03
Jun
09

Lies, damn lies, and transfer rumors

Tony Adams seems to have lost his mind.

First, he tells the world that, basically, he’s going to be the next coach for Celtic. As my regular reader knows, I trumpeted this move as a real chance for the beleaguered former Arsenal great to get a shot at real management but given some further revelations I’m not sure how fit he is any more. First off, Celtic came out and called the idea “complete garbage.” And then, the guy who is supposed to be Adams’ link in to Celtic, the former Celtic manager Wim Jansen, basically said that he hasn’t spoken to Tony, has no desire to return to Celtic, and isn’t appointing Adams manager of anything.

But wait, there’s more…

That was yesterday’s Adams news, today has Tony spouting conspiracy theories about Wenger and the Arsenal board and going on to mumble incoherently about how little money Arsenal have to spend. The whole quote looks like this

People on the board – and the fans – want more, but they can’t actually back it up with financial weight to do it. They’re not financing him. I don’t think Arsenal have got any finance.I don’t know who it is, but I think there’s someone on the board who’s not pro-Arsene. I don’t know who it is, but that’s what I’ve heard.

The fans have got very high standards now. I remember when I first broke into the team, losing 4-0 at Maine Road and the fans were doing the conga. They didn’t expect much. But they expect a lot now. They’re crying out for experience and the fans are not silly, they know the team needs experience at the back and in central midfield. Arsene knows, too. He’s not a silly man. But you tell me a player they can get for the money they’ve got. It’s unrealistic.

The first bit there about the board member who is anti-Arsene is straight up tin-foil hat stuff. “I don’t know who it is, but I’ve heard someone hates you!” Wait, it’s not even tin-foil hat, that’s straight Junior High shit.

But what makes this a compelling quote is the second bit, where he rejoins reality and adulthood and talks about what we all know: Arsenal need some fresh blood in midfield and defense.

And no sooner than you could snap your fingers and say “haggis” he’s back into conspiracy territory talking about how the board doesn’t have any money and then about how there are no players for Arsenal to sign anyway. As far as I’m concerned, Tony Adams is dead wrong. It’s funny because he  sounds like one of the doom and gloomers we get on the comment board here.

Frankly, I’m dead tired of saying this, but Arsenal certainly have the money to spend if they (the board and the manager) want to spend it. I’ll put a page up at the top of the screen (similar to my page about players who didn’t come to Arsenal) later this afternoon, and you all can refer to that from now on. Until then, you just have to look at my remarks linked above.

So, Mr. “Arsenal have the money” who are they going to buy?

I know one thing, whomever Wenger buys he’s going to have an eye for a deal — which has nothing to do with the board and everything to do with the boss’ philosophy.

Here are today’s hot deals:

Joleon Lescott is being pimped at 7% off. Wanting to cement a place in the England national team, he’s supposedly engineering a move away from Everton and Arsenal are one of many teams mooted. Chances of this happening, 3/10 — if Arsenal are competing with City for his signature, they will need to recruit Lescott with other English National team players, like Theo Walcott.

Blaise Matuidi is offered at buy one get one free. Tired of fighting to remain at the foot of the French league, Blaise is supposedly courting interest from Pompey, Tottenham, and Arsenal. Chance of this deal happening, 6/10 — everyone knows that Arsene loves plucking French players from the continent for cheap, plus, Tottenham and Pompey are no real competition.

Bruno Alves is being offered at full price, but they throw in one of those airplane bottles of tawny port. Tall, good in the air, technically good with the ball, experienced, and a leader; all of the qualities that Arsene hates! No, seriously, I can’t see Arsenal getting a deal for Alves and unless Wenger’s ready to pay full price the Porto player isn’t going to Arsenal. Chance of this happening, 2/10.

Samir Nasri is being offered as “like a new signing” and fully expects to play defensive midfield in the future. Ugh… Chances of this happening, 11/10.

And finally, the world’s dumbest apology

Before I sign off for the day, I thought I’d link to Gareth Barry’s apology to Villa fans. Now, I consider myself the master of the apology. I can say some stupid, un-researched shiat and totally apologize the very next day and generally get things right and set the table straight again. While apologizing my formula is to try to show some humility, explain myself using logic, and be sincere in saying “sorry.”

