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October 2016
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Not done deal CONFIRMED! Wenger reveals we are not going to buy anyone YET shock!

By Sir Hardly Anyone


It seems that my job was on the line there, but thanks to a massive, (ok, not massive but still a couple of people wrote in) vote of thanks, I get to write one more.

And what a story I have for you today!   For it seems while Manchester U and Manchester C between them are buying everything that moves on this planet and on a few others, plus a number of inanimate objects that might come in handy, Arsenal are buying…

No one!!!

Arsene Wenger has revealed that Arsenal’s lack of movement in the transfer window is due to his desire to get the squad fully fit before assessing his options.

According to the Independent that is.   Moving on from the near universal approval in the media of the purchase of a goalkeeper the word now is that

The Gunners have made just one signing this summer in the form of Petr Cech,

Just one!  That’s it.   The newspaper goes on even more (as if that were not enough), Arsenal have been linked with the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Arturo Vidal and Morgan Schneiderlin, but with current first-team members Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta all returning from long periods out injured, Wenger wants time to see where his squad is ahead of the new season.

So on the day that Liverpool who said that Sterling would not be sold at all, never, ever, because that would send out all the wrong signals and suggest that contracts are worthless (oh, that’s what their owner said in a conference – ooops) have sold Sterling to Man City for £49m, and  Man United had said they will pay £24m fee to sign Schneiderlin, once said by all the DONE DEAL sites to be going to Arsenal, as well as the “United agree Schweinsteiger deal with Bayern” headlines now in place… now Arsenal are in fact pursuing a different strategy…

Except maybe not (see below).

“The best way to strengthen other areas of the team is to get the players who did not play a lot last year and keep them fit,” Mr Wenger said, supposedly.  Which is interesting because that is rather similar to the idea set out on Untold when we argued that the club didn’t so much need new star players as rather back up players who would not mind being on the bench waiting to see if the sort of injury level we had in the first half of last season, and in many seasons before, hits us again.

Or could it be that the hinted at change of refereeing attitudes towards the “only way to deal with Arsenal is to kick them” approach of many clubs?

“Walcott basically did not play until the end of the season, Wilshere has not played many games. Those two were very convincing at the end of the season so I hope that this season we can benefit from their participation and competitiveness.”

The news that Alexis Sanchez will miss the start of the upcoming campaign due to another summer of extended involvement with his international team will worry Arsenal fans.

Are you worried?  If not, you are not an Arsenal fan!  Tweedale says so!!!

Beyond the fact that Sanchez is of unquestionable importance to the team, top scoring in his debut campaign in London and carrying the club through winter months where others floundered, his absence will invoke memories of a year previous.

So not just worries but memories – he has been in your brain and seen what’s what.  AND YOU SURE IS WORRIED.  The story goes on to drag up the bits about Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski coming back from winning the world cup very slowly and how Sanchez will miss the Community Shield and possibly the opening weekend of the Premier League season, too.  Shock!   And then to show they have done the research they add that David Ospina and Carl Jenkinson and Serge Gnabry – who “has little first team importance” – a disparaging phrase if ever there was one.  Gnabry was injured most of last season but the season before was a discovery of the magnitude of Bellerin and Coquelin last season, and is now fit.

But the Telegraph has analysed it all and found that Chelsea “will be hit hardest this time around, with eight players having travelled to the Copa America or the Under-21 European Championship over the summer. …Jose Mourinho’s options could be limited with their date at Wembley only three and a half weeks away.”

Man City also have a problem they tell us with four senior players absent for the start, but might need to be rushed back.

Tottenham, whom the Telegraph have been quite interested in of late, have Harry Kane, Erik Lamela, Alex Pritchard and Tom Carroll returning late apparently.

Moving on, other headlines tell us…


Those are all from the Independent, who like to write in capitals.

Back to Mr Wenger.  What he is quoted as saying is.

“We lost Ozil and Giroud for long periods last year and they contributed a lot in the second part of the season.  Let’s hope all these players will be fit and available. After, if we can still add some quality, we will do it.”  But of course it could all be a bluff.

