|Desc||Groves’ unbelievable work rate made him a cult hero among the Arsenal fans. The song ‘We All Live in a Perry Groves World’ is still sung to this day|
|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||Arsenal FC|
2017 08 01 Retrieve
[Perry Groves believes that Mesut Ozil will commit his future to the Gunners despite entering the final year of his contract at the Emirates] I wouldn’t sell either player. If Alexis wants £350k a week, then give it to him. I would keep them both until January and see where the club is then. If we’re challenging for the title, then risk keeping them. You don’t need to worry about Alexis’ attitude on pitch, he doesn’t know any other way than to fight. Arsene’s comments on players playing for new contracts is right in a way, as players will be thinking about making their respective national teams ahead of the World Cup next summer
I have a gut feeling Mesut is signing a new deal. He loves London, he likes being one of the main players and I don’t think he’ll be indulged as much at other clubs as he is at Arsenal. He needs to turn up in the big games more, like he did against Chelsea in the FA Cup final. When he’s on form, there is no more graceful player in the Premier League than Mesut Ozil
I think it comes down to what other clubs are looking for. Liverpool, City, Chelsea and Spurs probably don’t need Ozil as he doesn’t suit their style of play. It’s nothing to do with Ozil’s quality, it’s more to do with the other teams style of play. When Arsenal lose the ball, he doesn’t contribute as much as other players would. He’s not a luxury player if he’s providing assists, scoring goals and creating chances, especially in the big games. If you’re contributing and having an effect on the game, you’re not a luxury player. If you’re not, then you become a luxury player. Ozil has created more chances than any other player in Europe over the last five seasons, but he needs to up his consistency. I draw comparisons with Anders Limpar, he was the X-factor that could turn a game on its head and then had an off season
[when pressed on which of the duo he would retain] Alexis Sanchez. He works so hard that he’s not really a luxury player. The quality is very similar between the two players, but the difference is that when Alexis has a bad game, he’s still fighting and trying to win possession back. When Ozil has a bad game, he can disappear completely. Alexis’ enthusiasm rubs off on every player, he transcends your team and makes other players fight harder
2018 11 09 Retrieve
[Arsenal club hero Perry Groves calls for new Welbeck contract as ‘significant ankle injury’ is confirmed] Danny Welbeck has suffered a horrendous injury, it looks like a suspected broken ankle and he could be out for the rest of the season, plus his contract is up as well. So I think they should come out now and say you’re going to give him another year. It would just take all the uncertainly away and that would help his rehab on the mental side of it. He’s wealthy boy now, it’s nothing to do with that, but for his mental well-being. I think it would be magnificent gesture from my old club if they offered him a new contract
2019 07 18 Retrieve
[Perry Groves says Solskjaer isn’t good enough & Chelsea are in turmoil] I know we’re battling to be best of the rest again. Realistically, that’s fourth. Manchester United are in a bit of turmoil – Solskjaer is not going to be good enough. Chelsea are in a little bit of turmoil; they can’t sign any players, they’ve got Frank Lampard, and they’ve got young players coming in. So fourth place is really going to be competitive and I want us to be in a position to be able to compete. I know it shows how far we’ve dropped, competing for fourth place – but we’ve got to be realistic. And if they sign these younger players, hungry and with the right attitude, then as an Arsenal fan at the end of the transfer window I’ll think, ‘OK, we’re looking to go forward’
2019 08 08 Retrieve
[Perry Grove says Arsenal getting deals for David Luiz and Kieran Tierney over the line will make them akin to the Harlem Globetrotters in 2019-20] I’ve watched David Luiz many times when I’ve done co-commentary, and I’ve always said I love watching him play, but wouldn’t want him in my team, because he’s always got a mistake in him. But now he’s coming to the Gooners, I’m actually really excited because he’s better than any of the centre-halves we’ve got and he will bring massive personality to Arsenal. He’ll also bring leadership, he’ll take responsibility and he’s a winner. He’s won a title in every country he’s played in, in Portugal, England and France, he’s won the Champions League, Europa League and Confederations Cup. His concentration levels have got better and I think he’ll be a lot better if you put someone disciplined in front of him, like N’golo Kante and Jorginho at Chelsea. I agree he’s got mistakes in him, but Unai Emery wants his centre-backs to play out from the back and what David Luiz brings is an unbelievable passing range. He can ping 60 or 70 yard balls, so if you’ve got the pace of Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, he can pick them out.
