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Arsenal about to make triple signing, as the complaints mount

By Tony Attwood

So certain of things that the Daily Telegraph is currently running this headline

Arsenal close in on £60m triple swoop

three times on its football internet headline page this morning.   The three men are  Lars Bender, Alexis Sánchez and Mathieu Debuchy as if you didn’t know.  Then in separate articles we get more:

So there’s three already here or almost so, with a fourth on the horizon.

Except… this is football and journalism.  So despite all that the article says, “Arsenal are planning to resurrect last summer’s pursuit of the Germany midfielder Lars Bender, with Arsène Wenger also closing in on the signings of Alexis Sánchez and Mathieu Debuchy.”

Bender “has been identified as an ideal long-term replacement to Mikel Arteta in the holding midfield position alongside Aaron Ramsey.”

So we haven’t actually got any of them then because “although none of the deals is complete, the club are hopeful of what would be a triple signing of around £60 million.”

But then the Telegraph can’t help but thrown in a few landmines, mention that Arsenal has had a “turbulent period since 2011” and that Arteta “is now 32 and out of contract next year.”   But there are “scheduled” talks “this summer with Arteta”.

Thus now we know.  It has been turbulent.   Turbulent compared to… Man U?   Liverpool?  (After all we all know that coming third or fourth is NOT a trophy, so presumably coming second after years of not even getting into the champions league is, sort of, not a trophy).  Turbulent because we won the FA Cup while Man City were knocked out of it two years running by Wigan?

Oh yes, sorry.  The FA Cup doesn’t count as a trophy.   (Liverpool winning the League Cup a couple of years ago did count as a trophy, but the rules have changed now).

Or turbulent because we haven’t changed managers every 18 months?  After all what sort of club is it that sticks with a manager who is equal top winner of the FA Cup in modern times, who has won the double twice…

But what of the newly evolving team?  The newly famous Arsenal midfield?   According to the Telegraph this is “quite extensive in theory”.

In theory?

Oh apparently, they’ve all been injured so, it is only in theory.

But enough of this Arsenal knocking – the paper does it every day so we know what to expect.  On the transfer business, they finally tell us at the end of the article, “The most progressed deals are currently for Sanchez and Debuchy, with the players having both indicated a desire to join Arsenal.  Sanchez has been complicated by the ongoing negotiations between Liverpool and Barcelona over Luis Suarez but, according to sources in Spain, [ah yes, according to source, good, now we know] agreement is now close on a £32 million fee with Arsenal.

“On Debuchy, there is limited difference between Arsenal’s £10 million and Newcastle’s £12 million valuations.”

But meanwhile, inevitably, because there is no “done deal” or “deal done!” as the blogs like to claim, the whining, moaning and hand-writing continues apace.   This is done on the basis of five perceived facts.

1.  We ain’t signed no big time players yet.

2.  We always offer too little

3.  Because of point 2, our bids are hijacked by others

4.  If we do buy, we usually buy from lower league clubs, or clubs in the lower part of the Premier League, so we are buying lower league players.

5.  Even if we were to buy the top scorer in the French first division, or the midfield maestro in Real Madrid’s team, they’d be rubbish, because we always buy rubbish.

These five points, which are repeated over and over again, are based on an ability to ignore a vast array of other facts, facts which really can’t be ignored if you want to comment on Arsenal historically as well as today.

I won’t go into each one in detail – that would be too ponderous even for me – but here’s a quick canter around the stuff you must never say if you want to get your blog read by lots and lots of rampantly negative people.

1.  We have the Emirates stadium – which many consider the best ground in the country.  And although much of the debt is now paid off, it came at a cost.  However while Liverpool and Man U slipped out of the Champions League following matters such as a change of ownership or change of manager, Arsenal built the whole stadium itself, and stayed in the Champions League.  Not a trophy I agree, but a stunning achievement.  (And just ask Tottenham fans about the value of a new stadium).

2. Arsenal don’t have a benefactor – the money is earned.  Having a benefactor gives you billions, of course, but also brings with it a risk – the risk of the benefactor losing interest, suffering from a coup, or indeed sadly passing from this world.

3.  Arsenal has kept its integrity.  Yes we sold the stadium name to the Emirates, rather than to a democracy, but at least we kept our footballing traditions, didn’t do a direct deal with Qatar, and didn’t buy a player with the moral reputation akin to something at the foot of the food chain.

4.  During the period of privation we bought and developed Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ramsey.   We nurtured Wilshere.  We found two young Polish keepers who became superb players.   I could go on but you get the point.

5.  And some of our purchases weren’t too bad either.  Just look at our two centre backs.  Both criticised on arrival, both now seen by many as being on a par with the great centre backs of the earlier eras.

6.  We developed a formation and style that others would love to have – and clearly this development has not finished yet.  The rotational system of the midfield is still being developed, and I personally have every belief that this season I’m going to be offered ten times the cost of my season ticket just for people to watch Ramsey and Theo.  I won’t take it of course.

7.  We fought off everyone – including Tottenham’s desperate move to stop Ozil coming our way as part of the sale of Bale – with last summer’s amazing transfer.

8.  Not every player is a success at the start.  Henry, Bergkamp and Pires, perhaps the three greatest players I have ever seen, all started their Arsenal careers modestly.  Now as we look back I don’t think we worry too much about that.

Of course it would be nice to take this list on to 10 but there’s really no need.  The point is made.  To be a doom monger you have to ignore all of that.  And that takes quite a twist of the personality.  Dr Billy “the dog” McGraw of the University Hospital of the North Circular Road is, I am told, available for consultation.

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19 comments to Arsenal about to make triple signing, as the complaints mount

  • H Bo

    Great article totally agree 100%. In fact read another article which got my brain doing overtime which basically implied that we have not revealed any signings as we are waiting for the new kit to be launched this week so late this week early next the doors should be opening for those 4/5 players we need GK, RB, FWD, DM and maybe a winger

  • oldgroover

    Turbulent…….losing key players to rivals & long term injuries.
    Turbulent…… Victims of incompetent referees & unsympathetic media.

  • will

    Bloggers and gutter press mostly hate arsenal including the ones with arsenal in title

  • Super Singh

    Turbulent indeed. Supporting The Arsenal has be a bit of a roller coaster ride, with the up’s and down’s it’s undeniably been emotional.

    Sometimes you gotta lose to fully appreciate what you’ve won.

  • odiri

    Hi Tony, it is not just fun reading your blogs but insightful too. Always look forward to a new post with vigor. Concerning our transfer situations, I am always surprised that we are constantly criticized on every media platform, print, electronic and online. Our business model rubbished but people fail to take to lessons the current situations at Portsmouth, Birmingham and Malaga. I have been a supporter of this great club for 18 years and I hope that my kids would support Arsenal not because I am supporting them but rather buy into the Arsenal philosophy of pulling ourselves by our boot straps, no sugar daddies etc.

  • Charlie

    The negativity around this time of year does get tiresome I agree. Turbulent would’ve been buying Cesc knowing that we then needed to sell someone to make space and couldn’t demand value for them. Turbulent would be losing your star player and replacing with 5 or 6 who will take time to settle. Turbulent would be needing to sell players in order to avoid getting kicked out of European competition.
    On another matter I believe that Sanchez will become an Arsenal legend if he does sign. A player of remarkable talent and work rate similar in style to Aguero or Suarez. I see him being moulded into a striker by Arsene.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Last year it was all about replacing Ramsey, this year its about playing alongside Ramsey……hmmmm.

    Have they forgotten Wilshere completely? And what about Gnabry??

  • I enjoyed reading your press reviews. If you’d like contribute to Pies, please let me know…

  • menace

    @Tony @Walter whats happened to the latest comments panel on the side?

    I may be off topic but it’s important for everyone to observe the mlssuse of the knee in tackles. The Knee in the back that broke Neymar was used twice by Messi in the Argentina match. He is a little sly but he got his knee into the backs of 2 opponents.. The Referees do not see these ‘tackles’ (assaults) because they are not part of the expected armoury of the cheat. The knee in the thigh leads to hamstring or other muscle issues as the initial puncture causes the muscle to compress and then fill with blood. More needs to be done to stop these nasty tackles. I first observed Joey Barton use the knee on the thighs of Arsenal players when he was at Newcastle. The referee ignored the assaults and unfortunately I didn’t record what happened to the recipient later in the season.

    I suggest that in the next few matches in the World Cup we all observe and report back on the knee ‘assault’ because I’m afraid Ozil might get crook by susch a tackle.

  • menace

    @Tony @Walter whats happened to the latest comments panel on the side?

