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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

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!

Remember to follow us on twitter @goonermemoirs for Arsenal news as they break.


A game of two universes. So what next?

What went wrong?

After the first 45 minutes of the game against Spurs, I was already thinking of what the title of my post match thoughts would be. I was immersed in how I would praise Arsene as the best manager this club has ever known (that hasn’t changed mind you), how I would shower accolades on Cesc for a vintage midfield performance, commend Nasri for fighting spirit, Cham29 fir striking instincts as so on. My facebook status at half time suggested that we were almost there and all I needed was a repeat or near repeat of the previous 45 minutes. But what did I get?

The second 45 minutes was what pundits and cynics will term “typical Arsenal“. I looked up this word(s) in the dictionary of football and this is what I got:

Inability to kill off games after taking the lead, allowing the opposition back into the game. E.g Arsenal-Spurs (20th November, 2010).
See also: Arsenal-Spurs (31st October 2008), Birmingham-Arsenal (27th March 2010), West Ham-Arsenal (25th October, 2009)

Spot on eh?

The disaster began when we lost the ball after taking a free kick, and Spurs launched a counter and the ball fell to Bale who finished nicely. Then Cesc had a moment of pure madness when he was penalised for a raised arm in the box, VDV struck the resulting penalty with aplomb. Then from a free kick, Kaboul headed past Fabianksi in between Cesc and Squillaci. Game won, Spurs had completed a magical comeback and won at our home for the first time in 17 years.

While I am not one to put blame on people, I think Wenger got a few things wrong. I still do not understand why He took off Nasri for an ineffective Rosicky. Nasri had everything to play for, a feud with Gallas was extra incentive, I doubt any other player in the squad will have the determination to score the goal did. It was evident form his celebration that he wanted to win badly and did everything to get the ball in the back of the net. He also brought on an unfit RVP for Cham29, and Walcott for Arshavin. Overall, his subs were ineffective and below par.

The defenders had a nightmare of a game, and Koscly in particular was found wanting many atimes. The Squilacci-Djourou combo showed great promise and I still don’t understand why they were not paired again. Cesc had a game to forget, Clichy and Sagna did little going forward and Song was awful in his positioning, thus giving VDV ample space to cause damage.

I did not realize the effect of this defeat until I tried surfing the web I discovered that I could not visit my usual football sites without being greeted with comments and views on the game. I was in deep pain and the only respite for me was Chelsea’s loss to Birmingham. In statistics though, you’ll learn that both events are independent and mutually exclusive!

My worry now is how we respond to this defeat, our 3rd at home in November. If this home run continues, we should expect 3 more defeats (Chelsea, United and L’pool). 6 home defeats and we DEFINITELY won’t win the league title. Are there any positives? Yes. Chelsea lost their 3rd league game in a row and we are still only 2 points adrift the top of the table.

The players have been in the press talking of how important it is to respond in the game against Braga. We need to do that in style, and even if we do beat them 10 zip, it still won’t remove the fact that we have no record to hold over the Spuds any longer. How sad?

Roll on Tuesday, I can’t wait for us to get a huge win so the ghosts of Saturday’s game can be partly exorcised. One thing is for sure though, the scar of that game will be on the mind of every gooner…except of course we in the league come May.

It’s a cold day in Accra today, very weird that is. I’m off to get some breakfast and prepare myself for a barrage from my Arsenal-hating pals. Not my best of times you bet.

From wherever you are reading, look for positives.
I’ll be doing the same all day.