Arsenal’s Greatest Midfielders Day 5

Continuing our Summer series of articles in search of Arsenal’s greatest ever team, this week we continue our quest for the greatest midfielders to include in our team.  Don’t forget to take the opportunity to choose your personal favourite midfielder by voting in the poll at the end of the week.

14. Paul Davis: 1978-1995.

Paul appeared in 447 matches over a 17 year period.

-Images-d-Davis_Paul_910810Born in Dulwich, London, Paul signed for Arsenal as an apprentice in 1977 and turned professional the following year, he made his debut in 1980 in a North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur, and within a year he was a regular in the Arsenal side, as well as a member of the England U21 team.

He was a key member of the successful Arsenal side of the late 1980s, winning the League Cup in 1987 and the First Division in 1989 and 1991. Paul will arguably be best remembered for an incident in 1988 when, during a match, he punched Southampton player Glenn Cockerill in the jaw. Cockerill’s jaw was broken and following the FA’s analysis of TV footage he was given a then unprecedented 9-match ban and £3,000 fine.

In spite of a disagreement with Manager George Graham he still appeared 447 times for Arsenal, scoring 37 goals. Paul played in both the League Cup and FA Cup finals wins in 1993 as Arsenal chalked up their Cup Double. He also featured in Arsenal’s Cup Winners’ Cup win against Parma F.C the following year.

Paul was released by Arsenal on a free transfer in the summer of 1995. After leaving Arsenal, he briefly joined Norwegian side Stabæk Fotball in 1995 and flopped. He returned to London to join Brentford signing on a free transfer in September 1995, but he retired within a year after just five appearances for the Griffin Park side. He returned to Arsenal to become a youth coach in 1996, before leaving the club in 2003.

In September 2003 he joined The Professional Footballers’ Association coaching department. On 27 October 2005, he was invited to become assistant manager of Kettering Town F.C. by new manager Paul Gascoigne, he left Kettering at the same time as Gascoigne’s departure from the club on 5 December 2005, but continues to work for the Professional Footballer’s Association coaching department. He has studied and gained the FA and Pro UEFA Coaching awards, the highest coaching award in the U.K. along with his UEFA ‘A’ Licence and the FA Diploma in Football Management from Warwick University, as well as his coach educators awards. Paul is now a senior coach/coach educator for the organisation and he is also an ambassador for the ‘Kick It Out’ and ‘Show Racism the Red Card organisations’.

15. Ray Parlour: 1988-2004.

Ray appeared in 466 matches over a 16 year period.

cristiano-ronaldo-469-ray-parlour-celebrating-arsenal-goal-wearing-a-dreamcast-jersey-1992-2004Born in Barking, London, Ray is most famous for his time at Arsenal, where he played for 14 years. He joined Arsenal as a trainee in 1989, and made his debut for the Gunners against Liverpool in 1992. He was only used sporadically in his initial few years, and was more noted for his disciplinary problems; however he made 12 appearances for the England U21 team during this time.

His breakthrough came in 1994–95, when he played in Arsenal’s European Cup Winners’ Cup final loss to Real Zaragoza. However, his real development, as a player, only came to fruition after the arrival of Arsène Wenger as manager in 1996; he became a regular fixture playing on the right wing or in central midfield for Arsenal. In 1997–98 Arsenal won the Double and Ray proved to be instrumental; he was man-of-the-match in the Gunners’ FA Cup Final win over Newcastle United, that season, where he set up Nicolas Anelka for Arsenal’s second goal in a 2–0 win. He continued to enjoy success with Arsenal for another four years but generally received little acclaim in the media compared with many of his more illustrious Arsenal team-mates, especially as he was almost constantly living in the shadow of Patrick Vieira.

In March 2000, he hit a hat trick in a 4–2 away win at Werder Bremen in a UEFA Cup quarter final tie. Seven months later, he followed it up with another hat trick in a 5–0 demolition of Newcastle United at Highbury. In April 2001, he struck a spectacular 30-yard winner as Arsenal beat Valencia 2–1 in the UEFA Champions’ League Quarter Final 1st leg tie at Highbury. One of the crowning moments of his career was his goal from 30 yards in the 2002 FA Cup Final against Chelsea, which Arsenal won 2-0.  Another one of Ray’s finest moments in Arsenal colours came in November 2003, when as stand-in captain, he led Arsenal to a famous 5–1 win against Internazionale at San Siro. Performances like these have led many Arsenal fans to believe that he was one of the most underrated players at the club, and of his generation

In total, with Arsenal, Ray won three FA Premier League titles, four FA Cups, (which included two Doubles) one League Cup and one European Cup Winner’s Cup.

