The done deal was did but they didn’t do the deal dey said dey would did.


By Tony Attwood

Of course it was ludicrous – why would Arsenal sell the goalkeeper who had done so much during the latter half of the season to keep the club on track, and yet retain the player who had been dropped to make way for the success?

There were one or two minor attempts to explain why Ospina might go and Szczesny stay to do with the homegrown rule, but looking at the expected list of 25 for Arsenal for the coming season this made no sense at all.  Arsenal, as each season since it was introduced, fit into the home grown rule nicely, and thus far have never taken up all 25 places that they could on their list – not least because of the club’s brilliance at bringing through young players who don’t have to be counted.

But the little spoof sites kept on and on telling us that Ospina was going.  And so did their little (although that might be because I most see them stumbling as they try one more time to approach the bar) friends in the press.  Now it appears (unless this is another fabrication, but because of the source I suspect not) Roma have reached a deal to take Szczesny on loan for the season with a view to buying him next summer if he cuts down his cigarette intake and gets his dad under control.  There’s even a price: €5m.

But would you have known all this was going on if you relied on the silly little folk who run our national newspapers?  Well you would if you were reading Untold Arsenal on 1 August 2012 when we invented (and copyrighted!)  The Vapour Transfer

The classic Vapour Transfer is a distraction (VT1 in the original article) and as I mentioned therein, “You can always tell the real Distraction Vapour Transfer from the mindless ramblings of a drunken journalist because at heart the Vapour Transfer might just be real.”

The transfer of Ospina might just have been real if there was some personal problem, some private bust up within the club, and so on.  One never knows what really goes on.  But it seemed unlikely.   Why drop one keeper, bring in a second who performs brilliantly, and then sell the second to keep the first?

But in fact it is unusual to use a vapour technique as a cover for the fact that one is selling a different player – but it can be helpful to push the buying club into the notion that really the selling club doesn’t want to sell, and actually is trying to get rid of someone else, but really, if you are after a keeper, well, I suppose we might… but it will cost you… you’ll have to pay the salary…

The funny thing is that although the evidence for Vapour Transfers is huge, and although in the original article I pointed out their origin in the machinations of Apple and Microsoft who are forever launching Vapour Products (I even quoted the court case for goodness sake), the press and the little blogettas don’t want to know.


‘My agent is speaking to Fenerbahce’ – Arsenal star David Ospina says announced the ever misled Talksprout on 22 June.

On the same day the Express told us “Arsenal star David Ospina CONFIRMS he will make way for Chelsea’s Petr Cech.”  I am not quite sure what that meant, but there you have it

Always a little slow off the mark the Daily Mirror team stumbled out of the pub five days later and told us on 27 June, “David Ospina heading for Emirates exit” perhaps confusing the door to the gents with a news story.   Poor Steve Stammers – where do you find these tips mate?

On 10 July the Metro told us, “Arsenal transfer news: David Ospina says Everton move is a great possibility…”

On 15 July we were, wow, in Spain, as the Standard told us

Real Madrid target Arsenal keeper Ospina,

And then just to prove that even the editors of the Metro don’t read the Metro on 16 July the Metro (which had given us the Everton story on 10 July) was at it with Arsenal transfer news: David Ospina closes in on Real Madrid…   “Colombian goalie Ospina is surplus to requirements at the Emirates … Real Madrid ‘to open talks with Arsenal over David Ospina transfer’.”

And did they ask why Arsenal would sell a player that was good enough to interest Real Mad?  No, they didn’t.

Mind you Real Madrid ain’t all it is cracked up to be, for if Everton come knocking that could put the Mad Hatters in their place.  As the Express told us the next day, “David Ospina says there is a ‘great possibility’ he could join Everton…”

Mind you on the same day the Express told us that under the heading “Arsenal Transfer News”: Increased Higuain bid.

Of course by this time some of the sources were getting a bit silly as the extraordinarily amusing SB Nation told us that despite ending the season as Arsenal’s first choice goalkeeper in the league, and some impressive, if ultimately meaningless win-ratio statistics,

[MEANINGLESS??????   How do you judge players fully without statistics from past matches??????]

