By Sir Hardly Anyone, and a friend.
One can read the situation in any way you wish – both Meust and Alexis are going to leave because Mr Wenger is an absolute failure and they want to get out of the club as fast as possible, or both players want to stay because both realise how far Mr Wenger is helping them develop their careers. They also want to stay because they like London and are settled, or they have had enough because the wretched aaa have raised their heads again and they can do without the abuse or they are greedy buggers and besides it is so difficult to have a decent standard of living in London these days on just £200,000 a week.
But one of the clues to understanding that a journalist knows nothing about a situation is when you see articles that have a big headline about the player leaving which are then padded out with the same old nonsense, as with a piece by Jeremy Wilson in the Telegraph which contains this:
“Arsenal’s priority is still to persuade both players to stay on beyond the expiry date of their existing deals in 2018, but they would be extremely reluctant to let the pair play into the final year of their contracts if no agreement could be reached by next August.”
Here’s another from the same article
“It is understood that offers of around £180,000-a-week have been made although both players will be well aware that salaries in excess of £200,000-a-week have become increasingly common for the very elite Premier League players.”
It is almost as if they are trying to say, with the word “understood” that they have some deeper insight, some special insider knowledge, when in fact all they have is unmitigated waffle and are trying to hide the fact that their failure rate in predicting transfers out of Arsenal last summer was 100%. On inbound transfers they did a bit better getting a failure rate of only 98%.
Indeed when it comes down to it, 95% of articles on the subject of Arsenal transfers in and out are now nothing more than padding. Throw in the key words like “desperate” as in “Arsenal are desperate…” and that’s about it.
And then just for fun add in that Juventus have left their supposed £34 million bid for Alexis Sánchez made during the summer on the table. And what I want to know is WHERE IS THE TABLE? Cos if there is a load of dosh lying on it, I’ve got a few repairs to do at the old mansion by Rutland Water, and a few of the readies could come in handy.
But, I know, I know, during the summer 22 members of Arsenal’s squad were said to be leaving… but by and large seem not to have, so maybe the rumours are not to be believed after all and maybe all those euros lying on the decking really are just phantoms. Life is so unfair.
But still look at this… “a number of clubs around the world are expected to test Arsenal’s resolve during the January transfer window, according to a report in Tuttosport, the Italian daily sports newspaper.” A paper quotes a paper, which when you come to look at it, quotes a paper which quotes a paper… a no one ever finds the original source.
But now there is one novel twist, the thought that Arsenal have found one player who could replace both Alexis and Mesut! That player is…
Marco Reus; he plays for Dortmund and Germany and is 27. According to the Wiki report on the player “Reus is known for his versatility, speed and technique” so that’s all right then. Last season he played 43 games and scored 23 goals. Apparently he can play as a central striker or as one of the three players behind the central striker.
And the story is that while Mesut and Alexis don’t think they are paid enough at Arsenal, Marco Reus would get a big pay rise coming to Arsenal. Of course if he then blossoms as a player, after two years his agent will ask for the salary to be doubled again, and Arsenal won’t pay and then he’ll be off, which will suit the journalists fine because they can fill up their space by re-running the same copy as they used this time.
As it turns out only about 2% of the article in the Telegraph is about the player mentioned in the headline, the rest is just a regurgitation of the same old same old, but looking elsewhere I did find this comment on ESPN’s site
Reus was given a second yellow just before the break in Dortmund’s 2-2 draw at Hoffenheim after it appeared the Germany international was being held back by a defender while attempting to dribble down the wing.
That would suggest he could fit in immediately in the Premier League – and particularly at Arsenal – where this sort of thing is a weekly occurrence. Thomas Tuchel the manager said “It’s like you are accused of stealing, the result is that you are innocent, but you still have to go to prison. This is how we feel. It’s absurd.”
So that is one solution it seems – two players out and one in. But shock horror it may all be made up, what then? Well we need look no further than
Dimitri Payet who has “admitted” (as if it had to be dragged out of him under torture) that he wants to play for a Champions League club. The only trouble is that Payet seems to believe what is published in the media, and is reported as saying that he had read that the Arsenal manager is considering him to be the ‘missing piece’ in his jigsaw.
Now this is troubling – because here we have a story about a player (which could be made up given that it is in a newspaper) saying that he has read a story in a newspaper (which could be made up given that it is, by definition, in a newspaper) which says that Arsenal might want him.
I don’t know how to tell you Dimitri, but it might not be true.
Anyway for what it is worth the quote by the player about Arsenal was, “When you see them playing, as a technical player, you could only have fun in that team. They’re candidates for the title every year.
“I miss the Champions League . . . I’ve got some great years ahead of me and I want to enjoy them by playing in important competitions.”
Mind you when you are playing for State Aid United under their ownership, playing for Gutterdämmerung FC would be fun.
The player is reputed to have added, “If I’m forced to leave West Ham, it will be done according to the rules – the club will have its share of the cake. My coach understands that today’s situation does not suit me. I will ask the questions at the right time.”
But of course there always needs to be a backup plan to the backup plan and so we are told that Arsenal are sending scouts to watch Franck Kessié, the Atalanta defender, at the weekend. He is 19, and he not only defends but also scores goals. And everyone wants to buy him.
Meanwhile it appears that most of the newspapers and some of the bloggettas have found Untold’s index of the 110 players that Arsenal were said to be bidding for last summer and yet didn’t manage to get. And top of the list is Isco. Arsenal are on “red alert”, or if not then at least “amber alert” or if not… well just choose a colour that you like.
Because it’s Isco who has said he is unhappy at Real Mad so wants to go. Real Mad of course have a transfer embargo at the moment, but it is only for this coming window after the CAS cut their punishment for child trafficking in half. Isco’s contract is said to be running down and he won’t sign another one. The cost is £18m, and the embargo doesn’t stop them selling.
Oh and Rob Holding is expected to go out on loan during the January transfer window to gain more first-team football experience.
That’s it. Now you know. But do remember those percentages from the summer.
From the History Society’s series on Arsenal in the 1930s
- Arsenal players 1934/5 and 1935/36 the fundamental problem with the team
- Arsenal in the summer 1936: from winning the Cup to an assassination attempt on the king
- April/May 1936; Arsenal win the Cup. A match report and season’s end