With Dev deciding to leave rain-soaked Britain for sunny Cataluna (what were you thinking Dev?) I have been given the privilege of blogging on WOA in his absence. Greetings to you wherever you are in the world.
I woke up this morning with a horrid thought. There is only one more afternoon to be spent at the Emirates, and only two more games left overall this season. What am I going to do at 3p.m. on Saturdays until August? Granted, we do have the Euros in June, but that will only last for 3 weeks, and England won’t even be there!
The season is coming to an end and, naturally, transfer speculation is hotting-up. Names are being thrown left, right and centre but I, for one, try not to pay too much attention to these rumours. Let me ask you a question: How often does media transfer speculation actually materialise with Arsenal??
Think of Sagna, Eduardo, Adebayor, Rosicky, Hleb, Flamini (to name a few out of many). Until the day their transfers were confirmed, nobody had a clue that these players would be joining the Gunners. So, my advice for this summer is not to get carried away with the rumours you read/hear about. Chances are they are untrue, and normally they are generated by agents trying to promote the names of their clients. Personally, I am never convinced of a transfer until I read it as confirmed on the official website.
Who will be joining us this summer?
It is great having names like David Villa strongly linked with a move to Arsenal. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, we know le Boss is not going to splash out a casual £20-25m on any player. In fact, I was talking to Dev recently about our financial situation. Through various sources we were able to work out that the amount of disposable money Arsenal has to spend on transfers is not £70m, as is commonly quoted in the papers, but more like £25m. We have to remember a few factors when it comes to transfers and Arsenal:
1. Arsenal only spends disposable money on transfers. It will not take out a loan to cover the costs of an excessive transfer fee as is often seen with clubs like Chelsea, Man Utd etc. This is a GOOD thing because it ensures the club does not go into debt and it helps to safeguard long-term financial stability (note that there is a separate fund for the stadium, the debt of which will be comfortably returned over the next 20-25 years, according to the directors of the club).
2. The transfer kitty also has to take into account wages and other aspects of a player’s contract. Essentially a new player’s wages will form a major consideration in deciding what would be a reasonable transfer fee.
3. Le Boss is not prepared to spend £20m on a player when he can find an equivalent for half the price. This partially explains why he does not buy English and/or other established players, often preferring to go for players of Eastern European or African origin (or indeed young prospects).
From the above points I reckon we can assume that there will be 2-3 new signings this summer costing in the region of £8-15m each, depending on the number of players signed. This is also on the assumption that we will be retaining most of the current squad. (Can we assume Matty Flamini is on his way? I’m still holding out and hoping that he is using the interest from Italy as leverage to get Arsenal to offer a better remuneration package, even though technically Arsene gave him a deadline of this past Wednesday).
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have players like Villa and Robinho at Arsenal, but it is important to remember that the motives behind limiting transfer expenditure are genuine and worthy of praise. These are just my thoughts. I know many an Arsenal fan that would happily see us spending hefty amounts of money on big names on the assumption that it would reap instant reward.
It is easy to slip into the ‘dark side’ in this respect. But it will be so much sweeter when we win trophies as a result of this current philosophy. Man Utd and Chelsea can buy all the trophies they want. We’re going to win them having spent a slither of the money they have. We will be in PROFIT after having done so. And we will be the REAL achievers. At the current rate of progress, we won’t have to wait much longer – our time is coming.
King Thierry coming home?
Having watched the interview on football focus last weekend with Thierry, I am sure that the words of Kolo Toure echo the thoughts of all Gooners:
‘I think he’ll come back to play in England, at Arsenal, because he did so much for the club and I know that the fans still have him in their heart.’
Thierry is my hero, but I don’t see him coming back unless the deal is significantly cheaper than the one that sent him out to Spain. Perhaps Dev can take a few moments of his time to pop into TH’s villa and have a few words…
Thank you Keith Edelman
One final note about MD Keith Edelman, who tendered his resignation yesterday. No doubt the media will milk this for all it’s worth. I genuinely believe this decision was a personal one, and not because of ‘boardroom unrest’ etc etc. It is with regret that he has decided to leave as he has clearly contributed very positively to the welfare of the club. We supporters really do not know what goes on behind the scenes, and I truly admire the tremendous efforts of Mr Edelman and his colleagues in bringing us to the Emirates. I’m sure I am not alone when I say I am very grateful for what he has done for Arsenal Football Club.
More thoughts and team news ahead of Everton to come tomorrow. Here’s to an awesome bank holiday weekend!
Your comments, as always, are welcome…