Sanogo Concludes Arsenal’s Summer Business?

July 8, 2013

Well not for me it doesn’t, I remain optimistic that the best is still to come and my rationale is this: put simply, we have at last moved up a drawer; we are still unable to shop in the top drawer, that remains the domain of Man City, Man U, Chelsea, Barça, Real and PSG and they are all hovering around Cavani but with the winks and nudges suggesting that Arsenal have 60 mil to spend we are able to shop in the next draw down, and that is where the likes of Higuaín can be found.

Some might suggest that with 60 million available we should have more financial clout than Barça or Real and I would agree but we all know or at least we should know that those two clubs offer a greater prestigious attraction than we do which will trump us if the money is equal.

But, just in case you think I am singing the praises of other clubs a little too loudly than is healthy, you might note I have not included any of the Italian teams. We have, quite simply moved ahead of that lot.

Other more observant readers are sure to notice that for all the teams I have mentioned above I have only suggested one top drawer player: Cavani, and those same people will also realise that one player is not going to satisfy five clubs so the fear is that they start looking in the second drawer down – which they may well do and that is what Real are surely waiting for because they know that if Chelsea show an interest the price will rise beyond our reach – But I remain optimistic as I am not sure that Mourinho’s ego will allow him shop in such a squalid place.

How many drawers are there for goodness sake?

Well, to me there are four draws, a bit like the four divisions of the old English football league. We have moved from drawer 3 to drawer 2.

Our knuckle dragging neighbours still shop in the bottom drawer.

Podolski, Mertasacker and Giroud came from the third draw down and as such we were able to pick them up quicker but there is a price to pay for moving up a drawer — we have to be more patient.

But for all my swan like calmness above the water, regarding Higuaín, my feet are panicking like crazy below the water about Fellaini, a striker would be good but if we could sign just one more player this summer my vote would be for the Belgian. That man would change everything. It would be impossible for Wenger to play the same style as we have for the last umpteen seasons. For me Fellaini would undoubtedly bring not only aggression but violence; he would bring fear, the kind of fear we exuded when Vieira and Petite were in their pomp.

And what drawer can Fellaini be found in? I don’t give a monkeys — just sign him.

If we could sign just one player out of Higuaín or Fellaini who would you chose?

Written by LB


Definitely NOT Arsenal Transfer News.

July 5, 2013

My Uncle Earnest DidIt always says that “if you have nothing to say, then say nothing”.

Now this is easy for him to say, as he never has had anything worth saying. In fairness to the old trout, he is a Man of Action, not words. I have often wondered that if Earnest had actually managed to unearth an in interest in anything other than sex and the pursuit of other peoples’ money to support his foul habits, how he would have tackled something as tricky as being an Arsenalic during a Summer Lull.

Let’s face it, like most, he would be sitting somewhere in one of three camps entering the silly season.

In the Camp Doom, there was history on their side, which said that we will only spend what we earn from player sales. For these Doomsters, a bleak summer looked inevitable, as there was no obvious high value assets that wanted to “win things” and require fresh pastures.

Then, in Camp Chaos, there was the possibility of a Boardroom Power Struggle, with Usmanov grabbing an extra share or two with the ensuing fur and toupes flying.

Finally, Camp Whatever, or the “Que Sera, Seras”. A boringly mature troupe here, who prefer to deal in reality, and fuss not about matters beyond their control.

Where do I reckon Earnest would slot in? My gut feeling would be “None of the above”, rather “I actually don’t give a shit about anything apart from turning up on match day, getting ripped to the tits with my mates, watching a cracking game, then going home with a Goonerette on each arm”. Yip, two, as even in his eighties, he is a ferociously fertile man.

Him, not me, speaking. We are very loosely related you understand.

Written by MickyDidIt for a very quiet Friday 😦


Thank Boo for the lack of World Class Signings

February 26, 2013

Yesterday saw the release of the clubs six monthly figures, I was asked to provide an analysis of them, but to be honest I think thats a pretty boring blog for the non accountants and would lead us into a circular debate that we have been down many times before. Instead I wanted to focus on a certain element of them, and look at them from a different angle.

The numbers I wanted to look at was transfer money in and transfer money out.

I am using purely the value and am not worried about whether it has been paid or not at the time of the financial reports:

6m to Nov 2012 12m to May 2012
Players Out £44.2m £71.4m
Players In £40.8m £78.2m

As you can see from the above we have spent as much as we have had coming in from transfers over the last couple of seasons. So whats the problem?

