Arsenal Transfers. Same old story?
By Sam Oliver
Review of the summer ins and outs
I was feeling very optimistic after the West Brom game. Having just clinched champions league football for another season (rather hilariously, at the expense of Tottenham) I had managed to convince myself this summer would be different; of course, I was wrong. Everyone knows what happened with Robin and is the process of happening with Alex Song. I do think if we get Nuri Sahin on loan and sign Yann Mívila permanently, and perhaps bring in an Oleg Luzhny type into defence, we will still be in a stronger position then we were last season. All big ifís though. Iím mostly content with our summer transfer dealings so far, and hereís my view on all of them.
Manuel Almunia- Watford, free
Good luck to him, firstly. Yes, apart from a six month spell during the 08-09 season, this guy was never good enough to be between the sticks for Arsenal. I think ideally youíd like him as a third choice Ďkeeper; has experience, is a very professional guy, but mainly, for emergencies only. To be fair to Manny, he was never anything over then 100% professional to the club, even when the fans were wondering how he could be a professional goalkeeper. Was never a quality goalie, but I think he was as upset as anyone as to how wrong it went for him at the end. Good luck.
Carlos Vela- Real Sociedad, undisclosed fee
I was always quite hopeful for this guy, but I donít think it was ever really going to work out for him in England. He mainly featured in Carling Cup matches and he did score some spectacular goals, mainly lobbing the goalkeeper with his left foot, when a lot of the time it wouldíve been easier to take a normal shot. Still, it looked bloody awesome when it worked. A tricky winger with a good touch, he was a bit lightweight for English football and his chances in the first team were limited, but I imagine heíll have a relatively successful career In Spanish football.
Robin Van Persie- Manchester United, 24 million
Wow, I thought this guy was different. Before that outrageous statement, I really did think he would sign a new contract, becoming an Arsenal legend in the process. But then of course, he released THAT statement, one that disappointed many Arsenal fans, myself included. I put Van Persieís actions on a par with Nasriís. The main reason for that being, Robin Van Persie was nothing before Wenger came in for him. In fact, Feyenoord were delighted to get rid of the sulky, arrogant centre forward. He was rotting in the reserves and would have continued to do so if he hadnít been bought by Arsenal. Then, he was accused of rape at the start of his first season, and put in a Dutch prison for a week. Wenger stood by him, after that and seven frustrating injury hit seasons. Then he does what Arsene knew what he was capable of doing. He goes and bags the golden boot, and is by far an away Arsenalís best player as they secure third on the final day of the season. And to repay Arsene, he goes to one of our most hated rivals. I felt disgusted with him, and most otherís did too. He has majorly stabbed Arsene Wenger in the back, the man who started, saved and made his career. I will look back on all the glorious moments he bought us now with a hint of sadness, knowing what heís done. Shame on you Robin, and worst of luck with that blood vessel explosion nose manager of yours.
Kyle Bartley- Swansea, 1 million
Iím a little bit disappointed in this one I have to say. I donít really understand why a relatively competent centre-half is being sold when in his position the club still pays Djourou and Squillaci to play in his position each week! As well as that, we still hold onto rubbish like Craig Eastmond and Henri Lansbury, players who clearly arenít good enough. One can only hope weíve tried to offload those four and have failed to find a buyer. Having said all that, I do prefer Ignasi Miquel to Bartley, who to me looks like a very good ball playing centre-back. Also, Bartley was not a regular starter for Rangers of either of the championship clubs he was loaned too, so in fairness probably not good enough for Arsenal. Still him over Djourou and Squllaci any day; good luck to you Kyle.
