Tag Archives: David Villa

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Higuain, Bendtner, Villa, Benteke: subtext of this week’s transfer stories


Malaga to Bendtner
Malaga are no longer interested in Nicklas Bendtner due to his “character”.
Subtext: Even Malaga, who have sold leading goalscorer Isco and let their second and third leading scorers (Roque Santa Cruz and Javier Saviola), are not desperate enough to take Nicklas Bendtner.

Bendtner to Malaga: I have more character than anyone in this world! I am bigger than Malaga. I am the biggest thing since underpants. I am bigger than crack cocaine! Anyone have any crack? I haven’t tried that yet, I bet if I smoked crack I would make crack high!
Subtext: I am terrified of success and will continue to sabotage my career, my love life, and my fatherhood playing a plastic Bukowski with drugs, alcohol, and adolescent behavior so that when I amount to nothing I can blame something external for my failures.

Frankfurt to Bendtner: We will take you, for real cheap, plus a paycut.
Subtext: We really are this desperate for a forward that we will take Nicklas Bendtner. It was either Bendtner or this cloud of angry bees. We figured Bendtner would sting us less and might score a goal or two.

Florentino Pérez on Higuain: I see that there are reports that Arsenal have bid €30m for Luis Suarez. I also hear that Higuain has agreed to terms with Arsenal. Real Madrid have not received any bid from Arsenal, not €27m, for Gonzalo Higuain.
Subtext: HAHAHHAHA! Since someone somewhere made the report that you bid on Suarez we will use that to sow seeds of doubt in Higuain’s mind over whether you are serious about taking him! Also, we will take €27m for Higuain!

ULISES SÁNCHEZ-FLOR on Higuain: “If Arsenal really want Higuain, why has it not made a similar offer to Real Madrid as it did for Luis Suárez?”
Subtext: As far as I can tell, this quote was made up by 101 Great Goals. The last time Sanchez-Flor wrote about Higuain was to say that Arsenal had bid €30m on the player.

Higuain on leaving Real Madrid: ”No one has gifted me anything. I have had to fight for everything,” he said. “I want to go somewhere where they really want me.”
Subtext: Arsenal… seriously. Don’t screw this up. The kid just wants to be loved, like everyone else. He’s one of a handful of people who have scored 107 league goals for Real Madrid, he’s played in every position that he’s been asked to play in, he’s bided his time, he’s suffered the indignity of having a president who clearly preferred Karim Benzema, a manager who is an ego-maniac, and having to play along side Christiano Ronaldo. You’re going to have to pay extra for this guy and you know what? He might even fail. But there really aren’t that many forwards in his quality range left in the world. So, just push the boat out a little. Take a chance.

Look at it this way: if you fail to get Higuain, you’re going to get blamed; if you get Higuain, pay too much for him, and he fails, you’re going to get blamed; but Higuain cannot possibly succeed at Arsenal if he’s at Real Madrid; ergo, the only way to succeed is to get him, thus you pay the extra.

As a bonus, think of that €30m as a down payment on Real Madrid landing Gareth Bale.

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David Villa going to Atletico Madrid: “FC Barcelona and Atletico de Madrid have reached an agreement in principle for the transfer of the player David Villa to the Madrid club.”
Subtext: David Villa went to Atletico Madrid, despite the fact that Tottenham outbid them by a reported €5m, because Atletico has Champions League football. Suck it, Tottenham.

Aston Villa on Benteke handing in his transfer request: “Having received his transfer request, we have also informed him that should we receive an offer within an appropriate time frame during pre-season which meets our valuation we would act upon it. But he will remain a Villa player should this not happen.”
Subtext: Benteke joined Aston Villa 11 months ago, had a decent season in which he showed flashes of both brilliance and dullness, and now that he’s “Premier League tested” he and his agent are going to cash in. He will not remain a Villa player. He will play for Tottenham next year where his constant offsides, mental red cards, and occasionally brilliant goals will be the perfect replacement for the outgoing Emmanuel Adebayor.

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EX-CLUSIVE: first look at Arsenal’s new WHITE Puma away strip

The Mirror broke with the headline that Arsenal have agreed to a £170m deal with PUMA to supply shirts for the Arsenal starting in, uhhm, they are actually unclear on that fact saying… “The deal, which will not be announced officially for some time…”

But I had a friend on twitter @BayAreaGrimbo who tweeted this picture to another friend of mine and I can confirm that she replied “LOL”.

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Seeing the photo, I immediately “swooped” as I believe this to be an exclusive, sneak preview of the new Arsenal away kit starting in, uhh, let’s see, Arsenal’s deal with Nike lasts another year at least, so, let’s go with 2015.

What, exactly, Arsenal will do with all the money from this deal is now up for speculation. Will they buy Cavani? Jovetic? Bony? Falcao? Aubameyang? Lukaku? David Villa? Cesc Fabregas?

Am I just stuffing famous strikers names into this blog post in order to generate more hits because if the deal is real then it won’t put money into Arsene Wenger’s “war chest” until the year after his contract runs out by which time all those players will already belong to Chelsea/ManU/ManCity?

Yes, but it’s for a good cause. Nothing generates hits like a “New Kit” post. And a “new kit” post, plus a “transfer war chest” post, is like that one time when Superman fought Batman in the future.