David Ospina’s time at the Emirates could be over after just one season. According to, Ospina is set to move to Fenerbahce for €5.5m, with final negotiations to take place after Ospina returns from Copa America duty with Colombia.

Ah well.   Of course if they say so…

But no!   “Real Madrid target Arsenal keeper Ospina, Chelsea owner …” said the Standard on 15 July.  Hey ho!

So was Ospina any good, or did I just enjoy shouting Ooooooooooooooooospina every time he kicked the ball?  Here’s my little chart

Player Club Clean Sheets Games % Clean Sheets
Ospina Arsenal 8 18 44.44%
Courtois Chelsea 13 32 40.63%
Pantilimon Sunderland 11 28 39.29%
Foster WBA 11 28 39.29%
Mingolet Liverpool 13 35 37.14%
Forster Southampton 11 30 36.67%
Hart Manchester C 13 36 36.11%
Fabianski Swansea 12 37 32.43%
De Gea Manchester U 10 37 27.03%
Krul Newcastle U 8 30 26.67%
Guzan Aston Villa 9 34 26.47%
Heaton Burnley 10 38 26.32%
Schmeichel Leicester C 6 24 25.00%
Lloris Tottenham H 8 35 22.86%
Howard Everton 7 32 21.88%
Adrian WHU 8 38 21.05%
Begovic Stoke C 7 35 20.00%
Green QPR 6 36 16.67%
Speroni Crystal P 6 36 16.67%


So we are told (and I am taking a gamble on this because Arsenal have not confirmed it) Roma have reached a deal to take Wojciech Szczesny on loan for next season with a view to buying the Polish goalkeeper next summer for €5m (£3.5m).   Roma are said to be paying around €1m to have the 25-year old in their squad for next season plus all his wages.

And if I am quite wrong, I will go and hide in a corner for a bit.

Anniversary of the day

23 July 1865: Henry Norris born.  Utterly maligned by Leslie Knighton’s libellous and inaccurate autobiography but praised by George Allison in his book, Norris was the man who rescued Arsenal from bankruptcy in 1910, moved the club to north London, built Highbury, and ultimately brought Herbert Chapman to the club.


16 Replies to “The done deal was did but they didn’t do the deal dey said dey would did.”

  1. Maybe with many of us saying , “Thanks , but no thanks .” ,to Petr Cech and Chelski , we too may have inadvertently contributed to all that vapour .
    I think even some Chelski fans were incredulous that we had the temerity in not wanting to buy their ‘world class ‘ goalkeeper . My son for one surely was !

  2. An awakening –

    My dog sleeps about 20 hours a day.
    He has his food prepared for him. He can eat whenever he wants.
    His meals are provided at no cost to him.
    He visits the Doctor once a year for his check-up, and again during the year if any medical needs arise. For this he pays nothing, and nothing is required of him.
    He lives in a nice neighbourhood in a house that is much larger than he needs, but he is not required to do any upkeep.
    He makes no contribution to the running or maintenance of the house.
    If he makes a mess, someone else cleans it up.
    He has his choice of luxurious places to sleep. He receives these accommodations absolutely free.
    He is living like a King, and has absolutely no expenses whatsoever.
    All of his costs are picked up by others who go out, work hard, and earn a living every day.
    I was just thinking about all this, and suddenly it hit me like a brick in the head.

    I think my dog is a politician !

  3. Ah Mr Attwood, I love this article’s title. ‘The done deal was did but they didn’t do the deal dey said dey would did.’ sounds very much like Nigerian pidgin.

    Well if your Roma story is true, then it confirms the feelings of most of the comments here on UA about how hard it would be to let Ooooooooooooooooooospina go because of HG rule.

    Waiting for to confirm or Tony would need to hide for a while and allow our own Sir Hardly Anyone do his thing.

  4. @Brickfields Gunners July 23, 2015 at 9:55 am.

    Your dog ain’t no politician. After all you didn’t vote for it, it didn’t promise and fail…your dog’s just a lucky b$£tard!

  5. Well, well, well, who would have thought it. Media favourite and their chosen ‘best goalkeeper in the world’ De Gea has two LESS clean sheets than Fabianski whom the media labelled a clown when he played for Arsenal.

