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Looking back at last season : dealing early is what we should have done…could we?

By Walter Broeckx

We should have dealt with it earlier.  If people talk about our last season they sometimes use this sentence to criticise the way Arsenal has handled the Fabregas and Nasri situation and the first weeks of the season. But I really don’t think it is that simple to deal with the situation we had at the time.  And if there is someone to blame can we really put the blame at Arsenal?

Let us take Fabregas. We had given him the best deal ever given to any Arsenal player (if we can believe rumours that is because we actually don’t know the real details of the agreement). And despite this and declaring how much he loves Arsenal he still wanted to go to Barcelona. One could say he didn’t really wanted to leave Arsenal money wise but he just wanted to join up with this friends in his home town.

So how should Arsenal have reacted? By saying: you stay here, you got a contract and that’s it. We then would end up with a player high on the wages bill and maybe one who didn’t feel like risking his legs for us any more because his heart not being here any more. If I would have been the board and the manager and the lady who sells the tickets I probably would have gone for that road. But when you think about it, it really is not the most sensible way of running things. And that is why I write about football and don’t manage the team. My supporters heart would ruin the whole  thing maybe.

The Fabregas situation was even more complicated because it was a very simple one. He would only leave for Barcelona. So Arsenal could only try to get as much money as they could from the transfer. If Cesc would have said: I want to go, no matter to which team, I just want to go. We could have sold him for more money to Real Madrid or even to some Russian team that could pay even more. But in this case everybody knew that the only direction  he would take was Barcelona.

This is a situation that makes the position of Arsenal rather weak in negotiating a deal. Barcelona knew they could wait and wait and eventually the price had to be dropped. Because Arsenal doesn’t have the habit of keeping players against their will.

The perverse thing about it was also that if Arsenal would have brought in someone that could be called a replacement for Fabregas it would have been even more clear for Barcelona that the longer they waited the lower the price would sink. So it was a very difficult situation to handle for Arsenal (or for any other club that has to live within its means).

So buying early could send a message to Barcelona that they were willing to let him go. Now we didn’t send that message and we still got a nice sum of money for Fabregas. Not what he was really worth but considering the one way direction he was heading for still reasonable. So if we want to put blame I think the first person to blame is Fabregas for not respecting his contract and wanting out.

The Nasri situation was a bit different. I think he really wanted out once it became clear that Cesc would go. The improved contract Arsenal offered was peanuts compared to what City offered. And they can just offer more than we can. We can dislike this situation and I do this from the bottom of my heart but this is just the way it is. Their sheikh can pay what he wants (for the moment) and we have to see if we can balance the books to keep the club in good condition for the future.

Again Arsenal had to show that they didn’t want to sell him to get the highest possible price. Buying a replacement before he was sold would again weaken our position.  So we had not option to do our deals before our players were sold. Nasri had a good half season, Arsenal wanted to reward him with a better contract. Nasri heard about City offering more than Arsenal could pay and also was willing to pay. So if you want to put blame on someone, blame the ones who offer ludicrous amounts of money and the one who wanted all that money.

I’m not saying the way Arsenal dealt with the situation was the  best one or the ideal one. I think it was the best possible way to deal with the situation.

And yes it cost us points. Because with the players unwilling to play for us any more had to be replaced in some games with players who weren’t completely ready at the time. So the game at United showed it for a few of them.

But we also couldn’t deal early with bringing in players if our situation was not completely clear. Would we be in the champions league or not was an important question for a few players. So we had to sit out the qualifiers before we could really promise the players CL football and also to know how much money we would have available to pay them.

Of course we could have let Cesc go on a free… and let Nasri go for 5M at the start of the transfer period. That would have been dealing early. And then we could buy replacements early.  But would that have been in the best interest for Arsenal in the long run? I really doubt it. Because now we had a sum of money we could use to bring in what we needed.

But the good thing about this summer is that this summer all is clear. We are certain of CL football an can offer it to players who we want to buy. Podolski wanted to come to Arsenal and when he signed we were not even 100% sure of CL football so this is something we should be grateful for and shows how much he wanted to come.

The only problem we still face is Van Persie. But if he goes or if he stays. I’m sure Wenger will have a solution. Maybe the solution for the worst case scenario is already in our hands…Who knows? Maybe Wenger does…

62 comments to Looking back at last season : dealing early is what we should have done…could we?

  • Legolas

    i trust Wenger and this year will not be same as years before , we have the cash , we have the players we have the motive and potential so COYG

  • Damien Luu

    Spot on. I believe that AW and the board have done the best they could in the circumstances. And they did unbelievably well. All of our “panic buys” turned out great and we got back our great shape. Those morons who have never ever run anything more than fantasy football video game teams (and maybe still have to use some cheatcodes) will never ever can understand how hard our situation was and how great we did to overcome it. “Should sell earlier, should buy earlier” – very easy to say, as if we can decide everything in this little universe. Morons!

    The “Cesc case” is really a special (sad) case and gave me much to think about. What else could we do to make our players really loyal to the Club? Maybe we should not rely on players who come from other big clubs’ back yards?

