Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Monday, July 28, 2008

Arsenal to loose out on Brazilian wonder kid as his mother pleads for his release!

By 1970’s gooner

Arsenal’s interest in Brazilian wonder kid, Diogo Luis Santo, who plays for Portuguesa in Brazil may be about to end as another European club are in advanced negotiations for his signature.

Arsenal have already hit a brick wall in their attempts to sign the player. The apparently intransigent Portuguesa president, Manuel da Lupa, revealed that they have twice turned down Arsenal’s advances in recent months.

"We have already rejected offers from Arsenal for being too low” he said a few months ago.

Now in have stepped Olympiakos of Greece who are in desperate need to augment their forward options on view of their forthcoming Champions League commitments.

Reports in the Brazilian press are indicating that representatives from the Greek club have already traveled to Brazil and are in negotiations with Manuel Da Lupa and the player’s manager.

They have also been assisted in their efforts by Diogo’s mother, Claudia, who in an outburst in the Brazilian media lambasted Da Lupa and Portuguesa for the unrealistically exorbitant release clause on her son’s contract.

"How can he have a 40 million euros price tag when his current salary is so low? My son has a very good offer to play abroad and you should let him go!" she said.

Not surprisingly Olympiakos has already agreed personal terms with Diogo for a four year contract worth £4m.

They have also offered a bigger fee to Poruguesa than Arsenal.

As 70% of the player’s rights are held by Portuguesa and the other 30% by his manager, Olumpiakos’s offer for £6.3m for 70% of the player’s rights values the player at £9m.

This is much higher than Arsenal’s offer for £7m for 100% and much closer to Portuguesa’s reported target of around £11m.

Da Lupa seemed hopeful about the outcome of the negotiations:

“We have spoken with Olympiakos’s vice president and have progressed well.

There’s goodwill on both sides and I am hopeful that we may have more news in the next few days” he said.

However Poruguesa’s coach Walter Espinosa is desperate to keep Diogo: “The club cannot loose its bigger star” he said.

There is obviously a conflict there but Portuguesa's well documented financial difficulties may win Espinosa over in the end!

Arsenal’s South American scout Sandro Orlandelli is the one that first alerted Steve Rowley about Diogo’s exploits in front of goal.

Diogo, who is only 20, is one of the brightest prospects in Brazil. He combines speed, skill and technical ability with a robust 6ft frame. He has scored 22 goals last season and 18 in his debut season.

Arsenal are however faced with two obstacles in their pursuit of the youngster.

Diogo is unlikely to be able to obtain a work permit next season unless he was able to make a successful “Special talent” visa application.

As a result it is likely, if he comes to Arsenal, that he would be loaned out to link side Salamanca for a year.

This obviously would not be ideal for Arsenal as they may like the player to benefit from training with the squad in London under the watchful eye of Arsene Wenger.

The second obstacle is the fact that the player belongs to more than one party and Premier League clubs have agreed to introduce new regulations to outlaw third-party ownership of players.

The rules were informally applied during the January transfer window and are to be made official this summer.

These rules do not necessarily apply to Greece which may prove a disadvantage to Arsenal as they have to bid for 100% of the player’s rights. The player’s manager however may want to keep his 30% ownership for future gain.

Fabregas joins Barcelona…. in Uzbekistan!

Is it all Wenger’s fault this transfer activity?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Song’s Olympics could prove Wenger wrong

By 1970’s Gooner

Alexander Song had a bad game against Fulham at Craven Cottage a couple of seasons ago and a lot of frustrated fans got on his back since then.

They seemed to ignore that in that defeat the whole team had a nightmare of a game with hardly anyone of the players playing above average.

Before that I had been privileged to watch him a few times while he was out on loan at Charlton a few seasons ago and was really pleasantly surprised and quite impressed with his performances in midfield.

He sniffed out danger early enough, was very good in the tackle, kept possession well and could lay the ball accurately to his teammates.

This form continued when Wenger refused Charlton’s and other clubs overtures and brought him back to Arsenal.

Wenger’s faith in the youngster was shown to be correct when Alex, although playing in central defence in the Carling Cup games last season, excelled proving that he is indeed worth to be part of this fantastic Arsenal squad.

The culmination of his return to form was the excellent performances he put in for Cameroon in the Africa Nations Cup.

He protected his defenders very well, competing for every ball and when he came into possession he laid it off accurately to a team mate with that characteristic ease which typifies him.

Alexandre will remember this tournament as the one that really moved him into the forefront with everyone taking notice of his excellent performances.

So much so that the CAF had chosen him in the tournament’s best 11 players.

After that Song returned to Arsenal and began to establish himself in the first team culminating in that wonderful performance against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

He barely put a foot wrong in that game and went on to play every minute of Arsenal's last five Premier League fixtures.

Song's performances have surprised those who questioned his ability, but Wenger was never in doubt.

"I believe he is a remarkable player and I was one of the very, very few who believed in Alexandre Song" he said.

"I can show you articles in newspapers which said that he was the worst buy I have made but you will see in one or two years that he will be a great player for Arsenal".

But while Arsene Wenger chooses to deploy him at centre-back, Cameroon tend to play him as a holding midfielder and his tough tackling and solid distribution form an integral part of the team's attacks.

