Premier League Message Board
A good comment - how many of the Arsenal team would get into Man Utd's or Citeh's - well they reckoned Nasri, Toure, Adebeyor and Clichy were so good they took them already - and handed us the bones of £70m - and while Mancini doesn't need any encouragement to come shopping down around our way, I wouldn't be surprised if that nasty piece of work Cook wasn't eyeing up Sagna, Vermaelen, RVP, and if they deliver on their endless promise - Wilshere, Ramsay and Czny in the future.
Oh - and Gervinho and Mertesacker could yet prove to be inspired signings this season - we live in hope, live in hope...
If ever evidence was needed of the extent of 'player power' in the inflated world of the English premiership, it was to be seen at Arsenal this Summer.
Cesc left because he wanted to and Nasri went because he could earn vast wealth elsewhere.
All the above has been said ad nauseum, but the point I'd like to make here is not about the players who went, but those who didn't (really) leave.
Although we wanted a bit of a clear-out - Eboue and Clichy apart, we didn't really get shut of many players who aren't likely to figure in our future plans, specifically:
Lansbury - why, for example do you send a player 'on loan' in the last year of his contract?
Bendtner - despite all of the noise about the big man/ego being wanted by lots of top clubs, he eventually went on loan - and the chances are we are paying a part of his wages;
Denilson - again he's gone for 'a year', and again we're probably ponying up a part of his wages
Vela - ditto
Almunia - although he's fallen from 1st choice to 4th choice keeper, the pink-loving keeper's still hanging around, cashing the cheques, and sucking it up, if just because he's on a contract at Arsenal that's he's not likely to get elsewhere.
That's five players we could/should have sold - but couldn't.
The quality of the signings that Arsenal have made last week are as yet unknown - it will come down in the end to how well they integrate into our system of play, and combine with the players already at the club.
We were woefully short last weekend and got the drubbing that I think was coming. We deserved a hiding and got one - and would likely have been beaten had even Vermaelen, Gervinho, Song, Wilshere and Sagna been on the pitch - although I would blame Djourou, Jenkinson and Traore directly for five of the goals - so their absences would have made a difference.
But I digress - the point I'd like to make - who in their right mind can suggest that Mertesacker is merely an okay signing, yet Cahill would have made some kind of statement of intent. Mert is a German international with 75 caps, while Cahill has played three times. If we had paid £30 m for Mertesacker would people have been oohing and aching about the quality?? He's slower than Djourou, but he's also a better defender than Djourou. Sol wasn't quick, John Terry isn't quick - but they're amongst the best defenders in the EPL in the past decade - so lets wait and see.
Re. Santos it's impossible to know if he'll be any good, but he must be better than Traore, and while the Brazilians don't do defense particularly well, Roberto Carlos, Lucio, Cafu and Danni Alves aren't bad players to try to emulate - so again, let's see.
And to the other two significant signings - Benayoun and Arteta - we needed midfielders, we needed players who could slot in quickly (ie. have EPL experience), and while they won't directly replace/emulate Cesc and Samir, they're not bad footballers by any stretch - and could be the kind of players to make Arsenal sing again.
Benayoun is an Arsenal-type player - quick feet and quick mind, and Arteta is a guy who can sit in midfield and find a killer pass. He's probably better at this than Ramsay (is currently), so is a sound addition to the squad.
That he hasn't done well at Everton these past two years are down to both injury, and perhaps a lack of decent strikers making good runs. He needed a new challenge, it appears clear - and hopefully he can be reinvigorated at The Emirates. Bergkamp (although any comparison is unenviable) had his finest years between 29-34 years of age - and who's to say that the best isn't ahead of Arteta too - if he stays fit.
We simply don't know much about the South Korean, but like Chamberlain and Ryo, the Japanese kid, they could be revelatory - and they are more likely to do well if they come into a squad that can afford them time, and not one that's expecting them to fit right in straight away.