I think one of the problems is that Arsene has been forced to buy more players in than we have sold, again the question why? Well thats where you the boo boys and naysayers come in.

This was our squad at the end of the 2010-11 season.

Keepers Defenders Midfielders Attackers
Szczesny Sagna Song v. Persie
Fabianski Djourou Wilshere Chamakh
Almunia Koscielny Nasri Bendtner
Lehmann Clichy Fàbregas Vela
Mannone Squillaci Arshavin
Gibbs Walcott
Vermaelen Rosicky
Traoré Denílson
Eboué
Diaby
Ramsey
Frimpong

Whilst the 2010-11 season is seen as a failure by many it was the last time we came close to achieving something, 1 point behind ManUre in February, a bent ref away from knocking Barca out of the Champions League and well the Carling Cup we all know what happened there, and the season fell away, we were probably one centre back short of a trophy, we already had him in the squad he was unfortunately injured for most of the season.

Before the 2010-11 season we had a bit of a clear out, Gallas, Eduardo, Senderos, Silvestre, Campbell from the first team squad. And in came Squillaci, Koscielny and Chamakh. We were settled going in to the season, and we did ok, the football was a lot better than what we are seeing now, if you look at the squad above it is not hard to see why it was that way, apart from the new arrivals everyone had played for the club for over two years, knew Arsene’s style and methodology.

At the end of the season we lost Cesc, Nasri and Clichy, I do not want to go over old ground and lets just assume that they were unavoidable for now. That would have raised us £67m, not exactly small change. What could we have bought with that? Mata, and Hazard, no problem at all get them in. Look at the squad above take out Clichy, Cesc and Nasri add in Mata and Hazard, wouldn’t be so bad would it? Ok Maybe we could have done with another centre back as well, but we would have been almost a carbon copy.

But instead of that we had to lose all those players deemed by the fans not fit to wear the shirt, out went Eboue and Traore too. On top of that there were the players who had decided that being booed wasn’t exactly the nicest experience when they played football so they also looked for a move away, so out on loan went Denilson, and Bendtner, eventually joined by Arshavin out on loan to Zenit to get match fit for the World Cup and to escape the abuse ringing in his ears after we lost to ManUre at home. Squillacci sitting at home unplayable because who knows what the reaction would be if he was allowed to take to the turf at the Emirates again.

So as a result Wenger now had to replace 7/8 players in the squad with his £77m, at an average of £10m a player I am afraid it is not going to achieve the desired quality. If we had managed to show those players enough love to stay or that Wenger did not fear using them maybe we wouldn’t have had to look for Poundland value, we could have got in the big names, and added to what we had.

This problem has been compounded into the 2012-13 season, as we all know we sold Brave Sir Robin, and Alex Song, again a couple of players needed to replace with £38m, a holding midfielder, and a centre forward, could we have achieved it? Probably yes, but now we have more unplayables, Chamakh, Djourou, Gervinho. So again we have to sign more players around the £10-£15m mark rather than go out and spend on one or two players. We probably wouldn’t have needed to sell Song if we didn’t need to add a second striker.

This cycle will continue until we as fans start supporting every player at our club, we need a squad, we have to accept they are not as good as the first team, but we also need to realise that if we lose squad players we have to replace them, if they go out on loan or get sold cheap because we have ripped them of all confidence then it is our fault, and we are giving Arsene a headache that he doesn’t need.

There is a big risk we could go through the same again at the end of this season, there is growing criticism of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sagna, Vermaelen and Merteacker, and even Szczesny and Arteta are having question marks placed over them, it has already reached fever pitch for Gervinho, Diaby, Arshavin and Ramsey, and we have already managed to force out Santos.

When will we realise that not every player in the squad needs to be World Class, what we actually need is a settled squad and a light smattering of game changers, and we the fans can help that happen, we just need to stop writing off the squad players and instead give them our support….otherwise we will have more long seasons ahead.

Written by Gooner in Exile


Wenger to Chelsea?

