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The ins and outs of Arsenal’s transfer window

By Phil Gregory

Well, that was one hell of a deadline day for Arsenal fans, and it brings to a close our summer of transfer activity which has resulted in six additions. Those are, of course:

  • Mertesacker
  • Jenkinson
  • Santos
  • Arteta
  • Benayoun
  • Campbell
  • Gervinho
  • Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • Young Park

You could also potentially include Miyiachi onto that list as he’s now available to play after his special talent permit came through, unlike Joe Campbell’s. However there were the departures of first team stars Nasri, Fabregas and Clichy to contend with, alongside the loan (likely to end in a permanent transfer somewhere) of Denilson.

So judging from the raw numbers, our squad is actually quite a bit bigger than it was last season. Arguably we’ve gained two centre backs compared to last year – as Vermaelen played virtually no part – so we’ve serious competition in that area of the squad. Mertesacker has a sackful of Germany caps and that’s a country which isn’t too shabby internationally so I think he could be a good player for us. I’m interested to see where he fits into the squad: I really, really like the partnership of Koscielny and Vermaelen and it remains to be seen whether Wenger will break it up. Looking to the future, with the highly promising Kyle Bartley out on loan for the season, next summer could be the end of the road for someone such as Squillaci, who will be out of contract at that stage I suspect.

The midfield was clearly heavily hit this summer. We lost Fabregas, who for me is the best central midfielder in the world*. That sort of loss is always going to be felt keenly, and even though Aaron Ramsey is a talented young player, it seems Arsène Wenger doesn’t want his side to be in permanent transition, always giving game time to a youngster with an eye to the future. That is fair enough, and young Aaron will get plenty of game time this season regardless, possibly alongside Arteta in midfield until Jack is back playing.

Is Arteta Cesc Fabregas? No, of course he’s not. His injury record is also something to be wary of, but I doubt Arsenal will have done a last-minute deal if there wasn’t the opportunity to perform a thorough medical. Some of the stats I’ve heard regarding Arteta’s chance creation record over the last few years give me cause for confidence. In an Arsenal side that contains plenty of quality, there is no reason to think he can’t keep that up, or even further improve in that aspect of his game. This signing gets a solid thumbs up from me, and I think the price get will get the Arsène Wenger seal of approval too.

Andre Santos is clearly the replacement for Gael Clichy in the side. While Gibbs is a good player (Wenger at one point in the summer said we have “all we need” at leftback), the young England international does rank fairly highly in the Louis Saha injury league table. Whilst the nature of some of his recent injuries suggests that that is simply a heck of a lot of bad luck, the departure of Traore means we are light in numbers and quality at leftback. Whilst I can’t say I have seen much of Fenerbahce or Brazil in recent times, Wenger has a good record in transfers and the titbits that I’ve heard seem promising. Thumbs up here too

Gervinho’s Arsenal career started extremely promising, if also with a red card. Originally, I suspect he was brought in to provide competition up front, with Arshavin’s performances not entirely convincing recently. However with the departure of Nasri, I think he has the quality to start for Arsenal (with Theo on the opposite flank) and Benayoun will be an option from the bench. I can’t say Benayoun would have been at the top of my list for wide attackers, but it seems like options such as Elia haven’t worked out and Benayoun has been available for a season. Seems like a reasonable move from that point of view, and both Gervinho and Yossi should be good players for the club.

Young Park is a bit of an enigma, really. We all know Wenger knows the French market very, very well and has rarely made a bad signing from it but Park is a real signing from leftfield.  A few doubters look at his goals a game and wonder whether he’ll struggle up front against Premier League defences, but last year he was playing in a side that got relegated, so a goal every third game is actually a good return in such circumstances, especially given how his passing is rated highly too. It sounds like he’ll be a backup for Van Persie in terms of the quality of his link up play, which begs the question: what of Chamakh? I’m looking forward to seeing this signing for the Arsenal.

As for the kids Jenkinson, Campbell and Chamberlain, the pressure is on the latter given his price tag. Whilst the reported figure of £12-15m is a lot for a 17 year old, 11 goals and nine assists is a great return for a player of his age in League One. If you consider how highly rated some of our current kids are (Afobe nearly getting nabbed by Barcelona) and he can’t boast stats in League One like that at a similar age. I’m of course not getting into an Afobe vs. Chamberlain debate, but it certainly seems we’ve picked up a huge, huge talent. That comes with a price tag, but we have the cash available for special players.

Jenkinson and Campbell were both significantly cheaper and as such a lower level of expectations could be levelled at them. Jenkinson hasn’t done badly at all for a youngster chucked in at the deep end, whilst Campbell shone over the summer in performances that caught the eyes of Arsenal and a few other big sides. A season’s loan in Ligue 1 will allow us to see exactly where Joel is at, and with a few stellar performances he might be able to “do a Miyiachi” and get a permit next year.

