By Tony Attwood
While day by day Sir Hardly Anyone brings us the ever growing list of all the players who are about to join Arsenal (but never will), and all those who are about to leave (but likewise never will), so I’ve been gathering to great list of all these tales together in the Arsenal Transfer Index If things go on like this we are only a couple of weeks away from
a) Over 100 players preparing to join Arsenal
b) More players leaving Arsenal than are actually here to begin with.
But in the background I have also been trying to argue that both the major premises of the junk press (that we need a new striker and that you can measure a club’s success by the amount it spends on transfers) is faulty. While also pointing out that Arsenal has not been wholly inactive in the field of player retention.
So we have seen that transfers of big money players often don’t work, that transfers can cause harm to a club, that the amount spent is not an indicator of where a club will end up in the league etc etc
In case you missed anything here are some of the recent articles.
So what else is there to say? Surely we have covered everything?
Apparently not because I am still getting lots of emails telling me that if I can’t see that a new player is needed at [insert a position] I am an idiot. That claim might well be true – I don’t think I’ve ever said I am not an idiot, and indeed to spend as many hours a day on Untold as I do must give most people pause for thought on the issue.
But at least I don’t call people names, I don’t send in emails to a site I disagree with, using a fake email address, and I don’t assign quotations to Einstein without bothering to check that they are valid first.
So I keep going, despite the abuse rolling in, and here it is – a list of some of the worst purchases of players.
But let me say this is not in anyway my list of all time worst – it is a random selection from my memory. And having done this quick list of 20 or so, I then did a search and within seconds found hundreds of others many of which had me thinking, “oh yes… him”. Once the memory starts going, it never stops with a list like this.
Some of these players were clearly no good, some were good for a while but went off the boil, and others were decent players but ended up completely in the wrong team.
The fact is that many, many players do go wrong, either because they get injuries, or their head gets far too big for their bodies, or they start believing that God is talking to them directly, or because they come under the wrong manager who having bought or loaned a player, turns out to be a loonie (that’s the manager not the player).
Thus this is just a few from the lower layers of my mind. I’ve even managed to include some Arsenal players so no one thinks I am trying to make out that Arsenal never make mistakes.
- Emmanuel Adebayor – Tottenham. Cost Arsenal £3m, sold for around £25m to Man City. Eventually cost Tottenham £5 after being on loan, but then they found they couldn’t get rid of him and had to keep paying his salary.
- Alberto Aquilani – Liverpool, £20 million. 18 games. Eventually sold for €790,000
- Yohan Benalouane. Leicester £5m. No starts. four year contract
- David Bentley. Tottenham Hotspur seemed very happy to have got a player that Arsenal let slip away, for just £15m. The new Beckham.
- Jean-Alain Boumsong Rangers to Newcastle United; £8m, 2005. Started ok but declined quickly and went off to the second division in Italy.
- Andreas Cornelius – Cardiff, £7.5 million – 8 games. Sold back from when he came for around £250,000
- Stewart Downing Liverpool. Cost £20m and didn’t score or assist.
- Radamel Falcao, Chelsea. “Radamel Falcao will leave Premier League a rich man with a broken reputation after two years, five goals… and £22m in wages”. Daily Mail
- Serge Gnabry loan to WBA 12 minutes. I actually think he is, or maybe was, a great player – but what is the point of taking a player on loan just to insult him?
- Francis Jeffers Everton to Arsenal; £8m, 2001. Well you know the rest. One of Mr Wenger’s failures, even I would admit.
- Robbie Keane Tottenham Hotspur to Liverpool; £20.3m, 2009. Played 19 games.
- Per Kroldrup – Everton, £5 million. He got one game.
- Alexandre Pato loan to Chelsea. After a season with only two appearances but a decent salary, he left.
- Alex Pritchard loan to WBA 62 minutes
- Roque Santa Cruz – Manchester City, £17.5 million. 20 games. Sold back to Blackburn for around £3m
- Gökhan Inler Leicester £5m. 3 starts, but still at the club on a 3 year contract.
- Micah Richards went to Aston Villa on a four year deal.
- Massimo Taibi – Manchester United £4.5 million. 4 games
- Adama Traoré £7m to Aston Villa from Barcelona. Played nine times.On 14 August 2015. Barcelona had a buy back clause as well I think.
- Juan Sebastian Veron – Chelsea, £15 million. 7 games. One of the classics to end with.