Not a lot going on ahead of the FA Cup clash with Wet Hams. There isn’t anything concrete but the papers have linked us with a few folks today, you know, for a change.
First off, there’s all the guys that Arsenal aren’t signing, which if I had a dime for all the guys that were linked to Arsenal who we didn’t sign, I’d have enough money to pay off Iceland’s bank debts.
Today’s first “player who Arsenal aren’t signing” is Andre-Pierre Gignac. Meh… I mentioned that I didn’t think he was good enough when he was first mooted and now it’s being reported that Arsenal are saying that he’s not up to Arsenal’s high standards. Of course, I famously was wrong about Andrei Arshavin so, like I always say, “what the hell do I know?” Wenger’s transfer record is pretty fabulous so if he does sign Gignac, I will be ecstatic, though that’s looking very unlikely today.
Another player who Arsenal aren’t signing is Marouane Chamakh, though the player seems intent on keeping his name in the papers with all kinds of foolish talk about Arsenal “pressuring” him to sign. Gingers for Limpar has an interesting piece about how all this negative talk reminds him of the failed Adebayor experiment. I agree with Gingers, and suspect that after the way Adebayor left and the way Flamini treated us Wenger will be very cautious about signing a player who is so openly courting tons of clubs. And make no mistake, that’s what this is. This player is keeping his name in the papers by talking about how much Arsenal want him in order to drive up his value, his signing on bonus, and his weekly salary. He all but admits as much when he mentions Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, Everton, Sunderland, Sevilla, and Milan all in the same breath.
The only player that today’s papers are linking Arsenal to is Porto’s Hulk. Hulk’s an interesting player and again, while I don’t think he’s up to Arsenal’s standard, “what the hell do I know?” I do think that he’s not a realistic January signing, he’s got a £100m release clause in his contract and irregardless the “source inside the club” who says that he could go for £20m, I have to think that the huge release clause gives Porto too much power. Arsene never likes paying over the odds for a player and that release clause could put him in a pickle.
One player who’s not being linked but who I thought reminded me a bit of Ian Wright (because he’s a great finisher and he’s come from relative obscurity to being linked to big clubs) is Jermaine Beckford. I just watched the FA Cup match between Leeds and United and Beckford did a decent job playing as a center forward and even got the winning goal. He’s tall, he scores tons of goals, he’s English, he’s got bags of pace, he’s mature, and his finishing showed real class today. All of which means Arsene will never sign him!
Right, that’s pretty much it for today. Got to get down to Doyle’s for the Arsenal FA Cup match and right after I’ve got our Sunday kickaround so, I won’t be back to defend myself for several hours. Have at me!