It’s fargin war: Capoue set to sign for Everton, M’Vila for QPR

At this point, I’m just going to go ahead and tell you that if you’re at all a rational person, if you look at the world and are able to make sense of reality, and if you like making sense of things, it’s probably in your best interest to stop reading news about Arsenal now because if you don’t… you… may start throwing things. In fact, just stop reading this post right now.

Seriously. Stop. Go outside, walk the dog.

You’re not stopping? Ok…

Two days ago Arsene Wenger made the proclamation that despite the loss of Arsenal’s most important midfielder (Mikel Arteta) to his now annual January three-week injury layoff Arsenal were not really in the market for a midfielder because “If you think there are any players of Arteta’s calibre available now in January,” he said, “I wish you good luck.”

This was a bold statement from the Arsenal man, especially considering that he had just selected Abou Diaby to play in Arteta’s place in a crucial match against Manchester City. Abou Diaby, who has started a grand total of 24 Arsenal matches in the last 30 months, struggled mightily against the reigning League champs and looked so far removed from “Arteta’s calibre” that the only praise Arsene Wenger could muster for the man after the game was that he played 60 minutes without picking up an injury and that he will “get stronger.”

Meanwhile, reports surfaced this morning that Arsenal look set to lose out on four long-rumored transfer targets as Everton are on the verge of signing Toulouse midfielder Ettiene Capoue, Queen’s Park Rangers look set to swoop for Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila and Marseilles forward Loic Remy, and English forward Wilfried Zaha looks set to sign for Manchester United. Yes, I know, by mentioning Arteta and Diaby and then Remy and Zaha I’m mixing midfielders and forwards. I’m doing that only because there are a lot of folks who believe that Arsenal also need a striker now that star center forward Gervinho has gone off to the Africa Nations of Cups.

And if you’ve ever wondered why there is a divide among Arsenal supporters, or if you’ve ever wanted to catalog what that divide looks like, what arguments each makes, you need look no further than the comments that this article will receive below. Because what this all really comes down to is an argument over what each person believes is “a quality player.”

Some people will argue that Diaby is “Arteta calibre” and they will point to that one game that he had back in 2009 where he really just looked a world beater. The other person will state, plainly, that he may be the Lionel Messi of midfielders but he’s started less than one game a month for the last two and a half years.

Some folks will say “well who the hell are YOU to say which players are quality? You sound like that bitter fan questioning Harry Redknapp over why he picked Frank Lampard over Scott Canham. Redknapp was right, Lampard was miles better than Canham.” And their opposites will reply with a catalog of examples of players that Arsene didn’t rate who turned out to be fantastic.

On it will rage, Arsenal fans will now begin to throw things against walls, probably their own feces, as they go ape-shit over this latest news.

How do I personally feel?

I think Moyes is the most astute manager in the Premier League in terms of getting value out of the transfer market. He doesn’t get the big payouts that Wenger does but then he doesn’t bet as much as Wenger does either because Everton don’t have the same deep pockets that Arsenal have. I have been a fan of Capoue since I was convinced to give him a chance by Tim from Arse2Mouse and I would love to see Capoue in an Arsenal shirt.

Based on his stats and on watching him play football, I believe that Capoue would provide the steel that Arsenal need in midfield, protecting Jack from “wheelchair” tackles. I believe Capoue is a fantastic deep-lying playmaker as well and would offer some great service from distance for either Theo to run under or for Giroud to win. Capoue is also able to play center back and he is one of the best in France in terms of winning aerial duels, I believe that those are two places where he could help Arsenal.

But most importantly, Moyes is reportedly bringing Capoue in because Chelsea are going to sign Marouane Fellaini. And if that’s true, then, it means that Everton are losing a star player to a big-spending team (which many agree is inevitable) and are looking to replace like quality for like quality in the transfer market. And that’s something that many Arsenal fans feel like Arsenal have not really done lately.



