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Transfer Targets, No-one is Risk-Free

By Dale Higginbottom

We’re well into June now and the transfer window is wide open. The international games are now out of the way so speculation is again looming with players all over the globe being linked with a move to the Emirates but which ones can we take seriously? Last summer we had something like 100 players that the club were rumoured to be in talks with/interested in/close to signing/etc. but very few of these players were actually even considered by the club, let alone in talks with them or even close to signing.

Over recent years our club has definitely had somewhat of a minimalist approach when it comes to player transfers, with focus being put on giving some of the players from the youth system a chance. However, the suggestion is that this summer there could be a slight change of focus but how much of a change will this be and how will the policy differ from pervious summer windows? To look into this we need to look at what has happened in the past and what many people believe our transfer policy to be.

One view that has been flogged to death over the past few seasons is that Arsène doesn’t trust English/British players. Now this is just a ridiculous notion that simply has no evidence to back it up. The fact that we have an exciting youth project with an academy that has produced and developed the likes of Wilshere, Gibbs, Lansbury, Bartley, Emmanuel-Thomas, Afobe to name a few  kind of puts paid to that argument.

The next argument is that Arsène doesn’t buy English/British players but signings of Ramsey, Walcott and the re-signing of Sol Campbell again suggests that he’s not averse to signing British players if the right player comes along. Indeed, Arsène has consistently said that he’ll buy a player (at the right price) so long as he’ll improve the squad and this decision is irrespective of nationality.

So, given that we’ve dismissed some of these myths, maybe we need to look into the transfer history of the past few seasons and see what that can tell us? Well, firstly we’re definitely happy to spend money overseas. Our extensive scouting network gives the club great knowledge of players playing at a high level in many leagues and gives us the edge over a number of clubs to pick up bargain players ready for the first team squad (Chamakh, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Arshavin, Nasri, Eduardo, Sagna to name a few). This network is also responsible for finding exciting younger players that need to be developed a little before being trusted in the first team. Players the likes of Szczesny, Clichy, Song, Diaby, Fabregas, van Persie and Bendtner have all been brought through in this way.

In addition to the overseas scouting, we have a team of scouts that focus on the domestic game and young players that can be brought in at an early age and developed in an “Arsenal way”. This system has always been in place, in the past bringing in the likes of Pennant and Upson but more recently players like Walcott, Ramsey, Bartley, Freeman and Jenkinson.

But what’s missing? What area do we not buy players in? Well, let’s looks more at the British signings over the past few years.

Player Signed When Signed From
Jenkinson* Summer 2011 Charlton Athletic
Campbell January 2010 No Club
Ramsey Summer 2008 Cardiff City
Freeman January 2008 Gillingham
Bartley Summer 2007 Bolton Wanderers
Walcott January 2006 Southampton

*Dual nationality. Could play for England if he chooses..

Before I continue, I can’t be sure that I’ve not missed any young players that have been signed from other clubs (excluding pre-16 year old moves) but I think my next point will still be valid.

Anyway, what do we see here? Well, the obvious point is where the players are signed from. None of the above players were signed from a Premier League team (yes, Bartley is the exception but he never played for the Bolton first team) and therefore none of the above players had any Premier League experience before signing for Arsenal. There is good reason for this, as we’ve seen with some of the signings made by other clubs this summer, British players with Premier League experience come with built-in young British player inflation.

But do we have something here? British players don’t always have to be so expensive; indeed we’ve picked up some bargains in that list. No, is the issue more that players from other Premier League clubs are too expensive?  The recent transfers of Jordan Henderson, Fernando Torres, Andy Carroll, Phil Jones, Darren Bent and the expected price given to Luka Modric’s possible move shows that clubs are willing to put a high value on players with Premier League experience but maybe that value is a little too high and therefore as a result, is Premier League experience over-priced?

So, what if we look at the players we have bought in the past from other Premier League teams?

Player Signed When Signed From
Silvestre Summer 2008 Man. Utd
Diarra Summer 2007 Chelsea
Gallas Summer 2006 Chelsea
Poom January 2006 Sunderland

Beyond these we’re going back to Richard Wright and Francis Jeffers and we all know how successful those signings were for us. However, more to the point with this list is that each of these signings was not a typical (if there is such a thing) signing. By this I mean none of these were signed with the expectation of an instant first team place and all were signed because there was a good deal to be done. Certainly, we’ve not seen Arsène Wenger go out and chase the “experienced” player, matching their current club’s inflated demands.

