Arsenal Fan Protest – Norwich Thoughts

Yesterday’s home game against Norwich, which was frustrating viewing, has been overshadowed by the ‘Time for Change’ protest. I’m going to jump straight in here and give my thoughts on the whole thing, whether some of you agree or disagree is totally your call.

The aim of the protest was to show the club’s owner and directors the discontent felt by the fans at how our club is now being run. It has now been 12 years since we have won the Premier League and every year we show promise, up until December/January, then capitulate with the same consistent failings.

When the owner comes out and states in a publication, “If you want to win championships then you would never get involved.” then clearly something is wrong. Try telling that to Roman Abramovich. It was clear from the outset that he only bought Arsenal FC for the investment, which yes it has paid off if he decides to sell, but at the fans expense. Prices have gone up, we pay the highest ticket fees in Europe for football that is no longer beautiful to watch or competing for titles. We have won two successive FA Cups in the last 9 years, which was a great achievement, but we should be competing on all fronts. Winning mentality stems from the top and it is clear we don’t have an owner with a winning mentality and settles for mediocrity. This trickles down into the board, who get richer every year, the manager, who has less pressure on him, and the players.

Stan ‘Silent’ Kroenke is also the first ever shareholder  to take a dividend out of the club. He refused to speak to fellow shareholders at the AGM, which to me shows huge disrespect, and refused to explain what the annual £3 million “consultancy fees” were actually for. At least be honest and say it was a dividend rather than treat us like we are too stupid to understand.

The march before the match was one I did not fully agree with. You had grown men, and boys, targeting Wenger directly and wishing death upon him. This is just wrong, you do not wish death someone, especially one who brought us such great success during the first half of his employment. This is what the media will pick up on more rather than the real meaning of the protest as it makes for a more sensational headline and also makes us a laughing-stock.

The protest inside the stadium demonstrated how divided our fan base currently is and was met with a chorus of boos and chanting. Firstly, I think fans have a right to express their opinions and views openly, as long as it is not mindless abuse like the above example. It doesn’t matter if you pay £50 for a game, £1000-£3000 for a season ticket, own a £16000 share, we are all fans, we are all entitled to an equal opinion, we are the club, without fans the clubs are nothing.

When the A4 pieces of paper were held up I heard a lot of abuse being thrown at the people protesting e.g. “SUPPORT YOUR CLUB” and “SIT DOWN YOU C*NT”. The people who decided to take part in holding up the ‘Time for Change’ signs do support the club and they love the club, the reason they are protesting is because they care about how the club is being run and it hurts to see the decline from the high standard we used to have.

When the chanting started for “We love you Arsenal”, “Arsenal till I die” etc. the people holding up the signs were singing along as much as anyone as it’s the club they love. Now, when the “One Arsene Wenger” chant started, and the protesters of course did not join in, I felt a lot of people in the stadium didn’t quite understand the core reason behind it in the first place. As I’ve already stated it was to make the hierarchy at the club aware that the fans are fed up with how the club is run, a money leeching owner, lack of investment, poor performances and consistent failings. It was not designed to target Wenger or harass him out of the club but for the club as a whole to change their mentality.

One question I do have is why isn’t Ivan Gazidis getting questioned? Ultimately he is CEO of Arsenal and Wenger’s boss so why is he not being held accountable? He turns up to the fan group meetings and gives his spin and deflects questions left and right but isn’t being questioned on why he isn’t putting pressure on the manager or relaying back to the board the need to buck up ideas rather than increase social media marketing.

If people want to protest then they are entitled to, it is their right to express themselves. Before the game, after the game it’s all good but during the game I have a mixed opinion. There are two sides of the coin, you risk unsettling the players whilst we are still fighting for 2nd-4th but it is also when the protest will get the most attention as it is  being televised. Either way the team always gets full support when they are on the pitch.

Was the protest a success? Yes and no. It has gained media coverage and awareness, which is a plus for those protesting. The negatives are that the media will twist it into a Wenger witch hunt and the fact only a handful of people took part. I’m sure there will be a lot more to come regarding protests in the future if nothing changes. I personally believe the board, especially Kroenke, won’t even bat an eyelid as long as people are still paying to sit in the stadium. Why would they care as long as the person holding up a piece of paper has paid them to do so.

