Bored Beyond Belief!

There was a time when I spent a few hours every day browsing the Arsenalsphere. In the last 10 days or so I don’t think I have totaled an hour of surfing. There is so little going on.

First a random player is linked. Then the supposed transfer moves forward. One day, according to unsubstantiated reports, a player is close to signing as terms are settled. Then he miraculously vanishes from the news cycle for a few days. Another quote appears out of nowhere and the cycle repeats. I have lost count of the number of times Hazard was close to a move, Gervinho more recently, Samba, and so on.

Then there are the usual Cesc stories with some Nasri ones thrown in for additional flavour.

The part that surprised me was that right now the only feeling I have is boredom. No excitement, no anguish, no hope, no anxiety, nothing.

I don’t know the exact reason for this. In the past the Cesc stories used to leave me on edge. Now I am pretty certain where all parties stand on this issue. The Daily Noise doesn’t mean anything at all even if it includes a joke of a bid, and a mild rebuttal followed by senseless overanalyses.

I guess the other reason could be that having seen the transfer activity of various teams over the last few years and the results of those, I just don’t care much about most of these stories. As I’d mentioned earlier, Nasri leaving the club doesn’t bother me. In the same vein, the likes of Samba, Cahill, Gervinho, et al. signing for Arsenal will not be a big deal either. This isn’t likely to be a popular opinion but I don’t see any of them significantly improving the Gunners.

One thought, or a question, that has been ingrained in my mind for a while now is – Can Arsenal really afford the truly big signings?

Pastore, Neymar, Alexis Sanchez, and similar players are being valued at astronomical sums despite the fact that they are yet to prove themselves at the highest level. The fact that clubs like City, Chelsea, and Real can pay a king’s ransom makes it hard for Arsenal to compete for any player with genuine class and real quality.

While few really know what’s going to happen, most of us can reasonably guess that teams will be busier in this transfer window as the UEFA Financial Fair Play rules come into effect. In the coming years we will know how meaningful these rules turn out to be and whether the administrators have the courage and sense to enforce them or not, but this window will certainly be a crazy one for buyers and sellers.

Those with precious goods might feel this is their last chance to sell for a big profit. Those in the market might want to pick up the loot before the stores close.

Arsenal seem to have three choices; to buy overpriced players from the Premier League, to scour the earth for undervalued talent, or to compete with the moneybags on their strengths.

Gary Cahill is an excellent example of the first option. I wonder why Mancini hasn’t signed him yet. Is he relying on Lescott to perform next season? Won’t Toure be missing a number of games at the start? The reported £17-20M range can’t be a deterrent for the well-oiled finances of City. Could it be that he has learnt his lesson after looking at the likes of Lescott and Milner? One could also wonder why Ferguson paid a similar fee for a younger player with limited experience?

We have seen the results of the second option. Arsene is by far the best at scouting and identifying unpolished gems but the approach is inherently risky and doesn’t always pay off. So someone like Ricky Alvarez might look like a talent on youtube, but it is hard to form an opinion before watching him perform while dealing with the rough and tumble of the English game.

I have maintained for a while that in order to win the big trophies Arsenal need at least one player capable of winning the Player of the Year award. I’d love the next Ronaldinho or Kaka to come to the Gunners but that would put us in the third bracket. Honestly, I cannot see us competing against City, Chelsea, or the likes. That’s all the more reason for Cesc and RvP to stay fit and deliver, but these things are beyond our powers sometimes.

Don’t get me wrong. This is not an attempt to say that there is no hope of  improving this team, or that Arsenal don’t need new players. In a way I am just trying to understand this unbearable ennui. Those who have been following the transfer saga for years might be better accustomed to it but I have only had access to the web and these news sources for the last few years. Initially, I used to get sucked into it and reacted to every article. Over the years different patterns have come to the fore. Now it feels like being in a locked room with nothingness personified and floating around all around me, hammering my brain with an empty hammer that seems to bear the weight of the world. Strangely enough, it no longer hurts but there are times when I find it hard to breathe. The only viable option, and one that I am about to revert to the moment I publish this piece, is to run away from it all and immerse myself in something else, anything but this.


