Cole & Cesc Yes-No, RvP Must Not Go and A Bit More

It seems that the media cannot agree on where Joe Cole‘s future, be it at Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United or Arsenal. Even Manchester City has emerged as favourites along the way. It’s so bad that the same newspaper has different opinions, Paul Smith at The Mirror believes it’s a done deal, his colleague John Cross says the opposite. All good stuff.

Cole would be a good signing, a typical Wenger midfielder in his skill and vision, capable of scoring and providing from wide positions, particularly as he is comfortable on the left. It would free Arshavin to play more centrally if Wenger so desired and Cole has even suffered injuries; the perfect Arsenal player.

The wages being quoted should not be an issue. Firstly, we already pay well as it is; not the megabucks for everyone that some clubs pay but the spread within the first team appears not to be as wide as others, the lower earners not as far from the top earners elsewhere. That of course brings its own problems, with other clubs able to tempt star performers with far greater salaries.

One of those should be allowed to go. Yes, Him. And that’s according to Andy Gray, not me. Gray observed:

Cesc won’t be the first great player to leave a club and he won’t be the last. And I honestly think that Arsenal can cope without him. I’m not of the mind that ­Gunners fans should be full of doom and gloom if he does go.

It won’t be the end of Arsenal.

Of course he would be a loss but if Arsene gets the transfer fee and can spend it wisely it may make Arsenal even stronger.  I think they did incredibly well to go so close last season and with a little more strength in depth I believe they could have gone all the way and actually won it. It was there for the taking.

Should He go, it is crucial that Wenger is allowed to spend the fee. Actually, that he spend the fee because the club is no longer in a position where the debt over property is of such a size that it is preferrable to pay it down. More to the point, the Board realise what a pivotal player Fabregas is and there is no direct replacement for him.

Like all players of his ilk, when the leave the change that happens is to the style, tweaked to compensate for the absence rather than the manager becoming involved in a fruitless search for the same player in a different body. Others have attributes that Cesc does not, he possesses likewise.

Gray is correct in one aspect of his observations. Personally, I believe van Persie is far more crucial to the side and his absence was more detrimental to the campaign than any other individual.

You could argue that keeping van Persie at the club is more important for Wenger. And if he has a strong World Cup he’ll be fit, strong and raring to go after a long lay-off last season when he was injured.

Quite simply, we missed his goals. Chamakh may provide those were, God forbid, the same circumstances to arise in 2010/11 but to expect that from a new signing is straining realism too far perhaps.

Were Cole to join, Wenger would have had an outstanding summer in terms of signings from the financial point of view. Yet two or more may be required still. Sol Campbell has yet to determine his future, increasingly though that looks to be away from The Emirates. We would need two centre backs, one immediate first choice and another to be back up, filling the Campbell role. That would leave four available in a normal season but it is hard to remember when Arsenal last had one of those.

It may be a way off but you can already see how next summer is going to play out. If Fabregas remains, a repeat is in the offing whilst Wenger is already ‘sought after’ at international level and may be so at club level as well if a new contract is not signed.

But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. There’s a long way to go in this one yet.

’til Tomorrow.

78 thoughts on “Cole & Cesc Yes-No, RvP Must Not Go and A Bit More

  1. BTw, would people take 60M pounds, Hleb and that chimatrgosky CB from barca for cesc?

    for 60M, you could buy gourcouff (21M), van der waart (~17M) and Buffon. and even have a little over to pay them.

    So basically for cesc, you’d get the best goalkeeper in world, a big time CB prospect, and a whole new midfield in hleb, VDW and gourcouff…..

    that’d be a pretty darn strong team…

  2. LP

    I’d take £60m full stop. I am not sure Hleb and Cole would both come in one summer, they are too similar a player.

    The CB? Possibly. He played well before signing for Barcelona, a bit like Ibrahimovic – there’s a theme here – but would he slot straight into the back four?


