Reality can be very boring but can be quite useful in football

by Tony Attwood

Consider this headline

Arsenal ‘willing to pay’ €16m to make transfer happen, decision now rests with player

That seems quite straightforward, except that the player is Keylor Navas of Real Madrid.   So let’s see if the “Willing to pay” story hangs together.

1: Do we need another goalkeeper?   In their ultimate paragraph, Sport Witness who run the story add “There seems little reason why Arsenal continue to be heavily linked with Navas, but the Spanish media aren’t letting it go.”   So maybe we don’t.

2: The player is Costa Rican.  Will he get a work permit?   He might do but it could be turned down again after the UK leave the EU in a few months time.   Has that little issue been sorted?

3: How does he come home grown?   As the player is Costa Rican, he will need to fit into Arsenal’s non-Home-Grown part of the squad.  But that part of the squad is already full.   So who will we sell?

4:  Now the question “who will we sell?” is not that straightforward since the person will have to be a non-HG person also, and we’ll need to find a club willing to take the player.   There is no indication who will go and if the player is willing to go to wherever it is.  Or is not.

5:  And really, is a new goal keeper our top priority?

Now what is interesting is that the article doesn’t even ask, let alone seek to answer any of these questions.  So why are they running a story with no answers and just a load of questions?

Now let’s try another one

Arsenal transfer target ‘close’ to sealing dream Emirates move at Unai Emery’s request

This takes us back to the old favourite: the Sevilla star Ever Banega (at least that is what the Star says), and the newspaper continues…

“With Aaron Ramsey expected to leave at the end of the season when his contract expires, Emery could be looking at Banega to fill the void left by the Welshman.”

But Mr Ramsey is counted as a Home Grown player and Ever Banega isn’t so a one for one swop in terms of the list of 25 players isn’t on.

And so it goes on; there is now absolutely no attempt to bring and transfer rumour in line with any kind of reality at all.

As if this were not desperate enough we all now have WaterBottleGate, apparently, following the kicking of a water bottle by the manager, who then went off and apologised to the person who was hit by the bottle.  He is expected to be banned from English football for life.  Or maybe a week.

Mr Emery has meanwhile been looking at Liverpool and noting their progress in recent years and then suggesting that maybe Arsenal should copy the Liverpool approach.

Indeed that is an interesting thought.  But it comes with a problem, notably the amount they have spent on transfers…

In 2017 for example, Arsenal bought Lacazette, but overall made a profit of £21m.  Liverpool meanwhile made a loss of £41m.

In the last summer window Arsenal spent £63m.   Liverpool spent £156m.

That’s the sort of spending that it takes to get up to the top.   And what will Manchester City do now they have been overtaken?   Well, there is a transfer window opening in a few days time and we shall see, but I suspect a little bit of spending there.  And then Liverpool will respond in the summer.

Overall, what is lacking is any sort of broader context in these stories.  It seems as if they have to work in terms of the instant one line answer – buy a player – but without any sort of context.

Anyway, let’s have a look and see what the ever entertaining Football London has for us at the moment…

Arsenal linked to Real Madrid keeper

Ah well.




14 Replies to “Reality can be very boring but can be quite useful in football”

  1. If Arsenal don’t want Ramsey at the club beyond this season, but instead of to allow him to leave the club on the free next summer, why don’t they sell him in this coming January window then to the club that want to sign him should there be any that can pay the price that Arsenal want for him? And he too has of course agreed to leave Arsenal in January to go there. I am sure if one of the big PL club sides tempt him with a good offer to come to them which he can’t refuse he will go there. By the way, did Arsene Wenger’s managed Arsenal signed Aaron Ramsey on the free or they paid valuable amount of money to sign him? If so, why should Unai Emery’s and his co hierarchy bosses managed Arsenal now are preferring Ramsey to leave Arsenal next summer on the free when from every indication they can get valuable sum of money for him if he’s sold in January window?

    Furthermore, let some one at Arsenal tell Emery to stop saying Liverpool will this season equalled Arsenal’s unbeaten to the season record in the PL of 2003/2004 season campaign. For, us Gooners hold dearly to that unbeaten to the season record set by our beloved Arsenal which has not been equalled since then. And us Gooners will not want to see another club side in the PL equalled the record. For, it has become a heritage to us the Arsenals of which us are the only club side in the PL that can equalled the record that us set by ourselves.