All in all, a fairly satisfying transfer window for the Arsenal, despite three first eleven departures. I never thought out top four place was in danger from Liverpool, but now it is surely absolutely secure. Whether we can win the league after the departures of Cesc and Nasri as well as a sluggish start to the Premier League season remains to be seen, but as ever with an Arsène Wenger side, the lads will be there or thereabouts come May.

Anyone else starting to feel a little sorry for Swansea?

*more goals and assists than Xavi/Iniesta playing in an inferior team in a more competitive league despite seasons hit with injury. Opta also have him as the single best chance creator in Europe, so it’s a fairly solid case for me, despite the admittedly largely justified media love that the Spanish pair get.

60 comments to The ins and outs of Arsenal’s transfer window

  • Flavour

    Ya Phil, I agree with you with our chances of finishing in the top 4 this year. Without question, we will.
    Metersaker and Arteta are the 2 signings that made me smile and say, “we’ll be all right this season”.

    I don’t think we’ll challenge for the title (like you said), but 2-4th place is expected. It will really depend on how quickly the new signings gel with the team.
    I, for one, am optimistic!

  • Phil you are spot on. Hopefully we do not get 3straight red cards for the new boys as the Refs have a case on us. I think the untold ref review is giving them a headache.

  • jazbo

    Very good read, the positive vibes are all there for everyone to see, we now have a real chance at winning the league (i kid you not)we were always in with a shout inspite of what the media would have you believe.
    I would also like to say that the media seem to have a vendeta against our club and manager and I for one would like to know the reason why?
    It’s been said elsewhere that the season starts now, I happen to disagree with this because we were always on a hiding to nothing going to Utd with such a depleted squad and expecting the youngsters to perform in front of 80,000 screaming Manc supporters, it was always going to be too much and you could see that the guys heads were down due to the loss of fabregas and Monasri plus the suspensions that we were hit with, I’d like to say athis point HOWARD WEBB is disgrace for booking Frimpong for standing his ground against the manure player who was in his face.

    I’d like to see Arsene Wenger refuse to give interviews to both Sky and Talksport plus close the media centre at the ground whilst banning journo’s from the Daily mail, Sun, Telegraph, Times and Daily Mirror from the ground, this would send out a clear message to all these media outlets that enough is enough and the constant targeting of our club for ridicule will no longer be tolerated, one last thing is our ex players some of these were legends of our club (Alan Smith, Ian Wright etc) they need to be baned from the club no matter who they work for untill they grow some balls and say to the respective employers that the bias must be stopped, perfect example is right now I’m listening to Frank McClintock having a rant about how the club, the players etc are no good and that the new singings are not good enough, he’s not happy,were going to lucky to finish midtable blah, blah, blah…..ban him as well.

    Onwards and upwards…. come on you gunners!!!

  • rusty

    I have to say, deadline day was pleasantly surprising! Also notable: most of the signings were still ‘opportunistic’ — Park’s Monaco were relegated, Mertesacker’s Werder Bremen are out of european football, Gervinho (as I recall) was on the last year of his contract, Andre Santos’s Fenerbahce got banned from the CL this season, rumor has it that Arteta intervened to get his move done… and of course Jenkinson has coped surprisingly well with the jump from League One.

    I don’t know if the team waited until the last minute to get better deals from the selling clubs, but it looks like we can lay our anxieties to rest. At least until the club returns from the international break.

  • bob

    Per M. can also add some from the pitch inside dope on how to deal with our toughest potential CL opponent, Borusa Dortmund (or do I have it backwards). Anyway, as he’s played against them often in the Bundesliga, that would be of further serious benefit to us, despite the negativity about his being slow of foot. His height, of course, would be a godsend to us on our set pieces. And as for Park, his video at least shows a clinical touch around the goal mouth which is something that we haven’t had in abundance since Eduardo was Eduardo. And it’s great that a veteran like Arteta is there because right now, to be honest, Ramsey seems raw and needs that presence and the confidence that Arteta should provide to his development. Anyway, it’s too easy to have opinions now, but definitely encouraging additions that give us the quality depth that people like me have been screaming about for too many months. Hope restored, now on with the games.

  • Anne

    @Phil:

    Thanks for this breakdown. Very helpful after an insane day yesterday.

  • Arvind

    @All: Does anyone know how true this is? Someone had posted it on Teamtalk.

    If a player is sold before his contract is up (in Arteta’s case, he had 3/4 years left), doesn’t he get paid a sum for each year he had left on the contract? This is why he put in a transfer request, so that Everton wouldn’t have to hold out for more money to cover what they’d have to pay him.

    Big Big respect..if the guy did this. Hats off!

