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Last minute buys to secure Champions league.

Morning All,

Well if we are to believe the papers and Arsene we are still “working hard’ to bring in a couple of players. We have all seen the numerous names linked with us over the past few weeks and they go from the laughable to the insane. Everyone has their own ideas of who we need and whats we need but will we end up with a few panic buys or a couple of players of genuine quality who can go straight into the team and improve us.

We need ready made players who won’t need a season to bed in or who are players of potential, if the Board has any ambitions and drive they know that finishing top four is not a trophy but a prerequisite to attracting the best players in the summer, it’s also necessary for attracting good sponsorship deals and most importantly keeping the fans happy. I do not agree that targeting fourth is an acceptable ambition for a seasons football but being where we are currently it is our only real target apart from trying to win the FA Cup.

Do we need a keeper? Do we need someone as decent back up to Chez or do we buy someone to push for the No1 spot?

What about a defender, do we want a versatile player who can play anywhere across the back line or do we want another quality centre back? do we have the right fullbacks and quality back up?

Then the big point for me, what do we do with the midfield conundrum….. I think we all want and see that we are short in midfield of a big physical presence, a player that can protect the back four, good in the air, good in the tackle and can play a bit. Is there anyone that fits the mould? can we buy such a player in the January window, is there such a player out there? Diaby cannot be relied upon and he is the only midfielder we have with a physical presence.

Lastly, do we need an out and out goalscorer or do we think that the forwards all pitching in will score us enough goals from now til the end of the season?. ID David Villa at 31 the answer and would you pay big money for him or rather spend extra on a younger proven scorer?.

I think all of the above is a very personal choice from a fans point of view but what we don’t want is the club buying players and then playing them out of position or trying to make them do what they are not cut out for. Buy a player to solve an issue not to try and make them fit into our way.

There are players out there who would add quality and class to our team and for anyone to say they not available is a slightly blinkered view, quality players are hardly ever available unless you go and put a price on the table that makes the selling club take notice that your serious about buying…!. We need to show that ambition and intent in the next seven days.

Time for the powers that be at Arsenal to show the fans that yes we are still a big club, we do have ambition and we will show you that we are not here to brag about the pounds in the bank but about the quality of the players that we have on the pitch.

Have a good day.

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222 Responses to Last minute buys to secure Champions league.

  1. W.A.T.H says:

    Morning All…………….

    Pheeew what a scorcher….! lol

  2. Scott from Oz says:

    Morning, Wath…..good post mate.
    Morning all.
    We will get two, maybe three in.

  3. W.A.T.H says:

    For me Scott and I think you as well it’s not the numbers he gets in it’s all about the quality.
    If we go shopping in Lidls again and not Harrods that will be the problem.

  4. Wavy says:

    Oh no we won’t!

    It’s behind you!

    Pantomime season is nearly over for another year, and we haven’t bought anyone yet, nor will we. The evil baron kronke has gone up his beanstalk, counted his gold and he’s not parting with any of it. Unless………………..?

  5. wengerout says:

    Yea yea! Same old crap we ve been seeing err’day let’s face the fact! Wenger is not going buy any player! Wenger is a joke! We need a new coach! #wengerout

  6. W.A.T.H says:

    That’s funny Wavy…. the Syrup gone up his beanstalk to count his gold….. lol

  7. W.A.T.H says:

    On the 1st of Feb wengerout you can shout that as loud as you like…. make sure you add syrup out as well cos if you think just wenger leaving will change things I think you will be sadly mistaken..!

  8. Scott from Oz says:

    Who let Gambon in :)

  9. Scott from Oz says:

    Wath, yep, the quality must be there.
    Best get one top quality player than two ok ones.

  10. southyorkshiregunner says:

    Hiya WATH, Scott ….

    Can you understand this story from Italy???

    http://www.larena.it/stories/555_hellas/459287_spunta_larsenal_anche_i_gunners_vogliono_jorginho/

  11. Scott from Oz says:

    Syg, we had an in house Italian interpreter until Stan scared her off!
    I understood two words……Arsenal and Gunners :)

  12. southyorkshiregunner says:

    Jorgehino – Brazilian No. 19 shirt – 21 years old – plays for Hellas Verona who are 3rd in Serie B

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jorge_Luiz_Frello

  13. Lee says:

    Devil speaks Italian, I think…

  14. Mr Dux says:

    Then the big point for me, what do we do with the midfield conundrum….. I think we all want and see that we are short in midfield of a big physical presence, a player that can protect the back four, good in the air, good in the tackle and can play a bit. Is there anyone that fits the mould? can we buy such a player in the January window, is there such a player out there?

    Morning all,

    The answer is yes to all your questions.

    One player has often always impressed me. Hardly ever has a bad game, although he does get his fair share of yellow cards (he’s already served suspension this season). Funnily he’s so much under the radar and he will be available for cheap as well. good injury record also. This guy is a beast.

    Yousef Mulumbu – plays for West Brom.

  15. Canadian Gooner says:

    Good Morning to the Lady of the House and all fellow Gooners in the House.

    W.A.T.H – Good article. “We need ready made players who won’t need a season to bed in or who are players of potential, if the Board has any ambitions and drive they know that finishing top four is not a trophy but a prerequisite to attracting the best players in the summer, it’s also necessary for attracting good sponsorship deals and most importantly keeping the fans happy.” Your first two points should make a good business case to the board and majority owner for immediate quality signings, as they will have major consequences on the long term success of the club. Trophy winning teams (i.e. FA Cup) and those competing in the top competitions will attract better quality players and sponsorship deals due to the increased exposure and prestige associated with winners and top competitions. That means increased revenue and hopefully profits for the business (club). As Silent Stan only seems to view our club as a business maybe he will see the light. Unfortunately, your third point regarding the fans will be lost on the business management/majority owner.

    Any purchases this transfer window could have major long term ramifications for our club. Hopefully the management will see this and make a few quality buys to ensure those ramifications are posistive ones.

  16. ashley says:

    Why does wenger use ‘getting injured players back’ as a way to try and divert the fans attention away from the fact that he isn’t going to buy anyone ?? IT DOESN’T WORK !! Does ferguson EVER say shite like that ? Did ferguson say ‘ we’re going to focus on getting fletcher back to full fitness ‘ NO ! he went and took Zaha from palace ! Man u have the resources from inside to do well just like Arsene (delusionally) says we have , but does that stop him from buying ? NO !! Ferguson strengthens to stay at the top , infact every other manager in the league strengthens their team to try and do better , except ours , look at newcastle they have just bought about 5 french players in 10 minutes !! . Why why why will he not just buy someone big ? Just one big signing will get the fans off his back and help the team so its win win for him . Or if there’s no money then tell us there’s no money and we can understand that , don’t bleat on about only signing top top players when you are the same manager who signed gervinho and santos ..

  17. devilgunner says:

    Good Morning my Esteemed Fellow Gunners. Here its raining and I am in with Gastric flu. Sh*t.

    So a job for me to do..translating the above.

    Well basically it says that Jorginho has been observed for quite a number of times and that AW is preparing an offer for him. The writer also thinks that it will happen because he is young (20), has bags of potential, and is quite mobile for a DM. Qualities which fit in with the Wengerball formula. The rest is just normal website talk.

    Good post Watty.

  18. Scott from Oz says:

    Apart from the article, does anyone know much about him?
    Appreciate the translation Devil.

  19. devilgunner says:

    Never seen him play…….I usually see lots of Italian serie A and games from Spain plus the Ajax ones. I rarely see 2nd division games. So I cannot pass any judgement on him.

