Ceching Out & Transfer Doodles

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It’s a quiet time of year for Arsenal. The transfer window occupies a lot of column inches in the lead up to a whole lotta nothing; capturing the mood perfectly are reports that Arsenal are now talking to Lyon about Alexandre Lacazette, even though we aren’t prepared to anywhere near their €50m valuation. Now that’s disclosed does it mean the fee will no longer be undisclosed?

I’ll pause for a moment and consider that. We’re talking to a club who we know probably won’t shift much over the price of a striker who they don’t have to sell. Sounds like a waste of everyone’s time or an extraordinarily short conversation:

“Can we reach a deal?”
“Of course. €50m.”
“We were thinking more of €35m.”
“Let me think about that. Erm. No. €50m.”
“€35.5m? Hello? Hello? Hello?”

It fits the narrative of generating interest in the club and in all honesty, the transfer window would be as dull as dishwater without it. A genuine return to the 1970s when the back pages were covered in cricket and tennis stories, with all but the major football stories afforded anything more than a box in the bottom of the page. Usually beside the Australian football results. That’s the proper football not Aussie Rules.

Anyway, there’s a whole lot of nothin’ going on as far as the genuine news is concerned. Petr Cech announced his retirement from international football. At 34, he wants to extend his club career and genuinely is of an age where it makes sense, as opposed to someone like Paul Scholes and Jamie Carragher who both retired at ridiculously early ages.

Mind you, it was England so you could quite rightly argue that they never played football at international level anyway. Turned up on the pitch, yes, but never played. That’s harsh on Scholes, of course.

Anyway, Cech didn’t so much blow his own trumpet as play the whole brass section:

When I was a kid, my ultimate dream was to play for the national team at least once. Having done it so many times makes me really proud.

You look back at the Czech and Czechoslovakian history and you see so many great names and players. I managed to play more games than them, which shows the consistency and quality of my game.

When you’ve won the trophies he has, why not? A quick glance shows he’s won all the English game has to offer and the European Super Cup would complete the club set. Sorry, Petr, it’s not going to happen unless Arsenal drop into the Europa League.

Cech underlined that it was a football decision:

I’ve had so many club games to play year-by-year too, and I think I’ve reached the point where I believe that if I want to continue doing things to 100 per cent every day, like I’ve always done, then I will probably need more time to rest and recover.

This is a purely football-based decision. If I want to prolong my career and play at the highest level for as long as I can, then I will probably need to find the balance so that I can continue to do so.

Anything which benefits Arsenal is fine by me.

With Christophe Lollichon set to leave Chelsea, there’s speculation that he might move to Arsenal. Gerry Peyton has long faced criticism as the Polish goalkeeping pair of Szczesny and Fabianski displayed the same frailties in their handling. It begged questions about what was happening behind the scenes.

Whether Cech has enough influence to make the change is another matter. Arsène’s loyalty to his staff is beyond question; whether it’s right or a weakness in some circumstances is another matter. It might be facilitated by a switch in duties to accommodate an extra coach but if Cech believes in the guy, there must be something there.

Anyway, that’s chatter for another day.

’til Tomorrow.

 

53 thoughts on “Ceching Out & Transfer Doodles

  1. Christopher Lollipop is a goalkeeper coach right? He spent a lot of time coaching Petr Cech right? Petra Cech likes be coached by Christopher Lollipop right? Arsenal have a goalkeeper coach called Gerry Payton right? Our manager is loyal to Gerry Payton right? Why not have two goalkeeper coaches? Problem solved righ

  2. Morning,

    Great news that Cech is looking to extend his club career as long as possible. Top quality goalkeepers are able to extend their careers at the highest level late into their 30s and Cech is still generally at his peak. He is susceptible to being beaten down low into the corners and that may be the first sign of age creeping in. I must admit that I never looked at the goals he conceded at Chelsea, so I don’t know if that has always been a factor of his game. What the defence in front of him will have to work harder at is closing down those low shots from distance, as it is likely that more opposition players will pick up on that weakness.

    The press continues to play out the various scenarios in Arsenal’s alleged chase for a striker, they will pay the fee, they won’t pay the fee. One thing that I would think is clear is that the selling clubs have the upper hand, especially as they know that Premier League clubs are flush with money following the new TV deal. I heard somewhere that the first instalment was paid on 1st July. We may be able to tweak prices around the edges, but I’d be surprised if there is much chance of getting the top targets at a significant mark down to the prices quoted.

