Scouting Mission Complete: In Vegas?

Bonjour mes amies… the World of Arsenal is back from a four day mini break in Las Vegas and what a great time to go out there it was. My fellow Gooner JAT did give you a rough account of the rubbing with the celebrities that Las Vegas gives you, and previous trips have involved Wayne Rooney and Matthieu Flamini, but to meet Maroune Chamakh this time round was a massive highlight. The French speaking Moroccan isn’t really at all fluent in English. My other fellow Gooner Totti is like a super duper talent spotter and sharply located Chamakh at Wet Republic in Las Vegas. (For those of you who clicked that link, yes, we had a luxury bungalow next to the top 100 models). And Chamakh, like myself, is a high roller, aka, top baller… not only did we see him there, we bumped into him at XS in Encore (yes, I was actually staying in that hotel too)… our conversations with the player were broken at the least, but when I asked “will you score 30 goals next season”, he answered, “yes, yes, I will”… so he obviously understood what that meant… I’ll get onto the Arsenal news very shortly, but before I do, a special shout out to Paris Hilton who was also raving at XS and Jermaine Pennant, who also turned up, with a seriously large afro!

The trip actually was packed with celebs and you can throw in David Trezeguet, who has remarkably thin legs and Marcus Bent (sorry for walking straight past you when you were in the queue), not to mention another lot that Totti saw (Tom Huddlestone – apparently very rude, Victor Anchibe, James Vaughn, and David Dunn…. who apparently called us a pack of French c*nts – when I say us, I mean Arsenal of course – to which Totti replied, you’re just a f*king northern b*sterd…. all in jest I think)…

Meanwhile back in London, not much happened whilst I was away, but since I’ve been back, it’s been story after story after story.

Before I touch on some of the headlines, I’d like to express my point of view on Arsene Wenger’s signings this summer and the recent sales that have seen Toure, Adebayor and potentially Gallas leave the club. Of course, Cesc is the lastest name to be linked with a move away from the club. Many people say that Arsene has a warchest of cash and that he should spent it to avoid Cesc leaving. They say that if he doesn’t then he is doing his job properly. I’ve heard from various other Gooners that protests are being organised against Arsene Wenger.

Now, how on earth people can be so short-sited and actually believe that we are better off without Arsene Wenger is beyond me. If Arsene doesn’t spend money on players then there are reasons and those reasons will only benefit the club. We may think we know it all, but Arsene is the one that has to balance a squad of players, a crazy transfer market, where players like Roque Santa Cruz go for £20m and Ronaldo’s for £80m. He has to balance the budget of a club, manage the debt and ensure we can challenge. In fact, we were recently given the title of the best run club in England. Do you think the reason Arsene doesn’t splash out £100m on 4 new players is because he doesn’t want to the club to succeed? Of course not. He wants the future of the club to be sorted, both with the best young players and a sound financial background. To sign a player of Maroune Chamakh’s quality for free whilst a player with a similar record in the French league, Karim Benezma, cost £30m – sometimes, I wonder whether our fans would prefer to spend money rather than have a quality player. If we do move for Joe Cole, we’d have a £15m player right there and someone who can perform at the highest level – although I think it’s a smokescreen from the player’s agent to negotiate a better deal at Chelsea. Personally, the options for Joe Cole, I believe are staying at Chelsea and get the deal he wants and by getting his agent to speak to City, United, Sp*rs and us, he gives himself major bargaining power.

My call to Arsenal fans is that we should realise that we wouldn’t have won many titles and cups without Arsene and wouldn’t have made it to two European final’s nor moved stadium without the Frenchman at the helm. Be patient, respect the players, the manager and the future.

Now onto Cesc… and there have been more stories linking Cesc with Barcelona coming out of Barcelona and now a u-turn from Yaya Toure whom was almost set for Man City before the deal collapsed… on Toure, his agent said:

“There’s a lot of interest in the deal (for Toure). Arsene Wenger likes him and Arsenal are interested. If the conditions are good, everything can be finished soon. He could come into the Cesc deal and Barca and Arsenal are struggling to come to an agreement. Everything has changed with City, because they talk a lot but then afterwards they don’t appear to be a rich club but rather a bankrupt one.”

I’m not convinced that this statement is purely independent because it was shortly followed by Laporta.

“If a player of this characteristics, who also has the privilege of being Arsenal captain, announces to the club that he understands his time there has come to an end and he wants to continue his career at a club like Barca… I always want players in my club who want to be there and they should have that commitment. If a player shows legitimately that he does not want to be at Barca, immediately I open the doors and defend the interests of the club, but I try to reconcile them with those of the player and the buying club.”

