Suarez? Rooney? What message is Arsenal trying to send?!

Dive and refresh

Gooners are desperately hoping for some solid news, the signing of class players.  We need more than “Fellaini is at the disco with Arteta,” or “Higuain is in AN Airport.”    In the meantime, equally “reputable” reports have suggested that Arsenal have made bids of £30 (and/or £35) for Luis Suarez and, a couple of weeks back, £20 Million for Wayne Rooney. What do these two players have in common?  

Some would say they’re both world class forwards who would instantly make Arsenal into title challengers.  Others would argue that they are both troubled players whose teams are willing (if not desperate) to get rid of them. Without going into the litany of the troubles Suarez and Rooney have brought upon themselves (and their teams…), I think it’s very interesting that Arsenal have inserted themselves into the “bidding process” (for want of a better term), or at least made a little noise about these players.  I believe there’s a dual strategy at work.  On the one hand it’s all about our own tangentially related transfer targets.  On the other, it’s a continuing public relations strategy to divide (and ultimately conquer) Arsenal supporters.

The first half of the equation is the one which concerns most of us—for the moment at least. We’re all desperate for an improvement to the squad.  Last season, though we met “minimum” requirements by getting up for the final CL place, it was at the expense of pleasing (attacking) football and by the skin of our teeth.  That we had to clear our schedule with depressing exits from the cup competitions was likely necessary but a further indication of our malaise.  Now we need reinforcements.  During the run-in we had trouble scoring.  Many have called for a better #9, a real leader of the line, someone to fully replace and challenge the sort of contribution made by (Captain) Robin van Persie.  Others want a ‘#10’ or a (real) replacement for the contributions of the previous Captain, Cesc Fabregas.  Still others believe our troubles lie deeper, at the defensive mid-fielder position(s), where some have gone so far as to say that we need a single player who can do the work of the two (Ramsey and Arteta) we employed in this area down the stretch.  Oh, wait, that would be me…

We’ve been heavily linked with Gonzolo Higuain of Real Madrid, and Marouane Fellaini of Everton.  Before that there was a lot of talk about Stevan Jovetic of Fiorentina, who now appears headed to ManchesterCity.  There have also been plenty of stories about the possible return of Cesc Fabregas and bids for Lars Bender.  More recently we even appear in for older players like Gareth Barry.

The “links” to Suarez (and Rooney before him), however, seem really strange (to me at least). In recent years it’s always been about Chelsea and ManchesterCity when it comes to really expensive, successful players already playing in England.  Torres to Chelsea (£50) is the big one, but the many playersCity have bought from Aston Villa (Milner, Barry) Everton (Lescott, Rodwell) and (mostly) Arsenal (Adebayor, Toure, Clichy, Nasri) has shown that the teams with bottomless pockets can afford to pay absurd amounts for players who may not make the grade.

During this same period, and in what we now know to be Sir Alex Ferguson’s final years, Manchester United was also willing to spend sizable amounts to plunder talent from other English teams (Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Carrick, Ashley Young, Robin van Persie, etc.)

Are Arsenal suddenly amongst the clubs that are willing to “take a punt” (for giant money) on players (with issues) who aren’t quite content at (or even blame their troubles on) their current (English) clubs?

I don’t think so.  If we did, it would be a stunning turnabout and it would mark a sea-change from a risk-averse (penny-pinching?) financial strategy to a no-holds-barred, approach.  Please keep in mind that salaries also come into play, and, in the case of Rooney, in particular, would almost certainly represent a bigger cost than the transfer fee itself.

It’s hard to make sense of things but we must remember how transfers really work.  If a team wants a player the first thing that must happen is that they must be lured to the club; in paper-talk, their head must be turned.  This is done by promising a good contract and a prominent role at the club.  After that is in place, a deal must be worked with the player’s current club. Following the news this summer this would appear the process with Higuain.  With Suarez (and Rooney) the process seems reversed.   And, of course, there is endless background noise from agents with players looking for a move.  Arsenal, a club touting our “money to spend” (“powder we have kept dry”) and a team under pressure for improved results, gets even more of these planted stories, the equivalent of a player giving us the wink.

No, what Arsenal are doing is playing a high-stakes game of chicken, inserting our nose into other people’s business.  Gazidis’ not-so-cryptic comment, “We could (even) buy Rooney” puts pressure on United (and new manager, David Moyes) to work it out with the spread-eared one or declare him unwanted.  Our “bids” for Suarez are broadsides at Real Madrid—Get your Uruguayan (biter, racist, cheater, but clearly the best from that country…) and give us our guy (Higuain) who needs to be a starter if he wants a role for his (bigger, more competitive Argentinian national team) at the South American World Cup next summer.

So we must wait.  In the meantime, however, we stew and we argue and the support divides along lines that have been developing over these “desert” years (since the move to the new stadium which neatly coincides with our trophy drought).  The typical divide is AKB (“Arsene Knows Best”) vs Realists/Doomers, those who can see that it’s been an inferior product on the pitch, year upon year.   It’s also a divide between those willing to take some time for the club’s prudent financial policies to pan out (on the backs of high ticket prices) and those who want it all now—The Veruca Salts of the Arsenal support.

In addition there is a boardroom divide at Arsenal.  Two thirds of ownership resides with “Silent” Stan Kroenke who (it appears) is supportive of the Wenger/Gazidis management team.  Lurking in the background is (nearly) 30 percent man Alisher Usmanov, the Ukrainian Oligarch, who, many assume, would prioritize winning over the bottom line.  Many supporters want the latter to take charge and get Arsenal the results we “deserve.” This group might best be characterized by the chant that went up (spontaneously) in the desultory final match 3 seasons (2 years) ago: “Spend some f*cking money.”

Indeed, there are many who want signings that show “intent.”  To me this translates as “buy someone with proven ability no matter what the cost nor the risks with the players.”   Often these same “supporters” suggest, with a smirk, that if Wenger is so good, he should be able to handle the “problems” associated with such players.  Suarez and Rooney would seem to fit that bill.  In my opinion, to get them, we will have to overspend relative to the combination of their talents and their problems, but that is subjective and my opinion only.

So, are we pandering to this branch of the support?  I don’t believe that we are.  

The real story, I think, is that Arsenal really aren’t interested in these players and instead are using statements of interest (and maybe even registering bids) to agitate other clubs so that the deal(s) we are after can happen (and happen as quickly as possible).   Additionally, by polarizing support, it’s (another) high-stakes (hubris-laden?) attempt by current management to say “we know what we’re doing,” … “and if you were good, i.e., smart, supporters you would let us do it.”  If I’m right, Wenger (and Gazidis?) is actually making misleading statements (aka “telling lies”) or maneuvering for less than obvious ends.

It is similar to what he does when he says a player is “injured,” when he means dropped.  That sort of lying seems harmless or even worthwhile for protecting the confidence (ego) of the dropped players.  Hints of “interest” or below market bids (which, if accepted, would be accompanied, one would guess, with low–easy to reject—personal terms) ratchets up the game significantly.  Is Arsenal branding itself as the thinking man’s (and woman’s) club?; The Club that says one thing but means another, and the one where only the intelligent, calm and savvy (not to mention dedicated) can “truly” be supporters?

I’m curious to know what others think.  To me it seems a fairly desperate gamble but one which may pay off.  If we get the player(s) we’re after, win something (a lesser cup) and/or appear competitive in the bigger competitions (Champions’ League and Premier League), I would consider it a success.  Wenger is getting old and the pressure on him is nearly unbearable.  We haven’t lost a match since 3 March, but when (not if) we do, the calls for his head will begin anew.  If those same “Wenger-Out” people believe that we should’ve spent the money on Suarez or Rooney, the anger will be even more intense.

Here’s to hoping our moves pan out, i.e., not Suarez and Rooney, and that we have enough success to keep the lynch-mob at bay.

Written by: 17highburyterrace

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127 Responses to Suarez? Rooney? What message is Arsenal trying to send?!

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi 17 HT,

    A very well written summary of where we are in the current torture window, and what might be going on behind the scene. In many ways I agree we should not go for the likes of Suarez, and to a lesser extent, Rooney, and I also agree with you we are not really after them. However, it is a very unsatisfactory process until now and I am happy we have a few friendlies to look forward to in the coming ten days or so.

    I don’t agree with you and a few others that no business will be done during our stay in Asia. A lot of the pre-work will have been done and phones can solve a lot of communication issues. And Wenger/Gazidis are just a 10 hour flight away from a return to Europe as well.

