Posts Tagged ‘Xabio Alosno is not coming to Arsenal

23
Jun
09

“Rafa signs Pompey’s Johnson”

What? You didn’t think I could let a world class joke like that go could you?

Seriously though, the transfer window is heating up and rumors are now flying faster than ever, though for some reason, Chelsea seem to keep getting shafted in the end.

What?

Ok…

The Chelsea story is an actual story, it’s just that no one is reporting on it. Nearly half the time I’ve been an Arsenal supporter the summer transfer window went like this: Week 1, “Arsenal to bring former great Ian Wright’s adopted son back to Highbury for £8m.” Week2, “Chelsea snap up Shaun Wright-Phillips from City for  record fee of £30m.” Week 3, “Arsenal looking at Ghana star Essien to replace departing Vieira.” Week 4, “Chelsea stun the Premier League again with £35m swoop for Essien.” Something like that, you get the point.

So, regardless what I think of Melo as a player, you can imagine my apprehension when I see Chelsea being linked with Melo. It’s almost an apoplectic reaction, honestly, I feel like shouting “HOLY F*CK PAY ANYTHING JUST SIGN HIM.”

But the truth is that Chelsea are more like a toothless old lion these days: their ocassional roars only frighten if you fail to see them gumming their meat over in the corner.

No pun intended.

The facts is that Chelsea are starting to look like an old team and their director is desperate to bring in new recruits to inject life. The only problem is that his transfer policy (“hmmm, let’s see who the other top four are linked to and bid MOAR”) is both transparent to everyone involved and the prices elsewhere are just flat out better. I mean, why would Glen Johnson want to return to the team which famously snubbed him and, worse, then only showed interest after other clubs were linked? Given an offer of money from his old mercenary club, the new mercenary club on the block, and a club like Liverpool — someone who has actually won a European Championship — the choice was obvious.

The funny thing is that this story is repeating itself ad nauseum this transfer season. Some team is linked to a big name player and suddenly Chelsea’s name is added to the list, only to be swept aside by Real Madrid or Liverpool or the prospects offered by a club like Arsenal. Listen to what Vermaelen said in his interview, he mentions Arsene Wenger as one of the reasons that he came to Arsenal, calling le Boss “one of the top names in football.” Even if Chelsea come in with some huge money offer I still suspect a player like Melo will be given some pause. After all, Arsenal is pretty much the only team where he is likely to get the first team action needed to secure a World Cup spot.

Meanwhile, back up north in Liverpool the Reds are nearly admitting defeat in their bid to hold on to Xabi Alonso. This article lists the transfer fee as £30m and I’ve seen that number as high as £38m. Even the lower of those two valuations is, well, it’s crazy. Just last season, Arsenal were mooted to have bid between £12m and £18m for his services and they had that bid denied. By all accounts Alonso went on to have a tremendous season, but a double the value season? Wow, I wish we’d have broken the bank for him, just the sell on value alone would be worth it!

And you know what? If Real don’t sign Alonso, it looks like they could just get Essien. HA!. That would be delicious, delicious, irony if Essien would leave Chelsea and go to Real. I always thought Chelsea would collapse when Abramovich lost interest but it’s starting to look like they are going to collapse when all their best players either leave for greener pastures or die of old age. Live by the Euro, die by the Euro, I guess.

Which brings me to our beloved Arsenal, where Arsene Wenger is still preaching fiscal prudence and talking about keeping a young squad together. No argument there from me, I like all the players on this team* and think that it would be premature to start breaking it up, so I greet news that Robin van Persie may have signed another deal with open arms.

Meanwhile, the transfer fanatics will be looking for a sign of a signing from Wenger and he has given us one saying

I want to add to the squad and have identified one or two targets. But identifying players and buying them are two different things. Ideally I would like to bring everybody in before we start back in pre-season training in July. I don’t want to leave it until the end of August.

All Arsenal fans should be very excited to hear that, because if he pulls it off it will be a first for me to see the whole team assembled before summer practice starts. The only problem is if we’re after Felipe Melo we won’t be able to negoatiate with him until after the Confederations Cup — which ends the 28th of June. I’ve never seen an Arsenal transfer take less than a month, so maybe we can get him in before August but let’s not get our hopes up.

The other funny thing Wenger said in the interview happened when he hit on the magical £100m “money in the bank” number

I am fed-up with people who think I have £100m in the bank yet don’t want to spend it. How can people think that? The pride of the club is in having moved to a new stadium while maintaining the club at the top level.The policy of the club is that they have backed me in what I do and the way I do it. We now have to be strong enough to stick to that. We cannot pump £100m into it, so we must keep faith in what we are doing.

Well, people think it because Arsenal keep releasing statements saying that they have £100m in the bank! Now, maybe you don’t have that at your disposal, fair enough, but don’t take the piss out of the supporters when they are just listening to what the board is saying. Simply put, Arsene, this is the modern condition: everyone knows what everyone else is up to nowadays, you can’t hide information, especially if it’s in public reports. So, take the piss out of the board. If they said, “Arsenal have to have a strategic reserve of [such and such] in order to stave off possible economic disaster” then I don’t think fans would have a problem seeing this huge number. Sorry, but that’s the kind of transparency that’s needed now days.

Either that or re-invest the money into the damn Highbury development and get that off our backs!

I will break in to our regular coverage if there is a miracle signing, other than that, see you tomorrow.

*ok, I wouldn’t be heartbroken to see Silvestre, Adebayor, and Eboue sent off to greener pastures, but I still, erm, uhhh, like them, as people.

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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.

01
Jun
09

Ade to Milan, Xabi to Arsenal, Barry to Arsenal, and Cesc to Real/Barca. No, this is not a repeat of summer 2008

It’s going to be a scorcher here, 80 some degrees (Fahrenheit) and I think I might get the motorcycle out. That seems like a nice way to kick off the Transfer season.

A couple of things before we get into the “news.” First off, you should look for me to migrate the site to my actual dot com site this summer. This might mean a week off from blogging. Maybe less, we’ll see.

Second, I appreciate everyone who voted yesterday. The turnout was pretty good and the winner, with 89 votes, is Eduardo’s cheeky side footer against Burnley.

I’ve said it before, but a 100% healthy Eduardo is key to success next season because as that video shows he’s just a top, top class striker. If you think back to the end of the 05/06 season, it was pretty clear that Arsenal’s new style of play needed a poacher. It took him two years and the loss of Titi, but finally Wenger went out and got one. And all Dudu did in his first year was score 8 goals in 19 starts. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that if he gets a good run next year 20 goals is achievable.

Fingers crossed!

You know how I know this is meaningless?

Evidently, Arsenal came in third place in the “Fair Play League.” I’ve followed this particular stat for a few years and always thought this meant something, I mean, add up reds and yellows and viola you get a pretty fair representation of a team’s play, right? Well, it turns out that the “Barclays Fair Play League” has all kinds of stupid, subjective, crapola like “positive play” and “respect for referees.”

And there’s Chelsea, above Arsenal.

lol.

Yeah, right, I watched quite a few Chelsea matches this season and there is no way that team should be above Arsenal in “fair play.”

Rehashing 2008’s transfer stories.

As a subscriber to Fark.com, I’m used to seeing stupid news stories. I’m even used to seeing repeats, it’s one thing you can guarantee from the press; they will repeat stories until people catch on to what they are doing. But I’m not used to having 4 repeats of 4 Arsenal transfer stories pop up on the same day; Ade to Milan, Cesc has targeted Alonso, Barry is a target for Arsenal, and then there’s the ubiquitous “Cesc to Spain” story. Strange indeed.

Oh well, since this Alonso/Barry story is a repeat of last year, I went back and looked at what I said about this last year — if they can repeat, why can’t I? Enjoy.

I’ll bet if Silvestre stays healthy he will be seen by Gooners as yet another master stroke by the boss (I just HAD to include this little gem, who is the dumbass who writes this blog? DOES HE EVEN WATCH SOCCER???)

Meanwhile, the boss was more circumspect with his statements about Barry/Alosno.  I’m lumping both players together here because, they are both 27, both play midfield, both are cup tied, both are Arsenal targets and both players fit Arsene’s quotes.  Thus, I consider Arsene to be chasing both players and whichever one we get, I think Arsenal fans will be happy.  I’d prefer Alonso because I think he’s a technically superior player, he’s Spanish, and he would fit right into the Arsenal midfield.  On the other hand, Barry would bring steel and English-ness to the team, and let’s not let the importance of having Englishmen on the team fall to the way side.  Rumor has it Arsenal have already negotiated a contract with Alonso but Liverpool is refusing to lower their value of the player at £18m, even though, as Arsene points out he’s cup tied.  Villa, similarly, are stuck with their £18m valuation since they have already turned down a lesser bid from Liverpool.  I suppose they could offer Arsenal the player for less, but wouldn’t that allow Liverpool the same chance to swoop for the player that Arsenal just did for Silvestre?

More importantly for me is I don’t get the sense that Barry wants to play for Arsenal.  No.  He wants to play for Liverpool, you know, to “fulfill his dream.”  I think Barry is a smokescreen.  Arsenal are in for Alonso and Alonso only.  We’ll just have to wait and see.  Just the other day I was preparing you all for a summer with no more signings and now here I am hopeful that the team will sign the one player I wanted all summer — starry eyed optimist that I am.

I really wish that the cocksandwich who wrote that crap above at least watched some soccer.

That’s it for today, I’ve got to get the bike up and running and get to work. See you later!

14
May
09

Fabregate Should Be Decided Soon

As I’ve said before, I’d be shocked if Fabregas doesn’t get a ban for his part in Phil Brown’s spittergate. After all, Cesc is a member of Al Queda and we can give those fellers no quarter or they will be spitting on our children’s corpses: IT WAS THAT BAD.

There’s also very little news: Adebayor is going to Chelsea (OH GOD PLEASE YES), ManU is ready to win the title IN OUR FACES, Xabi Alonso is the first of a long summer of “not signing for Arsenal” stories, some Argentinian kid is in North London for a trial at Arsenal — and funny enough, he thought he was getting a trial at Arsenal di Sarandi! And finally, there’s a board room showdown brewing! Arsenal’s largest, I mean biggest, I mean fattest shareholder is going to challenge the board to a debt off. He’s worried that the £17m we pay in interest (despite the fact that we have £30m+ in annual cash profits AFTER paying debt, taxes, and salaries, etc AND that we have over £100m in cash reserves) anyway, Usemanoff is worried that the £17m in interest we pay on our £300m debt is holding us back from being more like his favorite club; Manchester United. And so he wants to try to force the board into a one time debt pay down thingy/marketing ploy to make himself look like he’s trying to improve the squad.

I think that the more owners get involved in the management of the team, the worse the team gets. So, he should sit down, shut the fuck up, and let Arsene Wenger build his team.

Anyway, while we’re waiting for the FA to hand out a 100 match ban for Cesc Fabregas raping Phil Brown’s children with spit, I’d like to give you a sepcial treat; Phil Brown’s season in photographs.

They won the first division in order to get promotion into the Premier League

After beating Fulham 2-1 in the first game of the season.

Then Wigan beats them 5-0.

His crowning glory… a 2-1 win over Arsenal.

Followed by a 1-0 win over Tottenham and West Ham and suddenly Hull City are the toast of London Town.

Then Chelsea hand them a 3-0 beat down, followed by a 4-3 loss to United and things aren’t so rosy again.

… followed by a string of losses and draws to a mix of teams. The fall is on.

Then, a stroke of geenious, he sits his players down, in front of the crowd and proceeds to give them a lecture. On boxing day.

They lose this game 5-1.

Not much fun happens until the bust up with old Joe Kinnear, where both managers are sent off.

They lose

They lose

it rains

They lose…

Wenger shakes his hand… again.

Then, Cesc invades the pitch mid-game, kicks in three illegal goals, wearing an Al Queda “bomber” jacket, while spitting on Phil Brown’s dessicated corpse. The world is outraged. Arsenal are banned from playing football for 10 years.

Hull are crushed and go on a loser’s streak

And now, here we come to the last two games of the season and even two wins (against Bolton and United) might not save them from relegation.

Arsenal still might have a say in this as well, if they can eek out a win against Man U this Saturday it will force  Man U to rape the dessicated corpse of Phil Brown in order to win the title on the last day of the season.

That would almost certainly see them relegated.

(Updated to make more sense and remove one extra picture, who knew that preview was my friend?)




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