Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Friday, June 15, 2007

Wenger travels to Norway. The Board see sense. A transfer kitty? August looks promising!

There are four pieces of good news and one not so good for Arsenal fans. At least that’s how we interpret the following:

- Wenger traveled to Norway to try and sign a 16 year old
- Hill Wood and Edelman met with Kroenke in New York
- 40m has been set aside as Wenger’s transfer budget
- West Ham offer 17m for Bent!
- The August fixtures look encouraging. Arsenal can hit the ground running

Wenger traveled to Norway to try and sign a 16 year old

Now you might consider this as bad news in the sense that Wenger is a maverick coach hell bent on signing only young talented kids with a lot of potential. Rather than go for the finished articles or at least players who don’t need permission from their parents to play in evening kick off games! Especially when the team is desperate for quality reinforcements. As he has himself admitted.

Apparently Wenger traveled to Norway last Sunday to try and get the young defender’s club FK Haugesund to accept a 1.8m fee for his signature. They refused to do so even if the youngster has set his heart to going to Arsenal. It appears that Man United are also interested; which is bad news again!

The good news for us however is the fact that Wenger took a detour form his trek back from his holidays in Sardinia, probably letting his family find their own way back to London, to fly all the way to Norway. For a 16 year old kid!

Well we ask you if Wenger was actually thinking about leaving Arsenal next year would he have gone so much out of his way and travels to entice FK Haugesund’s president to accept the fee offered? One would have understood if this effort was expended to try and get Eto’o or a player of similar messianic attributes to sign for Arsenal. Not for a 16 year old kid!

Planning for the future in this way does not seem to us the actions of someone who is about to or thinking about jumping ship. This year or next.

The members of the Arsenal Board are trying to stay on board……

Hill Wood and Edelman met with Kroenke in New York

Apparently a meeting took place in New York between Peter Hill-Wood and American billionaire sports tycoon Stan Kroenke. This is a big turnabout by Hill Wood and the rest of the Board after their much publicized ousting of David Dein for having fraternized with the same Mr. Kroenke!

“We don’t want their sort here…” are the famous words for which Hill Wood will soon have to find ways of making palatable for his taste buds!

But of course one may consider this as bad news as it implies that indeed a takeover might be on the cards. And there are a lot of Arsenal fans that rightly are concerned about the profit motives that any investor will inevitably subscribe to.

However for us it is good news. This is because a sensible approach seems to have been adopted in recognizing that the 12.1% that Kroenke has amassed together with the 14.6% that Dein already holds is a force that needs to be appeased rather than draw into an open battle front.

It appears that the comments made by the Arsenal players and Wenger himself with regard to Dein’s departure may be influencing in an indirect way the Board’s way of thinking. Why are Henry, Fabregas, Rosicky, Silva and Djourou speaking ou at the same time?

If the Board can manage to accommodate Kroenke and avoid a hostile takeover battle then they would have masterfully avoided the very real danger that unsettling events in the Board room would have found their way to the manager and the players; inevitably jeopardizing any chances that the team may have of winning any silverware this coming season. What does Arsenal need to do to challenge for next season?

Part of the answer for challenging next season, although not all of it involves new personnel……

40m has been set aside as Wenger’s transfer budget

Arsenal have made financial arrangements whereby a credit facility of up to 40m will be made available to Wenger for any transfers he might decide to push through. This has been deemed necessary so that the selling teams will be assured that funds will be available for Arsenal to meet any future agreed installments on the purchase of a player.

It is highly uncertain of course whether Wenger will go mad and spend it all this summer. But it does indicate that we will be seeing some activity in the transfer market. We hope.

The delay in creating this facility may explain part of the reason of the lack of news on this front. The other reasons, which carry more weight, include the waiting for La Liga to come to a conclusion (and the need to respect Reyes’s wish to stay in his home country) as well as for the Under 21’s tournament taking place now.

And we all know that the probability of Wenger being interested in signing anyone under 21 is high (although he may of course be interested in some of the players taking part which are allowed to be over 21).

But will Wenger want to spend the 40m?

West Ham offer 17m for Bent!

This is the not so good news! Not because we feel that Arsenal should be signing Bent. He is not the type of player that Wenger goes for as he likes fast, skillful and creative players rather than big front target men. Bent would not fit in the Arsenal style of play. Bent is a good player but is he really worth 17m?(Charlton must be kicking themselves since Bent himself has rejected the move!)

We think this is bad news as our fear of the expected price inflation showing its ugly head in the transfer market is becoming a reality. We expect this to happen in a market awash with the monies from the new deal of selling the Premiership abroad as well as the new funds that are likely to be made available to the teams that have recently changed or will be changing ownership.

Teams such as Manchester United already overspending on exorbitant prices for only good players like Nani for example or teams such as Liverpool, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Birmingham, Portsmouth and West ham United to name only those that have new owners. Let alone those that will have new owners.

This isn’t good as Wenger seems to hate having to overpay for a player. As we have written in previous postings Wenger has an opinion 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 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 challenge for silverware using home grown resources.

And speaking of silverware……

The August fixtures look encouraging. Arsenal can hit the ground running

Sir Alec Ferguson stressed the importance of hitting the ground running when starting the last campaign. This is because Chelsea being so efficient do not slip up easily so it becomes very important to be in the race from the beginning.

It allows the team to get more confidence to see themselves up there at the top with the other protagonists and to be talked about as possible contenders for the Championship.

It’s almost a confidence trick but nevertheless significant when the team consists mainly of young and inexperienced kids.

And the good news is that the August fixtures are winnable. Fulham at home should not present a real problem (we expect Laurie Sanchez to struggle in his first year in the Premiership especially with the names that Fulham are being connected to as possible transfers),

The tough away fixture at Newcastle will be postponed due to the Champions League qualifier. Blackburn away will not be easy but we hold no fear as we won there last season with 10 men and then Manchester City at home should be a home banker if we are to seriously challenge this coming season.


Anonymous said...

Unless we get two quality forwards in August will not look promising at all.

Signing 16 year olds is all that Wenger is doing. Oh and flogging Henry in Paris.

Anonymous said...

I dont think Blackburn away will hold no fears for us. We did beat them with 10 men but remember they beat us in the FA Cup!

Good post though!

Anonymous said...

If Dein can come back everything will be hunky dory again! I am only dreaming.

Yes the board are moving sensibly now which can only be a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with you on Bent. He is a striker that Arsenal need to play with Henry. Look how many goals he scored for a team that got relegated!
He can also lead the line himself if Wenger sells Henry on.

Anonymous said...

Wenger will spend his summer as he is running out of time in terms of winning trophies. He has to win something this year so dont be surprised to see him splashing the dough. He may spend all the kitty!

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