We have not signed Thomas Vermaelen…

Contrary to popular belief, we have not signed Thomas Vermaelen.

The news broke from one web site today and has not been substantiated by any other site or source. The story didn’t make any of the top twenty news sites, Sky Sports or Setanta. And in fact any other site talking about it have merely referred to the original site it was on.

So, who is this dude? I hear you say? Well take a look at this…

Albeit, only 5′ 11″, the player has been likened to Vidic in terms of style, but for a player under 6′, he’s got incredible spring. He’s plays in central defence for Ajax and is high related despite his size. So, just to clarify – we have not signed him – but you can see why we’ve been scouting him…

And just for comfort, a separate video of the player scoring a goal from a corner:

And just because we’re in the mood of quoting Tony Adams, here’s a final quote from the former Arsenal captain:

“I think Thomas is a very good player but I don’t think he’s ready for the Arsenal. I don’t think the punters at Arsenal would like another small one. I don’t know whether he [Wenger] will end up going for a bigger player. We’ll see how much money we’ve got first.

Case, closed, player not signed.

  • RockSolid

    This guy looks like a decent signing, but he is short – at 5 foot 11, we kind of already have that – already he looks like he is agressive in the air – I’d prefer Hangeland – who seems to be a bit more of a beast.

  • zohaib

    How about Ricardo Carvalho from Chelsea ? He said he wouldn’t mind leaving Chelsea, or staying. Or how about Obafemi Martins ? His agent, according to SkySports, says there are 3 teams interested: Arsenal, Everton and Aston Villa.

  • zohaib

    On another note, the Confederations Cup should be an interesting platform to see how the Alonso-Cesc partnership works. They don’t have Senna so there’s a chance we’ll see it. Also, not having Senna, might weaken them by a fair bit. Still hope Spain wins.

  • zohaib

    And lastly, on Eboue. Either he’s thinks he’ll be able to get away with the kind of blackmail that football’s become familiar with, or his agent’s trying to get him a better deal, or a bored person is causing some mischief.

    If Inter want him, they can have him … for 8 million pounds.

    Another possibility occured to me – how about Adebayor for Carvalho + cash swap. It’s a better 30+ defender than Silvestre at the very least ! And buy Martins to replace Ade if we must. Martins shouldn’t cost more than 12 million pounds.

    Of course all of this probably won’t happen. It’s just interesting to list some possibilities, however.

  • Shawn

    i know Wenger said he didn’t want to sign any strikers but Martins would be a great signing!

    The player’s agent told Sky Sports News that three of the Premier League’s upper echelon are interested in taking the player away from Tyneside, with Arsenal, Everton and Aston Villa all believed to be interested in the striker.

  • Arsefan101

    Apparently after the booing at the Emirates, Eboue wanted to leave and Arsene persuaded him otherwise. If Eboue signed a 6 year contract in May 2007, and is one of Arsene’s favourites, so unlikely he’ll leave.

  • Yemi

    Guys, Is wenger really interested in Ikechukwu Uche or he just passed a comment ? He is a great player that plies his trade for getafe, His brother Kalu uche is also a great player and plays for almeria.

    — Quote from Setanta —

    “What’s his name again? Ikechukwu Uche. I should ask for his phone number,” Wenger.

    “Of course moving to England would attract him, especially if we are speaking about such a top club as Arsenal.” Uche.

  • Fo

    Can’t believe how this story has gone round, thanks WOA for telling us the truth… there are a certain number of websites I won’t trust anymore!

  • esteves92

    would be nice to sign, he looks really promising.

  • devday

    I’ve read about 20 websites referring to this story – even the telegraph is running with it, but no site has a quote, evidence or anything substantial… hmmm…!

    I have had about 20 – 30 emails, calls and texts about this, no-one knows whether there is any resemblance of truth in it at all!

  • zohaib

    Part of an article on the Kaka to Real Madrid rumors (SkySports):

    “He has been here six years and won everything there is to win. But we can’t afford to miss out on 70million euros (£60.8m). The motivation behind Kaka’s sale would be economical.”

    Milan supporters will be disappointed to hear of their club’s willingness to sell Kaka, but Galliani has assured disgruntled fans that reinforcements will be brought in over the summer.

    “I want to put them at ease. We are not reshaping,” he said.

    “It will not be that we sell Kaka and don’t sign anybody. Should Kaka leave, we will bring in a big striker.

    “There is a negotiation for Kaka, but none of our other key men are for sale. That includes (Alexandre) Pato, (Andrea) Pirlo and (Clarence) Seedorf.”

    While admitting that Milan could be in the market for a new frontman in the not too distant future, Galliani has ruled out the possibility of Arsenal’s Togolese star Emmanuel Adebayor or Juventus’ Brazilian hit-man Amauri arriving at Giuseppe Meazza.

    What’s interesting here is that Galliani says they don’t want Adebayor ! Either they’ve been put off by the lazy, garbage football they’ve seen or Ancelotti was the one who wanted him, in which case, maybe Chelsea’d like him. But they’ve already got Drogba and Anelka …

  • http://kierandelaney.net kierandelaney.net

    but Martins would be a great signing!

    We’ve done this one to death, but he really wouldn’t.

  • AJ

    I agree with you Kieran, Martins wouldn’t be a good signing. As for Adebayor, I’m hoping someone takes him off our hands, yes he does have his good moments, but frankly I don’t like him or his attitude. I’ve also just read a rather laughable rumour that we are going to sign Chielleni and Buffon from Juventus, now I wouldn’t mind either player, but the people that come up with these rumours must be high as I doubt we would get either player as we don’t have the financial muscle, however Chielleni would be a great signing in my opinion if we could land him, as for Thomas Vermaelen would do you guys actually think of him?

  • Pete

    Man, there’s a lot going on in football at the moment. A lot of the speculation seems to have a tinge of “no smoke without fire” to it. Pretty exciting stuff :)

    Got to agree with Kieran about Martins. A few seasons ago I’d have said he would be a good signing based on his form back then, but now I don’t think he’s as good or better than any of our first team attacking players. Really and truely, right now if we’re concentrating on anyone other than a defender or defending midfielder then I’m not really interested.

    Speaking of defenders, with Hangeland wanting to stay at Fulham, I was thinking which other Premier League defenders we could realistically sign, and Portsmouth’s Sylvian Distin popped into mind. He didn’t have a great season last year (Portsmouth as a whole didn’t have a good season), but he was part of a solid defence the previous few seasons. I admit it may not be an ideal signing, someone younger would be more suitable, but he has experience, he’d certainly be a better covering centreback than Silvestre, and realistically we could probably sign him. What do you guys think?

  • AJ

    I agree with you that Distain hasn’t had a good year and if you had of said this the year before, when as you said he was great, then yeah I would of agreed, but at 31 and with the last season being so bad I think that might be too much of a risk as to whether he can recapture his form and for that he would probably have to be playing regularly and I doubt he would if we bought him.

  • Arsefan101

    I am definitely not a fan of Distin – really don’t think he’ll bring anything to us – very similar to Silvestre – we need a Cana type player in midfield and a Hangeland type player in defence – and we need to keep the likes of Denilson, Song and Djourou who should be our back up rather than first choice.

  • Pete

    True. Although I think its more fair to attribute a lot of the changes/problems going on at Portsmouth FC as the cause of their poor season, rather than the players. Plus, whoever comes in still has to earn a place in the starting 11, what with Toure, Gallas, Djourou, Silvestre and Song all contending. So even if Hangeland did come in, it would be interesting to see how regularly he’d start, and who’d make way for him. But I hear what you’re saying.

  • Pete

    For sure Arsefan, totally agree mate. Don’t get me wrong, I definately want Hangeland signed. I’m just thinking about the likelihood of him coming to Arsenal. Apart from him there isn’t really any other names I’ve heard that fit the “experienced player” requirement or gotten me excited tbh. Distain was just a name to suggest to throw out there.

    Here’s a pretty simple formula for Arsenal to take note of, see what you think:

    Hangelgand + Cana = silverware :-D

  • Pete

    Just as an aside, if its true that we only have around £15 million to spend, we’ll probably only be able to afford to buy one top class player. So if I had the choice of getting a centrback or a defending midfielder, at this moment in time I’d go with the midfielder.

  • AJ

    I agree if we have only put that much aside, I would go for the midfielder, because I am sure if we have someone that can break up attacks or even just disrupt them further up the field than in our final third, I’m sure it would make a huge amount of difference defensivly and it would also allow our attacking players more freedom when going forwards and not having to track back so much so we can actually hit teams on the break.

