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Don't Worry 'Bout A Thing

It must be that time of year again because the Republic of Arsenal has got itself in an almighty tizz. As ever, with this crazy new fangled internet invention everybody has a voice. Even plebians like me. That is a great and empowering thing, at elast it will be until the establishment REALLY gets its claws into it and it becomes yet another way of modifying and monitoring us. Unfortunately, it also means that the shit scatters gracelessly towards the fan rather more quickly than the days when the 3pm edition of the Evening Standard was at the forefront of innovation. As ever, I feel it is correct to shatter a few myths and try and provide something of a voice of reason.

I know I have commented on many occasions at my apathy surrounding the whole transfer chebang, but I won't attempt to make people see through my eyes here. Personally, it doesn't concern me, whether or not Hleb, Adebayor or the reincarnation of the Queen Mother turn out for Arsenal next season, I couldn't really care less, because my season ticket is renewed and I will be there next season. Everyone else can please themselves. Over the last six or seven summers, we Gooners have become accustomed to stories of our better players leaving, the British Press playing our supporters like a cheap tambourine. Often this fuels panic amongst supporters and the truth and the rumours all become jumbled into one big melting pot of confusion. After all, for all the furore that surrounded the always imminent departure of Vieira, the guy only actually left the club once. If you were to amalgamate all the summers of innuendo and hear say you and assume them as gospel, the guy would have to have left on May 31st every summer, only to resign for us on August 31st every year.

The sale of Alex Hleb looks very likely this summer, the guy has betrayed his manager, his team mates and the supporters in a way that makes his position untennable at the club. Basically, he's a few poorly constructed, verbally confused chapters away from being another Ashley Cole. Now we have persistent speculation surrounding Emmanuel Adebayor. This has led to frustration from the gutter snipes who have already began to lament our standing as a selling club and as whimps in the transfer market, all too willing to be bullied by the Barcas and Madrids and their media lapdogs. Firstly, the rumours surrounding Adebayor have gathered pace ever since he went home to Togo on holiday. This is a trick the press repeat time and again. I'm not telling you there is nothing in the Ade transfer rumours, to be honest I haven't been following very closely. But bear such facts in mind when reading the latest tittle tattle. I remember the summer of 2001, some comments were attributed to Vieira who was said to have lamented Arsenal's summer signings. Just coincidence then that these entirely fabricated chunkets appeared whilst Paddy was in Florida.

I seriously cannot believe those who attest that we are bullied in the transfer market. Seriously, Anelka for 23.5m. Sold by Madrid after one season. Chelsea tapped up Ashley Cole, we took their best central defender and a nice 5m in the deal. Petit and Overmars for 30m? Petit had one season in Catalan after it became apparent Barca prize Presidential votes over thorough medicals and realised that the reason we were eager to sell was because Manu refused to undergo much needed knee surgery. Overmars enjoyed three trophyless, injury ravaged seasons (one of which was spent toiling in the UEFA Cup) before retiring. Lassana Diarra was hell bent on leaving to the extent that he refused to play in a Carling Cup fixture in Janaury. We still got 5m for him. Last winter, Barca's Joan Laporta raged that Arsenal had ripped them off with the 16m lay out for Henry as Thierry continued to sit out with a recurrent sciatica problem. Like I said, maybe next time you should perform a more rigorous medical, eh Joan? (Just don't use the guys we used for Rosicky's medical. I think they were from Claims Direct or something).

I get the point that profit margins are not really what supporters want to hear about in the quest for trophies. But those above transfer tales were worth recounting for the headless chickens who are having their tales wagged by the likes of Marca and AS and believe that we are bullied in the negotiation stakes. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's also worth pointing out that we are by no means the only club to suffer the whims of the rumour mill. Cristiano Ronaldo anyone? The appointment of a certain Portuguese coach in Milan to stoke the fires? Really, if you're that stressed about it, ignore it. There are those that get themselves in such a state that they demand the club kick its PR machine into overdrive and issue frank denials. Why? Why let useless rags like the Daily Telegraph set the agenda? Why let the lunatics run the asylum? The tale wag the dog? The club do not have a duty to whisper sweet little nothings into our ear every other day to assure us that our players love the club blah, blah, blah etc. We'd probably only dismiss it as spin anyway.

The trouble is, as Adebayor has found out this summer, when you start issuing denials, the press usually forget about them days later and crank into overdrive anyway. We then begin to expect said player to assuage every single gossip column mute whisper. The best entrepenuers never comment on investments until they are signed, sealed and delivered. (Stan Kroenke anyone?) Read Arsenal.com, the same line is always trotted out, 'Arsenal FC never comments on signings until they are completed.' It's a good line to take I feel. We all know where we stand. Ignore newsnow, the whailing screech of bloggers humming like static as they rage at Wenger's weakness in the transfer market. Or as they scream for the signing of some Russian fella who's had one decent international tournament, so apparently is the best player ever. (Karel Poborsky and Jordi Cruyff anyone? After Euro 2004, A.C. Milan signed Greek centre back Dellas. Do you know where he is now?)

Two more quick nuggets. Those that infuriatingly trot out the old line that Arsenal are too stingy with wages. Our wage bill is on a par with Manchester United's. And for the sour grape merchants, who have already seen Adebayor sold through their crystal ball (was said crystal ball called tribal football or caught offside.com?) and trotted out the 'he misses too many chances anyway' nugget. Adebayor scored 30 goals from 104 shots, giving him a conversion rate of 23%. That is infintely better than Roque Santa Cruz's and much, much higher than Cristiano Ronaldo's. Torres, at 25% was the only striker in the Premiership with a more accurate touch in front of goal last season. IF he is sold, he will be missed and not just for his goals. But for the meantime, unless it's on Arsenal.com, don't worry about it. Or if you can't help it, please at least get your facts straight before you regurgitate the propaganda.LD.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday June 26 2008

Time: 1:47PM

Your Comments

Dellas is in AEK. Played for Roma too.
G4L
THIS ARTICLE SHOULD BE REQUIRED READING FOR EVERY SINGLE ARSENAL BLOG OUT THERE!!!
jaelle
There are always players available to replace players, but I would be seriously gutted if we lost Ade.
flv
Where's that stat about Ade from? Interesting eh... i'd hazard a guess that he's missed more sitters than other said names though!
shewore
the stats are from OPTA. I posted them on the forum some time ago.
G4L
If you think that the media frenzy is bad now, wait until next week when the Euro's are over and all the managers and scouts are home. I'm tempted to avoid the internet and papaers for a week. It will be sickening. Just because we said we need to buy a couple of players, lazy journalists and agents spew out all sorts of rubbish with the Arseanal name attached. You could imagine what it was like to be a Chelski supporter a few years ago, linked to every player and their brothers. I agree with you LD, Arsenal.com, though while slow are the only accurate site out there.
Bradys Chips
Not to pick at your stats, but 30 goals from 104 shots must be nearer to 30%. Around 28% of the top of my head
paul_ownz
You're certainly correct not to break a sweat. This happens every year. Hleb, can drop dead, as far as I'm concerned. Ade?, so who says Bendtner doesn't break out this season, and RVP if he can actually get into a groove, cant add twenty plus. What drives me nuts are situations like the Nasri deal, or Arsense saying we don't need any new defenders. Eboue will start. That kind of stuff puts me on edge. In the end, it's not the one or two players we'll lose at the Arsenal. And Ade would be a loss make no mistake. Why are they going crazy over at Manure, because of Ronaldo? Too much runs through the one guy. It's the system of ours that has us competitive,, not one man, so In Arsense, I still trust.
zenchris
You're right Paul, that should have read 24 goals from 104 shots in the Prem. It's still true that that was better than Santa Cruz and Ronaldo and only bettered by Torres. As for what Arsene says about transfers, the guy's a tease, ignore him too! He always says he doesn't want anybody because a) economically, NEVER let on that you're desperate and b) he doesn't want to shatter the confidence of his players. It's Arsene's greatest tool to make players believe in themselves, if he turned around and told everybody Eboue had a poor season, then that wouldn't fill the guy with confidence. One of Arsene's greatest attributes is his belief in his players and the confidence it gives them.
Little Dutch
I agree with your point LD, sometimes I wish I was a bear and could hybernate during football's silly season, it would make life so much easier. Dellas actually played for Roma before he went to Milan though, and was quite a good defender, the type we could still do with - an absolute beast. And I get what you mean about Arshavin, comparing him to Poborsky and Cruyff, but if you had watched him play for Zenit this year he destroyed some good quality teams, like Everton (with ten men) and single handedly beat a ten man Rangers wall. Also even Poborsky went on to have amore than respectable career, both with Lazio and the Czech's, even if he didnt succeed at United.
Ozi Gooner
Ac milan never signed Dellas he was already at Roma during the euro 04..then moved back to Greece
ajwb
What do you guys think of the quotes from Adebayor's agent that says you are in for Gomez, Santa Cruz or......CROUCH!!!!!!!!!!!
united4life
U4L -- The Crouch story is comedy gold. Made my morning. I don't listen to agents anymore, they're pure evil.
jaelle
LD, well written, well thought out as per usual... I personally think Dellas is quite good, and was one of their better players in this Euros
TeamSpirit
If its ades agent saying it, then go figure...
TeamSpirit
LD, of course I agree with the article, but I'm afraid you're preaching to the converted, for the large part. Its incredible that gooners can panic during a transfer window given Wenger's excellent track record ! Also incredible how a lot of fans swallow media *****e as gospel (strict wage structure at arsenal). Having said that, I would be slightly concerned if we sold 3 of our 1st team players (Flamini, Hleb AND Ade) in one window, however good the money is for Ade. I think we can cope without 2 of them, but 3 might be a stretch.
prits
Also, one correction about the conversion stats LD. Ronaldo had a goals to shots ratio of 24%, making him a marginally better finisher than Ade. But I agree with the point you're making - his finishing is nowwhere as bad as people are making it out to be, although it could do with improvement.
prits
as a liverpool fan i would love it if youse ended up with Peter 'the white ade' crouch' :P but in all honestly i think he is a decent player.
vinchetcuti2534
I am inclined to agree prits, I really am not interested in selling Ade at any price for the reasons you state. However, I'm certainly not going to kill myself worrying about it. The only thing I have control over is my own commitment to the club. It just goes to show how incredibly saturated football coverage has become when we start to psyhcoanalyse and second guess players' intentions based on their holidays/ silence/ parents allegiances/ menstrual cycles. Albert Einstein had a good saying, "I never think of the future. It arrives soon enough."
Little Dutch
True that LD. I will start worrying IF we sell Ade :).
prits
Do you think when Wenger said he would bring in 2 or 3 quality players, he took in to account players leaving? If we end up losing Flamini, Ade & Hleb for argument sake and got 2 or 3 in then surely we are no better off. I would like to think we get 2 or 3 on top of replacements for outgoing stars. Nasri for Hleb, Veloso or Toure for Flamini and then 2 more on top i hope. I dont count Ramsey because i think he is one for the future. hmmm
paul_ownz
Paul, I would ignore anything Wenger says re the transfer market. Last summer, he claimed he would sign no one, and we saw Dudu, Sagna and Fabianski being signed. If you try to read between the lines, its a waste of time IMO.
prits