This is how Wenger justified his decision.

"Trust me, if I make a decision it is because I know all the characteristics of the player whether they are physical or mental characteristics".

"When I put a player somewhere, I know why I do.

If I play Song at centre back it is because I believe he will be a great centre back for Arsenal Football Club.

"In Song's case, he can play in central midfield. But can he play 60 games there? I am not convinced" Wenger continued.

This is a strange statement as I can hardly think that there is any Arsenal player that has actually played 60 games a season under Wenger.

Especially when you consider that he prefers to use different sides for the FA Cup and Carling Cup competitions and also when taking into account injuries and suspensions.

Kolo Toure would have been an everpresent one but he missed a few games when he was at the Africa Nations Cup and through injury last season. Gallas also got injured and so did Fabregas and Flamini too.

And there are only 38 Premier League games in a season remember, with another 15 if we reach the Champions League Final.

In fact the players that were ever present in most of Arsenal’s games last season started about 40 games each.

Have a look at the table below showing players’ appearances (starts) for all competitions last season and you will see what I mean.

Manuel Almunia, 38
Abou Diaby, 20
Bacary Sagna, 38
Cesc Fabregas, 43
Kolo Toure, 40
Philippe Senderos, 27
Tomas Rosicky, 19
Eduardo, 22
William Gallas, 42
Robin Van Persie, 20
Theo Walcott,20
Alexandre Song,10
Johan Djourou, 2
Lukasz Fabianski, 8
Gael Clichy,48
Vito Mannone, 0
Emmanuel Adebayor, 40
Nicklas Bendtner,17
Emmanuel Eboue, 31
Armand Traore, 9
Justin Hoyte, 11

Fabregas started 43 games in all competitions, Gallas 42, Toure 40, Adebayor 40 and Almunia 38.

So to use the number of games and (presumably) fatigue and lack of consisitency as reasons for not choosing a player in a particular position is a very strange one.

Song admittedly has played very well in central defence. He is a good man marker, quick, tenacious and can bring the ball out of defence.

But in the air I have my doubts due to his height (1.84 m, 6 ft 1⁄2 in).

It was Wenger after all who identified Arsenal’s weakness of not being able to defend the high direct ball into the middle of the defence.

Nevertheless, Wenger knows….. of course.

Cameroon’s games in the Olympics

Cameroon will first head from southern Germany to Hong Kong to participate in a warm-up tournament, along with Côte d'Ivoire, the Netherlands and the USA, before they begin their participation in the Men's Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Korea Vs Cameroon at the Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Centre Stadium, Qinhuangdao

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Cameroon Vs Honduras at the Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Centre Stadium, Qinhuangdao

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Cameroon Vs Italy at the Tianjin Olympic Centre Stadium, Tianjin

Carlos Vela ready to replace Eduardo

Fabregas joins Barcelona…. in Uzbekistan! Plus photos

Five Arsenal youngsters show bright promise at Underhill

Song chosen in Africa’s best eleven players

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Carlos Vela ready to replace Eduardo

By 1970’s Gooner

Eduardo’s return to first team action has now been placed in October as he is not expected to start his pre season until September. The assessment is that he will make a full recovery which is great news for Arsenal.

This however leaves Arsene Wenger short of the full complement of forwards that are currently available. I say currently because the Adebayor saga may still show its ugly face as there is still a long way to go until the transfer window closes.

And it looks as though Arsenal are in two minds about this issue. On the one hand Wenger is issuing statements about wanting Adebayor to stay.

On the other Ken Friar and the official Arsenal seem to have put their tail between their legs by sending that letter to AC Milan inviting them to bid for Adebayor!

It is important that Adebayor stays as I believe he will be even more potent this coming season as well as adding another dimension to Arsenal’s often predictable style of play.

Also by the time a replacement is brought in and then take his six months or so to acclimatize to the Premier League we can kiss the title or any trophy good buy.

Even if we assume that Adebayor will stay that will still leave the team vulnerable to injuries (especially to Van Persie) and suspensions.

Watching Carlos Vela play his first game for Arsenal against Szombethalyei in Hungary has reinforced what I have been writing about this youngster throughout last season.

Carlos played an integral part in almost all of Osasuna’s matches and impressed so much so that the club’s hierarchy made the trip to London to try and convince Arsene Wenger to loan the player for another season.

Having watched Carlos play for Osasuna on a number of occasions I have been impressed by his trickery and ball skills but most of all his battle hardened attitude to perform under pressure.

Against Szombathelyi he looked assured, full of confidence and trickery.

He started in the middle of the attack and was strong enough to hold the central defender breathing down his neck, use his skill to hold the ball and bring other players into the game.

For a first game he combined well with those around him especially Walcott putting him in on goal with a slick short ball into the box with the outside of his left boot.

He also laid on a sure goal inside the box for the much improved (and for me man of the match) Denilson who proceeded to rattle the bar with his shot.

You can watch the highlights of the game in the video window on the right hand side of this page.

If deployed in the first team Carlos will, I am sure, take advantage of Arsenal’s style of play which suits him quite well and also greatly benefit from the numerous chances that Fabregas and the rest will create.

Look at a comparison of his Osasuna stats versus the other Arsenal strikers.

