By Sir Hardly Anyone
Since the anti-Arsenal Arsenal movement (commonly known as the aaa, the contemporary equivalent of the boo-boys who lambasted Herbert Chapman and his team) emerged after the move to the Emirates Stadium, it has gradually grown more vitriolic in its outpourings.
But even so, there was little in the past couple of years while I’ve been reporting on the publishing activities of said aaa, to prepare me for the rise in sheer vitriol of the past few months. Whereas previously the little lads had been happy to talk up make believe transfers (of which maybe 2% if you are lucky would turn out to be true) now it has all got much nastier.
I guess there have been signs over the last couple of years, but with the transfer rumour season starting in April this year, and with most of the obvious names that could be linked to Arsenal already having been done, there is something else in the air.
Below are examples, but believe me there are merely examples of something really rotten in the state of some people’s minds…
1: Is Arsene Wenger going Blind?
Apart from such a naff headline (it is of course about the player, not an eye affliction) the writing in Americana suggests in its claims that the writer knows far more about football and Arsenal than the Arsenal manager. But as always, if that is so, why is he spending his time writing, rather than managing a club to show how incredibly clever he is? It would be nice if he told us. Warrington Wolverines are advertising for a football coach, as is Swindon Town who need an academy head of goalkeeping. Poole Town Ladies Reserves need a manager too. Plenty of opportunity to show us how you can do it.
Here’s what the little boy wrote…
Some incredible rumors have surfaced linking Arsenal to Manchester United center half Daley Blind. This can only lead me to ask, is Arsene Wenger genuinely going Blind?
Arsenal desperately need a strong, commanding, aerially dominant center half. They have been calling out for a player to dominate strikers and shut down wingers for many years. Finally Wenger seems to agree. Unfortunately, he sees 5-foot-9 Daley Blind as the physical presence to lead Arsenal’s defense.
“Desperately?” So this guy has future-vision too, knowing how Gabriel is going to develop. OK… All of this comes from a website called Pain in the Arsenal which then continues in a contradictory manner by quoting the Daily Mirror although with the spellings changed.
The rumors linking Arsenal to Blind are far-fetched from the outset. It would be very unlike Wenger to poach a player from a Premier League rival, Blind would command a decent fee and Wenger has always preferred to look abroad rather than recruit closer to home.
However, the rumors are there, and very rarely is there smoke without fire. But would Blind actually be a good signing for Arsenal?
In a word, no. He would be absolutely terrible.
So we might conclude he is coming, he’s not coming, but yes he is coming, and he would be rubbish.
2: Report: Arsenal Midfielder Agrees Deal To Join Fellow Premier League Club
Mikel Arteta agrees deal to join Manchester City’s backroom team – report.
The headline suggests a current midfielder, and a playing transfer. We all knew Arteta was leaving, that he wanted to move into a backroom role, and that Arsenal had no vacancy. So of course he goes to where there is a vacancy, and since a lot of Man City’s staff left this summer, there are vacancies.
Arsenal fans thinking their club will be busy in the transfer window can think again.
After finishing 10 points behind Leicester City in the Premier League title race – thanks to an all-too-familiar collapse in the second half of the season that saw them win just twice in nine matches – it was thought that Arsene Wenger would spend heavily in the summer.
But he has confirmed that Granit Xhaka, who arrived from Borussia Monchengladbach, will be joined by just two more players.
The insanity in the story is that nothing from Arsenal has ever suggested how many players will be signed, until Mr Wenger made a statement about one or two more. But that level should be obvious, because it is just about impossible to integrate three new transfers into a team at the same time. Not only is the team disrupted by new signings, with existing players needing to work out how to work in a new system, but also there are many language and domestic issues for players when they first sign.
Goodness knows how many players this bizarre site expected Arsenal to bring in, in one go, but clearly a lot more than three. Five? Six? And with over half a team new to the club, he expects us to win something?
Then it gets even more silly saying
Gunners fans have, as expected, reacted negatively to the news. Wenger is under increasing pressure having seen Arsenal’s league title drought extend to 12 years and he will face more competition next season.
Which Gunners fans? Increasing pressure from Americana blogs?
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea all endured difficult seasons but have responded by hiring new managers. Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho have already got stuck in, signing Ilkay Gundogan and Eric Bailly respectively.
