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This transfer window, who is doing well, who is quivvering, & who is on police bail

As we entered the close season I planned this as a sort of weekly revue of EPL clubs, and how they are coping. I expected to be fighting off the usual “Oh my God its a disaster, Man IOU has signed everyone and we haven’t” but in fact its not quite like that at all. Funny old game.

Manchester IOU.
Two megastars down and no big signings. Either the Yanks have told Sir Alex F Word that he can’t have the money cos the banks want it (Oh to have been there for THAT meeting) or this losing of players wasn’t as planned as it seemed. Of course Manchester will sign someone but their fans are worried, and they remember that Manchester has had their own spells of not winning.

The KGB in Fulham.
Changing managers and bringing in a guy who in recent years has not exactly been the cream-maker slows things down. Of course they have the billions, but they have also proven that billions won’t buy the league every year. And players note those who have no shone under the KGBs pulating lights in the face and have withered away.

Liverpool Insolvency
. Insolvency is the word. With Setanta not paying up, and the account that should have built the stadium down to the last £30m the owners are desperate to sell but no one wants to buy. The owners are dumping American assets like mad, which means that treacherous bankers are at last pushing a hard line. With Manchester IOU, Manchester Arab and the KGB in Fulham all willing to wave cheques everywhere, Liverpool can’t compete (witness Barry). Gerrard won’t go of course, but others might.

Manchester Arab.
Looks like they have realised the stupidity of the ££££££££ offer for Kaka etc, and are now picking up players at the hypermarket with Barry and the like. They might just pip Liverpool I into 4th.

Aston Hold Your Head.
Without the money to compete they resorted to tactics (holding the head if going down, playing the reserves in Russia) but in the end the tricks backfired. They’ve had their five minutes of fame.

The Tiny Totts. Harry Redknapp remains on police bail over issues of tax evasion and/or fraud – which he strongly denies. At Portsmouth the sell everyone no matter what the talent and bring in his own men, just about bankrupted the club (see below) and with a spot of luck might do the same to the Tinies.

Portsmouth. Peter Storrie, the executive chairman, is another still on bail, still denying everything. They have been taken to the very edge by Appy Arry’s dealing, and if the new owner doesn’t meet the fit and proper whatnot, they are going to be in deep deep mucky stuff.

Birmingham Done Nothing Wrong
David Sullivan and Karen Brady celebrated wildly getting promotion, forgetting for the moment that they are on police bail on charges. They deny everything (sounds familiar). There is precious little cash lurking, and they are up for sale but could survive because of the weakness of others.

Everton No Democracy. Everton pulled down their training ground, built another one and expected the the local council to roll over as usual and give planning permission for housing on the old site. The council said no, leading Everton bosses to demand “who this little clique of unelected busy bodies” were, that could mess up their money making schemes. They were the people’s elected representatives actually. That left the club without the bonus money they expected, and still without the funds to build the much needed new stadium. You can never been sure what the first game of the season brings, but overall I doubt they are going anywhere at all.

Arsenal. We are looking good – a man who is highly rated in the position that needed bolstering has been got for a decent sum. There is calm stability which arises from a unique situation: Arshavin will be entering his first full season after a proper summer break (which he didn’t get last year) attuned to the EPL, and will luck Rosicky and Eduardo will be entering like new players – but of course are already integrated. If (and I admit it is a conditional) those two are ready, and Arshavin after a proper break and acclimatisation can build on what we’ve seen, then we now have four players that we didn’t have at the start of last season. Plus Denilson and Song who have come good. That’s over half a team. Bendtner and Vela really developed too, we’ve discovered yet another left back… I’d say “Looking promising”.

So, as it seems thus far, top four as before, although if Liverpool can’t buy and maybe lose someone, they might slip to be replaced by Manchester Arab. At the bottom Burnley ought to go back, along with Hull and perhaps Wolverhampton Wobbleyou.

33 comments to This transfer window, who is doing well, who is quivvering, & who is on police bail

  • TheSKAGooner

    Good stuff, as usual.

    While I, like many other Gooners, sometimes give in to the emotions of the close season (I do allow myself to be human, after all), I’m actually quite satisfied with the measured approach we’ve displayed thus far. Of course it’s SOP for Le Boss, although he has moved rather quickly with the Vermaelen signing. But even that occurred in normal, quiet, measured fashion. No “leaks” to the press from the club, no public statements about how much is in the checkbook, no pronouncements from Gazidis or Wenger about which players might be on our list aside from AW mentioning at the end of the season we would look to strengthen the squad by adding (and noting that we do NOT need to sell in order to add).