December 14, 2012

Too many words have already been written on the subject of Arsene Wenger, nevertheless BR would like to give his tuppence worth.  I don’t usually write serious posts and this is a rarity (hence no pics or explorers)

Firstly, is Mr Wenger too old for his job? The crux here is that he is two generations older than some of the players and could easily be their grand-father-figure!  Does he understand “Dench”? Of course not.  The question is does he need to? Wenger has never been the arm around the shoulder buddy to the players – he has been and remains a much respected, somewhat distant manager. He has other people to be the emotional rock, though it should be pointed out that AW does create close relationships with his players – just look at TH14. But as an older man myself, I know that the mind is not as open and flexible as it once was, there are new ideas in football and it is the younger men who embrace them. Would a Lambert or a Laudrup be better? Can Wenger adjust to the digital age?

Is Mr Wenger, as has often been touted, tactically naive? Now BR is no tactitian and is not able to judge but a manager doesn’t suddenly go from being manager of the decade to dunce or does he? It certainly appears that AW does get  out-thought by the top European managers, SAF seems to have the hoodoo over him and has beaten us with teams which on paper should never have won. The strict adherence to 4-3-3 may be costing Arsenal – right now though it is the team rather than the system which is letting us down.

Is Mr. Wenger’s notorious reluctance to pay big money for star players the problem?  I recall AW stating that there are many highly expensive players who were simply not worth the money ( I believe he was referring to Kaka and Ronaldinho). His preference has always been to shop elsewhere and who can say whether signing Ibrahimovitch (for example)  instead of Giroud would have improved the team. In my opinion Ibra would have had a huge impact, not only because he is a brilliant player but he also takes a huge reputation (and ego) into the dressing room. A few years ago our young players could say they shared a dressing room with TH or PV or TA or DB …. now? ?  To be a big club we have to have big players and the biggest one we have at present is Theo, who isn’t even a first choice England player. We need to sign someone who can attract other quality players to the club.

Please Mr Wenger, I beg you – buy a World Class player – forget the wages, forget the fee because if we want to see kids wearing Arsenal shirts around the world then we need a name to hang the team on.

Is Mr Wenger responsible for the poor performances of late? Damn right he is. One may well say that it was the players who caused the embarrassment at Bradford but who bought/nurtured them? Who picks them? Who motivates them?

Mr Wenger is not above criticism nor should he be. Of late he has made costly and inexplicable mistakes in his transfer dealing; he continues to use players out of position causing uncertainty and frustration. Worse, this team seems devoid of inspiration and football intelligence. Who can one look to when a team which includes the imagination of Cazorla, Wilshere, Arteta, Rosicky and Diaby does not create goal scoring opportunities? Since when have Arsenal been a team who play with a target man, a tactic not used since the days of Wright? And if we are forced into this tactic because of a dreadful shortage of strikers – who is to blame?

I am not questioning AW’s continued reign as Arsenal manager – I remain convinced he is the right man for the job. He has the experience, the courage and the skill to take us back to the top but something has to change. The transition of Arsenal from being a football club to an American owned Corporation has been painful and for some fans unacceptable but in the words of Paul Weller “This is the Modern World”. Those asking for “our Arsenal back” are deluded – it has gone forever. If it has been hard for the fans imagine how difficult it has been for Mr. Wenger. My hope and expectation is that Arsene will see out his contract and leave on a cloud of love and appreciation to become a National manager .

My final point is this and it is a question to those with an “Arsene Out” agenda:-

Chelsea have been looking for a manager who will develop their youth system and get them playing attractive football – they have been looking for many years now. Do you imagine that Roman hasn’t had his men approach AW? It doesn’t take much vision to see how quickly AW would build a team with the brilliance of Hazard, Mata etc allied to an open cheque book. What would you think if the next manager of Chelsea was one who was pee’d off with the complaints from the minority of Arsenal fans and decided to take a  last, huge financial payday at Stamford Bridge?

Arsene Wenger – next Chelsea manager? It is not beyond the realms of possibility.

Would that make you happy?

Written by Big Raddy


The Rumour Mill

August 8, 2012

I have posted on here before of my amusement at the intensity of fans during the summer break, I know I am in the minority but I simply cannot be bothered to get wound up by the rumour mill and media circus. Thank god this superb Olympics has pulled so many of the scribes away from their dubious fabrications within the football silly season and directed them to a more worthwhile and fulfilling portrayal of fact rather than fiction.

I am aware that blogs need to feed upon themselves, but the reading of tealeaves based upon todays rumour is surely just about as relevant to Arsenal as Madam Clairvoyants input as she travels the country with the summer fairs, reading punters palms.

