How Arsenal nearly signed the best player on the planet

by .


Good morning to you!

I’ve been getting massively into American TV. I don’t have enough meds in my life. My yoghurt doesn’t have enough protein in it. It’s also clear I need to by 1 suit and get 3 free. I’ve been brainwashed and I love it.

Jorge Mendes, the super agent, has a book out. It basically claims Arsenal didn’t sign Ronaldo because we couldn’t / wouldn’t pay the fee.

“There was a moment in which I really thought he was going to Arsenal. David Dein is a spectacular person but, with the construction of their stadium, they were left with very little money and it wasn’t possible.”

Ronaldo also recounts his trip to Arsenal: “We were travelling by car and Jorge was calling us constantly telling me to hide so no one would see me. We went to a service station and I had to hide my face. I remember back then that Jorge was going crazy, those were Jorge’s craziest days.”

That’s one of those moments you wish we’d been a bit more speculative… it is what it is.

Throw another ‘nearly’ on the barbie mate…

Yaya Sanogo and Chamakh have both scored today. Imagine being there, in the ground, when something of that magnitude happened? A real ‘I was there’ moment.

We take on Brighton tomorrow. They’re not doing well in the championship. They’re right down the bottom. They have however won 4 of their last 5. So they’ll be confident. Hopefully we’ve planned for them. Hopefully we don’t give them too much respect. Hopefully we don’t need a full first team to kill them off.

I’d imagine we’ll have a super strong bench, so if it doesn’t go well, at least we’ll be able to call in calvary.

Finally, Joel Campbell is being sent over the Villareal as part of the Paulista deal. I read somewhere he might get a new deal with Arsenal. That makes little sense unless we’re just trying to secure a good fee for him when we bin him off…





415 Responses to “How Arsenal nearly signed the best player on the planet”

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  1. Emiratesstroller

    I am pretty sure that the odds of Paulista coming to Arsenal are far higher than 50-50.

    Does anyone seriously believe that Arsenal would have announced that this deal was almost done or Villereal stating that it is done + Campbell moving in other direction if we had not received assurances from FA that work permit would be approved?

    Arsenal are notorious as being one of the most secretive clubs in Football. They are seldom if ever opening their mouth in public unless and until a deal
    is signed and delivered.

    Why would they change a habit of a lifetime now?

  2. Marko

    Talk of United going for childhood Arsenal fan Alexander Dragovic. Good player mind you but with Rojo, Shaw, Blind and now Dragovic it begs the question does Van Gaal plan on buying any right footed defenders ever

  3. Goondawg

    “You idiot, defensive protection means tactics”

    No Marble, you idiot, the players didn’t choose the tactics. Wenger said he chose to be defensive, because after listening to his players, they lacked the confidence to take the game to Man City. This signals a pragmatic and successful working relationship between the staff and the personnel. Wenger told them the plan, and they executed it flawlessly.

  4. Thomas

    Goondawg January 25, 2015 12:51:29

    It’s really embarrassing that Wenger listens to his own players. Good one Thomas


    Yep a manager who has managed what 30 years can’t come up with tactics on his own. Pretty embarrassing.

  5. Majestic gooner

    Got to say after watching paulista we could be seeing our new defensive midfielder, he is very good on the ball and would be the perfect cover for the defence, ala Gilberto silva who himself used to be a centre back before making the transition to midfield, the same with petit, so don’t be surprise if that’s the case.

  6. karim

    Penalty for Lyon
    Lacazette goal n 21 !
    Lyon is 7 pts clear as things stand before Psg goes to St Etienne tonight, very important game indeed

  7. Zementalstrength

    Yo everyone!!

    With city and chelscunt eliminated, we have a very good chance to retain our trophy.
    Oooopsssss, sorry I forgot that yoonited are still in the competition lol

  8. gonsterous

    easy win today if we dont fock it up as we normally like to do… concede an early goal and we might be in trouble…

  9. karim


    exactly, this red card rule is stupid enough.
    And why didn’t he send Umtiti off ?