    I’m well chuffed at the arrival of Vermaelen. Hope floats all ships, as they say. And I’m hopeful that young Thomas is the quality signing Arsene believes him to be. Of course the “experts” at goal.com are fully and to a man expecting a massive flop from the former Ajax captain, but that kind of writing is only good for lining the bottom of the bird cage, really.

    I feel quite confident that there are other moves being pursued by Arsene and Gazidis…some we know about and probably some we aren’t and won’t be aware of unless they come to fruition. Lots of names being tossed about in the press with this midfielder or that, this striker or that. But from the club, just that steady hand steering the ship of Arsenal on a steady course, managing the somewhat stormy seas of a rather crazy transfer season, and seeking out those players who both want to wear the Arsenal kit and will bring quality to the side in our efforts to achieve success.

    It’s the Arsenal way, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

  • shotta-gunna

    Well according to Murdoch’s football365 “Arsenal is at the crossroads.”
    Hah, Hah, Hah!

  • chris

    i think if we bought someone like cana and melo our squad would be complete . thats if no one leaves apart from senderos / silvestre. denilson and song make excellent back up players for the first team, they gained a hell of alot of experience last season so they could have improved alot. it was worrying last season in the champions league wen you compared the benches from arsenal to manchester united. i read ronald de boer waxing lyrical over our man verma. im going out ona limb and saying he is going to be our vidic. ive read reports saying diaby has sought help from some runner or fitness guru to help him during the pre season. the guru said something like i only work with people with proper desire and determination so hopefully this will help vassikiri remain un injured. i think trophies still depend on eduardo and rosicky being fit . and how many additional injuries we pick. i myself cannot wait.

  • Dave Bassant

    Interesting how you touched on Denilson and Song, implying that you are happy with those 2 being in competition for that much-discussed DM role. As am I.
    But, my head is spinning now after seeing Felipe Melo play in the Confed. Cup, whom we’ve been reasonably linked with. There’s an option that I hope AW gives serious consideration to.

    I personally thing he will stick with the aforementioned duo and that’s great, but Melo could bring something completely different to our beloved stadium. Seeing him stand between the Mid and Def, basically “dealing” with anyone who gets in his way (fairly, of course) really sits with me and leaves me to conclude: Yes, we could stick with Denilson/Song and watch them bloom into technically gifted DMs OR we could bring in this new guy and re-enter the old times when we had Vieira scaring the ‘eck out of attack minded opposing players.

    Either way… I’m happy 🙂

    PS Sorry if this comment was too off-topic, just felt inspired really!

    Loved the article, as always

  • kelsey

    This is just a personal thought, but I feel that a club like Arsenal,steeped in the old Etonian tradition,though at the same time accepting that things move on,the name The Emirates doesn’t sit well with me, and our deal for naming the stadium and shirt sponsorship may have been a bit hurried as we are tied to 8 and 10 years respectively for a sponsorship deal which is far less than our competitors in the PL.Furthermore if you consider our global market is expanding yearly by more TV coverage worldwide,and regardless of what we win, we are nearly always one of the top two teams that the neutrals like to watch.

    Setanta will be interesting to watch,whoever takes over with our tie up with them on Arsenal TV, as the amount of live games last season, shown by Sky of Arsenal was the lowest for 10 years.

    As a side note, SHOWTIME” offer a complete package in some mediterranean countries where for an initial set up cost of 400 euros you can see every single Arsenal match(or in fact he PL team of your choice) and then 100 euros per annum for subscription.i can see Sky overing a similar package to the top clubs in the not to distant future.

  • daokta

    It has been pretty quiet on the Ade front. With competition hotting up for the striker role with the return of Eduardo, Ade will have to up his game to get a regular place – so I guess we will have FIVE “new” players!

    We have just purchased over Jan and this summer, two players Arshavin and TV. Arsenal invariably have netted to nil or positive in the transfer market – so my gut feeling is that there will be some players leaving. I hope not as we need to have this strength in depth to cover for our horrific injuries.

  • Personally I am very happy with the way Arsenals transfer window has gone thus far. Arsene has signed a good CB and so far has not lost Toure who i dont want to see go for any less than £15 million. Doubtless of what many people say about him being slow and clumsy he is still very good and just lost a bit of form. If we do lose him I would liek to see Zapata come in who is a good centre back currently and will be world class in a year or two. I believe we do need a DM for this season at least becasue Song and Denilson are not quite there at the moment and if we want to win something this season then an experienced good DM is needed. I would love to see Melo playign for us becasue I have seen him in the confederations cup and he rwally is in another class to some of our players. He also can push forwards without leaving to much behind which is a valuable asset. So cmon 2 more signings if Toure/Gallas leaves or 1 more in the form of a DM – preferably being Melo of Brazil!

  • kelsey

    daokta hello,

    not only that but we have one or two playing in the useless federation Cup,then three days after the season starts we have the qualifying CL first leg, then from September more World Cup qualifiers, then the ANC which could take three of our players for upto six weeks and then a month or so after the season ends The World Cup starts.

    To say the least a busy schedule and we really need to add to the squad and hopefully no one leaves but it looks like Toure will go,and Senderos doesn’t want to come back.

  • nazeer

    i wish tha wenger sell these players lke eboue,gallas,toure,senderos,silvestre,adebayor,almunia,bendthner or even rosicky,da silva ,veto for money better to let player van persie ,sagna, go and must buy melo,thomas,bassong,russian goalie ,zidan ,micah ,ben arfa or navas or downing
    team will be complete
    russian goalie
    sagna thomas bassong clichy
    walcott melo fabregas navas
    dindan zidan subs:
    fabianski
    djourou
    gibbs
    song
    diaby
    chamakh
    vela
    zidan pray jesus and allah for this to happen huh inshhaa ameen , name of god amen

  • nazeer

    plz sell atlist these players da silva , rosicky are rubbish they big injuirys they cant play well and asrawin , van persie ,gallas , senedros, almunia ,veto, eboue,denilson,adebayor,
    benthder they all are unfit to play be an arsenal player if the adebayor,van persie the get amount of 6o million from them it will usefull to buy good players with good height?& weight and van is nt good he will go to madrid .adeba will go to chelsea or milan

  • jetha seth

    the signing of Vermaelen has let us with a multitude of central defenders – not all of them amazing – and I wanted to spend some time speaking out who I expect to play. My opinion is that William Gallas should start next season as our first-choice defender and Vermaelen (or jourou) should be his partner. The way I see it – Gallas and Kolo Toure should be grouped together to form one half of the central defensive partnership while Vermaelen and Djourou should form the other half. In my opinion Gallas is a far superior defender and leader to Toure – even despite the captaincy issues – and that leaves the manager with a decision to make regarding whether to play Vermaelen and Djourou. As much as I¿d like to see Toure stay the reality is that I¿d prefer to keep Gallas above the Ivorian. I know there will be people who disagree with me – most likely citing Toure¿s loyalty to Arsenal and Gallas¿ lackthereof and age – but in my opinion Gallas is the player that we simply cannot afford to lose if we are to challenge for the big titles next season. As harsh as it sounds, I just don¿t feel the same way about Toure. I don¿t want to turn this into a Kolo Toure witch hunt because the truth is I¿d like to see him stay at the club. A central-defensive foursome of Gallas, Vermaelen, Toure and Djourou looks excellent on paper and should be enough to ensure we survive the inevitable injuries that will come our way with something to spare. All four bring something useful to the defence and when you throw in Alex Song as well it¿s a fairly impressive group. As always, we¿ll have to see how things pan out. But if I was the manager I¿d certainly look at pairing Gallas with either Djourou or Vermaelen from the start next season. It would be a competent combination of experience and freshness and in a side that severely needs some defensive stability I think it would work well.

  • jetha seth

    Dave Bassant ; hav u seen the amount oyellow-red cards this guy gets- he’s a syco

  • Jonny Neale

    Good article as usual Tony, Happy Birthday!

  • parksy

    AW – “I still feel we only need a little addition to be a really strong team again. We are missing something, but not a lot.” – Jan, 2006. Sounds a lot like the “…1% more and we’d dominate the league…” garbage we heard three years later. AW, same Lard, same, The Idiot.

  • ggs

    jetha seth

    some people want Melo even more because he got 17 yellows and 3 reds last season, hence a psycho “we” need. I wonder what this guy can do to protect Fabregas when missing about 12 games a season….

  • parksy

    Dont get your hopes up boys n gals – Melo wont be coming that’s becuase the nutty prof is probably in china scouting some 15 year old who have great potential and will challenge for the tile in 2050

  • KG

    peerless pearls of footballing and written wisdom from nazeer and parksy …. some more plz guys; enlighten us rose tinted AKBs.

    On topic :
    the transfer window has so far been good … with Vermaelan in at least xyz defender to Arsenal rumours have been put to rest; 1 more experienced creative player IN(an Arshavin clone) and NO OUTs — we will be well set for next season.

  • rachnomo

    If Vermaelen plays like talks he could be one hell of a player. he is already saying if he is called upon to be skipper that he’ll do it. I like that attitude, it shows he won’t shrink from responsibility which is what we need on the pitch

  • parksy

    “30+ Policy” – a STUBBORN policy from a stubborn man. Reflection of the day from the book “The Idiot” – Francis Jeffers – another master stroke from, you know who, The Idiot himself.

  • Damn_Gallas

    I think we should keep both gallas and toure and bring in another defender so that we can have a fearsome 5 without including Alex Song. This is because, Toure and Gallas are aging and will be leaving soon. Therefore When they leaves, DJ and Vermaelen will be our main CBs. We need to have a “martin keown” around so that when our “tony adams” or “steve bold” is injured, someone with great defensive abilities can step up.

    Other wise, I would like to see wenger bring promote havard nordveit or gavin hoyte from the reserves, so that they can start learning from the first team. OR they can go for another season of loan.

    It is the defensive midfield which I am more worried. Reports are emerging that wenger is preparing or is near completing the signing of thomas hitzlsperger from sttugart. If this is true, at least we have a decent guy with experience of both the EPL and Bundesliga. He at 27 is also at the right age, just like arshavin.

    However, I do want to see another defensive midfielder coming in. Because together with alex song and denilson, we would then have some fearsome defensive midfielder options. Therefore when we play 4-5-1, then with 2 quality DM, then no way are we gonna lose in the center. However, i know this is gonna be tough on Song, Denilson and Diaby. But I dont think diaby would be staying with arsenal for long, the same for denilson. I think both of them would be leaving arsenal soon, maybe in one or two seasons time, especially when near their contracts.

  • parksy

    Sell Eboue, Diaby, Denilson, Senderos, Sylvestre, Gallas & Ade to raise funds or swap them.

    Swap Eboue for Sahko.

    Senderos & Denilson for Melo or even better bring back Flamini!

    Sell Ade & get Huntelaar.

    Sell Gallas & Diaby to get money for Hangeland.

    Just think of what we could have potentially….

    Defence: Sagna, Verm, Hangeland, Toure, Sahko, Gibbs, Clichy, Traore (Song also in midfield)

    Midfield: Fab, Melo/Flamini, Song, Wilshere, Arshavin, Nasri, Walcott, Ramsey, Rosicky

    Attack:
    RVP, Eduardo, Vela, Huntelaar, Bendtner.

    Think that squad has the potential to win the Prem and without really spending any money.

  • Parksy, I think your commentaries would carry more weight if you gave us some explanation for what you say, and also if you explore the detail of the points you make.

    If I may take just one point: sell Denilson, and bring back Flamini. OK that is a point of view, but to put that forward you really ought to explain the issue.

    Flamini for example had two ordinary seasons with us, before on excellent season. He then went to AC Milan, and could not get a game, until injuries to other players allowed him in. I do not follow Italian football as much as EPL, but as I understand it he was not a stunning player this year.

    Against this you are saying that you want to sell the player who had more ball contact than any other player, and who, in the stats, is right up there at the top for interceptions etc.

    The fact is that there are two types of player you can have in that position: Gilberto and Flamini. Gilberto did the job very well, and Denilson is very much in that mould, and through much of the season looked very close to Gilberto in ability. So just stating, “sell Denilson” seems silly, to me, when there is a debate to be had beneath that.

    I think likewise the notion that the 30+ policy is a stubborn policy from a stubborn man needs explanation. When Pires left because he wanted a 2 year contract he immediately got injured and missed most of the year. In that sense Wenger was right. Bergkamp, as we know, played until he was 35 or so.

    The reason that so many clubs have huge debts is that they allow older players to go on with longer contracts on high salaries – which eats into the money available.

    It seems to me a logical argument can be made that the policy is not stubborn but rather pragmatic – I can’t see the argument from you at all because you are just making statements and assertions not giving us the benefit of your reasoning.

