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The perfect transfer story: Arsenal’s approach for two new players

By Tony Attwood

What makes a perfect transfer?

First, you have to abandon plausibility.  There has to be no link with reality, no link with what the team needs, who is available, who might come to the club, whether the player has said no, whether the player is in prison on suspicion of blackmail, whether he is any better than who we already have, whether he would even look at a club where he would be a backup… all of this is irrelevant in the first degree.

So what we need is a story that in any other circumstance would make us think this is the biggest load of drivel I have ever read, but here and now we think: yeah, ok, right, let’s do it!!!

Next what we have to do is ignore the sheer and absolute insanity and impossibility of the deal.

Third we have to be told IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED.  The deal is on, and somehow, a person you have never heard of, has been able to sneak out the news that there is a DONE DEAL and that the PLAYER HAS SIGNED when everyone else was looking the other way.

It is important not to reveal how the source of this story actually knows what is in the story as “FACT” because that would mess up his sources.  And it is important not to reveal how he/she knows the story when everyone else is not looking.

Yes it is a DONE DEAL preferably with a load of !!!!!! and it needs to be printed on some brainless mini-bloggetta so tiny that you have never heard of it, even with all the focus on bloggettas that Untold generously gives them.

Then you write a few headlines such as

BREAKING: Arsene Wenger Personally CONFIRM MASSIVE News!!!
New signage is being put around the lifts to the upper level in the Emirates Stadium asking those who can use the stairs to do so.
“I Am Only Interested In Arsenal” Claims £170,000-A-Week Real Madrid Target
Player says that doesn’t want to leave the club he’s at despite RM wanting him and if he did move it would be to Arsenal.  But actually he’s going nowhere.
GOOD NEWS: Arsenal Set To REPLACE Jack Wilshere With Exciting Midfield Star
Arsenal have signed a 14 year old who will take over Jack’s role in seven years.
Wenger Close to announce first signing, Versatile attacker close to join Arsenal
The club has made an enquiry about a 12 year old.
International star hints at shock Arsenal exit… Arsene Wenger will be fuming
This is the Debuchy story saying he’s not getting enough games and wants to leave.  I have no idea if that is true, but it is something Untold has pointed out.  If you have a player as a backup ultimately he will want to leave for lack of games.
ACCEPTED– Club Ready To ACCEPT Arsenal’s £35m For Star Ahead Of January Window  That is an interesting contradiction between ACCEPTED and TO ACCEPT.  That is the thing with these sites, you never quite know.

So what is it like in practice?

Well at the moment the big story (and I use the word in a fictional sense) is that Alexis Sánchez is going to Man U.  This is the thing about other clubs – they can click their fingers and players coming trotting along, whereas Arsenal stumble around hopeless and useless.

This story comes from ‘reports in Chile’, who got it from ‘reports in Spain’, although what Spain has to do with it I don’t know.

Is it true?  Of course not.

Another?  Pep Guardiola has been offered £17m to stay at Bayern Munich, meaning Arsenal can’t have him.   “We wanted him,” said Ima Director at Arsenal, but the AST criticised the level of salary Mr Wenger is on, so we have to be careful with what we pay people now.”

Abramovich has no problems with money however so Guardiola is seen flying in on a private jet towards London City airport.  Unfortunately Big Storm Abigail (first to be named by the Weather Centre) blew the plane off course and it ended at London Southend instead.  Mr G took a look at the beach said “blimey I didn’t know the Thames was this wide” and ordered the plane fly back to Germany.  (If you don’t get that joke, get a map out and find out where Southend actually is).

Chelsea sack top man, says the Chelsea bloggettas as Michael Emenalo, their transfer man isn’t sacked.  I just made it all up.

Time for Liverpool! (they have just added the ! to their name to remind people how important they are.  Untold will now use that name from now on.)  So.   Liverpool! need to buy more and more and more players because although everyone bought into the stories that Arsenal were the club with injuries actually if you look at the table you see it is Liverpool!!  (That is one ! for the club’s new name and one for the sentence).  So they are going to keep buying.  “Buy-buy” their supporters chant.   Riccardo Saponara from Empoli Christian Tello from Barcelona for Liverpool!   Sorry, forgot one there !

And how does all this happen?

