Ugh… Not much actual Arsenal news this morning but there are a ton of stories about players who were supposedly Arsenal targets who are now headed elsewhere. Love the idea, hate the idea, or tepid about the idea, it’s looking increasingly like the Villa midfielder is not coming to Arsenal and is instead going to be paired with Robinho and a pack of other mercenaries trying to buy their way into Europe.
Make no mistake about it, this is about money. Reportedly, Villa have accepted a mere £12m bid for the player they famously refused to let go to Liverpool for £18m last season. Why? Because I suspect that City offered Barry a huge salary and he told Villa he wanted out. Reportedly, he’ll be getting a £60,000 a week raise which, even a team like Chelsea wouldn’t pay for a player like Barry. Face it, he’s the third or fourth best CM in the England national team, is that worth £5m a year?
No, this is about the money. A player who previously stated a desire to play in Europe as the reason for agitating to go to Liverpool is now signing for Manchester City. I hope he does sign for City, I don’t want scum like that at Arsenal.
HAVE FUN BACKING UP STEPHEN IRELAND (and Tugay)!
Anatomy of a Transfer
Meanwhile, the chaps over at The Game have put together a lovely little graphic which does quite a job explaining how transfer deals are supposed to happen, and how they really happen. Yay. The real story in that graphic, though, is in the lower right hand corner, I’ll give you a second to find it…
Look at Arsenal there at the top of the list, read across, yes, you read that right, according to that graphic Arsenal have earned £5m if you total up all the summer transfer windows since 2004. Interstingly, 2004 is the year that Chelsea spent £87m and won the league and it is the year that Arsenal last finished in the top two, which pretty much marks the beginning of the rebuilding phase that we have been in. Interesting, but looking down the list, a few other things stand out.
First, no one, no one, has spent less in the last 4 years than Arsenal. The fact that we’re still in Europe and still turning massive profits is either a feat of incredible management or a huge shame (because if we spent more we could challenge for more trophies — theoretically) depending on which side of the debate you land. I tend toward the first, because all you need to do is look at the list, spending is not a guarantee of success. Tottenham have spent £50m, Sunderland £66m, and Wigan £10m, and their places on the league table haven’t really changed much over those 4 years. If anything, Sunderland’s gotten worse! So, I’m of the mind that it is a feat of amazing management by Arsene Wenger.
Second, that said, sometimes a big bump in spending can get a club over a hump. Chelsea spent £87m and went on to win two league titles, the FA Cup, Carling Cups, some Charity Shields (the most self important of all trophies), a Gillingham Spelling Bee, and School Lunch Program Meal of the Week. Similarly, Man U spent big back in 2007 and have netted back to back titles, an FA cup, the Carling Cup, a Club World Cup (aka, The Holy Grail), a Champions League, and the love and admiration of billions of fans the world over. My point is that sometimes a bump in spending can have a great effect; of course it has to be prudent and of course there are no guarantees of success (or Liverpool would have won the league by now) but sometimes, sometimes, spending can get results.
You have to buy the right players, you know, like Andrei Arshavin, but SOMETIMES SPENDING WORKS.
Ahem. (Wenger are you listening?)
Tony Adams in for Celtic?
I hear tell that Tony Adams is in line to manage Celtic! Well, good for him. It was a shame to see him drubbed out of Pompey after Harry raped the team and left them for dead. Managing a big club, from the start of the season, is exactly the kind of test that Adams need to see if he can go on to be a top four EPL manager one day.
Good luck Tony.
No one linked to Arsenal
Given Arsenal’s last 4 years of refusing to spend big, it’s starting to look like maybe the press are going to ignore us for a season. Sure, they kicked off the Summer Transfer window with a few stories, but those were all recycled garbage from last year. Other than that I haven’t heard much.
There’s the Vermaelan story I reported on the last few days, Ajax defender and captain, cheapish, Belgian national team, etc. but I have a real hard time believing these stories when you read them at all closely. The one I linked above is probably the most reliable, because it merely mentions that Arsenal are selling Kolo Toure to Manchester City. Some of the other links out there talk about emergency board meetings, Gazidis smoothing things over with Wenger, and of course the oft touted and thoroughly disproved “Arsenal only have £13m to spend on transfers” story which all have Usmanov’s fat finger prints on them.
So, if you’re looking for a signing, I suppose you’ll just have to wait!
See you tomorrow…