Roll up roll up. Get your tortured genius.

Will we sign a defensive midfielder?  If so which one?

The story is that Arsenal will havve to pay £24 million up front to get Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho.  Arsenal, it is said, have offered exactly that sum of money in two stage payments.   And it is said (again) that  Carvalho has a buyout clause of £35m.  Oh yes, and Sporting only own 60 per cent of Carvalho, so I guess we are bidding for his middle and one side of him.

And meanwhile we are “looking at” Sami Khedira and Lars Bender and I guess if we are not careful could end up with all three.  Cos you know how careless Mr Wenger is about these things.

Just to prove that the talk is that having bought one right back we want another one.   The purchase of Atletico Madrid’s Javier Manquillo has “stalled” so we are going to look at Gino Peruzzi.  And we are about to buy Colombia World Cup goalkeeper David Ospina for £3m.

Or not, as the case may be.

Now you’ll know that I think most of this stuff is just the fantasy of ignorant journalists down the pub.  And that view was heightened today when the Independent who really ought to know better said this…

“Should the Gunners land Casillas, it will be the second time that they have carried out transfer business with the Madrid club, having acquired the club record signing of Mesut Özil from Real last summer for £42.5m”.

Err…. not exactly guys.  You see in the past we have bought Davor Šuker arrives from Real Madrid for £3.5m.  And onee might also mention that in August 1999 Nic Anelka went to Real Madrid for £22m.  It was said that the profit of £21.5m paid for the new Arsenal training centre.

But knocking Arsenal is still the main game today.  Manchester United “could be about to deal a major transfer blow to rivals Arsenal with the signing of Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira, CaughtOffside understands.”   That is in Caught Offside, but you probably guessed that.

I suppose that construction is was makes this blog different.  “Untold” doesn’t understand anything, and we know that.  One or two of the writers know quite a bit too, but to say “Caught Offside understands…”  It is a bit like “England expects every man will do his duty” which as a signal sent by Admiral Nelson.  I think Admirals can lay down such visions, but blogs, newspapers and magazines?  No.

Next thing you know it will be “BT Sprout expects Arsenal to be relegated”.

Here’s another thing about summer transfers… lots of blogs like to copy each other’s copy (get it? copy each other’s copy_. ah well…) and the phrase of the week is “According to reports…”

So now we have…

“According to reports Arsenal have agreed on a £15.8million fee with AC Milan for the controversial Italian striker Mario Balotelli, who has also agreed on personal terms with the Gunners. The Italian giants are understood to be happy to offload the tortured genius from their squad following a season full of inconsistent performances”

Sportskeeda did that masterpiece.  “Tortured genius” indeed.

It goes on…”The Arsenal boss reportedly believes that Balotelli can not only challenge Frenchman Olivier Giroud for a starting position in the lineup, but can also form an intriguing partnership with him. The Italian could earn wages in the range of £160,000-per-week and might also be able to get his preferred No.45 with the Gunners.

“The only concern is whether his combustible personality will be a good fit with the predominantly jovial characters…”

Sorry I gave up at that point.  I mean, is there a verb in English “To reportedly believe”?

  • I reportedly believe
  • You reportedly believe
  • He reportedly believes
  • Sportskeeda reportedly believes…

But maybe we won’t be so jovial any more because the Express says, “Arsenal star Lukas Podolski has reportedly revealed he’s off to Sevilla on Twitter.”

The Express claims to have done an interview with Mr Wenger on Saturday in which he said he could be in the market for a central defender.

“But after strengthening his attacking options with the £32million signing of Alexis Sanchez, Wenger says he has no plans to bring a striker despite the Chilean normally being deployed on the flanks at Barcelona.  Sanchez could be used as a striker, along with Theo Walcott, who is expected to return to training next month as he recovers from knee surgery.

“But with Yaya Sanogo unlikely to be considered ready for regular action and Lukas Podolski not trusted to lead the line, it would leave Giroud as Arsenal’s only out-and-out striker unless Joel Campbell can convince Wenger he can provide competition.”

According to the fanatically anti-EU “newspaper” (Get these foreigners off British football pitches now” is the sort of headline one expects each day) the Balotelli deal is out – but we knew that from previous commentaries…

“Up front we don’t need any more,” said Wenger. “It’s not especially for numbers. We need a goalkeeper for sure and after that it depends on how our midfielders get through without injuries until the start of the season. Maybe at centre-back we’ll still bring one in.”

So no place for the tortured genius.

But we already knew that.

In fact by and large, I’m not sure we learned anything much this morning.


The largest collection of facts and opinions on Arsenal’s history ever put together: The AISA Arsenal History Society web site.
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22 Replies to “Roll up roll up. Get your tortured genius.”

  1. In fact the Express seem to have completely distorted the manager’ swords so that NOW he is telling all he won’t be signing anyone apart from a keeper!

    Obviously the Express aren’t doing this to create friction, angst or shit stir are they???

  2. Dex,

    ALL the newspapers and Blogs are looking for ‘copy’ and they try to get people to read their specific articles.

    In addition, Arsene Wenger can leave a lot of wriggle room in what he says, in addition to clear statements such as he will not buy another striker, he says that in midfield it all depends on whether the current players ‘make it’ to the beginning of the season, and that IF we sell Vermaelen he will buy a replacement, so that leaves another definite statement that he will buy a GK.

    I am not an apologist for any newspaper as I do not read them, preferring to rely on the internet, but Wenger cannot reveal all his ‘real’ plans – and that leaves loads of room for ‘interpretation’.

  3. I like the post this morning very entertaining because as you said most of it is not speculation but fabrication, I mean papers don’t sell themselves. HenryB very well said this could be and should be a legitimate quote in the express unless they are just expressing their views on what he might say if they saw him but say it was ligitamate it could be Mr Wenger using the art of deception we hope although all fit we actually have an impressive and capable squad but only time will tell

  4. Wenger saying that we don’t need anybody more up front reminds me of a similar statement he made last year (November I think it was). Anyway I knew it was just before all our scorers, apart from Giroux, suffered injuries leaving the team with just the one striker. In January everybody knew we needed another striker and at the beginning of this window everybody knew we needed an extra one. Now it seems we don’t.

  5. There is no doubt the media distort stories or if there is nothing available to distort they make something up – anything that will give a dramatic headline.

    I don’t take the Express, so I am not sure if they did interview AW, or if they are using his post match interview as a basis for distortion.

    The link below is to the post Boreham Wood interview on –

  6. @Dex

    Nobody is worse than Caughtoffside. They rotate with for crappiest entertainment award.

  7. HenryB,

    Here is a novel idea:

    How about instead of making shit up about Arsenal’s (and indeed all clubs’) transfer dealings that papers and blogs just SHUT THE FUCK UP?

    How about that, uh?

    All I see in these transfer windows bullshit business is the papers doing their utmost to satisfy people’s pathetic need for gossips. Some people, the kind who follow transfer gossips, behave like their lives depends on learning who their clubs are buying before anyone else. How juvenile and sad is that?

    For fuck sake, nothing in my life has changed since we bought Sanchez and Debuchy. Hell, my life hasn’t changed an iota since we won the FA cup over 2 months ago. People need to fucking calm down and get a life.

    My rant is not at you personally HenryB. I just don’t see any need for you to try to explain why the papers are making shit up. The clubs, Arsenal or any other, owe NO ONE any explanation or fore-warning on what position or which player they intend to sign. When they have completed the business, we’ll all be officially told. I find this kind of approach noble and professional on the part of the clubs and I hope that is how it will always be.

    People just need to clam the fuck down.

    Rant over, I’m outta here.

  8. Talk of our need for a defensive midfielder only emphasises how much the game of football has changed.
    Changed, that is, since I first kicked a football, in new boots, on Christmas morning, 1929 with my Dad. He had been badly wounded in WW1 and grown-up footballing was virtually over for him.
    In those days, the half-backs merely marked the opposing wingers, the inside forwards were the workhorses and the centre-forward was the scorer.
    But by far the greatest improvement has involved football boots, particularly in the quality of material.
    The nails of leather studs on my first proper football boots were hammered into the soles individually. They eventually became loose and fell off and your foot felt a bit lop-sided or a nail protruded into the boot and painfully into the wearer’s foot. Or both happened at once…
    Even the ball has improved no end. The old leather ball, when heavy in winter conditions, was positively lethal and I well recall Eddie Hapgood, Arsenal and England left back and captain saying that in his early days he was often knocked unconscious every time he headed out a long ball from defence.

    Sorry folks but couldn’t resist posting a few memories of the olden days! 😉

  9. I also remember playing for my school during the late forties on a park pitch, the cold winter and often days that were wet,the thing that players hated most was heading the ball when the balls lace was in contact with the forehead.I often wonder if this is the cause of some the complications in later life.

  10. @seydlitz,
    I’m sure you are right. The often prominent lace, plus a heavy wet ball was a near 90 minute lethal projectile, particularly for defences. 😉

  11. @Mick,
    Those playing today have no idea what we went through.
    No dressing room and not even half a lemon at half-time. 😉

  12. @nicky
    And the heady smells of White Horse Oil and Dubbin!!
    Those were the days.

  13. @Mick,
    I wonder how many of today’s youth would know the purpose of dubbin. (Probably use it as embrocation). 😉

  14. I also remember putting reader digest booklets down your socks as most young lads did not have proper shin pads. Happy days!

  15. And the ‘trainer’ or anyone who happened to be handy running on with the bucket of water and the ‘magic sponge’ to treat every injury from a black eye to a broken collar bone.

  16. Mick

    If I remember rightly, as well as a magic ‘sponge’ there was also a magic ‘spray’.

    As I recall, neither where much fun on a cold Sunday morning in the middle of January.

  17. Wonder if Arsene has thought about using our ‘new signing’ Diaby as a defensive midfield player.

    Probably not.

  18. bob mac

    You old cynic !

    You sound so much smarter than Wenger.

    If I where you I’d get my application for manager in, toot sweet. I’m sure with your vision, vision you think Wenger obviously lacks, the trophies will soon be rolling in.

  19. Waiting for the headlines whereby Spurs and Liverpool show their ambition by pipping us to .**…griezman / lovren /jay Rodriguez /loic Remy /Morgan scheiderlin…
    ** delete as appropriate

    No evidence we are interested in said players, or ever have been, but with the UK media, that’s not the point

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