During his Arsenal career he was nicknamed “The Romford Pelé”; although the nickname was given with an ironic sense of humour, on account of his solid performance but unglamorous image.

He moved to Middlesbrough in mid-2004, (but he still has remained a fans’ favourite at Arsenal and was recently named the 19th greatest player in the club’s history), he played 60 games for Boro in two and a half years but he was released from his contract in January 2007.

For a brief period he trained with Arsenal in order to regain fitness with a view to finding a new club. On 9 February 2007, he signed for Hull City until the end of the 2006–07 season. After helping City avoid relegation, it was confirmed on 1 June that he was not offered a new contract and this meant he was released.

He made his England debut as a substitute in a Euro 2000 qualifier against Poland on March 27, 1999. He won ten caps for England but did not score any goals.

Ray emerged as one of the most influential players for The England Legends, a 16-man squad of former internationals who have played Italy, Germany, Scotland, Ireland and The Rest of The World.

16. Patrick Vieira: 1996-2005.

Patrick appeared in 406 matches over a 9 year period.

Born in Dakar, Senegal, his family moved to Dreux, France, when he was eight. He first played for AS Cannes, where he made his debut at the age of 17 and captained the team aged just 19.] In the summer of 1995, he was signed by the Italian team Milan, though he played mainly in the reserves and made only two first-team appearances.

patrick-vIn August 1996, he joined Arsenal, in a £3.5 million move, Patrick later revealed he signed for Arsenal because his compatriot Arsène Wenger was going to be the club’s next manager; Arsene was officially manager of Arsenal by the start of October. His performances for Arsenal in the subsequent months made him a fans’ favourite. He ended his first season with 38 appearances in total and Arsenal finished in third place, missing out on a spot in the UEFA Champions League via goal difference. His partnership with French international team-mate Emmanuel Petit the following season was instrumental in helping Arsenal complete a domestic league and cup double. After a successful 1998 World Cup campaign with the national team, Patrick had another productive season at Arsenal in 1998–99. Although Arsenal failed to retain the Premier League, Vieira’s endeavour was rewarded as he was named in the PFA Team of the Year.

Disciplinary problems beset Patrick during his time with Arsenal and it was feared that he was prepared to turn his back on English football as he felt victimised. Wenge, several Arsenal players and fans supported him publicly, amid speculation that Italian club Juventus were prepared to offer Vieira an escape route. However Patrick stayed and Arsenal finished second in the league for a third consecutive season and runners-up to Liverpool in 2001 FA Cup Final. He was later named the club vice-captain, to ensure he would succeed Tony Adams as captain. In the 2001–02 season; Arsenal regained the league and beat Chelsea in the 2002 FA Cup Final to complete a second double. In 2003, Patrick missed Arsenal’s title run-in, due to a knee injury, and they were overtaken by Manchester United who took first place. He was also ruled out of the 2003 FA Cup Final, which Arsenal won, but jointly lifted the trophy with captain for the day, David Seaman.

In spite of growing interest to sign Vieira, not least from Manchester United, Real Madrid and Chelsea in the summer of 2003, he agreed terms to stay at Arsenal and signed a deal which ran until 2007. The 2003–04 season was a successful one for Arsenal, as they reclaimed the league title and became the first English team in more than a century to go through the entire league season unbeaten. He endured a mixed start to the campaign, as he was sent off against Manchester United in September 2003, banned for one match and later fined £20,000. However he scored the opening goal against Tottenham Hotspur, in what ended a 2–2 draw which was enough for Arsenal to regain the title.  In the 2005 FA Cup Final, he scored the winning penalty in a penalty shoot-out after a 0–0 draw with Manchester United, which proved to be his final goal for Arsenal.

In July 2005, representatives of Juventus met with Arsenal, with a view to signing Patrick, and on 15 August 2005, he signed a five-year contract, in a deal worth £13.75 million, making his debut on 28 August 2005. Despite his performances dipping as the result of a persistent groin injury he helped Juventus retain the Scudetto, however Juventus were stripped of their 2004–05 and 2005–06 titles after it was revealed they were involved in a match-fixing scandal and were relegated to Serie B and had 17 points deducted.

