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October 2016
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Not Schneiderlin then. But it is Vidal.

By Sir Hardly Anyone

Oh.  So apparently Schneiderlin Day was set up just I could make a fool of myself in predicting the said fella would turn up at Arsenal.  Well!

Of course you know the way the bloggettas get around this – they predict everyone is on offer to Arsenal and the say we could have had him, him, him and him, if Wenger hadn’t been so tight with the money.

But when one goes down, another pops up, as they say on the firing range, so apparently the newspaper Marca says Juventus “are understood to have already agreed a deal with a ‘top European club’ to sell their midfield star and Arsenal target Arturo Vidal,

But no, what’s this?

“Arsenal are beating the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea in the race to sign Napoli defender Faouzi Ghoulam.”

And what do you know.  We don’t want to let Ospina go now either.  Because look, “Tevez the hero as Argentina sneak past Colombia on pens after outstanding Ospina had kept Messi and Aguero at bay.”  That’s in the Mail!

Ospina is in the shop window and Copa America heroics have pushed his price up

That is also in the Mail, but they are a bit of a one for saying the same thing over and over and over again.  I guess it saves on journalists.

Actually the big game of the day is exactly this: saying that anyone who a newspaper has tipped in the past week for a move has his price trebled over night.

“Real Madrid slap £65m price tag on Sergio to stave off Manchester United attention” is another screaming headline and there is more of the same with

“You can have De Gea, but we want £35m! Man United play hardball with Real Madrid”

And for days we have had,

“Higuain won’t be sold for less than £67m insist Napoli as club look to retain Argentina striker”

So what is all this?  Can any club really stop a player moving by just putting the price up?  If that is the case why did we let RVP, Nasri, Fabregas and indeed Cole go?

Of course, the point is that just putting the price up doesn’t actually do very much.  The player can leave after three years under the CAS rulings, so often mentioned on this site, and although there is a deathly silence from the clubs on this they know it quite well.  And so do players’ agents.

So a game is played.  The agent mutters CAS and the smokescreen of a high price is put up by the club, just to keep the rather pathetic media who know nothing of football’s rules, on the wrong foot.  Then the club and agent sit down and talk and delicate matters like salary, a new troupe of bimbos, new private personal airforce, and other everyday requirements of your average player brought into the mix.  Eventually a deal is more or less done and the other clubs are quietly told, sorry, no deal, and they go chasing elsewhere.

Schneiderlin doesn’t really fall into this category, because he does seem to want to move.  But here’s a lovely snippet from the Guardian who says the player “is determined to move to a club who are in the Champions League. He wanted to join Tottenham Hotspur last summer….”

Hang on squire, there’s a bit of a non-sequitur in there!

Elsewhere Galatasaray are interested in Lukas Podolski, and Arsenal are planning a move for Chelsea youth player  Charly Musonda, 18,

But here’s another story from the Telegraph….

History tells us that doing business early pays off – which is good news for Liverpool as they aim to break back into the top four  

I’m always fascinated by these sudden claims of history telling us this and that.  The history in question appears to be Chelsea last summer.  But one example is not really “history”.  I can remember Man U doing all its deals in June one season, but then I can remember Thierry Henry not signing until well into August, and Vieira certainly joined after the season had started and before Mr Wenger had actually arrived from Japan.

But no, for the Telegraph, “history” is now just one season so “Liverpool are clearly trying to take heed from that by making their signings early on this summer, having already confirmed the transfers of Roberto Firmino, Danny Ings, James Milner, Joe Gomez and Adam Bogdan, with Nathaniel Clyne expected to follow in the coming days and potential other deals in the pipeline.”

Now it is funny for as I have watched Liverpool buy everyone going I am reminded not so much of the date of the purchase, but of Tottenham spending all the Bale money and not getting into the Champions League.  I haven’t checked but I suspect that what history tells us is that trying to introduce more than two new players into a squad at once at the start of the season can be difficult.

