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.

Friday Transfer Roundup; What’s Weak This Week?

The one constant of the last few years as an Arsenal supporter has been the fact that we all basically go bat-shiat crazy during the summer. Some more than others, calling for pretty much everyone in the squad to be replaced, but everyone to some degree wants Arsenal to sign some new blood. You could characterize the distance between these two camps as a rift among supporters but I think you’d be wrong. We all just want a winning squad, and unfortunately we all think we know how to get us there. Hell, even the players at the club seem to think they know how to get some silverware what with England’s Future Number One stating that Arsenal need to splash the cash, and Robin van Persie saying keep the faith.

I guess it’s just something that almost all Arsenal supporters do. I can’t quite get my head around it, so, if you think you know why we are so transfer crazy, please let us all know in the comments.

Meanwhile, here’s a wrap up of who we didn’t sign this week and the chances that we will sign them!

Felipe Melo: Arsene Wenger has so many options to buy in central midfield that this one particular “Will he or won’t he?” is starting to grate on a lot of folks’ nerves. I would welcome the player but I don’t think Arsenal are even involved in this any more, irregardless the statements of his agent/the Fiorentina President, etc. It’s looking increasingly like Arsenal are being used as a stick to get the maximum value out of the transfer to Juve. -1/10

Miguel Veloso: Evidently, this player rates highly, on gaming consoles. In real life? He’s headed to Bolton. That he was linked so heavily to Arsenal last year and so decisively not this year shows you that the press knows f*ck all about where players are actually headed. Chances he’s coming to Arsenal this year? 0/10

Ever Banega: Ever do what? Tiny, miniscule, little Argentinian holding midfielder who currently plays for Valencia. He’s only been in Spain for 1 year, he’s not currently on the Argentinian national team and I’d be surprised if Arsenal could get him a work permit. 1/10

Dani Parejo: Big, rangy, young, hard nosed holding midfielder. Incessantly linked to Arsenal by possibly the keenest footballing mind on the planet. 2/10

Fabian Delph: No one is linking Delph to Arsenal, except me. In fact, he was heavily linked last year but this year the line went dead. The fact remains that Arsene Wenger is heavily investing in English kids, possibly to stave off constant criticism and likely to side-step potential rules changes such as the proposed 6+5 Affirmative Action Quota System for Englishmen. Delph is a left footed midfielder with a blistering shot and a bit of an early penchant for long range goals. His old manager compared his lung capacity to an Ethiopian Marathon runner, and I’ve seen him compared favorably to many of England’s finest midfielders, and Gareth Barry. Leeds are publicly admitting that two clubs have bid for the youngster but aren’t saying who and it’s a bit of a stretch, since Arsenal already have a British midfield core for the future, but with Wenger you never know. 3/10

Eden Hazard: His name may be an oxymoron, but Wenger would be a straight moron NOT to sign him. I’ve played him on the x-box* and I can tell you he is better than RonaldoKakaRonaldoRonaldinho all rolled into one. Plus, he wants to play for Arsenal. Never mind that Arsenal has more attacking options than you could shake a stick at, this guy is GOOD. Need we say more? 4/10

Chamakh: Wenger actually admitted that he was looking at this tall striker, but only as an option if Adebayor demands a transfer away. Given the fact that Ade went from 1st place to 5th place in AC Milan’s World Strikers Beauty Pageant I think we all have to admit that this is 50-50 at best. I’m feeling generous, plus I do think Arsene is trying to offload a player who has an attitude problem. 5/10

Lorik Cana: Cana has announced himself as eligible, but ONLY if l’OM sign a replacement. Cana’s logical replacement, Stephane M’Bia, is trying to sign with Marseilles but crap keeps getting hung up. The latest news I read on L’Equipe is that the deal is all but done. Once that happens, expect to see reports linking the £6.5m rated Albanian Supermodel to several clubs, with Arsenal being the favorite owing to the fact that Wenger already tried once before to bring him in and was denied over a work permit. 7/10

Blaise Matuidi: Young, African Francophone, reminds me of Michael Essien, and we do know that Arsene tried to sign Essien. Additionally, he’s reportedly available for a mere £2.5m and further reportedly had a meeting with Wenger this week. Not exactly the guy that Arsenal supporters are looking for, we’d rather have an M’Bia or Cana by my estimation, but certainly fits Wenger’s historical buying patterns. 8/10

There’s your weekly roundup, I’m sure if I missed anyone you’ll let me know about it.

Have fun and see you tomorrow!

Usmanov – Melo + Blaise = Bananas Transfer

Come on dude, hit the red arrow on time and we get a huge bonus!