[Groves added, with the Gunners looking to hand Unai Emery a star-studded squad for the upcoming campaign] If I read out an Arsenal team which could start the first game of the season: Leno; Bellerin, Luiz, Sokratis, Tierney; Ceballos, Xhaka, Torreira; Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang. That’s going to be like watching the Harlem Globetrotters! I can’t help but be excited. There was all that doom and gloom about Arsenal not having any money and how are we going to compete, but if all these transfers come off, that means Arsenal would have spent £138m – that’s not bad for a club that is supposed to be skint! As a fan, and I reckon the Arsenal supporters will be thinking this as well, this is the best transfer window they’ve had for a good 10 or 15 years It’s our most exciting transfer window by a long, long way
2019 11 07 Retrieve
[Perry Groves says Granit Xhaka’s time at Arsenal is over] I think his time at Arsenal is over. I believe they’ll come to an agreement [in January]. On a personal level and a human level he’s in a really bad way. It’s really hurt him. I was booed by Arsenal fans and it’s like being disowned by your family. But his reaction was wrong. He should have just apologised, and said I reacted in the wrong way. If you say ‘but’, it weakens the apology. He needs to move in January, and find pastures new
[Groves believes Xhaka was always the wrong choice to lead Arsenal] First and foremost when Emery asked the players who they wanted to be captain, that was wrong. In those cases you vote for your mate, don’t you? Or, if not, you vote for someone who has brought a bag of sweets in – it’s like being back at school. He’s clearly very popular in the dressing room, there’s no doubting that. When I was getting booed by the Arsenal fans I could win them back because I ran around a lot and put the effort in. I closed someone down or threw myself into a tackle – Xhaka’s not that sort of player, though
2019 11 18 Retrieve
[Perry Groves says Arsenal have got steadily worse under Unai Emery] I think, when he first went in there, there was an intensity because it was too comfortable under Arsene Wenger and he made his stance [clear]. The closing down was a lot more intense – covering more ground. He went 22 games unbeaten over a little period and in the game against Spurs they went 2-1 down and came back. There was a real buzz about the Emirates.
And what has happened is he’s got rid of the players he didn’t want, like the Monreals, the Petr Cechs, and Aaron Ramseys but then the players that have been brought in, whether it’s by him or the sporting director, they have actually got steadily worse. That intensity has got less and less and less with a team that he is supposed to be constructing. The thing from watching from the outside is there doesn’t seem to be a desire to do the horrible stuff
The thing with the Arsenal situation with Unai Emery is, if you watch them against Leicester, and I’ve been watching Arsenal a lot this year, there is no structure. There doesn’t seem to be any philosophy. Unai Emery doesn’t seem to know his best formation, he doesn’t seem to know what players to play in that formation and I think the players have lost confidence in him. I don’t think the players are getting him at the minute
2019 11 29 Retrieve
[Perry Groves says Brendan Rodgers would be interested in leaving Leicester for bigger club Arsenal] They need to go with experience. They need someone with Premier League experience with a clear vision and a clear direction. There are three candidates, for me.
Brendan Rodgers – you would go all out to get him no matter how much he cost, if you could. Would he want to leave Leicester? We’re a bigger a club … of course he would want to leave Leicester! Leicester are a very well-run club, but they’re not one of the big six clubs, and I think Rodgers wants something to prove with one of the big clubs. And if he’d be backed by the board as Emery was in the summer … he’d he perfect, because we’re in disarray. The others are Nuno Espirito Santo or Mauricio Pochettino.