What I’m trying to say is that I hate comics.

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Arsenal rearrange the deck chairs to make room for Villa?

Good morning everyone. I have changed the theme again, because I think the last one was causing problems with comments. “Change” is how things are going to have to be for a while until I can research a new, more stable, theme, buy it, install it, and customize all the files. Sorry if this looks plain or ugly but at east you can reply to comments and it doesn’t crash every time I post an article.

Anyway, news… Arsenal have a number of players in the news this morning as Chamakh and Djourou have both been sent out on loan. Chamakh has been picked up by West Ham and Djourou has gone to Hannover.

Chamakh to West Ham makes a lot of sense. West Ham play route one football and Chamakh is pretty good at that. Or at least he was. One of his best matches for Arsenal was when he scored two against Wolverhampton: one in the first minute from a long cross by Alex Song and one in the 90th minute on a counter attack. That game was particularly memorable because Arsenal struggled in the game prior, “lacking a bit directness” and came out balls to the wall and it was Chamakh who benefited from Arsenal’s change in style.

One odd wrinkle to this loan deal is that the Hammers are starting Carlton Cole in the forward position right now and I’m curious to see if Chamakh can win a starting place over Cole. Remember, Carlton Cole was one of the players that Arsenal were linked to before they bought Chamakh and I savaged the idea here on my blog. Now that they are competing head-to-head we will finally know: which one is the bigger loser.

As for Djourou, I’m actually very happy that he’s taking this chance to go somewhere and compete for first team football. Hannover will be a good place to do that, the pressure is off, and their starting center back pair include a fellow Swiss player, the 31 year old Mario Eggimann. According to sources, Djourou’s loan deal has a permanent transfer clause in it and again, none of this is bad news for Arsenal or for the player. I’m just glad that he hasn’t decided to end his career at Arsenal as Mayor of Deadwood.

Arsenal have two other players who are interesting clubs on the continent: apparently Arshavin turned down a chance to play for Reading, but continental sides like S.S. Nazio are strongly rumored to be on the case. And Squillaci is talking openly (albeit in the French Press) about contact from clubs like Ajaccio.

It’s pretty clear that Arsenal have decided to get some money off the books in order to fund some kind of move. Personally, I’m concerned about the center back position and losing two players there. I suppose I shouldn’t be too worried, Arsenal have three viable starters and Miquel to plug in if needed. So, as much as I’d like to fantasize about Arsenal buying Ettiene Capoue or someone like him that can fill multiple functions in Arsenal’s defense and midfield, I’d be surprised if defense is Arsenal’s target area. Except to say that we could see the club go for a young English player, a Nathan Baker or a Luke Shaw. Someone to cover left back so that Vermaelen doesn’t have to.

All this clearing of salary space looks to me like Arsenal want to sign a high wage player and those are normally forwards. That’s why I’ve come around to the conclusion that the rumors Arsenal are in for David Villa have some truth to them. It seems quite incredible on paper: he’s 31, he’s only ever played in Spain, he’s been injured for the better part of two years, he was the 17th highest paid footballer in the world (€7,000,000 a year in 2011), in a country where the tax rate is lower than England, and Barcelona want £16m in transfer fees — though much of that might be offset by money Barcelona owe Arsenal for Song’s transfer. If David Villa cost that much and demands the salary I imagine he would demand it would break Arsenal’s transfer record (though they might play that down because of the Song money) and Arsenal’s salary structure.

David Villa has great touch and goal-scoring vision which he has proven at the highest level. He has been struggling a bit since coming back from injury but as we have seen with Jack Wilshere that’s normal. Regardless of how you feel about the player and his recent form he is an upgrade on Podolski (whom I like) and a major upgrade on Gervinho who may have tripped over his last dribble for Arsenal.

If Arsenal can pull this transfer off, it’s going to be a bit of a coup and will certainly energize the team and fans. But I want to send out a word of warning: he’s 31 and will be Arsenal’s highest paid player who will probably demand a 4 year deal. That means in 4 years he’s going to be 35 and still one of Arsenal’s highest paid players but probably not contributing much. In the parlance of 2013 he will be “deadwood”. But the optimist in me prefers to think of those last two years as a “signing bonus” because in the next two years he’s going to score… 35 goals? Something like that, yeah!

Another warning is that Villa is not the kind of player who can make his own shot and isn’t a wide player who puts in lots of deadly crosses. He’s a lot like Podolski in that regard, he’s more of a poacher than a creator. That’s not to say that he can’t but rather that he never has. He also won’t play defense like a winger so don’t look for much in terms of tackles and “tracking back”.

I’m basing that analysis off the stats from his most successful season at Barcelona (2010/2011) and Valencia (2009/2010). In terms of league stats, he averaged .75 dribbles per game over those two years, around 19 passes per game, averaged four assists, and had just 7 successful crosses out of 67 attempts — in two years. He drifts off side a lot, has the ball taken from him a lot, generates a lot of turnovers, and doesn’t offer much other than goals. As if that’s a bad thing.

If Arsenal do get him, it’s an interesting acquisition and makes me wonder if Arsene isn’t contemplating a change in formation to accommodate two up front. Seems unlikely at this point in the season, but who knows? I mean, would you play David Villa as the lone striker in the Premier League? Maybe, Arsene did with Theo Walcott.

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