42 Responses to Bored Beyond Belief!

  1. shrek2be says:

    There is currently no one in the Arsenal side who can strike fear into the opponent’s hearts . Neither our midfielders nor strikers have the talent or personality(as of now) to intimidate the opposition. The last person for us was Henry .At least even if the bigger teams were not completely scared of him ,the average and smaller teams definitely were. I know fans keep crying out for a Tony Adams(never seen him play unfortunately) who would shout at players if necessary /Patrick Vieira type figure who would lead by example in giving it back to the opposition, but such players are hardly there . I hope if Nasri stays with us, he lives up to the billing of the next Zidane because that man was the true general on the field. Check out this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYd5nOwEV_w
    He completely dominates players like Roy Keane,Beckham and Scholes.

    • Omar Riaz says:

      If you remember it was Arsenal who dominated Zidane! Without Veira,Adams,Parlour and all the players!
      We can do it again, we just need a single player maybe it could be on the field or may be off it! Only one!

      • shrek2be says:

        I do and it was a great match , but the reality is Zidane was already fading by that time .Some of the players in that Real Madrid side at their peaks would have been greater than any Arsenal side at their peaks put together . The Ronaldo(Brazilian) that played at RM was at 60-70% of his potential after have survived 2 career threatening injuries and 2-2 &1/2 yrs out of football. While Henry was fighting for a place in Juventus during his time in Italy , Ronaldo was running defenses ragged ,getting tackled in a highly physical manner and had a return of 25 goals of in 32 games in his very first season at Serie A.
        Either ways they were both great forwards who could strike fear in the opposition with their surging runs . We lack such a forward. Some say Walcott could be that forward , but I believe he lacks that ball control and dribbling abilities required to reach that level,although he does have the pace.

  2. shrek2be says:

    You know, if any of Arsene ‘s signings this season flop, there ‘d be calls for him to step down. There might be protests for Usmanov to take over Arsenal as he might “splash the cash” a la Abramovich an get us the trophies. Personally I’d like the that one great player to come through our youth ranks but to be honest I don’t think that player would be English(apologies to fellow English Gooners). There is a lot of hope that Jack Wilshere would be that Ronaldinho/Kaka type player that you mentioned , but I do have my doubts on that . He will be certainly a great player for Arsenal.

  3. BoredArseFan says:

    I’m also kind of bored but keep reminding myself that the transfer window for players from non-English clubs doesn’t officially open until July 1st. As ARSENAL always seem to play exactly by the rule book I guess we could have to wait until then for some serious activity and ‘official’ announcements.
    I’m not bothered about Cahill as he’s no better than players we’ve already got and the same could be said about Samba but he does offer the physical presence we are missing. Can’t see Blackburn letting him leave though, having already sold Phil Jones.

    • Miranda says:

      Since Samba is at an English club, you’d think we’d have signed him by now, with the English window having been open a month, if we were ever that interested. I don’t think we were. I think the price is absurd, especially as Blackburn now want to add in the fee due to Hertha. Look how many goals Blackburn conceded; look at Samba’s age: if he was 20, he might be very promising but he’s what, 27, maybe more, and still pretty mistake-prone. He’d be useful for the routine games against the likes of Wigan and co, but not so fine for the top level in Europe. Also, I think he must be quite stupid to say publicly that he wants to move, having signed a long contract only last year, and he should know by now not to believe the rumours he sees in the papers. I mean, just because the Daily Mail thinks we ought to be buying him, it doesn’t mean we ever had any intention of doing so! For the same money, or less, we could get Sakho. Now that’s a player to hope for.

  4. Kushagra India says:

    Desi U need to read the above gr8 read dat!!