  • @ Arvind: I doubt it. He’s getting sold voluntarily, so he’s agreeing to move clubs, and the selling club is transferring his registration for £10m.

    At least, it doesn’t make sense to me and I’ve never heard of it before in my football finance readings. No doubt he’s cost himself some loyalty bonuses or the like however.

  • Arvind

    @Phil: Yes that’s what I meant. I’m just saying – Everton would have had to pay him some (for e.g 1 million for the next 4 years) if they had sold him which meant that they got only 6 million out of the 10. But if Arteta puts in a request he loses his transfer bonus. So Everton say yeah we let you go.. but you put this in so we wont have to pay you so much. So he does that and takes a pay cut as well(if rumours are to be believed).

  • if he decides to leave, he won’t get any cash for the years remaining. It’s not like being sacked, he’s choosing to leave, so it wouldn’t make sense if he would profit from that.

    Everton have obviously saved on his wages, but a selling club doesn’t have to buy the player out of the remaining years of the contract.

  • Cheers Anne, great work with the Media Watch!

  • David

    Phil, I think Arvind is just suggesting that they made Arteta put in the transfer request as a formality. I doubt that’s true because unlike in some other sports (eg. Major League Baseball, where these clauses are quite common), footballers’ contracts are always renegotiated when they move to another club.

  • brentCPH

    @Jazbo,

    I’ll give you my theory on why the media have an agenda against us. I used to believe it had something to do with xenophobia or some North/South rivalry which most likely does contribute in some ways to the negative media attention. However, I believe the real reason is money. You see the same banks that own the majority interest in the media do so as well with football as they manage distribute a lot of the funds just spent over the last three months.

    In modern banking there is the possibility to literally create money from nowhere on the back of financial transactions like deposits or loans. It’s called fractional reserve banking and it is the way our modern monetary system creates money. You deposit 10 pounds and the bank is authorized to create, through bookkeeping entries, 100 pounds more that they can then loan out at interest. Now this pertains to Arsenal as Arsenal doesn’t need the big banking apparatus to stay competitive and enjoy in the artificial profits involved in marketing players and participating in major tournaments. This is one reason why big bank mouthpieces like sky sports undermine the managers confidence at every turn and clamor for bank breaking transfer activities instead of prudent investment and in house financing.

    If Arsenal are able to win things and remain competitive without borrowing money then other big teams can as well and this is a threat to RBS and other big banks who make a killing every time Chelsea buys a 50m pound flop from LIverpool. Assuming chelsea finance this with a big bank and Abromovich didn’t find it under his mattress, this one deal creates 500m pounds in new loanable monies and interest payments for the bank. As long as the big teams keep needing to do this in order to win the banks will keep raking in the millions that they can then use to buy media outlets that propagandize whatever hurts their bank balance or other interests. In our case it’s Arsene Wenger and the sustainable transfer policy he employs at Arsenal as well as the fact he’s had a fair bit of success with it…

    Anyway thats my theory on the unprecedented negative attention Arsenal FC seems to get from the media no matter what we do

  • freddie

    Park Chu Young to be our version of Dirk Kuyt, a hard working striker with the ability to score important goals and he has a better hair cut than Kuyt so all in alla fantastic signing!

  • Anthony

    Hello Untold Admin,
    Just wanted to commend u guys on such sterling work. And to Anne who does the paper review, if u were not married, I would propose right now. I love the way u expose those charlatans who disguise themselves as reporters / journalists. Unfortunately, many Arsenal fans fall for this but it’s hard not to under such relentless pressure. The so called fans clamour for experienced defenders, as soon as we get them in (e.g Per), it’s oh, he has a slow turning speed, wth, is he some sort of 4×4???
    I also agree with Jazbo, ban these press guys, They cannot do without writing abt arsenal. Everybody has something to say abtnus
    Anyway, I am sure we will do well this season.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Now of course it must be difficult for some of the U10 Arsenal supporters. They have been saying until yesterday that Wenger is stubborn and will never change and thus will never buy experienced players. And I tell this in the nicest way. They put this in less nicer words.
    and then suddenly Arsenal buys 5 players from whom the youngest is 26 in one day.
    So the words: Wenger will never….. have to go in the closet for a while.

    If the signings turn out good (you never know how they will turn out) then they will say that Wenger had nothing to do with it and that he just inherited a great side from George Graham or maybe even from Chapman…

  • NABABS

    Arsene wenger said it, & he make it. He said there would be busy transfer market. We have forgoten the fabregas & nasri saga. In ARSENE we trust.

  • Aussie Jack

    In assessing the outcome of the `transfer window` I for one am surprised that Wenger bought that many players. It will be interesting to see what he does with them. Myself I think the more experienced may re-kindle the team spirit and help the youngsters find their feet. I can see the rebuilding of Arsenal providing this is just the beginning. No one can expect this squad to overtake the top three but it could be exciting to see if they shake the tree.