Alex Song- Barcelona, 17 million
At the time of writing, this one has not been officially confirmed, but itís as good as done so makes sense to write about it. All I can say is, this guy must frankly be an idiot. Has he not seen Flamini or Hleb? Heíll massively rue leaving us, as he hasnít been forced out by any means. By all accounts his attitude has been horrendous ever since their interest began, and I say good riddance. If you think your bigger then the club, get lost seems to be the message from the boss, and Iím glad. Maybe keeping key players is crucial but to me having players that want to play for the club is even more important. To be honest, Iím not sure weíll miss him. If your ďanchor manĒ is getting 11 assists and your team concedes 49 goals, he probably isnít doing his job. And he wasnít, far too often caught up field for a holding player. When we sign Sahin and Mívila, we will hardly notice his absence. Trust me.
Lukas Podolski- Cologne, 11 million
Iím not sure about this one in all honesty. His signing brought sheer delight to the fans but of what Iíve seen, he wonít fit in here. Not great technically, average first touch, quite slow off the mark. What he is, is strong, bullish and has a deadly shot. Julio Baptista anyone? He does remind me of that Brazilian whenever I see him play, and we all know Baptista was average at best for Arsenal, after much happiness after his signing. I would personally like to see a front three of Walcott, Giroud and Gervinho, with Poldi coming off the bench, where I think he can be quite effective. For me, an impact player, not a starter. We shall see.
Olivier Giroud- Montpellier, 13 million
I have high hopes for this guy. Twenty one league goals, firing Montpellier to an unlikely title, I do really like the look of this Frenchman (the look of his football, not his perfectly kept face!) His movement in and around the box is deadly, and on his day he will cause trouble for any defence. Strong, great in the air, heís exactly what Marouane Chamakh was meant to be. There is a slight question mark over his finishing, but twenty one league goals tells me differently. Iím really looking forward to seeing him vs Stoke, exactly the type of game we bought him for. Expect big things from this guy.
Santi Cazorla- Malaga, 16.5 million
YESSSSSSS!!!!! That was about my reaction when I heard we landed this guy. Wow, what a buy, a bargain for 16.5 million. Quick, tricky, either footed, will play right wing, left wing, or CAM. He also has one of the best free-kicks in world football on him, and it takes a pretty special player to amass forty plus Spain caps since his debut in 2008. A slight concern my be his miniature physique, I suppose weíll see what heís made of when we visit the Britannia. Iíll leave you with the words of a well-respected Barcelona fanď He is better then Mata, Modric and even Cesc. A lesser Iniesta with a better shot.Ē High praise indeed.
So there you go, my take on all of Arsenalís ins and outs so far, and with the likely additions of Nuri Sahin and Yann Mívila to bolster our midfield, I do have high hopes for this season. Forward Arsenal.
21st August 2012
User Comment and Reaction
User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.
Colonel Mustard 9:31am 21st Aug 2012
Thats fine to slate Van Persie but what is the difference between him and Cesc..semantics....There is a huge reason players are leaving, the just wont win trophys at Arsenal. - Post No. 28068
Jake 9:54am 21st Aug 2012
Sorry, but what you said about podolski is total bull, we've need a strong up front player and you got all that from the first game of the season. And btw did you not see girouds ten yard miss you fool. I'm not denying we will encounter problems. - Post No. 28071
Steve 9:57am 21st Aug 2012
On what do you base your comment that Henri Lansbury is rubbish? I can tell you that he is a fine player who given a chance will do well for Arsenal. He is just a victim of overcrowding in attacking midfield players at the Club.He is an Arsenal man through and through and is desperate to play for Arsenal. - Post No. 28072
MRMROD 10:41am 21st Aug 2012