As for the match, what is there to say? For some reason we started Giroud, who has no confidence and is out of form, and Ramsey. The game was crying out for pace and someone to run in behind the Norwich defence. Ramsey did his usual, slowed the game down, took too many touches and lost the ball. I’d much rather see Coquelin partner El Neny and allow the Egyptian to go box to box knowing he has cover behind.

Everyone was crying out for Welbeck to come on and inject some pace into the team, especially with how poor Giroud was again. When he did come on it was met with resounding boos as Iwobi made way for the England international. Wenger was then vindicated only 3 minutes later as Giroud and Welbeck combined to score the only goal of the match. Giroud then came alive after 60 minutes of falling over and losing headers. The whole team started to play football but we still let Norwich have chances and we have Petr Cech to thank for making some big saves.

There’s not much else to say about the match that hasn’t already been said over the last 4 months so I’ll leave it there.

Enjoy your bank holiday weekend if you don’t have t work!

Dinamo Zagreb Preview + Wilshere debate

We kick-start out Champions League campaign tonight away to Dinamo Zagreb. Let’s just hope we fare better than the two Manchester clubs last night. City has been shocking in Europe, I believe they have won 2 out of their last 11 Champions League matches. As for Manchester United, they bought PSV’s best player and still lost to them. You have to feel for Luke Shaw though, the guy just got over his weight issues and started making good strides in his game only to suffer a double fracture.

Speaking of injuries, there was news that Jack Wilshere will now be out for 3 months due to a hairline fracture of his fibula. It’s incredibly frustrating and disappointing as he is a player I enjoy watching, we all love him as he’s Arsenal through and through, but will he ever make it? Every time he starts making progress he suffers a lengthy lay off through injury.

Here are the comments from Wenger and, our captain, Arteta respectively:

“This kind of injury is not career-threatening. I am not a specialist, but this was just an accident. It is a bone injury. It is not linked with the injuries he had before.”

“He has an enormous talent and support from every department of the club, and from the players because we feel sorry for him. He has an amazing career ahead of him. We are responsible for putting that into his head every day and to not allow him to fall down because, at some stage, that is the danger; that he does not believe in himself or his body and he needs to trust himself.”

In regards to team news for tonight’s match, Aaron Ramsey and Hector Bellerin did no travel and will be replaced by Mathieu Debuchy and probably Oxlade-Chamberlain. I suspect the players may have a slight niggle and the manager doesn’t want to risk them for the big game against Chelsea at the weekend. Will we see any other changes with this in mind? Will Gibbs get a rare start?

Let’s try to not make this difficult for ourselves again and finish second.

Newcastle Preview: Which Defensive Pairing?

After a below standard start to the season we head up to Newcastle, who have also not had the best of starts to the league. After this we head into the dreaded international period, where we seem to always pickup more injuries. Speaking of injuries, there is a rumour that Mesut Ozil, who has been one of our best players so far this season, is out for 6 weeks with an injury picked up in training. Whether this is true or not I do not know.

Team news ahead of today’s early kick off is that Per Mertesacker is still missing from the squad through illness but there is a chance Koscielny may make it. Do we risk playing Koscielny and Gabriel or do we continue with Chambers and Gabriel? I thought despite a shaky start in the first half against Liverpool the former Southampton player improved in the second half. Gabriel is just a warrior though and I have no worries about seeing his name on the team sheet.

Other than that I can’t see Wenger making many other changes. The one change everyone wants to see is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain get a start out wide instead of Ramsey. The dilemma this causes thought is that one of Ramsey or Cazorla has to be sacrificed, unless Ozil really is injured. Arsene Wenger loves to the trio of Cazorla, Coquelin and Ramsey behind the front 3.

A lot of hate is also coming Giroud’s way after a few ‘head in hands’ moments against Liverpool. I know we all want a shiny new world class striker but it is easier said than done. If we don’t do anything in the final days of the transfer window then we have to back the squad we have rather than turn against it, because frankly there is nothing else we or the club can do. We still have Welbeck to return to the squad who could bring a new dimension up front, he did well centrally last season whilst Giroud was out.

We need to start this game with intent, aggression and take control. If we can score early on and settle our nerves we can then force Newcastle to attack us and we create space in behind for Alexis to run into. Let’s get those 3 points today lads, hopefully sign 1 or 2 players we need then get through the international break unscathed.