  3. @Gustavo

    It does. Funny how these transfers work, first he is all set for Monaco, then we are interested so he changes and ultimately ends up at Monaco.

  4. Nicely written, Yogi, and made me think about what is meant by ‘rumours’ or ‘news’ and of course the stumbling block is that people like Orsey have changed English so that any given word can have a myriad of meanings.

    News: noteworthy information about a recent event; or stuff previously unknown. Hmm.

    Rumour: current information about a recent event with doubtful veracity.

    It sometimes seems as if each fluidly morphs into the other.

    [OK, to quell the rumours, they are my own definitions, which will probably come as news to some!] 😀

  5. Rumours, C, just rumours. 🙂

    Sidibe’s agent could have leaked bollocks about Arsenal’s so-called interest just to get a better deal with Monaco. A lot of that stuff goes on.

    And good morning to you. :=_

  6. Of course Arsene is loyal to his staff. He can’t sack anyone for under performing – what sort of message would that send out to his boss? 😉

    Scouting seems to be a funny old game these days too. We must have a large team of people and ultimately what they do is ‘find’ exactly the same players that half the people on any particular blog (or most of them in the case of ACLF) could and have been talking about for several years. And then of course we almost never sign the player anyway. Money. For. Old. Rope. (Ivan knows all about that too).

    One situation where I’m sure that money will not be a problem is Arsene’s next contract. England sniffing around and offering him £2.50 and all the mint humbugs he can eat should be quite enough to earn him a handsome pay rise come the autumn.

  7. Why waste time and money on scouts? Just wait and see who the media link with us and then bung in an offer. Job done right?

    Henry, I couldn’t turn any further to the right without meeting myself on the way back.

    Try leaving a space between the last letter of the word and the emoticon. Oh, didn’t you give similar advice to someone recently? :D. That’s the way to do it, right?

  8. @C infuriating really, because it seems as though Arsenal is at the wrong end of this situation all too often. Maybe its because I’m an Arsenal fan and only really follow Arsenal news closely, but it does seem like we are the leverage that is used to boost a current contract or to leverage a move elsewhere.

  9. Oh and C thanks for your clarifications re: Ramsey, and no I don’t think your anti-Ramsey, you’ve made your stance pretty clear and its just that you’re a bit more skeptical of his place in the starting 11 than I am, which I totally get. If we all agreed with each other how boring would that be? Cheers mate 🙂

  10. Henry, me cruel? “typing skills” would tend to suggest you have more than one. Since that one would be to occasionaly hit the right key, are their any others? 😀

  11. @Henry

    Morning to you as well.

    Yea but I think there was quite a lot in it to be honest because it was Lille as well who commented on it. From what I read the original deal was Monaco would pay player + cash so Arsenal must have put in a deceny offer to hold that up.

  12. What does this means for our other keepers, cos i knw none of em wants to play second fiddle to Cech.

  13. @Gustavo

    I do think that we are all too often the leverage but I also tend to think that Arsenal made an inquiry and said something like, “We are intetested in Player X and are willing to pay X amount” which then allows the selling club to put it out there. Now I do wonder in this situation if we progressed past that because the player was on his way and then suddenly wasn’t because of Arsenal. Factor in the unknown of Debuchy and Gibbs and it makes sense.

  14. @Gustavo

    Yea it would be quite a boring place to be huh.

    If Ramsey got back to playing simple and disciplined and remember that Arsenal and Wales are different and he has different roles for both (chief creator and 2nd best player for Wales, box-to-box and ‘runner’ for Arsenal) than I think we will see the best of him at Arsenal again.

    Cheers!

  15. Hi Orsey,

    You shoulda, coulda been a lawyer – yuh got me there pardner, other skills? — I have none! 😀

  16. C, baby,

    This Iwobi thing was simply me passing on some info that I had read. You countered with something contradictory his coach had also said, and so on…..
    I was never asked what my opinion was on whether or not he should go to the Olympics.

    In fact, I agree with a comment Jonny made that he would get great experience playing in the Olympics, and have a wonderful pleasure playing for his country.
    From a practical point of view, it seems Arsenal will possibly have some problems with player availability at the beginning of the season, and will need Iwobi – and that can only be good for his career.