Player Stats Comparison

Vela, Adebayor, Eduardo

Appearances: 33, 36, 17
Shooting Accuracy: 73%, 51%, 48%
Assists: 4, 4, 3
Goals: 3,24,4
Tackles Won: 85%, 80%, 64%
Offsides: 12,66,4

With a shooting accuracy of 73% he is way ahead of Adebayor (51%) and Eduardo (41%) and he is bound to improve on the number of goals scored to reach Adebayor’s by converting the numerous goal opportunities he will get.

He is also likely to get flagged offside fewer times than Adebayor’s 66 of last season!

Carlos possesses one more attribute. He is left footed and there’s not many of them in the current Arsenal first team squad.

Five Arsenal youngsters show bright promise at Underhill

Vela and Santos like Fabregas and Messi: World stars in the making

Monday, July 21, 2008

Fabregas joins Barcelona…. in Uzbekistan!

By Aries

Everyone berated Alexander Hleb for predicting that Cesc Fabregas will eventually join Barcelona.

It seems that his prophesy has come true in quite a strange way and much sooner than everyone anticipated.

You may have heard that Samual Eto’o of Barcelona has been invited along with some other colleagues of his to visit Uzbekistan as guests of local club Kuruvchi.

This is part of an agreed cooperation between Barcelona and Kuruvchi with the aim of improving the technical level of the local players especially the youngsters and to help promote football in the country.

The youngsters in particular did not miss the opportunity to applaud their heroes.

They were part of a 10.000 strong crowd that turned up to attend the classes and play the beautiful game along with the Barcelona stars and…Cesc Fabregas!

"It was a feast. They are not any players they are champions of Europe," reported the Kuruvchí spokesman, who are current leader of the Uzbek league.

The original Barcelona contingent was to include Andres Iniesta, Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernandez. However Xavi pulled out at the last moment due to his mother’s deteriorating health.

And somehow Cesc was invited to take up his place. The Spanish press is reporting that this was as part of Barcelona’s cooperation with Kuruvchi.

May be Alexander Hleb knew what he was talking about!

On the other hand the explanation that may be given is that the delegation was of Spanish internationals….

More photos

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Five Arsenal youngsters show bright promise at Underhill (plus video of goals)

By 1970’s Gooner

I expected that the Arsenal of the first half, containing a lot of first team players, would create a large enough goal scoring margin to allow the reserve side that was to come on in the second half to play with more ease.

It was in the end a very pleasant surprise that the opposite happened.

The first half eleven were as a unit too relaxed and not up to the fight to face a Barnet side that were obviously determined to make life as difficult as they could for their Premiership opponents.

The first half players that disappointed included the following:

Bendtner, looked not interested

Walcott, not effective enough in the middle of the attack but not helped by Bendtner

Traore, did not put in a decent cross all game

Lansbury, tried but was not effective enough- will he ever be?

Hoyte, left gaps in the middle of the defence- he is not a centre back

Denilson above all else, who after boldly staking a claim to take over from Flamini in the centre of Arsenal’s midfield failed disastrously to back it up with this insipid and ineffectual performance.

The only bright sparks of the first half were Nortveight and Ramsey.

Nordtveit always impresses me with his decisive tackling, accurate long balls and positional sense.

These will only improve with time and more exposure but I think we have here a centre back who will be a first team regular very early on.

Ramsey was the best player on the pitch, playing along side Denilson and doing all the playmaking and ball winning that Denilson should have been attending to.

In fact it was for this reason that Ramsey was hampered in going forward to help the attack.

He has the technique and the body strength to be a very effective central midfielder and it is obvious that he too has a bright future ahead of him.

The second half eleven consisting of reserve and youth team players were certainly up to the fight and more “street wise”.

They upped the tempo and tightened up in the centre of midfield with new boy Francis Coquelin carrying out his destructive duties efficiently thus allowing Randall to dictate the flow of the game from midfield quite well.

The ones that really stood out included Jay Simpson a no nonsense goal scorer who is not afraid to shoot.

His loan stint at Milwall has done him a lot of good. He scored the first after a delightful through ball by the exciting Jack Wilshere and set up the second for Barazite.

I cannot but be really eulogistic about 16 year old Wilshere. He is in the Alexander Hleb mould, full of trickery and technique but he will be a much more effective and goal scoring midfield schemer.

He was sensational once again receiving the ball on the right hand side of midfield avoiding opponents in his stride and putting in a wonderful reverse ball down the right hand side of Barnet’s defence for Simpson to latch on for the equaliser.

Wilshere also a hand in the second goal. Again cutting in from the right passing the ball to Simpson down the right channel who then cut it back for the on coming Barazite to slide home in off the right hand post.

You can watch the goals and highlights of the game on the video bar on the right hand side of the page.

The other player that also impresses me whenever I watch him is Nacer Barazite.

He is a Bergkamp style of player who possesses skill and the confidence to hold the ball up, create time to look up and find players.

He scores goals too and I think he also has a bright future. He may need however a loan season somewhere to get first team football behind his belt.

Arsenal’s future taking into account the talent that exists in the reserve and youth teams looks quite exceptional. What Arsenal needs now however is more experience and mature first team players to get that balance right.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Carlos Vela’s absence blamed by Mexico’s ex manager for his sacking

By 1970’s Gooner

The current manager of Mexico’s national team is now a certain Sven Goran Eriksson.