  • Lanre

    Walter,
    One thing i know for sure is that no one is bigger than the club. i love Van Persie alright but if he feels his heart lies somewhere else, i guess we just have to let him go. (That is if we have to believe all what the media has cooked up for us)In the past we have let key players go and we arent worse off. The only thing i’m worried about is the precedence it will set. Clubs will think they can always take away our best players. Personally, think he’ll stay. No club can offer him what we do.
    Poldoski will come good. I wouldnt mind if we do not get in any other player. We have a large squad as Wenger always say. Wilshere, Poldoski, Diaby, are like our new signings (hoping for fitness sake).
    Wenger know jare.
    *Jare is a yoruba word for ‘for sure’. I am a Nigerian remember

  • Legolas

    @ Damien Luu heheh man this is the problem with the fans they think it is easy to sell and buy players . i believe we have a great team i stand by our policy we need reinforcements of course but still we have good players here 🙂 COYG

  • Lanz

    This important article is coming close a year late! People, so-called fans, have said and written a lot. Some of them even believe AW is not interested in trophies! How ridiculous!!! The situation was so bad. I believe the man truly believed he could convince Nasri. He expected the guy to honour him for developing and bringing him to limelight. At least, “better” limelight. He knew Fabregas was going. I believe he even promised Fabregas but then the Board wanted a lot of money for him. In the end, it was still Wenger’s appeal that made the Board soften their stance. Cesc himself said so. Then the CL qualifier!! No wonder AW said it was his worst summer ever. It was later we heard all kinds of things coming from other clubs: attempt to sign the Liverpool keeper Reiner for as much as £24m, bids for Eden Hazard, M’Vila that were rejected, etc. A club in France claims now that even in January an attempt was made to sign a Tunisian left back. Yet people, believe Wenger NEVER wants to spend. People should know that players are not like apples to be picked off the stall. The club may not sell, the player may not want to come. Recall we bid the same amount for Chris Smalling? Then again, Phil Jones? And the latest problem of clubs who seem to have no scouts of their own but wait until Arsenal is interested in a player, then they “realize” the player is actually of interest to them!!! Essien’s case was like that. Lately, Juan Mata, Lukaku and even Joel Campbell. Now, its Eden Hazard. I think this time around, AW has moved to buy players. However, I guess he is waiting for some response right now that will determine ither “who else” or alternatives. I hope this progresses rapidly this week. Well done Walter. Very important article.

  • Lanz

    @ Lanre. We are actually namesakes! One cannot be sure but I think the wages are very important here. As much as I am happy about the way Arsenal is being run (which by the way i think Europe should consult them and PAY for), I still feel we should do something about our wage structure. I ask us on this forum, should Robin’s NEW (and most likely final) contract offer him a pay just above half of Rooney’s PRESENT pay?

  • Aussie Jack

    I don`t think there`s an Arsenal supporter alive who wouldn`t agree that last summers transfers were left too late and panic set in. Why this was we can only guess at, whether it was lack of money or boardroom politics we`ll never know, possibly a mixture of both.
    This year should have been progessive and straight forward but van Persie has thrown a spanner in the works and I don`t think the more conservative amongst us is all that impressed.
    One gets the impression that at Chelsea and Man.City the owner has the last say on who they buy where as at Arsenal it`s controlled by a committee, and we all know what committees can do. Kroenke has shown no interest, where as Abramovich and Mansour are `hands on`, it`s their money and they let everyone know it. Wenger obviously does not have that kind of power he`s more of a utility manager.

  • nicky

    Walter,
    Arsenal were quite right in letting Fabregas leave when they did. He claimed to be homesick for his birthplace and there can be little more compelling than that. As you rightly say, Arsenal do not like to keep players against their will.
    Where I disagree with you is ” the first person to blame is Fabregas for not respecting his contract and wanting out”.
    If he HAD stayed until the end he would have left via a Bosman and we would have received nothing.
    In effect, surely Fabregas did us a “favour”, financially, by leaving when he did.

  • Rich

    The situation with Cesc was almost unmanageable but the bigger problem is what the club says and what the club does.

    On the one hand we hear the same things about potential, the cash available to buy players and the ambition of the club to compete for trophies but then in actions we see the club unable to manage the contracts of its leading players (Wiltord and Flamini both left for frees – Nasri, Clichy and Van Persie have run down their contracts) and losing key players at the same time.

    As Vieira said this week, what is left if Van Persie leaves?

    Ultimately this appears to be about the club convincing RVP that it can compete. Podolski is a step in the right direction but the longer he stands alone as a signing, the more he looks like a replacement.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Have to agree mostly with your observations , Walter .I’m tend to think that till the last AW beleived that one or both (Cesc &
    Nasri) would stay and was let down by them.
    We needed reinforcement stat and he got the players we needed.
    Injuries and poor form saw us wobble but we turned it round.All
    thanks to AW.
    If RVP leaves now ,AW will do the needful .RVP has had a fantastic ( or is it Vantastic?) one and a half years and there is no garantee that it will continue .We will miss him but we will endure .

  • nicky

    @Brickfields gunners,
    I share your view on Van Persie. There is no guarantee that his heroics of last term can be repeated. If he is determined to leave then so be it. Arsenal have never been inclined to keep a player against his will.
    No player is bigger than the Club for which he plays. Van Persie would be replaced and the Club would soldier on.

