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L'Arsenal FC '08-09


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#401 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 16 May 2009 - 10:03 AM

Gee Arsene, think it might have something to do with the ridiculous ticket prices (the most expensive in the premiership) and the efforts of the club to completely eradicate atmosphere by having stewards tell fans to sit down and running an anonymous text service that can kick other fans out of the stadium?



#402 sachmoney


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Posted 16 May 2009 - 07:57 PM

Fuck my life
QUOTE
Arsene Wenger's summer transfer budget has been slashed to 13million by the board in a move that is likely to infuriate already iriate Arsenal fans.

Wenger, whose team last won a trophy in 2005, was given the news shortly before the noisy exchange with shareholders last Thursday, in which many fans questioned the manager's judgment for the first time in his 13 years at the club.

Wenger, who expected at least 15m, is now limited in the players he can bring in - and it is essential that the club receive at least 20m from AC Milan or Chelsea for striker Emmanuel Adebayor.

Any income Wenger can raise from sales will be added to his transfer fund. Some additional money, on top of the 13m, has also been allocated to complete the re-signings of Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie.

Both players are expected to sign four-year contracts with Arsenal this summer and Fabregas is likely to command a 3m signing-on fee.

Wenger's priority is for a centre-half, with 24- year-old Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini one of the candidates under consideration. A striker would be brought in to replace Adebayor.

This has been the worst few weeks of sports ever.

#403 Zomp


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Posted 16 May 2009 - 09:16 PM

Adebayor should get you around 25 million GBP.

Listen, Arsenal isn't that far off. What they need is muscle in the middle and in the back. RVP, Eduardo, Arshavin, Walcott, and Betdner is a great core up front.

You need a Viera.

#404 sachmoney


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Posted 17 May 2009 - 12:38 PM

QUOTE (ZompFoShomp @ May 16 2009, 10:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Adebayor should get you around 25 million GBP.

Listen, Arsenal isn't that far off. What they need is muscle in the middle and in the back. RVP, Eduardo, Arshavin, Walcott, and Betdner is a great core up front.

You need a Viera.

I'm surprised you included Bendtner. Considering the injuries this season, I still feel as though they are one player who can create like Arshavin, Walcott, or Eduardo away up front. We have a guy in Arshavin who can play in Cesc's role were he to be injured again (god forbid), but you need three of those type of players on the pitch at once. Usmanov has pointed to United's 100 million bench. I don't think Arsenal needs a 100 million bench (it would be nice, wouldn't it?), but I do think they need more quality and depth. Eduardo got injured in every other game he played in, and although I do think it was bad luck, you really can't pencil him in. He's probably our best striker. I love RvP, but he can't be a sole striker, and that really hurts (he can't head the ball for shit as we saw yesterday).

I entirely agree with you on the muscle though. They seemed almost soft in the middle and the defense definitely lacked a certain degree of aggression (way too timid). I would love for Arsene to get some tough rugged players in the center. Someone who would create space for Cesc (wouldn't that be wonderful?) and someone who can mark the likes of Didier Drogba (although I doubt that Drogba is at Stamford Bridge next year, thank god).

The worst thing about this is that in order to get players, Arsene is going to have to sell assets. This basically means that he has to sell proven talents. In order to add depth, he will have to do what he always does and find those diamonds in the rough. It's absolutely ridiculous. Yes, Arsenal is a financially responsible club. However, the club needs an infusion of cash, which it is not getting. There's a reason the supporters are very unhappy right now. The worst part is that they don't even know who to point the finger at.

Here's what you have:

Transfer Kitty: 13 million
Emmanuel Adebayor: 20-30 million (probably in the middle somewhere)
Robin Van Persie: 8 million (one year left on contract, may decide not to sign a new contract)
*To add, Van Persie is asking for 90,000 per week where the club has an offer of 70,000, double his current wage sum. You're really not that good Robin, and you're so fucking injury prone. You said you'd stay at Arsenal if they showed a commitment to winning, how are they supposed to show a commitment to winning when they're paying you an extra 1 million a year. They would've shown more of a commitment to winning had they started Arshavin in the FA Cup over you.
Cesc Fabregas: >40 million (It's said that Inter made an offer in that range and were declined)
Gal Clichy: 15 million
Bacary Sagna: 14 million
Abou Diaby: 6 million
Kolo Toure: 8 million
William Gallas: ?

You have to sell some of the quality and experience.

Targets (These are guys linked recently):
Pavel Pogrebnyak: 8 million (to replace Adebayor)
Giorgio Chiellani: 10 million

They still need to get a holding midfielder and probably could benefit from another central defender. Arsene's going to have to work his magic again. I know they've been linked to Xabi Alonso and Mathieu Contador in the past, but I don't know what Arsene's going to do about it. I would love for them to get Alonso, but I don't see that happening (given his large price tag and his desire to stay at Anfield). Regardless, that 13 million is only going to get 1-1.5 key players for next season.

***

Arsenal's new away kits have been leaked and may I say they're the best since the maroon and navy third kits of a couple years ago. When I go to London this summer, I'm gonna be all over this kit. I feel like they'll look even better in person.

Edited by sachmoney, 17 May 2009 - 01:18 PM.