  2. Milo says:

    I was more interested in the last part of the post regarding the attitude towards the club, by it’s own supporters. I agree with most if not all of it. That is all I have to say, hahahahahaha 😀

  3. Wenger Is Always Right says:

    We’re becoming the laughing stock in the Premiership nowadays. Even S’ton and Swansea managed to get decent players in Bony and Wanyama. Looks like the club really doesn’t want to strengthen the squad nowadays, seems to content that achieving 4th spot is okay. You see, 8 years without trophies is slowly changing the manager’s mindset that winning trophies isn’t needed a so called big club like Arsenal. Why sign players like Higuain or Fellaini when you can save money for yoursef and the board by deceiving the fans every single year about getting quality players? They managed to get away with it for the last 8 years, surely they can do it for another 50 years by making false statement and ripping off the fans by charging higher ticket prices

  4. bc says:

    Sorry couldn’t read all the post as I’ve been on the stellas. But let’s just say that wenger is in last chance saloon as far as this gooner stands. 45 years of following will be clocked this season and we will pass our greatest ever barren run without trophies. People moan about the 8 seasons under wenger but let’s not also forget the trophyless seasons before that. Sure they were sandwiched by doubles and other cup winning seasons but in fact wenger has had 12 trophyless seasons not 8. I just wonder how many managers have won nowt that many times.

  5. bc says:

    Be a smart fan not a stupid one. You can follow the club at all the aways boycott the home matches and don’t give tbe club another penny until they show they know how to spend it. I’m not returning to the emirates or buying merchandise or flat warm beer and cold pies until the club buys the players we need to put in a decent challenge.

  6. TotalArsenal says:


    Although the TW is very frustrating from a Gooner’s perspective, you just cannot make such damning conclusions until it is finished. Signing up Wanyama or Bony would have been easy for Arsenal, so they are either going for bigger and better targets or are messing about. The proof will be in the eating of the pudding, and the fat lady has not sung yet, has she?

  7. I don’t think Wenger can be trusted with big money. He cannot be allowed to blow 40m on one player.

  8. fred says:

    If you think for one minute that wengers gonna sign rooney or suarez you better go and have a lay down. leopards don’t change their spots. hes a 7.5 million pound a year conman. and all you arsenal fans that have paid for your season tickets are gonna be very disappointed.i’ve given mine up after 15 years.. Its the same bs every year. Wenger was once great not anymore. he can’t spot a player anymore and he knows it.He pays crap players top money . wont pay top players top money Our clubs a joke. a money making machine where 4th place is a trophy and It breaks my heart..until the dithering wenger leaves our club don’t expect any silverware unless you think 4th is one. I wish u wenger lovers would wake up and smell the beans…….

  9. fred says:

    If you think for one min Our useless dithering manager is gonna buy rooney or suarez you better go and have a lay down. it aint gonna happen…the mans a 7 million pound a year joke.

  10. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Can’t believe I’ve missed so much on BK. Pleasure to read as always a good post with intriguing views.

    In Arsene we trust. I believe in Arsene but don’t think he is immune.

    I believe the club are trying hard to get deals through. I really do have the belief wenger/arsenal will surprise many. I have good faith or to say a little bit of excitement like a child of the prospect of a good surprise. Excellent additions to the squad.

    There is so much negativity and skepticism. People damning the club and wenger. It’s our time to deliver now which has been stated and it is our time to shine!

    If, and its a big if, we don’t sign the calibre that is expected/needed it would just be bad luck bad circumstances. Completely disagree with the notion of paying over the odds just to ‘land’ the player/s. That is just ridiculous and completely out of character. That is not Arsenal and what we represent plus it is just wrong.

  11. Gooner4eva49 says:


    Sorry mate but that is plain wrong I don’t believe it. Don’t really think wenger and arsenal doesn’t want to win things.

    I don’t know exactly Kroenke’s intentions but I am under the impression he is in it for the long term of not medium to long term. Why would anyone let the value of their club/franchise drop and be so reluctant to increase it?! I don’t believe shareholders have taken any money from the club!? If any money has been taken it hasn’t been any thing significant or substantial. Yes I know football is business now but arsenal have arsenals best interests at heart.

    You must know the financial constraints. You must know the financial doping of the league. You must know we have had arseholes let us down and jump shit. You must know agents and clubs can be bastards.

  12. TotalArsenal says:

    Good to see you again, Gooner4eva49 🙂

    Fine comment and all agreed!

    How is (married) life treating you?

  13. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Hello TA,

    How are you? Married life and life is all good my friend. Just got back from a ‘belated’ honeymoon in Sardinia. Absolutely beautiful.

    I’ve posted a comment in response to WIAR but it hasn’t appeared on the site and am pretty gutted that it hasn’t made it through?

  14. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Is my phone poo or is something up with d site?

  15. Bunburyist says:

    I’ve never commented on this blog before, but in the interests of sanity, I can’t let this one go.

    In answer to the question “what message is Arsenal trying to send?” the answer is clear: Arsenal are not trying to send any message because they are not the ones delivering it.

    It’s dismaying that an albeit small portion of football fans continue to be naively duped by third-rate “news” sources who are CONFIRMED to have fabricated stories linking clubs with players. Arsenal have so far been linked with over 200 players since May. How many of those will come? Maybe 2 or 3? How many do you think Arsenal have actually approached? Maybe 4 or 5?

    So what are the odds of a story about a bid being true? Less than 5% maybe?

    The greatest source for transfer links is not the clubs but the player’s agents who are shopping their player around. The other major source is the journalists imagination.

    It’s frankly incredible not only that someone would take seriously such transfer window media silliness, but then also imagine Arsenal could ever be serious about spending £40m on the disaster that is Luis Suarez (whose conversion rate is terrible, by the way), or even £25m on Rooney + his £250k/week wages.

    Unfortunately, spreading such nonsense only stirs anger from the fans at Wenger and Gazidis, who are then labeled “clueless” for supposedly showing interest in such players.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Bunburyist, Welcome to BK 🙂

    Very balanced and well-written comment, thanks. I am sure the author will respond to you at some point tonight or tomorrow.

    Question to you: do you believe the likes of The Guardian and BBC – who have also reported on bids been made for Suarez and Rooney by Arsenal – make up stories / follow the flow of gossip as well?

  17. Arsenal_vcc says:

    Thank you 17HT for a piece that goes more beyond “Cesc is returning because he “Liked” a photo”! 🙂 I suppose the media guys feel that Arsenal fans are really really desperate for news of some big name addition that they are milking it for all its worth.

    I could be mistaken, but my impression is that Wenger hardly uses media stories as a negotiation tactic. Looking back at the Higuain story development and taking Perez at his word, I am now a bit skeptical that we were in for Higuain at all. Strangely though the Suarez story might have more legs to it, I feel, based more on Liverpool’s reaction (reminded me of the situation we were in with regards to he-who-shall-not-be-named last year), which I found surprising since Wenger has talked up Theo and Pod in the striker role and since we appear to be a bit thin in the bench for CBs and holding midfielders (do you think that he might fit Ox into that role?). As SAF said you don’t want to play Poker with Wenger :-).

    In the end, I do think that the fact we did not lose any significant players augurs well though as a fan it does give a rush when you consider the prospect of Rooney, Fellaini, or Suarez in the team…

    On a different note, I do think that Ramsey is going to surprise many and will be the X factor for us.

  18. Tim says:


    But what is “paying over the odds” to you? There is an open market that dictates the value of players. Whether or not that market is artificially inflated by the oil clubs is irrelevant. We’re either able to compete or we aren’t, and if it’s the latter then Gazidis etc. shouldn’t be banging on as if we can.

    I’d also have to completely disagree with you that the club doesn’t “represent” paying over the odds when there have been countless players here over the past few years earning wages they wouldn’t receive anywhere else in the world. I’d also throw it out there that Arsenal supporters are paying over the odds when you compare ticket prices to those around the world.

    You’ll remember the Bayern supporters and their banners taking the piss out of everything from the fact that we aren’t allowed to stand to the fact that you can buy a season ticket at theirs for the price of a single match ticket at ours. In case you missed it, they’re the reigning champions of Europe.

    So, to sum it up, the club is all about “paying over the odds,” just not when it comes to improving the team.

    Speaking of banners brought in by away supporters, I think the linked banner below sums up the state of delusion at Arsenal quite nicely. And in case you missed it, United are the reigning champions of England.

  19. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Can’t help but sympathise with bun. Would like to know the view from TA’s question

  20. Bunburyist says:

    do you believe the likes of The Guardian and BBC – who have also reported on bids been made for Suarez and Rooney by Arsenal – make up stories / follow the flow of gossip as well?


    The Guardian and the BBC are marginally better in terms of the numbers (that is, whereas a site like CaughtOffside will link us with 3 or 4 players a day, the Guardian will give us 1 or 2 a week, on average). But they’re getting most of the information the same place as the Daily Mail or similar: agents, shoddy Spanish news sites like Marca, or their own creative inspiration.

    Often, a rumour persists for weeks because sites have lost track of the source–which may have been a 150-word speculative blurb in–and simply think it’s information that’s “out there” and therefore credible. The Rooney rumours are an example of this kind of continuity, and they fester still despite nobody having a clue who started it. The person who started it probably read that Rooney wanted out of United, and put that together with the fact that Arsenal seem to be on the move for a striker, and voila. Other sites make the same “connection,” and suddenly it’s a thing. It’s real.

    It’s not. It’s total speculation, and the first clues it is are phrases like “are given to understand” or “the Mail understands that” or “reports in Spain suggest,” which are rhetorical moves to make you forget about things like hard evidence…which they do not have.

