Yann M’Vila rumoured deal close | Steve Bould and his potential impact | Alex Song to leave Arsenal?

by & filed under News Review, Transfers.

Good morning Grovers! So that was exciting news yesterday… It was like Ivan read my first post headline and sorted everything out. Steve Bould becoming our assistant manager is an absolutely great piece of news. He’s younger, hungrier and will no doubt carry more of an presence than Pat Rice has over the last 3-4 years.

People keep saying he won’t have an influence, but I couldn’t disagree more. He has it all to prove. Whilst I don’t think he’ll be disruptive or a dissenter, I think he’ll be more enthusiastic about addressing the basic issues.   As I’ve said on here for years, we need to utilise the tools Championship clubs are doing a better job with. Let’s get Bould sitting the defence down and telling Vermaelen shouldn’t be bombing forward when we’re 3-2 up with 15 to go. Let’s have a better squad rotation system built around GPS so we don’t look dead in January. Let’s force players to run through the video analysis so they know what’s coming each game.

Let’s build next seasons success around preparation.

I also think he’ll force more accountability. Could Pat Rice, at his age, really demand 100% commitment in the same way a much bigger, stronger man 25 years his youth could? I don’t think so. Steve Bould is a living memory player for all Arsenal players. I’m 27, though I have huge respect for what Pat Rice did in the game, it wouldn’t come close to the respect I’d have for Steve Bould. He’s living memory for me, Pat Rice isn’t. Personally, I think it’s a great move, he has an amazing chance to take us to the next level. Wenger has an amazing chance to freshen his ways up. It’ll be mutually beneficial.

On the transfer front, things are also hotting up. Yann M’Vila, the defensive midfielder from France we bid for last August seems to be the major signing from Ligue One we’ve been talking about since February. I was told back then we were out there working on a deal, it’s great if that’s coming to fruition now. He’s a top player who has superb discipline unless you’re a 17 year old who has messed with his Facebook profile. He’s exactly what we need.

I’ve questioned the signing of M’Vila for a while. If he comes in for £20million. What does that mean for Alex Song… who you know I’ve had question marks over for a while? Well, that might mean he is shipped off to Madrid. Like Flamini, I think he’ll get found out if he goes elsewhere. The fact these stories are cropping up now plays right into what I’ve suspected for a while… that he’s looking for the next big move. Having Darren Dein as your rep is a pretty big statement these days. For me, as good as some of his passes have been this year, we could be doing better. He’s too slow, he still totally lacks discipline, he seems to have very little passion and he’s never going to be the Gilberto or Emmanuel Petit we need.

God help me if Arsene Wenger decides he’ll be our creative force next season!

An interesting thing I’ve noted is how many of the pro-Arsene types seem to hate the fact we’re signing big. They’ve generally been the people saying we’re wasting £20mill on M’Vila and that Podolski is average. Jeez… lighten up. The same people said that about Arteta and Yossi in the summer.

There’s still an interest in Jan Vertonghen of Ajax. There’s also interest from Spurs. As I understand it, he’s probably not going to end up with the chaps down the road. I think the appeal of playing with Vermaelen will sway things if we do go for him (which is far from certain), plus the fact we have a long term future as a club. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at a club like City or United.

We’ll also be looking to move on the deadwood / wage collectors this summer. Bendtner, Vela, Chamakh, Park, Denilson, Almunia, Djourrou and Squillaci are all likely to be on the exit list… that said, I was told the exact same thing last year but we struggled to find buyers. This year already feels different though. We’re doing our business now because we know Robin won’t stay otherwise. That’s the type of player power I can deal with. The club seem to be responding, but truth be told, we were responding from February. We haven’t just suddenly become swift negotiators…

We’re still not finished for the season. We have a tricky game to deal with at West Brom. We conceded two goals early on there last year… a shocker of a game from Almunia from what I remember. We went on to batter them from there. This year, we need to go up there and play them off the park from the off. We need to go at them like we went at Norwich in the second half of the game. If we play 90minutes like that… we’ll win. Spurs don’t have an easy game against Fulham, so their 3 points are in no way guaranteed… but we need to make sure. Another draw will be hugely disappointing. I want to enjoy the Champions League final this year, not bit my nails in a juddering wreck for 90minutes.

