It’s a Bosman Summer – And Day 1: Departing for The World Cup…

For the next 3 weeks I will be blogging from South Africa – destination 1 – Johannsburg. It’s very exciting. I have my pseudo match tickets, my South Africa currency (the Rand), I have my passport and about 20 jumpers – it’s going to be cold over there. I’ll try to ensure my blogging is half about my trip and half about what’s going on at Arsenal – as those who know me – know that I need my daily Arsenal dose!

Let’s look at the Arsenal Centre Defence Exodus – ACDE – which has started with Senderos and we think Gallas too (his deadline for signing his contract was the 31st May) and will continue with Sol Campbell and Mikael Silvestre – both who are now expected to leave for Celtic and PSG respectively. And based on these players and the other “releases”, check out this team of players:

David James

Gallas – Senderos – Campbell – Silvestre

Belletti – Joe Cole – Ballack – Silvinho

Benjani – Petrov

There is a whole team of free transfers (bosmans) who could actually survive in the Premiership. For a mid-table team, for the likes of Fulham, Villa, Birmingham etc, any of these players could contribute to their team. For Arsenal, I think Joe Cole is one who could make a difference, and also, I wouldn’t mind adding Petrov in the mix. Will we sign any of them? I doubt it – as I’ve been tweeting about, I’m pretty sure that Joe Cole will end up at Sp*rs. I’ve had a few people talk to me about the signing of Ballack – to play alongside Cesc and Song – I really don’t think he’s an Arsenal type player. He’s the epitome of Chelsea’s era and I’d rather not – but from a pure footballing point of view, could he add something to our squad?

With four central defenders looking like they’re all on their way, we need to look to Arsene to bring in at least 2 as well as hoping that Djourou doesn’t get injured as well as keeping Harvard Nordtveit at the club next season. Yesterday I mentioned the potential signings of Koscielny and Mexes – nothing new on that front, but a very strong link to Hugo Lloris of Lyon – again – if it does happen, it will happen for £15m+ – he moved from Nice for £8m last summer.

I managed to catch some of Arsene Wenger on Sky Sports News and he was talking about the disappointment of Theo Walcott and Samir Nasri not going to the World Cup, saying:

“It’s disappointing but I hope they can transform that in the future of their career into even higher motivation, and come back with even more desire to show how good they are. That’s the only way we have in our job, and we forget many times that in this job you need to be strong mentally. There’s no big career without big disappointment, but it was a massive surprise, I must say. It was two massive disappointments for the players, of course, first. And for me, I must say it was hugely surprising on both occasions. I had contact with them after that and it is something that is very difficult to swallow, to be just out of the World Cup when you had a 90 per cent chance to be in.”

And personally, I still can’t understand the exclusion of both players – for me Nasri’s one is more of a shock considering his excellent form for Arsenal this season – looking at the French squad, you have to think that he’d get into that team. And if you are awake at 7am, you may want to tune in to SSN – apparently they have an exclusive interview with Arsene on the future of Cesc…

So, time to talk about the World Cup (well, my World Cup anyway) and I’m off later today to Johannesburg. I’ve got some of the WOA team (Bob + Nish) out in Cape Town and will be meeting them tomorrow morning. I have my pseudo tickets, which I’ll exchange at the airport. For those of you interesting, my game list is below – if you’re attending any of them, give me a shout via twitter, which will come straight to my UK  and South African phone!

C1 v C2 – England vs USA (12th June, Rustenburg, 20.30)
E1 v E2 – Holland vs Denmark (14th June, Johannesburg, 13.30)
F3 v F4 – New Zealand vs Slovakia (15th June, Rustenburg, 13.30)
B1 v B3 – Argentina vs South Korea (17th June, Johannesburg, 20.30)
G1 v G3 – Brazil vs Ivory Coast (20th June, Johannesburg, 20.30)
B2 v B3 – Nigeria vs South Korea (22 June, Durban, 20.30)

Now as we all now, when I go away, we normally sign one or two players, so fingers crossed we’ll get two centrebacks and possibly a goalkeeper!

Fingers crossed! Wish me luck!

  • francis

    Revealed: Joe Cole has signed a contract to join Arsenal after World Cup 2010
    * Deal agreed in principle before player flew out to the World Cup
    * England midfielder’s move will be completed if he passes full medical
    * Three-year, £80,000-a-week contract laden with incentives EXCLUSIVE
    By Wayne Veysey | Chief correspondent

    England midfielder Joe Cole has signed a contract to join Arsenal, Goal.com UK can reveal.

    The midfielder put pen to paper on an £80,000-a-week, three-year deal before flying out to South Africa with England’s World Cup squad.

    The sensational free transfer has been kept under wraps by both parties because the agreement is dependent on Cole being able to prove his fitness when he returns from the world cup.
    Goal.com UK understands that Cole was put through his paces in a basic medical on Monday of last week, which was enough to convince manager Arsene Wenger to tie him to a deal that wards off other clubs.

    But, in order to insure themselves from the England midfielder suffering a serious injury on World Cup duty, Arsenal insisted on inserting a clause that means Cole must pass a more stringent, full medical when he returns from South Africa for the deal to be officially completed.

    The move has ended Tottenham, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool’s hopes of signing one of the most coveted free agents on the market this summer.

    Despite mixed messages from Harry Redknapp over the past week about making a move for Cole, it is understood that the player had talks with Spurs but did not receive an offer.

    Wenger is a huge admirer of Cole’s technical skills and ability to play in any of the three advanced midfield positions in his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation.

    The Arsenal manager’s only concerns were Cole’s wage demands and long-term fitness. The 28-year-old missed most of 2009 with knee ligament damage and has not completed a full competitive 90 minutes since February.

    Although Cole will join second-tier earners Robin van Persie, Andrey Arshavin and William Gallas – in the unlikely event the Frenchman stays – as one of the best-paid players at Emirates Stadium, he will still be a long way short of captain Cesc Fabregas, who is on £110,000-a-week.

    Arsenal made it clear in contract talks with Cole’s camp last week that they were unwilling to shatter their salary structure for a player with a chequered recent fitness record.

    But the deal will include performance-related bonuses triggered by getting in the top four, winning the Premier League or the Champions League.

    Ironically, part of the reason Chelsea let the midfielder go was because they would not bow to Cole’s demands for a 50 per cent hike on the £80,000-a-week he was earning at Stamford Bridge. The Premier League champions made one offer midway through the season which was rejected, and there has been no further offer made.

    Cole’s signing is viewed by Arsenal in a similar way to the deal that brought Sol Campbell from Tottenham in 2001.

    The club are willing to sanction such high-level wages because the deal does not involve a transfer fee and there is hope that Cole’s vast international experience and seven years spent with serial winners Chelsea will rub off on a dressing room that has not won a trophy in five years.

    It is also a populist move because it increases the English contingent in a squad that has only one home-grown regular first-teamer in Theo Walcott.

  • francis

    ok i know its goal dot com but this signing gets me excited

  • devday

    Just catching up and noticed that Peter Hill Wood said this:

    “I had a long conversation with Ivan Gazidis, who had been with Arsene and his name never came up at all.”

    Very interesting.

  • devday
  • parsi

    there seems to be two camps here one saying he will certianly sign for us and the other saying he will go to spurs…

    i have found this Dev:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1285539/Arsenal-close-Chelsea-star-Joe-Cole.html

  • fredric

    i would love it if we got him but somehow i just dont see it – i mean j cole at arsenal? he’s more like a chav aint he?

  • Mehedi

    I don’t think the cole signing is true,
    I just cant believe arsene went for a 29 years old guy

  • goonerman

    some say its a done deal and others say its a complete no go but wenger has said to sky sports that he is a huge admirer and did not rule it out so who knows whats happening behind the scene!

  • Sam

    I’ve been reading goal dot com for many years, and they are generally reliable, and hence I tend to believe the Cole story. I like it, Cole is the only Chelski player that didn’t piss me off!

    Dev – I did 8 games during WC 2006, including the final, and it was a blast. So have a great time in SA, just take care of yourself. Stay safe!

  • Jeff from Fulham

    Sam says on June 10th, 2010 at 2:23 pm
    you believe goal com – ha ha you serious mate? that site is like the worst ever with the most stuipd journo’s working for them and they are the ones that make a stroy out of nothing, J Cole will sign for spurs

  • devday

    @ fredric:
    Yes, he’s a chav – but my view will change if he joins us – he is quite goonerish!!!

  • devday

    @ Sam:
    I think no-one really knows and it’s between Sp*rs and Arsenal.
    So many people in the know have said it’s Arsenal, but other people supposedly in the know have said it’s not.

    John Cross from the mirror normally gets things right, and he says it’s Sp*rs!

  • devday

    @ Sam:
    Cheers Sam – I think for SA, it’s all about safety first!

  • parsi

    Dont get me wrong I’d love it if we signed this guy – anything is better than diaby and denilson.

  • devday

    Rant from Guillam Balaque – really funny!

    “Courtesy of Twitter, I`ve been getting more abuse from the Twitter twats and toddlers because I`ve been reporting on Barcelona’s strategy for recruiting Cesc Fabregas.
    Apparently, because I`m Spanish, I`m doing my bit for the Catalan club of which I must surely be a fan: because I`m from Barcelona. You couldn`t be more wrong. Is every Londoner and Arsenal fan?”

  • devday

    @ parsi:
    Ramsey and Nasri are defo better!!

  • Sam

    All news guys are crap, but:

    1. Goal wouldn’t usually say it so strongly unless they knew something.

    2. John Cross is expressing an opinion, he doesn’t say he know for sure.

    3. AW wouldn’t talk so bullish about a “free” player unless he had secured his signature! He’s too proffessional to make a mistake like that.

    Anyway, let me be. Let me stay happy! I like the kid, but mostly, I just don’t want thim to go to “you know who”. I think Harry has no intention of signing him, but he’s just talking him up to make him more expensive for us.

  • RVP

    schwarzer will sign for 3-4mil-probly be confirmed when he returns from world cup

    j.cole will sign again most likely to be confirmed once he returns from the world cup

    koscienly will sign for 8mil + coqualin on loan this should be confirmed in the next 7 days

    bids are being negotiated with mexes and melo

    wenger has scouts closely watching ozil kjaer and cavani at the world cup. even though he doesn’t like buying players based on a world cup he has been watching them for a while and wants to see how thwy can ahndle playing in such a big tournamnet.

    wenger is also in talks with benotez and mourinho over various players availablity. julio cesar cambiasso sneijder both diarras and van der vaart

  • Yemi

    @ RVP:
    Source ?

  • Yemi

    Is schwarzer that much better than alumina ? What we need is a good defence.

    Valdez is not an outstanding keeper, but cos of the way barca plays, we rarely sees the ball.

    So what we need is a good defensive hence our keepers are not exposed.

  • Yemi

    my bad
    *defensive unit

  • Francis

    @ francis…

    can you be francis 2 ….its confusing…cos i ‘ve been on this site as francis.

    thanks

  • RVP

    reliable source

  • Josiah

    RVP which is?

  • goonerman

    ANOTHER load of crap from a barca presidential candidate Marc Ingla about cesc going to barcelona even though just today wenger has come out and stated he does now want to sell fabregas! here is a FUNNY QUOTE,

    “Anything between 25 and 35 million euros would seem suitable,” he said.

    they seriously think CESC FABREGAS is only worth between 20 to 30 million, they really need to stop coming out with such crap because they are just making the situation harder for themslves!

  • Josiah

    im not quite sure who the guy is, but to say 25-35million is good enough for cesc so obliviously, it does get on my nerves a little bit

  • Jeff from Fulham

    i am licking my lips with the thought of having joe cole and keeping cesc at arsenal next season.add that rvp,chamakh,arsharvin if he can get his game together then we will have one hell of a chance at the prem lge.wenger seems adament about getting the defence right.we have to be more solid and compact as a team and i feel if we can conceade 10-12 less next season then we can win trophies and may’be just be serious contenders for the champs lge.there is no doubt that schwarzer will be arsenal’s keeper next season,is he better than almunia,yes but i don’t think he’s in the top 4 or 5 keepers in the prem lge although some might say on last season he was.i think wenger will bring in another couple of defenders and i think we should all remain positive for next season.we could have so many attacking options that i can see us topping the ton mark.all we have to do is improve the team and squad and be better defensively-then i think we will be champions.

  • Vazy

    Vela so close!

  • Vazy

    who are people backing in this game anyway? home nation or the only arsenal player on the pitch?

  • Nick

    I’d love to see SA win over Mexico, they play such dirty diving football. I’d like SA to win 2-1 with a goal from Vela.

  • Vazy

    WHAT A GOAL!

  • Vazy

    south africa 1-0

  • Vazy

    tshabalala is quite good to be fair

  • RVP

    diaby was brilliant agenst uruguay he showed little glimpses of vieira.if he can play like that consistently next year our midfield would be complete

  • Amri Gooner

    @ RVP:
    I agree with you, Diaby is a great great player and the only setback he has is the inconsistncy of his form sometimes.
    But, I beleive next season he will be more mature and I’m sure about that.

