The Silly Season

Transfer gossip largely passes me by these days

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There was a time when I used to keep a closer eye on NewsNow's Arsenal page during the summer. But I’ve lost interest in maybes these days. The law of diminishing returns eventually has its effects. So many players the club is linked with, and eventually, something actually happens… although sometimes not that much.

Remember the summer of 2015? The club signed Petr Cech… and nobody else. Cash sat in the bank and it wouldn’t be too long before the transfer market exploded and the cash was a lot less valuable in terms of what it could buy you.

The two current stories that have even managed to get my attention are the pursuit of Celtic left back Kieran Tierney and the idea that the club might be able to afford the signing of Wilfried Zaha from Palace. And I have some hot news on Tierney… he attended Toy Story 4 at a Glasgow cinema last night. Just what we need, eh? Another playboy footballer. Back to the plot, and with only £44 million to spend, this would certainly mean player sales to get Zaha, unless Arsenal were to do the unthinkable and actually speculate to accumulate. And people, that isn’t going to happen.

It’s no secret that Arsenal’s defending last season was at times as obscene as certain of the free porn games 2019 (Link Definitely Not Safe For Work!) that can be found online. And at least Tierney would solve what looks like an area of weakness on the left hand side of defence (Nacho Monreal getting too old to play a complete season, and Sead Kolasinac not having really worked out).

However, one has to wonder what the solution is at centre-back. Laurent Koscielny did better than expected on his comeback for injury, but he was exposed in the Europa League final as not having the quickness of body and mind that he once did, when Olivier Giroud opened the scoring. The Arsenal captain isn’t getting any younger. Sokratis was probably been the pick of the centre backs last season, so one figures the plan is for him to partner a fit again Rob Holding, although if Unai Emery is to consistently play a back five, another body will be required. Koscielny, Monreal, Mustafi, Mavropanos, Chambers, Bielik. The club are not light on numbers, but there are concerns over quality. Bielik has had a decent spell away from the club, but we can’t know as yet whether he is going to turn into the real deal at Arsenal.

I understand the clamour for Zaha, although it’s a legitimate question to ask what is wrong with the club’s current forward options. The two main strikers scored plenty of goals between them. Sure Emery could use the danger posed by Zaha, but is there any way the club could afford him without letting Aubameyang go? I suppose the thinking is that Zaha is three and a half years younger, but he’s not a prolific goalscorer in the way that Aubameyang is. Alexandre Lacazette has been at the club for two seasons and has scored goals, but not at the same rate as his strike partner.

My feeling is that Arsenal need to focus on getting things right at the back as their priority. Given they have so little to spend, it feels like a real curate’s egg of a transfer window. I suspect the club will want to do something that will excite supporters though, so rather than beef up the central defence, they will let Aubameyang go for the buzz Zaha’s arrival will provide.

One thing’s for sure though. I won’t be hanging on the updates provided by various websites online, whose business is to get you to visit them in the first instance and stay there once you do (clickbait – the mailonline has to be the worst for that particular Pandora’s Box). When someone is actually, genuinely signed, I’m sure I’ll find out about it soon enough. Until, then, I am enjoying the summer, a bit of cricket and some Women’s World Cup! And the Tour De France starts next weekend… when Arsenal’s pre-season begins with the under 23s playing at Boreham Wood (the first team squad do not return to training until next week). So six more weeks of transfer speculation, some actual signings, some departures and doubtless thousands of online stories about dozens of players Arsenal might be interested in. Wake me up when it’s over.

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  1. John F

    Jul 2, 2019, 14:52 #114305

    I think you are all spot on about the zaha fiasco as radio 5 reported this morning not only have Arsenal bid 40mil below the ridiculous asking price but asked to pay in installments over a number of years.Laughable really,it must be a very poor PR stunt.

  2. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    Jul 2, 2019, 12:00 #114302

    Tony, AB was a good player no question but he should have gone to Tottenham or Leeds, our style of play was just the opposite of his style of play. The Ball, Harvey and Kendall trio was a perfect combination of playing styles brilliantly put together by Catterick at Everton. When we signed AB, many suggested that he was burnt out but that was not so, the major problem at the time Ball joined was we lost Don Howe who had set us up over the last 5 seasons. We did get it together in 72 - 73 season and Ball had a fine game in our 2 - 0 win at Anfield but we just fell short and then Frank left and the roof fell in.

  3. Exiled in Pt

    Jul 2, 2019, 11:44 #114301

    Thanks chaps - as i said was to young to know how much AB did do for the team but was always sort of led to believe it didn't really help the team behind the scenes etc certainly not same sort of player. I just think it would be negative for the youngsters trying to come through and don't see that he would work with PA and AL . Do tend to agree with Ron that it is all just hype to make it look like we are in the market knowing that the offer will not be excepted. Just trying to appease the tourists

  4. TonyEvans

    Jul 2, 2019, 11:36 #114299

    SKG - interesting your comments on Alan Ball. I wasn't going regularly back then, but in the games I saw I thought Ball was always one of our better performers. I take your point though that his tippy tappy game was alien to the double side he joined.

  5. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    Jul 2, 2019, 11:24 #114298

    Ron - spot on again about Zaha, no chance of getting him and if we did we would n't know what to do with him anyway! Exiled - Alan Ball was the original square peg in our round holes, Don Howe had left (due to the board not even mentioning his wonderful coaching at the end of season celebration dinner, Bertie Mee got all the praise) So Bertie had to make a statement, bought AB, paid him more money than everyone else and suddenly Arsenal were going to play a patient build up game. Charlie George was a game changer player, he could pass a ball 60 yards with the outside of his boot, CG would explode, in bursts of high octane football. He scored a goal against Newcastle in the double year, many of you will remember it at the North Bank end, Newcastle had 11 behind the ball all game, Charlie picks the ball up on the edge of box plays a one two with a Newcastle defender and hits the ball so hard if the net had n't of been there it would have killed someone in the crowd. Ball just could not do that, fast forward a few years as Arsenal start sliding down the table, we are at home to someone, and AB is giving a perfect display of Tippy Tappy, encouraging and patronizing Charlie at the same time, I forget the team but we lost and CG was bored silly on the pitch and everyone could see it. Shortly after he left to join Derby County (rumour had it that Spurs tried and nearly signed him) Bertie was a great general manager but tactics and the playing side was not his speciality.

  6. TonyEvans

    Jul 2, 2019, 11:16 #114297

    agree 100%! I have no more faith / trust in our transfer policy then I did under Wenger, and completely switch off to all the nonsense and hype.

  7. TonyEvans

    Jul 2, 2019, 11:14 #114296

    Exiled - Ball and Zaha are different types of players for me. Zaha appears to be a 100% 'luxury' type of player - brilliant one day, non-existent the next, whereas Bally always put a shift in for the team. As Ron said Ball joined a very different type of team, and I think slotted in nicely. Zaha will also fit in nicely with the current motley lot! As for the article as a whole I

  8. itsRonagain2

    Jul 2, 2019, 04:24 #114295

    I suspect that bid is another bid made knowing it s no chance of being accepted but at the same time allows AFC to say they have ‘ambition’ and tried to sign the player. We all know Wengo perfected that ruse over the years. They must think we all fell off the Christmas tree! Exiled. Can see yr point about Ball. The difference is Ball joined a team that had just come off a double win and full of experienced proven players but Zaha would be joining a team that’s done nothing and made up of mid level disparate largely journeymen players. I can see your point of course but I m not sure there’s much to upset there by any incoming player. Any team Emery puts out just looks like a group of players he s knocked up. No cohesion , identity, balance or solidity. Just round pegs in square holes largely. If asked to explain the changes at Arsenal as a result of getting a new Coach, I d have no answer! Even the transfer policy is as hapless and aimless as it was under Wengo. How can that Club think it needs a Zaha when it’s main flaws are stark staring clear as day? Absolute lunacy. Perhaps Emery thinks he can convert him to a centre half? Inspired by Wengo. He loved a conversion project did Wengo?

  9. ArsenalMagna

    Jul 1, 2019, 23:55 #114294

    *Make that 4 years left on his contract - even worse!

  10. ArsenalMagna

    Jul 1, 2019, 23:31 #114293

    Just to clarify the point about the bad opening offer for Zaha, Palace don't even need to listen to any offers given his contract length. Putting in a £40m bid is not a good way to haggle them down to less than the £80m they expect.

  11. ArsenalMagna

    Jul 1, 2019, 23:29 #114292

    Whatever you think of Zaha, whoever is running our transfer policy seems to be mad. We've spent the last month negotiating over Saliba and Tierney; I haven't seen either player beyond compilations so I'm not fit to judge if they're good, but if you read reports from the genuinely reliable outlets, you'd see we were close to deals for both (£20m on Tierney and £25m of Saliba probably acceptable, right on budget too...). Instead of just paying the extra few million on each which we do have, we volte face and make Zaha our sole target, bid half of Palace's valuation and don't even offer a player in exchange - not even good as a starting point bid for a player with 3 more years on his contract! We can't do much in the transfer market (or probably on the pitch!) the next two years, till most of the deadwood shift, as money is so tight, but what is the strategy? Plug a gap in a completely different position with a big EPL player or invest in youth for the long rebuild? I know it's not a big summer budget this year in absolute terms, but in relative terms it is, because we probably can't invest much more before 2021, when the operating profits should improve.

  12. Exiled in Pt

    Jul 1, 2019, 22:09 #114291

    A little bit more ability and ball control than Walcott but 100% right on the arrogance Ron. Would you agree that he would have the same sort of affect on the team as Ball did when he was signed. Not saying he is as good as Ball but I was always led to believe that the signing of AB led to Charlie leaving and unbalanced the side more? I am going on what I've been told over the years I was to young to know back then..

  13. itsRonagain2

    Jul 1, 2019, 21:35 #114290

    Guys. He s basically Walcott smeared with arrogance. Exiled - I think even Wengo might have passed up on him.

  14. Exiled in Pt

    Jul 1, 2019, 21:29 #114289

    How embarrassing is that Adidas video, putting the likes of Ozil in it then declaring Arsenal players never hide!! He earns 350k a week to hide what has happened to this club. Then flick to the idiots on AFTV all standing in their new £60.00 shirts saying that Kronke should go whilst putting money in his pocket... At least one of them tried a protest against the yank . We are a laughing stock, modern football... Any one got a time machine.

  15. Exiled in Pt

    Jul 1, 2019, 20:34 #114288

    Zaha would possibly be the worst signing since Alan Ball, destroy the hopes of our youngsters and upset the whole balance of the forward line. Just cannot understand why we would want him, overrated ball hogging, diving twat. If ever there was a player that should of played for Wenger. Hope its just press bollocks...

  16. Don Howe

    Jul 1, 2019, 19:26 #114287

    Forty million pounds bid for Zaha! We need defenders not more fancy dans.

  17. John F

    Jul 1, 2019, 18:22 #114286

    Is Benzema still on that plane flying in to sign for us.It must be the one of the longest plane journeys in history, it has been in the air for two years now.Most of it is nonsense and nice bit of linking a story to promote a porn site.

  18. itsRonagain2

    Jul 1, 2019, 17:48 #114285

    Yes, same old media isn’t it. Desperate for something to print. As for Zaha, you can buzz if you want to. Excuse me I I don’t. Average player. Stupidly deluded sense of his ability. Perhaps the worst diver in that crap PL though St Kane runs him close. If he’s worth 100 mill the last man out needs to turn the lights off on that PL circus. What utter overblown rubbish it is.

  19. itsRonagain2

    Jul 1, 2019, 17:48 #114284

    Yes, same old media isn’t it. Desperate for something to print. As for Zaha, you can buzz if you want to. Excuse me I I don’t. Average player. Stupidly deluded sense of his ability. Perhaps the worst diver in that crap PL though St Kane runs him close. If he’s worth 100 mill the last man out needs to turn the lights off on that PL circus. What utter overblown rubbish it is.

  20. Don Howe

    Jul 1, 2019, 17:16 #114283

    Can we buy Steph Houghton please? I was in the pub last night and overheard a chap explaining to his Mrs that Ladies football was brilliant as it was played with clarity discipline and determination in a manner redolent of football 40 years ago. No prima donnas, no agents, just doing what they are trained to do and doing it well. The only reason to keep the PL is the money it gives the exchequer from a highly lucrative export. It's dull and worthless and so for the most part are it's participants. Given several infinity stones I would click my fingers and exterminate them. I would spare Mr Ken Friar and Freddie, and Sideshow Bob because he gives a ****. Just think if Ozil had never existed? It's OH SO easy if you try.