  • Dec

    Best day to be a Gooner in years. We can now compete for sure, although the quality of the Manu and sheer size of the city squad is a tad scary. Have to disagree with the suggestion that Mons. Koscielny will keep our new German giant out of the first choice 11 or that Ramsey is remotely as good as Arteta at present. Hopefully both will benefit from the presence of experienced players being around for a change. Well done to Le Boss and all concerned yesterday. Roll on Swansea and beyond…

  • critic

    Maybe arteta will look better with arsenal as cesc is looking legend with farca…

  • Mandy dodd

    Feel really positiVe about these signings. Some unknown quantities, no complete marquee signings, god I hate that term but a good balance of players who will strengthen the team. No direct replacements for the likes of cesc but experienced players who will hopefully strengthen the team , challenge and mentor our mf young pretenders, allow them a rest but will at the same time not over shadow the likes of jack and Rambo. A perfect balance. Our central defenders will also be challenged as will Gibbs. Chamakh will have to pull the proverbial finger out. Think gerv and ox will prove great signings.
    Feel a lot better already. Some conjecture on the net as to whether these are panic buys, wenger signings, the board telling wenger signings, at the end of the day, who cares, I think these players will deliver and help the team as a whole deliver

  • Mandy dodd

    Btw, if our defenders do not perform, as has been mentioned by menace on this forum, Cahill going cheap in jan

  • Pete

    @brentCPH

    Interesting stuff indeed – I’d never even heard of it! Here is a further link for those who are interested… mind-boggling stuff.

    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Fractional-reserve_banking#Example_of_deposit_multiplication

  • Why the last minute about turn? To many mediocre buys, more untried kids no stellar signings, plus we have two billionaires in tow,so where”s the dough. Failure to capture big name spells unrest dispirited side going forward
    want to bet on Van wanting to leave next? Which top 4 side did
    you last see lose 8-2 i can”t remember one. Top six yes but this year we go backwards LOTS TO DO TO PUT THIS RIGHT NOW

  • mike in atlanta

    @ Aussie jack, who says we can’t beat the shopping clubs? Last time I checked this was a team sport.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Oh this is what makes Untold such a special place in the internet and why I loved it from the first time I came here and at the end got involved in it.

    Great articles from many writers and some really remarkable and great comments like this from brentCPH today.

    Thanks for this as I had never heard about it to be honest.
    And I think it is another part in the jigsaw we know is out there but we cannot know how it all can be put together. Very interesting….

  • Paul "the Gooner"

    I said on tues i wanted 5 new signings.Happy with the recent4.If good old “Arry” had signed Per M the media would have said it was a brilliant business,but because it was AW they say he is too slow.We have brought 2 defenders with nearly 100 caps between them.Not bad.I did hear Mclintock on talkshite slagging off AW.A disgrace.Have a media ban,stop some of these ex players also coming to the ground.

  • Anne

    @Anthony:

    Where did you get the idea that I’m married?

  • Erik

    Fun Fact of the Day: Gervinho, Arteta, Mertesacker, Benayoun, Santos, and Young, that’s 5 very solid, experienced internationals and one who would be if he wasn’t Spanish, cost us the same as one Andy Carroll. That’s some seriously good business!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Love is in the air…. 🙂 The Untold dating site? 🙂

  • Anne

    @Walter:

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves 🙂

  • RedGooner

    An honest assesment of the transfer window would probably be along the lines of this.

    Players Out: Cesc 35m Nasri 23m Clychy 9m Jet 1m =68m approx

    Players In: Mertesacker 10m, Jenkinson 1m, Santos 6m, Arteta 10m,
    Benayoun loan, Gervinho 12m, Oxlade-Chamberlain 12m plus add ons
    Young Park 4m =52 approx
    We strengthend our defence.
    Our midfield when I think of the words adding super quality has got worse and so possibly has our forward selection without nickb who wasnt really given enough chances.

    Im not complaining as these players we brought in should ensure we can retain our champions league football next season all going well.
    But this talk off we will and have improved over all is way wide of the mark.

    lots of issues exist as before we bought these players which in fairness looked like a knee jerk reaction to the Utd result.

    The fact Everton players have to take pay decreases to join Arsenal tells a story in itself. We cant buy the likes the of Mata or Mviali or hazard or anyone else due to the clubs wage policy.
    Should we next season sell RVP and Wiltshire for big money and look for a few more Artetas ?
    I think we clearly were over paying some of the players on future potential and underpaying top stars by a long way im not saying we should ever pay 200k a week to anyone because I dont believe its sustainable for any club without mega rich owners and even when they leave its then unatainable.