  • Yemi

    NO Distin please!!!!, i sure don’t see how he would help. With his experience, is he better than djourou?

  • Newmy

    I am so tired of people saying he is too short. Puyol 5ft10 and Cannavaro 5ft9. They didn’t do too bad in football. Enough said!

  • Berth

    What is happening in the world of Arsenal – Is these a market place or a bargaining centre Dev; well they call it transfer rumours I guess; quiet interesting.

  • Berth

    *This

  • zohaib

    I’m surprised nobody’s commented on the Carvalho story. Do we not like the guy ? Do we not rate him ? Is there any other issue ?

    And Pete, AJ, and Kieran, read Pete’s No.17 comment. Just as Distin’s and some other Portsmouth players’ form has dropped due to instability, players at Newcastle have unquestionably found it distracting and tough to deal with all the boardroom squabble that’s been going on there for years. Just because Martins has had a tough year doesn’t mean he’s lost all his talent. Talent’s not something you lose and I think it’s clear the guy has some talent. Why else do we all say ‘he was good a few years ago but now his form has dropped …’ ? Hasn’t Adebayor’s form dropped ? Hasn’t VanPersie also had a tough season ? I don’t see how he’s any worse than what we’ve currently got, even on present form ! Some of you may not know this but he had to play through the pain of an injury in his final few matches, to get his club out of relegation. That’s some bloody good commitment and I want that at my club !

    Also, I find it strange Pete, that you see Distin as a victim of boardroom instability, yet you don’t apply the same logic to a club with much more severe boardroom instability.

    And finally, to remind you lot, I made my feelings known on what I feel we needed this summer. And I remember saying that we needed a CB and a DM. And I also said, even if we have to finance those two needs by selling off Adebayor, we should do it and not worry about how to replace Adebayor because we’ve got plenty of players in our squad who are good enough to warrant a place in the playing 11. So, by no means have I said that we need to get Martins, or that we need to get Martins instead of David Villa or Benzema or Aguerro. All I’ve said is, if somehow we manage to find the funds, Martins would be one footballer who we could realistically buy. This is because:

    A)His club just got relegated and they need to get their wage bill down, so they might be willing to sell him

    B)They might not ask for an insane amount of money because he’s not had a good season, so we might be able to afford him

    C)Which other player of similar quality will we be able to realistcally buy, taking wage demands, transfer fee, etc into account ?!

    It’s quite obvious we’re not getting Villa, Benzema, Aguerro or anybody else the media and fans label as ‘one of the best strikers in the world’. There’s a different market for those players, and there’s only a few clubs who have that sort of money. Sadly, we’re not one of them. So we have to think in terms of which players closest in quality to those elite players can we get while actually being able to afford them. I’d say Martins ranks pretty high on that list.

    If you still don’t think Martins is a good buy, I’d like to know which other strikers are better, that we can actually buy.
    Cheers !

  • Berth

    Zohaib a 12 million pounds can do for Dzeko (Wolfsburg). I also heard that Galliani from AC Milan denied he has had contact with Adebayor. So I guess it looks more like we are keeping him;

    For Calvaho; I doubt if Chelsea will ever want to sell him, considering how good and important a player he is – Ancelotti might want to give him a chance

  • zohaib

    Portsmouth is set to become the new ManCity, next season. There’s talk of Suleman Al-Fahim, the guy who brokered the deal with the middle-eastern group that owns ManCity, buying out Porstmouth.

    I wonder what’s in store for us at the boardroom level. Wonder if anyone’s going to take over the club or if it’s going to remain as it is.

  • Pete

    Zohaib mate, my Distain suggestion wasn’t an entirely heart felt one. It was in context with a few other posts I made. But to answer your question mate, in my opinion we don’t need Martins because the position he plays in is occupied by better players in who are already in the Arsenal squad. Even if we sold Ade, I dont thikn he’s a suitable replacement because Ade is much bigger in stature, and so any replacement should at least offer us similar attributes. Martins is only 5’7, so hes a tiny fella. Plus I cant remember the last time he was on form, and his injuries seem to be more frequent than before. But thats just how I see it mate, I could be wrong. Personally I think he’d be a good signing for Everton, as they need a forward thinking player like him, and they’re a good side.