  2. Its easier to have a player stay then leave in summer for free as he understands the team, the manager, the league etc without needing a settling in period. Compared to buying a player that will need time to settle in yet the team needs to aim for 4th place, the rythmn is slightly disrupted.

  3. I am not sure if this off topic or not. The BBC Football web page has just reported that Unai has been charged for ‘improper conduct’ by the English FA by kicking a water bottle that accidentally hit a supporter and for which he had apologized!.

    The AFC destabilisation continues, not only with the open condoning by the PigMob of the kicking and rough handling of our players on-field, but now with the coaching team. How despicable can these people be in their conduct towards AFC?

    Wenger being out has not satiated their lust for the Club’s fall either by hook or crook. A leveling will surely come about in its own proper time.

  4. I seem to recall a Man U manager throwing a whole case of water bottles just a few weeks ago………no charge!

  5. FA not fit for purpose. Someone needs to go legal. The Government Minister keeps threatening to withdraw Gov’t funding that keeps the incompetents in the money but never goes through with it. About time they did.

  6. Everything was sorted; the fan shook hands and accepted the apology, the 4th official had been told, Hughton was not concerned, but the moronic FA just have to bash Arsenal. Smashing up cases of water bottles doesn’t count. Heaven help us if Auba scores an injury time winner and Emery runs on to the pitch celebrating!

  7. Liverpool were able to spend that much because they sold well, I believe. They also bought well. Man Utd spent more buy well.
    We are not going to be as lucky, after all, Ramsey’s going for free, so is Welbeck. Still, I’m patient with Emery and Mr Raul and Sven.

    If the FA will always want to flex their muscles at every fake chance they get when it comes to The Arsenal.

    Salah dived, he shouldn’t play against us by the way but that doesn’t concern the FA. We’re still winning!

  8. One of these days , someone of unshakeable faith may ask, nay demand, to ban Gunnersorus ,as it goes against his undivided belief of creation.

  9. Yesterday’s game with the spuds, seen Francis of Bournemouth require treatment twice. One report of the game said that (I’m paraphrasing) that Francis got deked out, and in the process fell on his back. Which would lead one to think that the reason he was stretchered off was a concussion.

    On WorldFootball, there is a note that his season is over due to an ACL rupture.

    Was this a self-inflicted injury, or was there contact?

  10. Unai Emirates: the figures I tend to use are the net income (the money spent minus the money received) and on that score they were well above everyone else.

  11. The 3 seasons prior to last Liverpool had a n’net’ profit though, so although it is true they were big spenders last summer overall I think over the last 4 years their net spend is similar or even less than ours, so overall Klopp has done well.

    On the other hand the 2 Manchester Clubs net spend is astronomical. I think both these 2 are under achieving, especially Utd.

    On overall net spend I think Spurs especially and Liverpool to an extent are actually over achieving.

    On net spend over the same period I think Arsenal and Chelsea are performing about par.

  12. I agree that overall net spend is the best indicator as to how a team will perform but although good, it is not perfect as this season is proving.

    Despite Liverpool’s high net spend last summer their net spend over the last 5 years is actually not that high, relatively speaking at least in comparison to City and Utd, both of whom I would suggest are under achieving, especially Utd given their enormous net spends over the last 4/5 years.

    I would go as far as to say that on net spend alone Liverpool are actually over achieving despite last summers splurge.

    Spurs are massively over achieving as well.

    I think Arsenal and Chelsea are performing to about par in relation to their net spends over the last 4/5 years.

  13. I think that Arsenal too sell rather well. Most of our stars that we offload play quite crap for their new clubs. Or have had crap thrust upon them.We did sell quite a few duds and lemons to Man City and Barca , and at premium prices.

    So we can never ever be accused of strengthening our direct rivals. Another case in point is Sanchez to Man Utd, and sadly,OG to Chelsea.

    So for me personally , those who want out should be allowed to leave with the minimum of fuss. And with our thanks and gratitude for battling against the unseen forces of corruption and the PIGMOB.

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