By Tony Attwood
We blow the starting whistle on transfer stories yesterday with “Arsenal looking to hijack Man Utd move for Mourinho” The new rumour season is off with a plop, and wouldn’t you know it, the next day the newspapers are there joining in.
I didn’t mean it seriously guys!
And I don’t just mean the Metro is joining in, (that being the paper which runs transfer stories the day AFTER the window is closed, barred and bolted) but the Independent and the Guardian. So I thought to myself, what fun it would be to write an Untold transfer page WITHOUT any reference to the bloggettas so admirably considered by Sir Hardly Anyone. But with some RANDOM words in capitals instead.
The Mourinho to Arsenal story is gathering pace in several papers but it is the Metro that is there with “Six reasons Mourinho is exactly what Arsenal need as their next manager.” I didn’t bother with that one.
But I did notice that Piers Morgan has come out with “If Mourinho to Utd is not a done deal, as papers suggest, Arsenal should break the bank for him.”
And it doesn’t stop there. Oh no! According to the Metroid
In a particularly relaxed Q&A session with Gerard Pique, Fabregas refused to rule out a return to the Gunners but admitted such a move would be ‘very difficult’….
Gooners, on the whole, understood it when Fabregas left the Emirates to join boyhood club Barcelona but moving to Stamford Bridge was, for some, unforgivable.
This one will run and run until it falls over and the aaa blame Arsenal for not getting Mourinho when he was begging to come to the club. But nice to see the regular old notion that all Arsenal fans think the same and that the Metro can read our minds. Who needs all those billions spent on state surveillance of our emails when there are Metro journalists out there doing the job for them?
The solution is clear: only think when facing south. They can’t read your mind when you look away from the north pole because of the earth’s MAGNETIC field! Honest!
Onto the PLAYERS and ignoring Sir Hardly’s territory, the Guardian claims that Arsenal are tracking the Lorient left-back Raphaël Guerreiro and thinking of a bid “as Arsène Wenger considers whether to listen to offers for Kieran Gibbs.”
Lorient is one of our favourite clubs to buy from, but be wary about “tracking”. Arsenal has a company that it has set up which does tracking all day and night with a fairly large work force, so that it tracks hundreds of players all the time. Thus “Arsenal is tracking” is a bit like saying, “Arsenal are in training,” or “The government tells fibs.” It’s a given.
Guerreiro is considered “pacy” (that’s fast to you and me) and played for Portugal international in the European Under-21 Championship and can also play on the left wing. So just like Gibbs then.
Guerreiro has been with Lorient for three seasons but is described in the Indy as “a quick, tenacious attacking player who can also work on the left of midfield.” So not a replacement for Gibbs at all then. He’s played 95 times for Lorient and scored ten.
What we could do (once we decide if he is a full back or an attacking midfielder or a forward) is a LEASE BACK arrangement as Coquelin, Campbell and Sunu had. Although it could also be that someone else is on the radar there. Remember Koscielny came from sitting on the bench in the second division to the top 100 players in Europe via Lorient after reports that we were looking at anyone except Kos.
On the Mesut Özil is leaving story, Mr Ö has recently twitted that “Arsène Wenger was a big reason for me joining Arsenal – this hasn’t changed! Respect AFC.” Isn’t it funny how sometimes the exact opposite of the truth circulates as a rumour.
In the old days journalists used to sit in pubs with two lists – one containing big clubs one with big name players and then they’d do a mix and match together, agree on the story, and go away and write it up. You could tell how drunk they were at the time by the number of questions marks the put at the end. So they could create “Mesut Özil to Tottenham???” and you’d know they were near closing time.
Now the code is broken, the pubs are open all day and night and gibberish is written as if it were true.
Meanwhile the Independent is running the same story about Raphaël Guerreiro except that the Independent has abandoned umlauts. Pesky foreign rubbish.
Moving on Mr Wenger has been talking with Borussia Monchengladbach (that’s the team where the most unpopular man in football stands on the terrace and shouts “give us a B”). The midfielder Granit Xhaka, is the target. He’s 23, he’s under contract until the end of the universe (well 2019) and wants to play in the PL. “Your referees are so eccentric,” he said, “everyone tells me, but I can’t believe it. I need to see it for myself.”
Actually Sky Sports didn’t pick up the full nuance of that quote but did have him saying, “I think everybody has a dream. Everybody has a childhood dream and that’s my childhood dream. If my dream comes true, it remains to be seen. At the moment I cannot say how realistic it is.”
Meanwhile, another story making the PUBS, sorry press, is that of Napoli’s Jorginho who also said he wants to play in the PL.
Joao Santos, the agent of said player, said Arsenal have shown an INTEREST and there could be discussions. So has Benitez at Newcastle but Jorginho has said no.
But it is not all brightness and light. Iwobi is ill. There he was trying to work out if to play for England or Nigeria, when he was struck down with food poisoning and was hospitalised after eating a salad. Was this Tottenham’s revenge for the LASAGNE? I think we should be told.
Back with the mighty Metro Arsenal are all set to sign Alvaro Morata, and Real Mad are ready to sell the striker. That of course is according to reports. Morata has been said to have done well with Juve but, and this is really odd, Real Mad want to exercise their buy back clause and then sell him to Arsenal for £23.5 million.
If that is right it must be because of the restrictions being placed on Real Mad’s transfer deals at the moment. The EC is investigating the club’s arrangements with banks after some curious figures came up vis a vis Bale and the Tinies. Plus Fifa want to ban Real Mad from all transfer buying. With the club urgently needing to cover the holes in its accounts with the banks, selling in such roundabout ways is all they can do.
Meanwhile Mourinho is coming to Arsenal with Cesc and… oh sorry I did that one.
And the Insult of the Day – for Piers Morgan
O if men were to be saved by merit what hole in hell were hot enough for him (Henry IV Part 1)
Danny Karbassiyoon’s book “The Arsenal Yankee” with a foreword by Arsene Wenger will be published on Tuesday 29 March. You can buy the book…
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From the anniversary files
23 March 1974: Arsenal 2 Man C 0. With two goals from Radford there were hopes of a revival, as Arsenal were unbeaten in three league games and were 14th. The improvement did continue with only one more defeat in the season as Arsenal finished 10th.
23 March 1977: Stoke 1 Arsenal 1. Arsenal’s first point in eight games, and just sixth goal in ten games. The club was still without a win in 11 league matches – a record of the most unwelcome kind. Price got the goal. The crowd was 13,951.
There are many more anniversaries on the home page plus indexes to other things on the site.