Quick round up of the transfer rumors as I have a work thing.
First, this idea that Arsenal are going to trade Santi Cazorla for Arda Turan (Atletico) is a strange one but for some reason it won’t die. I can’t quite get my head around why Wenger would want Turan over Cazorla. Cazorla is 2-footed, is a proven dribbler, scores important goals, sets up his teammates (has more Premier League assists over the last three years than any other player), and is coming off a huge season where he showed versatility in several positions. Turan is a good player and he is also versatile, dribbles, passes well, etc. The only difference is that Cazorla is slightly smaller and two years older. Other than that, this trade makes no sense. Oh wait, it was first reported in Metro? Ah.. So can we just ignore this now?
In William Carvalho news: Jesus has said that Carvalho will be staying at Sporting. Hey, unlike Metro, ESPN get their news from a higher power.
Jokes aside, Carvalho’s manager, Jorge Jesus, has said that he thinks William will be at Sporting next year. It’s all just a bit of manager talk, he’s not saying that no one has bid or that William is not for sale, just that he’s planning for William to be with the team next year.
This story, along with today’s news that Ronald Koeman has said there are no serious bids for Morgan Schneiderlin, has sent the good ship DM Arsenal Transfer straight into the doldrums. We’re in the doldrums and in irons. Nothing to do but wait, hope, and maybe harpoon a whale and have it drag us back out to the current. My guess is that whale will be the famed Lars Bender and before you know it, the press will be shouting “thar she blows! A hump like a snowhill! It’s Lars Bender!” And we will have some good-old-fashioned transfer rumors about “Wenger preparing a bid” and “Wenger readies preparations for swoop” or “Wenger changes tack away from Carvalho and onto Bender, here are the 10 reasons Arsenal fans would be happy with Bender, but once you click them you won’t believe what you see.”
There was a DM that was an Arsenal target, and the subject of much blogging, who was sold for a fraction of what he cost Tottenham to buy two years ago. I’m talking here about Etienne Capoue. I started a longer post about Capoue’s fall from grace a few days ago (and the dangers of the transfer market/using stats to say “X player will be good”) and discovered some statistical anomalies which I had to clarify with Opta. I’ll try to finish it tomorrow and I think it will be a good read into why I both love and hate individual stats. Needless to say, the Capoue story is just one of many examples where bloggers and fans get excited about a player and he turns into fairy dust. There have been so many examples of this, especially at Liverpool and Tottenham that it’s actually frightening to think that all these clubs really don’t know much more about player recruitment than, say, me. It seems to me that I’m about as right as they are about these things. Except Arsenal, Wenger still has a magic touch (despite some rather prominent failures).
And speaking of prominent failures… Lukas Podolski is no longer an Arsenal player, he agreed to a multi-year deal to play football in Turkey. To be fair to all sides, I blame Robin van Persie for Lukas Podolski’s failure. If Robin van Persie had shown a modicum of the loyalty and faith that Arsenal had shown him during his 6.5 year injury coma, Arsenal wouldn’t have been forced to buy Podolski, and he could still be in Köln dancing and partying with the locals, who love him so much. Instead, RvP’s Independence Day letter burned all the bridges down and forced Wenger to buy a guy who clearly didn’t have the mental strength to compete at the highest level.
Ironically, as Podolski goes to Galatasaray, van Persie is headed to Fenerbahce — anyone want to wager on which of those two teams is involved in a match fixing scandal next year?
And finally… Arsenal appointed a new fitness coach. This is great. Fantastic. I think. I don’t know. I do know that Wenger took a lot of heat over the fitness of his players over the last decade, he tried to right the ship internally and when that didn’t work, well, it looks like he is clearing house and starting all over. Last season, Arsenal still struggled with injuries, though that seemed to get better toward the end of the season, so it remains to be seen whether or not the new regime can keep Arsenal fit for a full season.
That’s all I’m talking about today. I have to dash.