Vermaelen it in…

Well, Thomas Vermaelen is supposedly signing for us today for a reported fee of £10m.  IF this happens, it will be an Arsenal record for a defender and be the second record breaking price that Arsenal paid for a player in less than a year. He’s a left footed, aerially adept, central defender and if he can handle the pressure of being a central defender for the most attacking team in world football he may turn out to be one of those “Wenger signings” where he takes a relative unknown at a bargain price and turns him into a star.

Questions remain as to whether Kolo or Gallas are going to stay and the press is all atwitter with rumors that the former has renewed his love affair with Manchester City. Kolo’s a good defender and would command a decent fee and I’d be sad to see him go, though he is playing in the disastrously stupid ACN this Winter, exactly at the time when the club will need him most (against Pool, Chels, ManU). So, while I would be sad to see him go, it would be a good move for Arsenal.

Gallas is our best defender and our most experienced player. Yes, he’s got some issues, but keeping him on to pass the torch to Vermaelen will be crucial.

It’s Ladies Week over at the dot com and they deserve the attention, what with being the most successful women’s club pretty much ever. But that’s all we have today.

So, what I want to know is who you think Arsenal are going to sign next? Not who you WISH Arsenal will sign — the overpriced overrated and overly old David Villa is not coming to Arsenal — but who you legitimately think will sign for Arsenal. Responses should be realistic, address squad issues (what will happen if your signing comes in, someone will be displaced), and must take into account Arsene Wenger’s management style and footballing philosophy.

So, for example, saying that Arsenal are bringing in Steven Taylor for £18m to play Striker is probably not realistic. You can write whatever you want, but be prepared to be ridiculed!

Right, so get working.

While you’re at it, I want to remind you that you can win a free shirt in 7amkickoff’s very-first-ever-world-premier-competition!


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Liverpool v Arsenal, 26 May 1989, name the two goalscorers.

Send answer, name, address and preferred T-shirt size to admin@philosophyfootball.com Entries close 30 June ’09, no purchase necessary to enter.
Good luck!

42 Responses to “Vermaelen it in…”

  1. 1 gooner sems
    June 19, 2009 at 7:04 am

    i would like melo or cana to partner cesc and tell him go attack no one will pass me so don’t worry type of player also vermaelen i don’t think is arsenal quality yet soo please wenger keep kolo and gallas i can only see him as ‘BACKUP”

  2. 2 col
    June 19, 2009 at 7:16 am

    many of us were also questioning arshavin’s worth in winter,wenger proved us wrong by miles.i hope same happens in varmaelen’s case

  3. 3 raifuzzagoonerisque
    June 19, 2009 at 7:24 am



    he looks like the tough tackling holding midfielder that we need. And we dont really hear stories about madrid/barca/ManU etc etc being linked with him.

  4. June 19, 2009 at 7:26 am

    i like all the article and would like arsenal to keep all those defenders but a certain man calling ACN a stupid event then he must be one himself

  5. 5 Darkhail
    June 19, 2009 at 7:33 am


  6. 6 Darkhail
    June 19, 2009 at 7:35 am

    That wasnt really meant to be my entire post (I accidentally hit enter), but I think we will sign him, or some other striker, not that we need one, but because Wenger loves attacking players. If Ade goes I would give it at really high percentage, if he doesn’t (and I doubt he will, despite the fact that I want him to) then it will go down for me as a 50/50.

  7. 7 Gunner Man
    June 19, 2009 at 7:36 am

    Hello Tim,

    How dare you referred African Cup of Nation as disastrously stupid ACN, have you forgotten that ACN is like any othe Fifa approved competition being played everywhere around the Globe, such as Euro Cup, Asian Cup,Copa American etc, at least you should have given some respect to African as a continent, please make amend immediately.

    • 8 gooner sems
      June 19, 2009 at 7:47 am

      yeah good point haven’t you seen egypt we kicked italian ass

    • 9 Tim
      June 19, 2009 at 7:50 am

      I hate all international competitions equally.

      This is my position.

    • 10 Nat
      June 19, 2009 at 7:56 am

      its called disastrously stupid because its one of the only fifa approved competition that takes place during the football season and we have to watch one of our better players fly off to africa while we take on the world without him…
      Tim has every right to refer to the competition as arsene wenger has shown his didliking for it as well… thank you very much

      • 11 CaribKid
        June 19, 2009 at 8:21 am

        The ANC is a great competition and African players, like anyone else, love to represent their country at this event.

        However, the fact it is played during the major European season is ridiculous and unreasonable for 2 reasons:
        1) Most players ply their trade in Europe and are just coming in to full match fitness when this tournament occurs and therefore are more subject to injuries in this very intense competition.
        2) The fact that teams will lose African players during the season every other year, seriously diminish the chance for African players to be taken by top teams. Even Jose Mourhino came out and said that a few years ago.