  5. Northbanksy says:

    Even if Arsenal were willing to pay the initial fee there’s no way they can compete with wages, & in recent years prospective trophies. So no, Arsenal can’t afford & can’t attract “big signings”. However, this makes the existing situation even more remarkable. We currently have the most potent attacking midfield in the EPL: one of the top strikers,defensive midfielders & full backs; a strong looking keeper, & a right back who was considdered the best in the EPL last season….all of whom collectively cost less than Andy Carroll cost Liverpool.
    I share your lack of excitement re the current players linked with a move to the club, but we are looking for players to improve the team, & that doesn’t mean we have to have heard too much about them or that they have to cost big money.
    Keep it real…far too many commentators get sucked into the media merry-go-round & believe that other clubs are going about things in a better way.

  6. Tim says:

    Desi, the same thing is happening to me. I haven’t checked any football-related news in the last 2 weeks. I am getting sick of football recently. I have watched football for the last 8 years nonstop it feels just stupid and pointless now. I will get a big break from it and probably watch it again when the season starts in the mid-August. I probably wont miss the two El Classicos for the Spanish Super Cup but that will be about it.
    By the way, what happened to Nasri ? Did he renew the contract ?
    I also agree that signing the likes of Cahill and Samba wont be a significant improvement for Arsenal but Gervinho,I think, will be very good for the left wing instead of Nasri and Arshavin.

    • G4L says:

      Gervinho can also add some height and presence! Could be better than Nasri or Arshavin if he can provide the same attacking quality. I have my doubts as the French League is not that great and he didn’t really set it on fire. We need a player who stands out by a country mile in a smaller league.

      • santori says:

        A lot of chatter regards Alvarez.

        He seems a great option who can add option out wide and play across midfield.

        @ 6’2, he fulfills our height requirement.

        + I suspect that if we sign him shortly, it will push Nasri to put pen to paper (Bearing in mind there is another possible deal looming with Gervinho around the corner)

  7. shrek2be says:

    Great point Northbanksy, I had just commented on the very same point yesterday on another Arsenal fan-site on why we couldn’t buy Ashley Young. The blog and its contents had raised the issue of the amount of the transfer and Wenger was foolish to ignore such a good English player. The problem with signing English players is they demand a lot of money and they also bring an unnecessary media circus wherever they go which most of the time results in off field issues being highlighted .
    I do believe that one faulty argument being used is how the £20m spent on Henderson or the £35m spent on Andy Carroll is used to evaluate the amount of money being used to decide how much Cesc Fabregas is worth. The above 2 transfers are nothing but examples of typical over hyped English players getting transferred between 2 English clubs and inflated transfer fees in the EPL. No top club in Europe barring Real Madrid would pay such huge amounts for such “talents”.

  8. Tim says:

    Desi is completely right that from now on, we can not buy the players with genuine class and real quality like Sanchez,Neymar,Pastore,Hazard,Ganzo,Lamela,Gotze. On the other hand, we have a lot of young talented players and we have to hope that they fulfill their potentials. Ryo Miyaichi and Wellington have that Ronaldo/Sanchez quality about them so hopefully they come good in 4 years. Szczesney,Wilshere and Ramsey have that world class potential too.One of our scouts said we have 13 year old genius. Bartley,Jon Toral,Ozyakup and Gallindo have immense talents.My point is that those are the players that are our real hope to compete with the best in the future because we have no chance of getting the top class players from other clubs once they reach the age of 19-20 like Pastore and Neymar for 50 millions.

    • santori says:

      Although you never know.

      Supposing Real move for Neymar, then Benzema may come into frame.

      Which is a probably reason to drag our feet with regards striker as of now.

  9. Steve says:

    One transfer that got me excited was Vilas-Boas to Chelsea. It brings a different personality and style of play to the Premiership. Apart from Ferguson, AVB and Dalglish will be hard to compete against (given the funds they have at their disposal). I don’t rate Mancini or Redknapp in the same league.

    • santori says:

      Although he hasn’t had that much experience/success under his belt. It could also be risky. Remember Juande Ramos (Sevilla)?

