Pressure Moments & Kit Deal Feeds Transfer Talk

Oi, Puma! It isn't hard to design an Arsenal kit
Oi, Puma! It isn’t hard to design an Arsenal kit

Arsenal prepare for the biggest game of the rest of their season tonight by pottering around the training pitches in the Hertfordshire countryside. Chelsea and Tottenham meet at Stamford Bridge barely twenty-four hours after the pressure told on Andre Villas-Boas. It’s been a while since we’ve had a managerial meltdown so anything which provides something similar brings a giggle to the surface. Some, of course, chastised Wojciech Szczesny for his original comments; they would, the logic went, be inspirational to the Tottenham side, have carried out Villas-Boas’ teamtalk for him. If Tottenham need inspiration from the comments of an Arsenal player prior to a match which could all but decide their fate for next season’s European football, something is even more seriously wrong at White Hart Lane than the Pole suggested.

And that’s before Chelsea read Villas-Boas’ derogatory comments about their playing style. You see normally such jibes would be ignored but you sense this is his path to a Keegan.

Pressure? It struck me that Arsenal supporters were feeling it more than anyone, manifesting in a meltdown following the Premier League’s appointment of Mike Dean as the match official for the visit of Wigan to The Emirates next week. Apparently, Arsenal have won once in the last twenty matches in which he has officiated. Looking at our record in encounters with top four clubs, that is not hard to believe but do you really think he is the root cause of it? Get. A. Grip.

In an otherwise quiet week, the media has announced that Arsenal have signed a new kit deal with Puma, rumoured to be worth £30m per season. Daily Heil headline writers did their Poster Boy, Michael Gove, proud with their mathematical genius but I suppose £34m (£170m over 5 years before you ask) is just too accurate. The new deal – which will not officially be confirmed for some time yet due to a confidentiality clause – is the biggest in English football (until Manchester United’s next one, that is). The current Nike deal expires at the end of next season so Puma has a year to get their inaugural kits right. So, remember, that’s red shirts, white sleeves, red cuffs, white collar, for the shirts; white shorts; red socks for a home kit. The away, well, do yourselves a favour, win over the supporters with a yellow top with blue collar and cuffs; blue shorts; yellow socks. Nothing fancy; do away with your flashes, slashes, stripes, hopes and sashes; K.I.S.S.

In the meantime, I shall comfort myself with the numerous photoshopped kits that will circulate as the real deal, watching with vague amusement at the meltdowns which occur when they are dismissed routinely as just a Puma international kit changed to Arsenal colours. It’s a high pressure job being a football fan…

You know it’s a quiet time when a kit deal is the best Arsenal news around.

The only other part of that deal which matters is the money and the competitiveness it brings the club in the transfer market. Gradually deals are being struck that enable Arsenal to sign and as importantly, retain key players so that we do not face constant Summer speculation about who is leaving. Whether there is a mind to pay the higher salaries is another matter, a business philosophy discussion. First of all, the club needs to be in the position to think of the alternatives to selling players to be profitable, even if that is a part and parcel of a football club’s normal business cycle.

And where there is money, there shall be transfer speculation; that is the Gospel according to the football writer. This morning’s fare is a bit, well, disappointing. Where’s my Capoue? Not a whiff of M’Vila? In the name of our Lord, John Cross, please let me see something about Lewandowski!

I mean Ashley Williams is, I am sure, a jolly nice bloke and judging by his performances over the last season or so, a reliable performer, just the sort of player that Arsenal should be looking at to strengthen the squad and at £10m, decently priced. But where, oh, where is my £30m+ signing? According to the Italian media, heading north to Turin from Florence, he says hastily scrabbling for the atlas to make sure his geography isn’t askew. Phew!

Come on, you had twelve hours to get something interesting going. Sigh. Well, I suppose it is all about pacing yourself and facing a Summer without an international tournament of any note, there’s plenty of time yet. Maybe we supporters should recreate the scene from The Italian Job (the proper one not the Hollywood rip-off) where we bang our cutlery on the table, chanting the name of our favourite target instead of saluting Mr Bridger as he regally descended the stairs.

’til Tomorrow.