    Life is fill of choices – I wish I was a tremendously talented/well paid player with a gorgeous WAG – but I am not. 😀

  17. And I have the bruises on my arm to prove it, Orsey. 🙂

    [She is lovely tho — in case she is reading this – clarity is important!] 😀

  18. The transfer season is its own graded league now. It looks exactly like the NFL where the super winners are decided on that basis prior to a hall being placed on the gridiron. Whomever spends the most money shall always be labelled the winner.

    As for Iwobe, it makes sense to keep him if indeed he is being afforded an opportunity to earn a rotational squad place. The Olympics will not define his career, the seasons he plays professional football will.

  19. @Henry

    I know, I was just having some fun, sometimes I’ll poke the bear.

    I don’t think anyone would think that its wouldn’t be good for him to go to the Olympics.

    I think we all wish we could, but since we can’t we are on ACLF talking about futbol and what if’s

  20. Great post Yogi

    Our history of this decade suggests that you can’t skimp when it comes to buying strikers. We have not had much luck with our value oriented approach. We clearly put the value approach on hold when we bid for Xhaka so I think we need to do the same with a striker. Spending a lot of money is no guarantee of success but it does not hurt and the more you spend the more likely you are to win. That is indisputable. Besides what is the point of having lots of money if you don’t want to spend it?

  21. The whole point of the transfer season is to give your team it’s best possible chance to win the following season and I don’t think anyone could argue against the idea that spending more money to strengthen the squad improves the odds that you will win big trophies.

  22. I understand the distaste with the big spending clubs and spending just for its own sake. However if you have a plan and an objective then it’s not spending for its own sake. Our biggest problem last season was the fact that we have one of the least effective attacking Arsenal teams in this century and so far we have done nothing to improve that. It’s costs lots and lots of money to buy players who can score.

  23. Obviously not good enough for the bench at Arsenal even though we are reportedly looking for a new central defender.

    A season long loan at a Championship club is the best he could hope for if he wants regular first team football.

  24. @Orson

    Yea presently but he is a DM which is interesting heading to Newcastle since they have Colback and Tiote. Maybe they will use him as a ball playing CB.

  25. @Bill,
    Quite right. Unless we accept that this is presently an age when, unfortunately, class means paying over the odds in order to obtain it, we are going to be left behind by our rivals.
    Although it IS distasteful and not the Arsenal way, the obscene escalation in players’ wages and transfer fees can no longer be ignored.

  26. The reports of Juve wanting Sanchez apparently are true based on what reports say. Juve apparently put out a statement saying:

    “Arsenal told us Alexis Sanchez is not on the market.

    “Sanchez is a great player, but Arsenal told us he is not on the market.

    “We had asked for the player’s price-tag and Arsenal valued him at €40m, a sum that we considered reasonable.

    “However, once we replied to their demand, the English club let us know that he was not for sale.”

    Read more: http://goonertalk.com/2016/07/09/juventus-director-arsenal-have-told-us-alexis-is-not-for-sale/#ixzz4DvgU0b4d

    That is a low valuation of Sanchez but glad Arsenal told them to fuck off!

  27. Our managers valuation of players either buying price or selling price is consistently on the low side.

    That said why, if the player was not for sale, would the club even put a price on him?

    Perhaps the message is, Sanchez is not for sale……for less than £40 million. Let’s face it Silent Stan would sell his own grandmother for that kind of money.

  28. That is what I was thinking too. 40m though for Sanchez isn’t anything at all especially when you consider that Southampton just got 35m for Mane and we bought Xhaka for around 35m.

    Sanchez isn’t for sale but with that said, its a warning that clubs are willing to pay for his services and they are circling so making a push and even winning the PL next season is vital moving forward.

  29. We are truly ludicrous……name your price for Sanchez ? Sure, your entire defence. Buy a bloody striker who isn’t a failed postman or a marketing ploy. Perhaps even well in advance of the season so he is up to speed. Amateur hour as per usual. Clearly nothing changes……iwobi is like a new signing…..etc sonogo can make a career…..we tried to buy vardy….how humiliating that sounds. Pathetic, it is poor governance for one man to wield such power over a company of arsenal’s size. Being successful would increase the value of the company. Does Stan know what he’s doing or is he just playing with his wife’s money? How are his American teams doing…….oh……be afraid the trajectory is down not up

  30. It is a puzzle that we seem so out of tune with the market in certain areas of the transfer market. This seems especially true when it comes to attacking players. We seem to baulk at the price quoted for CFs and state too low a price for our own players. Not sure why we even quoted a price for Sanchez but, given the market place, I’m amazed if you could a decent replacement for less than £50m. We seem comfortable forking out the cash for those that provide a supporting role, but don’t see the value in strikers. Given that Wenger has had three strikers at Arsenal who have been the main goal scorer in the team when they have led the line, it surprises me that he doesn’t want to bring in another.

  31. I can’t imagine we would sell Sanchez.

    The player we should sell is Ramsey. He is a good player but over rated by the rest of the world and he does not fit in our system. He is best in a system that is faster paced and more open and less organized with a lot more up and down the pitch. He has a fantastic engine and uses that to his advantage when he can run into open spaces. In our system almost everything happens slowly in front of an organized defense and there is no open space to run into and he can’t use his engine when the ball spends 72% of the time pinging around our midfield. If we are going to ask him to be disciplined and maintain his midfield position then it neutralizes the things that make him a difference making player. If that is the role we envision for Ramsey then we can get literally dozens and dozens of players who cost a lot less and can probably do just as well as Ramsey such as Elneny. We can buy about 7-8 Elneny’s for the amount that Ramsey is worth. Why not sell Ramsey and buy a 2nd or a 3rd Elneny and use the left over $45M for a striker?

  32. If the job description of the “box to box” player is to maintain discipline and position and maintain possession and there is no requirement for end product then Iwobe and Elneny could handle that very well and we would not need to buy anyone.

    Orson.

    Messi is probably a bit of a stretch but perhaps we could overwhelm Napoli with an offer and get Higuain.

  33. I probably would have taken Larsson and Higuain/Lacazette. If Walcott is no longer regarded as striker material (for me he never has been striker material) then we are 2 strikers short with Welbz out injured.

  34. Wavey.

    I would not mind selling Walcott. The problem is that with welbeck out the only players we have on the squad who are scorers are Giroud Sanchez and Walcott. Selling Walcott leaves us with only 2. The rest of the squad all have more of a provider mentality. Walcott might not be a great option but if Giroud loses form or gets hurt and we sell Theo the next man in line would be Yaya and even Theo is better then that.

  35. Bill

    I’m not talking about selling Walcott, just want to stop including him as a striker. If Wenger has come round to that way of thinking we were already a striker short. Now Welbz is out its two. Walcott as a winger who can swap around is fine, but Wenger can’t really count him amongst our striker list anymore. I am concerned that we end up with Akpom and Yaya as striker options. Akpom isn’t ready and Yaya will never be ready.

  36. Back up striker has not really been a high priority squad spot since we got Chamakh. The last good back up was Eduardo. 3 years ago we started the season with Yaya and nik B. 2 years ago we started the season with only Yaya available. We bought welbeck after Giroud was hurt.

  37. @Wavey,
    I am saddened by this constant dismissal of Sanogo.
    Here is a 23year old professional footballer plying his trade as best he can. Arsenal maintain him on the club’s payroll and he is in training.
    Despite this, so many supporters are only too ready to cast him adrift as a no-hoper, much too early in his career.
    In some ways this treatment reminds me of the disgraceful way Denilson was reviled by the so-called faithful at the Emirates.
    Give Sanogo a chance. He may not make it but while he wears the shirt he is entitled to 100% support from all of us.

  38. I understand where you are coming from but we have to be realistic Nicky. For me, Wavey and many Gooners the evidence is against him. We can wish him well while realising that his and our best interests are that he plays elsewhere at a more appropriate level for his abilities. If the club really are convinced that he may one day come good we could always insert a buy-back clause into any sale.

    It’s all very well saying that we should support him simply because he wears the shirt but surely the best interests of the club as a whole come before the interests of one individual (and I’m sure that his footballing future would be better served playing regularly elsewhere, but if it’s just about the money that maybe a different story to which I’d be far less sympathetic).

  39. Wearing an Arsenal shirt may well mean a player is deserving of the fans support, but it does not him beyond the criticism of those same fans.

    Even our saintly manager receives justified criticism on occasions.

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