Arsenal | Anorak - Part 30

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Arsenal football club news, Arsenal transfers

Transfer Balls: The Arsenal striker vanishes

Transfer Balls: football reporting is sho king, but every now and then utter drivel passed off as fact can be traced to a trusted source. Take the story of Arsenal tyro Chupa Akpom:

Arsene Wenger – July 15:

“No, he won’t be going out on loan. I sent him out on loan last year because I thought he needed that. But this season no, I plan to keep him with us. It’s down to performance and attitude and he has the assets to be a big talent. And, after that, to be an efficient player week in week out, that’s the target”

Akpom was delighed to be staying, stating on July 27:

“It’s nice to see the young players doing well and the boss says he will always give opportunities to young players who are doing their job. The main thing for me is for a manger to have confidence and faith in me so for the manager to say that he isn’t after another striker is good. But the hard work doesn’t stop there it means you have to maintain a place and there are a lot of good strikers and goals in the team so hopefully his season I can give it my all and be involved in the team”

And on August 4, Arenal duly announced:

“Chuba Akpom has joined Championship side Hull City on loan for the 2015/16 season. Everyone at Arsenal wishes Chuba well for the season ahead”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 5th, August 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment

Chelsea hand it to Arsenal: Jose Mourinho loses with the winners

Chelsea arsenal community shieldHaving seen his Chelsea side lose to Arsenal in the Community Shield season opener, Jose Mourinho make palava of the post-match handshake. For those only versed in the Premier League era, shaking hands was once the perfunctory act of players and gentlemen. It’s now more loaded than George Bush a frat house party.

Mourinho stood at the foot of the stairs and made a point of shaking the hand of every single member of the victorious Arsenal team as they passed. All except one: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

The Chelsea boss then sashayed off down the tunnel but not before chucking his runner-up medal into the crowd.

In Jose’s defence, shaking and not shaking have both cast aspersions on his grasps of etiquette and sportsmanship. Aston Villa’s then bosses Paul Lambert and Roy Keane complained about the being offered Mourinho’s hand to shake, albeit before the match was over. Poor Jose can’t do right for doing wrong.

We, meanwhile, wait the next time Mourinho and Wenger, looking forward to Sky TV’s five hours of pre-grapple handshake talk and if now if the time for fist bumps.


Posted: 2nd, August 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment

Arsenal V Chelsea: it’s the economics, stupid

wengerIt’s Arsenal v Chelsea in the Community Shield and the Press are turning it into battle between the clubs’ respective managers, Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho.

Having heard Mourinho engage in the kind of maths politicians use to tell the masses that a deficit is actually a surplus, Wenger responds:

“We spend when we think we have to spend and do not listen to what people think or say. When we don’t have the money, we don’t spend the money we haven’t got.”

It’s Jose’s good fortune that Chelsea manager Roman Abramovich has yet to call in the £1bn-plus interest free loan he handed the Blues.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 29th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment

Chelsea: Mourinho loves looking at Arsenal, mocks Pelligrini and fails his maths test

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been talking with the Times Matt Hughes in Montreal, Canada

On Mistakes:

“I’m accepting of mistakes, but not accepting of a lot of mistakes. Mistakes are a part of the game, but a lot of mistakes are not. I’m emotional and this game doesn’t allow us to make lots of mistakes because we are punished for that.”

On Referees:

“…when there is an accumulation of mistakes like we had last season, I’m sorry, I find it difficult to accept. If I make too many mistakes and I put players on the bench then I’m sacked. Referees should be given a rest if they make mistakes, if only to take pressure off them.”

On Manuel Pelligrini:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 28th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Arsenal can buy Gareth Bale but not Messi says Gunners boss

lord harrisArsenal director Philip Charles Harris, Baron Harris of Peckham, tells the Daily Mail the Gunners are rich enough to buy almost any player in the world.

So why don’t they?

The story begins: “Arsene Wenger has more than £200m in the bank, says Arsenal director.”

“We would back him to break the club’s transfer record. If he wanted the man, he could have him,” says Harris (estimated wealth: £285m). “Apart from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, he could have any player.”

Karim Benzema? Eden Hazard? Gareth Bale?

Arsenal’s most expensive recruits have been:

Mesut Ozil – Real Madrid, £42.4m, September 2013
Alexis Sanchez – Barcelona, £35m, July 2014
Andrey Arshavin – Zenit St Petersburg, £15m, February 2009
Santi Cazorla – Malaga, £15m, August 2012
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Southampton, £15m, August 2011

Undoubtedly Arsenal are spending more on players than ever before. But surely it’s fantasy to believe they have the same financial muscles as Manchester United, Real Madrid, PSG, Manchester City, Chelsea or Bayern Munich.

