World Cup Enters KO Phase As Transfer Talk Gets Tied Up

The final group phase matches passed without much incident last night, no surprise that Spain beat Chile nor that Switzerland failed to score the goal which would have taken them into a Round of 16 encounter with Brazil. Cesc once more had a substitute appearance for the Spaniards as they weathered a Chilean storm to win 2 – 1. Villa and Iniesta both provided finishing lessons, the former opportunistic and well-executed, the latter passing the ball into the net.

Cesc arrived with Spain determined to play ‘keep ball’ and he duly delivered. Chile’s ten men gave them a fright at the start of the second half with a deserved goal but the last twenty minutes was reminiscent of Germany v Austria in 1982, no meaningful attacks, lots of passes with the sole intention of keeping the ball and little else.

Elsewhere, number eight of the eleven Arsenal players who travelled to the World Cup is on his way home. Ivory Coast failed to reach half of the nine goal swing they needed to stay in the competition, a target rendered irrelevant as the media anticipated clash between Brazil and Portugal was a display in how not to play the beautiful game.

Of the remaning three Arsenal squad members, Carlos Vela will probably be returning home on Monday whilst Cesc and Robin van Persie could conceivably be on their summer holidays by next weekend. Spain has a trickier Round of 16 fixture with Portugal whilst the Netherlands should progress to the quarter-finals where they will most likely meet Brazil. If Spain win, they meet Argentina a week on Monday who on tournament form should probably progress.

Onto matters Arsenal. It seems that age is catching up with Arsene, he has apparently left his Blackberry in London whilst in South Africa and cannot review the new deal which has been emailed to him and the club from Lorient, seeking to reach agreement for the transfer of Laurent Koscielny. As excuses for longing out a transfer deal go, that is by far the weakest to date.

Is it beyond the wit of any one at Arsenal to walk to his secretary and ask her to fax the details to his hotel? Yes, I know faxes are “old-hat” but they do serve a purpose. I am sure that there is more to it than old Mr Forget-My-Head-If-It-Wasn’t-Screwed-On‘s supposed mistake. And let’s not overlook the fact that it is Koscielny’s Mr20% who is the source of the story so a touch of salt may be advisable.

Whilst on the subject of central defenders, it seems that the future of Sol Campbell has not yet been resolved which is hardly surprising since the player himself said in the last fortnight that he wanted to talk to Wenger when he returned from South Africa. Which he has not yet done so said meeting cannot have taken place.

When it comes to transfers, it seems that He who shouts loudest becomes the favourite to sign Joe Cole following England’s inevitable exit on penalties come Sunday. ‘Appy ‘Arry has ascended to that throne with reports suggesting that the formerly ‘Appy ‘Ammer will sign for the formerly ‘Appy ‘Ammer. We shall see but it would be no surprise for an announcement to be made on Wednesday or Thursday of next week when Cole’s contract with Chelsea formally expires.

Also donning their best Rent-A-Gob garb are Internazionale, newly emerging as favourites to sign Felipe Melo. No, I don’t think Wenger is interested either. Similarly, Mesut Ozil is apparently on Wenger’s radar but Barcelona are looking to offload the pup that Arsenal sold them in the shape of Alexander Hleb and want to use him to knock down the fee by probably 90% because they are skint think Hleb is a highly valued player. He might have been before he joined Barcelona but his stock has fallen considerably since then.

Barely has he joined Arsenal than Maruoane Chamakh has told Arsene to go and get Yoann Gorcuff. You don’t have to possess a vivid imagination to guess what sort of reception a fax from Arsenal will get in Bordeaux after the courtship of Chamakh. The minds of journalists are in overdrive with Mark Schwarzer seemingly set to replaced by David James when the former draws his pension at The Emirates. A scary thought for the Australian is that legally some of the Arsenal starting line-up are young enough to be his children.

On the subject of imaginations, a portion of the transfer speculation surrounding the club is based on Cesc leaving, a rare word of sense emerged from Catalunya yesterday. Rodolf Borrell, currently at Liverpool but formerly a coach at Barcelona put the reason for Arsenal’s intransigence into words for those Catalans who cannot fathom how anyone can turn the club away: selling him disrupts the club, parts can be replaced by other players but not the whole and it would be like Barcelona selling Messi right now. Not that it stopped Borrell saying he thought Cesc would eventually go, just not right now.

That’s it for today as we wait to see if the defensive shackles have really been cast aside by the coaches of the quartet of teams in the first knockout matches in South Africa. Don’t hold your breath.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on June 26, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip, World Cup 2010 and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 61 Comments.

  1. turd!

  2. Another good piece YW.

    I am still underwhelmed by the rumours surrounding Schwarzer. I would not mind taking a chance on Samir Handanovic from Udinese he has looked more solid than most at the WC.

  3. Dammit. That was embarrassing

  4. No more embarrassing than posting 1st, 2nd etc.

  5. We should go for the Chilean GK. Perfect compliment to Fabianski.

  6. It is noticeable that Arsenal is not being associated with smurfs in this transfer season. Has there been a rethink about Arsenals robustness?

    Are there long term benefits to Wilshere being out on loan for a long period rather than fighting for a spot in the Arsenal lineup?

  7. Arsenal should try a bid for Ozil, it has been reported many times over the last two years that we are looking at him so it would show him we are serious.

    Competition for places between, cesc, him, Nasri and Ramsey when he is fit again will be good and we all now Cesc won’t be there for more than a season or two so the three will try even harder to show they can replace him.

    Koscielny for me is a done deal but I still not to sure about the Schwarzer story as I’m not sure he will bring anything better than we already have.

    I hope Campbell stays as he has shown he still have a winner attitude and that another defender comes in as 5 CB will be really good.

    I would like J Cole but if we can lure Ozil, the German would be my first choice.

  8. Was originally meant for le grove but can’t post, since yesterday for a reason I can’t tell…..We seem to take positions that suit our Agenda at any given time… The same qualities we see as meaningless when we speak of why Wenger should go are the same ones that we pride as why we are better than Barca… Cecs probably has a lot of pressure from home to leave us but he is yet to budge. Even his Dad that has always supported his decision to stay has joined the ‘Barca in his DNA’ crusaders. It is a tough decision for him but his love for the club is not in doubt. He has left his future to Wenger to decide, and Wenger says he is not for sale at any price. He is staying. Lets worry for the captaincy position when it is truely vacant… For the sake of discussion thou, Vermalen has a lot of fire in his belly but when the chip are down Van P and Clichy plays still with more belief and lift their team mates, Clichy is just not as aggressive and plays from the back, IMHO more suited for the captaincy… YW As for Sol staying am not too concerned. He did look Ok and did do a few Silvester too we choosed to ignore.. we can definently get better defenders out there and if Djourou continues in his form pre injury would rather have him than Big Sol…

  9. Cesc says ...

    wenger’s too tight to build a team of world beaters so i’m off to Barcelona … andre andre … arriva arriva .. viva Cesc!

  10. dont know if its been mentioned.. but schwarzer appeared in the “transfer linked” section on the .com. i must say i was excited, i dont think he’s any better than what we’ve got.

    oh and

    USA! USA! USA! USA!

  11. Emmagunner.. tell us how you really feel

  12. Njgooner, Emmagunner should tell us how it feels to be in the free state that is aclf. No censureship here!

  13. Yogi’s article hints at the first all South American final since 1950. And a classico at that! Would be interesting if Messi knocked out Espana as Maradona knocked out Italia in 1990. That is akin to an English gooner watching RVP knock out England. Luckly for them the draw has seen to such an eventuality.

  14. And to all gooners from the USA USA USA though Kenyans have backing you – it’s the Obama connection – that all changes tonight! I expect Ghana to beat you tonight and Uruguay/Korea in the quarters. It’s the semi-final against Brazil/Netherlands where things turn difficult. COME ON BLACK STARS!

  15. Whats wrong with the ‘keepers, or is it the Jabulani? No keeper at the WC has impressed enough to get the gooner faithful excited. No sooner is a wish-list made, they drop a clanger ala Enyeama

  16. It is because there is simply no solution to the “goalkeeper problem”. Every keeper is prone to make a mistake and unfortunately, when you are playing for Arsenal, it might be that you only concede a couple of shots — and if you make a mistake by handling one of them, it will be what everybody is talking about. If you are playing for a weeker side, concede 10 shots and “just” let one or two in, everybody is going to hail you as a great keeper.

  17. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    I don’t want to drag this wonderful blog down by discussing politics, but may I just add that that link to the article on Ayatollah Obama is very interesting to say the least.

    Setting politics aside, kaman USA. We owe Ghana a good spanking from 2006 and today will be the day said spanking occurs.

  18. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    And my goodness. I see Le Groan is stiil up to there old tricks. What a bunch of c*nts.

  19. I do not read Le Groan any more NJN. I found the site full of idiots who use to many !!! and ??? even though they have not written a coherent sentence.

  20. I hope Uruguay vs S. Korea isn’t a sign of things to come.

    I’ve seen two nice prospects so far (I’m scouting…just for the heck of it).

    Ayew on the left.
    Sanchez on the right.

    I wonder what Wenger thinks of them?

  21. Zama

    This World Cup desperately needs some good games otherwise the over-riding memories of it will be one strewn with mistakes. Even the good officiating of the opening few games is sinking in a morass of inconsistency.

    YW

  22. The world cup is showing us that once more there is need for some rule changes. Fifa prefers a minimalist approach as they probably fear “the law of unintended consequences.” My first minimalist proposals would be 1. Out law the headed or chested back pass to the goalie. 2. The goal line offside rule be reduced to one player on the goal and not two – remember Vela’s disallowed goal? As for more radical rules like outlawing the offside rule, reducing the number of players to 9 or 10, or making the standard pitch larger in the alternate, or a larger goal, well those are not likely in our lifetimes!

  23. KG – 3 opportunities for each side per game to stop the play and check with a video ref on decisions imo.

  24. KG, Own goals should be discounted and a corner should be given instead.

  25. Got to be honest, fancied Ghana for a win beforehand and now want them to win for that disgusting cowardice by Cherundolo – should have been a straight red for violent conduct.

  26. KG

    The rule changes you propose should be consigned to the rubbish bin.

    1. Outlawing all back passes will mean that the ball is constantly put out of play by the defence. Also, you will find that the game dissolves into a long ball thumping match with no attempt to pass through a team. You are ruling out any defensive outlet which would mean that all teams will pump the ball forward the minute they gain possession.

    2. Offside: Leave the numbers alone, nothing wrong with requring two players. Sort out inactive / active before fannying around with other aspects of the rule.

    As for the rest, well, let’s just they will be the death knell of football. We’ll all be watching basketball.

    YW

  27. Yogi what I mean is that the goalie should not handle the ball if headed or chested back to him. As for booting the ball aimlessy that happens with players of low technical ability anyway. The technically superior will flourish with the more open play. Lastly the basket comment is way off target. Given the size of the BB pitch as to football . The size makes a lot of difference. Mind you a BB player can’t kick the ball.

  28. Ghana is missing Essien. He’d break the Americans play. And their does seem to trust Muntari.

  29. Come on Ghana!

    Where has that confidence gone?

  30. Whatever happens tonight this Ghanaian team is one of the exciting national sides of the future.

    Alot of pressure on them at the moment.

  31. Deano the problem with African teams is that most of our players lie about their age. Heard of the Nigerian press claiming that Kanu is 42! You make that a team is bound to mature – like Nigeria in the nineties – only to discover they are over the hill – like Oliseh and Amokachi who burnt out at a supposed age of 30!

  32. Hope Ghana win, I like their football.

  33. Fantastic.

    Great goal, great game.

    Kenyan gunner they all look babyfaced though!

    But I can believe it about Kanu!

  34. Asamoah Gyan looks rather older than 24.

  35. We did what we can with what we have and we rode our luck the best we can.

    I think we need a better defense, (Don’t we all?)

    Now we turn our heads to England England England

  36. Germany vs England

    Hope we can turn it on and at least make a good spectacle of it.

  37. Will Arsenal buy any players on display in the world cup or will the prices be too inflated?

  38. YW thanks for the interesting blog today,the best in a while(during the WC).may i suggest that you consider giving up some days to other writers of the posts like you did after the close of the epl?

    …and where is every body on this blog today? U guys make my nights fun here in lusaka when i read your comments but now you have ruined it today.

    my last altenative for club football news is vitalspurs¡ AND before you begin the bashing,i am a fierce arsenal and arsene loyalist.you guys should try the spud site,its hilarious¡ where that lot try to get ANY player that is even slightly linked to us,trynna sign ex gunners,and thinking they are our equals. Coming from africa ,i never really understood what the fuss reg the NLD was all about. Thanks to the spuds site,i do.

  39. @Trugunn

    Might I suggest “Untold Arsenal” or “Goonerholic”, even “Le Groan” before you resort to a Spurz site.

  40. Forget what I said about “Le Groan” it is almost a Spurz site.

  41. Denilson, Feilhaber for that midfield, huh?

  42. The U.S. and Ghana was the battle of the reserves. You do realize that right?

    Feilhaber, Bradley and Altidore are going to be stars. It’s no surprise the young American players are in the Bundesliga.

  43. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    You’re bang on, G69. Don’t sleep on Cherundolo too for Hannover 96. He’s a tidy little player. Ze Germans know a player when they see one. Well played Ghana. Gyan finished us off with a quality strike. Well played Ghana. My best friend who happens to hail from Karlsruhe and I will now be rooting on ze Germans. Kaman Alemania.

  44. I have a soft spot for the Ghanaians. I see at least three of them fitting in at Arsenal. I want Wenger to take a look at Bradley too.

  45. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Bradley has sure gotten past all that nepotism bollocks hasn’t he, G69? He’s got a great future ahead of him.

  46. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    RIP Pete Quaife.

  47. Well done Ghana!!!

    Sing sing Africa!!!

  48. Indeed. If there’s an African team that deserves to be in the QF it’s Ghana. Who knew Kevin Prince Boateng was such a stud, huh? It’s like Essien and Muntari don’t matter at all.

  49. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    To be fair though, G69, that was some some piss poor goalkeeping on KPG’s goal.

  50. Ghana’s Anthony Annan is 10 times what Denilson is. Similar size but better all round player in the same position. Could be cheaper than Denilson who came in at 3.5million.

  51. Considering this Ghana side are the youngest team in the tournament by a distance, and partly built on the team that won the u-20 world cup so that not even Mutari and Appiah can start a game, we are looking at the emergence of one of those ‘epic’ national sides that has made football interesting in the last 40 or so years. It is not the first ‘epic’ Ghana side, but the second, and better than the earlier vintage (70s). It is not remotely true that “all African players lie about their age”, a few do, it happens, some countries are less controlled than others (Nigeria one example), but on the whole it is a sad, stupid and racist assumption.

    The reason African teams have not done very well at this world cup has nothing to do with age or ‘over-the-hill’ players; it is that, alone amongst countries represented, in top African sides ALL their senior players play abroad. The trend is stupefyingly clear: in just 20 years gifted African players have changed european football in every senior division, and some european national sides; in another 20, their impact in Europe will be immeasureable. Sadly, this has hardly impacted on investment in homegrown development at grassroots level; Ghana, as a matter of fact, is an exception which is why they have managed to produce this side. So is Cote D’Ivoire (the Asec Mimosa youth system that has produced nearly every major Ivorian player for nearly 2 decades, there are very few exceptions).

  52. the u s of a wont get no sympathy till they stop calling football soccer.

  53. Upson should never of started,we looked more solid unsuprisingly with both king and carrager. against slovenia we gave them 3 good chances and against a good team could have lost 3-1, low and behold we then play a good team and lose 4-fukin 1. copello you are a c*nt. probably the fukin most unintelectual italian in the game. now piss off and let us fail with an englishman in charge thank you.

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