At least the Telegraph article has the honesty to contradict its headline writer, saying, “Liverpool have not had a great deal of luck with summer business done early, though. The signings they have made early on in recent years include Dejan Lovren, Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto and Fabio Borini.”

So history doesn’t teach us that then!

But, they counter their own counter argument with, “Generally, though, it seems players who make moves in the off season’s first months tend to do better than deadline day signings.”

Ah, so “generally”.  Not “history teaches”.

OK, so the evidence across time is, “Arsenal signed Alexis Sanchez relatively early last summer, while Danny Welbeck joined late. Sanchez was their best player in 2014/15 and Welbeck failed to hold down a first team berth all year. Of course, Sanchez is quite obviously a better player than Welbeck, but would the former Manchester United man have settled better if he had been afforded more time to settle?

And apparently “Eliaquim Mangala complained that he was not afforded a proper pre-season with his new club last summer and that it had affected him.”  Oh well.

They are examples, but as the paper says, there are exceptions, such as Tottenham with Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue all joining on the early side of the summer of 2013.

Their conclusion is that “transfers made in sufficient time to allow the player a significant settling in period tend, it seems, to do better than desperate deadline day attempts to address problem areas,” seems rather obvious.

But the line, “It could well be therefore that Liverpool are giving themselves an early advantage over their rivals by doing so much business already this year,” is a bit tenuous.

We shall see.

Today’s Anniversary – and speaking of goalkeeper’s…

27 June 2005: Stuart Taylor sold to Aston Villa, one week before Vito Mannone arrived.  In all he had made 30 appearances in all competitions winning a league title, an FA Cup winner’s medal and two Charity Shield winner’s medals.

All today’s anniversaries appear on the home page

15 comments to Not Schneiderlin then. But it is Vidal.

  • blacksheep63

    Sir Hardly, i’ve heard another rumour, this time a super fast winder from Albania named Ritmi Ashpër that we have been tracking for weeks. He’s on youtube, check him out

  • Andy Mack

    One of the issues with players wanting to move is that most of them have a ‘loyalty bonus’ in their contract. Basically it says that if the player doesn’t put in a transfer request but is sold then the player will get a certain pay-off, whether it’s a set amount or a percentage of the sale price varies but the moment a player puts in an official transfer request is the moment he cannot get that money. So they only do that as a last resort or if it really is their dream move. Suarez could have forced the issue to join us but he didn’t as he was being greedy. Will De Gea put in a transfer request? or Vidal or etc…
    Much as I think AW likes Vidals quality as a player, I’d be surprised if we bought him following his recent drunk driving problems. We’ve had enough issues with drink/drugs players in the past and when we’re desperately trying to bring more sponsors on board, Why risk it unless you have no other option.
    Firmino certainly looks like a very good player. He should easily worth £15-20m and apparently he had been available for €30m (£21m) for any non-PL club. It’ll be interesting to find out if he’s worth the rumoured £29m/€41m that the Poo paid for him

  • TailGunner

    So it’s back to Vidal now is it! On the plus side he’s a quality DM who Sanches likes and promotes, but on the minus he seems to have attended the Joey Barton school of charm, and I doubt if Arsene would tolerate such behaviour in one of his players again after Bendtners escapades

  • arse_or_brain

    Vidal seems very much like Aaron rather than a Le Coq type. So I wonder if he is the player we really need or want. Im not saying hes not quality but fitting another gem into our already glitering squad is going to be difficult

  • Mad Eye

    I do wonder as a practical matter how important the CAS ruling is. It is true that a player can unilaterally terminate their contract after 3 years (or two if the contract was signed when the player is over 28). However the player has to pay compensation. The error Hearts made was that they didn’t stipulate any level of damages in the contract for early termination. Therefore they received the relatively low damages of the value of the player’s wages over the remainder of the contract. The CAS made clear that if a termination clause had existed they would have respected the compensation set out in the contract. I would be amazed if long term contracts are now written without a very explicit termination clause specifying the level of damages the player would have to pay.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    All well and good about Morgan’s loss and Vidal’s chances wearing the Arsenal shirt.
    What I still can’t stand is the press tendency to assume Wilshere is Man city bound and Koscielny is already looking for a house in Madrid, just because Man City and Real Madrid showed interest in them.

  • ARSENAL 13

    to me Vidal looks like Aaron Ramsey with a lot less brain cells.

    Why would you invest in older dumber and Ferrari crashing Aaron Ramsey, when you have the real AARON RAMSEY. Who is young and intelligent and down to earth.

  • nicky

    When the first England/Australian cricket encounter begins, I’d like cricket lovers to watch Johnson, who played havoc with our batsmen in the last Test series Down Under.
    I’m probably wrong but he looks like a “chucker” to me. He must have been watched by the umpires in the past but he sure looks suspect to me. A bit like Malinga of Sri Lanka. 😉

    (Just an off topic subject to take everyone’s mind off transfer rumours and spoofs)

  • rich

    All I know of Vidal is that he’s a very good player. ‘IF’ we’re after him it means Wenger and the other staff, having watched him more keenly than me, believe his game differs from Ramsay’s in crucial ways.

    He’s much more aggressive for sure (which I’d think brings minuses as well as pluses for us- for instance, he’d have been off within 20 minutes if he played in an Arsenal shirt in the premier league as he started the Cl Final)

    The key thing to look at- and I’m annoyed with myself for not keeping an eye on it- is that Juventus have been playing for years without a single specialist dm of the type our fan base demands. How have they been doing that so successfully?

    My guess is that though none of them are specialist dm’s there are plenty of qualities spread between the four main players in there – Pirlo, Pogba, Vidal and Marchisio- to provide everything, including defensively, an elite midfield requires.

    Much of it is down to the individual qualities they possess- pirlo’s immense technique and brilliant brain, pogba’s dynamism and incredible athleticism, Vidal’s aggressiveness, spirit and quality, Marchisio’s cleverness and good all round game- but the main benefits come from each player’s understanding of their teammates games and what any match requires at any moment.

    In the same way, I believe Cazorla, Arteta and Diaby were a wonderful combination for us. Diaby- not a dm but someone with the athletic and physical attributes which are such an asset in that role- had the strengths, literally and otherwise, to cover any weaknesses of the others, and they all complemented each other.

    So anyway, though i’m a massive advocate of true defensive midfielders for us, that’s only really because it’s the cheaper and more realistic route of finding the necessary balance. The same thing can be achieved with a wonderful cast of midfielders which doesn’t include a dm. They just need to have the right qualities- physical,technical, tactical- between them and understand how they have to use those qualities for the team.

    If Wenger’s after Vidal it can surely only mean that, despite many similarities, he sees him as offering something very different to Ramsay.

    The main doubt for me would be whether he could stay in one piece for us. I’d back him to win or at the very least draw if anyone wants a battle in midfield- so long as no one leaps over that divide which separates strong tackles and fouls from ludicrous psychopathic fouls. I think it would only be a matter of time in an Arsenal shirt before someone hit him with an absurdly bad foul.

    Play within the lines, and Vidal would murder a guy like Dan Smith. But so would Diaby have.

  • apo Armani

    Ok Pirlo has gone and Juventus will sell Vidal to be left with whom?? All sounds like too much bla bla to me…regardless of whether or not he is the player we actually need – Juve are not stupid!

  • apo Armani

    ohhh yeah and Pogba is going to Real Mad, ManUre and God knows where else – Bob Hope couldn’t do better!!

  • Menace

    wow Apo where is Bob Hope going?

  • Menace

    😉 😉 😉

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Always give Hope a chance –

    A sense of humor is good for you. Have you ever heard of a laughing hyena with heart burn?
    Bob Hope

  • Gooner S

    Well lets see who we get. Vidal is a good player. If it happens.

    @Apo – Khedira has just joined Juventus.