“Money was tight when we moved to the Emirates but it’s a lot freer now,” continues Lord Harris. “We could go into the market and probably buy any player in the world, apart from half a dozen who are unbuyable. We get a list of the players that Wenger wants. On the list is a centre forward, but I’m not going to tell you who he is.

“You’ve got to get the other team to want to sell him, but I think he wants to come. It basically comes down to whether the other team can find a superstar to replace him, because they don’t have to sell.”

So. Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema it is, then. Unless PSG, Chelsea, Man City, Man United etc. outbid the Gunners.



Posted: 24th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Money, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Arsenal want Spanish striker Fernando Llorente

Arsenal are chasing Spanish striker Fernando Llorente. The Sun reasons that with Karim Benzema vying with Lord Lucan and the Blue Peter tortoise to get to Arsenal fastest, Arsenal Wenger will target Juventus Llorente.

But wasn’t it just this week that Llorente was the subject of speculation linking him with a move to Manchester United. The Daily Mirror screamed: “Revealed! ‘Secret’ Manchester United transfer target is Fernando Llorente of Juventus.”

“It’s Arsenal who’ve been in contact — not United,” says a source in no way linked to Llorente’s agent. “They have made an inquiry but there is no bid yet. But it is clear they are interested and it is also clear that Juventus are ready to listen.”

Llorente, 30, is fourth choice striker at Juventus.

As for Benzema, well, does anyone really suppose Arsenal will capture a player who commands big wages at Real Madrid and is fancied by moneybags Paris Saint-Germain?

And then we hear from Benzema’s agent, Karim Djaziri, who says: “Karim is very happy at Real Madrid and he will be a Madrid player by the end of this transfer window, 1,000 per cent. He is not looking to move anywhere this summer.”

Unless a huge bid comes in and he leaves.

Posted: 24th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Arsenal target Julian Draxler defies the Daily Express

Transfer Balls: did Arsenal ever get their hands on Julian Draxler?

October 10, 2014, Daily Express: “ARSENAL will match Julian Draxler’s £37million Schalke release clause”

June 16, Daily Express: “Arsenal head Man United and Chelsea in race for wantaway German midfielder:

JULIAN DRAXLER wants to move to the Premier League, with Arsenal in pole position to sign the midfielder.

June 18, Daily Express: “Germany star Julian Draxler keen to SECURE move to Arsenal, Chelsea or Man United

How keen?

JULIAN DRAXLER is reportedly desperate to move to the Premier League this summer.

July 16, Daily Express: “Arsenal boosted as Julian Draxler’s agent shoots down Juventus move”

July 22, Daily Express: “SCHALKE have given permission to Juventus to negotiate personal terms with Julian Draxler”

How much?

July 22, Daily Express: “Schalke: Arsenal target Julian Draxler allowed to agree personal terms after £14m bid”

Has he signed for Arsenal? No.

Posted: 23rd, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment

Manchester United ‘abandoning’ their history says Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger



Did Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger say Manchester United are trying to buy glory? The Times reports:

Arsène Wenger has accused Manchester United of abandoning the club’s tradition of youth development in pursuit of short-term success…

He did?

Wenger contrasted United’s new approach to Arsenal’s philosophy, which he claims remains geared to producing players, albeit many of them recruited from all over the world as teenagers. 

Wenger said that? It’s seems out of character.  Frenchman is hardly the most gung-ho individual. Take what he says about the coming season and Arsenal chances of winning the Premier League title:

“All going well, I feel we have a chance. But I cannot guarantee we will win the title. We now have the stability that gives us strength but it’s very difficult to guess how strong the other teams will be.

“There have been times in the past when I knew we could not win it. When you just squeeze into the top four and see others strengthening while you are losing players, it is difficult to be convinced you can still win the league.”

Back, then, to the Times and is story on Wenger attacking Man United for “abandoning” it’s roots:

“With United’s success they have created huge financial resources and today there is no patience for them to continue to do what they did — and they have the financial resources to go with a different policy. As well, they do not have available the players like Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham inside the club, because youth talent is spread more through 20 clubs than it was 20 years ago.”

So. He didn’t say United were buying success. Wenger said the market has changed because United grew rich through glory brought about by sound planning and Alex Ferguson’s management skills. They can now spend huge amounts of money.

