The one defender to complete our set into a title winning defence


One of the positions in our team for which there is general consensus we need to strengthen, is at centre back (CB). Towards the end of the season we found a defensive stability in Koscielny and Mertesacker that hasn’t been seen since Keown and Campbell were shutting out opposition strikers back in the early 2000’s.

These two  – Kos and Per – formed a defensive partnership that saw us finish the league as the third best team in the league defensively. All I can say about this, is whatever Steve Bould is doing is working wonders. It’s never easy to come in and teach the same set of players new tactics – especially in one season – and expect to see such progress, but he has pulled it off.

However, Thomas Vermaelen, our club captain, had a torrid season by his extremely high standards. Mistakes plagued his game, and at some point, I couldn’t even recognize the player who barely a year before was the obvious successor to RVP.

That said though, we know how good he is and therefore any calls for him to be moved on are seriously myopic. Then we have Squillaci, who all I’m going to say about him is, thank God he has been moved on. Our final two CBs are Djourou and Miquel. Djourou was loaned to the Bundesliga, and quite honestly, I’d rather he stays there permanently. Miguel is talented but still too young and raw to be promoted to the first team.

This means that we have three functional centre backs. Everyone knows that every top team especially in the EPL needs a minimum of 4 good defenders. This is why we have been linked with a host of defender such as Adil Rami, Matts Hummels, Ashley Williams, Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Martin Skrtel, among others.

I would, however, like to throw a certain defender’s name in the ring; Phil Jagielka.

Jagielka is a 30 year old CB who captains Everton and plays for the English national team. About 3 years ago we were strongly chasing him, but the then Everton manager David Moyes, refused to fold. For me, he ticks all the boxes. He is tall (good in the air), strong, experienced, has a fantastic mentality, a tough but fair tackler, a leader and a fantastic reader of the game. Also for a 30 year old, he is extremely athletic and is in the prime of his abilities. In my opinion, compared to all the players we have been linked with, save for maybe Hummels, he is a far superior option.

I watched him ever since he shut Man Utd out on their opening game, and I must say I am outraged that Rio Ferdinand was awarded a spot in the team of the season, ahead of him. Jagielka was absolutely solid all season and a very big factor why Everton have performed the way they have in the past few seasons. Plus, his consistency is amazing. I watched about 26 Everton games last season and he did not have a single bad game. Not even one. In fact, the more I watched Everton play, the more I wondered why he is not plying his trade in a top four team, because he certainly has the ability. Even when he dons the three lions jersey, his class is there for all to see.

Like I said earlier, Per and Kos have formed a fantastic partnership. This is largely attributed to the fact that the two complement each other. Kos athleticism, tackling, ball playing skills and all round charisma is complemented by Per’s composure, reading of the game and aerial ability. Even by Arsene’s admission, Per is not the tidiest of players nor the best, but he gets the job done. Please note that I am not by any means downplaying his abilities or contribution to the team.

Jagielka performs the same function for Everton except he IS a very good player. He is faster, a better tackler, more energetic, and despite Per’s height advantage, is very good in the air. This is evidenced by the number of goals he scores with his head and the number of aerial clearances he makes. He is also a much more physical player. When you compare Jagielka and Mertesacker, the former comes out on top in my opinion. For me, he would represent a significant upgrade to Per and would form an even meaner defence alongside Kos. He would also push the level of competition for places in that back line up a notch.

I couldn’t tell you how much he would cost if we went in for him, or even if he would be interested in joining us, but with Moyes and probably a few key players leaving, you never know. Plus with the current building we are doing, our strong finances and champions league football, we would have a very strong hand at the negotiation table.

I’d like to repeat that this is all my opinion. I feel Jagielka is the kind of player who would form a title winning defence, and we should really consider taking advantage of Everton’s period of transition, and snap him up.

Written by: Marcus

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122 thoughts on “The one defender to complete our set into a title winning defence

  • We have been after him for years and never got him. Now Moyes is at Man Utd if he leaves he will go there. What about Lescott? He is out of favour and would be a good buy

  • I’m sorry but NO way in hell. When I say that we see what we want to see, I don’t mean any offence because I honestly thought Gervinho was going to be amazing and he wasn’t, yet I convinced myself of it. Jagielka was converted to CB for a start and I rarely find many conversions work, Henry from left mid to striker worked, Vermaelen from CB>LB didn’t work, Reyes from Striker>Left midfield didn’t work. Jagielka has been the worst defender for England if you watch his performances, he’s just nervous all the time. You surely cannot disagree with me on this? I admit he’s been solid for Everton, but for England? Instills no confidence whatsoever. On the face of it, it wouldn’t be thaaat bad, but why go for ok when you can go for solid-as-a-rock, i.e. Williams and even he isn’t that great. Do we need any more defenders? hmm….

  • I still think I’d prefer a younger 4th choice centre back (ex. Papadopoulos). Just so we don’t mess with the solid defense we formed at the end of last season. And then perhaps we could develop this younger centre back into a Jagielka-like (or even Jagielkaesque) player. Papadopoulos is 6 feet talk exactly. He reads the game well and is very positionally aware. He also has very good distribution for someone so young. He also plays with a fire and his heart on his sleeve, we need more players like that. I feel he could be molded into a world class centre back by Bould, Wenger, and our current 3 centre backs as well as being a good enough player to play for us now (considering he plays for a Champions League team). Even if we have to pay over the supposed £12m price tag the pay off is worth it. 🙂 Just my opinion though.