  6. Who knows what is going on inside Arsene Wenger’s head right now? Make no mistakes, the man has a plan and he’s keeping his card close to his chest. But whoever thinks he nurtured Szchesny (can’t ever get the spellings right) only to dump him now, should think again.
    @Damilare, that’s not a polite way to refer to a honourable member of my friend’s household (the one that has a politician as his dog, or something like that)!
    @Mick. Good figures to show how really good Oooooooooooospinaaaa really is. I find it instructive that the press has not found as much to smear him with as they have with Fabianski when he was with us. Or was is that they got tired of that silly game once Lukasz left us?
    Very good post all the same. As always.

  7. Brickfields,
    Does your dog, by any chance, go by the name: Phillip, Charles or Andrew? Does he (she?) attend special events with you, where he (she) is the centre of attention while you are royally ignored? You may consider adding the suffix, “Prince” (or “Princess”) to his/her name, to get a proper handle on the class he/she belongs.

  8. Great article Tony, and very interesting table.

    On other news…that new ‘second string’ back-up keeper Chelskie just signed (to replace Cech), is apparently very tired, and Beg-4-ovic let in 4 in the second half 🙂 🙂 he needs a break!!

  9. So Szczesny was benched briefly two seasons ago, again last season for half a term and now it appears he’s off to the eternal city for a seasons long loan spell.
    From this progression it doesn’t look good for his Arsenal future. Only two loanee’s have come back to the club in the last five years; Ramsey and Coquelin. Ten others left permanently.

    Didn’t Szczesny have the most clean sheets last season? Is there a more meaningless statistic than ” clean sheets ” , when assessing keepers.

    According to the chart , there were eight better keepers in the league than De Gea last season, when for most he was by far the best keeper in the division.

    Fact is , with Szczesny in the line up Arsenal were always one play away from a disaster. Ospina has his limitations but his calmness between the sticks was assuring.

    We all have our opinions and I happen to think Cech is a major upgrade over what we had in the keeping department.
    After watching Chelsea get spanked by e second string Red Bulls , and their new NR 2 Begovic put on a horror show of a display, I’m sure all Chelsea fans , even ones who think Cech is past it, would want him back in a hurry.

  10. Stan the Man:
    I tend to agree with you on Szczesny, although i think this is his last chance to redeem himself. AW has put so much into developing him, but one can only go so far when the player does not improve himself(football and otherwise), so it is up to him now to impress both on and off the field else i think he won’t be coming back to Arsenal.

    This is also a warning to all Arsenal players who are not improving themselves, for as Arsenal increase their economical status they surely will increase the quality of players they buy too, and (although not as quickly as SOME fans(?) want) Arsenal become(ing) a different team is going to be inevitable.

  11. Funny how some people will dismiss any stats the show an Arsenal player in a good light or indicate how poorly we are treated by refs.

    I’ll mention no names as we ALL know who he is.

  12. Not sure what happened with Szcz. There have been headlines, and Monreal reportedly confirmed at the kit launch that there were what he termed non sporting issues with our keeper. We cannot be sure what these are, despite the claims of the ITKs.
    Whether true or not, I think he is an extremely talented keeper. The most talented like all of us have their flaws. I wish him well at Roma, and am glad he is leaving with a nice shiny medal, if he becomes the keeper he has the potential to be, would be great to see him back one day.
    In the meantime, we have three excellent keepers.great stats for Ospina.

  13. Jambug

    Nowhere nearly as funny as the certain contributor stating that asking for an upgrade in the goalkeeping department, in light of Ospina’s last season’s performance, was crazy.

    “Some people!” Huh?

    And then of course it turned out that Arsene Wenger was one of those
    “Some people” 🙂


  14. Tom

    “Nowhere nearly as funny as the certain contributor stating that asking for an upgrade in the goalkeeping department, in light of Ospina’s last season’s performance, was crazy.”

    Who said that?

    Not putting words in my mouth again are you?

  15. Jambug
    I can’t decide which is more comical, you being wrong about our goal keeping talent , stating it publicly with some ferocity, Arsene Wenger proving you wrong, or that you now deny it.

    Actually , they are all equally funny.
    If you expect me to dig for your comments to quote you word for word – it ain’t gonna happen. I’m enjoying my Summer too much to even bother.

    I hope you are enjoying yours as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *