Recall the saying? any player that left Arsenal always regretted it because they never fared better than at the Home of Football? Well unfortunately for Arsene Wenger, Thierry Henry was the player who bucked the trend. His smiling face which was broadcast across the world as he held up the one trophy that had eluded him whilst at Arsenal will have spoken volumes to players who for one reason and another currently feel unsettled at Arsenal Football Club.
The dream of being a player at a club in the Champions League is now to be replaced by being at a club that wins it, and getting to the semi-final will be scant reward for the type of mercenary player that sees Champions League Winners medals as a means to unlock even bigger transfer fees. Not that we should be worried, for having got to the semi-final of this prestige competition having had one of the worse seasons in Wenger’s time at the club, and with such a young team means that the summit of this mountain is not too far away.
So how do we set about making that step forward to winning this competition? do we take the Chelsea and Real Madrid route and spend our way to success? or do we nurture the principles of beautiful football that enabled Barcelona to expose the boorish over hyped play of Sir Alex Ferguson? How will our transfer policy this summer enable us to make that leap forward?
Whilst Perez at Real Madrid has secured Kaka from AC Milan for an astonishing £58 million on a six year deal, in an effort to bring back the Champions League trophy to the Bernabeu, Gooners can at least console themselves with the hope that our defensive errors of last season may be reduced by the possible signing of Thomas Vermaelen from Ajax. As I have said repeatedly “Success begins at the back”
The player himself is reported to have confirmed that he is close to signing for Arsenal at the end of next week, the deal is rumoured to be £11 million, which is a lot for Arsene Wenger and if true must mean that he will be our main signing this transfer window. However if buying the 23 year old Belgian centre back is on the cards, it raises several questions about the plans for Arsenal this summer.
What will become of Brede Hangerlande, the no nonsense tall centre back from Fulham was also rumoured to be on Wenger’s shopping list? As well as the Bosnian striker who helped Wolfsburg win their first ever Bundesliga title by the name of Edin Dzeko reported recently by Le Boss, the fee? Around £12 million. All this transfer speculation must be taken with a hefty pinch of salt, as I repeat the usual warning every transfer window. You can ONLY be sure that any name will become an Arsenal player when it is announced on But the prospect of Arsene Wenger splashing out £38 million does seem rather far fetched, unless of course we are expecting to sell some players.
Anyway, here’s what we might be getting IF the transfer speculation is true…
Thomas Vermaelen Video 1
Thomas Vermaelen Video 2
Against? typical sarcastic carping anti-Wenger bleacher report on the player…
Selling Club? I have been barracked by suggesting that Arsenal cannot compete in the transfer market without the need to sell players, and I remain firmly of that disputed view from my analysis of the accounts. The decision remains between continuing to run the club prudently and reduce the debts due to the Stadium loan and building estate losses which are currently subject to difficult negotiations about rescheduling with the banks, (a euphemism for, they are saying no, but we are trying to get them to compromise!)
The observation that Robin van Persie has yet to sign a new contract, and with Adebayor’s late season groin pains having kept him out of the last two games of the season, one might be forgiven for thinking that Adebayor has the kind of transfer “injury” that occurred before Paddy Vieira made his departure. The noises are that Robin van Persie rates Vermaelen highly, oh goody! so now will you sign Robin? To be honest, I hope that he doesn’t, because any player who does not feel that it is an HONOUR to pull on the Gunners shirt should be shown the door in my opinion. I expected better of you Robin!
Harsh maybe, but I have had enough of pampered over paid mercenaries. (I would not accuse Robin van Persie of being pampered however.) The moans of Arshavin’s agent now that the credit crunch and higher tax penalties of being in England are biting into the final take home pay of the plucky Russian should now be muted with the typical Arshavin goal scoring celebration of saying, STFU!!! Especially as we have given Arshavin a real opportunity to shine as he reaches the end of his career. But hey ho!
Not forgetting that we still need an experienced central defensive midfielder of course, even with Song’s late improvement in this position which allowed Arsene to pencil him in, there is still the thorny subject of the African Cup of nations that will remove Song from selection for six weeks at the busiest time of the winter. So is there also going to be a further acquisition for cover? Who knows.
The one thing that worries me, is that the Thierry Henry smile will provide ammunition for dark forces like the big fat Russian to wade in waving roubles in an effort to be the supposed saviour of Arsenal Football Club. There are no more excuses left now, and Arsene knows that he must deliver, but as I said earlier, to have reached the semi-final of the Champions League after playing some of the worst football ever seen in the 12 years of Wengerball must mean that we are VERY close to success.
Fabregas the King.