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?
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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
- Chelsea v Arsenal, the Arsenal team and the prognostications
- Leno to leave Arsenal because he’s far too good: the pre-game stats
- Chelsea v Arsenal: how Arsenal have gone from top to bottom of the injury league
- Chelsea v Arsenal: there’s only three points between us.
- The challenge facing Arsenal fans is to disregard the fairytale and follow the facts