Champions League, Transfers and worst footballer haircuts

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Morning all, what’s cracking? It’s Alex here to try and talk you through your post Champions League comedown. Well that final was a bit of alright wasn’t it? Two teams loaded with talent played out a very exciting final.

Messi was brilliant without being extra-terrestrial; Neymar, Suarez, Iniesta all world class; Dani Alves still a prick. That’s four Champions League titles in under 10 years, a phenomenal return and absolutely nothing to do with performance enhancing drugs or extremely lenient UEFA referees. I’m only joking of course, but I have been wondering lately if Spain, Barcelona and Madrid’s utter footballing dominance since 2008 is really just all about the amazing players they’ve had at their disposal. Sometimes watching those games, the speed at which they play seems improbable – the fact they are able to maintain that speed for 90 minutes, superhuman. Of course this is all just speculation. After all, it seems unlikely that a sport which is governed by an organisation as venal, self-serving and downright corrupt as FIFA could be guilty of the kind of doping cover up that has afflicted cycling and athletics.

As for Juventus, well they are just a very good team aren’t they? I was excited to see Pogba as I’ve never really seem much of him. I was expecting Viera/Yaya Toure type player but was informed he is more a Sterling-type player. I’m no more enlightened after last night’s game tbh. I was impressed by Marchisio, and not so much by supposed Arsenal target, Vidal, who made a proper Alex Song of it. Not much composure, given the occasion.

So now what do we do for the summer? Well there is the women’s World Cup but I need some Arsenal news. There’s all kinds of transfer nonsense going on today. Fernando Llorente (no thanks), Karim Benzema (Yes please). So let’s keep it simple, here’s a summer wish list of both ins and outs:

In
Cech
Schneiderlin
Benzema
Sterling

Out
Flamini
Arteta
Sanogo

What do you reckon to that? All those “ins” are seemingly possible so it would be great to make it happen. Those first three positions are absolutely key for me – a world class keeper, a DM to support Coquelin, and a world class centre forward who is quick but can also hold up the ball, and can shoot. Benzema is one of few strikers in the world who can do that. We have a good relationship with Madrid (thanks again for Ozil) so this could well be possible.

Final thought for today, there were some truly shocking haircuts on display last night – Messi’s homage to Kim Jong-Un, Pogba’s cosmic mess and Vidal’s GCSE-art-homework-on-a-head. It got me thinking about terrible footballer’s haircuts. There’s obviously fat Ronaldo’s 2002 World Cup travesty, Joe Cole’s purple spiral, the young Fabregas’s mullet, and anything sported by Darren Anderton or Chris Waddle throughout their careers. But which one is the absolute worst? Answers in the comments section please.

I’ll be back soon with an analysis of the season, what went right, what went wrong. In the meantime, who do you think had a good CL final? What’s your transfer wish list and why?

You can follow me on twitter for more footballer’s haircut chat @aldo_doel

Speak soon xxx

225 Responses to “Champions League, Transfers and worst footballer haircuts”

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  1. Radio Raheem

    N5

    Lol I’m sticking to it like a Arsene with sustainable model, however, tempting Keyser thinks he is

    Buenos noches chaps

  2. Ozy

    Daaaaamn, just read Bamford’s reply. To think somebody can get that angry over an internet comment! I could’ve sworn Bamford was well over middle-aged… yet that crazed tirade speaks otherwise.

    Oh, Bamford. You probably won’t read this because I have no idea when you wrote up that comment but as I have said many times before – I have never claimed to be insightful or very knowledgeable about football. The only difference between you and I is that I admit it. I can’t remember the last time you’ve ever said anything that wasn’t met with ridicule. I state my opinions as just that – subjective opinions. You state your opinions as the ultimate truth on the matter, one that you will undoubtably say many, MANY people on here (to which you’ll name names, in a very embarrassing way – to their confusion) agree and then say professional players agree and the media agrees and the pope agrees and so on and so forth.

    It’s hard for me not to engage you when you so often force yourself to be the focal point of these comments sections by making very aggressively absurd statements and repeatedly trying to engage other users by asking such boring, dreadful questions.

    “Hey Eagle. Eagle. Hey Eagle. Hey Eagle. Who should we buy?”

    “Hey Cesc. What do you think? Hey Cesc. Hey man. Mate, who is a better option than Walcott?”

    Pretty much everybody on here can write a book about all the times you’ve been so painfully wrong. Man U finishing above us, Coquelin being shit, Benteke being a great dribbler…

    You’ve championed Matuidi and Krychowiak over Coquelin when you were going off on your little Anti-Coquelin agenda and then later admitted to having not watched much of either. That’s just two examples. There are more but I’ll stop here.

    Lastly, if I disagree with you, the sensible thing for you to do is ask me to elaborate – not go off about me being a little bitch. Act your age.

  3. Bamford10

    Ozy

    And you continue to make things up.

    Not important. You have nothing to say on Walcott vs. Sterling, no response to the points I had made, no response to Henry’s comments, and you were wrong about whether I’ve watched much of Sterling.

    You say you don’t pretend to know much about football: perhaps this is because you DON’T know much about football. However some people here, including myself, do. I’ve been watching religiously for thirty years and I played at a high level. Do I get things wrong? Of course. Everyone does. But I do know a few things, and I also admit when I get things wrong.

    Ask YOU about particulars? You’ve got it assbackwards. I made particular points. Rather than addressing those, you made a meaningless blanket statement and falsely accused me of not watching the player in question. You were the one who failed to make any specific points and it’s on you to do so. It’s not on me to ask.

    Nothing else you’ve said merits response.

  4. Bamford10

    Ozy

    One more thing, you say you can’t help but respond when I say “absurd” things.

    Except I didn’t say anything absurd, nor did you highlight anything absurd that I said.

    All you did, actually, was produce your own absurdity, telling Le Grove that both Walcott and Sterling are “average” players.

    I guess this absurdity can be explained, though, by your admittedly limited knowledge of football.

    Am glad you have come clean about that, btw. Makes ignoring you even easier. Cheers.

  5. Ozy

    “You say you don’t pretend to know much about football: perhaps this is because you DON’T know much about football”

    “I have never claimed to be insightful or very knowledgeable about football.”

    What is it that you don’t understand, you overgrown child? I don’t know much about football – I come here because I love Arsenal, enjoy the people, the discussions and a good amount of people here teach me about the game every day.

    I’m sorry, Bamford, not everybody that comes on here knows the game inside and out like you claim to. You’ve been supporting Arsenal for a few years.. you even said you’d stop watching Arsenal altogether. What happened?

    I made a very brief point about Walcott and Sterling and called your bullshit out. Your rebuttal was very firm in hostility and offered me no chance to elaborate, had you but asked. Please do carry going on about nothing for hours on end. The sad reality is that you actually think anybody here thinks highly of your opinion at all..

    Been watching the game for thirty years and yet you claimed Benteke is a good dribbler. Oh boy..

    What do you call a middle-aged man who argues with a “stupid” kid all day over the Internet? Bamford. I hope to never become you.

  6. Keyser

    Lol that’s as bad as Bamford’s superior intellect.

    – I’ll just say they’re both average, I hope he asks me to elaborate.

  7. Ozy

    Keyser, I then went on to talk about how we don’t need Sterling, how I believe Walcott is a competent squad option, how Sterling isn’t the finished product right now and we already have two young prospects in Oxlade and Gnabry, etc etc etc.

    I didn’t say “they’re average. Bye.”

    Jesus. Selective reading, I guess.

  8. Keyser

    Mate that’s the same rubbish Bamford posts, to be edgy, attract attention fuck knows what, and then he gets upset people don’t hang on his every word.

  9. Ozy

    Not sure saying Sterling isn’t the finished product and Walcott’s a competent squad option merits attention, nor is it an edgy statement to make but eh, to each his own.

  10. Keyser

    “Funny to see people champion Sterling and slag off Walcott in the same sentence. Both are, at the moment, average average average”

    Lol yeah, not soo bad.. Oh wait :

    “One last thing – for all the bullshit Bamford’s spitting out about Sterling, I would bet my deceased grandmother’s priced heirloom that he has only seen him play on the very odd occasion.”

  11. Ozy

    Again, not attracting attention (attracting the attention of one person..?) or trying to be edgy – but rather dismissing Bamford’s side in the argument as he was pretty much the central figure of said argument. We can do this all night, Keyser. Not sure what the aim is here.

