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October 2016
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Arsenal fitness crisis, Jack’s back, Arsenal to sign Higuaín and Rooney according to reports.

By Tony Attwood

Having played in a reserve team friendly last week, they were out at it again last night, the old guard.  Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby, and less we forget the youngsters, Serge Gnabry.  All playing for the under 21s (in which the rules are that you can have three over 21s playing).  Arsenal beat Stoke 4-1.


No sooner are we at full strength in the squad than the vultures appear – and at the moment the vultures are Manchester City, whose transfer team are facing the sack and so are anxious to be seen to be doing anything to boost the Man U squad.

Jack is apparently the target, and given the way the FA and League are proposing to muck around with the rules once more, his value is flying because he was born in England.   However Arsenal are reported to be talking to him as well.

Anyway, apparently Man City think they might find it difficult at the moment to meet the whole range of new rules the League and FA want to bring in, so we look like we are going to enter a new phase where “an Englishman is worth ten Johnny Foreigners” and other tripe.

But what are Arsenal players worth?  In this article there will be mentions of RVP, Bac Sagna and Samir Nasri, all ex-Arsenal, and all not quite right where they are.  Makes you think.

But while they are at it Man City are also going to put in a bid for Raheem Sterling.   “We have lots of money and we are going to throw it at people, so if it moves we sign it,” said Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed, although I fear something might have been lost in translation from the Arabic.

But Arsenal clearly have a problem with far too many players fit and ready to play.   Indeed the Arsenal fitness crisis will undoubtedly be all over the papers when they read about it here.

However speaking of Man City our old chum Samir Nasri seems to have a little emotional difficulty with watching his club, and left the ground before the end of the game when he was dropped for a match against the might Leicester City.

But I can understand that.  The traffic in Manchester can be quite difficult and an early start can help.

However he’s been left out more than he’s been in of late, but at least can say he hasn’t been responsible for Man City’s decline in form since he has not played.  He did play half a match against Barcelona and had a jolly good kick at Neymar, and indeed got the last 13 minutes against Palace.    Word is Man C want to send him to Juventus – they of the match fixing past.

But now, ponder this if you would.  “Arsenal are said to be favourites to land Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuaín this summer.”

Ah, Gonalo Higuaín.  Remember him?

“Gonzalo Higuaín is on the verge of signing for Arsenal for £23m. The Argentinian striker is hoping to fly to London on Thursday evening to complete the move”

That was the Guardian on 4 July 2013.   It was one of the best vapour transfers of all time, and had all sorts of ramifications – and yet, I admit it, I thought it was true at one stage of the game.  Although only for two days.

In that July 2013 article the Guardian said, “Higuaín’s father and agent, the former footballer Jorge Higuaín, told Fox Sports Latin America that a final resolution was close. “We managed to get permission from Real Madrid to negotiate face to face with Arsenal,” he said. “Fortunately, I will soon be able to watch my son play in the Premier League.”

“Higuaín is expected to sign a deal on £100,000 a week, putting him among the club’s top earners, and Arsenal remain keen to pair him up front with Wayne Rooney should Manchester United be willing to let him go.”

Oh don’t those rumours look funny two years on.

Rather sensibly the Guardian is laying off the story this time, but the Independent is in there with both feet today saying

Gonzalo Higuaín to Arsenal is back on. The Argentina international came close to joining the Gunners in the summer of 2013 before opting to link up with Napoli instead. According to reports he’s unhappy in Italy and with Napoli looking likely to miss out on Champions League qualification, the situation is only going to get worse. Arsenal are apparently the favourites to sign him as they look to provide cover and competition for Olivier Giroud.

Clever isn’t it.  The rumour wasn’t wrong, but simply Arsenal were not quite fast enough and Arsene Wenger not sweet talking enough.  But we have a second chance, but woe betide Wenger if we screw up again.

Here’s another snippet:

Reports further in Italy suggest that while Liverpool have been linked with the striker in the past, their defeat to Arsenal at the weekend may have handed Arsene Wenger’s side the advantage in the race for the Argentine’s signature.

So transfers are decided on the turn of one result?  “What are they smoking in Fleet Street?” as they might say in Liverpool.

Elsewhere the Telegraph is running the headline, “Who is Premier League manager of the year” and below that has half a dozen pictures excluding Arsene Wenger but including Fat Sam.

Now Fat Sam Allerdyce is manager of WHU and they are currently 16 points above the relegation spot.  They are also 19 points away from a Champions League position.  Closer to the bottom than the top.

So on what possible grounds would Fat Sam be Manager of the Year?

