Tag Archives: Adebayor transfer

Wenger: “This year will be decisive”

arsene

Good day.

I can’t really say “good morning” anymore because, well, because I’ve been officially picked up by NewsNow and that means, starting today, more people from all over the world are going to be reading this blog. Kinda scary, kinda exciting, I better make it a good blog eh?

I do want to recognize my long suffering readers before the insanity of having a whole new audience sets in, you guys are the reason I do this. Your insights into the game, into Arsenal, into global finance, into the global nature of the game, and just into human nature in general are invaluable. When I write, I tend to speak with the voice of authority but really you all have taught me so much. Thank you and I hope you know that your comments will always stand out with me among the other voices that are about to join us. Now, on with the blog…

I was reading through the news feeds last night and came across a translation of an interview with le Boss on French Radio RMC via our friends at Gooner Talk. So, I did some digging of my own and found the original and ran it through my own translator (Google Translate!) and it looks like an important interview even if it is brief. I will rely on my French speakers to let me know if I missed something in translation.

The big bombshell that everyone is talking about, because it is transfer season, is that Wenger is actually looking at Chamakh as a replacement for Adebayor. Not going so far as to say that he wants to sell Ade, because that would be dumb, but he puts the ball in Ade’s court, saying:

If he does not want to stay, then we will start looking (for replacements) but I think he will be with Arsenal this season.

As I have said many times in the past, I like Adebayor. Owing to the fact that on my very few trips to see the matches in person I ended up being there when he scored his first ever home goal. Plus, for years, he wasn’t the best striker in England, but he worked his ass off and I appreciate hard work over lazy talent all day. So, I have been a staunch defender of Ade — until this year. Now that it seems the talent is there, the hard work has evaporated, leaving him as a guy who is basically disrupting Arsenal’s flow with his constant offsides and who occasionally puts in a world class, audacious goal.

So, I see Wenger’s point. If he WANTS it, he could be one of the top strikers in the world. In which case, let’s keep him. Conversely, if he just going to be a lazy loudmouth who disrupts what Arsenal are building, Wenger will find another tall fellow who can hold the ball up, stays onside, and works hard as the lone striker; Chamakh.

That’s the “bombshell” from the interview and what you’ll read about in all the papers but there’s some subtler things at work here that I think are equally important. Things like, what’s Arsene’s future at the club and what’s the long term plan for this team?

There is no doubt that Wenger had his head turned by Real Madrid this summer. Clearly they approached him and said “hey, we’ve got this plan to buy up all the world’s talent. How would you feel about coaching Ronaldo, Kaka, and Benzema?” His response is a bigger bomb than whether he wants to replace a wantaway Adebayor, in my mind:

Obviously, yes, because I’m at a point in my career where I must consider these things. I’ve been at Arsenal for twelve years and I do not want to become stagnant. But, I refused because I have built a young team and I wanted to finish what I started. There’s no doubt that this will be a decisive year. If this team is not challenging for a title, the club will rebuild everything.

In a lot of ways this isn’t anything new. Wenger has often maintained publicly that he is committed to the cause at Arsenal, that he started this youth project 5 years ago, and that he wants to see it through to fruition; a Champions League trophy. But what is new is the admission that this is it, either this team wins something this year or he’s blowing it up, “tout reconstruire” he says.

Complete reconstruction.

Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but that’s a bigger bombshell than whether we buy some replacement for Adebayor.

Complete reconstruction.

It makes sense too, with van Persie, Arshavin, and Cesc itching to add to their trophy cabinets I can’t see them being content with being out of the title race in November again. Which Arsene calls “ce qui a fait grincer les dents” it would feel like grinding your teeth.

So, maybe Wenger’s just being realistic and admitting that if we don’t get a trophy he’d need to let those three go and start over. Throw in Gallas’ contract situation (ending this year), Toure wanting away, and all the other experienced players who have been making smoke in the press and maybe this is an admission from Wenger that this is it, the last chance saloon. Win or go home.

What with Joan Laporta tapping up Cesc pretty much daily now and Arsene locking up the youth with all these long term contracts (Rambo and Wilshere) it looks like Arsenal are actually poised to blow the team up if needed.

That Wenger has admitted it publicly that’s the real bombshell to me.

Transfer Tuesday

David Villa, Worth More than Ronaldo?

It’s probably the most ridiculous release clause of any contract, ever:  David Villa’s £130m release clause would make him worth two Ronaldos. A goal poacher, worth two Ronaldos? A goal poacher, worth an entire Newcastle United?

Yeah. It’s funny to me how this cat gets so much cred.

Arsenal have a player who has proven himself time and again as probably the best goal poacher in the history of the game and yet, he get’s short shrift from some Arsenal fans. Eduardo has 14 goals in 24 international matches giving him a ratio of.583 goals per game, Villa has 25 in 43 for a ratio of .581. In league play, Villa’s ratio for Valencia is .666 while at Dinamo Zagreb, Eduardo pulled in .7474.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, there are lies, damn lies and statistics, whatever. Eduardo is better than Villa and you cannot convince me otherwise.

The good news about this story is that at £130m Villa is so far beyond Arsenal’s means that maybe people can stop linking him to us. It’s not going to happen, ok?

Dog Fight Over Adebayor

This is the kind of transfer speculation that I like to report! The Daily Mail is reporting that AC Milan are now competing with Inter Milan for the signature of Arsenal’s want-away striker, Emannuel Adebayor.

Let’s hope this turns into a 4 dog race with AC Milan, Inter, Chelsea, and Man City all fighting over the scraps.

OH MY GOD THIS IS STILL DRAGGING ON

Peter Hill-Wood stirred the tempest in a tea pot today, criticizing the shareholders who he felt were disrespectful to Arsene Wenger duiring last week’s shareholder’s meeting.

Frankly, some of the questions were quite disgraceful. There you have the most successful manager in our history and two or three of the shareholders made the most negative and somewhat hostile and sarcastic comments, which I think were completely out of order.

Would everyone please grow up? Some people are going to be jerks, they are usually the loudest people in the room. Ignore them. Most supporters are adults and while we might criticize the club and the manager in private we would be respectful in person. People who can’t be respectful in person? Not adults.

At the same time, you’re an adult too, you need to accept the criticism, answer it, and move on with your life. When we hear that “Wenger has £30m to spend on a single player if he wants” and then he signs Silvestre for half a million, there’s a huge disconnect.  If we think that our club is going to get a big name in and the boss re-assures us all summer that he’s looking at two “big” signings and specifies defense and midfield and then we get Silvestre, it makes us wonder what the hell just happened?

It would be like telling your wife, in front of all your friends, that you have £150k to spend on a new car for Christmas. You go on to explain that you’re thinking of getting a car that gets good mileage and has a strong record of reliability, and it’s fast and sexy. They would start thinking about maybe a BMW or at least an Acura and get all excited. Then come Christmas morning you show up with a used Suburban, that has a huge Man U sticker on the trunk: it gets terrible mileage, it’s got all kinds of reliability problems, and it only cost £500.

Your wife and friends would think you’re nuts.

Some people, real jerks, are going to be snarky and call Silvestre a used Suburban other people will ask

Arsene, you and the club categorically stated all summer that you had £30m to spend on two “big” signings and specifically targeted defense as an area that needed improvement. Yet, the only defensive signing was Silvestre. What can you tell the supporters about what happened in the summer with transfers that led to signing Silvestre.

The question is valid either way, and unfortunately, remains unanswered.

Youth Attack

Arsene Wenger has heaped praise upon the Arsenal youth team ahead of their FA Youth cup match against Liverpool, saying that several of the players could start featuring in the first team as soon as next year.

They will be like a new signing.

Meanwhile, Traore, who we know for sure is returning from his season long loan at Pompey, scored his first ever league goal last night. Yay.

Alonso Watch

I’ve made no bones about wanting Xavi Alonso at Arsenal, so you’ll have to indulge me in reporting that it’s looking less likely every day.  Real Madrid are mooting a £21m offer, via the press of course, which is £3m more than Arsenal reportedly refused to offer last year. I have to say that £21m seems a fair price after this season’s performance, even if it means that Arsenal have been priced out of the market.