    The reason I feel Arsenal players didn’t do so well this year was due to squad imbalance, We had no proper defending midfielder, therefore all our attacking players needed to drop back on the pitch and take on more defending duties, thus hampering our attacking game. In actuality, we score quite a number of goals this season, considering all our problems. It’s for this reason I’m willing to give players like Ade and RvP the benefit of the doubt because we did see good performances from them, just not enough.

    As for Portsmouth, its been more than just boardroom problems hasn’t it mate. They lost a good manager very early on, some of their best players walked out on them, had no money to replace them and they’ve stayed up in the league. The difference between them and Newcastle is, I feel at least, Newcastle players were part of the problem, where as Portsmouth players were on the receiving end of selfishness from Redknapp, Defore, and Diarra. Lets not forget Portsmouth were FA Cup winners only 12 months ago, and deservedly so.

    As far as I’m concerned, I want Hangeland and Cana. But I feel unsure as to how likely those signings are for us.

  • Berth

    Tactician Pete – “The reason I feel Arsenal players didn’t do so well this year was due to squad imbalance, We had no proper defending midfielder, therefore all our attacking players needed to drop back on the pitch and take on more defending duties, thus hampering our attacking game”. Or may be its just a feeling. Well I have been getting a lot of feelings these days. But in truth Hangeland and Cana could be important buys – but only in our dreams at the moment

  • RockSolid

    Pete, mate, I totally see what you’re saying – in reality I think the squad did have an imbalance – you saw players playing out of their position as well as attacking players being to constricted. A team always excels when they have confidence in their back line and that’s what we’ve missed in the last season!

  • zohaib

    Pete, what I’d like to know is, what good is Adebayor’s height ? How many goals has he got from headers or how many goals have we got from headers compared to other sides (also taking a glance at the difference in styles of play).

    People keep going on about how Ade’s size is such a big deal, but for me it’s a load of bollocks. Even Vela’s stronger than Adebayor. Look at the Porstmouth game towards the end of the season. He was having a go at defenders, even shrugging off challenges from both CB’s. Height or no height, that’s a striker’s job. When does Ade ever do that, let alone get into positions where he CAN do that ? Never. Why ? Because he’s not quick enough (which is a huge factor in what makes a player special), because he’s too busy wandering offside, because he’s not strong enough to stand his ground against challenges from behind when facing his back to the opponent’s goal (hell even Tevez and Vela are stronger than him and aren’t they huge ! – Ade’ll just pass it back to where it came from – I’m beginning to think there’s a quota of passes you have to make to satisfy Le’Boss and get into the team – how else can a team like Arsenal be so hopeless at finishing – we pass it a bit too much – everybody’s busy giving the ball to everybody else – nobody’s taking responsibility to have a go and finish it off!), he’s never in the box for a header when there’s a cross played, and I could go on about his deficiencies as a striker. I wouldn’t call him a striker. A support striker, at most. And not a very good one at that. It annoys me how overrated he is and how people are pointlessly obsessed by his height.

    I suppose it’s the way we play which makes some of our not-so-good players look like stars.

    Bigger ain’t always better mate ;)

    Look at Arshavin, Messi, Pele, Maradona, Ian Wright, David Villa, and many more.

    The thing that I like about Martins is exactly that – he’s not a support striker. He’s a striker who’ll take people on, who’ll dribble, who likes to get past players and take shots at goal. And that means he’s got something that we DON’T have, except maybe, for Vela who’s too young and isn’t a first-choice striker yet, or Eduardo who’s just come back from injury and it’s unclear what his future holds.

    I also think you’ve actually emphasized my point about Martins surrounded by crap players and craziness off-field, having a huge effect on his game, when you talk about how you feel Newcastle players were part of their problem. He’s had to do battle (like Bolton)instead of playing the beautiful game (like Arsenal/Barcelona).

    I also believe Newcastle have had problems sorting out their formation – that’s a huge problem, like not having a solid foundation for a skyscraper. Portsmouth hasn’t had that problem. And Diarra, everybody knew was going to go. That was hardly a surprise. A bigger surprise was Muntari and Mendez. That really was a big blow. Anyway, my point was that if you can realize that Distin can have a bad season because of off-field matters, how can you not realize the same for a player (Martins) at a club (Newcastle) who’s had worse off-field matters and for a season or two longer ?

    On your point about how Distin could be a good buy – I’d agree. I’ve raised that point earlier. He’d certainly be better than Tweety. And if he’s what we’re getting then yes please ! Coupled with Silvestre being sold off.

    So, I want to finish by raising a few important points. What good is Ade’s height if we don’t play that system often enough ?! We need to decide whether we want to play that system or not. If not, sell Ade immediately, even though I believe we should sell him anyways. One tall guy is enough for a system we don’t want to play, but also because he has good link-up play. Ade doesn’t. End of.

    And I believe we need to sort out what formation to play and then stop screwing around by playing players out of position.

    In fact I’d go as far as to say I believe we can win the premiership or the champions league with the players we have currently, just by playing them in the right formations and the right positions. Wenger has tried but not found the right formula.

    Personally I’d play a 4 – 3 – 3 with Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Djourou, Clichy in defence, Nasri, Cesc and Rosicky in the middle, and Vela, Eduardo and Arshavin up front. At the moment this is still not as strong as it could be. Cesc isn’t strong enough to battle for example Essien in the center, Vela’s isn’t experienced enough, and Eduardo and Rosicky haven’t fully come back from injuries. So, hypothesis it may be, but it sure is mouth-watering.

  • zohaib

    And btw, maybe you haven’t seen Martins enough. He’s bloody strong. He’s a similar build to Essien and trust me, he’s quite strong. Definitely stronger than Ade, even if he’s shorter.

  • zohaib

    Also Pete, mate, comment 28 second para, you say our attacking play has suffered because we didn’t have a decent enough DM and everybody had to do more defensive work. Something I partly agree with but what about those situations where we’ve complained that the opponents have placed 10 men behind the ball. That argument doesn’t exactly hold up for that situation does it. I guess, that’s not the only issue.

    I think part of the problem is with the way we’ve been playing. We’re too predictable and we don’t have as many options going forward as we did with Hleb, Rosicky, Ljungberg, and Pires. As a result we’re not as dangerous as a ManUtd or Chelsea or Liverpool. Let’s face it – Walcott and Eboue on your right wing won’t win you any titles ! But we choose to ignore this.

    We’ve been playing some rubbish football in the final third. Instead of playing ping-pong with the ball, we should really be playing penetrative passes and effective through-balls. And instead of taking shots at goal we’re passing it to somebody else.

    That has little to do with a DM. So, there are other issues that need to be adressed too. By no means are we fine up front. We lack a proper, consistent, injury-free striker. We have too many support strikers or strikers who get injured, or strikers who are not experienced enough.

    But before we think about strikers, we need to sort out the matters at the back – in the spine of the team – CB and DM.

  • Yemi

    Wow zohaib, you go on and on about martins. Well, i agree with you all the way and that was what i said when i first brought up the idea of martins. Mrtins will take shots from outside the 18ye, drive at CD’s, struggle for balls, backtack and is absolutely passionate about the game, especially wn the team is not palying well. He is more like a rooney. I think he has not had a good run in recent times. The problem is that people fail to notice players like him (same for yakubu who delivers an average of 18goals per season for any club he plays for since he started in isreal)
    Now that our other options are either not commited, or not fit, or not experienced enough, I think he will be a nice addition. and i don’t think he should be up to 12million cos last summer, his buy-out clause was 13m.
    All said and done, DM and CB and backup RB first!!!

    What is this i hear about eboue wanting out?

    Also no one passed a comment about wengers interst in Uche from getafe

  • Yemi

    Also saw this: -

    Arsenal boss Wenger locked in talks for Wolfsburg striker Dzeko

    “Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is in talks with Wolfsburg over striker Edin Dzeko.
    The Daily Mail says Wenger is competing with moneybags Manchester City for one of the most sought-after strikers in Europe with the bidding starting at £12million.
    Wenger is convinced that can beat off competition for the Bosnian with the chance to play in the Champions League for Arsenal a crucial factor.
    He was signed by Felix Magath two years ago for just under £4m and has improved so dramatically at Wolfsburg that he has been monitored for some time by Arsenal’s chief scout Steve Rowley.”