Gareth Barry does none of these things: it’s almost an anti-apology and as such one of the most humorous things I’ve read in a while. As far as I can tell he left Villa because he “needed a new challenge,” has “two kids to feed, man,” thinks City will “challenge for honors,” thinks regular football at City will somehow get him a place on the English National team ahead of their very crowded midfield, and “will always love Villa.”

The only person who could top that apology is Adebayor when he apologizes to Arsenal for leaving this summer.


26 Responses to “Lies, damn lies, and transfer rumors”


  1. 1 haho
    June 3, 2009 at 7:18 am

    Nasri as a Pirlo/Xabi Alonso. I like it.

    • 2 CaribKid
      June 3, 2009 at 7:47 am

      Xavi doesn’t play DM, he has Ya Ya and Busquette playing that role. He and Iniesta both float in front of the DM with both outside strikers called upon to play serious defense.

      Nasri and Fab in CM positions may be okay in the CL but would not work in EPL due to lack of height, especially when our other wingers are also midgets.

    • 6 Tim
      June 3, 2009 at 8:07 am

      Interestingly, you can see where everyone played in all competitions over the season over at the dot com

      http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/first-team-player-stack-08/09

      As you can see by scrolling through that program, Nasri played in the middle of the park (both as offensive and defensive midfielder) a grand total of 5 times in all competitions. I’d have to go through and look at every game and see where he played and correlate opponent’s scores to Nasri’s holding midfield work, but honestly I don’t have time to do that.

      Instead, I will pull this out of my ass: a few things are key to that position, experience, passing, tackling, and heading the ball. Depending on the type of holding midfielder you want, each of those qualities are mixed in the player to varying degrees.

      But for experience, no one tops Denilson last season. He played there in 38 games (30 EPL, 7 Champions League, and 1 FA Cup) almost all of which were in a hybrid holding role or perhaps a “box-to-box” kind of role. Moreover, his passing % and sheer passing numbers are already close to Alonso’s numbers and his tackling, ball winning, and defensive duties are already superior.

      Dont believe me? Go to the guardian chalkboard and create your own.

      This one shows a head to head of Denilson v. Alonso both on their home patch.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/chalkboards/5U49YJeZ2372FP0a3DN5

      Note that tackles, clearances, blocks, and the like are not taken into account, just passes. If you add in the other factors, Denilson was much better defensively than Alonso. Here’s the two teams’ games against Man U, both clubs at home, both teams won 2-1

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/chalkboards/8EqLYUw5sD0441942Qx1

      Comparing just tackles, Denilson is far superior. In fact, throughout the whole season Denilson beats Alonso in nearly every game defensively, which is why Denilson is ranked, by the Actim index, as the 5th best midfielder in the EPL, the 16th best player in the league, and Arsenal’s best overall player.

      http://soccernet.espn.go.com/stats/actim?league=eng.1&type=POS&pos=Midfielder&date=20090526&cc=5901

      I know that this will start the “oh come on stats, blah blah” and that’s all well and fine. The facts are there though to back up the assertion that Denilson is a damn fine little player and potentially a better holding midfielder than Xabi Alonso.

      So, while my first inclination is to agree with you about Nasri, my rational mind takes over and forces me to say that I think we already have a Xabi Alonso, and his name is Denilson.

      • 7 haho
        June 3, 2009 at 8:30 am

        Don’t take me wrong, I love Denilson. He is efficient, has flair, works hard, reads well, and is an unasuming bloke. He was captain of Brazil (youth) ffs! But Nasri had better passing, great vision and the idea of him as a Volante, like indeed Pirlo, who passes a lot from deep and creates that way, is great. But, that would require an other DM, like Song. And that means; where do we leave Cesc? Not forward please. Nasri is a great CM/AM/Winger. He will be a great Lampard like BTB. But i hope not a DM, no matter what (fucking crazy) Domenech wants of him. I prefer 442 over 4231 every time, though a Barca style 433 with Nasri and Cesc and SOng/Denilson is absolutely brilliant. Wenger should consider that.

        • 8 Tim
          June 3, 2009 at 8:42 am

          I agree that the formation is partially to blame and I have to wonder why Wenger kept at the 4-2-3-1 and 4-5-1 when it clearly wasn’t working.

          I suspect that after the November falter and the slow start to the season he basically said, “ok, I think we can save 4th place, let’s try some stuff, if it works, then great, if not, we can go back to the drawing board.”

          Hopefully, he’s resting in Alsace with a nice glass of Riesling and pondering his approach to this season.

          Signing someone like Cana or Alves would be a fresh approach!

      • 9 CaribKid
        June 3, 2009 at 9:15 am

        I have been looking on Denilson’s stats all season and still wonder how they could be true, and that is after watching repeats of about 15 games trying to disprove my feeling that Denilson is not up to scratch.

        First things first though, Xavi normally plays the AM for both club and country and therefore it’s somewhat unfair to compare similar stats when it’s apples against oranges. Only when Mascherano was injured did Alonzo fill that spot. Stats also don’t show the range and vision of passing, aerial ability, positioning, dead ball threat, ball retention capability to ease pressure and overall impact on the game. Denilson doesn’t even come close to Alonzo in those categories.

        Also, Alonzo was never my first choice of DM for Arsenal with Kompany, Senna, Barry, Ya Ya always in my first 4 choices.

        Back to Denilson. I would have a great passing % if I made 5 yard diagonal passes all day like Denilson, unlike Alonzo who can pick out those 35-45 yard across field passes with great precision. Secondly, Denilson does make tackles when he is in position to do so. Unfortunately, because of his lack of speed and positioning, too often he is not in a position to make crucial tackles in or around the box. Most of the time when he does so, he is behind the player and gives away fouls in a dangerous area. How many crucial tackles or blocks do you remember Denilson making, in relation to our other defensive players? Not many.

        You are absolutely right Tim, stats don’t lie, but they don’t always tell the whole truth too. To be honest, Denilson is a quandary, he seems to invoke diametrically opposed views and reactions from fans. For me, he is just not Arsenal quality and brings no balance to Arsenal because of the following:

        1) Total lack of aerial ability. Most of the time he does not even try to head the ball, but tries to prevent the opponent from heading it. Ergo, stupid and unnecessary fouls. This also puts more pressure on the back 4, especially in the EPL, with the long ball over the top.

        2) Lack of pace, combined with only adequate positioning skills causes him to be chasing the game mostly from the back.

        3) Very little 1 on 1 skills in taking on opponents and beating them in order to release defensive pressure and set up the counter.

        Combine those traits with the ones mentioned above, especially if he is paired with Fab in a 4-4-2, makes for a very short, aerially challenged CM with little 1 and 1 creative skills. Just not my cup of tea.

        On the flip side, I like Denilson as a person because he never complains, never has anything bad to say about others, never suffers from hoof and mouth disease like Ade, has a calming on-field personality, is willing to do the dirty work and is a true team player.

        After all that is said and done, many will disagree with me and I respect their right to do so, but, Denilson will never be an impact player, especially for Arsenal.

        • 10 Dino Gunner
          June 3, 2009 at 1:43 pm

          Xabi Alonso plays for Liverpool. He is a defensive midfielder. XAVI plays for Barcelona as a central or attacking midfielder.

  2. 11 CaribKid
    June 3, 2009 at 7:18 am

    Like I said yesterday, Tony Adams have had very few bright moments over the past year.

  3. 12 T-Town
    June 3, 2009 at 8:55 am

    That Adams quote is not very well articulated to say the least, but I’m afraid there may be some truth to it. Our spending over the last few years just does not make sense. The Wenger quotes, the financial reports, the actual spending… it just does not add up.

  4. 13 WC
    June 3, 2009 at 10:43 am

    I think Adams needs to not talk until he’s fully recovered from the sauce. SPL may not exactly be the most compelling league but Celtic are certainly not moronic enough to hire a man who couldn’t even manage Pompey. Celtic have a winning tradition and see CL football regularly and Adams was clearly never going to meet the qualifications for that. He’s also not exactly the most articulate human being and at least hiring someone to write his comments for him would do a world of good for his image because he clearly cannot compile his own.

    Denilson has the potential to be a solid player and the thing about stats is simply that they tell you everything about the player but if you can’t read the stats properly or see their connection to real life then they’re just numbers open for interpretation. I could as well make 5000 back passes to my keeper and be the best passer in the league – doesn’t mean that I’m worth my salt. Denilson simply just doesn’t make the impact we expect of him from his position – he is supposed to start the attack from the back but most of the time he just turns the play sideways rather than forward. I honestly can’t remember many defense splitting passes made by him, whereas the likes of Alonso can pick Gerrard or Torres out from the half-line.