    What ever your views this club has a lot of work to do this summer was a shambles and was mismanaged.

    But falling out with one another wont help now. Thankfuly the window has closed and theres only one thing to do and thats get behind the players we have and support them.

    Next season the club needs to have learnt from this one.

  • bjtgooner

    @ Walter. I think I am past the dating stage so I have to come back to football.

    One further benefit from the many transfers this summer is that we now should have a squad who all want to be here and who all want to play for Arsenal. The squad looks balanced in that we have a nice mix of experienced class players and immensely talented younger players.

    I have a feeling that the team/squad is not quite the finished article; but AW has moved us through the initial rebuild following CescNasriGate and has put together what looks like a formidable team for now – and further, a solid base from which to develop.

  • dats

    @ Anne & Anthony.
    Tony and Walter to be bridesmaids?

  • Shard

    @RedGooner

    Correct about the wage bill. Though I think shambles and mismanaged are too harsh for what has been a challenging and no doubt a learning process in the face of constant flux in the football world.

    I had put this up on another site..

    Regarding change in wage structure..How I Hope it is being done.
    1. Ship out the relatively high wage earners who are fringe players and haven’t shown they deserve it.
    2. Bring in experienced pros to fill the gaps in the squad, for the short term, and pay them similar wages to the established players in the team.
    3. The rest of the money available is used to give better contracts to those who have earned them from our current team, and are nearing the end of their contracts (RVP, Theo, Vermaelen)
    4. Once the senior players like Arshavin, Rosicky, Arteta etc are gone/leaving, we push up our wage cap further, and
    5. Keep working on increasing our commercial revenue and once the new shirt deal is done (2014) we use the increased revenue to buy the more high profile players.

    It’s easier said than done of course, and is challenging to transition while maintaining stability, but I am hopeful that is the direction the club is taking, and that the majority of the upheaval has already been done this summer.

  • gooner16

    @BrentCPH

    You may as well put it out there that the illuminati has it in for Arsenal haa! Very interesting your theory though, also the media may hate and spawn negative crud on Arsenal and Arsene cos of the strong french base!!

    I have to say Phil, that would it be safe in assuming the chamakh transfer counts for one of those rare ‘bad’ transfers from the french league that wenger makes! Hopefully C.Y.Park comes through! shame he has to do national service tho in a couple years time. Right before he becomes AWESOME, knowing our luck!!!

  • Adam

    @brentCPH, I was wondering if your a zeitgeist fan.

  • Shard

    what I forgot to mention in that earlier post is that the youngsters making their way into the team be given more incentives based on performance and trophies rather than higher base salaries.

  • RedGooner

    Shard, I think personaly the damage has been done and could take maybe 4 years to correct.
    I agree that a lot of these fringe players wont take pay decreases and move on.
    When I look at approx 68 mill in and 52 out I think despite barca and city holding us to randsom over transfers we could have done things differently.

    Gervinhio 12m
    Metersacker 10m
    santos 6m
    looks like money well spent, however if we were bringing in Myachi im not sure I would have spent money on chamberlin as he was bought after Myachi’s paper work was approved.
    I think it would have benefitted us more keeping Bendtner play him more often than buying a striker. give him a fair chance.

    Possibly would have spent on marvin martin most assists in the french league to fill cescs void…..I think gervinhio fills nasri’s so no issues there.

    problem is moving on over paid youth players like vela denillson etc that didnt make it at the club.
    Its a long road to getting to a place where we will be financialy stable enough to raise the wages to an acceptable level say 125k a week where we can possibly attract and keep top talent.

    Personaly Id like to see it all achieved under wenger but theres probably a time limit on no trophies that other idiots wont accept.
    I still think the club need

  • RedGooner

    deleted on request of the writer – double post

  • RedGooner

    sorry for duplicate not sure what happened delete the first one someone please.

  • menace

    @jazbo I know exactly where you are coming from with the ban proposition. I feel that way sometimes also. The reality is that some of this crud is good for us as it makes us work harder.

    @brentCPH @pete You are not far off the mark when you point to the borrowing. It has a share of the blame, but the major share is in my view money laundering through the game. The owners of football clubs are multi tiered organisations with grey faces and no real connection to the visible individual. It is time that the law was changed so that sports clubs and sporting institutions must be owned by organisations that are taxed in the UK and owned by individuals subject to UK tax laws. If you watched the proggramme on buying a football club, you would see how many loop holes exist as far as ownership goes.

    I personally do not like the ‘footballer’ loan system. It means that wealthy clubs can have several players playing each weekend. Lets just for arguement say club A has 7 loan players in the Premier League. It means that each week the club can have 18 players impacting the result of the league. Furthermore the loanee can not play against the club that owns him. So teams with loan players are handicapped when playing against the owning club.