He replaced not so long ago a great Mexican legend, Hugo Sanchez, who having failed to guide the national team to the finals of the Olympic tournament (which is about to start in early August) got the sack.

He has been speaking recently about the reasons for his sacking denying that his tenure as head coach was a failure.

He blamed above all the decision taken by the Mexico FA not to call up the European based players for the qualification games.

He said that not having forwards such as Carlos Vela and Giovanni Dos Santos who could have provided the necessary fire power up front was a mistake.

“The problem was that we did not have Carlos Vela in attack who was champion scorer in World Cup Peru 2005 and also Giovanni, who was not playing regularly with Barcelona.

I think that managing to bring one of the two or both would have been fantastic”.

"The fact that Canada and the United States have brought players from Europe, that speaks for the efforts they made to bring in players from outside" he said.

Mexico was eliminated in the first round of the pre qualification of the Olympic tournament drawing 1 -1 with Canada, losing 2-1 to Guatemala and defeating Haiti 5-1.

Mexicans Abroad (not all are under 23)


Omar Bravo, Deportivo la Coruna
Andres Guardado, Deportivo la Coruna
Guille Franco, Villareal
Rafael Marquez, Barcelona


Maza Rodriguez, PSV Eindhoven
Carlos Salcido, PSV Eindhoven
Hector Moreno, Alkmaar


Aaron Galindo, Eintracht Frankfurt
Ricardo Osorio, Stuttgart
Pavel Pardo, Stuttgart


Antonio De Nigris, Ankaraspor


Carlos Vela, Arsenal
Giovanni Dos Santos, Spurs
Nery Castillo, Manchester City

Vela and Santos like Fabregas and Messi: World stars in the making

Vela injured and will be living in London, like Santos, alone

Vela having English lessons and ready to fight for his first team place at Arsenal

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gilberto:"I came here to win titles" (plus photos in Greece)

By 1970’s Gooner

What we have been reporting for some time now has finally come to a close with Gilberto putting pen to paper and signing a three year contract for Greek club Panathinaikos.

Speaking to the Greek media he admitted a hunger for winning titles again.

“Even if I won trophies with Arsenal and Brazil I'm still hungry to win more titles. I came to Greece because I have big ambitions, and it's very important for me to be able to continue to give my best” he said.

This comes after a three year barren period with Arsenal. Gilberto was a key part of the “invincibles” side that went through the 2003-04 Premier League season undefeated.

As well as that season’s league title, Gilberto also won the FA Cup twice and was captain on numerous occasions.

“When the Panathinaikos people outlined their plan for the future of the club and their ambitions I was impressed and I couldn’t but agree to their offer” he said.

He was also very impressed with the warmth and enthusiasm that he has received by the fans when he arrived.

“The reception was something fantastic. I didn’t expect it. I hope the fans show the same enthusiasm during the games” he continued.

Panathinaikos will participate in the second qualifying round of the Champions League but Gilberto will not be fully fit to play in that game.

"I'm sure we will qualify through to the group stages of the Champions League and I'm exited about being a Panathinaikos player" he said.

If however Panathinaikos gets through then there is a chance of a meeting against Arsenal in the next round and for Gilberto to play against his old club.

Gilberto’s league debut will be against his pal Rivaldo who plays for AEK Athens.

More photos

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hleb becomes Barcelona’s fifth signing (photos and video) but Arsenal’s fourth midfielder to leave

By 1970’s Gooner

Alexander Hleb will become tomorrow the fifth player signed by Barcelona this transfer window.

New Barca boss Pep Guardiola has already recruited defenders Daniel Alves (Sevilla), Martin Caceres (Villarreal) and Gerard Pique (Manchester United) as well as midfielder Seydou Keita (Seville).

He has already told Eto’o he can go and agreed to Ronaldinho’s transfer to AC Milan (which happened today) and Deco’s to Chlesea.

Hleb arrived at Barcelona’s premises this afternoon where he posed for photos before undergoing medical tests. The official Barca site states that he will sign tomorrow.

You can watch Hleb at Barca’s premises on the video window on the right hand side of this page.

He will cost an initial £12 m rising to £13.5m for a three year deal depending on the club's success. The buy-out clause in Hleb's contract with Barca has been set at a staggering £71m!

Hleb said that it was a dream of his to play for Barcelona:

It is "a dream" to be able to sign for the Blaugrana."I really like this team. I love it. I will give my best"

Hleb is the fourth Arsenal midfielder to leave Arsenal this season.

First there was Diarra to portsmouth (for £5m) then it was Flamini for free to AC Milan, today Gilberto arrived at Athens and is about to put pen to paper tomorrow to a three year contract offered by Panathinaikos (£1.2m for Arsenal). And now Hleb.

Total transfer fees received amount to about £20m.

The worrying thing is that an already thin squad is getting thinner and thinner.

Samir Nasri and Aaron Ramsey have arrived who are both exciting midfielders. However they are both young and relatively inexperienced (Nasri is 21 and Ramsey 18).

More importantly it is at the defensive side of midfield that we are getting thinner.

