Archive for the ‘Transfer Rumors’ Category


A trifecta of teams’ news for you today.  Man, I took the day off from work yesterday (9/6) because my sinuses were acting up pretty good & had all day to post something & I couldn’t get around ’til today (9/7) which is actually just before bed for me yesterday (9/6).  Um, which is still actually “today” (9/6) at the moment for me.  Got it?  Good.

LSU
LSU -24 vs. Washington

Once again, we’re bringing a Tiger to a dog fight, so once again I like our chances…

Ok, I’ll start with the LSU stuff because I don’t near keep up with the daily ins & outs of the Tigers as I should.  For all the immersion 24/7 of LSU football back home, I quite enjoy the sort of daily detachment I have from Da Tigahs up here in Anchorage.  I certainly enjoy being detached from the nitpicking of the team.

Hope you’re not too hungry because this is your only Tasty Nugget of the week right here in LSU-Washington.  I know, I know, “how the mighty have fallen!”  “What is the world coming to?”  “The Nuggetz ain’t what they used to be.”  “The Nuggetz have gone ‘pop.’ ”  And other sundry & assorted platitudes & clichés.  But it is what it is these days.

So did you like over the summer how The Hat, who has a penchant for eating grass, kicked the Honey Badger off of LSU’s football team (though he just recently re-enrolled in school following finishing a portion of his rehab program) for chronic smoking of grass?  Like how I used the double entendre pun with ‘chronic?’  Cunning linguists still aren’t impressed, however.  Anyway, eating grass got rid of smoking grass all the while the grass in Tiger Stadium got soaked for Hurricane Isaac.  So you can eat your grass, cut your grass, soak your grass & I think even lay your grass (another double entendre) but you just can’t smoke it.  Speaking of things that are smoked, that will be the Huskies as the Mettenchrist still looks spotty but LSU has too many horses in the stable & too many Mastodons that bring Blood & Thunder on the D-line that offset LSU’s concerns in the secondary.  But 24 points?  I don’t know about 24 points… hope I’m wrong.

LSU 30, Washington 17

This is the kind of song that should be put as highlight music, not that dance-sounding crap

USMNT
The US national team faces Jamaica tonight/tomorrow night… damn it, on Friday.  There.  The mighty US of freaking A plays Jamaica away in Kingston on Friday night in their third CONCACAF second round group World Cup Qualifier & currently lead Group A on goal difference after two matches.

The US has never lost to Jamaica enjoying  an 11-0-9 overall record, scoring 34 goals & allowing 12 in those 20 matches.  The USA’s largest win ever was a 5-0 in a friendly against the Reggae Boyz on May 16th, 2002.  Josh Wolff with 2, Clint Mathis, Landon Donovan, & DaMarcus Beasley were the goalscorers on that day.

The US also enjoyed a 5-1 win in 1999 but a draw is usually on the cards when the US travels to the isle of Jamaica & with key players Landon Donovan & Michael Bradley out with injuries & Clint Dempsey having not yet played in the EPL following his holdout with Fulham & subsequent transfer to Lasagnaham, I think I smell another draw.  A draw wouldn’t be bad at this stage of qualification but if a draw is what’ll happen then that definitely means it is in the USA’s interests to get the full three points in the return match with Jamaica in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday.

I couldn’t tell you who plays for Jamaica these days so I had to go to their wiki page just to even get a name.  And looking at their recent roster, it’s no wonder I had trouble recalling any names.  Only two players play in England & only one of those, Adrian Mariappa, plays in the Premier League for Reading.  Although the other player who plies his trade in England, Nyron Nosworthy, has Premier League experience when he was at Sunderland.

But a national team in their home country, even in CONCACAF, is never to be taken lightly, so hopefully Jürgen Klinsmann will have the Yanks ready to play.  I still think this match has 1-1 written all over it.

Prediction:   Jamaica 1-USA 1

ARSENAL
Finally, a few Arsenal tidbits to end this post.  We’ll start off with Andrei Arshavin turning down a move to Dinamo (or is it Dynamo?) Moscow.  The Russian transfer window closed yesterday, so it looks like Arshavin will be staying with Gunners unless a domestic loan is worked out with somebody.  Hey, doesn’t Liverpool need attackers?  Get those knuckleheads on the phone & tell them we have a hot tip on a diminutive Russian attacker named Kennady Dalglishikov & then plop Arshavin down on their doorstep & get the hell out of Liverpool before we’re forced to hear Beatles songs.  Ahhhh, the Beatles.  Just like Liverpool- once great & completely overrated in my book.

On a curious note, Arsène Wenger has blocked a loan move for reserve/U21 player (that U21 thing will still take a little getting used to), Conor Henderson.  The young Irish midfielder is coming off a knee injury that made him miss all of last season but there were several clubs that interested in his services on loan.  However, Wenger has stated he wants to see Henderson’s development continue at the club but to the slight annoyance of Henderson.  Henderson wants the chance to play first team football/soccer, a chance he obviously won’t get at Arsenal, so to keep him at the club & stick him in the reserves is a bit odd, even for Wenger.  I’m not sure what to make of it really.