It starts with a scout going to a match.   Then another match and then another.   All at the same club.  The scout is not a public figure, but he’s known in the business, and of course he’s not wearing a big hat and false beard.  He is respectful and tells the club he’s there.

The scout is seen, and since there is only one amazing prospect in the team’s under 18 squad, two and two are put together and they make, as always 22.   A “stringer” as they are known in the trade, retained by the regional newspaper group to pick up stories as and when he can, starts noting the occasions when the scout is there, and tries to get him to say who he’s watching.  He doesn’t confess, so the stringer guesses.  The stringer files a report.

The story is published in the paper’s on line column and contains the phrase “London Arsenal” in the local tongue, and the one of the stringers for an English national paper spots it, translates it usually badly, and it is run in the paper’s gossip column.

Of course at this point, the bloggettas do their stuff, without checking anything apart from how many people clicked on those adverts that stop you reading and can only be got rid of by clicking the wrong button (the apparently right button leading you straight into the advert), and so the story is out, despite the fact that the scout actually thought the player wasn’t as good as was hyped and told his employers not to worry about the guy.

But the story is up and running now, and the pressure is on.  Arsenal in need of more players.  We have the weakest squad (actually no we don’t) and the worst injury record (actually no we don’t).  But who cares, run the story.  So you get this, which I reprint word for word from the Telegraph…

A pretty timeless Arsenal issue this, and a near-constant headache for Arsene Wenger over the last 10 years, but this current crisis is bad even by their ridiculous standards.

No evidence, no context.

 

TEAM Total injured Lge pos
1 Liverpool! 10 10
2 Newcastle United 9 17
3 Everton 8 9
4 Arsenal 7 2
5 Sandy beach 6 18
6 We love the slave state 5 1
7 Manchester Untidy 5 3
8 State Aid United 5 6
9 Remi to the Rescue 4 20
10 Crystal Palace 4 8
11 Southampton 4 7
12 Tiny Totts 4 5
13 The home of the match review 3 16
14 Rugby 3 12
15 The home of the fatman 3 19
16 Norwich City 2 15
17 Watford 2 11
18 West Bromwich Albion 2 13
19 No injuries no tinkering 1 3
20 Swansea City 0 14
But there is another point.  All clubs get some injuries, and when you see a club doing unexpectedly well in the league with a comparatively low number of injuries, you might wonder if they will get those injuries and what will happen if they do.  The position of Leicester is interesting here as is the fact that the top three in the league table are also in the top seven in the injury league.  What no one says, except Untold, is, if we are doing this well now, what will it be like with our returnees?
.
Also you might note that not having injuries does not mean you rise up the league.
.
I suspect that what we really need is an analysis of the number of changes made to the team that plays week by week.  A more settled team I suspect means a more consistent team in terms of results.
.
But even that doesn’t take us very far, because there is no cause and effect.  Is it that if you play the same players week after week you get better results?  Or is it that when you get a good result you are more likely to play the same players again the following match?
.
So the simplistic notion (and I quote directly) that, “Arsenal need to get players back quickly if they’re to stay in touch with Manchester City at the top of the Premier League,” is simplistic because injuries don’t necessarily mean a slide down the table, and because the statement doesn’t take into account what is happening to Man C.
.
Now what all this is building up to is the return of the “Arsenal’s squad is desperately thin and they need to buy lots of players” approach that dominated the whole of the summer.   It is the story that the papers love, because it is the cheapest story to run.  Take some names, throw them together, pull in a couple of pictures which come from a contract where you just pay an annual fee and not per picture used, and hey, you have a story.  And tomorrow another, and another, and another.
.
The Metro (“News but not as you know it”) captures this well.  Although “Here’s a page that didn’t cost us a penny in research fees” might be even more realistic.

Arsenal stand their greatest chance in a decade to end their wait for a Premier league title but injuries threaten to curtail their challenge.   Nine Gunners are currently sidelined with injuries and Arsene Wenger’s so concerned that he’s set to give star man Alexis Sanchez a break to avoid joining the injured list.

Wenger failed to buy an outfield player in the summer and he’s looking at completing at least two deals in January to see the Gunners’ challenge through.

And then off we go with the latest

Arsenal move in on Man United target Ayoze Perez 

Louis van Gaal’s side were thought to be leading the race to sign Newcastle forward Perez but Arsenal have joined the race.  The Spanish striker has been in good form for the Magpies so far this term, scoring three goals in 12 appearances.   And, though the Red Devils are also interested, Wenger’s lining up a January bid.