And as expected the tapping up is a) public and b) continuing to happen. At this point, Arsenal legally can complain to Fifa. Whether or not we will is another story all together. With Barcelona reportedly still owing us £12m for Henry and £4m for Hleb, there is a cause for concern over their finances. I couldn’t understand how these debts are still outstanding by looking at the accounts, but I think they’ve past their deadlines.

Joan Oliver, who is a director at Barcelona spoke of our recent reaction:

“They said they would not sell, it’s logical therefore that they have not set a price for him. We made a formal offer. The only official response we have from Arsenal is that they are not ready to sell the player, for which it would be difficult for them to be putting a price when they say they are not selling. On our part, after having made an offer we are ready to sign the deal this very morning. We still have time to do it, but it is a deal we cannot do just by ourselves.”

And surely they have to interpret that as a NO, but instead they’re using it to further discuss the transfer. I personally believe Cesc will stay this summer and that Arsene will be loyal to his aims and strengthen the squad. It would be nice if we heard a statement from Arsene right about now…

Okay, that’s a wrap for today, I’ve got to recover in time for the trip to South Africa, and we’ll be leaving this Thursday…. I’ll be back tomorrow with more folks, but until then…

  • Arsefan101

    Nice to have you back…

    In regards to Cesc, I think it’s time Barcelona stopped using the media as the way to get to us. It’s interesting to see that neither Cesc or Wenger are buckling. Cesc doesn’t speak about it, and of course, through Wenger, the club has rejected all bids.

    Regarding Joe Cole, news is that he is DEFINITELY coming to Arsenal. Apparently it’s already signed, it was in the papers yesterday… although that doesn’t mean it’s true!!

    There is also a lot of news about the guy from Lorient, Laurent Koliusky (sorry if I spelt that wrong), you have any more gossip?

  • devday

    News is that Arsene is keen on spending money on the defence this summer.

    With Gallas, Senderos, Silvestre and Campbell all leaving, we’re down to two centre backs in Djourou and Vermaelen.

    Arsene said this:

    “The basic improvements that have to be made is defensive and with spending the right money. The right money is not necessarily quantity because you never know how much people want for the players you want. But what I mean by the right money is that we will not be scared to spend if needed.”

    I’d expect him to sign 2 centrebacks at minimum if all 4 of the above go as well as promote Harvard Nordtveit.

    Laurent Koscielny is very much closing linked with us and rumours are that we’ve bid several times.

    I would have expected Arsenal to have signed a centre back or at least negotiated before the end of the season, but it looks like it’s all going on right now!

  • vj

    i think campbell and maybe gallas might stay campbell really has no where to go and there hasnt been too many rumours about where gallas is going. The Lorient deal looks to be all done i expect an annoucement sometime early next week. I think wenger is keeping his mind of GKs right now with a crutial lack of CB, but there is lots or rumour about the fulham stopper, i personally don’t want him. although he is better than almunia (thats not saying much) he isnt a top quality keeper. I was hoping for someone better. Who knows maybe since hes 37 two decent seasons before mannone and sczhny take over.

  • devday

    @ vj:
    Gallas apparently is definitely off – and the fact he hasn’t signed his contract for the past 6 months is an indication of such… apparently Lyon, Man City and Valencia have made contact with his agent. Silvestre is definitely off, Arsene knows he’s not good enough. With Campbell being offered a 2 year contract from Celtic, I think he may go for search of first team football.

    Re: Laurent Koscielny – I’d be happy with that signing as one CB, but would still want another one to join.

    Re: GKs, I think schwarzer has not had the best season compared to last season and he’ll be 38 soon. Not really someone who will be good for us. We really should look at the no 2 man city keeper, who will either be Given or Hart – both will want no 1 – so one will leave!!

  • devday

    FC Lorient forums confirm that we have made a 10m euro offer for Laurent Koscielny which includes a one year loan for Francis Coquelin. €5m initial bid, upped to €8m, and now at €10m. Also talk about Mexes joining Arsenal too. Traore not leaving.

  • vj

    Hey dev was wondering what ur job is u seen to always be travelling!

  • devday

    LOL, I’m in IT. I travel a lot for weekends, long weekends etc. But World Cup is different – leaving Thursday 10th (this week) for 2 weeks…

  • devday

    William Gallas close to agreeing 2 year contract with Panathinaikos reportedly worth £10m (France Football).