Arsenal vs Liverpool Preview: Emirates Record Starts Anew

I can’t stand Monday games. You spend all day at work then you have a lull between finishing and getting to the game, as well as the journey home in the early hours. Anyway onto today’s preview against Liverpool. We go into tonight’s match having lost our opener against West Ham and look to start a long  undefeated run at home.

Last season we were very strong at home and to challenge for the title you need to make your ground a fortress. Arsene Wenger has acknowledged this:

“If you want to have a successful season you want to be strong at home. Normally we are strong at home. This is an opportunity to show that. We missed our first game and we had to look at ourselves, and we responded very well. Now we need to come back to our usual strength that we have at home.”


I think we’ll pick the same team that beat Crystal Palace with the only potential change being Walcott for Giroud. Hopefully we can finally start firing on all cylinders and give some encouragement to the fans, as well as boost the players’ confidence. Maybe the threat of playing a team like Liverpool will give us the focus we need.

We’re in the stages of the season where teams are still finding their feet, as seen over the last 3 weeks, and there is no consistency yet. The only team, so far, who seems to be firing is Manchester City. Even though Liverpool have won both their games and United have won 2 drawn 1 they aren’t looking great, yet.

A win tonight will take us into the top 6 and other than that there’s not much else to ask more, apart from a positive goal difference.

Regarding transfer news, there is a lot of buzz around Karim Benzema, Grzegorz Krychowiak and  Edinson Cavani still. Personally I think if we are going to sign any of them it would be the latter 2, even then it’s hopeful we’d get both. I know everyone wants Benzema and he is the dream but would you take him for £50m over potentially the other 2 at £60m?

Wenger has announced that he is ready to make a gamble in the transfer market if the correct players are available:

“There is always time to take a gamble and we are not against taking a gamble,’ said the manager. But what you want is to take a gamble in a market where the opportunity is there.

I believe this squad is ready to fight for the title and has a chance to do it given that we are continuing to develop as a team. That is the first thing. Internally we have the resources to do that and it is also important that we don’t have too many major injuries like last year.

I said before that I don’t know how good the other teams will be. Man City started especially in an impressive way but the season is long.”


Arsenal vs West Bromwich Albion: Preview + Rosicky Renews

The last game of the season is finally upon us and it is against West Bromwich Albion at home. After the FA Cup final next weekend, we need to brace ourselves for the tiresome newspaper rumours that link us to everyone under the sun and click bating on social media. A win today would be a nice way to end the season after our last few results. Boost spirits before the big one next weekend.

With a top three finish all but settled, I expect we’ll finally see some rotation today so our players can rest up before the FA Cup final, as well as a few goodbyes from departing players.

I think Gibbs will continue at left back and Calum Chambers may possibly get a start at right back alongside Gabriel in the middle. Debuchy returned to training this week but won’t be fit to start today but should get a place on the bench next Saturday.

In midfield I would continue with Jack Wilshere and we may even see Arteta but would love to see Rosicky get a start. We looked a totally different team once he came on the pitch against Sunderland and having just renewed for another year it would be a great way to end the season.

I would definitely rest Alexis ahead of the FA Cup final as the Chilean looks exhausted and we need all of our players to be at the top of their game, so this is a perfect chance for Walcott to show what he can do before contract negotiations get fully underway.

Giroud should continue up front as it would do his confidence the world of good to bag a goal or two, as he has looked a little wayward in the last 5-6 games. The last position up for grabs will be filled by either Ozil or Cazorla.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has also returned to training this week but I think it is safe to say that, unfortunately, he may only just edge a place on the bench.

Wenger’s comments on today’s match:

“The confidence level will come from recent results. And the important result will, of course, be from the game against West Brom. So it is vital. We have used up our hiccups at home and we want to go out on the final day finishing on a high and sending the fans home in peace.”


There are plenty of rumours already circulating about who we have pre-agreements with, already signed and the like but I wouldn’t believe any of them. Jackson Martinez is not the calibre of player we should be aiming at, any more, as he offers nothing different from Giroud.

Arturo Vidal is a player I would definitely take, not just for his ability in midfield but also for his companionship with Alexis Sanchez. Another contender for the midfield role is obviously Morgan Schneiderlin, who is Premiership ready.

The one player I want more than any other this transfer window is Petr Cech. He is a natural winner, as well as leader, who has vast experience. Take nothing away from Ospina’s performances this season but Cech is that level above for at least another 3-4 years. Cech could also bring in some new goalkeeping training methods and mentorship that we have lacked through our archaic coach Gerry Peyton.

In other news, Jack Wilshere has been speaking about how he would be hurt if Arsenal sold him but there have been no conversations with Arsene Wenger yet. This is what Wilshere had to say:

“I would be hurt if they sold me, I want Arsenal to want me. So if they didn’t want me, it would hurt. It would be strange playing for another club. I went to Bolton on loan and that was strange.

I feel like I’m ready to play now and that’s not going to change. I want to play more minutes before the end of the season and then I’ll have to wait until next season and see what the boss’s plans are for me, for the team.”


Manchester United 1-1 Arsenal: A Point Will Do

A poor performance from Arsenal yesterday but we managed to scrape a draw which is good enough for me. I know we had chances to win the game, and that’s what the fanbase would have also wanted, but a draw at Old Trafford with the current table is not a terrible thing at all.

We now go into the final two games needing a single point to finish third, barring Manchester United winning by 7-0 or more in their final game. Second is still mathematically possible as long as Manchester City lose their final game to Southampton and we win our final two. But honestly, I’d settle for third, as long as we don’t have to play the Champions League qualifiers again (and hopefully defend the FA Cup).

The first half was extremely poor and rather sloppy. Passes were going astray and players didn’t look like they wanted to expend a lot of energy making runs. Manchester United also didn’t look too threatening with all the possession they had and their goal could have been avoided.

Ashley Young sent in a cross from the right and found Ander Herrera completely unmarked at the back post. Herrera struck the cross well with the side of his foot but you couldn’t help thinking that Ospina could and should have done better. Also, who was supposed to be marking the Spaniard?

We looked shell shocked and Manchester United could have easily made it 2-0 before half time but we held on and made it to half-time with just the one goal deficit. Hopefully Arsene Wenger was going to let the players know how poor they had been and what they need to change.

For the first ten minutes of the second half Manchester United picked up where they left off and looked more dominant, but when they couldn’t take advantage of our performance we started to finally grow into the game. It was hard to see where our goal was going to come from as we lacked width.

Cazorla was not having a good game at all, Ramsey was stuck out wide and didn’t provide an outlet due to lack of pace and taking players on. He needed to come more central to make an impact. Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott were introduced in place of Santi Cazorla and Hector Bellerin.

Jack Wilshere immediately made an impression and tore open the United midfield with his trademark runs. Ramsey moved more central which allowed him to get more involved and influence play. Theo Walcott provided that pace out wide and up front we had been missing. I know we had Alexis on the pitch but he wasn’t fully fit and looked off the boil.

Theo Walcott scored the equaliser after a sublime pass from Ramsey, albeit with a bit of good fortune due to the deflection off Tyler Blackett. De Gea had been replaced by, former Barcelona keeper, Victor Valdes due to a hamstring injury. Valdes had no chance to stop the deflection effort due to his commitment of thinking he knew where the ball was going.

Not long after equalising Olivier Giroud had the chance to win the game. Mesut Ozil played a perfect pass into the handsome Frenchman, who could only strike the ball wide. We have grown accustomed to seeing Giroud at the near post and blasting the ball into the roof of the net but he is going through a barren patch currently. Hopefully this will pick up for the final two games leading into the FA Cup final.

There was one last bit of drama caused by Robin Van Persie (who else?) as he found himself in space in our box but blazed over the bar. If you offered me a draw before the game then I would have gladly taken it and judging our performance after the match I am not disappointed that we didn’t sneak a win but glad we didn’t lose. Of course I would have been ecstatic if we had won before anyone comments that I didn’t want us to win.

Arsene Wenger had this to say after the match:

“The only regret I have is that we didn’t take the three points in the second half. We started the first half slowly, Manchester United were sharper at the beginning, and we were a bit stretched as well width and length-wise. The second half we were more compact and we took over. We showed a great response and got a deserved point.”

Let’s get a win against Sunderland on Wednesday to wrap up third and allow us to rotate for the last game of the season. This would allow key players to get a small rest before the FA Cup final and are raring to go and allow some final farewells to certain other players.

Manchester United v Arsenal preview: Can’t Afford to Lose

We go into this match after a very disappointing defeat to Swansea at home. As I said in the review of that match, let’s hope we have got the bad game out of the way and we will bounce back stronger looking to make amends.