And yet he has been talked up into this position throughout the season by…  Fat Sam?  Incidentally back in February this year, the Daily Mail decided to mull over the issues of the day and announced that Fat Sam would be leaving WHU at the end of the season.   They also announced on the same day “Arsenal legend Thierry Henry could succeed manager Arsene Wenger.”   Yes, well, you know…

Meanwhile, our ex-players who have left against our wishes continue to struggle.  I was talking about Bac Sagna the other day and his lack of games, we’ve mentioned Nasri’s upset a few times, and now (according to the guys in the press who know it all) Robin van Persie is leaving Man U this summer having had six weeks with the sort of injury he has had all through his career.   Trouble is that he has another season left on his contract at £200,000 a week.

The papers are saying that Man U are willing to listen to offers.  But RVP isn’t, because he rather likes £10.4 million a year, so why should he take a 90% pay cut?   If he stays another year he not only gets that £10.4m he also then moves on a free and pockets another huge signing on fee.

The solution for Man U is that they might sell him for very little, but continue to top up his salary to the £10.4m that Sir F Word agreed with him, for the next season.  A rather expensive situation, but that’s what you get when a manager is willing to gamble everything on a final throw of the dice.

Anyway, I’ve just realised, I’ve failed to put any WORDS randomly in capital LETTERS.  Sorry about THAT.

Arsenal on this day…   sad moments for George Graham

8 April 1987: In Graham’s first season WHU 3 Arsenal 1 made it 10 without a victory.  It did however end the even worse run of six games without scoring.  Arsenal’s goal was a penalty from Martin Hayes.

8 April 2001:  Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1.  FA Cup semi final.  Tottenham had just sacked George Graham as their manager, and brought in Glen Hoddle, but it did them no good in this game at Old Trafford.

Please note the complete Arsenal on this day index is now here.


21 comments to Arsenal fitness crisis, Jack’s back, Arsenal to sign Higuaín and Rooney according to reports.

  • nicky

    A lively post to begin the day.
    I would have liked to know, though, how our wounded performed last night.
    History can, quite unintentionally, throw up terrible nightmares.
    Can you imagine the grotesque Rooney in an Arsenal shirt? No grandmother south of the Watford Gap would be safe and even my poor old Gran (who cleans at the Ems) would need a minder.
    Arsenal were indeed Lucky Arsenal to avoid THAT transfer. 😉

  • Al

    Fat Sam for manager of the year, that’s got to be the joke of the year. Again, a case of talking up English ‘talent’, rewarding mediocrity. In much the same way Michael Owen said sterling was way better than Ozil that there wasn’t even a debate about it, ‘not even close’, were his words. You just have to look at what both players have achieved to see Michael is talking through his rear end again…. That list should have people like Koeman, Wenger, etc in it, otherwise it’s a joke.

    In a way I’m glad Bac left; with him around we might not have got the chance to see how good Bellerin is, and the player might have got impatient… I think it’ll be a similar situation to when Vieira left, up stepped fabregas and Vieira wasn’t missed at all. I thanked Bac for his loyalty and attitude whilst still with us, but said at the time I felt he was doing it for money. And it certainly seems the case now. As for the Dutch skunk and na$ri they can rot at their respective clubs. No respect whatsoever for those two. At least I’ve a bit of sympathy for Bac as I don’t recall hearing him bad mouth the club, unlike these two ingrates.

  • esxste

    Daily Fail at it again:

    No mention that we’re second and not fourth…

    No mention that while Arsenal have the same number of points, Man City and Liverpool have far fewer points at this point than last season.

    No mention that Chelsea have only improved by a point.

    Clearly Wenger is useless and needs to go.

    Sad thing is, people read this tripe and believe it.

  • nasser

    Al, you’re right. At least Barclays Bank gave us season after season of graft and quality and remained a gentleman and role model throughout his long career here. I don’t blame him for going out to stud at City as he was coming to the end of his career and had easily given his best years. Unlike the money grabbing Nasri who I used to adore. It’s SO obvious he wishes he hadn’t gone. Even RVP got us in the champs league before he left and come on but who wouldn’t leave if offered 40 000 0000? That was a once in a lifetime thing and I still like him now that he is always injured, gone grey and bleeding a certain team dry!

  • Andy Mack

    Jack just needs to look at Rodwell and Sinclair as examples reasons to stay away from $iteh.
    Personally I don’t think Higuain was a Vapour trail. I think we were aiming to have him and Ozil playing together. I’m pretty certain that we had the funds available but only for 2nd major signings at the right price and when the Higuain price was pushed up by Napoli, we then stepped back as we needed to make sure we had the cash for the main target.

  • Pat

    Abou Diaby was outstanding in yesterday’s under 21 match, distributing the ball very effectively and looking fit. Wilshere and Arteta looked good as well. Diaby and Arteta were subsituted in the second half – Arsene Wenger says that was the plan. I think Wilshere played the whole match. The rest of the team were very exciting and Alex Iwobi scored a lovely hat trick.

    I saw that Telegraph run down on manager of the year as well, Tony. Amazing – except that we’re used to it.

  • para

    Man, i hope AW writes a book so we can KNOW what really went on.