We debate and denigrate the activities and statements supposedly coming out of the club whilst agonising and moralising over the leaked utterances of players not noted for their non-football cerebral powers, whilst knowing instinctively that they are merely stocking fillers emanating from a bevy of devious and self-seeking agents, many of whom do not represent the player concerned but have smelt a honeypot and gleefully inserted their fingers in the hope of getting a share of the sweetness on offer.

Fact has no relevance for these charlatans, yet we the fans are moved to cogitate that there is no smoke without fire whilst knowing in all likelihood that it is purely smoke and mirrors which needs no fire as the smoke itself is artificial.

Thankfully only ten days stand between us and the new season and though all our transfer business may not be finalised at least we will be able to debate from a position of strength as to the relevance of the work carried out by the club and officials. They have apparently signed and continue to sign reinforcements whist juggling the movements of existing staff both within and away from the club.

My reading of the blog through this period has engendered a feeling of sadness that so many of our bloggers have lost their trust in the club and its personnel mainly through the constant non information in the form of rumours being constantly recycled.

Roll on the new season and a return for us all to the real world of football.

Written by dandan


Let’s Get Bendy.

July 7, 2012

Now what I mean by “bendy” is “rubbery”, “elastic” or “flexible”.

You see, shit happens. Last term, we had Santos/Gibbs at LB, Verm, Kos, JD and Mert for the two CB slots and Sagna/Jenks at RB. And yet, within seven minutes of the season kicking off, we had the Assistant Groundsman at RB.

Also, I’m convinced Arteta was bought as a Nasri/Cesc AM replacement. He moved further back, and what a revelation he was.

A few days ago, I was going to ask everyone here to be Manager for a moment and list their starting elevens for the first game and also to layout the formations. There would not have been many alike.

Yesterday, LB suggested as a “maybe” a back four of Verm, Kos, Mert and Sagna. It works, as does a three of Verm, Mert and Kos, or Santos, Verm, Mert and Jenks. And, and, and….

Ah ha, the midfield three. Oh heck. How about Song as a lone DM with Diaby and Ox in front. Arteta and Song deep with Rosicky ahead. Hey, did you see Italy? What was Pirlo doing that Jack could not?

And up top. Oh jeepers. Most appear to have Pod on the left with Giroud in the middle. Really? Ever seen Pod beating the RB for speed and putting in the perfect cross. I haven’t. On the other hand, I have watched him banging them in time and time again for a very poor team. Guess what, in virtually every clip he comes from central or from the right!

Now consider my opening gambit of our defensive injury woes of last season. Well, we are not alone. City had FB issues and Utd CB problems. In other words, many elastic line ups should allow us the options of exploiting the opposition weaknesses.

Say we are playing against a third choice stick insect of a right back. By all means release the muscle boy from Germany down the left. If on the other hand their third choice RB is built like Sonny Liston and has the turn of speed of a JCB, play Gerv.

The single most important aspect is that all eleven are fully committed to the cause, and that quality abounds throughout the squad.

I still think Nasri was right when he implied that were it true that he was simply picking up the weekly package at Arsenal, then he would not have been alone.

The way I see things right now is that the dutch bloke will be flogged, and what we get for him will have paid for Giroud and Podolski. Let’s off load a few more. Bring in some more quality and away we go.

Finally, to put some cash where my mouth is, I have a brilliant idea. For two sodding years I’ve been saying “Get Vertonghen”. There is no bendier player than he. 6’2”, fast, strong, great feet, great in the air, Verm type piledriver of a shot and can play anywhere across the back, as DM, and almost certainly in goal as well!

Oh, and yes, let’s take a punt on Oscar. Just to add a sprinkling of Brazilian magic dust. Not forgetting of course, that those cretins from down the road are rumoured to be after both, and this Arsenal thing in our lives is about having some fun after all.

Written by MickyDidIt89


Arsenal’s Best Ever Transfer Manager

June 4, 2012

We judge managers on many criteria, the most obvious of which is winning trophies.

But not far behind the acquiring of silverware comes the ability to find great players and bring them to The Arsenal.

In those stakes there are some interesting contenders for the crown of our club’s best ever “picker”.

Read on… then vote for the one you think has been the best in this regard.

