I’ll get the stories and player gossip out the way first…
The Sun report, unless we get battered by the Mancs, Wenger won’t be spending any money this month! What a joke if it’s true, nothing like being pro-active eh!!
He might be making money though as Lazio are reported to be on of three clubs who want to sign Arshavin, £6 Million is the fee suggested.
Onto todays post, the curse of the wretched number 9 shirt in recent years:
John Radford, Alan Smith, George Graham, Joe Baker, Charlie George, Frank Stapleton, Malcolm MacDonald, just a few of the quality No.9′s in my time as an Arsenal fan, although I never saw Baker play in the flesh.
Nicolas Anelka was the last one who really led the line like a true centre-forward but since ‘Nasty Nick’ left for a whopping £23.5 million to Real Madrid in the summer of 1999 the No.9 shirt has taken on something of a jinx…
Davor Suker succeeded Anelka that summer, bringing with him a rich reputation garnered from his successful Euro 1996 campaign with Croatia. I liked Davor but maybe he came to England a bit too late in his career to recapture his best form and to truly adapt to the English game. He left after barely one season to go into semi-retirement at the Upton Park Home for Old Footballers.
In the summer of 2001, David Dein was engaged in some serious transfer business. Sol Campbell, Junichi Inamoto, Richard Wright, Giovanni Van Bronckhorst all arrived.
The first new face through the Highbury door was Francis Jeffers from Everton for a reported £8million. The ‘Fox in the Box’ that we needed. At Goodison Park, Jeffers had been hailed as the Toffees, Michael Owen and he certainly looked just the quick, sharp, goal-hanger we’d all been longing for to snap up those half-chances made and spurned by our more exotic forwards.
Unfortunately a few niggling injuries and the enormous task of getting in front of Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Kanu and Sylvain Wiltord took its toll on his confidence. That and some rumoured off-field problems saw Franny eventually sold to Charlton Athletic for £2.6 million in 2004.
Was the No.9 shirt cursed?
January 2004 saw David Dein in hot transfer business again [ are you reading this Ivan? ]…
Over in Southern Spain, playing for Seville was the hottest property in Spanish football, Jose Antonio Reyes - and Dein got him for a reported £10.6 million…
I liked Jose Antonio Reyes, yes he was a bit flake, but he scared the life out of defenders with his raw pace and enthusiasm.
Two FA Cup goals against Chelsea seemed to set him up for a long Arsenal career and despite some weak refereeing in the 2004 FA Cup semi-final allowing Scholes and Gary ‘rat-face’ Neville to kick him out of the game and then getting sent-off in the 2005 FA Cup final, he seemed, on the field at least, to be doing ok.
Off the field, it was another matter, and that’s where his problems lay. The Spanish family from hell did their best to undermine him and may have affected his relationship with his team mates and it all gradually began to go sour for Jose at Arsenal.
An unsuccessfull loan period at Real Madrid led to his eventual transfer to Madrid, where he joined the ‘Noisy Neighbours’ Atletico for £6 million in the summer of 2007.
The curse of the No.9…?
While Reyes was on loan at Real Madrid, in exchange and also on loan, Arsenal took Julio Baptista. His 4 goals at Anfield in an amazing 6-3 League Cup win plus a brace at The Slum in the Semi-Final 1st leg was all i can really recall from him, except that he was slow and must have learned his Brazilian skills at the same Academy as Denilson.
Nobody mourned when his loan transfer wasn’t made a permanent deal and he returned to Real Madrid.
That damned No.9…..
In the summer of 2007, the ‘Real Deal’ arrived in the shape of Eduardo da Silva. A Brazilian goal-poacher who plied his trade in Croatia, and who he played for Internationally. I’ve never met any Arsenal fan who didn’t like Eduardo and he looked a real steal at £8 million from Dinamo Zagreb.
Unfortunately a visit to Small Heath in Birmingham and the reckless tactics of Alex McLeish, saw him lucky to retain his leg and walk again. His loss has been one of our most costly in many many years.
Miraculously Eddy made a come-back, but his confidence never fully recovered from the assault in Birmingham and he left to join Shakhtar Donetsk for £6 million in the summer of 2010. He went with the best wishes of every fair-minded Arsenal fan.
This August Ju Young Park joined us for £3 million from Monaco.
He was given the No.9 shirt.
Watch this space?!
Written by Allezkev