Misleading information – part 1
The story starts with the phrase “What is it with Arsenal, strikers and contract clauses?” And if Arsenal had been involved in a fair number of failed transfers which had hinged on contract clauses there might be a point in this. But in fact they are only able to cite two examples: the Vardy case and the 2013 Suarez case.
Misleading information – part 2
“In 2013, Luis Suarez decided that he wanted to join them and Arsenal thought their bid of £40 million, plus £1, would make Liverpool powerless to resist. They messed up. The clause was not binding and Liverpool said no, both to Arsenal and their player.”
This is completely untrue. As some newspapers, although not the Telegraph, reported, Mr Henry, the owner of Liverpool denied that there was a buy out clause. He then, at a sports conference in the US openly admitted from the platform that he lied, lied, and lied again over the issue. There was indeed such a clause and it was binding. If the Telegraph still don’t know about it, the article in the Guardian revealing it might be worth reading.
Misleading information – part 3
Arsenal “placed a bid that met his £20 million buyout clause at Leicester City, except that this time they appear to have had no definite idea of what the player would do.”
That is true, as far as it goes. But since the rules of the Premier League clearly state that direct communication by one club of another club’s player is “tapping up” and is illegal under PL rules, Arsenal did not ask the player. They did the correct thing and made an offer to the club.
Now the Telegraph might accuse Arsenal of being naive through abiding by the rules but if that is their claim they ought to say that. All the author says is “Arsenal are at least not going to be accused of tapping up anytime soon but there will be a strong feeling in football today that they have been just a little naïve.”
That might be so – maybe there is that feeling, but building a whole case against a club on the grounds that it is honest, is really not much of a case at all. They then say, “Either Arsenal have been misled by intermediaries and simply used to ensure that Vardy gets a better deal at Leicester or they have not completed what is common due-diligence in football.”
In other words, Arsenal are not as bent as other clubs. That really isn’t much of a case on which to build a whole article in a national newspaper attacking a club.
“The timing of their offer also raises questions.”
Not really, because if the buy out clauses put into players’ contracts were well known, Arsenal knew that others could opt to put in a bid. But there is also the issue of the phantom transfer and vapour transfer.
Untold set out the mechanisms of the Vapour Transfer in August 2012 and cited the origins of it, and it was obvious from the off that newspapers which live on transfer rumours hated the revelations. Just to rub it in, in September last year we ran the story Transfers: once again we made a laughing stock of the journalists, but they won’t ever admit it which I was told one or two journalists didn’t really like very much (although I can’t think why).
Of course the papers don’t relate to this, any more than they will acknowledge the existence of the Arsenal Transfer Index which we run each week and which currently shows a success rate in predicting transfers of about 1 in 70.
Misleading information 5
“It has all ensured that the best part of a month has been potentially lost in Arsenal’s search for a striker. It has also advertised one of their key priorities for the summer ahead of a recruitment process that will now widen across Europe but probably start with a call to Real Madrid about Alvaro Morata.”
This assumes three things. One is that Arsenal put in the bid for Vardy and then sat back and did nothing. But we know (and indeed the Telegraph has reported) that Arsenal has its own company analysing players all day and all night. The notion that they did nothing after bidding for Vardy is just inane.
But also the papers know that the transfer of Ozil and Alexis came out of nothing – the Ozil one especially so. So for this Telegraph paragraph above to be accurate you now have to believe that Arsenal are not bidding for anyone in secret, and that they told everyone in the player analysis company to do nothing “because we have Vardy.”
Remember this is the club which negotiated in secret with Real Madrid for Ozil at a time Tottenham were trying to persuade Real Mad that if they wanted Bale they must not sell Ozil to Arsenal. Does that accord with all the unfounded tittle tattle the Telegraph is now reporting?
Finally there is the notion that Arsenal advertised its interest in strikers. This is bizarre given that the Telegraph has been shouting all year that Arsenal needs to ditch Giroud and buy a striker.
Misleading information 6
Wenger, though, must now wonder if he has been jinxed in his striker search ever since Robin van Persie was sold to Manchester United four years ago.
Must he? I doubt it very much. I have never seen anything from Mr Wenger that suggests he is a believer in fate.
Misleading information 7
“Arsenal also gave up on Suarez once their £40 million, plus £1 offer, was knocked back. Suarez’s subsequent performances have again vindicated Wenger’s initial judgment (sic) about his vast potential but exposed an over-caution about upping an offer.”
Oh isn’t it easy to spot a transfer two years later? No one knew at the time whether Suarez would fulfil his promise as a striker, or get so bogged down in his own psychiatric issues that he would never be allowed out of doors let alone on a pitch again. This man was known to assault players, so £40m was a huge gamble for a club with Arsenal’s resources. Barcelona, supported by an oil state, was under pressure to deliver by its sponsor and so risked other people’s money.
Misleading information 8
“An economics graduate, Wenger frequently cites the supply side of the equation as a reason for inactivity in the transfer market but then seems reluctant to accept that this reality does drive prices up.”
Again this ignores that Arsenal paid £42m for Ozil. It seems an odd thing to forget.
Misleading information 9
“This is not evidence of some great, wider shift that means they can never sign a player again from a club bigger than Leicester City, but it will still all be seen as embarrassing.”
In a sense this isn’t quite so misleading, because some people will see it as embarrassing, but only because they have been told to do so by the papers. What is embarrassing for all newspapers is the existence of the Arsenal Transfer Index
Misleading information 10
“The global market for strikers will again be hugely competitive this summer and, if Wenger is not now prepared to take what might be a costly gamble on an alternative, the greater risk is surely going into what might be his final season as manager with only Olivier Giroud as a true specialist in the No 9 role.”
This is just odd. Admitting that buying a player could be a “costly gamble” after saying what a failure Wenger is throughout for not buying that player and this player is strange. All transfers are gambles, which is why Arsenal’s policy of bringing through players from their academy is so superb. More can be tried, the losses are far less when it goes wrong.
In the USA this month, Alexis Sanchez has shown he is 100% back to his very best and then some. He is taking defences apart and scoring. Giroud knocks in the odd goal in France. Iwobi hasn’t even started yet. Theo went right off the boil last season, but that doesn’t mean he is lost forever. Go back and watch the way he started the roll to the second successive cup final victory and you’ll see what he is capable of. Just because this last season was a disappointment doesn’t mean everything is lost for him. Joel Campbell showed some brilliant touches when he had the chance.
But reading the Telegraph you’d think we didn’t have anyone who had ever scored a goal. So let’s examine this notion…
|Pos||Team||Goals||Behind Man C||Scoring position|
|7||State Aid United||65||6||4|
In this table there are the top ten teams in the Premier League. If you just read the Telegraph Tale about Arsenal and Vardy you’d assume Arsenal must be what, 20, 30 goals behind the top scoring club. In fact we were six goals behind Man City. An on form Theo or Alexis would have had that sorted during the season.
That really is the key point. We were six goals behind the top scorers and two of our players who normally go round knocking goals in, lost it for a while.
I am not sure we ever seriously wanted Vardy.
The Untold Preview of the Under 18, Under 19, and Under 21 squads.
- Part one – Overview and summary
- Part two – Goalkeepers and defenders
- Part three – Midfield
- Part four – Attackers