The players had completely lost faith in Emery and his tactics, when you watch us defend it’s like trying to herd cats, and at least with Nuno Arsenal would have an identity, he has a philosophy of playing. And why wouldn’t you try to get Pochettino? Just to wind that lot up, that would be funny
2019 12 17 Retrieve
[Perry Groves says Carlo Ancelotti should be interviewing Arsenal, not the other way around] Ancelotti should be interviewing Arsenal. Ancelotti should be saying to them: ‘What are you going to do for me? Are you going to back me?’ The whole culture of the club needs to change. There’s a comfortableness and it needs someone to go in there and shake them up. I’d rather go for characters first over ability in the team. If you’ve got the characters you can coach them properly and get them disciplined and get them set up, rather than go for the talent and think, ‘I wonder if they fancy it today’
Nobody knows what’s going on … but it’s okay, we’re safe, because we’ve got a shortlist of 12 managers! You talk about David Dein [Arsenal’s former vice-chairman] – I don’t think there is anyone at the club who understands football. When you look at Spurs and when they sacked [Mauricio] Pochettino; trust me, they would have had [Jose] Mourinho lined up before they sacked Poch, that’s the way it works.
Any massive organisation, if things aren’t going very well you should have two or three people who you’re going to straight away. When Ancelotti was sacked by Napoli, Arsenal should have called him and told him to get himself over here and take over the club. But then you hear there’s a transfer football committee where you’ve got to be interviewed by three people, then you go to the owners’ son … If you’re a top manager you wouldn’t bother doing three interviews!
2019 12 24 Retrieve
[Ex-Arsenal winger Perry Groves has been forced to apologise after saying Brighton keeper Mat Ryan had a holocaust game in the club’s 1-0 loss to Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday] I’d just like to sincerely apologise for my misuse of words earlier. I didn’t mean to offend anybody and if I have offended anybody I’m truly, genuinely sorry and that is from my heart
2020 02 28 Retrieve
[Perry Groves claims Arsenal need to get rid of nine players] He needs to get rid of players. I thought it would be five or six, but I think you’re looking up to about nine players. It is going to be impossible to get rid of them all in one go. This isn’t about talent, it’s not that they are not good players – David Luiz, (Shkrodan) Mustafi, Sokratis, (Dani) Ceballos is going to go anyway as he is on loan, Ozil, (Granit) Xhaka, Calum Chambers, (Mohamed) Elneny and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Mkhitaryan and Elneny are out on loan at this point anyway
He needs them now. He has to use them now because he needs bodies. Short-term they have a future, long-term, no. It’s very similar to when George Graham went there in 1986 and he had a lot of players. Very talented players, but they did not have the desire that he required. He got rid of them and went and got players from the lower league like Alan Smith, Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn
2020 06 22 Retrieve
[Mikel Arteta has been warned by Arsenal cult hero Perry Groves that handing a contract extension to David Luiz will see him come under unnecessary pressure] He’s 33 now and keeps making the same mistakes. He can play one brilliant game in six where you think what a player he is, pinging it 60, 70 yards, getting in front of the centre-forward and nicking it. But then another three or four of those games, he’ll make a ricket or he won’t concentrate. If Arteta signs David Luiz, Arteta will come under pressure from Arsenal fans. They will lose faith in Arteta because it’s blatantly obvious that he [Luiz] is always going to cause you problems. Arteta wants to play a back four, he wants to play a high line, he wants to play a pressing game and David Luiz can’t do that
2020 06 23 Retrieve
[Perry Groves says Matteo Guendouzi is not good enough to go around giving people stick] Guendouzi is playing in centre midfield, he hasn’t got the awareness to play that role – getting on the ball, getting on the half turn, bringing people into games. He’s about energy, he’s a dog chasing a tyre. His enthusiasm, that’s what he’s about. But I’ve heard a few things that haven’t been great about Guendouzi’s attitude, about having a bit of humility. You want your players to be confident and a little bit arrogant on the pitch, but he’s not good enough to go around giving people stick and giving people verbals. The team isn’t good enough. If Maupay has been getting it in his ear all game from Guendouzi and then scores the winner, he’s absolutely within his rights to go ‘really, what have you got to say now? For Guendouzi to then grab him around the throat, someone needs – whether it’s Arteta or a member of the coaching staff or senior players – to tell Guendouzi to wind his neck in and concentrate on playing