Posts Tagged ‘Vermaelen to Arsenal

19
Jun
09

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.

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08
Jun
09

Vermaelen and Arsenal get the short end of the stick

I was chatting with some supporters yesterday and they were saying how the transfer period gets them down because of the commonly held notion that Arsenal “don’t spend” on players. I’ve seen this a lot among Arsenal supporters and I really don’t understand it. With a few exceptions, Arsenal have bought great players every year that I have been an Arsenal supporter: Arshavin, Nasri, Eduardo, Rosicky, and Gallas. We’ve also outbid big names for great future prospects like Walcott and Ramsey. What we don’t do is act like a bunch of buffoons and buy insanely expensive big name players.

A lot of people see reports like “Real are in for Ronaldo” and “Chelsea make surprise bid for Kaka” and wonder why Arsenal aren’t in that mix.  You have to understand, though, 90% of what the football press prints is bullshit. Bullshit designed to make gullible fans salivate over unattainable and unrealistic players. Players who may not add anything more to a team than bragging rights. Is buying Kaka at £50m a guarantee of success? If it was, why didn’t AC Milan win more last year?

There’s also a sense, fueled by the press, that buying players is simple, that buying Yaya Toure is like buying a loaf of bread. That Arsenal just head down to the mini-mart and pick up a Yaya. That’s the way it seems in all the comments. First off, Yaya has a stupidly expensive release clause in his contract, something like £80m. So, Arsenal could force his sale, but at that price they would be seriously foolish. In fact, if they paid £80m for Yaya I would seriously consider whether I want my money going to an enterprise so foolish. So that means that they need to convince the player to leave the lovely coast of Spain, where he just won a treble, including the Champions League, and come to a town that I love dearly, but lets face it, is not the weather, food, or trophy capital of the world. Convincing any big name player to leave is going to take a lot of money, money we don’t have. Hell, Chelsea, Man U and Liverpool don’t have the money either, but they fake it.

So, if you listen to the press Arsenal never buy anyone, but it just isn’t true. Arsenal spend prudently in the market, buying players who fit our system rather than buying dream team players who help fans jerk off to their fantasy team. I’d much rather support a team that I know is going to be in the Premier League for my whole life than have them do something foolish like bring in a Buffon and go down the path of Liverpool.

Which brings me to Vermaelen. Somehow, before we’ve even seen him in a uniform, he’s already being slagged off by “supporters.” Can we even give the guy a chance? I mean, it took me two whole seasons of mediocrity before I was ready to boo Eboue and here is a player who hasn’t signed anything yet and people are already saying he’s “not tall enough” and “not Arsenal quality.”

JUST.STOP.

This is the same pattern when Arsenal sold Henry and brought in Eduardo, everyone got all stabby about Dudu saying he wasn’t Arsenal quality. Well, he clearly is and from what I’ve seen of Vermaelen, I’m thinking he will fit into Arsenal’s system very well. Yes, he’s 1/2″ shorter than Kolo Toure, and a whopping 4″ shorter than our aerial dominators Diaby, Adebayor, Bendtner, and Djourou. But the fact is that our tallest players are pretty poor in the air so height alone is not an indicator of aerial ability. Heading the ball is about timing and about how high you can jump or “hang time” and not about how tall you are. Moreover, defense, and especially defending in the Arsenal system is about strength and speed, which from what I’ve seen he has plenty of.

But you know what? I’m not saying he’ll be Arsenal’s saviour. I’m also not saying he’ll be Arsenal’s goat. I just think he looks a lot like William Gallas to me and William Gallas is Arsenal’s best defender, hands down, so let’s give him a chance.

That is, if he signs with us.

Other players who are not coming to Arsenal

He hasn’t signed anything for anyone yet but with Liverpool squawking about his value being above £23m I’m fairly certain Arsenal can forget about signing Xabi Alonso. Oh well, I like the guy and all but I think we have our Alonso already in Denilson and £25m or whatever they are looking for is stupid money.

07
Jun
09

Vermaelen close, but no cigar

unfortunately van Persie scores here

Bit of a flurry of news today on what the Dutch press are calling the “imminent” transfer of Thomas Vermaelen from Ajax to Arsenal and what the Brit press are calling a done deal.

