23
Jun
09

“Rafa signs Pompey’s Johnson”

What? You didn’t think I could let a world class joke like that go could you?

Seriously though, the transfer window is heating up and rumors are now flying faster than ever, though for some reason, Chelsea seem to keep getting shafted in the end.

What?

Ok…

The Chelsea story is an actual story, it’s just that no one is reporting on it. Nearly half the time I’ve been an Arsenal supporter the summer transfer window went like this: Week 1, “Arsenal to bring former great Ian Wright’s adopted son back to Highbury for £8m.” Week2, “Chelsea snap up Shaun Wright-Phillips from City for  record fee of £30m.” Week 3, “Arsenal looking at Ghana star Essien to replace departing Vieira.” Week 4, “Chelsea stun the Premier League again with £35m swoop for Essien.” Something like that, you get the point.

So, regardless what I think of Melo as a player, you can imagine my apprehension when I see Chelsea being linked with Melo. It’s almost an apoplectic reaction, honestly, I feel like shouting “HOLY F*CK PAY ANYTHING JUST SIGN HIM.”

But the truth is that Chelsea are more like a toothless old lion these days: their ocassional roars only frighten if you fail to see them gumming their meat over in the corner.

No pun intended.

The facts is that Chelsea are starting to look like an old team and their director is desperate to bring in new recruits to inject life. The only problem is that his transfer policy (“hmmm, let’s see who the other top four are linked to and bid MOAR”) is both transparent to everyone involved and the prices elsewhere are just flat out better. I mean, why would Glen Johnson want to return to the team which famously snubbed him and, worse, then only showed interest after other clubs were linked? Given an offer of money from his old mercenary club, the new mercenary club on the block, and a club like Liverpool — someone who has actually won a European Championship — the choice was obvious.

The funny thing is that this story is repeating itself ad nauseum this transfer season. Some team is linked to a big name player and suddenly Chelsea’s name is added to the list, only to be swept aside by Real Madrid or Liverpool or the prospects offered by a club like Arsenal. Listen to what Vermaelen said in his interview, he mentions Arsene Wenger as one of the reasons that he came to Arsenal, calling le Boss “one of the top names in football.” Even if Chelsea come in with some huge money offer I still suspect a player like Melo will be given some pause. After all, Arsenal is pretty much the only team where he is likely to get the first team action needed to secure a World Cup spot.

Meanwhile, back up north in Liverpool the Reds are nearly admitting defeat in their bid to hold on to Xabi Alonso. This article lists the transfer fee as £30m and I’ve seen that number as high as £38m. Even the lower of those two valuations is, well, it’s crazy. Just last season, Arsenal were mooted to have bid between £12m and £18m for his services and they had that bid denied. By all accounts Alonso went on to have a tremendous season, but a double the value season? Wow, I wish we’d have broken the bank for him, just the sell on value alone would be worth it!

And you know what? If Real don’t sign Alonso, it looks like they could just get Essien. HA!. That would be delicious, delicious, irony if Essien would leave Chelsea and go to Real. I always thought Chelsea would collapse when Abramovich lost interest but it’s starting to look like they are going to collapse when all their best players either leave for greener pastures or die of old age. Live by the Euro, die by the Euro, I guess.

Which brings me to our beloved Arsenal, where Arsene Wenger is still preaching fiscal prudence and talking about keeping a young squad together. No argument there from me, I like all the players on this team* and think that it would be premature to start breaking it up, so I greet news that Robin van Persie may have signed another deal with open arms.

Meanwhile, the transfer fanatics will be looking for a sign of a signing from Wenger and he has given us one saying

I want to add to the squad and have identified one or two targets. But identifying players and buying them are two different things. Ideally I would like to bring everybody in before we start back in pre-season training in July. I don’t want to leave it until the end of August.

All Arsenal fans should be very excited to hear that, because if he pulls it off it will be a first for me to see the whole team assembled before summer practice starts. The only problem is if we’re after Felipe Melo we won’t be able to negoatiate with him until after the Confederations Cup — which ends the 28th of June. I’ve never seen an Arsenal transfer take less than a month, so maybe we can get him in before August but let’s not get our hopes up.

The other funny thing Wenger said in the interview happened when he hit on the magical £100m “money in the bank” number

I am fed-up with people who think I have £100m in the bank yet don’t want to spend it. How can people think that? The pride of the club is in having moved to a new stadium while maintaining the club at the top level.The policy of the club is that they have backed me in what I do and the way I do it. We now have to be strong enough to stick to that. We cannot pump £100m into it, so we must keep faith in what we are doing.