Bertie Mee

Bertie’s appointment from physio to manager in 1966 was a big shock to most people (him included – he insisted on a clause in his contract that he could return to physiotherapy after 12 months if the management thingy didn’t work out). Bertie had a strong core of players to build on, but he brought in (or promoted from the youth team): George Graham (Chelsea), Bob McNab (Huddersfield), Pat Rice (youth), Charlie George (youth), Eddie Kelly (youth), Ray Kennedy (Port Vale), Sammy Nelson (youth), Liam Brady (youth), Frank Stapleton (youth) and David O’Leary (youth). Pick the legends out of that lot! However he also recruited Peter Marinello, Alan Ball and Bobby Gould, none of whom were great successes at Arsenal.

Arsène Wenger

Like Bertie Mee, Arsène was able to build on some great foundations when he got the best job in football in 1996. The George Graham back four was still in place and the club had also acquired a certain talismanic Dutchman. But our new French coach made signings that would really bring back the glory days: Vieira from Milan; Petit from Monaco; Anelka from PSG; Overmars from Ajax; Henry from Juventus; Ljungberg from Halmstad; Campbell from Hell; Toure from ASEC Mimosas and more. In 1998, 2002 and 2004 those players brought us huge success and some stunning football.  Since then we have seen many other fine players arrive under Arsene’s stewardship (Van Persie, Fabregas, Vermaelen, Sagna, Walcott, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain), but seven potless years have also led to questioning as to whether his “picking powers” are on the wane.

Terry Neill

Terry was at the helm from 1976 to 1983. During that time he took us to three FA Cup Finals (sadly we won only one of them), plus a Cup Winners Cup Final (lost) and a third place finish in the league in 1980-81.  His key signings were Malcolm MacDonald (from Newcastle), Alan Sunderland (Wolves) and Pat Jennings (the Swamp). Graham Rix was his most notable promotion from the youth team. Supermac, in particular, was a great signing who really lifted the club. He scored 42 goals in 84 appearances for us before injury brought an untimely end to his career.

Herbert Chapman

Chapman spent several years failing to achieve much success after joining Arsenal from Huddersfield Town in 1925, but after winning the FA Cup in 1930 he oversaw one of the most successful periods ever in our club’s history – an era of dominance that ended prematurely with Herbert’s sudden death from pneumonia. His most significant signings included such legendary Arsenal figures as Alex James (Preston NE), Cliff Bastin (Exeter), David Jack (Bolton), Eddie Hapgood (Kettering) and Herbie Roberts (Oswestry).

Billy Wright

Billy managed Arsenal from 1962 to 1966 and his reign brought no major trophies. However, he helped lay the foundations of the success that would follow a few years later. Billy’s transfers included Bob Wilson who arrived from Wolves and Frank McLintock, from Leicester. Both would go on to be vital members of the 1971 Double side, Frank as the captain. Billy also promoted several promising youngsters into the first team, including Peter Simpson, John Radford, Peter Storey and George Armstrong, so he could certainly spot a player.

George Graham

The “famous back four” will always constitute Gorgeous George’s most lasting legacy to Arsenal. When he took over as manager in 1986 he found Tony Adams, Paul Merson, Micky Thomas, Paul Davis and David Rocastle all waiting for him. Graham was quick to make Adams his captain and to put his faith in this outstanding crop of young players. But he had to transfer in the other components of the legendary defensive unit: Winterburn from Wimbledon; Dixon and Bould from Stoke and Keown from Everton.  When you consider that George also brought us the joy of watching the likes of Ian Wright, Alan Smith, Anders Limpar and David Seaman, you can see how effective his transfer instincts were. However, in his later years the signings (or promoting) of players like Kiwomya, Carter, Morrow, Hillier, Helder, Jensen and Selley provided a bit of a knock to his reputation.

So, who do you think has been our best picker of players ever?

RockyLives


Nasri or £20million?

July 17, 2011

The question is clearly a gross oversimplification of the complex chain of negotiations involved in football transfers, but many supporters are prepared to believe that Arsène Wenger means what he says and intends to keep Samir Nasri whether he signs a contract extension or not.

Personally I find it hard to believe that the club would let him go on a free in a year’s time when he could add £20m (or thereabouts) to the coffers this summer.

Even so,  if we accept AW’s assertion that Nasri is going nowhere is true, let’s examine the pros and cons on the assumption that he does not intend to sign a new contract with Arsenal.

Pros if Nasri stays

  • We would have the services of a top player who has been an integral part of our midfield for another year.
  • He could be the difference between us qualifying for the CL or not and the money earned by doing so outweighs the loss of a selling fee.
  • We would not be weakening ourselves and strengthening one of our top four rivals by allowing him to go to manu or city.
  • We would be sending out an important message to the football world that we won’t be bullied.