181 thoughts on “Pressure Moments & Kit Deal Feeds Transfer Talk

  1. What a goal!

    Torres with some great work. No, really.

    Ramires – I used to think all he could do was foul. If there was a clone, he’d be welcome in our midfield.

    Chelsea win for me please …

  2. It’s ok Bill, just don’t mention how anonymous Bale has been because he’ll end up equalizing or worse!

  3. The key of course is for us to take care of our own business or it is entirely academic…

  4. welll say what you want Chelsea look good. they play entertaining.. Tottenham look well up for it too though. But chelsea will be dangerous next season

  5. we look good too when we are at our best. but lately we looked a bit nervous.

    Im suprised tottenham dont look more nervous in this game tbh.. i guess they will be when its 20 mins left…

  6. You have to be impressed with the width Chelsea are playing with. You can see that there two CB’s are getting stretched, creating more space in the middle. I hope Arsenal are watching this, a little more width in our attacks would really benefit us.

    So it seems to be that the Italian media have us as having agreed a Jovetic fee (23 million). Won’t know until it is official of course and there are always so many rumors.

  7. Agreed Poodle. Good young talent headed by Mata that may knit well together–hopefully Mourinho ruins them.

  8. @Poodle

    It is reported that Andre Schurrle will be at Chelsea next year as well 🙁 They are going to have a very talented (younger) side.

  9. @MA

    Yes apparently they preferred getting a deal done with is quickly love Juventas. Honestly as an Arsenal can i completely understand.

  10. Yes but is Jovetic the best player for the money? Someone please convince me!

  11. @MA he may go the same way as Marin though. to many good players there already? they got Lukaku too on their blocks remember.

    But im thinking that midfield trio of Oscar Mata and Hazard. that is insane!
    Its like having 3x fit Jack…..

    A good striker and Luiz paired with Ramirez infront of the back 5? that is such a solid team.

    Mind you Arteta and Ramsey does well to in that role, ones Ramsey adds goals he will be great.


  12. @Limestonegunner AW is King Midas of football. Most stuff he touches turns into gold….

  13. Harry Bill – as Ade slots the ball into the top corner past Cech guess which Premier League referee jumps into the air as the net bulges

    Watch it on the wide shot

    I – kid- you – not !

  14. I thought 5-7 games ago that Chelsea was the more vulnerable, but Rafa has done a pretty good job rotating his squad between three competitions.

  15. @Lime

    Statistically speaking Jovetic is not having his best season in Italy, but he has been scouted by a number of large clubs this term. He has scored 12 goals in 28 Serie A appearances with 4 assists. The things is I don’t see him as a striker really, more has a wide player. I would happy if the rumor is true but I imagine Arsene is following the Higuain situation as well. It was just a few seasons ago that we apparently had a bid knocked back. This is a likely target than Cavani, who will be with City or PSG next season and cost over 40 million.

    We have to remember we have a few holes to fill, not 1 or 2 so the question is how we are going to maximize the expense to our advantage.

  16. Mightn’t there be better wide players than Jovetic at that price? With Ox, Gervinho, Podolski, Walcott we have two wide players for each side. Only one striker. I’d rather have Cavani than Jovetic and Higuain, but it would be a close call… So far have not heard a case for why Jovetic that is convincing, so that’s why I ask..

  17. Arsenal almost bought aspilicueta before he went to was it marseille? a shame we did not buy him, he looks good.

  18. @Lime

    I couldn’t answer that, perhaps if you drop a line to Arsene he’ll put your mind at rest 🙂

  19. @Lime

    I would say that I don’t consider that Podolski gives us width at all. I also think Ox plays best through the middle rather than wider, but time will tell on that point. I would not be shocked to see Gervinho sold to be honest.

  20. Gooners seem excited by Jovetic. I wonder why. We are discussing our opinions, MA. I’m not that thrilled. He’s pretty wasteful and quite injury prone from what I understand. Now you tell me he is less a CF than a wide player and is having a so so season. You strengthen my suspicions against.

  21. I refuse to spend an evening cheering on Chelsea. Either we win more points than our competitors or we don’t and deal with the consequences.

    Blocks to everyone else. I am an Arsenal fan.

  22. AW likes to get his width from fullbacks and that allows wide forwards to do either. Perhaps it isn’t enough right now but Jovetic provides no genuine solution to that.

  23. Like Bendter,, he was a great wide forward. I still think he could have been far more useful to us if he was played in the center.

  24. Cbob, there are three possible outcomes to this game. Two of which favor us. As I said it is academic if we don’t do our part, but I don’t see your objection to being glad that Spuds aren’t winning this game so far.

  25. imagine if ade gave a toss this season. waited till this game. hope its too little too late

  26. well thats it 2-2 and Bill probably right…. Chelsea look very tired… and not that interested anymore… they know they will win the two last games and nab 4th or 3rd…

  27. @lime if spurs win this game i dont think you will have to worry about Jovetic as he will only sign if we play CL they say….

  28. Not glad, Limestone, just indifferent.

    Anyway, they are not losing anymore. We should just win a few more games.

    Just my state of mind.

  29. well that means we HAVE to beat those two other teams… we got something to play for and we got our faith in our own hands

  30. @Lime

    A final note on Jovetic, has loads of pace and it rated in the top 10 players in Serie A this year. I know that won’t change your mind, but he cannot to hard when you have so many clubs scouting the lad.

  31. But they didn’t win which is what I hoped. I’m glad as this allows us to qualify if we go out and win both our remaining games. Good news for Arsenal.

  32. So Miami ?
    How is that feeling ?
    I bet you were twitching with the Bale free kick 🙂

  33. so the trip games for Spuds must be this weekends tie against Stoke and for Chelsea the last game of the season against Everton.

  34. @anicoll5

    For as good as Bale is, and he is GOOD! I wish he would stop the silly diving and falling over like a big girls blouse.

  35. It would change my mind if you had a stronger and more specific case to make for Jovetic at Arsrnal for that kind of money. I never said he’s a bad player. Maybe not the right player for us or the right value.

  36. I don’t get it. This is a league with 20 teams – Arsenal can’t control other teams’ performances. Sometimes we’re going to need other teams to help us out. It was the same in out title winning seasons as it is when we’re vying for 3rd.

  37. Well lads, we now have the 2nd best defense in the EPL as of today (36 goals conceded).

  38. I’m glad Bale is a pathetic diver. He’s a spud and so as good as he is there is a decent case for slagging him off!

  39. @Lime

    who in your mind is a good fit for Arsenal? I tend to think every acquisition is a risk. If we had the stated 70 million to spend, would you add Cavani knowing he cost 50 million of your budget and are therefore happy to keep the rest of the squad as is?

  40. I’m with Bob there. Couldn’t bring myself to ever cheer on that lot. Ugh.

    Best result for Arsenal. It’s in our hands again. No-one else to blame now if we don’t get there.

  41. Jovetic is a talented mofo. He’s one of those creative players who started wide but moved central as he developed and toughened up. I reckon he’d play on the left for us. He’s dynamic, can dribble and has good vision – and has recently added goals too. Just what we need if you ask me. Though I heard his form has waned in the New Year a little.

  42. Wigan is going to be a tricky tie, I hope they are buggered from the FA Cup.

  43. We have no one to blame but ourselves if we don’t win our last two games after being given a new chance.

    For some reason, the whole retirement of Sir Alex for me is just very boring, i feel nothing, it feels like some news that’s come and i don’t really care about it.

    The only thing i do regret is that wenger won’t have the chance to get one over him one more time.

  44. Miami.

    If we have 70M and spend 50M on Cavani we still have 20M which is more then we have ever spent for one player anyway so we could still add a very good DM. If we strengthen the front 3 and the midfield then what else do we need? We will have 6 internationals for the front 3 and 7 players for the midfield 3. How many more do we need?

    If we keep sagna and TV5 the defense is good. If we sell either of those then we use the money to replace them.

  45. I am not a scout MA. I’ve only expressed my concerns about Jovetic for that money. Your scenario involves still having to get a CF. one, more relevant , question you should be asking perhaps is whether it is better to have Cavani (50 plus one huge wage) and the rest of our current players or (your scenario) Jovetic (25 and very big wage) and Higuain (25 and a really very big wage).

