Where Have I Been For The Last Week?

Indeed, for the first time in World of Arsenal history, I had officially been knocked off the radar for the best part of a week… you can blame Fahreen and Tal for that! Two great people and dear friends, who’ve now tied the knot! Being an Indian wedding, it lasted about 7 days… hence, no blog since last week!

So, I hear you ask, what the hell has happened in the last week?

Well, despite 100’s of blogs, 100’s of online newspaper articles, an overdrive of Sky Sports and Arsenal.com and of course 24 hours a day,  days a week Sky Sports News…. in reality, nothing much has really happened in the last week… in fact, it’s a bit ridiculous how much speculation is happening.

I asked last week – would Nasri leave? Would Cesc leave? Would we sign Gervinho?

And this week, I say…

Will Nasri leave? Is Cesc about to depart? And will be sign Gervinho?

Do I want to sign Gervinho because he sounds Brazilian? Yes, that is one of the reasons… but a more overwhelming reason is that he’s actually a decent footballer!

So let’s look at these stories one by one…

Cesc: Will he stay or will he go…

Well, the rumours are rife that we will sell if the money is right. I’ve seen the quote (see below) many times, but it’s by a “senior Arsenal source”… and what does that even mean? Who on earth is this source? Barcelona offered around £30m last year, and this year have offered £27m. We want £40m, and until we’re offered that much, we won’t budge.

“The offer was made formally in writing to our chief executive (Ivan Gazidis), and we said no straight away. [We will consider] possibly yes, and if it’s enough then I expect we’ll have to sell.”

But if we sell our best player off the back of a bad season, then what does that say to the fans? At a time when season tickets are at an all time high, on average, the highest in Europe, how can we selling players as well. As much as people say that Arsene will replace him – have we replaced Henry? Have we replaced Adebayor? Have we replaced Hleb? Have we replaced Vieira? Have we replaced Toure? Have we replaced Lehmann?

The replacements for those players have been the free or cheap signings, Bendtner and Chamakh – the rubbish that is Theo Walcott and Thomas Rosicky… and of course, the lameness of Almunia and company… Instead of Vieira we have the potential of Ramsey, Jack and Song – who will all go on to become world beaters… one day…. but not in the last few seasons, and maybe not next season either. We simply don’t replace quality with quality. We replace quality with cheap replacements – if you do that in a house, it will crumble, so Arsene better be warned…

If we sell Cesc, we will not compete for a top four position next season, mark my words. If we sell Cesc AND Nasri, then we’re about as good as Wigan. Nasri and Cesc are two out of our three best players, Van Persie aside. We will not be able to replace them on as shoestring budget. If they both go, we will have major problems next season.

Ray Parlour was in the news yesterday:

“Maybe they should take that and put the money elsewhere in the squad. I do think it’s important though to keep Samir Nasri and it would be a disaster if they lose both of them. If you lose Fabregas, maybe Nasri can step in and play the role that Cesc does just behind the front two.”

At the moment, there is a lot of money in the game. We will find it hard, if not impossible, to compete with Liverpool’s new found wealth, Man City or Chelsea, United, Barce, Real Madrid, Bayern, Milan or Inter… We’re getting gazumped left right and centre at the moment…

And on the note of transfers – don’t you think our approach this summer has been very random and not thought out well? When you look at United – they seem to have figured out what they want, who they need and got deals in place – Jones, De Gea and Young to name 3 and I’m sure more are coming… whereas we seem to be very random…

One day it’s Gervinho (whom we’ve not even bid for yet)…

“We know that Gervinho is keen on Arsenal. For the moment, there has been simple contact, but we have not received a concrete offer yet.”

The next it’s Mata… and throw in a Samba, a Cahill, a Jagielka and whoever else and it’s clear that neither Arsenal, nor the media have a real direction of what’s going on. It looks like Arsene isn’t quite sure who he wants to sell, or who he wants to buy. The Arsene of old would have got his players lined up, but if Arsene is doing what he’s done in the  last 5 years then we’re going to see not much until the last minute rubbish bargains…

Will Clichy stay?

As Juventus announce that they’ve signed a left back and Roma don’t look interested any more, it looks like we may end up keeping the mistake ridden

“We have started talks with Gael and want him to stay.”

Well, that’s good, I think. Make up your own mind on that one… if someone offered us £10m… what would you say?

The Lady Speaks!

Ex share holder Lady Nina Bracewell voiced her opinion on the current board:

“In time we will need a more dynamic pro-active younger board, and a good directional leadership…and a board that knows the game inside out. Not people coming in from abroad who have to take time to learn.”

Surely a swipe at the current board, full of oldies, a swipe at the ownership too – but she does have a point!

I’ll leave it at that for today, but the good news is that I’m back on the blog every day now… so more from me tomorrow!

  • Berth

    The club hasnt mentioned anything as regards to bids, but the lack of movement is no good at all. And dat Gazidi isn’t doin us well.

  • kronke

    The BBC story about someone unnamed at the club saying “we’ll have to sell him” is just a fantasy, and it is sad to see the BBC reduced to such levels because of cuts in its funding by the Coalition Government. I can understand the Conservative Party crippling the BBC – they see criticism of the government as the equivalence of being a traitor – but the Liberal Party ought to know better.

  • kronke

    Some of us are looking enviously at Man Utd getting their transfer act together and finished early doors whilst Arsenal drag theirs on.

    But then I think of the ‘others’.

    Man City and Chelsea aren’t doing much either and I honestly thought that City would have bought Pele, Maradona and a family bucket from KFC by now and that Chelsea would have sacked their new manager.

    So while the news is repeated that Cesc Fabregas is ‘about to join Barca’ for the 124353th time, and that Arsenal are ‘about to sign unknown Argentinian’, surely it can’t get any worse right?

    The only way is up!

    We all know that Arsene Wenger is looking to strengthen the squad and it will happen because it has to.

    Don’t lose your sanity like Britney Spears with an umbrella. Be a little more patient because I think we will surprised with who comes in.

    I can feel it in my bones.

  • edison

    @ kronke The BBC is a publicly owned broadcast company – you know, that TV license we all pay – so i doubt spending cuts by government would affect its quality of news. Saying that the BBC is meant to be impartial, and usually the last website to report a story – so its strange they would publish an arsenal story which is all rumour and conjecture.

  • hariwool

    As hard as is it to stomach, i happen to think that Fabregas will go on to become one of the best midfielders around at Barca. Playing with top players in that team will bring him on no end.
    He may not get as much playing time at first but in the end he will become one of the first names on the team sheet.

    And lets face it the only reason he wants to go is that he has obviously be promised the world by Wenger when it comes to bringing in top talent and winning trophies and at the end of the day he got neither.
    If our manager had done what we all know he should’ve then we would be trophy winners by now and he probably wouldn’t want to go.

    He must be fed up with carrying this team and looking around and seeing the drivel playing alongside him.
    Watch some of the games and see the frustration on his face. I think i’d feel eaxctly the same.

  • devday

    @ Berth:
    I really thought we’d have wrapped something up by now!
    We were interested in Phil Jones and Henderson before their moves, but perhaps not serious.

  • devday

    @ kronke:
    No depth to the BBC story – but in reality, the essence of the story could well be true…!

  • devday

    @ kronke:
    Well said – I think everyone can see United have a good plan of strengthening and it looks like we don’t… but I suppose we have to realise that there are two months still to go and that the transfer window hasn’t officially opened yet!

  • devday

    @ edison:
    Well said.

  • devday

    News today is that Real Madrid have offered £45m.
    I know Cesc would never go to RM, but at least it will increase the bids around the world.

  • kronke

    @edison: yes I am fully familiar with the BBC and its funding, and indeed did work with the BBC on Doctor Who and Blake’s 7. Not the news service, but I have been there, been on the news programmes, and been involved.

    The fact is that the funding is under attack – hence the reviews of late of the Asian Network, Radio 6, daytime BBC 2 programming cutbacks, wholesale removal of World Service programming – is having an impact throughout the BBC. The reduction in quality of the news coverage in sports is noticeable, for while the Corporation is maintaining its presence around the world and the coverage of political events worldwide, it is cutting back on sports journalism. As a result we get more pundits who know very little and who churn out whatever the papers were saying that day, and less and less insight based on fact.

    The Cesc story is one of many that they have run which has an unattributable source making a highly ambiguous statement and then putting a spin on it.

  • hariwool

    Can someone please enlighten about Gary Cahill. What has the man ever done? He can’t get into a piss-poor England team and was mugged by the Stoke forwards in the FA Cup semi-final. When the Stoke forwards did it to our defence their were screams to have them hanged drawn & quartered.

    The reason we’ve been so quiet in the transfer market is because the UK transfer window opened on 1 June and the European transfer window opens on 1 July. We’ve bought all the players we are going to from English clubs (Jenkinson). Next week expect to see the comings and goings start.

    That’s the problem with the AAA. They’re really good at telling everyone what to do but they don’t know the rules. Just like 12 year olds.

  • devday

    @ hariwool:
    I doubt there is genuine interest in any one British – Cahill, Samba could have already been bought – but the fact AW hasn’t added anyone to the squad indicates he is looking abroad. We will see what happens in the next couple of weeks, a lot hinges on who leaves too.

  • arron

    Zenit have announced that they have signed a deal for Serie A’s best left back Criscito, Newcastle have announced several foreign signings including Cabaye from Lille, and so on.. Deals can be done at any time, it’s just that the player’s registration can’t be moved.

    That is, unless they are in the same league which is something that Arsenal supporters are actually keen to see. If Arsenal wanted Cahill all they would have to do is bid the well known £17m asking price. But given the lack of official reports, it’s starting to look like either Arsenal aren’t interested in him or that we are playing hardball. Bolton need to sell Cahill in order to raise money to replace Sturridge and Elmander because they are beyond flat broke. So they are flogging Cahill harder than a dead horse. But Arsenal know that in January Cahill will be available for like, what, £5m? Maybe we will see Arsenal spend a record transfer fee on a defender in the last year of his contract who plays for a team that are desperate to sell, but somehow I doubt it.

    What I am sure of is that we really don’t know what’s going on. But hey, not knowing what’s going on never stopped anyone before so, I guess I’ll go back to sighing.

  • devday

    @ arron:
    True – re dates & announcements – the fact that nothing British has materialised means probably European – a lot of Euro clubs only announce post 1st July.

    Re: Signings – the main issue looks like Cesc to Barcelona. I have heard so many conflicting reports – it’s a bit hard to purchase for other positions when you don’t know if your captain is going to be there next season!