Lies, damn lies, and transfer rumors

Tony Adams seems to have lost his mind.

First, he tells the world that, basically, he’s going to be the next coach for Celtic. As my regular reader knows, I trumpeted this move as a real chance for the beleaguered former Arsenal great to get a shot at real management but given some further revelations I’m not sure how fit he is any more. First off, Celtic came out and called the idea “complete garbage.” And then, the guy who is supposed to be Adams’ link in to Celtic, the former Celtic manager Wim Jansen, basically said that he hasn’t spoken to Tony, has no desire to return to Celtic, and isn’t appointing Adams manager of anything.

But wait, there’s more…

That was yesterday’s Adams news, today has Tony spouting conspiracy theories about Wenger and the Arsenal board and going on to mumble incoherently about how little money Arsenal have to spend. The whole quote looks like this

People on the board – and the fans – want more, but they can’t actually back it up with financial weight to do it. They’re not financing him. I don’t think Arsenal have got any finance.I don’t know who it is, but I think there’s someone on the board who’s not pro-Arsene. I don’t know who it is, but that’s what I’ve heard.

The fans have got very high standards now. I remember when I first broke into the team, losing 4-0 at Maine Road and the fans were doing the conga. They didn’t expect much. But they expect a lot now. They’re crying out for experience and the fans are not silly, they know the team needs experience at the back and in central midfield. Arsene knows, too. He’s not a silly man. But you tell me a player they can get for the money they’ve got. It’s unrealistic.

The first bit there about the board member who is anti-Arsene is straight up tin-foil hat stuff. “I don’t know who it is, but I’ve heard someone hates you!” Wait, it’s not even tin-foil hat, that’s straight Junior High shit.

But what makes this a compelling quote is the second bit, where he rejoins reality and adulthood and talks about what we all know: Arsenal need some fresh blood in midfield and defense.

And no sooner than you could snap your fingers and say “haggis” he’s back into conspiracy territory talking about how the board doesn’t have any money and then about how there are no players for Arsenal to sign anyway. As far as I’m concerned, Tony Adams is dead wrong. It’s funny because he  sounds like one of the doom and gloomers we get on the comment board here.

Frankly, I’m dead tired of saying this, but Arsenal certainly have the money to spend if they (the board and the manager) want to spend it. I’ll put a page up at the top of the screen (similar to my page about players who didn’t come to Arsenal) later this afternoon, and you all can refer to that from now on. Until then, you just have to look at my remarks linked above.

So, Mr. “Arsenal have the money” who are they going to buy?

I know one thing, whomever Wenger buys he’s going to have an eye for a deal — which has nothing to do with the board and everything to do with the boss’ philosophy.

Here are today’s hot deals:

Joleon Lescott is being pimped at 7% off. Wanting to cement a place in the England national team, he’s supposedly engineering a move away from Everton and Arsenal are one of many teams mooted. Chances of this happening, 3/10 — if Arsenal are competing with City for his signature, they will need to recruit Lescott with other English National team players, like Theo Walcott.

Blaise Matuidi is offered at buy one get one free. Tired of fighting to remain at the foot of the French league, Blaise is supposedly courting interest from Pompey, Tottenham, and Arsenal. Chance of this deal happening, 6/10 — everyone knows that Arsene loves plucking French players from the continent for cheap, plus, Tottenham and Pompey are no real competition.

Bruno Alves is being offered at full price, but they throw in one of those airplane bottles of tawny port. Tall, good in the air, technically good with the ball, experienced, and a leader; all of the qualities that Arsene hates! No, seriously, I can’t see Arsenal getting a deal for Alves and unless Wenger’s ready to pay full price the Porto player isn’t going to Arsenal. Chance of this happening, 2/10.

Samir Nasri is being offered as “like a new signing” and fully expects to play defensive midfield in the future. Ugh… Chances of this happening, 11/10.

And finally, the world’s dumbest apology

Before I sign off for the day, I thought I’d link to Gareth Barry’s apology to Villa fans. Now, I consider myself the master of the apology. I can say some stupid, un-researched shiat and totally apologize the very next day and generally get things right and set the table straight again. While apologizing my formula is to try to show some humility, explain myself using logic, and be sincere in saying “sorry.”