The question is whether Wenger will recruit a more experienced defensive midfielder to add more nous as well as create more viable options.

This will be needed to cover for injuries, bans and the Olympic tournament which will take Song away and possibly Toure (the Ivory Coast team has not been announced yet) for the most part of August.

Recent press reports of Wenger’s interest in Gareth Barry and Xabi Alonso if true seem to make sense as these players are experienced and battle ready in the Premier League.

However, Wenger as we indicate in the poll we have set up, has some other options within the current squad to fill the void left in the defensive side of midfield.

He can promote one from the remaining midfielders like Diaby, Song and Denilson.

He can also become more imaginative by playing Toure there and installing in his place in defence Song, Senderos or Djourou.

However I would prefer he buys in more options in midfield who would compete for their first team place along with the existing players.

I say this as I consider one of the main reasons for the collapse last season was a thin squad which was also littered with relatively inexperienced youngsters.

Wenger will then begin to worry about replacing Adebayor…if he leaves.

Poll results so far…

About 32% of the votes on the poll go for the new midfielder option. But 26% want Diaby to be given a chance. Total votes cast at the time of writing: 1197

Arsene’s revised transfer plans?

The woman behind Nasri!

Adulation for Gilberto at Athens Airport (photos and video). Leave your well wishes

By 1970’s Gooner

Once again the British press latch on to a story we published days before.

The Sun and other national dailies (not to mention Tribal football) even had the Ken Friar quotes we featured on our site word by word!

We had already informed you that Arsenal had signed the transfer papers for Gilberto’s transfer to Panathinaikos and that he was expected to arrive at Athens today.

Well true to form and his word Gilberto arrived a few hours ago at Athens Airport amidst the adulation of about 2.000 Panathinaikos excited fans.

Gilberto was then driven out of the airport with a lot of difficulty due to the large crowd trying to catch a glimpse of the player who will become the best paid footballer in Greece.

He will meet later, Nikos Pateras, the Panathinaikos president, at his private yacht. Gilberto will undergo a medical tomorrow after which he will sign his contract which will be for three years expected to be worth £6m plus bonuses.

Arsenal will receive around £1.2 m and the player’s representatives, The Base Soccer Agency, £0.8m

Gilberto will return to Greece on Monday to join up with his new team mates for pre season.

You can watch the video of the reception Gilberto got at the airport here.

More photos

Arsenal sign transfer papers. Gilberto having medical on Wednesday. Terms of the transfer revealed

Arsenal decide to transfer midfielder after inviting club to London for talks

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Arsenal sign transfer papers. Gilberto having medical on Wednesday. Terms of the transfer revealed

By 1970’s Gooner

It seems that where we go the rest of the English press follows!

First we revealed that Gilberto was taking Panathinaikos’s interest seriously and that Arsenal were ready to let him go (Arsenal agree transfer for midfielder as agent flies to Athens to discuss personal terms).

The press takes a few days to realize that something is going on. We then follow that with revealing that Ajax are showing interest and are prepared to up their bid for him.

Then we first reveal that Gilberto’s representatives came away from Athens having agreed personal terms on behalf of Gilberto (Gilberto agrees personal terms for imminent transfer).

Now we can reveal that Arsenal have formally approved the transfer to Panathinaikos by signing the legal documents and dispatching them to Athens.

Ken Friar has spoken to the Greek press and revealed that Arsenal have agreed a fee for the transfer. He also said that they agreed to let Gilberto go to Panathinaikos because it was his choice and they did not want to stand in his way.

“We have agreed to the transfer and signed the papers. It is now an official agreement” he said.

“We had other offers but we respected Gilberto’s desire to sign for Panathinaikos” he continued.

It seems therefore that all that remains now is for Gilberto put pen to paper and the transfer will be done.

He will travel to the Greek Capital in the middle of next week to do so after undergoing a medical.

He revealed to the Panathinaikos President that he would have signed the papers while on holiday but the lack of a fax machine at his ranch in Brazil meant that he couldn’t do it form there!

Good luck Gilberto.

Who gets what in the Gilberto transfer deal:

Gilberto: £6m for a three year contract plus bonuses
The Base Soccer Agency: £ 0.8m
Arsenal: £1.2m

Friday, July 11, 2008

Gilberto agrees personal terms for imminent transfer

By 1970’s Gooner

The news coming out of Athens sounds very decisive.

Gilberto’s representatives, The Base Soccer Agency, who traveled yesterday to the Greek Capital, have agreed personal terms with Panathinaikos after negotiations which lasted several hours.

And after communicating with Gilberto himself they declared that he was in agreement too.

“It is true that we have come to an agreement with Panathinaikos and Gilberto is very happy” Leon Angel, the Agency’s Chairman, said to the waiting reporters whom he described as worse than The Sun’s reporters in England!

Gilberto also spoke to the Panathinaikos President and is reported to have said:

“I am very happy to come to Greece…Panathinaikos is a big club and if an agreement is reached with Arsenal I will be very happy to join you”

This sentiment was reiterated by Leon Angel:

“We have finished our business here and we are on our way now. It is now a matter between the two teams to agree so that the transfer can go through” he continued.

