Sterling to Arsenal slowed by the enmity between Liverpool and down south

By Tony Attwood

The management of Liverpool don’t like the management of Arsenal.  There are many origins of the dislike, probably going all the way back to 1989, but the current round of dislike centres on the remark made in 2013 when John W. Henry put a message on social media saying “What do you think they’re smoking over there at Emirates.”

It was a clever insult – because Henry knew that most of the mainstream media would pick up on it and repeat it without any attempt whatsoever to examine what lay behind it.

In fact one or two papers did reveal that there really was a £40m release clause in the contract with Suarez as Henry later revealed, and that John W. Henry was just bulldozing his way through the issue, as in effect he had to, given the ruling of the 30 January 2008 Court of Arbitration in Sport ruling in the Webster case about the validity of long term contracts.

Matters weren’t helped by the development of a siege mentality that developed after several newspapers turned on Liverpool.  The Telegraph for example wrote…

Liverpool’s problems? Delusions of grandeur, transfer duds and failure to fix clear flaws in the squad

As I have noted before, The Daily Telegraph had a field day with this article – written in a vituperative style that they normally reserve exclusively for Arsenal.  It began…

“Those who want Brendan Rodgers out are deluding themselves if they think it will change anything under the current set-up”.

Matters were made worse by the Alexis affair in which the player turned down Liverpool in order to play for Arsenal – something that was not what the bullish ownership of the club really wanted to hear.

Now the issue of Raheem Sterling is upping the tension once again.

Brendan Rodgers has made no secret of what he calls an “incredible” offer being made to Sterling, but also said that the situation was unlikely to be resolved between now and the end of the season.

According to that arbiter of truth, rumour and outrageous invention, the Daily Mail,  Liverpool have offered Streling £90,000-a-week but the players has indicated to them that even £180,000-a-week wouldn’t induce him to stay in Liverpool.

Now I am sure that many Liverpudlians feel similarly about London (and quite honestly I feel that way about south London, and parts of London around Barking) but it’s not good news when you want to hold on to a player.

Sterling has two years left on his contract, and quite probably has a lawyer who knows about the Court of Arbitration ruling, so their position is as weak as it was in the Suarez case was.  But then they held on to the old biter, so maybe they can repeat the ploy.

But as we know from what was said around the time of the brouhaha surrounding Suarez, Arsenal actually didn’t fancy Suarez, but were just trying to distract from other deals going through – particularly Ozil, with Tottenham adding a “don’t sell Ozil to Arsenal” clause to the Bale sale contract.   Arsenal were trying to show Real Mad that they had other fish to haul in, and Real Mad were eventually persuaded to tell Tottenham it was a straight buy or no deal.

So the question we need to decipher is whether Arsenal are laying false trails again, as they did with success over Suarez, Ozil and Alexis, or whether this one is real.

Just how confusing this can be for the simple minds of journalists can be seen from a piece in the Daily Mirror.   In a wonderful line they say that “Arsenal have made discreet enquiries about Sterling”.  So discreet it seems that they let the Daily Mirror in on the secret.  The Mirror that even now can’t remember what John Henry said at his lecture about Arsenal and the Suarez contract.

The Mirror also goes on to say that Liverpool want Theo, and they might take him to help the deal along.  Oh yes and they have also worked out that Arsenal is in London and Sterling is a Londoner.

So, on the basis that it is in the Mirror, that John Henry lied about the contract of Suarez and then openly admitted lying in a lecture he gave to a conference in the US, and that Arsenal is adept at hiding its true intentions through vapour transfers and the like, is this deal on?

Liverpool certainly look a bit frustrated, but that’s not really enough to make a judgement on.

Besides, if the transfer window is the silly season, that must make this time of year the so silly it has fallen off the edge of the world and is trying to climb back on season.

But here’s a thought.  Arsenal look likely to finish in the top four, and Liverpool less likely.  Maybe that affects Stirling.

But then again, as the aaa always tell us, fourth is not a trophy.


From the anniversary archives: the aaa would love this era when managers only lasted a year…

30 March 1897: JB Mitchell, Arsenal’s first manager took office.  His appointment had been hastened by the club’s concerns over the 0-8 defeat to Loughboro and the view of increasing indiscipline in the team.

30 March 1898: WR Elcoat accepted an offer of take over as Arsenal manager one year after Mitchell had resigned citing difficulties in his relationship with the board.  He, like his predecessor only last one year.  Most books call him “George” but this is an error.


