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August 2021

Let us do it the Arsenal way; Campbell on hold, others pending

Untold Arsenal on Twitter  @UntoldArsenal

By Walter Broeckx

Okay my scouting work on this Young lad Campbell seems to end in tears and frustration.  The deal is off until the end of the U20 world cup in which he has to play for Costa Rica. So I will be keeping an eye on him if they broadcast it on TV.  I don’t know if it was the boy or the father who seemed to be a bit greedy at the last moment. Time will tell.

Meanwhile Gazidis has been saying that the transfer market is not over for Arsenal and that they are working on some things. But as usual Gazidis did not say who, where or what we are after. Much to the frustration of some fans but I really cannot think of any better way of doing our business.

Because the other clubs don’t have the world wide scouting like we have. With as a result that from the moment the news comes out that Arsenal is after player X, the other teams rush in and try to hi-jack the deal before we can finish it. And by other teams I mean teams that have so much money that we cannot compete with them. So we have to keep our mouth shut, the other team has to keep its mouth shut and the player has to keep his mouth shut.

If all and everyone is willing to do this we could be doing business. But if one of the involved parties (and in many cases this is the manager of the player) goes out to the press, the other teams come after the same player. Because they know that when Wenger wants someone he must be good. And then the bidding starts and teams pay ridiculous amounts of money for the player and we cannot compete with them.

Another thing in our transfer dealing is that Arsenal is having a price tag in its head and is not very easy to pay more than they had in mind.  Much to the frustration at times from some part of the fans. But then again I think it is a wise thing to do. It is not because Liverpool and Manchester United are paying ridiculous amounts of money for young players that we should do the same.  And if the selling team is asking too much we simply back off and look somewhere else. I admit this can be frustrating at times but it is something that I can understand.

Let us take a look at the Gervinho transfer. As you have seen it took rather more than  a couple of days before the deal was finalised. The reason for the delay was a dispute between Arsenal and Lille according to the French newspaper L’Equipe.  And the dispute was the fact that Lille as the selling club and as the receiver of the money should still give a part of that money to the club where Gervinho got his education. And Lille wanted that Arsenal would pay this money. Which is against the normal to way of doing things. Lille should pay that fee to the club as it is them that earns the money.

Now who is going pay the money is a well kept secret. But I wouldn’t be surprised that it will be Lille who will have to pass a part of the money to the youth team of Gervinho.  Some fans might call this ridiculous and say: just pay the money for god sake and bring him in. But this is more a question of principals than about money.  Why should Arsenal have to pay that money as it is Lille that should pay? Because if you give in once and it gets around (and such things will get around) then the next time a selling club will ask the same. And at the end of the day we are paying what other clubs should pay.

So we are prepared to play hard ball over such matters for a few days.  We have the money (and this is something the other teams know and want to exploit) but we are not going to spend it as we are Chelsea or Manchester City. Frustrating? No, this is something that I rather like of our board and the manager. We pay what a player is worth and nothing more. And we pay what we should pay and the others should pay what they should pay. A good principal and one that I agree with.  But at the end of the day Gervinho is our player and the hope is that he will be in the squad that travels to Germany.  Okay Wenger, just give me his debut will you.

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And finally I would like to say that maybe we should try to look behind all the names that fly around in the press. We don’t comment on transfer dealings in the media. We ask the same of the other persons involved. So when they all keep their lips together during the negotiations it might turn out that we buy someone that has been kept under the radar.  Someone who’s name hasn’t been mentioned now or for a while. The less talk about a possible target could mean the nearer we are getting to a conclusion.

In fact this is totally contradictory compared to the other teams. In fact we could call it the Arsenal way.  Whether we like it or not is another question and depends on your personality. But well, I can’t help it but I don’t mind it at all.  Must say I don’t lie awake at night thinking about possible transfer targets. Not even at centre back where we have Bartley who would like to get his chance. Why not would be my answer.  Just give the boy a chance.  After all the Glasgow Rangers have been very happy with his performances on loan last season.

Oh what the hell, maybe we (the club) have the players we need already in the bag but we (the fans) don’t know it yet.  Let us just be a different club compared to the others.  And those who don’t like it (any more)…. well bad luck I would say.