  20. Tomas says:

    Wenger is looking to bring players in, however there are no deals to be had out there in January, no bargains from financially crippled clubs Wenger can take advantage of. The type of players who are ready to step in and deliver from day one come at a premium in January, especially now when everybody in Europe knows that Wenger has money and is under pressure to spend it. One of the reasons Arsenal haven’t been successful in seven years or so is Wenger’s inability to identify positions of weakness and getting players to rectify the problem. Arsenal haven’t had a world class keeper since David Seaman, a world class center back since Tony Adams. No club has won the Premiership in recent history without great players occupying those two positions ,and Wenger’s reluctance to pull the trigger when Arsenal were just a player or two away from being a true title contender , has caused top players to become disillusioned and leave the club. Now that Arsenal have slipped further behind the leagues best, it is even more imperative to splash the cash or miss out on CL action.

  21. potter says:

    Well the suffix is inho so in newspaper parlance that makes him the next superstar. In fairness like most people I haven’t seen him but even if he has potential , I can’t see him being our immediate answer. We need to trust our scouts on this one but surely we should be setting our sights higher.

    BTW :- Morning all.

  22. Scott from Oz says:

    Potter, maybe if he is one of two or three players we can be happy with it.

  23. Micko says:

    Morning all,
    This time next week the window will be shut, leaving it to the last minute as always hoping for a bargain, more often than not giving the other team no time to get a replacement in and them rightly telling us to fcuk off,shortly followed by Wenger telling us how close we were to signing a player.
    Get on ya bike Arsene.

  24. Lee says:

    Manager Arsene Wenger has warned Arsenal fans not to expect any “miracle” signings during the January transfer.

    The Gunners, who head to Brighton for tomorrow’s FA Cup fourth-round tie, have been linked with a string of players across Europe, from Barcelona’s David Villa and Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, Montpellier playmaker Younes Belhanda to West Ham’s combative midfielder Mohamed Diame.

    Wenger, however, insists his main concern is about maintaining performance levels on the back of their midweek 5-1 thrashing of West Ham at Emirates Stadium, which kickstarted their Barclays Premier League campaign.

    “What I worry about is getting the players who have been injured back fit, to get the players who play for this club to perform at full potential,” Wenger said at this morning’s pre-match press conference.

    “If we perform at full potential we cannot expect any miracle from outside, we want to make things happen inside.

    “If someone else can strengthen our squad, we will do it of course, but we have the resources inside to do well.

    “We have two players in every position, that should be enough, plus the young players in behind.

    “But if we find the top-class players in any position, we never refuse to strengthen our squad.”

    Wenger stressed Arsenal had not lodged any formal bids with their reported targets.

    He said: “We have been linked with David Villa, like Chelsea, but there’s nothing concrete there. We are not on the case.”

    On Hummels, the Gunners boss said: “No, I can’t imagine Dortmund selling their defenders in the middle of the season anyway and we have not made any approach there.”

    Diame yesterday stressed he was happy at Upton Park, having only moved there from Wigan in the summer.

    Wenger said: “We cannot come out with the names we are on. We have not approached West Ham on that.”

    Overall, Wenger is not a big fan of the January window.

    “I think it should be all completely cut out or limited to two players,” he said.

    “It is unfair for the league that some teams who have played for example now twice Newcastle already have an advantage on teams who play Newcastle now they have bought six or seven players.

    “You do not face exactly the same team so I believe the number of players you could buy should be limited.”

    Arsenal will be without captain Thomas Vermaelen because of a minor ankle injury tomorrow.

    Midfielders Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky are back in contention.

    Wenger has called for his men to continue where they left off against the Irons, running in four goals in the space of 10 minutes at the start of the second half.

    “We wanted to respond and get the points because we have to make up some ground (in the Premier League),” he said.

    “What is very important for me is the manner in which we responded.

    “It was a continuity of the second half at Chelsea and from now on, it’s important that we continue like that.”

    Wenger, though, will be taking nothing for granted against the Seagulls, who knocked Newcastle out in round three and are in the npower Championship promotion shake-up.

    He said: “They play out from the back, have a lot of possession and a big South American influence with their manager, the players they have, and the way they play.

    “You know you will face a typical away game in the Premier League.”

  25. Micko says:

    Wath, can you delete my 11.11, I didn’t realise Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky were back in contention.

  26. Lee says:

    AW rules out Villa move…

  27. Adam says:

    I think most of us could have written that spiel after the West Ham game. People all around me were saying it as the goals went in.
    So Arsene is not a big fan of the January window. Who’d have guessed that? In fact, he isn’t a fan of any transfer window, especially as it allows other clubs to strengthen. With Arsene every silver lining has a cloud.

  28. Lee – That’s no-one then.

  29. Scott from Oz says:

    Lee, interesting on Villa.
    He says there is “nothing concrete” there……….

  30. Scott – I’d be amazed if we get Villa. Surely that will stunt the growth of a foetus AW has earmarked for a game soon….

  31. Scott from Oz says:

    Fair call Rocky, but still, an interesting choice of words.

  32. Micko says:

    Just quick-sand Scott.

  33. Adam says:

    Arsene seems to have forgotten that the transfer window can, if you are clever enough, be used to STRENGTHEN your squad and a stronger squad can only be a good thing. Am I missing something here? A stronger squad means a better team and that would surely enable Arsenal to better compete for the highest ambition that Wenger has- the season-long struggle for 4th place. Why does he seem to regard every opportunity to improve the squad and make the team more competitive as somehow unfair to Arsenal? Is he really spinning the line that there are NO players that Arsenal can afford that will make the squad stronger, or is there some weird, idealistic stance being taken?

  34. Adam says:

    Micko. Did you say Rosicky? What is that?

  35. Scott from Oz says:

    Micko, you are probably right, but i hope not.

  36. True Scott… But Wenger is the master of using cafefully selected words that are enough to draw you in, give you hope, make you renew your season ticket, and then pull your pants pulled down and royally shaft you by not improving the squad at all.

  37. Adam – I believe you know which of the 2 it is….

  38. eastsidepaul says:

    Rosicky will be like a new signing…. well someone had to say it.

  39. Scott from Oz says:

    Aaaahhhhhh but Rocky, i only have a ST to get be up at midnight, so the jokes on him :)

  40. gunna says:

    What pissed me off is the 60,000 who turn up at the emirates each week. Actions speak louder than words. Take action otherwise the gunners will never catch the spuds let alone Finnishing in the top four. I can’t stand spuds playing in the UCL and the gunners in that pointless competition so called Europa league. What is wrong with signing players such as ethienne capoue when he is only going to cost maximum 12 mill. That’s it if Wenger dose.t sign by. The end of the week I am going to start my own campaign… WENGER OUT , WENGER OUT , WENGER OUT

  41. Ryan L says:

    2 players in every position – technically true, sort of, well in Wenger speak anyway. In that we have the bodies. However saying that particular players can come in and do a good job at the level required by a team like ours – well that is really stretching the truth to the fucking limit !! Goalkepper? Left Back? Defensive Midfield? Proper Centre Forward? Really?

    All he needed to add to that press conference was something about “zeee mental strength” and “judge me in May (aka thats another couple of mill in the bank, thankyou very much)”

    Mkaes me want to puke !!

    6 days to make a difference – obviously not holding my breath!!

    He must be loving the pressure, as defeat at the weekend will not be well received by the natives.

  42. Gunnerdna says:

    In AW we will fail. Deluded old man.

  43. Adam says:

    Rocky. I am receiving treatment for it on a regular basis.

  44. eastsidepaul says:

    And just wait until summer!

    Bendtner
    Park
    Chamack
    Djourou
    Denílson

    ALL like new signings!

  45. You sure showed him, Scott!

  46. Micko says:

    Adam, a very close relation of the Yeti only much more scarcer.

  47. Adam says:

    Gdna. I wonder what the word failure actually means to AW? Would missing 4th spot be considered failure? Is having the vast majority of the home crowd losing faith in him failure? Is making a profit while not winning anything failure? The lines seem blurred these days.

  48. Looks like Wenger has Rambo earmarked for a DM role as well, judging by his comments that he was perfect for that position. *sigh*….

  49. Adam says:

    Micko. I knew I recognised the word from somewhere. :)

  50. southyorkshiregunner says:

    We don’t have two players for every position …. We have players for every position but around 8 of them want replacing with better players…..
    …Le Grove have run a piece which relates to Ramsey … Very Common-sense-like…. Its a pity Wenger has tried playing him everywhere but the place where he’d be most at home…

    Never mind … Diaby will be back for Brighton and will probably get the captains arm band and will have a blinder ….. and Wenger will tell everyone about his mental strensssss and that he doesn’t smoke or do heroin and what a professional he is ….then he’ll get injured v’s Stoke on 2nd Feb and be out the rest over the season so he can’t be replaced by Gourcuff… again

  51. Gunnerdna says:

    Adam people are getting fustrated with this old man fucking around, the signs are out, remember the unmarked car outside the ems before the man city game. It’s going to get real nasty 1 day, because he thinks he knows it all. Every hitler fail.

  52. Adam says:

    Rocky. As soon as we saw Ramsay have a decent game against a piss poor team we all knew there would be repercussions. I mean, who would have guessed it, Ramsay is a CM player and not a winger? You would need to be a footballing genius to work that one out after 18 months. And just before the end of a transfer window too. Incredible perception really.

  53. eastsidepaul says:

    Rocky of course he is perfect for that position! We already own him, no need to do something silly like spending money on the team!

    Anyone else read Stan bought two shopping malls for $80?

  54. Lee says:

    He wants to do it his way and that’s it….the bollocks that he spews out is a joke!

  55. southyorkshiregunner says:

    Cooking hell Ryan L… Rocky…..
    Just read your comments

  56. Canadian Gooner says:

    Adam – As Scott pointed out, “nothing concrtete” is an interesting choice of words. It is typical Wengerspeak. Until a player has passed his medical, signed his personal contract and the club have received his registration; he is not an Arsenal player. Arsene has always kept his cards close to his chest with regards to transfers. Is he actually shopping for players or is he laying the grounds for plausible deniability? We were close to signing a player or two, but it didn’t happen because (insert your favourite excuse/reason here).

    Arsene is like a politician, he chooses his words carefully and usually leaves himself the possibility of being misinterpreted or hedges his bets with a way out in his closing comments. When talking about transfers he rarely talks in absolute or definite terms he always leaves himself ome wiggle room. Unfortunately that is the nature of the beast and we wont know for sure until late Thursday or sometime Friday. He has pulled of some business in past January windows where he kept the deals totally secret.

    Will he – wont he? I don’t know, but with a number of our major sponsorship deals expiring soon and a definite need for some new quality blood, I certainly hope so. I never try to read too much into Arsene’s comments as he is a master of misdirection.

  57. Scott from Oz says:

    Two shopping malls for 80 million and a ranch for over 100 million.
    Who let him in the front door again??
    Rocky, i would get up an hour earlier for a new signing!!

  58. Adam says:

    The feel-good factor that old Arsene brings these days is infectious isn’t it? Every time he opens his mouth I am filled with optimism.

  59. Scott from Oz says:

    Though nobody had heard of Eisfeld, even fewer knew about that deal until it was done.
    It may be hoping against hope, but what else have we got?
    There is still time, after all.

  60. eastsidepaul says:

    Well Scott I think we may have signed one of those malls, and there is a possibility it could start against Brighton at the weekend!

  61. Adam says:

    CG. Why doesn’t he just stick with he truth? A master of misdirection? I think he just talks shit.

  62. Scott from Oz says:

    Gotta love the bloody media……
    I just read Liverpool have beaten us to Ashley Williams!!
    Firstly, he has not signed, not even completed a medical and secondly, were we actually even in for him?

  63. Scott from Oz says:

    Paul, it would shore up our defence lol

  64. Scott from Oz says:

    I am off to bed….catch you all later.

  65. Gunnerdna says:

    What’s wrong with Stan buying two shopping mall ESP? The guy is a business man, he hires people who he thinks is proficient to work in his business but apparently AW is not, I don’t buy the bullshit that if Aw wanted 20 mil to strenghten the squad Stan would say no. People just finding excuse for Aw 11 years of failure at the club. USA is good for fashion, stack them malls up Stan. Denver nuggets is a good franchise owned by Stan.

  66. southyorkshiregunner says:

    Newcastle Utd fan website…………….

    Florian Thauvinm – Newcastle have launched a bid for the youngster

    And the news today is that Bastia Chairman Pierre-Marie Geronimi has said the Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called him twice about Florian, but that the London club has yet to put in a firm bid for the player.

    Newcastle are reported to have put in an initial bid of €3M (£2.4M) for the French U21 International, and the deal would be that the player will return to play for Bastia through the end of the season, and Bastia will receive 15% of any follow on profit should Newcastle sell the player in the future.

    This is what Pierre-Marie Geronimi said on the club’s web-site today:

    “We have not received any firm offer from Arsenal and, thus, there is no question of the €5 million reported.” “This week I have had Arsene Wenger on the phone twice. He expressed his interest in the player to us, but it has not gone beyond that.”

    “I should be extremely clear on this subject once more to give our supporters the whole truth. The club has only today received a firm offer for Florian and it comes from Newcastle.” “They propose a €3 million fee, with the player staying at Bastia until June and 15 per cent of the value of a future sale.”

    “We are considering the proposal and will decide quickly.”

    That last sentence is a communication to Arsenal to please put in a bid, but why Chairman talk openly about impending transfer deals – we have no idea.

  67. Ryan L says:

    Lol Adam, yeah I was going to say if he is a master of misdirection, he certainly isn’t a master of positive PR !!

  68. Canadian Gooner says:

    Adam – As much as I love the club, the one thing that frustrates me the most is the management’s total disregard for the fans. Arsene doesn’t have to tell us who he is after, but it would be a courtesy to know that he is definately after someone. I am sure we all agree that we DO need one or more players NOW.

  69. Canadian Gooner says:

    Goodnight Scott. Have a great Saturday.

  70. Adam says:

    Why would Wenger ring Geronimo if it wasn’t to buy this bloke?
    Wenger will surely be leaving this year or next anyway so do we need any more of these type of players?

  71. Canadian Gooner says:

    Adam – Whether Arsene leaves at the end of his current contract or not may depend, in part, on how well the Young Guns do over the next season and a half. If they show great promise, he may want to stay to see ‘Project Youth’ completed. Whether he will be allowed to is another matter. Right now he walking the razor’s edge. Its the old gamble; if he wins he looks brilliant, if not he looks the fool.

    In the meantime, we suffer, but not in silence. I can’t wait much longer as I’m loosing interest.

  72. Danny says:

    Morning.
    What does it take for arsene to spend money. Arsenals confidence is at an all time low. Bringing in just one new player into the fold will up the morale, both to the team and the fans. United, Chelsea, city are all not that good. If arsene had the balls to spend big and be sucessful at any cost we would of kept nasir,rvp even cesc and would of been dominating English football. Arsenal was great once, part of an elite group. We then started to drop a level, still a top team with players people admired. We are now at a another crossroads, right now. Will we slip down another level and be content of a (European) spot and a good cup run. Or realise that this is scenario is a ‘when’ and not ‘if’ and rectify it.

    Also, paying 24 million for a 29 year old striker with a career ridden with injury who would be available for free in five months is exactly why Alex ferguson is a manager who has had so much success with man united.

  73. devilgunner says:

    This means that he will buy…….though not big names. But I feel he will buy one or two players we have never heard about.

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has told fans of the club not anticipate big name signings before the end of the transfer window.

    The Gunners have been linked with a number of high profile stars this month, with Barcelona’s David Villa, also the subject of interest from Chelsea, being linked with a move.

    But, the Frenchman is adamant that getting the most out of his current squad is his main priority and that he will not be making wholesale changes ahead of deadline day.

    “What I worry about is getting the players who have been injured back fit, to get the players who play for this club to perform at full potential,” he told The Mirror.

    “If we perform at full potential we cannot expect any miracle from outside, we want to make things happen inside.”

    However, he refused to rule out additions to his first-teams squad, stating that if the right player at the right price is available he will make a move.

    “If someone else can strengthen our squad, we will do it of course, but we have the resources inside to do well.

    “We have two players in every position, that should be enough, plus the young players in behind.

    “But if we find the top-class players in any position, we never refuse to strengthen our squad.”

    Wenger has been linked with a cut-price swoop for West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame, who is available for £3.5m.

    But, he rejected claims that he has made an approach for the Senegalese star, who is also the subject of interest from North London rivals Tottenham.

    “We cannot come out with the names we are on. We have not approached West Ham on that,” he added.

  74. Adam says:

    CG. We have been here many times before with these young players and Wenger has spent a fortune on them. Project Youth has been a busted flush for years now.

  75. tsGH says:

    Afternoon,

    A very interesting post but you can not surely be posing such difficult questions to AW? lol

    As Scott and CG have rightly pointed out AW has used words when talking about Villa that he constantly uses when we are interested in a player. The last time he used that phrase was when he was asked about OG12 on French TV during the Euros.

    Personally, I think AW is very good at ‘double speak’ maybe it can be attributed to being born on the French/German border where lots of espionage took place during the 2nd WW. ;)

    As I posted some time ago, if you have any form of training on reading body language, you can interperate what what he means by how he says things and not what he says.

    For instance, I mentioned that when AW is interested in a player and a bid or enquiry has been made… he always says hmm, or pardon instantly when he is asked about an interest in a player. A recent example is when he did the same and scratched the back of his head when he was asked about Zaha. Well, we all know the reason he is not going for him is because CP have informed interested parties that a deal will only be done if the buying team agrees to loan him back until end of the season…

  76. Adam says:

    TS. Very funny. :)

  77. Canadian Gooner says:

    Devil – Again it is all Wengerspeak. Except for the final sentences “We cannot come out with the names we are on. We have not approached West Ham on that.” Every other statement is qualified by the ‘if’ word.

  78. allezkev says:

    I want to see Mick’s 11.11…..

    Undelete it please…

  79. Adam says:

    I know when Wenger is talking shit TS. His lips move.

  80. tsGH says:

    I wonder what/where the Cabaye deal stands?…

    According to rumours Remy choose to come to QPR because Cabaye is moving soon and it has less to do with money. We know a deal was agreed between us and the magpies in the last week of August but NC were not able to get Sissoko at such short notice. Now that M. Sissoko has agreed to join them I think they are a bit over populated in that area if you consider Tiote, Anita etc still being around after January….

    AW always either delibrately chooses to do deals in the last week either delibrately to weaken a team or to save money or just to sub contiously tell himself at least he tried to buy a player… lol

  81. tsGH says:

    :D Adam

  82. allezkev says:

    Funny that Wenger criticised Newcastle…..

    Could it be, that Pardew pissed him off by signing a couple of the players that Wenger was gonna try and sign for next-to-nothing on the 31st….?!!!

    Well that’s the Transfer Window baby, got off your arse and join the fun… For a change…

  83. tsGH says:

    subconsciously tell himself at least he tried to buy a player…
    … I meant

  84. tsGH says:

    Very intersting Kev… very interesting observation

  85. Canadian Gooner says:

    Adam – I wouln’t say it was/is a total loss, but he made a big mistake thinking he could do it all with young players. We need to balance the Young Guns with some quality experienced players. What worries me is that the next manager may ‘throw the baby out with the bath water’ and disband the Academy; much like Kevin Keegan did during one of his spells at Newcastle.

  86. Canadian Gooner says:

    Kev – I think there may well be something in what you say about Newcastle and Pardew. If you snooze – you lose.

  87. Adam says:

    CG. Don’t worry. FFP will be our saviour. When Wenger tilts his head beyond 16.5 degrees during a gibbous moon that tells you all you need to know. I too have studied body language like TS and of course I have vast experience of Wengerspeak. I can smell it a mile off.

  88. allezkev says:

    Geronimo, he speak with forked tongue…

  89. Adam says:

    Kev. Yes kimosabe. :)

  90. allezkev says:

    Anyway, Afternoon Gooners
    Afternoon Wath….
    Afternoon Canuck, nice to see you back, afternoon Ginge, Habib and Curry Clubbers…
    And Ryan, ah the good old days eh? ;-)

  91. Canadian Gooner says:

    An interesting article on the state of Spanish football. “But the Valencian regional government has now found itself the defacto owner of three football clubs–Valencia, Elche and Hercules–because the premier guaranteed their bank loans, which they have been unable to pay.”

    http://www.villarrealusa.com/2013/1/25/3914610/valencian-government-now-owns-football-teams-as-crisis-deepens-news

    Is this what Arsene has been waiting for? Maybe not these particular teams, but similar situations where he can go bargain hunting like the public at the after Christmas sales.

  92. allezkev says:

    Get that camp fire going Tonto…. :-D

  93. devilgunner says:

    Very good observation Kev. regarding Pardew.

    The following in Adam when he smells Wengerspeak….

  94. tsGH says:

    Dev, you being a Seria A enthusiast…, I was wondering if you can also notice the similarity between Pirlo between 19 and 23 y.o and Ramsey in terms of the criticism, intial position as a CAM,and winger both at Inter and Regina an injury to Albertini and the loan of Gattuso forced Pirlo to be moved into DM position where he then excelled?

  95. Canadian Gooner says:

    Adam – No argument there re Wengerspeak, but it is bloody frustrating. Its a bit like the stock market; it can adjust to bad news, but the thing it abhors most is the vacuum of uncertainty (i.e. rumours or no news).

  96. Ryan L says:

    Indeed Kev :-)

  97. Adam says:

    CG. Agreed. Do any other clubs go through this nonsense twice a year?
    SOJI.

  98. Canadian Gooner says:

    Devil – If Blumenthal is Pinnochio, then Wenger must be Cyranno de Bergerac (spelling ?).

  99. devilgunner says:

    Pirlo was one of my favourite ever players ever since he made his debut. He started off as a second striker/winger. He also scored some beautiful goals. However he excelled as a ball winning defensive midfielder like Guardiola did when he was moved from a winger to a DM.

    I would have like Pirlo to come to AFC. Now he is too old for that.

    I like Ramsey also. So forgive me if my comment may be a bit biased. However if he shows his discipline in the same manner as he did against WHU and focus on winning the ball and laying it off to Wilshere, Cazorla, Diaby or Arteta and goes to protect the back four then I do see him becoming a fantastic player.

  100. Canadian Gooner says:

    Kev – Regards your 1:05 p.m. – It’s good to be back. As I told Rico, I have been busy with my family over the holidays. I hope to be a more frequent visitor now thingsare getting back to normal.

    P.S. As for your query about breakfast the other day “pancakes and maple syrup” – NO, I got pancked out with my kids, especially the boys, when they were youhger.

  101. allezkev says:

    The January Transfer Window, don’t ya just luv it…?!!!

    We know that 99% of what is reported, is total bollocks.

    We know that Wenger talks in riddles of misinformation. It’s a game he plays with the Press that in essense re-bounds onto us…

    We know that Wenger hardly ever does his business early and almost never signs ‘The Finished Article’, Arshavin being the notable exception.

    We know that Gazides is gonna come out with the usual ‘War-Chest’ nonsense and that Hill-Wood is gonna insult us paying customers in The DailySpunk…

    We know that Syrup doesn’t give a flying fcuk about the club…

    But still we all get sucked in….

    We all live in hope, well i know that i do…

    But i know that it’s all gonna end on the 31st with Lee having a tear-up in Stoke Newington Road….

    With Adam putting on his head-dress and leading a war-party off to Holloway Road…

    With Greg running riot on the last train to Broxbourne….

    And i’ll go off and swindle some French tourists…

    Looking forward to it…

  102. Canadian Gooner says:

    Devil – No doubt that Ramsey has potential, but I still think we need a more physical presence to partner Arteta, Wilshere, or Ramsey when they play DM. Diaby is good, when he plays, but as has already been recently discussed ad nauseum; we can’t count on him staying fit. We should get Capoue.

  103. Canadian Gooner says:

    Kev – Good one! Just what we all needed right now – a little comic relief. For future reference, do you only swindle French tourists or are all tourists fair game?

  104. allezkev says:

    No pancakes Canuck, Mon Dieu, croissants then?

  105. allezkev says:

    I love swindling French Canadians best… ;-)

    But everyone is fair game to me….

  106. Canadian Gooner says:

    Kev – As I’m from ‘good Scottish Presbyterian’ stock, I hope I would be safe from your swindles, but I’m not convinced.

  107. Canadian Gooner says:

    Anderlecht join the queue of teams advertising their wares long before the sales of the Summer Transfer Window. This could be a very ineresting summer. Hopefully a very productive one for our beloved Arsenal.

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11709/8434691

  108. Lee says:

    No person is safe from Kev…

  109. Bob John says:

    This could be the year when it finally blows up in AW’s face if he continues his stuborn ways. No CL football next year will see 1/2 empty Emirates and the commercial cash cow will dry up too.Its hard to know what type of players he considers an improvement on what we have given that the super, super quality he talks about are way out of our range or desire!

  110. allezkev says:

    Lee, you are a man of great wisdom…… ;-)

    I hope you was listening Jocko Canuck?

  111. Canadian Gooner says:

    Kev – Yes, I have taken note of Lee’s sage words.

    As for breakfast, no croissants. My favourite is Ayrshire bacon, black pudding and hashbrowns; but my arteries can only take that once a month.

  112. allezkev says:

    Not sure that no Champions League games, will mean a half-empty stadium tbh…

    To me, the EPL games remain the major attraction…
    I still think most games will remain a sell-out…

    As for the Europa League?
    Ryan, Adam and I are busy booking our flights to Minsk

  113. Lee says:

    CG is a man after my own heart….as are a select few on here! The rest are moaning ungrateful fucks…

  114. allezkev says:

    Hash browns!!!

    Good grief my bonny fellow…..

    Porridge, that’ll make your sporran stand up straight…. :-)

  115. tsGH says:

    I totally agree Dev… what I meant though was that Pirlo moved from Brescia to Inter after showing a lot of promise and making a jump as Aaron did from Cardiff to us. But at Inter, playing as an AM/winger he was known to over kill the game either because he was not good enough or he was playing in a team that were not on the same wave length as he was.

    Ancellotti however, converted him to the DM role because as frustrating as he could be to fans, everyone who understood football knew he had a talent and it was just a matter of time.

    In the case of Ramsey, he showed the positional sense normally found or displayed by the Matthias and koeman of this world. Albeit it is only in one game (and as AFC fans may say against a poor team) but the way he played that role, considering it is his first time ever playing there I have to take my hat off for that majestic display.

    One thing I have always said and noted since Gilberto left us was that we had never had a DM who allowed the ball to be played in front of him no matter where on the pitch he found himself. Unfortubately MA08 due to maybe frustration finds himself in positions that make us very congested in the middle of the pitch. Diaby has that position sense however, he only shows that as a DM oce in every 3 or 4 games…

  116. W.A.T.H says:

    Afternnon, sorry for those stuck in moderation all first comments go to moderation and unfortunately someone had the cheek to make me work for a few hours hence had to vanish.
    Off again for an hour will then read and catch up…!

  117. allezkev says:

    The Gas Man Come’th, lata….

  118. southyorkshiregunner says:

    Le10sport.com 10 mins ago

    Announced the side of Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain or more recently Schalke 04, Arsene Wenger was keen to deny his departure from the club at the end of the season. He told a press conference: “I ​​have a contract and I will comply. The Bundesliga is a very interesting championship but I think the Premier League is the best league. “The contract expires in 18 months Wenger.

  119. devilgunner says:

    The bar for the defensive midfielder role at AFC has been put up due to Petit and Gilberto playing it. The amount of covering they allowed the defence was awesome. Ramsey is still a long way off from their level. However his display was reminiscent of the above mentioned two. For all his efforts Flamini (who was also good bdw) did not reach the heights of these two, whereas Song was more suited to the Eurovision contest as a back up with that hair. Hpwever Ramsey displayed a certain maturity in that role. I would like to see him in more games to pass a judgement, however last game was a start. We have to wait and see.

  120. tsGH says:

    CG, unfortunately Capoue has been lacklastre in the last 5 or 6 games for Toulouse. Emma may comment on that but I thought Sissoko had leapfrogged him. The dip in form may be due to him wanting a way out but both the chairman and Adams buddy ‘Cassanova the coach’ have explicitly said he would not be moving until th summer.lol

    Considering PSG and Sevilla made an enquiry for him but he refused to discuss a move, I am thinking he is doing a ‘Wiltord’ or ‘OG12′ in anticipation to move to us. Additionally, the chavs, and scums are also very keen on him because AW and his scouts have done the hard work already I am assuming Toulouse are counting on a huge summer sale. If that is the case unless EC acts like Wiltord and OG12 did and tell their clubs they would only move to Arsenal then we will be priced out I am afraid.

    The same way Cesc, TH14 and VP insisted they would only move to clubs of choice and so we were not able to command suitable asking price for those players on an open market.

  121. Canadian Gooner says:

    Kev and Lee – Thank you both for lifting my spirits with some well timed levity. I hope I am still in such good spirits after our Saturday FA Cup match.

    I hope Arsene’s phone calls to the Bastia President indicate a serious quest for players and not a some casual search for ‘a bargain’ or worse still window shopping as a distraction from the drudgery of football management.

    On that note I’m of to bed before my Friday becomes a complete loss. Good afternoon to all my fellow Gooners. If we do well on Saturday, I’ll drop by the House after the game.

  122. tsGH says:

    Very interesting mentioning Manu, Dev. Most fans do not mention the role he played for us at all in that position especially considering he hardly received a booking whilst the more attacking PV still holds the joint record for red cards.

    And the funny thing was AW converted him from a LB to a DM when even Aime Jacquet thought AW was wrong to play such a solid LB as a DM

  123. Lee says:

    Sleep well CG!

  124. southyorkshiregunner says:

    http://www.espn.co.uk/football/sport/story/190130.html

    Djourou wants to sever ties with Arsenal

  125. tsGH says:

    Stay safe CG… and send us some Tim Horton donuts please… my favourite play in Canada… lol

  126. Lee says:

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called for an overhaul of the transfer market, believing the current set of rules to be “unfair”.

    The Gunners boss believes clubs should only be able to sign a maximum of two players during the January transfer window, because a spate of transfers at any one team can greatly distort the fixture list.

    Wenger, who has yet to sign a player this month, feels teams are at a disadvantage if they come up against a side strengthened by January sales, rather than teams facing that same side before the window has opened.

    “It’s a market for me that is a wrong transfer market because the only teams who sell players are teams in financial trouble, or players who are unhappy where they are,” Wenger said. “So the gamble is much bigger than during the normal transfer period in mid-summer.

    “I think it should be all completely cut out or limited to two players because it is unfair for the league. Some teams who have played Newcastle twice already have an advantage on teams who play against Newcastle now when they have bought six or seven players. They do not face the same team. I believe the number of players you can buy should be limited.”

    Meanwhile, Wenger has stated that Saturday’s FA Cup match away to Brighton is of huge importance for both generating consistency and keeping them in with a chance of winning silverware this season.