#405 Apisith

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 02:25 PM

You're trusting figures that came from the Hate Mail? Guardian, Times and Independent; only three papers that I trust.

#406 sachmoney


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Posted 18 May 2009 - 03:54 PM

QUOTE (Apisith @ May 17 2009, 03:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You're trusting figures that came from the Hate Mail? Guardian, Times and Independent; only three papers that I trust.

Yeah, there's really not much you can trust over there huh?

Wenger on the title party
QUOTE
"You cannot see what we have seen on Saturday and not aspire to that," he said. "We want to achieve that.

"It was a very important game for us. I knew that, for the future of the team, it was important to give a strong response.

"We've made good progress since the start of the season. We were quite in control on the pitch today we mastered well the space we had.

"But we had seven players today of under 22 years-old on the pitch. So why should we not hope to be even better next year?"

I'd say they took a step back in the first half of the season, took a step forward once they added the Russian, and took a step back at the end of the season by not capitalizing on the momentum they had built. They were outclassed by teams that had more talent available on those days, but the inspiration wasn't there.

Not that far away
QUOTE
"You want always the team who play the best to be champions they were the most consistent," the manager conceded.

"But in fairness, offensively between the two teams in terms of goals scored there was not much difference at all. If you look at the stats it's quite amazing how close we are to them.

"They made the difference with their defence this year conceding only 24 goals."

But not that close either. They were sooo close last year. They definitely took a step back.

Let the Wenger to Real storm begin
QUOTE
"With Perez, the project will be obviously interesting for any coach," Wenger told French TV on Sunday. Asked whether he would be tempted, he replied: "I'm a coach."

Wenger, who says he will stay at Arsenal at least until his contract expires in 2011, wouldn't reveal if he'd been in contact with Perez.

"Allow me to remain discreet on that matter," Wenger said.


Honestly, if Arsene leaves and we can keep players like Cesc, get a better tactical manager, and someone willing to spend on some proven talent, while not throwing out the youth policy...well, I'd like to remain discreet on the matter.


Adebayor to Chelsea or AC Milan
QUOTE
'Marco for me is like a son,' said Berlusconi. 'He is a piece of Milan history.' Then when asked which new players would arrive at the Serie A giants he said: 'There is a good chance we will get Adebayor.'


I say good riddens. Arsene should find a player who is infinitely more hardworking, isn't always in an offsides position, and can stay on the pitch. Oh yeah, someone who can create with their feet as well as their head would be good, all at the fraction of the cost. I believe Adebayor can command somewhere between 20-25 million, I don't think they can get nearly as close to 30 million asking price that they had last year. I'm certain that one of the reasons Adebayor did not leave was because they did not receive an offer up to their asking price. Arsene did a very good job of talking down the price of Arshavin, I hope he can talk up the price for Adebayor closer to that 25 million figure.


Van Persie to Inter?

QUOTE
With Adriano leaving in mid-season and Julio Cruz and Hernan Crespo set to depart the San Siro this summer, coach Jose Mourinho is searching for reinforcements in attack and Van Persie would seem to fit the bill.

The 25-year-old is reportedly unhappy with the new contract being offered to him by the London outfit and Arsenal could cash in rather than risk losing the player for free in the future.

Van Persie only cost Arsenal 3 million back in 2004, when they purchased him from Feyenoord. The latest reports indicate that he could move for as little as 9 million.

The versatile striker has made 41 appearances this season in all competitions for his club, finding the back of the net 18 times.

I do not think that Van Persie deserves 90,000 a week contract in the Cesc/Arshavin range of the club. He's a noted talent, but he hasn't been a consistent presence on the pitch. For those wages (4,680,000 annually), Arsenal can definitely allocate that money.

Arsenal have been linked with several defensive backs as I've noted over these last few months. I feel as though they should be rated:
Raul Albiol-He's drawn interest from Liverpool as well, but he's commited to Valencia. He can play both as a holding midfielder as well as a central defender, and he's only 23. I really like him, but I think he will prove to be too costly (20 million is what Rafa is said to be willing to pay). He's big and strong and can be a great partner for Fabregas in the midfield.
Carlos Marchena-Another Spaniard playing for Valencia with the versatility to play both positions. He's older (29, 30 later this year), and he has experience both domestically and internationally, having won La Liga, the UEFA Cup, as well as Euro 2008. He was given the captaincy for Valencia this past season, but his one drawback may be that he is a volatile player. Just this season, he has collected 13 yellow cards and 3 reds.
Sebastien Bassong-I don't know much about him, but I was impressed with him when Arsenal played Newcastle. He's been linked with the Emirates in the past (I believe), though I'm not sure if it's because he's French. He's also left footed.
Bruno Alves-He's a Portuguese central defender noted for his strength, aerial ability, and sometimes excessively aggressive approach to the game. He was linked with Arsenal back in the January window and again as recent as last month, but I haven't heard anything about him recently.
Giorgio Chiellini
-He's probably my favorite man for the job because he is both aggressive in the air as well as on the ground. He's shown that he can cover and frustrate one of the best strikers in the world in Ibrahimovic. I think his fearlessness is what stands out to me the most and that's what Arsenal may need most in the back.
Thomas Vermaelen-He's the captain of Ajax and it looks like Arsene is going to put in a 7.5 million bid for the Belgian international. He's shown he can be a leader even at the age of 23 and he's versatile, which Arsene likes.

