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October 2016
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Who will Arsenal buy and how will they do it? Two different views.

This forthcoming transfer window should be the most significant in Arsenal’s recent history, possibly in their entire history, because they are now in such a strong position to challenge for – and win – the Premier League title. It is a window of opportunity. The question is: will they take it?

And then it all goes off the rails with

Now is not the time for Arsenal to make bids of £40million and £1 to try and chance their arm on a release clause to acquire Luis Suarez that was not as water-tight as they thought.

The poor old “Senior Football Writer” makes a blunder right at the start probably because he reads… the Telegraph, just about the only paper not to carry the story that John W Henry admitted, while speaking at a major sports conference in the US that he lied consistently about the £40m release clause.  The story was in the Guardian, the Mail, the Mirror, the Independent… but not in … well you know.

Tell you what Mr Burt, next time you run the headline “Arsenal’s transfer policy has been too weak for too long – they need to get ruthless this summer” and talk about Liverpool by way of how to do it, maybe have a look beyond your own paper’s coverage – which as Senior Football Writer you influence.

Just because you ignore a story, it does not mean it did not happen.   To say, “Suarez did all he could to make the deal happen,” is nonsense – because Suarez and his agent knew that the £40m buy out clause was there (because they had signed it) and thus they knew that Henry was lying, lying and lying again.  Yet Suarez did and said nothing at all.  All he had to do is say, “Henry is lying, here is the contract”.  He didn’t because, as Untold has shown, Arsenal were playing vapour transfers – a concept we revealed three years ago.   It was all staged for the benefit of, well, you.

So then we move on to the fact that Liverpool “might be willing to sell Sterling if the terms are right. Arsenal should make up their minds for them.”  And here again ignorance is bliss.  On 30 January 2008 The Court of Arbitration in Sport laid down the Webster ruling that all players can leave their club after three years, irrespective of what the contract says.   The ball is totally in Sterling’s court.  Arsenal merely have to say that they want him – if they do.  I’m not sure they do.

But there again the CAS ruling of 2008 was never covered in the Telegraph.  Most papers did.  The Guardian etc etc, but not the Telegraph.  Hey ho.

After that the head of footballing whatnot in the Telegraph goes a bit off the rails by quoting a totally speculative article in their own paper that Arsenal are waiting for Cech to force a move to Arsenal, and that this won’t happen, so Arsenal should offer £15m to force Chelsea’s hand.   “Financial Fair Play is the buzz phrase at Chelsea and if Arsenal really want Cech then be decisive and be quick. Make it easy for him and easier for Chelsea.”

This is an interesting allusion, since a search of the Telegraph’s web site using its own search engine reveals only one article on FFP in relation to Chelsea since a 2011 piece about Chelsea being involved in asking for it.  A funny omission if it is the case that FFP is the buzz around Chelsea.    But sadly, the Telegraph has not followed up on the analysis that Untold and several other investigative sites have carried into how Chelsea is using two loop hole in the regs (over loan players and renegotiated contracts) to virtually by-pass FFP.

After that the writing seems to lose touch with reality somewhat, talking about Chelsea selling Mata to Man U for £37m because Man U offered the price straight off.  “Arsenal need to do the same” is the phrase used – which again ignores Real Mad’s £42m for Ozil and the £35m to Barce for Alexis.   What’s more Arsenal had to cope with Tottenham’s attempt to undo the Ozil deal by saying they would not sell Bale to Real Mad without an agreement that Ozil would not go to Arsenal.  Arsenal undid that hurdle as well.

The fact is that the Ozil deal was not done quickly – Mr Wenger has revealed that he was speaking to the player a couple of years before the transfer – this whole notion of get in, offer, buy – is one way of playing the market, but is often fraught with problems.  Not least in that you can end up with the wrong man.  Just look at Liverpool’s recent transfer dealings which have been based around this notion.

Perhaps knowing he has gone off the rails a bit Mr Wilson then loses the plot totally, saying

There are other areas of the team that require immediate improvement – central defence and another defensive midfielder

That may be his opinion, but saying it is pointless because Mr Wenger has already said he is not going to buy a central defender because he thinks he has enough.  Now one can argue with his views about the growth in ability of Gabriel, the progression of Chambers and so on, but just saying ignoring what the boss of the club has said doesn’t make very good journalism.

Nearing the end of the piece we do get a recognition of the transfer of Ozil and Alexis, but still there is no recognition of the “free” arrival of Coquelin and Bellerin.  How much could these young players be worth now?  (Actually the writer does acknowledge these two a bit when later in the piece he says, “Arsenal, who still think firstly to acquire potential and need to alter that mind-set.”  And we might ask, “with players the quality of Coquelin and Bellerin coming in for zero, why should we?”)

And then we have the last resort of all football commentators, amateur and professional.   When even the most clouded and unworkable of assertions has been used they tell us what we are thinking.

“The fear from supporters will be”

Oh, actually not what we are thinking, but what we WILL be thinking.  Are you ready for this?  The Daily Telegraph man knows what you will be thinking!    For fuck’s sake, I don’t know what I will be thinking in five hours time, let along when the transfer window opens.   But this man in the Telegraph does.  Spooky eh?

Anyway, just in case you want to know what to think, you will be thinking “that a strong end to the campaign might convince Arsene Wenger that less change is needed and that he has, with a couple of additions, enough in his squad already. He has already suggested as such, which should set the alarm bells ringing among supporters.”

Ah, so even if you fall by the Telegraph-inspired route to proper thought, you will hear bells ringing in your head.  Oh those bells those bells.

You can tell that by this stage it is all getting a bit desperate, with the editor screaming for copy and the piece not finished because then unbelievably the writer, the senior writer, says

Ray Wilkins, the former Chelsea assistant manager, sums it up: whereas others buy potential; Mourinho buys proven. Wenger needs to do the same.

Wilkins, you might remember, is the man who went to court charged with being so over the alcohol limit while driving that when asked to step out of his car he could hardly stand up, and claimed in front of the magistrates that he had never ever been over the limit in his life – forgetting that he actually had been banned from driving because of his previous drink-driving offence.  He had to do a 12 month community service order for this second offence.

Does this level of drinking and memory loss affect one’s ability to give insight and analysis into how Arsenal should run its business?  You may disagree, but I think yes.  Does it reduce Wilkins credibility as a commentator on Arsenal’s transfer policy.  Actually, yes it does.

Does the fact that the senior football man at the Telegraph uses such a reprobate (whose actions in driving while utterly pissed out of his head – he was found slumped over the wheel of his car unconscious on one occasion – could have resulted in the maiming or death of other road users) as one of his sources for his anti-Wengerian rant reduce the validity of his argument?  Certainly.

Let me throw in one other snippet.

Carl Jenkinson has been on loan all season at West Ham United, who want to sign him permanently. But Wenger seems resistant to a deal. Why? He does not need Jenkinson when he already has Hector Bellerin and Calum Chambers.

Ah, Bellerin.  Nice of you to remember.  Brilliant player, we got him for nothing.

So why do we need Jenkinson, if indeed we do?

Well, here’s a reason.  Because at the very start of this season we were crippled by injury, and the reason we had what one semi-skimmed correspondent on Untold called “the worst start for 30 years” was because our team was shred to bits by choppers given free reign by referees of dubious heritage.

We need a BIG squad, but you can’t have a BIG squad made up totally of ready-to-roll first teamers because when they are not injured, they all expect to play.

And let’s just note that even as we approach the end of the piece there is still not a mention of Coquelin.   Coquelin who was there and ready to play for us when needed.  Coquelin who has been tracked by Untold since he played his first game in a training camp.

Why does he not mention our Francis?  Oh, because maybe as a writer he has some shame after all, at realising what a total load of unmitigated cock this article is and that he never ever saw what Untold saw all those years ago.

The piece concludes “It is Groundhog Day.”  It may well be, but for the Telegraph not Arsenal.

Blacksheep, with whom I travel to Arsenal games, thinks we should ignore papers, not buying them and not reading them even on line, so that they wither away.  I agree we need to fight them, but take the opposite view (which makes for interesting trips from Northampton to London) and think that the more their rank stupidity, bias and lack of basic knowledge is revealed, the more the message about what they are up to will get across.