  • Pete

    Regarding Ade’s height – its a useful tool because it has caused problems for opposition in past games. We have a lot of strikers, but only he and Bendtner are capable of playing the lone striker role, and in order to play upfront alone you need to be a big lads. It’s a fact. Thats partly what makes the likes of Carew and Drogba such dangerous opponants. If Drogba was a smaller player, it wouldn’t make him less talented, but he’d have to play a different role than his usual lone striker, simply because you come against defenders who tend to be big opponants. Same goes for Ade or anyone replacing him. Martins is a second striker/attacking midfielder, we have planty of players in those positions, yet hardly any who play in defensive midfield. So any talk of players being signed should be in our weakest positions, not our stongest. Wenger has already stated that he wont sell Ade, so it’s kind of a redundant discussion.

    Lone strikers/leading strikers spearhead attacks and so need to physically be able to match the defending opposition, to contend for headers, cause problems etc. To quote John Terry of all peple about Ade, he once said “he’s one of the most difficult players I’ve defended against in the league”. This is partly due to Ade being a big lad. With that in mind, I disagree that Vela or Martins are physically stronger than Ade. Don’t get me wrong, they may be strong also, but they’re different types of attacking players and wouldn’t cause the same kind of problems a bigger player would. But while we’re on the subject, I dont think they’re the type of smaller player built in the same way as Tevez is, I think thats pretty obvious. Anyway, my main point is if you sell a physically big player like Ade, then you have to replace them with a similarly big player who can play in the role they play, otherwise all you have are second strikers and besides Bendtner no one capable of playing lone striker. Replace like for like. If Ade is sold (even though he probably wont be), a John Carew or a Santa Cruz type of player would be better suited to replacing him than a Martins type of player. The only time to consider the signing of a player like Martins is if one of the second strikers left, like Vela, Arshavin, or RvP. But you’re talking about selling and replacing a lone striker like Ade, not any of those guys.

    Secondly, the team was imbalanced last season, Wenger has said even said it, and the team as a whole had to take on more defencive duties when not in posession of the ball. You’ve got a point in that it probably forced us to sit behind the ball at times when we’d otherwise do differently, though sitting behind the ball isn’t something I’d accuse Arsenal of doing much of. If they did, then we’d not have conceded as many goals as we did. Defence starts in midfield, not at the backline. If no one is protecting the back four, then it doesnt matter how good the defender is, they’re vulnerable. The protection infront of our back four wasn’t solid enough for the entire season. We started the season off badly and got better as Song and Denilson improved. Our results say the second half of out season was better that the first, which coinsides with the improvement o the players in the DM position.

    Anyway, its good debating with you man! Cheers :D

  • zohaib

    Pete, basically, Ade is not a match-winner. His height SHOULD make him a dangerous striker, but let’s be honest, nobody’s really scared of him. I’m sure that was merely gamesmanship by Terry. He’d want us to think that the top defenders are scared of Ade, so that we keep him and not go for someone that would really cause them problems. And uptil now you’ve only managed to come up with height. What else does he have ? If that’s really all he has, and he’s not very good at it either, he’s a pretty shit striker by anybody’s standards.

    As much as I hate Drogba, he’s what a real striker plays like (bar his diving and tantrums). Every defender has a tough time against him. He is someone who can play the lone-striker role, well enough to win a match on his own even with a relatively weaker midfield. Then there’s Torres – someone who can play the lone-striker role too, even though he’s not known for his physical, bullying strength, in fact he goes down a bit too easily. Yet he’s someone who defenders fear. He’s also someone who is a match-winner on his own and doesn’t need a relatively strong midfield to get him to look good. Same for Ronaldo, Messi, Kaka, Henry, Villa, etc etc.
    Is Ade even half as good as any of them ? Not a chance, mate.

    I don’t even remember when he had fantastic work-rate. And I don’t think I can call him a scorer of great goals just because he got 2 fancy goals. And he’s not even a great goalscorer. VanPersie maybe you could call a scorer of great goals because he’s scored many more of them but he’s not a great goalscorer yet.

    What I do remember about Ade is that we had a bloody strong midfield with Fabregas, Rosicky, Hleb and Flamini, which is why he got 30 goals. Give any average striker that strong a midfield and he’ll score plenty of goals. Let’s not fool ourselves because he managed to score 30 goals in one season. Numbers don’t tell you everything. Just as the number of goals a striker has not scored, is significant, the number of goals he has scored can be insignificant, in some cases.

