Ready? Set!

Xabi Alonso waves good bye

It’s a morning of players “set” to do stuff.

Hleb is set to get a medical today and be revealed as a Barcelona player tomorrow.

Gilberto is set to get a medical today and be revealed as a Panathinaikos player tomorrow.

Arsenal are set to make a bid for Xabi Alonso [record scratch] wait, whut?  Hey! Back in May I made a joke about Xabi coming to Arsenal in order to point out the silliness of speculating and now it looks like that joke has come full circle.  Don’t get me wrong: Xabi Alonso is a very good player and would be the perfect replacement for Flamini — he’s one of the best passers in the EPL, he’s got a great engine, and he’s won the Champions League.  BUT! As much as I would love to see Xabi in an Arsenal shirt this story is thinner than Nichole Ritchie.  First, the death of the Alonso to Juve deal is being touted as the reason why Liverpool can’t sign Keane/Barry.  Second, Arsenal have been linked to Barry.  Third, why would Arsenal give Liverpool the money they need to sign a player that Arsenal also want?  Fourth, does Arsenal really want to give Liverpool the money to sign Keane?  And finally, would that really be a good deal for the Arsenal?

No.

The smart move is to go for Barry because that gives Villa the money to go for Bentley, which upsets Tottenham’s attempts to land the player, and it pips Liverpool to a player, and it gives Arsenal an Englishman that they can use to festoon all their advertisements and make Sepp Blatter/Michel Platini/Xenophobic Nationalists happy.

But that’s all blogger speculation, right?  What does the club actually say about all this?  Peter Hill-Wood wades in to the debate.

Maybe people need to wake up to the realities of the world and that the days of easy money have come to a pretty sudden end. There is an awful lot of talk about big transfers and major demands of players, but you will find throughout the UK and Europe that money is not quite as easy to obtain as it used to be. So I feel a lot of these stories emanating from agents may not actually come to fruition. There is a lot of talk but no action. It disappoints me because a lot of people don’t seem to realise that, in the long run, you must run a football club on a sensible commercial basis.

A solid reminder that Arsenal aren’t buying anyone this summer and to look closely at the stories and see who’s saying what.  In the case of the Alonso story it’s a “his agent said” so I’m putting that at 0.00% chance of being true.  The Barry story is closer to true but the only thing we know for sure is that Arsenal want to be kept “in the loop.” This could mean that they are anywhere from actively looking at the guy to waiting around in case there’s a chance to get a great deal, with the latter the most likely scenario.

It’s that last part of the PHW quote that makes me so confident that Arsenal aren’t buying any more players even if they do get £30m for Adebayor.  Add up the transfers: Arsenal are pretty much even in the transfer market.  Assuming that the Hleb story is true and Arsenal are getting £15m for him, now subtract Nasri’s £11m and Ramsey’s £5m: pretty much break even.

Now look at PHW and Wenger’s comments, they keep using words like “stability” and describing last season as “unfortunate” and we keep hearing how the Boss would much rather take young players and turn them into big stars.  These aren’t hints, folks, they are straight up telling us that unless there’s some kind of incredibly great deal this is the team we will see on the pitch next season. Any other money generated from player sales will be saved in case of an emergency and players need to be bought during the January transfer window.  That’s my word.

Finally, Tony Adams is #3 on the all time greats list, which means that Bergkamp and Henry have to be #2 and #1 respectively.  As for Adams, I don’t think Arsenal will ever see another player like him, check out the story on the dot com (linked above).

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