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Mr Wenger and the wild men

By Tony Attwood

By wild men I mean, of course, the journalists.  Not Mr Balotelli.

Anyway, the story continues.  In Thierry Henry’s second season Arsenal scored 63 goals in the league.  Last season Arsenal scored 68 goals in the league.

So on this basis that we now must have a new striker, then on the same basis Mr Wenger made a terrible error at the end of Henry’s second season with Arsenal and have kicked out Henry or at least demoted him, and brought in someone else.

Which is why the wild men in the papers are saying we should now sign Mario Balotelli.

But then the Balotelli stories are being promoted strongly by the Daily Mail, whose ability to re-write history is second only to that of the Times, so maybe we should take a little caution with this one.

Milan are said not to want Balotelli because he is “troublesome”, but there is also talk that Liverpool think he would fit into their squad quite nicely.  But one thing on Balotelli’s side is that he is only 23 years old, and given that there is every chance he will have a falling out and suspensions, I guess he could be seen as an occasional.  A back up to Giroud perhaps…

But these “Arsenal need a forward” stories will not go away.  Here is the Independent today:

“Arsenal, who are in need of a top striker to help share the work load with Olivier Giroud who tired during the long season last year, are said to be readying a £20m deal to bring Balotelli to the Emirates.

“Arsene Wenger believes he can tame Mario Balotelli as rumours of a potential swoop for the AC Milan striker gather pace, according to reports.”

Ah well, maybe.

Here are the others that they have on their list today.  It’s all made up, but it makes a change from the “oh my goodness look Fufa are corrupt well I never, what a surprise” stories.

Michy Batshuayi

He is with Standard Liege and says he likes Arsenal. He’s 20, a striker, can play on the wings and is fairly cheap at £6.5m.

Alvaro Morata

Apparently we have agreed personal terms – but that is according to news sources in Spain, so is probably based on something to do with his DNA.  £15m should do it to get him away from Real.

Javi Martinez

Bayern Munich defender/midfielder for whom Bayern paid €40m in 2012.

Julian Draxler

Yawn yawn, this one is long running.  £37m release clause in his contract – apparently.

Antoine Griezmann

It is said Arsene Wenger has “confirmed” his interest in the striker from Real Sociedad.

Carlos Vela

Funny old game football – apparently there is a buy back clause in his contract for £3m.  I really thought he would make it at Arsenal – so that shows what I know.

Serge Aurier

Toulouse right-back.  Say no more.

Josip Drmic

The striker from Nurnberg that Sky say we have already signed.  Scored 16 goals in the Bundesliga this season – the third highest.

Calum Chambers

He’s from Southampton so we must want him.  And he’s 19.

Sebastian Jung

Eintracht Frankfurt defender aged 23.

Mario Mandzukic

Bayern Munich striker’s agent is said to be playing off Chelsea and Arsenal against each other.

Atsuto Uchida

Japan’s full back.  Watch him at the world cup.

Salomon Kalou

Currently at Lille available for £2.5m.  Really?

You can choose any three from the above, but they have to fit and not encourage any of the current squad to demand to leave.

26 comments to Mr Wenger and the wild men

  • oldgroover

    Be fair (if that’s possible with the media), it’s not just Arsenal who are subject to these rumours is it? It’s going around most Premier League clubs the MSL and Australia’s A league.

  • Philbet

    Oldgroover is correct ALL clubs get the same, linked with,signed,competing with,snubbed for,missed out on nonsense, they are not just looking for Arsenal hits they want everyones hits.

  • Mick

    Sorry off topic but is anyone else sick and tired of the media love in for Barclay, Sterling, Henderson and all the other Liverpool players in the England squad. Wilshere and Ox have outperformed all of them in the warm up games so far but get hardly a mention. Look at Wilsheres amazing stats from the last game yet all we hear is how incredible Barclay was.

    Jack Wilshere, 100 per cent passing accuracy from 45 passes, including four long balls and two key passes which created goal scoring opportunities.
    Steven Gerrard, 93 per cent completion rates with 40 attempted passes, no key passes.
    Jordan Henderson, the player Wilshere is most likely competing for a spot with, played 83 minutes, with a 91 per cent completion rate from 92 attempted passes with no key passes.

  • “Arsenal, who are in need of a top striker to help share the work load with Olivier Giroud who tired during the long season last year, are said to be readying a £20m deal to bring Balotelli to the Emirates.

    “Arsene Wenger believes he can tame Mario Balotelli as rumours of a potential swoop for the AC Milan striker gather pace, according to reports.”

    What a well polished steaming pile of horse turd!

    Here is the media building on their OWN diagnosis of why Giroud’s form dropped to make prescriptions that they have always wanted long before the ailment they diagnosed.

    That second sentence is so predictable you could use it to rationalise why Arsenal will sign the Devil himself.

    “Arsene Wenger believes he can tame Joey Barton as rumours of a potential swoop for the QPR midfielder gather pace, according to reports.”

    See what I did there? I should be writing for the papers!

  • nicky

    Every close season I promise myself not to read about rumoured signings until any alleged player is photographed wearing an Arsenal shirt. It doesn’t always work.
    The most irritating aspect about the rumours, though, is that on September 2nd, when the Summer Window closes, the rumours immediately begin in advance of the January Window. Grrrrr….

  • WalterBroeckx

    The only reason Giroud scored less was the fact that Ramsey and Theo were out for months and months and months. Theo would have offered another 10-15 assists to any other player, Ramsey would have scored at least another 5 goals and assisted another 5-10 goals.
    We should sign Mr. Fit Ness

  • Mick

    @Bootoomee
    The media agenda is their blinkered view that Arsenal’s title challenge petered out because of Wenger’s stubborn refusal to address the striker issue in the January window rather than acknowledge the probable real reason for our slump which was of course the horrendous injury crisis we suffered in midfield.

  • Pat

    @Mick

    Thanks for the stats on Jack Wilshere. I’d noticed too how he’s hardly getting a mention. Like sheep the media follow each other on the flavour of the month, usually not from Arsenal.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    ” Arsenal, who are in need of a top striker to help share the work load with Olivier Giroud who tired during the long season ….”
    The only thing that got OG ‘tired’ is probably all that pulling ,kicking , punching ,elbows to the face and the unpunished constant fouls against him during the games much to the approval of England’s finest referees .
    What the press should have said is….”Wanted , striker for Arsenal, must be willing to be subjected to much physical and mental abuse from opponents and fans alike without any protection from the officials .
    No complaining will be entertained or you’ll be labelled …(insert animal /fruit/ vegetable name associated with country !) or a/an ( insert names of genitalia of either sexes )…or ..( insert name of the country’s most despicable dictator /tyrant/ ‘fruitcake’).
    Pays well ( too much if you ask the AAAA !).

  • TommieGun

    Dunno, it seems that “we need a …” is not just some media shit – check this out (what the Kos’ says) –

    http://www.squawka.com/news/kos-says-arsenal-need-a-new-striekr/119909

    He actually says we need someone to get some of the pressure off Giroud – which does not sound like nonsense.

    I recall Giroud himself said in the beginning of last year that he would be happy if we signed another striker.

    My point is that it’s not just media lies; it’s not just Arsenal (transfer gossip is circulated around all clubs) – it’s the fact that people say we didn’t win titles, or that Arsene needs to go, BECAUSE we did not sign [fill in the blank].

  • bjtgooner

    @Pat/Mick

    Wilshere looked a class above his team mates in the warm up games. I still get the impression that some of the England “old guard” try not to pass to him – I always had that impression when Walcott was playing – & when he was in a good position to attack the ball was played elsewhere.

    The Ox looked a match winner before he was injured, I hope England do not get him wrecked for the start of next season.

    Barclay is a good player, but at this stage of his development lacks close control – similarly with Welbeck, Stirling, Henderson etc and when compared to Wilshere in the last warm up match they all looked as if their thinking/awareness was slower.

  • Mandy Dodd

    I’ll take Sami Khedira…. or a Bender…not that I know much about the latter brothers, but the media keep telling us we should sign one of them.
    I would welcome him if he does come, but hope we are aiming higher than Kalou.
    Still think Wenger will go for a utility forward rather than an out and out striker

  • bjtgooner

    The manures are reportedly trying to off load Fellaini – remember the guy the media and AAA were imploring us to sign last summer.

    Just imagine the media hype (never mind the AAA in ecstasy) if AW had signed a player at £25m only to have him offloaded the following summer.

  • finsbury

    btj

    Hang on, what about all that coverage in the media on Loldado and Lamela? 😉

    Value for money there: I’ve been laughing since the first N.London derby and I haven’t stopped. Legendary scenes *wipes a tear*

  • Oliver

    Balotelli might be a good idea to get the crowd going!
    He will probably end up having a blinder of a world cup and going for an arbitrary large sum .

  • menace

    Wilshere & the Ox are not fit for England (I just don’t want them exposed to injury). Send them back so that they are fit for Arsenal. The rest of the England squad are wonderfully brilliant!! They have not got anywhere with Voy. He hasn’t got a clue how to manage a fluid offense. Their passing and pace is not visible. The choice of Gerrard & Lampard is like putting donkeys behind the cart. Both are past their prime. Baines may look brilliant with PGMOL but will get slaughtered by South American tackles. Englands defense will be torn apart by pace.