    Lyon hasn t been very good today but those 3 pts might be vital in May

    Shame Lacazette had to leave the pitch, would have scored 1 or 2 more

    What did you think of Fekir ?

  10. Micheal


    I wish we still had Gilberto. His great work-rate, assured tackling and top-class discipline in maintining his position was essential to the Invicibles. He won 93 capts for that shit side Brazil and was also captain for atime.

    Gilberto gave TH, Bergkamp, Pires, Vieira, etc the room to play. A truly marvellous player who helped others tick. How we need him now.

    I can only assume Marbles was watching a different sport altogether.

  11. Bamford10

    Marble is fucking clueless. Ignore him. Has said, among other things, that Zidane was “all hype” and that Henry really wasn’t that great.

    Literally knows nothing about the game.

  12. Goondawg

    “Yep a manager who has managed what 30 years can’t come up with tactics on his own. Pretty embarrassing.”

    The quotes (which I think some tabloids did misinterpret to an extreme spectrum, looking namely at the mirror) say :

    “At some stage you cannot go against the feelings of the team because it’s detrimental to the result.”

    “The team sometimes needs to be reassured and reassurance comes first from feeling solid and strong and then you can express your talent and our confidence in the big games had been damaged by these big results.”

    “Of course (I listened to the players). Your tactics have to be aligned as well with the feeling of the team and with the confidence level of the team.”

    It sounds to me like Wenger had a meeting with his players about tactics, which is fine, brilliant this is the right proper thing that any good manager should do. Sounds like they reviewed, analysed, discussed and worked out a solution to the problems they had in past games.

    I have my fair share of problems with Wenger but to suggest that Wenger had no input in the tactics used against City is simply ridiculous. There’s nothing wrong with ceding to player pressure, I’m sure most people were clamouring for Wenger to delegate tasks like the way fergie did, which led to so much success. I mean the players could have realised the tried and failed method didnt work when we were getting battered last year. I’ve seen this defensive set-up many times this year, against chelsea, liverpool and dortmund away. Hope this signals the wind of change in AFC

  13. tenerife gooner

    Used to pray Wenger would put Edu in the team in place of Silva,when he did wanted Silva back rapido.Edu was good but Silva was vital.

  14. zaco

    I don’t blame Marble for being a trolling G,oat , i blame those who keep responding to his useless posts, especially about Gilberto who was a great player for us. just ignore the ldiot and he will stop posting trash.

  15. Bamford10


    The point is that the tactics used against City came from the players, not the manager. They were the ones who wanted to sit deep and counter, not Wenger.

    It’s good that he listened, but the best idea Wenger has had against a top four side in years came not from Wenger but from his players.

    That’s fairly damning.

  16. MarbleHall

    Memories playing tricks on you all just take it from me the players used to bail out Gilbeeto big time on many occasions for his indecisiveness even the crowd got on his back for being a ditherer.

  17. Goondawg

    I cant wait for kick-off so I can stop reading your bullshit Marble.

    Gilberto Silva is one of my most favourite players of all time. First game at the emirates, will never forget that goal. Also our run-in to the 2006 champions league final, please note his quality.. Not to forget his crucial contribution to the invincibles. What a legend.. I remember seeing his replacement Denilson, and thinking wtf how we gone from hero to zero

  18. zaco

    this marble of a C’unt is happy each time he heard someone mention his name, he doesn’t care if it was in the negative or positive, such is his joy just to hear someone responding to him, can you all just stop talking to this chelski fan so he can craw back to his hole?

  19. Thomas

    Wenger always has his standard reactionary comments based on the result. “We played with the handbrake”, “We lacked a bit sharpness in the final third today”. “We showed great character” “We have great spirit” lol he has no clue.

  20. Jeff

    I’m a bit perplexed by the assertion in the blog today that the tactics against City were instigated by the players. Can anyone provide a source for the rumour so we can assess the degree of veracity?

  21. Marc

    Marble’s the guy who slagged off the current team, manager, board and all of the fans.

    Why Pedro just doesn’t ban him I’ll never know.

  22. kwik fit

    Lets hope our boys are really up for it in Brighton today. We need real men who will give there all in the pursuit of glory. No resting on their laurels.

  23. zaco


    Yeah the players also picked themselves for the city game, infact czechney (whatever his name) also dropped himself to the bench, while those who came on also decided to come on when they did.
    so lets sack wenger and employ the players on players/manager basis.

  24. Goondawg


    My first thoughts about his comments in the post-match presser were that this is really unlike him. He normally laps up praise and is like a sponge that soaks up compliments till his smug face becomes unbearable. I commended him for praising his players, and as much as I like this player power hype nonsense, the dictatorial qualities about Wenger makes it seem unlikely, he should take credit, where it’s due. The performance was fantastic and the defensive collective responsibility stems from the 11 players on the pitch, so kudos to Wenger for acknowledging that

    He talks about confidence and going back to basics in the exact quotes. We know Wenger is all about that mental strength and playing fluid, free-flowing attacking football and not really like a shouty sort of tactical drill sergeant and despises parking the bus. He doesn’t really tell players what to do, he apparently, according to Lee Dixon, is the best at creating environments for the players to flourish, he probably feels this is more beneficial for them in the long-term as the onus is on them to succeed. The environment in this case, the players fed up of getting thrashed are not confident, and Wenger discussed this and they adapted their style to overcome this obstacle. I dont want to muddy the waters with who did what and Wenger wasn’t on the pitch. It was 11 players win or lose, they deserve all the plaudits. Enjoy the performance and hope to see more of the same

  25. Highbury Daze

    The tactics against City were by none other than Bould the defensive coach a guy who played for the famous back 5 that used to win 1-0 we lost 5-1 6-0 6-3 now the tactics used for those games were pure wenger they had his incompetent fingerprints all over those games
    Not one source has mentioned Bould had anything to do with the win wenger would rather praise his players than Bould because he can stand any individual to take his spotlight

  26. Bamford10


    BTW, a “proper striker” means a striker who has everything a good striker should have, namely:

    – pace
    – technique
    – dribbling
    – hold-up play
    – scoring
    – athleticism
    – work ethic
    – guile

    Giroud has maybe 2-3 of these things, but not all. Same goes for Welbeck.

    The world’s best strikers — Lewandowski, Aguero, RVP— have all (or nearly all) of these things.

    We need a proper striker if we are to win the title.

    Does that help?

  27. Bamford10


    Except you are trying to muddy the waters. It’s crystal clear: it was the PLAYERS who thought they should sit deep and counter against City, not Wenger.

    Wenger has admitted this. He had no reason to say this if it weren’t true, and given how vain, arrogant and under-fire he is, he had no reason not to take credit for the tactics if they were his.

    They weren’t. Just accept it. At least he showed flexibility and open-mindedness. I’ll give him that.

  28. Cesc Appeal

    Lots of rumours Arsenal have bid for Kevin Grosskreutz.

    Would make sense in a way I suppose, minimal transfer fee, highly adaptive player, LB, RB, RM, LM, CDM a bit like a Blind for us, not great but solid enough.

  29. Marc

    Why is the draw for the next round tomorrow?

    Come on Pedro I’m going down the pub in half hour, the guys at Untold wouldn’t keep us waiting!

  30. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah, papers are saying £3.5 Million bid. No real problem with a player like that, as I say bit of a Blind, maybe not good enough to start for us but if your RB, LB gets injured he can cover can cover the CDM as well.

    Would be a squad builder buy.

  31. Goondawg


    These sensationalised headlines make it seem like Wenger was TOLD what to do, and he had no input in tactics whatsoever. This I find really hard to believe, sorry

  32. Bamford10


    If he had pace and dribbling, he’d be twice the striker — and would do more against top sides.

    That you point to this stat but don’t see why he’ll never lead us to a title nor why no top club would ever be in for him just shows how little you know about the game and how low your standards are.