44 comments to Let us do it the Arsenal way; Campbell on hold, others pending

  • I think there is one possible explanation concerning the arrangement with Campbell, and that is the passport. I think maybe Campbell was told he wasn’t certain to get an EU passport and so until he had one there was a chance of being put out on loan. Thus his option was, sort out your passport first.

    You will recall the farce over Edu and his passport – I think maybe the club doesn’t want this again.

    And there is a simple reason why clubs are paying crazy money for English players – the 25 rule.

    As far as I know our home growns over 21 are

    1 Johan Djourou
    2 Cesc Fabregas
    3 Vito Mannone
    4 Alex Song
    5 Keiran Gibbs
    6 Theo Walcott
    7 Armand Traore
    8 Carlos Vela

    So on that basis alone we don’t have the problem some clubs have. But actually it is better than that because we have a number of under 21s who won’t be counted in the squad but will be part of it…

    Under 21s who will be part of the squad

    Emmanuel Frimpong
    Wojciech Szczesny
    Carl Jenkinson
    Jack Wilshere
    Aaron Ramsey

    And I think one might add to this Francis Coquelin who is not at the club at the moment, because of the under 20s world cup.
    As is Ignasi Miquel.

    So we have a very healthy arrangement here, and can afford to wait for Campbell, and can afford not to pay silly money for the home grown players required by the 25 rule.

  • good article Walter, Tony what about Henri Lansbury?

  • mandeep

    great article….a similarity that i see with cahill nd mertesacker…..

  • bob

    I have no easy answer, but I do find it troubling to find that, at least for now, we largely have a heralded worldwide scouting system that turns up gems that can’t be had unless everyone zips their lips, because we can’t outbid the moneybags once the word is out. Since it’s human nature to get the best deal possible, silence will not be golden. So, it seems to me that the scouting can only be cost-effective in an atmosphere that’s anti-fiscal doping, has real FFP, and perhaps an enforceable EPL salary cap (like say, the US Natl Basketball Assn (NBA)). But without these – which must be always fought for – the way you describe it, if I understand your analysis, means that under current conditions we mostly can’t harvest the best fruit of our worldwide scouting efforts. Apart from the question of whether it’s still worth it (it is to me as well), do I correctly draw the implications of your analysis?

  • Julz

    We definitely doing business in the Arsenal way but sometimes we just a little bit too cautious. So the players start to get impatient and his agent give the story to the press!! Sometimes you just to pay the asking price!Sometimes you can find the similar quality abroad cheaper ( Squillaci,Cygan…) but does the EPL suit them; this is a big question mark. Have you seen the enthusiasme when Gervihno sign …. I do not! as football fan summer is a time i expect transaction if the players choose another destination so be it! we will find better! I still quiet understand why we bought squillaci and Kolchieny ( not in the way they are not good enough) we could of promote Bartley and buy cahill! So i am convince that AW will not buy a center back! or will end up with maybe 7 CB! how ridiculous is that! I m tired of this! this year no emirates cup, no shirt, no matches untill I see some improvement from the players and the BOARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stevie E

    Hi mate, sadly you’ve hit the nail on the head. As (the now disgraced to all those who’ve seen channel 4’s dispatches program “how to buy a football club”) Bryan Robson said, football isn’t a sport anymore, it’s business (Dark Prince, are you listening?). To me it’s just like Tesco opening “Tesco Local” shops on the high street and putting all the other grocery stores on that street out of business. They simply can’t compete with the knock down prices afforded to the massive buying power of a global megabrand.

  • Dark Prince

    I think it is wrong to call it the ‘Arsenal way’. Its more like the ‘Wenger way’.

  • Lanz

    Please isn’t there a provision to protect clubs like ours that work so hard in scouting & negotiating for months only for some other to hijack at the last minute? Nobody was interested in Alvarez until we showed interest. Now Joel Campbell. There could be others concerning whom these lazy moneybags are just waiting at the moment. We shouldn’t be their scouts!

  • bob

    Exactly, we should at least collect guaranteed “finder’s fees” (rights of “discovery” so to speak). Of course these don’t exist and I find it as disturbing as you do.

  • Dec

    It’s the RIGHT way. Thankfully a mature sensible hand is on the tiller and is not swayed by the hysterical clammering of the tabloid reading loonies who have not the remotest clue how to run a business. Allez le Boss.

  • Reading Gooner

    spot on… this happens all the time, rumours here and there but eventually we sign an unexpected target! this target is not revealed until we actually cut miles in the negotiations and its all but certain.. but still teams like the spuds and chelski manage to steal our targets sometimes..

  • Stevie E

    @Dark prince
    Is there a difference?

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Dark Prince…it has always been Arsenal’s way.but it just happens to mesh perfectly with how LeGaffer approaches transfers was well. It is a chicken and the egg dilemma…which came first,but regardless it is a totally moot point. I know your comment is a poorly veiled attempt to diss AW but it didn’t work.

  • RobL

    Why is it the right way? Sometimes you have to buy a few Djemba’s & Klebersons to get a da Silva or Chicarito. If Campbell has the potential then why not take a punt at £2m rather than £1m? If we have put that much time and investment in scouting and checking then throw a little more cash – we’re not talking 10-20M after all. I’m not being blaze about cash – but sometimes you have to put a little more on the table. We must have spent more on Aliadiere’s wages b4 Middlesborough came in.

    You’ve either done your homework or not – on the other hand maybe he is just a £1M punt – but we’re usually spot on with strikers.

  • Digger

    Why bother with the scouting network at all? Why not save all that time, money and effort and let the likes of Shitty,the Chavs and the mancs be our scouts instead of the current status quo.

  • Stevie E

    You are being blasé about money.
    Why not pay £2,000,000 instead of £1,000,000? (have a look at you bank statement just to see how much money that is)
    We should just pay DOUBLE the price because…?
    What if that was £20,000,000 instead of £10,000,000?
    You clearly have no idea how to negotiate a deal, paying twice the agreed price for no apparent reason is being mugged. Next time I’ve got something to sell, I’ll let you know…
    It’s easy to throw millions around as if it’s monopoly money, stop talking like a press monkey and have a think first.

  • Mandy dodd

    If others try and hijack our deals as soon as they find out about them, and let’s face it there is enough evidence, maybe wenger should feign interest in a few obscure donkeys so city end up buying a dud or two? Apart from appealing to my childish sense of humour, if we did that a couple times, maybe others would not be so ready to go for players we are after? Just a thought

  • RobL

    Hi Steve,

    I’m sorry, what will £1M buy you in terms of forwards these days?
    I know personally what that amount of cash means, but in modern day football it’s just not the case. I’d rather it wasn’t like that, but you have to play the game to get what you want at the moment. If FFP actually comes in then great.

  • N. Nuzrat

    As it transpires, our impressive scouting network is in effect working in favor of our rivals such as Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool, Barcelona, Real Madrid and, even Tottenham. Campbell’s case is not new; I can recall Arsene Wenger praising Shawn Rights Phillip a few years ago only to see him being snapped by Chelsea. Michael Essien is another example. It was Arsenal that first showed interest in him, but failed to compete with Chelsea’s superior buying power.

    You have stressed upon in your article the importance of secrecy between the parties involved. The problem, however, is that Arsenal FC are not the only party involved in the transfer dealings, and the news barely, if ever, is leaked from Arsenal side. It is often, if not always, the greedy agents/fathers/managers who leak the news because by now they fully understood that a player identified by Arsenal is almost certainly like to draw interest from our rivals and this, in turn, will not only inflate the value of the player, but will also help seek better personal terms.

    Now that it is evident that we can neither stop our rivals from snapping up our targets nor are we likely to reap any benefits for unearthing any potential talent, is there really a point maintaining such an extensive scouting network?

  • Brapp

    Stevie I disagree. The point he was trying to make is that it’s NOT like we’re paying 10 million extra. His point was to pay a little over price initially to wrap up the deal before the media and other teams get hold of the news. Once Campbell goes to the world cup, he’s going to come back with pursuit from other clubs which will pump his price up to perhaps 5 million, which is well above the 2 which we could have paid to nab him inotially. That is how business is done.

    Walter, I like your analysis of the squad rules, but can you explain how Arsenal will accommodate the impending 6+5 rule? I don’t think we’re capable at the moment without severely hampering the team.

  • Now it’s official! Dark Prince is an AAA.

  • walter

    RobL, maybe a player is worth the risk at 1M but not any more at 2M.

  • Dec

    Spot on Stevie.
    I’m sick and tired of reading nonsense that demands we ‘just’ pay the ridiculous prices without a care. Blase doesn’t even come close, plain stupidity is the only way to describe it. The word ‘millions’ seems to be thrown around without a second’s thought as to what it means. A transfer deal in modern football is a massive capital investment project, serious business people have to commit serious funds and justify it to shareholders. Every summer we read endless demands from bufoons with wishlists wanting Arsenal to buy the ‘hotshot of the week’ and criticising Arsene when he doesn’t. Pathetic doesn’t go near enough in describing the mentality. Thank the Gods we have a manager who’s not so insecure that he seeks to buy popularity by listening to such rubbish.

  • RobL

    @ Brapp, thanks that’s exactly what I mean

    @ Walter – I appreciate what you are saying, but what is a £2M risk in todays game?

    Quantifying it surely the value is the potential value x the risk? So by valuing him at £1M we are basically saying there’s a snowball’s chance in hell of him making it as a good player.

    I appreciate the principle and I truly hope that there are enough non mercenary players out there for us, but then again even the king of mercenaries, Mr Anelka and brothers did a job for us, then allowed us to re-invest.

  • Diaminedave
    Brapp if this is the 6 + 5 rule you are thinking about it appears to no longer be a problem.
    It contravenes European employment law
    all teh best

  • Brapp

    Oops! Thanks diamineDave. I relied on wikipedia for my information and it is not up to date! Thanks for the heads up! I am glad it’s not coming

  • J

    The board, wenger … heck, us fans cannot realistically expect us to stay in the top four if this article is to be believed.

    So we have to do things silently… news flash for every one who seems to think our scouting network is some omnipresent entity thats independent from all other scouts – its not.

    All scouts work within the network and have contacts – these contacts are not exclusive and they are paid by just about every other club to sound the alert when a promising player is discovered

    And what about the players parents, agent, coach, clubs president? these people want the player to be recognised

    Be realistic, other clubs do not sit around with phone taps listening to what the arsenal scouts or wenger is doing…. madrid have a massive network and have training facilities all over the world for young players (or sponsor them at any rate) – believe it or not, most big clubs (our competitors) are in on the same game.

    Articles like this are just smoke and mirrors which try and cover up the very real truth of the matter, which is we can no longer afford to attract not only the top players but now not even the unheard of players – well, obviously we can as recent buys has shown, but the point is you cannot keep a gem silent these days and arsenal are just to far behind to play the game against our rivals.

  • Adam

    The trophy cabinet tells you how successful the current method is.

  • bjtgooner

    Spot on Walter.

    There may be an additional reason why Manure/Manoil and Chelski try to gazump our bid for a scouted player – they may not really want the player but equally do not want us to improve, so they will splash silly money to stop our acquisition. Most of the players we scout are relatively young, therefore they will not be subject to the 25 player rule for some time.

    Also; does anyone know if Barca still owe us any money from previous transactions e.g. Henry?

  • Mandy dodd

    Stay in the top 4 j? You may feel Liverpool are rivals to our top four place, should we follow them and blow 20m on jh or sd? If you worry for our top 4 place, consider how Liverpool are going to keep their 13 midfielders happy , many of whom are internationals. How will stevie g now fit in? Or how Chelsea are going to replace an ageing squad, like us, they have done very little this summer so far? Will city be so scared of us they will park the bus again?

  • Mandy dodd

    Bjt goner, with barcas finances, I would imagine they still owe us money for overmars! Mind you, with our much reported cautious fiscal policies, we are probably still in a low interest 50 year bond based repayment for Malcolm McDonald.

  • J

    Completely disregard the point of the post and focus on one thing you can make an argument out of …. not going to bother with a thorough reply

    You just read something and stop at a point which catches you? Clearly the point was not that we wont get a top four spot but if the article is to believed why do we expect it when we are failing at playing the silent game – which i point out cannot be kept silent these days

  • aj

    Spot on Walter. I think we are just waiting till after the world cup. If he showcases his talent massively he will enhance reputation. That way his chances of getting a ‘special talent’ visa gets higher. @Walter, have you heard anything in Belgium re our interest in Lukaku?

  • DEO

    Great Article, great comments from loyal fans. In all, I believe in Wenger’s philosophy, policy and strategy. It is the most sensible and more sustainable than that of so-called nouveau rich clubs we call “money-miss-road” in Nigerian parlance. Apart from the weaknesses and misfortune of Arsenal in recent years, there appears to be a conspiracy involving UEFA, FA, Referees and clubs against Arsenal’s fantastic youth policy. The same club calling Arsenal players kindergarten are the same clubs rushing to buy them and even the “kindergarten” targets. What does that say to us? It means Arsenal and Wenger are doing something right. A team that was able to beat all the big teams they faced this season (Man U, Chelsea & Barcarole) cannot be said to be a weak team. The daylight robbery at Nou Camp is still fresh typical of Barca’s CL home games in recent years. Wenger more than deserves our commendation and support. Let the doomsayers do the talking, Arsenal will grow from strength to strength. Trust Wenger to pull off some surprises before the start of season. Gooners, please stop worrying about the media campaign calculated to demoralized the most feared team in Europe

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I totally agree that the Arsenal way is the right way – to walk softly and carry a big stick(to clobber those spying from the bushes).I’m content to sit back and wait for an offical anouncement from the club ,rather than google ,read or listen to
    “the experts “.ESPN Sportscenter (South/S.East Asia) yesterday
    informed us that we are in “secret ” negotations with Franck Ribbery -really ?
    As for paying over the odds ,we must have many wealthy posters in our ranks as paying double seems to be a norm for them.Why
    bother to keep up with the Joneses ,Smiths ,Campbells ,Wongs ,Samys etc when it leads only grief ?Has everyone forgotten Leeds Utd ?Its a slippery slope which leads to an abyss.
    As for me I can’t walk softly due to my arthritis ,but I think I carry a good shtick !

  • Shard

    The Campbell deal was not a question of offering enough money. We made an acceptable offer (the club was very disappointed the offer didn’t go through), and the player even underwent a medical. But apparently it was ManU (I don’t know this for sure) that simply whispered in the fathers’ ears that they will double whatever Arsenal are offering and he fell for it. I bet they don’t firm up any interest, and I also bet that we won’t sign him now. His loss. Not ours.

  • Dark Prince

    @Stevie E- difference is that Wenger and Arsenal are not one and the same. Wenger is jus a part of Arsenal’s history.

  • Dark Prince

    Domhuaille- it has never been the Arsenal way. You need to check out our history in signings b4 Wenger came, or should i say, b4 Wenger started his youth policy.

  • Dark Prince

    Its official that 9jagunnerdoc belongs to under 10’s!!

  • Shard

    Let’s try and list the big name or big money signings we had in our history because I think it has always been the Arsenal way to not buy superstars.

    The only ones I can think of are David Jack (the first 10K pound transfer), David Seaman (first 1 million pound GK) and Dennis Bergkamp, a genuine superstar. Anyone else? I’m sorry, but Henry and Pires don’t count. They weren’t big name players even if they were in the French team.

  • Toye

    @all. How long will it take Arsenal to make 1 million pounds profit? I think that should guide how we spend it.What do you guys think

  • WalterBroeckx

    Aj, the last time I checked Arsenal was not really named in a possible Lukaky transfer in Belgium. Only Chelsea.

  • bob

    That’s a refreshing perspective. The problem is that fan means not welcome and not allowed to know such data. People here have argued that it’s better not to publicly know because of the cut-throat competition we face, and they’ve got a point. However, without some basic facts, all fans can do, it seems, is uselessly go at each other when no one knows, and there’s only assurances that there’s money to spend on the right person, etc. etc. After 31 August, there will be more action or non-action to assess. Otherwise, to my lights, there’s not much value time-wise in the breezy transfer window speculations. Just my very minority feeling on it…

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    A week? Two weeks? A month (now that the property business is almost concluded)?
    Probably not as quick as you might think.