    In any case Alonso is a great player but not one we need alongside Cesc. As much as Cesc thinks he and Alonso would function well in the midfield, he forgets that Mascherano is one that affords Xabi the time and space by cutting out the opposition and feeding him the ball. We need a fighter and experienced one at that who will allow Cesc to roam the field without having to worry too much about tracking back and stifling the attack.

    • June 3, 2009 at 11:47 am

      Well, I’m going to diagree with both you and Carib Kid.

      As I’ve shown in the Chalkboard

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/chalkboards/5U49YJeZ2372FP0a3DN5

      and as the fact that Denilson had 7 assists to Alonso’s 4 assists, I disagree with the statement that “Denilson just passes sideways.” Just look at the chalkboards, you can see how many incisive passes he makes.

      Here’s another chalkboard, both away to Bolton, same thing

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/chalkboards/5e7f784L4962W3Pcd084

      Both players make a lot of sideways passes and both players are patient with the ball and pick out the good forward pass. Also, while were on the subject of qualitative vs. quantitative, what about the fact that Xabi has Fernando Torres to pass to and Denilson has… what… Bendtner with the magic touch? Lazy Adebayor?

      I really think this is a case of the grass is greener. And actually, the more I think about it, Fabregas should bit his tongue a bit and support Denilson for the role rather than call for Alonso to come in. Denilson just put in a butt load of work this season while Cesc was on three vacations and he deserves credit for that rather than having the Captain call for replacements.

      Competition for spots is healthy, but I hate to see the captain, give a bit of a back slap to one of the most solid early season performers on this team.

      Yes, he slipped a little at the end, but he’s getting older, taller, and stronger. He has great touch, he dribbles just fine, tackles well, and isn’t intimidated by punks like Lampard. Yes, he’s a bit deficient in the air, and will never be a destroyer like Cana but he has a lot of really good qualities and I seriously think he’s nearly as good as Alonso.

      And I want Alosno to come to the team!

    • June 3, 2009 at 11:52 am

      So, what Arsenal needs is a guy like Mascherano, someone to make tackles, intercept the ball, and pass sideways?

      Isn’t that what you just accused Denilson of being?

      And I completely disagree that we need to absolve Cesc of his defensive duties. That was one of the major problems this season; Cesc didn’t step up and shoulder his burden defensively.

      • 16 WC
        June 3, 2009 at 12:29 pm

        Well in reality isn’t that how Cesc had one of his best seasons? With Flamini, Cesc basically could do whatever he pleased on the pitch without having to expend the extra energy to defend. I’m not saying he shouldn’t defend at all and just have tea with Ade up the pitch when they lose the ball, but rather he should be doing less defensive duties next season than he has this season. I’m not saying Denilson is his only problem and truth be told Flamini was at the club for quite a bit so perhaps it’s an adjustment and issue of trust with Denilson being a new guy. However we’ve seen Cesc flourish when he has carefree license to bring everyone into the play. I suppose Diaby being the mediocre player he is doesn’t help Cesc any, however Denilson may be fearless or naive (whichever), but what we have seen is that he gets pushed off the ball far too easily to really impose himself on the midfield. He’s young but he’s not going to grown much more – he won’t get much taller or much stronger. At the age he is he’s forming the physcial template for the rest of his life – there won’t be some growth spurt at 21.

        And I’ve watched more Arsneal games than Liverpool yet I have more memories of Mascherano contributing to the attack than Denilson. Really Denilson has the youth problem – he looks good 1 game every 5 games and we cannot have that. Maybe in another 3 years he can be the player we expect but he’s still learning his trade and he hasn’t developed that keen sense of positional awareness if you ask me. He needs a much older, experienced model at the club which he really just doesn’t have right now.

        On another note the blogs are exploding that we’ve signed Vermaelen for 10M and Adams saying Vermaelen isn’t all that good – surely Tony is a good judge of character…………

  5. 17 Darkhail
    June 3, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Believe it or not but…

    http://goonertalk.com/2009/06/03/reports-vermaelen-is-an-arsenal-player/
    http://www.sport.co.uk/news/Football/20927/Arsenal_sign_Ajax_stopper.aspx

    the media says we signed vermy…. so who says 50/50 we actually even bid on him?

