Who’s In, They’re Out – It’s All Rumours & When Your Numbers Up…


Morning all. It’s a bit like standing on the Henman Hill / Murray Mound (whatever the lump of earth is called now), realising you are on TV and celebrating by holding the Saltire over your face. Still, it could be worse; you might have been caught on television taking photos with your iPad…

Are we there yet?

Not quite, it seems. Yesterday’s much-vaunted arrival of Gonzalo Higuain never materialised which pretty much ensured that the Madrileño posturing gained more traction, €27m (or £22m in the English media) now considered an insubstantial bid by the mouthpiece. Probably because it falls short of the €30m that they will have to pay Real Sociedad if they are to entice long-time Arsenal target, Asier Illarrmendi, South. That’s if a bid has been received from Arsenal at all which if not, makes you wonder what Dick and his Merry Men were talking about when they were apparently in Spain not too long ago. That’s if they were in Spain on business and not quaffing the cheap Sangria like it was going out of fashion.

I suppose it’s like waiting for ET; we’re told that extra-terrestrial life exists, we send up spacecraft playing the greatest hits of Wings or Take That and wait for a response. It never seems to occur to the massed intellects that maybe ET is sitting in his La-Z-Boy, waiting for someone to send “Eight Miles High” on an endless loop before putting his spliff to one side and deciding, “Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, they’re ready“. Relaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

The key theme so far, aside from false hopes, has been the moving on of those whose purposes have been served. Which is a long-winded, nothing going on this morning, way of saying, “Shifting the deadwood“. Once you get past the derogatory nature of the term ‘deadwood‘ and the endless arguments about using that one word, the proposed departures on top of those who have already left represent a seismic change in policy; a clear message is being sent that the club expects consistency from the players and will actively look to avoid situations where the staff run down their contracts. For Winstone Bogarde, read Arshavin and Chamakh. Not quite as bad as that pair did at least try one year loafing around at other clubs. The former now returned to Zenit, may be followed out of the door by the latter with reports emerging this week that Levante are preparing a £1m bid whilst Betis apparently have been fooled by Joel Campbell’s contributions, thinking that all Arsenal strikers available for loan are top notch…

Actually the constant theme of this Summer has been the recycling of old stories; whilst transfers take some time to sort out unless any of the parties has an urgent deadline, some of these have been links which emerged as the players trudged off the pitch on Tyneside. Latest to resurface are Marseilles wanting Gervinho and half the Turkish Super Lig chasing Bacary Sagna, fancying their chances of usurping PSG in his affections. Presuming of course, he does not want to stay at Arsenal. Meanwhile, Santos and Park just want to be remembered in all this gossip.

Lightening the tedium of endless cross-country runs and sprints up and down the steps outside The Emirates, the squad have taken to looking for humour in their numbers for the coming season. Japester-in-Chief proved to be Abou Diaby, who took to wearing the number 24 to represent the number of minutes the most unfortunate footballer ever, is hoping to complete on the pitch in the coming campaign. And to finish the day, an entirely appropriate song for the moment. Well, with the chorus at least…

’til Tomorrow.

88 thoughts on “Who’s In, They’re Out – It’s All Rumours & When Your Numbers Up…

  1. Fangs will never be the same……Ivanovic will put an arm around him……….

    Harry’s trench coat…..

  2. The way RM do business, huh?
    Through a compliant news rag.
    Part of me would like Higuain to come – part of me would like Arsenal to say to RM, stick it. One player is not the world. There are others.

  3. the problem with that dkg is that the others you speak of in the bracket of player we are looking for cost the same if not more.. and we are struggling to come to terms with it.. ive never known a summer where we have money to burn and theres dozens of top level players available..especially strikers..weve just got to break the cycle of doing it on the cheap and so far im unconvinced we are going to…we seem to be sending out lots of feelers but baulking at the price..
    its new to us we are in virgin territory. i dont think weve even bid for higauin..

    id tell wenger to go home and put his feet up and leave the whys and whats to someone else because hes going to haggle his way through the summer and we aint gonna end up with anyone..

    if we want to break wengers transfer record we need someone else concluding the transfers dont we??

  4. Hopes cruelly dashed like a wave crashed on rocks 🙁

    That’ll teach me to pay attention to all this transfer stuff.