Gunners open talks with Karim Bellarabi

The 25-year-old perfectly fits the mould of an Arsenal player.  He’s pacey, has a bag of tricks and has the international pedigree needed to play for the Gunners. And the latest is that Wenger’s side have started talks with the winger and are hopeful of agreeing a £15m deal.

So, to conclude here are the big issues according to the press.  Make up your own solutions.  Everyone else does.

Signing another genuine holding player would also give Wenger the option of playing a more defensive 4-2-3-1 in big away games.

Except every major team in Europe is also looking for someone who will sign, be a back up and just play when the formation changes.  No one matches the bill who is ready to move and who the current employer will agree to sell.

Try this one if that doesn’t fit.

Sanchez will come back from the international ‘break’ even more exhausted, after playing World Cup qualifiers for Chile against Colombia and Uruguay.

But just remember this.  Whoever we get, he will be useless.  Remember what the television pundits of a Manchester United and Liverpool! persuasion said of him?  Too flimsy, unreliable, lacking courage.  On losing the ball he stands still.

Footnote

My publishing of this regular Untold article this morning does not imply that I am not fully aware of and shocked by events overnight.  My view is that the one tiny, tiny contribution we can make to fighting the terror is to continue our lives as normal in the face of the atrocities.  Such a view is not in the slightest meant meant to be disrespectful to those who have died at the hands of terrorists.  I can’t begin to imagine how their friends, lovers and relatives feel.

13 comments to The perfect transfer story: Arsenal’s approach for two new players

  • laos gooner

    I note that you have missed the PRIVATE NEGOTIATIONS which we see in blogettas articles. Maybe they are then private if untold has not noticed. It is one of my favourite chuckles. I do enjoy a good laugh when scanning through goonernews seeing them all collected together. I also laugh at the fact that any of this nonsense is published at all and can imagine all these hacks in a draw to see who gets the brain cell today. I think we should propose a game of football for them so we can judge their abilities. I am sure we would all be very amused as I suspect that many of them would not know anymore about football than that which they used on the playground at school. I do however wonder about the amount of space they are given on untold. Can we not just ignore them until they lose their advertising money and fade back into the nowhere from whence they came?

  • Nonny

    My thought are with those that lost their loved ones and affected by the terror attacks is France. #prayforparis

  • colario

    From
    laos gooner

    ‘Can we not just ignore them until they lose their advertising money and fade back into the nowhere from whence they came?’

    I agree with you laos.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    The killings in Paris yesterday has overshadowed my interest in football and other matters at the moment. With 80” into game with Olivier Giroud goals in the game between France vs Germany, I stopped browsing and switched off my phone to sleep. Only to put it on this morning and see the bad hand work of the evil men did. Why didn’t the Police catch at least one of them alive to facilitate their investigations into the terrorists act? My thoughts and prayers since morning are profoundly with those forced departing souls. Let their souls rest in the Lord. Amen. And for the injured, let the Lord grant them a good and speedy recovery. A good sustainable performance by the injured returnees who will be returning to action as from next Saturday will inform the Boss if he will need to reinforce his squad with 1 or 2 top quality additions during the January transfer window to bolster his squad for their title(s) challenge this season. I personally believed Arsenal will win the remaining treble titles which they are still challenging for, if they seriously challenge for them more than ever in all aspect of football matters.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    The killings in Paris yesterday has overshadowed my interest in football and other matters at the moment. With 80” into the game with Olivier Giroud goals in the game between France vs Germany, I stopped browsing and switched off my phone to sleep. Only to put it on this morning and see the bad hand work which the evil men did. Why didn’t the Police catch at least one of them alive to facilitate their investigations into the terrorists act? My thoughts and prayers since morning are profoundly with those forced departing souls. Let their souls rest in the Lord. Amen. And for the injured, let the Lord grant them a good and speedy recovery. A good sustainable performance by the injured returnees who will be returning to action as from next Saturday will inform the Boss if he will need to reinforce his squad with 1 or 2 top quality additions during the January transfer window to bolster his squad for their title(s) challenge this season. I personally believed Arsenal will win the remaining treble titles which they are still challenging for, if they seriously challenge for them more than ever in all aspect of football matters.

