Arsene Wenger Goes Christmas Shopping

Merry Christmas or X-mas or Festivus or whatever you celebrate, have a great one of those.  The snow still has us all locked in and work has been canceled for another day and I’m starting to go a little stir crazy.

Adding to my misery, every reporter across the planet is currently speculating on who Arsene Wenger is going to buy when the transfer window opens. The only real story we have ahead of the Villa match on Friday is that Martin Laursen and Carlos Cuellar won’t be available for Martin O’Neill.

Oh yeah, and Cesc doesn’t need an operation.


Sigh… in a sense I get what I deserve don’t I? I mean, there I was standing behind the boss when he stood pat this summer and now that everyone sees that standing pat was the wrong decision I get some residual heat. Nothing like what Wenger gets but it’s kind of tiresome regardless.

I get the question a lot, why am I so opposed to speculation? My opposition to transfer speculation comes from years of disappointment. At the height of Chelsea’s free spending ways, Arsenal kept getting linked to players we all knew we needed and we had to sit there and watch those players go to our rivals; Essien, Wright-Phillips, etc. Meanwhile Arsenal settled for guys like Baptista.

This year was even more frustrating because Arsene refused to bend or break the rules to keep Flamini, who was my favorite player last season, and when linked to players who could replace him, Arsenal basically failed at every turn (Alonso, etc). Add to that the fact that Wenger bet his money on another couple of broke down hags (Bischoff? Really Arsene? What’s he going to be, the next Alex Song?) and really it seems f*cking pointless to talk about transfers.

I can tell you who I’d like on the team — given the long term injuries to Cesc, Theo, and Rosicky, the fact that Gallas is a head case, the lack of competition for the central midfielders,  the lack of width, and other problems in the squad. Here’s what I’d do:

  1. Nasri takes Cesc’s spot — well, he does his best
  2. Play Vela wide left and when he isn’t playing striker, play Eduardo over there.  Too bad Arsenal sent Traore to Pompey, he’d also fill in there.
  3. Buy a right wing player — Ashley Young would be perfect, but there’s no way Arsenal could get him from Villa because basically Young is worth a Champions League spot so £30m would be a bargain and I wouldn’t be surprised if they value him closer to £50m — I believe Wenger will renew his summer interest in Kalou. Chelsea need to sell in order to buy and Kalou has fallen out of favor with the fans. N’Zogbia might also get a look, he’s a defensive minded midfielder with great pace.
  4. Sell Gallas and buy a Premiership tested defender. Most people think Arsenal need size, but I’d rather they bought a sweeper because Djourou is coming along quite nicely. Lucas Neill from West Ham would be great.
  5. Bring Senderos back, hey I like him.
  6. Buy Alonso. Cup tied? So? Song loses his spot? So? £20m? So?

Ok, so there, that’s what I’d do. What would you do? Please use bullet points.

The problem with all this is that none of it will transpire. Why would West Ham let Lucas Neill go, when that would almost certainly mean them making the drop? Why would Liverpool let Alonso go to a title rival? Those guys would have to threaten to score an own goal or something in order to get transfered.

No… Chance are Arsene will buy Geremi or something, or he won’t buy sh*t and we’ll all be left here, stuck in the snow, F5ing our newsfeeds begging Arsenal to sign someone.

Now you see why I don’t speculate? It’s depressing and pointless.

Anyway, try to have a merry whatever you celebrate, I’m sleeping in tomorrow I heard it’s good for my heart.


30 Responses to “Arsene Wenger Goes Christmas Shopping”

  1. December 24, 2008 at 9:06 am

    What would I do?

    – Establish Denilson in the Cesc role and “have faith”

    – Expect Gallas to leave for Juve, so plan to replace him

    – Make Everton an offer they couldn’t refuse; Arteta and Jagielka to Arsenal, Bendtner to Goodison


    Sagna, Jagielka, Djourou, Clichy,
    Arteta, Denilson, Nasri,
    Van Persie, Adebayor.

    Very doable for $20M and Arteta and Cesc will be magic together as will Jaggy and JD20

    Have a good Christmas, mate. Sun’s shining in Virginia

  2. 2 Macko
    December 24, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Since it seems to be the thing ….

    What i would do ?

    – Denilson to replace Cesc

    – I like gallas beside JD , finally starting to form a partnership and would be a shame
    to break it up.

    – Buy Arteta too , i think he is quality and proven that he is no mug .