  10. naveen says:

    well just to freshen it up a little.. skysports have just reported that ricky alvarez has signed for arsenal..it seems that palermo president has come out and claimed so…
    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11670_7003856,00.html
    have a read and do let me know what you think…

    • shrek2be says:

      Well Sky Sports is always a little late in reporting such stuff , Some Arsenal fan sites with news feeds got this “info”much faster.Some people are saying that the quote from The Palermo president has been misinterpreted. What he apparently has said is this “We are very interested in Alvarez,
      But it will be difficult to bring him to Palermo considering that there are other clubs like Arsenal and Malaga interested in him”.

      • naveen says:

        @shrek2be well i do hope its not some sort of misinterpratation.. seen this guy play in a few matches and he looks pretty good.. lol well thanks anyway

      • Miranda says:

        Yes, just a little late! Didn’t he sign a pre-contract with us way back in the spring? As to whether he’ll be useful to us right away, I’m not sure. It’s a big step for him and he’ll need time to settle.

    • Steve says:

      Zamparini is just running his mouth off. Not reliable.

      I agree with Shrek2be and others, he will take time to adapt. Most South Americans struggle in England.

      • shrek2be says:

        The really top quality South American players at young ages are never really whisked away by any European club. If you look at some of the top most players in history including Ronaldo ,Maradona,Romario,Rivaldo , Ronaldinho,Robinho etc (Messi being an exception & Kaka being sold at an extremely cheap rate of €8.5M ) are never sold away so easily by their Clubs . They always play a season or 2 in their respective leagues while proving themselves and then get sold at astronomical rates. No club can really claim to have signed a top young player from South America ,trained and nurtured him to be the best.

      • santori says:

        Adapting.

        It’s not a hard and fast rule.

        Alavrez looks a bit like a cross between Pires and Kaka. He certainly does not lack speed or competitiveness.

  11. shrek2be says:

    @naveen , He looks pretty good on youtube , but will he able to survive the demands of the physical EPL?Not every top South American player can cut it in the fast paced EPL.

  12. Aussie Jack says:

    Thank God I`m not the only one who`s lost interest, it`s hard to find anything positive, let alone inteliigent, to say. As you so rightly say Desi, it will be interesting to see how effective the `financial fair play` rule works out. I would imagine the schemer`s are already hard at work on the `loop holes`….I always was a cynic.

  13. aravindvr says:

    Samba, Cahill, Gervinho and Ricky Alavrez now.
    Although some of em looks good like an Argentinian and Samba n Gervinho, How can Arsene and Co do the same thing again n again?.

    Why should we need all these guys when we have enough talent already in the team.

    WE NEED A WINNER WENGER, WE NEED A ‘STAR’.
    WE DONT HAVE TO ‘MAKE’ ANYMORE STARS OUTTA ORDINARY GUYS.

    SPEND MORE FUCKING MONEY AND COMPETE WITH BARCA AND CHELSKI AND MANSHIT FOR SANCHEZ NEYMAR FALCAO OR AGUERO.
    THTS WHAT THIS TEAM NEED.

  14. Waleed says:

    I am mainly bored, but the nasri situation does bother me. I wake up everyday looking for news of him signing an extension. No luck so far.
    The transfers don’t bug me as much. I’d like to see signings but I agree that we’re not signing someone game changing. Our signings are focused on tinkering an already good squad, not a major overhaul (which is a good thing) so I guess we shouldn’t be expecting the big signings at all. But then when have we ever signed the big players?
    I think we have, in Cesc, Nasri, RvP players who can realistically push Messi and co. for player of the year.
    Aside from them we have Wilshere, Walcott, Rasmey, Szczesny who have a lot of potential.
    In other words, we already have a great team. I just want them to be able to make that final push into being successful and be recognized as great.
    Which is why I am very impatiently waiting for preseason to start so I can see our beloved players in action as well as check out the new signings and the possible roles for them.
    But only a matter of weeks now.

  15. Prabal Rakshit says:

    Desi.. finally you are back with a new post after ‘just’ 9 days 🙂 Great to see you!!

    The pattern of the transfer rumors do oscillate from hackneyed to downright stupid. While we supposedly ‘dither’ on getting Samba or Cahill, some other sources say it is Jagielka that we are after (which is not exactly a bad thing). Honestly the only rumor that is of interest to me now is if Samuel Eto’o surprises all by making a move for the Emirates.