The original report is from the Belgian, Dutch language, Sport newspaper, HLN. Maybe Setanta translated the page differently but according to Google Translate there is no mention that this is a done deal. It looks like Arsenal and Ajax have agreed to a fee (depending on your reading a fee between £10-12m) and that Vermaelen’s agent is in London negotiating salary.

I wanted to know a bit more about the player and there are some famous photos of Vermaelen and van Persie getting into a bit of a scuffle, so I looked into it and that’s from the 2007 Amsterdam tournament where Arsenal won 1-0 and lost van Persie to injury at the end of the match. You will draw your own conclusions about his ability based on that link, but I’m advising caution. Yes, he was brushed aside rather easily by Eduardo in that video, and yes he’s pretty much directly responsible for van Persie’s goal but that was two years ago and as you can tell from this video he’s beefed up quite a bit.

You can also see from the above video that he’s pretty damn good in the air, beating Gareth Barry and Klaas Jan Huntelaar to the ball.

If Arsene buys him I’m sure he’ll be quality. After all, he is Ajax captain and some of the comments I’m seeing from Ajax fans are that he will be greatly missed.

What isn’t being discussed, so far, is which of the two Arsenal center backs he will replace. If you asked me earlier in the year I would have said Gallas, hands down, but now I’m not so sure. Wenger has spoken glowingly of Gallas since he stripped him of the captaincy and I really do think Cappy is our best defender. Toure, on the other hand, has had a pretty rough season and famously handed in a transfer request because he couldn’t handle whatever was happening in January. Frankly, I think if (and that’s a big if) Wenger gets rid of one of them, it will be Toure.

What’s really strange is that if Toure leaves it will be the latest in a long line of Arsenal defenders who basically had a mental breakdown and left the club at the end of the season (Campbell, Senderos, and now Toure). Being a defender at a big club takes a lot of mental strength, and being a defender at Arsenal, where the tactics constantly expose defenders, must be absolutely maddening.

There really isn’t much more going on, Arsenal are still linked with Edin Dzeko (striker) and Yaya Toure (defensive midfielder). The latter has reportedly rejected a Barcelona contract offer which may give some of you hope but I think is just his agent angling for a bigger contract. Another supposed Arsenal target is Joleon Lescott and between Moyes saying his players aren’t for sale and Manchester City reportedly offering Everton £18m and the player £80,000/wk I’m thinking that Arsene would either have to move a big name player or convince Lescott that a Champions League campaign will increase his England chances.

Well, I guess he could sell Robin van Persie for £25m.

05
Jun
09

More fun with statistics, plus Arsenal in for another Toure?

He's ready for his close-up

Lies, damn lies, and Arsenal Stats

The blogoshpere is all atwitter (see what I did there?) about the dot com’s article detailing Arsenal’s supposed statistics.  Ahhhhh, I’m calling bullshiat on this.

I don’t trust statistics that are so obviously false. Denilson completed 164 passes all year? What the hell? Here’s a chalkboard showing that he completed 117 passes… in two games. 164 passes all year would equal less than 5 passes per game. Now I don’t know what kind of fools they take us for, but everyone knows that every Arsenal player completes more than 5 passes per game. Almunia probably completes more than 5 passes per game.

Or how about the stat that Song supposedly had only 17 tackles all season? Hmmm…. Here’s two games where he made 21 tackles and won 17 of them.

So, I have no idea what’s up with those stats, where they got them, who compiled them, how they were defined, or anything. I just know that they are utter garbage.

I mean, who would believe that Adebayor was offside only 43 times?

Lies, damn lies, and football economics

The other day I put up that “transfer anatomy” handout, you remember, the one with the little bit in the corner that shows how much teams have spent over summer transfers?

Right, well yesterday the folks who audit football clubs’ accounts released their findings of last year’s accounts and we got two major stories out of that research. First, Chelsea spent £172m just in wages in 2007. And second, the accountants found that Liverpool lost £43m during the 07/08 fiscal year.

These three things are related, I swear!

What this shows, to me, is that a club, that isn’t Chelsea, has to make a choice: they can either pay high wages, or they can spend a lot of money in the transfer window.  Which, in my mind, utterly destroys the simplistic “Arsenal need to spend” argument.