    Like many other Arsenal supporters, you are satisfied with players who are decent but not good enough to win the biggest games and trophies.

    Giroud is not good enough. If you can’t see this, you’re hopeless.

  33. Jeff

    Bamford and Arsene’s Nurse

    Thank you for the references. I’ve been working all weekend and decided to take a little break before the game and had a quick look on here. I find it astonishing that Wenger has actually admitted such a thing.

    “At some stage you cannot go against the feelings of the team because it’s detrimental to the result.”

    Wow, it feels like a like a long running series that is approaching its finale. 😆

  34. Dream10

    #Arsenal team to play Brighton: Szczesny, Chambers, Koscielny, Monreal, Gibbs, Flamini, Walcott, Ramsey, Ozil, Rosicky, Giroud

  35. Goondawg

    Yeah I know Giroud’s weaknesses as well as anyone. But you are making him out to be a slow, cumbersome, lumbering donkey despite seeing his good qualities. I think he is a criminally, underrated striker. Not really setting the world on fire,or on Aguero’s level, but I dont think he is shit.

    He has improved vastly from the time he first joined us, and if you can’t see that, you’re hopeless. He hasn’t played for us much, but he has been top class whenever he does.

    He brings another dimension to our game, with his aerial ability. He has scored more headers than anyone in the prem league since his arrival, and we are reknown for our short passing game.

    This argument, he doesn’t score against big teams has finally been dispelled. Cast mind to Man City, Utd, Liverpool and Dortmund

    His goal to game ratio is impressive and the goals were vital in the run to our FA cup trophy. Giroud is burdened by our impressive world class heroes of our past like Henry and Wright etc. Whilst he’s never going to break records, some of the critique he gets is unwarranted

  36. Dream10

    – AW does not trust Chambers at CB

    – Chezzer is back in goal. Expect to be the starting GK by the time we host Monaco in the 1st leg

  37. Goonergirl

    Arsenal team to play Brighton: Szczesny, Chambers, Koscielny, Monreal, Gibbs, Flamini, Walcott, Ramsey, Ozil, Rosicky, Giroud

  38. MidwestGun

    Nurse –
    Re: West Ham: Yep, Jenks and Song have been next to terrible. Glad they don’t play for us anymore to be honest. Song with about 8 terrible passes under no pressure..
    Jenks just has no explosive play. And way too one footed. Basically forced to
    back pass almost every time. Also, Reid isn’t all the great either. Altho, he is impressive at diving. That said now I jinxed it, West Ham will win for sure.

  39. Bamford10


    No, no, and no. Giroud suffers in comparison not to Arsenal greats of the past — though he certainly pales in comparison — but to the world’s top strikers.

    He is slow, cumbersome and oafish. This is not a mischaracterization of him but an accurate description. Yes, he brings us aerial play, but because he has no pace, he cannot give us anything in behind the back four, which severely hampers what we do.

    He will NEVER be one of the world’s top strikers, will never lead us to a title (regardless of who we put around him) and will never be a decisive factor against a top team.

    His recent City goal could literally have been scored by a Championship CB. He wasn’t even marked. It was a tap in.

    Again, it is supporters like you — who are satisfied with second-tier players like Giroud — that help keep Arsenal a second-tier team.

  40. Bamford10

    Why no Coquelin? Odd, no? What is Wenger up to here? Does he think Coq is getting too uppity, wants to put him in his place?

  41. Marko

    Dunno how to feel about Grosskrauts if we got him. On the one hand he’s a highly thought of adaptable German international hitting his prime but on the other hand he’s no Bender or Gundogen or given how we’ve lost a couple forwards no Kruse or Volland. If it meant long term wise he’d replace someone like Flamini. Arteta or Diaby then I’m all for it

  42. Highbury Daze

    Szcsesny is in goal for the fa cup because wenger plays the second choice keeper in theses games I doubt this clown will be in goal for Monaco expect so piña back in goal real quick

  43. Cesc Appeal

    Chambers and Flamini are the weak points for me.