  • bc

    Im of the small brigade that believes that wenger did plan for the departure of nasri and to some extent fagregas. he knew that nasri was going which is why he bought gervinho. lets not forget where nasri was playing and he ceryainly would have.played that position had cesc stayed. wenger also knew that cesc would leave but was hoping he could squeeze one more season out if him which is why he bought chamberlain. however as the.season got underway he noticed a few things. one he couldnt rely on gibbs and traore for the left back slots so he tried henderson there he got injured so he brought in santos. he was uncomfortable with just kos verm and jd and once he saw that bartley wasnt ready he moved for mertesacker. wilshire got injured so he moved for arteta and then diaby was injured too so.he moved for benayoun. finally joel campbell was refused a permit so it looked like afobe was going to get his chance. however.he too got injured so to back up rvp and chamakh he went for park. in january gervinho and chamakh were off to the acn so he brought in henry as a short term fix till they returned plus he held onto.arshavin

  • bc

    Continued…….Plus he held onto arshavin until they returned. his only other move was to replace luke freeman with eisfeld.

    people think wengers transfers are not thought through. they are wrong he doesnt like losing numbers. even when he signed joel campbell he was only a replacement for jay emmanuel-thomas.

    this summer so far he has brought in podolski just in case rvp leaves. he.has also brought in 12 scholars to replace a similar amount of youngsters that are leaving. spearheaded by the likes of hoyte murphy mcdermott brislen-hall bunjaku monakana etc.

    wenger does not do things for no reason

  • I belve players see contracts even on bfnch

  • I think this article is one sided and in defense of a case that is pathetic, it makes sense in business terms but footballing wise none, the two however are joined in the hip. Big clubs i consider Arsenal big do their business early, we have been caught up in this situation many times, the question is why US, when Ferguson saw that Christiano heart was somewhere else he brought in Nani and squeezed some years out of him, and he was good won the UCL, The situation of Cesc didn’t start in one season it have dragged on and on and Wenger should have looked for replacement then, at one time Cesc had said that even if he goes to Real his parents would understand this was the time to cash in, But Wenger drags and drags with transfers until they kick us. Question why only Us. At the starting of every season sit the players whose contract are nearing end and are needed if they cannot commit at the start of the season, chances are they are out to market themselves, and it is 50/50. If you can try to answer me why has Song, Theo not yet signed, we may end up having more trouble than VP whose fault, the players i dont think so. The board is failing us in contract and transfer negotiations we miss Dein

  • bob

    Walter, You finally want closure and to finally say “Oh well, we did all we can and got a reasonable return.” What happened to your well placed and righteous and rightful rage at Cesc’s betrayal. I would say to think twice before pushing it to closure when there are no factual grounds for that – not yet. I would say the jury is still out: there’s a lot more that must first come to light before anyone interested in truth takes AFC so completely off the hook and blame it on everything else.

    You suggest, but nothing above actually explains WHY we got back HALF x-Cesc’s market value (despite Arsene’s public protestations and representations that it would be millions more than what was settled for) and, on that score, after developing x-Cesc into a world class talent, we were seriously outmaneuvered! Are you able to accept that instead of excuse it? And why did it take SO long to get the money back – if it’s all back even yet – from Farca. Why?

    And what did that DELAY do to our purchasing power when we needed to purchase both wisely and big (given the massive hole that opened under the water line) in an emergency. Why soooo long a pay out under these circumstances? Is that excusable? We don’t really know those circumstances, yet.

    AND why were no formal tapping-up charges filed against those shameless lying bastards – when it was in plain sight for months and completely provable. Professional courtesy? (I don’t care about that father-son relationship turned bad.)

    And what exact role was played by The Asset-Stripper Supreme, that would be Dein the Lesser (who is also RVP’s background agent, and brokered Adebayor’s deal to the Sheikh and the loans to Surreal Madread and to the Scum, and Thierry’s to the Red Bulls)? Was nothing about this at all discussed during the summer cruise with Arsene and Dein the Elder? Did Arsene try to prevail on the Elder to rein in the Lesser; or vise versa? None of us knows.

    And what exact role was played by Nasri’s agent who was AT WAR with Arsene/Boris Primovac? from the scandals in the French League when they nailed his ass their for corruption? Well he got his revenge on Arsene/AFC didn’t he? Was Nasri’s “head turning” all that unpredictable? I don’t think so, and it was being said at the time.

    None of these questions get raised in your article; only put to bed — do you really think so? do you want to think so? We actually don’t know if/why/when Arsene felt he could finally convince or not convince either Nasri or Fabregas. We need a real chronology which none of us really have; this because of the chronic secrecy that will, one day, finally make Arsene’s memoirs a massive best seller, if he doesn’t take those undoubtedly painful secrets to the grave.

  • Pat

    Thanks for the article Walter. I think it’s a very fair assessment. I am just delighted we are third and when Arsene Wenger says this achievement is possibly his greatest, I agree with him.

  • Rawiri

    I agree with bob in that there still are a lot of elements we dont know about to form an opinion on what went on last summer.

    I can only say that I was deeply disappointed with Cesc and Nasri (with Nasri I do remember that we tried to give him a new contract the season before but he said “I want to focus on the football”, same thing Van persie said last summer).
    Its easy to say we should give them a new contract early but players should make it clear and stop the fake promises about sitting down to talk at the end of next season.
    Take Van Persie, when does he want to sit and talk? After the PL season there are the Euros and after the Euros there is another PL season, so that is a lot of football he wants to focus on before he has time to sit and talk.
    Most of the players who left had one great season and instead of staying to build on it suddenly decide that Arsenal is not the club for them. I dont have a problem with players leaving, my problem is how they leave and if Van Persie leaves like this he will lose my respect even more after the club stuck by him all this years.