    Tony

  • Faron

    What i think would be a great idea, and perhaps le Boss is thinking the same thing. William Gallas and Vermaelen in defence and Kolo Toure as a general in midfield. A few good reasons why this should/could happen.
    A) kolo likes making forward runs now and then and has an engine to run all game.
    B) It wont cost Arsenal anything.
    C) kolo can play in most areas of the pitch (when he started for arsenal Mr Wenger had him in all types of positions.

    What im getting at is perhaps we dont need to enter the tranfer game any more this season unless le boss wants a Keeper.

  • Terence McGovern

    Nazeer what have you been smoking? You want to get rid of skillful committed players and bring in rubbish like Bassong?

    What is the big deal with Bassong? He was useless for Newcastle and was constantly out of position. I wouldn’t swap a half empty cigarette pack for him.
    extend RVP’s contract which I have no doubt will happen. They just need to give him what they are giving Adebayour and it will be sorted and lets face it fair. One defensive midfielder and a tall aggressive centre back.

    You want us to sell Bentner a 20 year old who can come off the bench and score, has international experience and was our third highest scorer last year mostly from the bench?

    Lay down that crack-pipe buddy it’s rotting your brain. As for the guy who wants to bring back flamini, Wenger never EVER looks back only forward.

  • steww

    Oh dear, they’ve found us. Row them out Tony. I’m thinking Godfather II, you and Parksy in small boat, him saying Hail Marys…

  • steww

    Or is it Hails Mary?

  • pig

    its like busses, loads of articles without inane nobbery, and then we get two at once.

    may i suggest that nazeer and parksy go back through the articles here to enable themselves to get a feckin grip.

  • Parksy has now taken my comments back to him, and printed them on the Sporting Life noticeboard as his own. I have complained there, but don’t expect them to do anything about him.

    tony

  • Pete the First

    Tony, decent and entertaining post.

    There was point this season where I was looking furlornly to the left wing for a Bobby Pires to weave a bit of magic. What would he have made of those wide open spaces of the Ashburton Fields?

    Hopefully we have found a new master in the Russian to unlock defences in the same way that Pires did.

    There was a rerun on Sky of Arsenal vs Leeds in the Invincibles season: Henry, Pires, Vieira, Campbell, Bergkamp, Lehmann. 6 world class players in the side. Awesome.

  • Anthony Tran

    – If Wenger said Toure can’t be a defensive midfielder, then he can never be. If he can, Wenger wouldn’t said that. Wenger said that, it means he can’t.

    – Wenger won’t bring Flamini back just only because he is not far better than Denilson and Song now. It took him three season to make his name, but it just took one season for Denilson/Song to remind Gooners that we have two very potential defensive midfielders. Why we have to let bright future go and bring back a fading past which left us when we needed him just because of personal glory?

    – Have a glance at other news to see Diaby who has been hard at work this summer; instead of spending his spare time on holiday he’s been working with a personal trainer ahead of the new season to improve his physical power to be able to be stronger in the challenge. Are we going to get rid of a potential player who has that kind of mental strength after a awful leg break and a hard season to reach his peak?

    – And from all above, you want to get out of players who are getting better and better every season, in great harmony with each other for years, embedded in Arsenal style, and played out of their skin each game no matter how difficult situation they was in?

  • JediKnut

    Happy Birthday? Tony, was it your/the blogs birthday? Noticed jetha wishing you! If so, belated wishes, & may you continue your undying and fantastic work!

    On to the topic, nazeer is just hilarious & has it spot on! “sell eboue, gallas, toure, senderos, silvestre, adebayor, almunia, bendthner or even rosicky, da silva , veto (sic).” I think that’s a brilliant idea which should be implemented ASAP! While we’re at it, why not just sell all the players & assemble a completely new squad! Who cares if the new players don’t know how each other play & need years & years to just get to know each others style! Let’s just become the new set of Galacticos, run the club deep into debt & never have players which gel with each other! Nazeer, I really wish you were the coach of a club… the Tiny Totts to be specific! Would be funnier than ‘arry Houdini running that place!

  • Faron

    JediKnut. Quality mate. that made me laugh a lot.

  • prick

    Ptf,

    “There was a rerun on Sky of Arsenal vs Leeds in the Invincibles season: Henry, Pires, Vieira, Campbell, Bergkamp, Lehmann. 6 world class players in the side. Awesome.”

    Try putting your feet in any other team’s shoes. Its a nightmare.