  • Tm17

    I don’t know if u heard but
    man city have just released
    petrov and Benjani I know they
    are old but I do think one of them
    wouldn’t hurt as when our injuries

  • RVP

    senderos in talks with fulham maybe a swap deal involving schwarzer?

    players thet we have been linked with

    kjaer(palermo) – quality young centre-half look at him in the world cup playing alongside bendtner for denmark

    cavani(palermo) – another good youngster striker in uraguay squad for the world cup

    krasic(cska moscow) – am/winger in the serbian squad for the world cup

    in regards for the fabregas saga we should just give them a counter offer and if they reject then it will be them ending the saga. an offer like 55mil + dani alves + yaya toure + bojan

  • Francis

    @ RVP

    I thought senderos is a free agent now…??? are we entitled to compensation???

    @ Dev

    i hope the Laurent Koscielny deal goes through…then i guess Nordveit would be promoted. Had lol at the ques regarding your job….and yes i agree with VJ, you seem to travel a lot ….and bump into arsenal players…

    LOL i guess vegas had IT problems right Dev????

  • RVP

    no he is not a free agent apparently they offered 3mil and also we apparently offerd 3mil for schwarzer so there should be a swap deal

  • Francis

    @ RVP

    I’d say gives us 50 million pounds + ibrahimovic + yaya toure then we can start talking..if not barca can go to blazes

  • RVP

    anyone else been onto the arsenal website. a glimpse of the new away shirt pops up just like last year looks like were going back to yellow away kits

  • Francis

    @ RVP

    It’s silly season …so i reckon we can ask for stupid money plus players

  • devday

    Fulham just published an article on their site.

    Senderos has signed.

  • devday

    Fulham Football Club is delighted to announce its first signing of the summer after agreeing a 3-year deal for Swiss International, Philippe Senderos.

    The 25-year-old defender spent seven seasons at Arsenal after joining the Gunners from Swiss side Servette in June 2003.

    Born in Geneva, Senderos has been a regular for his national team since his debut in a draw against France in Paris in 2005. He was part of the Swiss defence that did not concede a goal at the 2006 World Cup and he also played in every minute of Switzerland’s 2008 European Championship.

    He helped Switzerland reach this summer’s World Cup with an inspiring qualifying campaign which saw him net a brace against Luxembourg last October and he has already amassed 38 appearances for his country.

    He has also added Italian football experience to his impressive CV, having spent the 2008-09 season with AC Milan.

    Speaking at Fulham Football Club’s training ground this afternoon, Philippe Senderos said:

    ‘I’m delighted to have finalised my transfer to Fulham earlier today and happy that I am joining the Club during the most successful period in its history.

    “I will be looking forward to meeting up with my new teammates and of course, Roy Hodgson, a Manager I respect very much, shortly after the World Cup.

    “I very much hope that I can contribute over the next few seasons and that the Club goes on to achieve more success.”

    Roy Hodgson added:

    “Philippe is a player that I have admired for a very long time since he captained Switzerland to the UEFA Under-17 Championship in 2002.

    “He is a strong defender who has great aerial presence at both ends of the field and has a superb work ethic which is a vital component for any team’s success. I am very much looking forward to working with Philippe next season.”

    Read more:

  • Francis

    @ Dev

    so its not a swap deal????

  • Francis

    Celtic comfirm Lennon does that mean Sol will be joining him?

  • RVP

    maybe it was a deal done in good faith? schwarzer will join after world cup.

    @francis i hope not sol looked solid last yr and it would be a bit hypercritical to leave after saying ‘leaving arsenal was the worst decision of my life.

  • devday

    @ Francis:
    No swap deal. Senderos moves on a free. Schwarzer may move in other direction at a cost of £2-3m. I hope we’re holding out for Given / Hart…!!

  • devday

    @ Francis:
    News from a few journos is that Sol is very keen on Celtic!

  • Yemi

    Good for senderos. I actually liked the guy but he was too inconsistent.

    On another note, everyone is so sure that silvestre is leaving this summer, has any rumor about him been seen anywhere ?

  • Francis


    Sol leaving will be a massive blow for us….he has the presence needed in the dressing room and on the field….

    i look back at games at stoke, hull, where he was immense…opposing players always think twice b4 employing bully boy tactics…cos with Sol you know whats coming…a full tank crashing into you….problem the defenders left at arsenal arent that nasty!!! or have not developed a reputation for being nasty when needed.

    we need some tough characters in the team who can dish out and take as well.

  • devday

    @ Francis:
    I think by the end of next season but Tommy V and JD will have reputation of being strong and getting stuck in. Both have shown it many times!!!

    But you’re right – Sol was a massive presence – someone with experience and the right attitude – but would you like him to be first choice?