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October 2016
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The Coquelin replacement deal is done and dusted. “Fans already love him”, and Alexis recovers in superfast time.

By Sir Hardly Anyone

Now you will know, if you have read my erudite enunciations in the past that I have one or two slight issues with the bloggette “goonersden” whose reportage it is my solemn duty to cover.   So at this point I treat carefully in case any of it sticks to my shoes, but today they tell us that…

Arsenal FINALLY Sends Representative To SEAL DEAL For Coquelin’s Replacement, Fans Already LOVE Him.

And what they tell us is that “According to reports the claim Arsenal have been keeping tabs on Napoli’ defensive midfielder Jorginho, and agent Joao Santos believes they are serious in doing business in January.”  (Quite how that squares with done and dusted I am not sure, but let us press on).

Those reports apparently come from the British South Polar Base and told us that the weather forecast there was for snow.  (Actually I made that bit up). Jorginho did not feature in our list of the 20 players most likely to be signed by Arsenal this winter, but then, I could have been wrong with that list.

However is also active in the same area with their headline:

Welcome To Emirates– Arsenal To ANNOUNCE Signing Of £22m Coquelin Replacement.  

They tell us “Recent reports are however suggesting that the Gunners are keenly interested in signing Porto’s young defensive midfielder, Ruben Neves, with reports stating that Arsene Wenger has been sending scouts to watch the 18-year-old in recent times and might be ready to poach the player in the January transfer window.

“The young midfielder may however cost a whooping sum of £22m but with fans calling for a new DM and Wenger desperate for a new DM, he might be willing to cough out this amount.”

(As if Mr Wenger took notice of “fans” over transfer matters.  If he had we would never have had Thierry Henry).   Anyway Neves was number 15 on our list.  Apparently Chelsea also want him.

In a headline that suggests a certain losing of the plot, GunnersCity tells us

“He practised in training and it showed” – Wenger Praises £130k-a-week Arsenal Star and Gives Him New EXCITING Role in the Team

One might expect most people who are paid £130k a week to play football to practice in training.  But well, what do I know?  [Don’t answer that].

“I Will Go To Arsenal Not Liverpool Or Man United” World Semi Finalist Chooses Arsenal

is the headline from dailyfootballblog and this tells us that “PSG’s Lucas Moura has been tipped to move to the emirates by January 2016”  [I think they might mean the country, not the stadium].   Moura was another player who didn’t make our top 20 (which of course famously only included 19 players), but their commentary  is interesting:

“The arrival of Angel di Maria at the pacs de princes has made games hard to come by for the Brazil international, and he has decided to consider his options as he is unsure of his future at the club.”

Now I know that Untold is famous for its twerping erors but I think the ground is Parc des Princes.

There’s been a lot of commentary among the little sites to the effect that Arsene Wenger Reveals Double Alexis Sanchez Injury Boost and dailyfootballblog picked up on that.  Now a couple of bloggettas have taken this to mean he’ll be back for the game against Villa, but the DFG tells us in what it says is a direct quote from Mr W…

“He is used to working there with the national team physio.   I think it will have a double benefit. He will not be miserable here, he will be well-treated there and it will give him a kind of mid-season break, which is what you all want.”

Football Insider however does go further and tells us that

“an Arsenal source has told Football Insider that Sanchez is recovering well and is hopeful of being in contention for the clash against City at Emirates Stadium on 21 December.”  Gunnerscity runs the same story as well.

But clearly that was just a clearing of the throat because the dailyfootballblog returns at once with

Medical Passed, Arsenal To ANNOUNCE Signing Of £21.5m Rated Man United Target

“The recent reports are stating that Arsenal are ready to make a £21.5million transfer bid to entice Paris Saint-Germaine for Lucas Moura and…”

But hang on the bloggetta ran another story about the same player just moments before.  Now I say!  If they are going to cheat like this, with identical stories on the same day where will we be?  I mean if you can’t trust the bloggettas who can you trust?

Wilshere hands Arsenal big injury boost shouts tribalfootball.