And what of Tottenham I hear you cry (although actually I don’t).

But no, I think that is enough excitement for one day.  I’ll catch up on them another time.  Incidentally did you see the QPR fan write in and say “why don’t you just write about your own team instead of sticking your nose in other people’s business” (or words to that effect) yesterday?  It is good to know the old traditions are still being kept up.

 We tweet @UntoldArsenal.
Today’s Anniversary
13 July 1998: Daily Mirror ran the headline “Arsenal win the World Cup” on the
front page for the previous day’s triumph for France.

38 comments to Not done deal CONFIRMED! Wenger reveals we are not going to buy anyone YET shock!

  • kofi

    Wenger has no steel in the team again. he should leave the team and go.we r tired of his go slow attitude. this style can never win any title. no aggression not hungry nothing.I think he should just go.Where in this world u will have ozil,wilshere,Ramsey,Montreal,debuchy carsola and win a league.


    seams no one write their own storys anymore. qouting from news papers. i find that so very pathetic. i thought “YOU” had a story for us and not the independant. i might as well read the news paper in the first place.

  • Billy, yes it is a great problem when you decide to correspond with a site without actually reading any of the context. A bit like writing to the Daily Mail and advocating that the UK joins the Euro

  • Dex

    Evilly is a bit dense it seems…

    On to actual transfers and it is disappointing to find tha Schneiderlin is off to Man U. Despite Coquelins excellent performances we still need another body in there for cover or competition. If he were out for any length of time we would be fucked!

  • A/Wenger pls if Man U want to sell Jonyy Evans we need to buy that guy for 10 million,Lacazette and Morgan then we will be C all leagues

  • ARSENAL 13

    Sir Hardly dint link us with Kalou!!!!….

    SACK HIM..

  • i a die hard arsenal fan. wenger should think of buy players insteed of telling us to wait. We need quality players to compete with our first team players.atleast a striker,dm vidal or willam not shninderlin. and a defender that is to make the team more compititive. If realy wants to win the title

  • nicky

    Can’t wait until the 1st September when we can all bewail the missed signings in the Summer Window, ponder how Arsene can be given the Big E and forecast who we should buy in the New Year’s Window.
    Our cup runneth over. 😉

  • bjtgooner

    I am very pleased to note that “Sir Hardly Anyone” survived his mini career wobble and can continue to keep us advised regarding the latest “fertilizer” our wonderful press treats us to.

    Keep it coming!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Big Sir Hardly fan here also. 🙂 Glad to see him back! Go Sir, Go!!!

    Next headline could be: “Done deal not confirmed” 🙂 LOL the media….

  • GB

    Good points made in this article Tony although as a non anti-Wengerite (did that make sense) I would still say that last summers transfer window from the defensive aspect (and defensive midfield) was at best a tad unprofessional.

    Wenger himself said that if TV left we would adequately recruit, but we didn’t. Chambers is a CD for the future (possibly) so I don’t see as a suitable replacement for an experienced international like Vermaelen.

    I don’t subscribe to any of that “well he was injured anyway so we did good business with Barca”, as that is not really the point. The point is that we should be entering the season with a defence that one can look at and say this is a defence that can help us in a title challenge. We needed to upgrade on the previous seasons defence but in reality we entered the season with less senior cover in defence than we ended the previous season.

    Sure we found out that both Monreal and Debuchy could cover CD but they had to (particulary Monreal) adapt to it at the expense of some shaky performances early on. I think our defensive recruitment did cost us early season points so is that acceptable? Was their nothing we could have done about it?

    Similarly we found that defensive (holding) midfielder by accident somewhat half way through the season and our performances improved immeasurably from that point. Many fans and pundits have been crying out for something better in this position for some time. Does it not seem now that they were right and subsequently does it not seem a tad unprofessional that we happen upon the answer by accident half way through the season.

    I think most fans now feel we need another DM body to mount a campaign over a whole season and probably also a more prolific striker. My question to you Tony would be, if we don’t get these extra couple of players and it does indeed turn out they were what was missing to help us mount a proper title challenge, will you be somewhat annoyed that we didn’t get those players?