    Why Ivan? why? I’ve never asked for much. Even Tottenham have somehow kidnapped that poor fella who looks like he would rather have been transferred to Siberia.

    Nope, Ivan wouldn’t do that to me. Not to me. Higuain will be arriving. You wait and see. It is happening, slow and protracted is just the Arsenal way. Lull us into a false sense of anti-climax and then…bam!

    Have a lovely weekend folks. Here’s hoping Mr Murray does the job on Sunday.

  5. JJ

    Like many, when it comes to our transfers, I’m firmly in the “I’ll believe it when I see it on .com” camp.

    Having said that, after the news (re)broke on Thursday, I think we should at least wait until next week until we seriously start doubting it’s going to happen. Put it this way, a deal fro Higuain is’t going to be sorted/announced over the weekend, so as soon as Friday afternoon had passed we knew if such a deal was taking place, it would be completed early next week at best.

    And I agree, IF reports are true that the player himself is willing to come, then it really should be a case of getting it sorted, as any genuine alternative to Higuain is going to cost a lot.

    If Higuain isn’t a gooner by next week, I think we can all be justified in thinking that it isn’t going to happen.

  6. JJ, I got compared to Switzerland (!), on t’other site I like to frequent, because of my, umm, neutrality.

    I think Matt’s got it right. Just have to wait and see now. Let the nail biting commence.

  7. As I said before be are experts at prolonging a transfer. Haven’t got clue if a deal can be struct with RM, maybe if Higuin lowers his wage demand, but we might return to Chelsea to get Torres who is out of favour with Maureen and IMO would fit into our style of play perfectly.

  8. These were Gary Neville’s comments at the end of last season re Arsenal. I thought his comments about our team throughout the season were very honest. I just hope these comments aren’t right . . .

    “It’s all about the club that gets out of the blocks quickest in transfers and goes early. You’ve got to get your business done early. Don’t think it can wait until August and then pick somebody up.

    “You’ve got to go early in June and by the end of June you’ve got to have the three players you want and if anybody else comes then fair enough. I think Arsenal have got to go hard and early.”

  9. http://www.espn.co.uk/football/sport/story/219227.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

    This is heavily disguised it’s all about the desperation by the Spanish tax authorities to keep increasing any tax they can think of and the highest rate of tax is rising with a lot of add ons.420000 people have left Spain this year already

    RM seem to be exempt with their government connections but I can see many players in La Liga moving to the PL and even Germany.No Beckham law anymore and they will be taxed to the hilt on world wide assets.
    Even Sean Connery is being chased for tax avoidance of 1.8 million going back to 1998. 🙂

  10. JJ, I should really credit Limestone for that!

    I couldn’t fathom if it was intended as a compliment or not. Still, I like it, might keep it.

    I like Torres, always have, even through his struggles to regain his mojo, maybe in a minority there these days, and I always thought he would fit hand in glove at Arsenal. I can’t see us getting him at a reasonable price though, especially for a 29 year old who has lost pace and hasn’t been is sparkling form for some time. Still, as an alternative to Higuain, it wouldn’t go down too well with the increasingly disgruntled.

    Anyway, Higuain is coming. I have decreed it now. And that’s that.


  11. i wouldnt touch torres, he only fits into our style of play if hes going to sit on the bench and eat up wages.. but id take lulakukualuka or whatever the kids name is

  12. JD

    My bad feeling will come if we don’t sign Higuain and we wait to see if there is “value” to be had elsewhere, as I can only imagine our(as JJ has alluded to above)chaste approach will see us looking for a safer (cheaper), less sexy alternative.

    I suspect it’s going to be a long summer no matter what happens, as the window doesn’t actually close until August 31st!

    It would be great not to have to bother watching the deadline day count with 3/4 top signings already in the bag, but alas, that seems unlikely.
    Would love to be proved wrong, however!

  13. MGK
    have you wondered why when juve were interested we were going at it and we forced juve out of a deal and as soon as we are the only team interesting we try drag it out until deadline day..
    which theres an arguement for, multi million pound deals normally take a while in any business so im not expecting it to take 5mins, but to me it smacks of naivity???..
    quality players like higuain? we wont have the time to drag it out..

    be quick or he be gone

    like alonso was..

    like mata was..

  14. JJ

    I agree, mate. Like I said, IF he has agreed to join us, we had better pull our fingers out and give RM what they are asking for.

