Yes, it’s that time again: time to find out which of the “transfer target” stories have legs and which don’t, based on an ancient and secret formula for decoding the gossip and separating the silver from the dross.
The key lies in the letters.
No, not letters from Dick Law to various European club presidents saying “Please can we have player X. We will give you lots of money eventually but only after we have haggled until the last second of the transfer window. Go on – please.”
It’s far more mysterious than that.
You see just as astrologers find hidden meaning in the music of the spheres and phrenologists divine whole futures from the bumps on your bonce, so too can skilled observers detect clues from the very letters that make up the names of our purported targets.
I am such a skilled observer so, once again, I can proudly reveal the results of the Arsenal Arsenal Anagramometer. It’s a very simple process: you take the letters of a given target’s name, scramble them into new words – and in those words lie the answers to whether those players are right for the Mighty Arsenal or – in some cases – are definitely heading our way.
For example, a couple of summers ago there was a story linking us with a move for the Wolves and Ireland striker Kevin Doyle. There were even some indications that the Arsenal hierarchy really were looking at him as a stop-gap target man.
However, once the Arsenal Arsenal Anagramometer revealed that when you scramble “Kevin Doyle” you get “Evil Donkey” the club dropped him like a hot potato. And rightly so.
Likewise I could have told you weeks ago that Yaya Sanogo would be joining us after I scrambled his letters and came up with: “As a Goon? Yay!”
So now we move onto this summer’s mooted targets. The secrets that emerge from the anagramometer may surprise you…
The Montenegran striker currently at Fiorentina has been very strongly linked with us this summer. I don’t doubt his skills, but the letters show that he may be motivated by personal greed and may have an arrogant personality that won’t gel with the rest of the dressing room: “Vain – Covets Jet.”
Sometimes the revelations of the letters are clear – sometimes they are more cryptic. Higuain comes into the latter category. The supremely gifted, two-footed Argentinian striker has apparently told Real Madrid that he wants to leave – but will he come to us? His scrambled letters come out as “Laughing In A Zoo.” Now that could be a reflection of how he feels currently in the crazy world of Mourinho’s Madrid. Or it could be a metaphor for him having a happy and successful time in the middle of Arsenal’s menagerie of prize specimens from all over the world. I like Higuain so I hope it’s the latter.
Poor old Wazza. We’ve unscrambled him before and it always just comes out as “Nan Were Yoyo.” The idea of a grannie bouncing up and down on a teenage Wayne is guaranteed to put anyone off their supper. And I’m afraid it guarantees that we will not be seeing Rooney with a cannon on his chest.
If we want someone who is the anti-Rooney, then Edinson – who’s been banging in the goals for Napoli – is our man. It’s all in the letters, you see: “Nice – Avoids Nan.”
Another cryptic one. Julio’s letters unscramble as “Jail Course”. I know it looks confusing at first glance, but to the trained eye it’s another story – and one that almost certainly means he’s on his way to our squad this summer. For a start, he has had a course of confinement in the jail that was QPR’s relegation season under chief warder ‘Appy ‘Arry and he is clearly desperate to breathe again the fresh air of freedom. Secondly, the meaning of “jail” in the context of a goalkeeper is “secure, safe.” Basically, we’re going to sign Cesar and he’s going to be great.
Unfortunately the letters in the Celtic defensive midfielder’s name do not reveal whether or not he’s joining us – but they do show that if we get him, we will be getting a player with oodles of confidence: “I Can Avow My Art.”
Arseblogger himself has a little dabble at anagramising Clement’s name yesterday. He came up with “Gentlemen Crier” for the Lyon midfielder. Nice try ‘Blogger, but it takes years of dedication to master this particular art. In fact the true unscrambling of the Frenchman’s name suggests that if we get him this summer, it will only be a loan basis and that he will be very, very good: “Renting Le Crème.”
I was gutted when I saw the way the letters fell with the Barcelona and Spain striker Villa. He’s a great player and I was hoping we might get him this summer. But “Advil Valid” suggests that if we do, it will be a headache for all concerned. Steer clear, Arsene!
Who needs an anagram when you’re called Lars Bender, you might well ask. But even the most amusing names can benefit from a spin cycle in the anagramometer. And when we throw in the young Bayern Leverkusen midfielder we find that he might fit in ever so smoothly with our existing midfielders: “Rare Blends.”
If Arsene is tempted by the Aston Villa striker I feel impelled to warn him that it would be an unwise gamble. The naturalized Belgian (he was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) has had a good season in the Premier League but would be overpriced and may well suffer from second season syndrome. The letters are emphatic on what we should think of Wenger if he signs him: “Arsene In Thick Bet.”
Finally a player with whom we have not yet been officially linked but… you never know. After all, no-one was expecting that Sol Campbell would abandon the swamp dwellers and move to The Home of Football.
Let’s just say that if the Welsh Wing Wizard joins us, first he will have to have a “Large Bathe” to remove all traces of N17 pollution… you know, little bits of choke dust, some motes of envy and speckles of spite – all the usual detritus of lingering too long in the shadows.
Thank you for indulging my fondness for anagrams.
If it’s not your thing, no problem – it would still be great to hear what you think are the merits or failings of the above named players with whom we have been widely linked.