Cons if Nasri stays

  • We would forego a selling fee reported to be in the region of £20m
  • Hopefully we will still have Cesc in addition to Song, Wilshere and Ramsey. Add to that Arshavin, Diaby, Walcott, Rosicky and possibly Frimpong and it would appear that we have an abundance of midfielders.
  • He could pick up an injury and miss a large chunk of the season.
  • What if he can’t motivate himself such is his disappointment at not being allowed to leave?

Opinions seem to be divided on the issue. I’d be interested to know what the groundswell of opinion among supporters is so please feel free to express your preference by participating in the poll below. The results are open for all to see by clicking on ‘View Results

False premise

It is entirely possible that all the speculation is based on a false premise. The exercise is purely hypothetical and the whole furore may have just been engineered by Nasri’s negotiating team to get him the best deal possible. Many will say “sell him as long as we spend the money to buy a top player (defender)”.

I think the only two alternatives the club should consider are:

We do everything to encourage him to stay including a sizeable pay rise and repeatedly tell the world he is not for sale

or,

We sell him even if it is to a top four rival.

A possible outcome could be that he signs a new contract with a buy-out clause that allows him to leave in a year’s time. This way both parties retain their dignity and Arsenal will get a good price in addition to his services for one more year.

The idea of  a ‘gentleman’s agreement as a form of  ‘contract’ seems to have arisen from the circumstances surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from manu. We all know the famous Samuel Goldwyn quote regarding verbal contracts.

I don’t think any top club has ever admitted to striking such a deal which would rely on honour and integrity, both of which are in short supply in the Premiership as Mancini  graphically demonstrated only yesterday. Buy-out clauses (often ludicrously high) are common and may be the norm in contracts with the top players so I would expect any new contract signed by Nasri to include an exit strategy.

I want to keep him and keep him happy. Cesc will almost certainly go back to Barca some time in the next few years and the future of Arsenal’s central midfield may well be in the capable hands of Wilshere and Ramsey, but for the timebeing I want to retain the artistry and experience of Nasri but not at the cost of £20m for one season – that’s too high a price.


Buy Some ……… Players

July 11, 2011

Written by Loh

Finally, after days of reading various rumours and tabloid stories on Arsenal’s potential transfer targets and the continuous never-ending Cesc and Nasri sagas, we at last, get to hear from Wenger himself on what is exactly happening and to be bluntly honest, it doesn’t sound too promising….

Well the good thing is Wenger has confirmed that he will be fighting hard to keep both Cesc and Nasri. How successful he is remains to be seen.

In the case of Nasri, if what he says is true, and his main motivation is to win honours, then I struggle to see how Wenger can convince him to stay especially with what he had said now on his planned transfer activities (which I’ll talk more later). If Nasri wants money, if rumour is again to be believed, we are offering him up to £110,000 per week now which is probably what he can earn elsewhere. Only difference is he is probably thinking he can earn as much elsewhere, but has a better chance of winning honours and hence, potentially further inflate his wage demand the next time he negotiates a new deal (assuming he will be a key player in his new team)! So the only chance I see of Wenger convincing him to stay will be down to 1 word:- LOYALTY! And sadly, loyalty is a rare virtue in modern football.

As for Fabregas, based on the current situation, I see him as the more likely one of the two to be in an Arsenal jersey come next season mainly because of his long term contract. All indications show that he will not want to tarnish his reputation and relationship with the fans and he will probably not publicly force a move to Barcelona (unlike Dani Alves who I now rank jointly top of my hate list with Evra). However, how the long running soap opera will affect the performance of our captain again remains to be seen. We all know his heart is probably by now, firmly set on returning to Barca although I really can’t see why he wants to move so quickly considering he will more likely than not, end up behind Xavi and Iniesta on the midfield pecking order. So perhaps Wenger can use this again as a reason to convince Cesc to perhaps give Arsenal 1 more year (again).

As I said at the beginning, how successful Wenger will be in trying to convince his 2 star players to stay remains to be seen. And I do agree with the pundits and fellow fans that a statement of intent will need to be made to prove to these players that we mean business! And what better way to do this then to really strengthen the squad and bring in some big name signings. Now unless the Board is telling us a whole load of bull c**p and Wenger is happily playing along with it,  there is money available. However, we are not seeing anyone walking in through the door!

We are led to believe that the Gervinho deal is very very close to finalisation but due to the Alvarez case, I will only believe it when it’s officially announced. Wenger’s statement doesn’t seems to sound too convincing either saying he doesn’t want to give too much details as it usually complicates the deal – a somewhat contradictory statement.

What really annoys me however is the fact that Wenger says that he is now only looking at 1 or 2 more signings!! Counting Gervinho, this means we would have signed only 2 or 3 “big name” players (assuming the next 1 or 2 signings are indeed big names). This again contradicts with the statement he made earlier where he said he will be “extremely active” in the transfer market. Is his earlier statement then misunderstood and being “extremely busy” means all we are doing is identifying players but not tabling a bid to actually get the player in?

Anyway, how is the signing of 1 or 2 more players going to help in trying to convince Cesc and Nasri to stay? All of us know that we are probably 3 players short as of last season to give us a chance of challenging for honours. With Clichy gone, to me, that makes at least 4 as I am really not convinced that Gibbs is even remotely ready to be our first choice leftback. Many agree that he should be given a loan stint first to get more experience before he is deemed ready. But Wenger seems to see Gibbs as ready and is now unlikely to go for a replacement which means the £7 million we get will probably end up as profits on the balance sheet and not reinvested! This to me is a major risk that Wenger is taking but he may see something  in Gibbs that I don’t.

Back to the issue of “1 or 2 signings”, we know we seriously need a new centreback so that’s probably 1 of the signings Wenger is referring to. Question now is who? The Cahill story seems to be getting a little stale now with Coyle stating that no bids have been received (how the tabloids is getting info on us offering Lansbury, Vela or Bendtner as part of the deal and how close are we in geting Cahill to me is a mystery unless you can buy a player without putting in a bid or you can do it without the team’s manager knowing it). There’s really not much news at all on the Samba end apart from Blackburn bidding for a new defender. Dann seems to be heading to Stoke now so who are we expecting to see in an Arsenal shirt? Hopefully it’s not another unknown French player as that really doesn’t make any statement of intent at all!

So, excluding a CB that we definitely need (assuming Wenger also sees things our way, which he has a tendency not to), is our other “possible” signing someone that we have been linked to? A player like Mata or Vidal or Benzema or perhaps it’s just Oxlade Chambelain? The first 3 names will probably makes us happier rather than the signing of yet again another untested youngster but knowing Wenger, a youngster might well be the favourite here!

But is 2 new signings really enough? Wenger had said 1 or 2, so we might even end up with 1! In my opinion, it’s NOT enough. Where is the DM that we so crave? Where is another proven striker that will complement or cover for RVP? And I haven’t even mentioned the need to find some quality squad players to replace those that are definitely not performing although our inability to offload these players now is fast becoming a major stumbling block.

How is Wenger going to convince Cesc and Nasri even if he said he is going to fight hard to keep them with a plan that sounds something like “we are buying players to strengthen but the core of the team will still be the same as management has complete faith in the existing team to finally wake up and deliver when it matters!”

I am sorry Mr. Wenger, if this is your transfer plan and your plan to keep your 2 big players, I am afraid you are going into a nuclear war with just your bare fists and a broken sword.

I have been trying very hard to be positive. I have been telling myself that things will change and Wenger knows what he is doing. I have been hoping that behind all these rumours, Wenger and Ivan are doing something preparing for some major surprises for us and one fine day, I’ll get to read the announcement that we have signed some top top quality players.

However, when I read Wenger’s statement, I just couldn’t help but to write this long post to  express my frustration and air my opinion.

Lastly, in Wenger, I probably still place my trust (after all he has led us to glory), but please Mr. Wenger, heed the advice of us fans. You might be great, you may have revolutionalised English football when you first arrived and you have unearthed many rough diamonds and turned them into precious stones, but the world is changing.

Things are not the same now. Many teams are cherry picking our young talents and it’s no longer so easy to find rough diamonds … So please BUY SOME F***ING PLAYERS!! And I do mean big name players!!!


Arsenals’ attraction to genuine World Stars?

July 10, 2011

Written by Harry

Last week that fine gent and upstanding journo, Martin Samuel, claimed that Arsenal can no longer attract genuine world stars, is this right?

For a start lets be honest have we actually ever signed someone at the top of their game?

Bergkamp was a truly world class player, but when we signed him, he was in a massive dip, the top teams at the time AC Milan, Madrid just were not interested……..

Vieira was unheard of in the reserves at AC Milan, Henry similar to Bergkamp hadn’t quite made it in Italy leaving the Old Lady in Turin without making his mark (needs to give Rooney lessons there).

The best ever……..

Overmar’s was a massive risk with his knees, no one else wanted to take the risk. Reyes was still very raw, as was Van Persie and Nasri. Rosicky was grabbed before he made his name at the world cup in 2006……..Unfortunately injury has stalled his career……..

Fabregas was taken under the cover of night from the Barca Creche, sneaked out in a laundry trolley…..which has been wheeled in and out again twice this summer with Bellerin and Toral-Harper been snaffled away………

So who and what is a genuine world star?

Messi, Ronaldo (Both), Buffon, Del Piero, Rivaldo, Maldini, Carlos and Zizou all of these are or were world stars, could we have ever signed one of these? Maybe if they were in the youth sides of their teams, but not at their peaks.  Realistically there are not that many world stars that move to clubs of our standing (got be honest with ourselves), they move between the big powers in Europe, the Milans, Juve, Barca and Madrid.  Now we have the wannabees who have muscled in with their oil enriched wallets, money talks and ours generally just whispers at best….

In  the late 80’s and into the 90’s it was Serie A, that had the money and no one really could compete,  Ruud Gullit, Van Basten, Cafu, Baresi, all went where the money and weather was better…….

Even as the Premier league gained power, not many world stars at their peak came until the real money was thrown in the ring by Roman, but even then, still the world stars were seen going to the galacticos of Madrid, Barca but not the premiership household names…..

Even Man United and Liverpool haven’t signed that many world stars at their peak, have they? Veron at 26million, Berbatov at 30million, the price doesn’t make them world class stars………Rooney was snatched at 16 from Everton.  Liverpool snared Torres from Athletico Madrid, but at the time he wasn’t truly world class, he still had a bit to go………Ok they have spent more money than us on players, but when have we been in awe of their signings?

If United get Sneijder I would for once be jealous, he is a world class player…….Liverpool have spent 20million on Henderson…………say no more on that one…..

Samuel was in essence just trying to make headlines and as usual by the press, having a dig at Arsenal and Wenger, success breads contempt and people are swayed by the human trait of envy, which sees them seeking to bring people down.  We do it so successfully in this country, build people up and then enjoy knocking them down, the “sandcastle affect”, what was more fun building it or knocking it down?

So I personally don’t expect any real marquee signing any time soon, Juan Mata would a big signing, Benzema would a massive signing, are either genuine world stars, not sure, Karim is close to be but has struggled at the Bernabeu, similar to Bergkamp or Henry , but I don’t expect them anyway……

Karim, in? Unlikely……..

Anyhow back to the here and now as the lads board the plane today to Asia, minus Bendtner and Almunia who are in talks with unnamed clubs. There was a shock boarder after his end of season outburst, with Denilson sneaking on through the luggage conveyor.  Nasri is on board so Wenger has a week to talk with him away from the UK, hopefully his team mates will convince him to stay,  but Cesc was left behind whilst he is having his hamstrings fine tuned……..

Gervinho, missed the plane due to visa issues with his signing, but will eventually find his pen and sign, protracted and annoyingly too public, lets keep things under wraps better, until signed. Let the press fabricate the dross…that leads to, too much line dancing and knee jerking………

So who else will come in?

After Wenger finally spoke on Friday, don’t expect too many more, I expect maybe a centre back and then another if we are lucky. There is a lot of youth getting promoted this season I feel……Gibbs will be the No 1 LB, Lansbury, Bartley, Miquel and Frimpong  amongst others, expect to see a lot more of them in the Emirates Cup…..That’s where our answers will come from……..

Cahill, one of just a few coming in?

If at least Nasri stays, then Gervinho,  one of Cahill or Samba (or maybe another CB) and perhaps a midfielder will be it, we weren’t that far away, so I don’t think we need that much, nor does Wenger…….

If we do lose Nasri and Fabregas, then we would need one big signing, perhaps that might be a world star, unlikely though, that’s not and has never been our style.

Wenger has a big big big summer, I for one will wait and see what unfolds, allow for a settling period for the team and then at December, see just where we are at……

Quietly optimistic, realistically restrained, but a Gooner to the core forever……