Forget Arshavin, Jack Wilshere is like a new signing! Plus, Eboue gets a new contract.

Animated GIF of Wilshere scoring a wonder goal.

Oh man, I had a good sleep in today: I hit the snooze button twice! So while I normally get up at 4:30, I got up at 5:30. I’m not complaining though, the reason I slept in was because I got up at 1:30 the day before to buy my match tickets for the Sunderland game. That’s right, yours truly is heading to balmy London for vacation — I wonder if I should pack a Speedo?

Anyway, you’re not here to hear about me in a Speedo (which is a magnificent sight) you’re here to hear about the latest transfer news amiright? Right.

Let’s see, Arshavin is praying to the God than isn’t his omnipotent agent that a deal will go through that takes him out of Russia. What are the stages of grief anyway? Doesn’t it go: bargaining, threatening, praying, and then acceptance? It better have acceptance in it somewhere because despite the one report that has Zenit going from the lead role in 300 to Monty Hall in saying “let’s make a deal” Arsenal are steadfast in their valuation with Peter Hill-Wood publicly saying that they have reached the limit they are going to spend. I have to think that the Zenit position is just there to save face. They know Andrei can buy out his contract in November, and so he has them over a barrel a little bit but not as much as many will claim.

First, he can’t go on strike. Well, he could, but if he did that then he might not qualify for a work permit in England (depending on national appearances). Second, he can buy out the remainder of his contract, but only in November and remember Zenit are a bunch of disgraceful human beings. I have no doubt that Zenit would keep Andrei in court for months while they haggle over his price. That’s the threat Arsenal used on Hleb. Plus, there’s still the summer transfer market to go through and I’m confident they could sell Arshavin in the summer for £10m. So they lose a few million, which brings me to my final point, so they lose a few million. HA! They don’t care. They don’t need the money. Make no mistake, this isn’t like Valencia and David Villa, where the club is over-pricing their superstar because they need the money. Zenit is doing this because, well, because they are a bunch of whackos.

In his little statement Peter Hill-Wood sounded a lot like a jilted lover by saying that there were “other fish in the sea” but the truth is that there are other fish; Fabio Simplicio could be a set up man to challenge Diaby/Denilson and Stéphane Sessegnon could be a good wing player to challenge Theo (when he comes back). Now, as for a hard man, well, as Mae West said “a hard man is good to find.” As soon as I find one I’ll let you know.

While we’re waiting for PHW to grab his fly rod and fish us a hard man (seriously, this is getting a little gay – ed.) we should celebrate “new signing” Eduardo and his first full 90 minutes of play. He still hasn’t scored (he had a goal disallowed for offside yesterday) but getting out there and playing for 90 minutes and giving yourself chances to score are huge, considering the damage that Taylor inflicted on him. The player feels ready to go out and play first team football, but I’d like to see him get a goal in reserves first. Sorry, but I’d hate to see him rushed back and something horrible happen.

The player who does seem ready for some first team football is Wilshere. Well, some folks are tipping him and after watching his audacious outside of the boot left footer (obviously in the GIF above) I’d be tempted to agree with them, except I kind of think Vela is ready-er and more naturally a wing player. Irregardless, I think we’ll see a bit of both players in the weeks to come, the squad is that thin.

By the way, I found that animated GIF over at Gunnerblog.

And finally, the most incredible story of the day award goes to… it’a a fight to the death! In the periwinkel blue corner, it turns out that City could have signed de Jong for £2.3m if they had just waited for his release clause to kick in this summer. Instead, they put up £19m to get him right now, incredible stuff.  In the red corner, Arsenal turned down an offer from Athletico Madrid for Eboue and instead are racing to give him an improved contract. Let me put this as diplomatically as I can; Eboue has not done anything this season to warrant a pay raise. Not one thing. He’s done his job, he’s done what he’s told to do, but I haven’t seen anything from him that warrants an improved contract.