  • Utd are after him and
    I cant see wenger signing a 30 year old only to offer him a 1 year contract.
    Anyways the good news is arsenal are signing higuain….. woooooooohooooooo

  • Hello Marcus, an interesting read and good , very good suggestion.
    I defo like him as a player, i have not watched him as closely as you clearly have , but i can not remember him ever making a mistake and you get the feeling he is a great professional , hard working honest type of player.
    I expect TV to have a good season next season , i did not think he was that bad last season just that the other 2 were better, i would hate to lose him. This wil be the problem all these players want to play every game , would Jagielka join knowing this might not happen.? It will defo be hard to split KOS and the BFG now.

  • Another fine post, Marcus, and once again you have taken a fresh angle to an important area of the team.

    Like you, I like Jagielka, but only as a back-up CB for the Big Fecking German. I love Per and I reckon he will have his best season for us the coming one. He has his weaknesses and the team have to work hard to compensate for them. But he brings organisation, calm and composure to the team. He is our brain and top-reader of the game, and the likes of Koz, Szczesny, Gibbs and Jenkinson all benefit from his natural leadership and organisational skills.

    The biggest worry we have is an injury to the BFG: who would replace him? At the moment the best candidate is Koz with TV moving into Koz’s position, but it is not ideal, as the Frenchman still has to learn a lot with regards to leadership and organising the defence. Jagielka would be a very decent back-up, so a yes for me.

    On the other hand, Miguel has good potential and it should be time now to make him our fourth CB, with a proper run of games if and when possible.

  • Coming from Sheffield I know Jagielka fairly well and I have to say I am a big fan. That said I don’t want to see him at Arsenal for the simple reason of his age. CB is definitely not a position that we need experience Vermaelen, Kosc and Mert are 27,27 and 28 respectively. buying another ageing defender will leave us with several ageing defenders within two seasons. A young centre back is in need and I’m glad we are looking at papadopoulus as he fits this bill perfectly.

  • Hi Dylan 🙂

    Who would you sacrifice for Papadopoulos? Or would he become our third/fourth option?

    ProudG 🙂

    Agreed, splitting up BFG and Koz would not be wise.

    Rohan 🙂

    Agreed a 24/25 year old CB with lots of promise would be best for us. Any suggestions?

  • I like Papadopoulos, as well as Kurt Zouma, who I saw around 3-5 times last season. Zouma is a bit younger than Papadopoulos, but will be stronger physically, and is a bit more no-nonsense! On the other hand Papadopoulos has a lot more top-level experience, so in conclusion, if it had to be one or the other, I would go for the man from Greece. Zouma might end up with a higher price-tag as well, due to the interest of some very rich clubs. There seems to be a bit less interest in Papadopoulos, and that would probably mean a lower price-tag. I’d be very happy with either one though!

  • Hi Marcus – Interesting proposal, but I have to disagree with respect to Per’s assessment. Per has had his share of detractors since he joined Arsenal. He is not one of the typical CBs, but I think that he is one of those who (with the right partner) makes the result greater than the sum of the parts. It would appear that he and Kos have formed a good partnership – one that I hope will continue into next year and not be disrupted by injury / form.

    From what I have seen of PJ he is okay. I am a bit surprised by the high regard that you hold him in. Was hoping for a little more “evidence” for this since he has appeared a bit shaky on those occasions that I have seen him play for England and Everton. It is possible that Wenger might consider him if he viewed him as good value for money. But I don’t see Everton letting go of him that easily.

    On a related note, I see that everyone is quick to credit Bould whenever we have anything complimentary to say about the defense but not otherwise. While many bloggers have been ga-ga over Bould, his impact has not been that obvious to me, at least not yet. The defense appeared similar to what we had when Pat was the assistant. Here’s hoping that you are correct, that Bould builds on this year’s performance, and that next year we have a total shutdown defense along with a very opportunistic offense! 🙂

  • TA, I’d go for him as a third or fourth choice allowing him to learn from our current backs to grow and learn and when given the chance, take his spot in the starting line up. 🙂 And I wouldn’t mind Zouma either. In fact due to Zouma’s age if we could get him cheap (although that may not be likely) he could join Miguel on loan or take over as the U21 starting CB. 🙂 So both would be welcome in my opinion, but Papadopoulos is my choice! 🙂

  • nice one, Marcus (well written and a good out of the box sort of option for us)…

    although Phil J would be a good option to have as a 4th one, it’s highly unlikely that he would want to be a small fish in a big pond, he’s better off staying a big fish in a smaller pond so to speak

    i would like to being “Chris Samba” to everyone’e attention, now he might actually not be a bad buy if he took a page cut on his 70 k wages.

  • Gary Cahill was the 1 i wanted , i was very disapointed we let him go to Chelsea, it would be nice if Wenger and his team found us another little gem like KOS and im sure they could. I also think it has to be time to let Miguel get a proper oppertunity and that is the Arsenal way long as he is good enough and ready. Cahill is the best English defender i think.

