Ospina: Keeper Going Cheap & Graham: Transfer Scapegoat

A day of destiny. For all those eligible to vote in the British General Election today, please make sure that you do so. I’ve never understood anyone not voting in the election; it’s a spurious reason to claim that “the parties are all the same”. It really means you can’t be arsed and that is not acceptable.

There’s clear daylight between the two parties and the vote is for what Britain you want; the one for the rich or the one for everyone. Time to stand up and be counted.

Onto all things Arsenal and Dave Ospina is set to leave for a paltry £3m next week. So long and thanks for all the fish but most of all, thanks for ruining John Terry’s last game for Chelsea.

If the fee is that low, is this a good deal for Arsenal? He isn’t leaving on a free next summer so there’s no urgency there. I know we only paid about £3.5m for him in the first place but this is the Colombian national goalkeeper and he has played well this season. It also makes you wonder what we’ll receive for the likes of Debuchy and Jenkinson, and others we need to shift this summer.

Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud are the big earners, you would think. The former won’t earn as much as he might a couple of years ago; now, we’d be lucky to get £25m for him in my view, while we know the Frenchman’s value is about £20-22m.

Whether both leave depends a lot on Alexis’ future. Giroud will stay if the Chilean goes, I think that’s a given. Walcott though, is someone who must move to reignite his career and probably will now Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is signing a new deal.

Bang for the Sponsor’s Buck

According to reports in this morning’s Heil, Emirates Airlines are set to end their sponsorship of Arsenal’s shirts. Claims they are disillusioned with football must be taken with a pinch of salt; their name is plastered across Real Madrid’s shirts and if anyone is giving them value for their sponsorship buck, it’s the Spaniards.

Whether Arsenal are is another matter. More likely, Emirates see the way Premier League deals are going and don’t think we’re worth the same or close to Chelsea’s £40m deal. They have a point if we are to become residents in the Europa League. It’s the sort of issue where Stan will sit up and take notice of the performances on the pitch.

A bonus for the club will be the additional sponsorship revenues to be gained from shirt sleeve sponsors. As I understand it, the current Emirates deal precludes any other logos on the shirt beyond club, league and manufacturer. More money for the manager to spend or just making up lost ground?

Transfers are a murky business. Liverpool’s apology is unlikely to save them from a Premier League punishment after they admitted tapping up Virgil Van Dijk. It’s a widely known practice and I don’t believe any club isn’t involved in the practice, despite any protestations to the contrary.

The minute they talk (via agents) to the player’s representatives, the wheels are in motion. Few are blatant about the issue as Liverpool have been, and that triggered Southampton’s complaint to Premier League HQ.

However, trailing a deal through the media, trying to weaken the selling club’s resolve by presenting it as a fait accompli, is a hugely risky business. Especially when they hold all the cards. It doesn’t stop a deal from happening, but for most clubs it makes the price higher.

It Caused a Slump in Brown Envelope Production

The timing could hardly be more apposite. Alan Smith spoke in the Mirror about George Graham’s dismissal:

“There were whispers, we had spoken about it in the dressing room, saying, ‘Have you heard this about the gaffer?’ At first we thought it was just gossip and we were a bit sceptical. It seemed such a big thing that he’d possibly lose his job.

“That was probably about three months before it came out into the public domain. I was going to the hospital with the club physio Gary Lewin for an operation on my knee when the news came out that he’d been sacked.

“It was a big shock. He’d been so successful, been one of their own as a player and to be shunted out of the door like that created a big ripple.”

I’m not defending Graham’s actions and his removal as Arsenal manager was justified. Surprise stems from him being perceived as the only culprit at the time. Others were almost caught – Cloughie had retired – while Spurs successfully overturned a points deduction for illegal payments in 1994.

At the time, David Dein was looking for reasons to remove Graham and this gave him the reason. The football was dire and empty seats were a regular feature of Highbury. Arsenal, a good cup side, were a fading force in the Premier League. Sound familiar?

While surprise registered at his dismissal, it was due to it being on a matchday. Nottingham Forest by a curious coincidence, were the visitors to Highbury that night. Arsenal responded as Arsenal seem to; winning in adverse conditions.