    I hope he signs a new contract but personaly i dont belive he will the same words he is saying i heard Nasri and Cesc say this “whatever happens i will always love the club” is just PR, you either commit yourself or not.
    No player is bigger than the club

  • Lanz

    @Bob. You seem to have info that the rest of us don’t; mind saying more?

  • bob

    Lanz,
    Assuming you’re asking a real question rather than making me a “witholder of secrets”, or an “inventor of secrets”, then let me say:
    It’s all been public, in the press, blogs, etc. I just remember it was, that’s all. Lanz, if there’s anything specific you are asking about, it’s all been written about and argued about in these very pages on UA last summer, over a couple of months. The fact is that it’s too early to put it to bed on a factual basis; if it’s truth-seeking that matters to you (plural).

  • Lanz

    You spoke about Nasri’s agent and some French problems that got transferred or “extrapolated”. Then also, the younger Dein who was Henry’s agent, Cesc’s agent. Sure he is also Robin’s agent?

  • johnny

    I think we are optimistic when we say that RVP only wants to know that Arsenal can compete. What if he wants money? I’m not saying he does, but we must take this possibility into consideration. 250.000/week is quite a lot.
    We hope that our captain is not this kind of player, but can we be sure?

  • bob

    Lanz,
    Only the latest of many mentions of RVP/Dein the Lesser’s agent/advisor/eminence grise behind RVP; also Alex Song, I think.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2110640/Why-Robin-van-Persie-leave-Arsenal-David-Deins-son.html

  • Oh boy. We’re gonna go through this again, for the fourth or fifth summer running.

    I think AW should assemble all the players and ask all the ones that wanna leave to come forward so he can transfer list’em and the rest of us can move forward. Really getting annoying.

    RVP should be given a deadline, if he doesn’t sign, he should go, afterall, he’s only given us one season and a half in eight years.

    WTF!

  • bob

    Lanz,
    One of scattered but many online references to Bernes, Nasri’s agent/advisor and powerhouse French agent, who was right-hand man to the Marseilles president in the massive scandal of 1993/4 which got Marseilles relegated and Bernes/Tapie banned for two years. Two of their biggest critics then were AW and Boro Primorac, who afterwards became AW’s long-time assistant: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/ben_lyttleton/08/19/jean-pierre.bernes.frances.most.powerful.agent/index.html

    Ok, Lanz. The ball’s in your court.

  • bob

    Oh, and Lanz,
    please note that Dein the Elder has been all over (see YouTube) spewing forth that AFC cannot afford to lost RVP – his son, Dein the Lesser, being in the pole position to reap the mega-fees of whatever mega-deal RVP can get, wherever he signs. Dein the Lesser is not RVP’s only advisor/agent, as some Dutch bloke gets mentioned more often in the last few weeks. But it doesn’t mean that RVP has only one agent; and it might mean that Dein the Lesser isn’t hiding behind because then he would be responsible in a very public way for stripping us of our last two captains and world class talents to finance his massive lucrative lifestyle. Wake up and smell the coffee. Vigilance!

  • bob

    sorry,meant to say above that: it “might mean that Dein the Lesser IS hiding….

  • bob

    So, for me, for reasons other than any of those stated in the article above, I would give Arsene the UA “Courage Under Fire Award” for persevering and bringing us to a 3rd place finish: this for having to simultaneously do battle with two rapacious uber-agents Jean-Pierre Bernes (Na$ri) and David Dein the Lesser (x-Cesc), whilst being under the all-out, full-press media destabilization attack (still remember?) from the Sun, the Mirror, Sky, and the Manchester Guardian’s football department…. Arsene Rules!

  • shanus

    Not buying a Fabregas/Nasri replacement before they were sold whas a crazy ploy.
    Every decent player that has let his contract run down ends up leaving leaves so its not an unreasonable assumption to work to. They should have recruited at least one player that could fill the void. If Nasri stays great then you have strength in depth and you dont have to rely on hust the likes of Walcott and Gervinho. If he goes then you get over it as painlessly as possible. You certainly don’t start the season so disjointed you’re out of the running in Septembber. Arsenal probably wern’t even planning to bring in Arteta until United spanked us 8-2. Do we know for a fact that City were offering only £5m for Nasri at the beginning of the summer? Thought not.

  • Spartan, a black coat labrador

    Lanre for president!!!Spot on.

  • Cape Gooner

    • @Aussie Jack
    May 22, 2012 at 8:39 am

    “I don`t think there`s an Arsenal supporter alive who wouldn`t agree that last summers transfers were left too late and panic set in.”

    Here is one! Both transfers were not certain until the end of August. A fee was agreed with ManCity for Nasri, personal terms were agreed, but MC refused to pay the fees demanded by the agents and lawyers. There have been suggestions that this was an intentional ploy by the agent who got badly hurt by AW with the Marseilles scandal, but whatever the case, with the season well underway, the deal was far from certain and there was nothing Arsenal could do about it.

