Sessegnon linked | R&W increase Arsenal stake to 30% | Vermaelen hates being a left back

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Serious barnet.

Red & White are back in the news again after apparently acquiring enough shares to break the 30% barrier (Tim Payton believes between 25 and 125 shares have changed hands for £16k which if Stan sold at, he’d make £150m profit!). There’s a league ruling that says if you hit that mark, you’re entitled to investigate the company books. But we’re not so sure that right will be exercised. This topic has come up before at AST meetings. The rule has never been tested before and apparently, the interpretation is open to debate. My feeling is it’s just business as usual for Usmanov and Moshiri. They want a place on the board, if they start rooting about revealing the commercial teams stripper outlay this Christmas, they’re hardly going to endear themselves to Stan Kroenke which would be totally counter productive.

Red & White are owned by the people who own Blue Sky Technologies. Some of the best business minds in the world run that company. They’re not about to start causing themselves problems for no reason. We were speaking to Red&White before Christmas. Things were going well until the Evening Standard printed an article that made them look like aggressors… they went dead after that. The fact they don’t want to be seen in a negative light tells you all you need to know about how they’ll deal with the presumed ‘power’ they might gain (for more detail on R&W, check out this blog).

I personally think it can only be a good thing having a dissenting voice on the board. Shareholders who aren’t fans will have one thing on their mind… protecting their investment. If you’ve got proven businessmen on your board pulling in that direction, challenging the status quo, that can only be a good thing. However, it seems to me that protecting the old guard and allowing people like Hill-Wood to have a nice pension and a seat in the exec box are more important at the moment than having a real driving force behind the club. I think it’ll be a long time before we see Usmanov get on the board. Unless of course Stan sees more value in a baseball team a bit nearer to home.

The Daily Express have Arsenal interested in Stephane Sessegnon. The attacking midfielder from Benin is rumoured to be a target for a total of £20million minus the fee of Nik Bendtner. I have to say, every time I’ve seen him he’s looked very good and he’s certainly caused us our fair share of problems. He’s strong, good on the ball and he has a facial hair arrangement.

Another attacking player we’ve been constantly linked to is Podolski… he had this to say.

“But of the people with whom I discussed this concept, very few are still at the club. There is no continuity.

“If I were to move, then the way things stand at the moment, I would move abroad. I speak German, Polish, English and Cologne dialect – I think you can get anywhere with that combination.

“I am always receiving inquiries and if they had been really attractive, I wouldn’t be here now. But seriously, I will make up my mind no sooner than the summer.”

I think he’d work very well in our system and he’d give us that much needed direct play we’re currently lacking. My worry is that he’ll have a blinder at the tournament and go somewhere else if we don’t make an early move. My other worry is that he’s coming into his prime. If we’re not in the Champions League, we’ll be a far less appealing proposition. My instinct tells me if we’re going for any wideman this summer, it’ll be Hoillet.

Thomas Vermaelen has made an outspoken comment about playing left back for us for a large part of the season.

“I am fed up playing at left-back,” Vermaelen told the People. “I don’t think I am good there – I want to achieve my highest level and I can’t do that on the left.

“I play there to help the team but it gives me no satisfaction as I can’t reach my best standard.

“I do my job but seldom feel content after matches. If the team wins I am happy, but it remains frustrating.”

I can understand his issue. He’s a victim of his own versatility and a manager who would rather plug a round hole with a square peg over going out and buying in a round one. William Gallas moved to Arsenal because of the exact same problem when he was at Cheslea. Luckily for Thomas, Kieran Gibbs will be back for 16 minutes next week, so he’ll be able to play in his favoured position for a little bit. I guess he’s also a little miffed the Belgian manager took the national captaincy away from him and gave it to Kompany.

Thierry Henry is all over the news like a love sick puppy. He clearly loved every minute of being back at the club of his career… and jeez, we’ve loved having him back as well! We didn’t become dependent on him but his experience and quality certainly helped out in a big way. He’s hinted he might be up for returning again… I’m not so sure though. Isn’t it about time we faced up to our squad issues and invested in some players who are for the now?

I mean, if we kept Robin, bought a nearly world class back up and had Thierry as our 3rd or 4th choice that could work… but I don’t think it’s healthy to keep bringing back the past. It just shows how poor our judgement has been in the transfer market.

The Milan game is up this Wednesday. It should be a match we’re more than capable of winning but not if we play like we did against Sunderland. Wenger says we’re going to attack which is encouraging… We just need to make sure we’re tight in defence. A centre back pairing of Vermaelen and Koscielny looks good on paper. Two technical centre backs with pace on their side. It hasn’t been tested that many times though. A Champions league last 16 final isn’t an ideal place to experiment! More on that game later in the week.

Ryo made his debut for Bolton, he looked a touch rusty but overall his contribution was pretty good. He’s very fast and he has lovely tight control… and say it quietly, he looks like he can cross! What a novelty eh? Like I said before Christmas, the coaching staff have high hopes for him. He has pace to burn and if he works hard, he’ll be a quality addition. I just hope playing for a very poor Bolton side doesn’t have a negative effect on his development.

347 Responses to “Sessegnon linked | R&W increase Arsenal stake to 30% | Vermaelen hates being a left back”

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  1. Yippee Kai Yay

    keyser, do you know how to be objective?

    If Hazard goes to spurs, then it is a stepping stone and for footballing reasons. He won’t make first team straight off at chavs, united or city, lukaku, and nasri are testament to that. So he will be an expensive bench warmer.

    If he goes to arsenal he would be more guaranteed at least of a start, and possibly more money, but without CL, his stock value doesn’t rise and put him in the real / barca / united / city first team territory. If arsenal manage to scrape 4th somehow, I would put more faith in him joining arsenal than spurs.

    Considering other options:

    He stays where he is, he doesn’t develop as quickly as la liga or EPL.

    He goes to la liga, he ends up in 2nd string and not playing as much as he wants to, plus if he drops down behind front two the standard drop more than dropping behind top two in prem.

    Germany would be a potentially good option. but he would earn more even at spurs,

    Italy? can’t see it.

    No if he goes to spurs, he’s more likely to get first team game time as he is potentially better than what they have already, so it’s because in two seasons time he wants one of the big guns to come knocking.

    It’s quite easy to see it happening. And whether you like it or not, Spurs are getting a few more heads raised across the continent these days. games like this weekend probably help them. Time to face facts, they re not as shit as they used to be (and it doesn’t actually matter if they were shit for the last five decades, when the players only care about where they are for the next season).

    Still say Harry is a twitchy, muggy, self aggrandising, media riddled, insufferable individual.

  2. incesc

    hopefully some good giant killings this round of the champions league

    inter are a cert to go out, chelsea hopefully as well.

    Barce to get stuffed first leg by leverkuson.

  3. Yippee Kai Yay

    lol, incesc. would put my mortgage on that lot.

    I can quite conceivably see inter going out for sure, and possibly Napoli winning, but Barca?

    That might be a stretch too far.

    For some reason, that possibly defies my own logic, I think arsenal will go through to next round.
    Maybe it’s because if spurs can beat them last year then they can’t be all that.
    Maybe it’s because some of them will get a rest at the weekend if they put in a shift on weds. But over two legs, I think arsenal should win fairly comfortably.

    Still not putting my mortgage on it though.

  4. Lurch LeRouge

    Hazard the potato?


    if I’d made my decision to join the Arsenal I’d probably take every opportunity to wind the scum up as well.

    think this guy might just be the ultimate wum

  5. incesc

    barce’s away form has been dire in la liga, but if im honest i dont think leverkusen will get a result tomorrow.
    cant call our game, milan were supposed to have 10 players out but it seems that isnt true.
    pretty pissed off jack is still out and gervinho isnt available.
    i do think italian football is shit right now but so is english football.
    interested on how apoel get on.

  6. Gunner2301


    I remember Allardyce was commentating on one of our matches last season and he said if he was playing us he would expose us in a certain way. I can’t remember the team we were playing but they adopted exactly the tactics he specified in the game and won. He is effective and is a good worker in the market and doesn’t need to spend a lot.

  7. incesc

    allardyce is part of the reason even some decent teams come to arsenal and put 10 men behind the ball, time waste and act like cunts for 90 minutes.

    and he has a shit fat northerner moustache

  8. Keyser

    Yippee Kai Yay – Objective ? heh, that’s rich.