Ok, that’s as diplomatic as I can be. In my heart I’m screaming “I don’t care how little it was, TAKE THE OFFER” but you probably already knew that.

Ok, so that’s it for today, we’ve got the Friday press conference ahead of Sunday’s game tomorrow where I’m sure Arsene will be all “we’ve bid what we can afford” and ” we live in the real world” and “this is a young team” and “Cardiff will be a tough match.” If he says anything new, I’ll be sure to report it.

Until then!

Arshavin deal off — what is Arsenal's back up plan?

I'm pulling my hair out to Andrei

Gunnerblog is reporting that the Arshavin deal has essentially fallen through. Not that he needs any backing up, he’s usually very reliable with inside information, but the story is being picked up more widely and so I feel confident that the clubs have reached an impasse. Well, I say “the clubs have reached an impasse” but in reality Zenit has jerked Arsenal around.

We all knew what they were doing when they revealed to the world Arsenal’s bids; they were basically keeping us at the table, trying to drive up the cost of the player, while very publicly soliciting a higher bid from a club like City. Reputation be damned. Integrity — who needs it?  Zenit were going to squeeze every last penny out of this deal and they didn’t care who they used along the way.

Arsenal were pawns.

If you need any further proof that Arsenal were duped and used by these scumbag, lying, racists just witness this quote from an insider:

Arsenal don’t understand what is going on at all – no-one is answering their phone-calls or returning their faxes. What can Arsenal do? It is becoming clear that Zenit are totally nuts. Arsenal might wait one more day, possibly two, but Zenit seem to be football jokers.

In the civil world you don’t make someone wait a week before you return a fax, you don’t tell someone you’ll call them tomorrow and not do it.  Zenit don’t care about money, they just seem to have made up their minds not to sell. They have just been playing games, showing they’re tough.

I swear at any moment we’re going to find out that when the Arsenal negotiators got to the table the Zenit chairman was dressed in nothing but a red cape and leather skirt. And when Ivan Gazidis presented Arsenal’s reported £15m offer, the chairman wheeled on him, kicked him onto the floor and screamed “20! WE SAID 20!!!! THIS IS ZENIT!”

this-is-zenit1

If there is any good news to come out of this it’s that, erm… well… it’s that we get to go to Arsene Wenger’s back up plan!

Which is?

Mate Toth.

I really, really hope this is true. I’ve been following Mate Toth now for, erm, 6 minutes, and he is the best defender I’ve never seen. On a related note, I think that squad number 91 is available which just happens to be the year Mate Toth was born.

What do you think he’ll put on his shirt? Mate? Toth? I’m really hoping he picks Mate, because if he picks Mate the jokes could go forever, mate.

Defensive Mid/Holding Mid/Box-to-box Mid, whatever, let’s get one!

I’ve noticed that lately, box-to-box, defensive, holding, whatever-you-call-them-midfielders have become very expensive: Spurs just paid £14m for Wilson Palacios, Mascherano cost ‘Pool £19m, Felliani cost Everton £15m, and Diarra went for £20m.

Even if you take into account the inflationary costs that Spurs typically pay for players (£31m for bench players Bent and Bentley, selling Defoe for £10 and buying him back for £15, etc, etc.) these latest transfer figures show that a solid central midfielder is going to cost at least £15m. Partially this is because these players have become fashionable (Liverpool play with 2 at all times) and partially this is because this historically undervalued position is now just coming to light as a mainstay of championship quality clubs. Little clubs are no longer going to sell off  for cheap a hard working central midfielder just because he doesn’t have the deftest of touch.

Given this, I wonder what Song’s value is on the open market and I wonder where Arsenal are going to find a good midfielder for their cut rate offering price of under £10m?

If Wilson Palacios is worth £14m then isn’t Song worth like £10m? And isn’t that, like, totally insane?

I have no idea who we’ll find for the price of a Song, but if Mate Toth is any indication, Wenger is digging deep into the bowels of Europe searching for just that guy.