  • marcos

    Sam Arsenal dnt nid to win a treble.gettin d league shud b mor realistic.we need theo ox ramsy bellerin bak.and hopefully wenger rotates debuchy wt bellerin especially headin into dec fixtures.d return of Danny jack n roscky in d new year shud take Arsenal to anoda level.fingers crossd no mor worrying injury

  • marcos

    Wt arteta n d flame available Arsene cud push cazorla to d midle while ozil goes to d right.dias flexibility in d team.but Arsene knos best

  • Mick

    marcos
    Could you post your comments in English please.

  • Gord

    Hmm, the world is a single paragraph, or all words are too long to type. Oh well, ….

    The article mentioned injuries, which have been a subject of mine of late. For this note, “injury prone”.

    Injury prone is a favorite term of the medja, especially with Arsenal. If an Arsenal athlete is not injured, the next contact that the Arsenal athlete is part of will make him injured. There is never anything wrong or excessive about the contact, it is just that the Arsenal player is injury prone. Being injury prone is something one can “catch”, just like a virus. Players that were never injured before joining Arsenal, will suddenly start getting injured.

    If you come to visit me, and put your hand on the counter, and I smash your hand with a hammer, your hand will get injured. If after your hand is healed you come visit me again, and again I smash your hand with a hammer and injure you, are you injury prone? Does it make a difference if I happen to have a PGMO referee in the room, and I wait for him to say “okay” before I smash your hand?

    Injury prone can be a real thing. Avoiding injury can also (partially) affected by:
    * improving technique
    * becoming stronger
    * becoming more flexible

    There are genetic sources to “injury prone”, but they do not reside on a single gene. There are at least 2 different genes which can be involved. It is possible that a person could be “injury prone” for one sport, but not another.

    A person can also be injury prone due to psychological reasons.

    Are there other reasons?

    For injuries in general, it is possible to reduce injury rates through training. This is what the training, strength and flexibility is concerned with.

    In the case of visiting me (and my hammer), quit putting your hand on the table. Once you learn that, you will stop getting your hand smashed.

    If idiots like Shawcross or McNair come to tackle you, move to avoid them (as you cannot rely on the officials to be helpful). And get used to idiots like Randy Savage and the Neville’s calling you chicken on TV. At least you will still be playing, and not stuck in the hospital or doing rehab at the training ground. Or doing some other job because the last injury ended your career.

  • para

    Slightly off topic, but it must be said.

    In some way we are all responsible for these terrible things happening in the world, because we allow people to rule the world who in reality have no interest in our thoughts and feelings. This causes some people to be against certain things and they fight for their freedom, and some prefer to die rather than live that way. We have to ask ourselves what it takes for someone to give up their life. Few weeks ago we had a “rememberance” of people who gave up their lives in a war. Same thing, different circumstances. We tend to see things only from one side in this world, very few people try to see both sides of a story, content to be on the side where it’s comfortable or where it’s dictated to us through media etc.

    Think about this: If media lies about football, i’m damm sure they lie about everything else, especially when it comes to fighting and wars.

    Remember, one man’s democracy is another man’s enslavement. One man’s terrorist is another man’s heroes. Think about that!!!

    Time to get rid of these leaders who make money from war(and from our football too) and rule the world ourselves.

  • para

    SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin:
    There is a button or key called the “return” button and if pressed twice does this:

    It allows you to separate your writing into easily read paragraphs.

    OK, i’m outa here, must have woken up in a bad mood today. 🙁

  • Gord

    Something for Tony.

    In looking up information about being injury prone, I happened across something about injuries in dance. I did not open the document to see what was in it.

    My Mom is an Elvis fan, and so I have been trying to set up some stuff for her to listen to Elvis. I was not aware how extensive his publishing list was. I see that he has sung 4 songs written by Bob Dylan (Blowin in the Wind, Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right, I Shall Be Released, Tomorrow is a Long Time), which I gather is another interest of yours. Also, he has a song by Ludwig (that Beethoven guy, Moonlight Sonata). (Richard Strauss – Also sprach Zarathustra?). The list I seen was at Wikipedia.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The ostriches can do no wrong by finding out of following the players’ WAGs to see where they are house hunting , shopping or what language classes they are taking .
    Or they could snoop in the players’ rubbish bins for clues . A (discarded ) paper trail of sorts .