PESKY AGENTS MEDDLING

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Some in the Italian media are reporting that Arsenal have moved to official bid stage when it comes to Dusan Vlahovic.

Here is what I don’t understand: If AFC knew who they were targeting in October, why does it take until Jan 17 to place a bid?

I am just asking that, it’s not a criticism, I’m still in the ‘don’t know what you’re talking about’ dog house after thinking the Arsenal press release was too naive. We might not have even placed a bid here.

What does seem clear from factual evidence sourced in the FT is the agents of Dusan are the worst kind. They tried to extract £6.69m in fees from Fiorentina just to keep the player there. I read one random thread that stated there could be as many as 15 parties trying to extract fees from this transfer. Edu is more than comfortable running in those circles, the guy was shameless enough to put Willian, his agents player, on £250k a week and do the signing at the Kia’s house. Not sure he’s getting that sort of long leash these days. Certain clubs might indulge mega agents, but I don’t think Arsenal are rich enough to be adding 10-15% on top of a big fee… did I say rich? Stupid.

This is another total guess out here, but I’d imagine part of the push from Arsenal to the player will be, ‘fuck your agent, do what you need to do to go to the next level in your career.’ I really don’t understand why so many players are happy to let their agents extract so much cash from their deals. If I were the star and I knew 15 parties were leaching onto my deal, I’d put a stop to it. If an agent is slowing you down, creating a bad rep for you, and cratering your options, then you have the wrong agent. There’s a story doing the rounds in Spain that Ousmane Dembélé was set to sign with Xavi; his agent Moussa Sissokho held a meeting with the club, was very rude, demanded 200m euros over 4 years for the player, and 40m euros for himself. It’s amusing because who doesn’t like to see Barca getting rolled like that, but it does speak to a wider issue… some agents are poison. Going back to Fiorentina, their owner basically confirmed that Gattuso joined and told him which players to sign, and at what fees. The owner told him to go fuck himself and that was the end of that.

There will be a reckoning at some point, the money made around the edges of football is often far from clean, and no one ever seems to pay a price for wrongdoing. I suspect Italy will drop the first show with the price fixing scandal that’s engulfed a load of clubs, then we’ll see if the UK or Spain decide to move on it. No doubt an ex-Arsenal person is sweating about that somewhere in the French Riviera right now.

Arsenal fans took the banter to new levels yesterday, we’re all united online, which makes a nice change, and the misguided pundits looking for retweets and likes at our expense took a battering yesterday. There was a common feature amongst them all. Those that took jabs at Arsenal for postponing the game had NOTHING to say when Liverpool postponed in scandalous fashion. Absolutely zip.

Now, this is a kind of bias, and I won’t have anyone pretend it isn’t so. Jurgen Klopp is the new Alex Ferguson in the media. He has a lot of love from fans, he’s a winner, so journalists don’t want to cross him. They don’t want to lose access, get spanked by him in front of their friends, and it seems there’s a bit of an unwritten rule about criticising him. All is not well at camp Liverpool, but no one writes about it. The German rockstar drew 11 false positives, there was no Martin Lipton hit piece about it, the big journo Twitter accounts didn’t debate the moral bankruptcy of it all, no one questioned their sporting intent. Even when the EFL investigated, the story was written in an almost apologetic manner. Why? Because he has the power.

Arsenal are the whipping boys in the media still. Arteta doesn’t have enough credibility yet. In most lines of business, your reputation doesn’t update in real time, it takes a bit longer. Arsenal should be getting more respect, but we don’t, because we’re still seen as easy prey. Our time will come though, I think Arteta is doing a good job in his press conferences, and there will be a time when he has a bit more edge to him, and journalists have to think twice about whether they want to cross an Arsenal manager that might be around for a long time (or at another fancy club).

Arsene Wenger had the power in the media. Everyone wanted him to answer their question. The big journalists didn’t want to write about his clear demise or ask him tough questions. Every time our season crashed, they all ran to his defence with ‘the warchest is coming’ and ‘there have been internal meetings and Arsene really took this season’s failings hard, he’s going to fix it.’

We are all bias at heart. In our jobs, there is always an element of self-preservation. So when big names ignore bigger names doing bad things, it’s not an accident, it’s because no one wants to damage their career writing things that piss off the biggest names.

Onto other stories. The Arthur Melo story seems to have died a death. The player was subbed at halftime versus Juventus last night and the press in Italy is reporting the loan is off. I cannot say I will miss this rumour, it’s emergency cover at best, so if we have to look elsewhere, then that will work for me.