On 2 August 2006, he officially signed a four-year deal for Internazionale. In his first season at Inter, he added to his trophy cabinet the Italian Super Cup as well as the 2006–07, 2007–08, and 2008–09 Serie A. On 6 January 2010, José Mourinho stated that Vieira had played his last game at Inter.

On 8 January 2010, he signed a six month contract at Manchester City and, subsequently agreed to a one-year extension. He made a late substitute appearance in May 2011, as City won the FA Cup with a 1–0 win over Stoke City at Wembley Stadium.

On 14 July 2011, he announced his retirement from playing and accepted a training and youth development role at Manchester City with the title of Football Development Executive.

Vieira made his debut for France and was part of the France squad in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He came on as a substitute in the final against Brazil, and set up Arsenal team mate Emmanuel Petit for France’s third goal in a 3–0 win. He, with the rest of the squad, was declared a Knight of the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest decoration, in 1998.

He subsequently played as a first choice midfield player in France’s successful campaign in Euro 2000, which they won, beating Italy in the final. He helped France to victory in the 2001 Confederations Cup, ending the tournament as joint top scorer with two goals, including the winner, a header, in the final against Japan. He also played in all three games in the 2002 World Cup, in which France were eliminated in the group stage, failing to score a goal. He was injured and missed France’s defeat to Greece at Euro 2004. He won a total of 107 caps for France, scoring six goals.

Written by GunnerN5 and compiled by Gooner in Exile

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73 Responses to Arsenal’s Greatest Midfielders Day 5

  1. Gooner In Exile says:

    3 heroes on one page……great stuff!

  2. Red Arse says:

    Rasp,

    I think this is the article Randy was referring to.

    Martin Samuels:

    The deal for Higuain is dragging on, Arsenal have made their interest in Rooney clear, but as Spurs sign £17m Paulinho, Wenger’s latest deal is for a 20-year-old from Auxerre

    “There was a reason why Jack Walker had to make Kenny Dalglish the manager of Blackburn Rovers. Nobody wanted to be the first.
    When Walker bought the club outright in 1991, it was obvious he had big plans. The problem was that few were sure how big, or whether Walker’s project would last. Don Mackay was the manager and that wasn’t a name to fire imaginations either. It was only when Dalglish joined the following October that top players began taking Blackburn seriously.

    If Dalglish had been persuaded out of retirement, they reasoned, Blackburn must mean business. Without Dalglish’s endorsement, there is no way Rovers could have assembled the squad that won the Premier League in 1995. Somebody had to have faith.

    Walker’s millions took Kenny Dalglish to Blackburn in 1991 – four years later the Premier League title followed

    And that is how it is at Arsenal. The deal for Gonzalo Higuain, seemingly completed several weeks ago, is still dragging on; Arsenal have made their interest in Wayne Rooney clear, without great encouragement.

    While neighbours Tottenham Hotspur have completed the transfer of Brazilian midfielder Paulinho, Arsenal’s latest deal is for a 20-year-old from Auxerre, Yaya Sanogo, who arrives on a free transfer.

    Having talked telephone numbers at the end of last season, it all seems horribly familiar.”

  3. Red Arse says:

    Terrific stuff, GN5! :-)

    The sadness is that it all seems so long ago – a different era – and we can only hope, without too much confidence, that those days and that type of player will return.

  4. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Thanks but you left off the conclusion …

    “Could it be that Arsenal are experiencing the same complication as Walker: they need to make a marquee signing to make others believe in their project, but somebody has to be the first to jump.

    If Higuain signs, will Rooney warm to Arsenal, too? If Rooney and Higuain are bought in, who else would come to regard Arsenal as an option?
    The problem is the club have spent so long as the poor relations among the elite, with so many unfulfilled promises of substantial investment, that the professional view is sceptical: when they see it, they’ll believe it. But who wants to be first?”

  5. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. How the hell can we choose just 3!

    One of my favourite AFC memories is the first 15 minutes of watching PV4’s first appearance. We all knew …

  6. Rasp says:

    Thanks Redders, Samuel’s conclusions are very similar to my own.