  3. You’re right, with Cole, that’d be four midfielders on for my dream team, oh but what a team!

    60M is a lot and as seen above and in the past, it’d a lot of money. I don’t know if the CB would fit right in. Barca did pay a lot of money for him, but he barely played last year and Pep seems to think he’s a year or two away. But he’s obviously got a lot of first team expirence in the Ukraine and is big (6’3), so he could probably cope with the PL forwards.

    You never know with CBs, though. Look at Pique….fourth or fifth choice at Manure and then a starter at both club and country the following year (although granted I could probably play CB with that midfield….)

  4. The other thing with the CB and cesc too, is that there seems to be a lot of politics at Barca and Spanish nat’l team. The best players don’t always seem to play, unlike a place like Madrid or Chelsea where it is super cut throat (with an exception here or there)

    No way the CB was going to replace Puyol or Pique….just like Cesc will have a hard time playing 35+ La Liga games before Xavi gets old….even if he is the equal of Xavi and better than Iniesta.

  5. If Campbell and Gallas leave, as well as Silvestre, we will need to replace each of them in order to have sufficient cover in defence. The events that left us playing our 4th and 5th choice centre-backs last season can easily happen again.

    Whether the replacements come as signings or as promotions from the youth teams and returning loanees (Bartley, Nordtveit), we must have 5 centre-backs for next season. With only four, you’re only one long term injury (not unlikely looking at our record) away from struggling when the inevitable knocks and niggles take their toll at the end of the season.

  6. But if you consider that this season we Ha Vermaelen, Djourou, Gallas, Song, Campbell and Silvestre and were still struggling for CBs by the end of the season. We never ran out, but things got tight.

    I think the nerve-wracking experiences of watching Silvestre play on a regular basis has made me ultra-cautious in this respect; I don’t want to go through the anxiety again!

  7. Gallas is injury prone. I think he’s missed significent games every year since he’s been at the club. Silvystre was avaibale, but he just sucked. Campbell was old. Between the later two, you could say you had about 95% of a CL level CB. Of course 94% of that was from Campbell.

    With Vermaelen and another healthy, non-injury prone CB, we’ll be ok with one more addition, JD fighting for that spot too and then a fourth guy, either Sol or someone else with Song as the fifth choice in an emergency.

    I think the chap from Barcelona could be the second CB! 60M plus the CB I say!

  8. I’m loath to put too much faith in Djourou staying fit for the season – his injury last time around was not the first serious one he has suffered (as I recall).

    I don’t think it will be too much of a problem, as I hope either Nordtveit or Bartley would be able to do a decent job as back-up, but I would be so frustrated to see another season founder on the same old problems.

  9. @YW My Good no 🙁 I just happen to be at the right place at the right time.

    In other news, though I completely agree with Gray. Every time an arsenal player leaves we always hear the same doom and gloom predictions. But each time we go on to do better than expected. What ever happens whether he stays or goes. Strengthen the squad would be very vital to our performance next season.

  10. Even without Cesc we could field a line-up that should get us into the Champions League (Almunia, Sagna, Djourou, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song, Diaby, Nasri, Arshavin, Van Persie, Bendtner/Chamakh/Walcott), but without players of Fabregas’ class I can’t see us challenging for the title, and we would me ever more vulnerable to injuries.

    Can anyone back up the statistic I saw recently? Apparently Cesc has more assists in the last 5 seasons that any other player. True?

  11. GS

    Possibly. A quick glance at the notoriously unreliable Wiki for he and Lampard show both have 70 or more assists in the last five seasons, Cesc slightly ahead.


  12. Good read as usual YW

    The CB situation needs sorting pretty quickly. Hopefully we`ve seen the last of Silvestre but Gallas & Campbell are the big question marks. If both stay then we should have enough considering Song can play there & Bartley / Nordveidt are coming through. For continuity I`d prefer at least one has another season but if both go we`re struggling unless Arsene can pull another rabbit from the hat.

    As for Cesc – IF he goes I`d hope for at least £60M in cash please & let Arsene spend it wisely

    I agree Joe Cole would be a good signing. He works hard & has versatility & skill so no problem fitting into our style at all.

  13. Don’t really see what Joe Cole brings to our midfield thats not already there?
    A fitter Rosicky, savvier & more experienced Nasri, Diaby, Denilson, Ramsey, Song, Wilshere & possibly Lansbury, Eastmond etc…????
    I’d skip Joe Cole on a free 5 times over !!! He’s not the great midfielder we need.

    Getting 2 really good CBs, a super DM & a blazing left winger (since AW’s seems not to be sold on Traore) should yield to pure perfection for our ball club.

    Solidity in defence, midfield & attck would make any of our goalkeepers look like world-beaters. So i see no need for a new keeper

    Getting Chamakh is huge.
    Keeping Fabregas is very important
    Having a great pre-season is key
    Replacing tired players with confident reserves will reduce our injuries
    And we can compete with anybody
    With a few trophies to show for the effort!

    Joe Cole can go to Spurs for all I care.


  14. Im a little concerned that the WC kicks off in 5 days time and Arsene said he wanted all his signings to be done prior to this as we all know 3 good weeks and players value doubles.

    But no sign of any CB`s or keeper ? worried !

    If the papers were to believed we will have 72 players coming in. Arsene is one who will not pay over inflated prices for players, so if he dont move quickly I can see the usual lack of signings needed especially at the back. worried !

  15. The signings will come Arsenal 1971. For all we know is that Wenger has them all lined up but their announcements will come in due course.

  16. Arsenal 1971, I think he said he would announce at least one before the WC, which he has done and said he would like to conclude all his other transfers before the WC if possible. However, at the time he said that he clearly had no expectation of the Cesc saga about to unfold. Even Sol mentioned that the talks about his deal were delayed due to that situation. I think there is a strong possibility that we are seriously looking at Koscielny, so we have been trying to get our business done quickly. But as we all know there are 3 parties in any deal and unless all 3 are in agreement, delays and hitches can hamper the best laid plans. I don’t think Arsene guaranteed anything, since he could not do that under these circumstances. Even free transfers cannot happen until their existing contracts formally end.

  17. Wenger will have set in motion over the last month or more half a dozen or more discreet enquiries and discussions, have his mind set on 3 or 4 key potential signings; still weighing up the variables. That it is not conducted in public is all to the good.

    I have a sneaky suspicion he is interested in Vidic, who I recall was not entirely at ease with SAF. It is one type of signing I expect, a mature defender with two good years to offer, to allow space for the youngsters to arrive. The other, potentially, a great youngish defender long term, 23-24, Djourou-like; or is Wenger having a long hard look at Senderos? I am not convinced we are getting a new keeper unless we really can improve on Al. It is absolutely no good signing a ‘good keeper’, Al is already a ‘good keeper’.

    Hleb might be at the back of Wenger’s mind. It would be great to see him back. But Joe Cole, yes, why not? Under Wenger his career would be rejuvenated, he would see his potential.

  18. Excellent post today, YW. You’re realized Doom and Gloom, isn’t your thing, eh?

    I have to agree with you over Joe Cole. He will be an excellent addition to our squad. Last season I always though we missed an attacking midfielder due to so many injuries. To cope we had to play an unfit Arshavin aggravating his injuries, or rush back players, like the Cesc Vs Villa match. He’s free, so can’t we pay him a bit over the odds, or give him a sign on fee or something to compensate to keep the wage structure intact?

    I agree with you over the CBs. I really hope Gallas stay, he will be a big loss to us, because he’s the best defender we have. Moreover it would be nice for Arsene to be bit prudent and don’t use him in all league games due to his injury record. A good enough back could exchange roles with him. If Gallas and Sol stay, we still would want a CB, since djouroue really hasnt proven himself so far. However, if both decide to leave, than we’re in a bit of a mess because we would need two CBs.