Well, people think it because Arsenal keep releasing statements saying that they have £100m in the bank! Now, maybe you don’t have that at your disposal, fair enough, but don’t take the piss out of the supporters when they are just listening to what the board is saying. Simply put, Arsene, this is the modern condition: everyone knows what everyone else is up to nowadays, you can’t hide information, especially if it’s in public reports. So, take the piss out of the board. If they said, “Arsenal have to have a strategic reserve of [such and such] in order to stave off possible economic disaster” then I don’t think fans would have a problem seeing this huge number. Sorry, but that’s the kind of transparency that’s needed now days.

Either that or re-invest the money into the damn Highbury development and get that off our backs!

I will break in to our regular coverage if there is a miracle signing, other than that, see you tomorrow.

*ok, I wouldn’t be heartbroken to see Silvestre, Adebayor, and Eboue sent off to greener pastures, but I still, erm, uhhh, like them, as people.


10 Responses to ““Rafa signs Pompey’s Johnson””


  1. 2 TheSKAGooner
    June 23, 2009 at 9:22 am

    hahahahahaahha

    Damn near fell out my chair at work reading that headline!!!

    :)

  2. 3 WC
    June 23, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Chelsea are footballing predators with alot of money. I can’t think of anyone on their team signed in the Abramovich era that were “discovered” by Chelsea themselves. Essentially their signings were either just big names like Sheva or they just followed Wenger and Fergie’s scouts around and reported back on who they were looking at. I can see ti play out like a bad Rocky and Bullwinkle episode

    “Boris, Wenger is looking at this player, I think we should sign him”
    “Yes, Natasha, we should bid 500 million rubles for him”

    [Boris and Natasha grin slyly in the shadows, rubbing their hands together]

    Chelsea’s majorproblem is that they have a new manager every other week – what does Ancelotti make it? 6 managers in about 4 or 5 years? How does the billionaire expect to build a club on new management every season? He’s your typical billionaire I suppose – expects that he can buy instant gratification.

  3. 5 caribkid
    June 23, 2009 at 11:57 am

    As long as Rafa doesn’t try to sign my Johnson, I’m okay with it (lol)

  4. 6 caribkid
    June 23, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    OFF TOPIC

    http://arsenalspot.net/2009/06/arshavin-reveals-an-awful-lot-on-arsenal-matters-in-webchat/

    Few interesting questions answered by Andrey Arshavin.

  5. 7 barnaby
    June 23, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Chelsea had a worldwide scouting network but they folded it when the only thing they uncovered was the fact that they can’t scout talent, so yeah they just read headlines now.

    As far as Wenger’s statements he’ll say anything to improve his chances in the market. We’ve got weaknesses he knows that much, but he’s giving himself an out if he can’t capture the ones he wants. I still think if we can do some trades Eboue, Ade, things can happen, but Wenger won’t move unless he gets good value. I like Toure, but i think he needs a new venue, a new perspective and he’s one we should be able to get good value for, but ah, there’s no certainty here. Melo is an interesting choice, the one thing i do like about him is that he’s not a nice fellow which is precisely what we need, but to play 4-4-2 so we can avoid having an isolated and largely useless lone striker we need a highly mobile dm, does he fit the bill? i think he can but i’m not sure he’ll come cheaply esp if senderos is not part of the deal and chels start to bid him up.

  6. 8 nycgunner
    June 23, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    i wonder if there’s any truth to this:

    http://community.footballpools.com/blog/2009/06/23/serdar-tasci-arsenal-lead-italian-giants/

    i have seen stuttgart play a couple of times this year but i dont remember any of their defenders. had i known that we were tracking him, i probably would have watched more closely. but this would definitely fit the wenger pattern of buying in the transfer market.

  7. June 23, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    17 million pounds is a lot for a johnson.

    And while I don’t think we’ve 100 million stuffed in PEter hill Wood’s mattress, I do think that that money’s not touchable. P

  8. 10 Gooner
    June 24, 2009 at 1:21 am

    Ever since Chelsea lost Mourinho they have struggled to sign the best players.

    They have an average ground, average history, average coach and nowadays a great but ageing team. Their wages are no longer ahead of Real and Man City and thus they have been bought back to the field so to speak.


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