As for the homemade players coming through:

Of players who came through the Old Trafford academy, Evans made the most Premier League starts last season with 12, the same number as Paddy McNair, followed by Adnan Januzaj with seven and Tyler Blackett, right, with six.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 23rd, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Sergi Samper becomes Arsenal and Liverpool superstar

Arsenal have tabled a £8.5m offer for Barcelona’s Sergi Samper. Well, so says the Sun:

Samper, 20, is currently behind Sergio Busquets, Javier Mascherano and Sergi Roberto in the Nou Camp pecking order.

But the Metro says Sergi Roberto is close to joining Everton move”. If true (and yep, this is the Metro) Samper is either third or fourth choice pick for his slot in Barcelona’s central midfield.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 23rd, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Arsenal finally get shot of Wojciech Szczesny

So. Farewell Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, the player whose name only his mother could spell. The  aloof, cocksure, talented, error-prone goalkeeper has left Arsenal for Roma on a season-long loan. Petr Cech is the Arsenal number one.

Arsenal fans will be delighted.

Roma wanted to sign Szczesny permanently, but he wanted to maintain a tie to the Gunners.

Either the okay-ish David Ospina or very promising Damian Martinez will be Arsenal number 2.


Posted: 22nd, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment

Transfer balls: Joao Moutino linked to Arsenal as Monaco clear the wage bill

JoaoMoutnihoArsenal are looking at Monaco’s Joao Moutino. The Daily Telegraph says:

 ‘Joao Moutinho free to join Arsenal’

Free? No. The tabloid Tele’s story is rooted in The Metro, who add that Manchester United and Chelsea are keen on the Portuguese. The paper says Arsenal are readying a bid of £18m.

The Guardian says Monaco are “willing to let the Portuguese go for €20m”.

Fluctuating exchange rates make euros-to-pounds conversions a tricky sum. Given the current state of the Euro Zone, €20m could be anything from £20m to 10p.

The Express, which turns out to be the source of the Metro’s story that Moutino has “agreed” to join Arsenal, adds:

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is understood to be willing to let Mathieu Flamini leave the Emirates and could be in the market for a replacement.

Moutinho for Flamini?

Facts are thinner than Yvette Cooper’s mile. And we’ve been here before. Back in 2012 Sky Sports announced:

 Sky Sports understands Tottenham Hotspur have agreed a club record £22million deal with Porto for Joao Moutinho.

Wrong. Moutinho never arrived at Spurs.

This new story goes that Monaco is on £110,000 a week and Monaco want him off the books.

Is anyone else outside the Premier League keen on the player?

Football Italia says “Moutinho on Inter radar“. Get French Football News says “Porto in advanced negotiations for Joao Moutinho.”

Such are the facts.


Posted: 21st, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment

Arsenal ‘bid’ £31m for Benzema and rule out move for Higuain

Arsenal remain keen on Real Madrid’s France striker Karim Benzema, writes the Mail, adding that “Arsenal do not expect to sign Karim Benzema this summer”.

The Telegraph says Arsenal have bid £31m for Karim Benzema.

The tabloid Tele knows his because it read the story in the Express.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 21st, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment

Arsenal: Petr Cech says Arsenal have one big advantage over Chelsea

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech tis talking about his new life at Arsenal.

Is Cech’s transfer a sign of a shift in power? Arsenal have not beaten Chelsea in the Premier League since October 2011 (5-3 defeat at Stamford Bridge). Indeed, since Roman Abramovich hooked Chelsea to his wallet, Arsenal have beaten Chelsea just six times from 30 matches played. Most worryingly for Arsenal fans is that in 13 attempts, Arsene Wenger has yet to defeat José Mourinho.

Says Cech:

“There are a lot of things in common between the two clubs. Nobody wants to lose games, and everybody wants to win so we’re all focusing on getting ready for the season. We want to have a successful season, which means we have to be prepared, as there are a lot of opponents in the pack in the Premier League and the Champions League, who will have the same targets.”

Pretty anodyne stuff, there. We want to win. We don’t like losing. But Cech begins to open up:

“What I’ve found is a group of players who work very hard and are focused on what they’re doing on the pitch to get ready. I’ve found the team spirit quite extraordinary, I have to say. Everybody pulls in the same direction, which is why I believe we will have a successful season. You need to have that connection between players to work towards the same targets to be successful. I’ve only been here a short while, but I can feel the team is together.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 21st, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Sports | Comment

Arsenal: Bellerin signs new deal and starts the countdown to Barcelona

Arsenal: Héctor Bellerín has singed a new deal. The Arsenal defender has agreed a four-year contract at the club. He’s now earning… 50,000 a week.

The Spaniard only got his chance in the Arsenal first XI because Mathieu Debuchy broke his ankle. He then proved to be a better right back than Calum Chambers.

So. Good news for Arsenal fans. But they will wonder how long it will be before Barcelona, the club where Bellerin began his career as a winger, come calling…

Posted: 20th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment

Transfer balls: Alexandre Lacazette’s all clear to Arsenal and Manchester United

It’s been a busy few weeks Lyon footballer Alexandre Lacazette.

June 4, Daily Star: “Alexandre Lacazette WANTS Manchester United move”

June 4, Daily Express: “Arsenal and City target Alexandre Lacazette WANTS Man Utd move despite £22m Liverpool bid”

June 8, Daily Star: “Alexandre Lacazette has reached an agreement to sign for Paris St-Germain”

July 16, The Metro: “Arsenal ‘clear to seal Alexandre Lacazette transfer”

Which brings us to today’s news. Says Lacazette:

 “I have already told the head coach and the president that I want to stay in Lyon. I am fully committed to our project for this season.”

So much for his wanting to leave…

Posted: 20th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Manchester United: Robin Van Persie celebrates Ferguson, loves Arsenal’s Wenger but questions Van Gaal’s honesty

Fresh from Manchester United and welcomed to Fenerbahce by 18,000 delighted fans at Istanbul’s Sukru Saracoglu stadium, Robin van Persie tells the Sunday Times:

 “I had other options [in Italy and Spain] but that’s why I chose Turkey. Football has to be fun. That’s my aim, to go back to that childhood love of the game.”

RVP loves to talk about his inner child. When he left Arsenal for a lot more money at United – he became United’s highest earner on £240,000 a week –  the Dutchman opined:

“I always listen to the little boy inside of me in these situations – when you have to make the harder decisions in life. What does he want? That boy was screaming for Man United.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 19th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Manchester United offer £22m for Pedro who agreed Chelsea deal after joining Arsenal

Manchester United are to offer Barcelona £20m for their spare-part forward Pedro.

The Sun says Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool are also after the 27 year old, whose record reads 98 goals in 318 appearances for the Catalans.

But the Times says Man United are leading the chase and have prepared to trigger the player’s £22million buy-out clause in his new contract.

“It’s true I have received important offers,” says Pedro. “My situation is complicated because I want to play a lot of minutes, but that is becoming very difficult at Barcelona.”

Complicated’s right. With so many clubs apparently after Pedro, the utter balls flow freely.

On July 15, the Star’s Paul Brown said Chelsea would sign Pedro “next week”:


Screen shot 2015-07-18 at 08.46.32


The Star reported that Chelsea have met Pedro’s £22m release clause, adding:

Liverpool and Inter Milan were also interested in Pedro, but they are set to miss out as Chelsea are his preferred option.

The Week agrees, stating:

The 27-year-old has agreed to join Chelsea where he’s been told he’ll have more opportunities to showcase his talents.

But just yesterday the Express noted:

The Blues were thought to be closing in on a move for Barcelona ace Pedro, but reports in Spain suggest Mourinho is not prepared to meet his £22m release clause.

Chelsea have and have not bid £22m for Pedro?

The Mail says Liverpool will make an offer.

And it was back in May the Metro announced that Pedro wanted to play for Arsenal and the Gunners would bid £26m for him.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 18th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Bayern Munich’s Arturo Vidal agrees to join Arsenal for less than he agreed to join Manchester United

Transfer Balls picks up the news that Juventus have sold Arturo Vidal to Bayern Munich for £28m.

The Guardian relays news emerging in the German Press:

Juventus’ Arturo Vidal set to seal £28m move to Bayern Munich

That’s the Guardian that told readers on May 25 2015:

Football transfer rumours: Arsenal to sign Juventus’ Arturo Vidal

The fee to bring Vidal to Arsenal was said to be £25m.

Indeed on June 28, the Mail reports that Vidal was now a Gunner although the fee was a reduced £21m. The Metro said Vidal would earn £96,000 a week at Arsenal.

Over in the Express, on July 4 2015, reader were told that Vidal had “agreed” to join Real Madrid.

All incredibly stuff to Independent readers who had been told in 20014 that Vidal had agreed a £182,000-a-week with Manchester United.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 17th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Daily Star’s Vargas to Arsenal story tricks Gunners fans

vargas arsenal


Transfer balls: a look at utter drivel passed off as scoops in the mainstream media. And the Daily Star has a corker.