Finally, those who want some good news, here’s some about Steve Bould where Wenger is singing his praises for the defensive work we’ve done so far this season.  The Arsenal blogosphere, myself included, has definitely noticed the how much better we look as an actual cohesive unit in defense these days & to a man have pretty much thought it was at least in part due to Steve Bould coming in as Wenger’s right hand man.  The defense is so far the overlooked part (because “Arsenal can’t score anymore!” sells more papers) of the season & we’re the only club in the league, the entire football league not just the EPL, to have not conceded yet.  Long may it continue & the likes of Adrian Derpham can sing the old “boring, boring Arsenal” songs all they want.

And, of course some “bad” news.  Apparently Bacary Sagna might be the next Gunner to leave.  Or not.  Or maybe so.  Or maybe not.  He apparently made some comments in L’Equipe that can be construed as him being upset.  Whatever.  If he goes, he goes & if he stays, he stays.  It ain’t rocket surgery.  If he goes I’m sure we’ll just get some other right back from France or maybe move Francis Coquelin there permanently or promote Nico Yennaris from the reserves.  I just can’t be bothered with this kind of shit anymore.  If you want to go join the silverware parade at the Mancunster clubs or €hel$ki than go do it.

Anyway, hopefully my sinuses get better since Anchorage has a Mardi Gras fest in the fall tomorrow, er, this evening.  Tonight.  The 7th.  Damn it.  Friday evening.  Whatever.

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Me, especially after I learned Clint Dempsey signed for Sp*rs

So, Transfer Deadline Day has come & gone & Arsenal didn’t make any moves despite calls to bring in another striker, a defensive/deep-playing midfielder and/or a defender.  The latter, preferably a fullback, was the most needed in my opinion but it seems Arsène Wenger is happy with the squad as is & he’ll no doubt trot out the “like a new signing” line when Tomáš Rosičký & Jack Wilshere return from injury.

I know people don’t like that line because from a signing standpoint, it isn’t true, however, from a playing time standpoint, it is true.  If we had signed a new player in midfield, for example, with this year’s return of Abou Diaby & Jack Wilshere (due back in October), that’s two people right there that needs playing time to be found.

Complaining won’t do any good at this point because it is now clear that the boss is pleased with the squad- Arteta in Song’s spot, Diaby in Arteta’s spot from last year, & Cazorla in the advanced midfield spot.  That leaves a midfield depth of Franics Coquelin, Emmanuel Frimpong, Rosičký, Wilshere & likely two youngsters that will be blooded at some point during the season in Thomas Eisfeld & Serge Gnabry.  You could maybe throw in Chuks Aneke in there too, although I think he’ll be loaned out personally.  As will a couple of the players mention as depth.

So, at this point the only way Arsenal can bring in any new faces will be on loan, which would likely be players that wouldn’t be that useful in terms of what we need.

Deadline Day did see us work two loan deals to offload a couple of strikers, however, we’ll be paying a portion of both’s wages, in Niklas Bendtner & Ju-Young Park.  Bendtner is being loaned to Italian giants, Juventus, whilst Park is going on loan to Celta Vigo of Spain.  Bendtner gets the high-profile move his ego’s been seeking & Park gets a move to, well, actually play.  Not sure what Park’s move was ever about (shirt sales?!) but I had high hopes for him when we signed him last year.

There’ll no doubt be some impending loans in the coming weeks for some U21 and/or U19 players but for now the Arsenal squad is cemented, which I’m sure is to the disappointment of those who were seeking yet another big name signing.  It is what is, but to completely dismiss this summer as the same old thing, is a bit off the mark in my view.  Feel free to tell me why I’m just a lackey of the Arsenal board or Wenger.

But hey, Walcott stayed, amirite?!  Well, that looks like Arsenal will be playing the really high risk strategy of hoping the forward will re-sign during the season, but if he doesn’t sign a new contract in the fall, he’ll be a de facto free agent in January & will be allowed to start talking to other clubs per FIFA rules.  Personally, it wouldn’t bother me if Walcott goes, though now it’s definitely a bit bothersome since he can leave for free now but I would hope this means that Arsenal will go the extra mile to re-sign him now.  The extra money Walcott wants can easily be given to him by fully selling Bendtner & Park. Knock on wood.

Arsenal’s underwhelming deadline day wouldn’t have been so bad for me, but then you see the deadline day Sp*rs had.  I hate those cunts but you have to tip their hat to them.  They’re definitely signing aggressively in recent years & I’d like to know how they keep pulling off these deals for quality people for what seems like massive bargains- Van Der Vaart for under €10 million a couple of years ago & now both Clint Dempsey & Hugo Lloris for under a total of £15 million.  Ugh…

I’ll try to have a Liverpool preview & roster breakdown now that it’s set but then again, I have to try & squeeze in a few hours at work & then get my LSU college football on tomorrow too! Geaux Tigers, Yeyeah!  ‘Til next time…

Updated signing/departures list (updates in red):
Confirmed signings: Santi Cazorla (Málaga), Olivier Giroud (Montpellier), Lukas Podolski (1. FC Köln)
Confirmed departures (includes U21s & U19s): Benik Afobe (Bolton Wanderers- loan), Manuel Almunia (Watford), Kyle Bartley (Swansea City)Niklas Bendtner (Juventus- loan to buy), Daniel Boateng (Oxford United- loan), Pedro Botelho (Atlético Paranaense), George Brislen-Hall (Norwich City), Alban Bunjaku (Sevilla), James Campbell (Dundee United), Joel Campbell (Real Betís-loan), Tom Cruise (Torquay United), Denílson (São Paulo-loan), Samuel Galindo (Lugo-loan), Ben Glasgow (Stoke City), Gavin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge), Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest), Sean McDermott (Sandnes Ulf), Jeffrey Monakana (Preston North End), Rhys Murphy (Telstar Velsen), Oğuzhan Özyakup (Beşiktaş), Ryo Miyaichi (Wigan Athletic- loan), Chu/Ju-Young Park (Celta Vigo), Philip Roberts (Inverness Caledonian Thistle-loan ), Alex Song (Barcelona), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad), Sanchez Watt (released- Carlisle United?), Wellington Silva (Ponferradina- loan)

 


Obviously the transfer news for Arsenal right now is dominated by whether or not Theo Walcott is to re-sign with us by tomorrow or be sold by friday.  I stated my position in yesterday’s post & it’s a bit laughable people are now pointing to Theo as some key cog in our side.  WTFever.  That is definitely the pot-stirring, nothing but winding-up media creation of the likes of TalkShite radio in the UK.  You can point to last year’s statistics all you want, Fat Axl (Adrian Durham from TalkShite), problem with that is they’re last year’s statistics.  And so effing what if Theo’s an “England regular.”  England are rubbish.  If Theo is sold he can easily be replaced by a cheaper option that will likely be more effective.  And if it’s The Ox that takes his place, all the more reason to ship Theo out & perhaps it would then mean a stay for the likes of someone like Park.  Or maybe the manager has some daft idea of playing Santi Cazorla on the wing when Jack Wilshere & Tomáš Rosičký return.  Or getting in a more defensive midfielder, pushing Arteta forward in the midfield & putting Cazorla on the wing.

So, as you can see, it ain’t the end of the world if Theo leaves.  Unless you’re Adrian Durham from TalkShite who just loves to hate him some Arsenal (warning: the argument put forth in the link is so incoherent & non sequitur, it defies belief even for a pure wind-up merchant like Talkshite Adrian).  He’s currently pushing Theo Walcott leaving Arsenal would be disastrous for the club & he’s no doubt especially butthurt in recent days since his elven, bromantic partner, Luka Modric, up & left Sp*rs for Real Madrid.  Sad Adrian must be sad.  So, lash out at Arsenal.  Boo hoo, Fat Axl.

” ‘Ello, I’m Adrian Durham from TalkShite Radio.
If you look in a dictionary,
my picture is next to the entry, ‘fucktard’ “

In U19 news the NextGen series started today for Arsenal & they opened up the competition with a bang as they defeated French side, Olympique Marseille, 3-0.  Highly touted Chuba Akpom scored twice & Nico Yennaris bagged the other goal for the young Gunners.  I had originally posted in a previous post that the NextGen series was to be played by our U21s, the new incarnation of the reserve side, but I was mistaken.  As I stated above, in this post, the NextGen series is actually a U19 competition.  Either way, good on the young Gunner squad & way to acquit the club well in the opening match.  The next match in the competition for Arsenal is the U19 side of Basque club, Athletic Bilbao, of Spain on September 6th.  Le Boss has stated that he’ll watch every single game of the competition for the club, so it’ll be a good opportunity for the youngsters to show Le Boss what they’ve got!

The official site is running some profiles of the younger members of Arsenal’s squad.  So to get the lowdown on some lesser known Gunners check ’em out:

Martin Angha
Charles Reice Cook
Nico Yennaris

Speaking of young Gunners, a U19 striker, Irishman Philip Roberts, is leaving to go on loan to Scottish Premier League side, Inverness Caledonian Thistle until January.

Beşiktaş is apparently interested in Marouane Chamakh again & every club in Italy is interested (supposedly) in The Greatest Striker Who Ever Lived, the one & only Niklas Bendtner.  I hope so.  Get on with it (leaving), Bendtner & Chamakh!

Tomorrow is the Champions’ League draw.  We’ll all be waiting with bated breath to find out who the Gunners will draw in their group.  Hopefully Sp*rs will get a touch group for them to battle in the CL too… BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

And ohhhhhh by the way, Green Day is scheduled to play a concert at The Emirates Stadium next summer.  So, there’s that.

Tomorrow & Friday should be hectic with comings & goings at the club.  ‘Til then, have a good one.

Updated signing/departures list (updates in red):
Confirmed signings: Santi Cazorla (Málaga), Olivier Giroud (Montpellier), Lukas Podolski (1. FC Köln)
Confirmed departures (includes U21s & U19s): Benik Afobe (Bolton Wanderers- loan), Manuel Almunia (Watford), Kyle Bartley (Swansea City), Daniel Boateng (Oxford United- loan), Pedro Botelho (Atlético Paranaense), George Brislen-Hall (Norwich City), Alban Bunjaku (Sevilla), James Campbell (Dundee United), Joel Campbell (Real Betís-loan), Tom Cruise (Torquay United), Denílson (São Paulo-loan), Samuel Galindo (Lugo-loan), Ben Glasgow (Stoke City), Gavin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge), Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest), Sean McDermott (Sandnes Ulf), Jeffrey Monakana (Preston North End), Rhys Murphy (Telstar Velsen), Oğuzhan Özyakup (Beşiktaş), Ryo Miyaichi (Wigan Athletic- loan), Philip Roberts (Inverness Caledonian Thistle-loan), Alex Song (Barcelona), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad), Sanchez Watt (released- Carlisle United?), Wellington Silva (Ponferradina- loan)

Likely signings: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United), Jésus Navas (Sevilla),
Likely departures: Andrei Arshavin (Al-Sadd [Qatar], Fulham, Galatasaray, Reading, Zenit Saint-Petersburg), Niklas Bendtner (Galatasaray, AC Milan, Inter-Milan, Juventus, Spartak Moscow), Marouane Chamakh (Beşiktaş, Fiorentina, Málaga, Rubin Kazan, Valencia-loan), Denílson (AC Milan), Łukasz Fabiański, Vito Mannone (Hull City), Chu/Ju-Young Park (Al-Ain [UAE], Blackburn Rovers, Celta Vigo), Sébastian Squillaci (Bastia, Olympiakos Piraeus), Theo Walcott (Liverpool, Manchester City)

Possible signings: Ibrahim Afellay (Barcelona), Lucas Biglia (RSC Anderlecht), Nicolai Boilesen (Ajax Amsterdam),  Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), Tongo Doumbia (Rennes), Omar El-Haddouri (Brescia), Isco (Málaga), Cheikh M’Bengue (Toulouse), Stéphane Mbia (Olympique Marseille), Philippe Mèxes (AC Milan), Yann M’Vila (Rennes), Paulinho (Corinthians), Angel Rangel (Swansea City), Jese Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Cheick Tioté (Newcastle United), Kenneth Udjus (Sogndal), Emiliano Viviano (Palermo), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Montpellier)
Possible departures: Johann Djourou (Napoli), Conor Henderson (Charlton Athletic-loan), Ignasi Miquel (Brighton & Hove Albion- loan), Aaron Ramsey (Fulham)


What used to be a pretty fun part of being a soccer fan was the summer transfer season.  Rumors that weren’t that far off the mark of this player & that player who might be coming in is now replaced with ridiculous rumors, people not wanting to re-sign contracts even though they’ve vastly underperformed in their current one (hello, Theo Walcott!) & every time a player leaves or is rumored to be leaving there’s stupid stories of how your club is in crisis.

Should we start with the Theo Walcott nonsense?  Sure, let’s do that.  After promises that there would be contract extension talks, Arsenal have apparently offered Theo £75k per week, he currently makes £60k per week, but the winger/forward has rejected the club’s offer & is holding out for closer to £100k per week.  If Walcott wants £100k a week, it sounds like either TW14 will have to cave & take the club’s offer or it’s sionara, nice to know you, Theo.

It’s beyond ridiculous at this point that a player like Theo, who hasn’t even come close to reaching the lofty expectations that were placed on him, is holding out for wages of that nature.  Maybe if Theo actually put in a decent cross once in a while (& I mean a real cross, not a pass along the ground to RvP who did all the work to find space with an expert run) & oh I don’t know, not dribble over the endline like a partially impaired terrier multiple times a game, then perhaps the club would consider something in the neighborhood of what Walcott’s expecting.

A partially impaired terrier… more effective then Walcott?

I see people saying it’s not about the money, it’s about the ambition of the club (this has become such a bullshit regurgitated meme, it’s not even funny; being extorted for money is not showing ambition) & not being able to keep RvP.  Well, I’m sorry, but that’s frankly a giant pile of horse shit.  If it’s not about the money then why ask for a 40% salary increase when you can’t even hold down a starting spot in the first eleven?  Oh, that’s right, because you’re a twat like the rest of most modern soccer players.  Nice to know you, Theo, see you in Liverpool.  I’m sure you’ll play well for them & actually try the whole time you’re there since you were a fan of theirs as a boy.

If someone like the likes of Jesus Navas comes in (Wiki already lists him as an Arsenal player, LULZ) as your replacement then I won’t shed a tear, especially as I won’t shed one even if you’re replaced by an actual partially impaired terrier.  And if it means Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is handed a role in the starting eleven, then I seriously would like you to GTFO & stop wasting our time.  You’ve been at the club six years & you still can’t make proper decisions or give decisive balls in the final third (yeah, yeah, yeah all those assists to RvP last year, blah blah blah).  So get out the way of The Ox & take your underachieving ass to Scouserland.  You’ll Never Underacheive Alone.

Jésus Saves The Arsenal?

Click on the image to make it biggerer & readable

But remember, an underachieving player who hasn’t even come near to the expectations of when he was first bought, despite regulasr appearances for the Three Kittens, it all adds up to, you guessed it, CRISIS!  When are we ever not in crisis these days at Arsenal?  Don’t buy, it’s a crisis.  Buy, but apparently buy the wrong players, crisis.  Stars leave, crisis.  Underachievers leave, crisis. Young players sold, crisis.  Crisis, crisis errawhere a crisis!  Sounds like the end of Arsenal Football Club as we know it, but I feel fine…

Okay, moving on to other players definitely leaving the club, Henri Lansbury has joined Nottingham Forest for a reported fee of £1 million, which, even in this day & age is a decent price for someone who only appeared seven times for the first tiam & mainly in the League Cup where he undoubtedly had his finest moment in an Arsenal shirt.  Lansbury was always crowded out of Arsenal’s midfield where Arsène Wenger has preferred more technical players, perhaps to the detriment of the team.  Lansbury could’ve possibly provided some drive & effort from midfield, and he certainly didn’t lack technique by any means but things never seemed to work out for him & now he’s off to Forest despite being at Arsenal since he was 8 years old.  Thanks & good luck, Henri.

