Untold Arsenal doesn’t do transfer predictions but if we did…

By Tony Attwood

Untold Arsenal doesn’t do predictions about who we are about to buy, but if we did I might be tempted to say Sébastien Squillaci.

Squillaci is a central defender who was with Monaco – with whom we know that our Lord Wenger has many contacts. He went on loan to AC Ajaccio before getting established in 2002, as Monaco won the League Cup and were runners up in the league.  He was also there in the champs league final of 2004 – wherein he scored against Real Mad in the semis.

He then went on to Olympique Lyonnais with whom he won the league twice, before joining Sevilla in July 2008, winning the Copa del Ray last season.  He was in the French squad for the jolly world cup jaunt in South Africa but didn’t play – he’s got 20 caps which he keeps in a hat rack.

I suspect there might be something in this tale of a transfer because this is exactly the sort of player Wenger likes to bolster the back four – experienced and able to step up when needed, but not going to make a big fuss if he doesn’t get a game for a while.  And besides that Young Guns reckon its a goer, which is usually a fair indication.

And there’s the dinky fact that he was withdrawn from the Sevilla team in the first leg of the Champions League play-off tie this week.

Quotes, as we know in football, are gibberish, but here’s one anyway….

“The player asked us not to play this game due to an important offer from a team, although for the moment, we consider the bid to be inadequate and Squillaci remains a Sevilla player,” said Sevilla director Ramon Rodriguez.

Here’s another: “I read ‘Making the Arsenal’ by that Tony Attwood guy, and I have to say that any club that has supporters who can write such stuff, well, you know, I have to be part of it,” said the player.

Which is probably closer to the truth than the Spanish press which are predicting “developments” on the transfer today which means nothing will happen for the next ten years.

Untold’s Index – see the world through a grain of sand

Woolwich Arsenal – the history of the club from the fans point of view

Making the Arsenal – the book every Italian was reading by the poolside this summer.

One of these statements is not quite correct, but well, this is football.  Know what I mean?

38 Replies to “Untold Arsenal doesn’t do transfer predictions but if we did…”

  1. Would be nice to me. He has played in top teams in his career. Has had some 20 caps for France.
    I think some of the French hating Arsenal fans will not like him but who cares;-)

  2. The only potential snap is the one of ‘valuation’.

    We all know Arsene will not pay over the odds, especially for older players (trying to think of the last 30y.o. we signed excluding Sol who was a stop-gap of course…hang on there was that other chap Syl something…oh bugger! lol).

    Sounds like a sound investment at the right price.

  3. I safely can say Sébastien Squillaci is a great squad player… Three years ago Real Madrid, AC Milan and Juventus made formal bids for him, but injuries ruined it… He is highly regarded in France and Spain cause of his ball-playing abilities… He is 6’2″ tall and a very good header… His no-nosense and aggressive defending made him a fan favourite in Sevilla… His leadership and reading of the game made him irreplacable in Sevilla for three years… Injuries last year cause his spot in defense… He deserves a chance in Arsenal FC… Young defenders can learn a lot from him…

  4. Wenger is determined not to buy a player that would set back the “entry point” of the likes of Havard Nordtveit. Remember he was initially after the other player whose manager claims is thrice the Koscielny price? Another 30 year old!

    I suspect he is being very frugal so he can have enough to spend on a certain target of his in the last few hours of the window. It just that its so difficult to know his mind. I hope he signs Greg Van der Wiel to provide good competition for Sagna or get another keeper like Stekelenburg. IMO, Schwarzer isn’t markedly better than Almunia.

  5. It has a ring of truth, unlike last week’s Caught Offside lead story: “Wenger offers BBC £40m for James May and Jeremy Clarkson to turbo-charge his midfield.”

  6. French and injured. I’ll consider him as part of our squad already. What about Arsenals policy not to give players over 30 more than one year contracts? We can’t pay 10M for this guy and only give him a one year contract.

  7. It is not atypical wenger signing IMO but he did say he may have look at ajusting his policy. Sounds like it’s a goer but only at the right price.

  8. Anyone seen mention of a possible transfer fee? The £10 mill from Robbie above is the first I have heard, but that fee sounds as preposterous as it is unlikely.

    The moaners are already in full flow – not a big enough name, not English, too old, too injured blah, blah, blah.

    What’s the natter with Cahill, they chunter?! Well apart from the injuries, the fact that he is decent but no better than what we have but would cost at very minimum £16M (prob more like £20M), would demand first place and thereby destabilise the current CBs…erm nothing I guess.

  9. Don’t you love those fans who urge Wenger to buy, buy, buy and when a name comes up the same fans are the first to shout: has he lost his mind?
    Too long, too short, too frail, too injured, too inexperienced, too French, too…..