69 thoughts on “It’s fargin war: Capoue set to sign for Everton, M’Vila for QPR

  1. -3 Vote -1 Vote +1DAWA

    Wenger will not buy. Delve into Wenger thinking brain and write along that line to bring a meaninful contribution to the team. If Wenger buys Capoue or M’Villa where will Wilshere play. Bringing one of the two players will derail development. of his love kids- Coquelin and possibly Ox even Diaby, all of whom has huge resell values that can generate future profit for Arsenal FC and further enhance his own credential.

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Brahmabull

      Fabregas and Nasri did not halt the development of Wilshere. The argument is non-sensical, the best will find a way to succeed. This excuse from Wenger is crap. Furthers my theory that what governs Wenger’s thinking in the transfer market is his pathological desire to avoid conflict and confrontation with players.

      1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

        I feel Wenger has erred by bending to the current cacophony regarding trophies.

        Yes I want to see trophies too but there must be a priority.

        The league cup to me should have been kept focused on our developing talent, where instead we have played a stronger team at detriment to marginalising some of the up coming players (Coquelin in particular)

        It has also meant we are rotating with less efficiency as the same players competing in the league cup or pushing for the tile, FA and Champions League.

        I would prefer the league cup return to a developmental status. So we go out of it with a bundh of young pplayers. At very least it is one competition less and will afford us better focus for the first team on the FA and league.

    2. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      Jack should be pushed forward. Santi can shift to the wing when need be. Capoue should be replicating the Diaby capability or covering Arteta when need be. Neither of Rosicky nor Diaby should be expected to be playing a heavy amount of games considering their age or fitness, unless of course you were Wenger.

      OTOH, bit puzzled why Wenger has not used Rosicky. He has again not used assets to maximum effect much as he neglected Walcott early in season and then Andrei (instead pushing Ramsey into an unfamiliar position)

      Tactically Wenger is found a little wanting. This has always been there but where it was glossed over by his strong hand in the market in early years, it has become more amplified in recent ones as the market conditions have become more challenging due to the entry of several very well financed clubs and the overall increase in market awareness (not to mention ability/ change in attitude of teams in the PL to buy foreign)

      1. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

        Jack pushed forward by which I mean he plays just off the striker and in an advance midfield role where he can close the ball down quicker.

  2. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1Dick Swiveller

    Yep, I’ve seen a logic behind just about everything Wenger has done in recent times (even when I disagreed) but I simply can’t understand why, with a gaping big hole in our team, he doesn’t bring a player in. Somebody who can tackle. Somebody who can shoot. Someone willing to drive play. Seems like those players could tick most of that box, and wouldn’t cost us much. Difficult to understand.

    I think abandoning rationality is probably for the best, Arsenal ARE the best team in the world, we’re just having a long series of off days…

  3. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1s j little

    Arsenal fans must stoke up protest (even if we beat Swansea).
    The Arsenal Board and/or Wenger simply insult us.
    Hillwood and his cronies are only interest in being the Owners lackies so long as they keep their positions and lolly.

  4. Vote -1 Vote +1arsenal-steve

    After watching this club since 1958, on my fathers lap against Man United, I have woken up to the fact that Wenger is deluded. For a manager who says almost everybopdy available is not good enough, he has made some of the poorest signings ever. Wenger is indecisive, deluded and f****** this team up. We missed signing Mata when he was available, we hummed and ha’d over Mirallas. Sold Van Persie to Man U, sold Nasri to Man City. Was Mata good enough, Mirallas good enough? Yet we buy players like Gervinho, who needs a Satnav to find out what direction he is going on the pitch. Chamakh who was FREE. Rest assured Capoue is good enough, MVila is good enough. Both are alpha dominating players, not pussies. Buy them both and sell Ramsey and Gervinho. REPLACE VAN PERSIE Wenger. Wenger is suffering from delusion and HUBRIS and we fans are the victims. For the first time I hear myself saying with certainty….Wenger must go!