But maybe that’s the point. Premier League experience is over-valued. Yes, it is always difficult for overseas players to adapt to a new country and culture but with an already multi-cultured squad at Arsenal, new players should find it fairly easy to settle in, just look at how quickly Chamakh got started last season. Yes, some players get homesick (e.g. José Antonio Reyes) but with the right support this can be managed and being away from home is not something limited to players bought from overseas. Man City bought Carlos Tevez after he was pretty settled in England but after the break-up of his relationship to his daughter’s mother, he now finds it difficult to be away from his daughter, who now lives back in Argentina and I also remember Robbie Savage requesting a transfer in order to be closer to his parents.

It’s not just about settling into a new country and culture, even just settling into a new club can be difficult. Take David Bentley for example, he’s completely disappeared since his move to Spurs. Despite the obvious disliking that most Arsenal fans have for him, we can all admit that the move from Arsenal to Blackburn was quite good for him. He became a regular in the Blackburn team and impressed a lot of people so that when the Tiny Totts stumped up £15m for him it wasn’t the most outlandish offer ever seen in the Premier League but it reflected the fact that he was a fairly successful Premier League player. This move has since shown not to work for both Bentley and the Tiny Totts (other than the odd fluke goal), and it maybe shows that buying Premier League experience does necessarily mean that you’ll obtain a player with Premier League quality.

Bentley’s case was an interesting one as he obviously had enough quality (both at Blackburn and Arsenal) and I’m pretty sure Arsène wanted to keep him but maybe it’s something in the big money move and the mindset of the player. Bentley’s move to Blackburn gave him the motivation to prove Wenger wrong and make something of his career and maybe domestic players, that are yet to make their mark in a big club, have that motivation, at least to some degree. The big money move to Spurs then gave Bentley the recognition that he’d “made it” in the world’s biggest league and so his motivation to perform could’ve gone.

Buying players from overseas or bringing in young domestic-based players could (at least to some extent) reduce some of the motivation factor. Players still want to prove themselves in the Premier League as it’s where the fame and the money is and maybe this extra drive and motivation balances out some of the benefits of getting a player with Premier League experience.

Now, I’m not saying that the likes of Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka or Chris Samba are not on Arsène’s radar, nor am I saying that these players will lack all effort once they get a big money move. Similarly I’m not saying that we won’t put offers in for such players, as we have been believed to have done for Phil Jones and Mark Schwarzer. No, what I’m saying is that every transfer has its risks and every player might have problems in settling in, whichever club he decides to move to. Given all this additional price hike attributed to the transfer fees of existing Premier League players seems, to some degree, be too much of a price to pay, given that the risks can be just as high. Arsène may decide that a player is worth £Xm and he won’t be held to ransom over this perceived belief that Premier League experience is essential.

There are different levels of experience and different types of experience and not all are as valuable as each other. The question is, what type of experience is needed for Arsenal? Top league experience in Span, Italy, France, Germany or Holland? Champions league or Europa League experience? International experience? All of these can be valuable in their own way and no-one can truly be certain as to the true value of a player once he’s signed on the dotted line.

37 comments to Transfer Targets, No-one is Risk-Free

  • tiarnan

    Youre dead right Tony – buying Premier League experience is way over rated…unless of course you want to be Champions.

    But if you just want to dilly dally through life then absolutely, we should continue our policy of buying:

    Koscielny – a 25 yr old with 1yr experience in Ligue 1 no agression – no presence – and brutal at CRITICAL moments (because hes no…EXPERIECE)

    Chamakh – A free transfer that no-one else wanted (maybe because he had a 1 in 4 goal record in a far inferior league to the EPL)

    Squilaci – A poor mans Pascal Cygan…..or a moderately wealthy mans Igor Stepanovs – enough said.

    11 points from our last 11 games – tells the story succinctly doesnt it?

    What will it take for you to get angry? Someone robbing your 4 mile long scarf?

  • Arsene Wonka

    3 players to bring in with some PL experience Vieira, Lehmann and Henry all as player coaches in their specialist position. Martin Keown or Tony Adams to complete the specialist coaching set-up.