    My opinion is that loans should only be allowed outside the division.

  • Anne

    @dats:

    Sure, why not? 🙂

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    legweak………I know that you haven’t got a leg to stand on, so is that why you’re called legweak? Your attitude sums up perfectly the loser,whiner,poor-me mentality of the doomer-gloomer plastic fanboys polluting this and other blogs with their nihilism and pessimism:

    a)To many mediocre buys- WTF are you moaning about? Three International captains, a total of 100 International caps between them, 2 experienced and PROVEN EPL players, a stable of extremely talent youth players and a skilled striker to support RVP is mediocre? YOU are less than mediocre!
    b)Failure to capture big name spells unrest dispirited side going forward – Might I remind you of the fate of Clubs that captured so-called ¨bigname¨players! they had unrest and were dispirited enough NOT to win anything of significance over 4 seasons despite spending 10x more than AFC ever did. How old are you…I guess about 12, to write such stupidity?
    c)We go backwards….YOU are backwards you moron!This revised squad is likely the strongest, healthiest potential 25 we have ever fielded and had we had them for the run-in, we would have done far,far better. This team could have gone to the Nou Camp and come away with a victory.

    Go back into your gloomy closet,take your Valium, change your diapers and come out when you’re an adult! We will be able to tell that you’ve finally grown up when you can spell correctly.

  • XX

    Sorry xx until you get yourself a valid email address your posts will not be posted.

  • jbh

    A few points.
    Gervinho in for Nasri – signed early
    Ramsey (hardly played last season) in for Cesc (but needs backup and competition hence Arteta)
    Ramsey is on a contract until 2016 (same as Wilshere) so obviously highly thought of.
    Ox-Ch is on a contract until 2017! very highly rated, and if you saw the U21 game tonight you understand why.
    With the Arteta on again, off again, I think the Benayoun deal was one of those that was a backup if Arteta didn’t sign, but got messed up when it looked like Arteta wouldn’t be coming (Meireles deal was held up due to the delays over Benayoun). So a bonus (or extra wages depending on how he does coming back from serious injuries).

    Mertesacker and Santos good solid quality signings. But overall it is clear that the policy remains to develop young talent as much as possible, and fill the squad with experienced (but economically efficient) signings. Which means always less than £15m. Preferably less than £12m.

    All of the signings are either youth with potential for development or “special” circumstances. By special I mean 1 yr left on contract (hence cheaper) or clubs under severe financial pressure to sell, or relegated Monaco/Fenerbahce. So the board are bargain hunting (and possibly via agents tempting quality experienced players close to their contracts end – ie don’t sign contract extension as we will take you on a free or cheaply with 1 yr remaining). The problem with this is that they need to sign very late in the window to put maximum pressure on the selling clubs, and this doesn’t always work. It has worked quite well this time, but looks like Cahill/Jag were preferred to Mert but Bolton/Everton wouldn’t play ball at a level Arsenal found acceptable. This also makes it unlikely that they will in future sign marquee £20m plus signings.

    Lastly, when Kroenke took over the club he visited London and after SK met AW he (AW) in his first Pr conf afterwards stressed 3 points of what his job is. Success challenging for trophies, consistency of performance (which I take to mean maintaining top 4 yearly) and third that he would focus solely on onfield technical matters (managing the team) – which means not involved in all the other matters that take his time which would include a hands on approach re negotiations, wages, etc. I think this is clear with AW at the UEFA conf yesterday.

    Also interesting that AW in his Pr Conf at Old Trafford played a straight bat against all the usual questions (pressure, doom and gloom, buy, buy, etc) except one point which he basically agreed fully with the questioner and that was “is it true that Arsenal can no longer compete at the highest level re wages” AW said yes. I think this indicates that AW so far has been losing the battle with SK over wages policy.

  • Ed

    @redgooner

    this is more in reply to your first post about the relative strengthening and weakening of the team.

    I agree we have strengthened in defence. but i also think we have strengthened in attack. I think gervinho is an excellent buy! and Park should give us more options… you don’t play for a decent national team and be their captain and play in france without being fairly good. we also have miyaichi and oxlade chamberlain who im very excited about.

    In midfield, i agree that we have got weaker, but that was due to unique circumstances where our 2 world class players wanted to leave. cesc wanted to go back home – which is understandable, but i think keeping him was distracting him and the whole team. Nasri just followed the money…

    you could argue we should pay more to keep our best players, but i dont think that is a viable option for either of these players or the world class ones who left before – hleb left because he thought it would be greener in barcelona. the problems adebayor has had at every club since leaving shows the type of person he is (troublesome), cesc took a pay cut to go back to barca, and nasri is on 180-200k a week, which arsenal cannot afford (since it would mean pay raises for the likes of van persie/wilshere/vermaelen).

    i think he has bought very wisely now after being burnt by these types of players too often. he is now getting slightly older players who have something to prove, consumate professionals and appreciate the opportunity they have at Arsenal (i know it is just words, but the quotes from arteta and park are very encouraging). the younger players he played before were just seeing arsenal as a stepping stone. but he is now bringing youth team players like frimpong and wilshere who love arsenal and wont want to go to man city for more money, or have to go home to barcelona etc.

