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July 2021

This summer’s transfers for Arsenal – the complete story.

Yesterday the Guardian reported on a conversation between Mr Wenger and Mr Gazidis.  Unfortunately they failed to report on the conversation in their office later the same day – a conversation that has certain similarities with that which they did report.  Fortunately our bug was on the spot.


Gazing into the sunshine the languishes around the balmy palm trees in the seventh floor of the luxuriant offices on the seafront area of Kings Cross, Guardian sprot editor, Sir Hardly Anyone has asked to see top football journalist, Billy “the Dog” McGraw.  Billy knocks on the door.

Sir Hardly: “Come in”

The Dog: “Errr… hello, you wanted me Mr H?””

Sir Hardly: “Ah, yes thank you for dropping in.  Please do sit down my dear boy.”

(The Dog sits on a mat in front of the Georgian fireplace)

Sir Hardly: “Enjoying the sun?”

The Dog: “Been working inside, on the inside, so to speak your worship.”

Sir Hardly: “You mean down the Toppled Bollard.  Ah yes, you scribbler fellas are ones for the hostelries, so I am told.  Still, not opening time yet is it?

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The Dog (frowning): I don’t think we have those any more, your highness.”

Sir Hardly: “Indeed. Anyway … I have some bad news.  Barcelona aren’t selling Fabregas, Arsenal aren’t buying Suarez, Man U aren’t selling Rooney, and all we have left is Higuaín to Arsenal.”

The Dog: “But that’s the only one out of that list that is going to happen”

Sir Hardly: “Indeed.  We can hardly say Arsenal are buying the player we said they would fail to buy, so we need you to come up with something else.  Make it up if you must; just for a change!  But lay off Marouane Fellaini but you can do Fabregas.”

The Dog: “Why?”

Sir Hardly (sighing): “Arsenal are buying Fellani and that Argie.  Fabregas is staying put, and coming to Arsenal next year.  I thought everyone knew that.  Deflect attention that’s the game.”

The Dog:  “I could do a piece on Arsenal buying 23 French teenagers and a couple of African ones too.”

Sir Hardley: “More.   Arsène would buy more including a dozen nine-year-olds from Mozambique who are absolutely terrific and would cost no more than a few pennies each.  Think big think laterally.”

The Dog:  Where is Laterally boss?

Sir Hardly: “Somewhere near South Croydon I think.  Anyway, we’ve got the Arsenal fans excited by a signing and they can now grumble and grumble and with luck dislodge that dreadful Wenger fella-me-lad.  But do make sure you slip in a few other signings that you are able to run, and then disregard.   The fans want a big signing … so promise it promise it promise it and then tell everyone that it can’t happen.  And for god’s sake lay off the story of the youngsters in the beating of Indonesia.”

(The Dog sighs)

Sir Hardly: “I know how you feel about this Mr Dog, but you have to understand it from the readers’ point of view.  They want to feel miserable, upset, betrayed, shocked, annoyed, depressed and generally speaking unhinged.  And the quickest way to get there is to have all hopes dashed.  Oh and throw in some of the ‘eight years since Arsenal won a’ stuff, and what ever you do don’t mention qualifying for the Champions League.  Tottenham are quite touchy about that.  IF you want write something positive, do the Raymond Willikins drink driving charge.  His defence seems to be that he couldn’t have been drunk because he didn’t drink much.  He was just tired and emotional.  You ever been tired and emotional Mr Dog?”

The Dog: “Not as I can remember as such my Lord.   So, I can extol the virtues of listening to the fans’ demands for buying expensive players, and then do the usual dirt on them if they don’t match up to expectations then.”

Sir Hardly:  “Quite so.  Go out and buy a few dry Martinis for people and get them to tell you how fed up they are.  By the way, how’s Mrs Dog?”

The Dog: “Mustn’t grumble.”  

Sir Hardly: “Well she should.  Grumbling is what the English woman does best.  It controls liver disease I’m told.”

The Dog: “Do you want me to keep that Suárez dribble going?

Sir Hardly:  “Yes of course.   Just follow the guidelines.  Referees in England are uncorruptable, Arsenal is the only club never to get its man, Manchester is a real place, and never mention how often Tottenham have won the league.”

The Dog: “So how often have they won the league?”

Sir Hardle: “More than you can count, dear boy.   Get more out of the Cesc story – going to Manchester Untidy did you say?”

The Dog: “It’s Manchester United actually your grace.”

“Sir Hardly”: Whatever.  Keep running Arsenal stories about bids that are a bit too low, for the wrong player, a bit too late, and the rest.

The Dog: “I get it boss”.

Sir Harley: “Now if you will excuse me, its Thursday morning so I’m off for the weekend.  Back Tuesday.  If any news stories break, you can write them up for me can’t you?   And call Mrs Sir Hardley and ask her to arrange a massage for me upon my return.  With that woman with the big…”

The Dog: Of course your eminence.  Do you want me to cover the Women’s World Cup?”

Sir Hardly:  “Certainly not, and don’t slip in any more of those howling noises either.  It is a bit unbecoming for the Voice of the Left.”

The Dog: “But should I lie?”

Sir Harldy: “As much as you like dear boy.  Call up my limo would you, and then shut the door on the way out.  Oh and do try and stop scratching like that.  Not very manly you know.”

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22 comments to This summer’s transfers for Arsenal – the complete story.

  • WalterBroeckx

    LOL that was fun 🙂

  • Ian Hawthorne

    Good article mate
    Nobody knows what is happening behind the scenes but I am pretty sure a summer of disappointment once again awaits us Gooners, But this time it will hurt more than usual as we have no excuses about not having the money to spend and having to make the books balance.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    “They want to feel miserable, upset, betrayed, shocked, annoyed, depressed and generally speaking unhinged. And the quickest way to get there is to have all hopes dashed. ”
    Brought a tear to me eye that did , Billy .After laughing my ass off !Take a bow , Tony .
    They following just reminded me of some of things that I would like say to the AAA .

  • Mick

    Good read, a bit of light relief from the ever different Untold. Makes a change from the nonsense on most of the other blogs.
    Just a thought, say we didn’t buy any ‘big names’ this summer for one reason or another, but then went on to win the Premier League with the squad we have plus a couple of promoted youngsters? Wouldn’t that be fantastic, but would the ‘spend some f*****g money’ brigade and the AAA, as dedicated Arsenal supporters be happy or miserable? Would they give Wenger any credit? Maybe the likes of sperez, UK etc would like to tell us what their reaction would be if it were to happen?

  • soglorious

    Only on untold will you ever find something so unique and different as this. Even JustArsenal is now copying your line of humor by creating a page for picking out on the Tiny totts. I won’t ask U to keep it up cos I know U won’t dare stop in the first place. I love this piece, wish the conversation didn’t stop till The Dog asks if he could add Messi to the whole story. Well, U can assume that the presence of Higuain will tempt him to come. Lol. COYG

  • The font

    Chezzer. —– Gibbs merts. Kos. Ramsey. Arteta. Jack santi Walcott —–
    We need a new right back centre forward Plus 5 squad players mainly defenders
    I do not expect more than. 1 marquee. Signing proberly higuine 1 top draw right back
    1 top draw young Holding midfielder 1 central defender experienced 1 young top draw winger
    And if fabianski is. Sold a new experienced goalkeeper

    Not making the team.
    Ox giroud. Podolski. Tv.5 jenkinson. Eisefield gnarby Miguel Rosicky. Diaby
    Monreal fabianski

    You have to ask yourself if we sign Fellini where does he play
    All .the transfer hype is to unsettle fans by raising there expectations Before you start moaning ask yourself who would you buy and who would you drop to fit them into the team and consider the effect on the upcoming stars we already have at the club

  • Sachin Nakrani tweeted me today with the following:

    “I am a journalist you tit”

    Although the comment, alas, wasn’t aimed at me – I was copied into a rebuff from Sachin regarding a question surrounding his professional standing as a wordsmith; a rebuff both as witty and revealing as the article he wrote [which you are sending up here].

    Unfortunately I couldn’t goad him into a twitter fight – despite my best efforts… it [coming across as an easy meal with the subtlety of the killdeer and the malice of the anglerfish] is a skill that thus far eludes me.

    Here is some further reading on Sachin:

    Interesting stuff…

  • uk


  • WalterBroeckx

    don’t torture yourself like that uk.
    No need for it.
    Unless you are a masochist and you like to punish yourself by coming to Untold. If it is therapy we will try to be nice to you.

  • jambug


    You are a bit strange.

    I don’t like Spurs so I don’t go to there games or drink in there pubs or VISIT THERE CHAT ROOMS !!!

    You don’t like Arsenal so I suggest you don’t go to there games or drink in there pubs or VISIT THERE CHAT ROOMS !!!

    Simple really, a bit like yourself.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Looks like Arsenal had a deal in place for Higuain at £23m, but Real later changed their mind, the price is now £37m. There is a word for such things.This is in the Times today, I also heard Graham Hunter, reliability personified as a journalist say something very similar. Wenger will most likely get slated over this, but if this is true, I would not pay such money for Higuain, nor would I involve myself in such business practices. If Napoli want to pay that, let em

  • Bootoomee


    How can you even say that we should not pay a lousy 37mil for Higuain? How could you? We have been told our success next season depends on him or don’t you want us to win a trophy? I say Wenger should give Real Mad the much touted 70mil for this next coming of Jesus christ.

  • joe

    The people that run my great club are an absolute joke us arsenal fans have been way to patient for way to long, yes I kno the transfer window closes end of August BUT!!!!! Why oh why are the only club that have to prove we can afford big wages and big transfers, yet you get clubs like man city that jus do there business and even the tiny torts have night pauliniho what’s really happening at our club

  • Mandy Dodd

    lol – see where you are coming from Bootoomee.
    Heaven only knows what they will try and charge us if we really do want Suarez. Think we should give Chuba a go!
    As Wenger says, too many clubs with too much money out there for too little talent available. The new rich French/ Principality clubs… and others putting two fingers up at FFP are really inflating things, Platini is surely…careerwise a dead man walking, if , as I supect he does nothing….

  • uk

    far from it, i’ve passed the punishment stage thank God. it was tough, but you know what they say, what doesnt kill you(kenyan gunner…R.I.P) only makes you stronger. right now i’m more entertained by arsenal’s efforts to be uncompetitive. i guess its the evoluntionary path of least resistance, when you find that you cant(due to love) or you’re not allowed to(due to everybody aalready associating you with a club) support anothet team

  • uk

    i dont know about the strangeness, but the way it is with me and my pals is, though we dont love man utd, we are best buddies with their fans, we watch the matches together( except when we anticipate an 8-2, in which case we sneak out to see the matches, switch off our phones, down a good quantiity of alcohol afterwards, then turn up 2days later feigning we didnt see the match and singing obladi, oblada life goes on), but on the other hand not missing a second man utd’s double demolition at champ league finals by barca, while being temporary barca fans(or bilbao, singha,madrid etc fans). all in all best buddies with my man utd,chelsea,tottenham,liverpool fans. my wife even supports barca, cried after the bayern thumping(almost happiest week of my life), redeyed at spains loss @the confed cup. tells me she loves iniesta andd messi more than she does me, and if i dont stay top of my game, she’s leaving me for either of them

  • uk

    though im glad you think im a simple guy, i think so too. i also think your kind of a ‘simpleton’

  • joe

    Another day passes and no one signs. Half the team have been crying out for players but do the fuckers who are managing the club give a toss! Join the bsm walk 24th august to show these dictators that they are finished. Smoke these lemons out

  • joe

    To be honest I’m not sure why anyone thinks Arsenal are ‘seriously in’ for Higuain at all, don’t believe a word of what agents and the board members of Madrid and especially Arsenal say. What I do know is that Arsenal have thus far signed one player on a FREE transfer that given his health history is more likely to be spending time with Diaby than he is with Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla, and Arsenal have reduced their wage bill by in excess of 40 million a year by off-loading Wenger’s previous bum duffers. That all strikes me as a club still wanting to sell and not spend irrespective of the Lizards promises about over 70 million to spend, look forward to the excuses come the start of September rather than the few players required to make us a force to be reckoned with because that’s exactly what We have all become accustomed to.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I don’t know if you noticed but Arsenal as club has never said a word about Higuain as far as I know. Media, press, twitter, all have been telling things but not Arsenal. So don’t blame Arsenal

  • Yudhoyono

    Walter… Agreed for once

  • Stuart

    If you, amongst others are mug enough to believe the transfer rumours then you only have yourselves to blame I’m afraid and that’s the problem, you have hyped yourself up. What is some ridiculous march going to do to change that?