Ade talks to Citeh, things should start happening soon


T-minus 5 days until Arsenal play in the first pre-season friendly against Barnet and the squad is starting to take shape.

First, it was announced this morning that Adebayor is in talks with Man City to shore up their need for a big, languid, striker who occasionally scores eye-wateringly beautiful goals. The fee is reportedly £20m and could go some way toward buying a replacement and pulling in the last piece of the puzzle in midfield.

In a bit of a surprise move, last month Wenger publicly stated that the club are interested in £10m rated Bordeaux striker, Marouane Chamakh should Adebayor leave and so pretty much everyone expects that Chamakh would be the replacement.

I know a lot of folks will be happy to see the back of Adebayor, but I’m not one of them. He’s one of Arsenal’s best strikers and he adds a whole new dimension to the attack that we lacked for so long. I know, he was pitiful and lazy and off sides over 40 times last year. I also know that the list of grievances for some folks is long and varied.

I know.

But I was kind of hoping that Cesc and Wenger would sit him down and just shake his tree a bit, get him to snap out of these doldrums. But it looks like that never happened and now he may be off to Citeh.

I haven’t ever seen Chamakh play outside of the YouTube videos that show him missing a lot of goals but if he’s the type of guy who can hold the ball up, work hard, and get the occasional header, then he and Bendtner will be pushing each other for playing time. The other interesting fact about Chamakh is that he plays for the Moroccan national team, in spite of having the ability to play for France. What this means if he comes to Arsenal is that, yes, he will be playing in 2010 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. Which is a wash because Adebayor would have as well — well theoretically, if he didn’t get kicked out of the team again.

Either way, striker is not that critical a position for me. We’ve got Robin van Persie, Eduardo, Arshavin, Bendtner, Walcott, and Vela who can all play there. If the first two are healthy, I have no concerns — of course, that’s a pretty big IF, so it makes sense that Arsene is looking for one more.

In the midfield, reports have M’Bia signing for l’OM today, which takes him off our transfer targets list, but frees up Lorik Cana who has hinted that a move was in the works (with an unspecified club) as soon as the club that he captained signed a suitable replacement.

Hell, for Adebayor’s £20m (and his £80k/wk salary) we could get Chamakh (£10m), Cana (£6.5m), and Matuidi (£2.5m)! Unlike last year, I think it’s pretty clear that the fan’s, and player’s, agitation for some sort of serious experienced signing has reached the ears of Arsene and the board. I’d be shocked to the core if they sold Adebayor and sat on the money.

I’m also ruling out Felipe Melo today as reports have him undergoing a physical. I was always underwhelmed by the performances I watched, though I was impressed with his passing range, so the fee of £22m always seemed a bit steep. But as CaribKid pointed out in yesterday’s comments that’s what happens when you are a starter for Brazil.

With all of the above said, here’s the key thing to remember:


We have all of this month and all of August to go before the transfer window closes so it’s a bit premature to start panicking. Now, if Ade is sold and we still haven’t brought anyone in by the start of the season (August 15th away to Everton) well, then I might get a bit tetchy.

Gooner of the Year

We must get a different reader here than at the dot com, because our poll for Gooner of the Year, taken earlier this season, came up quite a bit different than theirs. It wasn’t even close, Arshavin won by a landslide in my poll.

Irregardless how we voted, congratulations are in order for Robin van Persie who scooped the Player of the Year award over at the dot com. He had a good season and remained relatively healthy for the whole year. Thank you sir, may we have another?

England’s Future #1

This will not surprise my regular readers, but for the new folks, prepare yourself for a hell of a shock: the Yank who writes about Arsenal thinks that if Almunia gets his British passport, AND he’s selected by England’s Italian coach, AND he’s got gigantic balls, then he should play for England.

I know the arguments, he’s not English because his mum and dad aren’t English. But frankly that’s an old way of looking at the world. Now days, people can change nationalities, that’s just the reality and I think we need to get over the old, biological, and in some ways xenophobic, way of looking at the world.  Fabrice Muamba is English, right?

That said, would I play for England if I was him?


Don’t get me wrong, since Almunia is eligible for an English passport I think he should get it, at the very least him having the ‘correct’ passport will shut up some of the 6+5 ers. But there is no way in hell you could get me to pull on that white shirt because the criticism I hear you all level at your best players, home town boys that you all supposedly love, would turn quickly to vitriol the first time he made a mistake.

The problem is, as a ‘foreigner’ he will never be good enough in many people’s eyes. Twitchy Redknapp had a rip at him this spring when he was just rumored to be thinking about trying out. The first time he doesn’t command his penalty box, the boo boys will come out and every media outlet from Penzance to Berwick upon Tweed will be calling for Calamity James’ reinstatement to the team.

I don’t know how the English national team players handle you guys as it is, but with everyone in England and potential teammates, like Ferdinand, saying that they don’t want him to do it, I’m just going to say that he shouldn’t do it. He’s not man enough to take all that on. No one is.  Just get your passport Manny and give up on your dream to play in any World Cup.

That said…

If that crazy mother fucker gets his passport and gets chosen for the England team, then I’ll be here, in America, rooting him on to glory. Why not?

He’s only 34

Former Arsenal striker, John Hartson, has brain cancer. He’s only 34 and just a few years out of the game for gods sake. I really do wish him and his family the best of luck and a speedy recovery.

Sunday Kickaround — and our second contest

I had the most wonderful sleep-in this morning. I was snoozing lightly after 9 hours of good sleep, when I started dreaming that I was on some squad of players who were all older (like me) and kind of gimpy (like me) and we were all trundling around the pitch in some kind of twisted old man’s FA Cup match.