I've actually used the Euros as a great diversion this summer. Can't pay attention to any of this rot. Crouch? You did have to smile.
zenchris
I hope you are not trying to say he is rubbish ZenChris. I would love to have Crouch over Adebayor. Also if we can get Zokora to replace Flamini and Heskey for Hleb to add some pace down the wings we would win the PL next year.
paul_ownz
I thought Milan Runtothecornerflagwithyourheadonyourchest Baros was the biggest ever euro-fever purchase that fizzled out faster than an England campaign at a major tournament (if they make it in). Was he in the Czech squad this year?
afri-gooner
Am i the only one who thinks Crouch is an utter waste of skin and bones (and hes got alot of em') He plays as if he is a brazialian, step-overs and all - but unfortuntely he is a lanky tw*t from maccelsfield and IMO is no-where near as good as Adebayore. But luckily for me, i dont support Arsenal :) Hehe, i really hope you get him!
united4life
Also, the only argument against adebayor is that he is very wasteful - well then iif you think that then dont go for crouch because he is EXTREMELY wasteful. i can imagine him to be such an infuriating player - just think of the scenario - 3 minuted from the end and in desperate need of a goal, lump it up to crouch and he will.....a.) flick it onto to no-one and pass it straight to the opposing keeper wasting valuble seconds....b.) try some over-the-top scissor kick and get his legs tangled up......or c.) foul the defender, the most likely option. Listen i have a deep hatred for arsenal, but i repect the way you play football, and crouch wont fit into that, leave him with the scousers and their one-dimensional football.
united4life
Mine was Sarcasm U4L. I would cry for about a week if we get Crouch.
paul_ownz
Paul, I was hoping we'd make a run at Kewell.
zenchris
Agreed! we will soon see what happens but our allegiance is to the club, not the individual players.
Paulsito
U4L, put aside your loyalties for a moment and consider that manager that is Arsene Wenger with for a moment: do you REALLY think he would be interested in PETER CROUCH??? Ok, he's made some poor buys in the past but....PETER F-----G CROUCH?!?!
jaelle
meant to type "consider the manager that is Arsene Wenger for a moment"
jaelle
What a brilliant performance by Cesc tonight. So humble in the interview after the game too. I'm so chuffed that he's our player!
flv
Two wonderful assists from Cesc today.
gunnerkid107
CESC IS A SPANISH GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
jaelle
who needs an arshavin when you have a cesc. the boy was magnificent. we never saw arshavin. The good thing is cesc has rapped Barca's knuckles and Real are too busy to Ronaldo. So maybe we won't have any silly comments from Spain about Cesc.
Gael-Force
Cesc the Architect
Youngest in Charge
what a performance, pure class, tell me he wants to leave, that's when I have a breakdown.
zenchris
TO long of an article to read so no comment ....lol
123spurs
We,ve got Cesc Fabregas!!!!! Surely has to start the final? Come on Aragones you stubborn old fart, if you want to win this then play Cesc from the start!
MrArsenal
the scary thing about cesc is that he's only 21. Gooners.. be ready for an improved Fabregas next season. He's far from the finished article yet i wouldn't swap him for any other player... If Cesc ups his game by 10%next season, we will be champions, never mind the nasris, hlebs, adebayors of this world. Cesc is the one who runs the the show. they are just privileged to be in it.
Gael-Force
Hence the Cesc Fabregas show!! ;-)
MrArsenal
Its hard to say not to worry, but like...the point is...its all over on soccernet, and i think soccernet has some degree of truth, though not always accurate, they do have a knack of coming into reality when it is already on soccernet, and also, its just so worrying that adebayor is not saying anything, i mean if u were player, and truly loves the club, would you not reiterate it, especially amidst such strong rumours? even cesc does it ,so why not mr adebayor?
gooner_till_i_die
Cesc has been 1st class this tournament, that role he played last night was superb as well. Got me thinking of Dennis...
shewore
I'd be gutted if we lost Ade, but to be honest everytime we lose a big player wenger pulls a new one out of nowhere who goes on to be even better than the player we lost i.e Pires for Overmars or Henry for Anelka. I trust Wenger to get it right.
PENZ
LD wtf are yu doing in civil service? yu are a football man. yu shud be working with sky or arsenal.com. seriously get a football job mate. i dun blindly follow everything yu say, (as suggested by a certain VA member who only appears when the team is not doing well) but the stuff that yu write, some of it is so assuring and comforting, just like when Arsene starts talking. i'm with yu on this one. my loyalty is only with Arsenal Football Club n no individual connected to the club (however i hope Arsene stays with us for as long as possible, cuz he is the heart n soul of our club). so who ever puts on the red and white come august, i'll be cheering them to lead my team to glory..
luckys_10
n just wt is ur facebook picture all about? yu look like mother teresa in it..
luckys_10
Only got around to read this piece. Thanks LD, but as the other Gooner said above, I'm afraid you're wasting your breath (or typing) here. Suggest you post this to Caughtoffside or Tribalfootball or Goal or Fan FC or Sportingo. Or post it as a long comment on the Mail or the Telegraph or the Mirror or the Sun.
Lou the Gunneress
Luckys lol indeed lmao that pic
Lou the Gunneress
Yeah, I was fond of that pic too, from a good friend's birthday. Someone e mailed me a good article written by a Chelsea fan who got a job writing for the Chelsea magazine and he said it made him lose his affinity with the club. If I were to write for arsenal.com or sky I wouldn't be allowed to write creatively, it would be political and moderated like most media. Something like fourfourtwo or when saturday comes would be much more up my street. Besides which, I'd probably prefer to write about music for a living.
Little Dutch
 

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