    I hope the transfer business gets wrapped up sooner than later, so that we have more time to devote for pre-season, as we have some tough ones coming up and the new signings need time to acclimatise to our formations etc.

  16. Miranda says:

    I’m sorry to say this, but I fear the chief attraction of Alvarez to Wenger is that he’s free and therefore worth taking a punt on – much like that probably once talented Portugese-German under-21 player whose name I’ve forgotten who’d had a bad injury and then came to us on a free but never played a first-team game. The Brazil-based writer Tim Vickery, whose judgement I really trust, said yesterday of Alvarez: a lovely left foot but where will Wenger play him, given he’s not versatile enough for central midfield and not fast enough for the wing in the Premiership? Well, we’ll see; maybe there’s a plan and Wenger will be vindicated but we shouldn’t pin our hopes on Alvarez taking England by storm straight away.

    • Steve says:

      Alvarez will cost around 15M Euros. He’s not free as the earlier rumours suggested.

      I expect Alvarez to compete with Diaby … looks similar .. lanky, quick feet, can burst forward and offers a presence in the middle.

  17. On her Twitter account, Lady Bracewell-Smith said: “No Dein. Root cause of all the troubles at AFC. Unable to work with other board members.”

  18. Anne says:

    Seconded, Desi! This has gotten so tedious and monotonous that it’s hard to stand anymore. Plus, the difficulty in discerning the (rare) fact from the (more likely) fiction…It’s enough to drive anyone crazy.

  19. arshavin=achilles says:

    1st I dont think its neccessary for a team like Arsenal to have to spend big on a superstar to be able to win a tittle. I dont know why people think having Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi will magically make a team have an almost perfect season. Argentina got thrashed by Germany in the world cup and they had Messi, Tevez, Higuain, Aguero…the list goes on. Even non-international teams like Real Madrid and Chelsea who broke the bank over the best in the world won no league tittle this year. 2nd We all know what Arsenal’s problem is and its not scoring. I dont understand why again we are biding for strikers and playmakers where what we need is tough defenders, intelligent holding midfielders, and a talented goalie who is at least 24 years old but no older than 28. We have conceded goals through various ways throughout the whole year so i dont agree with people who put all the blame on the defenders. If we are to get lets say two defenders over this summer, we should consider at least this time that it would be better if they were from the Premier League because we can never know how successful foreign defenders will be in the premier league since its probably the toughest league for defenders. If not both defenders, at least one of them should be swept from an english team. If we can get only one, he should be from the premier league.

  20. Anne says:

    Darnit, since you’ve posted a new article, it looks like I might have missed my chance to clear up a minor problem that I noticed in this article. But I’m going to give it my best shot anyway. Basically, I want to make it clear that Barcelona DID NOT actually make an offer for Cesc Fabregas.

    If Barcelona had actually made an offer for Cesc, it would have been formally announced by the Club, but no such announcement has been made. Moreover, there’s absolutely nothing on Arsenal’s official website about any offer from Barca.

    This whole story emerged from an extremely dubious report in the Sun that Sandro Rosell had called up Arsenal Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis and made a “verbal offer” of 27 million, which was then rejected. The Sun article provided ZERO sourcing that would explain how the task of formally announcing this “offer” had fallen to a 3rd-rate tabloid like them.

    But just in case anyone here needs reminding, a “verbal offer” for Cesc is not really an offer at all, and as of this time, Barcelona has not made ANY offers for Cesc Fabregas at all this summer. You should be well aware by now that transfer rumour reporting is extremely shaky on the credibility front, and you should take a more careful look at the sourcing of these reports before you take any of them at face value. Cheers.

    • desigunner says:

      Excellent observation.

      I’m not sure if you think this article is talking about a bid for Cesc but I can assure you that was not my intention.

      Since last season I stopped taking newspaper reports seriously and nowadays it’s hard to believe direct quotes as well. BTW are you the same person who wrote the wonderful pieces on Untold Arsenal?

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