It seems therefore that all that remains now is for Arsenal to agree to a fee with Panathinaikos and Gilberto will be plying his trade next season under the Greek sun.

Arsenal’s agreement looks as a given.

As we first revealed a few days ago on this site, Ken Friar has already said that if Gilberto agrees personal terms then Arsenal will not hinder the transfer process.

“If Gilberto agrees personal terms then we will not stand in his way. If this happens then it seems that we will agree a transfer fee with Panathinaikos" Friar said to Greek paper "SportDay".

Speaking to the same newspaper today, Nikos Pateras the Panathinaikos President said:

“There is an in principle agreement with the player. All that remains is for Arsenal to send the necessary legal papers confirming the oral agreement we struck with them earlier”.

Gilberto will be rewarded with a three year contract with the same wages he is currently on at Arsenal, £2m a year, plus bonuses which may add another £0.4m a year.

The third year however will come into force if Gilberto plays in 50% of the games the year before.

Arsenal will receive a fee of £1m and the player’s representatives who hold part of his registration will get another £0.8m.

Sounds pretty final to me.

But the question for us Arsenal fans is: Who will be partnering Fabregas in the central midfield area for Arsenal next season?

Is it all Wenger’s fault this transfer activity?

The woman behind Nasri!


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Is Ian Wright no longer a Gooner?

By Gunnerblue

Ian Wright is one of Arsenal’s true legends. His 185 goals in 288 appearances and his obvious love of Arsenal was all there to see.

But ever since his son Shaun Wright Phillips opted to sign for another London club his allegiance to Arsenal has shown distinct signs of shaking.

He is pictured here posing for photos in Moscow’s Red Square prior to the Champions League Final holding the "Cyprus Blue" flag.

The photo was sent to us by Chelsea fan, Andreas Protopapas, who actually traveled to Moscow to watch the Final all the way from Cyprus.

Pity he wasn’t rewarded for his loyalty.

It looks like a two horse race for Gilberto’s signature as Arsenal stand to gain

By 1970’s Gooner

It looked all done and dusted only a day ago with both Ken Friar and Gilberto saying that as long as the financial side of things was sorted out with Panathinaikos they will agree to the tranfer.

As indeed first revealed on this site a few days ago, long before the national tabloids (and others) finally picked up on the story, Gilberto’s agent, Base Soccer Agency, met today with the Panathinaikos president, Nikos Pateras and Director, Kostas Antoniou to discuss Gilberto’s personal terms.

Panathinaikos was ready to go all the way to get their man especially when Ken Friar said that Arsenal were in agreement about the transfer as long as Gilberto was happy.

They put on the table their offer which was as large as Gilberto had wanted. He demanded that he receive the same wages as at Arsenal (£2m per year) and a three year contract.

However when they left the meeting they were all tight lipped about the issue only to emerge later that another club was likely to enter the race.

Panathinaikos coach Henk Ten Cate’s ex club, Ajax of Amsterdam is reported eager to bid for Gilberto.

They are reported in the Dutch press as ready to not only meet the player’s demands but double what Panathinaikos is willing to pay Arsenal by the way of transfer fee.

Various transfer fees have been mentioned in Greece which put Panathinaikos’s offer between £1m and £2m.

Arsenal are not likely to turn away an extra million (at least) and the player himself may consider Ajax's offer, if it materialises, seriously.

Arsenal decide to transfer midfielder after inviting club to London for talks

Arsenal agree transfer for midfielder as agent flies to Athens to discuss personal terms

Is it all Wenger’s fault this transfer activity?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Arsenal agree transfer for midfielder as agent flies to Athens to discuss personal terms

By 1970’s Gooner

Arsenal have agreed to transfer Gilberto Silva to Panathinaikos and Gilberto may be keen on the idea too.

Ken Friar is reported today in the Greek press as having said that he has, on behalf of Arsenal, come to an agreement in principle with Panathinaikos president Nikos Pateras.

All that remains now is for the player to agree personal terms for the deal to go through.

"If Gilberto agrees personal terms then we will not stand in his way" Friar said to Greek paper "SportDay". "If this happens then it seems that we will agree a transfer fee with Panathinaikos".

For this reason the meeting that was scheduled to take place today in London has been transferred to the more sunny climate of Athens where Gilberto’s agent, Frank Trimboli, from “Base” agency will carry out the negotiations.

He may be taking with him Greek speaking Sakis Tzikas, an ex footballer in Greece who is a consultant with “Base”, so that he could help with the negotiations.

"Base" Agency has a number of footballers on its books such as Aaron Lennon and Tom Huddlestone of Tottenham and Andy Johnson of Everton.

Gilberto himself who is holidaying on his farm in Brazil is reported to have said that if personal terms are satisfactory then he will consider coming to Athens.

“I don’t have a problem about playing in Greece if the financial terms are satisfactory” he said.

As we first revealed two days ago on this site, the Greek club are willing to meet Gilberto’s demand for a three year contract with the same wages he is currently on at Arsenal (£2m per year).

The third year however will come into force if Gilberto plays in 50% of the games the year before.

What has accelerated the deal has been the decline in the interest originally shown by two German clubs, Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund who could not meet the player’s high wage demands.

Panathinaikos, which now has former Chelsea assistant boss Henk Ten Cate as their head coach, are very keen to conclude the deal which for them will be considered a major scoop.

They expect that part of the outlay will be recovered form an expected surge in season ticket sales as Gilberto’s reputation as a World Cup winner and a current international with Brazil ranks highly.

Gilberto will also, if the deal goes through, have fellow Brazilian Rivaldo for company. He has been exciting the crowds with his sublime skills for a number of years at Athens based clubs Olympiakos and currently with AEK.

Various transfer fees are reported in the press which are between £1m and £2.5m.

Arsenal decide to transfer midfielder after inviting club to London for talks

The woman behind Nasri!

Is it all Wenger’s fault this transfer activity?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Henry predicts great future for Arsenal youngster and for Spurs new signing

By 1970’s Gooner

Thierry Henry traveled to Mexico yesterday as part of his promotional duties to launch a new football boot.

He also gave his thoughts on the country's two young starlets who may be facing each other in the North London derbies this coming season.

Carlos vela, who will be joining Arsenal for his first pre-season training, has impressed Henry as both were playing in the Spanish League last season.

"Carlos is a very good player. He demonstrated this year with Osasuna what a good player he is and he can do great things in the English championship" he said during the press conference.

He also had very good words to say about Giovanni Dos Santos who was his team mate at Barcelona last season.

"Giovani has everything to be a success at Tottenham. He has speed and can change the course of a game with his genius. He can in two, three or four years be one of the best players in the world if he wants”

Carlos Vela was absent from Arsenal’s first gathering at London Colney for pre-season having been given an added week’s rest due to his involvement with Mexico’s national side.

He took part in a series of friendlies against Peru and Argentina before helping his country beat Belize in a double qualifier for the World Cup with an aggregate score of 9-0. He scored in both games.

He will only have a week’s training behind him before the friendly against Barnet on the 19th July but the Mexican media are expecting that he may participate in that game.

The team will then travel to Burgenland, Austria, for their annual training camp. They will face Szombathelyi and Burgenland.

On July 30, Vela will meet with fellow Mexicans Pavel Pardo and Ricardo Osorio, when Arsenal meet Stuttgart in the Mercedes Benz Arena.

They will then return to London, where they will face Juventus and Real Madrid in the Emirates Cup and then play Huddersfield.

In the second week of August the Gunners will visit Amsterdam to participate in a tournament against Ajax and Seville.

It will be interesting to see Carlos in action in an Arsenal shirt.

Vela and Santos like Fabregas and Messi: World stars in the making

Osasuna replace Carlos Vela with Arsenal trialist

Eduardo in Nike pre-season training. Video

By Aries

We broke to you the news a long time ago that Eduardo will come back early and stronger.

We also brought to your attention the evidence for it in that “famous” video showing Eduardo in the gym kicking a ball (which you can still watch on the video bar on the right hand side page).

Now true to form we bring you Eduardo in an amazing video produced by Nike called “Summer just got shorter” showing him going through his paces in pre-season training at Arsenal.

The video is produced by Nike in their brand new “Bootcamp” series of clips.

Eduardo is shown running up a flight of steps on the terraces, running and skipping over short distances, pulling the weights in the gym and also dragging a weight which is attached to his waist.

Makes me tired watching it!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Arsenal decide to transfer midfielder after inviting club to London for talks

By 1970’s Gooner

Arsenal seem to have taken the decision to finally go ahead with transferring one of their most experienced and loyal players.

Gilberto Silva has been, since his transfer from Atlético Mineiro right after he helped his country to victory in the World Cup of 2002, one of Arsene Wenger’s best buys.

But alas time has been catching up with him (he is now 32) managing only 17 appearances during last season after losing his place to the younger Flamini who has since moved on to what he considers the greener pastures of AC Milan.

Arsene Wenger appears however to have decided that Gilberto will not be the one to replace the gap left by Flamini as Arsenal have already send a fax to Greek club Panathinaikos inviting them to London for face to face talks about Gilberto’s transfer.

The meeting has already been set for next Wednesday and Panathinaikos are very keen to conclude what for them will be a major scoop.

It appears the player has already been talking terms with the Greek club and all that remains is to satisfy Arsenal’s demands.

Panathinaikos are offering the player £2m per year in a three year contract which is what the player has demanded. The third year will come into force if Gilberto plays in 50% of the games the year before.

The player’s agent Nicola Arkouri has indicated to the Greek press that his client will consider the offer seriously.

Panathinaikos which now has former Chelsea assistant boss Henk Ten Cate as their head coach are reportedly ready to start the bidding at £1.5m but they may have to increase that if they are to land their man.

Arsenal coaches to Greek trialist: “You showed energy and played well”

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Arsenal Academy starlet snubs England for Ghana

By Aries

Daniel Boateng has been putting in some fantastic performances for Arsenal’s youth teams that attracted the interest of the England youth coaches.

Over six foot tall and only 15 years old he has been playing in central defence forming a solid partnership with another starlet, Oliver Nicholas.

He has however decided after some thought to forgo the expected call to play for England’s U-17 team and choose his parents country, Ghana.

“I have made the choice to play for Ghana and my decision is final," Boateng said yesterday to the Ghanaian press.

"It is true that the English system gave me a lot in training but my heart is with Ghana where my parents come from.

