A brief history of Arsene’s transfers

by .


Arsene Wenger has come unstuck in time.

He has gone to sleep manager of a team that has averaged 4th place in the league over the last decade and awoken holding aloft the Premier League trophy in 2004.

He walks through a door in 2004 and comes out of another one in 2011. He’s sitting in his office waiting for a call from Dick Law.

Finally the phone rings, “Valencia want £8m more for Mata than we think he’s worth.”

There’s a pause. “Pull the deal.”

“But Arsene, we’ve just lost Fabregas and Nasri, we’re short in midfield and…”

“Pull the deal.” The phone goes dead. So it goes.

He wakes up in 2013 having just told Yaya Sanogo he is starting up front against Bayern Munich in the Champions League. So it goes.

Now he’s in 2008 explaining to a room full of journalists that Amaury Bishcoff is a “gamble on talent”. He wakes up three months earlier having let Flamini, Gilberto and Lassana Diarra leave the club. So it goes.

It’s the Summer of 2014. Arsene is on a high having won his first trophy in nine years. The team is full of confidence going into the new season, but there’s a problem. Arsene only has two senior centre backs for a 60 game season. The window shuts and Arsene doesn’t blink an eye. So. It. Goes.

I don’t know whether Arsene Wenger exists in all time simultaneously and so can thus predict future events, or its just that Arsenal fans are trapped in a nightmarish Groundhog Day; but clearly something cosmic is going on here.

Arsene has obviously seen into the future and it’s so unbelievably successful that all this baffling decision making and under performance will finally be justified with decades and decades of trophies and he will be exonerated, knighted and beatified. There’s no other way to explain it.

I’m not going to rehearse the arguments as Pedro did that well enough yesterday. Arsenal needed a world class keeper, a world class forward and cover at DM. We got the first one, and did fantastically well to get him early.

But then nothing.

The true believers bemoan the difficulty of signing world class players. Well yes it is hard; when was the last time a world class player moved on a free transfer? That’s why you have a plan, you have ambition, you start early, and crucially, you have a scouting network that provides you with alternatives in case your first choice falls through. Asking PSG, a club with absolutely no need to sell, about the availability of three of their top players the day before the window shuts is not a plan, it’s banter so concentrated that it burns the roof of your mouth.

I was so confident at the start of this season. I thought if we could continue the great run of form we showed last year and make those last two signings we’d be formidable. Instead we’ve started this season like we did the last: overly confident with no regard for tactics or how our opponents set up, ridiculous substitutions and an under-resourced squad. So it goes.

Above I mentioned the “true believers”. I think we are now at a stage where WOB and AKB are redundant terms. There are only “true believers”, those who will steadfastly stick to their view no matter what the evidence shows, while maintaining an Oedipal/Kim Jong Il-esque obsession with Arsene Wenger; and everyone else. If you are reading this post you are almost certainly the latter. My advice to you when you meet the former is just smile and nod politely when they start screaming at you about “perspective”, “FFP” and “support the team” (as if you haven’t been doing that the whole bloody time).

Despite my gloom, we have a game against Stoke coming up which I am very much looking forward to. That’s the beauty of football I guess.  The other paradox is that despite my desperately wishing we sign Carlo Ancelotti as our manager next Summer, I’d much prefer Arsene to win the league and for all my ranting and raving to have been in vain.

Unfortunately neither of those two eventualities seem likely at the moment. So it goes.

You can follow me on twitter @aldo_doel have a lovely day x

644 Responses to “A brief history of Arsene’s transfers”

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  1. N5

    CA, it’s very dictatorial at the ground. I know some stewards on here disagree, but I’ve been told to sit when we were attacking! I’ve been threatened with ejection because I called Adebayor a cunt! I could understand it if I stood all game and didn’t stop swearing but the ground is a million miles from what you could do at Highbury.

    I love the size of the ground and the comfortable seats, but that’s all, I wish I was back in my West Stand seat of Highbury where it was much more laid back.

  2. N5

    Sauce, I know the middle lot all go inside to their prawn sandwiches but down in the slums where I am, I can’t imagine it fitting to many down by the food/toilets. At the end of the game it can take ages to filter through there and I imagine it being the same in a protest.

    I agree it would make a visible powerful protest, but CBBH is right, it would be a logistical nightmare.

  3. Cesc Appeal

    Thing is organisation on the scale of a stadium full will be impossible, particularly with differing opinions and what have you.

    I’ve always thought though the best thing would be to distribute false twenties to the season ticket holders, let them walk in, stick them to their seats and then leave…sort of saying, this is all I am to you, my voice doesn’t matter, our happiness doesn’t matter, we’re a wallet on legs and you’re using our affection and connection to this club to milk us dry.

    So there you go, you don’t need me here, my chants, my scarf, all you want is this bank note here.

  4. N5

    RSPCA is bang on, sometimes you can see that ground is about 15k light but the tannoy voice always always says the full capacity or there abouts as the stadiums attendance that match.

    He’s said it before and I’ve been looking round thinking well they must have all needed a piss then.

    Once the tickets sold the club doesn’t care if your in your seat or not.

  5. Cesc Appeal

    ‘Once the tickets sold the club doesn’t care if your in your seat or not.’

    This is it.

    They don’t care whether you’re happy, or even that you attend, just as long as you parted with your cash…funny, they don’t care about your concepts of value and ridiculous inflation, lucky fans aren’t like Arsene Wenger isn’t it?

  6. Relieable Sauce


    Walk out, leave the stadium, go to a pub or go home.

    Something like that may happen anyway, or fights between fans & stewards when we are getting spanked in a big televised match.

    Something to liven the season up.

  7. Follow the money

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all that they’ve fixed it so the airspace over the stadium is off limits during games.

  8. TheBayingMob

    “RSPCA is bang on, sometimes you can see that ground is about 15k light but the tannoy voice always always says the full capacity or there abouts as the stadiums attendance that match. ”

    The club have to officially record the number of tickets sold and the actual attendance (head count, in effect) to the Premier League within about 10 days of any home match. With the intelligent entry systems they know exactly how many people actually rocked up, and what’s more they have to officially record this (tax purposes I suppose, most of us will remember yesteryear when clubs would stop counting at the turnstyles so they could turn in a cash-in-hand tax free lump sum of a match day) … They just don’t officially announce it; it’s bizarre really, it’s very North Korea of them not to, just bizarre PR …

    Arsenal have become all about spin and just flat out fucking lying to the fans. Like the time Kim Jong-Il hit 5 hole in ones in a 38 under par round the first time he ever played golf. Lol.

  9. Wallace

    Cesc Appeal

    “Can we stop using the word ‘optimist’ as well, doesn’t really fit, it’s not optimism, it’s Wenger defence.”

    nope, i like Wenger, but i’m an Arsenal fan first and foremost.

    you really have to allow those with a different opinion to express those opinions. quite a few of the more pro-Arsenal posters have stopped contributing recently, and you can’t really blame them the abuse they get when they do come on here. it’s a lot less interesting place when it’s just a bunch of furious people venting 24/7.

  10. Jeff

    Over the last 10 years, the glossy exterior shine has been steadily peeling away. Those of us with their eyes open now know with absolute certainty that the idea of doing anything you possibly can to bring top trophies to the club is dead and buried. When it will be resurrected again is anyone’s guess.

    Here is the empirical evidence.

    1. Wenger will not spend to win major trophies – he will only spend to finish among the CL places. This has been conveyed to us many times by the words “we cannot compete with City and Chelsea” and “finishing fourth is like a trophy” – see this link from back in 2012 http://www.espnfc.co.uk/story/1201095/arsene-wenger-fourth-place-like-a-trophy.

    2. Kroenke has allowed Wenger to adopt and continue with this policy since 2006/2007 when he first appeared on the scene. He only bought the club outright in 2011.

    3. Therefore both Wenger and Kroenke are singing from the same hymn sheet and there is no reason to expect that to change. That means nobody at the club can do or say anything to Wenger.

    The main reason for the lies and the fake promises is to keep the fans in check – at least the huge number of those who still dote on Wenger – repeating his excuses whenever possible backed up by resounding endorsements and propitiations from the board. With ticket sales guaranteed and reasonable sponsors assured, how can he possibly lose? The only losers in this formula are the fans.

    There is really only one question that I’m not sure about which is why it is difficult to give a prognosis on the future when Wenger finally leaves. Whose idea was it? This finishing fourth business – whose brainchild was it – Wenger or Kroenke? Now we know that Kroenke is not interested in glory but we also know about Wenger’s socialist outlook. It’s like a match made in hell from the club’s point of view. Seeing all the oil money going into the game, did Wenger decide there and then that it is useless trying to compete – that it would only drive the club to bankruptcy and put forward this toothless “self-sustaining” model? Or did Kroenke come up with that all by himself? We’ll never know.

    Because we don’t know this, we also don’t know what dynamics will be in place once Wenger abdicates. Will the new manager want to go for major trophies, will he be allowed to or will he try to follow in Wenger’s footsteps?

    We have to hope and pray that it is the former. The prognosis for the future is largely unknown.

    From a purely footballing side of things, we know that what happens on the pitch and who gets to play on it is purely within Wenger’s remit and we have also come to know over the years (again those of us with our eyes open), that a manager who is tactically clued up, understands the modern game and is able to adapt and change according to which opponent we play – can only improve us and we may dare to dream that even with the Kroenke set up intact, a different manager, a better manager can and will do more and achieve more.

    If we can’t compete financially, then let us at least compete on the pitch.

  11. Wallace


    “Being pro Wenger and being pro Arsenal are two two different things.”

    i like them both. but yeah, le grove will be an interesting place when Wenger does leave.

  12. Thank you and goodnight

    Apparently Wenger knew last week that welbeck needed an op on his knee and will be out till Xmas. ……oooopsy

  13. warchester

    Arsenal and Wenger are inseparable at the moment because wenger controls every footballing decision. So if you want the team to do well, you would want Wenger to do well. And that’s the paradox. It’s either we challenge or don’t. But it doesn’t help that these Wenger backers have a 20 year timeline….It’s fine for them to go slow and steady if Wenger can win once in 20 years…it’s all justified. The only positive for you if you think he’s the wrong manager is that he’s getting up there in age

  14. ADKB

    Well, well, well. Isn’t this ridiculouly embarrassing or embarrassingly ridiculous? Welbeck out for months and we couldn’t buy a striker? Why wait until the transfer window has shut before having the operation and announcing the news?

    Surely some people knew Welbeck’s injured and probably needed surgery for some time now. Wouldn’t it have made sense to decide on the operation or get a fit striker in when it was still possible?

    Oh I forgot, this is Arsenal, we don’t do “sense”. It’s only financial gain that counts.

    Kroenke out!!! Wenger out!!!

  15. Uwot?

    Can’t we beg usmanov to finally make an offer “syrup” can’t refuse?either that or another Arab to roll up?anything.i mean anything has got to be better than this endless cycle of inactivity & please,please don’t give me any of this ” be careful what you wish for bollocks!”

  16. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    U have to admit the welbeck debacle is going to need a lot of spin from the club?

    With welbeck injured all summer why allow akpom out on loan ?

    Nah wenger has nowhere to hide on this one.

  17. Cech's Big Black Helmet


    It’s not my job to spin it. We should of had an extra CF in this window.

    There’s nowhere to hide this season and its on him whether or not belief in the team and cohesion was a good enough reason not to buy anyone.

    Good season or bad season you know whose doorstep it’ll fall at…

  18. Bamford10

    Watching highlights of Belgium v. Bosnia-H, one could not help but see that:

    1. we lack quality
    2. even Edin Dzeko would’ve improved us
    3. Witsel certainly would’ve improved us
    4. Kevin De Bruyne is a fantastic player

    Sadly, Arsenal will be irrelevant on the world stage for yet another season, for no reason other than an old man’s hang-up’s and delusions.

    Wenger out.

  19. CD

    The funniest failure was Gary Cahill where Arsene bid like £8m with 12 months left of his contract with Bolton and Owen Coyle called the bid insulting and refused to talk to Wenger again. Bolton ended up keeping him and selling him for Chelsea in January with six months left of his contract for £7m instead and so it goes.

    Sure, Gary Cahill might not be the best defender in the league but he’s homegrown and an England international and Arsenal has been really short in defence the last couple of years for no reason and surely could’ve used him. But Wenger preferred to save a few million pounds in the vault and keep dithering.

  20. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    But why would a manager apply so much pressure on himself when he has financial resources to cure?
    Even a short term loan ?
    Now they may not be arsenal quality but he could have spent on
    Murray short term loan
    Berahino ( dodged a bullet there)

    Lord he did it with park for so long ?
    When we had bendtner as well!

    Your right should it go tits up only one culpable person,

  21. Arsene's Nurse

    Click on the article and note the date.

    “It is much slower than expected,” the Arsenal manager said. “It was a bone bruising at the start. You think that it will be quite quick. He is an important player for us and the fact that he is not available is a bit of a concern.”

    There is no sense that any kind of surgery is needed or would be particularly helpful. “That is what I have been told,” Wenger said. “It is bone bruising and nothing wrong at all. They have done all kinds of scans that today are very sophisticated and some of them I don’t understand at all. But they tell me no.”


    Yep 14 August 2015.

    So they did all these sophisticated scans but nothing showed up. Then we are told he requires surgery for an unrelated problem after coming back to training. Wenger says it’s a concern but does nothing in the transfer window. Someone has fucked up.

    Ray Parlour: “I was down at the training ground the other week. Arsene Wenger hasn’t changed his training tactics in ten years” https://twitter.com/__arsenalnews_/status/551761296723836928

    It’s a fact that we suffer more muscle related injuries than any other club. I wonder if our conditioning routines are as stale as the tactical training. Something isn’t right with what they do at Arsenal.

  22. blsany

    What the fuck Le fraud cant even train his players properly?What a knob.Wellbeck is slowly looking like a huge money flushed down the toilet just like Chambers.God i am so fed up with AFC stockpiling average players.

  23. Dark Hei

    Arsene’s Nurse

    Wenger is still in “back to the future” mode when it comes to transfers.

    But they do exercises differently nowadays. Shard is the man in charge accordingly to Wilshire. Go check the interview on Men’s fitness.

    Perhaps, my point is that it is pointless to wind yourself up and burst your blood pressure since Wegner is not going to be around to see that happen and suddenly becomes guilty and resign or something.

    Easy for me to say of course. I stay in the far east. I don’t watch live games. I just pay a token subscription fee and watch matches on Arsenal.com. Chill guys; if you can’t stomach it, cut down on the commitment. Take a cue from me, when Arsenal lose, I go hide myself in a hole and stay off the internet.

  24. Goondawg

    Oxlade Chamberlain has also admitted the last two years he has been playing through pain. Dunno what’s going on in the Wenger Camp but it stinks.

    Now Welbeck is welrekt, what does everyone think about playing Ramsey as striker in a sort of ‘false 9’ position? Watched the Cyprus game yesterday and he struck me as a good option to have. He never stops running and loves having a pop at goal. I’m sure Ozil would rather feed wild Rambo than static Giroud

  25. Dark Hei


    I think when Pedro says that he wants a new DM, what he means is that he wants a big and strong dude who passes the ball like Arteta and resurrect the 2013 Ramsey who plays almost like a 2nd striker off Giroud who then becomes a target man rather than a goal scorer.

  26. Up 4 Grabs Now


    playing Ramsey as striker in a sort of ‘false 9′ position?
    if we play 442 that might work with giroud up top got to be better than playing him on the wing!

  27. Up 4 Grabs Now

    Rewatched the liverpool game last weekend, and the one thing that kept happening was Giroud out on the left wing with the ball and nobody in the box.
    if giroud is your box man he should, you know actually be in the box!

  28. Goondawg

    Debuchy wants to leave the club. What a pathetic loser lol. We need to stop buying such weak minded players. He loses his place and his first notion is to leave and not fight for his place? He had his chance against Chelsea and West Ham and he was not up to scratch. Good thing we have Jenkinson in the wings. Watched the highlights of U21 Spanish game, and Bellerin is calm and composed, looks a notch above the other players. Hopefully Barca or Real Madrid don’t come calling any time soon, because he can be a first starter for the next decade or so

  29. Carts


    He was never better than Sagna. He look hard as fuck but really was only ever good enough for teams like Newcastle. Overrated by so many in here when we weren’t looking to extend Sagna’s deal.

  30. Carts


    I remember a team requiring a similar figure per head to be bought out. I know it wasn’t Utd as theirs was the Red Knight Group.

    But yeah, we need to buy a PROPER stake in the club. Kroenke and Wenger are dick riding to the sound of money