Medical For Higuain…At Some Point; Fellaini To Arrive…Some Time & More Gossip

Is one of these people Dick Law?

Day 92 in the Big Brother house. Gonzalo is in the diary room.

“Hello Big Brother.”
“Hello Gonzalo.”
“Gonzalo, Big Brother has a task for you, one that you must not let the others know about.”
“Outside of London Colney, there is a pack of press photographers and ne’er-do-wells, all waiting for you to arrive for a medical. Big Brother wants you to sneak past them and have your medical. Then sneak out and travel to The Emirates for a photoshoot ready for the announcement of your signing.”
“Big Brother wants the news to break on first.”
“Can you do that Gonzalo?”
“Sure I can, Big Brother.”
“Thank you Gonzalo. As a reward, you will receive a hefty pay packet each week for the next four years. You may go now.”

Quite who would be Big Brother’s voice is open for debate. On the rare occasions I’ve had the misfortune to catch the abomination of a television programme (it says it all when you are grateful for the plethora of soap opera that seem permanently on in our house), the voice has invariably been young and female. Who knows, maybe that’s what Dick Law’s voice sounds like, days lost on incoming deals as executives from selling clubs around the globe collapse into a weeping mass of laughter at the prospect of trying to a reach a deal with a man built like a linebacker, speaking like Scarlet Johannson with a Geordie accent. Hell, maybe even looking like Scarlet Johannson.

As it is, the transfer remains at an advanced stage according to the media and these things take time. You know that some miserable so-and-so will spread their own particular brand of joy if it is completed, complaining that the lead time on delivery has left them a bit meh about it all. You can’t please all of the people, all of the time.

The presumption is that Arsenal are in Spain to resolve this deal but never ones to miss the chance for a piece of cheap gossip, Daily Star sports hacks decided that Santi Cazorla has denied wanting to leave Arsenal for Real Madrid. The small matter of Isco’s imminent arrival at the Bernabeu would in no way scupper that deal, no. In any case, they have decided that Pellegrini has made a “last-ditch plea” for his former charge to rebuff the glamour of Madrid and let himself be seduced by the wet Tuesday night feel of Manchester.

Transfer dealings are rarely straightforward unless one of the parties is desperate to do the deal. And of course, the executives charged with handling any deals – the A-Team – are working on more than one at a time. At least you hope they are. Certainly there are any number of players looking to move on from the club still, who need help finding new homes. One is Johan Djourou, who is faced with a choose between Hannover, Hamburg or Humbug. Complete that deal, Ashley Williams can come in. By jove, I think I’m getting the hang of this transfer malarkey.

A popular choice for the A-Team is Marouane Fellaini. The soon-to-be-ex-Everton midfielder would cost £22m if reports are to be believed so why Arsenal would be surprised by wage demands that are comparable to Walcott and Higuain, is beyond me. Thankfully staff at The Heil are on hand to explain how the size of the deal over the course of the contract has brought on a bout of headaches in the Highbury House finance department. They were calmed no doubt by Arsène reverting to type with unknown French full back Benjamin Mendy. Someone will be able to find the YouTube compilation to turn us all into experts on the youngster, won’t they.

That’s it for today, your transfer goulash served in one tasty dish.

’til Tomorrow.

126 thoughts on “Medical For Higuain…At Some Point; Fellaini To Arrive…Some Time & More Gossip

  1. I have it on good authoirty that it is in fact Michael from I’m Alan Partridge that does the voice over. God. What would be perfect.

    I’ll be surprised if Fellani will join, i sense a Chelsea or Man C bid at last minute as they appear to be losing ground on all their current targets and they need a £25 mill signing. Any will do. And Higuian, well, who knows what will happen. I’d have him in a second, but part of me thinks Wenger will opt for a different and cheaper option in the last hour. Hopefully proved wrong!

  2. Made all the more salutary by the eternal winter that has preceded it.

    Transfer goulash – what a lovely term. Set my stomach rumbling too. A good proper hersman’s stew is goulash. Just the thing for eternal winter as it goes.

    I saw Book of Mormon yesterday. Even better than I had been led to believe. Came out of theatre grinning like a goon. Beg, steal or kill to get tickets is my advice – you won’t regret it.

  3. Morning all.

    To be honest I am getting fed up with all this speculation about Higuain.It is quite simple he signs or he doesn’t.
    It was mentioned that Perez handles all the transfers regardless who is the manager.
    As La Liga starts later than our PL maybe RM are stretching it out, but have to admit that there are so many pointers that the deal is near completion, but I do believe Isco is nailed on for RM

  4. Good morning YW.
    Don’t you just love the transfer season.
    I personally do not see Fellaini joining us. He is definitely what we need to complete our midfield balance, but I think Wenger would be reluctant to spend on both Higuain and the big fella.
    I hope we can complete the signing of the Argentine, we actually need him to compete with OG.