    1. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1stevo

      i agree with Arsenal -steve. wenger does dither in the market, mirallas is complete class, the only thing that bothers me is his injury problems, he has grion injuries every few weeks. if he can get that sorted and have aconsistant season for everton then he can have a season similar to van persie at man utd, bold statement but this kid is umbelevable on the ball and going forward, we have missed him badly and the sooner he is back the better chances we have of pushing for the top 4.

      1. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

        Definitely good enough.

        We don’t need Arteta standard.We need someone who can cover in tandem with Jack, Diaby or Rosicky. Preferably height is key.

        Up front, I’m not so sure about Mirallis. Some players hit heights first season and then cool off (Chamakh…relative height)

        Michu is another candidate.

        Mata was good enough but as I mentioned, we are unable to enter a bidding war once Chelsea shows interest. They will drive the price up to the low 30m mark. We cannot compete in that respect let alone wages)

  5. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1stevo

    if moyes can buy capoue knowing that felaini is going then it gives us a platform to bed him in before the new season. felaini was a known defensive midfield player before moyes saw something different and pushed him forward, hense why all the top 4 want him. if moyes can do similar to capoue then an all for the move. the one thing moyes is good at is operating the market andf still have 10 million to spend (after feeding the bank 10 mil). also if we do qualify for champions league there should be more money in the cofers for better players. i just hope baines stays because that would really be a position that will never be the same.

    1. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      Moyes is a a very astute buyer. As it would seem Laudrup is proving to be.

      Michu to us may not be a bad option. He won’t have much trouble hitting the ground running. And if we move quick enough, he won’t be scoring against us shortly…again.

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1jop

      He’s become a twisted parody of his former self. I just want him to go before he drags us further down.

  6. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1Brahmabull

    M’Vila, Capoue and Remy all have one thing in common – they have all had spells with their clubs or with their previous managers where they have been difficult and outspoken.

    Wenger can’t stomach dealing with strong personalities or clashes with players, so he sticks to “good” guys that he knows or has scouted extensively, not to be sure of their talents or abilities, but to be sure of their character. I’m convinced that’s why he gives Diaby chance after chance to succeed, because Abou is probably a super person, deferential to Wenger and gives him no grief whatsoever. It’s probably a big part of the reason he’s allowing himself to get blackmailed tactically by Walcott and his agents, because he desperately wants to keep Walcott but doesn’t want the showdown, so he unfairly dumps on the new guys Podolski and Giroud to play wing and sub in favour of Walcott who is not a center forward. Sorry.

    I can’t say for sure if this is the way Wenger has evolved since his peak years, or if he had the pleasure of dealing with a more respectful, professional class of players in the previous generation. But whether or not he’s just said “fuck it” and decided he doesn’t need the crap from these players, or whether he’s always been reserved in his dealings with players, it doesn’t cut it in today’s footballing world. My opinion is that he’s gotten softer with age; some managers get more confident and harder, others for whom it used to take a lot of energy and personal capital to lean on players get weaker with age and wither. This is the modern Wenger.

    Success comes from bringing in these types of players, these “bad apples” and being able to impose your will and personality on them. That’s where Moyes, Mancini and Ferguson have it over Wenger. They will not take shit from prima donnas, but that doesn’t make them gun shy about going into the market and buying some. That’s why Chelsea is falling apart, because since Hiddink they’ve brought in a succession of managers without the strong personalities needed to bring the players they have to heel. Mourinho is despised but he is bigger than every superstar he coaches, and a player like Benzema lives in the doghouse for a year before he capitulates and now is an integral part of the team. Guardiola marginalized Thierry Henry and jettisoned Eto’o and Ibrahimovic because he couldn’t get those players to march to his orders.

    Anyway, that is my long winded rant, my disappointment that these good players are going to other clubs has me just fuming. We need three or four more good players so we can develop a rotation of sorts and keep players fresh and competing for spots. If Rosicky can’t push Cazorla, Santos can’t push Gibbs, Gervinho can’t push Podolski, Diaby can’t push Arteta, Ramsey can’t push Wilshere, then why do we have them on the roster?