23 Replies to “Sterling to Arsenal slowed by the enmity between Liverpool and down south”

  1. I hope that this and all the other rumours, eg re Cech, Smalling et al, turn out to be complete rubbish as usual.

  2. I personally don’t think Sterling is better than the options we have in the same position he plays. This guy is greedy and don’t defend. I would rather play Rocisky in his 40s than play this guy. He had one good season, similar like any other Liverpool players who think they contributed more than Suarez and they think they can push their clubs around financially. I think Theo should and must justify his demanded wages otherwise AW will lose patience like he had with Gervinho. Certainly, an unwanted distraction during this essential period.

  3. I want Theo to stay.

    Michael Ram how to you know that Arsene lost patience with Gervinho? You

  4. Walcott’s contract will be sorted. Wenger’s a shrewd man, he’ll not pay Theo more than he thinks he’s worth.

    I’ve learned not to take anything the papers say with any seriousness; the time to believe a transfer is when announce it.

  5. It was reported that Sanchez’s family wanted to live in London so tho Liverpool desperately wanted him it was a non starter! Arsenal desperately wanted Suarez, and despite what Henry was reported to have said his contract was examined by the Players Union who verified that Liverpool were only obliged to negotiate ‘in good faith’ if his £40m release was triggered. Arsenal’s disrespectful offer caused bad feeling so unless it suits Liverpool, I suspect they will divert him to another club. Releasing interest (in a player negotiating a new contract) through the media amounts to tapping up! Wenger professes to not do that but he does! So do all clubs!

  6. Anthony Taylor. Saturday!

    Ok, last time he reffed us was unplanned, but he still ended up as the ref, and this’ll make 4 in 4 months.

    Only consolation I can take is that I was convinced he’d be kept as a weapon for the Utd game. If he really is Riley’s new chosen man/weapon, as we know Utd away can be made impossible with the worst of the worst refereeing. Liverpool at home is different. We should still expect to be screwed over given half a chance, but it’s near enough still in our own hands if we play well enough.

    Still, the Taylor/12:45 combo is not a promising one

  7. The way I remember it, Gervinho had suffered such abuse from Arsenal fans that he had lost his confidence. It seemed Arsene Wenger let him go as much for the player himself as anything. That’s just the feeling I got from quotations I read at the time.

  8. @Tony

    If rumours are to be believed Walcott wants out to Liverpool. So something has to give in the relationship between the two clubs.

  9. Rich,

    I’ve just drafted the ref preview – he is never good news. I was expecting him for the FA Cup. Walter probably has better info though.

  10. Okay, here is the complete appointment list.

    Saturday 4 April 2015
    K.O. .MATCHES . . . . REFEREE . . . ASST. REF. 1 . .ASST. REF. 2 . .4TH OFFICIAL
    12:45 Arsenal – Liverpool . . . Anthony Taylor . D Cann M Perry M Oliver
    17:30 Chelsea – Stoke . . . . . Jonathan Moss . .D England E Smart M Jones
    15:00 Everton – Southampton . . Lee Mason . . . .A Halliday L Betts N Swarbrick
    15:00 Leicester – West Ham . . .Mark Clattenburg S Beck J Collin C Pawson
    15:00 Man Utd – Aston Villa . . Roger East . . . R West I Hussin M Atkinson
    15:00 Swansea – Hull . . . . . .Andre Marriner . D Bryan S Ledger J Adcock
    15:00 West Brom – QPR . . . . . Lee Probert . . .R Ganfield M Scholes D Bond
    Sunday 5 April 2015
    K.O. .MATCHES . . . . REFEREE . . . ASST. REF. 1 . .ASST. REF. 2 . .4TH OFFICIAL
    13:30 Burnley – Spurs . . . . . Martin Atkinson .M Mullarkey S Child R Madley
    16:00 Sunderland – Newcastle . .Mike Dean . . . .S Burt .S Long C Pawson
    Monday 6 April 2015
    K.O. .MATCHES . . . . REFEREE . . . ASST. REF. 1 . .ASST. REF. 2 . .4TH OFFICIAL
    20:00 Crystal Palace – Man City Michael Oliver . J Brooks G Beswick L Probert

  11. Andrew Crawshaw, look forward to reading that.

    I wouldn’t blame you if the preview just says, ‘ aaaaaaarrggghhh’

    Not sure if Wenger or any managers approach things this way, but I think special stress should be given to the players about not giving any chance for reds on sat and taking extra care full stop.

    A couple of times with Coquelin I’ve thought ,’ hmm, that obviously wasn’t a red, but you’ve given them a chance to make it one’ Both feet leave the ground with him at times, though he’s safe by the time he makes the challenge. He’s one who’ll have to be careful. Chambers, no disrespect to him, hopefully won’t be playing.

    If those of us who feel we get a ridiculously raw deal ,and that there is a preference in high places for Liverpool as well as Utd to succeed, are correct, with Liverpool’s need for a win on Sat being very great, the worry is that the officiating could reflect this, and that they’ve a man capable of outrageous things to try make that happen.

  12. Whether the rumours are true or not, i think we will know soon enough. I think the team is solid enough not to need him or anyone else except if Theo is going.

    What is true is that Arsenal has to make plans for the possibility that Theo goes, and whether that includes Sterling(real or as decoy) or some other speedster, he will be bought only if Theo goes(as i type this i think, wait, what if AW wants Sterling, AND Theo to stay).

    Ah. Speculation, gets the mind working on overtime, much like discussing time travel.

    Someone who apparently( wants to come to Arsenal.
    Charles Aranguiz.

  13. I understand the worry for the game on Saturday. Its going to depend on who wants it more. If pool win they will be 57, three points below us, that means ManU will overtake us. We surely do not want that.
    Prefer to leapfrog City hoping they draw or lose.

    I for one hope Theo plays and destroys Pool. Now that would silence the rumours eh 🙂

  14. At the end of the day, none of these deals will go though. Meanwhile Sterling is not worth more than £100k/wk. He may be good/young but this is his 1st good season. And AW will surely not pay£50m for him when better and more experienced players are available. We already have Alexis who is better at dribbling, scoring, defending and work ethics hence Sterling is a no go. I rather we develop Gnabry than sign Sterling

  15. Meanwhile consider Marco Reus (even if he just signed a new contract). A better and cheaper player at every level than Sterling. You think AW doesn’t know. Like Tony said, He will probably be a decoy from the real deal.

  16. Haha the Daily Mirror, always looking in the mirror and thinking of rumors to make. I lost it here “Oh yes and they have also worked out that Arsenal is in London and Sterling is a Londoner.” 😀 😀

  17. Haha the Daily Mirror, always looking in the mirror and thinking of rumors to make. I lost it here “Oh yes and they have also worked out that Arsenal is in London and Sterling is a Londoner.” 😀 😀

  18. Cannot see us going for Sterling, expensive, high wages, disloyal, and Liverpool will not sell him to us. Also, we could have had him before anyone had heard of him, But I heard he was encouraged to give London a wide berth, perhaps in with the wrong crowd, or a risk of being affected by the wrong crowd?
    Taylor again FFS. That will most likely be a very tight game, and refs decisions may well be key. As FIF repeatedly states, Arsenal really need to wisen up to what is going on. Expect Atkinson at OT and Talyor again should we make the final. See Atkinson doing Spurs Burnley, wonder if he will be a charitable to Spurs this weekend as he was when we played at the Lane?

  19. Above….meant to say give London clubs a wide berth on progressing his career, he was living in London at the time, and on QPRs books. There is no way we did not know about him back then

  20. Sterling…..if we REALLY are after such a player, wouldn’t Pedro or Reus be cheaper, easier to get, and maybe even better? Vapour transfer written all over it

  21. It’s rumoured that Sterling has a poor attitude away from the training ground. We’ve let guys go before when they’re more interested in their nightlife than being a professional…. But it’s a rumour so it could well be bollocks!

  22. Gounerous No 1,

    A valid question. I refuse to believe AW will have confidence on a player who refuse to accept he is not better than anyone else at the club. I think AW has backed him up publicly when he was criticized, gave him all the confidence in the world at the expense of others but still refuse to improve beyond his ego. He didn’t even had patience with himself when AW had on every players in his disposals. The very fact that he blamed AW for failing at Arsenal shows that he lacks responsibility for himself, the very attitude AW has in abundance. How can you have confident in a player who expects others to take responsibility for him? He is grown ass man. That’s why I see some similarities between Gervinho and Walcott. I just feel Walcott need to improve more to get back into the team and only he can do it. One more case in hand, did you realize how loop sided Arsenal team is when Theo plays? Because he still don’t have the dicipline tactically. Ozil has improved, Alexis has improved and even Ox has improved. Come on, Theo!

  23. I can see Sterling going to City next summer. They need home-grown players, he wants a lot more cash than he gets and Liverpool have offered. He can give them width on the pitch.

    I’d prefer Walcott signing a new deal with us. I expect him to shine in 2015-16, after he goes through a preseason with the team and shakes off all the rustiness.

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