  5. good morning everyone
    good post..

    the silly season never got started and i was not really paying any attention anyway, what will be will be. if it doesnt be, its nothing new, if it does be, then we’re cooking with gas..

    im currently just taking positives from being number one in the league and we’ll be there for about another 6 week or im enjoying it while it lasts..i’ll beleive the rest of whats going on around me when i actually see it happen

  6. It’s all a big yawn isn’t it?! Must be an easy job being a football journalist, just pull any sort of shite story out your arse and run with it.

  7. Methinks all this talk of big money transfers is utter nonsense. Perhaps Higuain, but let’s be honest, until Wenger is replaced we will always land up with wonderkids, future Messi’s, injury prone potentials, all with a common denominator… = “on the cheap”

    Wenger is Wenger, he is not going to change his stubborn ways, and what he has achieved in setting the club up has been phenomenal, but now it’s time to replace with a better manager who is prepared to take the team forward…

  8. Morning YW, currently sat n my veranda ( Montpellier), Francehaving juste finit my petite breakfast and nearly wet myself in laughter. Your line a ” Wet Tuesday night feel of Manchester” merits 10 points. J’adore.

  9. “Pull any old sort of shite out your arse and run with it”

    The first and only rule of tabloid sports journalism I believe. Amen.

    Good morning. Forgot my manners for a moment. ‘Tis indeed a beautiful morning. I’m taking the JJ route, what will be, will be. A kind of Zen approach to the transfer window.

    Omm. It’s working so far.


  10. @ Tateeze I’d LOVE us to go sign Fellaini also, will he? We can only wait and see.
    Conjecture,speculation and a lot of procrastination is all we can do until we know.

  11. Peter Stringfellow, legendary ladies man and nightclub impresario, joined Andy Goldstein and Michael Gray on the Sports Bar and told them Wayne Rooney would relish life in London.

    Tony Adams has warned his old club Arsenal against making a move for the Manchester United hitman as he believes the temptations of the capital would be too much for him to resist.

    But Stringfellow, who believes Rooney should join Crystal Palace, said: “Him and his wife would enjoy London. Wayne and Coleen are beyond the creative nightlife side but they would enjoy the restaurants. There are some nice restaurants in Manchester but nothing like the ones down here. I think he would have a good time.”

    Crystal Palace hahaha.

  12. Yogi. Great post as always. I think we all realize that transfers are a complicated business del with multiple facets and there are several reasons that each and every deal can fall apart. That said, we seem to delight in drawing things our and making the process even more complicated then it has to be. Not sure I understand the point of that but it is what it is. I would think by now that arsene has a pretty good idea of whether or not Higuain is going to come and if the deal is crumbling then I hope he had options #2 lined up and ready to go. It would be nice to take whomever we get on the trip to Asia.

  13. Morning. Looks like Keith Richards on the left of that pic. Which may seem odd… but then again, Keith Richards. The reference escapes me today I’m afraid. Is that from Barry Lyndon?

  14. Morning all. Not a big fan of musicals, having had to see “Miss Saigon” with some in-laws, but the Book of Mormon looks fun. Probably like Les Mis, will have to wait for a film version.
    They had a fair few Mormon missionaries in Japan – every one had a mountain bike and perfect teeth.

    Fun write-up btw YW.

  15. @ Ras, if we get Fellaini, does that spell the end of Diaby with us? Diaby is the most similar player to Fellaini in terms of physique and style (although MF is usually seen as a brute). I wish Abou will just fulfill his massive potential with us. so sad.

    Errmm…please, what do we need another LB for?

  16. Not having much to do this a.m, I google imaged (new phrasal verb there?) Dick Law – an estate agent and a used car salesman in Epsom came up, aong with a few pics of Ivan and PHW. Truly a Law unto himself, our pun-friendly transfer man.

  17. we need three players
    Higuain, fellaini, and Williams would be enough
    then we can talk cups if not these ,then 3 more in a similar vien
    enough go buy them , we do have have the money

  18. I’ve just followed your example PB…and lo and behold there is a picture of Ivan the terrible. The first one in fact.

    Shall I type in just “Dick” and see what I get?

    Perhaps not.

  19. I have been one of the few to have laid eyes upon Dick Law and he is a cross between Dennis Norden and Ronnie Corbett. But not as funny, and only marginally taller than Ronnie. He also has an American twang to his tone.

    Next time our paths cross I’ll be sure to snap him and share

  20. Bill,

    “we seem to delight in drawing things our and making the process even more complicated then it has to be”

    But before that you already gave the answer which was ” I think we all realize that transfers are a complicated business del with multiple facets and there are several reasons that each and every deal can fall apart”

    Why do you think this is being drawn out? Why do you assume this is different to any other transfer?

    Clubs usually try and keep deals under wraps so we don’t get our knickers in a twist. This one seems to have been playing out largely in public.

    Clubs negotiate, players have to make decisions, players go on holidays as well as many other aspects that you neither I are aware of.

