Tag Archives: Yohan Cabaye

Over 20 players linked in November – Silly season has begun!

On Monday, Fortnum & Mason unvieled their Christmas windows. It is still 2 months till Christmas. I had my first mince pie of the Christmas season in the middle of October. Asda (I can not afford Fortnum & Mason) were selling mince pies, Christmas Puddings and Christmas Cake from the first of October. I have yet to hear the first Christmas song on BBC Radio 1, although it can not be too long until this landmark. The Christmas season has started. 2 months before the big day. And in the same way, silly season has started in football, despite the transfer window not opening for 2 more months. How I love November.Santa

The month had barely begun and already the journalists were getting excited. Finally they no longer have to write real stories, no longer have to report the truth, instead they get to fill their papers with inches and inches of mindless transfer speculation. Quiet day and in need of a back page story? Lets make up transfer gossip involving a top Premier League club and a top player from Europe. Got 3 inches to fill, write something quickly about how a League Two club are thinking of taking a league one player on loan. It is easy for them.

And editors and the finance men rub their hands in glee. A simple article about how a club has agreed terms with a certain player will get a lot more hits, and therefore generate a lot more in advertising revenue, then a proper piece about how Liverpool’s 3-5-2 formation does not work against top sides, or how Chelsea might have the players, but have not yet forged an identity under Mourinho.

And blogs also get in on the act, knowing that a made up article hitting NewsNow can generated 100,000 hits, or $50 in AdSense advertising. Not bad for a days work.

Add in the Twitter ITK’s (I will not name them) who see it as a chance to add thousands of followers, in the hope enough stay around after (have we signed M’Vila yet?),justifying their existence, the days up to the transfer window are tedious, at best. And it is still 2 months to go.

We have already agreed terms with Karim Benzema, in a bidding war with Chelsea over Diego Costa and Robert Lewandowski (I thought he had already agreed to sign for Bayern Munich?) and about to sign Alexandre Pato – What a front 3 we will have! On top of this, we are going to get Fernando Llorente on a free transfer, renewing our pursuit of Clement Grenier and scouting Christian Benteke and West Ham defender Winston Reid. Add in our long term interest of Ilkay Gundogan and things are getting exciting.

Unfortunately, we have suffered a set back in our pursuit of Hernanes although a deal is not compeltely ruled out, and are also struggling to sign Martin Montoya, whilst we have been dealt a huge blow in the pursuit of Lars Bender. Good news is we have in the race to sign Jorginho, and Gokhan Inler looks set to finally sign after 10 years of us scouting him.

‘Out of favour’ Stephan El Shaarawy is looking for a way out of AC Milan (although being injured this season is not exactly being out of favour), the Yohan Cabaye deal is very much still on, whilst attacking midfielder Javier Pastore is looking to end his PSG hell by joining the Gunners.

We are on red alert to sign a pre-contract deal with Kasper Schmeichel, mulling over a deal for 18 year old Angel Correa (who?), sniffing around Saido Berahino and Basel’s Fabian Schar is on the radar.

I am writing this on the evening of November the 5th. In 5 days, we have been linked with over 20 players already. In just 5 days (I had to reiterate it). How many will it be by the time the transfer window slams shut on January 31st? Probably north of 100.

These links are not from blogs, nor are they from the ITK twitter tossers. They are from papers. From journalists. From professionals. People are paid to write the stories on these links. At no point do they try to explain where they will fit in to the Arsenal squad. It is almost as if they play ‘pin the player on the Premier League side’ of an evening to decide which players they are going to link to which club.

My advice, ignore it all. Until you see that player holding the shirt, ignore it. Even the usually reliable BBC have messed up recently, with their involvement in both the Nuri Sahin drama and Gonzalo Higuain fiasco.

Christmas is not nearly here, nor is the transfer window yet close to opening, yet the silly season for both is already in full swing.



What, if anything can make us forgive Arsene Wenger ?

So, as I sit here waiting for the Arsenal vs. Fenerbahce qualifier to kick of I got thinking about Arsene Wenger, the fans feelings toward him, the predicament he finds himself in and what he can do to rescue himself, if indeed he can.

The more I think, the more I wonder if he is happy? Does he feel he is doing a good job? In fact, has he done a good job?

I am no financial expert, and I certainly do not profess to understand the financial ins and outs of running one of the world’s largest football clubs. Sure, I see it all on face value. I see the club wringing every last pound out of the fans from season tickets, memberships, marble stones everywhere you look, merchandising and food & drink inside the stadium to even charging to be put on waiting lists for season tickets or club level.

The money going into the club must be at the highest it has ever been, but the money being spent always seems to be on the low side when it comes to player acquisition.

But…how much of this frugality has been required to help the transition away from Highbury into the Emirates?

Despite hearing the apologists saying that the footballing landscape has changed, and it certainly has, it does appear that we were fed a line from the club about the need to move in order to compete. That move was 7 years ago. Surely by now we should have been competing in the transfer market more than we have been. I, for one, am disappointed at the lack of activity and to return another profit on our transfer business would be considered as negligence on my part, but with 6 days left, is there time for Wenger to regain the fans trust in him, right the wrongs and restore the faith in him that, let’s be honest, we all had for him during the late nineties and early noughties.

Maybe, maybe he has been doing what is right for the club. The whole ‘He has money’ from the board, to the ‘I don’t have money’ from him was frustrating. The ‘If you gave me £40m to spend I’d give it straight back’ & ‘4th place is a trophy’ comments – were these all a smokescreen for what was really going on, maybe he didn’t have a penny to spend. The club are always going to try and save face wherever they can, it is a large PR machine than needs to keep a lot of people happy and I am a strong believer that you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

We have been linked with a whole load of players this transfer window, many of whom have signed for different clubs – the new found ‘In the know’ fools that you find all over social networking sites do nothing more than fuel fans anxiety and frustration and everybody would do well to give these people as little credibility as they deserve – fact is they know nothing. Arsenal has always done its business quietly and I have lost count of how many times we have made a signing that nobody, not even the ITK that professes to have insider information, saw coming.

That said, the past few days have seen us linked with names such as Benzema, Di Maria, Ozil, Rooney and Cabaye and the whole point of this piece was to play devil’s advocate and ask the question….

If Wenger spent the reputed £70m, £80m or £100m, depending on who you listen too, on some ‘top, top quality’ players and mounted a serious challenge for the title, maybe got to the final of the FA Cup and say won the League Cup…would he be forgiven? Would we understand more and be more patient with him? Would his respect, that he absolutely did earn all those years back, be restored?

Or is it too little too late ?