  12. Bamford10

    Ozy

    “called your bullshit out”

    Except you still haven’t managed to point out what I said that was “bullshit” or “absurd”. You want to know why? Because I said no such thing. You just don’t like me, so you decided to jump in, and in the process you made an ass of yourself.

    Keyser

    I’ve never claimed to have a “superior intellect”. Maybe you’re thinking of London? Not me, though. If I did, please dig up the quote.

    (And please don’t dig up examples of my demeaning others’ intelligence rhetorically. That is done by nearly all on here regularly, and I could dig up the same for you many times over.)

  13. tunnygriffboy

    Liverpool sign Ings. Added to Milner. Are we jealous ?

    They now have Ballotelli, Borini, Lambert , Ings and Origi as their strikeforce with Sturridge not back until October. Amazing that we are fractious and worried about upgrading Giroud, Welbeck and Walcott !

  14. peanuts&monkeys

    Whats this Zlatan banter doing the rounds?? Is there even a flake of truth in that rumour?

    I will be overjoyed even if Wenger can shed his ego and connect with Zlatan.

  15. Emiratesstroller

    tunnygriffboy

    I am not worried about the type of signings that Liverpool are making, but at least they are being proactive in transfer market.

    Paris St Germain by all accounts are about to sign Lacazette and both Man Utd and Juventus have also made signings as well.

    It seems to me that Arsenal are always at the back of the queue when transfer business is to be done. I would like to see them being proactive for a change.

    They should have made up their minds by now about which positions should
    be upgraded and which players to pursue. It seems to me that Arsenal negotiations are always long drawn out affairs and they would rather walk away than
    pay what many other club will agree to.

    Let’s be clear there are today very limited options available for calibre of players that we should be buying. We need to be at front of queue and not sitting on our hands as usual.

  16. tunnygriffboy

    Emirates

    Bit harsh mate. Lpool signed free agents

    It’s possible the targets we want are wanted by otherclubs as well, also their clubs may not want to sell and they maybe involved in internationals this week. For all we know we may already be negotiating behind the scenes

    As you say we are after specific elite signings. This may take a bit of time to happen. The season finished only a week ago and the window officially opens on1st July

  17. Le Prof

    Emirates

    Other clubs may be proactive in the transfer market now and signing players but realistically do we want any of the players being signed?

    You can’t blame the club for not signing players we don’t want. We will make signings but we should learn that we can’t second guess AW.

  18. Le Prof

    Tunny

    ‘For all we know we may already be negotiating behind the scenes’

    Agreed. There are so many things that go on behind the scenes regarding agents, players and advisors that we’ll never fully know. The groundwork for any signings this summer would of already being completed in the months leading up to the the window oppening.

  19. karim

    Keyser
    Sorry, no wifi last night….
    Yeah, France got annihilated by a very good and athletic Belgium. Yeah, it was a friendly.
    Of course people will say there was no Benz, Pogba, Evra…
    Still, it’s worrying.
    Cabaye and Sagna starting didn’t help as they lack game time badly.
    Giroud and Koscielny ( ! ) were awful, 1st time I’ve seenFrance concede 4 at home in my lifetime….
    2 nice goals in the dying minutes don’t change the whole picture, it was embarrassing. Still, 3/4 better than 1/4, ain’t it ?

    I think the French were on holidays while Belgium was on competition mode as they have a decisive game Vs Wales next week.

  20. Samesong

    Liverpool sign Ings. Added to Milner. Are we jealous ?

    Definetly not

    Brendan buying players that will hardly make any improvement.

  21. Emiratesstroller

    tunnygriffboy

    These players were signed in July/August.

    The point is that Liverpool have signed two players already. It does not matter
    whether it is Bosmans or Transfers the point is that they are getting their business done before other teams move in the market.

    The situation becomes even more acute when you are looking for high grade
    players. Let’s be honest most other major clubs seldom take as long as we do to complete transfers.

  22. tunnygriffboy

    Jim

    Perhaps one of the most ludicrous rumours so far. It’ll be Bobby Moore soon 🙂

    So far we have been linked with the following:

    Schneiderlin
    Kondogbia
    Carvalho
    Cabaye
    Wanyama
    Bentaleb
    Martinez
    Vidal
    Lacazette
    Higuain
    Fekir

    To name but a few. Problem is the window is so hypedthat everytime one of these isbought by another club or aclubbuys a player we don’t need we all get our pitch forks out, stamp our feet and abuse the club something chronic

    Realistically we’ll see two, possibly three signings.

  23. St freak

    Daily mail……arsenal preparing a BIBLICAL SWOOP for God, Jesus and Poseidon….. Don’t click it, it’s tripe. Don’t do it. Don’t….damn it. I can’t help myself. Surprise surprise, Utter tripe.

  24. tunnygriffboy

    Emirates

    How do you know that we’re not negotiating with clubs ?

    For example if we’re chasing Kondogbia. The fee has to be agreed. There may be competition from other clubs which is likely as he is a talent. Wages have to be agreed. There are also other details that need sorting

    Possibly we have alist of targets we are working our way through. We just don’t know so there is little point in everyone getting stressed and whipping people into a frenzy. If we’ve not signed anyone come beginning of season then is the time to get anxious. Our season starts first weekend in August. Ridiculous.

  25. Goondawg

    Giroud was awful yesterday. So easy to defend against. You stick more than one man on him, and he is done for. Rare enough he beats one man, two is near impossible. He had no service all game, tbf. Crosses wouldnt even beat the first man. For Arsenal we need a better striker, that can interchange and play with a fluid front three like barca, not an immobile striker who plays back to goal. Crazy, how we have the best no.10 in the world, but we still havent unlocked his full potential with us.

    Really hope we buy a mobile striker that can run behind the lines. Ibra may not have the legs, but he sure has the finish.

    Also why does Koscielny always seem shit for France? He was worse than Giroud.What is up with that? Dont think he is going to ever start a big game for Les Bleus

  26. gambon

    Jesus

    Liverpool doing whatever they can to ensure they stay out of the top 4.

    Milner and Danny Ings, lol.

    Geraard is better than both even at the age of 43 or whatever he is.

  27. tunnygriffboy

    Goondawg

    Think perhaps French players on the beach. They’ve had no competitive games since the WC as they hosting the Euros. Belguim got a massive game v Wales onFFriday

    When Giroudcame back after his injury after Christmas he looked really sharp and a handful for about 10 weeks scoring at a ridiculous level. Then he slumped, looking fatigued. I think he needs to be able to rest to remain sharp so we do need an alternative

    Do you mean a mobile striker like Theo in the cup final ? I know it was Villa but theycould handle the movement and fluidapproach play of Ramsey Walnut, Alexis and Ozil.

  28. Le Prof

    Emirates

    ‘We may well be negotiating, but that is not the issue. What interests me is the
    ‘completion’.’

    As long as we complete, isn’t it worth taking that bit longer for the right player?

    And by taking a bit longer I dont mean the last day of the transfer window. Who ever comes in needs a decent pre season to help integrate properly.

  29. Leedsgunner

    ” It seems to me that Arsenal are always at the back of the queue when transfer business is to be done. I would like to see them being proactive for a change.”

    Me too. I might be mistaken but in years past didn’t we have Podolski and Giroud signed up by now? I’m a bit puzzled by what the papers are reporting regarding Schneiderlin, that we are now “baulking” at the asking price of £25m £45m I can understand but £25m? It seems like a reasonable price for a player who is EPL ready, approaching the peak of his career and hungry to challenge himself at the highest level.

    Especially if we sell Campbell for £6m… we would be getting a top player for less than £20m. Isn’t Wenger always saying he’s not afraid to spend on top quality? Here’s quality, stop dithering and get him.

    Time to put your wallet where your mouth is Arsene otherwise just spare us the platitudes and shut up.

  30. Emiratesstroller

    The point about Schneiderlein is that he can fulfil two roles in team both as DMF and as CMF.

    My worry is that Wenger has now decided not to buy a DMF and gamble on either Flamini or Arteta being back up for Coquelin.

    He has options in CMF with Cazorla,Ramsey and Wilshire.

  31. Leedsgunner

    I hope I’m wrong but all the Arturo Vidal stories have a ring of the Higuain and Hazard about them where in previous years we were supposed to have virtually signed them up only for the deal collapse.