With Clichy's future uncertain, the possibility that Toure might move to Man City, Arsene has some holes to fill. While I don't think that Silvestre did a bad job when healthy, there definitely needs to be some continuity in the middle.

Assets:
Transfer Kitty: X million (not even gonna count the report Apisith)
Adebayor: 25 million
Van Persie: 8 million
Cash Inflow: 33 million

Targets:
Chiellini: 15 million
Vermaelen: 7.5 million
Cash Outflow: 22.5 million

If you add Clichy, who I believe should command around 15 million (at the least, especially if clubs like Real are interested) or Toure to Man City for around 12.5 million, that's a lot more inflow. However, that just means that there will be more gaps to be filled. I don't know if they want to disturb the continuity of the club that much (I wouldn't sell Clichy this summer, but Toure can go).

If they sell Toure, that's 45 million in inflows with 22.5 million in outflows. If Arsene can get a cheap holding midfielder like Coutadeur for 5 million from Le Mans, he should have 17.5 million to play with to get another striker and solidify the defense. Someone like Arshavin's former Zenit teammate Pavel Pogrebnyak could fit the bill at a price around 12 million.

---------------Almunia-------------
Sagna---Gallas---Chiellini--Clichy
-----------Coutadeur--------------
Walcott----Fabregas-----Arshavin
------Pogrebnyak---Eduardo------

-With Simpson, Bendtner, and Vela as substitutes, making it a possibility that they will need one more striker.
-Nasri, Denilson, and Song as midfield substitutes with Merida and Ramsey waiting in the wings (that's not counting Rosicky).
-Vermalaen waiting in the wings as a partner to Chiellini or to replace an injured player. Djourou and Gibbs also available as replacements (that's too many left footed defenders huh?).
-Fabianski as the substitute keeper for one more year with Argentine youngster, Damian Martinez hopefully as the keeper of the future.

With the links away of Adebayor and Van Persie, it seems more likely that Arsene will have to be more active this transfer season.

#407 Apisith

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 08:05 PM

Arsenal need some stability. Buy a good CM and a good CB and see what happens in the first half of next season. I think Arsenal have a squad capable of challenging for the Premiership title (remember they only missed out by 4 points last year) but they just need one or two more. I hope Wenger doesn't sell anyone and just spends 15-20m on two players. That should be more than good enough if Arsenal don't suffer the same injury problems that they did this year.

Strikers are excellent - RvP, Adebayor and Arshavin. Bendtner's also there to play in garbage time. Vela will be excellent in a couple of years.

Midfielders also have versatility - Walcott, Diaby, Fabregas, Nasri and Denilson being the core. You then have kids like Ramsey and Wilshere backing them up. And Arshavin can also drop back to play in midfield. The center of the park is a bit weak but maybe, just maybe, if Rosicky comes back and plays up to his level, then it won't matter how soft Arsenal are in the middle.

The main weakness has to be central defence; Eboue and Sagna at RB, and Clichy and Gibbs at LB are all good enough.

#408 sachmoney


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Posted 19 May 2009 - 07:03 PM

QUOTE (Apisith @ May 17 2009, 03:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You're trusting figures that came from the Hate Mail? Guardian, Times and Independent; only three papers that I trust.


You're right (scroll down)
QUOTE
Arsenal will have been most content for the world and particularly selling clubs to believe that Arsne Wenger has only 13m to spend this summer but the reality is different. Wenger had made a 5.2m surplus in his previous year's player trading before the transfer market opened last summer, then balanced the books again by offsetting the purchases of Aaron Ramsey and Samir Nasri with the sales of Alexander Hleb, Gilberto and Justin Hoyte. The run to the semi-final of the FA Cup gave Arsenal another four home gates worth a cumulative 6m alongside prize money worth 500,000 and their presence in the Champions League semi-final brought in an extra 3m in gate receipts and 2m in prize money. Since Arsenal do not pay a dividend that 11.5m will be reinvested in the squad, alongside the 20m float remaining after the January arrival of Andrey Arshavin, pictured, from the previously available 40m. As Wenger has pointed out, the increase in the top tax rate will mean players whose contracts are up for renegotiation will all demand rises and some cash will be needed to ensure the club can cover any future failure to qualify for the Champions League.

It gives him more money to play with hopefully.

#409 sachmoney


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Posted 24 May 2009 - 01:15 PM

Arsenal 4-1 Stoke City.

Just an absolutely dominating performance in the last game of an absolutely disappointing season. Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott were the main attractions of the show, but Robin van Persie scored a brace in what could be his last game in an Arsenal kit. The commentators described the display by the Gunners as "breathtaking arrogance."

I also want to add that the youth squad beat Liverpool 4-1 in the first leg of the FA Youth Cup Final. Jack Wilshere basically showed why he will be a great player at the Emirates for years to come and the rest of the youth really just showed the first team up in terms of how to play beautiful, confident soccer. JET was a solid force of stability, Randall had some great touches, and Sanchez Watt had a very nice finish as well. Bartley was a rock in the back. The story of the night was Jacky boy though. I can't wait until he gets an opportunity to show what he can do for the big club.

The second leg of the final is on Tuesday. It's definitely worth watching for the future.

#410 sachmoney


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Posted 29 May 2009 - 05:17 PM

I'm surprised I didn't post this before, but Arsenal won the FA Youth Cup after winning 1-2 in the second leg at Anfield. A lot of talk about which Arsenal reserve players will make the big squad in the years to come. Players to watch out for:
Jack Wilshere
Henri Lansbury
Jay Emmanuel Thomas
Sanchez Watt
Kyle Bartley

I don't know how this transfer window is going to work out. Arsenal just signed a teenager from Cheltenham Town named Jamie Edge. There's been a lot of talk about them moving for Brede Hangeland as well, but Hangeland seems content to stay with the Cottagers. Crystal Palace's Nathaniel Clyne has been linked with a move as well, but Palace's manager is intent on keeping him. Wolfsburg midfielder Christian Gentner has also been linked with a move as well. There's always that link with Lorik Kana of Marseille. Nothing substantial has happened so far.

As far as departures, it looks more and more like Adebayor is leaving every day with Man City, AC Milan, and Chelsea all likely suitors. I haven't heard anything about Van Persie, other than that they're having trouble agreeing to a contract. If either of them leave, a possible replacement appears to be Marouane Chamakh of Bordeaux. He said recently "There's something with Arsenal." Take that for what it's worth. It also appears that they want the new Thierry Henry from Feyenoord, Luc Castaignos.

Phillip Senderos appears to be on his way out as well. He has said that he would prefer to stay at AC Milan. While I don't think he'll be staying there, I would think that those comments suggest that a return to the Emirates is unlikely. The most linked central defender with the Emirates has been Thomas Vermaelen, but it appears that now that former Spurs boss Martin Jol is in charge that the move is wholly more unlikely.

I hope Wenger is aggressive in the market and makes the necessary moves to make Arsenal a title contender next season.

#411 tulse_luper

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 06:33 PM

That Wilshere looks sensational. Footballing brain way ahead of his years.

He's going to inherit the media wank fantasy "saviour of English football" mantle pretty soon. If he can time his rise correctly we ought to reach tabloid super-nova just in time for him to break a metatarsal before the World Cup. wink.gif

#412 sachmoney


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Posted 03 June 2009 - 06:19 PM

As long as we're talking about Arsenal's Finances:
QUOTE
Manchester United and Chelsea were by far the most indebted, owing 699m and 701m respectively, Arsenal were third, with 416m debts and Liverpool, the other top four club, were understood to owe around 280m; their accounts, due to be filed at Companies House last week, are overdue.
QUOTE
Arsenal is the only Premier League club that incurred significant debt to carry out long-term investment. The club borrowed 260m originally to build the new Emirates Stadium, and a further 133m to convert the old Highbury ground into flats. Arsenal have been generally admired for prudence because the Emirates, with 60,000 seats some very expensive generates around double the money Highbury did, but the sales of apartments have stalled in the downturn, not producing the windfall expected when property prices were booming.Arsenal is the only Premier League club that incurred significant debt to carry out long-term investment. The club borrowed 260m originally to build the new Emirates Stadium, and a further 133m to convert the old Highbury ground into flats. Arsenal have been generally admired for prudence because the Emirates, with 60,000 seats some very expensive generates around double the money Highbury did, but the sales of apartments have stalled in the downturn, not producing the windfall expected when property prices were booming.

The Spoils of This Season:
QUOTE
Fourth-placed Arsenal earned 73.4m compared to fifth-placed Everton's 49.5m with the Gunners bringing in 23.4m from European football. The figures do not include ticket money and merchandise income where the big four also dominate.
QUOTE
Club PL Europe Cups Total
Arsenal 47.2 23.4 2.8 73.4m

Not a bad haul for sure. Hopefully, Arsene has some big money to spend. According to Tony Adams, he has enemies on the Board (lol!).
QUOTE
Adams, speaking at an event organised by England team sponsors Nationwide Building Society said: "I don't know who it is, but I think there's someone on the board who's not pro-Arsene. I don't know who it is, but that's what I've heard.

He's been scouting for Arsenal and says:
QUOTE
"I've been down to Italy mainly," Adams explained to setanta.com. "The Italians don't usually travel well, but I think this lad that I'm looking at may if we can come up with the money and there is a money issue at the Arsenal at the moment."

On the likelihood of Wenger persisting with a transfer policy that has frustrated many an Arsenal fan in the past: buying young and spending seasons grooming and educating the player, instead of buying ready-made fixes, Adams said, "I don't know whether he [Wenger] will end up going for a bigger player. We'll see how much money we've got first.

I hope he's talking about Chiellini and that they do indeed move for him.

Right now, you have all these daily rumors about Barcelona making bids for Fabregas (I wouldn't doubt their interests, I don't think that they'd bid only 40 million as I think Arsenal would hold out for a much higher fee, if they were even thinking about it). There's the Vermaelen rumors, but he says there's been no contact. Blaise Matuidi of St. Etienne has said he wants to join the premiership, specifically citing Arsenal as a destination. He's been compared to Vierra and Essien (wasn't Nasri called the new Pires or the new Zidane?). Ever since Fabregas said that he'd love to have Xabi at the Emirates, the papers have been buzzing about it. Of course, I'd love to have him, but I don't know if he fits the role of a holding midfielder and think it would be ludicrous of Rafa to let him go for less than an inordinate sum.

On the actual home front, Eduardo has said that he believes he will be able to be ready early for next season, which of course is joyous news. He's such an important player and can definitely add some maturity and calm to the squad. Van Persie says that the problem with his muscle issues could be his wisdom teeth. Hopefully he has them removed and is able to produce a nice season like he did this season. In a recent interview with Arsenal TV, Samir Nasri said that he could play holding midfield. While I like the idea of playing Nasri in the center where his technical ability can play well with Fabregas, I don't know if he has the tackling or defensive abilities to fill the roll. Certainly he will have to bulk up.

Looking at the future of the squad in terms of players that should be given a chance to make an impact next year, I think Ramsey should get an increased opportunity in the middle behind Fabregas as well as Henri Lansbury. Fran Merida should be given an opportunity in the midfield in the Carling Cup and perhaps coming in for Fabregas in some matches (with a good lead). I'd probably put him more in the middle considering Wilshere will be eventually taking the role on the left (they're both left footed). Other than that, I don't see anyone making the jump from the reserves next season without a solid preseason. The presence of these young players definitely suggests a veteran in the middle can be helpful to their learning.

#413 SoxFanInCali


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Posted 04 June 2009 - 02:22 AM

QUOTE (sachmoney @ Jun 3 2009, 04:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Right now, you have all these daily rumors about Barcelona making bids for Fabregas (I wouldn't doubt their interests, I don't think that they'd bid only 40 million as I think Arsenal would hold out for a much higher fee, if they were even thinking about it).

I know all the rumor sheets constantly throw around false stories about 100 million bids for Ronaldo and Kaka, but keep in mind, 46 million (by Madrid for Zidane) is still the world record transfer fee. Saying you doubt they would bid "only" 40 million is a bit laughable. I'm pretty sure Fabregas isn't going anywhere, but if he decides he wants to leave at some point, Arsenal would be very lucky to get anywhere near 40 million for him.

Edited by SoxFanInCali, 04 June 2009 - 02:23 AM.


#414 Zomp


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Posted 04 June 2009 - 06:13 AM

Especially considering the fact he came off an injury and had a down year. His stock has fallen a little bit.

#415 sachmoney


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Posted 04 June 2009 - 08:54 AM

Why did he have a down year though? First, he had to recover from his break after Euro 2008, it took him a while to get fit. On top of that, he had the knee injury, and I honestly don't think he was fit (in our sense of the word, not the British) until the last few weeks of the season.

Also, perhaps I should have clarified, I was saying that Arsenal should hold out for a higher fee because he is worth more to them than to another team. It was the same thing with Adebayor last summer. I just think Cesc is worth more than 40 million to Arsenal at this time. Obviously, Barcelona and Joan Laporta want him real bad and are willing to overpay, but still I feel Arsene needs to keep him.

EDIT: Rumor has it that Arsenal are in talks with Ajax about Vermaelen, but that is a report from The Sun, so don't read to much into it.

Edited by sachmoney, 04 June 2009 - 08:58 AM.


#416 SoxFanInCali


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Posted 04 June 2009 - 11:32 AM

The point is, the player has a lot of control of the situation. If Fabregas comes out and says he wants to go to Barcelona, and pushes it far enough, he'll probably wind up there at whatever rate Arsenal can get Barca to pay. In that situation you'll never get the full "market" rate for a player.

This is the same reason why you got Arshavin for around 15 million. Zenit didn't want to let him go for less than 22, but after he said he wanted to leave, their leverage was gone.

#417 sachmoney


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Posted 04 June 2009 - 02:21 PM

QUOTE (SoxFanInCali @ Jun 4 2009, 12:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The point is, the player has a lot of control of the situation. If Fabregas comes out and says he wants to go to Barcelona, and pushes it far enough, he'll probably wind up there at whatever rate Arsenal can get Barca to pay. In that situation you'll never get the full "market" rate for a player.

This is the same reason why you got Arshavin for around 15 million. Zenit didn't want to let him go for less than 22, but after he said he wanted to leave, their leverage was gone.

It depends what you define "market" rate as. There's a difference between what a club is asking for and what a club is willing to pay. Often times, it's what the club is willing to pay that is ultimately going to result in the transfer. I mean you have all these clubs attaching huge buyout clauses on players to scare off possible suitors, but yes, if a player says he wants to leave, more often than not, he is going to end up elsewhere, usually for less than what the club values him for. In contrast, there aren't many cases where a player is pushed out of his club if he performs well, although we might see it this summer if Valencia is forced to sell some of its assets.

As far as Fabregas goes, he's done everything except say that he wants to play for Barcelona. Obviously, it's the place he ultimately wants to end up. He grew up watching that club, he was in their youth academy and his style of play is their style of play, and may be most importantly, he idolizes Pep Guardiola. As far as I'm concerned, the two things that are keeping Fabregas at the Emirates are his loyalty to Arsene Wenger, the man who gave him the opportunity, and his quest to bring a trophy to the Emirates, although I believe the latter is wearing thin.