  • I think Miquel has a lot of things to work on, if he is to reach the level that Papadopoulos is at now!!! He needs to get a bit faster and a lot stronger, and cut out the silly mistakes he makes at times. Miquel is very good in possession, so good in fact, that he is over-confident and gives the ball away on a few too many occasions for my liking. This is probably the easiest thing to remedy though. Miquel could well be the answer, but he really does have to work. IF he does, then I don’t think we need to buy anyone else for that position.

    Rohan is correct, in a few years’ time we will have a number of older or ageing central defenders on our books. Promoting Miquel, or buying someone who is around the same age would be the wisest route to take.

  • Well that would make sense, Dylan. I am happy with our current defenders, but if we are to get another one, I would prefer him to be around 24 and ready to compete for a starting place. It does not look like PapaD is ready for that right now…

  • PG,

    Cahill would have been perfect for us and we were linked with him so much that i actually thought he was gonna be a gooner until we were out muscled as usual.

    wenger has been a long term admirer of both Cahill and Samba, i won’t mind a bit of Samba at the emirates 😉

  • I agree that Jagielka is a top defender, fast and capable and quite similar to Koz. He would be a great defender to rotate in and out of the defence.

    I thought though that we were in for him at the time we got the BFG and that he didn’t want to leave Everton?

  • TA, that makes sense. Hey. Hummels is 24. 😉 Ok so I’ve had an idea (and it may be crazy). But hear me out. Say we buy Hummels, Papadopoulos, and Zouma. Then keep Miquel. That’s 3 centre backs for the future, and 1 to bridge the gap between generations. While this may not be a great way to spend our money, it’s a good idea. So ignore the names and watch the ages. Say we buy a decent price 24 year old centre back, Papadopoulos, and another cheap centre back around Zouma’s age. Decent idea? 🙂

  • I think if we want to tighten up at the back , which clearly is and has become very tight.
    I think its the goal keeper position that should be looked at first even though i feel harsh saying that because i feel SHEV and FAB both did very well especially FAB well done that man he really made some great saves. But if we landed Ceaser or Begavic it all of a sudden looks much better on paper , the team sheet looks like a tough nut to crack, We really are so close to challenging for the title again just 3 strong signing 🙂

  • They all want to play, Dylan. Maybe we should get them on a pre-contract and allow them stay where they are for now (except Hummels of course! 🙂 )

  • so that’s Tevez gone for 10 million (bargain i reckon) !

    instead of making a bid for David Villa for 12 million in January, we should have made one for Tevez !

  • TA, that is true as well. 😉 Or buy them and loan them back to their former clubs. 😉

  • JB,
    Agreed i thought the same and it was just by a few million , we should have got him. Samba i am not so sure aboyt my dad is a QPR fan so i watch them and Samba was shocking bad last season,i think against villa or wigan he lost that match for them on his own, his time in Russia lost him all his pace. Before that he was great.

  • Villa is a better player than Tevez, hands down, hence the two million pound discrepancy in their price -tags.

  • Agreed. 😉 Out of curiousity, TA, who is your first choice for a DM “beast”? 🙂

  • Villa is also older than Tevez,

    not sure in what sense you use the term better when comparing the 2 , Milo (recent domestic form, international form e.t.c ) ?

    as Tevez /Suarez type of striker is exactly what we lacked and needed i reckon.

  • Villa is still the more clincal finisher. Add to that I can’t stand the sight of Tevez, or Suarez, and there you go! I’m not talking about their physical appearance either, I’m talking about their personalities. How long do you think Tevez would stay, before going back to Argentina??? Suarez doesn’t want to come here either. I wouldn’t buy Villa, as he’s a bit too old.

  • i guess Tevez’s wages may have been a stumbling block though

    anyhow he’s gone to the Turin, bring on both Higuain and Jovetic, ha ha

  • Thank you Marcus.

    I have no idea about Jagielka, so cant comment much, I prefer all the skilful eye candy players !. I suppose the only time a defender catches my eye is when the are complete crap like, Squiddly Diddly and sufferin` succotash Sylvester .
    It would be hard for Wenger to buy another as bad as them again. Or would it ?.

  • Dylan, I like it to be a player like Arteta but then with muscle, tackle and aerial dominance. They are not easy to find, and I reckon some Fella Ini? would be near perfect. I also really like Wanyama and I also rate Ramires of Chelsea very highly.

    What about you?

  • JB, Higuain AND Jovetic! I’m salivating. 😉
    TA, Lars Bender has peaked my interest greatly. I think he fits the description of a stronger version of Arteta, but also with a scoring touch. He is also fairly young with good potential. He could be interested at a starting/big role at a big club to secure his place on the team for Germany in the WC. 🙂

  • TA, a player like Arteta with all those qualities you have mentioned ? tough to find one , isn’t it ? but how about a certain spanish youngster by the name of ” Asier Illarramendi ”

    he’ll make it big this lad in a couple of years time, he’s very fluid and intelligent as on the pitch.

  • JB, Illarramendi looks good as well. I’d be happy with either him or Bender. 🙂

  • Jambo, ‘Asier Illarramendi’: are you making it up? I bet there is a fine anagram in that name – there is at least one ‘Arsenal’ in there…. 🙂

  • i must confuess, i copy pasted his name, i couldn’t spell it right if my life depended it, ha
    but yes, that;a younger version of Arteta perhaps a cross between xabi and arteta or even Alonso

    very underrated i reckon, was one of the main reasons why Real s got 4th in la liga.

  • I wouldn’t be worried if we just stuck with Arteta there, i would be worried in case he broke down though (injured) so should buy as back up. I see Rambo possibly taking that role as his own in the future. What do you guys think? Is that not what Rambo is suppose to be and play? He seemed to improve a lot towards top end of the season, i really hope that continues .

  • Agreed, Rambo could take over the ‘Arteta-role’ from Arteta, but we need more physical power on the ground and in the air in midfield, and they are both not suitable for this.

    If Wenger wants to continue with the super-safe system of a double DM pivot sitting back to protect the defence, then Arteta and Ramsey are very suitable for this. But if he wants to return to Wengerball, we need a stronger, more all-round DM, I reckon.

  • Hopefully Higuain has told Ancilotti his had enough of Real and he wants to join Arsenal they sell in the next day and use the $’s to buy Bale lol happy days

  • Marcus…..a nice article but a little short on research. Here are a few reasons why Wenger won’t likely go for him:

    1) He IS 30 and AW rarely brings in players who are nearing the end of their careers.

    2) He will want to bring in someone who can play alongside his other CB’s for at least 4-5 seasons and who he can train up in the Bouldball defensive system….which will take some time.

    3) I doubt Jagielka will become available as Everton won’t want to lose him if Felliani goes.

    4) He would likely be quite expensive as we have seen with Felliani’s pricetag….I doubt Wenger would go for 3 big money transfer in one season but one never knows.

    5) He is a lot like Vermaelen and both are left-footed so there may be potential problems there.

    6) He just renewed his contract at Everton so isn’t likely to move anywhere soon.

  • Liverpool have done the same with Minolet, Reina might be leaving interesting.

  • Ian, Jags in my opinion is in the form of his life. Lescott not so much
    Robinsgrant85, I don’t think you’ve watched him at all if you could say that. If he’s as bad as you say then why does he keep earning England caps ahead of JT?

  • Dylan,
    I do agree. Jags doesn’t have age on his side and perhaps getting a young talented CB would make more sense. I just felt that given his form over the past few years, he is worth a mention.

  • Gunnersmile,
    I agree with you. And re huguain, I hope we can finalize a deal by today before another team realizes what a steal he is.

  • PG,
    Well, you get the feeling that with our squad’s new found confidence, we will be going for every cup available to us. This means that if Arsene plays his cards right, every player we have at our disposal will be key. It therefore helps to have a very deep. very good squad.

  • TA,
    You are completely spot on. Plus if they can fight it out for a spot, it will only make both of them better which would be a win win for us.

  • Marcus, not a bad mention. Just don’t think he’s a very “Arsene” signing. 30 years old and not getting any better. But not a bad thoughts. I just think he’s not want we need nor what Arsene wants. 🙂

  • Rohan,
    You make valid points about the general age of our CB’s. Top comment mate..

  • Milo,
    I don’t know much about the two. Maybe you could write a post analyzing them?

  • JB.
    I do know quite a lot about Samba and all I can say is that he is far from the player he was at Blackburn. Not worth a cent now.

  • Davydavy,
    True we were in for him but it is actually Moyes who refused to do business.

  • Glic,
    Thanks mate

    I know about his age and contract situation and in the post I mentioned Everton’s transition as a possible opportunity. But great comment though 🙂

  • I must say that Tevez for 10 million is an absolute steal. But that’s how city is. When they find a player they view as better, they under value their players immensely. If I didn’t hate his guts, I’d have advocated for a move to re sign Nasri considering the number of replacements they’ve signed. But I simply couldn’t get myself to forgive him so to hell with him.

    Now we NEED to tie up this Higuain deal. How is it that Juve have pulled out, gone for Tevez and agreed a deal before us? Why the hell do Arsenal transfers take forever?

  • I’m off to bed now but let me leave you with something to make your day…..

  • Yes JB, I really, really like what I have seen from Asier Illarramendi!!! He’s also got a huuuuuuuuuuuge engine on him, even though he plays a more reserved role. I saw a few gut-busting, full-length-of-the-pitch-runs during the latter stages of a few of his matches, and I was amazed!!! I would probably even take him ahead of Bender. He’s only 23 and wouldn’t cost too much. We also have a good relationship with Sociedad because of the Carlos Vela transfer, I reckon, so a transfer could be feasible.

  • Marcus, re Tevez… he’s so cheap because he’s on Rooney/Yaya money–Something around 300 k/week (15 million/year) . City are giving him away to clear up those funds… (Maybe you’re doing it already, but it seems that many observers need to look past the transfer fee and think about total costs…) I know I sound like a broken record, but if and when AW breaks the wage structure by paying someone double or triple our highest paid guys, it will be to somebody with a bucket-load of talent and no history of disciplinary issues. Because of the pressure he’s under (AND the weaknesses up and down the squad…) he won’t do it, having been burned at a lesser level by the likes of Arshavin (most recently)… Maybe if we win the quadruple this year AND he thinks he’s got the new Messi…. Higuain is a big enough risk as it is….Fellaini on top of that may be too much…

    On the topic at hand, I think Jags has done very well for himself and I remember him playing keeper (and holding a result) against us at Sheffield United. I’m with the folks who suggest that if he moves it will be to United. At his age, and it being a world cup year, he must be guaranteed a starting role, which I think may rule out a move that move. Staying put seems logical. Martinez can use a little continuity. Everton have been flying pretty high (finishing above Liverpool two years running, I think…) If Jags, as Captain, keeps them there (or nearabouts) he should make the English team. For Martinez, releasing Fellaini (for too much money) makes sense and Moyes may take Baines (also at an inflated price), but he shouldn’t break up the rear-guard too quickly for risk of becoming a team like….Wigan. Howard, Jags and (the best of them all, in my opinion…) Distin should all be retained…

    I like our defense as long as we play Koscielny and (despite everybody who will disagree with me) I think a little run for him and TV5 and we will be taking a real step towards playing better football. Those guys are quick and can play the ball out of our own half in a way that the BFG cannot. Because we are not “set” back there and have three guys fighting for two spots I really don’t see ANYBODY (except maybe a young prospect type, maybe…) coming in. The downside of the situation is that two injuries or suspensions and it all becomes quite makeshift…

    Anyhow, just my take, as always, but there it is…

  • Milo could not agree more regarding Illarramendi, but we’ll be lucky to get him for 10mil. I’d do it in a minute though, even at double that price!

  • Refreshing perspective 17HT. Though I doubt Juve can afford those kinds of wages. I’m almost certain Tevez will take a pay cut. Of how much, I don’t know..

  • Davydavy & Milo,
    You really rate Illarramendi that highly. I don’t know anything about him, really.

  • 17 HT – I will not disagree with anything you have said above, even the last paragraph ha ha.But that would depend on what type of DM we might see in front of them?

    From the earlier comments i would rather it became a discussion on a ‘2nd pairing’ centre back, rather than 3rd?4th choice. Not many are going to sign on that basis?

    To me the Kos/Per pair are set. If it ain’t broke, don’t try and fix it? However, as TA pointed out, injury to either would undermine the strength the that the two together bring? In most situations of a short term injury, I would rather see TV5 with and his ideal partner slot in together, and wait to see if either need the non-injured part to come back, rather than have their weaknesses exposed again? I am now assuming that rotation is fully up to speed and both sets of CB’s will have shown enough together that they provide the same cohesion whoever takes the field?

    Pop certainly tick a lot of boxes. Williams, whilst not top of the A-list, would add leadership to TV5’s right hand/foot. But as I said above, the TV5/Kos pairing might not be a disaster later in the season, once the DM knows more about his defensive partners?

    The only 30 year old I want to see sign a contract is Bacary Sagna. Do you know I clicked on a blog title that read ‘Frenchman to sign a new deal, no to PSG’ and I was disappointed to read it was about AW! That is how seriously I feel about this one? Someone put some interesting stats together that showed, despite it being his worst season by his own admission, he still held his own in the top 4 RB’s. Unfortunately, his lowest score that brought his position in the list down was that of ‘.. defensive errors leading to goals’. If he gets that back, with an injury free season under his belt there is every hope he will? Then we have the right partners in place to work with the CB’s. Just need the right DM?

  • Marcus – I should have added that you have done Jags cv no end of good with another excellent piece. Just a little misplaced I feel regards him coming to Arsenal?

    On the Tevz deal – that could backfire on us if ManCity move on Higuain? They would certainly top our quoted wage?

  • Another great read, marcus! 🙂

    I really do not think Arsene would be in for an ageing Jagielka. He won’t come as a back up, and he is not better than what we have already. (Then, it appears, we have been toying with buying Williams – so who knows?)

  • Morning all 🙂

    If the Mancs want the Jag then that is where he will go.

    If this is not the case, and Arsene has real interest in him, then I could see it happen. Jagielka could hand in a transfer request and plead with the club to let him go: last opportunity to make it big and all that sort of stuff.

    But will Arsene make such a fuss for a thirty year old CB, when he already has experience there? Don’t think so, unless he wants strength of depth this season and next season and is willing to pay for it. With Maureen back at the Southern Oilers, our defence will need to be as strong as possible…. and it could be £10m worth spending….

    At the moment, a season long injury to the BFG would be a disaster as the Koz/TV combo is too irratic and prone to continuous and costly mistakes (sorry 17HT 😀 )

  • Gerry,

    I was going to respond that I would not be too bothered if Sagna left, because he is not the player he was, after breaking his leg twice etc.

    Then I realized that I have said something similar about Theo and the Gerv and if I am not careful I will become known as the Gringe or whatever that miserable git is called. 🙂

    So I won’t ………….. errr

  • Great discussion going on about our center backs. Then again, there are always great discussions going on here :).

    I like Jagielka. I think he’s a really good player but would he take our defence to the next level (implying he’d walk straight into the starting lineup)? I wonder. He would definitely be great for rotation though ;).

    I might be wrong but I’m pretty sure Ignasi’s surname is Miquel (Q not G) but then again I’m just nitpicking. I think he should be given a chance though. Maybe a lot more cup ties and a substitute cameo when we’re comfortably in the lead (hopefully that’ll be pretty often…fingers crossed!)

    How do you guys feel about TV5 playing DM? If we do get Fellaini he cld play B2B while TV5 plays DM and Jack/Ox in the hole. Last season he really was one of our best players and I’d like him to stay, even if it means he’s shifted upfield slightly.

  • Morning Kofi and welcome to BK 🙂

    Yes, it is Miquel with a Q for Quality – well spotted.

    TV5 as DM could really work, and we have had posts about this very topic in the past. But we are light on ready to rock CBs right now: one injury or suspension and the Lion of Flanders is required at the back again. However, occasionally he could be used as our beast of a DM.. 🙂

  • Gerry,
    No. At least I don’t think so. We are currently in a much stronger financial position than Juve. Moreover, as we speak Tevez is undergoing a medical there so they are by all indications out of the higuain race.
    Thing is if we dilly dally too long, another team might have a second look and realize that Higuain is top class and throw their hat in the ring. I hate how we take forever to make signings.

  • @James Bond – please man,not Samba at all.then I would rather take PJ at any day.Samba’s best days are behind him and he is getting worse by the season (as seen this year at QPR) I just hope TV5 can get back to his best then we do not need more experience but a younger CB like the guy from Greece.
    I’m saying no for PJ.

  • Nice one marcus, know what you mean about Jags, every time i watch him play ime impressed, hes a very good and experienced player.

    However, its Papadopolous for me. Hes Greek Macedonian so knows how to defeat the Persian Empire. Hes a very tough boy and ive heard form his second cousin George that as a kid he would defeat grown men in Greco Roman wrestling, always taking home a prized Cock as a trophy.

    He also has the look of a guy that was kept back a year or two at school. When boys in his class were reciting Plato and Socrates, he was busy watching the Tweenies and laughing at Benny Hill. Top man.

  • Terry,
    I really should begin looking at him. Don’t know him at all. It seems that it is unanimous that Jags age is a negative to all. 🙂

  • Marcus – I’ve also been wondering why it looks as if we are the only club in for Higuain. The most probable reason I could think of is that other clubs have looked into it, and have found that a deal is pretty much done and dusted between the player and the Arsenal. Certainly looking forward to him arriving!

    And yes I certainly rate Illarramendi, although if I am honest I will admit that I hardly knew about him until the under-20’s. And also there’s something of a scarcity of good young players in that deep-lying position, and I see in him a natural successor to Mikel Arteta.

  • Not realy a negative for me marcus. I think hes very underated realy. As ive said, everytime i watch him he is very good.

    He also has a fantastic charachter. Dont know if you recall, but several years ago we played Sheffield Utd away and Jags had to go in goal for them. For a good half hour, the likes of Cesc, Helb etc could not score against him.

    It was one of the most frustrating games i have ever watched in my life. At the final whistle i spent a good 10 minutes beating the crap out of my TV with my slipper. And all i got for my efforts is now i watch games with a green stripe going down the picture.

    My point is, that though this dosnt say much for his defending, it does show the guy has guts and personality.

    i think you made a very good and astute call with your post about him.

  • Terry,
    That exactly it. For me his personality, his DEFENDING and overall presence is what has made me consider him. To me he’s just a player that would improve our back line (if that’s possible). Clearly you have intimate knowledge of him and that’s why you see things that way.

  • Davydavy,
    Also, it could be that Ancelloti is taking his sweet time to sign it off. In his defense though, he is being unvieled as we speak. I’m getting frustrated though. Can he sign already so that we can sort out the Fellaini situation and all other transfers. I would really like it if by the time we go for preseason, we have assembled the squad. At least the most important players (in terms of departures and arrivals)

  • Plus Wenger said that he wants us to have a strong start. That means having a settled squad raring to go. Bringing in players that will be crucial to the team once the season has started or just before means not only forcing the player to acclimatize During the season but it also (even if minimally) disrupts the flow of the team. I think its necessary for the new players to join the team and go for preseason together that way they are more settled in terms of knowing their team mates better, knowing how we play and knowing what the club as a whole expects from them in general. Part of the reason Santi adapted soo quickly is because he had a few games under his belt by the time the season started.

  • Dylan,
    I hope by that he means they’re about to board a plane headed to London.

  • Hahahahahaha ‘close’ 😛

    Seldom has there been a more relative, and at the same time abused, word than ‘close’.

    How close is close and is it close enough for comfort?

    The trials, tribulutations and terrors of the Torture Window continue remorselessly! 😈

  • Marcus, top post 🙂 but I disagree.

    Jagielka is not really the defender we need. There is no point in buying a CB that is 30 plus as that would leave us with 4 defenders of the same age. I think Jagielka is pretty average and I would take someone like Rio over him anyday. Of course that is just my opinion. I feel we need a younger CB around the age of 22-26. Sorry to disagree with you Marcus.

  • Thanks for the link Dylan. Higuain is ours

    We shold be happy. When was the last time we out gunned Juventus financialy?

    i have waited 33 years for revenge. in 1980 Liam Brady left for Juventus and i havent cried so bad since a girl in my class at school called carol said “urrgghh, ime not going out with a big nosed freak like you”

    Take that Juve.

    As for you Carol, i know your out there and are probably reading this. So i say to you, even though you now probably look like Bet Lynch and i would not touch you with a barge pole, the time will come when you will regret slighting Terry, and thereby forcing other kids to laugh and beat me up.

