Posts Tagged ‘Andrei Arshavin is not coming to Arsenal

02
Feb
09

The snow is like a new signing

Good mourning everyone! Today is the day that the transfer deadline will pass, Arsenal will sign no one, and Gooners the world over will be seen pulling their hair out. You might as well start mourning its passing right now.

The latest news goes like this: Arshavin flew in to London in order to be available in case Arsenal found £3m under Peter Hill-Woods’ mattress, the Gods thought they would test Londoner’s resolve by dumping 1″ of snow on the town, London ground to a halt — even the underground stopped running (there’s no snow down there!).

Meanwhile, back in Arsenal’s board room, some kind of deal was reached with Zenit, except no deal was reached! From what I gather, the thing holding up the transfer is that Zenit paid Arshavin a £4m signing bonus up front for his 4 year contract with them and they want half of that back, because he’s breaking his contract! Sounds reasonable to me.

Arshavin is refusing to pay this fee, because… well, I really don’t know why he would do that, but we know for sure that he’s refusing to pay the fee. He’s telling Arsenal if they want him, they need to pay the fee… oh yeah, and he wants a pay increase as well.

Remember back when I said that I was very uncomfortable signing Arshavin because he was threatening his team with a contract strike? Also remember how Arshavin was telling everyone he’d take a pay cut to join Arsenal? Funny thing about that, as it turns out, it looks a lot like Arshavin and Zenit are BOTH “football jokers” as one Arsenal exec put it.

So, after seeing his wage packet (which would be a modest increase over Zenit), he reportedly went back to the airport in disgust, to his private jet, to  fly home.

I’ll be sure to update this post when the transfer window closes and Arsenal haven’t signed anyone.

Meanwhile!

That 1″ of snow? Well, they have called off tomorrow’s match against Cardiff on account of 1″ of snow — THE BLIZZARD OF ’09!

And to brighten your day, here’s a quote from Arsene Wenger…

There’s always a danger because people always want a wonder man. But I believe we have to keep going, and accept that the expectation level on him would be very high if he joins us. But if he doesn’t join us I am not more pessimistic. We have as well not to go overboard with the crisis we face. Let’s judge our team at the end of the season.

UGH

I want to go back to bed, I was having a great dream about trophies and sunny days and….

Update!

I have been informed by a reliable source that the transfer deadline has been extended.  Wenger has been quotyed as saying “It’s like a new transfer window.”

Update Redux!!

Theo Walcott should be back in 4 weeks, like a new signing!

Update Tridux!!!

The Cardiff game has been tentatively rescheduled for February 16th and Setanta is showing the match live. That’s right, on President’s day, Briooots! Which if you don’t know, is the day which Americans celebrate George W’s birthday by festooning our nude bodies with $1 bills and masturbating to pictures of nookular missile silos.

Also, everyone is reporting that Arshavin is parked at Heathrow in a white Ford Bronco, ready to zoom back into London and sign for Arsenal as soon as they agree to pay him more than everyone else on the team by giving him a “signing bonus” which he will use to pay Zenit to pay back his “signing bonus” which is in no way a “transfer fee” nor “salary” which would break Arsenal’s “salary structure” — in negotiating, this is known as the “Flamini gambit.”

Check-Mate, Zenit.

Update Quardux!!!!

The transfer window closed an hour and a half ago, there was no announced signing, and yet the media outlets are reporting that the deal is still on!

Screw the rules!

Update Quintux!!!!!

The Andrei Arshavin saga seems to have come to a close, at least according to L’Equipe, who are reporting that Arshavin is now an Arsenal player.

Unfortunately, I cannot verify this because YOU PEOPLE ARE FLOODING ARSENAL DOT COM WITH YOUR F-FIVE-ISM.

Also, L’Equipe is reporting that Arshavin is not match fit and won’t be for two weeks, when he is eventually healthy he will be like another new signing.

So, it’s like we signed two players for the price of one! We will totally do the treble now.

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30
Jan
09

Will they fear us if we get Arshavin?

yawn

A West Ham team that is brimming with confidence  having dispatched 6 of their last 7 opponents comes in to the Emirates stadium to face an Arsenal team brimming with false hope after eeking out a 9 game unbeaten run.