  • vj

    Diaby wad awsome like that i really hope he keeps it up, henry looked much better than anelka when he was on, ribery was really bad. France did okay though, a little more creativity, changing govou for malouda next game i think, and they should come top of the group

  • andrew

    come on, you Yanks!!!! beat the those Redcoats!

  • Josiah

    i wouldnt go posting that..

  • Flamez

    (hoping this dont get moderated out) Andrew you are a complete tosser, the fact u would support the yanks at anything against us must mean ur a dirty jock (and where are they when the worlds elite are playing? at home coz there sh*t!)

  • Josiah

    HAHAHAHAHA

  • Vazy

    S.Korea V Greece, anyone hazard a guess at final score?

    im going out there with 2-2.. saying that it is a complete guess!

  • Francis

    @ Yemi

    my sympathies for the Nigeria loss to Argentina…..i hope Ghana wins against Serbia tomorrow.

    Cheer up!!!!

  • yemi

    @ Francis:
    thanks bro, the game was not as bad as pple predicted considering argentinas fire power in messi, higuain, tevez, milito e.t.c. and nigerias weak defence in shittu(didnt play a single game for bolton last season), yobo and odiah (out injured most of last season). i hope ghana win too. they should be able to beat sebia fair and flat.

  • andrew

    @ Flamez

    Not sure what your problem is. I am a Yank, so supporting my country makes me a tosser? Clearly the Gooners have many fans around the world, of which I am one.

    I thought we had gotten past any animosity from 1776. :-) I have no doubt England will advance out of the group. We Americans needed the 1 point more than England. Sorry to Green and the gaff but Algeria and Slovenia are not sure things for us, even though they are for England.

    I predict England comes out first with 7 points and I’m hoping we can make it out with 5 points at least.

    @ Josiah,

    Is this forum not open to all Arsenal supporters? Besides, people have been mentioning who they are supporting. Thought I could get a little friendly USA v. England banter going on in here.

    My thoughts on the game itself: I’m sure all English fans were thoroughly disappointed at the draw. Obviously, the US goal was a complete gift and it didn’t even come from “Calamity James.” Maybe Almunia should be England’s number one! :-) In fairness to the Yanks, we had a couple of legitimate chances that could have taken us up a goal. So I don’t think the result was completely undeserved. (obviously our goal was undeserved)

    The beautiful game has come a long way over here in the new world. All the world cup games are broadcast live with good analysts, etc. This may not sound impressive, but “soccer” is becoming more and more popular. Give us another 8 to 12 years and we will not be “at home” as Flamez suggests. We had a good run at last year’s Confederations Cup and if we make it out of the group stages, it will be a success.

  • yemi

    @ andrew:
    feel u man

  • Josiah

    @ andrew i only said i wouldnt post it becasuse i knew someone would say something along the lines of what flamez did

  • Flamez

    @ andrew

    Sorry mate, with a name like andrew and a comment like “redcoats” i presumed u were a jock (and i have had enough of them to last a lifetime) i actually quite rate the yanks so my apolagies again

    on the game its self i was dissapointed with everything we done after 5 minutes, but the yanks played well and i was very impressed with donovan, just now have a feelin we aint gonna top the group but second 2 usa on goal difference and play germany in the last 16

  • yemi

    @ Francis:
    its on!

  • yemi

    ghana vs serbia

  • yemi

    @ Francis:
    goal to ghana !!!

  • andrew

    @ Flamez

    so what do you think Slovenia taking 3 points does to our group? Neither they nor Algeria looked able to win against England or the US but you never know I guess. Thoughts?

    Also, I think most of the world doesn’t rate the Yanks at all. However, most of us that are actual soccer fans here, think that making it out of the group stages will be success. England again have massive expectations and maybe that will hurt them. You have to wonder now what Greene’s blunder does to the team psychy.

    If we come out 2nd in the group and lose to Germany, I will be happy enough, I guess.

    To compare this to Arsenal (since this is an Arsenal blog) I think we supporters sometimes have too high of expectations. Yes, we haven’t won anything for 5 years and that is tough to take, BUT we have been able to watch a team that is exciting and competitive and continues to improve, I feel. The stadium costs have hampered Arsenal and that is why we are constantly trying to buy unknown player or scoop up free-transfers. We may not be the best team every year but we have to be the smartest and most entertaining, right? Thoughts, everyone???