All Aboard The Transfer Express: Arsène On A Bender, Sanchez & Debuchy On Hold


Before the frivolities, a moment’s silence to pay respects to the late Alfredo di Stefano.

So this it, the first sense that there is a resumption of club football around the corner. Pre-season training began for some yesterday, others drift into Colney over the coming month, ready to launch a trophy challenge on five fronts. Yes, five; when Arsenal are involved, the Community Shield counts as a trophy. How many – if any – will be successful, well, that’s the rollercoaster ride we embark upon in six weeks time. Unlike the book or dvd where you flick through to the end, we don’t know how it will turn out, just that it will sear into your emotional well-being. Good or bad, that is up to the fates to decide.

Arsenal can help themselves, of course. You can’t be held a hostage to fortune over the course of a season and reading between the lines, they seem to be doing their utmost not to be pulled into Lady Luck’s hypnotic gaze. Barcelona said something and nothing yesterday but appeared to confirm that Alexis Sánchez is moving anywhere but Liverpool, observing at their press conference, “Negotiations are taking place behind closed doors. We don’t want to talk about these things openly.” In transfer talk, it’s the equivalent of 2+2=614.

Dissecting that comment is interesting. Or more interesting than ignoring it. Could it be that they don’t want to talk about such things openly for tax avoidance reasons? Might it be that they don’t want the world to know how much the Suarez deal will cost them in light of the economic conditions in Spain, fearful of a backlash from the nation over a fee deemed to be obscene? Could it be that the Chilean is going to Juventus for more money than Arsenal are willing to pay and they don’t want Liverpool to know lest they up the asking price? Who knows. Other questions arise from it, most notably, “Have aliens landed and taken control of Barcelona because frankly that’s more likely than the Catalans keeping quiet over a transfer?”

When Andoni Zubizaretta observes that “Negotiations held privately are better. I’m happier that way. The rest is speculation“, you know that this time, Mars Attacks were successful. A messy deal revolving Barcelona is somewhat apposite today given di Stefano’s own history.

Meanwhile the media report that Arsène remains in Brazil, preparing for the pundit’s role in the final quartet of matches in the World Cup, ready to drop everything and return to Blighty at a moments notice should any transfer require his input. Which is all of them. A regular criticism of Wenger is that he is too much of a control freak, that he does not let the coaching staff get on and coach. That can’t be levelled at him now; he’s certainly left the conditioning aspect of the pre-season training to others. At the same time, Wenger has been accused in the past of dithering over deals so staying well out of it seems to saté that desire to neuter his influence over the monetary side of the club.

I am sure that this extended stay in South America will draw ire to the surface in some; he can’t win in that respect. If it backfires, if Sánchez for example, signs for Juve or whomever, because their manager met him in person whilst he sat on the Copacabana, then I’m afraid his position is indefensible. If he signs for Arsenal, then fair play to him for resting ahead of the coming campaign. Whatever the case, a rush to judgement now is a moment of haste and frankly there are other, more productive things to get het up about.

Over halfway through the post and I haven’t even mentioned that the only reason Arsenal want to sign Lars Bender is to shift the Bendtner shirts that are currently wedging the warehouse door open. There is no truth in the rumour that the club has directed the work experience lad to bring his red felt tips in to work and start colouring over the superfluous letters. None at all. With the Spanish media reporting Tony Kroos has agreed a deal at the Bernabeu, no doubt the stories about Sami Khedira will pick up pace as well. This one could run and run which is what you want it to do, given it is about midfielders. The warning signs will be there if even the transfer tattle doesn’t have legs. If you feel that contemptuous, the familiarity of the situation brings it about. Transfer window, big money waiting to be spent, German Real Madrid midfielder…stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Elsewhere, a question emerges: when is a transfer not a transfer? When it’s a done deal in the papers. Take Mathieu Debuchy. And someone wants to take him outside and give him…a first class ticket to north London. The player announced to French TV he was joining Arsenal at the weekend, the fee dropped about £3m in the blink of an eye and everyone was happy. All except Carl Jenkinson probably, who was no doubt hoping to be given a shot at the right back slot. However, this morning, as Puma ready themselves for the kit launch, it seems unlikely that anyone much will be there to celebrate it. Debuchy won’t, this morning sees a slew of reports that The Barcodes want Campbell or Jenkinson on loan to seal the deal. How true, who knows? The latter seems unlikely as it would leave us bereft of cover on the right; the former? Pffft, if Arsène is still in Brazil, who knows. Where’s that plane ticket…

’til Tomorrow.