So yes, a lot of publicity here for the Telegraph.  But I hope you see the point.


The books

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18 comments to Who will Arsenal buy and how will they do it? Two different views.

  • Charlie

    I cannot disagree. Arsenal’s apparent weakness in the transfer market that the press like to bang on about was during a time of belt tightening when it was necessary to gamble on bargains. The signings of Ozil and Sanchez have shown that those days are over. There are no reasons for any Arsenal fan to worry about what Arsene will do in the summer. He will look at who is available and he will buy if the right player can be bought as he always does. If he does it is likely that a good player will need to be sold. I often wonder how many of the transfer rumours in the press come about due to back-handers from agents.

  • Tom

    I haven’t read the Telegraph article nor do I care what some journalist thinks of Arsenal transfer policy, but seems to me one can pick holes in anything if one tries hard enough.

    Why do we need Jenkinson you ask, well we don’t.
    We only say we do to increase his sell on value. So far , it’s only West Ham who expressesed an interest in acquiring Jenko and if we said we didn’t really need him , that wouldn’t exactly strengthen our bargaining position, would it.

    You say we have Bellerin and Chambers to fill the right back position but you omit De Buchy , who when fit is still our de facto Nr one right back.

    I fully expect Jenkinson to be sold at the end of the season.

    As for Suarez , he took it as far as he thought he could’ve without jeopardizing his playing time in a World Cup year.
    He also did say that Rogers lied to him and went back on some of the promises he had made.

  • ernie

    Debuchy doesn’t have that many years, so yes we do need jenkinson. Send him out on loan again a couple times. He’ll be ready in 2 years when debuchy is getting close to running down his contract. And jenkinson is an arsenal fan thru and thru. He’ll get his chance

  • ARSENAL 13

    Well… Jenkinson should be an ARSENAL player. He is one of the best crossers of the ball (is that sentence acceptable!). We need him and Bellerin. And his gooners heart. And let’s not forget Debuchy is 29 now.

  • john

    The lazy press solution that there is a need to “spend big money” in the summer has also been trotted out in relation to other clubs who did not win the Premiership, such as;-

    Man City and Man Utd ! – (they routinely do that already, do they not?)

    Liverpool and Spurs! -(they’ve both done it in recent years and look how much good it’s done them)

  • TailGunner


    Exactly! Debuchy will be 30 at the start of next season so probably has two seasons in him at the top level, but I’m not convinced with his long term fitness prospects.
    Jenkinson is no better or worse than Bellerin and can when called for play central defence. He’s had a great season at West Ham and perhaps could do another loan spell with the proviso that he returns if required during his loan spell. And he has the bonus of being English. It would be foolish to sell him.

  • TailGunner

    A GK & DM is all we need to make this squad watertight, and no need to pay astronomical prices. Some of the most expensive footballers in the world haven’t done too well this season have they? Hope I don’t regret saying that on Sunday.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    One thing is for certain – Arsène doesn’t listen to newspaper reporters talking about who he should buy. If he wants a player he will try and get him, even if he has to wait for a while. I’m sure that this summer will see us buy some players (probably no more than three), sell some players and promote some from within as we do every summer. All of the papers and blog sites will be wrong with about 95 to 98% of the names they suggest. Best thing is to ignore all of the transfer porn or at lease don’t believe it. Look at the squad at the start of pre-season and welcome all newcomers and give them our complete support. If truly starved of football look up details of the Ladies games which restart after their World Cup in Canada. Alternatively just Chill.


  • godge

    It will be an interesting transfer window. Even with Diaby, Flamini and Martinez apparently available on free transfers according to published lists of out-of-contract players, we would still have Scz, Ospina, Debuchy, Jenkinson, Gabriel, Kos, Mert, Monreal, Gibbs, Arteta, Rosicky, Coquelin, Ozil, Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere, the Ox, Giroud, Sanchez, Welbeck, Walcott, Podolski, Campbell and Sanogo to make up 24 of a 25-man squad. That doesn’t include Wellington and Miyachi even though Wellington is supposed to be coming back. Chambers will have to be part of the 25 for the Euros and the rest – Bellerin, Zelalem and the like are under-21.

    So to have incoming players, we will need sales. Top of the list for sales are Podolski, Arteta and maybe Walcott. Campbell, Jenkinson and Sanogo on loan again for the season would also free up space.

    If we could get Cech for £10m and Milner on a free, that would free up money for a superstar who could come in anywhere on the pitch – from Bender to Benzema or Reus to Ramos – and replace one of the existing squad.

  • nicky

    I said this 60 years ago and have no reason to change my view…..”The Telegraph is only worth reading in the cricket season”. 😉

  • TailGunner

    That’s very true, but the main transfer window takes place in the cricket season and we’re in it now

  • Al

    I’ve no problem with the calls to sign a GK, as long as we can justify getting rid of the premierships’ best GK (and possibly Arsenal’s in the last 10 years…).

    I’d really like to see how some of these people who write these articles for these rags live their lives; do they just go to buy more bread (even when the bread bin is full) or more milk when they have more than enough already in the fridge, just for the sake of buying? Or just in case a bottle of milk that’s still in date by more than a week turns tomorrow? Strange logic.

  • john

    Am I in a minority in believing that Cech would not add any quality to our squad and that he is no better than our existing keepers? I think that signing him would prevent their further development. Although he is proven at the highest level, he is past his best and would not be a long term asset.

    As for Milner !!!! Please no.

  • OlegYch

    john, Chech and Milner are amongst the most ridiculous transfer rumors, even though pretty much all of them are

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin.

    Would the Boss want to take James Millner on the free? Why not, if he becomes a free agent in the summer? His free transfer to Arsenal will equalize the free transfer of Bacary Sagna to Man City last summer. Pardon me if James Millner will not be a free agent this summer because I am not properly sure of what I have read on his contract with City. But can Arsenal even afford to pay his oil rich club wage bill to him? What a great excitement and prospect it will turnout to be for the Gunners and the Gooners if the Boss signs Raheem Sterling. But signing-on Millner and Sterlings will mean 2 players will have to leave Arsenal to make rooms for those 2 incomers. I will not mind if their leaving will lead Arsenal to the promised land.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I foresee a boring transfer window this time . Hundreds of players’ name will be brandied about , and ‘fans’ will be ranting and raving but will be quiet .
    If and when AW decides to buy someone , don’t be all surprised if that player wasn’t even on anyone’s radar .
    Yawnnnnn !

  • para

    You know when the one being bullied (Arsenal)knocks out the bully(media et al) with their strength there is always another bully wanting to take the old bully’s crown. They will soon run head first into Arsenal and get knocked out too.

    Debuchy seems to have been a protection in case the youth did not make it, his injuries now a problem until fixed.

    Yes Andrew, i have learned that also, AW will wait even 2 or 3 season to get a player he likes, so any we get this season may well have been in his thoughts 2 or 3 seasons ago.

    John i agree with you on both counts. No Cech or Milner please.

    SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin i agree on Sterling. Imagine Sterling left and Walcott right, but i fear Theo is not firing for some reason and it may well only happen as a replacement. I hope Theo returns to form, but i am getting some strange vibes from him and the other Arsenal players(who surely know more) interaction with him. ALSO, feigning interest on Sterling may well be just that from AW. But i think Sterling checks the situation at Liverpool and realise that his best place would really be at Arsenal, playing with England team mates week in is surely a big pull, not to mention that Arsenal is changing fast now and is pretty consistent.

  • BrummieGooner

    I have long thought that the media cause far too much trouble in all football clubs. I do not see the point of buying-in established but not world-class players as second or even third choice for the club which then inhibits the manager from promoting potential talent from within the club. The Chavs have long gone down that route and I cannot recall anyone making it from their excellent youth ranks since Terry. In that time they have spent a lot of money on players such as Schevchenko, Mutu and Torres and even sold Matic before buying him back at a huge loss. At the moment they have 23 players out on loan. As Tony states, their interpretation of FFP seems “stretched” and bonkers to those of us that have to keep to a budget.
    Having seen our youth teams a couple of times this season, I think it is weaker than I can remember, but I would be disappointed if players of the potential of Crowley and Zelalem have their paths blocked by second rate MF players that the media pundits say “we must buy”. Fortunately, AW’s desire to be his own man will probably preclude this from happening.