Or, we’re just going to have to sit around hoping that Theo Walcott returns to 100% form, that Denilson/Diaby/Song works out, and that Eduardo gets his mojo back. If not, it’s going to be a long 4 months.

Arshavin deal off — what is Arsenal’s back up plan?

I'm pulling my hair out to Andrei

Gunnerblog is reporting that the Arshavin deal has essentially fallen through. Not that he needs any backing up, he’s usually very reliable with inside information, but the story is being picked up more widely and so I feel confident that the clubs have reached an impasse. Well, I say “the clubs have reached an impasse” but in reality Zenit has jerked Arsenal around.

We all knew what they were doing when they revealed to the world Arsenal’s bids; they were basically keeping us at the table, trying to drive up the cost of the player, while very publicly soliciting a higher bid from a club like City. Reputation be damned. Integrity — who needs it?  Zenit were going to squeeze every last penny out of this deal and they didn’t care who they used along the way.

Arsenal were pawns.

If you need any further proof that Arsenal were duped and used by these scumbag, lying, racists just witness this quote from an insider:

Arsenal don’t understand what is going on at all – no-one is answering their phone-calls or returning their faxes. What can Arsenal do? It is becoming clear that Zenit are totally nuts. Arsenal might wait one more day, possibly two, but Zenit seem to be football jokers.

In the civil world you don’t make someone wait a week before you return a fax, you don’t tell someone you’ll call them tomorrow and not do it.  Zenit don’t care about money, they just seem to have made up their minds not to sell. They have just been playing games, showing they’re tough.

I swear at any moment we’re going to find out that when the Arsenal negotiators got to the table the Zenit chairman was dressed in nothing but a red cape and leather skirt. And when Ivan Gazidis presented Arsenal’s reported £15m offer, the chairman wheeled on him, kicked him onto the floor and screamed “20! WE SAID 20!!!! THIS IS ZENIT!”

this-is-zenit1

If there is any good news to come out of this it’s that, erm… well… it’s that we get to go to Arsene Wenger’s back up plan!

Which is?

Mate Toth.

I really, really hope this is true. I’ve been following Mate Toth now for, erm, 6 minutes, and he is the best defender I’ve never seen. On a related note, I think that squad number 91 is available which just happens to be the year Mate Toth was born.

What do you think he’ll put on his shirt? Mate? Toth? I’m really hoping he picks Mate, because if he picks Mate the jokes could go forever, mate.

Defensive Mid/Holding Mid/Box-to-box Mid, whatever, let’s get one!

I’ve noticed that lately, box-to-box, defensive, holding, whatever-you-call-them-midfielders have become very expensive: Spurs just paid £14m for Wilson Palacios, Mascherano cost ‘Pool £19m, Felliani cost Everton £15m, and Diarra went for £20m.

Even if you take into account the inflationary costs that Spurs typically pay for players (£31m for bench players Bent and Bentley, selling Defoe for £10 and buying him back for £15, etc, etc.) these latest transfer figures show that a solid central midfielder is going to cost at least £15m. Partially this is because these players have become fashionable (Liverpool play with 2 at all times) and partially this is because this historically undervalued position is now just coming to light as a mainstay of championship quality clubs. Little clubs are no longer going to sell off  for cheap a hard working central midfielder just because he doesn’t have the deftest of touch.

Given this, I wonder what Song’s value is on the open market and I wonder where Arsenal are going to find a good midfielder for their cut rate offering price of under £10m?

If Wilson Palacios is worth £14m then isn’t Song worth like £10m? And isn’t that, like, totally insane?

I have no idea who we’ll find for the price of a Song, but if Mate Toth is any indication, Wenger is digging deep into the bowels of Europe searching for just that guy.

Or, we’re just going to have to sit around hoping that Theo Walcott returns to 100% form, that Denilson/Diaby/Song works out, and that Eduardo gets his mojo back. If not, it’s going to be a long 4 months.