    I feel better after that. hahaha

  • Afternoon Nob Noshers 😆

    I have a very close source who says it is close !…..yes…..he`s scrotum texted me, I`m just waiting for a text verification from his cock !. Well what do you expect, it is the silly season ! hahaha

  • Is that you Transplantacus. It was a mix up all them years ago, my cross eyes were looking at your cousin Theoflopodous !. It was you I liked, I still have one of the hairs from your syrup, I used to like stroking it around the back of the bike shed !. Do you want it back ?.

  • Carol, is that realy you? i knew it must have been a mix up, no one can resist these suave charms for long.

    One question though, i know it was a mix up an all, but when fat Kevin was beating the shit out of me, why did you shout “Punch the F*ucker in his big nose Kev”? hahaha

  • No need for cardiac arrest Dylan, its in the bag.

    If its not, then if i dont have a heart attack, i will be feigning one to escape all those that will be after me. hahaha

  • AFC,
    It’s quite Ok. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect that. I don’t think anyone whose watched Jags this season can term him as ordinary. If Anything, he was quite spectacular. Re Rio, keep in mind that Jags replaced him in the England set up even before he retired. Plus he may be 30 but the way he plays, he looks to have another solid 4 years in him. He’s kind of like TR7 whose game now is the same as when he was 25. Take note TR7 is 32.

  • Moving away from the top post which Marcus has written.

    Fellaini is going to demand wages in the excess of 100 000k a week which means we might not go for him but Zenit are looking to sell Axel Witsel. He signed for around 32 mill but we might be able to get him for around 25 mill.

    Does anyone know what kind of wages he is currently on and whether he would be a good buy?

  • TA has never been more right. How close is close and given the circumstances at hand why aren’t we having a different discussion regarding which jersey number he should wear? I mean personal terms agreed. Fee reportedly agreed. Manager confirmed. So what in the hell is taking them soo long. It has taken 48 hours for Juve to go from Rivaling us for Higuain, to approaching city for Tevez via phone conference to actually FLYING to Manchester to hold talks to agreeing a fee and now all that is left is personal terms and a medical which is to happen today.

  • Marcus, I just cannot see him playing at the top top level i.e. CL. He would be a solid defender but is not better than any of our current CBs. Jags only replaced Rio because of the whole Terry thing. Rio has always been a better defender than Jags.

    When has Wenger signed any British players in recent years around Jags age.

  • AFC,
    Re Fellaini, in my opinion I think he is just trying to get the best deal he can knowing that by demanding 100k he will definitely end up getting a pay rise of some sort on his current 75k a week salary. I say this because unless he has the world’s lousiest agent, Marouane knows that he will end up at AFC one way or another. He even (according to reports) described the move as a dream move. Plus he even knows that we would play him in his preffered DM position.

    Let me be honest with you, the sources that claim that we have met his release clause are not 100% in my view. Until it is confirmed by one of my more reliable sources, I am not completely convinced. That said though, again unless he has the world’s worst agent, I find it very hard to believe that he would be this vocal about his move to the Emirates if there wasn’t some truth to this. At least not without any backlash from Everton whatsoever.

    Which means we probably have and if so, I expect the deal to be completed soon after Higuain is confirmed. with a deal of somewhere between 80-90k a week. That’s my prediction.

  • AFC,
    True. you bring out good points. Let me remind you though that we aren’t in for him. At least not to my knowledge. It was just a recommendation on my part.

  • Marcus, let’s hope so. 🙂

    If he doesn’t sign then we have to find a replacement. That is why I suggested Axel Witsel just incase we do not get Fellaini.

  • Marcus, I have not seen Axel Witsel play but have heard good things. Would you say he is better than Fellaini?

  • Marcus, I know Jags is just a recommendation. I would definitely have him over Williams.

  • AFC,
    Admittedly, I haven’t watched him extensively enough to give you a thorough report. That doesn’t mean I don’t know him because I do. The 2 are weirdly similar (including the hair) but from what I have seen, he is definitely NOT a better defender than Fellaini which primarily is what we need. His attacking play I must admit is superior to Fellaini’s but like I said that’s not what we need so my verdict would have to be a no.

    In terms of us not signing him (Fellaini), this particular transfer is not giving me ulcers like Higuain’s. Here we have plenty of alternatives to choose from. We have Wanyama who recently turned down a move to Soton with the hope that we come calling and is ready to bide his time(his words). We have Etienne Capoue, Gonalons, Sven Bender, Tiote among others.

    With Higuain though, he is the right age, right quality, right frame of mind, right price, right experience so finding an alternative would be difficult. We’d either have to spend 30M plus to get a player of his caliber or spend the same amount and bring in a player of lesser quality. Nether option being ideal and that is why I am so anxious.

  • Marcus, all good points.

    I would say that we would have to spend 40 mill plus to get a striker similar to Higuain. Saying that Milan got Mario for around the same price we are getting Higuain for.

  • Marcus, all good points.
    I would say that we would have to spend 40 mill plus to get a striker similar to Higuain. Saying that Milan got Mario for around the same price we are getting Higuain for.

  • Marcus, all good points.
    I would say that we would have to spend 40 mill plus to get a striker similar to Higuain. Saying that Milan got a certain Italian striker 😉 for around the same price we are getting Higuain for.

