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The emperor of Corsica joins Arsenal

By Walter Broeckx

Sébastien Squillaci, (note the right way his name should be written), is the new player we have brought to the Emirates.

If we remember Wenger is the man who never buys experienced players working with a board of directors who never want to spend money.   So who is this “unknown” player and what has he done in this career so far?  After all, he is the third player coming in this transfer window – so he must be someone special.  Let us have a look at it.

On paper he is French as he was born in Toulon a city in the south of France. But in fact he is born of parents who are from Corsica, Ghisonaccia to give the name of his home town.

And he is Corsican and so not 100% French in fact.   To explain the significance of this here’s a very brief diversion for the next two paragraphs.

There was once an independent Corsican Republic, but it was incorporated into France in 1769 – being known in French it is known as “Corse”.

In 1972, toxic waste was dumped off the Corsican coast.   Some of the locals took direct action and bombed one of the ships carrying the toxic wastes, and there were further bombings and an assassination.  Fighting followed by fighting between two different independence groups, there was a strong French military response which alienated lots of locals, but ultimately the troubles died down.   A local referendum this century rejected greater autonomy for the island.

Now back to the football.

This 1m 85cm tall central defender played most of his career in the south of France.  His breakthrough came when he was loaned to the Corsican team Ajaccio by his club Monaco.

He then returned to Monaco and later went on to Lyon and then to Sevilla. And from there on we bought him.

Has he won a bit in his career? Well I think he has won on his own more than our whole team together so far. His last trophy was the Spanish cup in 2010. And with Lyon he has become champion twice, won the French Cup, the Coupe de la Ligue and some other lesser cups.

At Monaco he won the league, the Coupe de la Ligue and played on the losing side in the Champions league final against Porto in 2004. And with AC Ajaccio he also won the league but this was in the second division.

So for those who have been asking Wenger to buy someone who has won things in his career it looks like that Wenger has done what they asked.

But as nothing is perfect in some parts of the AAA world they now moan about the fact that they didn’t know him personally. Just as they didn’t know Anelka when Wenger bought him, or Henry or Pires or Vermaelen or … I think I have made my point. For some people no one will ever be good enough I think.

And we have to see what he brings to the team in the next few seasons but at the teams he has been in his career, the trainers and the fans have always been very satisfied with his attitude and his behaviour. But for me he is very welcome and I hope that he brings his experience in winning to the rest of the team.

And maybe he will be like his most famous compatriot from France and from Corsica: Napoléon Bonaparte. He conquered the whole of Europe at first and became emperor of a big part of Europe including the parts where I live.  [Err – I think it is not very politically correct for our UK audience Walter – but I’ll let you off just this once – Editor]

So welcome Emperor Sébastien Squillaci let your coming to the Emirates be the start of Arsenal conquering Europe and the rest of the world.

Untold Arsenal, not exactly the place for facts, but still, you can’t have it all.

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Up next: The ref’s analysis of the ref – Blackburn against Arsenal

25 comments to The emperor of Corsica joins Arsenal

  • Terence McGovern

    Bonaparte did ok in Europe. He certainly wasn’t afraid of an away tie that’s for sure lol. He didn’t do so well against Irish managers though with a particularly bad drubbing at Waterloo Road which led to his retirement….again.
    The opposing Irish manager Arthur Wellesley known among his team as ‘Lord’ Arthur went on to become the top manager of his time and picked up alot of silverware (mostly from french estate houses);-)

  • Mr. Nobody

    No need for sarcasm. If we look closer, Squillaci isn’t really far from the “unknown” label. He isn’t really a fan’s dream signing but o.k. I’m more than happy to give him a chance to shine.

    He is overpriced too, and it is due to the fact that Wenger went for numerous targets (Sevilla surely knew we were in need in terms of numbers) but he couldn’t get near them because of the aforementioned “board of directors who never want to spend money” which effectively cost us not having Alonso, Jagielka, Ribery and many more whom we are not aware of. I won’t say they would shine at Arsenal, but who’s to say they wouldn’t.

  • ehem~

    finally, a true ‘Untold Arsenal-esque’ article..:D

  • Dark Prince

    Squillaci looks like an excellent addition to our team. Experienced and likes to get physical. I still haven’t seen any of his matches but if he has been chosen by Wenger himself then he must be quality.

  • Gooner80

    Only time will tell I have seen you tube clips dont know how much you can gain from that but it is a much needed playerand is experienced. I think it is fair to say Aw has done as much as he can to get signings in and if we dont get schwarzer it is down to fulham not AW

    IMO we have too many french players and someone must be looking at the passports a little

  • Terence McGovern

    I don’t care what nationality the are as long as they can play well together. This signing in particular brings experience on all levels and also an experience of trophy winning. That it is so unusual from our other signings in the past de,onstrates the manager identifying a problem and addressing it.
    There is a sector of our support that wish we had more England players in the team but you only have to examine how much negative media our English players already get to see what a minefield that is. Id imagine that AW is sick of fielding questions about England internations which given the subject matter are generally questions nobody really wants to hear the truth about.
    Walcott, Wiltshire and Gibbs is enough for now. That will be after all 3 of the starting 11 when Euro 2012 kicks off. Let the other clubs kick in.

  • Again, really enjoy reading ur articles. Very witty.

  • metalhead

    The first time I saw Squillaci he reminded me of Laurent Blanc. Let’s hope he performs as well as the great Laurent Blanc.

  • Terence McGovern

    Oh look case in point jack Wiltshire arrested stories being spred all over the net even though he was witness to an incident and tried to play peacemaker according to the police.
    This is the type of media attention that english players draw whether guilty or innocent.

  • Bio

    Not totally unrelated- may I respectfully ask, who is our third signing this summer? Is he in the Young Guns side? Thank you!

  • KenyanGooner

    3 signings:

    Chamakh
    Kosc
    SS

  • John

    Chamakh, Kosser and Squillaci. Three. 3.

  • Robbie MustoeMeAMillion

    Signings, three: M. Chamakh, L. Koscielny, S. Sqillaci. Your turn…

  • Robbie MustoeMeAMillion

    Ooh, I missed U… good game though kids, I like this!

  • Terence McGovern

    Wow capello just loves handing people rods for his own back eh.
    Doesn’t select Tom Huddlestone whose manager covets Capello’s job or at least his salary.

    What is the betting that there are a few twitches about it in the media tomorrow? Odds on.

  • Bio

    @”Kenyan and John”-I must be suffering from severe amnesia, remembered Chamakh(early in the window) after I posted the question. Forgive me. Thanks anyhow.
    P.S. Just got my new Arsenal shirt which I can proudly wear around Charlottesville on gamedays!

  • olat

    Emperor we are waiting for ur magic,make sure u sort defence out this time around.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    One can only assume that Gallas was holding AW to ransom or he was an unsettling influence in the dressing room if AW pays money to bring in his back up in the French national side.

    As with Koscielny and Chamakh, I suspect it will be the New Year before any real judgements can be made about added strength. Although Koscielny needs to get into the weights room to ensure that other forwards e.g. Drogba don’t bounce him off the ball before setting up equalisers…….

    But after 3 games, Arsenal look about the same as Man Utd and somewhat behind Chelsea.

    But what does anyone really know after 3 games, eh????

  • indian_gunner

    @Rhys Jaggar
    one does know the frame of mind of the team, that this time we are not going to be shoved around by rugby teams. Its been a superb start for us this season which hopefully will continue a long run and shut the AAA, for once.

  • Apologies for delay in clearing some comments from moderation – in case you are not in England or Wales you won’t know the last monday in August is a public holiday, for reasons that will not become apparent at this time.

    So I went out for the party with the neighbours, got back late, got up late, and well, you know….

  • AFC1974

    Looks like another typical Wenger addition. See: Henry, Pireeeesss! et al. Unknown means undiscovered. And at least he won’t get arrested in the early hours of the morning in the west end 😉

  • AFC1974

    Heh! No need to apologise Tony – if you look up Bank Holiday it clearly describes the act of stopping out and getting lashed! Way to go. Full English or American waffles and Maple syrup?

  • gooner80

    @RHYS
    chelsea have had SUCH an easy fixture list we have had much tougher fixtures liverpool and Blackburn have REALLY good records at home.

    What I found with Gallas he always had to make last ditch tackles because of poor reading of the game and if Koschielny ( how ever you spell it) is more proactive than reactive that can only be good for us, Gallas did things that made him look good he is not a team player, he lost us the title at birmingham and I have a sneaky feeling AW has been looking over his stats and knows he is in the decline and may only have a year left

    I think the midfield being more mature and knowing when to attack and not go all out attack will make the difference. With Chamkh it allows us to play deeper and spring attacks 20 second attacks for both goals incredible that is like the old Arsenal

  • Paul C.

    Rhys – AW only went after Koscielny after Gallas indicated that he was not accepting Arsenal’s offer of a one year contract at a slightly reduced wage. Remember the deadline AW gave Gallas at the beginning of the summer? Once that deadline passed and it became clear that Gallas was not returning then AW went after his replacement.

  • Limestonegunner

    I have no complaints with the signing of a proven winner who still has several good years at the highest level. I am relieved that Squillaci has joined and I think he, Koscielny, and Djorou should compete for the starting partnership with Vermaelen. In that I would give the edge to Squillaci for his experience which might help keep the defense more organized. I don’t see him as a backup to Koscielny who has obvious talent and potential but much less experience and a slight physique for the top level in a physical league, but we’ll see.

    My only concern about this is that Squillaci ought perhaps to have been a priority over Koscielny, for the above reasons, and come into the squad earlier than he has at the very least. We don’t know all the negotiations and the variables that were considered, but it is late in the game to introduce the third new CB (counting Djorou “like a new signing” since he hasn’t played with any of the other three CB’s) to partner Vermaelen who is himself fairly new to the highest levels of football after one very good season with us from the Dutch league. I would have like Squillaci to have more time in preseason and early games.

    But this is what we have now and I look forward to what will hopefully be an improved defense once these players develop a good understanding and familiarity with the PL together. But it might take a while and we have to be prepared for some miscommunication, positional mistakes, and the like for the next month or two.