    And then if we want a wide forward to give us width are there better options than Jovetic? I.e, someone who genuinely plays wide and is better than Podolski or Gervinho. Podolski has quite a few goals and assists from the left and cost less than half of what Jovetic is rumoured to cost.

    I’m eager to be persuaded but there has to be more than he is considered quick and talented. If he comes, great, but I’m not ready to do cartwheels for an injury prone player with a relatively low strike rate coming on a very substantial fee who I am now being told isn’t really a CF but more likely a wide player when we have only one CF and are suffering for it! You see my qualms?! Perhaps he’ll be great. If he arrives I will cheer for him to light up the league with his talent and skill while hoping he averages 30 league games a season for us.

  46. well if any of bayern, chelsea, city, united, barca, psg, Real or any other teams fuled by a sheik or oligarc is in for cavani we all know that transfer to us wont happen.

    Cos they will jus throw so much money at him that he goes dizzy, passes out and sings a contract with them. simples.

    And its very likley that a team with more money than us will attempt to buy him this year. So i think Cavani may be out of scope. Unless those 7 clubs dont want him and we are in the CL. then we will be in pole position.

  47. Harry,
    Don’t forget, if we dont win our last 2 games and grab 4th, there will always be somebody to blame. I can assure you somebody will blame a ref, or reveal the conspiracy against us!

  48. i dont get why the CL hope is more alive for Tottenham now than it was before the match? I mean regardless of wheter tottenham lost or drew we would still have to win both matches to be sure…

  49. Orgiastic love-in with humongous amounts of pundit jizz spilled over Slerguson on 5-Live this evening. Dear god when will this be over. Enough already.

    Robbie Savage and Peter Reid. I struggle to comprehend a word either of them say at the best of times. And with their heads up Fergies bum it’s nigh on impossible.

    For gawds sake. When AW calls it a day you can imagine the GRUDGING respect that the buggers will be forced to show, through gritted teeth, only tucked away on the sports news.

    Media lockdown.

  50. Won’t be anything like this when AW retires. We can guarantee that, even if he wins back to back titles and a triple (FA and CL) one of those seasons.

    Just glad the Fergie era is over.

  51. For the case of Jovetic from everything that I have seen and read from some scouting reports from Italy and around , he is being strongly compared to The Dutch cunt at the same age but more developed passing at the same age. Many across Italy have said that with the right mentoring and development he can sharpen his goal scoring and unlock his vast potential.

    Potentially a RvP without the cunt in him, ill take that for 23M because if Arsene develops him alongside Jack, Theo, Ox, Santi, Podolski and the rest he will have given us way more than the 20-24M being quoted.

  52. Poodle – if Spuds has lost we could have drawn and won, now we have to win both to be 100%. Still, can’t complain, can’t ask for more than having it in your own hands.

  53. I feel sorry for Wenger because for me personally he modernised football in England and alot of clubs have copied Arsenal in terms of deidcation to health and diet and sports science, when he leaves i think like people will grudgingly admit his success but it will be short and sweet.

    But we will remember, we Arsenal fans will remember his value and the effect on our status as a BIG club.

    One more thing, if we win the league next year and thats a big if, people will say and i know they will, that the only reason that Wenger has won anything is because sir alex has retired.

    Even though wenger has beaten him before, but that’s how people will react im 100% sure.

  54. True Limestone. Well he’s French isn’t he, that’s something they’ll never forgive him for anyway.

    I don’t question Ferguson’s incredible achievements, it just appears the re-writing of history has begun in earnest once again. Little to no mention of his more unpalatable side, his endless haranguing of officials etc etc. No he was a God amongst us mere mortals it appears.

    Perhaps I’m over-reacting a tad 🙂

  55. What Moe said. And no mention yet of his debt to Arsene, who revolutionized English football.

    Grrr. Time to call it a night methinks.

    There’s only one Arsene Wenger!!