    Is Vidal over his knee problems? I would love him here but we need a player we can rely on physically. We have too many crocks as it is.

  32. Goondawg

    tunny

    I dont think Walcott is our answer to CF. I cant see him getting even a sniff of goal against, packed defences like Swansea or Chelsea

    True, France did look lacklustre as if they didnt give a shit, but they still looked far less shoddier than a lacklustre England team. My god that match was awful. Only Wilshere was the bright spark. They rest looked like they have never kicked ball before.

  33. Leedsgunner

    “My worry is that Wenger has now decided not to buy a DMF and gamble on either Flamini or Arteta being back up for Coquelin.”

    Yep, because they really did a GREAT job didn’t they at the beginning of the year before Coquelin arrived like the cavalry to rescue his sorry arse inDecember. (Which was a stroke of luck not planned genius)

    What if Coquelin gets injured because he’s overplayed? What happened to learning from our mistakes?

    Same mistakes, same results.

  34. Relieable sauce

    Tunny

    Just being mischievious ; ) He doesnt join them until Jan either due to their “transfer ban”…???

    i’m not going to get worked up over incomings just yet, most seem to agree partly on what needs to be done, lets wait & see.

    I would like to see TW’s contract sorted out ASAP though, we cant allow this to drag on again & disrupt our summers dealings.

  35. Gregg

    So even though they have a transfer ban, Barcelona can still sign players but not play them until January. Not really a ban is it. Then again they’re allowed to pick up the referee’s spray markings, chuck it aside and nothing gets done to them. Great footballing side that’s allowed to get away with murder.

  36. Goondawg

    It’s Alexeis Vidal from Sevilla, I think he is touted as their Daniel Alves replacement. Havent seen much of him. Arturo Vidal is still on the cards. 😛

  37. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Havent seen much of him”

    Fantastic player – very young too. Hopefully that means Bellerin is left alone 😀

  38. Romford Ozil Pele

    Wouldn’t be getting your knickers in a twist about signings. Both of Liverpool’s signings have been free transfers, lot easier to negotiate. If we’re looking at bigger players then presumably it’ll take longer to complete.

    Surprised people give so much kudos to what the newspapers say. If the last 18 years have taught us anything, it’s that nobody can really second guess what Wenger is gonna do. I change opinion everyday on who I think we may sign. Currently I don’t think we’ll sign another DM at all though I hope i’m wrong.

    Big Benz’s agent killed off all the speculation too 🙁

  39. Marko

    He plays right wing though but they’re converting him to right back it seems. Seems unnecessary when you’ve got Glen Johnson available…. I jest honestly

  40. Romford Ozil Pele

    “He plays right wing though but they’re converting him to right back it seems.”

    He can play right wing but it’s mostly RB. Alves was the same when Barca signed him from Sevilla all those years back. Sevilla just got Konoplyanka.

  41. Romford Ozil Pele

    Lol Danny Ings is 22?! In what lifetime? Dude looks minimum 30. Channeling his inner Diego Costa.

  42. Goondawg

    Marko

    True lol. They just listed all the clubs that would be interested, namely every big club.

    I do imagine him to leave PSG though. He has really fallen out with the french media and public.. Think he said France is a shit country and doesn’t deserve PSG or something along the lines.. He’s been given his marching others and ordered to leave France by some politicians after that!

    Whether he does move to the EPL, which is listed as one of his regrets, remains to be seen.. AC milan would be interested in bringing him back, but they are shit. Mourinho and him have disagreements. Wenger may be deterred by the incident when he was 19 years old and refused a trial.

    Still though, you never know… Maybe Kim Kallstrom put in a good word.

  43. Relieable sauce

    “The transformation of Premier League club profitability will fuel even greater global investor interest in Premier league clubs” – Dan Jones, head of Delloite’s sports business group.

    – Englands top division also generate in excess of £1 bn more than its nearest rival, Germany’s Bundesliga.

  44. Romford Ozil Pele

    “Wenger may be deterred by the incident when he was 19 years old and refused a trial.”

    That amongst many other things.

    The fact that this soon-to-be 34 year-old is still earning over 300k pw is probably the biggest factor.

  45. MadeToLoveMagic

    Fuck Ibrah guys

    What are you lot like sometimes?? Eh?

    He is an old prima donna who thinks he shits kinder eggs. His wages would be so high and would have a negative effect on the whole balance of the squad..

    NO THANKS

  46. Cesc Appeal

    I agree with ES, it would not shock me to see Wenger gamble on the squad as it is, he was willing to gamble with Arteta and Flamini last year, 5 defenders and just Giroud…we shouldn’t be shocked if now, being in a better place Wenger wrongfully thinks he’s sorted.

    I certainly think we will have the same squad by August 2nd when we take on Chelsea.

    Ibrahimovic rumours are hilarious, not a chance Wenger would bring in a player like that, he wouldn’t worship Wenger and I don’t think Arsene would be able to control him.

  47. Relieable sauce

    Someone at the club is surely going to spunk 30+ big ones on someone. Its tradition.
    Probably be a small #10 if Arsene gets his way, Gotze wouldnt totally suprise me.

    We should have signed TH as DOF, would be more confident about the summer tbh.
    : /

  48. Blsany

    Why are England always happy with the 4th place trophy? They are mentally weak. Why oh why don’t they go out and buy a proper spine – a box to box DM, a proper defender, a proper other defender, some proper full backs, a proper winger a big man in the box, a fox in the box, Francis Coquelin, a new Messsi, and a left-field defensive exterminator?

    Wenger Out!

  49. karim

    Naingollan was brilliant for Belgium, scored with a powerful strike too.
    French subs did well though, Payet and Fekir both scored while N’tep had an assist and was a real threat for his first cap.

  50. MadeToLoveMagic

    I think if arsenal are going to compete next season they need

    an entire new squad
    A new manager and back room staff
    A new stadium
    New fans

    Even then we may struggle

  51. Goondawg

    I agree though, Ibra is a player Arsene would never want. Our team chemistry is looking good, everyone seems to get along, no way would we look to disrupt that balance.

  52. Romford Ozil Pele

    Karim – heard a few things about Ntep. I remember we were linked the year Sanogo joined. He seems good?

    Fekir doing bits *licks lips*

  53. Fufina

    The Ibra rumours are just silly season fluff pieces… and he is 33…. and an egotisitical madman….

    Would LOVE him to sign, one of the most enjoyable players in world football – totally world class and i think the one thing this team lacks is a total alpha male. He can score goals and do things no one else in world football would even try. Would force teams to try and get a goal against us because he can score out of nothing at any time.

    Tough contract to work out. He is on a shit load of cash at PSG, would probably want 3 years worth of contract and plus the transfer fee that is a massive risk…

    But i would absolutely Kevin Keegan ‘LOVE IT’ if we signed him.

  54. karim

    ROP
    yes he is.
    Super fast, powerful, even starts scoring goals..
    Could have won young player of the year and was the only danger in his Rennes team all year long.
    Looks destined for England imo.
    His ego and general behaviour can be questioned but we will certainly hear about him rather sooner than later.

    Came in along with Fekir and Payet while France was 3 goals down and did a lot on his left wing.

    Fekir was a bit quieter but still managed to score a good goal.

    France need to get rid of Sagna, Cabaye and Giroud for good imo.

    Have to go to work, have a good afternoon guys !

  55. igbo amadi-obi

    Clearly, Alex doesn’t believe Santi should go, whether we sell him or he leaves to finish his career on a high in Spain. So Pedro is in the minority! 🙂

    Schneiderlin appears to be injury-prone. Personally, following the re-discovery of Coquelin, I don’t think we desperately need a DM. Not sure Scneiderlin would be happy deputizing for Coquelin, or vice versa. Should Coq get injured, we can always draft Ramsey or Wilshere into that position.

    So I think we need a striker, as a matter of priority. Talk about Martinez seems to have died down. At 29, I thought he was rather not ideal. What do I know? United got RVP at 29. Barca got Henry at 29. Ronaldo is 29. Who wouldn’t have him??

    I’m just tired of reading how we want to sign Benzema every window, and nothing ever happens. I think we need a fox-in-the-box type of striker like Arguero or Suarez (or Walcott). Benzema and Giroud seem to be too similar in style.