Gareth Barry does none of these things: it’s almost an anti-apology and as such one of the most humorous things I’ve read in a while. As far as I can tell he left Villa because he “needed a new challenge,” has “two kids to feed, man,” thinks City will “challenge for honors,” thinks regular football at City will somehow get him a place on the English National team ahead of their very crowded midfield, and “will always love Villa.”

The only person who could top that apology is Adebayor when he apologizes to Arsenal for leaving this summer.

Barry going to City, SHOW ME THE MONEY!

No, not that Barry, the other Barry

Ugh… Not much actual Arsenal news this morning but there are a ton of stories about players who were supposedly Arsenal targets who are now headed elsewhere. Love the idea, hate the idea, or tepid about the idea, it’s looking increasingly like the Villa midfielder is not coming to Arsenal and is instead going to be paired with Robinho and a pack of other mercenaries trying to buy their way into Europe.

Make no mistake about it, this is about money. Reportedly, Villa have accepted a mere £12m bid for the player they famously refused to let go to Liverpool for £18m last season. Why? Because I suspect that City offered Barry a huge salary and he told Villa he wanted out. Reportedly, he’ll be getting a £60,000 a week raise which, even a team like Chelsea wouldn’t pay for a player like Barry. Face it, he’s the third or fourth best CM in the England national team, is that worth £5m a year?

No, this is about the money. A player who previously stated a desire to play in Europe as the reason for agitating to go to Liverpool is now signing for Manchester City. I hope he does sign for City, I don’t want scum like that at Arsenal. 

HAVE FUN BACKING UP STEPHEN IRELAND (and Tugay)!

Anatomy of a Transfer

Meanwhile, the chaps over at The Game have put together a lovely little graphic which does quite a job explaining how transfer deals are supposed to happen, and how they really happen. Yay. The real story in that graphic, though, is in the lower right hand corner, I’ll give you a second to find it…

OK

Look at Arsenal there at the top of the list, read across, yes, you read that right, according to that graphic Arsenal have earned £5m if you total up all the summer transfer windows since 2004.  Interstingly, 2004 is the year that Chelsea spent £87m and won the league and it is the year that Arsenal last finished in the top two, which pretty much marks the beginning of the rebuilding phase that we have been in. Interesting, but looking down the list, a few other things stand out.

First, no one, no one, has spent less in the last 4 years than Arsenal. The fact that we’re still in Europe and still turning massive profits is either a feat of incredible management or a huge shame (because if we spent more we could challenge for more trophies — theoretically) depending on which side of the debate you land. I tend toward the first, because all you need to do is look at the list, spending is not a guarantee of success. Tottenham have spent £50m, Sunderland £66m, and Wigan £10m, and their places on the league table haven’t really changed much over those 4 years. If anything, Sunderland’s gotten worse! So, I’m of the mind that it is a feat of amazing management by Arsene Wenger.

Second, that said, sometimes a big bump in spending can get a club over a hump. Chelsea spent £87m and went on to win two league titles, the FA Cup, Carling Cups, some Charity Shields (the most self important of all trophies), a Gillingham Spelling Bee, and School Lunch Program Meal of the Week.  Similarly, Man U spent big back in 2007 and have netted back to back titles, an FA cup, the Carling Cup, a Club World Cup (aka, The Holy Grail), a Champions League, and the love and admiration of billions of fans the world over. My point is that sometimes a bump in spending can have a great effect; of course it has to be prudent and of course there are no guarantees of success (or Liverpool would have won the league by now) but sometimes, sometimes, spending can get results.

You have to buy the right players, you know, like Andrei Arshavin, but SOMETIMES SPENDING WORKS.

Ahem.  (Wenger are you listening?) 

Tony Adams in for Celtic?

I hear tell that Tony Adams is in line to manage Celtic! Well, good for him. It was a shame to see him drubbed out of Pompey after Harry raped the team and left them for dead. Managing a big club, from the start of the season, is exactly the kind of test that Adams need to see if he can go on to be a top four EPL manager one day.

Good luck Tony.

No one linked to Arsenal

Given Arsenal’s last 4 years of refusing to spend big, it’s starting to look like maybe the press are going to ignore us for a season. Sure, they kicked off the Summer Transfer window with a few stories, but those were all recycled  garbage from last year. Other than that I haven’t heard much.

There’s the Vermaelan story I reported on the last few days, Ajax defender and captain, cheapish, Belgian national team, etc. but I have a real hard time believing these stories when you read them at all closely. The one I linked above is probably the most reliable, because it merely mentions that Arsenal are selling Kolo Toure to Manchester City. Some of the other links out there talk about emergency board meetings, Gazidis smoothing things over with Wenger, and of course the oft touted and thoroughly disproved “Arsenal only have £13m to spend on transfers” story which all have Usmanov’s fat finger prints on them.

So, if you’re looking for a signing, I suppose you’ll just have to wait!

See you tomorrow…

Ade to Milan, Xabi to Arsenal, Barry to Arsenal, and Cesc to Real/Barca. No, this is not a repeat of summer 2008

It’s going to be a scorcher here, 80 some degrees (Fahrenheit) and I think I might get the motorcycle out. That seems like a nice way to kick off the Transfer season.

A couple of things before we get into the “news.” First off, you should look for me to migrate the site to my actual dot com site this summer. This might mean a week off from blogging. Maybe less, we’ll see.

Second, I appreciate everyone who voted yesterday. The turnout was pretty good and the winner, with 89 votes, is Eduardo’s cheeky side footer against Burnley.

I’ve said it before, but a 100% healthy Eduardo is key to success next season because as that video shows he’s just a top, top class striker. If you think back to the end of the 05/06 season, it was pretty clear that Arsenal’s new style of play needed a poacher. It took him two years and the loss of Titi, but finally Wenger went out and got one. And all Dudu did in his first year was score 8 goals in 19 starts. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that if he gets a good run next year 20 goals is achievable.

Fingers crossed!

You know how I know this is meaningless?

Evidently, Arsenal came in third place in the “Fair Play League.” I’ve followed this particular stat for a few years and always thought this meant something, I mean, add up reds and yellows and viola you get a pretty fair representation of a team’s play, right? Well, it turns out that the “Barclays Fair Play League” has all kinds of stupid, subjective, crapola like “positive play” and “respect for referees.”

And there’s Chelsea, above Arsenal.

lol.

Yeah, right, I watched quite a few Chelsea matches this season and there is no way that team should be above Arsenal in “fair play.”

Rehashing 2008′s transfer stories.

As a subscriber to Fark.com, I’m used to seeing stupid news stories. I’m even used to seeing repeats, it’s one thing you can guarantee from the press; they will repeat stories until people catch on to what they are doing. But I’m not used to having 4 repeats of 4 Arsenal transfer stories pop up on the same day; Ade to Milan, Cesc has targeted Alonso, Barry is a target for Arsenal, and then there’s the ubiquitous “Cesc to Spain” story. Strange indeed.

Oh well, since this Alonso/Barry story is a repeat of last year, I went back and looked at what I said about this last year — if they can repeat, why can’t I? Enjoy.

I’ll bet if Silvestre stays healthy he will be seen by Gooners as yet another master stroke by the boss (I just HAD to include this little gem, who is the dumbass who writes this blog? DOES HE EVEN WATCH SOCCER???)

Meanwhile, the boss was more circumspect with his statements about Barry/Alosno.  I’m lumping both players together here because, they are both 27, both play midfield, both are cup tied, both are Arsenal targets and both players fit Arsene’s quotes.  Thus, I consider Arsene to be chasing both players and whichever one we get, I think Arsenal fans will be happy.  I’d prefer Alonso because I think he’s a technically superior player, he’s Spanish, and he would fit right into the Arsenal midfield.  On the other hand, Barry would bring steel and English-ness to the team, and let’s not let the importance of having Englishmen on the team fall to the way side.  Rumor has it Arsenal have already negotiated a contract with Alonso but Liverpool is refusing to lower their value of the player at £18m, even though, as Arsene points out he’s cup tied.  Villa, similarly, are stuck with their £18m valuation since they have already turned down a lesser bid from Liverpool.  I suppose they could offer Arsenal the player for less, but wouldn’t that allow Liverpool the same chance to swoop for the player that Arsenal just did for Silvestre?

More importantly for me is I don’t get the sense that Barry wants to play for Arsenal.  No.  He wants to play for Liverpool, you know, to “fulfill his dream.”  I think Barry is a smokescreen.  Arsenal are in for Alonso and Alonso only.  We’ll just have to wait and see.  Just the other day I was preparing you all for a summer with no more signings and now here I am hopeful that the team will sign the one player I wanted all summer — starry eyed optimist that I am.

I really wish that the cocksandwich who wrote that crap above at least watched some soccer.

That’s it for today, I’ve got to get the bike up and running and get to work. See you later!