    What do you think of Sendros’ future with us? You think given the situation we find ourselves in where three CBs, Gallas, Sylvestre and Sol, all are out of contract, Arsene might replace one of the latter two with Sendros?

  19. Zp,

    If Vidic is in the market, I’m sure we will be out bid by Real or City. I wouldn’t trust Djourou to be the first choice CB. But that’s just my opinion. He hasn’t proven himself so far to merit that position. We could do with someone with experience. As for the goal keeper, I agree with you. If someone exceptional is out there, sure, its more out of want than a need.

    Hleb is one player that I’d love to see back in the team. Good mates with Cesc too. And one of the best dribblers. We have missed him, he was crucial in getting out of tight situations and launching counter attacks from our half.

  20. Like Popeye, I yam what I yam YW.
    A toff is not, tho, innit?
    Waddaya doing working on sunday anyways?

  21. Passenal & c1gooner
    I am sure signings will follow in the CB area, Koscielny has been banded about for the last few weeks could he be the same kind of find that the Verminator was. Depending on which site you go to his height ranges from 6 1″ to 6 5″ but cant find much about the man as he only seemed to hit the radar last year.
    Arsenes dealings have been nothing short of legendary in the past but I think we need him to dig a little deeper into his magic hat as we need afew players this season. 2XCB 1xDM and a keeper and 3 of these four signings need to be a bit more than good players if we need to compete next year right to the end.

  22. If I am a toff, I might be the first ever to start his working life as a building labourer. Well that’s not exactly true, I was a metal-picker first. But then I dug out a basement to make a restaurant (I wonder if it still exists) called “The Gingerbread Man” below the toffiest eatery in London “Tiddy Dolls” (jugged hare was their speciality, I’ve never been able to eat it again) along with a giant Yugoslav giant called Zak. It was the only work you could get illegally in those days, well that and gardening, and metal-picking. I was scared of the National Front on the building site (90% of the English), but Zak and the Irish looked after me.

  23. Whether Cesc stays or goes Arsenal urgently require a new Goalkeeper and Centre Back-preferably with Premier League experience-players who could slot into their roles seemlessly ready for the new Season.I wouldn’t be particularly keen to see Schwarzer between the sticks and would hope that other options would be persued-but hey-almost anyone would be an improvement on the current two!!.My Centre Back preference would be Jagielka but I cant either see Moyes letting him leave or Wenger paying the money required.Cahill could be a good alternative and I would have thought that loans of Wilshire and possibly another youngster could be used as sweetners on any potential deal.
    Arsenal’s “No Deal” stance on any Barcelona transfer for Cesc is undoubtedly falling on deaf ears and they have to make contingency arrangements for his replacement-and consider that any “like for like” replacement is effectively impossible!In the short term a more defensive stance in midfield and a change back to 4-4-2 would be the best option in my mind-as long as Denilson wasn’t part of any such arrangement.A pairing of Song and Macherano would be my ideal solution.This would present a duo in the mould of Petit and Vieira with appropriate flair coming from the wide-men and the two forwards once again.
    Whatever future plans Wenger currently has in his mind he must get them sorted quickly.The World Cup always has an inflationary effect upon the Transfer Market and added to that the ridiculous stance being taken by Citeh means that future transfers will always be complicated by them offering more money to sign ANYONE who effectively becomes available!Arsenal,supposedly,have money to invest.Money which must be re-invested in “Ready Made” players.The likes of Diaby,Nasri,Denilson,Bentner,Eduardo,Rosicky were given plenty of playing time during the second half of the season gone and all looked to be lacking a little something!Cesc and Gallas are almost certainly leaving and Ramsey will need another 6 months,at least,before he’s fighting fit.Another close season of inactivity will,this time,certainly result in disaster.Whilst some proper investment could lead the team to a greater competitiveness than we have seen during the course of the last few years.

  24. Joel
    I must admit I do agree with 90% of what you have said, the only difference we would have is that I believe Bendtner and Nasri can step up and make a difference.

    Diaby is far to inconsistant form seems to come and go with him at a alarming rate.

    Rosicky dosent seem to have come back from his injuries with the same desire and drive he had.

    Eduardo similar to rosicky in way of injury and that he has lost his killer touch infront of goal and seems scared when it gets physical ( i think we all understand why)

    Denilson is a puzzle to me as you never know what you are going to get when he steps out onto the field.

    The sort of pairing you mentioned of Viera and petit will proberly never be seen again were you have 2 ball winning midfielders who can also also really play the game. They could pick a pass had fantastic ball control would run at defences and onto of that do all the nasty work as well. Song was a sensation last season but in fairness not in the same league as the 2 mentioned if you were to drop him into a 2 man CM. He played the anchor role as well as I have seen for some years.

    I also agree that we need a CB as number 1 transfer target and if the boss can find another TV who slotted into the position as well as he did I would be very shocked. No 5 TV had to be signing of the season its as simple as that.

    But with gallas, silvestre and proberly sol going the boss has his work cut out. I would like to keep gallas and sol but silvestre can go and dont let the door hit you on the way out. But i believe both these should be back up. We need to find a Cb who can form a long lasting partnership with TV.

  25. Joel, i’d sooner die than live in a world where Song was accompanied by fucking Mascherano instead of Denilson.

  26. One comment for those of you who say we need 5 centre backs. remember squad sizes for the premiereship are going to be limited to 25 over 21 players (only 17 of which can be non “home grown”, ie not played for 3 years prior to age 21 in England).
    Can we really afford to use 5 of those places on centre backs, when baring injuries this is the outfield position rotated least?

  27. JohnN:

    This has been worked out here, there and elsewhere, and so I’m fairly confident of the following. If I am incorrect, well, we will find out soon enough.

    AFC are very well placed to exploit this new rule. As any HG player under 21 does not count as the 25.

    So, that leaves lots of room, within the 25, to either keep both WG and Sol and add one more to the 25 with Djourou (+ the under 21’s!), or get two new ones!

    Now, if only some of those Bleeding Hacks, you know, the ones that say they are AFC fans, could have figured this stuff out…

    How hard can it be?

  28. JohnN, that is why Arsene is the manager not these people with their unrealistic player wish lists. He probably has dozens of issues to take into consideration when assessing the squad and who or what we need. There are probably issues, which those of us on the outside could never imagine. That’s why I can never understand these people who rail against the manager’s actions when they are not in full possession of the facts. We can all have our opinions, as long as we remember that’s all they are. The more often and the more passionately we repeat them does not make them any more valid.

  29. Bit random but anyone watching soccer aid?

    Zidane, Figo, Giggs, Lehmann, Maldini playing for the rest of the world. With Sherringham, Butt, Shearer, Redknapp, Keown and Seaman as the English proffessionals.

    Harry Redknapp and James Corden as the English manager and assistant, and Bryan Robson is our coach.

    Looks like it could be a good game.

  30. Hleb and a defender + 40M.

    Another CB.

    Nasri and Walcott have something to prove.

    Looks good to me.

    I still wonder who will be sold though.

  31. I would really love hleb back… if he is willing to come back, iys likely he will stay put! maybe he will make cesc happy… they were pals along with flamini and maybe Rosicky?

  32. Don’t want Hleb back for any other reason than it would mean doing business with those cunts.

  33. Team Spirit,

    In answer to your earlier question, the reason why Senderos cannot play in defence with TV is because he’s fucking shit.

  34. Hleb and Flamini screwed us royally when they left. I for one would never have any of them back. Nor would Arsene imo.

  35. Webster he is not. Sendy is a young international and i believe whatever ailed him earlier ought to have been sorted out of his head by now.

    Matty, how many years was Hleb contract? was hoping he could come on a free?

  36. i do agree that hleb and flamini both leaving when they did disrupted the team, which is the major reason i would rather cesc waited a few more seasons

  37. I would take Hleb back if he hasn’t lost all his ball retention and dribbling skills. He has learned his lesson and really wants to play for us now. He would not be looking for the first route out of the club and might have a positive influence on others.

  38. passenal, yep, those are essentially my sentiments.

    he was one of my personal favourites with his ball retention skill whoch is much needed with the way we play and we have a lot of players that can get into space and not necessarily offside.

  39. I agree re Senderos Team Spirit, but I wonder if there’s just too much water under that bridge?

    Interesting response from AA on his website to this question

    “13. From Shavochka
    Hello !!!!!!!!!!! You used to say that Barcelona was your dream, but in an interview to Arsenal you said that you wanted to move to this club in particular. What should I think?
    Arshavin: As a child I supported Barcelona, I do not deny that. Actually I continue to root for “Barca” in the Spanish Championship. As for the English Championship, I’ve always liked Arsenal, so when I had an opportunity to join this club, I happily agreed. So I’ve never seen myself as a player of any other English club. Again, I am a Gunner, and I am satisfied with everything.”

  40. Looks like 60M is the magic number according to the Daily Mail. Not the most accurate of sources, but 60M is probably about right. Damn, I’m good (look above :P)

    I’d prefer to get 60M and the CB/Hleb, but the money by itself is pretty good if we can get a good replacement (gourcouff and one or two others) and strengthen out team….

  41. To be clear, we will not make any kind of counterproposal or enter into any discussion.

    I see nothing in that statement from Arsenal about 60m.

  42. I didn’t say it came from Arsenal. If you think Arsenal haven’t thought about what number would cause them sell Cesc, then you’re fooling yourself.

    The papers are wrong a lot, but often times they’re correct too. This artcile does not have a name for the reporter, so it might be BS, but 60M is probably the point where Arsenal would seriously consider cashing in on Cesc. Might take a little more, but probably not much less. I’d imagine it’d have to be more than Kaka went for, but probably less than CR7.

  43. The only thing the club could’ve added to the Barcelona statement would’ve been “regardless of any follow on offers from Barcelona”. The club says it won’t make counterproposals, but it didn’t mention anything about Barcelona making subsequent offers. That’s if you’re looking to be very technical…..

  44. Technical is usaully right….I’m very happy NOW, I want to stay at Arsenal NOW, etc….

    I want Cesc to stay, but if we can get mega bucks and the Barca CB for him, then its seriously something you have to look at, especially if we use that money to buy a GOurcouff or Van der Waart, or both. But that’s a big if.

    Anything less than 50M would be an embarrasment to Arsenal.

  45. Left Pinky, I would rather keep Cesc, since he is familiar with our style of play and proven in the PL. The others are unknown quantities

  46. I watched Yoann Gourcuff a few time and never been impressed with his performance. Having said that he played with Chamakh so would know his movement.

  47. would hleb fit with song in support of cesc?
    ton of potential in midfield but it doesn’t seem to click together
    rosicky, for sure, maybe arshavin to go
    eduardo, as well
    i like a 4-4.5-1.5 with RVP being the .5-.5 winger/striker

  48. Passenal–no doubt. I think Cesc staying is best. All these other scenerioes are of the “grass is always greener” variety. Cesc is proven, we know what he will give us (at the very least).

    Ideally we’d be able to get someone like Van der waart in addition to keeping Cesc. The club has the money or access to and needs to sped it.

    Crash–I agree with you on that. The 4-3-3 doesn’t seem to suit us as much anymore now that we have RVP, Bendtner and Chamakh. Bendtner and RVp have a hard time playing together with RVP as the striker, which I think he needs to be since he’s our best player when healthy (at least at this position, maybe overall).

    Niklas is a top quality player a centre-forward, not as a winger, but a makeshift alighment that you suggest might work somewhat. I think he could score 20 as a lone forward, but the thing is, Robin could score 30 and dish out 20 assists with the same number of touches….

  49. Stop shipping out Arsenal players please. I dont know where we get off saying who will go.

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