Forget Arshavin, Jack Wilshere is like a new signing! Plus, Eboue gets a new contract.

Animated GIF of Wilshere scoring a wonder goal.

Oh man, I had a good sleep in today: I hit the snooze button twice! So while I normally get up at 4:30, I got up at 5:30. I’m not complaining though, the reason I slept in was because I got up at 1:30 the day before to buy my match tickets for the Sunderland game. That’s right, yours truly is heading to balmy London for vacation — I wonder if I should pack a Speedo?

Anyway, you’re not here to hear about me in a Speedo (which is a magnificent sight) you’re here to hear about the latest transfer news amiright? Right.

Let’s see, Arshavin is praying to the God than isn’t his omnipotent agent that a deal will go through that takes him out of Russia. What are the stages of grief anyway? Doesn’t it go: bargaining, threatening, praying, and then acceptance? It better have acceptance in it somewhere because despite the one report that has Zenit going from the lead role in 300 to Monty Hall in saying “let’s make a deal” Arsenal are steadfast in their valuation with Peter Hill-Wood publicly saying that they have reached the limit they are going to spend. I have to think that the Zenit position is just there to save face. They know Andrei can buy out his contract in November, and so he has them over a barrel a little bit but not as much as many will claim.

First, he can’t go on strike. Well, he could, but if he did that then he might not qualify for a work permit in England (depending on national appearances). Second, he can buy out the remainder of his contract, but only in November and remember Zenit are a bunch of disgraceful human beings. I have no doubt that Zenit would keep Andrei in court for months while they haggle over his price. That’s the threat Arsenal used on Hleb. Plus, there’s still the summer transfer market to go through and I’m confident they could sell Arshavin in the summer for £10m. So they lose a few million, which brings me to my final point, so they lose a few million. HA! They don’t care. They don’t need the money. Make no mistake, this isn’t like Valencia and David Villa, where the club is over-pricing their superstar because they need the money. Zenit is doing this because, well, because they are a bunch of whackos.

In his little statement Peter Hill-Wood sounded a lot like a jilted lover by saying that there were “other fish in the sea” but the truth is that there are other fish; Fabio Simplicio could be a set up man to challenge Diaby/Denilson and Stéphane Sessegnon could be a good wing player to challenge Theo (when he comes back). Now, as for a hard man, well, as Mae West said “a hard man is good to find.” As soon as I find one I’ll let you know.

While we’re waiting for PHW to grab his fly rod and fish us a hard man (seriously, this is getting a little gay – ed.) we should celebrate “new signing” Eduardo and his first full 90 minutes of play. He still hasn’t scored (he had a goal disallowed for offside yesterday) but getting out there and playing for 90 minutes and giving yourself chances to score are huge, considering the damage that Taylor inflicted on him. The player feels ready to go out and play first team football, but I’d like to see him get a goal in reserves first. Sorry, but I’d hate to see him rushed back and something horrible happen.

The player who does seem ready for some first team football is Wilshere. Well, some folks are tipping him and after watching his audacious outside of the boot left footer (obviously in the GIF above) I’d be tempted to agree with them, except I kind of think Vela is ready-er and more naturally a wing player. Irregardless, I think we’ll see a bit of both players in the weeks to come, the squad is that thin.

By the way, I found that animated GIF over at Gunnerblog.

And finally, the most incredible story of the day award goes to… it’a a fight to the death! In the periwinkel blue corner, it turns out that City could have signed de Jong for £2.3m if they had just waited for his release clause to kick in this summer. Instead, they put up £19m to get him right now, incredible stuff.  In the red corner, Arsenal turned down an offer from Athletico Madrid for Eboue and instead are racing to give him an improved contract. Let me put this as diplomatically as I can; Eboue has not done anything this season to warrant a pay raise. Not one thing. He’s done his job, he’s done what he’s told to do, but I haven’t seen anything from him that warrants an improved contract.

Ok, that’s as diplomatic as I can be. In my heart I’m screaming “I don’t care how little it was, TAKE THE OFFER” but you probably already knew that.

Ok, so that’s it for today, we’ve got the Friday press conference ahead of Sunday’s game tomorrow where I’m sure Arsene will be all “we’ve bid what we can afford” and ” we live in the real world” and “this is a young team” and “Cardiff will be a tough match.” If he says anything new, I’ll be sure to report it.

Until then!


  1. Tim – no more animated gifs please… these things need to have a stop or pause. My head is spinning seeing that thing run while I am reading the blog.

  2. lorik cana is a hard man and we had a chance to sign him when he wass 16 put work permit issues or sumthink stoped him from coming now he is marselle captain n he is very hard

  3. Like the man says – take the money, ANY money for Eboue – and run! And if anyone is silly enough to offer money for Almunia – take it, take it, take it.

  4. A hard man isn’t exceptionally hard to find but one that can work in the Arsenal system without a hefty fee is. It’s not even so much a hard man we need, just a ball winner. wingers on the other hand are a dime a dozen even decent ones. Ligue 1 and the Eredivisie are littered with some good potentials.

    In regards to Zenit, they are jacking up Arshavin’s price for the wrong reasons. All club need money, even rich owners would prefer to spend club money rather than their own. However I suspect Zenit are trying to recoup that nice chunk of cash they dished out for Danny. Arsenal have no association with that transfer but Zenit are trying to make us pay the price because Danny was a direct replacement to Arshavin because they knew he was planning on leaving. It’s really unfair and unethical but what’s football without some kind of greed, scandal or corruption? Oh it would be good football. In any case sly Wenger has his eyes over the world looking at talent no one could even imagine existed.

  5. Huh, I didn’t know that about Zenit and Danny WC, thanks for the info.

    As for Lorik Cana, Charlie…


    Pay £20m, that guy is a destroyer. Put him in front of any defense and he’s going to save you goals, plus he has proven leadership and a very strong desire to win. He certainly doesn’t have that pretty touch that most of our players have but look at Song, I mean look at him compared to Cana, it’s not even funny.

    Cana is exactly the kind of player that I’d love for Arsenal to have. Unfortunately, he’s also the kind of player Wenger is reluctant to buy.


  6. We keep Eboue because Wenger will never buy a player like cana, which is unfortunate. And yes zenit paid reportedly 30 mil for danny(24 i think) and no wenger will never pay for their mistake. I last read our offer totaled 16 mil but zenit doesn’t care about accepting anything until either our deadline on monday or feb 2. If we could just bring in a top winger and dm i’m confident we can deal with villa and maybe do more, but they’ve got to be experienced no more on the job training. We can expect the top four to lose points but given our midfield will we not as well? I think we’re really hurting on the right side of midfield. Arshavin i believe has the maturity to contribute straight away and what with walcott, cesc, and rosicky out for long spells we need a real force on the right, arshavin could be that one. As for dm why wenger is waiting on this i’ve no idea, maybe eboue is the new dm? Diaby, Deni, Song are all quite young and though quality players, they are all learning as they play epl matches – this number of youngsters plonking around is all a bit too much and i think the results show it. Wenger’s stated he’s got other targets, i hope they’re both quality AND realistic targets.

  7. @Barnaby

    My only problem with Arshavin being on the wing in a typical 4-4-2 is that we will lack defensive balance, especially since we are without a quick “raging bull” at DM. He typically plays in the middle of the park for Zenit and Russia or in the slot and is allowed to roam as he sees fit and that’s why you will see him on the wing sometimes.

    He will probably be more effective when we go with a 4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1.

  8. CK, from what i’ve seen Arshavin can get down the flanks and provide a wide threat, i also think he can play across the midfield as well as up top, his flexibility is a great asset. I just happen to think we need a more credible threat on the right beyond sagna, as you know it’s a lot about wide play and stretching defenses, creating. If not Arshavin anyone who can do the job would be a huge plus, but as you say i think waiting for injured players to return is a gamble. We need someone who can beat people out on the wing, vela will be one, but we need some one in their sooner than later. As for a dm, who knows maybe wenger won’t even buy one, which i might agree with if we played better as a team on the defensive end.

  9. If he had that team, I bet he would.
    Another key learning from that link is that apparently Christian Vieri is currently on a ‘pay-as-you-score’ deal!?! What is that?!?! How come we don’t have Bendtner on that plan? Or Eboue… then we’ll never have to pay him.

  10. Alex, they say that every few weeks. Basically, RM directors get elected based on the wild promises they make. Wenger is adamant about seeing his contract out with the club. He’s not going anywhere.

    And if Cesc leaves it will be for Barca, not RM, he hates RM.

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