By Tony Attwood
Of course it was ludicrous – why would Arsenal sell the goalkeeper who had done so much during the latter half of the season to keep the club on track, and yet retain the player who had been dropped to make way for the success?
There were one or two minor attempts to explain why Ospina might go and Szczesny stay to do with the homegrown rule, but looking at the expected list of 25 for Arsenal for the coming season this made no sense at all. Arsenal, as each season since it was introduced, fit into the home grown rule nicely, and thus far have never taken up all 25 places that they could on their list – not least because of the club’s brilliance at bringing through young players who don’t have to be counted.
But the little spoof sites kept on and on telling us that Ospina was going. And so did their little (although that might be because I most see them stumbling as they try one more time to approach the bar) friends in the press. Now it appears (unless this is another fabrication, but because of the source I suspect not) Roma have reached a deal to take Szczesny on loan for the season with a view to buying him next summer if he cuts down his cigarette intake and gets his dad under control. There’s even a price: €5m.
But would you have known all this was going on if you relied on the silly little folk who run our national newspapers? Well you would if you were reading Untold Arsenal on 1 August 2012 when we invented (and copyrighted!) The Vapour Transfer
The classic Vapour Transfer is a distraction (VT1 in the original article) and as I mentioned therein, “You can always tell the real Distraction Vapour Transfer from the mindless ramblings of a drunken journalist because at heart the Vapour Transfer might just be real.”
The transfer of Ospina might just have been real if there was some personal problem, some private bust up within the club, and so on. One never knows what really goes on. But it seemed unlikely. Why drop one keeper, bring in a second who performs brilliantly, and then sell the second to keep the first?
But in fact it is unusual to use a vapour technique as a cover for the fact that one is selling a different player – but it can be helpful to push the buying club into the notion that really the selling club doesn’t want to sell, and actually is trying to get rid of someone else, but really, if you are after a keeper, well, I suppose we might… but it will cost you… you’ll have to pay the salary…
The funny thing is that although the evidence for Vapour Transfers is huge, and although in the original article I pointed out their origin in the machinations of Apple and Microsoft who are forever launching Vapour Products (I even quoted the court case for goodness sake), the press and the little blogettas don’t want to know.
‘My agent is speaking to Fenerbahce’ – Arsenal star David Ospina says announced the ever misled Talksprout on 22 June.
On the same day the Express told us “Arsenal star David Ospina CONFIRMS he will make way for Chelsea’s Petr Cech.” I am not quite sure what that meant, but there you have it
Always a little slow off the mark the Daily Mirror team stumbled out of the pub five days later and told us on 27 June, “David Ospina heading for Emirates exit” perhaps confusing the door to the gents with a news story. Poor Steve Stammers – where do you find these tips mate?
On 10 July the Metro told us, “Arsenal transfer news: David Ospina says Everton move is a great possibility…”
On 15 July we were, wow, in Spain, as the Standard told us
Real Madrid target Arsenal keeper Ospina,
And then just to prove that even the editors of the Metro don’t read the Metro on 16 July the Metro (which had given us the Everton story on 10 July) was at it with Arsenal transfer news: David Ospina closes in on Real Madrid… “Colombian goalie Ospina is surplus to requirements at the Emirates … Real Madrid ‘to open talks with Arsenal over David Ospina transfer’.”
And did they ask why Arsenal would sell a player that was good enough to interest Real Mad? No, they didn’t.
Mind you Real Madrid ain’t all it is cracked up to be, for if Everton come knocking that could put the Mad Hatters in their place. As the Express told us the next day, “David Ospina says there is a ‘great possibility’ he could join Everton…”
Mind you on the same day the Express told us that under the heading “Arsenal Transfer News”: Increased Higuain bid.
Of course by this time some of the sources were getting a bit silly as the extraordinarily amusing SB Nation told us that despite ending the season as Arsenal’s first choice goalkeeper in the league, and some impressive, if ultimately meaningless win-ratio statistics,
[MEANINGLESS?????? How do you judge players fully without statistics from past matches??????]
David Ospina’s time at the Emirates could be over after just one season. According to Haberturk.com, Ospina is set to move to Fenerbahce for €5.5m, with final negotiations to take place after Ospina returns from Copa America duty with Colombia.
Ah well. Haberturk.com Of course if they say so…
But no! “Real Madrid target Arsenal keeper Ospina, Chelsea owner …” said the Standard on 15 July. Hey ho!
So was Ospina any good, or did I just enjoy shouting Ooooooooooooooooospina every time he kicked the ball? Here’s my little chart
|Player||Club||Clean Sheets||Games||% Clean Sheets|
|De Gea||Manchester U||10||37||27.03%|
So we are told (and I am taking a gamble on this because Arsenal have not confirmed it) Roma have reached a deal to take Wojciech Szczesny on loan for next season with a view to buying the Polish goalkeeper next summer for €5m (£3.5m). Roma are said to be paying around €1m to have the 25-year old in their squad for next season plus all his wages.
And if I am quite wrong, I will go and hide in a corner for a bit.
Anniversary of the day
23 July 1865: Henry Norris born. Utterly maligned by Leslie Knighton’s libellous and inaccurate autobiography but praised by George Allison in his book, Norris was the man who rescued Arsenal from bankruptcy in 1910, moved the club to north London, built Highbury, and ultimately brought Herbert Chapman to the club.