Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Arsenal close to Ribery but not to Bellamy or Reo Coker

We all know that Wenger likes to buy young and this is for various reasons:

Developing a young player appeals to him more as a challenge;

It creates loyalty from the player himself as he will owe a lot to Wenger for making him a star;

In these days you have to splash out silly money just to buy an average player and you then have to compete with Russian roubles;

And lastly it allows Wenger to school them properly as they are young and impressionable.

The decision making process with Wenger contains various steps that have to be surmounted before signatures are put in red ink.

The first step is whether of course he considers that there is a need for a player in that position, then it’s a matter of the player’s technical and physical ability and then if the player fits these it’s his character.

After all these criteria are satisfied the price plays a major role.

It is said, though we don’t necessarily believe it, that financial people know the price of everything and the value of nothing! Well Wenger is not a financial man; he is a trained Economist who knows a lot about the value of players and he can set that against the price being asked.

If the price does not represent what he thinks is the real value for that player then he may not go for it. He is just as happy to stay with what he has as he believes that he can improve players. And he can certainly do that. Look at his record!

We therefore think it is unlikely that Bellamy will be recruited by Wenger.

Yes he is a forward that can also play wide midfield. Arsenal need two but may sign only one player We think he probably possesses enough skill to satisfy Wenger that he can fill that vacancy that has been accepted by many Arsenal supporters and other Arsenal blogs as waiting to be filled; even if he is 27 years old!

But remember that for Wenger that is not enough! As described above the player has to satisfy two more criteria. The first is character. There is no denying it that Bellamy comes with an attitude. We do not have to recite his past misdemeanors at Newcastle and elsewhere. They are well known. And so is his grass hopping of football clubs.

The second is that Arsenal have to pay a premium price because he is British. And the price put on his head by Liverpool at 12m is enough to make Wenger run the 100 meters to get away from the deal as fast as the Hoyte family does!

As for Reo Coker, again we doubt whether he will be snapped up by Wenger.

Yes he is 23 (which makes him young enough to appeal to Wenger) and he is a capable and strong box to box central midfielder.

He appears however to have let all the praise he received during West Ham’s previous year’s campaign to get to his head (as did a lot of the so called stars at West Ham). But even this would not have deterred Wenger as he believes that the man management approach would have worked with players such as Reo.

No, there is a much simpler explanation why we think that Wenger will probably not go for him. There are enough top quality central midfielders at the Arsenal making the 9m or so required to purchase him as not only an extravagance but a waste. Arsenal's transfer targets

There is Fabregas, Silva, Diaby, Denilson and don’t forget Song who has really impressed us with his performances for Charlton in central midfield (especially at the away fixture at Manchester United where he excelled).

So why add a sixth central midfielder where all of them will be challenging for at most three places if a 4 5 1 (come 4 3 3) formation is preferred next season.

The only way that his recruitment might make sense is if Silva is moved into central defence thus liberating a berth in midfield. But why do this when there are four capable central defenders on the cards in Toure, Gallas, Djourou and Senderos. And at the expense of 9m or more! We just do not see it.

Now Ribery is another kettle of fish.

He has all the characteristics that Wenger would value. He is a wide midfielder with pace to burn, is young but not too young at 24 and has of course international experience at the top level. We have not heard anything negative about his character and he is French! He is also best mates with Henry and has expressed the desire to play for Arsenal!

There is however one item that is needed to complete the jigsaw puzzle. The price. This unfortunately will need to be negotiated in a market place that will be awash with the monies coming from the new multimillion pound deal that the Premier league has secured for its clubs.

At least Bayern (with the Hargreaves transfer money now available) and Liverpool will be bidding for the player. Real Madrid and Chelsea have also been mentioned as possible bidders. If they do and the fee is pushed beyond 15m Wenger may pull out!

"Ribery will leave for a significant fee that is good for l'OM," said Olympique Marseille president Pape Diouf.

"At the end of next week, we should know more about my future” Ribery told a French newspaper.

Fingers on the buzzers


AJ said...

Arsenal Analysis,

Spoke to you re: Newsnow yesterday.

Submitted my blog for Newsnow yesterday, and got a pretty speedy negative response from them.

As my blog's fairly new, they said that due to the large number of blogs on Arsenal, they were tightening things up and couldn't admit me at this time. However they said they liked the content, though it's limited at the moment, and would start listing it at the start of the new season, if I keep things up.

If you wish to contact me, my URL is

AJ said...

With regards to your actual post...

The thing I don't like about Ribery is his inability to find the net. It's plagued him for the majority of his career, and I'm really turned off by it.

We are a team that already consists of a large number of good, skillful players. We do admittedly lack width, and Ribery would solve that - but it's the finishing of chances, not their creation that we've struggled with this year. Ribery wouldn't solve that, and, at a price over £10 million, would seem to cost more than the benefit he'd bring us.

AJ said...


Thanks for the comment.

Regarding RSS, I'm no expert either, but I'm pretty sure that Blogspot automatically generates an RSS feed.

You should be able to access it via

If you try to sign up to NewsNow with that link (and set the type to RSS), you should get a response for them fairly sharpish.

Have a go at that, and see how you get on.

If you're interested, I was going to suggest some mutual link-action, but I'll understand if you'd rather wait until my Blog is a little more established.