    I may be off topic but it’s important for everyone to observe the mlssuse of the knee in tackles. The Knee in the back that broke Neymar was used twice by Messi in the Argentina match. He is a little sly but he got his knee into the backs of 2 opponents.. The Referees do not see these ‘tackles’ (assaults) because they are not part of the expected armoury of the cheat. The knee in the thigh leads to hamstring or other muscle issues as the initial puncture causes the muscle to compress and then fill with blood. More needs to be done to stop these nasty tackles. I first observed Joey Barton use the knee on the thighs of Arsenal players when he was at Newcastle. The referee ignored the assaults and unfortunately I didn’t record what happened to the recipient later in the season.

    I suggest that in the next few matches in the World Cup we all observe and report back on the knee ‘assault’ because I’m afraid Ozil might get crook by such a tackle.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree Menace, I also have a feeling Ozil will be targeted. Not sure Brazil can beat Germany in a fair game, so we know what they will resort to, and probably get away with. The appointed Mexican ref has a rep of being pretty tough and willing to hand out cards, but all depends on what he has been instructed. How has Fernandinho gone through so far without even a single yellow card to his name?
    At the start, I was convinced a Brazil Argentina final would be set up,and on the day, they would be allowed to fight it out, have seen nothing to make me change my view on this, despite these two being very limited teams on showings so far.

  • bjtgooner

    As indicated on an earlier thread I don’t get too excited about the plethora of transfer rumors, I am happy to wait for the announcement(s) from Arsenal.com. However, I do resent the way the media and blogs deliberately play on the emotions of our fans – not helped by cretinous comments from the AAA from time to time.

    Re Ozil – I agree with Mandy & menace – Ozil, who has been one the most creative players in the German team (although the media would tell otherwise) could well be targeted as Brazil try to nobble the Germans. Brazil have at times behaved like thugs – with the connivance of the incompetent refs.

  • menace

    Sorry didn’t mean to post twice. There are issues with you database that cause this. combination of error 500 and lockouts.

  • menace

    I don’t for one minute think the officials are incompetent, more like smart cheats. The bastards have allowed Naymar to almost lose his mobility. Fernandino should be in prison for multiple assaults on James Rodriguez. Messi should have been red carded for deliberate knee in the back of his opponents twice. He is sly and although brilliant has lost my respect.

  • Paul the gooner

    Well it didn’t take the media long.As soon as the World Cup is coming to an end, here we go again.It was nice to some extent to not read to many cheap shots at our players.Although, the bbc panel of “EXPERTS” all got stuck into our German players.Funny, how they never criticised the English so called players that played in the first two matches for us.Silly season begins and if you thought last season was difficult regarding the media, you ain’t seen anything yet.Great post Tony.

  • oldgroover

    Paul the Gooner

    Barney Roney in today’s Guardian made the point that it’s not been a great World Cup for Premiership players in general, but did say that Ozil & Per had played well.

  • AL

    Menace,
    You make good points about bad tackles but spoil it by accusing Messi of being sly. I don’t think you can accuse Messi of being sly, and to say you’ve lost all respect for someone that’s the best footballer around over that’s just wrong. He’s one of the most honest players out there, only goes down when staying on his feet is no longer an option. Gets kicked and allows the aggressor to help him get up from the ground, rarely see him retaliate, if he ever does. And I would add I have absolutely no doubt he’s NOT the type to try to hurt anyone. He’s just too humble for that.

    I saw the tackles you refer to but on both occasions he was trying to nick the ball through the legs of the other players. I’ve seen him pull this off cleanly before, but on both occasions this time he couldn’t pull them off. We don’t want to appear like a bunch of whingerson this site and I’m afraid your attack on Messi will make us look like that to many neutrals.

  • AL

    Bjt,Paul,
    I remarked on here the other day how I couldn’t believe my ears after hearing Dixon, of all people, say he was extremely disappointed with Ozil after the Algeria – Germany humdinger. I’ve not seen many games where ozil ran himself into the ground like that one, and to top it off he scored the winner. And the panel all rounded on him, I almost smashed my TV in, I just couldn’t believe it. Here we were, just having seen one of the best games of the tournament (which I think together with the USA-Belgium encounter have been the best games of this tournament) where every player on both sides had given it all, and we get these muppet who never won anything try to tell us how rubbish the players were! I only pay attention to commentary/analysis from the likes of Seedorf, Henry and Canavaro. The rest I don’t even bother, just a joke, laughable in fact.

  • bjtgooner

    @Al

    Good point. We should be able to expect better from Dixon, unfortunately he seems to have fallen for the anti Arsenal line peddled by the media. Disappointing.