Daily Archives: June 22, 2011

Arsenal to miss out on Falcao and Samba?


I think it’s a fair assessment to imply that we Arsenal fans have become used to a certain calibre of players being associated with the club during transfer windows.

I know, as an Arsenal fan that when a star name is involved, say someone like Benzema or Sneijder, I expect Arsenal to be bullied by other clubs. I also respect the amount of work that Wenger has done on a shoe string budget; I mean, scouting the world for inexpensive talent, grooming them to fit, and still keeping the club competitive isn’t quite an easy task.

However, I believe there is a limit to the tightness of this budget. If we cannot attract the Neymar(s) and Pastore(s) of this world, we should at least be able to afford a player like Odemwingie (no disrespect to the Nigerian), and be able to keep our own star players.
According to a source close the player:

Peter is not happy that, while the Gunners are willing to meet West Brom’s transfer fee, there will not be much change in personal terms. The club is proposing what he considers to be peanuts for him”

While we cannot exactly judge what “peanuts” in this case means, we know the way these things are at Arsenal. Flamini left on a free because of wage-related issues; we gave arguably the best left back of his generation, Ashley Cole to Chelsea simply because he demanded a “slight” increase in wages. The top defender we got in the deal with Chelsea, William Gallas was also lost to Spurs because of difference in wages. As I type this piece, we are on the verge of losing Nasri and Clichy over the same wages issues.

It is high time Arsene realized that the world does not move the way he thinks; I mean in a world where Yaya Toure and Tevez earn over 200k a week. Even Balotelli earns more money than RVP! Would you then blame Nasri for asking for 110k? Or you think these guys do not know what their counterparts take home?

Yes, I get it, players should be committed, be ready to make sacrifices… but put yourself in their shoes; can you confidently say, you have never thought of getting a pay rise at work or even contemplated quitting a low paying job for one with a better pay packet?
It is the way the world works, footballers are in this game for two things, the glory (trophies) and the money but at Arsenal, you do not seem to be getting either of those.

Take note, I am not too excited about the idea of signing Odemwingie, neither am I in favour of over-priced players or expensive signings. I just feel the club needs to be a lot more flexible with its wage structure. A few thousand pounds here and there doesn’t mean the club will go bankrupt all of a sudden, does it?

Fans hoping we can bring Radamel Falcao to the Emirates this summer can as well forget about it. I very much doubt he’ll leave Porto this summer, but even if he does leave (assuming he moves to England), I can bet my pension it will be to Chelsea. This needs no explanation, I suppose but just to make my point clear. Last month Falcao says he is committed to the Porto cause, but when his manager Andre Villas-Boas resigns two days ago, with an eye on taking over at Stamford Bridge, Falcao suddenly becomes open to a move to Chelsea. Simple logic tells you Villas-Boas may be bringing some of his Europa League-winning players with him from Porto, same way Jose Mourinho did.

Okay, let’s assume he was undecided on whom to join between Arsenal and Chelsea, you and I know that when the bidding war begins, we’ll get pushed aside, not because we cannot match Chelsea’s bid (or can we?) but because they will offer better, or dare I say, more realistic wages. Falcao is a top class talent and is someone that will really improve our squad, but at 70 or 80k per week, with the tax situation in England? Sorry, he won’t sign!

I do not know how long it takes to sign a player but I should think we take the longest. Gervinho has been close to signing for us for over two weeks now and yet, there is nothing official. While some are reporting that the deal has been done, I won’t believe anything until it appears on Arsenal.com.

And for all the noise of being also “close” to signing Christopher Samba from Blackburn, we learnt that the club has just slapped a 12million price on his head, albeit after admitting the lad wants an Arsenal move. One begins to wonder, how close were we then? Will still go ahead to sign a player he values at 8million for 12million?

Lots of questions arise from these events but there is only a few I can take for today. A lot of names have been linked to us; from the obvious (Gervinho, Samba, Cahill), the surprising (Eto’o, Ricky Alvarez, Benzema), to the outright ridiculous (Barton, Taarabt).

But for all these, we have only signed a back up right back from Charlton. We have not gotten rid of the deadwood a la Denilson, Almunia, Squillaci, Bendtner, Eboue yet. If anything, it only comforts me, knowing that it means there is a lot of business to be done in this transfer window.

This post comes off the back of a sleepless night, no thanks to this terrible cold I have. It’s a cozy morning in Lagos today; I’ll just take advantage of that and begin my “night”.

Have a great day wherever you are reading this from.

See you in the comments!

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