    • June 3, 2009 at 12:34 pm

      Let’s wait until we see something from the dot com, so far, nothing.

      • 19 CaribKid
        June 3, 2009 at 12:58 pm

        I hope not, another small, mobile defender in the Gallas mold. If we sign him that should be a sign that Gallas is no longer required.

  6. 20 nycgunner
    June 3, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    I agree with most of what CaribKid said about Denilson but I dont agree with his last comment about him never being able to become an impact player. Its way too early to make that comment about him. He is 19 ffs! Think how far he has come in a year and you will see the point im trying to make. Last year he was a part of our carling cup team. This year he has held his own against some good teams (the Roma game comes to mind). Yes he was outclassed in a few games as well but they were top teams and I dont think realistically you could have expected more out of him. Denilson was asked to play 1st team football 2 years too early but I do feel he is going to develop into one of those quiet, efficient players who goes about doing their business w/o too many people noticing.

    Lately I’ve seen a lot of articles comparing Arsenal with Barca and how maybe we should adopt their formation etc. etc. Barca plays 4-1-2-3 (though most ppl like to simplify this to a 4-3-3, that is incorrect), and because of alvez, they frequently switch to a 3-1-3-3 when attacking (alvez moves up the field and pujol covers for him at right back). The Barca players are also quiet different from Arsenal. Most of their attacking players like to make a run at the defense which creates a passing/shooting opportunity. Arsenal just doesn’t play that way. Our emphasis on passing and moving is much more than theirs and we play the game at a much faster pace. One of the most shocking comparisons I have read in the last few days in Cesc and Iniesta. Now these are two completely different kind of players. Cesc is not a dribbler – Iniesta is. Cesc probably has better range but Iniesta can tear open a defense with his dribbling. I have seen almost every Barca game this season and at no point did i think Cesc is like Iniesta. Xavi maybe… but unfortunately Cesc still has some ways to go before he can get to Xavi’s level. We should stick to our 4-4-2 formation because that’s what works best for us. I hope Wenger goes back to the basics next season and stops tinkering with this team

    • 21 CaribKid
      June 3, 2009 at 12:56 pm

      Slight correction on Denilson, he turned 21 in February and is only 5 months younger than Song.

      • 22 nycgunner
        June 3, 2009 at 2:08 pm

        thanks for the correction. so he played most of the season when he was 20.. my point basically was he is very young and can only get better from here. the song comparison is actually an interesting one. he was pretty shyte the first half of the season but got better as the season progressed. i thought denilson improved too as the season progressed but started looking tired around feb/march which was when song started to o play better.

  7. 23 Darkhail
    June 3, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    No! The spam filter got my comment :(

  8. 24 nycgunner
    June 3, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    most arsenal fans seem to be very divided on denilson. but i think we can all agree that we need a CDM. someone that denilson can learn from and become a better player in the future.

  9. 25 Jet Pinoy Gooner
    June 3, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Denilson made 155 interceptions which top the entire Arsenal team followed by Clichy with 123 who is a defender. Denilson tackled opponents for 128 times which is again the highest for Arsenal but with 77.3% success rate which is not too bad for a 21 year old in a top 4 Premiere Club. Denilson made 2533 passes with the accuracy rate of 87.3% followed by Sagna with a total of 1669 and 85.9%. The last game against Stoke he was able to dish out 114 passes and made 110 acurate passes. Xabi’s last game he was able to make 69 passes and 61 of them were accurate. All the other aspects of their game were pretty close. Denilson to sum it up is a work horse and with that work rate he puts in garnish it with the experience he had this season he will be better than Xabi in the coming season if not it would be the season after that.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/arsenal/5037770/Arsenal-Football-Club-Players.html

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/arsenal/5037770/Arsenal-Football-Club-Players.html

    http://footballstats.telegraph.co.uk/PlayerStat.aspx?p1id=5033&p2id=2538&p1league=50&p2league=50&p1match=16108&p2match=16108

    Tim I was trying to reply on the Denilson string up above but an error kept on showing I had to post it all the way down here.


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