186 thoughts on “All Aboard The Transfer Express: Arsène On A Bender, Sanchez & Debuchy On Hold

  1. Think I agree wit those who wanna keep sanogo. Nobody else brings what Oliver does but yaya and who better than Oliver to learn from.
    Potential beast I reckon….and hope.

  2. Like I said all tournament long, I would have started William over Hulk!

    If Hulk doesn’t start tracking back then Lahm and Muller are going to get great joy running 2 on 1 against Marcelo all match long.

  3. Can’t see the game as I am at work but are Brasil playing the same way as they did against Colombia? clutching, late tackles. shin and ankle kicking?

  4. Fuck me!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hulk gives the ball away A FUCKING GAIN AND THEN DOESNT TRACK BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Congratulations to Klose.

  5. Brasil do not know where anyone is!

    Nobody is tracking anyone!

    Klose becomes the all time record goalscorer in the World cup

  6. Fucking Dante and Luiz have been shit in defending! Gustavo is trying to cover Schweinsteiger, Khederia, Klose and Muller with NO FUCKING HELP!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’m turning the game off now.

  7. I mean they are overloading Marcelo’s side.

    Fernandinho gives the ball directly to Kroos and match is MOTHERFUCKING OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    FUCK THIS!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Wow. What the heck is Brazil doing?

    I had them beating Germany in my prediction, but this is amateur hour.

  9. I can’t deal with this shit!!!!!! Another mauling for my team!!!!!!! Chavs, Shitty, Liverpool, Everton, and fucking Germany!

  10. The only good thing that has come out of this for me is that Ozil got an assist.

    Mates I’m going home to drink you all have a good night.

  11. 5 up after 29 minutes… Brazil are waving the white flag and referee wishes he could stop the game and play the avoid slaughter rule.

  12. Saw this coming, soon as i saw Dante and Luiz beside each other

    Tell you what….If we honest have a chance with Sami i say bid bid bid!!

  13. MA

    I wanted 10! But i’m looking at the fans and they look like they want to die. The players have been shocking without their defender. But one defender can’t make up your defence.

  14. This is really reply sad, like I really do feel. This is a slaughter, I’m mean I would ha e started Alves atleast he would have been up for the fight.

    There will be massive riots in the streets tonight.

    Ill go down fighting like I hope Brasil does, we can still come back. Bring in Willam for the disgraceful Hulk, Fuck it bring on SOMEBODY ANYBODY FOR DANTE! Oscar or Fred hmmmmmmmmm fuck it take the card or play with 10 men and take off both.

  15. @Moe

    One defender can when he is the leader and organizer and makes up for all the mistakes of the other. Gustavo is trying to cover for the whole back 4.

    Silva is as key to the back 4 as Mert is for Arsenal.

  16. C

    I really do feel for them though, Silva’s presence has a much bigger influence on Brasil than i would have thought. I cannot believe a team can capitulate like that.

    I have no idea why players like Hulk and Fred get in the team though. Those are the two i would take out.

  17. I’m sad for the Brazilian people. For their team to be humiliated like this at home as hosts is really going to hurt the entire country. They feel like futbol is part of their national identity, their basic sense of themselves, and a source of pride. Hopefully the reaction will be reflective rather than angry. Even I. The stadium for a while there was singing. But as the half was ending with continuing futility, the boos started.

    These players will also live in infamy. All except Neymar basically.

    I honestly hope Brazil score two or three to make this more respectable. Unlikely though.

  18. The only good thing about this is that Ozil has played well and him and Mert will win the World Cup and be boosted for Arsenal! O and they might bring Khederia back with them!

  19. @Moe

    He’s massive because Silva and Gustavo allow Luiz to be a decent defender and the FB’s to bomb forward because they cover for them. Dante is shit, if Chavs got 100M for Luiz then we should het 120M for Verm!

    It really is depressing, I don’t understand why William hasn’t started for Hulk or Bernard as I have said all tournament and even before it started!!!!! Oscar has gone to shit, Paulinhi was terrible and I HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA WHY HE WRMT WITH MAICON OVET ALVES!!!!!

    Big Phil will either be fired or quit and will NEVER be let back in Brasil, mark my words because he will FOREVER be the manager that got it wrong with this squad and his selections. I mean it came down to Kaka or Hernanes and he chose Hernanes, Kaka would have helped because no matter how he plays for club, he produces for country.

  20. C

    With Hulk off maybe that’s why they are playing better. Germany haven’t seen the ball much, all Brasil.