        Either way you look on it, it’s only hurting the players and not the pockets of the asshole officials who cares zilch about the players. A simple solution would be to move the competition either to the summer or during the January transfer window. For whatever, unknown reason, the ANC “politicians” have refused to do so. If that’s not plain stupid, what is?

      • June 19, 2009 at 8:28 am

        Thanks Nat,

        I just want to point out to everyone that I am very consistently openly hostile to all international competitions. I respect Africa’s right to hold a competition, I understand that they have a desire to bring some unity to a war torn continent, and I understand that players love representing their country, that doesn’t mean I have to think it’s a worthy competition.

        Simply put, I completely dislike any international competitions as I see them promote racism, promote xenophobia, and promote nationalism. I’m consistent in this position when it comes to American politics, foreign politics, Arsenal, and football in general.

        Furthermore, I have been a staunch defender of Arsenal’s African players, of Arsenal’s foreign player policy, and have been consistently outspoken against what I see as racist and xenophobic policies like the 6+5 rule. In fact, I think FIFA uses tournaments like the ACN, Confederations Cup, and all the pointless U-21, U-18, etc. in order to keep us divided. Keep us waving an American flag or an Egyptian flag and belittle those of us who wave the Arsenal flag.

        They do this out of their own self interests, after all, club football is melting pot football. Club football at its best, like at Arsenal, is a blending of Englishmen, Irishmen, Americans, Togolese, Spaniards, Ivorians, and Frenchmen, Crozilians, and Spanish players with English passports. Arsenal is what America has always wanted to be, and that’s a very powerful thing for an American.

        International tournaments, with just a few exceptions, are divisive and promote xenophobia or at least bring up old rivalries, and it’s in FIFA’s interest to promote that stuff. If there’s no international football, or if international tournaments slip in popularity then there’s no FIFA. So of course they are openly hostile to clubs like Arsenal, Arsenal is the antithesis of what FIFA stand for.

        Finally, you shouldn’t take what I say personally. I’m just a blogger. I write about football from my perspective, which you will not agree with 100%. Take the good with the bad and if you find that there’s too much you disagree with, well, there’s not much I can do about that.

        Anyway, thanks for the comments, and I hope this clarifies my position a bit.

  8. 13 Gooner49
    June 19, 2009 at 7:40 am

    This is one of those ideas that you could see Wenger going for or totally igroring!!

    If we sign Vermaelen it will be impossible to keep Toure and Gallas and to keep them happy and playing well. So my perfect solution would be to sell Toure to City for £8million + Micha Richards.

    Richards is an Arsenal fan, he’s young, big, strong, fast (when fully fit) and would provide us with cover at right back and central defence. He could also grow into Gallas’ natural successor and potentially a future Arsenal Captain!

    A few season’s ago Richards helped City to an historic double over Man U and wes being priced at £20million! To be able to get him in an exchange deal would be an absolute deal!

    As far as our Defensive midfilder is concerned, Melo looks handy, although from what i’ve seen of him in the confederations cup and a few Fiorentina games, he seems to play higher up the pitch than what we need.

    There have been many names mentioned but to be honest I wouldn’t mind a complete unknown who Wenger sees potential in. We just need someone with bags of energy who can tackle well (prob NOT Cana then!!) and who is willing to do a thankless task. No Glory hunters please.

    I’m excited about next season!! Cesc, Arshavin, Rosicky, Eduardo, Rvp (I hope he signs soon!), Theo, Nasri!! So many exciting players, I can’t wait to see what Wenger has done with our “Oh so very nearly ready” team!!!

    • 14 CaribKid
      June 19, 2009 at 8:27 am

      Adding to the Toure + 8M for Richards would be that we could then sell Eboue for 5M, which gives us 13M from both transfers and pays for Vermaelen with 2M left over. Now, that sounds like an Arsene deal.

      Odds of that happening 2/5

  9. 15 harambee
    June 19, 2009 at 7:43 am

    how on earth can someone call acn stupid event,it only shows how shallow minded some dudes are.i dont blame adebaryor when he said most african players play for the money,yes itotally agree with him.

  10. 16 Josh
    June 19, 2009 at 7:46 am

    I do agree with the above posts; it seems that Cana is a very likely scenario, also judging from the media rumbles with this story. The other one is de Melo, but that could just be hogwash. Who knows? Wenger may pull another ‘Wenger’ and go for an unknown, unexpected face, lol.