    Anyway, Burnley is the next hurdle we have to jump and it may be a tough game, but Arsenal is sooooo strong now and should fare well.

    Can’t see Jack leaving, if anyone Theo perhaps. He just does not seem right at the moment, but hope he stays and becomes the player he wants to be at Arsenal.

  • nicky

    Much obliged for your comment on last night’s game. Nice to read that Diaby played well. Hope this could be a return to the fulltime. At 28 he still could have much to offer.

  • Josif

    The funniest thing about Higuain’s rumours in 2013 was that – at some point – Higuain’s dad was somewhere credited as Higuain’s brother which was a rather disturbing.

  • jambug


    Re Diaby

    I hope so to my friend.

    One things for sure, there aren’t many miles on the clock 😆

  • jambug

    esxste @ 9:45am

    Which other team, on a run like ours, playing like we are, would have an article like this thrown up at this stage?

    And some people insist the media treat Arsenal no different to everyone else.

  • omgarsenal

    What a wonderful dilemma for Wenger to have! When could we realistically claim over the last 8-9 years that we had such strength in depth? To see such talent on the beach and at the youth and academy level as well is heartening. Here is my dream scenario with the returning players:

    1) Abou Diaby works well with Coquelin and we end up with the two best defensive midfielders in the EPL,
    2) Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere end up being supersubs, or better still, Arteta actually plays in his preferred position,
    3) Serge Gnabry slots in like Bellerin, Chambers and Gabriel have done so effectively,
    4) Theo and the Ox reach their best form in the run-in and devastate their opponents,
    5) Sanchez, Giroud, Ramsey and Giroud together add another 5 goals apiece in the run-in,
    6) Monreal,Gibbs,Koscielny and Mertesacker end up the best defensive 4 in the EPL,
    7) Ospina and Szcezsny continue to battle it out for the keeper spot, with the Pole recovering his mojo,ery free-kick they take!

    I know you’re asking what I’ve been smoking over here in the mountains but its only my breakfast 🙂
    8) Ozil and Cazorla become the best attacking midfield pairing in the EPL and score on ev

  • omgarsenal

    Sorry…..should have read:

    7) Ospina and Szcezsny continue to battle it out for the keeper spot, with the Pole recovering his mojo,
    8) Ozil and Cazorla become the best attacking midfield pairing in the EPL and score on every free-kick they take!

    I know you’re asking what I’ve been smoking over here in the mountains but its only my breakfast 🙂

  • Sav from Australia

    “1) Abou Diaby works well with Coquelin and we end up with the two best defensive midfielders in the EPL”

    I would like this as well. Although I am not sure Diaby will play in that position. Wherever he plays he will bring his unique set of skills to the team.


    esxste @ 9:45, You are so correct, One would think that the bigger story would be that media darlings Liverpool are 14 points worse than last season. Oh no, Arsenal hasn’t improved cause at the same time last season they had exactly 63 points same as they have this season. What a fucking load of HOT STEAMY SHIT. The same way the media derided our F.A. cup win last season, They all of a sudden decided that it was down to pure luck and the F.A. cup was not a major trophy anymore. We beat 4 premiership teams and the defending cup holders but according to the media it was no big thing. All they did last year was to suck Brendan Rodger’s dick and proclaim him as some kind of messiah. What did he and Liverpool accomplish last season besides blowing the league title away big time, It was in their hands and those motherfucking choke artists let it slip away. If those cocksuckers would have won the F.A. cup, The British media would have printed and proclaimed bigger headlines than they did when W.W.11 ended. But still there are people out there that say Arsenal don’t get treated any different in the media than any other team. The strangest thing is that some of those assholes are so-called Arsenal supporters, MOTHERFUCKING UNBELIEVABLE.

  • ob1977

    omg, Diaby as a box to box CM next to Le Coq would indeed be a dream pairing! With Rambo and Jack waiting in the wings, well here’s to hoping…

  • goonernas

    It seems lots of neutrals are hoping Chelsea slip and Arsenal challenge in an exciting finale…Therefore lots more people will be watching them than usual and from all over the world too…surely this must have an effect on refs knowing the watching world won’t tolerate any of their nonsense if it results in a cake walk for Chelsea….could it be that refs will simply be too frightened to cheat us from now on?

  • goonernas

    Hi Tony..I was wondering if there was any particular reason you’ve put me in moderation?

  • Gooneras – re moderation. The moderation section on Untold suggests that the last post was your first to Untold, and all first posts are put in moderation automatically. This allows us to block people who come to this site with abuse or totally irrelevant posts or adverts, and thus keep the discussions moving.

    If this wasn’t your first post, drop me a line – address on the home page – and I will see if I can resolve the problem.

  • Damilare


    April 8, 2015 at 4:08 pm ,

    “5) Sanchez, Giroud, Ramsey and Giroud together add another 5 goals apiece in the run-in”

    Giroud so good you named him TWICE! (: