As The Transfer Mayhem Begins, Will Arsène Strike Quickly?
A twenty-one gun salute welcomed the transfer window this morning. The media’s attention is still on Sepp Blatter and whether he will be Emperor this evening. The campaign to relieve him of power is wilting somewhat, hollow words from sponsors are good PR and no more, particularly since they do not welcome scrutiny of the closets holding their corporate skeletons.
This scenario brings to mind the scene from Blazing Saddles, where the duplicate Rock Ridge must be built in one night. The town’s Preacher, Rev. Johnson, leads the prayer, “O Lord, do we have the strength to carry off this mighty task in one night? Or are we just jerking off? ”
Does anyone really believe that Fifa has the desire or will to relieve Blatter of his duties?
So to Arsenal. The manager’s first task is the renewal of Samir Nasri‘s contract. Matters are not going according to plan, certainly not as swimmingly as portrayed earlier in the season. According to Wenger, money is the issue. Which had Nasri signed before Christmas would have found him receiving a lot of support for his claims for more.
Inconsistency in the second half of the season now begs the question whether he should be one of the highest earners at the club? Realistically, the club will end up dealing nearer to the player than they currently are. If not, Wenger has given the clearest hint that Arsenal have not ruled out selling the player, albeit not to Manchester United. How much of that is posturing remains to be seen.
If Nasri goes, it is inconceivable that Fábregas will depart for Barcelona, even with the designation of Wigan’s James McCarthy as a £15m replacement. In a French radio interview, Wenger explicitly stated that players would be signed who had experience of the Premier League. Immediately this the basis for an £8m bid for Blackburn’s Christopher Samba. At the prices being bandied around, a rethink of that policy will be in order.
A criticism of Wenger is that deals are left to the last-minute. Transfer Windows became footballing law in 2002/03, another inspired ruling from Fifa. Since then Wenger has on only four occasions, signed players before the end of June. Most of Wenger’s business occurs in July, with holidays and the like there is no reason to believe this summer will be any different.
The perception though is of late business deals, transfers completed as the window closes or in some cases, after the window has closed. Signings made in the last week of August are easy to steroetype as panic buys. None work out in the long-term, with Gallas, Diarra, Squillaci and Silvestre a rum bunch of first XI ready signings if ever there were one.
There is a growing desire for Wenger to have the signings made before then, almost a comfort blanket of knowledge that the real and perceived weaknesses in the squad, have been assessed and addressed. With Sevilla reportedly offering Denilson an exit route, the £8m would come in useful. Swiss Ramble added his thoughts on how the transfer pot might best be calculated. As the esteemed blogger notes, it is rightly a guessing game.
Commercial sensitivity aside, would the knowledge that Arsenal have £32,465,102 to spend, make this or any other transfer window more bearable?
More funds may be coming the club’s way if Nicklas Bendtner‘s Mr20% is to be believed. The agent, who at weekends doubles as his father, proves that being a Mr20% is a tough sell. Admitting that his son is worth less than before – please take note of the two distinct words, it is a different meaning than if they were one word – Daddy believes that Arsenal should ask for about £10m (€11m). Probably quite accurate but you wonder if anyone at Arsenal is aware of this?
He is also rapidly becoming one of the least likeable Mr20%‘s. How will his son be perceived by the support if a move fails to materialise? He is not the most popular of players in normal times, such words do not help his cause. At least Denilson has been honest enough to come out and say that he wants a move.
Gervinho, whose brilliance is such that he talks of himself in the third person, is to announce his chosen employers for next season. Whether or not they want to employ him does not seem to have crossed his mind. Adopting his best HAL tones, he observed, “We are Gervinho, we do not worry about such trivialities“.
Finally, this is, I think, one of my all-time favourite quotes regarding international football. Alex Song has pulled out of the upcoming Cameroon international against Senegal. Apparently members of the local press had suggested it was a sham so his FA made this brilliant announcement,
“A test carried out by the medical staff of the Cameroon national team made us to confirm that Alex Song really had an injury and was not pretending“
The best part about it – well not the best part, the one that makes a farcical comment even more of a farce? He had to fly to the Cameroon to be told that essentially “We thought you were lying but no, we were wrong. Sorry about that“.
Enjoy the first day of the transfer window. ’til Tomorrow.
Posted on June 1, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 392 Comments.