I expect we’ll name an unchanged starting XI with the following:

Ospina, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Cazorla, Coquelin, Ramsey, Alexis, Ozil and Giroud.

I would be nice to have another appearance from Danny Welbeck from the bench but I am not sure if he has fully recovered from the knock he received. Jack Wilshere is available though, who I felt played well against Swansea.

Manchester United are without Wayne Rooney, supposedly, today who has always been a thorn in our side when he has played. We must take advantage of any weaknesses in their game we can as a loss is not acceptable today. A draw wouldn’t be too bad but obviously a win would put breathing space between us and Man Utd for third.

If we go into this game knowing how they played against us in the FA Cup and exploit the frailties shown in match, as well as taking note of several players’ antics, then we should be able to frustrate them and come away with the win.

Wenger had this to say about the match:

“To win at Old Trafford again would convince us that we have the strength and help us be stronger next season. We feel we have made progress. Only one thing shows you have made progress and that’s the continuity in your performances.

We want to bounce back from our defeat against Swansea and put in a good performance. Any positive result, a win or a draw would be great. Mathematically we can put distance between United and us in the top four and secure a top-three place.”


In other news, Wenger has also spoken about how Manchester United are chasing every player that he has been offered and will cause some issues in the transfer market with their massive expenditure.

“I expect Manchester United to be active in the transfer market,” Wenger told reporters. “Every player I am offered, Man Utd are already on his case! He[Louis van Gaal] has shown that he has the personality to be at a club of that size. We expect them to buy some strong players.”


Let’s get the win today boys and show our FA Cup victory over them was not a fluke. We can also ease the pressure of finishing top 3 with a victory today. COME ON YOU RIP ROARING GUNNERS!

Hull preview: Opinion on Giroud comments

It’s been an awfully long time since I last posted a blog but I am hoping to get some consistency going again. Tonight we take on Hull and if we take 3 points then we guarantee a top 4 position. It’s hard to see us not getting top 3 this year and I truly believe we will finish second.

I expect we’ll go into this match with pretty much the same squad as previous games. Debuchy is a doubt with a slight hamstring strain, Arteta and Chamberlain are still not ready. There is no real need for the manager to make changes to a winning formula. We are unbeaten in the league since February 7th.

Jack Wilshere has been included on the bench for the last couple of games and he may yet have a role to play in the final few games but it is hard to see how he will fit into the starting lineup. Our midfield has found their groove with the combative Coquelin, energetic Ramsey, precision of Ozil and the tricky Cazorla. If we buy the extra defensive midfielder in the summer, hopefully Schniederlin or Gungodan, then his chances of breaking back in are further shortened.

Arsene Wenger had this to say about Wilshere:

Every week he is stronger, he is getting back to the level now. This week was the first week he is sharp again. His strength is in the final third, offensively. That is where he really expresses his talent. It is difficult to get in this team, I don’t deny that. If you consider any individual case you can say you are sorry that he doesn’t play.


For everyone expecting us to go to Hull and turn them over, I personally think it may be a bit tighter as they are barely above the relegation zone, of course I could be wrong. I don’t mind what the score is as long as it is in our favour and we get the 3 points.

There has been a lot of commotion over Thierry Henry’s comments about Olivier Giroud lately and even Wenger has got involved. The legendary talisman said:

“I think they need to buy four players – they need that spine. They need a goalkeeper, they still need a center back, they still need a holding midfielder and, I’m afraid, they need a top, top quality striker to win this league again.”


Okay, I can accept we may need another goalkeeper, preferably Cech. Center back is questionable with Koscielny, Chambers, Mertesacker, Gabriel but would make sense if Mertesacker is nearing the end of his Arsenal career. Holding midfielder is a given. But to say Giroud is not a top quality striker and won’t win the league with him is a bit silly.

Giroud has scored 18 goals in 29 games this year and that is after missing 3 months at the start of the season. We were having to play Yaya Sanogo up front, before purchasing Danny Welbeck. He may not be ‘World Class’ but he is defintely more than capable and performs extremely well, not only as a goal scorer but as a focal point and holding the ball up to create chances.