Future England Number One Watch

Current England Number One, David ‘Insano’ James has thrown England into a “keeper krisis” by having surgery.

YES

This is the perfect opportunity for Manuel Almunia to step in and claim the spot for himself. Go for it Manny.

One Last Bolded Headline

See you tomorrow!

Women Drivers, Giant Skivers, and War chest Connivers

Adebayor just wanted to Upgrade to a bigger contract WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ADEBAYOR ANYMORE???

Badge kisser.

Back in August, during a meaningless Arsenal v. Real Madrid match, following on the heels of a summer of seemingly schizophrenic interviews by Arsenal’s then 30 goal scoring target man, Adebayor scored a meaningless goal and promptly ran over to the fans and kissed the badge. Of course, they booed him.

At the time, linked above, I wrote that Adebayor was acting like a jilted lover.  I really thought that the big fella just wanted to be loved. He didn’t get why Arsenal fans would boo him after last summer; in his mind he loved us, he was just doing what he needed to do to get an upgrade to his contract, and now that he’d bagged Beyonce he wanted us back. The thing he didn’t understand is that a lot of Arsenal fans would never forgive him for sleeping around.

And now, he gives an interview that in essence expresses how much he’s hurt that the fans that loved him no longer love him.

I bet it hurts.

I know a lot of people who supported Ade even after the summer debacle only to watch him slowly go downhill all season, put in lazy performances, and slowly erode any fanbase that he might have once had. Like the jilted lover, he just kept spiraling down, deeper into his shell, and became more and more listless. This in turn engendered more and more ire from the fans, and has culminated in the insane interview above.

Like I’ve said before, I was there when Ade scored his first ever home goal, back in March 2006 and so I’ve always felt a bit of a special connection to Adebayor. But if his relationship with Arsenal fans was complicated before, given the interview above, the season we just witnessed, and last summer’s transfer saga, he has managed to simplify that relationship and I doubt there are many left in his fan club.

I know he has one less in me.

Damn Women Drivers

There’s a bit of a bombshell over at The Mail where Martin Samuel interviewed Andrei Arshavin and he.. uh… said some stuff. No, I don’t mean his clear adoration of Barcelona. Nor do I mean his opinion that Arsenal need to buy two players, everyone says that. I mean his disgusting and Neanderthal views on women.

I would never give driving lessons to women. We need to build new roads for them. Why? Because you never know what to expect from a woman on the road. If you see a car behaving weirdly, swerving and doing strange things, before you see the driver you know it is a woman. It is always a woman.

I mean come on! Everyone knows that it’s not always a woman, it’s always a woman ON A CELL PHONE.

(I’m kidding, I love women… to do the dishes, to clean up my room… I’M KIDDING, I REALLY DO LOVE WOMEN.)

How much is in the war chest? As much as Arsene wants.

You will see a lot of stories about how much, or how little, money Arsenal have to spend this summer. I suggest you ignore them all, and just let Arsene handle it, because Arsenal have plenty of money, if they want to spend it. The stories about how Arsenal are skint are nothing more than a vain attempt to sell papers.

Ive been over this ground before but since it seems to come up in every thread I thought I might just remind everyone about the official Arsenal financial reports.  Read them for yourself, start with the 2008 report linked above and work your way back. You will see that Arsenal are basically a profit making machine, earning roughly £30m a year (AFTER tax) every year for the last three (since the new stadium). This annual profitability has left them with a £93m cash reserve.

Now, add in that the half-yearly financials that were released this spring, which showed a £24m pre-tax profit. And add in the fact that Arsenal made it to the semi-final of one of the most profitable Champions League campaigns ever, and the semi-final of the FA cup and I suspect that profits will break the £40m mark this year.

It’s astonishing really.

That money is the reason the board insisted that they don’t care if they miss the Champions League. That money is the reason that Usmanov’s bull about owners paying down the debt is a ruse.

Money is there, and after we sell Adebayor for £10m (that’s a joke, kids) there will be more than enough to buy some big, unheard-of, defender and another central midfielder.

So, can we put this tired story about Arsenal being skint to bed? And could someone please restart the Xavi Alonso to Arsenal rumor?  I like that story.