Ugghh; this was painful reading; where to begin. Firstly, you want AW to bring in a defender like Luzhny...are you insane. Moreover, as you well know, its likely we'll be bringing in Sahin on loan and not splashing the Song money on M'Vila...one or the other, not both. As far as Song is concerned; the majority of us can take or leave him and selling him makes great business sense for us but also for him, by earning £20k per week more than he would have with us and by getting a five year contract with an instant 63m buy out clause...he'll not care about warming the Barca bench any more than we care about selling him. Bartley was a cart horse who wasnt a regular at any of his lesser loan clubs so how you can suggest someone of his ilk is a loss for Arsenal I'll never know. Finally, after only 65 minutes on the pitch and whilst not 100% fit, you compare Podolski with his 100 caps,with the hideously bad Julio Baptista...you are a buffoon. - Post No. 28074
Stroud Green Road Boy 10:44am 21st Aug 2012
Wenger decided to sell RVP to Man U because they offered more money than Juventus. Wenger said this himself. No point hating on RVP, he wants more money AND trophies, don't know people always think it's one or the other. Wenger has also told us he is in charge of all transfer dealings, for those who try to blame the board for the way these go. - Post No. 28075
Alex Kerr 11:14am 21st Aug 2012
I agree with everything you say apart from one thing - Podolski - You comments are wrong on him. He has 100 German caps and starts all the time... Germany are always around the semis and he is a big part of that. I guarantee you will change your opinion of him in a few months once you have seen him. - Post No. 28080
GoonerRon 12:38pm 21st Aug 2012
A fair assessment except for the comments on Podolski - I really don't get the comparison with Baptista at all. - Post No. 28084
Jack the gooner 13:06pm 21st Aug 2012
Oh dear! What an amateurish post! I dont think you understand you'r subject matter young man, this is a really terrible snapshot of our signings. Must have been a lean weak for articles if this has been posted - Post No. 28088
billthered 15:56pm 21st Aug 2012
You state that you want to see Giroud at the Britannia are you sure he was bought for that particular game,now on the other hand Podolski coming up against Pullis and his bully boys is just the game that Lukas was born for lets see who takes liberties with him.And finally Carlos Vela's goals only came when the match was already won he never scored when the game was 0-0 in a game that mattered. - Post No. 28095
Son of a Gun 16:14pm 21st Aug 2012
Enough with these comments that poor old wenger got stabbed in the back by all the good players that have left during his reign... wenger is in charge for all transfers so he knows great players want to play for great teams. Why is that "stabbing in the back"??? If you tell world class players like RvP or cesc that 4th place is a trophy, what do you expect? And if I remember correctly, wenger himself has left AS Monaco for some anonymous Japanese team that was willing to pay him bigger bucks... You get all excited for signing Cazorla, but why don't you label him a mercenary, disloyal greedy bastard for leaving his small Spanish team in order to earn better and play UCL football at Arsenal? Why this double standard? - Post No. 28097
Sops 17:02pm 21st Aug 2012
van persie was sold to man u because arsenal are not willing to get rid of him at cheap price, yes. but it was him who made the statement of his intention to leave the club. what option do you have left when a player is no longer wanted to play for you? football nowadays is about business. let him leave for free of get something in return for a **** who has been forgetting on who made him to be a player he is now. put your blame on wenger as you wish, but if you were to run a football team as big as arsenal you will know what it is to be like to handle players who think they are bigger than the club itself. in wenger we trust - Post No. 28099
just 17:04pm 21st Aug 2012
Seems AW is ready for titles.get a replacement for song and all will b ok - Post No. 28100
Inawidntrust 17:41pm 21st Aug 2012
I don't trust a word Wenger says. Same old. - Post No. 28101
maguiresbridge gooner 18:41pm 21st Aug 2012
Aimunia good luck to him ? good riddance one of many wenger has held on to for far to long hoping one day they'd come good.RVP why should you think he'd be any different we all know players have no loyalty any more as we'll find out again next season or the season after if or when any of our new signings come good as well as any we already have and the big boys come calling.Regardless what RVP said or done without his goals we'd be playing in the EL this season maybe even behind the spuds so to bring up a rape allegation after he first came to us is very petty indeed. - Post No. 28105