We'll see in the coming years. If Arsenal doesn't win a trophy next season, I guarantee you Barcelona and Real Madrid will come a knocking (they'll probably come anyway), and Arsenal will have more of a hard time letting him go than ever before.

EDIT: Just to clarify, Arsenal can "hold out" for a higher sum right now because Cesc hasn't publicly said he wants to leave although all indications point to that at some point he will. Holding out essentially means that they won't sell him.

Edited by sachmoney, 04 June 2009 - 02:31 PM.


#418 Apisith

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 03:20 PM

Weird thing about Fabregas is that even though he's a Barca product, he's been linked more often to Real and hasn't denied his interest in playing for them. You would think that it's treachery to play for Real if you're Catalan (not sure if Fabregas is, or not).

Edited by Apisith, 04 June 2009 - 03:21 PM.


#419 idontlikecricketiloveit

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 10:28 PM

QUOTE (Apisith @ Jun 4 2009, 04:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Weird thing about Fabregas is that even though he's a Barca product, he's been linked more often to Real and hasn't denied his interest in playing for them. You would think that it's treachery to play for Real if you're Catalan (not sure if Fabregas is, or not).

fabregas is in fact catalan though i wouldn't read too much into that with regards to him playing for madrid, that stuff is more for fans. players are professionals and will play for a contract.

#420 sachmoney


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Posted 04 June 2009 - 11:30 PM

QUOTE (idontlikecricketiloveit @ Jun 4 2009, 11:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
fabregas is in fact catalan though i wouldn't read too much into that with regards to him playing for madrid, that stuff is more for fans. players are professionals and will play for a contract.

Well, I don't think there's any doubt that he wants to go to Barcelona, were he to go to Spain, but he really just wants to win trophies. I don't know how it would be perceived in Catalonia, but I think Fabregas going to Real could(?) be really good for the country and may be help bring together the divides within Spain. Admittedly, I don't know how deep the divides are, but judging just from some of the very informative posts in the Hay Liga thread, I would guess it wouldn't do much. The only Real scenario (see what I did there?) that I see him going to Madrid is if they are able to get Wenger to go. That's the only way. While Cesc loves Barca, he owes his own career to Wenger. Wenger is the one that gave him the opportunity when he was just another kid in the Barca system. Wenger allowed him to use his creativity to develop into the player that he is and he is becoming one of the best players in the world. That's absolutely the only way.

The BIG rumor of yesterday was that Arsenal were on the verge of signing Ajax Skipper Thomas Vermaelen. I'm sure there are ongoing talks, but I don't think anything has happened yet in terms of an actual contract. It was reported by Sport UK I believe, and I think they just wanted to be the "first ones" to report it. The price sounds like it will be around 10 million. I think it's a good signing, but I think he will need a year to adjust to the physicality of the Premiership, especially given his size. Arsene will still have to make a move for a player like Chiellini, but having Vermaelen definitely is a boost to the back four.

I wonder how that's going to work out, especially with RvP having come from Feyenoord and Vermaelen playing currently at Ajax smile.gif

EDIT: So today's rumor is that Arsene himself is in negotiations with Edin Dzeko of Wolfsburg. Furthermore, he is said to have reignited his interest in Yaya Toure.

So in terms of targets that are being linked:

Defenders:
Chiellini
Vermaelen
Hangeland

Holding Midfielder:
Yaya Toure

Striker:
Edin Dzeko

Pretty much all but Chiellini are in the 8-15 million range. I expect it would take a lot more to get the Italian.

Edited by sachmoney, 05 June 2009 - 04:26 AM.


#421 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 06 June 2009 - 10:42 AM

QUOTE
I don't know how it would be perceived in Catalonia, but I think Fabregas going to Real could(?) be really good for the country and may be help bring together the divides within Spain.


It wouldn't. Divisions that have run for centuries and then were raised to a new level by a bloody and vindictive civil war that ended in four decades of repression under Franco are not going to be undone by Cesc Fabregas.

He will go to Barcelona eventually. He is a Catalan whose family are rabid fans and who went to his first game when he was 9 months old. They're the best team in Europe, they'd love to have him and they can pay. There's no reason for him not to go.

#422 Apisith

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Posted 06 June 2009 - 01:46 PM

Indeed. These divisions don't have much chance of healing because of what Barca actually represent to the Catalans. Under Franco, when you wanted to protest against the government, you became a member of the club.

That's why I find it surprising that Fabregas seems quite attracted to the prospect of playing for Real. But maybe he's just an intelligent footballer, or maybe he's been away for long enough.

#423 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 07 June 2009 - 04:23 AM

QUOTE (Apisith @ Jun 6 2009, 07:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Indeed. These divisions don't have much chance of healing because of what Barca actually represent to the Catalans. Under Franco, when you wanted to protest against the government, you became a member of the club.

That's why I find it surprising that Fabregas seems quite attracted to the prospect of playing for Real. But maybe he's just an intelligent footballer, or maybe he's been away for long enough.

I think he's bright enough to know that feigning interest in Real helps his ability to get money and keep Barcelona interested.

By the way, his favorite player as a boy was Josep Guardiola.

Edited by Spacemans Bong, 07 June 2009 - 04:24 AM.