Of course, as dreams always do, then the dream went South and I realized I was dreaming. But only enough to start thinking that there was an FA Cup match on this morning and that I needed to write about it for the blog and, of course, then I woke up thinking I had missed the first half of the match.*

Freud agrees: Gods damnit we need some football!

To that end, I’m going to have my usual Sunday kickaround today but before I do, let’s see what’s going on in the world of Arsenal! Probably, Arsene is going to personally fly to Albania and sign Lorik Cana, amiright??


Nothing, nothing, David Beckham is still a selfish prick but he does make a good point about talking directly to your teammates before you go to the press, and I could link to another nothing story about Cesc being Barcelona’s “second option” behind Franck Ribery but why would I even give those liars the hits?

Nope, there’s nothing going on, folks. I think that Arsenal have something in the works, all signs point to it, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens this week. Until then, there’s really nothing to talk about. Maybe next year I’ll take vacation during the summer transfer window.

I do want to thank everyone for voting in yesterday’s poll about which Arsenal shirt you’d rather have, and am happy to announce that the Arshavin shirt won. I’d also like to thank everyone for the email comments I received, there are a lot of good suggestions and I’ll be incorporating them into a redesign. I’ll be buying the shirts here in a few weeks and setting up the pay system then I should have them ready, probably some time around the first match of the season.

As for the crest design, there were some people who had very strong feelings about that design and offered some good suggestions to make it stronger. So, let’s hold off on that shirt for a little while, until I can make it better.

In the mean-time, you can win yourself a free shirt!

I am very proud to introduce our second ever tee-shirt giveaway contest in conjunction with Philosophy Football dot com. The last giveaway of the Anfield ’89 shirt was very successful and they have come back for seconds! This time, they are offing a chance to get a red shirt with white sleeves, hell, it may be your only chance to get a shirt like that for years, if Nike have their way.  Anyway, enough of me editorializing on Arsenal’s rather ‘shirty’ kits, here’s the contest:

Win an Arsènal T-shirt

Strictly unofficial, Philosophy Football have franglaised ’Arsenal’ in tribute to Monsieur Wenger who has brought so much joie de vivre to the red half of North London. Available we have 5 to be won in our July competition.

To enter simply answer the following question:

“In what year was Arsène Wenger appointed Arsenal manager?”

Send your answer with name, address, preferred T-shirt size to:

Entries close 26 July ’09, no purchase necessary to enter.

Congratulations to  Matt Huckvale, Mohammed Hussain,  Michael Magnus, Jay O’Donahue and Thierry Tremblay. All winners of the Arsenal ’89 T-shirt, also available from , in our June competition.


*I hate when people talk about their dreams.

Man City Sings Us A. Song?

How’s your Saturday? You having a kick around? Good! Because there’s really no news to talk about today, but here’s your lot irregardless.

First off, I’m no shill for the dot com, but they have what looks like a pretty good deal to me; subscribe to Arsenal TV Online and get to watch all of the pre-season matches live. At £3.99, that’s a smoking good deal, hell, that’s the price of a pint, you’ve got to get in on that!

I will be subscribing, in fact, I might liveblog the first match.

Anyhoo… like I said, there isn’t much going on today. L’Equipe has some kerfuffle about Manchester City talking to Arsenal about buying Alex Song. L’Equipe is usually very relaible so I have to wonder if there isn’t something going on here? Possibly a swap deal for Micah Richards, if he survives his Swine Flu?

As for the transfer, I’d wager that no one saw that coming. Alex Song isn’t exactly the most respected player on the squad and so the idea that someone else might want him is probably a bit mind-boggling to many of you. But L’Equipe is reporting it, and they are rarely wrong. I’d like to think of this transfer speculation as vindication for my undying support of Alex Song.*

And of course, I link Richards back to Arsenal because, well, because it’s not officially a transfer period unless “Arsenal Fan” Micah Richards is linked to the Gunners. Also, it makes a bit of sense.

Of course, Toure could be in there too… whatever, it’s all a non-story really.

Another player who might be leaving is Mikael Silvestre, with the Mirror reporting that Bordeaux is lining up a bid for the man with the largest head in the EPL. It’s understatement to say that a lot of Arsenal fans wouldn’t be sad to see him go.

Another funny transfer story is that former Arsenal great Amaury Bischoff is a target of either Cologne or West Brom. We’ll rue the day we let him go for free.

There’s a lot of reports that have Inler coming in to Arsenal but that could be just lazy reporting. You know, kind of like the “Cesc to Spain” and “Arshavin to Barca” stories.  All of which have been incessantly rejected by each of the players.

Like I said, it’s quiet today.

I do have a special treat for you all though! Given the overwhelming requests to make tee-shirts for the site I have come up with two designs. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to print both so what I need is for you all to choose which one of the following designs we will print (yay! a poll!)

The shirts will be red American Apparel shirts (check the sizes on their site, they run a bit ‘tight’), the ink will be white, they will have one of the following two designs on the front, and on the back there will be the name “LIKEANEWSIGNING” and the number “09″ (thanks to Travis for the idea!)

Here are the two designs:

This is the Arshavin design, it will fill the entire front of the shirt.


This is the crest design, it will be smaller and just cover your heart!


For both designs, you’ll have to imagine the red as see-through, mmmkay?

Here’s your poll:

[memedex: pollid#489903]

Shirts look like they will be $20 each (plus shipping) and if you want to pre-order just drop me a note via email: 7amkickoff at gmail dot com

That’s it for today, have a good Saturday!

*this might not be entirely true.