    If it was a case of Arsene clicking on 110k pw and £22m then he would already be an Arsenal player.

    I have no idea whether this will happen or not but everything points towards something getting done, I wouldn’t stress about it too much (if you can)

    Plus even when a deal has been struck, we often hold off any announcement until the player has had the photo shoot, interviews etc etc.

    For the first time since the stadium move we have had substantial profits that were not from transfers, we have cash to spend and all signs suggest that we will.

    Ivan said that we can do things that can excite you, so expect a new feature on .com with Ivan and Arsene wearing mini skirts and low cut tops.

  21. Oh plus, if transfers were that straight forward then why is Cavani still at Napoli when mega rich clubs are sitting around twiddling their fingers

  22. Harry,

    I have just typed in Dick and its come up with a picture of Piers Morgan!.

    Afternoon all and sundry.

  23. 🙂

    Mind you Dukey, could easily mistake Piers for a load of cock and balls.

    Have I just lowered the tone? sorry.

  24. Mean Lean;

    Interesting points that you make there and all quite agreeable to myself. This particular point made me think a little though…

    Clubs usually try and keep deals under wraps so we don’t get our knickers in a twist. This one seems to have been playing out largely in public.

    Quite true, but when in recent history have we been in for a real top, top player, which I believe Higuain to be? I’d argue, never. And when we were in that market the football world was a different place, without oil money teams and the internet making global communication instant.

    If we look at the Real Madrid and Man City jobs, simply as an up to date example. We all “knew” who was going to fill the vacancies, but it took 3 or 4 weeks to be announced, because the money and legal boys still had the thrashing out to do. Because of the high profile of the people and clubs involved, it all kind of got played out in public. By that I mean, we knew the jist of it, but the details were the time consuming bit and we, the public, will never be privvy to that.

    I would suggest that rather than getting all steamed up on will be/won’t Higuain come to the ball, we should think a little differently. We Goons have been working for too long on our pithy little £8m deals and kids that are a gamble. There is little media interest to this and the club are able to simply present a signing in the his strip photos outside the Emirates.

    I think that as we move into the upper echolones of the player market, we may have to be more cultured at how this sort of deal goes. It goes quite publicly and still takes time. We’re perceiving this as more stalling from our negotiators, but I think it’s simply a media attitude to the deal.

    Throw into that mix that Papa and Brother Higuian might be able to get a few other suitors sniffing with backup and/or bigger money deals, it’s to their advantage. Arguably, if you’re an relatively unknown commodity that Arsene has dregged the French leagues for, that isn’t quite as much of an option?

  25. 45 odd million for two new stars, plus over 100k p/w a piece for Fellaini and Higuain.

    This would be Arsenal spending more and spending wisely. If they fail to materialise, and no equal replacements found we know it is business as usual and the talk of more money at the club has been overextended.

    Rooney on the other hand would be shed loads of transfer and at 250k p/w it is just not desirable or conceivable that we would be after him, unless we signed him (which there is a 100% surety that we won’t)the story tells us nothing about who we are.

    PSG are the only club that would sign Rooney, any Man Sour players or most of Chelsea whose contracts have priced them out of the market. They will not play for less money and are trapped at their clubs, often on benches.

    Good on you Ballotelli, the weather alone in Italy is worth the cut you took to keep your spirit and career moving – let alone your pride as a productive human being.

    We are not innocent of killing careers, poor Johan Djourou was destroyed by Arsenal who, instead of letting the poor creature run out his contract, signed him a new well over payed four year deal the same year they decided he was not up to the task.

  26. I reckon one of Carlo’s virtues is that he has little drag-on effect – very few players tag along when he moves to a new club.

    Mean Lean,
    Thank you for that, I was thinking exactly the same re: our transfer debates. I tried pointing that out yesterday. So:

    We derive most of our knowledge from what the media say, but we all know the media make those stories up. The origin of most “Arsenal missed out on” stories is in a pressman trying hard to come up with a titillating transfer story. Yes, they sometimes have some sources other than the chair they sit in, but by and large, they rely on what they think is likely. You can often see that in their writing, where an almost 100% assurance in the headline changes into “probably,” “likely to,” etc., in the body. And then you end up with some 20 or more “links,” of which no more than 10 have a ring of truth to them, and maybe 6 or 7 are actually considered by the club. But after the transfer window closes, with us signing, let’s say, 3 new players, you often end up with 17 tales that didn’t really go anywhere. So what do you do? Put them into the “Arsenal missed out on” bin.
    What am I getting at? I believe your belief in our supposed inability to conclude transfers in due course is nothing more than a conjecture, and treating it as an ascertained fact constitutes a fallacy.
    Does that mean we’ll get Higuain? Not really, but it does mean that the fact we are yet to hear any confirmation can’t by itself be treated as proof to anything.