Wenger appears to have failed in his bid to sign Jamie Vardy from Leicester and so it’s back to the drawing board for the Frenchman.
Unfortunately for Arsenal fans, that drawing board isn’t loaded with many names.
Every line is an insult – suggesting that it was all or nothing with the Vardy escapade, and that Arsenal – or come to that any club – find a name, put in a bid, and have no other plans.
There is also of course the obligatory insistence that all Arsenal fans have reacted with horror.
4: Arsenal close to complete £25m move for Wenger’s dream No.10
Goodness knows that the situation is with Mkhitarya, but “close to completing” seems highly unlikely in relation to anything to do with this player, and suggesting otherwise appears to be far from the truth.
As per the Independent, Arsenal’s French boss is desperate to sign the 27-year-old attacking midfielder, who has been one of the best performers in Bundesliga last term.
As ever, the notion of Arsenal desperation is at the fore – no back up plans, no plans at all in fact, just desperation. So if, as recent rumour monger stories suggest the player is either a) going nowhere, or b) going to Man U, we can have another story attacking Wenger.
5: Deal Close: Arsenal Set To Finalise Defensive Signing ‘In Next 7 Days’
This story is simple:
Arsenal have moved a step closer to announcing another fresh face with the signing of Rob Holding possibly being finalised within the next seven days.
Will be be within seven days? A bit like the Mkhitarya deal it could go through, but in this case, given that the story has been around for ages it seems unlikely that one bloggetta has got the story and that’s that.
When Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger told Chinese television he believed Jamie Vardy was staying at Leicester City, he probably wasn’t conceding defeat in his efforts to sign the England striker. writes Rob Tanner.
It would be easy to think he was raising the white flag. It has been several weeks now since Arsenal had triggered the release clause in Vardy’s contract and offered a tantalising £25 million four-year contract and yet Vardy hasn’t jumped at it.
This has been seen as incredulous by so many media pundits, especially those based in the capital. How could a Leicester City player not leap at the chance of signing for the Gunners? It is a question that has been repeated on a daily basis.
The suggestion that pundits are arrogant is probably not far off the mark, but the notion that there was a view in London that “of course” Vardy would jump at an offer from Arsenal because it was Arsenal is silly and insulting to Arsenal fans. What made people think that Vardy would come to Arsenal were the multiple rumours about the medical – starting with the story that the medical had already been undertaken. Players do not normally go for medicals unless they are going to sign. It turned out to be untrue.
Mixed up with this is the fact that it appears that Leicester had not offered their players salaries of the type that they would get in other clubs, and put in buy out clauses that were too low, plus the fact that their PR and marketing division seems to be run from an unmarked office in a back street by a person or persons unknown that fuelled the rumours. They have since been going around offering improved contracts to try and keep their team together.
7: Arsenal Boss Makes Major Announcement Over £20m Star’s Transfer
That was monday evening. Was there such an announcement. If there was I missed it.
8: Arsenal to complete signing of perfect Hector Bellerin’s replacement after a £15m bid
It goes on to say
According to reports, Hector Bellerin is all but certain to join Barcelona this summer which has put Arsenal on alert and forced them to sign a new right back ahead of the next season
So what do we know from all this? We know that people make up stories, of course, but not just wild rumours. These are stories deliberately set up to cause anti-Arsenal sentiment. It is turning into quite an industry even though the accuracy level of such stories is currently under 2%.
The last statement from Bellerin was that he was keen to stay at Arsenal. Of course players change their mind and the criminal gangs that run Barcelona with its illegal payment systems and the transportation of children without their parents into Europe, will stop at nothing to beat Real Mad.
But that doesn’t mean Bellerin is certain to leave.
The idea though is that if Bellerin were to leave (which is unlikely but always possible giving the bunch of people running Barcelona) and we haven’t signed Boufal, then Wenger can be criticised.
Same old same old and all without evidence.
- Why are flares at a Euro game big news by flares used by fans of English clubs a minor matter?
- Who is fit, who is injured, who will win, who will lose? A round up of the Arsenal players currently risking injury
- Balotelli to Arsenal and the 62 players listed this summer as joining him
Anniversary of the Day
21 June 1995: Dennis Bergkamp arrived from Inter where he had played just 52 league games. He had been attacked by the press in Italy where a column highlighting the worst mistake of the weekend’s games was named Bergkamp della settimana See also here. And particularly about Inter, here.