Miguel Azeez has been recalled from his loan with Portsmouth under the guidance of Dan Cowley. He had this to say.

“There are some areas of his game that are beyond this level and other areas that he needs to keep working at, as with any young player.”

“I have absolutely no doubt that he’ll go on to become a top player..” “We’ve been impressed with his focus and commitment to improve.

I’m not sure if we’ve recalled because we need him in our midfield or Ben Knapper has another loan move up his sleeve.

Auba is going to come back to Arsenal for further treatment. The Gabonese star has rumoured heart lesions. I have no idea what that’s related to, but there’s been a stint of athletes with heart issue post-covid. Good luck to the player, I hope whatever the problem is, it can be fixed.

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Mb

Kolasinac will play better in center mid than Xhaka.

In sid’s world, you can take this to bank.

Unoni

Mb

I loved Wenger but I felt he mishandled sanchez
He could have offered him what he wanted and brought a striker to compliment him and ozil, (Didn’t like ozil from beifre his arsenal days) but he let our best player leave for nothing.
This was him not knowing how to deal with the ego of a big player yet again but this time with no internal solution or no new nugget from Europe for peanuts to fill the void. It was the end of him

WengerEagle

Unoni

Bale should not be mentioned with the other two, he won Real Madrid x2 of those CL Finals with winners and was elite for them in his first few seasons.

LoveSausage

Unoni, You’re not wrong. It’s fairly common that good players (not only Arsenal) struggle to adapt to a new league, tactical system, culture, etc. My point was more about the fact that players want to play with the best because they believe it will help them hit the next level. Not just to be guaranteed medals. And we know that many of our top players left because they were tired of playing in an environment that made average players comfortable (Fabregas, RvP etc). Arteta has on occasion taken things a bit too far when he’s dealt with individual players. But… Read more »

Unoni

Eagle

I did think that when I was sending but I stuck with him because while he did well there and did score elite goals in finals in which he won, his level wasn’t the same at Madrid and he suffered due to his personality and being less equipped to cope on the piranha tank at Madrid.

WengerEagle

Diego Carlos asking to leave 2nd placed Sevilla for a move to Newcastle, shows that money really does talk.

He’s a brilliant defender, Gosens a really good signing too as is Trippier.

DivineSherlock

Paolo Dybala will be available on a free in the summer , just saying.

Unoni

Sausage

Oh I get you. But I think they left more to get those winners medals than to raise their game. They were already operating at the pinnacle when they left.

Dissenter

Partey will be back in time for the semi final on Thursday. If Comoros can get an unlikely draw against Ghana today,

LoveSausage

Now Conte is complaining about the postponed game as well. He’s already starting to sound disgruntled. If Spuds don’t make a major purchase or two in this window, he’ll go into full wrecking ball mode.

James wood.

Comoros 1-0

Jamie

Partey one foot on the plane back to London baby

Terraloon

Nelson

I think that they have appealed the ban and till CAS have ruled then the ban is suspended

Karsa

Maybe because Kolasinac is out of contract too.

James wood.

Ghana 10 men

raptora

How is this a red card? I mean it’s kinda reckless but the Goalkeeper is jumping like an idiot in there too. GK is reckless to jump there. Every player would try to reach that ball. Every. So fkin harsh wtf.

Terraloon

Karsa

The ban was/ is not on transfers be it paid or on free the ban is on registration so the fact that he was a free agent wouldn’t matter

Karsa

Terraloon

Cheers.

AFC Forever

I wish there was an alternative, perhaps a sin bin or something because these sending offs completely change the games for spectators. Mind you, hopefully, we get Partey back now.

AFC Forever

Lovesausage

It seems like Spurs are scared of us all this bleating because they couldn’t play us with so many players missing.

Tom

We can talk CL participation and medals but if you look at the RM players’ wages, they’re eye watering.

Sanchez went to United to win trophies my ass……..unless being the highest paid player in the league is now a trophy…….which to some it probably is.
He would’ve gone to City for trophies , but they wouldn’t have paid him 400kpw like United did.

On the Vlahovic front….aren’t wages taxed at a different rate in Italy vs England?
I read somewhere only 50% of players wages is taxable in Italy and if true, that’s a huge difference.

raptora

Partey almost scored a glorious free kick.