  27. HAHAHAHAHAHA! i love the sarcasm in your tone yogi (:
    very well written Sir, made my day

  28. Damon,
    Agreed, although I’d happily point out that Podolski and Cazorla were established players from the upper shelf. Both were bought on the cheap merely because the deals were conditioned that way (Malaga needed to sell badly, so agreed to gain little over what they paid, Koeln needed to keep the price low to recoup as much of the fee as possible). Rosicky, Arshavin and Arteta were known quantities when we bought them, and cost us accordingly. Hleb, Sagna, Nasri, Gervinho, Eduardo, were all local stars, but also of considerable pedigree. The fees we reportedly paid are often misleading – the fact that you spend 10 million on a player worth 20 million doesn’t make his actual value plummet, does it?

  29. zdzis


    Quite agree with your assessment of those signings, but I wasn’t necessarily making reference to the players value. More so the bracket of calibre of player that we’ve been in for. whilst all of those that you mention were good players, some by your own classificaion “local stars”, I’d argue that none were in the proven top, top bracket. Along with the worlds elite (RVP, Bale, Messi, Ronaldo type bracket). I believe that Higuain is in that bracket and was suggesting that there is a want for this to be slightly in the public domain and mainstream media and instant global communications gives it a ready made platform to stage it on.

    The interesting two you raise are Podolski and Cazorla. Is Podolski in that bracket. On his day, close, but not quite there for me. I hope he proves me wrong next season. Santi, yes I think is there. Do you think that he flew under the radar somewhat for Arsene to get him? I’d suggest that there were a few real high profile players of that type that the money teams went for, leaving his options somewhat limited. Arsene being Arsene and always looking for value, made it something of an arranged marriage. But one that has worked out very nicely so far?

    While we’re on the subject, I would put Felliani, should he come to the club in the kind of player bracket at the known quanities, but not super super top draw. I belive we’re looking to play him as a DM, but arguably his best and most notable game last season came whilst playing at CF against a remarkably makeshift Man Utd back line?

  30. @Damon

    A guy with what 100+ caps in the German National team is probably in the upper tier, he isn’t even 30 years yet (28 years, 4 June). I guess it is all rather subjective thinking in any event, as good as bale is; he shouldn’t be mentioned along side Ronaldo or Messi yet. Though he dives like a super star.

  31. Yogi another great piece not to mention the tone made me chuckle a little.

    Transfers just like pretty much everything Arsenal are never straightforward but glad to see that we are clearly in advanced talks and I got one think that now that Ancellotti has been named Madrid manager that Higuin deal to Arsenal can officially be signed off with the manager and they can have their Isco! For all those that want Fellani and while I would love to have him I am also of the mind that why not get Wanyama, Capoue, Paulinho or Gustavo.

  32. zdzis, on the cheap? 15 million? Oh my. Even so transfer fee isn’t everything, and it’s usually dependent on the player’s current remaining contract anyway. We can’t really judge whether we got a bargain until the contract has run it’s course I guess. Look at Arshavin.

    Time will tell whether we get value for money from Podolski. If he continues to sit on the bench then we won’t. But certainly for the contribution Santi has made we should get very good value there alright. Arteta, again very good value considering his contributions. Giroud, I’d say excellent value so far.

  33. @C

    The more obvious target for me would be Gonalons, his high passing accuracy and strong defensive attributes seem the best fit. Of the names you mentioned, Capoue would be my choice.

  34. Podolski is in that upper tier, I tend to agree with MA on that one. I think he did actually quite well up to and even after he carried on with his injured ankle. I think many times he would cut the ball back or cross a delicious ball in with nobody there to tap it in.

    Personally I’m not a fan of Ashley Williams and would prefer JD over him.

  35. @Markus

    I would agree that we got excellent value for all 3 summer signings last year. Cazorla is the obvious success story when comparing all 3 but none shirked their jobs and worked hard when called upon. They definitely added quality and depth to the unit, another summer without significant loss would push the team a little further along.

  36. @C

    Big call, Williams was one of the top 5 defenders last year based on statistics. I think he is 28 years old now, and I cannot see him being happy on the bench behind Mert and Kos; doesn’t make sense to me. If we lose Tv5 then I get the need for another CB, but failing that we have Miquel at 4 and now even a possible 5th with the recent addition of Pleguezuelo from Barcelona. If our 4th or 5th CB cannot be a prospect then I have to scratch my head and wonder what it is that people want. I mean Squillaci type players on his wages? I dear say that there would be a significant number of people complaining about socialist wage structures etc on that front. A 4th CB is never going to see any significant amount of playing time unless there are serious injuries to at least 2 players in front of them.

  37. Damon,
    ‘noon to you, too.
    As Miami points out, it’s realy quite subjective. Even when you’re writing about it, you’re clearly using subjective assessment: “proven top, top bracket,” “super super top draw”… There are no clear criteria for making those assessments. All we know is that Podolski was a regular for one of the most exciting national sides in football for many years, despite his young age; that Cazorla did indeed “fly under the radar” for several seasons, but emerged with a bang as an international in 2008 and has been a feature of the all-victorious Spanish side ever since. We are limited by our own knowledge, and by the limited knowledge of those who are our sources. In many cases, players we deem “top, top,” or “super super” are actually only marginally better – or indeed, significantly less impressive – than a host of those who were less lucky with their managers, employers, et al.
    Having said that, of course there are things we can say about players without necessarily having to establish clear-cut criteria for “shelving” purposes.
    a) A quality player typically is a regular at his national side, or, if not, has reasons not to be (cf. Arteta v. Xabi Alonso).
    b) A quality player typically plays a significant part in the performances of his club or national side, or both, unless there are non-footballing reasons for him not to (cf. perhaps Overmars or Henry, one because of his injury, the other because his talent wasn’t properly exploited).
    c) A quality player typically is respected, even revered, by fellow players, and is a tangible presence in his sides, unless it’s simply not his style (I think perhaps players like Gilberto Silva may often be unrecognized even if they do their job right – cf. the fact that Fergie chose to buy Kleberson).
    But by this token, of course, Rosicky, Hleb, Eduardo and Gervinho would have made the cut when we bought them. All were regulars for country and respected players for their clubs over a handful of seasons. Rosicky Arshavin starred in Euros 2008, and for Zenit in the UEFA Cup.
    In most cases, a player’s class is determined not by the work he performs on the pitch, but by the size of the bill. Ronaldo scored 39 goals in 104 games for Portugal, and Poldi 46 in 110, yet the money paid for their highest transfers – and their salaries – could hardly have been more different.

  38. @C & @MA

    Gonalons is an interesting pick. Are there any reports or rumours, anything!!! linking us with him?

    Of the others that you mentioned, Wanyama is my pick. I know this falls into the “Arsene signing” catagory of being mid weight cost and plenty of potential there, but I like him.

    Seems odd that after all the talk though midway through last season of being a £25m player he’s looking likely to join Southampton for 12? I’d imagine if he has a decent year to 18 months there he’ll command the 25m price tag though?

  39. Markus,
    Yes, on the cheap. Very much so. Malaga bought Cazorla the previous summer, so he had most of his contract in front of him. He just had a good season in La Liga, capped with a CL qualification. In a normal situation, he would have cost us 25 million or more, regardless of his actual worth (by the same token, the not-quite 30 million we supposedly got for RVP was the actual worth of the player minus the fact that it was our last “chance” to sell him).

  40. How unnervingly sane and articulate zdziz !

    Throw the bounder out – no place for that type of nonsense

  41. Not sure whose credibility is lower, -politicians or football journos.
    The unceasing unrepentant unfounded rumours are …unbelievable.

  42. Of the DM option,s I second the Gonalons sentiment. It almost sounds like “Gonzalo” and Youtube says he’d be the perfect fit.
    I dislike Fellaini vicariously (so to speak). He seems a tad too forthright, and I think he’ll always go for the money (he’s Belgian, it’s either diamonds or chocolates, and he’s quite fit). Won’t mind it if it turns out to be him, though.
    Wanyama actually seems not to be the best of fits. He’d take time to gel in and he may not possess the qualities we’re looking for. Most of the hype was because of his performance against Barcelona, but he seemed devoid of spark outside of that.
    On a side note: one of the best ways to determine if we’re in for a player is to look at the clubs” linked” with him. If you find there names that don’t belong to the English top 6, he’s not our man.

  43. @Damon

    No, nothing concrete on any of the players named. Gonalons has been previously linked with Arsenal but so has just about everyone else.

    It may be that Arsenal are playing their cards that close to their chest or indeed that they are waiting for the first signing to fall in to place. Higuain could in theory start the cards falling but we have no way of knowing. It is however clear that from a squad point of view with Arshavin now gone and Diaby crocked that a position in the midfield is there to be filled. Popular chatter would have us believe that Arsenal need a DM, but perhaps they have something else in mind. In any case I don’t think many would argue the merit of a Capoue/Gonalons type player wearing the shirt. As much as I rate some of the youth prospects, it would seem almost delinquent to not reinforce the middle with something.

    This differs from the CB position where only Squillaci was in the 24/25 man squad last season. It seems Djourou is perhaps set for a German side and thus in real terms we need a 4th CB. I don’t see us buying one as a priority need when we have Miguel; who on balance has done well when called upon.

  44. zdzis

    Thanks and must concur that it is indeed subjective. But that is opinion for you! I think football, by the nature of the people that want to discuss it in detail, it becomes even most “subjective”.

    One point I think I must raise is that I think it is dangerous to compare players international records with being a club player. They are often very different, often for very different reasons. Whilst Podolski and Ronaldo can be compared statistically at international level, I think it would be fair to say that at club level they have uncomparable stats?