  56. Yes Zinc – that is the crucial point. If Spurs had not equalised, Arsenal could have afforded a win and a draw. Now it’s 2 wins required against 2 teams who can turn you over on their day. We were actually outplayed by Wigan at the Emirates last year when they won though we are better recently without the ball and have learned that we need to defend as a team and show a desire to win the ball back quicker / press the opposition when we lose it

  57. Villa could give Chelsea problems at the weekend. If Chelsea even only draw it pulls them back to us and gives us 2 chances to gain a top 4 spot which is always better I suppose

  58. I read that Wigan now view the Arsenal match as more important than the FA cup final the Saturday before. They may rest some players for the final as it’s a big ask to go again on Tuesday. It’s a pity for them (and us!!!) that they are not safe and can’t enjoy a historic day

  59. YW @ 9.47am

    Apologies for the delay in replying. Been travelling all day.

    I suppose it all depends whether you take referee impartiality seriously. If you don’t it’s easy enough to cloud the issue with dismissive talk about conspiracies or excuses, neither of which gets us any nearer to explanations.

    The facts are:
    Dean’s results in Arsenal matches since 2005 are biased.
    The bias is not confined to the last 20 matches (but is more pronounced in recent matches).
    The bias does not result from the strength of the opposition, because omitting matches against stronger clubs does not eliminate the bias.
    The bias does not spring from the balance of home and away matches.
    All of this is easily demonstrable.

    Having eliminated these obvious causes of bias, all we have left is speculation. It’s perfectly possible that we always field weak teams when Dean refs, or that his matches always coincide with poor runs of form. There may be other common factors to all of these games, though there doesn’t seem to be any evidence for any of these. So it’s perfectly legitimate to ask why this is happening. And of course, obviously contentions decisions are not the only way a referee can influence the outcome of a match – and the influence does not have to be intentional.

    There are probably other equally glaring examples of referee bias – some of which may favour us, for all I know. The point is that unexplained bias arouses suspicion. And it’s hard to see how that suspicion is assuaged by ignoring it.

  60. @Lime

    I appreciate your views, I hope you do the same. I cannot convince you of anything and neither am I trying. If you were to ask me right now if I had to choose between Jovetic and Gervinho, then the former wins. I am not really an advocate of putting all our money in to a single player. I would be more accepting of the notion if Arsenal didn’t have more need of additional quality elsewhere in the side. I think United benefit from spending larger sums on players because there is not near the same level of turnover. I personally am not convinced by Cavani, can you tell me why you believe he is going to be the messiah? maybe Bill should answer it?

    In any case, the fact remains that people have different views and the difficulty in trying to convince you of the merits of a player would appear rather pointless. You have clearly stated why you don’t rate Jovetic, so for me or indeed anyone to convince you otherwise would seemingly be redundant. That is not a barb, it is merely pointing out that convincing others of anything is rather difficult when they steadfast opposing views.

  61. Not true MA. C, said a few interesting things about the player’s qualities. I was glad to hear them. I am persuadable if there are good reasons to rate the player, suggestions that he is worth the price, will fit well with our needs, explanations for apparent negatives like his durability record and so on. Unfortunately you haven’t offered these but you are nonetheless convinced that I am unreasonable.

    Unlike you, I will tell you what I like about Cavani for Arsenal. And I am not dealing with whether it is likely or not or whether we can compete with City etc…for his signature. I am just expressing my views on the player and role for Arsenal. We need a striker, badly, as we have only one. In our system we need someone with the skills and qualities to lead the line on his own. Cavani is big, strong, powerful and skillful. He has played wide for Uruguay and CF for Napoli, so he is versatile. His scoring rate the last two seasons is superb. He is hard- working, physical and durable– musts in the PL. he also has a great attitude, doesn’t seem to have a big ego, is a team player. His all around game is more complete than Falcao. Given these attributes, he strikes me as a top striker who can be successful in the way we play as a lone striker and can thrive in the PL.

    He would cost more but that might be money better spent. I didn’t say he was the messiah. I do think he is one of the best 5 or so strikers in the world right now with several years more at the top ahead given his age. He’s a proven player of quality, not a promising talent who has not yet fulfilled his potential. Bird in the hand vs. your two in the bush.

  62. Merlot

    I was (and wasn’t) dismissing the theory of bias in Dean’s case.

    If anyone can point me to the list of matches Mike Dean has referred since 2005, I’d be grateful.

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