By Tony Attwood, in gloating mood.
Let me start by taking you back, and for once, not right the way back to 25 July 2008 when I first pointed out that Coquelin had the potential to play for Arsenal. Not that one again. I’ve done that. I mean, I know I said it and it was true, and that makes me a stunningly special visionary when it comes to Arsenal, but I like to stay modest with it, so no, not that one again.
This one is 3 August 2012 when I wrote,
Anyway assuming there are no last minute what-nots, Cazorla joins Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud, but Cazorla looks even better. This could be a player we’ll love and love again.
Ladies and gentlemens, I rest my case. Read Untold and you know not only what has happened but what will happen.
So, you will be asking, what about our team this coming season? Here it is in all its glory…
Bellerin Mert/Gabriel Koscielny Monreal
Sachez Ozil Ramsey/Ox
The main loungers on the beach will be whichever of the four alternatives above (where I’ve given two players for a position) are not playing plus Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck. The goalkeeper sub will presumably be Wojciech Szczesny.
Which then leaves Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs, Calum Chambers, Carl Jenkinson, Mikel Arteta, Krystian Bielik, Gedion Zelalem, Mathieu Flamini, Tomas Rosicky, Serge Gnabry, Lukas Podolski, Joel Campbell, and Chuba Akpom.
Of these I think Jenkinson goes on loan, Flamini leaves if Schneiderlin does come in, Podolski and Campbell leave, and Akpom does the loans.
But now here’s the twist – or rather several twists.
Twist 1: we will be playing more variants depending on the opposition. When we beat Man C away 0-2 the world of the journo down the pub was shocked to its core because they hadn’t seen that style change coming, and couldn’t admit they had got it all wrong.
Now we have many more style changes coming along in order to beat top four teams, and so we will see players moving not because they are dropped but because they are rotated for a specific challenge.
Teams are not revealed to the opposition until one hour before kick off, by which time each side has already set out its team on paper. They won’t have a clue who we are going to put out.
Twist 2: yes we will have the usual assaults upon our players with zero action from referees who are either incompetent or taking part in Type III match fixing. So some of our players will be removed forcibly but we will have backup. Lots of backup. Lots and lots of backup.
Twist 3: We not only have back ups we have players who can play out of position. Coquelin is a perfect example as is Theo, now a man of two positions.
And I will make one other prediction – we are going to win the League Cup with the sort of backup we now have.
So what happens in the rest of the transfer window? Or actually ALL of the transfer window since we ain’t started giving the glass a clean yet, let alone opening the bloody thing.
What we will do is play the old games. If you are a long term reader you’ll know all this of course, but in case you’ve only just discovered this wonderful emporium of fortune telling and self-congratulation, here we go… with an update of the four types of transfers you can see from now on…
The Distraction Vapour Transfer
For this example we’ll take our old friend the imaginary player Uglješa Kovačević, happily playing for the imaginary FK Frontosa Topola in the Serbian Vojvodina League East. If the word is out that Arsenal have found him and are looking to buy him, then that might be the truth of the matter.
It will be put out to the press to put Arsenal’s rivals off the true story which is (again using imaginary names) that Arsenal are getting very interested in 12 year old Dragan Bošković from FCKA Budućnosta in Montenegro.
The Mindless Gibberish Newspaper Transfer
On 26 June 2008 the Daily Mirror ran the headline, “Arsenal line up shock move for Peter Crouch.” Need I say more?
The Deception Vapour Transfer
But supposing Real Manchester (an imaginary club) did some hype about Uglješa Kovačević, when in fact there was no deal at all going on anywhere. And supposing they didn’t just let it slip that one of their vast array of scouts is out there looking, but instead suggested that this young player is so good that their chief scout was “ordered” to “drop everything” and damn well get out to Serbia and start negotiating.
That would be a much more sinister matter for it is a con deliberately set up to take up the time of the scouting resources of other clubs. Naughty!
The Destructive Vapour Expectation
And now, consider Uglješa Kovačević. Supposing the story goes around that Juventus or Man City or Chelsea or PSG… want him.
This of course is exactly the story that the media like. They don’t have to do any work, because the story is fed to them. No journalists on expensive trips to Serbia hunting down the player or the team. Nothing. Certainly NO CHECKING.
“Man City have been put on red alert following the training ground fall out between Southampton boss and the Saints young super star Uglješa Kovačević – who has only one year left on his contract.”
The story breaks, and the player thinks about all the money he could make with a move. His head is turned so he says, “I’m not signing a new contract.” Remember at this stage Juve or Man C don’t actually want the player and have no thought of the player – but now the whole story is running. The point is not to turn the club, but to turn the head of a young player who has potential.
Now also the Man City fans and Juve fans are excited by the press story (which remember has no truth) and so are expecting the signing. And Southampton, who have done nothing wrong, suddenly find that a player in whom they have invested a fortune, is planning to leave when there was every expectation that he would stay.
So who benefits from this? Basically any club not involved in the ploy because Southampton are disrupted by having these stories circulate and the top clubs that are supposedly buying him are running around like headless chickens trying to work out why these stories are circulating.
If the manager of a big club that is supposed to be signing top players refuses to be drawn in, and the club win trophies, no one notices. But if he refuses to deal and his club don’t win as much as expected, it will look bad – no matter what happens to the youngster. The manager of the big team will not only be criticised for not winning stuff, he’ll also be criticised for not signing this young man when he was there for the taking. If the manager signs the youngster however he could well find that the youngster is nowhere near as good as he thought – and so he has wasted money.
Yep, it’s that time of year again.
PS: Schneiderlin has just been seen driving round and round the M25 looking for the exit.
Anniversary of the day 26 June 2012: Olivier Giroud joined Arsenal from Montpellier for about £9.6m. He had scored 30 goals in 61 games for Tours and then 33 goals in 73 games for Montpellier. (Giroud scores his first goal)