    – I would like to see a new winger too …. the options on the wings are not gonna win us shit.

    – If none available thats good enough i’d like to see Vela , we should give him a chance right ?? Diaby on the left makes me wanna throw up …

    Merry Chrimbo and lets start the new year by winning something !! Come on you gunners !!!

  3. 3 RS
    December 24, 2008 at 9:51 am

    fantastic idea about Arteta im surprised no one thought of that earlier – would also try to get Bullard on the cheap and N’ Zogbia in the Jan window.

    For the Villa game I would play nasri in the FAbregas role since this is where he says he is most comfortable and played at for OM as well as the French squad – drop Diaby to the bench – put clichy out on left wing for pace and width , song holding MF he had a monster game against LoserPool or denilson – eboue/wilshire on the right wing and Vela and Rvp upfront. on the left wing i would put yes wait for it Clichy ! the kid is absolute fanatstic going forward and would provide plenty of speed, quality crosses and defensive cover! IN the back Sagna(wat is wrong with him this season btw? no pace no attacking threat, its like he hasnt been the same since his injury against CHe) Billy and Djourou and on the left Silvestre . With 2 superquick fullbacks on the wings we get plenty of width and speed as well as defensive cover while Vela Nas and RVp will cause plenty of problems with quick technical football and lethal finishing !

    Sagna Gallas Djourou Silvestre
    Eboue Denilson/Song Clichy
    Rvp Vela

  4. 4 sonny
    December 24, 2008 at 9:55 am

    arsenal needs arda turan

  5. 5 Gooner14
    December 24, 2008 at 9:56 am

    Lucas Neill?? Have you lost the plot.

    * Gokhan Inler from Undinese for £12 million.

    * Charles N’zogbia from Newcastle for £5 million.

    Then in the summer let go of Gallas and bring in Christian Zapata also from Udinese.

    Xabi Alonso was never the top target in the summer and isn’t good enough defensivly to be considered a holding midfielder. Thats why Liverpool spent 20 million Masch. Inler was and still is Wenger’s number 1 target.

  6. 6 charliegeorge
    December 24, 2008 at 9:56 am

    1. play nasri in middle 2.buy arshavin and alonso 3.sell bendner and eboue .

  7. 7 Anonymous
    December 24, 2008 at 9:59 am

    wat would i do…WAIT!!!!!!!!!!

  8. 8 JOHN
    December 24, 2008 at 10:02 am


  9. December 24, 2008 at 10:16 am

    The Arteta thing is from Arseblogger and is being passed around the nets faster than Paris Hilton spreads herpes. I’d be happy with Arteta, heck, I’d loan Arsenal some money (I got $10 or so left).

    Also, Alonso is a very good defensive midfielder, Liverpool bought Mashcerano so they could play two holding midfielders in a 4-2-3-1.

  10. 10 azed
    December 24, 2008 at 10:34 am

    This wat i’ll do……
    give eboue out for free then go get some stubborn dm from where ever manure got vidic…..

  11. 11 Bull
    December 24, 2008 at 11:18 am

    A frightening thought to:-

    A- Wait 20M down the plughole whilst Villa take 4th
    B- Have Denilson take Cesc’s place.
    C- Have senderos back.

    The reality is Cesc cannot be replaced in January so why bother trying.
    We need to address the issues that we have and they are:-

    A- A good defensive midfielder. Song is improving but we still have no cover and young players improve playing alongside established players.
    B- A good solid centre half. I personally wouldn’t get rid of Gallas unless he wants to go. Djourou has good potential and will make it but we need strength in depth and thats where experience is required.
    C- A decent striker, if ther is truth is the Bendtner interest sell him, he is not good enough or clinical enough. I would like to see Defoe signed.

    The way things currently stand we will be lucky to finish 5th.

    I don’t want Arsene to panic buy, but the above named purchases are well overdue!

  12. 12 davi
    December 24, 2008 at 11:36 am

    elano shuld be available, more available than arteta at least, and quite similar quality players imo.
    comfortable on the wing or in CM – the sorts of players we need
    personally im dying for fran merida to be given a chance
    i think hes performed brilliantly in every game, even against burnley, and hes on another level mentally to most youngsters in our squad

  13. 13 barnaby
    December 24, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    I like Arteta, but he’s too similar to what we’ve got.

    No chance on Alonso, that boat’s sailed and the price ain’t gone down.

    I’ve seen Nedved like qualities in Arshavin, but if he’s not down closer to 12 mil then he’s just not an option for us at 27 years old.

    Frankly, I don’t know who at all I would break the bank for, and yeah, that’s probably what needs to happen to get the player(s) we really need, just don’t see us spending that much – one player comes in this jan but that’s proabably it.

    Understand the frustation completely Tim, it’s a cruel world sometimes. Wenger talking about transfers can mean anything basically and after last summer’s escapades it’s not really a welcome topic.

    The safe bet is to put deni in cesc’s spot and buy what we really need, monster dm, who might that be – waste of time to go any further on that.

    Let’s see how the boys respond to villa and we may have a clearer picture.

    Cheers and Happy Holidays.

  14. 14 caribkid
    December 24, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Word to the wise for Gooner14, true, Inler played well in the Euros but has totally lost form this year from all reports and has not been a regular on his club side.

    1. Get Elano from City. Multi purpose person who can play inside or out on the wing, has technical ability and pace and should be priced decently since he has fallen out of grace.

    2. Trade Bendtner for Jo and we will have another real target man to groom if Ade gets injured or decides to leave next year.

    3. Bring back Traore from loan (We have an out in the contract).

    4. Keep Gallas until next summer.

    Sagna, Gallas, Djourou, Clichy

    Elano, Denilson, Song, Traore/Nasri

    Ade, RVP

    Nasri and Elano can play anywhere in the MF except at DM and Vela could be utilized on either wing. Jo has tremendous potential, plays for the Brazilian under 21’s, performed well in the Olympics and is a true central striker with power and pace. Keep Willy G quiet until the summer because he’s good and seems to be forming a good partnership with Djourou.

    Just my 2 cents.

  15. December 24, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    wat to do if i was stubborn wenger?
    -with evertons current striking woes, id offer then bendtner for lescott -sell kolo to man shitty, get elano on loan -trade gallas for juve’s chiellini -buy arshavin -i dont know if many people hav noticed this but many goals arsenal concede come from little mistakes made by the hard working clichy, example his weak throwin against liverpool and his poor clearance against boro..so for the remainder of the season i’d play him in the left wing and give lescott the left back position -nasri would take Cesc’s position, partnered by elano while arshavin takes the right wing before walcott returns -so my team for the remainder of the season would be: almunia
    sagna chielini djourou lescott
    arshavin elano nasri clichy
    v. persie adebayor

  16. 16 slugboy
    December 24, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    This is a really depressing blog.

    I know we’ve had a relatively bad season (so have Chelsea and man U) – maybe the stadard is getting better in the league.

    The talk of buying sub-standard players really is getting me down.

    More relevant questions:

    – Will Arsenal change the wage policy? If yes, then chase whoever is good out there and hope that the banks don’t ask for their money back, when they are going out of business. If no, chase some unknowns from the Norwegian/Turkish/African (put any country in here) leagues and hope that they step up to the Premiership. The choice is this stark. Wenger does his best with the money available – don’t believe the bull about how much money is available

    – Will Arsenal get a sugar daddy? If yes, start competing with man city for every decent available player and spend 100m on some mediocre players (is any decent available?). If no, look again at the foreign leagues for up and coming talent.

    – lost the will to live and will go and do something much more interesting on Christmas eve

  17. 17 aqqe
    December 24, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Really? That’s what you’d do? I’m glad you’re not in charge of the cheque book. You complain about Arsenal getting players like Baptista and then hope Wenger signs Neill and N’Zogbia? Doesn’t sound that thought through.

    Gallas must stay. He is the best central defender in the team and has done brilliantly since losing the captaincy. Plan for his departure, but aim to keep him.

    Buy a versatile winger that can play on both flanks. Someone like Ben Arfa or Schweinsteiger.

    And then, most importantly, buy 1 or 2 central midfielders. Now that Cesc is gone someone with premiership experience would be perfect. Alonso is the obvious candidate but Liverpool won’t sell him and he won’t help us in the Champions League. Steven Defour from Standard Liege and Gökhan Inler from Udinese. Then our problems are solved and we are playing Champions League football next year.

  18. 18 Gooner14
    December 24, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    CaribKid, Maybe Inler has lost his form since the Euros, but Wenger wasn’t interested in him just because he had a good tournement. He will have had him watched on numerous ocassions. The fact that he’s not in the starting line up is even better news as it will mean he will want to come now unlike the summer when he turned us down.