    I hope I am wrong because I’d like to see England bring the World cup home.

  • finsbury

    Old groover

    I think there was a post here on untold last summer counting and showing how Arsenal FC were linked with more players then any other club when it came to transfer rumours.
    Why would so many agents want to link their clients with a solvent as in rare club like the Arsenal?

  • Mick

    @Rantetta
    Thanks for that link, Wilsheres passing was flawless. Can you find a contrasting clip of Rooney, Gerrard, Lampard etc etc giving the ball away cheaply?

  • Shard

    Bootoomee

    Unfortunately, you can’t claim exclusive on the Joey Barton rumours. 3 years ago Barton himself claimed Wenger was going to sign him from Newcastle, only for him to change his mind because of Barton getting Gervinho sent off.

  • Shard

    As for Wilshere and England. Anyone who thought that the anti-Arsenal referee bias in the league has to do with the supposed ‘Frenchness’ has been proven wrong.

    Wilshere is among the most fouled players in the league, and that is when only about a quarter of the fouls are called. He, and by extension Arsenal and Wenger, are then blamed for him being ‘injury prone’, his performances are ignored or worse, wrongfully berated, despite him being the most talented player in the English midfield. Why would the do that to one of their best prospects? And then they write articles like Wilshere should leave Arsenal and join Liverpool/ManU/Chelsea to fulfil his potential or some such nonsense.

  • james

    What mystifies me is why all the experts expect Henderson to start in midfield against Italy. I know Jack is recovering, but he is getting better in each game and is better than any midfielder in the squad. He is a bloody shoe-in if fully fit! This Liverpoo bias goes on and on…

  • @shard, arsenal in reality are in hell in hell I hear the devil do all his/hers devilishly shit whIle the other devils apprieciate.
    Good example to prove that the arsenal is in a devilish world is the FA cup!?#*.
    If we where to go to court with the video of that final even the blind could tell.(not offending the blind)
    I would bet with any ass around to prove to me that final was fair.!?!

  • Gord

    A different tale from the media

    Looking at the BBC/Sport/Football page, I was greeted with

    Salisbury Conference Premier side sign Saudi prince

    with a URL of: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/27762722

    Inside the article, we have:
    > Salisbury sign Saudi Arabian prince Khalid Bin Bader Alsaud

    > Saudi Arabian prince Khalid Bin Bader Alsaud has signed for Conference Premier side Salisbury City.

    > The 19-year-old midfielder, who has been playing at Bromley, was unveiled by new chairman Outail Touzar.

    > Dubai-based Moroccan businessman Touzar, 31, bought the club with Whites supporter Mark Winter last month.

    Sure, I can see how a Dubai based person might be pressured by the Saudi Royal Family into signing a particular player. Why write Untold about this? Looking at the current roster, and all the news articles on the Bromley FC website for the 2013/14 season, I can’t see any evidence that Alsaud was a player for Bromley; first team, reserves or U-18.

    Was this Prince playing under an assumed name?

    Is there more than 1 Bromley?

    Was he playing on a team, or did someone just see him kicking a ball in Bromley?

    Is this the new way for an oil wealthy owner to get a team?

  • Pat

    @Rantetta

    That piece of film of Jack Wilshere was fantastic. It made me really appreciate him! Sometimes you forget what great players we have.

  • jayramfootball

    @bjtgooner
    I am so glad you have spotted that too. There are cliques in the England team. It’s obvious that certain players favour passes to each other and you can see that when faced with a pass to a non clique member there is hesitation and invariably a more difficult pass is attempted elsewhere. I have noticed this for a long period of time and the players MOSt culpable are Stephen Gerrard, Wayne Rooney and Glen Johnson. I noticed it more recently with Sturridge and Henderson. Wilshere is most certainly on the outside of the clique (except with Rooney, who unfortunately for Arsenla fans seems to hit it off with Jack).

    There were rumours – supported by the disgraceful tirade from Rooney aimed at Walcott for one bad cross in the 2010 warm up games – that it was Rooney himself that got Walcott dropped from the squad. That would not surprise me. It can not have been for purely football reasons.

    Not playing as a team, and letting cliques and egos rule the day, has been the down fall of England over the last years. England will simply not progress until players of poor character are ejected for good from the squad. Rooney, Gerrard, Johnson should be the first 3 to get axed. None of them have been even average at the top level and yet here they are still.

    As for the media what a total shambles. Every tournament they have their favourites and poor performances are turned into good ones with the switch of a pen, whilst players who actually play well but are not on the love in list get ignored.

    One day I hope that an England manager will completely ignore them and ban the media from every element of the England set up. Glenn Hoddle moved in that direction and the knives came out.. hopefully a new manager will be smarter and completely shut them out.