It’s almost amazing to think that the team have remained unbeaten for 9 matches and on its face it’s a pretty good run of form and should see Arsenal gaining confidence. But these aren’t the awe inspiring games that we’re seeing from our rivals for the Champions League spot; a 0-0 draw to Cardiff is hardly the stuff of legends. In fact, closer inspection sees that Manchester United haven’t conceded a goal since Arsenal beat them 2-1 in November and Villa have taken all 12 points in their last 4 matches. So, you’ll forgive me if I have to have a laugh when Diaby proclaims the title race is within grasp or Nasri says that all we have to do is “keep winning without leaking goals” and we’ll be right back in it. No. You have to make opponents like West Ham tremble at the thought of traveling to your stadium, then you can start talking about winning the title.

West Ham, for their part, are playing some very good football and pundits are claiming they won’t have anything to fear from Arsenal tomorrow. No one is saying that Arsenal aren’t a talented side, or that there isn’t a threat that Arsenal will start clicking and destroy teams like West Ham; rather that right now, every team in the EPL looks at our past performances and has to be licking their chops to come here and “pull a Hull.”

Ultimately, I’m not going to say it’s a crucial game because, frankly, it looks like the board and the team have thrown in the towel on even achieving 4th place. When you see the board sitting on £90m in cash reserves and not strengthening the squad when it is plain for everyone to see that the squad needs strengthening there’s a disconnect and Peter Hill-Wood revealed exactly what that disconnect is yesterday. As it turns out, the club (payroll, transfers, etc.) is being run as if we didn’t earn £30m a year in Champions League money.

There is no denying that it would be a real financial drain on the club if we didn’t qualify for the Champions League next season. Even if we were in the Uefa Cup and enjoyed a long run in Europe, that would not come close to making up the shortfall.

But although missing out on the Champions League for one year would be a big disappointment, it would not mean financial Armageddon for Arsenal. When we worked out the budget, and did our fund-raising calculations in respect of the new stadium, we did not assume we were going to be in the Champions League every season. That may be an assumption at other clubs, and it’s not for me to comment on the way they are run, but we did not want to get out of our depth in terms of paying our bills. So although it would certainly hurt us in the pocket to finish outside the top four, it would not be a huge shock to the club’s finances. (Emphasis added.)

Suddenly everything makes sense. We’re running the club as if we are West Ham, not as if we are a top four club. No wonder no one fears Arsenal: they are fielding a team, with but maybe three exceptions, is a mid-level squad. You could say that in a sense, we’re punching above our weight, up there in 5th place. We bought a mid-table squad and are nearly up in the Champions League, impressive.

What isn’t impressive is that we’re already seeing some fallout from Arsenal’s failure to re-invest in the team with Robin van Persie reportedly refusing to sign a contract extension unless Arsenal win 4th place. You need look no further than that fact to see why the Arsenal business plan was severely flawed. Because, while it’s a good idea to practice fiscal austerity and Arsenal seem to have that down pat, hell, they could probably last 10 years as a mid-level team in the EPL with the £90m (which will probably be like £110m after this season is done) they have stashed under the mattress, it’s a terrible idea not to re-invest in your company while all of your competitors are growing around you. Already the Arsenal brand has seen some of the shine come off which means less shirt sales and even though they may “sell out” every game due to counting ticket sales rather than the turnstiles, people are already not attending matches, which means less concessions, etc. I’m not suggesting that Arsenal should have spent all £90m on transfers, but some prudent re-investment was clearly necessary as our slump in sales, and slump in performance on the pitch certainly shows.

Where would Arsenal be right now without Robin van Persie? Shudder to think, eh? The thought of losing van Persie might explain why the team seems to be increasing their price in the Zenit deal to get Arshavin on the pitch — going so far as landing the Russian a work permit already. With Wenger stating that the club are going to know before kickoff tomorrow we should finally have an end to this saga one way or another.

The problem is that Arshavin is, in my mind, too little, too late. While undoubtedly a quality player, and certain to add some goals, he’s lacking match fitness right now and still doesn’t solve the problem of Arsenal’s porous defense. In the end, Arshavin won’t be the man to make teams like West Ham fear us again. That’s going to take a whole lot more than just one wing player can deliver, which means prying open the coffers. Unless, of course, they have thrown in the towel on this season.

It sure looks like it to me. Which is a real shame.

Right, so a 7am kickoff tomorrow, the match is live on Setanta, and I will be at Doyle’s. See you there?

27
Jan
09

Arsenal have NOT agreed to a deal with Zenit — Full Stop

Just as I get in to work, the dot com reports that Arsenal have not agreed to the fee with Zenit over Andrei Arshavin.

Also, they are not worried about the deal because Arsenal are playing Everton tomorrow.

Also, Usmanov has not bought anything, apart from a box of Krispy Kreme’s.

Also, the only place where we should be getting our news about transfers is from the dot com.

Also, no deal is none.

Also, I’m not mentioning this any more, unless he signs for Arsenal and I read about it on the dot com and there is a picture of him holding up the number 613 shirt or what ever “squad number” we have left over.

Full Stop.

I SAID FULL STOP

22
Jan
09

Forget Arshavin, Jack Wilshere is like a new signing! Plus, Eboue gets a new contract.

Animated GIF of Wilshere scoring a wonder goal.

Oh man, I had a good sleep in today: I hit the snooze button twice! So while I normally get up at 4:30, I got up at 5:30. I’m not complaining though, the reason I slept in was because I got up at 1:30 the day before to buy my match tickets for the Sunderland game. That’s right, yours truly is heading to balmy London for vacation — I wonder if I should pack a Speedo?

Anyway, you’re not here to hear about me in a Speedo (which is a magnificent sight) you’re here to hear about the latest transfer news amiright? Right.

Let’s see, Arshavin is praying to the God than isn’t his omnipotent agent that a deal will go through that takes him out of Russia. What are the stages of grief anyway? Doesn’t it go: bargaining, threatening, praying, and then acceptance? It better have acceptance in it somewhere because despite the one report that has Zenit going from the lead role in 300 to Monty Hall in saying “let’s make a deal” Arsenal are steadfast in their valuation with Peter Hill-Wood publicly saying that they have reached the limit they are going to spend. I have to think that the Zenit position is just there to save face. They know Andrei can buy out his contract in November, and so he has them over a barrel a little bit but not as much as many will claim.

First, he can’t go on strike. Well, he could, but if he did that then he might not qualify for a work permit in England (depending on national appearances). Second, he can buy out the remainder of his contract, but only in November and remember Zenit are a bunch of disgraceful human beings. I have no doubt that Zenit would keep Andrei in court for months while they haggle over his price. That’s the threat Arsenal used on Hleb. Plus, there’s still the summer transfer market to go through and I’m confident they could sell Arshavin in the summer for £10m. So they lose a few million, which brings me to my final point, so they lose a few million. HA! They don’t care. They don’t need the money. Make no mistake, this isn’t like Valencia and David Villa, where the club is over-pricing their superstar because they need the money. Zenit is doing this because, well, because they are a bunch of whackos.

In his little statement Peter Hill-Wood sounded a lot like a jilted lover by saying that there were “other fish in the sea” but the truth is that there are other fish; Fabio Simplicio could be a set up man to challenge Diaby/Denilson and Stéphane Sessegnon could be a good wing player to challenge Theo (when he comes back). Now, as for a hard man, well, as Mae West said “a hard man is good to find.” As soon as I find one I’ll let you know.

While we’re waiting for PHW to grab his fly rod and fish us a hard man (seriously, this is getting a little gay – ed.) we should celebrate “new signing” Eduardo and his first full 90 minutes of play. He still hasn’t scored (he had a goal disallowed for offside yesterday) but getting out there and playing for 90 minutes and giving yourself chances to score are huge, considering the damage that Taylor inflicted on him. The player feels ready to go out and play first team football, but I’d like to see him get a goal in reserves first. Sorry, but I’d hate to see him rushed back and something horrible happen.

The player who does seem ready for some first team football is Wilshere. Well, some folks are tipping him and after watching his audacious outside of the boot left footer (obviously in the GIF above) I’d be tempted to agree with them, except I kind of think Vela is ready-er and more naturally a wing player. Irregardless, I think we’ll see a bit of both players in the weeks to come, the squad is that thin.

By the way, I found that animated GIF over at Gunnerblog.

And finally, the most incredible story of the day award goes to… it’a a fight to the death! In the periwinkel blue corner, it turns out that City could have signed de Jong for £2.3m if they had just waited for his release clause to kick in this summer. Instead, they put up £19m to get him right now, incredible stuff.  In the red corner, Arsenal turned down an offer from Athletico Madrid for Eboue and instead are racing to give him an improved contract. Let me put this as diplomatically as I can; Eboue has not done anything this season to warrant a pay raise. Not one thing. He’s done his job, he’s done what he’s told to do, but I haven’t seen anything from him that warrants an improved contract.

Ok, that’s as diplomatic as I can be. In my heart I’m screaming “I don’t care how little it was, TAKE THE OFFER” but you probably already knew that.