So, look at the first link there where you see that Tottenham spent £47m in transfers from 2004-2007. I’ve always wondered how they could afford to do that and still report profits, considering the much smaller fan base than Arsenal, the fact that they don’t have a billionaire owner, no European football, and they have a mediocre sized stadium and don’t charge much for tickets. They can afford to do that because they basically pay half the salary that Arsenal pay. Arsenal paid £100m in salary in 2007 and Tottenham paid £50m.

Now, ignore Chelsea and Man U — they spend what they want irregardless common sense, I mean Chelsea is coming close to £1bn* spent over the last 6 years.

A BILLION.

POUNDS.

So, ignore them, they are a reality distorting black hole of a cunt.

Instead look at Liverpool and you can see a serious problem. Liverpool have spent nearly £100m in salary every year and nearly £90m in the transfer market. The other lode stone is that they have a £300m debt that Hicks and Gillette piled on the team when they bought Liverpool.

The point here is that Arsenal and Liverpool have a very similar financial situation; both clubs have large debts (albeit for different reasons), both clubs have large wage structures, and yet Arsenal have saved money every year and Liverpool have borrowed and spent.

And now, the crows are coming home to roost and Liverpool’s debt is due, evermore. I’m not suggesting that Liverpool won’t find someone foolish enough to become a partner with Hicks and Gillette and then they’ll fail. Instead, I see this as a test case. See, Man U has a huge line of credit that they can’t even make the interest payments on due, I believe, next year, and I think what happens here, this year, with Liverpool will be indicative of what will happen with Man U next year.

The second thing I’d like to take away from this is that yes Arsenal are being fiscally prudent by not spending large sums in the transfer market but what I wonder about is the huge wage bill. Who, exactly, are we paying all this money to? Sagna? Clichy? Almunia? Bendtner? Song? Denilson? Nasri? Walcott? Those are the majority of our starters there folks, and they must be making damn good money if our wage bill is £100m.  Furthermore, I have to wonder if any of these players would be willing to take a modest pay cut in order to bring in some more players? They all talk about bringing someone in, but I’ve never once heard them say “I’d take a pay cut if it would help, because I want to win a trophy for the fans.”

And the last thing I want to bring up is just how important Wenger is in all of this. Yes, he’s set this wage scale which is stifling our transfer ability but just the fact that for four years he’s kept Arsenal at a very, very high level of play, all the while helping to manage the books and keep Arsenal fiscally sound for the long term is, I think, going to go down in history as one of the all-time great managerial feats. Compare these 4 years to Rafa Benitez, who’s constant clamor for transfers makes me wonder if he won’t get lumped in with Hicks and Gillette as the three reasons why Liverpool’s future is so uncertain.

I think this gives us all a bit of perspective on why Arsenal spend the way they do and what is likely to happen this summer with transfers. Which is to say, very little. Given our history, what I’ve shown you of the finances,  and the fact that Wenger is increasing our wages yet again (I mean, van Persie did have 10 goals this season, that’s worth another £1m or so a year) I would expect there to be just a little left over in the kitty for transfers. In fact, selling before buying is very likely.

That said, what I’d like to see is the point where the board feel like they are comfortable with the amount of cash in the reserve (at last count over £100m) and they start spending some of these annual profits that you and I are generating for them.  Maybe this year is the year? All signs point to an even bigger windfall over last year, when they netted more than £20m in profits. We’ll have to wait and see, I guess.

Daily Transfer Rumors (The Poop Scoop)

Ah, I love the smell of last year’s rumors trotted out as this year’s signings! Supposively**, Arsenal are again interested in Udinese defender Christian Zapata, which is probably a bunch of crap considering that the player is both confirming and denying that Arsenal are after him.

Meanwhile, the perennial “Yaya to Arsenal” story has risen again.  The player himself has insisted, repeatedly, that he does not want to play for Arsenal. But that isn’t stopping the World’s Least Reliable Newspaper from printing quotes from Yaya saying

It’s true that it would be great to play for a big club with my brother,that would be fantastic but you never know.

Well, if the Sun is reporting it, it must be true.

Meanwhile, in the “Players who are not leaving or coming in” department, Stephane M’Bia is heavily linked to Everton now. I will update the Players Who Didn’t Sign For Arsenal page if there’s confirmation of him signing for Everton. Also, I want to be the first to break the shocking news report that Andrei Arshavin IS NOT re-signing with Zenit St. Racistburg, it turns out that he just likes practicing with his old teammates. This is really a remarkable story, it’s one of those X player is not signing for Y team stories but it’s at the level of ludicrisness that the only equivalent would be Science News printing a story like “Scientists refute the notion that the sky is brown.”

Finally, the Vermaelen saga drags on. I’m starting to think there might be some truth to this story and Vermaelen is the “commanding” center back that Wenger seeks.

Ahem…

That’s it for today, see you tomorrow!

*add up their wage bill at an average of £150m from 2004-2007 = £600m, then add in another £150m in transfers and you get £750m, so sue me if I add a bit of hyperbole.

** unlike irregardless, supposively is not a word

04
Jun
09

My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who talked to Vermaelen about signing for Arsenal last night. I guess it’s pretty serious.

7amkickoff Exclusive!

I can exclusively report that Arsenal have confirmed a friendly against Hannover Fist on July 29th. This means that we are less than two months away from the return of real football!

7amkickoff two-xclusive!

7am kickoff has heard from a reliable source that Zlatan Ibrahimovich is a cunt! My source says that Zlatan said the following about Arsenal:

Just look at Arsenal. They don’t buy the best players, which is sad, very sad for their supporters, they pay a lot of money for a season ticket just to see a junior team. That can’t be fun.

Did Inter even play in Europe last year? Oh wait, they did, and they were knocked out of the competition in the first round, after barely squeaking into the knockout competition, coming in second in their group to Panathinaikos — a Greek team, who don’t even have a league, they play against goats with wine bottles as the ball.

Oh, and Zlatan, we don’t buy the best players, we get them the old fashioned way, we make them.

Speaking of Transfers

There’s no actual transfer news, of course, but rumor has it that Arsenal are on the verge of signing Vermaelen, which you all already know.

Meanwhile, the World’s Least Reliable Newspaper is reporting that AC Milan is wanting to sign one of our children, Adebayor, for £15m. Coincidentally, that offer is exactly £12 for every offside that Adebayor was guilty of this season.

Mean-meanwhile, Arsenal are reportedly closing in on the signature of soon to be rumored (I’m starting it right now) Arsenal player, Lucas Neill. This happened because a) I just made it up and b) he rejected a new offer from West Ham. Arsenal like Neill because he is reportedly 7 months younger than Silvestre, and as Zlatan has pointed out Arsenal are nothing if not a youth team.

On the other hand, it is possible that Arsenal are not in for Lucas Neill and are instead interested in Gary Cahill. Supposedly, this is because Brede Hangeland is refusing our £8m bid. The only problem with this story is that Bolton are asking £20m, which is completely retarded, and I mean that in a very negative way.

Wait, new information has just come in and it seems that Gary Cahill once played for Villa and put in a stunning bicycle kick which relegated one of my least favorite teams in the world, Birmingham City.

£20m is a steal.

Last but not least, stop me if you’ve heard this one…

The USA National team went down 3-1 to Costa Rica in World Cup qualifying. To some people this isn’t funny.

02
Jun
09

Barry going to City, SHOW ME THE MONEY!

No, not that Barry, the other Barry

Ugh… Not much actual Arsenal news this morning but there are a ton of stories about players who were supposedly Arsenal targets who are now headed elsewhere. Love the idea, hate the idea, or tepid about the idea, it’s looking increasingly like the Villa midfielder is not coming to Arsenal and is instead going to be paired with Robinho and a pack of other mercenaries trying to buy their way into Europe.

Make no mistake about it, this is about money. Reportedly, Villa have accepted a mere £12m bid for the player they famously refused to let go to Liverpool for £18m last season. Why? Because I suspect that City offered Barry a huge salary and he told Villa he wanted out. Reportedly, he’ll be getting a £60,000 a week raise which, even a team like Chelsea wouldn’t pay for a player like Barry. Face it, he’s the third or fourth best CM in the England national team, is that worth £5m a year?

No, this is about the money. A player who previously stated a desire to play in Europe as the reason for agitating to go to Liverpool is now signing for Manchester City. I hope he does sign for City, I don’t want scum like that at Arsenal. 

HAVE FUN BACKING UP STEPHEN IRELAND (and Tugay)!

Anatomy of a Transfer

Meanwhile, the chaps over at The Game have put together a lovely little graphic which does quite a job explaining how transfer deals are supposed to happen, and how they really happen. Yay. The real story in that graphic, though, is in the lower right hand corner, I’ll give you a second to find it…

OK

Look at Arsenal there at the top of the list, read across, yes, you read that right, according to that graphic Arsenal have earned £5m if you total up all the summer transfer windows since 2004.  Interstingly, 2004 is the year that Chelsea spent £87m and won the league and it is the year that Arsenal last finished in the top two, which pretty much marks the beginning of the rebuilding phase that we have been in. Interesting, but looking down the list, a few other things stand out.

First, no one, no one, has spent less in the last 4 years than Arsenal. The fact that we’re still in Europe and still turning massive profits is either a feat of incredible management or a huge shame (because if we spent more we could challenge for more trophies — theoretically) depending on which side of the debate you land. I tend toward the first, because all you need to do is look at the list, spending is not a guarantee of success. Tottenham have spent £50m, Sunderland £66m, and Wigan £10m, and their places on the league table haven’t really changed much over those 4 years. If anything, Sunderland’s gotten worse! So, I’m of the mind that it is a feat of amazing management by Arsene Wenger.

Second, that said, sometimes a big bump in spending can get a club over a hump. Chelsea spent £87m and went on to win two league titles, the FA Cup, Carling Cups, some Charity Shields (the most self important of all trophies), a Gillingham Spelling Bee, and School Lunch Program Meal of the Week.  Similarly, Man U spent big back in 2007 and have netted back to back titles, an FA cup, the Carling Cup, a Club World Cup (aka, The Holy Grail), a Champions League, and the love and admiration of billions of fans the world over. My point is that sometimes a bump in spending can have a great effect; of course it has to be prudent and of course there are no guarantees of success (or Liverpool would have won the league by now) but sometimes, sometimes, spending can get results.

You have to buy the right players, you know, like Andrei Arshavin, but SOMETIMES SPENDING WORKS.

Ahem.  (Wenger are you listening?) 

Tony Adams in for Celtic?

I hear tell that Tony Adams is in line to manage Celtic! Well, good for him. It was a shame to see him drubbed out of Pompey after Harry raped the team and left them for dead. Managing a big club, from the start of the season, is exactly the kind of test that Adams need to see if he can go on to be a top four EPL manager one day.

Good luck Tony.

No one linked to Arsenal

Given Arsenal’s last 4 years of refusing to spend big, it’s starting to look like maybe the press are going to ignore us for a season. Sure, they kicked off the Summer Transfer window with a few stories, but those were all recycled  garbage from last year. Other than that I haven’t heard much.

There’s the Vermaelan story I reported on the last few days, Ajax defender and captain, cheapish, Belgian national team, etc. but I have a real hard time believing these stories when you read them at all closely. The one I linked above is probably the most reliable, because it merely mentions that Arsenal are selling Kolo Toure to Manchester City. Some of the other links out there talk about emergency board meetings, Gazidis smoothing things over with Wenger, and of course the oft touted and thoroughly disproved “Arsenal only have £13m to spend on transfers” story which all have Usmanov’s fat finger prints on them.

So, if you’re looking for a signing, I suppose you’ll just have to wait!

See you tomorrow…

29
May
09

Gooner of the Year; Andrei Arshavin

brrrrdtd dttd ttd tdt four goals at anfield

It wasn’t even close. 76% of you voted for Andrei Arshavin in the poll while Robin van Persie was a distant second at 58%. To put it another way, the difference between 5th place and 2nd place was just over 10%. It’s a comfortable win for the little Russian and here’s why.

First, he had to overcome the negative press that those racists at Zenit were spewing in order to make themselves look like the better party in this deal. They tried to make him look like the whiner, like the guy who had been given everything and that they just wanted a fair deal out of it. But the truth was that they foolishly cup tied him in the Champions League, thus devaluing the player, and the fact that the Russian season doesn’t kick off until after the January transfer window meant that Arshavin wasn’t match fit, further devaluing the player in the January transfer window. When Andrei got to Arsenal he immediately gave an interview, where he showed off his impressive English skills, and set about dispelling all the rumors. He wanted to play for Arsenal.

Second, he had to overcome his lack of match fitness. I’m not saying the guy was 200 lbs or something, just that no matter how much you work out it’s not the same as actually playing and practicing at full speed. There was a brief moment where we all thought we might see him against Spurs, only 8 days after signing, but it wasn’t to be. He remained on the bench until Feb 21st, 2009, against Sunderland, perhaps you remember the day? I do.

Here he is, gooner of the year, as photographed by yours truly

Still it took him a few weeks to sort of settle in. The match against Fulham a week later, you could really see that the toll of the Premier League pace had gotten to him.

And then the little Russian went on a tear, scoring or setting up goals in 5 games in a row; WBA, Burnley, Blackburn, Hull, and Newcastle. As he gained fitness, Arsenal started reaping the benefits and the club started winning games. That’s when I think we all knew we had something special, because a fully fit Arshavin was truly something to behold.

Third, he had to overcome the physicality of the Premier League. Speaking of the Newcastle game, does anyone remember Steven Taylor’s vicious attack on Andrei? No?

After the game Andrei simply said “The style of play is hard but not vicious. It is not something that I am used to but I understand it perfectly – you can’t relax for a second.” He had taken his lumps and came up a better man for it.

Which brings us to the final obstacle that he had to overcome; Premier League defenses. Despite Man U’s blistering defeat in Rome, I still believe that in league play the English Premier League has the toughest defenses in the world. If you look at the top four defenses in the EPL, they concede less than a goal a game on average. So, scoring goals, against top clubs, in league play, is very hard. One player scoring two goals against a bottom club is pretty good, but one player scoring 4 goals, against a top club, on their patch, where they had only conceded 10 goals all season?

No way.

Yes way.

I’m not going to put all four goals here, because one stands out as extra special and I don’t want it lost in the shuffle. It’s the type of goal that only the top, top class players take. It’s the type of goal that Gooners of the Year make.

So, for overcoming all those obstacles, for playing beautifully, for scoring wonder goals, and for putting us on your back and securing fourth place, Andrei Arshavin, you are our Gooner of the Year.

Transfer Rumors

My one observant reader will notice that I have put a third page on my masthead, entitled “Players Who Didn’t Sign for Arsenal” it’s my little tongue in cheek look at all the guys that get linked to the club, that the press go gaga over, and who sign elsewhere. Today, we can add one name to that list, some Jerkoff from St. Racistberg, who signed for Chelsea. I’m hapy for them both.

Future additions to the list could be:

Gareth Barry apparently wants to come to Arsenal… for £12m. I would pay £12m for Gareth Barry. I would pay probably £20m for him, just because his passport is that all important shade of Claret that makes xenophobes like Platini and Bleater get all tingly inside. Of course, this has about as much chance of happening as I do of having sex with Christina Hendricks, but hey, a man can dream.

Supposedly, Arsenal are also targeting a striker from Bordeaux named Chamakh. You really have to check out this link, his “highlight” reel is absolutely comical. It’s two videos showing a few dozen missed goals and like one decent chip shot. A striker who misses bags of chances? Rarely do we see Arsenal linked with a man who is so truly ready to jump right into the first team.

Since Brede Hangeland is making noises that he’s going to stay at Fulham and fulfil his life’s ambition of being a second rate defender, the press have turned their attention to Ajax captain Thomas Vermaelen.  Hey, he’s a defender, which is a refreshing change from all the stories linking us to strikers…

and wingers like Marat Izmailov. Signing Arshavin from Zenit seems to have had the knock on effect of getting the press to link us to every Tom, Dick, and Ivan in Russia.

And last, but not least, someone went back into their tickle file and pulled out the name “Mbia.” He’s over 6′ tall, plays as a holding midfielder, and has been linked with Arsenal in the past, practically begging to come to Arsenal in the January transfer window. But, my favorite aspect of this rumor is that when you google “mbia” you get some kind of Municipal Bond Insurance Agency. 

Also, no way.




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