  21. Thanks mate, why no William he was good for Brasil!

    I have said for the past couple of years that Hulk isn’t good enough to wear the shirt and yet again he proves he right in yet another tournament and match!

  22. What a game!

    Watching SBS in Australia and the commentator, Martin Tyler just said he spoke with Arsene before tonight’s game and he said we were close to signing Sanchez but had not quite done so yet.

  23. Anybody that blames Cesar for this is mad, yea he probably should have done a bit better on Klose’s tap in but his back 4 have completely let him down.

  24. What a disappointing game from brazil. Complete shambolic defending, no passion or fight pretty much after the first goal
    Feel very sad for the host nation having to live with this for a long time
    Poor finish for Ozzie

  25. There is going to be a MASSIVE clear out of this squad and of the players that will be kept I can honestly only see: Gustavo, Silva, Neymar, Bernard, Victor(GK) and possibly Fernandinho, William, Luiz and Oscar. Don’t be surprised if we see the return of Ganso(who has been turning in performances for club), Pato and a couple others!

    Brazilians would rather lose attacking playing Jugo Bonita then playing like Europeans and getting destroyed like this.

  26. @c

    True. Hulk has had a terrible World Cup, both he and Fred. The latter was tremendous at the confederations cup but insipid here.

  27. Nicely written Limestone. I totally agree. Now lets get on and sign all those players that will take us to the Premiership Championship.

  28. I remember this quote:

    Wenger “Ozil is not a goalscorer, he has a mental block in front of the goal.”

    But i think you can get past that, he just needs to dare.

  29. I remember that goal against napoli. Wow.
    Weird how he took that so confidently but most of the time he doubts himself.

  30. C,

    I feel your pain… was hard enough when they stuffed 4 past us…….

    ….gene hackman got his line up woefully wrong.

  31. Arsène Wenger: “Alexis Sánchez transfer is almost done. We expect to complete the signing on Wednesday.”

    Almost done lads…..

  32. @Dukey

    It was devastating as a fan to watch your team get absolutely played off the park and you back 4 be COMPLETELY undressed. I watched Gustavo and I don’t care what anybody says, the lad tried to cover 4 different positions plus his own and he couldn’t do it.

  33. C, we are with you mate… although I was wanting a Germany win, we have all felt the pain of our back four being undressed: Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City away, not to mention the 8:2 which will not be easily forgotten!!

    You are right, there needs to be repercussions from this for the Brazil team. The attitude was way out. There are stories about hair stylists visiting the team at training this week – fine when you win, but when you lose, you have to ask whether their minds were properly on the job.

    The defence was shambolic and that is largely down to mental application. Luiz just plays wherever he feels like, Marcelo spent most of the game in attack, it took me 20 minutes to realise Maicon was playing he was so absent, Fernandinho and Gustavo were overwhelmed and not up to it. Sorry, I know you like Gustavo but he too was poor and frankly, I think a bit of a thug. Hulk played ok against Chile, but apart from that I have not seen him play a good game for club or country and I just don’t get it. Oscar was absent, likewise Fred, but where this game was won and lost was midfield and once Brazil lost that battle, their defence was shown for what it is – undisciplined and more interested in getting forward (and perhaps their hairstyles) than defending. Silva’s absence was no doubt felt but I am not sure it would have made much difference.

    Khedira was immense and for anyone wondering whether he is worth Arsenal buying him, this game should convince. He, Shweinsteiger and Kroos pressed high and choked Brazil into coughing the ball up. Plus he is so strong in possession and is very effective in the final third. He would be fantastic in the EPL and I think awesome in tandem with Ramsey. He has long been my preference as an Arteta replacement.

  34. I love Ozil and think he had a good year overall for Arsenal, perhaps the bayern game excepted. But something to me does not seem right with him and the team. He almost looks alienated to me by the Bayern midfielders – like they don’t quite trust him – and he doesn’t quite have the bite in his personality to impose himself into the game enough. He did a lot of arm shrugs – like, why didn’t you pass to me and I did actually feel like Kroos and Shweinsteiger in particular do often ignore him. Not sure if I am being conspiratorial but that is how it looks for me For the most part he is bullied away from taking set pieces by Kroos, his body language doesn’t look great and despite him being pretty efficient when he had the ball keeping it well and with a couple of lovely weighted balls, he doesn’t look confident to me. It showed with his free kick and his one on one late in the game which probably would have left the game 8:0 had he scored.

    I really hope he plays in the final and contributes in a major way but with Shurrle’s performance, media pressure will mount on his place. I really do not think he has played badly, but it looks like he is unconvinced in his own place in this team.

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