  • Transplantacus, I said..” Lunch and tucker, bring a big rose Kev ! ” , but as Fat Kev was pummelling your ears into mashed cauliflower, you probably misheard me !.
    I still have the syrup you gave me for my birthday and still use it to this day, as I suffer from Pussy Alopecia !. I know you said you wouldn`t touch me with a barge pole, well that is fine as I live on a narrow boat on the canal and I`m sick of the site of having them !, bring a caber and I will toss it or maybe a totem pole, I`m easy !. XXXX

  • Carol Gooner, you tosser, you told me that you gave Transplanticus a cuddle and could not feel his weiner. Then you told me that Big Kev had one that stood out so far you could shelter from the rain under it.

    Poor Syrupy had no chance, but he is a loser, and you are a tosspot — perfect pairing.

    You might need to speak to Dr Glic, he suffers from shorticuspenis too!

  • I`ve been a busy Bastardo today. 4 mile run and felted a new roof for my little shed ( 15` x 6` ) and just picked my van up for tomorrows Wolves run, not as far as Orcland, so will be back in time for some 5-a-side ! . I love 5-a-side, I get more touches ( no not my Lesbanians ! ) than Arteta, Santi and Ramsey put together !. I offered Totes van Boingkamp an invite last time he was in Cornwall, but he declined, obviously didn`t want me nut megging him and driving him crazy with my outrageous looks and skill as the cost of a Glic Statue on BK would have been too much !. hahaha

  • I`ve just read my last comment and I think I should explain to those from different shores in case they don’t already know, that…..” nut megging “….is when you put the football through someone`s legs and run around them and make them look a Khuntz ! and has nothing to do with something like Tea Bagging ! and if you want me to explain that to you as well then you can get your gums around my plums !. hahaha

  • Marcus, you did another excellent post. Congratulations! 🙂 Especially as I’m an admirer of Phil Jagielka as well. I think he might be that fourth central defender we need.

    If we want younger players like TA suggested, then I’d suggest Ognjen Vranješ, Bosnian central defender who plays for Krasnodar (Russia), can pass the ball properly and already attracted attention of Manure while Ferguson was in charge. He reminds me a bit of Chris Smalling in terms that he can also be used as right full-back. The only problem is Vranješ is currently injured and he won’t be back soon.

    Terry Mancini Hair Transplant, I agree about Juventus. They screwed us more than Barcelona in Wenger-era:

    -they signed Henry in January 1999 so we had to rely on Kaba Diawara on that ugly night in Leeds and forfeit the double to Manure;
    -they did us heavily in 2001-02 Second Group Stage – first, they lost to Bayer in Leverkusen and allowed Germans to control the situation before the last match, and then their second string won against us (though we would go out anyway since Bayer won at La Coruna),
    -they signed Vieira and ever since that happened we haven’t won a trophy;
    -their central defender Chiellini injured Van Judas in that friendly match Holland-Italy so Van Judas missed almost entire first half of 2010-11.

  • Arsene obviously likes jagielka, as do i, Moyes kept his price prohibitive. will that change?especially as he is older. I never minded djourou as a fourth defender, i actually worry about tv as a third, because i dont think he will like it. Attitude is important, now after he has tasted stardom and captaincy. I dont see a quality player coming in unless we sell Vermaelen. Who wants to sign on as fourth choice? especially since Arsene is notorious for not rotating. Maybe for a nice raise in
    wages? I wouldnt mind sagna as a back up plan if djourou sold, as i would like to see more of jenkinson anyway.

  • Micah Richards is available, is younger quicker and stronger, jumps like a salmon,English and bould could him into world class centre/ fightback, will also provide cover for sagna

  • I am very interested in Richards. And I think we could get him cheap, seeing as he’s 3rd choice right back at Man City. He could:
    1. Provide cover and centre and right back.
    2. Add to our English core.
    3. Add some strength to our defense.
    4. Provide the competition Wenger likes at right back. (I believe the age difference between Gibbs and Nacho is similar to the difference between Richards and Jenks.)
    🙂 I think he would be a good buy. Thoughts? 🙂

  • Joel Matip from Schale would also be a great signing, very highly rated amongst the schalke players.
    Would also like to see Micah Richards especially as he can play in more than one position, versatility is definitely something we lack amongst our defenders.
    This Croatian wonderkid we are supposedly looking at looks very promising, I’ll admit i’ve only watched a few videos of him on youtube, but his passing appears to be very impressive for a defender especially at his age. His defending ability looked average, but he is young and will be able to develop that. I’m particularly excited by the prospect of Mertesacker teaching any younger players. With his skill in positioning I imagine he would be a wonderful influence on the younger players.

  • Micah Richards is a Gooner and previously said he would love to play for Arsenal, mind you that doesn`t mean I want him !. hahaha
    Smalling….Gooner !
    Zaha….Gooner !
    But the one I want…..Bale….Gooner !

  • @Marcus >>>Let’s have a look at it, JT for England? I don’t think anyone wants to go near that one! Politically incorrect and a PR landmine! Jagielka is getting in ahead of everyone else because his club career has been extremely successful, I just don’t think his performances for England have been anywhere close to comfortable. He looks nervous and unsteady. Maybe due to his lack of European experience, experience on the big stage? I don’t know, I just know I feel unsteady with him at the back. But seeing as this is to do with Arsenal…..I’d prefer a real CB, not a convert (from DM>CB). Williams is no better than what we’ve got right now, but I’d prefer him.

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