    New Set-up
    Manager – Wenger
    No.2 – Primovic
    GK Player/Coach – Lehmann
    Full Back Coach – Rice
    Centre Half Coach – Keown
    Midfield Player/Coach – Vieira
    Striker/Winger Player/Coach – Henry

  • bob

    On offense: Wherever he’s from, a proven or well-scouted poacher (dare I say clinician) from within the 6 yard line as a complement to RvP will do wonders. The stats will show how poor our goal conversion rate has been relative to shots taken within the six. It would only help (not magically solve, but Help) with breaking down the bus-parking which now Many teams do against our team/our style.
    On defense: a defender that has shown himself to be committed to all-out effort in defense, and ideally to a swarming pressing all-out collective defense (as per Barca). The open channel from Arshavin-Clichy is in dire need of a toll booth.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Tiarnan,

    No, let us talk about Squillaci. Because I don’t think you have said enough. No you have made life a bit easy on yourself.

    Squillaci has won more titles on his own than the rest of our team together in their whole career. He has won 9 titles in his career so far in France and Spain. So one could think he should have had some experience? Wasn’t he what people like you said Wenger should buy last season? “EXPERIENCE”

    Well Squillaci is nothing but experience. And he wasn’t good enough for many fans, like you.

    So you don’t want Wenger to buy non experienced players like Koscielny. But on the other hand when Wenger buys an experienced player you say he is rubbish.

    Yeah I bet you would have done better.

    I think you missed the whole point of the article: a transfer is never a guarantee for success.

    Would Samba be a succes at Arsenal? Would he cope with the high line we play? I’m not sure about such things. Can you? Will you bet everything you own on a new player saying: if we buy him we will a title and if not you can have everything I have?

    I wouldn’t and you also wouldn’t do this because you know it is always a gamble.

    I’m not Tony but what makes me angry in a way is people talking with hindsight and saying what could/should be done. It too easy.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And let us talk about Koscielny.

    After we had played against Barcelona a person who I know came to me and talked about the game. He knows I’m an Arsenal supporter and he is more a folower of football in general.

    But he came up to me and asked: from where does that player (Koscielny) come from? He found him an amazing defender and that he had played a brillant game against Barcelona. He had never heard of him but he found him amazingly good.

    Oh and have you remembered how inexperienced Tony Adams was at first? Donkey Adams…. Oh it’s so easy to write a player off.

    If you would be manager we would have 25 new players each year I guess…. and maybe a new manager after each defeat…

    Rome wasn’t build in a day. It took a while. But when it was finished (as far as you can say that of a city which is never finished) it was a great place.
    We have been closer to wining a trophy than we have been in the last seasons and that with the best player in the world only fit for half of the season. And he will be fit next season.

  • ak47

    i guess new signings need a level of ability but it boils down to the attitude for me, the never give up even if your 3-nil down. replacing current players who do not have this with players that do even if the ability remains the same will be a step in the right direction.

    ive played and have been outplayed by the other team, did my desire fall? no it increased, but thats just the way i am. til the whistle goes theres always a chance.
    what i hated were certain players around me who bitch and moan and then cant be arsed any more. prematurely defeated. you can instantly tell there not giving 100% because you know what their 100% looks like.

  • Dark Prince

    Walter- lets continue our talk on Squillaci….

    What was the age he signed for us?? Dont u think his peak period was over b4 he joined us??
    The same goes with Silvestre, who had won titles in his career more any other current arsenal player….but did u think we did the right thing in signing him?? He too was way past his prime and thats the reason we shouldn’t have ever signed him…

  • Shard

    @Dark prince

    30-31 year old for a defender is not too old. Especially when you consider that he was to be only a backup. I was absolutely satisfied with the signing of Squillaci. He did seem that he would be exactly what we needed. Too bad it didn’t work out that way. But as Walter says, EVERY transfer is a risk.

  • Rich_Fryer

    Koscielny was awesome against Barca, and has been great in general. He kept Messi in his pocket in the second half, no easy feat. He’s made a couple of errors, but his best days are in front of him.

  • gooner_g

    I hate dark prince

  • Gooner Gal

    Dale, this is an interesting article and I completely agree with every thing you’ve said. Buying good players is a very difficult ask. In the past we have seen lots of ‘big signings come into this league and not make it (Robinho & Shevchenko spring to mind) as well as players like Berbatov and Bent go into the wrong set up/club really struggle.

    As you say, even if the player has premiership experience, they still might not work out at their new club. The Arsenal staff possibly do not get enough credit for how well the players that join us quickly settle and adapt.

    If I am honest the thought of having either Chris Samba or Gary Cahill pull on an Arsenal top makes my stomach churn, but if we do end up buying one of them I will support them once they sign. Until them I have my fingers crossed that this is just a nasty rumour. I would much rather we looked abroad if this is all that’s on offer.

  • Shard

    And actually, yes.. I don’t get why Koscielny is maligned, other than the fact that people just have an inherent desire to moan about everything. He’s been very near brilliant in his FIRST season in England, and only his second in a top flight, when he has been thrown in at the deep end due to the injury to Vermaelen.

  • Gooner Gal

    Agreed Rich Fryer – Kos has been immense!

  • C4

    Ye, I think Koscielny is pretty damn good actually. Forgetting the screw up in the CC final, he’s had a pretty good season. Wins almost every header in midfield, and very little gets past him actually. And it’s his 1st season.
    He’s played better than many of the league’s central defenders who’ve got plenty of Prem League experience.
    I’m also not that sure about Samba, I don’t know if he’ll fit into our system, and manage with our high line as many have pointed out. I guess we’ll have to see, assuming we buy him.
    Of all the rumoured defenders, I’d guess Vertonghen would suit us best, form the little I’ve seen. He’s a ball playing defender, quick as well so he should be able to cope with our high line. I’d say he ticks all the boxes, and some. If we got only him and Gervinho, I’d be OK to head into next season like that. The rest can come from our youth, e.g Lansbury to replace Denilson, Ramsey to fill Rosicky’s void (id he leaves), Frimpong to back up Song / Diaby, Barley as an extra centre back, etc. We can ease the kids into the team.

  • John

    I think the fans just want 3/4 players that are quality and will improve the squad. The price although its important but when you consider the amount of players we have that did not contribute enough OR nothing last season.

    If we shift all these players and promote some of the younger players Bartley, Coquelin, Frimpong etc there’s plenty of money there to sign the players we need to push on and start winning.

    I think we need a good centre half who is strong, quick and aggressive …not an easy find but I think Zapata from Udinese would be an ideally partner for Vermanlen. Samba is not the answer he really isnt good defender why buy him say for £8M instead of just going for it and buying a world class centre half.

    I think Clichy was really let down by Arshivan last year and the fans turned on him abit hopefully he stays imo Ashley Young would have been a great signing. He can play both wings and doesnt think he is above getting back and helping out.

    PLAYERS OUT

    1) ALUMNIA £2
    2) EBOUNE £6
    3) SQUALLACI £2
    4) Traore £3
    5) DENILSON £6
    6) ARSHIVAN £10
    7) VELA £6
    8) ROSICKY £6
    9) BENDTHNER£12

    TOTAL £53

    PLAYERS IN

    1) GERVINHO £10M
    2) OXLADE £10M
    3) YOUNG £20M
    4) ZAPATA £15M

    TOTAL £55.00

  • bob

    @John,
    Given our existing youth pipeline, why do you/anyone think Oxlade is actually worth the 10M gamble that could otherwise go into a larger splash for a higher-profile entity (offense or defense) with a demonstrated track record? I mean he might be that first-team-ready type (the category that Dark Prince wrote about a couple of weeks ago), but I haven’t heard that. So why a 10M gamble? What’s your thinking on him?

  • John

    My thinking on oxlade is that we need proper wingers in the team arshiavn rosicky or more attacking central players. If we had Young Narsi with Walcott and Oxlade as backup I would be happy the the two wide positions would be covered. What we had last season was players but played out of position coming back inside slowing down the play. It was all to predictable watching the ball being passed from side to side letting the opposition get their defense organised with no end product. Yes its expensive for an unproven kid but there must be something about the lad if Utd and Liverpool are interested.

  • Gord

    We’ve had 1 youth signing, and Arsenal finally published that 3 youngsters are being let go. On Untold, they expect 4 youths to challenge for senior places. Interviews of Gazidis of late suggest a busy summer for signing players, but with the first exhibition game about 1 month away (mid July), I would be surprised if there are any signings made after about 1 week from now (leaving just 1 week in June). To sign anyone after that time, it becomes a problem to work the player into the team before the season starts.

    On historical evidence, Arsenal should have had more than enough goaltenders last year. It would be unlikely for the same problem to happen again this year. So, I wouldn’t think of any signings in that position. The problem with Vermaelen was another unfortunate problem. If he was fit, we had more than enough centrebacks last year. The only question I have, is that Achilles problem fixed? We have tons (tonnes?) of midfielders. For every style of midfield play needed, you probably need 2 (or better 3) players who can play that style. The only reason to get more midfield players, is if we don’t have enough variety of styles in midfield. I would suggest the same is largely true of strikers.