    Personally, given what players, some of which I haven’t even heard of(admittedly, this means not a lot, but still) are going for, I feel the price reputedly being touted for Higuain is good value.

    If things really did move along on Thursday, my suggestion is that Monday will be the next time to check developments with a level of expectation.

    After Monday, however, I will increasingly become more and more dubious. One thing is for sure, the extra protraction will ensure his signing, if it does materialise, will be seen as being all the more significant.

    Few things worth having are easy to get 😉

  15. It could be RM dragging their heels, who knows? I would be surprised and gutted if we didn’t sign him. For me at least he looks like a “bargain”. Perhaps his handlers are trying to negotiate a fistful of dollars for themselves, not unheard off these days.

  16. It seems strange that people like Graham Hunter and Sid Lowe would get on board unless they had info from good sources that the transfer was advanced. It’s not like them to engage in idle speculation.

    That said, we didn’t sign Cazorla until about three weeks after the story first broke. Hunter was on Talksport discussing it a good two weeks before we finally got him.

    One thing I noticed on Thursday is that the original “Higuaín to Arsenal” article on Marca got like a thousand comments, mostly from angry Madrid fans. They accept he wants to leave, but were upset about selling an established goalscorer off them for €27m when they’re having to pay that amount to bring in young players like Isco and Illarramendi.

    Hours later there was a new article “Madrid won’t give Higuaín away”.

    Don’t know if there’s an attempt at fan appeasement being made here. And if there is how sincere it might be and whether it’s coming directly from the club or Marca (not that there’s much difference).

    Actually I don’t know anything. Except that Higuaín has said that he wants to leave, and by all trusted accounts Arsenal want him, and he wants Arsenal too.

  17. Bojan’s a pollo sin cabeza! He was electric as a youngster, but always wayward. Over time I thought he’s work out how to time his runs and work in a team, but it never happened. I guess it’s one of those things – some players don’t have footballing nous.

  18. Just remember that we actually have no idea what’s going on. I hope Higuain comes but I’ve only heard from those lying ass newspapers who have nothing good to say about arsenal. I’m not suddenly going to believe them. So we wait. In the absence of news I would rather believe that my Arsenal is doing all they can to improve us, not that they are naive.

  19. Jon Jon,

    The world does not exist to satisfy your itches, neither should it be held responsible for getting rid of them.

    You seem to imply that:

    1) Arsenal never buy – yet the team is almost completely new from 3 years ago and the engine is hardly a year old.

    2) there is no talent in the team – yet we were 4th in the League, the squad is a whole lot stronger and we are discussing the end of the ‘deadwood’.

    3) we have not been linked to every striker available and are front runners for Higuain…..did you not hear that nobody can afford Rooney…oh sorry he’d like to stay with ManUre now.

    You can criticize Arsenal for not exploiting the change in the teams at the top, you can express your concerns at the policy of the management, but to link all your doom and gloom to predictions is naive….unless of course you are right.

    Which is unlikely.

  20. 38th!!!!!! 🙂

    Well for all that we have been complaining about these last 8 years or so, for all the heartache of lost finals and end of season collapses and players leaving for a myriad of reaons, this video for me puts it all in perspective. Well done Adi Manjunath for making this, top class mate. Top, top class

    B 🙂 🙂 B S !!

  21. and ive been more right in my predictions than any of you and your pals have over the years..

    and you can hide behind the ‘conditional’ support you and your mates have but the ‘doomers’ stance has always been the same..sell the crap keep the good and buy the better..

    your arguements changed about 8 times in 8 years from building something special and doing it the arsene way of not paying high wages and fees and waiting for youth and being the first team to do it, to, weve had no money and it was all part of some grand plan and the players we didnt need are now coming for big fees and wages..

    youve become a doomer really havent you in wanting the club to spend millions on a proven player like higauin but your still on your high horse telling people how its going to be and how wrong they are and its funny you dont realise it..

  22. I think he is coming I just think Madrid has an odd way of doing business. They bring in players even though they need to get rid of players and if reports of our bids are true than we have met their initial fee of 25M and now they are requesting more to help balance some of their spending already.

    If Chamakh is truly off and Gervinho to follow him out the door then I hope both of those players go somewhere will they will get regular playing time and show off the talent that the obviously have. I wouldn’t mind Gervinho staying but the thing us I don’t see him getting much playing time if any at all due to having Podolski, Theo, Ox, Santi not to mention Arsene even prefers Mozart and Ramsey outwide over Gervinho. I love the lads talent and direct unpredictable attacking style and wish that he would show the form he showed at Lille and for country more consistently at Arsenal.

  23. Irish

    That video has been posted a few times on here already; I might be wrong but I believe I was the first to do so.

    Great video and great memories, but surely now is the time to push on and create some winning memories over the next 8 years. I don’t want see a redux edition reminiscing our 10 years without lifting a trophy released in 2 years time.

  24. I don’t think we will screw up on GH deal. It has been all over the papers for ages, quite reputable ones like Guardian also have reported it as nearing completion. Good journos like Sid Lowe have confirmed it. Fans are getting restless of course, but that is mostly due to Ivan’s proclamation of a spending spree of sorts which has raised expectation levels sky high. Hopefully, we will thrash out a deal soon. However, if we manage to fuck this up, the reaction is going to be really extreme, ten times worse than last season.

  25. JJ

    lol, I mean, the fact that I copy & pasted from Twiiter and posted it on practically makes it mine, ai!!

  26. MGK, I think it will happen but of course the slow motion transfer is making me nervous. RM probably want more money and he is worth more. Let’s hope we get him before Chelsea or City decide to get involved.

  27. I trust we don’t lose him for the sake of a million or five (back to that monopoly money). I do believe he represents a helluva “bargain” (and yeah I know it’s obscene to use that word in such a context, in this world, but that’s the way it is for now, sadly) at between 23-30 squizillion, especially when you look at the silly money much lesser talents routinely go for.

    I don’t think we are going to lose him though, RM are horrible bastards and are probably just holding out for more. It’s like a game of poker. Arsene needs his poker face. The player seemingly wants to come to us, so that should mean the deal will be ironed out.

    What Al said earlier, Sid Lowe is not the type to attach his name to something unless it has some basis in fact. He’s usually spot on.

    So relax everyone. I guarantee he will be an Arsenal player before too long. Or my name isn’t Swiss Harry.

  28. Sounds like the perfect place to hold a major tournament then. Go Fifa.

    Dukey, I’m neutral, I sit on the fence, hence= Switzerland!

    I’m cool with it though. It’s all good.

  29. This video is great. It sums it all up very well what’s it all about Alfee. Brasil showed that neymar and company maybe ready to win. Fred played well and there are rumors he is going to Man city. I hope not. I have a great theme some for Fred when he scores Freddy and the Dreamers “Do The Freddy.” check out bobby gee defutebo, bobby gee and the gee mans blos.

  30. Jon Jon,

    Your real belief is out and we can read from your outburst that you do not like the way Arsenal is run.

    In order for there to be ‘crap’ to sell you need to have bought players in the first place, which you seem to suggest we do not. Furthermore the more you pay players the harder it is to get rid of them if they do not work out and the greater tendency there is to acquire deadwood.

    It is true that some of the biggest investments we have made are some of the hardest to ‘get rid of’ – Arshavin and Chamakh. Fortunately Arsenal loses nothing like the teams above us in the league who squander squillions…… the 150k plus per player on the bench of City and the 250k p/w for ‘surplus to requirements, but I am staying anyway’, Rooney at ManUre etc etc.

    It is ironic? painful? joyous? that, at a time when we are getting rid of the deadwood from the last four years, we are breaking all records to get players in for the next four year cycle.

    I personally am glad of it as long as we are astute. I also hope that Arsenal have done their sums. Some of these new players will be great, others will fail and some of those failures will fill our books with their burden. Years after they are useful.

    ………and at that time we will have to put up with people like you telling us that Arsenal should have spent more now and less on junk……(to have your ability to pick would be a marvel)

    Unless, of course, we win things and then even bankruptcy is laudable…

  31. Heh. Well it was meant in a light-hearted way. And there’s a lot worse things to be called, as Bob can attest to.

  32. That’s true Harry. It’s not so easy to be neutral when fellow ‘fans’ are happy to abuse other longstanding Arsenal men.

    Still, all friends here, aren’t we?

