsenal vs Wolves – in front of a packed Emirates stadium. When you look around at who you’re standing next to, just remember this, at least one person paid £25k to be there in February, so be gentle.

This season has been an outrageous success. It doesn’t matter how you cut it. Mikel Arteta and the boys have moved us forward.

We are contenders.

The process is working.

The next step will be huge but we’re primed better than anyone else to take it.

When you boil down the season there are two reasons we’re not lifting the title today.

The most successful teams in any sport all have one thing in common – experience.

Rugby, NFL, NHL, baseball… and football.  In football, 29 years old is the sweet spot. It’s a similar thing in business as well, there aren’t too many top businesses with an average age of 24 rocking it at the top of the FTSE 100. Experience doesn’t matter when you are winning – momentum is unstoppable, but at some point, there’s a bite in the tail. Moments of doubt creep in. Dealing with fatigue becomes harder. Young people simply don’t have the tools to cope.

Experienced teams do.

Our boys have an average age of just shy of 24 this season. In 3 seasons time, they will peak, and my word will they be on another level.

The most successful teams have depth and they rotate.

People fight me on this point all the time and it is really, really silly. The best teams have depth so they can fight on 4 fronts. We had the depth the fight on one front because there were only 14 trusted players in the squad.

The pattern of our collapses is now set – when it comes to the final hurdles – we trip on fatigue, mental burnout, and injury.

That isn’t an accident – it is preventable.

We will address that this summer by exiting players that aren’t at the level, we’ll upgrade our quality levels, and we’ll bring in players that are more robust than what we have now.

What we have that successful teams boast – an elite coach, the core of a brilliant team, and very, very able scouts and analysts to take us to the next level.

The most important learning this season for everyone is that we now trust the process and we trust the recruitment team.

Whatever Arteta does this summer will be embraced rather than ridiculed.

That’s a big shift.

Today is about celebrating the return of justified hope, it’s a moment to celebrate the best atmosphere in the Premier League, it’s about looking forward to a meteoric summer.

I’ve not churned out as much content this year due to all manner of reasons – but I’m very thankful to all the people that comment, tweet at me, and listen to the podcast. I’ll get back into the writing groove as the summer goes on and we’ll be cranking out the podcasts to keep you entertained with The AOP. When people ask me what the best thing is about writing a blog, I tell them that when I don’t post for a few days, someone always checks in to see if I’m dead. Knowing that one day, when I do die, I will be found before my body decomposes too badly makes me happy. Creating content for the internet has its perks, no doubt about that.

On that fine note. Have a great day, crack open a non-alcoholic beverage, and enjoy the game! See you in the comments! x

P.S. Get on the LIVE STREAM after the game.


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Arsenal will head into this summer with some clear ideas around what they want to do

  1. They have to have a clear out of the squad
  2. They have to reboot an aging midfield
  3. They have to bring in top-quality players that are robust

Manchester City might have won the league with about 22 players, Arsenal tried to do it with 14… it didn’t work for us.

Arteta says the club has to nail the summer, because the margins are so fine, and the level of player we need has to be so specific and high quality, that we can’t afford a miss.



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Arsenal launched a new home kit and it is very nice – as usual these days.

Remember back in the day, when Puma took over, and kits were mostly a sadness?

NO MORE. Arsenal, and more widely Adidas, have leaned in heavily on gold this season and the kit is a homage to the invincibles. Kind of hate that the club dares lean into things that happened within my life because it makes me feel old, but here we are.