    The Cesc situation was handled badly, but Barcelona had the whip hand. We wanted 40m, probably a lot less than Cesc’s true market value; Barcelona, with zero competition offered less than 30m. I think we should have said no and let Cesc sit in stands for 5 years, but eventually Cesc chipped in 6m and Barcelona got the deal of the century.

    Should we have settled for 29m two months earlier? I remember the blogs full of demands for 60m. I think that AW would have received massive criticism for selling Cesc at a bargain price early on.

  • marcus

    I think Wenger & Arsenal are in a massively improved situation this year.

    RVP is clearly leaving. This is a pity, but not really that devastating.

    1) He’s historically injury-prone, and at 28, we could easily have seen the best of him. (Michael Owen did most of his stellar stuff before the age of 24)

    2) Losing RVP will give AW a massive cash boost, and the freedom move away from 4-3-3 if he wants

    ——

    In terms of the team, I would expect to see 4 major signings.

    Mvila
    Giroud
    +
    a GK
    +
    a defender

    To be honest, once the team is reconstructed, it will look very very good

    Building a midfield around Mvila, Arteta, Song and Wilshire will create a very powerful team.

    Wenger really needs to sort out the defence, which would be achieved by bringing in a top class partner for Koz.

    get all this sorted out and Arsenal will be a formidable team…

    better than Man C in all departments except attack.

    However, since Man C have a sardine bench, there’s always room for more disaffection and disharmony there

  • Anne

    @Marcus:

    They’ve been trying to link us to M’vila for ages now. What makes you think that it’s going to pan out this time?

  • bob

    marcus,
    RVP is “clearly leaving”? I don’t see anything is THAT clear on RVP in this moment, to warrant your absolute say-so. Plus there are FFP complications that some clubs – like ManShitty – would face, and RVP said he wouldn’t play against AFC. Do you think Farca in shell-shocked Spain has that money? Juventus, maybe – but every known account says that RVP’s family love London and every observable evidence shows that he does love AFC and being captain. So there’s lots of factors in play, as we’ve known, and nothing has changed to make anyone CONCLUDE that it’s only about the most massive money. Do you see him going to the Russian club? Etc. etc. Where’s any evidence except you saying so as of this moment? If so, please share it.

  • bob

    p.s. and if he were definitely leaving, do you think that he would agree to say nothing to the press right now, while negotiations are still at play?

  • Lanz

    @Bob. Thanx a lot. I believe that much of your points will be factored in during this window, deriving from the bitter experience of last summer.

  • bjtgooner

    Interesting article Walter.

    I remember the first half of Nasri’s last season – he played briliantly and scored quite a few goals. But, during the second half of the season he was not the same player, it looked as if he had been tapped up around mid season and had decided then he was going.

    With Cesc, during his last season he appeared to have a chronic hamstring which prevented him playing on many occasions. I don’t believe the hamstring was as serious as Cesc made out – it was part of Cesc wanting to go and Wenger realised that Cesc’s hamstring would not get better if he stayed in London. This scenario weakened Wenger’s bargaining position.

    This season, without Cesc and Nasri we scored more points and finished higher in the league than we did the season before. Part of that improvement was Arteta and part was having a squad core who all wanted to play for the Arsenal – but well done Wenger for overcoming two nasty kicks in the teeth.

  • Wooby

    @Bob, you are right that there are yet many things we don’t know about the Cesc transfer. One thing I read about last summer that may shed some light about why the transfer fee was lower than the one bandied about the previous year (2010): with another year on his contract complete, it would mean the amount Cesc would have to pay to buy himself out of his contract with us was reduced and thus, the basis for Farca’s (lower) starting bid. Another piece I read suggested last year was the last real opportunity for Farca to make a move for Cesc due to their financial situation.

    My apologies I cannot quickly locate links to both of the items above. However, if those items have even a hint of truth to them, then it was a game of chicken to see who would blink first i.e. whether Farca would cough up more money than the remaining value in Cesc’s contract or risk not being able to sign him.

    As for Na$ri, I would say it was a mistake to let that one drag out. He had only a half good season with us and if he was not going to sign a new contract, it was best to let him go and bring in a replacement. It would still not lessen our negotiating position with respect to Cesc. As it was, losing two players in the middle of a tough month (CL qualifiers in addition to games against opponents in the top half of the table), on top of Jack being hurt, well, which team can successfully play well without three key players?

    I think RVP’s situation is a interesting one. Among all the rumours out there, it would appear the only legitimate bidder would be City. I don’t think Mancini’s going to make the mistake he made last year when he openly talked about Na$ri and ended up overpaying for him (by some considerable margin given he had only one year left on his contract). I have no information on the negotiations but I can imagine the term of a potential new contract being more of a stickler vs weekly wages. He is turning 29 this summer, and given Wenger’s history of dealing with players in their 30’s, I suspect the offer is in the area of 3 or 4 years. If I am RVP’s advisor, I would advise him to seek a contract of 5 years or even longer as this may be his last chance at a big contract.

    I think bringing Poldi on board shows a lesson learned from the Na$ri affair from a year ago.

  • marcus

    @anne
    No hard evidence, but I suspect Wenger will dig in for a player if he really rates him, and the signs are that MVila is the real deal.

    Even though the midfield options are plenty, I think Wenger realizes he is in a zero sum game. If pairing Song and MVila, (or Song, MVila, Arteta) was the most potent midfield option in the EPL, AW would go for it

    @bob

    Sure, the Persian could stay, but judging by his comments, I doubt it.