What's with all the CAPITALS for EMPHASIS buddy? Reading your posts is like having to listen to a drunk shouting conspiracy theories across a noisy pub - no need, and likely to give readers a HEADACHE.
Anyhow, the source of your pronouncement that Jack will be
out for THREE MONTHS is today's Mirror - a reputable organ whose prediction success rate during the transfer window ran at around 5% - Tevez departure, Schneider's arrival, Kaka coming to Premiership, Cahill to Spurs, Arsenal, etc, etc....
Now don't get me wrong - the Arsenal physios have been rubbish at getting players back fit these past few seasons, and there's every chance that the demands put on Wilshere last season will take their toll this year - but don't believe The Mirror please, and as any Gooner will tell you, a long term injury to key player (s) has become a part and parcel of the season these past few years.
Goodbye and good riddance to Traore - another failed experiment. His gum-chewing departure and smiles all round at Old Trafford yesterday said it all - couldn't give a rat's arse whether we won or lost - and a significant contributor to the abject failure of the defence.
Let's presume we also see Bendtner leave in the next 48 hours - that will need us needing to cover 5-6 recent departures who haven't been adequately replaced (Cesc, Samir, Eboue, Denilson, Bendtner and Traore).
What chance we can sign any players with EPL experience with 48 hours to go - as the sellers simply won't have the time left to buy in replacements.
1. It could have been 12
2. We had six 'first team' players on the field
3. ... including last year's first choice centre halves
4. Lots of talk about 'eight first team players out' - only Wilshere, Sagna and Vermaelen would have started
5. Do we pay Chamakh during Ramadan ?
6. Coquilin - didn't play a minute in pre-season
7. Nice debut scrapbook for Coquilin and Chamberlain
8. Czny's 'a confident boy' - still ?
9. RVP - leadership quality ?
10. Two months ago that team could have included Cesc, Nasri, Clichy, Eboue, Denilson and Bendtner - it would have fared better...
11. Arsene says 'the solution with you is always to write a cheque' - er, yes - has he not noticed that that is the way it goes
12. This kind of result was coming
13. If it had been the last day of the season, a title to be decided on goal-difference, and had City notched 5 at WHL, would there have been an inquiry into match-fixing over our result?
14. Nasri said last week 'wait until the end of the season and my move will be proven right' - he should have said 'wait until the end of the week and my....'
15. Ramsay's a yard off the pace at this level of intensity
16. I spent from Thursday 'til Sunday lunchtime thinking Ramsay and Rosicky might come good in the centre of the pitch
17. United too were missing three of their first choice defenders
18. Introducing Park and Giggs, and leaving Berba on the bench kind of told us a few things about respective depths of squad
19. Silent Stan and the fat Russian bloke don't appear to give a rat's arse - or it wouldn't have come to this
20. Glad we're not playing Citeh in three days
The interminable Cesc and Samir show is now over. A deserved result in Italy puts the focus back where it should be, and will allow Arsenal to kick on, sign some players, and pull ourselves up the table in the coming month.
Its been a horrible time - and the corrosive ongoing media driven onslaught against Arsene will now abate, as Arsenal make the signings that AW knows are needed.
I believe he had been hoping he could hang onto both Cesc and Nasri - but as those options died in both cases - in the face of money (Nasri) and sentiment (Cesc) - he's now in a race against time to build the squad in the week ahead.
The mistake that was made was in allowing Nasri's contract to drift - and not bringing in his new signings (particular in defence) sooner. Okay, he NOW knows that he needs midfielders - but we needed defenders for the past three months.
I think we have a way to go in the weeks ahead to truly stabilise the ship, but I reckon tonight's result is just the fillip that's needed to allow us to put the nightmare past month behind us - and move on.
Not sure what the rest of you feel, but I'm certainly in the 'please make it stop' phase.
We are so desperately depleted just two games into the new season that new signings have to come - but why oh why is it the same old 'down to the wire' scenario, with us all hanging on tenderhooks next week hoping and preying that Arsene's answer is a return for Sol Campbell or some such pile of crap (no disrespect intended Sol!).
In the past 48 hours I've heard 1. that Nasri's staying, and that we're being link to Hazard (who Lille say is staying), Merteracker (who say's he's staying), Schweinsteiger (who's never yet left Germany even though the Spaniards and Utd have previously expressed interests), the bloke with the apostrophe in his name from Rennes - who's apparently waiting to see will we qualify for the CL proper, and some guy called Martin Marvin, or Marvin Martin - an unpolished gem in the mould of Manu Petit hopefully... but perhaps another Chris Wreh or Seb Squillaci ?
If we had 90m I'd pony up for Benzema/Mertesacker, Hazard, Cahill or Jags, and Leighton Baines - that is about what it would take right now to make be satisfied... after the horrible pre and early season that we've had.
Why Arsene didn't tie in the Cesc deal with some form of a swap involving Thiago, or the Nasri/Clichy deals with a move for Shay Given is beyond me.... but there ya go...
Don't have time to read all 47 comments here but let me guess, to summarise the following will have been said:
He could see but now he's blind/stubborn/has lost it
He 'inherited' the back five and Bergkamp
He's won zero in six years (and counting)
He's just let our best players go and hasn't replaced them
He's obsessed with the business/economic side of the club
Be careful or our angry words will drive him out
There's trouble at board level, its not his fault
All of the above are reasonable points - but nonetheless, I hope that he makes two signings, that his gambles on new young talent - Ryo, Chamberlain, Jenkinson, etc pay off, and that Theo, Ramsay, Wilshere et al come good this year - and Arshavin's holidays in London are over... (oh, and our new captain stays clear of injury).
... I think a £26m asking price and wage demands clocking more than Van Persie is probably the reason...
Nice theory though - although you'd hardly describe Cesc, after spending a third of his life in London, as heading home because of home sickness.
On calm reflection, I think we'ill all appreciate why Fabregas headed off, and will wish him well (in all games apart from against The Arse, of course).
It could, and quite possibly is just more media bollox, but Belgian press are reporting that Lille have 'slapped a £26m price tag' on Eden Hazard (or however they utter such cliches in Belgian).
That's fine - we'ill take two if they have them, and still have change to go off and bail out Everton with a £16million bid for Phil Jags.
Arsene says he's been looking for 'super quality' (or 'top top top quality', as Jamie Rednapp might put it) - This young feller is that - and if we manage to generate around £23 million from selling a geezer who could sign a pre-nup with Citeh for nothing in four months time, then we ought to spend the cash.
If there is a God, it's the God that will tell us all soon that AW has been hedging, ducking, diving, dodging because he's had Eden in his sights all along, but wanted to get Cesc and Samir out of the way first before plunging in with 'audacious' purchases of Mata and Hazard to add new bite to the engine room...
Oh, do I wish.....
... as fed up as every other Gooner at the moment, but the backlash against AW is nonsense.
Two games in - an away draw, a home win, and no goals conceded. Okay we haven't 'looked convincing' - anything but - but how many of you have prattled on for years about tippy-tappy football with no end result.
We are desperately short of players at the moment, and it is a mystery to know why. I remain of the view that it's not all AW's fault, and that others who have been charged with scouting, approaching, negotiating with and signing players from Arsenal PLC are as much to blame.
A few other things:
Chelsea, Man City and a number of other clubs have inflated the market to an obscene level - otherwise Nasri wouldn't have had his head turned as has been done; also, our existing wage structure makes it a tough environment to work in - where the players and their agents have the whip hand.
The injuries and departures since pre-season : Eboue, Cesc, Nasri (most likely), Denilson, Bendtner (most likely), Vela, Almunia (hopefully), Diaby, Wilshere, Gibbs, Rosicky (probably) - leave us close to a dozen players short, and we've only played a single EPL game.
I am convinced that we will do business in the fortnight to come - and will sign defensive cover, a midfielder, and a forward.
We have some very decent players in Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny (although he does commit stupid fouls), Ramsay, Wilshere, Van Persie and Gervinho, and talent that can be brought on (carefully) this season. But AW must know what we are way way to short of quality to sustain from now until Christmas, and consequently he will do business - and don't be surprised if the moaners wet-dream marquee signing isn't one of them...
Will R - we would be in entirely uncharted territory here if every utterance needed to be supported by evidence.
Let's just take it as read that every post is proceeded by (an imaginary) "In my opinion".... and go from there.
So, now that that's out of the way:
In my opinion Gazidis isn't doing a very good job. As the company Chief Executive he is, to a large degree, responsible for how the company is run and (in my opinion) it is not being run very well at the moment.
This thread started out with a line about how Arsene Wenger was getting a lot of flak, and that the CEO seemed to be getting very little at present.
It is within that context that (again in my opinion), Gazidis isn't shouldering his share of the responsibility. As far as evidence is concerned I can only support this view by saying:
- At the start of the summer we were told that it would be a busy summer of signings (this hasn't happened)
- At the end of last season we were given strong enough hints that there would be a clear out of deadwood (which also hasn't happened).
- We were also told that the club is 'working very hard' at the moment to get in new players (which hasn't happened)
- And finally, we were assured that these matters would be sorted out before the start of the season, and again, this hasn't happened.
Like so many threads this summer, this one is littered with 'hopes' (we will sign some useful players) and 'fears' (that the 'busy summer' promised will again fail to materialise.
I think that we should sign Mata, regardless of whether Cesc and Nasri stay, or not. Okay, it could represent a set back in the career progress of Ramsay, but its no different to the situation that the guy would find himself in at any other top club.
For the past couple of years Cesc's only been up to 25-30 games a year anyhow, and Nasri too has picked up injuries in his time with us. Allied to that Denilson's gone, Eboue's on the way; as is Bendtner, and sicknote Diaby cannot be counted on for more than two games on the trot before getting himself injured or suspended.
If we're talking about transition we should be getting Mata in now, so that he will be fully integrated to the EPL in time for a post Nasri/Cesc transition in the future (assuming they stay).
On the CD question its beyond question that Squillaci is a failed experiment - he has been responsible for goals in each of the past 2-3 pre season matches, and committed numerous howlers last season.
Don't know whether Per Mertesacker would have the pace for the premiership. He certainly has the experience, but I think I'd prefer to pay that bit more for either Jags, Cahill or Samba...
Okay, a bit of clarity there.
I agree that AW might have too much control/power/responsibility - and that he'd be better in identifying his targets, and leaving it to the business side of the club after that.
His problem is that as well as being a coach, he is a businessman - and there is no arguing that he has done a lot for the business of Arsenal Football Club.
A post on one of these blogs yesterday provided a full spread sheet of the transfer business that AW has done since his arrival. If memory serves me correctly he has spent a NETT amount of under £20 million in that time - which is truly incredible (and particularly when you consider that non-achievers like Liverpool have spent upwards of £400m over the same period).
The trouble is that in the past 6-7 years the 'business model' that AW was applying has been skewed entirely by the 'financial doping' (his words) at Chelsea, Man City, and also at clubs who are happy to live way beyond their means - Spurs, Liverpool, Newcastle, etc...
Allied to that he has managed during the transition to a massively costly new stadium - but with this has come an assured and invaluable revenue stream which should make us one of the most financially powerful clubs for decades to come.
The problem now is that the old business model no longer works - and with insane transfer fees and ludicrous wages now the norm for 'top' players (ie. players who Man City, Utd, Barca, Real and Chelsea want to sign), its hard for guys like Nasri not to have their heads turned.
We are trying to work within a wage structure - to keep everyone happy - but it remains to be seen how long we can dine with the big boys, while paying just a fraction of the costs incurred by our competitors for their seats at the top table.