    I have absolutely no doubt that the supposed Arsenal “interest” in Suarez was planted by his agent in the hopes of publicizing his player’s availability and desire to leave Liverpool.

  21. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed that the majority of the transfer stories are made up, but unlike you, I have little doubt that bids were made for Suarez and Rooney. Whether they were ‘serious’ bids remains to be seen, though.

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    Welcome Tim,

    Good, well-written comment.

    I can see where you are coming from but it just isn’t as easy as you see it. Liverpool paid over the odds for a number of players to force themselves into the top four two seasons ago. It back-fired.

    Do I want Arsenal to pay in excess of £25m for Fellaini and Benteke each? No thank you.

    Common sense needs to prevail.

    Let’s wait and see what happens this summer – we can only judge once the TW is over.

  23. Bunburyist says:

    Fair enough, but could you perhaps explain why you believe these bids were made?

    The media lie about bids all the time. The Guardian told us we had bid for Higuain. Perez told us we’ve never even spoken with Real. Maybe Perez is lying. Maybe the Guardian got fed some info by Higuain’s agent in the interests of putting his client in the shop window. Either way, someone is lying outright, shamelessly, and that very fact should tell you everything you need to know about the integrity of transfer speculation.

    Another example: Today we hear that because Wenger refused to answer a question about Suarez he is remaining “coy” and “secretive” and “tight-lipped” about the fact that Arsenal are raising their bid to £40m.

    Think about that for a second. This is information that is coming from nothing. Literally nothing. Silence, in fact.

    So, I guess I’d like to know why you’re convinced we would bid for Suarez and Rooney (leaving aside the fact that neither of them are as good as Higuain, and both come with baggage, and confirmed mercenary behaviour, the very thing Wenger is trying to avoid).

  24. TotalArsenal says:

    Because I do trust the BBC and Guardian to a large extent – they don’t tend to make stories up and appear to have good relationships with Arsenal (media people).

    Perez will say anything that suits him best; he is a man under tremendous pressure…

  25. Bunburyist says:

    Let me be explicit about why believing transfer speculation is harmful to your club:

    In most instances, people take transfer news with a tablespoon of salt, but those that get roped in often deliberately seek to damage the reputation of the club because all they see is a sequence of failed attempts in the market that must be the fault of those in charge.

    To find examples of this kind of behaviour, you need only look at comments on this site and all around the web. Look how many times Wenger and Gazidis are called clueless (or much worse) for pursuing targets deemed insufficient or inferior, or called failures (or much worse) because they can’t pull off the transfers that the media tell us are very much on.

    This anger and frustration hurled at the club is in fact based on nothing but agent-planted fiction or imaginative speculation.

    It creates infighting amongst fellow fans, as well as completely unwarranted attacks on the club’s caretakers.

  26. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thanks to those who enjoyed the post… Following the “news,” obviously, is full of pitfalls and, like everybody else, I’m just trying to do my best. The week didn’t start well for me, seeing (in the normally reputable Guardian) that we had made a bid of 30 million for Suarez…Like Total suggests to Bunburyist above, even if I don’t “believe” everything I read, I try to mull it over and consider what might be going on… (Which was exactly what I was trying to do with the post…)

    I’m very supportive of management but I have to wonder why we cannot get some solid information. Smirky statements about money to spend and who we could afford to buy–amidst the desultory results since the stadium move–can be seen as rather insulting. It’s sort of like saying “If you don’t like the way we’re doing things you’re always welcome to support another club….”

    So, my (tentative) conclusion is that this IS the message. I’m on board with the club and I can find enjoyment in supporting it as a sporting AND a business venture. Still, I’d like to hear something tangible. It seems unimaginable that we’re in for Suarez and/or Rooney but we hear no denials. This seems like as good a time as any to put my head in a hole and see what the squad looks like come the end of the TW…

    Nonetheless, I’ll continue to click on the (more reputable) websites and check NewNow about the others. If anybody has any better ideas, I’m certainly open to them….

  27. Admir says:

    Excellent post, 17ht. I might not agree with everything you wrote but it was a deep one. 🙂

    I’ve had an idea in my head since I was preparing for supper tonight. I think that Arsene Wenger is becoming a bit of an alchemist who is searching for a perfect player. “Yes, yes! I have money and I will sign Fellaini! But… There is a ‘new Fellaini’… Maybe he is a better version of Fellaini. I have to check it and double-check it before I sign him.” Perhaps we are doing to Barcelona youngsters what they do to our senior squad players because Wenger is desperate to find a new Messi somewhere among jewels from La Masia.

    The thing is, we have been too picky when it comes to new signings and it’s coming from someone who both thinks Suarez and, to the much lesser extent, Rooney shouldn’t be signed by Arsenal and that Wenger and Gazidis have done crappy job so far when it comes to transfers. I don’t need Messis and Ronaldos at Arsenal – I’m happy with keeping Wilsheres and signing Higuains.

    When it comes to being picky, there is a proverb on Bosnian that says: “Ko previše bira – masturbira.” (Let’s try to translate it this way: ‘The one that is too picky ends up playing with his winky.’)

    I agree with you that we should let Wenger and the squad to go with the route Wenger obviously picked but there should be some consequences for failures on that route. If our board is interested in more than just making money, Wenger shouldn’t get a new contract offer before the end of the March. We should know by then whether his route was the right one and the toughest matches will be behind us.

    Basically: “Mr Wenger, you and the boys have the biggest possible support in order to deliver success this season. You are free to choose which way is the best way to produce it. If you manage to do it, you will get a pay-rise, a statute and a new three-year-contract. If you fail on that mission, you won’t get new contract but a hand-shake.”

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    All agreed Bunburyist

    But that is the Terror Window for you. Speculations will always be made, and as Gazidis has come out with ‘we have money to spend and can buy big boys now’ (or is that fiction as well?), expectations have been raised.

    So unavoidable speculation and high expectations and nobody signed yet, is likely to lead to large amounts of dissatisfaction.

    I don’t care that much who will buy. I like the current squad and can see plenty of growth, and it would be relatively easy to strengthen the squad with a couple of typical Wenger signings. In fact, I loathe the whole TW with a passion.

    But transfer speculation is here to stay and not all is agent-planted.

  29. Gooner4eva49 says:


    Thank you for taking your time reading my ‘view’ and the opportunity to provide you with some answers to your question.

    Paying over the odds for me is an expression and description for paying more money/greater value for something/somebody that has a lower value. A value can be set at any price according to a club how they see fit I accept but a comparative value is based on ‘comparison’. The latter is a realistic valuation. I can go into a shop intending to acquire a snickers that is priced at £2. Knowing I can get a snickers for around £0.50 – £0.65 the £2 doesn’t stack up. Super Market value. No not cheap mr chocs from lidl.

    In comparison fans are paying ‘over the odds’ for ticket prices compared to other clubs if you are comparing teams battling out for titles then Manchester utd represents better value (thought u didn’t get ‘paying over d odds’? Gd analogy). But two totally different clubs different operations and opposite sides of the country. I think prices are high but I accept those prices when you compare us to the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea. A club with tradition and history that plays in a fantastic stadium with a great network playing awesome football in red and white. Arsenal for me.

    I’m paying over the odds when I can watch duckpond fc on Sunday for free and join them on an open top bus to celebrate winning a title for free.

    Bayern piece is irrelevant.

    Manure banners irrelevant. Post a pic of city’s banners as well why don’t you.


  30. Bunburyist says:

    Well-considered thoughts, 17ht.

    I guess for those on board with the Suarez / Rooney bids, there are different frustrations than those of us, like me, who believe we’ve actually done nothing!

    I’m still hoping we can pull off some great additions this summer–and we have until Sept 2nd–though I am really curious as to why our only addition so far is Sanogo…

    If you think about it, most clubs are in silent mode now. Not even Mourinho is blabbing about targets. Rodgers hasn’t said anything about Suarez that I can see. The rare exception these days is United, with Moyes insisting that Rooney will stay.

  31. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Hello TA,

    I hope you can receive this, none of my comments are appearing on ur site. Problem with site? This has never happened before.

    Thanks and kind regards


    Sent from my iPhone

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    Admir: ‘Ko previše bira – masturbira.’ hahaha 😛

  33. Tim says:

    Thanks for the welcome Total Arsenal.

    I don’t believe Benteke would fit here so no I don’t believe he’s worth 25 mil to us. Fellaini is a little trickier. If we want him then yes 25 is probably appropriate.

    As for Higuain and Suarez, I absolutely believe they are worth the sums that are being quoted. A team like ours needs lethal finishers; players who can turn nothing into something. Those two are those types of players, especially Suarez in terms of turning nothing into something. If we really are intent on signing players of their quality (and I agree with the author that we very likely aren’t) then penny pinching over a few million (yes I know “penny pinching” and “a few million” in the same sentence sounds ridiculous, but that’s the reality of modern football) just isn’t acceptable.

    I’d much rather have had Juan Mata in our team than the handful of Park, Benayoun, Chamakh, Gervinho etc. and a handful of cash for Kroenke. But we couldn’t get it done because we were penny pinching.

    The difference of a few million here and there isn’t going to ruin us financially, especially with the money that is now coming in. We have a chance to compete this season and we’re seeing it evaporate before our very eyes. The business (if there is any serious business to be done – I have my doubts) should have been done as quickly as possible to allow the new players to settle. I understand real life transfers aren’t as easy as they are on X Box but that doesn’t seem to prevent every other major club in the world from getting their business done. And no, I’m not even talking about City, Chelsea, Monaco, PSG, etc. United are the only other major club who hasn’t made their splash yet, but they’re the defending champions. And they’re a club who always get the players they need. How many times has it been blatantly obvious that Arsenal needed one or two more players and we’ve failed to get it done (and I don’t mean 20+ mil players – just one or two capable players)? Dortmund is a perfect example. A club similarly situated to Arsenal; a club that understood the necessity of improving their team and did so immediately. Why do we have such trouble getting the players we want/need and they’re seemingly able to get their deals done seamlessly? Makes you wonder…

  34. Gooner4eva49 says:


    I sent an email and its sent as a comment on the site????????? Having problems

    Sent from my iPhone

  35. Glic says:

    Fine post 17ht. 🙂

    Not sure if Arsenal are sending any messages out, as others have said, it`s the media, it`s what they`re paid to do… try and f**k with our heads !. My head is Nuke Proof though !, just like Cockroaches, Gervinho`s forehead, Giroud`s cock, Arsene`s stubbornness and Katie Price`s pussy !.
    I prefer to read the tea leafs in the bottom of my cup, so trust me when I say…..Tesco`s value tea bags are shit !. TalkSPORT is a good source of information but also can be dangerous to the health !……I heard the Moose say we were going to get Cesc on loan whilst getting diesel for the van the other day and nearly pissed myself, so I put my Hampton in where the nozzle should have been and pissed in the tank and put the nozzle in my bubble wrap Y-Fronts !. I know, it`s crap, but I have been driving in the sun for hours on end and my brain is frizzled !
    I shall go off now and read Tarot cards and get the ouija board out and see what the latest rumours are !.
    Night Broke Backers !.

  36. Flexzy says:

    Well said man. Seems like our management dont wanna strengthen our squad. They are comfortable with CL qualification.

  37. Funminiyi says:

    Nice write up 17HT. I can it to read Official on of completed deals, not just the offloading of the so-called deadwoods, but also of our reported transfer targets too. Make it happen Arsene, IG & Chips.

  38. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Thx TA.

    Bloody hell we have two different tims? Second tim is better value more text and more sense than the first one.


  39. TotalArsenal says:

    Apologies to G49, Fred and Glic 🙂

    Somehow your comments went straight into spam 😕

  40. Gooner4eva49 says:

    No worries. Glad it’s all sorted I was about to cry.

    Now go bk and reply to those comments! 😉

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Tim 🙂

    Fine follow up comment and mostly agreed. Mata was offered in the region of £60/70k per week more by the Southern Oilers. On a four year contract that’s £12-14m, which is not a few million.

    Maybe money is not the main factor standing in the way of getting the targets Wenger wants: we just don’t know and can only really judge towards the end of the terror window.

    Agreed that £23m for Higuain seems ‘reasonable’ but £35 for Suarez? Yes for the player but no to the person/liability to the club.

  42. Gooner4eva49 says:

    1st Tim,

    Certain players earning more wages at arsenal than anywhere else? Long term servants cazzo. Ok pay more than other clubs are willing to pay, which is fine if the money is produced solely from the club. Paid too much money too the likes of bedtner Denison etc. clubs policy. What’s your point?

    It wouldn’t be cost effective for me to travel to Germany week in week out. Especially just to get the satisfaction of supporting the reigning European champions which I completely forgot about. If that’s your motive then surely paying ur tv licence and supplemented subscriptions is the way to go.

    The gist of your comment suggests the club charges ‘over the odds’ as opposed to ”paying” over the odds.

    It doesn’t all come down to money many other factors contribute to winning.

  43. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Forgot to mention comparing values, paying to watch Arsenal is/was a bargain real value for money compared to QPR’s 1st season in the premier league after promotion. Most expensive tickets was over £70 and the cheapest just under £50. Hmmmm,……….


    Thanks 17, fine post mate.

    I dont know much and stay away from transfer stuff, but from what i have heard, and all jokes aside and this person works within the club and is not a figment of my imagination, is that we were given permission by Madrid to speak to Higuain and subsequently agreed personal terms with the player.

    Why the deal has not yet gone through is anybodys guess, but if the player has agreed personal terms and Madrid allowed him (pre Ancolleti) to explore his possibilities we have a good chance of nabbing him. Anyway, this is what ive heard and i dont think ive been lied to, so dont shoot the Messenger.

    As for Suarez, Rooney etc, i have no idea and prefer not to speculate. The whole things a mad house and at this rate we will all be eating live chickens.

    As for the support, there will always be divisions. It takes all sorts, If we are winning the treble every year there will still be moaners and whingers, and if were winning f*uck all, there will be those that are just happy to support. Some were in between these extremes there are a million other views all bought from different perspectives. F*uck fifty shades of grey, some silly bint should write “Fifty million shades of Arsenal

    From a personal point of view, yeah sure i have had my moments of chasing live chickens, i am always happy and excited about following Arsenal

    Denis Bergkamp or Lee chapman up front, makes no difference to me. I will still be counting the days to the August kick off with the same child like enthusiasm i had as a boy.

    “The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stiring”

  45. Gooner4Eva49 says:

    Well put Terry.

    I hope the spirit of the 30’s arrives. Not too far for them to get to the emirates they’ve had plenty of time!

  46. OMGArsenal says:

    A bit harsh HT especially since 99% of your article is pure speculation, way too dogmatic and based on media rumours and other unreliable factors… maybe a more balanced and objective view would say that Wenger had started the planning and then the negotiations for his preferred targets quite a while ago but since we are stepping from tier 2 players to tier 1 quality, it is harder and longer to negotiate?
    I don’t think Suarez,Rooney, Jovetic, Felliani are real targets but more red herrings. Higuain and maybe Torres, Gomez, Cesar and Benteke are in that possible category?
    One thing for sure, Wenger is on top of things and the rest of us, as usual, are in the dark, inventing either monsters or angels!

  47. VCC says:

    OMGArsenal, I don’t believe Arsene is on top of things any more. He misses the boat far too often nowadays. He has become a dithering individual who is afraid of slipping up. He takes the comfortable easy root now.

    As said earlier, I would prefer one quality player (Mata) as to the dross he has signed lately. He is afraid of failure, signing on the dotted line for one player who comes in at a high price.

    Our business should have been done by now so the team could bed in during our pre seson tour. Instead he has just picked up a young kid., who cost nothing. That has become his style.

  48. Gerry says:

    THIS IS NOT SPAM! – If that worked, I’ve wasted my only post?

    HT17 – Great post, great replies. Would love to say more, but it might get binned again???

  49. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Unlucky Gerry, it’s a pain in the arsenal.

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    Morning guys 🙂

    Gerry, there is nothing in ‘SPAM’ so if you did write a comment it got lost, I am afraid. Do you highlight and copy your text before you send your comment? Especially if it is a long one, this is a good thing to do.

  51. TotalArsenal says:


    You starting to repeat yourself from post to post, which makes you the one who is dogmatic. Could 17HT’s post have been more balanced?

  52. Gooner4eva49 says:

    Morning TA,

    I have noticed Arsene Wengers return to spectacles. Reminiscence of Le Prof 97/98. Surely he could afford laser treatment (could b scared, I doubt) even contacts. Has Arsene gone superstitious???

  53. Gooner4eva49 says:

    If you changed the transfer window on the laptop on the pic up top to Bergkampesque, that pic typified me last night

  54. oz gunner says:

    @ 17

    very well written piece of work there. Really enjoyed your comment at 11.03 also.
    I used to enjoy the torture window but now with social media it’s tiresome.

    I just hope the behind the scenes team put their money where their mouth is. I know they have a business to protect etc but if you are going to come out and say ‘we can compete with such and such. we have the finances blah blah’ show the supporters.

    We are either going to come out of the window looking like winners or complete fools. I’ll be an unhappy chappy if we look powerless again

  55. oz gunner says:

    @ TA

    I’m going to have to start charging you copyright ( 😉 )

  56. JM says:

    The message that Borussia Dortmund sent:

    “After we sold Goetze(€37m), Bittencourt(€2.8m) and Santana(€1m), we brought in Mkhitaryan(€27.5m), Aubameyang(€13m) and Sokratis(€9.5m). No beating around bushes, no mind games, no false feeds to the media. We went in with little fuss and got them all. Weidenfeller, Subotic, Hummels, Piszczek, Sven B, Guendogan, Reus, Blaszczykowski are still with us. Lewandolski will give his all in his final term with us. Klopp and his team are working as hard as ever to improve our players. We are Die Borussen, we are stronger than ever.”

  57. Hello 17HT,fellow gooners..

    Loved your post 17ht!!!

    It indeed is a strange ‘silly season’..from Ivan announcing 2 the world of our riches(70 million big one’s) 2 the players being linked to us..some are realistic targets(Higuain, Fellaini??) while others we would take the rumors with a pinch of salt(Wazza and Suarez)

    What is undeniable about our rumored transfer activities as it seems, is that we are after top quality players who will have an immediate impact on our squad..i’m no expert on transfers but some of the things pretty much sound ‘made-up’ example is the return of Cesc..we would ALL love our former captain back but i think this is the media pandering to the ‘transfer-hungry’ Arsenal fans and giving them something FALSE 2 dream the end the player remains at cataluna and the fans point towards the board 4 inactivity and blame them 4 not snapping up a player who was not even on our shortlist..

    What seems bizarre is the intensity of some of the ‘ridiculous’ rumors..Suarez comes 2 mind..a player whom i’d personally snap up but whom represents everything opposite of what Arsene would sign i.e. too much media coverage; Wazza..a player who would completely shutter our wage put him even on 170k p/w would distable our dressing room..yet the rumors persist

    i look back at last season’s signing of Santi..his name had not done its round too much on newsnow yet we got him..only during the final stages of our negotiations with him did we know of our interest in point is, i believe Arsene will snap up a players or two that he NEEDS and NO..they might not be the one’s doing their rounds on the internet

  58. TotalArsenal says:

    hahaha Gooner4eva49 🙂

    Maybe he wants to be a glasses half full kind a guy again. 😀

  59. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Oz, good image indeed! 🙂

    I’ll repay you generously with post space on BK! 😀

  60. TotalArsenal says:

    KG – great comment and let’s hope you are right in your last paragraph.

    How is life in Kenya today, and in which town/area do you live?

  61. Thanks TA..

    Life’s smooth in Kenya..still adjusting 2 our new government and all, but things look promising, especially 4 the young generation.. I live in our capital city Nairobi

  62. Gerry says:

    TA – In answer to your earlier question. No I had not written anything else this morning.
    I only put in one line testers yesterday, after losing bigger ones the two day previous.
    I had a racing blog to do today, so i just tried the glic method – No! Not in front of the mirror! I don’t know, some people and their one track minds?

    What I am saying, for anybody else having this problem, is; Just tab at the end of your message, that highlights your e-mail address. Delete it, then write it in again. As G4E said earlier, it is a pain in the arsenal, but not such a big one as losing an hours worth of scribbling … or may be dribbling. And that answers your other question, no I don’t highlight and save. VCC was also having a problem, but he is just smouldering in the background waiting to ignite at the next ‘failed’ signing ha ha

    On the broader question of the day, I think HT17and I do have a similar approach, which is why when he posts, I really don’t have to – Thank you HT

    I have had a little time to mull over the Suarez thing, and side issues to aside, it is quite a canny move. Yes we want Higualn. Yes he wants to come. Real would sell, but may be getting another striker in has been mademore difficult with that pool so much smaller? If he can be persuaded to stay, they have a mini coup without it costing anything? But by AW stirring the pot with Suarez, their one possible signing that might represent a coup …. Well it can now go either way. They double their efforts to keep Higgy, or they up our ‘inquiry’ and sell us Higgy and get Saurez?

    Meanwhile, AW has the chance of a top striker as an alternative to Giroud, but will probably need to get an AM/SS to support, or he has a player(player note, not person) to fit in within the existing players, and settle for the creative DM to move things along quicker. Win, Win?

    I think Suarez would be happier in Spain, but he knows Chelsea would only want him because they can pay the price. Arsenal, and AW makes it interesting because they value him as a player, which clearly appeals to him(reportedly?). I cannot believe Liverpool are paying him vast amounts, certainly not in the ‘Rooney’ class, so don’t be too surprised if it happens?

    JM – Just make my displeasure worse by telling me that BD got PEA for £13m. I read it was £15m, and that is a snip. I shall certainly be watching BD on my new BT Sports channel, except it is actually ESPN doing it. I am not too bothered by us having a long struggle at getting players we want at the ‘sq’ end, but it is very frustrating that players, like, PEA, Le Gren, and probably Ginter, we could have got now with decent offers, and by missing out, so when they have proved themselves elsewhere they will cost a damn sight more?

    The only good news I read on that front is that KLOPP might be our next manager should AW retire early, so he can bring PEA and a couple of others with him ha ha.

    Right, now to go through the formalities of getting this one on site ..

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    Really glad this one got through, Gerry. Fun to read and full of insight. 🙂

  64. TotalArsenal says:

    Really good to hear that Kenyan Gooner. I read an article a while ago stating that the Kenyan elections were not only important for future peace and prosperity in Kenya, but also the wider area of Eastern Central Africa.

    Do you ever stay in the mountain ranges of Kenya?

  65. Red Arse says:

    I enjoyed that 17HT,

    A good read and well expressed, sir! 🙂

  66. Red Arse says:

    For anyone interested, ESPN are carrying the Arsenal pre-season friendlies versus Indonesia and Vietname, tomorrow and Wednesday respectively.

    [Sunday 2.45 p.m. and Wednesday 1:00 p.m.]

    (Other blog sites are having Word press problems with comments going missing).

  67. Red Arse says:

    The times above are U.K. based.

  68. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, morning here and I’ve pulled my espresso (a beautiful single origin Ethiopian) so I’m ready…

    Thanks for the props on the post–it’s very nice to hear. With the little statements from Asia–mostly about AW and IG working on the manager’s next contract AND the more cagey statements that yes, we’re after players of the quality of Suarez and Higuain (but nothing more)…I feel somewhat vindicated. The message is clear: we need to trust the manager AND we all should be grateful that he’s not a mercenary and thinking of cashing in (even more) with the job in Paris. There was also some talk about the need to do better this next year and how he cannot take his performance (and his job at Arsenal) for granted…

    (For Bunburyist, who, I hope, sticks around…) Can we “believe” these statements? Why not?… 😉

    Again, the message (to me) is clear: In Arsene we are trusting, for better or for worse. His signing is the big story. He wants to improve the squad and our results (his “performance”) and doesn’t take his job as a given. He’s willing to absorb the pressure even if he’s got a back-up plan, a (very) soft place to land (PSG) if things don’t go so well…

    It all suits me fine. I think the ongoing story of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal is at least as entertaining as anything on the pitch. Sure, it would be nice to throw money around but seeing an intelligent man committed to making his legacy at our club is fascinating. These are difficult times and English football is full of challenges. I liken it to murky waters with sharks everywhere. As much as England is an outlier these days, it is also a real center of the action. In truth, Arsenal have been a competitive non-entity for many seasons (standing on the shore, barely getting our feet wet…) but maybe we’re getting ready for a swim…

    But that’s just an analogy about the bigger picture. Looking at the reality of what it took to (barely) get up for 4th, we need improvements and we need them sooner than later. We’re sports fans and (to quote Veruca…) we want something NOW. In other words, who (the f*ck) are we buying!?!…

    This is the actual quote from AW when asked about Suarez and Higuain (and Rooney)–I think–It’s hard to tell from the Guardian’s report exactly how the question was phrased:

    “They are all realistic targets quality-wise, [although] not all of them are available to join us. All of those players are under contract and it is the club that decides if they can go and, after, if they can join us. The fans, the players, everybody is reassured by big names always. But what is important is that we don’t need numbers, we need quality. We are after “quality” but if the player is not available what can we do?”

    Bottom line–again–it’s not like going to the Waitrose and just pulling something off the shelf…

    Last year we lost RvP (and Song) and got (early) Poldolski and Giroud. Later we got Santi. He didn’t cost us much but he was our best player. If we can hold onto our guys (Sagna) or replace with improvement (TV5?, Gervinho?) AND make improvements with real quality (a striker who would make Poldolski and Giroud “depth” players, a midfielder who would relegate Ramsey to a similar position…) we would be looking good.

    Since we’re getting zero info this is what we’re trusting Arsene to do…

    Go on then, do it…

  69. jnyc says:

    I dont know the whole truth, but i do know this, we can have higuain today if we want him. Pay the quoted price. If we end up with no top striker because of haggling, i will be furious. Real dont need to accept a low bid.we need the player, i hope hig is not frustrated with us, or ancelotti can convince him to stay. Get it done.

  70. 17highburyterrace says:

    JM, Gerry…

    The Dortmund analogy is very interesting. In truth I don’t know much about the German situation but I get the sense that the game in that country is as “healthy” as anywhere. The clubs are making money and they are spending it to bring in real talent. Bayern is head and shoulders above the others but Dortmund are doing very well also. (11-3, combined, over the Spanish giants in the CL semis is really impressive…) Is it similar to the situation of United and Arsenal a decade ago–but with MUCH greater success in Europe, and, obviously, with wonderful repercussions for the German national team?

    Why aren’t the billionaires buying clubs in Germany? Over the past decade they bought in England (I’m including American Billionaires too, at ‘Pool, United and Arsenal…) but now France seems the new frontier. Malaga was an attempt to break the two club hegemony in Spain, but why nothing in Germany?

    Anyhow, just a question that I probably need to investigate for myself….


  71. Red Arse says:


    The rules in Germany are different to those in the UK.

    No billionaire investor can own more than 49% of any German football club, which menas 51% are owned by fans or other investors.

    It is sometimes referred to as the 50 + 1 rule.

    I wrote a Post on this once, and everyone got into a pickle about it — so that’s me done!! 😀

  72. Glic says:

    I think it`s because the German clubs are all owned by 51% of the fans or something along them lines, no foreign owner can have more than 49% !.
    Don’t quote me though as my expertise is in the area of Love and the brief history of Lesbania !. hahaha

    Out to fry in the sun !. Usually the only way we know it`s summer in England is that the rain is warmer !.

  73. Glic says:

    Oops !….Redders is quicker on the draw !. 🙂

  74. 17highburyterrace says:

    RA, Thanks! I guess I’ll have to look that one up… That’s a very interesting rule…(All modesty aside, you’re due another post, I hate to tell you… 😉 )


    The sad fact is that, no matter how close we are (or “were” 😦 … ) to getting Higuain, if Ancelloti can convince him to stay at RM, that is where he is under contract…

    Being in Spain last fall (during Real’s abysmal start to the season) a lot of merengues, once they were done cursing Mourinho, would curse Benzema and ask why Higuain didn’t get more of a chance. During that period they lost (LOST!) matches TWICE in Seville (Sevilla and Real Betis) and, across town, at Getafe. (They also dropped points at Valencia and lost a CL fixture at Dortmund and a Copa del Rey fixture at Celta Vigo.) It was completely unacceptable. Was the problem at striker? Was the problem in relying too much on Ronaldo or was it because they couldn’t break down teams that parked the bus with the likes of Ozil and Modric trying to pull the strings?…

    My point is that they’ve got issues but they’ve also got a TON of resources. Getting young, Spanish up and comers Isco and Illaramendi into the squad are huge coups, but are they enough? Suarez (and/or Bale) might be more exciting additions but also come with big issues. (One bites, the other sucks… 😀 ) Getting Ancelloti was a lot of work in and of itself and a lot of supporters might like to see if he can make the difference with (essentially) the same squad that Mourinho had at his disposal…

    While it’s all fine and good to say–Get it done (which is exactly what I said above…), I think the reality is that ALL clubs, some with deeper pockets than ours, are trying to do likewise…

  75. James Bond says:

    now that’s what i’m talking about, a 2nd post by 17HT and a very good one !

    some fine fine comments as well, well done to everyone involved .

    my take ? at the risk of trying not to repeat the overnight comments and sticking to one point in particular,

    i don’t think that a club like Arsenal would bid for any player unless they were encouraged to do so before hand by the players reps or maybe the players themselves ? imagine this, Arsenal meet Suarez’s release clause of 40 million (or is that the figure Liverpool want to open negotiations ? i think that’s actually the release clause figure)…yeah so we make a bid for 40 million and then Suarez says, no sir, i am not interested in joining as i want to go to Spain….imagine what a mockery that would make of Arsenal’s image….so i would like to think that the player and his reps were on board…

    same can be said with the other bids as well i feel.

    last but not least, i mentioned it before and i will say it again, you don’t see any other big club saying that we have a “100 million war chest” even when they have in excess of that amount available to spend … this is where we got it all wrong i reckon and continue to do so, we have been crying out wolf from the past so many years and announcing we have X amount of money available to spend but by the end of it, we’ve not even spent one fourth of that money reportedly mentioned by the board members e.t.c.

    ok, so we have a few quid to spend in the transfer market, why put a limit to it and let everyone know that it’s 70 million ? just keep your mouth shut and get on with it like JM has posted in reference to Dortmund…

    are we becoming a laughing stock ? (no sir, we already are based on our past transfer window speculations and money being made available to AW).

    can we rectify it and repair the image ? (yes sir, by actually getting in a few quality signings even if it means spending 40 million on Suarez and telling RM – up yours and screw you.

  76. jnyc says:

    And notice that i dont mention fellaini, suarez, rooney etc. I filter out 95% of the junk rumours. I believe we tried for bender. And i believe we could have higuain, im thrilled that he is “interested ” in us. Such has been our reputation lately as talent sellers, not buyers, or title challengers.
    ——We need to do something decisive for a change, even if its overpaying for proven international quality. i think maybe he is a special individual who appreciates our style, and sees our foundation of talent and bright future, and has the confidence that he can help us in a big way achieve success.
    More the shame if we miss out over price haggling. Yes i know madrid are partly to blame, but i believe the player higuain could be ours if we really are determined to make ourselves unquestionably better.

  77. jnyc says:

    And thanks 17HT, TA, GERRY, TIM,VCC, and everyone.
    — Incredible, intelligent discussion here.


  78. 17highburyterrace says:

    I’ve been waiting for JB (and the other transfer junkies…HH, AFC, where are you guys?…) to see what they have to say…

    Obviously, I don’t quite get it either. Why would any entity go into negotiations trumpeting your deep pockets?

    That’s what we’ve done and it seems stupid. Does it make us a laughing stock? I think on-pitch results are far more important. United fans can post banners about buying class and we have to absorb it. Spurs and Pool fans have to accept that we were able to finish ahead of them and get up for 4th…

    Of course, 4th isn’t good enough. Not when you’ve got the highest ticket prices and are about to “reward” our manager with a new contract that will (very likely) leapfrog him above our highest paid players. So, come on A-Dub, show us what you’ve got. You tell us to trust you, so trust we must…

    I wish I were neutral in all this. The story at Arsenal is exquisite. AW is staking his legacy to his financial prudence and moving us from slavery to the promised land (Egypt to Israel?) even if the names involved (Highbury and the Emirates…) almost make it seem a journey in reverse…Can he do it? Are we a Modern Super-Club (as the book title tried to suggest)? Not yet, I fear…

    I really think Rooney and Suarez are smoke-screens and all about us trying to throw our weight around in pressuring the “bigger” clubs to get their business done so that we can get our man (Higuain). What I don’t get is what happens if everybody calls the bluff and stands with what they’ve got. That’s the path of least resistance and, like I said (above) about Real Madrid, keeping Higuain isn’t their worst option. Same with Suarez and Liverpool (not to mention Rooney and United). Both teams might benefit from change (esp. ‘Pool) but both have mountains to climb that maybe aren’t actually climbable? Can RM actually get ahead of Barca (anytime soon)? Can ‘Pool actually get back to CL football (ever)? These challenges seem as tough (or even tougher) than ours and maybe, just maybe, AW (and creepier by the day, Ivan Gazidis…) have their eyes on other players whose names aren’t even on the radar who can improve our (fledgling) squad enough to get us that little bit closer…

    I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…it’s really all we can do…

  79. James Bond says:


    that’s the thing though, RM are not sticking to the quoted price and rate him much higher…

    their stance is that the reported 25 million or so is not what they have quoted and rate him to be much higher than that when Arsenal apparently upped it to 23.1 million.

    i think it all stems from the drama queen aka RM’s president Perez, he loves staying in the headlines be it for a reason or no reason at all, such are the pressures on him i guess.

    Perez and Levy are a match made in heaven, note how it took them over 18 months to conclude the Modric deal

    if RM managed to secure a striker (Cavani, Suarez, Ibra) then yeah they would sell Higuain for 23.1 mills but because i feel they haven’t, they are playing mind games and frustrating us in the process.

  80. 17highburyterrace says:

    JB, I think has it about right with the discussion of Madrid and their president…

    Jnyc, Like you say, Higuain has to want the move and all accounts suggest he does. Still, Real Madrid, if you’re a Spanish speaking footballer, has to be seen as the pinnacle. Most observers (or at least Sid Lowe at the Guardian…) suggest that he’s never really been loved (or fully been given his chance) at Madrid. Arsenal might represent a new chapter and a great opportunity, as we did for Santi (and Nacho) or as Chelsea did for Mata, ‘Pool did for Torres or City did for Silva, Aguero and Javi Garcia, and now Navas and Negredo. The thing about all those guys, however, is that they weren’t already at Real Madrid (or Barca)….

    Money is one thing (and we will probably have to pay more) but players making these big moves is another. My hope is that we’re doing all we can (and more) on all fronts. Still, because AW’s legacy is so heavily tied to his (responsible) financial approach, I think there are limits. Eventually, the only power in any negotiation is being able to walk away from the deal…

    Which makes it all the stranger to trumpet all the money we have to spend… 🙄

  81. James Bond says:

    besides i feel if Higuain was so keen on coming to the Emirates then why hasn’t he put in a transfer request himself after agreeing personal terms and so on ?

    yep, we are being messed about not only by RM but also by Higuain and his representatives i reckon…23.1 million is not miles off by the supposedly quoted figure of 25 million.

    same goes for Fellaini, you want to be in a bigger club playing CL football then stop demanding over 100 k and put in a transfer request as well 😀

  82. 17highburyterrace says:

    So, JB, what’s your (real…) take on the Suarez and Rooney “links,” “bids,” or whatever…Are we really in for those (sorts of) guys or are we bluffing and just throwing our weight around and (simultaneously) torturing that part of our fan-base who (only) care about getting the “best” possible players in, no matter what the cost (in terms of money AND our so-called “values”)?

    I know you put a little money on Cesc returning…Anything wagered on la mordita (the biter) and Shrek?

  83. 17highburyterrace says:

    Bond, WTF is a transfer request? Is it the same as the statement that RvP issued some 375 days ago? Is there really such a thing? Can’t clubs “make” players honor (honour?) their contracts, no matter what?

    To me, these things ALL seem malleable–a good agent should work all angles and when the dust settles get his player to make all the right statements about “Wanting to be at Arsenal all along” or “always wanting to retire at Real Madrid.” We’re getting all twisted (and then re-twisting them to our own preference…) with things we read, but, unless we choose to get out and enjoy the sunshine (which I will be doing shortly…) what else is there to do?… 😉

  84. James Bond says:

    a transfer request is such when the lil boy inside start jumping up n down and so on.

    yep, you got it right, agent work and what not

    but on a more serious note, Fellaini demanding 100 k wages isn’t a whole lot and we should be able to offer him those if he forces Everton’s hand.

  85. James Bond says:


    my real take about all these bids ?

    well, at the risk of being slated then i will have to say this is all a ploy letting fans hear what they wanted…that we’re in for Rooney e.t.c e.t.c and look we’ve even stated it and made a bid…

    i really feel we’re not serious in bringing them to the emirates or else we would have kept it to ourselves and done the business behind closed doors with the respective clubs instead of openly having bids rejected like that….

    saying that, even if we’re not serious about them, the purpose of making such bids and knowing that they will get rejected for “sure” also sends out the message to potential clubs we’re looking to buy from is that hey, if you don’t play ball then don’t worry, we’re not putting all our eggs in one basket and are prepared to move on just as quick…..this 20 million bid for Rooney should be seen as a warning and if you continue to mess about, we will bid 30 million for Suarez, that’s strike 2….

    if you still continue to mess us about then it’s 40 million for Suarez – strike 3 and you’re out keep your players and politics to yourself, we’re a big club and we don’t get bullied even if it means we only just get 1 player this summer , then so be it.

    i was reading Wenger’s interview earlier and he was again stressing on the look for “1 or 2” players…

    i would be very surprised if it’s more than 2.

    so in essence we can by Suarez and Fellaini – that’s our business concluded.

  86. James Bond says:

    oh and indeed clubs can make players honour their contracts, isn’t that what’s precisely happening at Dortmund with Lewandoswki ? doesn’t his contract run out next season and only then he can join BM ?

    yep, that’s a firm firm stance by Dortmund and a serious sign of intent,

    they said to BM, you took Gotze because our hands were tied (release clause) but with Lewandoswki, we’re not in a similar situation and if he wants to join you so much then he will have to wait another 12 months in order to do it.

  87. 17highburyterrace says:

    Good stuff, Bond…

    When it comes to players with issues, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. One man is offended by (chronic) visits to prostitutes and pool photos of cigarettes and lager (and salaries as bloated as the beer belly…) while another cannot take intentional handballs and an occasional (on-pitch) dinner with Hannibal Lecter amongst repeated misuse of identifiers while “sh*t-talking” at a defender. Still others might tolerate a supreme talent who often makes poor (dangerous and or baited) challenges. What I’m saying is that one man’s Rooney, is another’s Suarez, is another’s Ballotelli… Frankly, I doubt Wenger, with all the pressure he’s already heaped upon himself, would touch ANY of them…

    As such, I still maintain that it’s Higuain or somebody well off the (current) radar…

    Re: Fellaini. This is the case of not wanting to overpay–the club or the player. The Fro would plug a (big) hole for us, but is he really all that? A younger guy with more technical (ball skills) would be the long-term answer (i.e. a Bender)… An older, solid, metronomish sort (i.e., Gareth Barry) might also give us a tiny bit of breathing room so that Ramsey can continue to “develop” (rolly eyes) and we don’t have to sweat quite so much each time Arteta appears hurt.

    Again, the message is that Arsene wants better results but is staking his legacy on getting us onto this “firmer” financial footing… And you, as a “supporter,” can love it or leave it….

    In the meantime, replacements for departed (and/or departing) keeper(s), and CBs and winger/forwards too “sick” or injured to make the Asian trip might also be in order…

    Also, yes, teams can make players honor their contracts (Lewandoski at Dortmund). Perhaps we need to use that 24 million we got for RvP…(or would United have won the title anyhow and would we have still struggled for our CL spot and still be dealing with finding a “real” replacement for the little boy with the grey hair?)…

    We “trust” that AW is on it…

  88. Red Arse says:


    A transfer request from a player negates any additional payment based on his contract.

    It differentiates from when a club wants to sell a player who has ‘time’ remaining on his contract. In those circumstances a player negotiates a contract with the ‘new’ club, but also gets a percentage of the ‘old’ contract.

    If the player asks for a transfer he forgoes that ‘extra’ payment.

    Of course clubs can make players stay and fulfill their contractual responsibilities, but it is a balancing act between keeping a dissatisfied player, and losing any fee they can get for him.

    In the case of RvP, Arsenal sold him for £24m, whereas if they kept him for the final season, they would have got zero, nada, sod all at the end of it.
    To keep the player for spiteful reasons, or the forlorn hope that he will not be bothered about restrictions on his career wishes, or his DNA desires ( 😦 ) and that he will continue to play to his full ability is somewhat moot.

    What Arsenal may have got wrong in recent cases is not to have immediately re-invested the transfer fees in similarly gifted players.

  89. TotalArsenal says:

    Wow 17 is back!!! 😛

    I’ll have some of that Ethiopian exotic coffee you’re drinking! Once you get going you are like a rhinoceros. Fantastic comments, 17! 🙂

  90. TotalArsenal says:

    And great comments as well by Bond, super-johnnie and Redders 🙂

    Redders, thanks for the Arsenal TV update. I will watch the game and see whether I can do a match review.

  91. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA, 🙂

    Special attention to our man Sanogo! 😀

    Have you been toasting your torso on this incredibly hot day? Or just watching the girls — like Glic and the Terry man? 🙂

    Well not that they are girls — just that they always use the telescope given half a chance, produced from under a raincoat!! 🙂

  92. 17highburyterrace says:

    Uh, thanks, I think, TA…I don’t mean to run roughshod over people…I think Bond can take it, however 😉 and I think we’re more or less in agreement… except when it comes to Rooney… 🙄

    That’s good stuff about transfer requests, RA, and it makes it easier to understand why players aren’t doing it at the higher levels. Reinvesting, of course, gets tough. RvP, I think, can be seen as a pretty high class player. Giroud and Poldolski were not the worst “replacements” but Santi was the real gem but (of course) a year late in “replacing” Cesc…

    I still think that AW is pretty scarred by the experience with Arshavin. Under pressure for our CL spot he went out on a limb to get the little Russian. We got back up for 4th that season but Arshavin had little to do with it and probably dragged us down more than he helped. (The limb that snapped?)… I definitely see AW as changed from that experience and eager to spread out his risk. As poor as we are currently we need more than a single player (and a single season…) to turn this ship around…

    Personally, I’m hoping to be in it for the long haul so any incremental improvement is fine by me. Keeping the squad working as a unit seems step one. Step two is adding real quality which improves the team and (if we keep our better players) makes us deeper so we can compete on all fronts.

    A final issue might be getting our support (finally and) firmly behind the team so that we start each home match with the proverbial 12th man… I cannot tell if management’s strategy with these links to (or lack of denials about) players (with their serious on and off field issues) is a conscious effort to “divide and conquer,” but it certainly might have that effect…

    Or, to be less Rhinocery about it… (but still increase my word count, which may be what you mean… 😳 ) that’s how it seems to me…

  93. Glic says:

    I thought at the start of 17ht`s 17:25 he was talking about TERRENCE TRANSPLANT !. hahaha
    Good stuff though !. I reiterate one of my earlier comments…..We must be delving secretly for some serious Super Duper Quality…..if not, Wenger and Gazidis are going to look like a pair of Khuntz and also make Arsenal the laughing stock of the EPL and I will be laughing along side them as I torture the bastards !. hahaha

  94. Glic says:

    Redders. I have been driving around the South West beaches for the last 3 days with scantily clad bodies everywhere and kept thrusting my gear stick into gear with no luck…until I realised it wasn`t my gearstick I was trying to put in gear !. hahaha

  95. Red Arse says:

    Incorrigible, Glicy!! 🙂

    Let us know if you manage to mesh your gear knob with the requisite female connector — erm, well maybe not! 😀

  96. Red Arse says:


    Sorry for my confusing comment re Sanogo — I gave the times and dates for the Arsenal games, but I got carried away and was then referring to the U20s Final on Eurosport, which is taking place right now. France v Uruguay. Oops 😳

    Sanogo is not going on the Asian Tour, of course. 🙂

  97. ProudGooner says:

    Hello all! 17th good read,
    Wenger has turned down PSG and again committed himself to our club, does he deserve a bit more respect.? I would say he does.
    If you think about it the oil rich clubs came about when we were at our weakest point by committing to the stadium and with Manure always been a big spending club we were always unlikely to be able to compete fully.All the money we now have is mainly down to Wenger as well.
    80% off the time he buys great players , he always finds us good players. If he can find us another Bergkemp -Santi – Podolski – KOS – or Henry we will be happy no matter what price they cost and for the club all the better.
    Wenger stated today that his heart is with our club that is why all the other jobs he has been offered over the years he has turned down. He has offer 30m for Luis , i think some strong signings are on there way, but the sooner the better.
    He loves our club, he wants to win . Just a little more patients , its hard i know.
    Nice to see Moyes lose his first game in charge 🙂

  98. Red Arse says:

    For those not watching: the France v Uruguay U20s Final, it is a bit slow and not too exciting.