The headline trills:

Napoli confirm Arsenal target Eduardo Vargas is considering transfer to the Emirates

Arsenal play at the Emirates stadium.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 17th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment

Transfer balls: Arsenal’s annual £40m bid for Karim Benzema

Arsenal are great. Media oufits love the Gunners because unlike other clubs every summer they do the utterly predictable and lust after Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema.

For the past three summers Arsenal have been linked with a £40m offer for the player.


The Sun 2015:



Screen shot 2015-07-17 at 08.35.21



The Daily Mail 2014:


Screen shot 2015-07-17 at 08.47.23


The BBC 2013:


Screen shot 2015-07-17 at 08.27.58


Number of bids made by Arsenal for Benzema: nil.

Such are the facts.




Posted: 17th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment

Arsenal makes £40m move to Karim Benzema

Arsenal are making a £40m move for Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema.

The Sun says Arsenal will make a bid fro the French striker on Monday.

The paper then calls Benzema a “marquee signing”, which is odd because a marquee is a kind of tent. The phrase “marquee signing” is one that irritates like a Brendan Rodger’s press conference or the PA announcer who drown out singing with loud music.

The news is full of these marquee signings of course. Fans demand them. It’s a media obsession.

Arsenal fans will take news of Benzema’s arrival with a mixture of excitement and rolling eyes. But given the Premier League’s vast cash reserves, Arsenal’s prestige and location – London with its large ex-pat communities and status as a world city remains a big lure to the foreign player – Benzema could be on his way to the Emirates.


Posted: 17th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment

Arsenal: Arsene Wenger marvels at Manchester United and says Sterling only left Liverpool for the money

Transfer Balls: A look at today’s Arsenal reporting.

The Times says Arsene Wenger “will only bring in exceptional signing for Arsenal”.

This becomes a “strong hint that the FA Cup winners will not sign any more players during the remainder of the transfer window”.

A bluff?

Wenger is quoted:

“I don’t close the door if we find any player who can strengthen the squad, but we have already strengthened the squad. I believe part of the success of the squad is also the level of cohesion. We have a good level of cohesion. What is important for myself and the squad is to see how we can carry on and move forward again. We felt at the end of last season that we had moved forward, but it is still not enough. In this preseason we have to move forward again. We have to move forward together, which for me it is more important than dreaming about finding a miraculous player who wins you everything. I believe we have the quality, and it’s now about how much we can be stronger together.”


Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 14th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment

Transfer balls: Arsenal get Julian Draxler when Stoke sell Shaqiri

Transfer balls: Are Arsenal going to sign Julian Draxler? Yes, says the Metro, Arsenal are “finally” going to get the Schalke flyer.

The Metro’s source is TribalFootball, which reports its own source:

BILD says Schalke may be forced to sell Draxler to fund a move for Xherdan Shaqiri.

Inter Milan midfielder Shaqiri has been linked with Stoke in recent weeks but Schalke want to keep him in the Bundesliga with a £12million bid.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 14th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Manchester United and Arsenal in desperately slow race for Morgan Schneiderlin

Morgan Schneiderlin.


Transfer Balls: having read reports that Morgan Schneiderlin has joined Manchester United – pipping Arsenal to his signature – all papers bring news that he hasn’t. Morgan Schneiderlin still plays for Southampton.

What say the papers today?

The Sun: “[Manchester United] are ready with a new bid for Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin. The club had one of £20m turned down and are ready to up it to £25m.”

But the Express sys United don’t want the Fernchman:

Manchester United could end Schneiderlin pursuit after agreeing Schweinsteiger deal

They could. And, then again, they could not. Maybe.

The Mirror confirms that there is no news:

Southampton have confirmed that Manchester United are yet to make another bid for midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin.

Which just leaves the Daily Star to report:

Arsenal free to complete swoop for Man United target Morgan Schneiderlin

In other words, the Press have no idea.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 11th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Arsenal are after Karim Benzema

benzema agrees liverpool


Transfer Balls: Arsenal are after Karim Benzema.

Well, so says the Metro. The newspaper quotes Spanish journo, Paco Gonzalez, who claims that Arsene Wenger has phoned the £42million-rated Real Madrid star in an attempt to convince the French international to move to the Emirates.

Only a year ago, the Star said Liverpool had signed Benzema for £38m.

But this is kosher. The Telegraph says Paco Gonzalez is a man referred to as a “respected Spanish journalist” by at least four different news outlets.

But what says Karim about the British media’s speculation?




A video posted by Karim Benzema (@karimbenzema) on

Posted: 10th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment