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Bendtner to Malaga, RvP to City & Usmanov won’t go away….

Here we go again then, all last summer we heard that Bendtner was in talks with hundreds of clubs regarding a move away from Arsenal.

That move failed to materialise and after reading stories from his father, who was then his agent, only to end up on loan at Sunderland must have been a bit of a shock and an embarrassment for him to say the least.

In his own world full of imperfections, Nicklas Bendtner is perfect but his antics whilst on loan would suggest he is far from that and to be honest, he didn’t really excite the fans of Sunderland, or their manager, otherwise Martin O’Neil would have been knocking on Arsenals door long before now to secure his services.

Bendtner has since appointed a new agent, but the stories coming out are reminiscent of last summer.

Special Agent Brooks says:

We are in negotiations with several clubs, we are reviewing the options before we decide where his future will be.

Malaga are reported to be interested!

Hey, don’t knock them, they are in the Champions League this coming season, unlike Tottenham….. ;)

It may sound a tad harsh, but I’m not too fussed where he goes, just hope he goes onto enjoy his football and gets to play week in week out.

Chamakh is another who is surely on his way, especially after Wenger all but confirmed the arrival of Giroud from Montpellier. Same to him too, he needs to be playing, he is not a bad footballer, we all saw that when he saved our bacon when every other striker was injured. He scored a few goals back then and no doubt he will again but Arsenal isn’t for him, and he is no longer for us….

One man who is us and has no plans to quietly disappear is Alisher Usmanov:

As much as possible, every time, I’m open to increase my shares,

But, he’s not prepared to upset the current board, nor is he going to press for a peep at the books:

No, I don’t want to be on the board when I’m not invited.

I’m still not convinced that he won’t just wake up one day and make Stan that offer he can’t refuse and in the meantime, he’ll just quietly sit back and buy up shares that become available…

Oh and brace yourselves, The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph both report that Manchester City are on the verge of making Robin an offer he can’t refuse, however, I strongly suspect he will.

France up against Spain tonight, got to get behind Cesc and his boys haven’t we, should France go out, we might get a bit more transfer news…

That’s it for another day, have a good one wherever you are….

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134 comments on “Bendtner to Malaga, RvP to City & Usmanov won’t go away….

  1. Morning all…

    Take a hike Citeh, no way will he join them….

  2. A Very Good Morning Rico.
    Morning Gooners.
    And morning to you Smudge, another great series of vids.
    Get your tartan scarf out Rico and put on your platforms…. :D

  3. Morning Kev,

    you will be telling to sing shang-a-lang next ;)

  4. You’ll be cheering for Spain tonight I guess?

  5. I’m singing it as i type Rico….. :P
    Scarf in the air, thinking of all those great Top of the Pops shows…

  6. Those were the days weren’t they ;)

    Mind you, that was Mary Hopkins wasn’t it Kev ;)

  7. France/Spain, hmm, don’t really care…
    But i can see your point about getting our transfer biz done…
    Tbh, i think it’s been agreed, just need the medicals to satisfy our insurers.

  8. Yeah, Wath had a crush on Mary Hopkins… :)

  9. I think Giroud is done, but really want to hear we have signed M’Vila…

  10. July 1st Rico, that’s when we’ll see some movement in the Market.
    Contracts will be expiring so agents will be concluding deals.
    Hopefully Bendtner’s will be one of the first.

  11. And he was a mere young one when he did ;)

  12. Tbh, although i think that Denilson is pants, we might as well have him back if the Brazillians won’t pay for him.
    Otherwise we’ll be giving him away for nix.

  13. Yes, but Wath was a naughty boy, always bunking off from school….
    That’s why i stopped his pocket money… ;)

  14. Denilson will be sold, I’d put wath’s mortgage on it ;)

    Just think the club are holding on to see if they get any other offers at a sensible price, he could be a 31st August departure ;)

  15. Denilson, is under contract to Arsenal until the summer of 2014…

  16. Vela is under contract until 2015, so we can play hardball, until Sociedad or whoever, come up with a proper offer.
    He has to be worth at least £5million.

  17. Bendtner is under contract until 2014.

  18. Morning all, rico I think giroud and m’villa are done :) still some areas we need to improve tho! Then we will be good to go!

  19. :lol: re wath…

    Vela is worth more out of the two but i honestly believe the club will listen to ‘sensible’ offers, regardless of what the press print.

    IG said he wants all this contract stuff sorted out so i think he means shipping some out too – vela, denilson, nik, imho will all be gone by the time the season starts..

    and AA

  20. £15million for Robin Van Persie….
    Don’t believe that rumour, unless Shittie are trying to turn up the pressure…
    Mancini trying to weaken Arsenal again?
    Gotta be worth keeping him for his last year under contract, than selling him for a pittance, and strengthening the Arabs…

  21. Tomo, hope you are right, and agree, just an odd 1/2 more on as well as them and we’ll be a force again….

  22. You guys seen the story on caughtoffside, they reckon rvp is house hunting in cheshire… what rubbish…

  23. In 12 months time, Robin will be almost 30 years old.
    Yes, he’ll be a Bosman but his bargaining position will be weaker due to his age.
    And we don’t know if the injuries will return with a vengence in 2012/13..?
    Maybe the money, reported to be on offer this summer, won’t be forthcoming in 12 months time???
    Arsenal’s offer might become more appealling if the club decide to hold him to his final year?

  24. kev – rvp wouldn’t sign for them, if he goes anywhere, i reckon it will be madrid or barca….

    I’m still confident he’s staying, as long as we tie up giroud and m’vila and another….

  25. Those websites just invent stories Rico and steal others, FootballFanCast have recycled most of Swiss Rambles last piece, they’re just parasites.

  26. Sometimes i think we should just sell him and re-invest on a top quality striker, then other days, i just hope he stays, for the reasons you point out kev, its a tough one for the club, and the player…

  27. At least i only steal from the red-tops :lol:

    Back in ten, just got to sort the feathered ones…

  28. I’m quite confident he’ll stay Rico, but money talks, and the Spanish duo are an attraction to any footballer, especially a footballer entering his final 4 or 5 years at the top.

  29. I can understand Devil’s views on RVP.
    That is, cashing in on a player at his peak, but with an appalling injury record.
    Tbh, i’m not too sure that Robin really knows what to do himself…
    But Shittie will do their best to drive a wedge between Robin and the club/fans, by putting out spurious rumours…
    I am beginning to hate that club.

  30. Make of this, what you will..?

  31. From Arseblog;Marouane Chamakh’s future at Arsenal may not be as clearly unclear as once thought.

    The probable arrival of Olivier Giroud in addition to Lukas Podolski will certainly intensify competition for places up front, however a representative of Chamakh’s seems to think he might still have a future at the club:

    The priority is Arsenal. If Van Persie leaves, he wants to stay. If Van Persie stays, he should certainly look elsewhere. If they take Giroud, he will be competing with him.

    Gilles Grimandi then popped up on the scene to say this:

    There will be a discussion between him and the coach about how he sees things. If he feels he can fight for a spot, there will be no problem to keep him with us. If he demands more playing time, it will be different. This is a discussion that he must have with Arsene.

    Things have been awfully quiet on the Chamakh transfer front. Whilst Montpellier rejected outright the inclusion of Chamakh in the Giroud deal, there is now talk of them taking him on loan.

    They’ve signed young Gaëtan Charbonnier from Ligue 2 as Giroud’s eventual replacement, but his lack of experience at the top level means they could probably use the services of a consistent Ligue 1 performer like Chamakh for a year. They’ve also got the Champions League to play in next season and will be looking to expand their squad a bit.

  32. I can understand devils view too, he is quite sure RvP is off isn’t he…

  33. If he has his heart set on moving, just hope it’s overseas, it won’t be as bad then, after all, who is/was Cesc Fabregas ;)

  34. Im an optimist by nature, but also realistic – van Persie is gone. Just like Brady, Anelka, Vieira, Henry, Cesc and all the other great players who left us.
    He would have signed the excellent offer we made if he planned to stay. If Wenger and Ivan had any confidence in him staying, why would they have placed a gagging order on him?
    I love van Persie, what a great player. Ill be very sorry to see him go. But we all stuck by him through year upon year of injuries, and if hes trying to hold us to ransom because he managed one complete (and excellent!) season, then I would be disappointed.
    No point keeping him if he wants to go, having to watch the captain of Arsenal run down the final year of his contract is a bridge too far.
    I hope Im wrong and Robin releases a statement that he is delighted to see us so busy in the transfer market and is now happy to sign…I just cant see it happening.

  35. But he isn’t about money GD, he wants us to show ambition and if we are to believe that Giroud and M’Vila are on their way in, then the club are starting to show some.

    If he is true to his word, and we make the right signings, he should stay…

  36. kev, i know what i make of that twitter comment :)

  37. Me too. :P

  38. Quiet old morning kev…

  39. rico-
    I get where youre coming from, I want that to be true, I just dont believe he has any intention of staying.
    Our track record of selling every single year, combined with the fact that he turned down our contract offer, leads me to believe he is sadly gone.
    I just hope Podolski is going to take Arshavins place in the squad, and that Giroud is not expected to fill the boots of van Persie.

  40. I know Rico, everyone must have a hangover… :)

    Just gotta keep plugging away Rico, so, GD, you think Podolski is gonna play on the wing?

  41. GD – and I understand where you are coming from too, but, all we do is read what the red tops etc tell us, none of us really know whether what rvps intentions are.

    He could have told the club he wants out and its up to them to sanction the sale or not and if not he leaves for free.

    But, he could also have said, you sign the right players and i will stay.

    Tbh, Rvp didn’t make a huge fuss about the talks, he just said about sitting down with a nice cup of coffee and go from there.

    Like I say, maybe he is waiting to see the clubs intent and if they get it right, that dotted line could be signed.

    Maybe he told them that ages ago which is why we wrapped up Pod so early..

    Of course i am guessing – he could be off ;)

    If he is, just hope it gets sorted asap now – we fans all need and deserve to know…

  42. I actually cant believe anyone is even considering selling RVP

    We have won nothing for 8 years due to Wenger constantly selling our top players and replacing with inferior. Its strategic weakening of the team in every single position…..yet people are happy for it to continue.

    If we sell Robin we are basically saying not only that we cant compete, but that we dont want to compete (which to be fair has been honest for ages).

    I think some gooners are as obsessed with Wenger about the whole building process, rather than the winning of trophies.

  43. Lee is feeling a lot better, he’s gone footie training with his lad :)

  44. Selling our top players isn’t a new thing.
    1980: Liam Brady
    1981: Frank Stapleton

    It did stop when David Dein joined the Board…
    David dein leaves and our top players start leaving again.
    The only constant during this period is;
    Peter Hill-Wood and Ken Friar…..

  45. Oh hello gambon, no-one is contemplating selling him, none of us really want him sold – but what we think and how the club look at the player/age/fitness, is a very different matter..

  46. The only constant during this period is; Peter Hill-Wood and Ken Friar

    Boring of farts they are too ;)

  47. I’m really at a loss as to what benefit Hill-Wood, Keswick and Harris are to the club.
    What do those old duffers actually do?

  48. Surely Stan will soon bring his own team in won’t he?

    You want me to answer that Kev ;)

  49. I hope he will be playing on the wing, otherwise he is surely Robins replacement, and that is unacceptable. No way we are going back to 4-4-2, that wont work now. Podolski on the wing would be a major upgrade in my view, half the goals we conceded seemed to come directly from our left hand side.
    We wont get away with losing top players every year for much longer! I worry for the club and for the hope of all the fans if we are forced to lose the best striker we have had since Henry decided he was off.
    I really hope Im wrong about Robin, but we do have a habit of selling our best players every year.

  50. Arsenal have been selling their top players since Jimmy Ashcroft was sold to Liverpool inthe early 1900’s.
    It’s nothing new.

  51. Its a bit different with RvP though, he’s in a similar situation as TH was – he’s not getting any younger…

  52. Have to get out and do a few things in the garden now whilst the weather is good… will pop on and off…

  53. Rico, do you think that TH14 would have left if we’d had a club that had an ambitious Board rather than the penny-pinching mob we currantly have?

  54. Yes Kev, I think his move away had a lot to do with his personal life, his split with his wife…

  55. rico says:
    June 23, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Those were the days weren’t they ;)

    it certainly was Rico

    Mind you, that was Mary Hopkins wasn’t it Kev ;) and so was this little ditty

  56. Ah, but that didn’t win the euros alan….

  57. Mary Poppins ? Now that brings me back ;)

  58. “but what we think and how the club look at the player/age/fitness, is a very different matter..”

    Player – PL top scorer, 48 goals in last 56 PL games, Player of the year

    Age – He’s 28, its like theres a campaign out there to convince gooners hes 36 or something

    Fitness – He has probably played more than any other footballer for the last 18 months. He is looking after his own fitness regime and not letting Wenger destroy him.