Moving out on loan today is central defender, Daniel Boateng, who moves to League Two side, Oxford United.  Boateng hasn’t made any first team appearances in his time at Arsenal but was a regular in the reserves side last year.  The loan deal runs until the January transfer window when the player will be due back to Arsenal, no doubt to then receive another loan out to another club.

And there’ll be no M’Baye Niang for Arsenal as well, as the 17-year old has signed for AC Milan.  So, I’m sure missing out on a 17-year old striker will certainly be a crisis.  Or it’s the cherry crisis on top of the crisis icing on the crisis cake.  Championship level, get ready for the Arsenal…

Finally, obviously there should be a flurry of activity with players leaving the club, hopefully being players such as Niklas Bendtner, Marouane Chamakh, Sébastian Squillaci, et al.  If not, there’ll have to be a lot of loaned out players, which Wenger has hinted at already, & which won’t be beneficial as we’ll have to foot part or most of the wages at that point.  Umm, crisis, right?

3 more days to the end of the transfer window & maybe some solace.  Oh, who am I kidding? It’ll be delaing with some sort of crisis either real or imagined, all because we don’t have a rich Arab or Russian oil benefactor who spends money like there’s no tomorrow.

Updated signing/departures list (updates in red):
Confirmed signings: Santi Cazorla (Málaga), Olivier Giroud (Montpellier), Lukas Podolski (1. FC Köln)
Confirmed departures (includes U21s & U19s): Benik Afobe (Bolton Wanderers- loan), Manuel Almunia (Watford), Kyle Bartley (Swansea City), Daniel Boateng (Oxford United- loan), Pedro Botelho (Atlético Paranaense), George Brislen-Hall (Norwich City), Alban Bunjaku (Sevilla), James Campbell (Dundee United), Joel Campbell (Real Betís-loan), Tom Cruise (Torquay United), Denílson (São Paulo-loan), Samuel Galindo (Lugo-loan), Ben Glasgow (Stoke City), Gavin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge), Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest), Sean McDermott (Sandnes Ulf), Jeffrey Monakana (Preston North End), Rhys Murphy (Telstar Velsen), Oğuzhan Özyakup (Beşiktaş), Ryo Miyaichi (Wigan Athletic- loan), Alex Song (Barcelona), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad), Sanchez Watt (released- Carlisle United?), Wellington Silva (Ponferradina- loan)

Likely signings: Jésus Navas (Sevilla)
Likely departures: Andrei Arshavin (Al-Sadd [Qatar], Fulham, Galatasaray, Reading, Zenit Saint-Petersburg), Niklas Bendtner (Galatasaray, AC Milan, Inter-Milan, Juventus, Spartak Moscow), Marouane Chamakh (Beşiktaş, Fiorentina, Málaga, Rubin Kazan, Tottenham Hotspur, Valencia-loan), Denílson (AC Milan), Łukasz Fabiański, Vito Mannone (Hull City), Chu/Ju-Young Park (Al-Ain [UAE], Blackburn Rovers, Celta Vigo), Sébastian Squillaci (Bastia, Olympiakos Piraeus), Theo Walcott (Liverpool, Manchester City)

Possible signings: Ibrahim Afellay (Barcelona), Lucas Biglia (RSC Anderlecht), Nicolai Boilesen (Ajax Amsterdam), Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United), Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), Tongo Doumbia (Rennes), Omar El-Haddouri (Brescia), Isco (Málaga), Cheikh M’Bengue (Toulouse), Stéphane Mbia (Olympique Marseille), Philippe Mèxes (AC Milan), Yann M’Vila (Rennes), Mbaye Niang (Caen)Steven Nzonzi (Blackburn Rovers), Paulinho (Corinthians), Angel Rangel (Swansea City), Jese Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Cheick Tioté (Newcastle United), Kenneth Udjus (Sogndal), Emiliano Viviano (Palermo), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Montpellier)
Possible departures: Johann Djourou (Napoli), Conor Henderson (Charlton Athletic-loan), Ignasi Miquel (Brighton & Hove Albion- loan), Aaron Ramsey (Fulham)


In the aftermath of the “ermahgerd why we no sign Nuri Şahin?!” crisis (from here on out, every time the word “crisis” is mentioned- you drink one), here’s the update transfer ins/outs/possibilities list:

Updated signing/departures list (updates in red):
Confirmed signings: Santi Cazorla (Málaga), Olivier Giroud (Montpellier), Lukas Podolski (1. FC Köln)
Confirmed departures (includes U21s & U19s): Benik Afobe (Bolton Wanderers- loan), Manuel Almunia (Watford), Kyle Bartley (Swansea City), Pedro Botelho (Atlético Paranaense), George Brislen-Hall (Norwich City), Alban Bunjaku (Sevilla), James Campbell (Dundee United), Joel Campbell (Real Betís-loan), Tom Cruise (Torquay United), Denílson (São Paulo-loan), Samuel Galindo (Lugo-loan), Ben Glasgow (Stoke City), Gavin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge), Sean McDermott (Sandnes Ulf), Jeffrey Monakana (Preston North End), Rhys Murphy (Telstar Velsen), Oğuzhan Özyakup (Beşiktaş), Ryo Miyaichi (Wigan Athletic- loan), Alex Song (Barcelona), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad), Sanchez Watt (released- Carlisle United?), Wellington Silva (Ponferradina- loan)

Likely signings: Nuri Şahin (Real Madrid- loan)
Likely departures: Andrei Arshavin (Al-Sadd [Qatar], Fulham, Galatasaray, Reading, Zenit Saint-Petersburg), Niklas Bendtner (Galatasaray, AC Milan, Inter-Milan, Spartak Moscow), Marouane Chamakh (Beşiktaş, Fiorentina, Rubin Kazan, Tottenham Hotspur, Valencia-loan), Łukasz Fabiański, Vito Mannone (Hull City), Chu/Ju-Young Park (Al-Ain [UAE], Blackburn Rovers, Celta Vigo), Sébastian Squillaci (Bastia, Olympiakos Piraeus)

Possible signings: Lucas Biglia (RSC Anderlecht), Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), Tongo Doumbia (Rennes), Omar El-Haddouri (Brescia), Cheikh M’Bengue (Toulouse), Stéphane Mbia (Olympique Marseille), Philippe Mèxes (AC Milan), Yann M’Vila (Rennes), Mbaye Niang (Caen), Steven Nzonzi (Blackburn Rovers), Paulinho (Corinthians), Jese Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Kenneth Udjus (Sogndal), Emiliano Viviano (Palermo), Ki-Seung Yeung (Glasgow Celtic) 
Possible departures: Daniel Boateng (loan), Denílson (AC Milan), Johann Djourou (Napoli), Conor Henderson (Charlton Athletic-loan), Henri Lansbury, Ignasi Miquel (Brighton & Hove Albion- loan), Aaron Ramsey (Fulham), Theo Walcott (Liverpool, Southampton)

As for Şahin not being signed by us:

09.57 BST: On the matter of Sahin, who was linked with Arsenal, Arsene Wenger has said the following: “If we wanted to sign Sahin, we would have done it. Sahin is a quality player but he is not a purely defensive midfielder. We have Jack Wilshere coming back and he is a similar type of player. If someone top-top class turns up, completely defensive, then we will consider it.”

Oh, I’m sure that’ll be talked about by the fans, media & pundits.  What say you, Liverpool, you only got him because we didn’t want him. Yeah, take that Liverpool!  Although it’s hard to see you at the moment as you currently occupy the foot of the table. You’ll Never Be At The Bottom Alone!  CRISIS! (looks away awkwardly)

I guess that article saying Wenger looking for an “orthodox” defensive midfielder was true after all.  Yes, because Wenger has never equivocated before.  Ever. 😉

But what’s this? Ermahgerd! Why Ki-Seung Yeung signed with Swansea over us?!  The club must definitely be in the crisis! (Facepalm)  Cue the “massive blow” to the Arsenal that this non-signing is, amirite?!  AMIRITE?!


“Oy, Curtísimo, where’s d’Stoke preview mate?”

Um, yeah.  This moron didn’t realize until this morning that Arsenal at Orc City wasn’t until Sunday.  So, yeah, Arsenal-Orcs preview tomorrow rather than today.  In lieu of that let’s move on to the daily Arsenal crisis:

Podolski: “Ermahgerd, y u no sign with Arsenal?!”
Şahin: “Because I’ll never walk alone in the Europa League.”

So, Nuri Şahin has indeed signed for Liverpoop, which, of course, led to a bit of consternation in that portion of the Arsenal fanbase that is prone to freaking out over just about everything these days.  I’m out one Arrogant Bastard as I had a wager with a friend the Şahin-to-Arsenal deal wouldn’t fall through & this leads to the now obligatory “massive blow” for Arsenal.  (Facepalm).  Football/soccer is such a ridiculous thing sometimes because all these transfers, supposed transfers, not transfers seem to somehow mean more to fooball clubs than, oh, I don’t know, actual results & where you finish in the league, if the journos are to be believed.

First of all, Şahin going to Liverpool, & the possible signing of Clint Dempsey by the Scousers as well, destroys that whole myth that somehow if you don’t make the Champions’ League, players won’t want to play for you.  Gee, amazing what money will do for a deal.  “I want to play in d’Champeens Leegue, mate! Oh… I can still make £115k a week & play in the Europa?  Ok, I like money, thanks, I see you on Thursdays, herpaderpaderp.”

Secondly, I like how losing out on a player is more of a massive blow than say, getting blown out 3-0 on opening day to a side you should be beating since you’re such a massive club that never tires of telling people how good you used to be.  The Roman Empire was once great too, Liverpool.  I guess Şahin was just lured by the promises of Europa League & Carling Cup chances.  Funny how mighty Liverpool are left these days to crow over the Tin Pot Cup, a trophy up until four or five years ago, no one gave a damn about.  You’ll Never Lift The Carling Cup Alone!

To transfer news & Arsène Wenger now is using the cryptic “might buy but if we don’t we have enough, so we probably won’t, unless we do buy,” thing:

“We will only take players who have something special,” said the Arsenal manager, who takes his side to Stoke on Sunday.

“We are still in the market in some positions, but overall we believe we have a very strong squad.

“We have a good mixture because we have experienced players in midfield like [Mikel] Arteta and [Santi] Cazorla, like [Tomas] Rosicky, and some young very promising players like [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain, [Aaron] Ramsey, [Francis] Coquelin, [Jack] Wilshere and one or two in between age wise like [Abou] Diaby, who is coming back. We believe we have a good mixture.”

And the day prior:

“We are working, we’ll see what we can do.”

With those kind of comments, historically, it means Wenger’s business is probably done so I’m not going to hold my breath over anymore signings despite the stuff a few days ago about possibly bringing in two more games.  The only thing worse than witnessing the same thing over and over again, is complaining about it.  As I said the other day to a friend, “I don’t cry over players we don’t have, I get behind the ones we do.”  Well, except for Manuel Almunia.  That guy was pants.

To players potentially leaving, albeit on loan, Celta Vigo has emerged as a possible destination for Park Chu/Ju-Young.  Hopefully, the South Korean can get his career back on track if the deal goes through & we can sell him on, albeit at a no doubt discounted fee.  I had high hopes for Park personally but his transfer is certainly one of the more curious I’ve seen, even for Wenger.

Denílson to Milan?  Blah.  Actually, a little bit of LOL on that one.  He’s on loan in Brazil with Santos but I think he would have to be officially recalled back to the club before he could officially be sold to Milan but I’m not 100% how that works to be honest.  Either way, if it happens, it’s good because it’ll be another guy off the books that may free up funds for salary (having money for transfers isn’t the same as being able to pay guys exorbitant salaries on top of it, guys).

Also, Conor Henderson, recently returned from injury & Ignasi Miquel are likely set for loan deals to get some first team experience, likely in the Championship or even League One level.  Miquel has been linked with Brighton already this season & Henderson could definitely use some playing time as he looks to recover from his knee injury & will likely not see much, if any, action in midfield, even without any more signings there (ermahgerd, Wenger, sign sum feckin’ players!, derpderp!).

And, um, Wenger wants to extend Theo Walcott’s contract.  Ok, we’ll see how that goes.  Problem is players have to want to extend their deals too.  Although to be honest, if Walcott ends up leaving I won’t miss him all that much.  We can easily find another winger-cum-forward that can dribble over the endline once or twice a game & pitch in the odd goal.  But I’m sure it will be yet another “Massive blow” to the club if he were to leave (shakes head in bemusement).

Ok, I have a Championship Promotion Final to get to (I bet somebody in nerddom is sooooo jealous right now. If Aaron Feckin’ Doran was Aaron Zombie Doran, you’d be allllll about it!), so I’ll leave with you some bittersweet news & that is that one of the Invincibles, Freddie Ljungberg has retired from the game today aged 35.  Freddie had most recently been with Shimizu S-Pulse in Japan but Gooners will obviously remember Freddie for his performances in 2001/02, where he took over some of the goal-scoring load following Robert Pirès’ knee injury, & 2003/04, the latter obviously as part of the Invincibles.

Freddie was known for his flamboyant style both on & off the pitch & formed an almost instinctual partnership with Dennis Bergkamp & formed arguably the most dangerous wing duo to ever grace the EPL with Robert Pirès.  Freddie’s darting, angular runs from the wing were things of beauty & he also had an eye for goal & the dramatic, once announcing his arrival by doing nothing other than lobbing Peter Schmeichel for the winner in a 3-0 victory on his debut against Manchester United in 1998.  His goals against Manchester United in his career included this impish toe-poked lob in 2001.

Freddie was & is a true Arsenal legend & those of us who saw him play will remember him fondly as a player who was “fuckin’ excellent.”*  Thanks for the memories, #8:

Ljungberg highlights from the Invincible Season, 2003-04

Ljungberg highlights from the second double-winning campaign of 2001/02

Ummmmmmmm, yeah…

* – when Freddie Ljungberg was asked by a reporter following the 2002 FA Cup win what it was like to have won the cup, Freddie without missing a beat answered, “It’s fuckin’ excellent.”  That was Freddie Ljungberg encapsulated in an off the cuff remark.


So in about a week’s time, Nuri Şahin, has been all but confirmed an Arsenal player to now having lost out on the player as he supposedly is in advanced talks with Liverpool.  Whatever.  The Standard article says Arsène Wenger has “cooled on him.”  I declare shenanigans, rubbish & bollocks.  Other outlets are reporting that the deal is being scuppered by Real Madrid over the sticking point of Wenger wanting a loan-to-buy option rather than a loan only deal that Real is apparently offering.  So, for the Standard to suggest Wenger has “cooled” because of Şahin not being an “orthodox” holding midfielder is off the mark, in my opinion.

Do English writers even watch the football/soccer matches & teams they’re supposed to be writing about?  When did Wenger ever say he was looking for “an orthodox holding midfielder?”  The answer is that he’s never said it.  He said he was looking at midfield options.  This whole new crusade of Arsenal looking for a “defensive/holding midfielder” in the style of a hardman/destroyer/whatever is the new punditry and/or portion of fanbase-driven mythos of what Arsenal needs or should have.  Yes, the midfielders we’ve been scouting & been linked with this summer are of the “defensive” variety but as other bloggers & previous posts have pointed out, not only is Şahin actually more defensive, statistically but that a switch in midfield & overall team philosophy may even negate having to need an “orthodox defensive midfielder.”  (The English media have never been known  to be tactically astute).

I’m not saying Şahin won’t sign for Liverpool but to think that Wenger somehow is backing off Şahin because he doesn’t fit the ideal template of an “orthodox defensive midfielder” is complete bollocks.  Do we need an enforcer type of deep-lying/defensive midfielder?  Most likely so, however, what we want as fans & want Wenger might end up signing are two different things.

Anyway, trying to orientate  away from my rambling back to signings, if we lose out on Şahin, it’ll be no skin off my backside because if a guy wants to go to Liverpool to play in the Europa League, that’s his problem.

“B-b-b-b-but you’re just jealous, Curtisimo! Liverpool has won d’Champions’ League & can get back there next season!”

Well, how does that benefit Şahin?  If it’s only a year-long loan then how does Liverpool possibly playing in the CL next season benefit Şahin when he’ll return to Madrid?  DERP.  Furthermore, if Şahin going to Liverpool is only a loan deal, why does his agent supposedly have to travel to Liverpool?  It’s a loan deal, not a permanent signing.  Unless I’m missing something, it all sounds so typical signing drama the media likes to foment & get all us frothing at the mouth over it.

Anyway, if Şahin wants Europa League ball, let him have it.  It only means we’ll likely pursue Lucas Biglia, Etienne Capoue or Yann M’Vila, or some heretofore unknown guy Wenger is looking at all the more.  I’m still on record saying we need another fullback far more than we need some mythical, defensive midfielder tank (“English steel, mate! derpaderp!”).

Stoke/Orc City preview tomorrow for you.  Until then have yourself a good one & a cold one & I have a promotion playoff second leg against the same Stoke to deal with on FM10.  Let’s go, you Bristolona!

UPDATE: According to this BBC article, Şahin is going to Liverpool as well because they offered to pay a larger percentage of his £115,000 per week wages.  A guy who played all of four games for Real last year  & is 21 or 22 years old makes £115k a week?  And people wonder why Wenger doesn’t like to go after established players?!

Updated signing/departures list (updates in red):
Confirmed signings: Santi Cazorla (Málaga), Olivier Giroud (Montpellier), Lukas Podolski (1. FC Köln)
Confirmed departures (includes U21s & U19s): Benik Afobe (Bolton Wanderers- loan), Manuel Almunia (Watford), Kyle Bartley (Swansea City), Pedro Botelho (Atlético Paranaense), George Brislen-Hall (Norwich City), Alban Bunjaku (Sevilla), James Campbell (Dundee United), Joel Campbell (Real Betís-loan), Tom Cruise (Torquay United), Denílson (São Paulo-loan), Samuel Galindo (Lugo-loan), Ben Glasgow (Stoke City), Gavin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge), Sean McDermott (Sandnes Ulf), Jeffrey Monakana (Preston North End), Rhys Murphy (Telstar Velsen), Oğuzhan Özyakup (Beşiktaş), Ryo Miyaichi (Wigan Athletic- loan), Alex Song (Barcelona), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad), Sanchez Watt (released- Carlisle United?), Wellington Silva (Ponferradina- loan)

Likely signings: Nuri Şahin (Real Madrid- loan, loan to buy)
Likely departures: Andrei Arshavin (Al-Sadd [Qatar], Fulham, Galatasaray, Reading, Zenit Saint-Petersburg), Niklas Bendtner (Galatasaray, AC Milan, Inter-Milan, Spartak Moscow), Marouane Chamakh (Beşiktaş, Fiorentina, Rubin Kazan, Tottenham Hotspur, Valencia-loan), Łukasz Fabiański, Vito Mannone (Hull City), Chu/Ju-Young Park (Al-Ain [UAE], Blackburn Rovers), Sébastian Squillaci (Bastia, Olympiakos Piraeus)

Possible signings: Lucas Biglia (RSC Anderlecht), Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), Tongo Doumbia (Rennes), Omar El-Haddouri (Brescia), Cheikh M’Bengue (Toulouse), Stéphane Mbia (Olympique Marseille), Philippe Mèxes (AC Milan), Yann M’Vila (Rennes), Mbaye Niang (Caen), Steven Nzonzi (Blackburn Rovers), Paulinho (Corinthians), Jese Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Kenneth Udjus (Sogndal), Emiliano Viviano (Palermo), Ki-Seung Yeung (Glasgow Celtic) 
Possible departures: Daniel Boateng (loan), Johann Djourou (Napoli), Conor Henderson (Charlton Athletic-loan), Henri Lansbury, Ignasi Miquel (Brighton & Hove Albion- loan), Aaron Ramsey (Fulham), Theo Walcott (Liverpool, Southampton)