  11. 17 silverside
    June 19, 2009 at 7:56 am

    1. bassong would be good, but at 10mill i dont think hes worth it
    2. cana/melo but beginnin to think this unlikely as well, marseille wouldnt wanna sell their captain and nor would fiorentina sell melo cause he has borken into brazilian team as well (plus champions league football for fiorentina)
    3. chamakh: i dont know how many people believe that adebayor should leave, but i am one of them,and would love to see his back, but ther seems no news, so this also might not happen

    if wenger can do his magitic talk and lure these any of these guys it would be good, but knowing wenger i am sure he can pull out a rabbit from a hat and make it the best player in the world. ;)

  12. 18 Alex
    June 19, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Best two rumors I’ve heard were Melo (pops) and Hitzlsperger (pops). I’ve only seem either of the play briefly but it sounds like the last piece to the puzzle. To be honest, I don’t care if we sign either of these players but at least the rumor mill has stopped linking us to forwards. We don’t need forwards. We don’t need attacking midfielders. We need a couple of no-frills destroyers to recover the ball and let the attacking players do their thing.

  13. 19 Hashim
    June 19, 2009 at 8:27 am

    I would really like to see Steven Taylor instead of Bassong coming to Arsenal. Upson would also be a great buy. But then, if Kolo is going to City, then Arsene must include Micah Richards in the deal. For the midfield, I would go for Veloso with Cesc.

  14. 20 Kenneth Ajaegbu
    June 19, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Iwould want a player in the mould of a patrick Vieira, who can break up opponents play in the midfield as well as have a attacking mind. Our midfield is too light weight no combat and this is why you see the midfielders backtracking rather than contest the ball when disposesed.
    Take for instance most of the goals conceeded last season were from couter attacks from other teams.C.Ronaldo’s champ league second goal as well as Drogba’s winner in the FA cup amongst others lay credence to this
    The mid field just has to be fortified.

    Arsenal has again been woeful in attack,i do not see any team creating as much scoring chances as arsenal in the premiership. We see an Adebayor who wants to join play with the Midfielders and a Van parsie who tilts to left … who finishes the move? The others are Eduardo who has had a bad season through injury and Bendtner who to me,is still a rookie. Arsenal also needs an out and out complete striker.

  15. 21 midou
    June 19, 2009 at 8:46 am

    the only problem i got with ACF is that its every 2 years. in a way its good 4 us as im algerian, so i could watch my country play more often. in the other hand its hard to lose players like song and toure as it is in winter time 4 a reason: africa is the hottest continent on earth so in summer it is just impossible

  16. 23 gooner sems
    June 19, 2009 at 8:49 am

    we have signed him it is official

  17. 24 gooner sems
    June 19, 2009 at 8:50 am

    tim check it out eurosport said it is official

  18. 27 CaribKid
    June 19, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Since Barry is no longer in the frame my DM selections would be:

    1. Marcus Senna: No chance of that happening as he is currently injured and cost too much.
    Odds 0/5

    2. Van Bommel: Would love to have him here as he brings leadership, football intelligence, experience, intensity and no nonsense European aggression. Probably only have a few more productive years left in the tank and would be a good mentor for Song, Denilson and the rest. He would be relatively inexpensive, but is not a Wenger type player.
    Odds 1/5

    3.Felipe Melo: Ever notice that he and Denilson look so much alike it’s frightening, except, he brings a lot more pace, good aerial ability and some serious tackling and aggression to the table. Would be a great team acquisition but may be considered too expensive for Arsene’s blood.
    Odds 3/5

    4. Lorik Cana: A Melo clone with leadership qualities and would be the Arsene type excepy maybe for the price.
    Odds 3/5

    5. Sebastien Schweinstieger: Great, young, German talent with phenomenal skills who can play anywhere across the MF and also as a support striker. Tall, good in the air, extremely creative and in my opinion, a better player right now than Fab, with more upside. No way Bayern lets him go, and if they do, at a whopping price.

    Odds 1/5

    6. Thorsten Frings: Although getting long in the tooth, this German national players still has a few more constructive years at the club level and brings experience, leadership and combativeness to the table, and would come fairly cheap.
    Odds 2/5

    7. THOMAS VERMAELEN: Yes, we may have our new DM taking his physical today. Vermaelen is built like a DM, has all the required attributes and knowing how Wenger likes to tinker with players, this could be very likely. Watching Wenger play Song at the CB position during the last few games of the season indicates he may move Song back there permanently. If he does, then Vermaelen, Denilson and Diaby become the holy DM trio and the back line is bolstered by Song’s return so Arsene can now gou out and spend on that one, special attacking player which he likes.

    Odds 4/5

  19. 29 nick
    June 19, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Did anyone see Chamakh`s video on youtube? His finishing is on a par with Ade`s so thanks but no thanks. Dzeko or Huntelaar would be my preference if Adebayor was sold.

    For DM, Felipe Melo would be ideal, he was great for Fiorentina last year. I can`t comment on Cana or Veloso as I`ve never seen them play.