How much of the blame for the current disarray at Arsenal is down to neither Arsene Wenger nor his squad of players - but may rather be the fault of an out-of-his-depth chief executive?
Arsene Wenger's being getting a lot of flak for his failures to sort out player contracts, sign reinforcements, and for getting The Arse in shape (mentally and physically), with the new season a matter of days away.
Yet, yet, Ivan Gazidis - who as chief executive should be doing much of this off-field business has largely escaped criticism.
There have been a succession of disputes at board level involving Hill-Wood, Lady Bracewell Doo-Dah, the late Danny Fitzman, and the current LoadzaMoney pair - Stan and Ollie, and that can't have been helpful.
But this boardroom stuff, the failure to resolve player contract issues, and the failure to effect timely transfer dealings (both IN and OUT) should rest squarely with Gazidis - who frankly appears to be foundering.
Here's the guy who was meant to do the job that Keith Edelman did before him, or that David Dein did before that - but all the evidence to date suggests that he is failing.
It's true that the transfer market has gone bananas in the recent past, but its equally true to say that we can ill afford this kind of chaos.
The Cesc transfer story is not news. We all knew that it would erupt (again) over the Summer months, and were given assurances that it would not be allowed to drag on. Yet what has happened...
Similarly with Nasri - get it sorted - or get a replacement had to be the options - yet what has happened...
And ditto with the proposed first team departees: Almunia, Bendtner, Eboue, Denilson, Clichy, only one has been sold...
And where would you start when it comes to new arrivals? Enough has been elsewhere already, yet the protestations that the club (ie Gazidis) is 'working hard' to get players, we are now resigning outselves to the fact that a single (hopefully defensive) player is about all we can probably expect before the transfer window shuts at the end of the month, and we flounder our way to Christmas...
...At which point we can probably expect contract speculation about the futures of Van Persie, Walcott, Wilshere, Ramsay, et al. If Gazidis is dealing with matters, I wouldn't be surprised.
This whole bloody Summer has been mystifying... and depressing.
We look set to lose two of our best players (Nasri and Cesc), and some of the deadwood - Bendtner, Eboue & Almunia, ontop of the already departed Clichy and Denilson - yet there appears to be no plan for replacements.
Allied to that we have some of the most injury prone players amongst the 'top six' - in RVP, Rosicky, Gibbs, Vermaelen, Diaby - so are left, before a ball is kicked in anger, with a threadbare, demoralised and (potentially) leaderless squad as the new season approaches.
This comes DESPITE Arsene saying it would be 'a busy summer' in the transfer market, that replacements were needed blah, blah, blah, and other crap about getting super-duper players in.
I'm beginning to think that Gazidis is the problem. Under Edelman and David Dein we used to do our business discreetly, swiftly, and effectively in the transfer market. That was at a time when we supposedly didn't have the riches to spend that are now available.
The present situation's a joke. The Gazidis issue is one I'm going to hurl some more abuse at in another post...
This sounds like a ludicrous question if it were directed to anything apart from the bloated, inflated, over-hyped, indulged world of professional sports (and football in particular), but why, oh why would Arsenal's opening gambit in their 'attempt to sign' Phil Jagielka be an offer of £10m.
Do they want to be farting around at this business for the next three weeks, only to fail at the final hurdle, or do they actually want to sign a player.
Yes the market is inflated at the moment, yes there is insane money being paid by Utd, Chelsea and Man City (amongst others), but please, oh please...
To date this summer we've had:
Henderson 18.5 m
De Gea 19m
Wickham (a kid!) 8m
... and AW thinks that a 'bid' of 10m for a proven, established, quite good centre half can be picked up for 10m. This is at a time when Everton have been saying 20m for the player, Bolton have turned their noses up at 16m for Cahill, and Samba probably wouldn't be dislodged for under 12m.
I wish, just for once, that they'd get the cheque book out and get this sorted.
...in the case of Arsene's phone it's probably a lot of calls-back from clubs saying things like
"you offered what. You offered WHAT???"... before the phone slams down.