  10. Sounds a good buy to me. He’s just turned 30, he’s experienced, an International for France & has Champions League Experience. Sound like he will be a great squad player and could potentially become a 1st team player. We are asking Wenger to buy players and when he does we slag him off because we don’t know them or have never heard of them. I’m 99.9% sure he know’s alot more about the players on the market, whats available and has had his scouts monitor them for 20-30 games as he always does. How many of us had heard of Viera, Petit, Cesc before he bought them? Maybe 1 or 2 more buys to come in on top of this guy and we’ll be happy……… or maybe the majority of “Fans” won’t be….

  11. Agree with that, Walter. They get fussy all of a sudden!

    @ Robbie
    The cutoff is 32 yrs 11 months, not 30. So he would probably get a two or three year contract.

  12. sounds like a good player with title winning experiene with lyon, good in the air and should be good for a couple of years while kyle Bsrtley and Nordveit improve

  13. Tony you are right- also Martin’s right- if Sevilla agree to sell. Hope they do. He seems to be a good player.
    Walter- the problem is most bloggers believe the media who make up stories.

  14. If you can believe wikipedia in French the deal is done: “Il décide de rejoindre le club d’ Arsenal à partir de la saison 2010/2011 pour la somme de 8 millions d’euros.”

    For those who don’t speak French: “He decided to join Arsenal at the start of the season 2010/2011 for the sum of 8M euro”.

    He has won many things in his career so you could call him a winner.

    But let us just wait till Arsenal.com comes out with this…

  15. And in the French press they also consider it as almost done. But once again, when it is not on arsenal.com it hasn’t happened yet

  16. Great post from you again Tony, I am glad that once again I see someone writing a post with clear views on players and football.

    I couldn’t say more than what you said about Squillaci as I have been going around many Arsenal blogs today to let them know who was Squillaci and what he achieved in his career as many think he is some kind of unknown french player again.

  17. Its sounds like a perfect signing!! 🙂

    He is experienced and is a quality defender. He’s 30 yrs old, which means that by the time he retires, we.ll have some of our young defenders to step up to take his place. Also by what i’ve read, he has only 1 year left in his contract. Which means he’ll be not be more that £15 million in value, and Wenger can spend that much amount of money. So its a tri-facta!!!!!! I’d say ‘Go for it Wenger!!’

  18. He sounds like he could be a good signing at a decent price. I would have loved to have seen someone who can fill in at defensive midfield as well, particularly as Frimpong looks to be out for the season.

  19. @ t00fargOne – Just heard that Frimpong has torn his Cruciate Ligament,we still have Eastmond but looks like we may need a back up for that position now. Can’t believe how many players are injured already and we haven’t played the 2nd game yet

  20. @ walter
    I would trust the french media instead of spanish media even if im held on gun point.

  21. Terrible news for Frimpong. People need to chill as far as injuries are concerned. Every team gets them. Serious injuries like this are just part of the game, especially for younger players. Some recover from them, others are never the same again. That is why for every 10 great young prospects coming through the system, one should bank on 1 or 2 maximum making it to the top level. Generations like Utd had in the mid-90’s or West Ham in the late 90’s (Lampard, Carrick, Ferdinand, Defoe, Joe Cole) are the exception, not the rule. This injury may open the door for Eastmond and Coquelin and be the best thing that ever happened for Arsenal (although obviously not for poor Frimpong).

    Any news on Song and whether he will be available for Saturday?

  22. Terrible news for Frimpong. People need to chill as far as injuries are concerned. Every team gets them. Serious injuries like this are just part of the game, especially for younger players. Some recover from them, others are never the same again. That is why for every 10 great young prospects coming through the system, one should bank on 1 or 2 maximum making it to the top level. Generations like Utd had in the mid-90’s or West Ham in the late 90’s (Lampard, Carrick, Ferdinand, Defoe, Joe Cole) are the exception, not the rule. This injury may open the door for Eastmond and Coquelin and be the best thing that ever happened for Arsenal (although obviously not for poor Frimpong).

    Any news on Song and whether he will be available for Saturday?

  23. So we already have Song, Denilson, Nasri, Frimpong and last but not the least Bendtner injured. wow!! Its not even one week that we have played our 1st game and already we’re piling up the injury lists. Guess we’ll might just need another defensive unit. But it depends on how soon Song can play again. Hopefully this should be the last of our injuries.

  24. I am curious to see what 11 we will put out on Saturday.

    Dark prince, last set of injuries? you must be having a laugh. The season has just started. Im sorry to say that our Arsenal team have quite a few injury prone players. It is not Wenger’s fault or the training regime, just mother-nature. The problem with injuries is that they become more frequent as you get older, not the other way around. I guess you can figure the rest out by yourself..

    Any news on Mark Z & Given?

    I am a die hard fan living in New york at the moment. When i lived in Europe it was easier to keep up, however now being here all i get is the articles online etc. I would love to setup a camera in the Arsenal board-room to get 24/7 coverage.