    Of course, if we are talking Media-Persia, then the story is exaggarated, but the noises from VP’s own mouth are ambiguous to say the least.

    Plus, his appetite for goals seemed to dwindle for the last few games, including his nonchalent Panenka,…which of course might mean nothing at all.

    It’s easier to see him leaving than staying, regardless of his family’s opinions. Ultimately, in 5 years time, he can probably live where he wants…London included.

    I wouldn’t blame him for leaving in all honesty, though ironically, I suspect his departure will be a boon.

  • C4

    With Podolski in the team, I’m not all that sure we’re in as much trouble as people might think if we were to lose RVP. I think we’ll go through a period of adjustment, but by season’s end, we’ll be reading about how we’re a 1 man team reliant on Podolski. I think many a decent striker would thrive at Arsenal, simply due to the number of chances we’re set up to create. And if Podolski is as clinical as most say, I expect he’ll thrive, much the same way RVP has. RVP has scored many goals by design – he’s the main striker in a team that creates plenty of chances, and plays a style of football that he’s been trained in for about 8 years. I’m not sure he could repeat this past season’s goal tally in another team if he were to leave, even if he was the main striker and played the same number of games as he did this past season.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Not convinced by the mvila option, nor is someone who I rate on these things, Philippe auclair but we shall see….
    If rvp will not sign, could be in our interest to keep him, unless we get a stupid offer, and 15 to 20 million is not a stupid offer. Keep him, give us time to bed in replacements. And then we do not have to pay out a long term contract on an injury prone players well into his thirties. Much as I want him to stay, can see him running down his contract, and unlike nasri, can see wenger over ruling board concerns to keep him another year, but who knows….keep hearing a lot about holtby and Suarez but probably media or a smoke screen?

  • Goona Gal

    @ Walter, you make some excellent points and I would like say the negotiation team played a blinder. I think that everyone that was involved in the ‘supermarket footballer trolley dash’ deserves a round of applause. Every player that joined was significantly more hit than miss. I have never known a transfer day like it.

    We no doubt lost a number of talented players (I also include Clichy), but when I look at who we brought in, I feel that we significantly strengthened the squad. Not only that, they went some way to restoring propriety to Arsenal FC as our reputation was taking a battering. Buying ‘Gooner Gunners’ (I like that phrase) who were willing to drop everything, race to the club and felt wearing an Arsenal shirt was a massive honour, was a huge plus as it bore out in their attitude to be a success and keep going through difficult periods.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree goona gal, some of those players made a difference in tough circumstances. Ok park, but for whatever reason, he was not given a chance. Any chance of keeping benny? He really came into his own, and could really help younger players if he was willing to be rotated a bit?

  • Goona Gal

    @ Mandy Dodd, I was at the CC Bolton game and he played really well. Owen Coyle had a thin squad, but for some reason played his first eleven so it was a big test for Park. He never stopped running and combined really well with Arsharvin, expecially considering that they never had played together before. His goal was really well taken and I looked forward to seeing what he would do next.

    Though I must say this contrasted a great deal to the CL Marseille home game where he looked out of his depth and a bit lost if I recall.

  • Goona Gal

    With regards to Benny, I think that there are lots of other midfielders that need to be given a chance. I don’t think we should buy him, but I would take for another year definately. We have the Arsharvin situation to consider and I personally would love to see Denilson back at the club. I want Aneke to be brought through as an understudy to Diaby, we have yet to see what Eisfeld can do, Henderson is someone Arsene Wenger wanted to bring through before his injury, Wilshere might play this season, Alex OC might be deployed more centrally – especially if Ryo does’nt go out on loan.

    In terms of having older experienced heads in midfield, I think that Rosicky and Arteta are there to do that.

    I am not sure Benny has the patience to play back up and wait for his chances, especially when there are a number of clubs right now could do a lot worse than buying him. Aston Villa, Reading, Fulham would be silly not make enquiries and after his perfomances for Arsenal this season, I would expect overseas interest too.

  • bob

    Wooby,
    On your comparison: The drop was not just from the year before as you noted [I wasn’t paying attention then]; but the publicly bandied-about numbers also dropped quite dramatically (by tens of millions) within a 5-6 week period last summer. I remember it as Arsene saying he wouldn’t sell, to saying something like 40 million minimum, then it becoming 30 million plus, then it all went quiet…

  • Jacobite Gunner

    @bob,

    please do not ever quote the daily mail as a credible or even suggestive source- it has no facts to back up any claims

  • bob

    jacobite gunner,
    I totally concur with you on the daily mail. I linked to it to give a fellow gooner a quick reference to the Dein/RVP link in the time I had yesterday. Please note, however, that this information on Dein being RVP’s agent/advisor has been cited in multiple sources over the last 2-3 seasons, and, for my credibility, I would not ever reference such sensitive and public information if I hadn’t found it to be multiply sourced – especially right now, as you can appreciate.

    If you have other information, or are denying this link, then say so; and give your source, or cast doubt on it. I have no investment in falsehood and wherever the facts are discernible, that’s what we deal with. But if you are saying more than cautioning me/us about the Mirror (and I do concur, as you can see in my other posts on this thread above), then give a reference that disproves it.

  • bob

    Jacobite Gunner,
    p.s. I won’t ever defend the Daily Mail or Daily Mirror or the Sun when it comes to evidence. But, just to be clear and on the record, since we both agree that evidence matters, where’s your counter-evidence IF you are denying the RVP/Dein the Lesser agent-advisor link?

  • Jacobite Gunner

    @bob, Dein is not his agent and he was not present when RVP’s discussions took place a few days ago.

  • Ong Bing

    What is left if RVP go this summer?
    Arsene Wenger!

    What is left if AW go this summer?
    Big big big disaster!

    So, I don’t care who go this summer as long as Arsene still with Arsenal. He will makes Arsenal still strong, even can not win EPL. Still in top 4? Surely!

    In Arsene We Trust. Remember this word?

  • Ong Bing

    BTW, I think the most important person that makes Robin stay or go is Bouchra.

  • bob

    jacobite gunner,
    My contention (and there’s back-up) is that RVP has had and extrapolating from last summer also continues to have multiple agents and has had multiple agents, and Dein the Lesser (younger has been the senior of that group) and how do you know who was present, and send your link to show who was there and that names his one and only agent. In fact, if you can show that Dein the Lesser was definitively not there, it could also demonstrate that this first meeting was exploratory, and that he comes in for the finishing stroke. Let’s cooperate and get to the bottom of this and keep who’s right out of the picture, if you’re on side with that. Ok?

  • bob

    Jacobite Gunner,
    p.s. and just so we are totally clear, I am referring to Dein the younger (DD junior) when I assert that he is RVP’s main/senior agent-advisor.

  • Ong Bing

    Manuel, thank you for your time at Arsenal! Muchos gracias amiga!

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/arsenal-release-seven-players

  • bob

    Jacobite Gunner,
    In response to your hard work,
    here’s a mere handful of only some recent references 2011/2012 to the presence of Darren Dein, whom I call Dein the Lesser, as advisor/agent/eminence grise/significant colleague in the professional life of RVP. There are links in this batch from 2011, and with further searching, links from before 2011. So whatever the specific role you are denying him in the RVP decision-making process, I offer these links for anyone’s perusal. Am I cocksure of anything in those negotiations? Of course not. But you know who was there and who was not, according to your last post. Well, apart from your blanket denial that all or some of these might have some substance, I would be grateful for you laying bare your evidence to the contrary. I’d be happy to be right or wrong. I’d like to know is where the facts lead, something that you’ve done nothing, so far, to elucidate. So for your eyes only:
    removethishttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/8619206/Agent-Darren-Dein-linked-to-Arsenal-transfer-deals-including-Cesc-Fabregas-Barcelona-move.html

    Darren Dein is the son of David Dein, the former Arsenal vice-chairman who helped establish the club as one of the dominant forces in the Premier League, and whose leadership some believe is lacking in the present Emirates boardroom.
    A lawyer, Darren has been a significant figure at Highbury and the Emirates for more than a decade. He was Thierry Henry’s agent throughout his time at the club, and now also represents Fabregas and Clichy, and recently added Robin van Persie, the senior player at the Emirates and arguably most important individual in Wenger’s squad after Fabregas, to his client list.
    The potential for conflict of interest in Dein’s role when his father was on the board has been scrutinised in the past, and his position has raised questions again among supporters anxious at recent events. Sources close to Dein insist, however, that any suggestion that he is underming Arsenal and that claims he has any connection to the unsettled Samir Nasri are entirely untrue.

    removethishttp://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/aug/20/robin-van-persie-arsenal-liverpool
    Darren Dein, Fábregas’s agent, has added the Dutchman to his client list. There would be no shortage of suitors.

    removethishttp://www.ashburtongrove.co.uk/2012/05/16-may-2012-totteridge-wenger-and-rvp.html
    The golden boot winner will sit down with Arsene Wenger tomorrow at his Totteridge home along with chief executive Ivan Gazidis, negotiator Richard Law and Van Persie’s agent, Kees Vos. Whether or not Darren Dein, who is also in van Persie’s team of advisors and attended the Football Writers Awards ceremony with him recently, will be there as well remains to be seen.

    removethishttp://aculturedleftfoot.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/1234-in-or-out/
    Transfer rumour is grist to the footballing mill; this weekend has seen plenty emerging about Arsenal. And none of it is new in terms of the “targets”. Mostly it is surrounding Robin van Persie. Duncan Castles got the ball rolling by opining in The National that van Persie’s agent has agreed terms with Manchester City. Darren Dein is suspected of being the hand behind this and might be. Known to be the Dutchman’s commercial advisor, according to this month’s World Soccer his actual agent Kees Ploegsma is concerned that Dein is looking to takeover all of the captain’s affairs.

    removethishttp://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2012/may/14/robin-van-persie-arsenal
    The key protagonists in negotiations are Wenger himself, the chief executive Ivan Gazidis, Richard Law, from the Football Operations team, and Van Persie’s agent, Kees Vos. The role of Darren Dein, an associate of Van Persie’s who spends a lot of time with him, is unclear. The son of Arsenal’s former vice-chairman David Dein is, however, linked with having arranged the high profile departures of Fábregas and Henry.

    removethishttp://solicitorsfromhell.net/index.php?option=com_sobi2&sobi2Task=sobi2Details&sobi2Id=102&Itemid=
    Darren Spenser Dein
    Double D Limited
    4 Beaumont Gardens, West Heath Road, Hampstead
    London NW3 7TF
    England
    Darren Spenser Dein
    Darren Dein is the son of former Arsenal Vice-Chairman David Dein. Since David Dein was forced out of the club in 2007 his son Darren has advised several of the top players at Arsenal on commercial or playing contracts. Darren Dein has advised Thierry Henry, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy and Cesc Fabregas, who have all left the club – earning Darren his pounds of flesh. Robin Van Persie is also represented by Darren Dein.

    removethishttp://news.arseblog.com/2012/04/dein-claims-long-standing-van-persie-move-interest/
    David’s son Darren, he of football agent/Darth Vader fame, is Van Persie’s ‘commercial advisor’ (whatever the fuck that means) and the man who has helped oversee moves for Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas, Gael Clichy and some other players who probably aren’t even worth mentioning. Basically he’s your classic Mr. 10% and would probably sell his own children just to make a bit more of the green stuff. Harsh? Meh.

  • Jacobite Gunner

    @bob,

    I’m sorry, I seem to have touched a nerve. Please do not take offence and yes, it is widely known that wenger and gazidis went to RVP’s residents over a two day period last week to discuss his contract whereby his agent(Kees Vos) was in attendance.

    Well said Ong bing, AKB!

  • Oyebamiji 3mizeey

    Arsenal does not have bad season because of cesc and nasri’s departure but because we didn’t prepare our boys for the psychological warfare that some managers attached to the game of premiership we lost the season but draw the game immediately gervinho lost the game of mind (provocation) to alan pardew and his onfield specialist, joey barton. Had it been gerv try to cool his temper and not retaliate, he might not get sent ,we might win the match and he might be there for us at the stetford rangers (old traford) there’s possibility we even draw the man u self but alan pardew himself being a french knows the weakness of some french or league 1 players mind he utilise it as they do in the previous season with diaby. By the time gerv return arsenal is no more arsenal again and gerv is no more that league 1 winner we expect to bring the winning spirit and mentality to bear on arsenal campaign again. The red card has killed bolt the spirit and the mentality. Up till today what we see of gerv is only determination.

  • Goona Gal

    I too would like to wish Almunia and all the other departing players all the best. I felt it was right that Almunia moved on, but remain disappointed by the abuse he endured towards the end.

    I am guessing we are now in the market for another GK and had selfishly hoped that if Wigan went down, we might of got Al Habsi. I know he left Bolton to get more playing time, but I wonder if he would be tempted by less games but at a bigger club.

    ….or too soon to discuss replacements…

  • goonergerry

    Fabregas wanted to leave there is no doubt- his agent put in a written transfer request a full year before he finally left. He didn’t leave for money it seems- but the lack of success of the team, its over-reliance on Fabregas- and what that last season physically and mentally took out of him does appear to have been a factor as well as his desire to return to his hometown team. Do you really think that Cesc would have left last season if he perceived real success to be just being around the corner? I don’t.
    But go he would – eventually.
    I
    have been advised by very well placed sources that Nasri was tapped up around January and his head was turned at that point. It would certainly coincide with a loss of form and apparent motivation.

    The fact remains that Spurs experienced the exact same scenario last season with Modric and managed to keep him-and their club benefitted on the field as a result.
    It is nonsense to argue that there was no choice regarding Nasri.

    Why didn’t we keep Nasri? At one point last summer Arsene said that Nasri would see out his contract and possibly leave on a free-unless he was offered a better deal by us- until the owner intervened.

    And why are Manchester City such an attractive proposition to Arsenal as a buyer- that we have sold them 4 first choice players and ignored the fact that we are strengthening a rival every time we sell a player to them?
    Because they are cash buyers.

    Arsenal need cash buyers because our so called sustainable finance model that you rave on about does not enable us to sell a top player and immediately buy an equivalent value replacement- unless we receive payment in cash. It is an extremely cautious approach to financing-it is hard to imagine a more cautious approach- and if anything demonstrates that the club has established a finance model that requires it to continually compromise on player quality.

    If it was any other business-we would considered to be under-capitalised.
    It also demonstrates how dependent this club is on petro- financed clubs to buy our players.

    Business was done at the last possible moment last transfer window because we had to wait for the first tranch of money from Barcelona- this does beg the question why we agreed to sell a player on what were for us unfavourable terms? Because we like the player and he wanted to go back to his mates does not cut it for me. It is not “sustainable” to sell a major asset on such terms that you are only able to buy an inferior one as replacement.

    The second tranch of Cesc money just coincided with the purchase of Podolski. The likely replacement for RVP.

  • Azd

    Walter
    C.Ronaldo only wanted to go to Real but united still got $80 mil.
    This happens because the club places profits over trophies nick named sustainable model.
    Other clubs know this, the players know this and agents know this.
    Until Gazidis/Wenger/Kronke realise that its is ok to sometimes loose money in business things like this will always happen.

  • Azd

    Another point
    Look at the Tevez saga and see how it was handled.
    If Gazidiz had said 35mil or nothing, stripped Cesc off the captaincy and stuck him in the reserve one of two things would have happened
    1)Cesc will be so pissed, he won’t have minded moving to psg
    2)He would buck up and play for the team cos of the euros.
    Tevez did not appologise cos he was sorry, he did because MCFC showed who was boss and the team was winning without him.