#424 sachmoney


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Posted 07 June 2009 - 08:15 AM

QUOTE (Spacemans Bong @ Jun 6 2009, 11:42 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It wouldn't. Divisions that have run for centuries and then were raised to a new level by a bloody and vindictive civil war that ended in four decades of repression under Franco are not going to be undone by Cesc Fabregas.

He will go to Barcelona eventually. He is a Catalan whose family are rabid fans and who went to his first game when he was 9 months old. They're the best team in Europe, they'd love to have him and they can pay. There's no reason for him not to go.

Yeah, I said it might help. People thought Spain's victory in the Euros would help, but I guess it would be hard for any country to overcome the divisions that Spain has been through. I'm looking forward to learning about how this came up in a history class, if I can find one. Thanks for answering so bluntly though.

QUOTE (Spacemans Bong @ Jun 7 2009, 05:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
By the way, his favorite player as a boy was Josep Guardiola.

QUOTE (sachmoney @ Jun 4 2009, 03:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
He idolizes Pep Guardiola.

In other news, apparently Arsenal have agreed to a deal with Vermaelen, according to reports in Belgium:
QUOTE
Arsenal have secured a €13 million (11.4 million) deal for Ajax captain Thomas Vermaelen, according to reports in his native Belgium.
I won't believe it until the deal is confirmed by the team, but if it is, it's definitely a step in the right direction. I still think they will need another central defender already ready for the Premiership. Considering that Vermaelen is a smaller guy, coming from a less intense league, I think it will take him a while to adjust like it did with Nasri and Arshavin. I wonder what this will mean for Gallas and Toure.

Milan might go after Fabregas:
QUOTE
Milan are already planning to replace Kaka with Arsenal ace Francesc Fabregas, according to La Gazzetta Dello Sport.

The Italian club are on the verge of cashing in on their Brazilian by selling him to Real Madrid - a deal that is likely to conclude on Monday. The Rossoneri have been tipped to use funds provisioned from Kaka's sale to bring in Fabregas.

The report claims the star is looking for a new adventure following his six year spell with the Gunners. In addition, voices claim the Spanish international's former team-mates, Mathieu Flamini and Philippe Senderos, have been trying to entice him into making the move to Milan.

Signing the player is likely to be tough. Arsenal will not be keen on losing a key component of Arsene Wenger's football mechanism. The player himself has also claimed in the past that the only team he will move to after the Gunners is Barcelona.
Good luck with that.

Inter are preparing to bid on Van Persie:
QUOTE
Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho is reportedly preparing a 25 million bid for Arsenal striker Robin van Persie.
QUOTE
According to the Mirror, Inter face a tough task in prising Van Persie away from the Premier League, but their significantly higher wage structure could prove enough to lure him to Italy.
I wouldn't be surprised if Mourinho was interested in Van Persie because he is coming of his best season at the Emirates, but if the figure is even close to accurate, I don't know how you can hold onto Van Persie, especially when he's approaching the end of his contract, looking for a massive pay raise (I believe he wants to go from like 35,000 a week to 90,000 a week). While I think Van Persie can still have an impact, he became more expendable when Arshavin was signed and now that Eduardo should finally be healthy, I think he will continue to have a hard time finding a place. Cashing in on him may be the right call right now, and should help the Gunners sign someone like Edin Dzeko.

Edited by sachmoney, 07 June 2009 - 08:16 AM.


#425 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 08 June 2009 - 10:13 AM

QUOTE
Yeah, I said it might help. People thought Spain's victory in the Euros would help, but I guess it would be hard for any country to overcome the divisions that Spain has been through. I'm looking forward to learning about how this came up in a history class, if I can find one. Thanks for answering so bluntly though.


Please, just call me a prick. I know you want to!

There is a very good book called Morbo by Phil Ball which examines regional tensions through football and gives a good background. It is one of a spate of books written by English-speaking journalists (though not always English) on football in other countries - the others are Tor! by Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger, Brilliant Orange by David Winner (Holland), Futebol by Alex Bellos (Brazil), and Calcio by John Foot (Italy). There are a few other country-specific books (I believe there is one on France and also one on Russia) but I mention these five specifically because they all came out around the same time and all of them have the same sort of format - basically a collection of stories. Without exception they are all excellent and I'd consider them required reading for any fan of the game.

#426 sachmoney


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Posted 08 June 2009 - 02:24 PM

QUOTE (Spacemans Bong @ Jun 8 2009, 11:13 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Please, just call me a prick. I know you want to!

There is a very good book called Morbo by Phil Ball which examines regional tensions through football and gives a good background. It is one of a spate of books written by English-speaking journalists (though not always English) on football in other countries - the others are Tor! by Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger, Brilliant Orange by David Winner (Holland), Futebol by Alex Bellos (Brazil), and Calcio by John Foot (Italy). There are a few other country-specific books (I believe there is one on France and also one on Russia) but I mention these five specifically because they all came out around the same time and all of them have the same sort of format - basically a collection of stories. Without exception they are all excellent and I'd consider them required reading for any fan of the game.

You read me pretty well there. I did want to call you a prick.

I'm reading Morbo right now, and seeing how engaged I am in this book, I will probably get through it in a few days. As far as the other books, I'll probably get to them eventually. Seeing as I'm studying Spanish, this is particularly interesting to me, but I would love to read more about why Ajax and Feyenoord hate each other, how rivalries in Italy arose, etc. I'm really enjoying this book so far though.

EDIT: Bonger, thanks for turning me onto this book. I'm 21 pages deep, and I'm truly marveled. I'd say this is the best book I've read in years, but that would be a lie. However, that's because the books I actually do read are ones I thoroughly enjoy. This book is no different. Anyone interested in Spanish ftbol should definitely go to the local library and check this out. I'm learning more about culture and history through this book than I am about in my Spanish class (where I've only learned that Hispanics like to drink, which seems kind of wrong to me).

The Vermaelen deal looks like it will be happening soon. It should be finalized by the end of the week. It also looks like Toure could be on his way out, which at least to me means that Arsene is going to have to get another center back in addition to the Ajax skipper. Dzeko has said that he has no interest in joining Manchester City and that he prefers Arsenal because of the opportunity to play in the Champions League. However, AC Milan appear to be interested, and with their rake back from Kaka sale, they may have more cash money to offer Wolfsburg/Dzeko. Oh, and it also happens to be the team Dzeko followed as a kid (FML). I think Dzeko would fit in at Arsenal fantastically though. I'd much prefer him to Adebayor, but we all know I don't like Ade. Other than that, there really haven't been any developments in the transfer market.

Edited by sachmoney, 08 June 2009 - 02:40 PM.


#427 ethangl

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 03:10 PM

QUOTE (sachmoney @ Jun 8 2009, 02:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think Dzeko would fit in at Arsenal fantastically though. I'd much prefer him to Adebayor

yeah? you been watching wolfsburg a lot lately?

#428 sachmoney


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Posted 11 June 2009 - 02:26 PM

QUOTE (ethangl @ Jun 8 2009, 04:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
yeah? you been watching wolfsburg a lot lately?

Highlights. I can't keep up with 5 different leagues at once as hard as I try. If footy is on though, I usually try to watch though. The Bundesliga is usually on earlier/the same time as the premiership. It sucks. His stats are impressive and having seen what he's capable of, I'd approve of a move. Unfortunately, he said it's his dream to play for AC Milan, who have a ton of money to splash after the Kaka sale.

Sebastien Bassong appears to want out of Newcastle, and Arsenal have been rumored to be interested for quite some time with him. I don't know how I feel about him as I've heard there are some issues with durability. If a Newcastle supporter wants to shed light on it, I'd appreciate it.

Mamadou Sakho seems unhappy with his situation at PSG and has been once again linked with Arsenal. I like him, but he's very young.

Another youngster linked with Arsenal is Luc Castaignos of Feyenoord. The caveat of buying him would be leaving him on loan at de Kuip. If the Vermaelen deal does happen and Arsenal are to move for Castaignos (valued at 4 million), Arsene will have bought two under-18 players (Jamie Edge being the other) and one player over 20 thus far. I know he's got plenty of time, but the fact that there really hasn't been progress with players of experience is a little worrying.

Goran Pandev also linked after he told Lazio that he is leaving. He's been linked with several clubs including Juventus, but a move to the Old Lady might hinge upon Trezeguet departing Turin.

Yaya Toure looks like he won't be coming to the Emirates after his agent said that Arsenal's offer was below that which his client is receiving from other clubs. It looks like he will try to remain at Barcelona, but a switch is not out of the question. I don't know how much Toure is making right now, but given the wage structure at the Emirates, it doesn't seem like a good move to put him in the upper etchelon of players' salaries (like in the Shava realm).

We'll see how things develop in the coming weeks. I would assume that Arsene will be in South Africa next week, watching his prized student at work for his country.

In news on the home front,

Arshavin was named captain of the Russian National Team. Leadership. On another note, his agent is trying to get a wage increase given the increase in taxes in Britain on the rich. The tax is increasing from 40% to 50%, and his agent is asking for an increase to cover the tax. He makes 80,000 per week now, so after tax, that's 48,000. He's asking to be paid 96,000, which means that that's another 16,000 per week out of Kroenke's pocket. Arshavin has denied making any manuevers and it's suggested that clubs will get around the taxes by providing salaries as interest free loans. Wenger predicted that this will happen a while back (I think I posted it). He truly is a prophet.

and Fabregas reaffirms his commitment to stay and win trophies for the Gunners. smile.gif

Sorry, I was sick of all the hullabaloo surrounding Real, Milan, Barcelona, and Manchester United (okay, that's a bold faced lie, there's been some good discussion). I just wanted to give an update as to where Arsenal stands.

#429 ethangl

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 02:49 PM

QUOTE (sachmoney @ Jun 11 2009, 02:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sebastien Bassong appears to want out of Newcastle, and Arsenal have been rumored to be interested for quite some time with him. I don't know how I feel about him as I've heard there are some issues with durability. If a Newcastle supporter wants to shed light on it, I'd appreciate it.

he has no issues with durability. he's a classic solid physical center half -- stepped into the first XI almost immediately and never looked out of place. uses his hands too much though, gets kind of grabby against pacier forwards, and probably could have been carded a lot more than he was. if newcastle were not run by idiots I would look forward to another year or two of him before he moved on to a bigger club.