    1. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      Do you honestly think we need the extra headache this represents?


      Considering we have a lot to sort out, I would suggest we stay clear of known minefields.

  7. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Ssinderias

    Fuck! I’ve been using that word a lot since Sunday. I’m still hopeful Wenger has something up his sleeve, in his hat, holding a trump card like Arshavin. Please please please let it be that he will come up with SOMETHING in the next few days. Very disappointed in today’s transfer news

  8. Vote -1 Vote +1Ssinderias

    Fuck! I’ve been using that word a lot since Sunday. I’m still hopeful Wenger has something up his sleeve, in his hat, holding a trump card like Arshavin. Please please please let it be that he will come up with SOMETHING in the next few days. Very disappointed in today’s transfer news. I must be a masochist.

  9. -8 Vote -1 Vote +1jaymin

    I feel like I am committing blasphemy typing this, but what echoes with me most is the comment by somebody (i forget) here that Wenger might actually be complicit in the various shady dealings of AFC during our ownership transition. This complicity is what is leading him to act the way he has, to not buy with the money we bank (for whom?) from player sales. He is cashing in on his success before corruption, and doing so with condescension to the fans that are his only remaining bastion of unskeptical support. No longer. I am an AKB in the familiar parlance, and my hope was that Kroenke would have disappeared, Usmanov would come in, and Arsene would have managed, albeit now with a City budget. We’d now be talking about the potential of Cesc’s link up play with, potentially, a front two of van Persie and one of Cavani or Falcao. This will never happen. Arsenal is a shady club, and I think the manager is in on it, now. Painful. The same week as someone i held as the greatest inspirational hero in sports, ever, is now going to bawl like a mew on Oprah Winfrey’s show and admit he is a liar (and by extension, a cheat, a bully, a fraud, a false person entirely). Bad week, so far.

    1. +8 Vote -1 Vote +1GoonerNC

      I really don’t buy this. The only outcome of his cheating would be cash. And, unless he has gambling debts or something, the man is set for life on past salaries alone, not to mention all the work he’ll have in “retirement.” Cheaters in this bracket would normally be cheating to WIN. We’ve all seen how petulant Wenger can be in a loss. I have a hard time believing he likes what he sees or enjoys losing. I’m not saying he’s innocent. He very likely has made bad decisions, especially recently. I just don’t think he A) is doing this on purpose or B) doesn’t care anymore.

      1. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

        He isn’t cheating.

        I think he is tight with adding in players because we have yet to offload a significant number of unwanted ones. Remember, they are only on loan.

        Therefore he is finding it hard to commit to taking more onboard.

        The problem is we are having issues off loading because we had skewered our wages to keep up with the likes of City or Chelsea or United.

        But we haven’t come close and meanwhile, the players we are now able to afford in a shrinking market represent some risk for us. Hence the greater proportion of duds in recent years.

        The salary inbalance is being addressed but clearly not as many are going out as we prefer in order to bring new players into the wage structure.

    2. +6 Vote -1 Vote +1nycgunner

      This isn’t blasphemy, it’s nonsense. I’m not a fan of Wenger’s recent dealings (or rather non-dealings), but what evidence do you have any of your accusations?

      1. -3 Vote -1 Vote +1jaymin

        none. as i made clear in the original post. if he gets a golden parachute, a sizable one, which he will, i don’t assume you’ll apologize for writing that i wrote nonsense.

      2. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1Anthony

        A golden parachute proves nothing. He was going to get that no matter what. This is the problem with conspiracy theories. They become non-falsifiable. Everything is proof.

      3. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1nycgunner

        First of all, even if he gets a golden parachute (and I don’t think he will – he’s making enough money with his contract), there is no evidence to suggest that he is saving the club’s money now so that it goes into his retirement fund. That’s a pretty far-fetched theory

        Second, I don’t think you write nonsense. Just that bit about “various shady dealings of AFC” and Wenger is nonsense. I read many of your comments here and whether I agree or not, I mostly enjoy reading them.

        Lastly, if it ever comes out that Wenger and Arsenal was involved in shady dealings, I WILL apologize to you – for a month, every day, on this blog.

      4. Vote -1 Vote +1jaymin

        Opinions here have changed enough, from enough people, and it doesn’t take years. no need to apologize, regardless. the absence of evidence, and so on…but this window, more than most, appears to be an empty one. keep the faith…

  10. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1nycgunner


    That’s the cry of the ”little boy inside me” after realizing we are actually not going to buy anybody this transfer window.

  11. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Gooneryank

    What’s hurt this club the most recently is small time thinking. Let’s just buy Everton and be done with it.

  12. -3 Vote -1 Vote +1Philbet

    The pressure of writing a daily blog is getting to you, you comment on speculation as fact, I will bet you (genuinely) £10,000(that’s 10,000GBP) to 5 of your cents, that your four transfers do not go through, you have no more idea than anyone who is buying or selling who !!!!
    Just carry on misquoting if you must but persist in writing drivel about drivel and watch the readership slowly disappear.

    1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Tim Post author

      Does anyone want to hold this bet in Escrow? I can transfer $0.05 from paypal immediately. With £10,000 I could spend the entire spring in England writing about football.

      Alternately, since you seem to like to tell me what to write, just donate the £10,000 using the PayPal button. For that price I will gladly let you be my editor for, let’s see… 30 days. You’ll send me out to cover stories, you’ll tell me what angles you want, and I’ll send you back the copy. Turnaround is going to be tight but I think the time difference might be to our advantage.

      I get it, it’s frustrating to you that this service I provide isn’t covering Arsenal exactly the way that you wish that someone would cover Arsenal. It’s even more frustrating because I can write so brilliantly one day and be so weird the next.

      But the problem is, this isn’t just “a blog” — some giant weird non-entity writing in abstraction — this is me. What makes my writing brilliant is also what makes it banal because I put myself in my writing and I am partly brilliant and partly banal.

      So, when you hate one of my articles, you are actually hating a small part of me. And really, what right do you have to hate me?

  13. Vote -1 Vote +11NilToTheArsenal

    Interesting comments today. Wenger has already been labeled a corrupt cheat. Win or lose against Swansea, I know I’ll be making a beeline for this blog.

    As for what constitutes a “quality” player for us in this transfer window, our bar has been somewhat lowered of late. Any decent DM who can stay out of the rehab room for 3 or more consecutive games would be quality at this point.

    Our club continues to frustrate and polarize its support. Wenger seems to have opted for the blue pill over me and many of the supporters on here who have swallowed the red pill. Is it blissful ignorance over the painful truth of reality?

    Since we appear to have lost out on pretty much all of the speculated transfer targets and players potentially linked to an Emirates move, perhaps we now need to pin our hopes on Neo or even Morpheus to help pull a rabbit out of Wenger’s hat or puffy, sleeping bag coat.

    1. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

      Well he mucked it up over the summer IMO.

      …granted some of it was out of his control, I still think Song was a mistake to let go and Walcott was a mistake to let drag into January.

      I also think Song had some bearing to RVP and letting him go to United was a shame.

  14. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Tee Song

    My current feelings for Arsene and Arsenal are probably best summed up by how bummed I am that Comcast appears to have dropped GolTV from it’s channel lineup. Now I can no longer watch the Bundesliga. Arsene and his paralysis in the transfer market, meh. Not being able to Dortmund? AAAAAAAAAAUUUUUGH!!!!! Talk about rubbing salt in the wound.

  15. Vote -1 Vote +1Yan

    Im hearing suggestions as to what am I suppose to tell my 2-month old son when one day he asks: “Dad why do we support Arsenal?” Weren’t we supposed to be a club about values? What value is to have your bank account loaded with resources and you don’t even have a decent bed to sleep, watch TV on a 14″ screen, have a little old fridge, cook on a rusty kitchen with shitty hardware, and your meal isn’t even that good? FFS where are we heading? For how long? I couldn’t watch the city match, was away on a trip. Received an sms from a friend “Kos sent off, penalty saved by Szcz, shitty match overal” and I immediately knew that it was a typical catastrophe match for Arsenal again.

      1. Vote -1 Vote +1Yan

        As of today, I don’t have a rational answer. But then again, supporting a team isn’t the most rational hobby, isn’t it?

      2. +3 Vote -1 Vote +111 cannons (@11cannons)

        Heh,a United supporter asked that at the pub on the weekend [a fellow Gooner brought his two sons for the match] and my Costanza-late comeback that I came up with later is this: Better to support a shit team with great friends than a great team with shit friends.

        [Of course, I don't think our team is shit. Our form is shit. But you get the point]

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Brahmabull

      No offense, but if you have a choice, do not raise your son as an Arsenal fan. The future is not glittering with gold. My two year old son is being steered towards Bayern Munich, mostly because we are of German heritage. Ironic that the two teams are playing each other next round of the CL. If you want a clear conscience about cheering for a team, you can’t go wrong with a Bundesliga team – no Arab or Russian billionaires or Spanish banks ruining the market for everyone else and stealing trophies.

      1. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

        My lad (7) has chosen City. They’ve got to him.

        I got a good ribbing recently, something about not being able to win at the Emirates.

      2. Vote -1 Vote +1Yan

        We still dont have a lot of bundesliga available on local Tv. I hope that changes. Dortmund are sure fun to watch.

  16. Vote -1 Vote +1charybdis1966

    I don’t have a dog to walk(or any pet for that matter) so I read on and all I can say is this: Aaaaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhhh ! That is the sound of a gooner during the transfer window.

  17. Vote -1 Vote +1Ssinderias


    You wanna bet that Tim’s readership will not dwindle regardless of those transfers going through or not? It will likely be another bet you lose

  18. +6 Vote -1 Vote +1woodberry down

    No, I’m an Arsenal man, my family are an Arsenal family, I’m of German ancestry but my kids will be Arsenal fans. It’s their birthright.

  19. +5 Vote -1 Vote +1caribkid

    My son, daughter in law and myself are Arsenal fans. Even my son’s dog, Max, recently departed after 15 years on earth, was an Arsenal fan. Max, a Siberian Huskie, hardly ever came into the house because he had his dog house, comforters, free food, water, lounge chair and blankets on the huge back deck and many squirrels and raccoon’s to chase in the back yard.

    However, he seemed to know instinctively when the AFC was playing and would sidle into the man cave and lay at our feet while watching the game. He would bark gleefully when we cheered and growled when we booed. I am glad Max has gone to a better place and won’t have to go through the shite our family is going through at this time.

    Don’t even know why I am saying this, just plain disappointed and disgusted with the Arsenal’s last G A S P, Gazidis, Arsene, Stan, Phil.

  20. Vote -1 Vote +1Bunburyist

    The latest is that the always late/lazy English papers are carrying a story about Wenger vowing to “spend big”…as Goonerholic reminded us, that was from an interview done just after the Bradford City loss. He’s flip-flopped many times since!

  21. Vote -1 Vote +1Zeddington

    Is Capoue realling going to Everton though, or is this just conjecture? I strongly believe Wenger was actively looking for a striker and a midfielder in the summer – his botched moves prove this. He knows the French market very well. If Capoue was (a) quality, and (b) available, surely we’d be able to match Everton for both transfer fees and wages?

    Unless we’re the ones buying Fellaini? Unlikely.

    Until this story is confirmed, I’m sceptical.

  22. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

    Wow 51 comments before even me coming on! You sure know how to pick the topics Tim!

    As I have also mentioned when you had the man crush on MVila, Capoue would be a decent addition to our capabilities because we could do with the added height (bearing in mind Diaby’s durability). The capability to cover at CB is a plus bc we can then shift TV as LB alternate to Gibbs (until such time as the summer at very least)

    Aside from Capoue, France is awash with decent developing 23 yr old 6’2 + ‘DM’. Sissoko at Toulouse (Capoue’s compatriot and likely replacement) is also decent. Gonalons is having a great season at Lyon. Personally for me, even if we do get Mvila (at a reasonable price) it’ll be better than nothing.

    Crucially, Diaby has return at appropriate time ( Best see it as cup half full I suppose but I’m sure most will take this as fully empty). Expect Wenger to dither and keep watch on Diaby for 3 weeks to end of window alas.

    Seems like he is hinting at one possible signing if we get Walcott dusted. So maybe a striker of a ‘DM’ but not both.

  23. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1santori

    BTW whilst Wenger may say otherwise, I do think we have space for at least two additions this January. If we consider the 25 man squad, I like to break it down into 7-7-8-3 (Attack/Midfield/Defense/Keepers)

    1)Attack (7) : Giroud, Podolski, (Walcott), Gervinho, Chamberlain, Santi, (Arsharvin)

    Giroud is the only big physical presence we have up top which may suggest we need another with some height at least but maybe with more speed (Giroud being a amalgamation of B52 and Chamakh). Santi normally plays in midfield but may be shifted wide in attack with the return of Diaby and Rosicky as options (if used). Arsharvin is gift wrapped for a phantom buyer. Therefore there is one spot empty. Gnabry is an option but @17, had some years to go and likely will replace Gervinho in a couple of years (or Podolski). The striker addition is difficult IMO because of players available coupled with what we need in terms of skill set to truly enhance our variety we can offer. We won’t want to take on just anyone as if he doesn’t work out, we have yet one more spare wheel to offset (and we know how hard it has been shedding the 3 we have already). Also adding the wrong player may lead to opportunity cost down the line in the summer if a ‘perfect’ player for ‘perfect’ price comes on market.

    Likely what we need is someone with reasonable (better than Giroud) speed and decent height (over 6′). Those that fit the bill are far and few if you consider quality. Leandro is expensive albeit the price may soften toward end of window. he is also relatively inexperienced outside of Brasil club wise. Higuain is in contract negotiation but will cost us big wages.Jovetic is tricky but not the quickest. Maybe Michu since he is off and running? At 2m to Swans, we should be able to persuade them to part with this gem for 100% increase @12m maybe.

    There are a couple of prominent teams sniffing around for strikers so Wenger will have to weigh his timing on this move very carefully.

    2) Midfield (7) : (Santi), Jack, Ramsey, Rosicky, Diaby, Coquelin, Arteta

    Whilst we appear full up, the likes of Santi as mentioned may be seen as a quasi player able to be deployed further up on the wings with a full complement available in midfield. Also I would think we (Wenger) should consider Diaby a bonus player. Coquelin (if he is given adequet chance) may develop to replace Arteta in a year or two. Ditto Eisfeld for Rosicky likely in the summer. That leaves IMO one spot (or at very least half a spot to be shared with Diaby) open. Toral (who is 6’3) is still 17 and likely to be one of the leading candidates for Diaby’s replacement down the line. meanwhile, it won’t be detrimental to us to replicate the sort of physical strength and height Diaby offers along with someone who can at very least perform most of what Arteta provides in tandem with an experience operator like Rosicky (or indeed Diaby, or Jack) alongside. Capoue is a viable option but bearing in mind we have already let Sahin slip for the second time (to Dortmund for 18 months), I fear Wenger may be repeating reliance on Diaby yet again.