  • bob

    brentCPH,
    One grain of evidence toward your hypothesis would be to find any common directors on each others boards. For example, bank A, team B, and media outlet C might have among them one or more common directors – aka interlocking directorates. Its a way to synchronize strategic interests. If you could research any combination of these and find out who sits on which boards of directors, which is public knowledge, you might find some interesting returns on your investment (of time) and our knowledge hereabouts. Cheers for a most interesting hypothesis!

  • Tiger

    Wages and Player prices are skyrocketing. Man C and Chelsea are inflating the EPL market to ridiculous levels. I am afraid the Financial Fair Play rules mooted by UEFA is going to be a toothless tiger (read that Platini supports PSG financed by another sugar daddy billionaire from Qatar). Like it or not most good players are going to get their heads turned by money. Arsenal needs to untap its vast commercial revenue soon to compete. Building up huge debts to bring in playes is not an option.

    I am optimistic about the new signings. I have always liked Arteta, a vastly underated player. At 29, I expect at least 3 -4 very good years – enough time for the next generation to develop.

  • Travis

    Arteta vs Cesc

    – Experience : 8 years of solo leading Everton in attacking vs 8 years of playing with best midfielders in the world. 0 – 0

    – Ball holding : 0 – 0. They’re both the same type of players who refuse to give the ball away by using their great technique.

    – Creativity : 0 – 2 for Cesc. He’s the best.

    – Dead ball dangerous : 1 – 2. Arteta is even better than Persie.

    – Leadership aura : 2 – 2 for Arteta. I am the one who believe Cesc doesn’t have leadership quality. He can’t be the talisman who can drive the whole team in tough time. Arteta can.

    – Future development : 2 – 3. Cesc will only get better while Arteta has already reached his peak.

    – Finishing ability : 3 – 3 for Arteta. He can shoot with both legs and used to score a lot from distance.

    In conclusion, we replace a 50m real price midfielder with a 10m one with slightly better attributes for us at this moment.

    Wenger the Genius.

  • BobbyP

    @Walter

    Playing devil’s advocate somewhat here, but surely these signings vindicate the ‘U10 Arsenal supporters’, as they show that experienced quality players can be bought to supplement the younger players without needing to pay exorbitant fees? Isn’t that what the ‘U10 supporters’ have been wanting all this time?

  • pissofffan

    Its good transfer, But I doubt we can get any trophies unless no injuries to key players and in and out consistent performances are needed from all players. Btw it will take sometime for new players to gel together, by the time we can work as a unit, we have lost quite a number of points.

  • @BobbyP,
    These new recruits will make mistakes and cost us points, of that I have no doubt (it is inevitable) and then the U10s will scream from the rooftops “Wenger wasted £40 million!” unfortunately not before chucking themselves off.

  • Arvind

    @BobbyP,All: I’m just thinking.. how much of a shift really is it in truth?

    Clichy was experienced – we replaced him with experience in Santos
    Cesc was experienced – Arteta is the same
    Squillaci was supposed to be a leader; turns out he isn’t as good as we had hoped – We buy a defensive leader in Mertesacker
    Nasri was experienced – We bought a similar aged replacement in Gervinho

    Benayoun is a bonus [loan though] for me..proper backup for Arshavin and Rosicky.

    The rest are all kids and youngsters as per policy of promoting youth. So really, that’s all we have done tbf.. fill the gaps which were there with like for like players. And we did it within budget..

    Had all of those players not left, in those positions I mean.. I think we’d have not bought anyone apart from the young talent like AOC,Campbell, Ryo etc.

    I think it really comes down to whether AW thinks a young talent is better than an experienced player who might be available. If the difference is minimal AW will take the gamble.

    So to sum up, it is a shift …Yes.. but a slight one…not as huge as the AAA make it out to be.

  • Tiger

    I have not read anywhere that Arsene only recruits young players just for the sake of it. His main objective is win cups within the means ofthe club. Young players are just incidentally cheaper but if you get it right, they can turn into world class players. If Kaka or Sneijder are priced at bargain and affordable prices, I am sure Arsene will recruit them in a flash.

  • Byo

    Anyone should be impressed with what the club did with the transfer window, especially we were able to do some clear-out. I only hope we do more of that come January-Almunia & Squillaci and next off-season. I was actually hoping for one more creative attacking midfielder, which I believe we may be able to achieve once we move some off our wage bill.

