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Friday, September 02, 2005

It may be Henry

The August transfer window was shut and Premiership contenders Arsenal didn’t do anything about it. I read that newly crowned captain Thierry Henry is pondering his future, saying that the Gunners are falling behind the biggest sides; I guess Pascal Cygan was right.

"We are ready to negotiate a new long-term contract but I have the impression he is not. Thierry is my priority” - Wenger

The lesson of Vieira was that no player is immune. Didn’t Vieira pledge his future for Arsenal after he turned down Real Madrid? I was reading back then how secure everyone was feeing with the former Arsenal captain instead of the reality of this summer's move to Juventus. Remember, it's a self serving business for players too.

If it’s true that several Arsenal players were left disillusioned that the transfer window closed without a big name signing then they better get illusioned because this is what’s called a recession. Transfer fees have been too high for almost 2 decades. And because of that spiral clubs can’t afford what they could when there was enough value in the club to buy debt against. It takes a certain volume of clubs to sustain an overvalued market: fewer clubs had the wear-with-all in 2005.

Another reason Henry might leave is because Arsenal are building a new stadium. Arsenal FC is a business and that stadium will make the FC money. Good for the players too right, so what’s the problem?

I suggest Arsenal’s management is more concerned with the expensive stadium than the team right now so I expect there will be fewer and fewer signings in the next few years. Henry is in his prime and may know this transfer window is a sign of more to come. Speculation, but the ‘un’ in unrest must come from somewhere.

18 Comments:

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vieira had only 2 years left on his contract, not 5.

9/02/2005 5:23 PM  
Blogger Football Commentator said...

Ah, ok, thanks, I fixed the text

9/02/2005 5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

on the spot ! we don´t have the money or aren´t prepared to use it because of AG.

9/02/2005 5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The August transfer window was shut and Premiership contenders Arsenal didn’t do anything about it.

What about Mart Poom? He's not Essien, but he's definitely more than negative of anything..

9/02/2005 5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AG, exactly!

9/02/2005 5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"what about mart poom?" are u having a bloody laugh? that does not even qualify as a signing in my eyes. there are so many other keepers we could have gotten. why didnt we get jenas? and why is wenger sending everyone on loan if we are already light in reserves?doesnt make sense. the rest of the premiership is getting better, and we are stagnant. i dont blame henry for being unsettled.
we will truly know if wenger knows in a few months.

9/02/2005 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is with all this negativity ?! don't you guys have any faith in our club and in our manager? AW has been breeding youngsters for years and years and most of the players turn out to be stars.

Henry will stay, no doubt about that; are we forgetting a quote from him stating "I will stay at arsenal for as long as they want me" From where i stand, we at arsenal still want him, and would probably want him for years and years to come!!

jus think of the squad we have, (defenders) sol, toure, cole, lauren, senderos, cygan, clichy, and ebuoue. (midfielders) pires, gilberto, cesc, ljungberg, hleb (a world-class signing, IMO) flamini, and all the youngsters. (forwards) thierry, bergkamp, RVP, reyes, quincy. And don't forget that most of our players are versatile, meaning reyes or quincy can play on the wings; Hleb can play anywhere in midfield. Cesc has proven that he can play on the right wing; and so on, and so forth

All im trying to say is have some faith in arsene, and stop with all the negativity. Arsenal are a big club and will stay a big club; time will prove that!

9/02/2005 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why the manager talk? AW has no control over these things.

9/02/2005 6:02 PM  
Blogger insidetrack said...

As someone with the fortune of actually knowing how much AW had to spend on players, I have to respectfully rubbish the fear and panic.

Fact > the manager had £30 million to spend on new signings this year - even without the sale of Patrick.

Fact > the manager not only made a considerable bid for Baptista (13.8m), but also for Robinho (17m) and Michael Ballack (14m). The two Brazilians chose Madrid, while Ballack who was the Baptista backup felt it too risky to leave Bayern during a World Cup year. Hleb was signed as an alternative to Robinho.

Fact > Wenger does not panic buy. He spends months tracking players, consistency, attitude and character etc. He also refuses to go outrageously over the odds.

Fact > Wenger believes that only truly great players should join unless they are kids. Fabregas, Van Persie, Flamini, Quincy, Lupoli, Senderos would not develop properly if you just stuck Jenas in front of them.

Fact > Wenger watches them in training everyday and thinks that these youngsters will have the Manchester United effect - given the chance.

Fact > Vieira would have cost us a new contract £80k a week even at 34 when he would be far past his best.

Fact > Thierry is not considering leaving. He wants to concentrate on the job in hand and then review all things in the summer - fair enough.

Fact > expect to see 3 major signings next year. Goalkeeper, Midfielder, Striker. Cygan replaced by Song in long run.

9/02/2005 6:11 PM  
Blogger insidetrack said...

As someone with the fortune of actually knowing how much AW had to spend on players, I have to respectfully rubbish the fear and panic.

Fact > the manager had £30 million to spend on new signings this year - even without the sale of Patrick.

Fact > the manager not only made a considerable bid for Baptista (13.8m), but also for Robinho (17m) and Michael Ballack (14m). The two Brazilians chose Madrid, while Ballack who was the Baptista backup felt it too risky to leave Bayern during a World Cup year. Hleb was signed as an alternative to Robinho.

Fact > Wenger does not panic buy. He spends months tracking players, consistency, attitude and character etc. He also refuses to go outrageously over the odds.

Fact > Wenger believes that only truly great players should join unless they are kids. Fabregas, Van Persie, Flamini, Quincy, Lupoli, Senderos would not develop properly if you just stuck Jenas in front of them.

Fact > Wenger watches them in training everyday and thinks that these youngsters will have the Manchester United effect - given the chance.

Fact > Vieira would have cost us a new contract £80k a week even at 34 when he would be far past his best.

Fact > Thierry is not considering leaving. He wants to concentrate on the job in hand and then review all things in the summer - fair enough.

Fact > expect to see 3 major signings next year. Goalkeeper, Midfielder, Striker. Cygan replaced by Song in long run.

9/02/2005 6:12 PM  
Blogger Kim Stian Ervik said...

Arsenal got £40 million to spend on new players. They will have more money than ManU after the new stadium is finished. Do you really think money is the problem?

It is all about having the best talents in the world. Buying top level players will throw them back in the pecking order.

9/02/2005 8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand some of you... Jenas? You really want to see Jenas playing for Arsenal? I'm not sure he's even good enough for Sp*rs' starting line-up...

When Wenger goes buying, he does it wisely. Of course, there were mistakes like Jeffers, but mostly he buys right.

Why pay 21M quids on SWP when you can get Hleb (who I think is better) for less than half that price?
Why pay 24M quids on Essien when Cesc cost 0. Nothing. For the best midfield prodigy in Europe!

Wenger tried to buy great players with the money he had, he just couldn't get them. (Don't forget - Real Madrid is still a bigger name than us, though hopefully not for too long).
There's no reason to go and buy second rate players or pay twice players' value instead.

We are a little light in some areas, but with a little luck on our side we should have a good season. If Wenger needs another player, he has time till January to recheck the market. But even if he doesn't buy, I think we still play the best football in England.

So be proud of the team we have and support the lads - cause if they start believing in themselves, we might surprise all the critics.

Go you Redcurrents!!!

9/02/2005 11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we had all that money then why didnt we fill any obvious needs.

What are they waiting for with good players available to fill the roles?

9/03/2005 5:36 AM  
Anonymous MM said...

Inside Track - I'd like to believe you; Honestly, I really would but I just can't. My thinking is that if you had the "Inside track" you wouldn't be posting here. if you were that close to the club you'd surely have something better to do than trawl Arsenal Blogs. Of course, if you'd like to expand upon your credentials then I am sure we'd eagerly gobble that up! I don't intend to be offensive, but if you post something like that, you have to expect someone to at least ask for some verification. Of course, then we can be given "I can't do that - It would reveal my identity", so we're knackered either way!

Much of what you mention is pretty easy to put together from rumours or comments in newspapers; We're not short of supposition. If memory serves (I am happy to be corrected on this) the £30M was being thrown around at the end of last season as was a little unexpected windfall from the Granada TV deal. That didn't include Paddy's sale money. At the time, weren't we being told that the Granada money would be used on players? If that was about £12-15M (I honestly can't remember how much) and we got a decent amount for Vieira then surely that equates to far more than just £30M?

I don't buy this thing that Arséne will only buy nobodies and then turn them into legends. He's not a moron - If he had the money to buy established quality, he'd buy. Right now it's as plain as day that AB is proving to be a difficult and expensive project and that Arséne is so loved by the board not just because of his footballing achievment and prowess, but because he's got an eye for a rough diamond. Arsenal have always been a prudent club - It's not a recent thing.

Either way you dice it, for me, we haven't bought much when we could and we're going to get caught out. Seems that last year's lesson wasn't learned (sorry, but that FA Cup win on pens isn't enough to make me think last season was a monster success).
You don't need to be a genius to work out what's going to happen to us if a few key guys pick up injuries. Where aroe our goals coming from if TH is out for 6 weeks with a bad injury? We're going to have to see every single squad player performing out of their skin for the whole season to win something this time around.

I don't get this thing that if we criticise AW or Arsenal then somehow we're not fans - That seems to be the accusation levelled at anyone who doesn't accept the "Arsene knows" mantra. He didn't "know" about Baptista, or Viera's cyst or (if you are to be believed) Ballack, or Robinho did he? He didn't work out that Baptista was never going to come to England because of the passport issue, despite the bloke actually saying it perfectly clearly, did he? Now we get Poom who the world has almost forgotten and who's greatest accolade is that he won "Estonian player of the year" 6 times or something. Well that makes me feel a whole lot better, with all of the quality that exists in Estonia. Oh, and he scored a headed goal once. The feeling that we are trawling the bargain bins is obviously felt by many.

The reason so many people are pissing and moaning isn't because they are NOT fans but often because they ARE fans, who care about what happens to the club. What sort of a fan blythely sits by and just sucks up whatever the club tell them to when it is plainly rubbish? Are we all expected to be happy when we see other teams around us investing while we buy a stop gap keeper and one other player?


Don't get me wrong - Arséne is the best thing to happen to Arsenal, and the guy has revolutionised not only our club but the whole Premiership in so many ways, but I think that AB has meant that he is being told he's got bugger all to spend and that he'll have to make do until the new stadium starts bringing in the extra bacon. It's the club, not Arsene who have caused this. Even Fitzman said that if he'd have known how tough AB would have been then they'd have gone to a site elsewhere.

I think Hleb will turn out to be a very smart signing, but he alone isn't going to add what we need. For now, you just need to fart near him and he gets knocked off the ball. That's not a big problem really and will change as he adapts to the EPL, but the Premiership doesn't wait for anyone. Personally I couldn't give a toss if Jenas didn't come, or SWP - Both are over-rated for their prices but for the money we supposedly had, are you seriously saying that Arséne, with all of his accumen could find nobody to suit? I mean, we were told that Owen would not work with Henry. One look at the numerous times we put a cross in and there's nothing but an empty box puts paid to that in my eyes. He would have been there! Maybe he was overpriced, but he's someone who has NEVER had a manager of Arséne's quality and is pretty much guranteed to be poaching a bag load of goals every season. That's what £16M gets you. These days, if you want quality, you have to pay for it. It sucks, but that's the score.

The transfer window is closed now, and we've got what we've got. It's still a quality team with some fine players so you're right - We should get behind them as supporters, but if the season turns out to be a turkey then the club need to be held accountable. I guess what I am saying is that we shouldn't view everything with rose tinted specs.

I desperately hope that I am wrong; I'd so much love to come here at the end of the coming season and have someone re-post this, showing me how badly I mis-judged the situation. Seeing us win the Prem or CL and watching Thierry lifting some silverware would be something special.

Phew - What a ramble. Sorry - Didn't expect to go on so long but just having a morning vent......

9/03/2005 9:33 AM  
Blogger angelo said...

I think that until when Wenger will be the manager Arsenal will be just fine.

He made bid for some top players but wisely choose not to overspend for them. Gunners have a fine group of young players so maybe not this season (but who knows) but in the future they will be well set.

Regarding Vieira I think it was a great move because Juventus paid a lot of money for an aging player.

Judging from his games for Juve against Inter he didn't look like the old Vieira committing too many fouls against quicker players.

As for Henry I think we will know soon what his future will be. His contract ends in 2007 so within one year a decision will be taken. I don't think Gunners will let him walk away for free.

He said that he would leave Arsenal only for a "wonderful chance" but I don't see such chances around.

Excluding a move in England or Italy he only can go to Spain but Real Madrid is set on forwards and at Barcelona he would be number two star behind Ronaldinho. Would he accept that role?

P.S. Sorry for the long post.

9/03/2005 10:54 AM  
Blogger madgunner said...

All we do is talking and nothing more....We can keep on posting comments all day long but none of our words would ever mean or change anything. Anyways i guess that i will post one since i have some time.I believe in my Team no matter what. I know that we should be tight on spending money but i still believe that we can do it. The first defeat for us is when our players read our comments or know what we feel about needing more signings. It is like telling them that you are worthless. A blast to their morales and confidence. If we tell them that we believe in them then it will boost them and they will give more. You are all nagging about not signing this player or that player. Robinho is 21.......ok....so is RVP, and Quincy is almost 20. What makes you think that he is better. He is a selfish player that plays for himself. This will not fit Arsenal. He is arrogant and disloyal.....he will want to leave in 2 years like Anelka did. Baptista is 22...... well this one was a loss but it is not the end. for the comments about the crosses, if you are real Supporters who understand about football you will get the time to understand that we dont depend on crosses to score. We do low crosses but not for the strikers , we do them for the attacking wingers....Ljungberg, Pires. We dont use the heading. Strikers can always be marked easily, specially if you are a fox in the box. It is always offside or headed away. We do our runs from the wing play a short pass to the running forward or other winger or midfielder. Goals for Arsenal come from everywhere and that is what makes them succesful. The new team is a team for 10 years at least, and rome wasnt built in a day....so hold your courage and give the players some belief. The youngsters out on loan will play a big role in the near future. Smith, and Hoyte will be england internationals

9/03/2005 11:04 AM  
Anonymous MM said...

"if you are real Supporters who understand about football"

See, this is EXACTLY the kind of comment and footie snobbery that riles me. So I am not a REAL football supporter now? 3 Generations of our family, 2 of whom were all born in and around the Highbury area have supported Arsenal rabidly, attending games on a regular basis, but apparently because I say that I don't like seeing crosses going into an empty box somehow I don't know what I'm talking about? What I do know is that if we had a "Fox in the box" (which Wenger himself said we needed and attempted to get when he signed Jeffers) and it was a player of quality we'd have another option for adding to our goal tally. One minute you say we're all about a particular kind of cross and the next you extol the virtues of the fact that goals come from all over the place - Make your mind up.

You're right about the talking; That's generally all we can do, but isn't this a discussion blog? In reality, none of us do know what is going on inside Highbury, and it is all supposition, but I think it's healthy to talk about it. Like I said, I don't see Arsenal as some sacred cow; I think they've done a lot right and they've made a few mistakes too. My issue with selling Vieira wasn't that we sold him (I thought it was good business, really) but more that we didn't bring in someone similar in style to replace him. Maybe Baptista wouldn't have been right - There are a lot of mercenaries these days and you can only marvel at the amount of "Come and get me" pleas from players to Cheslki these days. Players who 3 or 4 years ago would have laughed at the idea. They're just seeing the pound signs.

I'm sure Arsenal will make it through this transition and come out better for it. For all the problems the stadium has caused, I think it is necessary - I have to suffer my friends all saying how it's going to be a white elephant etc. and moaning about the name, but in the end I think we needed to make a decision and now it's underway we're getting closer to becoming an even bigger club. It's obviously been a lot tougher than they envisaged but there's no going back now. It's going to be a beautiful stadium.

As for Henry, I'd certainly be miserable if he went; He's been such a model pro and an amazing servant of the club. Seeing him dust off the badge when he scores, or kiss it while at teh same time the papers all say that this club or that club are coming in for him is brilliant.

9/04/2005 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

madgunner, agree with most of what you say, except your assessment of Robinho - this kid is simply an incredible player already - individually or as a team player.

mm - that talk about fox-in-the-box was years ago. We have Freddie and Pires now who have essentially taken over that role from the wing positions.

Wenger has so much more to consider when building his squad than we do. We tend to focus on the present or the very recent past. One minute we're lauding Senderos and saying is Sol past it, Senderos has a couple difficult matches, and we're screaming for Sol and Kompany. Besides just needs and tactics, Wenger has to think about player morale/motivation, balancing experience vs. burnout for younger players, the law of diminishing returns for older players, the possibility of financial collapse, the new UEFA rule, etc. I disagree with you FC. Whether Wenger signs anyone or not will depend on the performance of the youngsters. Also, Henry stated, "Now there's only Dennis left - and it's up to us to write a new era." Things can change of course, but up til now, he's been a man of his word.

9/06/2005 9:45 PM  

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