    I can easily imagine that, there will be no signings this summer, beyond the 1 youth signing already made. As it is, there is already 4 or 5 new players trying for places in the senior team. If existing players need competition in order to perform, they’ll have it. We just need to get a season with average or less than average injuries. And you can’t find that in the transfer market.

  • C4

    @bob
    Good question, actually. For me, Oxlade C’s just a name I’ve read a lot. Everyone and their dog seems to think we should have him, not I’m not so sure we should be going for him, considering we have guys like Benik Afobe and JET almost ready (both are taller than Oxlade C, and from what I hear, just as good or even better). i don’t think we need more young strikers, we’ve been raising some pretty good ones already. Teams are clambering over each other to loan our current young strikers. I may be wrong, since I haven’t seen the boy play, but I get the sense we don’t need him.

  • Lanz

    I consider Vertonghen to be far better than Cahill. Furthermore, he can play as a DM & LFB & we can get him for less than 12m. Why go after 17m Cahill? If its Cahill, we shouldn’t pay more than 13m but I really hope its Jan V.

  • Dark Prince

    Shard- even Silvestre was a back up….but does that justify buying them?? jus bcoz they are back up players, it doesn’t mean they will never be used….and if they are supposed to be used, then its necessary that they should be of a quality of Arsenal’s standards. And i cant believe that after all the injury problems we have, you don expect that our back ups can ever be used in more games than required.

    Also, 31 yrs old is quite old unless you are a goalkeeper. The only way a big club can keep a player of that age is only if that player is exceptional, eg ferdinand, lampard, terry, giggs, scholes, gerrard…etc…dont think Squillaci or Silvestre belong in that category of exceptional players….infact dont even think Rosicky is in that category, and the need to remove such dead weight from the squad will be all the more important since the 25 man squad limit rule…

  • Dark Prince

    @gooner_g- the feeling is mutual 🙂

  • Dark Prince

    Plus even a player like Arshavin, who was exceptional few years back, is nowhere near his past nowadays… He still has the ability to find players with his passes and scores goals, but he has lost his pace, his dribblings has been very weak n predictable, his fitness is poor, his shots are slowly but surely becoming a matter of concern.
    Plus the fact that he’s near 30 yrs old now doesn’t give any good hopes of him returning to his peak again. Today, i’d prefer a young Miyachi to take over his place, bcoz Miyachi has better chances of improvement than Arshavin.

  • Wrenny

    Good article. There is ALWAYS risk involved in any new signing, I don’t know how some fans just assume that buying a Premier League defender, or a PL player for whichever position, is guaranteed to bring trophies.

    It seems like an odd bit of logic: Arsenal don’t buy PL players often + Arsenal aren’t winning trophies = PL players will win us trophies! It doesn’t work like that.

    How about: Barcelona have the smallest team in Europe + Barcelona are ridiculously successful at present = Small players will win you everything!

  • Wrenny

    Oh, and I have an article for Untold. Walter, where can I e-mail it to?

  • bjtgooner

    Good article Dale, as you correctly point out the excellent Arsenal scouting network has allowed us to purchase quality players at reasonable prices over a period of time when most other teams, without a similar scouting network, were more limited in their choice and paid a premium for players of equivalent or lower quality.

    More recently it looks as if many EPL teams have tried to improve their scouting network and have closed the gap, but overall Arsenal’s academy and scouting network are still second to none. What we don’t have are the megabucks to throw around a la Man Oil, Man Debt and Chelski. Even without spending megabucks we were arguably the best team in the league until after the Carling Cup final, then, as we all know, the wheels came off. Putting the wheels back on (in such a way that they stay on) must be a priority for the pre season.

    A disturbing aspect of the last few games in the season was not just the fact that we conceded too many goals but the manner in which we conceded – it was far too easy for the opposition to score. It has been stated in earlier articles that training and drills should go along way to tightening our defence and I agree, however, I do feel an additiona CB signing would help – always provided we can get the right player.

    Also, Dj, Verm and Kos are all still relatively young and will improve over the next few seasons. We are fortunate to have three really good young CBs. (Squill was probably intended to be 4th CB for a year or two until Bartley or Miguel come through). The advantage of a Samba type player is that it would give us height and muscle to deal with the more physical non football teams.

  • walter

    Wrenny,

    you can send it to walterbroeckx(at)hotmail.com or at the address on the main page if it can wait a few days till Tony is back. Just click on the link next to the picture for the address of Tony

  • Arsenal1Again

    1st July is when the transfer window is wide open Dale. Transfers are meaningless until they’re complete or finalised.

  • Wrenny

    Thanks Walter. I thought of sending it to Tony but as I knew he was on holiday but not when he was getting back I thought I should send it to you. I remember you had left your e-mail in the comments of a previous article so had a look for it but couldn’t find it unfortunately. I’ll be sending it shortly 🙂

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I get the feeling that lots of Arsenal ‘fans’ never watch any football matches not involving Arsenal. Which is commendable but naive. About 15 teams a year in the PL concede more goals than us on average. That ought to tell you something about the general quality of most premiership defences. The 11 best English players are routinely given footballing lessons by European minnows who invariably lose because they lack defensive nous or striking talent, not from a lack of ability to create chances. That should tell you something about the average English player.

  • bob

    @C4: yeah, its like a mantra: OC, OC, OC…gotta have him. For my money, I think a 10-12 (actually)M gamble is better combined into a roll of the dice for a demonstrated top-flight type: wherever the next Eduardo is lurking (as somewhere within the 6 yard line, with RvP tucked in behind him for maximal firepower.) That’s my 12M dreamscape.

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Wenger is a calculated gambler…..any decent manager has to be! Even SAF, who imo is the real manager of the decade, has made some real clangers in the past and will continue to do so. We can’t judge these men fairly in hindsight since they didn’t have a crystal ball to tell them that a player would succeed. Bringing in a Messi usually is a safe bet but Barca had to gamble on him as well at the start. It took him 5 seasons to become the star he is. Forlan sucked at Manure but was a God at Atletico and Villareal, etc.
    As far as OC goes, 10m sterling for a complete neophyte is quite a stretch BUT it seems that enough top 4 teams like what they see so what the hell do I know! I don’t understand those who diss Chamakh,Kos, and Arshavin. Chamakh did very well when he was playing regularly…he isn’t an RVP (how many RVP’s are there out there?)but he was a pleasant revelation. Kos made errors, some pretty big BUT he had the 2nd best defenders’ record for fewest goals scored against at AFC. He also showed he is a very quick learner and had he played alongside Vermaelen all season, he would have developed even more rapidly.
    Arshavin is way out of shape (too much Borsch and caviar), is visibly slowing down and needs more discipline but he is our best impact player,along with Walcott, when he comes on. He has, imo one or two more seasons in him so we’ll see how he performs next year. I think Wenger will use him like SAF uses Giggs or Scholes.

  • Gord

    According to wikipedia, Arsene Wenger is educated as an electrical engineer (along with economics). As an electrical engineer, he has more than enough ability in mathematics to analyse player performance, or to understand the analyses (including possible problems with the analyses) of players, or the team.

    Understanding statistics is a necessary part of the above. I wouldn’t say this makes him a calculated gambler, but it does make him capable of understanding gambling.

  • Chowdhury

    ” Player OUT:

    TRASH 1 $XXX M
    TRASH 2 $XXX M

    ————
    +XXX M
    Player IN:

    PLAYER 1 $XXX M
    PLAYER 2 $XXX M

    ————-
    -XXX M

    Somebody Shoot Me, please. We the species called “Human”s — we are really not supposed to be that stupid. We are supposed to have a bit more intelligence than that.

    Sorry, but lately I’m seeing that format way too often and it is starting get under the skin. Is it just me?

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    Would anyone watch a one hour video of a player being done for pace, getting caught ball watching, falling on his arse or staring at his own goal with a ball in the net? No? Because that’s the real season highlights for a lot of suggested defensive recruits.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Chowdhury,
    No you are not the only one.

    This is so playstation fifa manager or whatever it is called (I don’t know it, I don’t play it….)

    Things don’t work like that at all… Besides what is the value I (or anyone else) gives to a player really worth in the real world? Nothing

  • snehal

    We are not going to sign anybody – jesus christ on a bike has history not shown you anything ? The last five seasons have been equally disastrous as this one and Wenger did nothing – nothing will change this year. Come August 31st you will be praying that the likes of Barton would sign just so you can say we have signed someone. We are screwed with this manager and board. They just tell you what you want to hear – and people like lap it up and take it as gospel