    Now your other point about how you think a small man can’t make a good lone-striker. I hugely disagree with this. Look at the entire Argentinean team. Tevez, Aguerro, Messi. I don’t think they’re tall lads. But they are some of the best strikers in the world. You don’t have to be tall to be good. Another point I want to make clear is, some people use the wrong words. Sometimes what people mean is ‘strong’ instead of ‘tall’ but they interchange between the two as if they were the same word. This is incorrect. You don’t have to be tall to be strong. Also, not all defenders have to be tall (Clicy, Evra, Cole) just like not all holding midfield players have to be tall (Mascherano).

    There are strikers like Forlan, Villa, Tevez, Torres, Messi, Eduardo, etc who are not huge, but they are dangerous in any position or formation, whether a lone-striker or 2 strikers or 3 strikers. This leads me to my next point. First, a great striker will be able to play in any formation. And second, why do we need the lone-striker role so badly ? Maybe because we had a pathetic midfield, so Wenger had to play that way to get the second striker to cover in midfield. Yes, that hampered our attacking play partly. But he’s said we need a DM and CB, and chances are we might get at least one of the two. So then there’ll be less need for a lone-striker role.

    I think you’re only comparing the strikers that we have in our squad, and obviously Ade’s one of the two, tallest strikers we have, so you’d put him at lone-striker before the other. But what you need to be doing is, compare him to other strikers who have played the role, and then you’ll see how far down the order he is. He’s weak anywhere on the pitch. Martins on the other hand, can play the lone-striker role as well as other roles. And because he’s more talented, chances are he’ll be better there than Ade. But like I said, we don’t need someone specially for the lone-striker role. I also believe that we shouldn’t be playing a lone-striker with the strikers we have. Either a 4 – 4 – 2 or a 4 – 3 – 3 is a better option.

    I do agree with your point about replacing like for like, but again, either we play the long ball game properly, which means the striker should be in the box when the cross is played, or we forget about that method of playing and concentrate on what we do well, and that doesn’t include a tall striker. We play like Barcelona, do they have a tall striker ? No, because they don’t need one.

  • zohaib

    Yemi, if it really was 13 million last year and if he hasn’t signed an extension, he shouldn’t cost 12 million (that was a figure I just came up with as an estimate). Should be around 8 million maybe.

    Agree with your assessment of Martins and Yakubu. Cheers.

  • Pete

    Hmmm, we both keep going on again and again about this dont we lol. Not sure about a few things there mate.

    Firstly about Ade not being a match winner, when he has actually won games for us before. When we played West Ham away, it was 0-0 at the 60 mins, West Ham parked the bus and were going for the draw. Ade came on for Bendtner, scores a goal and sets up another and we win the game 2-0. He was only on the pitch for 30 mins. Also, both his goals against Villareal (hone and away) helped us through to the Champions League Semi’s.

    Now, I kind of agree with you in one respect, because these kind or performances haven’t been regular this season. But it may be a little harsh too also because the guy has actually shown that he can help us win games. Plus, you can blame him or any of our other players for the imbalance in the squad, which Wenger admitted was our downfall this season. We basically didn’t replace the outgoing players enough. Lets say for arguments sake Ade stays on to play next season and Wenger buys a centrback and defending midfielder. Ade, as well as a few other players, will have a much better season for it because all the posotions are filled with players who are strong there. Thats how football tends to work, its a team game.

    Also, I do disagree about Tevez and Martins being able to play as lone strikers. As good as they are, I’ve only ever seen them play 4-3-3 or 4-4-2, but never up front on their own in a 4-5-1 formation. They’ve always been in supporting roles, either as attacking midfielder or support striker, and had lots of support around them on the pitch. I don’t think anyone thats managed them would say that lone striker is the position either. Whereas Ade played quite a few games up front by himself, which is a big ask for any player.

    Take Rooney as another example. The guy is quality, there’s no denying that, yet whenever he’s played as a lone striker for England, it’s like he isn’t even on the pitch. The guy isn’t nearly as effective alone with no support around him. Yet take Heskey, a player who has had a lot of criticism over the years, and he thrives playing upfront. Torres and Henry are different to these guys because they’re both over 6ft, big in stature yet technically gifted, so you have every type of striker in one package. Lone strikers need to be commanding, and when playing against at least two centrebacks and a keeper, most of whom are 6ft and over, size is a requirement for a lone striker. Thats why today I’m not surprised to hear we’ve been linked with this Bosnian player, Edin Dzeko, as he’s a 6f 3 1/2 inch striker, which as mentioned before is the suitable type of player stature wise to replace Ade.

    I’ve got a feeling we could keep going on and on about this all summer mate lol. But its always good! Cheers.

  • Pete

    *Plus you CANT blame him*

  • zohaib

    I don’t mind going on and on because it’s a very healthy debate, and you’re raising some very valid points. I’d be a stubborn fool not to agree with some of them, but it’s clear we disagree over some points. That’s fine, no harm in that.

    I’m wondering what’ll happen if Villa becomes available at a decent price. Obviously that’s a big ask and most top clubs will be wanting to buy him, making our chances quite slim, but I’m talking about IF it comes to the point where he wants to come to Arsenal over anywhere else (maybe Real Madrid sign Kaka and Ronaldo and they either don’t have the money for Villa (unlikely) or whether Villa feels he won’t be a starter (unlikely) ), will we then not want to buy him because he’s not a like for like replacement for Adebayor ? I don’t think so. I hope not !

    I’ve been wanting to comment about the twitter update on Valencia maybe selling Villa, Silva, and Mata (haven’t learnt how it works yet). And I want Villa for Adebayor. It doesn’t bother me that he’s not tall enough. He’s a great striker. Adebayor rarely creates chances for himself. He relies on others to create them for him. With Villa you don’t get such problems.

    I also feel a lot has to do with how teams defend against us. And yes, if teams put 10 men behind the ball then even Ronaldo, Kaka, Messi, Villa, Torres etc will have problems creating chances and scoring goals but what I know is that Barcelona won against a Chelsea side who adopted to similar tactics and that Barcelona created tons of chances against a ManUtd side who did almost the same after their first 10 mins of glory. And in the league, ManUtd has also had to deal with the same teams who put 10 men behind the ball, yet for them it’s much easier to deal with those situations. I ask myself why that is, and I think it may have something to do with the fact that we like to take our time building up an attack. And frankly, we’re too slow. It needs to be done much much quicker. We’re also a young side so maybe it makes sense that we’re a bit naive and not intelligent enough to understand how to create the space in between those 10 defenders. But the biggest difference is that we are too slow in attack. The countless side passes and fullback-overlap predictability needs to stop. There’s a purpose in ManUtd’s forward play, (like we used to have 5 years ago), unlike us who play competitive football as if it were a training ground routine. It’s almost like we park our bus in the opponents half, instead of our own. And surprise surprise, that’s just as annoying ! I think the only reason we’ve managed to score the amount of goals ManUtd has is because they had major problems with their strikers. Rooney’s being played out of position as a left winger (I wonder if that has effectively killed his striking abilities), Berbatov’s become a support striker, and they’ve treated Tevez like he’s some insignificant amateur. So again, Wenger’s used some incomplete, and inconclusive stats to cover the cracks in this team, probably to get more time and to get the fans to support the team no matter what. And that’s my issue with him. Why can’t he just tell it like it is. Why isn’t he brave enough to stand up and accept some of the criticism. And another point – he’ll have to stop standing up for his players every single time, otherwise they’ll never learn to stand up for themselves and everybody will continue to think of them as ‘babies’ and bully them around !

  • Arsefan101

    Zohaib, that’s a serious comment!

    I totally agree – I’d definitely rather have David Villa around then have Adebayor. The two players are in completely different leagues. The amount of goals I’ve seen Villa create out of nothing. His brain works so fast. But he’ll cost in the region of £30m which is probably double what we will get for selling Adebayor, but we do have £14m in the bank, so could be done, but a player like Vela could well be just as good.

    Which leads me onto an issue – Why didn’t we see more of Vela this season? Vela looked awesome against pretty much every team he has played against. Totally agree about the strength thing too dude.

    In the attacking mould, three players – Eduardo, Vela and Van Persie really give me hope that we’re covered in that area.

  • http://affiliatecode.info/ Mckelvey

    gr8 resrch bro

  • Debs

    Setanta have gone into administration, and have stopped broadcasting apparently, according to the BBC…

  • Debs

    Oops- wrong place to post!