    Some of our fans don’t seem to understand the financial constraints AW is operating under, with clubs like ManC/Chelsea able to flush money down the drain. I was actually looking at the various buys by ManC since Hughes was the manager, and how many of them are no more on the 1st team but still getting paid! We cannot afford that.

    I always advise those fans who want a high-spending club they have options.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Just watched our new boy, Ju the Korean Captain, score a hat trick for his national side!

    What do we know, AW still knows how to pick them!

  • Clerkenwell Gooner

    @jbh (posting at 2.30am!) – very interesting, your comment.

    It’s funny but I think AW is never less than honest with the media – and they just can’t hack (sic, sorry) it.

    He tells it like it is: that AFC is not going to bankrupt itself paying ridiculously inflated wages to mercenaries with all the loyalty and spine of a melting candlestick. But it’s not what the press wants to hear, because by implication, he’s calling out the FA, UEFA over FFP, plus the spendthrift clubs themselves.

    As was pointed out above, that we bought in five players with elevated skills, experience, and international pedigree for the equivalent sum expended by LFC on one Andy Carroll says it all.

    I also take your point, which I’ve not seen made elsewhere, that the last-minute tactics, if indeed that’s what they were, could be designed to force selling clubs to sell at reasonable prices.

    AW appears to identify a number of targets for positions that need to be strengthened, and then uses a scattergun approach to pressure all sellers equally. (For example, maybe Cahill and Jagielka were deliberate misdirection, and the desired target all along was Per? But doubtless AFC cannot control everything in the market – the vagaries of players’ demands, agents’machinations – and some deals just plain break down.)

    While there is an evident schism within AFC at ownership level (Kroenke vs Usmanov), I am not convinced that AW ever wanted to violate the club’s policy on fee limits and its wage structure, for example, on the putative Mata deal (or even Alonso, before that), as it’s these that permit FFP to be respected by the club.

    Twice this summer, we’ve seen players take a pay cut to go where they wanted – first Cesc, then Arteta. I think this sends out a huge message, since players are already rich beyond the wildest dreams of most fans. Arsenal is right in saying the greed of players and agents has to stop, and Cesc and Arteta have shown that it can. The whole world economy is in a debt deflationary spiral – football is no different to any other economic activity – and Arsène knows this. It’s about time media pundits and columnists did as well.

    My worry is that with the changes in ownership at AFC, we’ll now see money flowing out of the club that we haven’t had to contend with before now (the previous owners did not take dividends, even as the value/revenues of the club soared).

    For comparison, the Glazers took £115m out of Man Utd one way or another last year, while the club at the same time had to pay out £45m in interest on the PIK debt the Glazers have saddled it with. That’s a total of £160m being disappeared that is not being used to support the main business of the club – playing football. (See this Mirror article for debt details, http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/MUST-demand-Glazers-pay-off-Manchester-United-debt-from-proceeds-of-Singapore-Stock-Market-flotation-article794321.html)

    AW has clearly benefited from the extra funds that the previous no-dividend policy allowed to flow his way, and the club is already under stress in not being able to compete on wages to retain the likes of Na$ri. So if Kroenke were to load up on debt/take a dividend, well, who knows where that would lead?

    I would hate to see everything AW has achieved with his prudential regime oriented towards the long term, one that trains and encourages the best youth talents plucked from all over the world – Sir Chesney cost £50k at 15! – undermined by new owners/shareholders whose prime interest is profit, however that is achieved, and not support for the beautiful game, played the Arsenal way, that we fans love.

  • Ronnie Brown

    Does anyone have a link to any footage of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain for the under 21’s? Heard he was very good.

  • maverik

    i am convinced that wenger would not have bought 5 players on tfr deadline day,but this action was forced on him by the 8-2 mauling we had. whoever leaves us aw always tries to get by with the squad he as,as i have said many times he wont upset players he as no discipline. he was wrong not to replace cesc and nasri before they left and whilst the players brought in increases the strength of the squad they are hardly high quality signings.yes i believe arteta and benyioun can do a decent job for us providing they remain fit,wilshires news is a massive blow it means our midfield from last yr as disappeared. will these signings gel straight away its imperative they do,we need a win on sat and no more injuries and we also need aw to speak to gervinho and song and tell them their actions against newcastle are totally unacceptable,but he wont,no discipline. im disappointed that arshavin,rosicky,almunia are still with us but lets be honest the crap players which we fans know nobody will buy them becos wenger as paid mediocre players high salaries,see denilson,diaby,bendtner and how many times does vela have to go on loan. finally our midfield without jw is weak in numbers and quality and we have b dortmund next week. anyway nothing can change now so common you arsenal and give us fans some good news.