  33. Think it is pretty clear that the club built up expectations we would be a big player this summer .
    So far it hasn’t materialized. Doesn’t mean it wont, but it is fair enough for supporters to question the bona fides of our “strengthening strategy”, when so far all we have secured is another no name from France.
    Other than reducing the wages bill, we seem incapable of selling at a reasonable price. I think Arshavin has been completely mismanaged over the past couple of years, and so he leaves on a free. Not saying he was overpaid, but he was completely under played.

  34. Choppy seas indeed, peaks and troughs, each day a surprise as the fan lurch one position to the next. Higuain will happen, just need to stop all the hyperbolic nonsense and be patient. The club is on their time table or perhaps the sellers time table, but they are certainly not on ours.

    Arsenal officially announced Cazorla 7 August 2012, note that is a month further along than we are right now. In an ideal world perhaps we should have all business wrapped up in a timely fashion to suit the fans, but alas that world is not a real one.

  35. Well said MA.

    I hope so Bob. I don’t miss the constant tension and name calling, being Swiss it’s not in my nature.

    I mean I think you all talk shit most of the time, but I can live with that 😉

  36. I see they are trying to link us to Mbia of QPR now, must be fun to be a journo. I mean sitting around all day and getting paid to make up complete bollocks to get people to buy their rag.

  37. cazorla was available on the cheap and we still dragged that deal out..

    we dragged the first deal out for him which is why he ended up at malaga in the first place..we had a second go at him by luck but when he was available for 20mil we lost out didnt we???

    and real madrid aint in the shit like malaga are, they dont need the cash to pay anyone off they need the cash for future signings they aint gonna accept 50p when theyve got ronaldos contract to sort and cavani or bale to go after..

  38. now now JJ – I do not know about the finances of Real Madrid

    We know they are a club who owe hundreds of millions of £ – about £00 million last time anyone counted

    We know they are a club who over the years have received and relied on funding from the Spanish state, directly and indirectly. And we know that the Spanish state is broke, as are the Spanish banks.

  39. It’s my right as football fan to talk shit, Harry.

    Fans do it all the time. In the pub, at the ground, on a blog. No difference.

    Largely one eyed, self centred, opinionated, ephemeral and uninformed.

    I can only really speak for myself, obviously

  40. All true Bob. Football fans have been talking shit as long as politicians have been corrupt. In this Sky Sports age, and with social media and the like, there’s just more of it about.

    Bloody hell it’s hot (he says, stating the bleeding obvious)

    Barbecue time soon. And beverages. Oh yes.


  41. MA can’t you find a gravatar your happy with?
    SH!!! Can the real HF stand up please.
    Picky maybe, but it’s like waiting outside a pub, for a beer delivery.

  42. @Michael

    Change is as good as a holiday or so I have heard, thus my Grav moves with the wind

  43. So with Liam Brady announcing he is departing his role by May 2014, anyone else think Arsenal should make the move for Bergkamp to assume the head of youth development?

  44. Miami Arsenal (MA)
    July 6, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    The distinct possibility of this has been widely reported, as early as January. I

  45. I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who thought this wasn’t a fantastic idea; although, whether Bergkamp, who is currently Assistant Manager at Ajax, would be prepared to make what essentially is a backward step, remains to be seen.

  46. @MGK

    It may be a step down, I’m not sure. I guess ultimately it depends on where he see’s himself, as a creative force for developing players or the second fiddle at Ajax 🙂

  47. Bob

    Hear, hear on the talking shit front. I love a good debate/attempting to disprove the validity of someone’s argument when they present certain facts and stats as if they are undeniable/empirical truths/ sing facts and stats to further their own agenda etc. But when someone just want to shoot the breeze, chew the fat, and ultimately chat shit, like JJ (no offence)I don’t see what the big problem is.

    Opinions and general observations are what they are.

    Chinchin, cheers, salute, Şerefe, Salud

  48. MGK..no offence taken

    of course you dont see a problem.. you agreed with me.. 🙂

    yeah sanago played earlier against aberwhatever and he bagged a another goal..
    looking good for the golden boot..

  49. We must be careful, MGK. That way sanity lies and football fans are certainly not sane.

    JJ for instance. Tells it ki

    Like he sees it. Makes sense to him and he is, actually, often correct. Not that it matters!

  50. Sanogo hasn’t really blown me away watching him live but he’s got that perfect knack for actually scoring goals. Obviously the big boys in the PL will give him a completely different challenge but if he can develop then we might have a pretty smart signing.

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