adam b 19:29pm 21st Aug 2012
you seriously underate podolski. in no way is he slow and he is not in the leauge of cazorla technicaly but he is technicaly sound. did you see him last year for cologne or against them in the friendly? he was class. he had a poor game against but he will improve. podolski is a better player than giroud but giroud has more potential to improve. but i do agree with you on song he can be replaced. sahin would do a similar but beter job in the role he played last year. and m'vila would make us much more solid defensivly(what we need) with also ability on the ball, not quite that of song but as i said thats not what we need. - Post No. 28107
Van de Ed 21:19pm 21st Aug 2012
Wenger has forgotten how to or is not interested in winning any trophies; end of! The sooner most gooners come to terms with this, the better for their health. Our objective for this season; qualify for champs league again and hope we don't get humiliated again by any of the big boys as we were at Trashford last season. - Post No. 28110
LJB 23:19pm 21st Aug 2012
Son of a gun,Wenger got sacked by Monaco for taking them from European finalists to being relegation candidates.He got rid of all their best players and brought in a load of kids.Sounds familiar? - Post No. 28114
Red mist 7:59am 22nd Aug 2012
Podolski erm relegated three times with Koln huge flop in big move to Bayern ended up behind Luca Toni in a very poor Bayern team. Sides competing for trophies were not interested in him thats why we have him, a good squad player but to rely on as no 1 striker oh dear. - Post No. 28118
GG89 9:21am 22nd Aug 2012
The old team i.e. Cesc, Nasri, v.Persie, Song etc won nothing.... AW is right, bullish and still ambitious. Well done. The team needs belief, the old team got into a bad pattern of folding when the stakes got high.... Well Done AW, I was calling for his head at the beginning of last season... OK so one of the signings won't work, my money is on Podolski... N'Vila is, I hope, going to replace Song. The Gooners don't need the big star, with all the big names going, Walcott is next, we need someone to roll up their sleeves at get on at the same level as the squad. - Post No. 28120
JazzSpiral 9:33am 22nd Aug 2012
I was of course really disappointed by RVP, the man with a glass leg and a golden boot, leaving but Arsenal is looking great this season! We just need a couple more signings and with Sahin on his way (hopefully with an option to buy), I think the Gunners are going to fire hard this season. I am feeling excited by this team and if we can add M'Vila or Capoue as DM and M'bengue or Yanga MBiwa as defender, then we will have a top notch team and we can dust the silverware cabinet! Go gunners! - Post No. 28121
Hamza Ali Baksh 10:07am 22nd Aug 2012
Podolski is World Class (100 games for GERMANY proves that). The people who say he isn't were the same people who, last season, said RvP wasn't (and that was at the time when RvP led the line for a team ranked #1 in the World). Then there's Cazorla who can play 46 games for Spain at the time when that team has Iniesta, Xavi, Mata, Silva, Fabregas, Busquets, Alonso to choose from! World class, my good friends! Let's talk about Sahin: Player of the year in the Bundesliga (the only league that's really comparable to the Premier League) at the time when we were so desperately hoping to sign his teammate Gotze. World Class, almost by definition. Let's get rid of Park, Bendtner, Chamakh, Squillaci and Arshavin and give the new boys a chance to prove themselves. - Post No. 28122
dan 16:53pm 22nd Aug 2012
how many times do you use the phrase 'this guy',i think you should get a thesaurus if you cant think of different words to describe a footballer. why not try things like the 'Inept Iberian','misfiring mexican','disloyal dutchman', 'crazily coiffed cameroonian centrocampista' or even just Song? - Post No. 28173
Smoliver 13:09pm 23rd Aug 2012
Hey guys, thanks for reading. Cheers for the constructive criticsm from most, perhaps I was a little harsh on Poldi, but you must question why he was so poor for Bayern? I am not just judging him by that Sunderland performance for those saying that. As for Lansbury, he wasn't good at West Ham, not sure how you can say he's needed with our current centre midfielders. Like I said, thanks for the feedback from most, my first big piece and I hope to get better with each one! Cheers! - Post No. 28199
9th December 2013
Online Ed: Spoils shared at home to Everton