    Sanogo seems to be a younger version of Barndoor — content to stroll around with the game passing him by after almost 30 minutes.

    As in previous games Thauvin is by far the best of the bunch!

  99. ProudGooner says:

    Thanks for that Red Arse , i would have missed the game other wise.

  100. Red Arse says:

    Well said, ProudG. 🙂

  101. Dylan says:

    Great post 17! 🙂 I have to agree with you, I couldn’t see (nor do I want) Arsenal buying Suarez/Rooney. I believe these are clever transfer strategies. (Ex. We bid for Suarez, make Madrid panic, buy him quicker, and we get Higuain). I still have faith that big signings will be made at Arsenal this summer. We just need to have faith. 🙂

  102. ProudGooner says:

    Thanks Red Arse,
    Glad you think the same.

  103. Dylan says:

    RA, did you just see that ball from Kondogbia to Sanogo? That kid is class, we should snap him up too. With Sevilla in trouble we should easily be able to snap him up for £7-10 million. To get a DM so good at 20 years old would be good business. And Wenger has already confirmed he is interested in him. 🙂

  104. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yaya draws a yellow and stays down in almost Giroud-esque style, although he didn’t go for the waving hand thing…

    Also, I haven’t seen him called offside yet, but I only tuned in around the twenty minute mark…

    PG, so you want Suarez at the club? Just curious….

    Also, if Suarez has a 40 million pound release clause (and I really don’t know, or care, if he does…) is it considered insulting to only offer 30?

    My real question, of course, is, are we seriously in for him? It’s highly doubtful, I believe, but what do I know?…

    Yaya–NO…What a ball from Kongdogbia!! and Yaya doesn’t want to use his left….


  105. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sorry, added an extra g on Kondogbia….maybe because that ball was that GGGoood…

  106. Red Arse says:


    I can see why so many clubs are looking at Kondogbia.

    A good defensive player and a good offensive player — well worth AW throwing Arsenal’s hat in the ring.

  107. 17highburyterrace says:

    2nd half on…Sanogo a little sloppy but still with good size and running and calmness in trying to get his touches to work…

    I fear going for Kondogbia might be one French under-20 too many for a lot of Arsenal supporters.

    Intent is everything, building for the future, not so much….

    Agreed Dylan, about faith…

  108. Dylan says:

    17, I don’t see Kondogbia as just a France U20 international. He made 31 appearances last year for Sevilla, the team who finished 9th in La Liga (meaning they’re at a decent level). I think his signing would be welcomed much more than Sanogo’s, but only if we also sign a big name DM to go with him.

  109. ProudGooner says:

    I think we are serious for him yes,i hink we have been in for Higuain and the more the price has been rising for him Wenger has thought why not pay the extra for Suarez our selves a proven PL goal scorer, but we all sense that there is a bit of up yours Real and is they decide to sell Higuain to us then all well and good sort of thing.
    Do i want him at Arsenal .? He is a great player so i will say yes! The bloke is nuts though.. If he comes to us i will support him , He would be great in our side and vise versa us for him. As long as we can get him on the bacon butties instead of canerbolism too.
    His crazy actions come from his all out , anything goes to win attiude and we could maybe do with 1 like him in our side to be honest.;

  110. ProudGooner says:

    Offering 30m is not that insulting when you consider that the player will probably miss 1/4 of the season im going on my thought that he will get sent off at least once on top of his bite ban, also the the whole crazy Luis thing that will come with him, it should be more but that has got to take a bit off his price.40m should be the max any team should pay for him i think 35m would be fair

  111. James Bond says:

    in complete agreement with both 17HT and RA.

    by the way, to everyone else, don’t lose heart when you see other clubs make record signings and buying players left right and center….it’s all to do with all the TV money coming in, which basically means most if not all EPL teams are in a very favourable situation as far as buying new players is concerned….

    so put that into perspective and it makes you wonder if we actually have 20 million of our own money to spend on transfer plus the 50 million approx from the TV money ? (approx figures just for the sake of discussion and making a point here).

    i am inclined to think so , yes.

  112. 17highburyterrace says:

    Extra time… I agree Dylan, but you’re not the sort of supporter I’m worried about 😉 …

    Likewise, Pogba, who is really the dominant player out there, but also shows some of the attitude issues that got him moved from United, wouldn’t be considered an U-20 France player either…except that he would be…Milan would be sure to get plenty of money if they sold him, I’m sure…

    The pressure on Wenger is such that we need players who cost enough money AND are worth it, in the very near term. No question that Suarez and Rooney cost enough, the 2nd part is the worry…

    Like you, I have faith that we will get improvements where we’re desperate for them–Goal scoring and in the rear part of the MF, but I can also see why supporters are nervous and impatient. At the same time we should most certainly be building for the future. Sanogo, having a poor outing today, I think, shows some promise. He needs time to grow into his body, but at least he’s not hanging his head (in this match, at least)…

  113. ProudGooner says:

    Mind you gooners if we are going to raise the bid for Suarez and be serious and offer 35m, i would prefer we bidded on someone like Lewendolski. Again though i trust Wenger to find and bring the right talent to our club. Not to long to go now to the season starts really 1 month, so we will know who we have signed by then lol

  114. 17highburyterrace says:

    PG, you might have something there. He (Suarez) is too nutty for me so I think he’s more than Wenger would want to deal with. Maybe a special project for Bould 😀 … Also, I think his game requires a lot of the ball which isn’t what AW wants. Aren’t we still tired of watching Nasri slow down play trying to set up defenders…That said, if I had to take one or the other (Suarez or Rooney) it would be el loco for me…

    I think the suspensions (or pounds per game for the upcoming season) don’t really figure into the equation for a player. Our early schedule should (italics) be manageable and given that if it happens (it won’t) it would be at the deadline, he’d have already served part of the ban…

    So, on the scale of probability I’d still put Rooney at .000005, Suarez, slightly higher at .000007 but Hulk (because he and AW can communicate in Japanese…) highest at .000009. If Terry OR his pee pee say Higuain is a done deal then he must be our guy….

  115. 17highburyterrace says:

    Pogba plays for Juve not Milan 😳

  116. ProudGooner says:

    I don’t like Suarez i really dont he is a horrible little turd he really is and he probably is to much trouble really, im starting to change my mind now because the price they want for him you can buy nearly any other striker for the same price. Which 1 though, that is the thing in his favour a proven PL goal scorer.

  117. Glic says:

    Just watched the 2nd half and extra time and being a top talent scout I can say without doubt Pogba is head and shoulders above the rest !. You can see why Wenger was interested in him. I can see the good bits of PV4 and Diaby in him, Looks class to me. Another to add to the list !.
    I think we have £70M not including the TV money !.

  118. Dylan says:

    How about we sign Kondogbia and then the headlines can read: “Arsenal sign 2 World Champions!” 😉 Because now Sanogo and Kondogbia are current World Champions. 🙂 That should make the uninformed supporters happy. 😉

  119. ProudGooner says:

    Did you not add your burgers and warm beer sales on Glic?

  120. 17highburyterrace says:

    France win on Pens and Yaya doesn’t even have to kick one…(or is trusted to take one)…

    Laters, cheers for the chat…

  121. James Bond says:


    if we’re purely talking in terms of footballing skills and talent then Lewandowski doesn’t even come close to Suarez at his best.

    Wenger is looking at right players as far as footy skills and pedigree go, however the personality of these players we are linked with is questionable, sure.

  122. James Bond says:

    thanks for the updates to both RA and 17HT (superb).

  123. TotalArsenal says:

    Something went wrong 😦

    Back later.

  124. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post; for real now! 😛

  125. TotalArsenal says:

    17 🙂

    The Rhino comparison was all about your energy and strength of argument! 🙂

  126. TotalArsenal says:

    RA 🙂

    No worries! 🙂

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