    I have kept very quiet about my feelings regarding the way the club is going but if this summer turns out to be yet another where we appear happy to do ‘just enough’ in the transfer market to give us a fighting chance of 4th, I shall not be able to contain myself.

    In the mean time, I shall remain optimistic that we will sign Higuain and a midfielder in the Fellaini mould and maybe a central defender until proven otherwise.

  7. Oh Raddy, wait until tomorrow ……. there are four in tomorrows post …..

  8. Rasp says:

    Apologies GN5 and GiE, today’s heroes are a great reminder of times when football appeared to have less politics and corporate spin. For a long time, Vieira was my favourite Arsenal player but stories about the manner of his departure have cast doubt on his loyalty …. can anyone shed any light on the true story behind him leaving?

  9. mickydidit89 says:

    Ahoy GiE, RA, BR, Rasp and Peaches.

    GN5, very tasty few days. Thank you.

    For me, players who chose to leave are out of my final vote, which I know is meant to be based on talent alone. So, no Paddy, Cesc, Liam or Henry for me.

    Ooo, that leaves the team of ’89 plus DB and IW :-)

  10. mickydidit89 says:

    Rasp

    Don’t know the details, but every bloody summer it was PV off to Madrid, and no denials from him. I cannot vote for people who preferred to play for someone else to win sodding trophies.

    It is a naïve and simplistic view, especially the way clubs show no loyalty, but hey diddly ho.

  11. Rasp says:

    Thanks Micky, Vieira’s departure is shrouded in mystery. Some say he had decided to stay and then we sold him any way others have hinted at some treacherous dealings on his/his agent’s part … who knows?

    All I know is that seeing him standing in the tunnel with Roy Keane dwarfed in his shadow (in every sense of the word) is one of my favourite Arsenal images.

  12. Big Raddy says:

    Re: PV. My recollection is somewhat different (could be age or an “overactive” youth).

    PV was being hawked by Arsenal because they were concerned about his fitness. In his last season he was half the player as a result of recurring knee problems. His transfer fee of just £13m reflects those concerns.

    He stayed when he was in his pomp and like many others who left AFC was never the same player (though he won many a medal).

    I would like to make a fairly hefty wager (at decent odds) that PV will be a future AFC manager.

  13. Red Arse says:

    Ahoy yourself, Micky! :-)

    I was shanghaied onto a cabin cruiser on the Thames recently, and set off in search of Moby Duck, standing heroically on the yard arm (the frontish bit, in my case) hollering at my crew — well the owners.

    I then somewhat ignominiously succumbed to a bout of seasickness and had to retire to my bunk, serenaded by a chorus of laughing ducks.

    Did you realise that Walt Disney was not kidding? Them thar ducks do indeed laugh — hahahahaquack, hahahahaquack — the little b*stards!

  14. mickydidit89 says:

    Raddy
    “overactive” youth….yip, I know exactly what one of those is :-)

    RA,
    I sometimes wonder whether some “help” may be needed in your case :-)

  15. Red Arse says:

    Micky,

    “Help”? :-)

    Just come straight out with it. Forget the ducking and diving — are you suggesting I am suffering from Duckiphobia?

  16. GunnerN5 says:

    Good day,

    Choosing only 3 players from the 10 profiled this week is a very difficult task – but when you see the forwards in the final week then this week will seem easy.

    When we have finalized all of our voting and revealed our “A” and “B” squads I will create a final post, based on your votes, highlighting “AA’s” all time top 50 players.

    I still don’t know who I’m voting for this week.

  17. GunnerN5 says:

    You guy’s quack me up!

  18. Big Raddy says:

    A duck walks in to a bar and asks the barman. “Has my brother been in today”

    The barman replies “I don’t know, what does he look like?”

  19. GunnerN5 says:

    Like all barmen, they are very good at making wise quacks.

  20. RockyLives says:

    Just peking in to say “bloody hell Gn5 – you are turning my brian and my heart in knots!”

  21. Gooner In Exile says:

    Haha at least Paulhino understands:

    “”I am moving from one big club to Tottenham, another club in a big league.”

    Subtle distinction :D

  22. GunnerN5 says:

    Paulhino’s new position at Spurs is gong to be
    “Haulin’ po”‘

  23. GunnerN5 says:

    Oh, and he will be wearing the “Number 2″ shirt……………..

