Sergio Canales, Louis Saha, Kenwyne Jones, and other transfer pap.

Back in the Summer of 2008 I tried in vain to start the rumor that Fellaini was coming to Arsenal. Unfortunately, that was my first Summer blogging and I hadn’t quite figured out how to get people to, you know, actually READ my blog.

Gunnerblog has no such problem. Plenty of people read his blog. People, and even reporters read it daily for the informative opinion, the humor, and the occasional made up transfer rumor — like the one where he suggested that Wenger should go after Louis Saha.

Since then the rumor has gained traction and in all of today’s major papers, and the Daily Mail, there’s an article linking Arsenal to Louis Saha. And why not? He’s French, he’s uhhh French, and he’s constantly injured, in short the perfect Arsenal signing.

Well, actually, that last bit about him being constantly injured, that might make people cringe a bit. Oh well, must press on.

Personally, if we’re going to look at Everton for anything I would rather that Arsenal sign Marouane Fellaini. Seriously, screw Saha and his constant injuries Fellaini would be the perfect signing: he likes to play in the holding role, he’s gigantic (He’s 6’5″, with the afro 6’9″), he’s a terrific header of the ball, and most importantly he’s earned his chops in the Premier League and doesn’t get called for fouls like he used to. In short, he’s the perfect player for Arsenal and the exact player who Arsene won’t sign. I mean could you imagine Fellaini covering the back and Diaby attacking in the, uhh, front? Dreamy stuff.

No, more likely is some Spanish Wunderkind 18 year old who I’ve never heard of (or if I did hear of him I quickly forgot) Sergio Canales. Supposedly, Chelsea lead the chase for him but I wouldn’t put Arsenal out of the race for any 18 year old since we will, you know, actually PLAY him in games.

Anyway, here’s two videos which prove definitively that he is world class:

Sure, that’s two goals from the same game, but so?

Meanwhile, some times Arsenal paper target Kenwyne Jones is being shopped around by Steve Bruce who alternately calls him a £40m player, and then not a £40m player.

On his day I think you can look at Kenwyne and say he’s worth £40 million, then on another day you’ll think: ‘come on you’. That’s Kenwyne.

Other reported quotes from Steve Bruce, on his wife*:

When she’s got all the right makeup on, and the light is just right, you think, ‘what a stunner.’ And then when you wake up the next morning and think ‘what did I do?’ That’s Julie.

The last word on transfers for today goes to Arsenal’s diminutive Russian striker. Misquoted as saying that Arsenal need a miracle to win the title, Andrei Arshavin actually said that basically it would be nice if we could get our first-choice starting XI on the pitch all at the same time:

My greatest dream is to win a title with my club. Naturally, it would be better if we won the Premier League or the Champions League. But to do this we need a miracle – which is to start playing finally with our best line-up! I do not think we have had it once so far this season.

I disagree, Andrei, there was a run of matches at the start of the season where we had our best lineup and we brushed aside opposition like dandelion fluff. It would be nice to get that lineup back but unfortunately, RvP is out for the year. Which is why so many Gooners are asking for Arsene to dip into the transfer market, how do you feel about that?

I have a feeling that Arsenal are not going to buy any new players in the winter transfer window. Or, if we do, it will be at the very last moment.

Hey, that’s my line.

*Needless to say this quote is fabricated and intended to be HUMOROUS. I imagine that in reality Steve Bruce loves his wife and would never say something like that, no matter how ugly she is.

Kuranyi Turns Down £3.5m Sunderland Deal, Could Arsenal Swoop?

Back in December, after Wenger famously announced that he was only looking for a player who was A) a striker B) tall C) world class and D) not cup tied in the Champions League. And even more famously proclaimed that that if such players existed, he wanted us to tell him about, erm, him. I did a little searching and turned up a bunch of names who I thought we could get on the cheap, who would possibly help this team straight away, and who fit all his other qualifications. One of those names I turned up was Kevin Kuranyi.

He’s 6’2″ weighs 175lbs, 27 years old, in 18 games he has 9 goals and 4 assists, is a good header of the ball, isn’t cup tied, is a Gerzilian international (so work permits should be OK), and Shalke only want £3.5m for him because he’s in the last year of his contract.

Reportedly he wanted £67,000 a week and that’s what Sunderland balked at but if that’s the case we can offer him that and not even break our salary structure. What do you think? Have you seen Kuranyi in action? Does he have what it takes to make it in the EPL and on Arsenal? Drop a comment and let us know.

Monday’s Fiver: the Stone Cold Truth about Angola, Arsene to Denilson “cheat?”, Man U Bonds, Setanta Update, and Fergie on Crapenburg

Stone Cold Truth

I was re-listening to last week’s It’s Up For Grabs Now Arsenal podcast and was surprised that one of the commentators used the words “War Torn Angola” to describe the ACN, and this was before the Togo bus was attacked. Unfortunately for many, that term is actually just the way that we see much of, if not all of Africa. Wenger has issued a stern admonition to the rest of the EPL not to use the Togo bus attack for selfish reasons and has ripped the nearly apoplectic reaction that folks like Martin Samuels and others at the Daily Fail have perpetrated in the name of news.

Behind things like that, is it a selfish motivation or is it a real issue over security? We, here, are not in the best position to judge the security of this competition. That’s why I don’t want to do it [recall my players]. If you organise the European Championships and you have an incident like that – it can happen, and has happened already – you do not want all your players suddenly to move home. International competition is international competition.

If the security within the country is well-organised [then that is what matters]. You hear many noises now that they [the Togo squad] were told not to travel by bus, I’ve heard, and to fly in. So I don’t know what happened there. And, as well, why no one from the official organisation was travelling with them. I don’t know.

It’s always like that, when you hear sometimes there’s unrest in the suburbs of London, you still live well in London. When I speak to my friends in France, they ask me: ‘Is a revolution happening in London?’ It’s the same in Paris, you know. You immediately think it’s a revolution everywhere. It’s not always the case.  You have to judge the place, whether the competition can go on or not, and I don’t know [the intricacies]. I don’t like this culture of fear, either. I hate that.

Meanwhile, Darius over at Stone Cold Arsenal has written the definitive article on the tragedy in Angola. He describes some of the failures that led up to the Togo National team bus attack. He informs us of the political climate in Angola. He also give a run down of the international forces at work, why Cabinda was chosen by Angola, and most importantly, he takes on the press corpse who seek to conflate Cabinda with South Africa or who print obviously xenophobic headlines like “Michael Essien flies into the Death Zone.”

My reader knows that I’m no fan of international competitions, I think they are all just exercises in archaic nationalistic masturbation. I’ll also freely admit that my first reaction was to say “bring Song and Eboue home” out of purely selfish reasons, but the more that people I respect, like Wenger, and people who have keen insight, like Darius, speak out on this issue the more I’m inclined to insist that the games must go on.

Arsene to Denilson, cheat?

The word “cheat” is thrown around a lot and especially, it seems, when it comes to Arsenal players, but this is going too far. Arsene Wenger admitted in his post-Everton interview with the dot com that he spoke to Denilson after the bizarre incident which saw him collapse in the middle of the pitch, turn the ball over, and but for an Almunia save, nearly concede a goal.

No. I wasn’t upset that Everton played on. I said to Denilson afterwards: ‘If that happens again you have to commit a handball.’ I’m very serious. If you go down, and there hasn’t been a foul, you cannot ask Everton to stop their counter-attack and not to score. So, if you go down like that, at least put your hand on the ball and it’s a free-kick.

Yes, either that or kick it out of play, or do what Phil Neville would do and elbow someone in the chest, whatever it takes but stop play so that you can be properly cared for. Is that cheating as The Spoiler would have us believe? Hardly.

Though, if you do, Denilson, don’t expect anything less than a straight red card from the English refs. I’m afraid you don’t have the right passport or club crest to get away with handling the ball in the EPL.

Man U Ties That Bond

I’ve written pretty extensively about debt in the Premier League and the fact that ManU and Liverpoor look dangerously overextended but I’ve always thought that of the two it was Liverpoor who were most likely to sink first and sink hardest. This was mostly down to the fact that of the two clubs, Man U has the most intrinsic value, topping Forbes’ list of the world’s most valuable sports franchises. I reasoned that if the debt started to eat up too much profits, some rich dude could come in and buy the club. But that intrinsic value turns out to be a curse as well. The club is worth £1.3bn but the debt, including the onerous PIK loans where United is rolling debt and interest, is thought of to be at £700m. Paying off that kind of debt takes seriously deep pockets.

There are folks out there who can do it but it needs to happen soon, before the debt gets too big for even the deep wells of money that are out there. Which is one reason why United are going to float bonds.

All the rest of the details of this bond issue are explained in that link above, check it out.

Setanta Update

The Irish Times are reporting that Fox is working with Setanta USA to buy the channel. If true, that would explain why Fox withheld Setanta’s broadcast rights this weekend; they wanted to put the squeeze on them. Though, I still think it was f-ing stupid for Fox Soccer Channel to show Serie A re-runs instead of the Arsenal v. Everton match.

Some kind of official announcement is expected soon.

Fergie Rants, The FA Cowers

SHOCKING: the FA are going to investigate Fergie for his comments about Mark Clattenburg after ManU’s pitiful performance against Birmingham. What is there to investigate? It’s true that Ferguson said “He did the Arsenal-Tottenham game – you had to have someone hit with an axe before he’d book anyone in that game, and he sends a player off here.” and called Clattenburg’s decisions “wonderful and weird.” It’s also true that Crapenburg is one of the worst referees I have ever seen. Worse than Uriah Rennie.

So far this season, Crapenburg has refereed at least three Arsenal matches which have been the scenes of some seriously dangerous play. The first was against Manciti where Mark Clattenburg mysteriously didn’t see Adebayor’s stamp on Cesc followed by Adebayor’s stamp on Robin van Persie’s face, despite video showing him LOOKING AT THE INCIDENT. Then, despite the FA’s retroactive action against Adebayor, he was put in charge of the Arsenal Tottenham match that Fergie aludes to, in which Rat Faced Chav did a two-footed, studs up, challenge on Vermaelen. And just last week, he was put in charge of the West Ham Arsenal match which saw Jiminez try to perform oral surgery on Diaby’s face with his boots.

Before the year is out, Clattenburg will referee a game which has a career ending injury. I guarantee it.

So, the FA should throw the book at both Clattenburg and Fergie. Clattenburg, because he’s a disgrace, and Fergie, because well, I hate United.