Arsène Wenger finds this year’s young star and ignores/signs Khedira

By Tony Attwood

Arsène Wenger has spoken about the potential of Chris Willock who played in the Boreham Wood game.

Now I must admit, watching the match on the computer, I didn’t really notice the 16 year old that much, so I quickly went back to Walter’s article on the game and found, no, he didn’t mention Willock in his article either.

Which at least was a relief for me.  I thought I was the only one to have missed whatever it is that Wenger saw.

I also have to admit I didn’t know anything about the lad before this game – and indeed we’ve never mentioned him before.  But the Arsenal youth web site has a bit about him, saying he is “A fleet-footed youngster capable of playing as an advanced midfielder as well as on either wing or up front.”

The article which was written in January 2013, continues, “Chris was named player of the tournament at a recent youth competition and made his first start for the U18s, as a left-winger, against Manchester City in February 2013. He will expect to be a mainstay for the U16s this season, and, if he continues his progression, could make further appearances for the elder age group.”

As indeed he has done.

As the Guardian reminds us today, “Cesc Fábregas, Jack Wilshere and Serge Gnabry were all given opportunities to press their first-team claims in pre-season friendlies at the age of 16,” so there is good precedent.   And of course last summer we have had Zelalem show us just how it is possible to have poise and style at this sort of age.

Mr Wenger said, in an interview, “He’s a very young boy and I wanted him to have a run out with the big boys to see how much he has to do.  But technically and tactically he integrated very well. Of course it’s natural that he lacks a bit of power at that age but when he gets that he will be a very interesting player.”

Willock’s younger brother Joe is also at Arsenal, while his older brother Matthew for some reason plays for Manchester United.

Overall Mr Wenger said, “It is more to see who can integrate into the first team from the youth team – who is the closest to the first team. For the first-team players who are used to playing in the Premier League, it was to see how fit they are and how much more work they need.”

Arsène Wenger also talked about Abou Diaby who you’ll recall played at the very end of last season, and did 45 minutes here.  “You wish that he just gets through the game, which happened here – I’m very pleased with that.   If you get a fit Diaby back, it will be a major asset for our team. At the moment we go step-by-step and he came through this game so that’s very good news for us.”

Yes – I know that feeling – I think most of us just want him to get through the game and survive.

So is that it?

Well, not quite because the Daily Star, always up with old news has just told us that “Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has insisted he is not going to sign a striker this summer – ending rumours linking him to AC Milan’s Mario Balotelli, 23”.  Actually I think we ended those rumours ages ago, but still MIU Soccer, one of the more amusing blogs when it comes to rumours, won’t give up.  They say…

“Jackson Martinez has been the top scorer in the Portuguese league for the last two years in a row.   Now the Colombian is ready for a new challenges and Arsenal have been heavily linked with the forward.   And with the Gunners missing out on Loic Remy, the TalkSport website have claimed Martinez could provide competition for Olivier Giroud.”

I love the way these sites never take responsibility for the rubbish written.  It is always, “it is reported that” and “sources claim”, and all that gibberish.  At least writers on Untold tend to make it clear where they are coming from.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have confirmed that Wellington Silva has joined Almeria on a season long-loan.  He has been with Arsenal for five years now, and he’s 22, so I guess that is about it in terms of him playing for Arsenal.  It is a shame, because he like Willock started out with such hopes.

And here’s anotherr story.  Maybe slowly, very slowly, the journalistic world is waking up to phantom transfers and vapour transfers – and how clubs, players and agents use the system to put each other off the scent, push money demands, conduct business without anyone noticing until it is all pretty much signed and handed over, and generally cover their tracks.

Talk Sprout tell us that the Arsenal bid for Sami Khedira is in doubt.  But do Talk Sprout accept any credit for this statement?  Nope because they report the Daily Mirror who claimed that Arsenal have been “used” by both player and club.

Of course this is part of the daily “Arsenal is stupid, they can’t sign anyone, they is too slow” type of gibberish, but at least it does recognise that there are phantom and vapour transfers going on, which for both the Sprout and the Mirror is a step forwards I guess.

“Khedira has long been linked with a move to Arsenal, to help solve the big-game defensive lapses from which the Gunners suffered last season. However the defensive midfielder’s wage demands have reportedly scuppered any hopes of completing a deal for Khedira,” is the story.  Which I think we all heard about three weeks ago.

So we ramble on through old news and eventually are told that the journalist who started this story says he believes (“believes” mark you, not “knows”, not “has been told”, but “believes”) that “Khedira was using interest from Arsenal in order to secure himself a new deal in Madrid.”

Oh my, shock horror, how incredible, how amazing, and we never, ever guessed.

The journo went on“I don’t think Khedira to Arsenal will happen.   The cynic in me thinks Arsenal have been used a little by Khedira and Real Madrid.”

(We may pause here – a cynical journalist – have you ever heard of such a thing?)

“Arsenal sniffed around to see the lay of the land and have not been able to reach an agreement. He wanted a huge contract, which will put him above any other player at the club, and we all know about Arsenal’s wage structure.   As far as Arsenal are concerned they have pulled out. Now the word coming over from Spain is that he will stay at Real Madrid.”

So that’s that.  Except… the Metro – the London free paper claims that… wait for it…

“Reports have come out and claimed that Arsenal are set to unveil the capture of Real Madrid star Sami Khedira.   The Madrid midfielder has been linked with a move to The Gunners this summer after recent stories suggested that the Champions League winners had agreed a £19.8m fee with the north London club.”

At least the Metro don’t blame the story on anyone else.  And they don’t hide behind putting it down as a belief either.  1-0 to the Metro, even if they are, as usual totally utterly wrong.

Anyway, I believe that an incredibly exciting and attractive young lady is secretly in my house, making me lunch, and just awaiting my return.   That’s my belief, and although rather like the belief that dinosaurs were created in 4004 BC along with the rest of the universe, it might well turn out to be wrong, it can keep me happy while I go and check.  And even if it is wrong, I can always create another belief afterwards.  Just to keep me going.


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39 Replies to “Arsène Wenger finds this year’s young star and ignores/signs Khedira”

  1. Last year it was the same story with Benzema, Benzema, Benzema. Then when we’d ‘missed out’ we signed Ozil!

    Roll on 2014… Khadera, Khadera, Khadera… Wonder who we’re really after?! Ronaldo? Di Maria? 😀

  2. Looks like Real Mad have just signed Hamez…not sure if that has any effect on Khedira at all though. But whether we are interested in SK or not, we are now in a good positions to sign superstars from these so called elite clubs, as they in turn land whoever happens to be flavour of the month to keep their fans/media/presidential ambitions on track. That is not the worst position for us to be in.
    We still have to make signings, I hope TV stays, but with or without him,we will need 2 CDs to support Kos and Per with the amount of games they have played, especially now we have lost Sagna who could play there.
    But, must admit…a trophy, Wenger signed up, some great, hard working and team spirited players already here, Theo to come back, Sanchez, Bac replaced quickly, these press guys can make up whatever they want… but it continues to be the most serene of summers regarding transfers/rumours.
    Things have changed. These days, if it is identified we need a player in a given position, we can have confidence we will get him

  3. Yep, I am in that club that did not think Chris Willocks had done anything of note – Yet incredibly, one of the blogs ran a video of his best bits. I did not watch it as I feared it would have finished by the time I found my right glasses …

    He did hug the touchline well, but to me he looked like a youth out of his depth, physically and skillwise? I was looking forward to seeing the more experienced Maitland-Niles. Perhaps later in the pre-season?

    You missed the often repeated quote Tony, of Jackson Martinez ‘…would love to play for the Arsenal’?

    The silly season has a bit to run yet I fear.

  4. If so, sounds like an option Pete. He may be a bit raw and inexperienced relatively speaking but does have his qualities and really hope they can develop Jenks rather than lose him. Will never forget his reaction after he scored that goal!

  5. Older brother matt willock was at arsenal, but fell out with the club and left for united.

  6. What about Dan Crowley? Expectations were high when he came from Villa last summer and performed well till his injury mid-season. He’s already off like a rocket for the Youth’s pre-season game last week. I believe it won’t be long before he is integrated into the senior team, joining his “classmate” Gideon Zelalem.

  7. @Tony,
    Good article summarizing the various transfer rumors. I have to disagree with your opinion on Wellington Silva being done at Arsenal. The reason he is being sent out again was because he was denied the special talent work permit again. Another year in Spain, he can get their citizenship and hopefully play for us next year. If he goes out on loan again next year, then yeah he’s done at Arsenal.

  8. Somewhat off topic but could someone please explain the whole “Arsenal have 100 million” statement. I’m getting really sick of seeing it and cant find any quotes from the club making a statement like that. And for anyone thats wanting a replacement for Arteta check this excellent infograph from Statsbomb. I feel Arteta is very capable and if any move is made for a DM it should be a young eventual replacement who can be gradually transitioned into the first team over time, not an immediate replacement. Sami Khedira while an excellent player occupies the same space as Ramsey and to some degree Whilshere as well.

  9. The latest load of Mail nonsense is that Messi “was sounding out Arsenal last season” (via Cesc & DD) “in a move which would have shocked the football world”
    This one was “according to…..”

  10. I notice Piers Morgan is shouting his big ugly mouth off again. I am not a violent man but I would love to stick my fist in that mans gob.

  11. Mick

    Piers Morgan is a complete and utter dickhead.

    I’m pretty sure even he wouldn’t deny that.

  12. @ Mick well Morgan is kindov used to having his ass kicked (just ask Jeremy Clarkson he he he)

  13. Looks like Osina is a done deal, at least according to the Guardian and Wikipedia.
    I thought Willock equipped himself very well on Saturday, he looked assured on the ball and not at all overawed. He has a lot going for him and I wish him good luck in his career.

  14. Mick


    Following defeats to AC Milan and Sunderland Morgan said, bemoaning the lack of Trophies:

    “I think Wenger should be sacked before he embarrasses himself any more”

    This particular attack on Wenger incited Emmanuel Frimpong into a passionate defence of Wenger that resulted in a war of words with Morgan on twitter.


    Following an FA Cup defeat to Blackburn Morgan said:

    “I want to buy my way into Arsenal Football Club so I can sack Wenger”

    No agenda there then.

    What a nasty, odious little man Morgan is.

  15. Mick @8.13pm,

    You want to smack Morgan in the mouth aren’t ya? Well, I am sorry but you’ll have to get in line.

    There are AKBs and AAA but Morgan is in a very different class. I don’t know a more despised Arsenal fan. Morgan is one of those breed that makes one wish that clubs can ‘dis-fan’ people. The guy is an utter embarrassment.

  16. The thing is, as much as Morgan is an odious little man, it is the MEDIA that gives him the platform to spout his anti-Arsenal bile.

    Again, the media WANT yet another anti Arsenal article to fill there pages.

    Oh what to do?

    I know, lets have a chat with Morgan he’s always good for a bit of Wenger bashing !!

    If it isn’t Morgan, they can just call on any of the usual suspects……Wright, Robson, Merson, all would be happy to throw enough shit around to fill an entire Sunday Supplement.

    But it’s the media that encourage them, and constantly strive to fan the flames of the Anti Wenger brigade.

    God I hate the fucking media !!

  17. Piers Morgan…..thought he was laying off Wenger and concentrating on slagging off the England cricket team and establishment, and calling for his friend Kevin Pietersen to be reinstated to the team.
    Shame he is back on the case of Arsenal. He generally talks a load of shite, with a few honourable exceptions , for instance his stance on firearm ownership in the US.
    Still, wouldn’t cross him, he might hack your phone…..allegedly…..

  18. You are absolutely right Jambug. When they cannot get our team for things on the pitch, they go for their behaviour away from the pitch, as recent so called exposes to do with Ozil, Jack and Sanchez prove.
    I can assure you the media have much bigger and more interesting stories than a young man with a cig , and a footballer who has got someone pregnant . But they chose our players, wonder why.

  19. Mandy

    I’ve also run across some shit stirring story regarding the Police and a dozen season tickets they’ve been given by Arsenal FC.

    This is in addition a story last week about a couple of coppers guesting in Ozils private box.

    Every F***ing day they throw a piece of shit in our direction.

    Just like everyday there’s something wonderful to say about Utd and Liverpool.

    Makes me sick.

    Oh, and why we’re at it, has anyone noticed the ‘LIVERPOOL SHAMEFULLY STEAL SOUTHAMPTON PLAYERS’ story ? No ! Well there’s a surprise.

  20. The pre-season hasn’t even begun yet and already there are signs of slight paranoia over the usual criticism about our great Club. This will never cease, whether we win or lose, play well or badly.
    Always remember that to read or hear something about Arsenal FC, whether true or false, is the greatest compliment that can be paid.
    Most of the other clubs in our land never ever get talked about….the poor things. 🙂

  21. Even if Morgan was a great guy and not in the least bit a journalistic prick, you’d still want to damage him, he’s got one of those faces and the unctuous voice to match it.

  22. To steer the discussion to more cheerful matters, I just watched the Sounders-Totts game from this week-end. Recorded, of course. Made me wich I could have gone to the match in my new Arsenal Puma tee 😉 The best team in the MLS at the moment really took it to the Spuds, and should have won, had it not been for a few individual errors in their back line. But they gave the Spuds’ defense a battering, scoring 3 goals, one of them a real beauty (look up Ozzie Alonso Tottenham video and enjoy). And the best moment actually came in the beginning of the match, when a young Gooner, as it turns out, Xander Bailey, an 18-year old boy fighting cystic fibrosis was given the chance to take a shot at Brad Friedel. Hearing about this, Arsenal America made contact with Arsenal and agreed to set something up for Xander. Even though it’s only in the proposal stage, it shows what a great club we have to be so receptive to the community spirit, even overseas. One more reason to be proud of being an Arsenal supporter 🙂

  23. This joke reminded me of football transfers . Really ! Wouldn’t want to be off topic too.
    Lucky Motherducker –

    Once there was a farmer. He had two teenage sons. This farmer had just inherited some of money from his brother’s recent death. He couldn’t decide which son he could send to college, since he could only afford to send one.

    This farmer also had two ducks. These ducks were retarded. They were only two ducks on the farm that weren’t normal. He told his sons that whoever could get the most money for the duck would go to college.

    The sons went out in attempt to collect as much money as they could. The first son was walking down the street when he passed a man working in the yard. The man asked him if the duck was for sale, for the man loved the taste of ducks. He offered the son 10 dollars for his duck. The son decided this was very good, so he took it. He decided his brother wouldn’t be able to get close to his success.

    The second son was walking and passed a whorehouse. He went in and said that he didn’t have any money, but he would give them the duck. One girl said fine. After they f**ked, she decided that she didn’t want the duck anymore. The son said he would take the duck back if they f**ked again. She agreed. After they f**ked the second time, the son left.

    He was walking home, thinking about what to do with the duck when it broke the leash. The duck ran out into the street and was hit by a car. The lady that hit it jumped from her car and started apologizing profusely. The son insisted it was ok, but the lady said she would pay for the duck. She was in a hurry, so she gave him 25 dollars and sped off.

    When the sons got home, the farmer asked the first son what he got. He proudly displayed the 10 dollars. The farmer was impressed. He asked the second son the same thing.

    “That’s nothing. I got a f**k for a duck, a duck for a f**k, and 25 dollars for a f**ked up duck.”

    NB – Next week we will attempt to show how to get rid of ‘retarded fans ‘ .

  24. I love the way we “miss out” on players and “players turn down” Arsenal. Where are their sources.

    Nicky, I understand what you are saying but christ, we are bashed by every media outlet out there and I honetsly can not see the reason.

  25. nicky

    I know it/we/I sound like a broken record when it comes to calling out this tirade of abuse from the media, but it matters.

    Let me give you an example of how, when the media constantly say something, no matter how false, no matter how malicious, it sticks, it permeates it’s way into the psyche of the average fan and by doing so it eventually morphs into fact.

    Yesterday at work I got into a ‘debate’ with a colleague about Jack.

    It started of about who would succeed Gerrard as England captain but soon digressed.

    Anyway, according to my esteemed colleague Jack:

    -is a ‘Wimp’ who goes down at the drop of a hat.

    -is always injured.

    -constantly gives the ball away, especially for England in the World Cup.

    -a terrible example to kids.

    I countered with:

    -he’s as brave as a lion.

    -is constantly targeted and fouled.

    -and had just about the best pass completion rate of all the England players.

    -On the last point I had to concede he needs to pull his act together but I did suggest that he’s hardly any worse than most of the Utd side have been over the last few years but that’s by the by.

    My point is he never even knew how jack got his last injury. He didn’t have a clue about the stats at the World Cup.

    But the worst excuse was the last one, and it’s the latest media bullshit excuse as to why we have so many injuries.

    He said:

    “because of the way you play, all this ‘tika taki’ shit, you’re bound to get caught. It’s your own fault, you’ve got to change the way you play or is gonna keep happening”

    Now to me, if there’s anything that proves how people just suck up any bullshit printed about us, no matter how ludicrous, that is it.

    But the crux of my point is, that this shit in the media is the essential ground work. It’s what creates the fertile ground that allows the continued assaults on Jack to go un checked. It’s become what is expected to happen to him. People are just waiting for him to get fouled, to get injured and what’s more, when he does IT’S ALL HIS OWN DAMN FAULT.

    This programing of how Arsenal should be perceived (wimpy, whinging, foreign, diving, cheats pretty much sums up the medias take on us) is a massive factor as to how and why Referees are pro actively encouraged to treat us with the bias they do. Bias that UA has proved to exist.

    And that is why this media witch-hunt of us IS important. This is why it needs to be highlighted for the bullshit that it is.

    This is why it has to stop.

  26. @jambug

    I agree we need to keep countering the anti Arsenal propaganda which the media spout from every available orifice. While they have no intention of taking much notice of the truth, we need to keep trying in the hope and expectation that we will “get through” to some fans.

  27. jambug & bjtgooner
    The best way to counter the negative anti Arsenal propagandists is to just shove it back up them by continuously keeping on winning. It’s the most positive answer to all of them. Doesn’t then bother me how they spin it, they’ll soon run out of negatives.

  28. oldgroover

    I know what you mean, but my point is, the negativity spouted from the media, and the resulting bias way in which we are refereed, makes winning and achieving success that little bit, or indeed some would say, a lot more difficult.

  29. jambug,

    Every time you hear or read an English person whine about tiki-taka, they are just being consumed by jealousy.

    Here is the score card:

    1. With tiki-taka, Barcelona have won 3 out of the last 8 Champions’ league trophies.

    2. With tiki-taka, Spain have won the last 2 Euro cups and a world cup. That is 3 HUGE international achievements over a period of just 4 years!

    What the fuck has England won in the last 48 years with the rubbish that they call football? How can you knock a style of football that has produced monumental results when your own style (if you can call it that) is only reputed for constant and embarrassing failures?

    I will accept criticism of tiki-taka from the Brazilians and the Germans. Hell, I’ll even accept complaints about it from the Italians and the Dutch. BUT the last people on Earth who should be insulting tiki-taka are the English. They might have given the world Association football but that is all they ever did. They need to shut the fuck up as I am just fed up with a bunch of blabber mouths from a perennial failure of a country like England always running their mouths against their betters.

    Want to get a feel of how utterly biased and dishonest the English media are, just go back and listen to how they contorted themselves into pretzels to find positives for the abysmal England performance at the world – which means they wouldn’t have won anything in half a century by the time they go for the next Euro to get their butts kicked again. Now compare that with how much they have harassed Arsenal over the last 9 years about trophies.

    The hypocrisy and know-it-all attitude for moronic English media is what I hate most about them. Fucking imbecilic and wrongaholic twats.

  30. Bootoomee

    “The hypocrisy and know-it-all attitude for moronic English media is what I hate most about them. Fucking imbecilic and wrongaholic twats.”

    Brilliant !

    The reaction after the World cup has for me just confirmed how utterly blind we in this Country really are.

    -Blame our failure on too many foreigners in the PL.

    -Keep the manager on who picks the ‘media eleven’

    -Make the biggest WC flop, and most over rated English player ever, the Captain.

    3 things that show, categorically, that we haven’t learnt a thing from the WC.

  31. jambug,


    The idiots would run their mouths about how disastrous the last 9 years have been for Arsenal FC, who:

    – have built the best stadium in the country by themselves

    – have appeared in all CL since

    – have been in 3 finals, including a CL

    – have played world renowned good football every step of the way

    What the fuck has England done since home advantage gave them the 1966 world cup? But the same people who would go to the end of the world to find positives for the perennial failures that are also known as the Three Pussycats would at the same time find all the negatives that they can find to knock Arsenal. Consistency and honesty would demand that if they hold Arsenal to such an high standard that anything but trophies is good enough for the club that the same commentators would not accept anything but trophies from their darling national team. And failure to do so would result in constant criticism and abuse.

    But they wouldn’t because they are the world biggest bunch of hypocrites.

  32. Correction: Wellington Silva is only 21, and he transferred to Arsenal 3 and a half years when he turned 18.

  33. Speaking of the young transfer, what to make of the Eisfeld case?

    It is for certain that Arsenal got a packed midfield especially the more atvancedtwo of the three positions. Still Eisfeld looks quite good.

    Does that mean with the new money, Arsenal no longer see his level as enough because they might be buying Ozil, Cazorla level of players? Before they could go to the reserve but now, the team cant even to have inexperienced players taking up the bench? In a way, that is a good sign. The club has more depth and is really going up in quality.

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