98% of transfer rumours are untrue, except this one. And Henry speaks

Hamburg confident of signing Arsenal target Krystian Bielik …

So screamed the Guardian a couple of days ago.  Indeed it’s been a bit like a pantomime (which if I may explain to residents outside the UK is a traditional and extremely silly English theatrical entertainment in which there is a lot of cross gender dressing and the shouting of “Oh yes he is” answered by “oh no he isn’t”.   The fact that it has been so popular for so many years tells you a lot about English society.)

Oh yes Bielik is signing.  Oh no he isn’t…

But really, are we chasing him at all?

For if you read the fanatical ravings of semi-conscious journalists and occasional aaa’s you might feel that Arsenal never spend transfer money in January.   Yet a closer look at the figures reveals that Arsenal are in the top half of the table when measured by money spent in January since the windows started in 2003.

But more than that, clubs that have spent more than Arsenal in January have often come very unstuck, taking on players of modest quality, giving them prolonged contracts, and then finding that they are no good and can’t be moved on.

Top of the league of January transfer wobblies is Queens Park Rangers, spenders of more than anyone else in this month across the last 12 years.

According to figures from bwin, a gambling organisation, Arsenal have spent £4.3m net, on the average January.

But the deals also take into account the sale of youngsters who are clearly of merit but not quite top Arsenal quality – a source of January income that many other clubs don’t have.  This January for example Benik Afobe has gone from Arsenal to Wolverhampton and there will certainly be some sort of fee – if only a delayed one – paid in return.

What we have to remember is that many teams don’t have the constant throughput of young players that we have, and so don’t have the income to balance against expenditure.

But while QPR have clearly struggled to make any sense of their record breaking January spending Arsenal have signed such luminaries as Thierry Henry (2012), Sol Campbell (2010), Theo Walcott (2006 – £5m), Emmanuel Adebayor (ditto, about £3m).  Although not thought much of these days, Adebayor did serve us well for a while, and brought us a profit of £22m from a summer sale.

On the darker side, in January 2013 QPR spent £16m on the likes of Christopher Samba, Loic Remy and Jermaine Jenas.  Chelsea used one January spending £50m on Fernando Torres and £25m on David Luiz giving Chelsea an average annual net spend of £10.7m.

Quite often however these averages are hiked by singular transfers – as with Chelsea as noted above, or Tottenham on January 2009 spending £45m net.

So that’s the issue – do January transfers actually work?  The answer is sometimes.   But do January transfer rumours have any relationship to reality.   The answer seems to be no – at least not in about 98% of cases.

But maybe we are now making one, for as you know by now the lad (or “the boy” as under 35s are traditionally called in football) Bielik is 17, and a defensive midfield prodigy who, if we get him, and if he is as good as we think, will take over from Flamini and Arteta next season.  He can also play centre back.

He trained with Arsenal in December, and the price is around €3m and a signed picture of Thierry Henry.

And because one is never enough, immediately this story took off the press are alive with the fact that we are also going to buy Schneiderlin from Southampton.

Meanwhile our Thierry has got rather agitated about the fact that his pal Arsène Wenger was booed by the aaa.  He is quoted as saying, “You can be upset, I totally understand that, but when I saw what had happened at Stoke it was totally unnecessary. Fans do have a voice but that was out of order. But in the game we have at the moment, that, unfortunately, is the way it is.”

18 successive seasons in the Champions League group stages counts for nothing it seems, as does the FA Cup.  As, I guess does Alexis Sanchez, who, one might recall, chose Arsenal rather than any of the kingdoms of oil and gas.   On that subject TH said, “it is his all-round game I am impressed with. That has no price.”  And I think most of us would agree.

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Classic Untold

Despite media predictions to the contrary we did actually sign Alexis Sánchez

Transfer catastrophe: what the Arsenal transfer predictions were in the summer of 2014



43 Replies to “98% of transfer rumours are untrue, except this one. And Henry speaks”

  1. If we do sign Bielik, and he turn’s out to be as good as the hype suggests, it will mean that Arsenal have a superb midfield core secured for the next 10 years with him and Dan Crowley.

  2. As you imply, the saddest thing is that despite the 98% inaccuarcy and the varying success rates of those players who are actually transfered, this is how many of the AAA arm themsleves with their vast footballing knowledge.

    And before the AAA start stating the obvious, yes of course some of AW’s transfers fail. He is not a God……..just a hell of a lot more knowledgable, experienced and astute than the rest of us put together.

  3. Double canister – don’t forget Gedion!! I was thinking about this the other day and with bielik maitland-niles ox, gnabry Akpom bellerin Crowley zelalem we do have the basis of a super team for the next decade. Now for the team that wenger built 5-6 years ago around theo jack Rambo Gibbs with the additions of alexis mesut welbz etc let’s start delivering – hopefully the pgmo will not hinder us too much in this quest over the next few years. As we are playing in the referee heartland this weekend I am hoping for a fair and well officiated match. Walter, tony any word on the ref for he weekend yet?

  4. Goonermikey – I was hoping it would read – He is not a God…..just a hell of a lot more knowledgable, experienced & astute in football matters than God. It would upset a whole load of aaa. 😉

  5. I am looking forward to a player coming in this January window. A big bruiser from the Sunday league who misses the ball but knows how to kick. He would be a great starter somewhere on the pitch to deal with so called ‘robust’ players. He would do his stuff until the crow pulled a card out. We could then go on with 10 men as normal.

    In all honesty I think a tall defender would be useful to cater for the evil injuries that are allowed on Arsenal players. Low cost, low wages, but good insurance.

  6. Didn’t think we could have a blog without mentioning oil and gas..And you forgot Kim Kalstrom when mentioning the successful january transfers..

  7. NL
    1 messed up transfer and you hold Wenger to account.
    The article listed more than that, why don’t you try to find the same number of poor January transfer before making your statement.

  8. I thought Kallstrom did well actually. He helped us in a few games and ahad a nice passing range. He even scored a penalty in one of the cup games – I think it was Wigan. So yes Nick Lee – Kim Kallstrom was a good transfer for us. What do you think? Why was he a failure in your book?

  9. I have been thinking the boss will audaciously buys another Sanchez like striker, – a Cavani which I am hoping for. And plays him in the Man City game on Sunday to win the game. Afobe is now confirmed transferred to Wolves. I wish him a big goodluck at Wolves. If he becomes a bigger striker at Wolves, Arsenal may resign him again to star for the Gunners. His 19 League One MK Dons goals were attractively tempting to want him to star for the Gunners after been a Gunner for 13 years. But if his destiny decides otherwise, that’s it. I have a hunch the Gunners will beat City on Sunday if the boss starts a starting X1 that we will in the course of time discuss an digest after the boss Gunners update in his this week press conference.

  10. Arvind

    It’s not really about whether Kallstrom was a success or not but rather as to way the little Troll feels the need to mention it.

    I mean, what the hell is he trying to prove?

    At what point ever was the author of the article trying to suggest Wenger was perfect and never made mistakes? (assuming of course KK was even that)

    I know I shouldn’t really give him the oxygen of a comment but the guy is such a nasty little shit I quite enjoy calling him out for what he is.

    A nasty little AAA Troll.

    Personally I cant wait him to start crying about his rights to an opinion, how we keep insulting him and how he’s supported Arsenal for over 150 years blah blah blah.

    Oh such joy.

  11. When you think about it, the January transfer Window is fraught with difficulty from start to finish.
    Unless a move from Moscow to Malaga occurs, the cold must play an important part in moving house and family from freezing Europe to another part of the same.
    And then there is the inevitable depressing delay in recovery from
    injuries caused by the most ridiculous non-events in the gym or training ground.
    Arsene Wenger has admitted not being a fan of the winter Window and with Arsenal’s record of a long-term sick list, one cannot blame him for holding this view.
    The generally raw 12 weeks from January 1st are not ideal for any signing to blend in with new colleagues, language, diet and tactics.
    No wonder statistics show a clear percentage of failed January transfers.
    (I’d still welcome our signing of another Vieira, though). 😉

  12. Wenger has done extremely well with January transfers, better than any manager I can think of. I think we can add Monreal to that list too of successful January transfers. That’s a very good record, considering January transfers are mostly about players who will normally be having issues fitting in the set ups of their current teams.

  13. Man $ity have signed Bony, the reported fee is about £25m, with £100k to warm the bench as fourth choice striker. Nice work if you can get it, eh? It never ceases to amaze me how Man $ity do it. Sorry, not ‘amaze’, ‘disgust’, it never ceases to disgust me.

    Well, anyway, winter transfers can be succesful. Manure brought in Mata, Chelsea with Matic, we brought in Monreal (a much better defender than he is considered) and I would class Kallstrom as a good signing as well. Liverpool brought in Sturridge and Coutinho in the winter as well.

    But people only tend to remember Arsenal’s bad transfers.
    Fulham brought in Mitroglou in the winter for around £13m, and were still relegated.
    Manure paid £10m for Zaha in the winter.
    Chelsea paid £5m for Wallace, £7m for Piazon, and £50m for Torres.
    QPR paid £13m for Chris Samba.
    Villa paid about £20m for Darren Bent.
    Liverpool paid £35m for Andy Carroll.
    Man $ity pais £11m for Wayne Bridge, £14m for Craig Bellamy.
    Spurs paid £15m for Jermain Defoe, £13m for Wilson Palacios, £15m for Robbie Keane.

    All in the winter. Every club gets some wrong and some right, that’s the nature of transfers. Even Liverpool with their supposedly world class technical team that helps with their recruiting went and bought Balotellitubby. Football is more complicated than video games and journalists would lead you to believe.

  14. Jambug I think that’s 150BC, he said he was true messiah who graduated from the University of Anal.

  15. I lernt through the Daily Mail on the Arsenal News Wire.com that Ozil has rigorously built up some mass of muscles in his body as a product of his exercising and weight lifting in the Jim during his rehabilitation. Let him keep it up without relenting. Those mass he carrys will certainly makes him a better Gunner on the field of play for Arsenal. I think Welbeck should be hitting the Jim regularly too to make him a better Gunner as well. Let me also mention Chambers, Bellerin, Monreal, Gibbs, Ramsey, Flamini and any other needing Gunner to all be hitting the Jim more periodically to build up the mass of body muscles that will make them bulky to withstand any pushing off the ball and makes them winning most tusles and have enduring stamina.

  16. I personally think the current crop don’t require any addition. The form of Conqelin justifies that. He is strong, fast and relentless in pressuring running opponents. He a actually improved the game play of the team with Cazorla and Rocisky in midfield. With more experience and know-how intelligence, he can be a permanent stay in first team. Per and Kos are getting back to their best and I feel all other positions are covered especially with injured players returning to boast competition. It takes superstars to win games but it’s takes a team to win titles. Southampton is good example. I’m also trilled with the work done by Ancelotti at Real Madrid this season by creating a proper team than just bitching around spoiled superstars previously forced upon on former managers.

  17. I realize that it’s only a small minority of assholes who think they know more about the transfer market than Wenger, Who the fuck are they kidding. These very same motherfuckers can drive the bus better than the bus driver, Fly the plane better than the pilot, And run the country better than the president. Those motherfucking asshole morons should seek professional mental health immediately. Their tiny little pea brains are screaming for it.

  18. I think we do look strong Michael Ram, just no more shit like Debauchy in our last match otherwise we need 10 players in each position!


    And a happy new year to you my friend.

    Glad to see the new years resolution hasn’t lasted long. 😉

    Lovely to have you and your eloquent turn of phrase back in the fold.

  20. See Southampton have lost Shneiderlin to a training ground injury and Wanyama to a hamstring in the first half of their cup replay. Interesting to see how they get on without two of their top players. I bet they get a lot more slack than us over the effect of injuries though.

  21. Yes, I was about to mention that Wanyama pulled up, and that his injury may be a little karma for his kicking our players.

    Hi BillFM. “Like”.

  22. And Gary Linekar and co ran thru Sotons list of 3 injured players – sounding so sorry for them. Never heard them sympathising about Ars’s team of injured players. No, they mock, the bassturds.

  23. Just to support the comments above – good to see you back BILL FROM MANHATTAN! and a very Happy New Year.

    Re transfers – I don’t get too excited about these until they are announced on Arsenal.com – so the media & blog sphere (who are mainly anti Arsenal) don’t get too many hits from me!

  24. I imagine Bill in an apartment in Manhattan with a drink of Scotch waxing ‘eloquently.’ Lol!

  25. Hahaha

    Kallstrom was a failure!! Seriously!!…

    How much do you know about his contribution off the pitch @Nick Lee???

    An experienced central midfielder, with a good international record cannot be termed as a failure. Even though he had a limited contribution on the field.

  26. “As a fan you are waiting to have a player like that. Finally we have one.” – Henry on Sanchez.

  27. Kallstrom is a very good player. Simple passes yet effective, and was physically strong. I liked the things he did on the pitch, too bad the only thing we all remember is the transfer incident because of his injury. Its quite possible that monies must have been exchanged between the clubs to not be able to pull out of the deal, hence this parent club choose to pay the initial 6 weeks salary. If we signed him, be could have been a useful squad player.

  28. On Man$$; honestly…how do they get away with signing yet another player when supposedly they are in breach of FFP regulations already??!!

  29. @ Bill – welcome back , we’ve missed your ‘choice’ words of wisdom!

  30. Jampot.
    Its you thats throwing the petty insults about then goes crying to tony.Your just a brainwashed AKB that blames our failings on everyone and everything but the boss.
    We were top when we signed Kallstrom.He never played for 2 months after he signed,then played a handful of games and scored once in a penalty shootout,i wouldnt call that a successful signing.

  31. This guy sounds like a real unhappy Killjoy .

    This 60 year old woman is naked, jumping up and down on her bed laughing and singing. Her husband walks into the bedroom and sees her.
    He watches her awhile then says, “You look ridiculous, what on earth are you doing?”
    She says, “I just got my checkup and my doctor says I have the breasts of an eighteen-year-old.” She starts laughing and jumping again.
    He says, “Yeah, right. And what did he say about your 60 year-old arse?”
    She says, “Well, your name never came up.”

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