  59. me too smudge..

    gambon, we all know how old he is, we don’t need a patronising lesson from you thanks …

    i was talking about how the club might think/feel, not rocket science is it??

    surely even you have understood by now that my own view is he should stay!

  60. Oh, and in August, he’ll be 29!!

  61. afternoon all!

  62. Afternoon JM, any news??

  63. Just been bopping to Mary Hopkins… :)
    Cheers AlanMP….

  64. Nothing short of 50 mil will be a joke.City can take their 20 mil and shove it where the sun dont shine.

  65. Smudge, nevermind about Chim-Chiminy, Chim-Chiminy, Chim Chim Cheroo…
    Where were your vids????

  66. :lol: Kev…

    DG – £15 Million, that is the latest price quoted by Citeh…

  67. DG, is that 20million euros….

  68. Kev – you been peeping around Twitter today, just read there is a M’vila rumour going around on there ;)

  69. Ben Arfa…public he interest from Arsenal and Chelsea
    Selassie sign for Werder Bremen

  70. Can’t see us being able to afford Ben Arfa though JM, the player is reported to favor us rather than Chelsea as he worries about playing time…

  71. Hi Rico, Kev and all.

  72. Hi Adam, weather is a bit grim again :(

  73. Yes Rico but with intermittent bursts of sun. I just went to the Twitter counter in Waitrose where they were selling Tofu in the shape of chickens for those like me who refuse to eat those beautiful creatures. With every chicken shaped bean-curd delicacy they were giving away a rumour. I bought two corn-fed Bresse delights and was told, free of charge, that RVP has always been a Man City supporter and will move there for £421,000 per week after tax. The club have found him a new council flat in the Moss Side area so his children can learn how to use firearms. I don’t know what to make of it myself.

  74. Arsenal News‏@AfcGoonerNews

    Wenger: “Sometimes people try & destroy your work. I lost Nasri, Clichy & Cesc at an age when they could have made the difference for

  75. I know one day we will get out of this problem of selling selling

  76. Hi Adam.
    Sorry about delay in answering Rico, just listening to music on YouTube.
    The rumour you’re on about, could be the one i saw on Twitter yesterday.
    Wasn’t sure if it was kosher…

  77. :lol: Adam…

    No probs Kev, better than reading rumours eh ;)

  78. One day maybe HM…. but RvP hasn’t gone yet…

  79. God Bless You Mary…. ;)

  80. Finally stopped raining so off out with Fido, laters….

  81. It’s sunny, but windy down here Rico.

  82. Club agrees sale of Queensland Road site

    Arsenal Holdings plc has announced the £26million sale of the Queensland Road development site to Barratt and London & Quadrant.

    Work has been underway on the site next to the Emirates Stadium for the past year. When completed the £128m development will comprise three residential towers offering apartments ranging from studios to 1000 square foot penthouses. The development will also include two fitness suites, a landscaped podium garden, commercial premises and a cafe. Sales are expected to launch in September.

    The sale of the development, which will be reported in the 2012/13 financial results, was completed by the Club’s property arm, Ashburton Trading Ltd, who were represented by its property development partner Antony Spencer.

    Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis said: “This is another important milestone for our property business which has provided a consistent flow of income over recent years. This money has been an important factor at a time when we have been building our capability to drive commercial revenues. This is the last major property deal open to us although we have some smaller projects in the pipeline.”

    Alastair Baird, Regional Managing Director Barratt London said: “We are delighted to be building this landmark development in conjunction with our partner L&Q. It will bring desperately needed high quality homes to the area and will form part of our expanding presence across London.”


    AFternoon people.

    This is the last of our property since the move frm Highbury.
    FY2012/13 will be the last of property development contributing to our bottom-line.

    It means that 2012/13 season, Wenger better start winning torphies to boost our commercial sales and we need to tour every summer to boost our bottom-line now.

    There mya be some truth in that that Usmanov is playing a wiating game for Arsenal Holdings PLC shares to dorp due to declining income and waiting for Kroenke to over-extend himself in America to force him to sell Arsenal Holdings to raise cash to service his sporting empire in America.

    If we flop again in 2012/13 season, you think Kroenke will be so forgiving if revenues go south and Arsenal out of TOp-4?

  83. Rafa Benitez pulled off ‘Mission Impossible’ when his Liverpool team came from 0-3 to draw 3-3 vs AC Milan, culminating in the Scousers winning the Champions League on penalties.
    It made him almost unsackable and he gradually took Liverpool into the wilderness.
    And that’s where Liverpool are today…

    Now if new Chelsea manager Roberto DiMatteo could follow in the footsteps of Benitez, then that would be very satisfying…
    Used all your luck up in one go Roberto…?
    Maybe we should ask the West Brom fans what they think???

  84. Chelsea have gone as far as they can with the ‘Old Guard’, DiMatteo now has to do the job that AVB was employed for and made such a pigs ear of…
    Chav fans are celebrating their greatest achivement at this time, but could it be the portent of a slip-sliding decline????

  85. RvP?

    He is playing a waiting game and will not move to another club this summer.
    And neither will he signs another contract..like Henry during his last season with us.

    What RvP is telling Wenger like:

    “Look, when Cesc promised to stay one more season, you said you will buy to strengthen the team, but you didn’t..and Cesc left.

    I will not sign a new contract and intend to see out my contract to see it is worth my while to re-sign in 2013 to win trophies and titles with Arsenal FC.

    Prove to me that we can challenge for the title and we can win trophies in 2012/13 season.

    Prove to me you will strengthen the squad this summer to help me to win trophies and title.

    WHo know, I may re-sign with Arsenal FC in summer 2013…like Henry re-signed in summer 2006.”

    Van Persie is in a ‘win-win” situaiton by not signing a contract extension…nor to his own interest to leave Arsenal this summer.

    If everything work out and we have a scintillating start by winning the first 6 games and remain unbeaten in 2012, going into the new year 5 or 7 points clear of the table…and Wenger buys again to strengthen the squad in January 2013 to boost the squad…….and winning the title in May 2013……Van Persie will re-sign with us.

    On the other hnad, if we are out of the title race by October/November, and out of the Top-4 in January, Van Persie can sign with any club on a lucrative pre-Bosman contract.

    WHy will Van Persie want to leave now as it is in his own interest to stay on adn see what the future holds for him in January 2013.

    Arsenal FC can’t sell him if he refuses to leave.

  86. Chelski?

    Definitely on the decline with ageing senior players holding sway in the team and De Matteo got to cater to their whims and fancies to stay on the sweet side with Abramovich.

    ABramovich needs to buy 3 or 4 more senior players to rejuvenate Mourinho Team.

    It reminds moi on the early days of Mancini at Eastlands when he struggled for 2 seasons to come to grip with his collection of egos and won the title with Aguero.

    I see de Matteo will flop like Solari and AVB.

  87. Guys,Black Caviar,the best sprinter we’ve ever seen,is on in a matter of minutes.
    If she’s right,she will be winning easily,believe me.
    Morning all….very early morning.

  88. Merlin,I agree 100%….Di Matteo will fail dismally.

  89. Afternoon all…

    Merlin, you guessing about RvP again, tsk tsk ;)

  90. How, or why would Di Matteo fail??

    imho, he’ll do well, especially in Europe…. Oh well, time will tell all guess work again…

  91. Good afternoon Fine Folk.

    Bad news…………my monitor has gone bust. So for today and tomorrow maybe just a short hop on HH from a friend’s PC. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    Good article Rico. Hope that all is well.

    Bye for now

  92. Black Caviar was very very lucky….

  93. Hi, bye and thanks devil – have a good weekend, enjoy the footie and hope things get sorted soon on the pc front….

  94. Just a short question Merlin.

    What if RVP refuses to sign and runs down his contract. AFC agree with another striker to cover for him. Then come February/March and RVP gets a long term injury. What then???

    I still think that AFC are playing about with him rather than the other way round. They have time on their hands and would prefer him remaining on the wage he is in now rather than increasing it.

  95. devil – they could afford to now, £26Million from ‘land’ sales ;)

  96. Afternoon all,
    Everyday is like an action replay of the day before in the world of Arsenal isn’t it.

    RIP Alan McDonald, ex qpr and Northern Ireland hard man, aged 48.

    Can’t understand why no-ones coming in for NB52, probably the best striker the world has ever seen, it don’t add up.

  97. Hi Micko – don’t know anything of AM, but 48 years old, that’s just awful…

    RIP indeed…..

    In NB’s mind yes….

  98. Got friends coming for dinner tonight, so off to the kitchen for me. Might get chance to pop back later, if not, have a good evening all and enjoy the footie….


  99. D_G, there is always CHina willing to pay RvP 100,000pw :lol:

    Even if RvP ended up with a long-term injury in October/November, he is still a proven marquee player that cna turn a mactha round with one strike at goal.

    Leaving on a Bosman, every premeirship team can afford to sign RvP even on a one-year contract paying him 100,000pw.
    It is a bargain as every manager will know that when RvP hits form, they can sell him to nay club for at least 25-mil.

    You can look no further than Michale Owen that even with a chronic hamstring injury, ManU took a punt and sign him up on a short-term contract.

    Look at Henry, even with a season of chronic injuries to his achille heel and tendon, playing less than 10 games in 2006/07 season, Barca was willing to take a gamble and snapped him up at a bargain 16-mil.

    Even if RvP plays less than 10 games in 2012/13 with long-term injury, European teams will still willing to take a gamble and snap him up on a Bosman……like Wenger took a gamble on Bishoff.

    like Wenger sgning Easfileld for just recovered from a serious injury-plaqued season?

    A class player like RvP will have many suitors even after an injury-plaqued season, especially he is available on a Bosman.

  100. £26Million from ‘land’ sales for FY2012/13?

    That will take care of that FY mortgage payment for Emirates nicely, especailly there is no marquee player sales in summer 2012 to generate annual revenues..

  101. However, he has now revealed that he had numerous opportunities to earn a more lucrative wage elsewhere, but resisted a move because he valued the work at Arsenal.

    “I could move to clubs for more than 10 times [the amount of money] but I didn’t do it,” he told De Telegraaf. “[I've had] 16 years at Arsenal and I stay here because of my philosophy and vision.

    “Money is not my motivation and that’s also the way for [Johan] Cruyff at Ajax and [Wim] Jansen at Feyenoord.”

    Arsenal begin their next Premier League campaign with a home match against Sunderland on August 18.

    Conveniently forgetting on the fate of Raineri, Solari, Ancelotti, AVB and even Redknapp that you will be sacked instantly for failing to achieve your KPI…i.e. win titles and trophies.

    Only Arsenal Holdings PLC are so pateint with you for 7 trophyless seasons simply that you delivered profits for the past 7 seasons to pay for that Emirates mortgage loan every season.

  102. Alan McDonald, 48, bloody hell, that’s an awfull bit of news.
    Big blond centre-half if i recall right.
    Remember him playing for QPR…

  103. Laurent Koscielny at last appreciated, but will leave the headlines for others against Spain
    By Jamie Sanderson
    Saturday, 23 June 2012 at 11:41 am

    Vicente Del Bosque is a man who doesn’t mix his words. He sits proudly, almost aggressively as the coach, the leader, the boss of Spain – the European and World Champions.

    They face France later, for a place in the last four of Euro 2012. It’s a crunch clash, but despite the heat and exhaustion of travelling, Del Bosque showed no signs of crumbling at his pre-game presser. The questions had the tone of accepting Spain were favourites. He didn’t admit it. Journalists then reasoned with him – the suspension of Philippe Mexès would be pivotal, no? Del Bosque again batted it away:

    “Mexès is an important loss, but they’ve got that Arsenal boy, he’s very good,” Del Bosque barked.

    He was talking about Laurent Koscielny, the 26-year-old new comer to international football, who is not used to being recognised. An average full-back and then talented central defender at French minnows Tours, Arsenal were recommended Koscielny in 2009. Scout Gilles Grimandi could barely spell his name accurately, but was suitably impressed.

    Arsenal opted not to move for Koscielny. They judged the meteoric rise from Ligue 2 to the Champions League too big a leap. Yet a switch to Lorient followed, and after 12 months in their finishing school, the Gunners did move. Arsène Wenger, the shrewdest of managers, spent £10 million on an unknown he could have had for £1 million a year previous. It was notable.

    Koscielny arrived in London daunted, but desperate to succeed. After completing the formalities of his move, Arsenal staff offered him a lift back to his hotel. He politely declined, grabbed some boots and made for the training pitch to get started. The first-team were still on holiday, but Koscielny slotted in with the reserves.

    Yet hitting the ground running didn’t help. Two red cards in his first few matches suggested the boy was out of his league. Too skinny, too lackadaisical and too much money, judged the critics. The club had bought the established Thomas Vermaelen for the same price the season before, and fans were baffled.

    Fast forward two seasons, and the Koscielny that will start tonight for France is much the same. Still shy, still not fully understood, but at least appreciated. ‘Bosscielny’ the fans now call him, after a number of superb performances. Fast, aggressive and the king of interceptions, he’s tamed Didier Drogba, Zlatan Ibrahimović and even Lionel Messi in a whirl-wind 18 months.

    Speak to those who know him, and the big names don’t phase Koscielny. Quiet and unknown off the pitch, he’s an admirable foot soldier on it. Brave, fearless, intelligent and super composed, he is just the sort of figure France will need against the stylish Spanish pass-masters.

    Tonight represents the biggest test of his career, and while others will treat it as a chance to make their name and become the hero, Laurent Koscielny will diligently go about his work, and leave the headlines for others. It’s what he does best.

  104. What a horrible game played by some horrible people. A yawn from beginning to end.

  105. Kos was the best player of France.
    Giroud… another Chamack?
    M’Villa was ok
    And Clichy the left back again…
    Ben Hafa out of the team…

  106. Is it just me, or does anyone else out there, think that Spain are mind-numbingly boring..?

  107. Not only boring, but also a bunch of simulating, cheating, diving, cynical, bandits.
    They remind me of a South American team at it’s worst…

  108. But Xabi Alonso is quality.

  109. Samir Nasri tells a French journalist to ‘go f**k yourself’ when asked to comment on France’s exit from Euro 2012. Classy as always

  110. Boo! Kev, talking to yourself?? :P

    What a supremely boring match. And the ref did his best to ensure Spain won. :D

  111. I noticed how there was an audible buzz every time Torres was on the ball. :oops: But Bosscielny wasn’t the least bit fazed.

    Spain’s players go to ground too easily. Pathetic. I hope the team they face next kick them to bits. In any case, they go down whether or not there is any contact. Might as well give them something to cry about.

  112. Hey, shopping pal, how are ya doing….
    Yes, totally agree on the referee, thought he was awfull and pro-Spain.
    Platini will make sure he doesn’t get the final.. ;)

  113. That audible buzz, you sure that wasn’t down to you being wrapped up in your Torres quilt… :)

  114. Yes, i was desperate to see a couple of the Spaniards cop a fruity tackle/foul.

  115. Offski now Agag.
    See ya lata.

  116. No shopping. :( I’m off on several trips. I have to be saving up. Ick. ;) And you, sir?

    I’m quite glad we got rid of Na$ri. What a twerp. I had my eye on Koz (another on Torres when he came in), and he has improved so much from when he first played for us; quite a confident player now. :)

  117. Kev, did you ever get your money back on that time share you invested in Albufera in the 1980’s ?
    Never let a dago by, life’s too short.

  118. Adios, AK! Beauty sleep eh? :) It was the Torres pillow, by the way. :D

    Where are you, JM? Giroud will be a better player than Chamakh, I think! And we should buy Moutinho. :) He’s gooooood.

  119. Micko, howdy?? I’m sure you enjoyed that action-packed match. :)

  120. How do agag, just back from a night out, I’d love England to be World and European Champions, wouldn’t give a monkeys what people thought about our football, I wasn’t about in 66, just a twinkle in my Dad’s eye, I’d love us to win a trophy even if it meant winning it ugly like boring boring Arsenal in the early 90’s.

  121. Night out, Micko? Nice. Was on one myself. :)

    If England win the Euros and kick the pants out of Spain in the process, I may be persuaded to set aside my loathing for the Macs Chavs and Dippers… Even if only for a bit.

    And there seems to be plenty of you young ‘uns in here. :P :P

  122. Hi Agag. Just off to bed and it’s pouring with rain in London. How come you speak such great English?

  123. I’m fine thanks Adam.

    Off to my bunk now agag, till next time, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

  124. Night Micko.

  125. Adam, howdy? How nice of you to say so. ;) In the Philippines, English is the medium of instruction in schools. And I read quite a few Mills & Boons growing up. :D :D Ahaha.

    It’s sweltering here :) :) How’s Mrs. Adam?

  126. Good night, Micko. :) Will take your advice for sure. :)

  127. Lovely of you to ask. Mrs Adam is well thank you. But are you a pure Phillipino?

  128. Yes. 100%. I speak no differently from how my friends do. :) :) I may sound a bit more frivolous though. :D Good to hear about the missus. :)

  129. Then I congratulate you as your syntax is very English and your punctuation is excellent. We are just turning in for the night so I will wish you goodnight Agag and have a lovely day, whatever time it is there. Go easy on the credit card.

  130. I am off to breakfast. :D Have a good night, Adam! ;) Nice talking.

  131. Morning all…..

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