  24. Gooner In Exile says:

    Having a little think about summer movements and all seems certain to hinge on strikers.

    And in my view its all about Cavani…..when he is sold the rest of them can move around. If Chelsea get him it’ll mean Torres on the move, if Chelsea don’t get him they can decide to stick with Torres and Ba or join a race for Higuain and up his price will go. Reckon the sellers will be doing as much stalling as the buyers because once Cavani moves it means there will be two other clubs (two of City, Chavs and PSG as the only ones who can afford him) potentially in for their man, and both will be capable of elevating the price for those already in the market.

  25. chas says:

    GIE,
    Rational thinking such as that has no place on an Arsenal blog.

  26. chas says:

    GN5, Thanks for another belter.

    Paul Davis, good with his head too!

  27. Thank goodness for GiE’s rational thinking I say, our sanity is in his hands ;)

  28. chas says:

    Razor…..

  29. evonne says:

    Micky – sorry sorry sorry, you were referring to Kubot vs Janowicz and I was thinking Radwanska vs Lisicki. Cross wires.

    GN5 – emotional trip down the memory lane for me. I cannot believe it was as long ago as that! Clearly time flies when you are having fun. I wish PV4 was still my fav. as I truly loved the big guy. Sadly, he did nothing to retain the status of the legend since he left, so it has to be best looking again – stand up Ray Parlour

  30. chas says:

    peaches,
    You’re not getting wound up by the transfer window too, are ya?

  31. chas says:

    Paddy….

  32. chas says:

    Where’s Sharkey?

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh yeah right!

    I say the same thing as GiE days ago, but oh no, it’s “Ooo, aren’t you clever GiE”.

    Well, not really, ‘cos old clever clogs forgot to stick Real Madrid into the mix of potential buyers, who by the way are his preferred Club. So nah, nah, nah, nah nah :-)

  34. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas

    With 26?

  35. mickydidit89 says:

    Let’s face it, Real will be after a replacement for Higuain, so quite possibly, it’s going to be Cavani or Suarez.

  36. LB says:

    Good luck Vito, you were liked.

  37. chas says:

    Micky,
    You’re da best. All others are pale imitations.

  38. chas says:

    If Paulinho is so good, why were no big teams in for him? :)

  39. GunnerN5 says:

    Mannone completes Sunderland move

    Arsenal Football Club can confirm that goalkeeper Vito Mannone has joined Sunderland for an undisclosed fee.

    The 25-year old Italian will team up with Paolo Di Canio’s side after spending eight years with the Gunners, during which time he made 23 appearances for the Club.

    Mannone joined Arsenal from Atalanta in 2005 and it was not long before he enjoyed his first taste of action in the Championship on loan with Barnsley during the 2006/07 season.

    Over the next two seasons, the goalkeeper became a regular around the Gunners’ first-team squad, eventually making his debut against Stoke City in the Premier League in May 2009. After a series of impressive performances, he spent two further successful loan stints with Hull City to gain valuable first team experience, playing 23 times for the Tigers during 2011/12 – a spell which was notable for an outstanding run of nine clean sheets in 11 league matches, which saw the Yorkshire side finish narrowly outside the play-off places.

    Last season, Mannone was a mainstay in the Arsenal first-team squad for much of the campaign, stepping in for Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski and making nine Premier League appearances plus a further four in the UEFA Champions League.

    Everyone at Arsenal would like to thank Vito for his contribution to the Club and wish him well for his future career.

    Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc.

  40. evonne says:

    Actually, I have changed my mind. PV4 was loyal to the Club for much longer than he had to. He moved to Italy when he was already 29 and had slim chance of a long contract with us. During his time at AFC he was definitely the best. And we are voting best player, not for the nicest guy.

    Despite this rational reasoning of mine I could never vote for R$P as best striker, even if he was one, which he wasn’t.

  41. Gooner In Exile says:

    Micky only a buffoon like wiff waffer would imagine Cavani at Madrid, they are only expressing an interest to scare the shit out of Spuds by saying he is not our only £50m+ target.

  42. Gooner In Exile says:

    The reason that’ll scare the shit is because Spuds are banking on the sale monies to fund their new stadium.

  43. Keeper sold to blunder land I never rated him.
    Shelvby to the swans,
    And no sign of the wig or the hig for us only a young frenchie
    Sheep Hagger 👍

  44. chas says:

    Who needs NewsNow when you have The Sheep.
    No dangleberries on that lad.
    (who the f*ck is Shelvby?)

  45. Gooner In Exile says:

    That leaves us with 2 keepers right? Unless Martinez will be 3rd choice.

  46. Gooner In Exile says:

    See the best thing about blogging is I don’t have to trawl through the shite out there others will bring the news to us :D

  47. chas says:

    Great photos, Rob.

  48. mickydidit89 says:

    Soaking bloody wet in July :-(

    Thanks to one of you, I’ve discovered Newsnow. Wow, what a great start to the day. Apparently, Higuain signs on Friday, and also, The Sun have stopped taking bets (Do Newspapers take bets?) on Suarez signing for The Gunners.

    I reckon both are true :-)

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    Evonne

    You are, ultimately, bang on: “And we are voting best player, not for the nicest guy. Despite this rational reasoning of mine I could never vote for R$P as best striker, even if he was one”

    So…. you are not childish like me, but then, you are :-)

    (Exactly how many votes do you expect me to give to Henry?)

    ROLF

  50. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas
    You only exercise indoors?

  51. chas says:

    I bike to work, Micky.

  52. chas says:

    Also the gym has an outdoor pool.

  53. chas says:

    It’s not long enough but that’s what they all say.

  54. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah the bike. Not possible living in the countryside, strictly a townie means of transport (as opposed to sport).

  55. chas says:

    Is it Bobby, Freddie, Cesc and who else today?
    I’m sure I’ve forgotten an obvious one.

  56. chas says:

    I enjoyed the taxi crack.

  57. chas says:

    Must dash. Up the Arse.

  58. The hig the wig or Louis the teeth I’d take any of them
    Sheep news

  59. evonne says:

    Micky – infantile is the word used to describe me sometimes

    Big thumbs up for Higgy, he father has been talking again! Great news!

  60. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Very interesting interview about Abramovich. Thanks.

    Some better gossip around yesterday with the Barry story. Sadly, no fiurther talk about Gerv to Marseilles.

  61. Hi
    Gareth Barry I’d rather sign Barry Butlins.
    Come on Wenger u tight git spend da dose .
    Sleepy

  62. evonne says:

    fiu fiu (that’s a wolf whistle), that is looking very plausible:

    ALL bets – or should that be bites? – are off! According to The Sun, bookmakers William Hill are taking no more bets on Liverpool striker Luiz Suarez moving to Arsenal after “a series of massive bets in Spain” were laid on the Uruguayan joining the Emirates. The paper claims that Suarez, banned last season for taking a bite out of Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, is on the brink of “a sensational move” to Arsenal – and not Real Madrid as originally thought. William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams told the Sun the betting surge “would suggest they have heard something substantial”, and consequently the bookies have closed the market. Suarez has made no secret in recent months of his wish to play Champions League football and though it was thought he would move overseas, it now appears the Gunners have been laying the groundwork on the sly.

    Read more: http://www.theweek.co.uk/sport/53955/suarez-heading-arsenal-say-bookies-bales-hold#ixzz2Y3pnC91i

  63. Big Raddy says:

    Evonne. I would love it to be true but lets’s be honest – it must be bolleaux.

    Suarez has complained repeatedly about the British press and his need to get away. Why would he come to London where he would be even more in the spotlight?

    But Pretty Please …. because he is a brilliant player.

  64. Red Arse says:

    Randy,

    ‘Suarez to Arsenal’ is as likely as ‘Rooney to Arsenal’!

    Neither is going to happen.

    Every summer some clever clogs put out non-sourced rumours either to sell papers (I bet the Sun’s circulation has shot up today) or because an agent(s) wants to create an atmosphere of ‘competition’ to increase their player’s (and their own) income, or to speed up transfer negotiations with the club they really want their man to go to.

    We all really know that, but it still can be upsetting to some when it does not happen, because in even the most cynical heart breathes the spark of hope. [Unless the name in question is Barry]. :-)

  65. Big Raddy says:

    RA :-)

    And it has the double benefit of allowing journalists (?) to write “Arsenal outbid/miss out on/ lose on xxxx”.

    ” in even the most cynical heart breathes the spark of hope. ” Poetry.

  66. Rasp says:

    Morning all……

    ….. New post ……..

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