    Ramsey will need to do a lot of work today and worries me Walcott will leave Chambers brutally exposed.

  44. Dave


    He was. Bought from Gillingham for about £1 m at age 15? Never made it here but playing as number 10 as you say

  45. MidwestGun

    Ggirl –
    Well we should have enough for Brighton but I hope Flamini gets a lot of defensive cover help. Also, Chezzer makes me nervous coming off a layoff. And a terrible game. Anyhow, we have Romford and N5 there, so we good. Lol

    3 to 1. Maybe 2 to 1. Just win. 😀

  46. Bamford10




    Have a feeling it’s the latter.

  47. Goondawg


    Quick input before the game

    Giroud is our current best striker by a long margin

    He had poor games last year, but you can blame that on how overplayed he is. Ibra is one of the world’s best strikers, yet he has no pace so it’s a bit of a null point that, it’s not Giroud’s strength. There are elements to Giroud’s game which are definitely world class though like his reading of the game and link up play, strength, heading ability, holding off the ball and he can lead the line efficiently. He has improved yearly, and there is no reason why he cant kick on. He has led us to an FA cup and a community shield due to his goals. Again 47 goals in 87 appearances does not screech shit to me in any form of imagination

    Personally I would prefer a world class option with pace, but I dont abuse Giroud with vitriol anymore unless he misses a sitter and pulls that dumb face. Also he could throw his weight a bit more. But yeah he is slow. It’s true. Oafish, I’m not too sure. He has some silky elegance to his play at times that belies this

  48. Leedsgunner

    Looking at the lineups I have to say I’m mixed.


    1. Shame that Chesney is back in goal, I would have wanted him to sit on the bench a couple more games to ponder over his unprofessional attitude. I suppose it could mean that Ospina is our league goal keeper and that the Pole has been relegated to the role of the Cup keeper, but I suspect Wenger might be moving back to his favourites. Hope I’m wrong though.

    I like Ospina as our keeper, he seems more calm and collected, less prone to unpredictable rash moves that sometimes Chesney is guilty of. A 2 game suspension is merely a slap on the wrist, and almost as pointless in my opinion. Although he’s been completely left out… I hope he’s not injured… and just getting a rest.

    2. I hope Kos doesn’t get injured. I would have preferred to see Bellerin back in the side and Chambers at CB. If I had to choose between Mert or Kos to play I would have played Mert and saved Kos for the league game to face Villa.

    3. Couldn’t we have had Akpom start instead of Giroud? Oh well, I hope Olivier doesn’t get injured and Akpom gets to strut his stuff and show us what he can do…

    4. We’re facing Brighton today, therefore I would have thought it was a perfect game for a youth place to make the step up. Do we not have one reserve player who we could have called up to made their mark and stake their place?


    1. On the positive side it is good to see both Cazorla and Santi on the bench — hopefully we won’t need to call on them all today.

    2. Pleased that Walcott and Ozil are back fighting fit, I hope their class carries us to victory today. It’s been a long time waiting! I would love to see these two start to click… let’s have it start here and today.


  49. Emiratesstroller

    I thought that offensively we were excellent with Rosicky having an outstanding game. Both Walcott and Ozil also played very well considering the time that they have been out through injury.

    However, our defensive side was once again not that great. Chambers is okay going forward, but I do not think that he is defensively that good. Bellerin is a much better full back.

    Koscielny and Monreal as a centre back combination is not great. Koscielny
    is more comfortable on the left side of defence and Monreal is just not strong enough in the middle even at this level.

    However, the two major concerns I had were in Defensive Midfield where Flamini is for me awful. He is both defensively and positionally awful and was
    partly to blame for first goal.

    I think also that Szczesny is now a real concern not so much for goals conceded, but his generally poor decision making. He does not exactly inspire confidence at the back when he plays.

    One piece of good news is that Wenger announced tonight that signing of Paulista will be completed tomorrow AND the work permit is no problem. Clearly that was resolved BEFORE the deal was done.