    3) Defenders (8) : TV, Per, Koscielny, (Miquel), (Santos) Gibbs, (Sagna), Jenkinson

    It would be exceedingly benefitial for us to keep Sagna for institutional experience. A 4 year contract will see him through to 34 (about the time Dixon bowed out). I truly hope this to be the case. In any case, I think we will also have to address the lack of utility that is Santos at the moment (unless you plan on a quick tour of the M25). This all likely to happen in the summer. With regard Djourou, I think his spot will likely be taken by the improving and promising Miquel.

    An option at LB cover is to shift the captian TV there. He started off shaky in the position covering Gibbs but grew into it quickly putting in some very useful performances for us before Gibbs returned. That may indicate maybe an opening for someone like Yanga MBiwa who could give us added flexibility being able to cover right across the defense and as a DM if need be.

    4) Keepers (3) : Szsc, Fab, Vito

    I think one will leave in the summer for pastures green to graze upon. We really ought to bring in competition for Szsc (and Vito) in someone a bit more mature. Al Habsi is underrated to me and would likely be a bargain. Likely though, wenger will promote Martinez from the U21/Reserve squad. Alas.

  24. +5 Vote -1 Vote +1ignatzuk

    For my own sanity, I never, ever try to look for the players in other clubs who I think should be at Arsenal. Let alone look for the classic “cheap, available no-brainer who could be pulling on the red and white tomorrow if only Wenger would get his chequebook out”.

    It’s a mug’s game. First of all I am not a scout, so what the fuck do I know about scouting? Second of all I am not managing Arsenal, so what the fuck do I know, really, about the players we already have, the gaps in our squad, the quality, the long-term and short-term planning, the finances available, the vision? Third, each transfer situation is unique, and there could be dozens of reasons why the player(s) I have my heart set on were never even an option.

    Once you convince yourself that so-and-so at another club should be an Arsenal player, or is better than someone we already have, all you do is get angry and depressed when we don’t buy them and another club does.

    So you get hundreds of journalists and bloggers talking about all the players we “missed out on”, when there is never any evidence presented that we were ever interested. The club and the manager get relentlessly attacked for it, when it was all always only in people’s imagination.

    I don’t actually doubt the quality and skill of our individual players. What I AM worried about is the fact that Wenger hasn’t been able to find the right balance with this side, something he doesn’t usually struggle with for too long. I don’t worry about his transfer activity, I worry about his coaching.

  25. Vote -1 Vote +1Cliffy

    Swansea game tailor made for Aaron Ramsey, Oxlade Chamberlain and Wilshere to show that the next generation of Brits is indeed the way to go..

    Theo should be rested for Chelsea match…May be we might need to rest Diaby as well..just to avoid another 10th minute substitution.

    We have figured out Swansea as well…loss to a draw…and now for a win…
    If we are vulnerable at the back..they are as well.. Hope Giroud starts and puts the headers in..

    1. Vote -1 Vote +1Simon Says

      I have wondered about that myself.
      Brendan Rogers pays a £3-5 million loan fee plus picks up 100% or the majority of his wages of reportedly £120,000.
      Why convince him to reject Arsenal and sign to Liverpool and then play him out of position as an attacking midfielder and basically stop playing him at all in November.
      What does it say about BR, then he wasn’t able to fit a player of Sahin’s quality, the former player of the year in the Bundelsiga, in his tatical approach when he’s clearly idealy suited to playing as of the 2 “holders” in that system.
      Then, to free up wages, Liverpool cancel the loan with RM and then Dortmund signs him for 18 months.
      Why spend all that money on the loan fee/wages when it could of went to a permanent signing? Thats what i belive Tim and others were saying here in the summer when we were on the verge of losing him to Liverpool.
      Incredible waste of money which Liverpool seem to love to do under FSG.
      Also, I never seen an example of player going out on loan for a season and a half.

      I think its a real shame that he never signed with Arsenal. We clearly needed him as cover as he was Song’s replacement and would of gotten to play in his favored positon.

      Just baffling on Liverpool’s/Rogers part…

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