    I have no problem with the signing of Vermaelen but would love for us to sign Hangeland as well. He has excellent aerial presence and good experience in the prem. His purchase could be funded by the sales of Toure and Eboue and would make us a lt stronger at the back.

    I have always enjoyed watching the ACN, particularly the hilarious defending on display and the vibrant atmosphere. However, it should be scheduled for summer and not half way through the domestic season. I know African summers are scorching hot but they could play the matches at night when it`s cooler.

  20. 30 WC
    June 19, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Why can’t the ACN be in the summer like every other international competition? What genius at FIFA thought that taking players away from their club in the second half of the club season was a good idea? I don’t hate international football, but I do think it’s inferior to club football and having a competition in January just slowly diminished the respect I have for it bit by bit.

    On the note of transfers – Cana, Melo or Toulalan for CM, sell Toure and Gallas and raise funds for Raul Albiol and sell Ade and take advantage of Perez’s stupidity and go for Huntelaar to play beside RVP.

  21. 34 dimatt89@gmail.com
    June 19, 2009 at 9:30 am

    People should understand the circumstances before slating the scheduling of the ACN. Firstly, the MAJORITY of African players who play for their countries play IN AFRICA. That means the timing doesn’t conflict with the majority of players. Secondly, the june/july period is winter time and/or monsoon season for large parts of the continent. Having the tournament in that time would exclude a lot countries from hosting it. If the clubs dont want to affected by AFCON then dont buy African players like Ferguson. But we know that wont be the case because African players are cheaper and will put up with less wages than Europeans because of their backgrounds

    • 35 WC
      June 19, 2009 at 10:28 am

      Most of the African players play in Africa? Somehow I’m not convinced of that. If I had to gander a guess I’d say most African players are split with Ligue 1, Eredivisie and a bunch of other of the smaller Scandanavian leagues.

      So the solution to not conflict with the ACN is to just bar Africans from entering European leagues? Nifty solution.

      If June/July is Monsoon season then why is the WC in June, in South Africa? Seriously your arguments just further support the reasons why FIFA are greedy bastards who only care about money by having nthe ACN in one of the most mediocre time frames and leaving some of the best clubs in the world without some of their players.

      • 36 Shaun
        June 20, 2009 at 12:54 am

        WC, South Africa in Winter is far different from the rest of Africa when it comes to weather. We actually get bugger all rain in the majority of the country at this time so its a great time to host a tournament.

        This does still tie in with what dimatt89 is saying, as most African countries would be excluded from hosting the tournament.

        I also do agree that the majority of players tend to play in Africa itself.

        But overall I wuld rather watch Arsenal play than any internationl competition, except maybe for the next WC :-) SA will be a great place to visit next year. Looking forward to it.

  22. 37 Gunner Man
    June 19, 2009 at 10:19 am


    You are very stupid, what back ground does your own fucking country have? if not for our greedy leaders, we have more resources more than your country Muppet.so shape ur f***cking mouth before referring to African people.

    • 38 dimatt89@gmail.com
      June 19, 2009 at 12:54 pm

      I am actually black South African. I find your spout of dribble rude, direspectful and embarassing to other Africans. If you are to intellectually limited to come up with an actual argument, then shut the hell up. What I meant by background was that most of African players come from poor and often uneducated backgrounds, and this often leads them to accept less favourable wages, contractual terms etc because they sometimes get taken advantage of or a just so happy to escape poverty that they accept whatever comes their way.

  23. June 19, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Let’s all calm down, we’re all Gooners here, and we all love African players.

    • 40 CaribKid
      June 19, 2009 at 1:48 pm

      Agreed Tim, this is not about Africa or African players, it’s about some greedy organizations who really don’t care about the welfare of the African players.

  24. 41 dimatt89@gmail.com
    June 19, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    WC- I never said we should bar African players in European. I am a black South African myself. What I was trying to get across was that the big European leagues should not expect Africa to rearrange the ACN just to please them. If they feel that they would be that disadvantaged by losing them for the tournament then dont buy African players, like Ferguson. PS-The majority of African players do play in Africa, that is a fact. Remember that the Africans playing in Belgium, France etc are from many different countries or have become naturalized Europeans like Makele and dont necessarily play for African countries. Most of the South African team plays in SA, the majority of the Egypt team (ACN champions) play in Egypt, same goes for Togo, Cameroon etc. The reason we can have the world cup now is because our winters are not very cold. Dont forget that Africa is divided by the equator so certain countries are experiencing winter and some are having summer. Parts of the continent (mainly west & equitorial) are in the monsoon season

  25. 42 dimatt89@gmail.com
    June 19, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    PS-WC- My suggestion would be to have the ACN every 4 years or to introduce a 2/3 week winter break across European leagues and then play the ACN during that time

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