  • Damilare

    The Best Transfer News Sport Editor goes to……

    SIR HARDLY ANYONE (The Hard Feller!)

  • Pete

    Kofi – Are you for real?

    GB – Disagree with the Coquelin “accident” myth. The guy clearly had great potential. The fact that he was still at the club at age 23 shows that the management retained their belief in him.

    The problem Arsenal had last season was a surfeit of injuries. Admittedly, this has been a regular problem for years – but we seem to be turning the corner – fingers crossed.

    Of all the players moving around, how many would actually start for a full strength Arsenal team?

    Sterling – No.
    Schneiderlin – Definitely no.
    Schweinsteiger – Possibly. One of my favourite players but past his best and with serious injury issues.
    Vidal – Not sure. Ahead of Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla?

    The trick is to keep the full strength team fit. If we have even average fitness then the squad is extremely strong and not significantly deficient in any area.

  • Samrat Jha

    actually kofi I think PL coaches or managers are not that devoid of sense as they are portrayed. so a player like sterling who only look good on paper are gonna be analysed and defenses put in place to cover him adequately. The hallmark of a great player is that he must have a plan B to get him out of any tight spot which sterling doesn’t serm to have. he is worth 49m is because he is homegrown.
    How many la liga titles the galacticos won?

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Arsene Wenger must be the most exasperating contrarian in the football coaching business and, therefore, a pain in the butt for the simple press. Sir Hardly doesn’t “help” by placing Wenger’s and views next to the seemingly random effusions from the press, on Arsenal’s transfer activities.

    To the press, Wenger has “only” bought Petr Cech; whereas, Wenger has bought about 4 or 5 19/20 year olds capable of challenging as Bellerin did and he a room full of more Bellerins he had accumulated over the past 3years. He has also brought in 3 or 4 back-office staff physios, speed and fitness trainers, etc., in the past one year.

    Many Arsenal fans despair listening only to the simple press but at Untold towers, Sir Hardly encourages everyone to be jauntily oblivious of the simple white noise issuing from the press.

    For trying to cripple the industries and professions that make the drugs, dispense the treatments and provide the cares for sleeplessness, hypertension, psychosis and nervous breakdowns among Arsenal fans by providing a regular dosage of realism and poking fun at a rights to allow our unreasonable fears to dominate our lives, I strongly recommend the immediate dismissal, without benefits, of Sir Hardly Anyone. He should be stripped of his knighthood for his unpatriotic and unhealthy attitude to the growth of the entire health care industry. If we are all suddenly cured of our neurosis, where will that leave the health care industry?

  • Samrat Jha

    apologies I was talking about plan B

  • apo Armani

    Hardly Anyone…DONT STOP!! 🙂 🙂

  • GB

    Good points Pete but I think Arsene himself said that he thought Coquelin’s time had passed. Pleasant surprise that it is if Arsene was thinking along these lines it still beggars the question as to why we hadn’t addressed this position before now?

    I don’t think either Flamini or Arteta are good enough in the role at the highest level. In his prime has Flamini ever been? Maybe but certainly not for the last 2 years. Arteta is a fine technical footballer but lacks the mobility to provide the screen and cover the ground in front of the back 4. For me he requires a lot more helping out from the other midfielder nearest him than the top holding midfielders do, and that upsets our balance of play IMO as it drags a player (Cazorla or Wilshere say) into spending more time as a holding midfield helper rather than a free-roaming or box to box DM.

    If we were to recruit I would probably plump for Vidal as I believe he could play both instead of or alongside (box to box) Coquelin giving us extra options and meaning all players will get playing time. Many others we are linked with would be an either or with Coquelin IMO and I can’t see the new person or Coquelin (now) accepting a back up role.

    Maybe we don’t need to recruit. It is interesting to note that (if I am correct) Debuchy played this role when at Lille. He is quite mobile and strong in the tackle and has experience and decent technique so may not be a bad back up option to Coquelin. he could be our versatile go to player for a couple more seasons covering RFB, CD and holding midfield when needed. Then there is Chambers. Does he have it in him to play this role at the top level or is he destined to be a CD?

  • Gideone

    @Shakabula Gooner

    Your head dey dia 🙂

  • GB

    My biggest question mark is over the striker’s role. I placed this area as the number 1 area that needed serious looking at before both the keeper and DM. With what we already had I still feel we could win the EPL without recruitment but I am not so sure up front.

    It seems that to criticise Giroud these days gets you labelled as a hater. I actually like Giroud and recognise many of his attributes but feel we have now seen the best level he can attain, and for me it is not quite good enough for a team that has any aspirations to win the premier league or champions league. Not even really a criticism, more an observation that I feel he is not good enough as a first choice striker at this level but could easily be a squad option.

    If we don’t recruit a prolific top striker my feeling is that the only way to win the EPL with what we have is for either Walcott or Welbeck to have a break-through season as a top striker. Both for me have more potential to be a top level striker than Giroud, but it would be a risky strategy and would require AW to be brave enough to promote one of them to first choice striker and play them in a run of games. Walcott is the more likely to be near this level IMO.

  • para

    I notice the “Wenger outers” are slowly emerging again.

    I wrote once that Arsenal hired Wenger for a reason. All those who want AW out think that some manager will waltz in and immediately start spending like ManU, Chel$ and City? Well you are wrong.


    Arsenal does not have that type of money.
    Arsenal will hire a coach/manager who will be very similar to AW, or one that will do as Arsenal the CLUB wants and follow Arsenal the CLUB’s philosophy.

    Hope this is clear?

  • Gord

    Maitland-Niles was sent out on loan to Ipswich Town. On Saturday, they played a friendly against Shelbourne (Ireland), and Ainslay played some. A quote.

    > Henshall and Arsenal loanee Ainsley Maitland-Niles were the stand-out performers in the opening 45 minutes,

    Ipswich Town won 0-6. I haven’t run across a commentary. I think the game is somewhere in youtube.

  • john

    Man Utd signing numerous players has been described as a “statement of intent”. Man City signing Sterling a “sign of ambition”. (Have not yet seen any “miss out on”, “snubbed by” references concerning Delph deciding to play at Villa rather than sit on bench in Manchester).

    Press just churn out the same old cliches. “linked with”, “heavily linked with”, “eyeing”, “keeping an eye on”, “monitoring”, “hi-jacking”, “tracking”, “stealing from under the noses of..”, etc.

    I much preferred the old days, when it was a simple “swoop”, usually after a “motorway dash”

  • Gord

    The Leicester Mercury has a long story about a coach in the Leicester area who has a UEFA B license and is a Gunner! One day, she (yes a woman) hopes to coach at a mens professional team. She was apparently, the first female Muslim coach in England.

  • Jerry

    I enjoy reading Sir Hardly’s mockery of the media transfer rumors. Here’s another quote from Wenger in regards to Juventus’s possible bid for Ozil:

    “Ozil is our player, he will remain our player and he wants to remain our player.”

    Should put that rumor to rest!

  • porter

    Apparently we have signed Carl Jenkinson on a 5 year deal and then loaned him back to West Ham for the season.

  • Rufusstan

    @GB — the issue with a striker always comes back to who? There are not many prolific top strikers out there, and if we buy anyone, they should be an improvement on Giroud.

    There seem to be fewer options than at first glance. Cavani is tempting, but his record at PSG is little better than Giroud’s at Montpelier, and he’d be adapting to the PL at 28 (same age as Giroud is now).

    Benteke? Overpriced? Not a prolific goalscorer (admittedly at VIlla), and if the cup final is anything to go on not great defensively.

    Higuain? Maybe too late?

    Falcao? After last season?

    Lacazette? A Wenger style buy as he is just coming into his prime, but not clearly better than Giroud right now.

    There are several strikers that would clearly improve us, but the problem would be prising them out of their current clubs — (City, Madrid, Barca for example).

    Unless one them somehow becomes available, I get the feeling we could be looking at spreading the goals again — Giroud as main striker, plus Alexis, Cazorla, Ramsey, Walcott all chipping in 10+ goals, with Welbeck (and Jack?) capable of the same.

    We’ve done it before, (2012-13) and it also makes us less vulnerable to injuries.

  • porter

    Don’t agree about Lacazette , from what I have seen he is a totally different player to Giroud , more direct, pacey , dribbles and takes players on and has a good eye for goal . Possibly not the finished article but an alternative either when things are not going well or to start when his style suits more than Girouds.

  • Mick

    ‘a totally different player to Giroud , more direct, pacey , dribbles and takes players on and has a good eye for goal.’
    You could almost be describing a player we already have in Theo Walcott who I think could finally fulfill his potential as a striking option this coming season.

  • Pete

    That is the thing, just because someone is hyped and costs loads of money there is this automatic assumption that he must be better than what we have. Our first choice team would all cost someone else a fortune (the younger ones anyway) but the ones we have are already integrated.

    And really impressed by Delph. He has gone up a lot in my estimation. The guy will earn more than enough money at Villa to support himself and his family for the rest of his life – and he will get to play every week. He also knows he needs to play to keep his England place. City only wanted him as a home-grown squad player.

    Contrast with Begovic who has taken the money to sit on the bench at Chelsea. Pathetic.

  • bob mac

    Who would Arsenal sign to improve the team (not the squad).

    Certainly Messi.

    Possibly Neymar.

    Who else for god’s sake.

    Sterling at Arsenal?????? Who would he have replaced……Theo, Ozil, Santi, Danny, Jack, Aaron, Sanchez,the Ox…………your having a laugh.

  • Damilare

    Apart from Messi or CR7, I don’t really fancy Arsenal buying any ‘world class’ striker.

    Lest I forget, I’m currently playing a very old version of Winning 11, and despite having ‘loads of money’, (1) I still can’t get some players at any price. (2) Some players are permanently not available to another club.

    So even in fantasy land, you don’t get all you desire. Why then do people sound as if AW has the easiest / most obvious job in the world?

  • Gord

    Anyone here subscribe to JAMA Pediatrics?

    I seen it in a article, bound to show up elsewhere. It’s about causes of concussions in football (it’s a North American study, so they are calling it soccer).

    > About 78 per cent of header-related concussions for boys in U.S. high school games were caused by collisions with another player, according to a study published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Pediatrics journal. The total included any contact with the head resulting in a concussion, including another person’s head, shoulders or elbows.

    > For girls, 62 per cent of headball-related concussions resulted from a collision with another player.

    > Researchers logged a total of 627 concussions in 1,393,753 soccer practices or competitions between 2005 and 2014.

    A conclusion, is to reduce athlete-to-athlete contact. Paraphrased, get the damned referees to do their jobs, and enforce the rules as written.

  • Gord

    Only seeing one source for this, so it might be BS. But, apparently Rosicky’s knee injury from Czech duties is more serious than first thought, and he will miss the beginning of the season.

  • porter

    Mick , it was a reply to the previous post which stated :- Lacazette? A Wenger style buy as he is just coming into his prime, but not clearly better than Giroud right now.

    I merely pointed out that he was totally different to Giroud and implied that because of this could not be clearly no better.
    I hope that you are correct regarding Walcott albeit I have seen most of his matches for us live and I class him as an instinctive striker . What he is not is an in the box on his toes type . Quite frequently he is on his heels when the bobbly half chance comes along and he does not react quickly enough imo. He is most dangerous when played in at pace and he scores without thinking which is something that he is good at. His dribbling skills however leave a lot to be desired beating a man without using pace is not his forte , which is where Lacazette is different , he has the ability to take players with pace but also has enough trickery to use close control at speed . Unlike Theo he doesn’t need a straight race to go past people.

  • Crovax

    After reading this article, my sense of sarcasm got so skewed that I can’t tell if half these aaa posters are being serious or not!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I was asked once ,” You are a smart man , why aren’t you rich ?”
    I replied , ” You are a rich man , why aren’t you smart ?”
    Jacques Fresco.

  • porter

    Could you put some meat on the bones Crovax.