Wenger had this to say about the matter:

“I think he’s wrong. I can accept that’s an opinion but the comment on Giroud was a bit more wrong. Especially because I heard the same thing being said about Nicolas Anelka, about Thierry Henry himself and about Robin Van Persie. And they all became world-class players themselves. It doesn’t cost to say that.

We know all the system now of the modern media, especially on TV. I know how it works. They push you to be controversial because they give you a lot of money. He’s paid for that.”


Let me know your opinions on Giroud in the comment section below and COME ON YOU RIP ROARING GUNNERS!

Leicester City preview: No Mercy Please

With reports suggesting Wenger will be ringing the changes with starting XI tonight, I don’t think we’ll see too much change. Saying that, I would like to see a team full of hunger and determination to make amends to the poor performance against Tottenham on Saturday.

Ramsey, as poor as he has been this season, will surely get a start in midfield again. Sometimes I question what he actually brings to the team this year, after last years glorious form, but tonight could be a good chance for him to gain some confidence and get a spring back in his step.

He will most likely be partnered by Coquelin and either one of Cazorla or Rosicky. I’d like to see the Czech get a start and give Cazorla a rest as his performance against Tottenham wasn’t effective. Rosicky, when he has played, has been effervescent.

I think we’ll see the reintroduction of Theo Walcott over Welbeck on the left and Alexis Sanchez on the right, if fully fit. Giroud will maintain his central striker role as he performs better when surrounded by pace. His hold up play, as mentioned many times before, is one of the best when he is on form.

I don’t think we’ll see any changes to our back 5 as we have the FA Cup on Sunday. Szczesny will probably get the nod for the match against Middlesbrough and potentially several others, but we’ll cover that nearer the time.

There’s not much else to talk about in the build up tonight apart from wanting another 5-0+ result.

Aston Villa Preview – Will Reus Join?

After our emphatic back to back wins, over Manchester City and Brighton, we now take on Aston Villa at the Emirates. In fact we have won our last 4 games in the Premier League, 5 in total if you include the FA Cup. Last year this fixture sparked the venomous atmosphere and animosity towards Arsene Wenger, which wasn’t helped by the extremely poor officiating by Anthony Taylor. I believe he is one of the worst referees in the Premier League and guess what….he is our referee for this fixture today.

One player that will not be involved today is, our messiah, Alexis Sanchez. From what I understand, the hamstring injury he has sustained isn’t too concerning but caution needs to be taken with his importance to our season, especially when we play the vermin down the road next weekend.

The departure of one hero leaves a gap for another to enter. I would like to see the effervescent Rosicky retain his place in the squad but Wenger may be resting him for next weekends match. If he is rested then I think we’ll see Ozil out on the left with Theo Walcott on the right of Giroud, who is always going to start.

Santi Cazorla, currently the first name on the team sheet, will be pulling the strings from midfield, but as we have grown accustomed to will be interchanging with Ozil/Rosicky. Francis Coquelin will be our protection in midfield over Flamini, simply because he is not Flamini. The last spot in midfield will presumably be filled by, the energiser bunny, Aaron Ramsey.

I believe we’ll return to our strongest defensive lineup possible, in the absence of Debuchy, today. Bellerin, who was suffering with an ankle issue, should return to right back as long as he is fully fit. Per Mertesacker, who was rested against Brighton, will return to partner Laurent Koscielny with Kieran Gibbs replacing Monreal at left back.

I would prefer to see David Ospina continue in goal after his performances in the league. As mentioned in previous posts, he looks more commanding of his box which increases the confidence our defenders have which then spreads throughout the squad.

Our new number 5, Gabriel Paulista (He prefers being called just Gabriel), will start on the bench today and hopefully get a run out in the final 15 minutes to see the game out. Wenger claims he is ready to play but with the language barrier being an issue it is too great a risk to start the Brazilian.

In other tantalising news, long term target Marco Reus is back on the summer radar. Long known as a major fan boy of Tomas ‘Little Mozart’ Rosicky, due to his Dortmund roots could potentially be an Arsenal player next year. All the talk looks positive as he is the perfect replacement for the Czech, he has previously stated he wants to play for Wenger and he has a £20million buyout clause. With Dortmund sitting at the bottom of the Bundesliga and their team so often picked apart by Bayern Munich, I’m sure we are more attractive for Dortmund to sell to.

If we could add Reus and Schneiderlin during the summer then we would look a formidable team indeed next year. But enough of that and let’s focus on a win today.