And they say, “The recovery is going well but it’s frustrating of course. I think this one was mentally the toughest one to take because I had a good pre-season,” Wilshere said.

Back with the daily football blog we have

Welcome To Emirates– Arsenal To ANNOUNCE Sign Of For 37-Goal In 22 Games Striker

That bloggetta tells us that “With the attack of Arsenal having a poor conversion rate, the Gunners have set their sight on South America’s wonder youngster Gabriel Jesus of Palmeiras and they will attempt to complete the deal in January, this is according to the Metro.”

He’s another player who didn’t figure in our top 20 players tipped by the press, but then what do they know?  And what’s this about bad conversion rate?

And at least they do us the honour of telling us the illustrious source of this story.

But if all this seems a bit positive for your taste (what with everyman and his dog signing and Alexis back in training, oohtobeagooner decides to knock us down a bit with

MASSIVE BLOW As TOP SOURCE CONFIRMS Arsenal Star Set To Exit Emirates In January

as they reveal…

“Aston Villa are interested in signing Arsenal’s forward Joe Campbell, according to reports.

“According to the Metro, Remi Garde is said to be keen on bringing a striker to Villa park and has identified Arsenal’s Joe Campell as one of his target when the winter transfer window opens in January. Remi Garde sees the Costa Rica striker as an upgrade to his current strike force and is keen on tabling a loan bid for the 23 year old.”

But footballcolumnist puts us back on track

FINALLY A DM? Arsenal Close To Signing £21m POWERFUL DM – Man United & Chelsea Fans Won’t Be Happy

Since the arrival of Angel Di Maria, Lucas Moura has been reduced to a fringe player than a starter and Gunners are looking to take advantage of his situation and lure him to the Emirates.  (I think we’ve had that one already).


Arsenal To ANNOUNCE Signing CREATIVE Midfield Sensation– To Replace Cazorla

“Ruben Neves has been on arsenal’s radar in recent weeks. As former gunners star Luis boa morte has been on a scouting mission to Portugal just to watch the 18 year old play in Porto’s victory against uniao da Madeira 4-0, and report back regarding the holding midfielders progress.”

And now we seem to be going round in circles which probably means it is time to stop.

In summary, Alexis has a miracle cure, Jack will be back in two weeks, and we’ve already signed a DM and a centre forward.

So now you know.

Anniversaries – Arsenal’s first signing and the birth of the first sponsored player.

11 December 1881  Thomas Tindal Fitchie (only man to be signed by Arsenal five times) was born.  TT became a travelling salesman with Jacques & Co a sports goods and games manufacturer. They encouraged his football career as it allowed them access to the clubs and the players who were his team-mates.

11 December 1886: Arsenal’s first game v Eastern Wanderers. Dial Square 6 Eastern Wanderers 0.  Research by the Arsenal History Society revealed for the first time how the game came to be set up, and found the score recorded in a weekly magazine to show the first contemporary report of the match – something which had been lost for 100 years.

And the books

Woolwich Arsenal the club that changed football, is now available on Kindle at £9.99.  For more details and to buy a copy please click here or go to Amazon Kindle and search for Woolwich Arsenal.

Forthcoming titles:

  • The Arsenal Yankee  By Danny Karbassiyoon
  • Arsenal: The Long Sleep 1953-1970.  By John Sowman.  Introduction by Bob Wilson.


14 comments to The Coquelin replacement deal is done and dusted. “Fans already love him”, and Alexis recovers in superfast time.

  • Isingoma Edward

    Iknow AW will not sign any player, so i don,t need to reply.

  • James

    it is worrying how this so-called bloggers take our emotions for a ride. Sir Hardy, i suggest you also insert links to the stories so we can blast them accordingly.

  • OK James I’ll see that it is done in future.

  • IsingomaEdward – that is most interesting. How do you know?

  • Pete

    Apparently Wenger has said this morning that Wilshere won’t be back this year. Rambo needs to remain fit then! May see the Ox get some games in centre-midfield over the Xmas period? And Arteta too if he recovers.

  • para

    I think Joel should be also trained for DM, he keeps the ball well and his passing is improving weekly. Of course AW may have other plans 🙂

  • Serge

    It’s taking an awful risk relying on the fit players we have and the ones scheduled to return over the next few weeks. Our midfield has been opened up more than enough this past few games ( particularly by Sunderland ), and needs someone who stays in position without trying to get forward into attacking positions as Flamini does too often.
    Tim Stillman on Arseblog suggests that we might revert to a 4.3.3 until the crisis has passed. Seems a good idea to me.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Have to feel a bit for these writers, trying to second guess Wenger in the transfer market must be a pretty thankless task.
    IF he assesses the likely squad strength in the second half of the season,and if feels he needs to strengthen, and he can identify the right player who is available to him in Jan, I wouldnt be at all surprised if he were to be a signing completely under the radar

  • Dex

    You can’t blame the authors of these sensationalist bull shit transfer stories.
    There’s clearly an appetite for them amongst Arsenal supporters. Not least because of the lack of signings in the summer and the injuries to our only defensive midfielder And Cazorla, Jack, Danny.

  • omgarsenal

    Wenger has a knack for filling the lacunae at AFC with just the right person at the right time (Cech this season,Sanchez last season etc.) As well, his faith in players like Walcott,Ramsey,Wellbeck,Campbell,Bellerin, Coquelin etc. is now paying off in significant dividends. His philosophy of buying young and developing players into the AFC mold is proving far more effective this year than El Moaninho and others. What a manager we have in Wenger!

  • Delford Magaya

    The above article pointed out a lot of players on the list of Arsenal, Wenger is reading all news from the media and newspaper, and he will surprise everyone to see a player that you have never read about. We know Arsene Wenger very well, he will not want to make anything public before the deal has been finalized. Sports reporters and media, has offered Arsenal a big number of players but none of them will be at Arsenal. It is very difficult to know what Wenger and Arsenal does, when it comes to buying players. I like it that way, because clubs and agents who advertise players like groceries to take advantage of increasing the buying power, will not sell their players to Arsenal, Wenger will not accept anyone who make things public before the deal has been finalized. I think most agents are aware of how Wenger handles his deals, he is a straight forward man, but he want things to be done the right way, without compromising the deal by mentioning many clubs involved for the player. He is not the kind of a coach who can entertain such deals.

  • Dex I think you are right in one sense, because there is still the perception that buying players solves problems although the stats show that most of the time it doesn’t. The point of the Sir Hardly stories is that the headlines have no relationship to the story.

  • austinpaul

    Its gratifying dat many people are beginning to undastand nd appreciate d gem we hve in AW as a person nd manager of d highest efficiency nd effectiveness;am usually amazed dat Arsenal is always linked to every player on transfer in all blog posts, whereas AW does nt even give d slightest taut to such players;glad people are knowing AW’s style regarding transfers nd his philosophy abt d right players he nids to enhance d performance of his team;Man U, Chelsky, Liverpool et al all invested massively in d summer how hve their investments upgraded d teams? Yet Arsenal is forging ahead witout such huge outlay,me tink we fans shuld applaud our Man for his meritorious nd dediicated service to Arsenal bcos no oda manager in Europe can compare wit AW.I don’t expect any new signnings in January, AW has said as much if his submissions at conferences are anytin to go by, my que is, young players abound in d family waiting to move up as well as returnees so d 2nd half of d season is on save grounds on d proviso dat d current players holding forte can hold on till afta d festivities; idont ce how nd why dey won’t,so let’s consentrate our support on believing nd encouraging our team to show determination, focus nd maturity in d next games beginning wit AVFC , den trash ManCity, demolish Southampton nd lead d table comfortably as we enter d new year!

  • Col

    “a knack for filling the lacunae at AFC with just the right person at the right time” – he certainly identifies deficiencies and rectifies them. However, arguably, had he acted earlier at several points over the last few years Arsenal might actually have been in with a shout of winning the league. The full impact of ‘no Coquelin for 3 months’ is yet to be seen – if Arsenal fall short by 4 or 5 points this season, there will be many who will blame this on the lack of DM cover.