While I remember feeling injustice and righteous indignation after the FA points deduction, there was no sense of loss at Graham’s departure. The club needed a shake-up, one which duly arrived albeit in an unexpected manner.

Wheels are Turning

Liverpool’s actions prove the game has barely cleaned up its act from the days when Don Howe wore a cloth cap and glasses as he ‘tapped up’ Viv Anderson. As ever though, it appears to be the rarest of cases where there is hard evidence of it happening.

Fair play to Southampton for having the balls to complain. We should have done the same years ago when the likes of Cesc, etc., were openly tapped up by Barcelona and City. But it’s not the Arsenal way to rock the boat or make waves. The same cycle is beginning with Hector Bellerin and that may be the price of dropping into the Europa League.

It feels like a big summer for Arsène to dispel the feeling that we’ve taken more than a big step backwards. It’s going to be a long summer, isn’t it?

’til Tomorrow.


61 thoughts on “Ospina: Keeper Going Cheap & Graham: Transfer Scapegoat

  1. Once more with the political bias YW – how very dare you – subliminally the other day the other day excessive talk about a new ‘left wing’ back, I’m sure I’ve heard the strains of ‘red army’ and ‘come on you reds’ on occasion…and now colours nailed to the mast…

    Quality of political debate & awareness on radio 5 yesterday was diabolical.

    As an aside, kind of interesting to wonder whether our properly super rich stars pay their taxes in the UK and therefore whether they contribute much beyond kicking around a pigs bladder full of wind…..what does £300k per week (equivalent of 10 nurses for a year) mean for them in practice after tax – should we have a whip round ?

  2. £3 million, THREE MILLION, for Ospina!! Have we borrowed Mrs May’s Brexit negotiating team for our transfers?! We really cannot negotiate purchases or sales can we. Purchases are drawn out, fouled up or fall through, while we may as well give away anyway we sell. He may not have been our first choice keeper, but £3m is a bargain in today’s market.

    So a bad deal is better than no deal then.

  3. Hahaha 3m for Ospina when Chelsea got 10m for Begovic, man Arsenal are shit at negotiating. The other thing is the striker department, Conte has told Costa he isn’t wanted after scoring 20+ goals and leading the line for their PL title winning campaign, yet Arsene gives Giroud a new deal; one manager is ambitious and the other is Arsene.

  4. Morning all on General Election Day.
    Barça will have their right side sorted with Hector…….as will Britain with Theresa’s bunch.

  5. I see Gnabry is on the move after scoring 11 goals for Werder Bremen to Hoffenheim according to reports in Germany.

  6. C,
    Good Morning YW.

    C do you think Conte has really informed Costa his services are no longer wanted by texto?

    Me thinks Costa is agitating to get away

  7. As far as the UK is concerned whoever wins it’s a car crash waiting to happen, it is just a question of how bad. For years governments from both ends of the political spectrum have tried to sell privatisation and years of underinvestment as a trade off for tax cuts and have well and truly wasted any windfalls. Now the chickens are coming home. Much like Arsenal under Walrus face.
    Ospina at 3M is a bargain but not Pickford please- he’s too short. I’d rather have Forster but perhaps any saints player is off limits after Liverpool confessed. Why oh why don’t we keep Szczeny? Perhaps he didn’t fancy staying or perhaps Arsene didn’t fancy a personality in the changing room.

  8. C
    Re your comments on negotiating: spot on.
    Arsene tries to satisfice, but doesn’t leave any margin for error, hence this season’s mess.

  9. ras,

    I think it might be a bit of both: Costa not being wanted and Conte letting him know (probably not via text) but also Costa wanting out.

    One thing that is known about Conte is that its his way or the highway and he has known to be ruthless in getting rid of players, so I wouldn’t be surprised.

  10. Don’t you mean a vote for the party for the rich, or the one for the party led by a Marxist, terrorist appeaser, who would not do a thing to protect his country against any threat from any country in the world?
    I did not vote for either.

  11. Absolutely right Yogi, one for everyone who wants the unions to run (ruin) the economy and thus the country. Or one for the Conservatives who will provide the stability that will continue the recovery from the disasters of the last Labour government.

    Before anyone complains that politics do not belong on a football site, read Yogi’s first two paragraphs.

  12. Ospina going for £3 million
    Kolasinac coming in on a free transfer

    Hardly inspiring confidence that the man in charge is willing to spend the rumoured £100 war-chest does it?

    Arsenal don’t complain about the tapping up because we’re at it as well. Players running down their contracts to arrive in North London on free contracts doesn’t happen by accident.

  13. The reason neither Debuchy or Jenkinson have been sold is quite clear, Wenger is hanging onto them until the Bellerin to Barca deal is done. One of them will be needed as back-up to Oxlade-Chamberlain as right wing back, unless he refuses a new contact and leaves for Liverpool, in which case we’ll have to keep them both.

  14. So when does the transfer window close then? I’m bored with it already and it hasn’t officially opened yet.

  15. YW,

    Very good YW!

    I’d like to see that statement tested for accuracy in a court of law…..

    Don’t believe everything that you read. When it comes to politics it’s the only thing that the tabloid rags print that is even less accurate than their click bait transfer speculation.

    As always, up the reds!! 👮👩‍⚕️👨‍⚕️👨‍🚒⛑👍

  16. England U20s going through to World Cup Final against Uruguay as they have beaten Italy 3-1 in the semis. Good to see the youngsters progressing well.

  17. Orson Kaert,

    I think that we’re going to disagree there Orsie 😉

    Gordon Brown may have been responsible for many things but the global economic meltdown that originated in US sub-prime mortgages wasn’t really one of them.

    If stability is defined as declining living standards for most of us while the wealthiest get richer (a documented fact), then they can stick it in the same place as Arsene can stick his underachieving model of consistent top four finishes.

    As has often been said, we’re all in this together, unless you have a nice little tax haven offshore somewhere 😉

    Politics eh?

  18. andy1886,

    You’re right Andy, you and I will never agree over politics. My political awareness began in the late fifties/early sixties. Since that time every Labour government has left the country in a worse state than when it took over. The note left in his desk drawer by the last Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer said it all “there’s no money left”.

    With Corbyn in Downing Street the unions will be set free to strike and disrupt life for everyone.

    The Winter of Discontent? Piles of rat infested rubbish in the streets? Unable to bury or cremate the dead because council workers were on strike? The three day week with power stations shut down? Etc. Etc. No thanks!

  19. I think its also funny that Southampton reported Liverpool and they apologized for tapping van Dijk, maybe Arsenal should do the same with Barca and teh whole Bellerin saga.

  20. Orson Kaert,

    Well I’m not convinced that Corbyn will take that path at all, but there you go. I’m more interested in real tangible issues that any government will have to tackle. For my kids housing is right up there – the legacy of the right to buy and unsustainable house price inflation now that houses are seen as ‘assets’ rather than a place to live.

    BTW I’m with you on WMD and said so at the time. Given that I worked at AWE Aldermaston and have some insight into that sort of thing I knew that it was all bollocks from the off….

  21. C,

    A true talent, I expect he will be looking for a loan to a EPL team next season, although will he ever be given a proper chance here? … doubtful

  22. silvergunner,

    Yup, I think a loan move to a PL side would do him some good, maybe to Newcastle. Will he be given a proper chance here, well maybe, hopefully.

  23. Bellerin has taken to twitter to poor cold water by saying, “Don’t believe everything you read…”. I didn’t then and I don’t believe now that he was ever angling for a move, simply answering a question about Barca that he was asked but has stuck to what he was said in that he is good at Arsenal.

  24. C,

    I think we need to keep all our centre backs, Koscielny is proving to be more and more susceptible to injury and red cards. There is no time scale given for Gabriel’s recovery, and Merts can’t be expected to start too many games. Holding is brilliant but young and shouldn’t be overplayed this early in his career. Chambers could well be needed from time to time even though Monreal has demonstrated his ability in the position.

  25. C,

    I’ve just read that Bellerin is saying don’t believe everything you read, can I believe what I read?

  26. Orson Kaert,

    That does make sense. Kos not just injury but his form in general was questionable after really the Everton and Citeh week not to mention the red cards (funny, nobody really talks about that the same way they did Xhaka’s huh). With Gabriel its not just recovery time but also getting match fit. I could see Chambers staying until Christmas and then deciding after that. The best part is that we actually have a good CB stable when you consider: Kos, Mustafi, Holding, Gabriel (much better than he gets credit for), Chambers and Mert for now).

  27. £40 million is a lot to turn down, it may prove irresistible if season ticket sales have gone well, or am I being just a bit of a cynic?

  28. Orson Kaert,

    I would actually believe what Bellerin is saying especially since it was ONLY a month ago that he said:

    “I signed my contract for a reason,”
    “I signed it because I wanted to be here. I wouldn’t have done it otherwise.

    “Arsenal is the club that gave me the chance to be a professional and since the first time I met with the boss he’s always said if I progressed the right way I could be an Arsenal player for a long time.

    “I’ve been here nearly six years and I love London. I’m still discovering the city.

    “The other day, I was out in the car in east London thinking I’d never been there before. That’s what I like about the city.”

    Mind you he said that when we started with the 343. I think unlike Cesc, he signed a deal and actually wants to stay. I can imagine that at some point if we don’t start challenging he will want to maybe leave, but now, I think he wants to stay.

  29. Orson Kaert,

    Mustafi hopefully stays fit through the Confederation Cup. If anything, I could see a move for Chambers right before the window closes as Kos is still suspended for the first 2 matches of the season, Gabriel will still be injured so the more I just thought about it, we actually need him.

  30. Hope Bellerin’s tweet means he can concentrate on Arsenal and Spain we don’t need this to add to our already convoluted shenanigans.

  31. C,

    Yeah I agree lets hope gabriel is back for the start of the season, pretty sure wenger said it was 6-8 weeks out.

  32. Alexis “I’m looking at what my agent is doing,” “For now, I’m focused on the [Confederations] Cup in Russia and trying to do well.
    “The truth is that my agent will see to it. He knows and he will sit down with the club to look for the best option for me.
    “I’d like a lot of things but I’m only thinking about the national team.”

    Sanchez hiding behind his agent, when he had the opportunity to come out and say he is staying, lets hope if he is leaving its abroad and not to a domestic rival.

  33. C,

    However, as another poster said Ospina , 3 mill in, new signing = free= +3m = walrus face’s consulting fee, or 3mill in profit. I recall we only sold Vieira for 12mill? Whatever they pay the negotiators I would do it for 75% of whatever they pay the incumbent. I can’t believe I would do worse.

  34. Otto Von B.,

    You take over negotiations and I will take over scouting for 75% of whatever they are paying our scouts and may we can get the club quality wise were it should be!

  35. silvergunner,

    Just saw those quotes and it does sound like a player who is all but set to leave. Maybe its the optimist in me but I wonder if a shiny new striker or simply new signings plays a part in if he leaves or stays.

    The Confederation Cup is over July 2nd, so I would imagine that we will know by the early parts of July whether he is staying or going.

  36. C,

    Beazer Homes Conference😊? Seriously though, you wouldn’t credit it unless the low offsets the wages.

  37. C:

    Just saw those quotes and it does sound like a player who is all but set to leave. Maybe its the optimist in me but I wonder if a shiny new striker or simply new signings plays a part in if he leaves or stays.

    The Confederation Cup is over July 2nd, so I would imagine that we will know by the early parts of July whether he is staying or going.

    so the law and co have until then to convince through purchase? seems fair enough.

  38. I know politics is RARELY if ever a good topic to discuss openly, but can somebody please explain to me why there was this sort of random election and why its such a big deal? Here in the States we have been dealing with our own governmental craziness.

  39. Arsenal have released academy players O’Connor, Da Graca and Pileas as well as Yaya.

    Good luck to them in their careers moving forward.

  40. C

    The answer to your question was hubris. May thought she could obliterate Labour and make Britain a more callous place to live. And she got it horribly wrong.

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