Terraloon

Tom You are indeed right Under the new tax law players who move to Italy from abroad will be given a tax exemption covering 50% of their salaries, meaning a player earning €10M euros would only be taxed on €5M. That would give a tax bill of around €2.15M at the top rate of 43%, which is an effective rate of 21.5% (compared to 45% in Spain or the UK). Given that players almost always receive their salaries net of tax, that is the club pays both the salary and the tax, this new regime makes it far cheaper for… Read more »

Unoni

Tom He wanted to go to city but Wenger wouldn’t sell. They offered £60-£70n but he thought he could convince him to stay on less than he was worth with no investment in the team He only let them go to United when it was clear that we couldn’t get aguerro in return but untied were willing to offer Mkhitaryan and there was talk of martial which they pulled on. At the time United had mourinho fresh off a title win for Chelsea and looming like putting together a good little squad of players so were a promising project. Was… Read more »

Unoni

When you have a winger scoring 25-30 goals per season with 10-15 assists and you’re already top 4, you pay him the going rate and you keep him happy.
Do that and add a striker less wasteful than Giroud (as much as I loved him) then we’d have been knocking on the door.

MidwestGun

I doubt Partey would play on Thursday with that quick turn around.. We were worried about Saka with minutes on his legs.. Partey now has just as many and he is older…..50 years old if you believe Sid. Anyhow it would be good to have him back for League matches. Somebody besides his agents needs to have a talk with Vlahovic… he says he wants to go somewhere he is guaranteed to win…. That isn’t Juventus. Only about 4 of those places left in the world.these days. . City, Bayern, PSG and RM.. Not sure any of them would be… Read more »

Chika

In a recent interview, Song mentioned he was very wasteful with his finances whilst at Arsenal. In fact, he openly admitted that his move to Barcelona was mainly for financial reasons and he didn’t care about playing time at all.

Mr Serge

Prefer to get a cm in if Vlahovic is not coming we should get top 4 with our current front 3

WengerEagle

Chika

You would imagine that is how he ended up in Djibouti too surely, what other reason could it be?

MidwestGun

I’m very much pro Brighton today… Hope they beat Dortmund… I mean Chelski.

Tuchel sure whines a lot for a top level manager. His entire prematch interview was crying about things. Even Mourinho Wasn’t that whiney.

Dissenter

Ghana is going to have to pull off a major come back in 45 mins

We will have Partey available for Liverpool on Thursday

I hope the club’s travel agents are working hard to get him on an outward flight this night from Douala
I’m sure Ethiopian Airlines can get him in Heathrow first thing tomorrow morning.

Tom

Unoni , Sanchez was in the last six months of his Arsenal contract and could’ve gone to City on a free that summer. He chose United based on the wage differences in my view which according to some sources were almost double what City had offered the summer before when the deal collapsed at the wire.

Unoni

Tom

Not saying money wasn’t a factor but he’d have gone to city first choice when given the opportunity.
W ever blocked the move when they refused aguerro.
City were offering over £300k pw which is what he was looking for from us.
At that point I just think he wanted out and Jose impressed him: but he soon realised what he had lost

Either way, he was a bell end and Wenger should have done what was required to keep him. Instead he went for ozil and got the sack

WengerEagle

Some upsets happening in AFCON, Ghana about to get dumped out and Algeria will tomorrow.

WengerEagle

Haven’t been watching AFCON but just looking at the teams, surely Ivory Coast have to be the favourites? Or the hosts Cameroon.

IC have so much firepower in Haller, Pepe, Zaha, Cornet and a good MF in Kessie, Sangare and Seri.

LoveSausage

Terraloon,

When you say that the club pays the tax bill as well as the salary – are you saying that’s the case in Spain and England as well? I know that this is how they do it in Italy but I thought that when a PL player is paid, say, 100k/week that’s pre tax income.

Dissenter

Goal keeper with a howler there for Brighton
He should be saving that

MidwestGun

I can’t get Afcon unfortunately Bein has the rights to it here. If I was watching though… I’d be rooting for Nigeria to win it.

Oh damn… Chelski scored.. Keeper looked like he could have saved it.

LoveSausage

AFC,

They’re afraid for sure. Conte is probably looking at their next 5 fixtures and seeing a total haul of 4-6 points. That would probably put them out of the top 4 race and he’s not happy to lose out on the easiest 3 NLD points ever.

Dissenter

Wenger eagle/Midwest
Morocco is quite good
Nigeria can spring an upset’
Mali ands Senegal are stocked with some top talents

Cameroun have to deal with the pressure of playing at home, which can be a hindrance.

Dissenter

Ghana have equalized, they will qualify for the round of 16 if they manage to beat Comoros

MidwestGun

What does a draw do?

Time Up

Drew and Ghana out.

Batistuta

Dissenter

Been heavily impressed with Nigeria really, play some lovely stuff and got the Awoniyi/Iheanacho partnership from the unders world cup some years back.

Morocco have looked very good and so has Gabon without Auba by the way.

Liked what I saw of Guinea and Tunisia.

Not so convinced about Cameroon and Egypt thus far.

Have to say it’s been a very entertaining tournament, quality of course not same as Euros but it’s almost hard to predict the games because almost all the teams are very strong.

MidwestGun

Time up… Ok thanks..

Time Up

Partey is back 3/2

Kalle O Haas

Midwest. Re the Haiku thursday, let’s do it for the love of the art. And surely, Nigeria to win this AFCON. What better revenge for a bitter rival than to beat them on their home turf in a final? Yes, please!

WengerEagle

Awonyi is having a very good season for Union Berlin, guy is an absolute unit. Was officially a Liverpool player until this season, on the books their since 2015.

Nigeria have so many striker options considering Osimhen would be a starter if fit.

MidwestGun

Ok Kalle… I’m working on something. 😀

WengerEagle

10 vs 11 is such a mountain to climb no matter the disparity in quality. Very rare in games that a team have a man sent off in the 1st half that they go on to win.

Time Up

Get party back for the Pool game. Added time of 4 mins with Hgana still 3/2 down

ADKB

Ha! Looks like Partey’s on his way to Colney!

Avi

Partey coming back early, guess no CM signing this window then, get in a CF and we’re eating top4

WengerEagle

This is a poor Ghana team, they had some really good players back in the day with Essien, Gyan, Asamoah, Muntari, Mensah, Appiah, Prince-Boateng and a younger Andre Ayew to name a few.

ADKB

“This is a poor Ghana team, they had some really good players back in the day…”

Even before that era, Ghana were the powerhouse in Africa. And before that Cameroon, Guinea. Those were the days.

MidwestGun

Oh believe me Eagle I know.. Ghana used to stomp the US in the World Cup.. pretty much every time. We kept getting drawn against them, too.

Terraloon

Tom

It’s not common place in the Uk for a variety of reasons but in Spain and Italy it is

What that change in the regime allows Italian clubs to do is sign top players burst after two years those players can’t be afforded.

Players like Lukaku and Ronaldo are examples of big names but you then see the likes of Morata.

It was designed to help Italian clubs bring in top names without costing clubs, in effect state aid by the back door

Tom

Silva still one of the top CB’s in the game. Lukaku with 8 touches can’t be happy.
Chelsea are a boring watch but so are Brighton. For all their pretty movement and slick passing they completely lack any cutting edge.

Kalle O Haas

WengerEagle. Awoniyi’s link up play has be elite so far in the matches played. Peak Giroud really, but the finishing has been very similar in being wasteful like Giroud. And Umar Sadiq -who have been immence for Almeria the past couple of months now- has failed to impress in his apperances so far. I agree with you though, Nigeria have an array of strikers right now. Moses Simon and Aribo have been the stars of the team so far.

Chika

WengerEagle
The Djibouti club are hoping to be the PSG of African club football lol. Song is right at home.

——

AFCON/African football is basically West vs North. That’s where you have the top dogs and super stars over the years.

Avi

Potter chatting rubbish to the media with Brighton been one of the best run clubs in the world and yet couldn’t get him a decent striker for how many years now

Always build the play up well until it get to donkeys like Maupay and Welbeck, ridiculous stuff really

Chika

Hi, Partey!

Redbearer

Happy to have Partey coming back home… we still will need another central midfielder and striker tho plus a right wing back to cover and provide competition to Tomo but that’ll be a summer time target along with a keeper. Gotta boost the quality with players who really want to cut their teeth for AFC

David.D

We lost to Comoros Islands
Unbelievable and embarrassing.
Out at the first bloody hurdle

Chika

Feels like Brighton have decided to handicap themselves with their atrocious forward options.

MidwestGun

True the Chelski .v Brighton match has been sleep inducing so far.

Unoni

African teams are shit now on the whole compared with previous generations
Even though they have more played in too leagues all over Europe than ever

WengerEagle

It’s true, Brighton with a prime Jamie Vardy up top would be a top 6 contender.

Chika

Hopefully, Partey doesn’t return with any Afcon blues, he needs to pick up from where he left.

WengerEagle

Well, Vardy and a proper wide scoring option too maybe.

WengerEagle

Kalle

Moses has been a really solid pro for as long as I can remember back to his Palace days, always had a lot of time for him. Conte loves him.

zimmie2652

Bit of exaggeration there Midwest.

Us and Ghana have played 3 times in the WC.

US is 1 and 2 and each match was a one goal game. Wouldn’t exactly call those “stompings.”

When you look furthermore at the history of that match up, US has played Ghana 5 times total. Every match was a 1 goal game but one way back in ’83 when the US did get stomped 5 nil. The series is split 2 wins US and 3 wins Ghana.

Pretty fair match up over the last 20 years, I’d say.

Mulerise14

Wenger eagle a mixup,Moses Simon…..not Moses the ex-Chelsea star

Ustyno

The Moses he is talking about is different from the one you are referring to

Moses Simon
Victor Moses

Kalle O Haas

Eagle. Oh, that’s Victor Moses who was still a Chelsea player until last year if I’m not mistaken. He’s now in Russia and he retired from international football years back. I am talking of Moses Simon of Nantes in the Ligue Un.

raptora

Brighton are such a joy to watch. They can outplay any team with some absolutely average players. How is it possible???

Chika

Get in!

MidwestGun

Well… in the grand scheme of things it sure felt like we were getting stomped. Hahaaa And also we kept getting matched up with them.. Never liked seeing that, ever.

Nice Brighton goal. Game on now.

Kalle O Haas

Midwest. I’ll be on the lookout and hopefully I’ll be able to come up with something that’s worthwhile as well. 😉

WengerEagle

Ah, wrong Moses! 😀 Never heard of the new one, have to check him out.

Osimhen is my favourite Nigerian player at the moment, very good and rounded CF.

Avi

Deserved for Brighton tbf, Chavs been pony

ADKB

“African teams are shit now on the whole compared with previous generations
Even though they have more played in too leagues all over Europe than ever”

There’s some truth in that. The teams of the 70s and 80s were really really good. Raw talent on display.

raptora

Brighton have been the better team so far.

Kalle O Haas

Eagle. Osimhen is arguably Nigerian best player at the moment. World class potential. He’s very underrated on here though. He barely gets mention as a potential fix to our 9 situation. Wonder why that is so?

Unoni

Adkb

And the 90s and 2000s even early 2010s
Stars on every team capable of changing games on their own
Not any more

Guns of SF

Beat chavs!

raptora

I can say why I don’t mention Osimhen much – Napoli paid 70m for him just a year ago. Anyone with aspirations to buy him, is gonna have to dig very deep in their pockets if they wanna buy him. Not sure we can afford a say £80m striker.

MidwestGun

Come on Brighton… you can do this.

raptora

Maupay is such a donkey. He’s won a total of zero balls since he went in for Welbeck. Hope he scores and shuts me up.

Vintage Gun

Just watched our U23s win 4-0.

Really like the look of Mika Bierth. Definitely ready of a championship loan next season.

Omar Hutchinson was the star man. He has it all. Just needs to grow up and out.

Guns of SF

The hunchback better score

raptora

Chelsea are in crisis alright. What a horrible performance. Nothing to take away from Brighton though. Another point won vs a big club.

Guns of SF

We win all 3 games in hand and we are on even points with Chavs but their GD is superior

MidwestGun

Well more points dropped by the Scum.. What I wouldn’t give for a 5 or 6 game winning streak now.. would make up a ton of ground.

AFC Forever

Midwest, yep agree. A decent run and we are in the driving seat.. I know why Spurs are so mad, they have a horrible run in.

WengerEagle

Kalle

He should be talked about more, agreed. Like Raptora says it is likely because Napoli have already invested so much money into him and will likely not sell at a loss considering his improvement.

WengerEagle

What’s hilarious is that Tuchel is only after winning the Men’s Coach of the Year Award and Chelsea have won just 2 of their last 9 PL matches and picked up a total of 18 points from a possible 39 points in their last 13 PL games. Not that he didn’t deserve it but like Messi winning the Ballon D’or scoring 1 solitary league goal in the first half of Ligue 1 compared to Lewandowski cracking 20 Bundesliga goals it goes to show the flimsy nature of the ‘Calendar Year’ basis for the award and shows that it is just… Read more »

WengerEagle

Spuds have FIVE games in hand on the Chavs, lol that is just absurd.

Good luck to those little Orcs shoehorning in all of those games.