    He’s got a stepping stone at Lille, it’s moving team, moving house and country to play for another team a bit like Lille albeit in a stronger league.

    If he’s already potentially better than what they have at 21 what sort of progressive move is it ? It’s almost a lateral move.

    I know how good Tottenham are, but they haven’t experienced anything of what it takes to stay there consistenly and that’s going to be a massive problem unless they’ve timed it perfectly right.

  9. Keyser

    Didn’t Allardyce help put Bolton up with the debt they have now, instead of buying big, he bought experience on pretty big wages.

  10. AA23

    Hazard on his way to Arsenal.
    Love him already, following the tradition of great Arsenal players taking the piss out of Tottenham.
    As if he would even consider going there.

  11. Gooby

    talking about hazard, not sure he was as good as Ox is at this age.

    Actually i am sure he wasn’t close to him, i’ve been following him for a while

  12. Keyser

    Isn’t he closer to Nasri/ Fabregas ? Slower more methodical ? Ox apart from being the Ox is kind of like the Tasmanian Devil.

  13. Gooby


    hazard is very similar to ox. quick dribbler, loves to take a shot at goal when he has the chance.

    He’s not a classic winger as he often cuts inside and runs down the middle, a top player really but again ox is a better all round player than him at the same age

  14. Keyser

    I haven’t watched much of him, Iw as hoping he’d be more like Nasri, who could hold the ball up, retain possession and use his pace when he needed to, we need that sort of balance of the wing to give us another option.

  15. Gooby


    hazard at 18 was a talented kid who would go missing sometimes like any youngster would. He got better and better every season.

    you could see he’ll turn into some player but was inconsistent, frustrating at times.

  16. AA23

    Oxlade has played about 55 mins of proper football and been blinding for about half of them.
    Hazard is the bollocks, hopefully Oxlade will be too, but give him a chance. better than Hazard at his age? you cannot possibly know that yet.

  17. DaleDaGooner

    Had to read through the older post…re the Vieira and Henry leave\no leave…Yes Vieira said he didn’t want to leave, BUT, he had been bitching about wanting to go to Real and othe rclubs season’s before, he gave up and got comfortable when he started to see he was dropping, but Wenger, unforgiving, sold him to Juve for a good price of 13m….Henry wanted to go for Woman reason’s. And wanted to win CL as well.

  18. Gunner2301


    Bolton are victims of where they are located. When I used to go you could get tickets for 20 quid ish and that was fairly average. Maybe if they ripped the fans off more they might not be in such dire straits. 🙂

  19. Gunner2301


    I reckon if Wenger had built a world class team capable of winning the CL Henry would have stayed. The woman thing helped him out the door. It wasn’t the first season he’d hinted at Wenger getting quality in. It’s the same with all of them and after they see their words falling on deaf ears they leave. Robin has said the same about bringing in quality and he will leave also, just like Nasri said last season and he left too.

  20. Moray

    Why are we comparing the Ox with Hazard?

    We only need to do this if he is stupid enough to sign for Spuds.

    Otherwise, we should be thinking along the lines of how they would play in the same team, and urging the club to buy Hazard. Actually, to get rid of Walcott and sign Hazard. I would love us to play 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 with pacy wingers who can cut inside and shoot. Like the old days, before we were shit.

  21. gnarleygeorge9

    Keyser February 13, 2012 23:15:32
    “…………………………the Ox is kind of like the Tasmanian Devil.”

    What on the endangered species list 😉

  22. iffy the Mighty Goonasaures

    All this talk about hazard is upsetting when we all know that Wenger won’t sign him and we’ll prolly end up with a striker from one of the far eastern countries.

    Arsenal have never signed a proven star before and prolly never will. (except for Bergkamp who was at dire straits at his club before coming to us)

  23. OPG

    Geez Hazard only said ‘Maybe’ to a question asked he’s definitely leaving in the summer according to Lille so he’s keeping his options open.
    Although I see no chance of signing him whoever get’s him is going to get a top quality player who is fairly proven already but can get even better, some of the comparisons I see especially on Twitter are silly.