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Anyway… that’s your lot. Let us know your thoughts on the rumours and the new assistant.

641 Responses to “Yann M’Vila rumoured deal close | Steve Bould and his potential impact | Alex Song to leave Arsenal?”

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    I read that Jeff, but put the blue on the socks again. (If they have to).

    I hate it. I love my red and white kit and that’s it. It isn’t just a kit Jeff, it’s a love, passion and part of life. It should not be messed with.

  2. Gunzsp

    I think m Vila will alow song to do his business when he pleases. I’m feeling next season if we get 3rd

    Bac. Mert. Kos. Gibbs
    Van persie

    Walcott. Poldi. Ox

    Reason for rvp, he looked a lot more happy and better playing with another striker, and has all the qualities to be a great CF

    Also hopefully bould will hammer the defence into shape

    On another note, I’m actually starting to like the new kit after hating it at first……
    I would still prefer a plain.red and white arsenal style kit, With the retro small white cannon logo

  3. redbearer

    According to reports (the Evening Standard) Jan Vertonghen is keen to sign for the Spuds! Now this piece of news clearly enlightens me, it obviously means that we are not interested enough to make a serious offer for a player which we desperately need. Again Arsenal (or Wenger) show a complete lack of ambition, why do we never stump up the funds for quality defenders!! We let Cahill go, Jones go & now Vertonghen…. leaving us with unconvincing shite like Djourou!!!! Argghhhhaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rant over 🙁

  4. Jeff

    Jopaa, the blue is actually on the socks as well. If you look at that promotional video I put up in my post before this one, you can clearly see the socks also have it. I suppose they just wanted to make sure whatever message the blue ring is supposed to represent isn’t missed.

  5. kwik fit

    Philippe Auclair ‏ @PhilippeAuclair
    …colleagues might have better information than I do, which wouldn’t be the 1st time. Just giving my opinion, so can we talk in peace, eh?

    Joppaaa you listen too much to Pedro 😉

  6. LJB

    UMBONGO, pretty pathetic of Untold not to publish that;i have read Atwoods post,and thought that was the perfect reposte.Atwood likes to think of himself and his chums as “intellectuals” and portrays the AAA ,as he calls people who don’t agree with him, as uneducated morons.Your posts shows that to be a lie;it was better and more eloquent than 99.9% of the comments on there and IMO Atwood didn’t know how to respond so he didn’t bother.You have to remember that he writes for the matchday programme so will do anything to protect his position ;it makes him feel important.Thats why he and his sheep criticise Tim Payton and the AST;they are jealous that its not Uncle Tony on Sky Sports and Talksport being asked his opinion (thank christ) so they call him an “AAA”.They actually think their stupid little blog is influential,when compared to LeGrove it gets fuck all comments.Anyway,I enjoyed what you wrote!!

  7. Cesc Appeal

    ooo that phillippe auclair twitter doesnt look promising…..cant be mata all over again??

  8. arsenal1886-2006

    The big news for us is going to be Van Persie to Juventus, they are looking for a new striker and RVP fits the bill. Podolski and M’villa in, RVP out and a nice little profit for the board
    Why do i think this will happen? When Arsenal run the contract down to the final year then that means we can kiss goodbye to that player.

    We better get used to seeing a lot more of Chamakh…………….

  9. UmBongo


    Thanks for that, appreciate it. Frustrated me to be challenged/criticised like that then just dismissed, with no chance of a response. Thought I’d put it somewhere! Yeah I was aware of the match day role, I find it pretty amazing to be honest. I went with no agenda, just reacting to how I’d seen information presented. I’d picked up an attempt at intellectual superiority, like you say, and it just all seemed amazingly ill-founded and contradictory.