HA HA! I love the smell of butt-hurt in the morning.

In yesterday’s column I said that we should be prepared for the full court press of Usmanov and his cronies calling us “spendthrift Arsenal” and reminding the world of their philosophy that “only a big money backer can get Arsenal fans a trophy.”And sure enough, there are stories all over the web about Wenger £60m Hit and my personal favorite Usmanov Bemused by Arsenal Rejection.

Let’s make some things clear. First, this is an inflated market — with Real Madrid, AC Milan, and United tossing cash around like water, player valuations aren’t in line with what they should be. Should Arsenal pay over the odds for players? We don’t have a good track record when it comes to doing that, so I would be reluctant to splash big cash in this off season.

Second, if other clubs hear that Arsenal got a £75m injection of cash, then suddenly guys like Blaise Matuidi go from £2.5m to £10m. And guys like Melo start demanding bigger salaries in addition to their hyper inflated transfer fees. Basically, we’re wasting money in order to appease a few vocal fans.

Third, it’s typically distasteful of Usamanov to tell everyone beforehand that it’s a £100m rights issue, intended to pay down debt, that would free up some money every year for player purchases when in reality it was a £75m rights issue, that would all be blown on inflated player transfers, and not actually provide any further financial stability.

And then! The fat f*cking cherry on top of the hot fudge sundae, his thinly veiled threat which even goes back again on their position.

Based on financial information that only they have, the board have informed us that they are confident they have adequate financial resources to support the manager to strengthen the squad, to weather the property downturn, to renegotiate the Highbury Square loan on good terms and to deal with the continuing difficult economic conditions

I mean come on, if Wenger was supposed to get £60m in transfer money, that would only leave £15m to support all those other items. Which would be impossible. Besides which, it’s not a secret that Arsenal already have over £100m in cash reserves. It’s not like they’re exactly hiding this information, when they make it publicly available at the end of every year.

Really this is just PR bullshiat intended to get a few fans riled up and judging from the comments I see all around the web it’s worked.

Chillax and listen to the words of Ivan Gazidis, he’s a smart guy:

Simply spending money in the transfer market does not make a team or guarantee success. The focus is still on developing young talent.

As I have pointed out before Arsenal spend as much money as Spurs every year, though entirely in player salaries. This is our current model, we buy selectively, bring players along, and pay them well. Other clubs, like Spuds, don’t bring anyone along, and spend madly in the transfer market in the hopes of signing a pot of gold. Has it worked for them?

Well, they did get that 5-1 win over Arsenal a few years ago and a Carling Cup trophy. Huzzah…

Funny enough, even though we’re supposedly broke as a biatch we’re still being linked with all kinds of players. First, the Melo situation seems to have taken another turn and talks with Juve have apparently broken off.  I have to wonder if Fiorentina isn’t playing both Arsenal and Juve against each other in the press here. There sure does seem to be some smoke and maybe Arsenal did make a bid, but I’m not sure we’re still on the player’s trail.

Especially since all the world seems to think we’ve leveled a £2.5m bid for Blaise Matuidi. Going so far as to report that a meeting between Arsene and Blaise took place today.

I’m not sure if Wenger’s going to be buying this guy or Lorik Cana but remember all the stuff I said about Lorik Cana yesterday? You can erase all that because Blaise is a young African Francophone. You tell me which player Arsene Wenger is more likely to buy?

There’s also some weird report that Arsenal are supposedly on the trail of Sebastien Bassong. I don’t think there’s much to this story. First off, Arsenal would have to clear out some of our central defenders to make room for him and while I do think that Senderos is probably on his way out, Arsene has been adamant about keeping this group together. So, unless we lose both Gallas and Toure in addition to Senderos, I’d be surprised to see another central defender come in. Second, it’s the player claiming that Arsenal are after him based on a conversation that took place in January. Yeah…

I’m not linking to the two bullshiat stories that have Cesc going to either Barca or Real Madrid, because they are bullshiat.

I will, however, end this with some good news! I always admit when I’m wrong. In fact, I love being wrong because basically I’m a pessimist and tend toward the negative interpretation of events so when I’m wrong, that usually means something really kick ass has just happened. And something kick ass, has, in fact, just happened!

Last year, I predicted that Thomas Rosicky would never play for Arsenal again and just today Rosicky has shot down my pessimism saying that he’s in the best shape of his life and ready to push Nasri and Walcott for a spot on the wings. I’m excited for him. Hell, I’m excited for the fans, I mean can you imagine the roar of the crowd as Arshavin, van Persie, Rosicky and Cesc bear down on a club like Sunderland?

I can and I think it’s going to be a good year.