The amazing way in which Arsene Wenger managed to secure William Gallas to play for Arsenal will be the talking point of football until they stop playing football.
Arsenal had a highly paid but unhappy left back in Cole. With Clichy – potentially the greatest left back in the world – waiting in the wings Arsenal were happy for Cole to go, but meanwhile could not get hold of the centre back they wanted. He was after all the captain of France – and they don’t come on the market every day.
In the end, through making a huge fuss about “tapping up”, and encouraging all sorts of problem stories about Gallas, Wenger got rid of a player he didn’t want, got the man he did who was technically not for sale, and grabbed £5 million at the same time.
It was amazing- and it looks like he might be able to play the same stroke again. This time the difficult player is Hleb – whose position is under threat from Walcott. Arsenal are making a big fuss about the player being tapped up – and Hleb’s agent is so stupid that he seems to be totally unaware of how he has been lured into the trap.
If Arsenal can pull off the same sort of deal as before, under the smokescreen of tapping up allegations, then we can expect some sort of exchange deal, plus money for Arsenal, with a real bonus to the team coming at the expense of the unsuspecting other parties.
You would think that with Arsenal having pulled off the master stroke once they would have been rumbled, but then, there is no accounting for the way in which people in football just can’t see what is going on around them.
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