    But heyho, so much for debate. Maybe I’ll just spend a bit more time on here!

  10. Robin's Choco Leg Special

    Evening Grovers,

    Auclair does have a lot of contacts but he’s a bit of a twitter controversy whore…

    Julien Laurens broke the M’Vila story if i’m correct and he seems pretty certain quoting the player is ‘delighted to be joining Arsenal’…

    But as we all know, nothing is official just yet and it’d be a kick in the teeth now if this one was another Mata, Ribery etc. saga…

    It ticks all the right boxes right down to the player quotes ‘if a french coach comes in for you blah blah blah’…. I say it’s a goer and 18m quid is great business..

    Vorm story has a bit of the ‘why’ element to it. Not to say he isn’t a good keeper cause he is, but we need experience in the no.2 slot. Robinson at Blackburn should be the 1 were contacting Blackburn for as opposed to Hoilett. I stil think Hoilett only has a chance of coming to us if we can’t agree terms with Theo. I see Hoilett at either scouse club, Wigan, Tottenham or Newcastle possibly.

  11. Robin's Choco Leg Special

    R:E Vertonghen: Being in talks mean nothing. Being at a hotel waiting to go to a medical (ask Park) and driving in a taxi on the way to a stadium (ask Petit) mean nothing.

    When the clubs agree a fee and the player has signed on the dotted line it’s official.. Nothing ‘in limbo’ will get moving until after the seasons ended. Can’t believe Vertonghen signs for the yids before they’re confirmed CL …

    Actually, Podolski will look a right mug if we lose sunday 😆

  12. UmBongo

    I’m very sure I’ve banned from Untold, but I’d hate to waste the writing… reading it again pissed me off, so:


    It’s a shame you didn’t let me defend myself with the long post I tried to submit. I just read this through again, there is a real problem with siege mentality running through the piece. You define your enemy, articulate them, then argue against them to confirm your own superiority. Your grandiose allusions to holocaust/climate change deniers are absurd and highly hypocritical.

    As I said, I am not here to pick sides, this is how I view the article. I would a bit more balance and perspective from both camps, but sensationalism sells, so I guess we’l be in this situation for a while yet.

  13. arsenal1886-2006

    Don’t forget that spurs will have a shedload of cash this summer, sales of bale and modric will probably raise about 60+ million. They will look to spend every penny of that while we would buy a 15 year old from Exeter and two loanees from some obscure Uzbekistan team.

    Cannot believe the excitement about major changes, we have heard it all before. One in, one out.

    Looking forward to Chamakh leading the line next season.

  14. Robin's Choco Leg Special

    1st team;

    In: Podolski, M’Vila, J.Martinez, C.Erikson, P.Robinson

    Out: Chamackh, Park, Squillaci, Song, Vela, Denilson, Arshavin, Almunia, Fabianski, Djourou, Diaby

    Loan: Ramsey, Frimpong, Afobe, Miguel, Miyaichi, J.Campbell, Wellington


    GK: Szczesny, Robinson, Martinez

    LB: Gibbs, Santos, Vermaelen
    CB: Koscielny, Vermaelen, Bartley
    CB: Mertesaker, Martinez
    RB: Sanga, Jenkinson, Coquelin

    DM: M’ Vila, Martinez, Coquelin
    CM: Wilshere, Arteta
    AM: Erickson, Rosicky

    LWF: Podolski, Gervinho
    RWF: Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain

    CF: Van Persie, Bendtner, Podolski

  15. Alex James

    Wait for the car crash. The French chappie to Italy and the Dutch defender who we need desperately to avoid having to play JD to Spurs. Just woke up from a bad dream. Can’t help feeling it will be Podalski plus some average player again. I’m afraid Dempsey and Hoilett can’t be compared with Hazard and Kagawa.


    Just watched Fever Pitch. £5 to stand on the North Bank back then in the days when I used to go more often than not.

    Has football changed for the better since then? In some respects I guess.

    We should have tried to expand Highbury, we really should have. There must of been a way.

  17. paul mc daid

    JOPPA,only ARSENAL fans would watch and love Fever Pitch,the AKB gang would have us believe them days never happened,dont think we could off done much about Highbury all the same,so sad.

  18. arsenal1886-2006


    I am totally with you on this, hence the name. I feel that Wenger wanted to build a club in his image, he tried it at Monaco and got fucked off by the owner. He wanted to destroy any legacy left by previous managers and owners and have his name forever associated with the building of Arsenal into a great team, never mind that Herbert Chapman had done it before and if not for the second world war we would probably be talking about Arsenal in the same way we talk about Man Utd.

    I feel that Wenger resented the past and that is why his image is plastered everywhere, if he was a leader of a country he would be a Kim Jung il or Saddam Hussein, he is a raving lunatic who believes that everybody must do it his way as the alternative is failure. Our trophy cabinet is testimony to his continuing insanity, AKB’s point to the stadium and say “that his is legacy” No! That is Robert McAlpines legacy and the architects, it is also the fans, the ones who pay extortionate prices to watch a slow dirge every other week with a squad that is abysmally weak and short on fight, with the exception of a handful of players.
    He can take credit for the fact that he has built a squad incapable of doing the basics let alone trying to entertain, yet he blames referees, officials and just about everything else for his own shortcomings. The young players he brings through cannot wait to leave when given the chance, and the dross he can’t sell won’t leave because of the high wages he pays them.

    The Arsenal we knew was from 1886-2006, this is Wengers Arsenal now.
    I suppose in a way he should take credit for the Arsenal of 2006-2012, it is a club that is run not in the football sense but in a pure business sense. Success is generating profit at any cost, even if it is detrimental to the success on the pitch where a clubs success is surely to be judged.
    The Stadium is akin to the Emperors new clothes, it was built to generate money in the long term not the short term and not for the benefit of the playing side but the business side. The fans will become accustomed to supporting a club who place pride in profit over trophies and will go along with the charade until the cows come home. Some fans are severely deluded into believing that funds are going to be released for players, the only funds to be released will be due to sales of the best players, or player in our case, and then only a percentage with the rest going to shareholders and so called investors.

    The fans were sold a pup and some believe it to be a prize winning poodle, while others are aware that it is a bastardised scabby mongrel.

    Good night all, sweet dreams.

  19. OPG

    It really is silly season already don’t trust anything until confirmed, so many ‘ITK’s’ back on twitter just making things up as they go along I remember from last summer apart from that Marco Silva guy.
    I remember things like Samba apparently signing early last summer, Alvarez, Mata saga’s and Jagielka spotted at a airport or something with a Arsenal agent lol..

    Anyway Europa League final later should be interesting, some quality Bilbao players to look out for.

  20. The Poldi Prince

    Im very suprised at the lack of le grove push for demba ba.

    Surely there isn’t a better striker in the world for 7.5 million pounds.

    Fast, athletic, powerful, great finisher and loads of PL experience! Only downside is he has had injury problems in the past. Nevertheless, we have wasted greater sums of money on much bigger gambles than ba.

    He is the pure striker we need to complement rvp and fill in for him during rest periods.

    7 mill plus 70k a week is a freaking bargain.

  21. The Poldi Prince

    Another thing that puzzles me is the lack of interest in another LB.

    Gibbs and santos are fine as depth. Neither are good enough to be part of a title winning defense.

  22. Sadam Mahessar

    Say all you want about Van Persie leaving for Juve but I have no doubt that board won’t let him go, they have already hampered the reputation of the club by selling 3 first ‘world class’ players in one window, can’t see them doing anything, that’s why I believe neither Song nor Walcott will be sold.

    Arsene will just clear the dross and will come nowhere close to first team when it comes to selling. The maximum I can see is maybe Coq and Ramsey out on loan if M’Vila comes, Song stays and AW signs a CAM.