Ok, so that’s it for today, we’ve got the Friday press conference ahead of Sunday’s game tomorrow where I’m sure Arsene will be all “we’ve bid what we can afford” and ” we live in the real world” and “this is a young team” and “Cardiff will be a tough match.” If he says anything new, I’ll be sure to report it.

Until then!

21
Jan
09

Arshavin deal off — what is Arsenal’s back up plan?

I'm pulling my hair out to Andrei

Gunnerblog is reporting that the Arshavin deal has essentially fallen through. Not that he needs any backing up, he’s usually very reliable with inside information, but the story is being picked up more widely and so I feel confident that the clubs have reached an impasse. Well, I say “the clubs have reached an impasse” but in reality Zenit has jerked Arsenal around.

We all knew what they were doing when they revealed to the world Arsenal’s bids; they were basically keeping us at the table, trying to drive up the cost of the player, while very publicly soliciting a higher bid from a club like City. Reputation be damned. Integrity — who needs it?  Zenit were going to squeeze every last penny out of this deal and they didn’t care who they used along the way.

Arsenal were pawns.

If you need any further proof that Arsenal were duped and used by these scumbag, lying, racists just witness this quote from an insider:

Arsenal don’t understand what is going on at all – no-one is answering their phone-calls or returning their faxes. What can Arsenal do? It is becoming clear that Zenit are totally nuts. Arsenal might wait one more day, possibly two, but Zenit seem to be football jokers.

In the civil world you don’t make someone wait a week before you return a fax, you don’t tell someone you’ll call them tomorrow and not do it.  Zenit don’t care about money, they just seem to have made up their minds not to sell. They have just been playing games, showing they’re tough.

I swear at any moment we’re going to find out that when the Arsenal negotiators got to the table the Zenit chairman was dressed in nothing but a red cape and leather skirt. And when Ivan Gazidis presented Arsenal’s reported £15m offer, the chairman wheeled on him, kicked him onto the floor and screamed “20! WE SAID 20!!!! THIS IS ZENIT!”

this-is-zenit1

If there is any good news to come out of this it’s that, erm… well… it’s that we get to go to Arsene Wenger’s back up plan!

Which is?

Mate Toth.

I really, really hope this is true. I’ve been following Mate Toth now for, erm, 6 minutes, and he is the best defender I’ve never seen. On a related note, I think that squad number 91 is available which just happens to be the year Mate Toth was born.

What do you think he’ll put on his shirt? Mate? Toth? I’m really hoping he picks Mate, because if he picks Mate the jokes could go forever, mate.

Defensive Mid/Holding Mid/Box-to-box Mid, whatever, let’s get one!

I’ve noticed that lately, box-to-box, defensive, holding, whatever-you-call-them-midfielders have become very expensive: Spurs just paid £14m for Wilson Palacios, Mascherano cost ‘Pool £19m, Felliani cost Everton £15m, and Diarra went for £20m.

Even if you take into account the inflationary costs that Spurs typically pay for players (£31m for bench players Bent and Bentley, selling Defoe for £10 and buying him back for £15, etc, etc.) these latest transfer figures show that a solid central midfielder is going to cost at least £15m. Partially this is because these players have become fashionable (Liverpool play with 2 at all times) and partially this is because this historically undervalued position is now just coming to light as a mainstay of championship quality clubs. Little clubs are no longer going to sell off  for cheap a hard working central midfielder just because he doesn’t have the deftest of touch.

Given this, I wonder what Song’s value is on the open market and I wonder where Arsenal are going to find a good midfielder for their cut rate offering price of under £10m?

If Wilson Palacios is worth £14m then isn’t Song worth like £10m? And isn’t that, like, totally insane?

I have no idea who we’ll find for the price of a Song, but if Mate Toth is any indication, Wenger is digging deep into the bowels of Europe searching for just that guy.

Or, we’re just going to have to sit around hoping that Theo Walcott returns to 100% form, that Denilson/Diaby/Song works out, and that Eduardo gets his mojo back. If not, it’s going to be a long 4 months.

16
Jan
09

Hull v. Arsenal preview and Wenger’s Transfer Targets

Good morning kickers, I have the day off and the whole family had a good sleep in. So that’s why the late blog.

Anyway, Wenger ran the gamut today, talking about transfers, rumors, Kaka, and erm, who is that team we play tomorrow? Oh yeah, Hull City, god, they suck don’t they? This should be an easy game, like playing Stoke, or Fulham, it’s almost like having a game in hand, right?

Am I forgetting something?

Anyway, here are the highlights of Wenger’s exclusive pre-match interview.

Defensive Balance Helps Them Grind Out Wins

I believe that as long as you keep a good defensive balance, and don’t concede a goal… you have always a chance, since you have so much possession, to score one.

This pretty much sums up Arsene Wenger’s footballing philosophy over the last two years: keep the ball and eventually you’ll score. He talks about “defensive balance” but when you watch the games and see Clichy and Sagna effectively providing the only attacking width on the team, “defensive balance” is a lie. Well, maybe not a lie, but at least it’s a Wengerism. I think when he says “defensive balance” it means “Clichy and Sagna are free to go forward and as long as we have one or two players who stay near the half-way line, the team is balanced.”

The problem is that the team isn’t balanced and Wenger doesn’t even see it. He’s asked about the possession stats against Bolton and he admits that Arsenal’s 77% possession was a record for them. Morever, Arsenal had 680 some passes in that game, most of which were sideways.

This is a function, Wenger says, of the fact that teams who feel insecure about their league position are trying to secure their place in the table and do so at all costs. Wenger says that right now you’re going to see a lot of these 1-0 wins for the top four teams against lesser opponents until March when things start to “open up a bit.”

There’s a real logic here in that last bit, I’ll admit, but only if some separation starts to happen at the bottom of the table. If the whole table stays bunched up like it is then this same 10-men-behind-the-ball (the Aston Villa playing style) tactic will continue to prevail.

None of which changes the basic argument that all Gooners have been having for the last year: should we shore up defense or offense.

I’m saying both. What say you?

Nasri in the Hole

He [Nasri] is a player who likes to go left, right, and is very versatile… and has a lot of invention, with the ball. [But also] Samir is incredibly quick, because he is as well very good on the ball. So, he uses more the second aspect of his game than the first one. His runs off the ball can be deadly, but he likes so much to come to the ball that he doesn’t use his pace to go in behind the defenders. We are trying to balance his game.

I think we all sort of knew the first thing about Samir, but I haven’t seen any evidence of this super pace that Wenger claims. Worse too is that Arsenal are in desperate need of runs off the ball, and getting in behind defenses.  So, in the hole or not, Arsenal need Nasri to start balancing his game without the ball.

Irregardless, I like Nasri in the hole: which sounds really gross.

Bring on the Vela

Most people who watched the Bolton game credited Vela with changing the game and of course, the big question, then, is “Since Nasri plays in the middle, Diaby is shite, and Vela is a game changer, why doesn’t Vela play more?”

Wenger says that he was reticent to use Vela early in the season because he felt Vela wasn’t physically ready for the rigors of an EPL match. He’s ready now to start using him more because he feels like the player has come along greatly. I got the sense that we’ll see more Vela over the next few months, both out of necessity and because Wenger sees him growing and becoming a man, or as he puts it “a different animal.”

Transfers

The big question on everyone’s mind is who are Arsenal going to buy? With the second question being, how close are we to signing Andrei Arshavin?

To the second question, Arsene flat out said, he isn’t talking about it and we are not close to signing Arshavin. Arsenal are in negotiations with Zenit but that is all.

I firmly believe that Arsenal’s only hope for signing Arshavin lies in Man City landing Kaka. Because if City don’t land Kaka, they will certainly look elsewhere for a playmaker and Arshavin is pretty much the best option out there. There is no way that Arsenal could outbid City nor could we come close to satisfying Arshavin’s wage request so they would win that contest every time: Champions League football be damned.

Fortunately, the Kaka deal looks more and more likely, despite the protestations of the player. The transfer fee is reportedly up to £108m which no club could realistically turn down. That amount of money would buy a whole new team of decent talent, pay off 1/3 of a new stadium, and basically ensure top flight survival for several years.

Throw in that the player is supposedly being offered £100m in wages (60% of which would go to him, after taxes) over 5 years and really, this is an irresistible offer isn’t it?

That leaves us with Arshavin, and the boss says that “nothing has fallen through and we are very positive” which I’m taking to mean that the racist assholes at Zenit are stringing us along until they can get a better offer. If nothing better comes along, then on the last day of the transfer market, Arsenal will… maybe get the player. Maybe they’ll just have him killed or whatever they do in Russia. Wenger as much as admitted that this deal will probably happen on the last day.

Arsene did admit that he’s in for other targets but flatly denied that we are in for Hangelaand and Bullard from Fulham and Diakate from Lazio. YAY, three more targets we can put to bed!

Who will play against Hull?

Wenger ruled out Gallas and Silvestre due to injury and there is a test today for the others — basically the test is for Song, who is like a new signing if he comes back.

Eduardo scored a hat trick in a closed door practice but Wenger is not ready to throw him back into a game quite yet.  He’ll play on Tuesday in a reserves game and Wenger will assess the situation then. I may have been off on my assessment that Eduardo will return in February and we might see a cameo against Cardiff at the earliest and if not, then Everton almost certainly.

As for the tactics that Hull might employ Wenger sees a Hull side that came in to Arsenal and played a 4-3-3 but who have lost a ton of confidence and are starting to crack. Given Phil Brown’s dust-up with Kinnear the other day, I have to agree that the pressure seems to be getting to them and so I fully expect Hull to play a 9-1-1.

It’s funny, but you know who Phil Brown reminds me of? Alan Pardew. Hull City’s form right now reminds me of the form West Ham suffered late in that season as well. If you remember that 2006/07 season, though, Arsenal were beaten at home by West Ham 1-0 after they had been beaten earlier in the season and were looking for revenge.

It will take massive concentration to avoid that kind of slip again tomorrow.

Conclusion

Late kickoff tomorrow and the game is on Fox, so I’m going to be doing the liveblogging thing. This means no early blog here tomorrow, but join me here at 9:15 PST for comments and general fun. See you then.

15
Jan
09

Arsene prepares us for the bad news about Arshavin

It’s one of those days. Manchester City and Tottenham are throwing around money like it’s water and Arsenal are sitting on money like it’s, uhh, gold? Fools gold?

First, the bad news is that the Kaka deal is off… no wait, it’s back on and very close to a done deal!

I really hope City sign Kaka because that’s £100m fewer they can spend disrupting the rest of the league with their foolishness. FOOLISHNESS. Oh and yes, I got that link from L’Equipe, which my Google Reader translates for me. Suck it, non-Google reader monolinguists.

Not to be outdone, Spuds are bidding foolishness as well, offering £14m for Kenwynne Mulholland Jjones and £10m for Arsenal reject Wilson Palacios. I just want to mention that if we add up the value of all the central midfielders that Arsenal have let go for free or cheap, I swear Arsenal could buy a Kaka: £15m for Diarra, £15m for Flamini, £10m for Palacios, well, ok, 40% of a Kaka. Still, something doesn’t add up: during the period where we have let go those three players Arsene has kept Denilson, Song, and Diaby. Maybe Song is a £20m midfielder in disguise? Like he’s wearing this facade of being a slow, dopey, slack jawed, careless defensive midfielder but underneath he’s really great? I don’t know. I do know that Arsenal’s problems getting and keeping a solid defensive midfielder is starting to get on my pecs.

As for the Arshavin deal, Arsene is prepping us for the worst.

I am very hopeful … because the market closes at the end of the month, but if it does not happen, it does not happen. We have a few options available although we are not close to any of them – everything is open. Do not forget we have Rosicky, Fábregas and Walcott who are all creative and offensive players and will come back from their injuries at some stage, as will Eduardo. He has recovered very well and he would be like a new signing. For me, he is two to three weeks away.

Wenger is clearly frustrated by the situation and grasping at straws. We all know that by the time Rosicky (never), Fabregas (May), Walcott (March), and Eduardo (February) return Arsenal could be out of the Champions League and may have dropped further in the EPL.

Just as an example, we should have Eduardo back for the first leg of the Roma match and Walcott back for the second leg. Meanwhile there will be somewhere around 6 Premier League matches before both of those guys are back. Plus, Arsenal have to travel to Wales and play Cardiff in the FA Cup, before either of them return.

The point is, it’s brown trousers time, folks, and Wenger pointing out that Cesc is due to return in the last week of the year is disingenuous at best. I’d rather he didn’t say anything or just “we’re trying to sign someone” rather than bullshit me with fantasies of Fabregas dancing around midfielders in my head.

ARRRRGHHHHH I HATE TRANSFER SEASON.

As if you needed more reason to hate the whole transfer market right now, I present you with the best article of the transfer season, it has less meat than a Chicken McNugget (HA! they have since filled it in with flap about Arshavin). I don’t know what else they could add, but I love the fact that it’s a whole link to itself, for basically a headline and a teaser. Sorry, put that in with another article. Hell, put it in with this one about how Inler doesn’t think Arsenal are a top club and that’s why he refused to sign with us. Save me a click please.

Anyway, all of this just goes to show that January is no time to try to shore up the squad and Arsenal are going to need some real luck to get someone in who fits the bill(s). Sadly, right now I think our luck has just about run out.




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