    Another question off topic.. Are we as Arsenal fans, the most stressed fans out there? On every single forum i read, ppl seem to be 2min away from a heart-attack just because we haven’t signed Cahill for 25mm quid?

    ps. Am i the only one that thinks our assistant Pat Rice looks like Elton john?

    let’s demolish Blackpool on Saturday!!

  25. timmy the gunner- Just hoping for the best!! I know we hav just started the season and we might have more injuries. We do need some depth in our squad. Still dont kno who’ll be replacing Koscielny in the defence against blackpool. Even Song is injured, so it might be someone from the reserves. That is gonna be a nervous back line. And looking at how blackpool have started the season, i hope Cesc and Persie Combo can demolish them before giving them any chance to defend a lead. We all know that if blackpool scores the first goal then they are gonna put the entire team on defence. Even if they come out with a draw, it would be like a defeat for us.

  26. Dark Prince, i agree with you. I understand it is tough to find the right player for team, however time is not on our side. I would hate to see us fall 3 points short of the title, and the reason for that because we didn’t sign a defender or keeper in time..

    The only thing that annoys me about our beloved team is the attitude. The best moment i remember last year was away to the spuds. We conceded a corner and Campbell was left fuming, encouraging, yelling at the top of his lungs to gather the troops. This has nothing to do with age or experience, it has to do with attitude. We don’t need experience, we need vocal, imposing leaders. I don’t care if they are technically 100% you also need some grit. We have enough skill in my opinion.

    That is what annoys me.. that we are 1 or 2 warriors away
    from winning it all!

  27. Squallicci (?) or however you spell it? Never heard of him. He’s not on FIFA2010.

    C’mon Arsene, go after quality. Like Vidic. Or Terry. Or Albiol. Or Mertseeker. Or, or … or Vidic! Yes, yes, none are for sale. But buy quality!

  28. okay, sorry all. just having a bit of fun, mocking all the fantasy managers out there.

    Cheers to tony and walter for not getting too wrapped in the silly season.

  29. timmy the gunner- You hav a serious point. I remember how Campbell was the only one charged up to take on the Spuds even in the dying minutes. Only a handful of players have that attitude. But most of them got injured by the time we reached at that point when we needed that attitude the most!! Injuries are so damn frustrating!!

  30. I’m not sure I can agree about Sol last season. Yes I admit he fought for it and gave it all. But fighting on the field to recover the ball is very nice. But when he then got the ball he just kicked it up front and 8 out 10 we lost the ball and they came back at us.
    His footballing skills never have been the greatest as his trong points were his defending but he (and Silvestre who just did the same) lost the ball always with their kicking the ball upfield. For me that is one of the main reasons why we lost it at the end as we couldn’t bring the ball up in the feet of our attackers.

    So yes I loved him when he did his tackling but when I saw their passing after the tackle it made me realise I didn’t want them to play for us anymore next (this) season. I think a team with 10 Campbells on the field would struggle against relegation to be honest, whatever their spirit might be.

  31. Walter- I disagree in some points. Even if we have 10 worldclass players but none of them have the attitude, then we wont win anything. It should be a balance of both attitude and quality talent. And i would definately had put Campbell in Arsenal’s squad. He, in my point of view, has both the quality and talent to take us ahead. Even today between Sequallici and Campbell, i’d hav chosen Campbell bcoz he’s still defends superbly. And believe me, kicking the ball upfield maybe sometimes required. Some of our goals are conceded bcoz we dont clear the ball properly. One good example is the goal by liverpool last week.

  32. yes Dark Prince but I mean when you have the ball and are not under pressure on the half way line and then you just kick the ball forward in no mans land. We aren’t really equiped for that kind of play. Last year certainly but now with Chamakh it could work at some time.

    And off course you need a mix or both good players and players who play on attitude. But believe the number of lost balls between Campbell and Silvestre when trying to build an attack in those last games was frightning.

  33. Walter- I think the reason for that maybe bcoz both Silvestre and Campbell have played their best football during times when long balls used to work. But in Arsenal’s case in the last 3-4 years, long balls are of very minimal use. We make more of short ground passes now. In the invincibles era, henry, viera, pires all used to catch long balls. Hopefully the arrival of Chamakh can change things now.

  34. Walter, i do not mean we should have 10 Campbells on the field. But we need his attitude. And please do not blame the spuds game on him and Silvestre. I respect Silvestre for being an Arsenal player, however his last season was the worst i have ever seen by an Arsenal player. Dark Prince is right, sometimes the ball just needs to be cleared upfield. We conceed way to many goals because we try to play our way out of trouble, when all we need is a boot upfield.

    I do not want to get carried away here, however i do not believe that football games are won by experience but by attitude and cohesion. We have enough experience in our squad all we need now is that GO GET THEM mentality!

    With that being said, i hope you guys at the stadium tomorrow give the lads a good reception. let’s hope for 3 good points!

    Up the Gooners!

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