    Also Adeybayor, Henry and Vieira were all suffering a loss of form and not in the first team for their respective clubs when we signed them.

    Inler is class, loves a tackle, is an imposing figure, and has the dynamism we miss from Flamini. Can’t wait to see him in January.

  19. December 24, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    This is great… everyone get it out! Because we all know that Wenger isn’t buying anything.

  20. 20 caribkid
    December 24, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    I think he will buy 1 player in January because Fab is injured. As for the rest of conjecture, it’s alway nice to dream.

  21. 21 JOHN
    December 24, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Fistly i have no idea about any blogs mentioning Arteta, i have seen him play in 4 games this season…he is consistent, knows when to pass and where and i think he could work wonders with our strikers. From what i know (and i may be wrong) he has another one and a half years left on his contract and could be bought for about the money we suspect wenger is willing to spend. He can play both on the wing and as a playmaker allowing flexibility when injuries will inevitably come.
    But most of all, not that i am anyone with grand experience in scouting, but every time i have seen him play he is very impressive and provides match winning inspiration (of course the rest of everton do not flatter his potential). Stick him in our midfield and you will have magic…

  22. 22 Matt
    December 24, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Alonso is a horrid defender.

    Start watching at about the 17 second mark. Sorry, Timothy, great blog but you have been wrong about Alonso since the beginning. The reason Arsene did not pay another 2 million for him was because he was not worth it.

    – Lampard to Inter, Muntari to Arsenal
    – Play Denilson in Cesc’s role
    – Give the armband to Adebayor
    – Play Eduardo on the right

    Sagna Gallas DJ Clichy
    Eduardo Denilson Nasri

  23. 23 str8goon
    December 24, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    1. get rid of bentdner/eboue/diaby
    2. buy david silva, inler, david villa OR veloso, lorik cana, joaquin-not too worrie about the CB position at the moment or backup keeper/challenge for almunia’s position
    3. LINE UP: ALL PLAYERS FIT (of course)

    Walcott–Cesc–Rosicky—Nasri/david silva
    RVP/david villa

  24. December 24, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Oh Matt…

    I could get video of just about every player in the league making that kind of mistake. Everyone is mentioning good players, all of them would be an asset, it’s just our personal taste that leads us to prefer one over another. Personally, i have always liked Alonso. Plus, he’s a Champions League Winner!

    Here’s some pretty good defending and a nice goal to cap it off:

    Anyway, this was more fun than I expected. Happy holidays to you all.

  25. 25 Simon Says
    December 24, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    What about aiden mcgeady over at celtic?
    by all accounts due to his attitude problems and issues with strachan, he’s on the outs.
    a move is expected out in jan.
    he signed a 5 year deal last year, with a report 11.2 buyout
    considering celtic banished him from the club, the market, and the fact they have no leverage and he probably wants out
    i would think 5 million would do, no?
    he does have connections to arsenal. liam brady tried signed him as a boy, along with manu, but lost out to the hometown club.
    he’s pretty much the SPL cristiano ronaldo.
    he’s a winger, can play left or right.

    and what bout bringing upson back from west ham??

  26. 26 iamkalive
    December 24, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    my wish list (the realistic version)..
    2 of the following–van der vaart, arteta or ribery..

    van der vaart-out on the fringes at madrid. great playmaker, great goal scorer

    arteta-experiened premier leage..can play wing or anywhere in the midfield. would work great with cesc on his return.

    ribery- great winger, control, speed..just what we need..

    if we get any one or 2 of these, we will have good experience and depth to our midfield attack and creativity..

    we also need 1 good def mid..
    inler, yaya, veloso-would all be great. one of them would add some good competition..if we money wouldnt be an issue, i would try to bring back Flamini, or try to sign a versatile Essien like player, hey why not Essien himself (:P)

    Defender is also on tap for the summer time.. metzelder, metersacker, lescott, richards. any of those would be great..

    so my wish list starting lineup in the new year would be (i would say close to realistic demands)….

    ade (vela) van p(dudu)

    nasri (rosicky) ribery or arteta(theo)

    van der vaart (cesc)

    Flamini or veloso(denilson/song)

    clichy toure richards(DJ) sagna

    adding these sorts of players to our midfield would be great as they are all versatile midfielders.

    ribery can play either wing, van der vaart can play anywhere in the midfield (besides Defmid), nasri is highly versatile along the mid like van der vaart., cesc can play almost anywhere too..that would give use players to rotate with, give us depth, experience

    hey, we can all wish cant we??

  27. December 25, 2008 at 10:29 am

    “Sell Gallas and buy a Premiership tested defender.”

    You’re comparing Lucas Neill to William Gallas who was until his Arsenal career, one of the best defenders the Prem has ever seen?! I’m a Chelsea fan, so I’m somewhat biased, but when partnered with John Terry in defence, he was absolutely excellent, and could do a good job for Arsenal if he was surrounded with players over the age of 19. He still plays well for France and is massively versatile. He’s won the World Cup, Premier League, FA Cup and possibly Carling Cup… I guess that doesn’t quite get him into the stratosphere of Neill, but there you go. He does have a poor temperament though, and I can understand why Arsenal fans wouldn’t mind seeing him go. Although I believe Gallas, Adebayor (at a stretch), Fabregas and Van Persie are your world class players, and therefore need to stay.

    Wenger wont get out the cheque book… he never has, so why would he now? That’s admirable in some ways, but slightly nieve and foolish in others. It would be great if a team of youngsters could be nurtured to win the league rather than splashing the cash, but I just don’t think it can be done these days. We also hear about the ‘young guns’ (ie- reserves), but most of the players that have made it into the Arsenal first team have been bought in (even if they were bought relatively young). I can only think of Clichy who plays week in and week out who has been there since being a kid. Walcott was bought from Southampton, Bendtner doesn’t really play in the first team regularly, Fabregas was bought in at a young-ish age, sagna etc have all been bought. Wenger doesn’t mind buying players, they just tend to be cheap.

    I think Alonso could be a huge asset, and I’d be happy with him at Chelsea if we got rid of the dead space which are Ballack and Deco. I think Arsenal can probably set their sights higher than N’Zogbia and Kalou though… although if you’ll take Kalou, please do, he’s awful!

    Whatever happens, you should still be happy you’re supporting a team 5th in the league and who have a hell of a lot of talent. Some people support crappy teams like Millwall and Plymouth Argyle, and there’s me moaning that Chelsea keep messing up and missing out on the chance to move top. We’ve got it easy compared to most!

  28. 28 Ankit
    December 25, 2008 at 11:44 am

    its heartening to see so many suggestions being put forth by fellow gooners!
    for one i believe that wenger will get someone in this time and it will be DM who can pass well…
    i believe nasri cn play in cescs role…and no matter his recent form i still feel
    diaby is good too…JD is becoming better as well….
    in premiership i do believe we have a very realistic chance of signing elano …..
    and somebody suggested trading bendy for jo…tremendous…
    jos 1000 times better,….
    and wenger should also try to get arteta in fine player…..
    but a good solid DM is a must if we are to challenge for europe!!

  29. December 25, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Kennedy, Gallas is a talented player and of course Lucas Neill hasn’t accomplished what Gallas has, but I’m convinced Gallas is a cancer in the locker room and worse… he has given up on this team.

    That the squad is so vulnerable to simple over-the-top balls like against Liverpool is the sign that Gallas has basically given up organizing the defense on the pitch. I suppose it’s possible that Djourou is just a complete moron who refused to listen to Gallas, but I think it’s more likely (especially after watching the replays again and again) that he just didn’t make the call. That kind of apathy is far more damaging than any of his public outbursts.

    And I’m sorry but I watched Gallas at Euro 2008 and “World Class” in not the adjective I would use for his performances.

  30. December 25, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    I agree with your sentiment regarding Gallas’ lack of effort and input… basically, he and Ashley Cole shouldn’t have switched teams when they did. I mean, Cole is starting to play pretty well for Chelsea, but the way he left Arsenal was a disgrace, and Chelsea shouldn’t have treated Gallas badly forcing him to go off in a huff like he did.

    I still find it odd that Wenger got rid of Gilberto btw… I would have jus kept him to bring on in the last 20 mins of the big games when the younger heads are more likely to go down. He’s a good defensive midfielder, the kind of team Arsenal have needed to shut games down. I also think Senderos is pretty average, but another player Wenger has put years into maturing, only to let him go off when he’s got some experience. He’s obviously a great coach, but I just don’t understand his thinking sometimes (but then again, that’s prob why I’m not being paid thousands of pounds a week to manage the team! :P).

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