    Also, you then raise the question of how they work out in relation to their bill. On club level, yes, but not at international. The game there isn’t money-centric, but determined by your heritage. To mix and match the two to suit your point isn’t quite cricket on an even wicket?

  45. @MA

    I get it Williams was good last season but lets be honest about this and you were as your post went on. Mert and Kos are our 1st choice CB pairing that is blantanly obvious but then Verm is their sitting on the bench as our # 3 and even if he leaves Williams is not going to he happy just to sit on the bench and play in the odd match and FA Cup and CC matches. Plus if its between Verm and Williams I am more inclined for Verm for the simple fact that for all his traits both good and bad he understands how to play with both Kos and Mert yet if Williams came he would have to learn how to play with them ontop of bedding into the team while not playing regularly. Also with both at their best ill take Verm over Williams.

  46. On the Gonalos front.

    Wenger and Arsenal have been linked with him several times and Wenger has openly talked about how much he likes him. I think last summer we were in for him but Lyon didn’t want to sell their Captain then and they don’t now. He is a brilliant player and one that even from a young age Lyon named future Captain(youth team he was groomed to be captain of the club).

    If we can’t get Gonalos which seems to he the case even though financially Lyon is in dissarray we should definetly go after Capoue who might be the best option out their not named Gonalos. Capoue is a lad that isn’t just a DM often times was deployed as a CM when Sissohko(now with the barcodes) was playing in the same side as him. That is thetype of player that we want but on top of all that he started at CB in a 352 so he understands how to play every position through the spine of your team excluding strikerbut is exceptional in the air finishing off corners. Plus he would only cost about 12-16M and probably about 70-90k/wk.

    Arsene go get Capoue!!!

  47. Mean Lean:

    “For the first time since the stadium move we have had substantial profits that were not from transfers, we have cash to spend and all signs suggest that we will.

    Ivan said that we can do things that can excite you,”

    I will believe it when it happens. I think a touch of skepticism is a reasonable response given our past history and what we have seen so far this summer.

    I will be very very happy with our summers work if we don’t lose any significant players and we purchase a top quality striker, preferably Higuain, a midfielder who can bring some strength and athleticism, (Fellaini is my choice) and add an experienced quality back up GK (preferably Schwarzer on the free). That is certainly not asking for the world and doesn’t represent a call for reckless spending IMO. Those additions may not make us a title winning team but it would be a significant improvement and we could finish the job the following year after we see how the 13/14 season goes and figure out what else we might need.


    Much of the transfer madness is made up by the media but there are enough stories that seem like they have some reality such as Xabi Alonso, Pepe Reina, Mark Schwarzer, Juan Mata stories to make me believe that part of our corporate culture is over caution and ultra risk aversion with regards to some deals and that must complicate the way we approach transfer negotiations.

    I also know that when Arsene really wants someone, we can cut through the red tape very quickly and make it happen. (deadline day signings in 2011 and the Nacho signing when Gibbs got hurt in late January). Seeing us work that way makes me suspect that the club is falling back into the ultra caution mode with this Higuain saga. I have no way to prove that but it seems logical and if I am wrong then so be it.


    The 4th choice CB might have to play a significant role and Miquel has basically no top flight experience. Would be nice if he could do a year on loan with a PL club and we got an steady CB who has PL experience to hold the 4th choice role for a season or 2 until we know he is ready.

  48. @C

    I agree that Williams makes no sense, and as stated paying a significant transfer fee for any player destined to be no more a number 3 seems foolish. It isn’t my money of course, Arsenal can and will do as they see fit.

    I agree that Capoue would be a great option as well, my preference at this juncture if Gonalons but you have to take what you get and I don’t see significant daylight between their abilities. Indeed, as you rightly pointed out Capoue offers perhaps a touch more versatility across various positions. I would be delighted with either, adding them to the likes of Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere etc would be quality and depth.

  49. @Bill


    The 4th choice CB might have to play a significant role and Miquel has basically no top flight experience. Would be nice if he could do a year on loan with a PL club and we got an steady CB who has PL experience to hold the 4th choice role for a season or 2 until we know he is ready.”

    Would you be happy paying probably at least 50k a week for might? Doesn’t this honestly seem at odds with your complaints about paying for players that add nothing?

  50. @MA

    I completely agree, i have always stated my prefence inorder is Gonalos, Capoue, Gustavo, Wanyama and added Paulinho(even though he prefers and wants Inter).

  51. C, I like Djourou also and hopefully with Squillaci off he could be tempted to stay. But then again if the club did decide to sell him at age 26 after having developed him for over a decade then I’m sure there must be a very good reason for doing so.

  52. I tend to view Djourou as a confidence player, once he lost it he struggled to bring his game back up to the level required. I have no qualms with letting him establish his career somewhere else. I have considerable faith in the abilities of Miquel, as a 4th choice and lets be clear here, 4th choice; he’ll do us proud.

  53. Who knows what will happen or who will actually come, but I just like the idea of our defending and attacking corner kicks with Mert, Fellaini, Koz, and either Higuain or Giroud.

  54. @Busch

    I can see that mate, of course we’ll need better delivery from said corners or free kicks 🙂

  55. It should be noted that set pieces were our second highest form of scoring last season (17%), behind open play (63%).

  56. Miami:

    I don’t know if we have to pay 50K/week for a decent experienced CB. If we don’t get a CB then so be it and we just have to hope for another relatively injury free year for our CB’s. Getting an experienced steady CB would be icing on the cake if we got the striker, MF and GK I mentioned earlier.

    Regarding Miquel, I will honestly never understand how you can believe that the best thing for his development and the team is for him to spend most of the season not even making our subs bench, when the alternative is playing regularly on a mid or lower table PL side. That seems backwards to me. If we do have an injury crisis and he is thrown into the mix prematurely and struggles it could actually hurt his confidence and damage his career not to mention potentially hurting the teams performance. I seems so logical to let him develop his skill and confidence on loan for a season. If he is really good enough to play for Arsenal then he will certainly play regularly on a mid or lower table PL team. If he is to young and inexperienced or just not good enough to play regularly for a lower table PL team then why in the world would you want him playing for us at this point?? Sending him on loan honestly seems like a win win for everyone involved.

  57. Have you guys been following the Confederations Cup. Spain is kicking some ass. brasil beat italy. the guys are coming together quite nicely now. Italy-Spain, Brasil-Uruguay in the semifinals. My best quess is Brasil-Spain final. Neymar is playing very well. Fred finally got off the schnid. Lots of unrest in Brasil.

  58. Damon,
    Point conceded, but still. As Perez himself suggested, Ronaldo is worth the big paycheck because he generates a sizeable profit just by being there. That’s probably one of the most clear-cut measurements of a players worth, though it only partially reflects the sporting side.

    We’d have to go through those stories point by point to be able to get at any sort of a reality, and even then, it would at best be a sound conjecture. With transfers like Arteta’s, a lot of things apparently fell into place at the same time; Mertesacker has been “linked” with us for years (well, 1 year at least) before he moved in, so I don’t know what tapes were cut there. I remember there was wild talk about Mata alright, but Schwarzer? Reina? I can’t recall too many transfer stories with them, and it doesn’t seem like we were ever as “linked” with them as we are with Higuain. Similar with Alonso.
    Which kind of shows what we’re dealing with here. It’s usually a question of your own judgment, whether a story sounds plausible to you or not. You might think we need a keeper like Schwarzer, and perhaps so would the journos. But does that mean Wenger thinks the same? And that if he doesn’t sign someone like Schwarzer, that’s his failure? From what I know about Arsenal’s transfer dealings, the failures lie mostly with the press that reports inexistent deals. I vaguely remember dozens of articles about how we missed out on Holtby, Goetze, Llorente, and yet I’d be damned if I ever came across any article or piece of news about these “failed” transfers that was more than pure gossip.

  59. As for Miquel, I wouldn’t be so sure he’d automatically make first XI in a PL mid-table team. We’d have to look into that. That said, he definitely needs to get to work next season, that’ll be his last chance of making the cut!

  60. @Bill

    In the same way you shake your head at the thought of holding on to him as the 4th choice CB is the truth much the same as me when I hear you constantly state every young player needs to be loaned. There comes a time when you have to place faith in a someone, Miquel has performed well enough when asked. You think he is to young? You don’t think he is good enough? You cannot consider him because he has not gone out on your prescribed loan? Indeed, explain to me what makes you think you can get an experienced CB with EPL experience to come to Arsenal be 4th choice and not want high wages? Were you happy with Squillaci, is that it? Sorry mate, I just don’t get where you draw the line in the sand. You complain about excess wages (often) and yet want to bring in an experienced 4th choice CB, who you also acknowledge might not be needed during the course of a season unless their are significant injuries to at least 2 players in front of them.

    In the same way you seem to think he may struggle if called upon (I know you are a pessimist), I could say well what if he flourishes? (optimist)

    Bill, you cannot have it both ways and then claim later using the gift of hindsight why something failed. You have to man up and acknowledge that we are talking about a 4th choice player option to add depth at a single position. To suggest that we should not have faith in one of our own to assume the role just seems, hmmm, silly.

  61. @zdzis 3.47

    It may be a fair point, we cannot assume he’d do it in the same way we cannot assume he couldn’t. I think Bartley is doing well enough at Swansea, he is seen as the automatic replacement for Williams if indeed he is to depart. Now Bartley made a mere 2 appearance last season but by all reports is showing tremendous development at Swansea, enough in fact for manager to single him out. Bartley may or may not become good/very good or whatnot, but we do know he was deemed surplus to Arsenal. The youth coaches were high on the lad but never really got his chance, at Swansea it looks like he will. All this in my eyes is very much in the same vein as Miquel, a promising player know has 3 established internationals in front of him. Again, we are talking about a 4th choice CB option; if you cannot have faith in a prospect at 4th choice is their really any point in having youth at all around the senior side?

  62. zdzis:

    If all we ever can discuss is known facts then we would never have much to talk about since we actually never really know anything for certain and discuss things like this based on our own opinions.

    We all know that a vast majority of the transfer babble is nothing but rubbish rumors, and you can ignore each one individually. However, when it feels like we miss out on targets as frequently as we have over the years then I think there must be something to the general impression that we are overly risk averse and very slow to pull the trigger. A good analogy is the parent who hears a rumor that his kid is a bully. Each individual incident can have a logical explanation but when it happens again and again it gets more and more difficult to ignore. The old cliche of “where there is smoke there is fire” is generally accurate. Can I prove my point with certainty? of course not but neither can you and TBH that does not change anything. The best evidence you will have to support your position is if we actually make a couple of significant deals this summer so we will just have to wait and see what happens.

  63. Miami:

    I never said he was not good enough, I said we don’t really know how good he is at this point. Since he has almost no experience he will probably rarely even make the subs bench this season. If he plays well on loan he has a much better chance to get more playing time when he does come back. For many reasons what I am suggesting seems better for him and the club. I guess in your mind it seems disloyal to our youth and not showing faith in them. However, In my mind, a loan spell seems like its giving him the best possible chance to actually move up the ladder. To each their own I guess.

  64. Bill,
    Well, if the only thing you get from my comment is that I want us to talk established facts, you should be less ultra-cautious in your reading habits.

  65. @Bill

    You miss the mark entirely, this has nothing to do with loyalty. This is a question of depth within the team. Lets ask this in another way, say he goes out on loan and does well, what then? He returns to Arsenal and has Mertesacker and Koscielny in front of him, maybe even Vermaelen. Say Arsenal finish 3rd or 2nd, even win the league. Are you saying to me that Miquel is now ready to replace even of the aforementioned? If no, then perhaps you could explain to me why we now also have XYZ purchased a year prior to add depth to the CB position also sitting there. I’m sorry Bill, it just makes no sense to me at all. You are in essence suggesting we buy a player to provide cover for the 4th CB role, at the price of a transfer fee and wages, instead of having faith in a younger player to participate in the role. This is mate, the same Bill who has for ever and a day being complaining about excess wages being paid to players (socialist I believe was used).

    Now it may make more sense to have the player loaned out to a suitable EPL home if one could be found, from the players view point. But, from the view of Arsenal I’m looking at a player currently on our books with enough suggestive quality to add depth as a 4th option to the senior squad. I tend to believe that Arsenal’s interests are more paramount than the players.

  66. Damon,

    You make loads of sense in your post, well said. It is indeed very difficult to keep anything under wraps these days, especially when you are dealing with such huge transfer fees and players who are in demand. Many people want their cut and when these deals are played out publicly then there is more chance of fees being raised.


    “We derive most of our knowledge from what the media say, but we all know the media make those stories up”

    Indeed, and around it goes. The funny thing is (or not so) is that we hardly ever sign the player that we are linked with in the press. Monreal, Eduardo etc.


    “I think a touch of skepticism is a reasonable response given our past history”

    Fair enough if you want to be skeptical but I don’t think our history has anything to do with this summer. In our past history we have not had new (partly front loaded) Sponsorship deals which puts us in a completely different category spending wise. It is not the same as when we had poor but necessary income from Emirates. Time will tell and yes, we may not sign anybody at all but this summer is not the same as previous.

    Yes the club have kept some money aside from transfer profits but that was not guaranteed regular income. Buy a £25m player give him £150k for 4-5 years and that dry powder doesn’t look like it would last forever.

    Anyway, that is behind us now. I am interested to see who Arsene signs and I imagine that some of his targets are partly in place. It is a waiting game so let us see how it pans out.

    If we haven’t signed quality before we start the season or even pre season then people will be more justified to be worried that we cannot get to the level we want.

  67. @Pony

    Once you set it, it is not automatic. It takes time to nestle in and so just keep posting and it will eventually arrive.

  68. Maybe I should set up a Ventrilo server for us to use periodically to discuss issues… hmmm.

  69. @Michael

    🙂 I’ll let my wife know… she said it to use it, she is an Arsenal fan

  70. Not me I’m afraid. I have thought about starting a Miami Arsenal Supporters meet up group, but it has no legs at this moment in time.

  71. It just seemed to have the extent of research you are good at. So at least 2 good guys there.

  72. Praise well get you everywhere 🙂

    On a serious note, Miami is a wonderful place for those that love the beach and steamy evening climes 🙂 The traffic is a struggle at times, well almost always; but you cannot have everything.

  73. @Michael

    There are some great contributors here on ACLF, none greater of course than the Guru himself, Yogi.

Comments are closed.