    Chamakh and Vela out, Dempsey and Podolski in.
    Squillacci and Djorou out, Bartley/Miquel and a CB signing.
    Almunia and Fabianski out, Robinson/Vorm/Given in.

    Add to that, we will have Ryo and Campbell coming in who are genuine quality already and will add to the strength of the squad.

  23. Sadam Mahessar


    Sagna/Jenk/Coq – Kozzer/Mert/Miquel Verm/CB signing/Bartley – Gibbs/Santos/Miquel


    Arteta/Wilshere/CM signing


    Theo/Gerv/Ox – RVP/Ba/Giroud/Campbell – Podolski/Gerv/Ox/Ryo

  24. Sadam Mahessar

    I will be really disappointed if Vertonghen is allowed to join Spurs, that would be terrible bit of business, at 7m he is coming for pennies, just about the same money we paid for Squillacci and now we cannot dash that out for the Ajax captain who has just won the Eredivisie? And is touted as the better CB of Vermalaen and him, I think Vermalaen and Wojciech need a bit of competition, they take their places for granted and hence its been affecting their performances of late.

    We need a CB really badly and a good one who can warrant a first team spot because honestly its up for grabs.

  25. The Poldi Prince

    As far as I’m concerned we have needs and wants.

    Needs are:
    Two wingers (podolski fills one of these)
    Two strikers ( he also fills one)
    A creative mid
    A defensive mid
    A left back

    A good backup striker
    A backup keeper
    An upgrade of our 4th choice CB
    a good CDM backup
    These changes are necessary to
    Move forward.

    There are good priced options all all positions except in the creative mid area, where we really should be after hazard, eriksen or kagawa.

    We could have giroud and ba for less than 20 mill. Sell vela, bendtner and chamakh for 15 total. Net spend 5 mill.

    Def Mids: m’vila 17mill, sell song for about the same. Almost a straight swap. Add de Jong as experienced backup for 3-4 mill.

    Extra winger could be hoilett for free.

    Hazard approx 35 vs eriksen for 20ish for the creative role. Arguably gourcouff for

  26. Jake

    I would sign Hoilet for free along with Belhanda for £10 million. Seems much better than Hazard with his big ego.

  27. RockyPires

    the Podli Prince, surely we need a backup keeper how can we rely on a 19 year old Argentine who conceeded 3 goals in his first league start for OXFORD..

  28. Rhys Jaggar


    I”m banned at Untold too, so I wrote him an email, cc’ed it to Myles Palmer and 606 and told them to send it all over the world.

    His side kick comes to 4 games a season and watches the rest on Sky. Most of the bloggers are downloading internet streams.

    They just can’t understand that if you shell out £2k+ a year on Arsenal you have a right to strong opinions. Up to and including ‘Sack the Board, Sack the Manager and Sack the Players!’ Not all the time of course, but if necessary….

    I don’t know if the refs are bunged by Utd, maybe they are. But what Arsenal CAN control is signings at key times, like January 2011, January 2008 etc. Last summer. Which was a balls up of monumental proportions. Strange that I wrote an ‘Allo, Allo’ sketch just before it all kicked off around the 8-2 drubbing…….

    They CAN get their training right, their squad rotation right so Wilshere isn’t played to breakdown and loses a season etc etc etc. They CAN take all 4 trophies seriously and CAN realise that 4th place isn’t the same emotion as the final whistle winning the Cup Final.

    Clearly, if the whole thing is fixed to the demands of Asian TV viewers (the conspiracy theory is that they all support Man Utd so Man Utd have to win all the time), it doesn’t matter two hoots. But there’s a little matter of £100m a season of fraud in selling tickets for a fixed farce at the Emirates if so. Which might be a reason for all the other 19 clubs to go on strike until it changes. If it actually happens…….

    But if the whole organisation around the season was giving the fans the ersatz LSD acid trip, rather than filing great accounts for the FT (which can of course arise if you manage the commercial benefits of trophies properly), then I think the griping would abate.