"I also want to give something back to Ghana and I also know that playing for the country will also help enhance my career”.

This will have alerted coach Emmanuel Kwasi Afranie who is picking Ghana's U-17 team for the African and World Cup qualifiers.

Boateng is a centre back by trade, but he can also play left back or as a holding midfielder.

Ghanaian wonderkid invited for trial rejects Arsenal for Spanish club

Adebayor, Galliani, Laporta: the new Bermuda triangle leaves a sour taste in the mouth

By Eros

I promised my self I would not get involved with any transfer speculation over the summer and I did pretty well up to now.

The Euros kept me entertained for the last few weeks but the Adebayor rumours forced my hand.

I was incensed both with Galliany for shamelessly trying to unsettle a player that stated on a number of occasions that he is happy where he is and also Adebayor and his agent too for taking the bait.

Milan’s interest was trouble enough.

But Galliany’s comments gave the other, fame hungry and vote chasing idiot from Barcelona, Laporta, a chance to boost his profile.

It looks like a new Bermuda triangle has been reinvented!

Laorta is not very popular following last year's capitulation to Real Madrid and he needs something spectacular just before the vote he is facing on Monday.

Apparently if he does not get a vote of confidence he has to stand down and a temporary board be put in place until the formal elections in September.

The new board cannot authorise transfers, so Barca are trying to finish off their dealings before then. Can you imagine it? Barcelona imposing a transfer embargo on themselves???

What is even more annoying is that I don’t think that Milan were ever interested in Adebayor.

Galliany announced that they can’t afford Adebayor and that Italians clubs cannot sign top players!!!

Maybe he will remember that next time he should sign somebody he can afford saving all of us a whole lot of trouble.

The Barcelona interest is different however

Laporta is going to come up with an improved offer of around £30m to £32m (the original offer around £25m was rejected) because getting a big name striker will almost certainly guarantee his re-election.

If an offer as big as that comes in then Arsene has a decision to make. He loves the big profit margin but he might also think that he’d be better off selling now rather than having to deal with the same speculation every summer.

I know we had the Henry and Vieira speculation in the past but as far as I can remember they never expressed in public any desire to leave the club.

If after one season Ade values himself that highly then I can't imagine what will he want after 2 or 3 successful seasons!

Arsene can do a lot of things with the money received

He can go chasing a top quality centre back which should be a priority, but also go and find some goal scoring midfielders.

Goals from midfield have been a constant in all of AW teams with opposition managers having a hard time containing Arsenal because of the variety of their attack.

This has been a real problem however since Freddy and Pires have been moved on.

Rosicky has been largely injured, Hleb reluctant to shoot, Eboue usually off target and limits and Cesc was prolific only in the early part of last year.

I like the options Ade provided going forward last season and if that’s how Arsene wants to play then he should keep him.

However I was never convinced by his distribution and his ability to link up play (see my posting Adebayor should start looking behind his shoulder, if you are interested ).

With the current squad members a more fluid counter attacking style is in my opinion better suited.

I have to admit that Ade’s behaviour has left a sour taste in my mouth. If the money is right and the whole amount is reinvested in the squad I say take it.

Let him go and let him learn that the grass is not always greener. Does he really think that he will be as successful in any other team?

Does he think the Barca fans will be as kind and patient to him as we were?

I’d suggest he gives Thierry a call and find out.

Arsene’s revised transfer plans?

Is it all Wenger’s fault this transfer activity?

Adebayor wants £120,000 a week or he goes. Take the money and run Mr Wenger

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Diouf: “Arsenal deal for Nasri to be announced in a few days”

By Aries

Ben Arfa who has interested Arsene Wenger before may have now played a major part in Samir Nasri’s deal with Arsenal finally going through.

This is because Marseille, his new club, could not raise the cash to pay the transfer fee to Lyon unless they sold Nasri to Arsenal.

The deal for Nasri had been delayed however until the player and his agent agreed personal terms with Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger had admitted as much when he said recently:

“It is more complicated now because the wage differences (between the French and the English league) are not as big as they used to be.

“It is very difficult (to transfer players from the French league) but England is considered one of the two top leagues and the best players want to play against the best players.”

Now it seems that Ben Arfa due to his impetuosity accelerated the process of both players changing clubs in tandem, even further.

He had gone against Lyon’s wishes who wanted him to turn up for training with them by setting up camp at La Commanderie, Marseille’s training headquarters.

Lyon had no other choice but to reluctantly agree to the transfer going through.

They have confirmed on their official website that Ben Arfa has been allowed to sign for Marseille after the two clubs agreed a fee of 12 m euro. He has already been assigned the number 20 shirt.

Marseille’s president Papa Diouf is now very keen to close the Nasri deal and be done with it.

He did give an indication that Nasri’s move to Arsenal looked imminent.

“An announcement would be made in two days” he said to the French press today and then corrected it by saying that it will be “in a few days”!

Let’s hope that this saga finally comes to an end and Samir Nasri finally becomes an Arsenal player. Pre season training starts soon anyway.

I wonder which shirt number Nasri will be given at Arsenal...Hleb’s?

Wenger: “Nasri has a considerable margin for improvement”. But what about his wages?