    Arsenal’s form has been hugely erratic this term and there have been only two sequences in the league where they have won consecutive games.

    “It [the FA Cup] has a big importance to me because it’s our next game and we are looking for consistency because we know that will be the key for us to be successful until the end of the season,” Wenger said.

    “It’s a possibility, of course, for a trophy and we do not want to neglect that. [A trophy] would [make a difference] but we are just in the second round for us. We needed two games to get through the first round so let’s be a bit realistic and pragmatic and go game to game.

    “But I feel there is a potential in our team that is very interesting. Hopefully that will come out from now on until the end of the season. You develop [a winning mentality] when you win the games. Let’s just continue to play and not worry too much about who we play, but focus on how we can repeat the quality performances.”

  127. southyorkshiregunner says:

    According to the Manchester press we are after Athletico Madrid’s right back Javier Manquilla and are up against United for his signature – 19yo. They also say that we are after Emmanuelson from Milan??

    A link on Wenger with Schalke – German Press

    http://www.welt.de/sport/article113137023/Arsene-Wenger-findet-die-Bundesliga-interessant.html

  128. Lee says:

    Who aren’t we in for?

  129. Adam says:

    Why not use the transfer window to strengthen rather than to bitch about others doing so? Wanker.
    About time someone at the club reminded Wenger why he earns the big bucks. To win games and not to be the conscience of football. I notice he doesn’t feel that it is morally quite wrong in accepting over £7 million a year in the deepest recession in living memory. The transfer window is what it is Wenger. Now get on and strengthen the team.
    Yes Ramsay was good against West Ham. It was probably the best he has played since Shawcross’s assault but I have to say that West Ham are a very poor team with a shocking midfield. Let’s not get too carried away quite yet

  130. devilgunner says:

    Petit was my favourite ever footballer. Infact he was such a favourite of mine that I still see Manu’ everyday when I go to wake him up for school. ;)

    Recently on NN, I saw in the Daily Star that PHW has said that he has just spoken to AW and the latter is looking to change the direction of the team. Infact he was so adamant about it that he is considering changing the team coach driver in favour of a certain london cabbie who he simply referred to as Kev. Nothing concrete yet as he was not willing to give more info but they seemed positive about it.

  131. Adam says:

    It appears that the thrust of Wenger’s displeasure at the transfer window, apart from the fact that he might have to spend some money, is as follows. He reckons that those who have already played Newcastle twice are at an advantage over those who now have to play them as they have an improved team after actually buying some players for that very reason. Has it not occurred to him that if he actually bought some players to improve our team, then we might be in a better position against coming opposition. Why doesn’t he just say nothing?

  132. vida says:

    Who is going to captain the side on saturday since verminator and arteta are out.

  133. Lee says:

    Squillaci?

  134. devilgunner says:

    Vida……….its lil Jack who is going to be captain!!!

  135. Adam says:

    Lee. :). Don’t take the piss.

  136. devilgunner says:

    I agree Adam. Lee should take the shit instead. Why do you keep picking on Squilly. We all know he is useless but there is no need to ram it down our throats.

  137. Lee says:

    Squilly useless are you shitting me? He’s one of the best four centre backs at AFC….

  138. devilgunner says:

    Speak from your mouth mate. Not from another source. ;)

  139. tsGH says:

    The real Ramsey..

  140. Adam says:

    I welcome Lee’s levity myself.

  141. Lee says:

    We look the bollocks against shit teams….

  142. Adam says:

    What a gig the Squillster has got though. Run around a few mornings a week, have a nice lunch. Listen to some grey old geezer talk shite for a half hour and pick up £50k a week. The club will even dump some of it in an offshore account. I can’t imagine he gives a toss.

  143. Lee says:

    Nice work if you can get it, eh?

  144. vida says:

    BREAKING NEWS, A new Arsenal player is already getting photos snapped as I speak, pic.twitter.com/2Gf4U0Kb

  145. Adam says:

    I must ask Kev what it’s like to earn that sort of money. :)

  146. Adam says:

    Visa. For those of us who are Twitter illiterate, please spell it out. I am all a tingle.

  147. allezkev says:

    Adam, Hey Hey Hey, Calm Down, Calm Down, you’re sounding like a Scouser…..

    Sorry Emma… ;-)

  148. Adam says:

    Wenger warns fans not to expect miracle signings.
    Did they place a black cape on his head before he announced this?
    Terrible news. After all, we have all been asking for “miracle signings” haven’t we?

  149. Lee says:

    Adam, Kev wouldn’t get out of bed for that salary! ;)

  150. allezkev says:

    Adam, i’ll tell ya what it’s like, when i get a job at Lee’s firm… :-)

  151. I do love a bit of Ludivine Sagna……

  152. Adam says:

    Kev. I can’t. Harbinger of Doom Arsene has really done my head in today. I should have listened to you all along mate. Now where did I put that hair shirt and cat-o-nine-tails?

  153. allezkev says:

    Alan Pardew ‏@AlanPardewNUFC

    Arsene Wenger getting a bit jealous because I’ve signed a few players, better not tell him I’m also friendly with his wife then? #nufc

  154. Any jobs going there Lee?!

  155. Lee says:

    I’m doing the knowledge…Kev’s 3/4 length white fur coat that he was sporting at the last HHCC did it for me!! :lol:

  156. Adam says:

    It’s ok Kev. I just took my 4.15 hit of crack and followed it up with several downers which have given me some equilibrium. I see now that I was foolish to expect new signings and Rocky’s earlier revelation of the foetus is absolutely the course we should be on.

  157. Adam says:

    Lee. It was a rather fetching outfit wasn’t it? And that Tom he was wearing too.

  158. allezkev says:

    Oh you liked it then Lee…

    I thought i looked a bit like a hairdresser tbh…. :-0

  159. allezkev says:

    All the best cabbies wear fur coats, didn’t ya know….

    Now when can i have a weekend at your St Moritz villa Lee, i need to know, so i can do some overtime… ;-)

  160. Haha! White fur coat!!

  161. Adam says:

    Kev. :)
    I’ve sold that car now after all the abuse I have received. I now have a pink MX5.

  162. Slightly more manly Adam….

  163. Adam says:

    Thanks Rocky. The number plate is RAVING I. You can’t miss it.

  164. allezkev says:

    Inside the secret transfer network of Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea…

    Friday 25 January 2013 14:36

    Some of the world’s top clubs and most influential agents met to very little fanfare at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium last month. FFT sneaked in to find out exactly why… Words: Andrew Murray Pictures: Daniel Lynch

    Last May, Milan’s out-of-contract star Gennaro Gattuso nearly joined Boca Juniors. Within minutes of being told the two-time Champions League winner was a closet fan, club and agent were in face-to-face talks. Reluctant to uproot his family to South America, Gattuso joined Swiss side Sion instead.

    But how could this happen so quickly? The answer is the Wyscout Forum, where 100 of the world’s top clubs – including Manchester City, Liverpool and Juventus – and three times as many agents meet in a room and are left to it.

  165. allezkev says:

    If you haven’t heard of it, you’re not alone: this is one of the most guarded events in the already cloak-and-dagger world of scouting. Held twice yearly to coincide with the opening of the summer and winter windows, the forum is marketed as speed-dating for transfers, as clubs and agents sit down for a series of pre-arranged 30-minute meetings to thrash out future deals.

    Armed with an access-all-areas pass and with ear pinned firmly to the ground, FFT has arrived at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium for the latest instalment of football’s newest and most exclusive event. Could this be the future of the transfer market?

    “They missed out on a player because they couldn’t find the DVD among the 300 stacked in the office”
    A suave, strapping thirtysomething in a fitted suit and skinny tie, Matteo Campodonico couldn’t less resemble the traditional notepad-clutching scout shivering by a windswept pitch. Yet that’s how all this started, nine years ago.

    A former semi-pro who played in Serie D, Campodonico collected a friend and a video camera and began filming entire games for Serie A clubs from 2004. But things really changed when he met Walter Sabatini, then Lazio’s director of football, now with city rivals Roma.

    “On the last day of the January transfer window in 2008, he missed out on a player because he couldn’t find the DVD from the 300 stacked in his office,” recalls Campdonico. “His chairman went nuts. It got me thinking that there must be a better way.”

    A year later, he launched the Wyscout computer platform. It’s now one of the biggest scouting tools in the world, with more than 60,000 full games available, 500 more added each week, and 30 full-time analysts dedicated to 120 leagues from Serie A to Cyprus and Africa. Three hundred teams worldwide use the technology, including the whole of Serie A, 75% of Champions League clubs and 70% of the Premier League.

  166. allezkev says:

    “A decade ago we nearly had to strengthen our floors because of all the VHS tapes we received,” says Rennes sporting director Jean-Francois Creachcadec. “Five years ago, I got a satellite dish and tried to persuade a friend in Sweden to give me the viewing card so we could watch Scandinavian football. Now it’s all on a computer or iPad. Wyscout is a revolution.”

    The technology allows clubs to watch full games or assess tagged attribute highlights such as passing, aerial challenges or aggressiveness. You can look for players by position, narrowing the search by goals scored, age and even EU passport. All this comes at a cost – around €10,000 a season – but Wyscout takes no cut of any transfer fee.

    “We can see more players and decide which ones to watch in the flesh,” says Fulham chief scout Barry Simmonds. “Nothing will ever replace putting your coat on, getting in your car and going to a freezing cold stadium to watch a player, but it saves a huge amount of money in travel and hotel costs.”

    An extension of this player database, the Wyscout Forum began in Milan in 2011. “The idea is to add a transfer dimension to the scouting platform,” says Campodonico. “It’s difficult for sporting directors and agents from different countries to meet; our forum gives them that chance.” The latest update includes a transfer zone, where clubs can list available players or agents their unattached clients.

    “In just one day, I can inform all the agents or clubs I choose about who my club wants”
    Lined up alphabetically across three cavernous Emirates rooms, the clubs’ tables serve notice of the forum’s worldwide appeal. Boca Juniors are beside Bournemouth, Watford next to Werder Bremen.

    As the first morning develops, ordered chaos ensues. Clubs, agents and product developers – whose name tags are coloured red, yellow and blue respectively – jostle for position to meet Liverpool or Chelsea. Whether it’s players or private jets being pitched, knowing who’s talking to whom adds genuine intrigue. So do hushed conversations in the corridors connecting one room with another.

  167. devilgunner says:

    Phew Kev. Amazing. Speechless I am!!!

  168. allezkev says:

    “It’s a great chance to meet other clubs and agents,” says Kiko Espinar, Espanyol’s head of video analysis and one of the first in La Liga to use Wyscout. “In just one day, I can inform all the agents or clubs I choose about who my club wants. To do that without the forum would take a year. Most people here can’t buy or sell, but we can begin the process.”

    “For us it’s about establishing and developing relationships with clubs,” agrees Nantes consultant and former player Bruno Cheyrou, fresh from a meeting with old club Liverpool. “We won’t be offered Ibrahimovic or Ronaldo; it’s about finding footballers from smaller countries who we can develop.”

    Though dominated by clubs from Western Europe, emerging markets are loathe to miss such an ideal networking opportunity. “We’re the only team here from the Middle East,” says Liam Weeks, head of performance at Emirati champions Al Ain, home to ex-Sunderland forward Asamoah Gyan.

    “European clubs take us seriously by being here. We’re not some graveyard for old players in search of a final pay cheque – we want to take younger players who look at us to provide a route back to Europe.”

    “It’s a tough sell: clubs are already bored of you by the time you open your mouth”
    After lunch, the rumour mill goes into overdrive. Sunderland and Aston Villa are both looking to offload, allegedly, while Chelsea – who declined to talk to FFT – are interested in forging links with Mexican up-and-comers Jaguares.

    Whether offering players or showing off swish scouting models, 30- to 40-year-old men beaver away on an endless stream of laptops and iPads. English and German teams listen intently, Spanish and Italian clubs are a blur of swift hand gestures, while the harem of Wyscout showgirls – a more conservative version of Formula One’s Red Bull posse – provide glamorous directions between tables.

  169. allezkev says:

    Jorge Cyterszpiler, however, rarely leaves his seat, conducting all his business from the VIP suite reserved for elite agencies. Carrying a slight paunch and a limp, he is constantly flanked by an entourage. This is one of Argentina’s most powerful agents, in no small part because he was Diego Maradona’s right-hand man until 1985.

    “This event is all about improving our image and meeting new agencies and clubs,” says Cyterszpiler while doodling a largely illegible ‘starting XI’ of his current stars – captained by Malaga’s Martin Demichelis – just for FFT. “Our transfers don’t happen here, but we enjoy being here, meeting new, intelligent people.”

    We hear a similar message from Leon Angel, the chairman of Base Soccer, one of the first agencies in the UK to use the Wyscout database to find future clients. “It’s not somewhere to conclude a deal, but the forum is a very useful way to put a face to a name you may have spoken to on the phone,” says Angel. “We don’t want to throw 100 names at a club just because we’ve got them. We want to offer the right player. That establishes a relationship based on trust.”

    Away from the elite lounge’s designer suits and overpowering aftershave, the situation is different. Independent agents pinball from table to table, offering their clients with mixed success. “Clubs are already bored of you by the time you open your mouth,” says one, who asked not to be named. “It’s great to get your foot in the door, but it’s a tough sell.”

    One squat Eastern European – a balding man approaching 50 years of age, sporting a grey goatee – is accompanied to every table by his ravishingly statuesque wife. Towering above him, FFT wonders if she’s there as negotiator-in-chief or an aide memoire that clubs can’t forget.

    “Wyscout gives people the chance to speak to someone at Manchester City that they otherwise may not get,” says Rob Newman, the Premier League champions’ senior scouting and recruitment manager. “We’re here to show our doors are open. There have been a couple of snippets of information and products I’ve seen today that could save us millions.”

    So lots of relationships, then, but little transfer activity. As the forum’s first day comes to a close, FFT is beginning to wonder if this is just one big flirtation. When are we going to see some action?

    “That was the third time I’ve been offered the same player”
    Possibly put off by an especially crisp north London morning, fewer delegates return for a second day. But those who do are more relaxed and reveal some of the event’s secrets. “Whether clubs admit it or not, this is the perfect place to recruit or offload players, especially just before the transfer window,” says Hearts director of football John Murray, who is missing the dress rehearsal for his son’s wedding to attend.

  170. allezkev says:

    The event 12 months ago was a perfect example. Wolves had spent some time watching the Jambos’ Icelandic midfielder Eggert Jonsson and chose the forum to touch base with the Scots. “We had time to find a replacement, and didn’t play him much over the festive period so he wouldn’t get injured,” admits Murray. “This could be the future.”

    “Yesterday we met representatives of 10 players and clubs who we’re interested in doing business with in January or the summer,” says a chief scout at an up-and-coming continental club whose players are rumour mill regulars.

    “To negotiate you go to a Mayfair hotel, otherwise proper agents aren’t interested – it’s too open here. But with everyone already here, what better time to do it?” He confirms that negotiations took place the previous evening with a member of the Premier League’s traditional ‘big four’ for the January move of their star international midfielder.

    “I’ve been a scout for 15 years and I’ve seen nothing else like this,” says Fulham’s Simmonds. “In five years, this will be huge – they’ll have to book Wembley! There’s a lot of cat and mouse and any deals are pretty embryonic but it’s great to put names to faces.”

    Covering the event for Sky Sport Italia is Gianluca Di Marzio, well schooled in round-table meat-markets thanks to the Calcio Mercato. In the final days of each transfer window, Serie A and B clubs converge on Milan’s ATA hotel to beat the stress of the last-minute fax. Loitering outside waiting for his move to Siena to go through, Luca Toni was collared by Fiorentina and signed for the Viola instead.

  171. allezkev says:

    Can the Wyscout Forum replicate this system? “That would be my dream,” says Di Marzio, a more excitable version of Sky Sports’ Jim White. “Instead of relying on text messages or calls from clubs frantically trying to do late deals, everyone who means anything in the European game is under one roof to rubber-stamp deals.”

    “It would be amazing to get federations here to ratify transfers in the future, especially now we’ve launched the transfer zone facility,” agrees founder Campodonico. “Clubs also want these forums in South America in the future, so that could also be the next step. It’s all very well knowing where good players are, but teams want to contact them easily. Premier League clubs are especially keen.”

    With the event winding down, agencies in full debrief mode and clubs slowly filtering towards the exit, FFT catches the eye of City’s Rob Newman, who has been in deep conversation with a South Korean agent. “Do you know what?” begins Newman with a weary look. “That was the third time I’ve been offered the same player today. You do get a few too many chancers, but we’ve got what we came for.”

    What that might be, he won’t say. While no transfers were finalised in FFT’s dizzying two days of transfer speed-dating, a few wheels have been irrevocably set in motion at the Wyscout Forum. “There are definitely deals that get done here, at least conceptually. Otherwise, why bother coming?” says one unnamed agent. “It’s obvious, isn’t it?”

    The Shape Of Thing’s to Come Coach?????

  172. devilgunner says:

    Impressive mate. Maybe it explains why AW is usually scouting out players and other clubs snuff them before us!!

  173. allezkev says:

    Coach, i doubt that even Wenger has any advantage in sniffing out players anymore?

  174. devilgunner says:

    AW had it all before 2005. Then the internet age took over and any of his advantages went bust. That is why he has been a bit found out regarding tactics. Now other managers are equipped with better tactical nous and scouting system.

    Ours is becoming outdated.

  175. allezkev says:

    Arsenal will be without Thomas Vermaelen, Mikel Arteta, Francis Coquelin and Lukasz Fabianski for tomorrow’s trip to face Brighton in the FA Cup Fourth Round, but it seems unlikely that any youngsters will make the trip to the coast given the club’s pressing need for trophies.

    From; Jeorge Bird, Arsenal Youth

  176. Adam says:

    Can anyone be more excitable than the excreble Jim White and still remain outside the confines of an institution?

  177. Lee says:

    I thought your number plate read 1RON…..

  178. rico says:

    Hello all.

    Have I missed much??

  179. Adam says:

    Lee. You grow crueller by the day. :)

  180. devilgunner says:

    Ahhhh. Finally. Welcome back Lady.

    Hope you are fine and refreshed.

    Kev I think AW will put out the following line up…..

    Chesney
    Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs
    Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla,
    Podolski, Giroud, Theo.

  181. rico says:

    Thank you devil…

    All refreshed and I didn’t miss AFC one bit!

  182. devilgunner says:

    I can understand Rico. When I went for 4 weeks in the alps I did not miss football and AFC one bit. I just missed my parents and HH. :)

  183. devilgunner says:

    And now Housers. Can you kindly welcome back the lady? Its bad manners not to you know.

  184. rico says:

    :lol: devil…

  185. Adam says:

    Welcome back Rico. You have been greatly missed and the place has not been the same without you.

  186. rico says:

    Evening Adam, you know how to welcome a country gal home, thank you… ;)

    Miss me, I doubt it you old smoothie ;)

  187. devilgunner says:

    Dont worry that much Rico. Watty has kept the ship steady in your absence. And we did behave you know!!!! ;)

  188. Adam says:

    Rico. If you could see me here in my smoking jacket and cravat I doubt you would call me a smoothie. :)

  189. devilgunner says:

    More like a bib than a cravat!!!

    Hazard to get 8 games imo!

  190. rico says:

    I see we didn’t even manage to sign the Gooner Wilfried Zaha…

    Oh happy days!!

  191. rico says:

    I noticed devil :)

    Adam – what about the pipe??

  192. Adam says:

    DG. Oiii! Behave…
    He was ours Rico but we dilly dallied.

  193. Adam says:

    A meerschaum of course Rico.

  194. devilgunner says:

    I am behaving Adam.

    But to cover a centaur with a horse chin you need a bib not simply a cravat!!! Just to point it out. ;)

  195. Adam says:

    Sorry Devil. I forgot you knew I was a Centaur in my spare time.

  196. rico says:

    No surprise there Adam….

    Anyway, just popped in to say hello.

    Off now to sort my laundry out and get something to eat…

    Chat tomorrow….

    Night all….

  197. devilgunner says:

    Juventus have snapped up………..wait for it……ANELKA. 14 years after they tried to buy him and he went to Real Madrid

  198. rico says:

    And Newcastle have signed Sissoko…..

    Flippin heck!!!

    Pardew has responded to where ‘his’ club is, Wenger however!!!

    I need a holiday!!!!!!!

  199. Scott from Oz says:

    Morning all.
    Good to have you back Rico, though Wath filled in admirably!
    Kev, knowing this meeting of clubs and player agents took place, i am disappointed you did not take advantage and exterminate the worlds biggest pests all in one go!!
    Players agents………they rank down with the media, and you could have got rid of them all.
    Disappointing effort mate :)

  200. Lee says:

    Welcome home Rico, I hope you had fun and re-charged the batteries!?!?

  201. frednerk says:

    Arsene Wengers magic he wear’s a magic hat …………….

    and out pop’s……………………..a match fit Rosicky.

    Geezers amazing……….or
    is taking us for mug’s…

    I know what I think

  202. Lee says:

    Why are we not strengthening the squad? Two signings could really kick start the rest of the season…. madness not address the situation!! Arsene knows best, eh?

  203. Lee says:

    Jovetic and Capoue…
    Villa and Diame…….
    Cavani and Fellaini….

    Any combo of those players would seriously improve us.

  204. vida says:

    Emmanuel Frimpong has joined Fulham on loan for the remainder of the season

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/emmanuel-frimpong-joins-fulham-on-loan

  205. allezkev says:

    Frimpong out on loan, could mean a defensive/midfield signing in the pipeline?

    Then again, maybe not…….

  206. allezkev says:

    Arteta almost fit again,
    Coquelin almost fit again.
    Diaby fit,
    Rosicky fit.
    There’s 4 new signings for you all…..

  207. allezkev says:

    Night Gooners….

    Don’t have nightmares Lee….. ;-)

  208. Scott from Oz says:

    It has to Kev, surely.
    Ramsey did a great job on the weekend, but even i say it was against questionable opposition, and it was one game.
    We need a big bastard for when we play teams with bug bastards.
    It is the reason Arteta hasn’t been a success……he looked great against some sides, but not against the big boys.
    Jesus, at least a DM…..at least!!

  209. vida says:

    kev you never know with wenger

  210. allezkev says:

    I wouldn’t bet on it Scott…. Gone now…

  211. allezkev says:

    Yes vida, you’re right mate, but i wouldn’t spend a nano-second worrying about it either… Really gone now….

  212. Scott from Oz says:

    See ya Kev.
    Agreed Vida…..

  213. True Gooner says:

    Just read on twitter from a West Ham feed that we have activated Diame’s release fee. Any news on this?

  214. Lee says:

    Morning all……more snow falling in North Essex.

  215. Lee says:

    Gotta be a DM coming in now Frimpong has gone to Fulham! He says with fingers crossed……..

  216. Scott from Oz says:

    Be confident Lee :)

  217. Scott from Oz says:

    Benitez has told Ibramovich the Chelski squad is not strong enough.
    Seriously??

  218. rico says:

    Morning all…

    New post is going up shortly…

  219. Scott from Oz says:

    She is back!!

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