Arsenal News
Arsenal News

Arsenal News


It's not often I'd support Manchester United but...

So Alex Hleb and Emmnuel Adebayor look like they're going to leave Arsenal and we're all getting used to the idea.

Hleb's intentions have been clear for some time, Adebayor's mixed messages perhap less so.

But does being a 'big' club make any difference? Does it matter if we have debts to repay or a reputation that puts us in the second echelon of world football?

I think not.

Chelsea have limitless funds, Manchester United have just done a historic double and yet....despite their respective wealth and reputations, both of them look set to lose key players this summer.

Love them or loathe them, Frank Lampard and Cristiano Ronaldo have both been impressive performers over the years and yet it seems that both will be on their way out of England.

Player power rules.

But when FIFA President Sepp Blatter suggests that no club should hold onto an unhappy player, that keeping the likes of Ronaldo when he wants to join Real Madrid is tantamount to slavery, we have to draw the line.

Forget the fact that all the players I've mentioned are on salaries which any of us would love to 'earn'.

Forget the fact that they are all too willing to sign extended deals if it means an increase in their incomes, albeit at the cost of an extended contract.

Blatter, more than anyone else, should realise that while footballers are the key to the popularity of the game, and 'stars' are what keeps the magic in the game, without transfer fees, without some sort of stability at clubs, football as we know it would die.

If nothing else, smaller clubs, whose money trickles down all the way to the grassroots level of the game, would lose out with more money going into players' pockets, a situation that already occurs to some extent.

But while players lack the loyalty or dedication to be one-club men anymore, does that mean that contracts, legal agreements, are not worth the paper they are written on?

I'm not sure Blatter would accept that on many other matters and who's to say his opinion wouldn't be different if Arsenal or United were tapping up Sergio Ramos or Iker Casillas?




Give me an L. Give me a U. Give me an X.

What does it spell?

Well LUX, obviously. But I'm not trying to create a fanbase for a bar of soap, or spectacle manufacturers Luxxotica (thanks to Google for that one).

Nope, Arsenal Addict is brought to you today by the letters L, U and X, because they are the only letters in the alphabet that are missing in the list of player's surnames who have been rumoured to be on their way to Arsenal during the summer.

Indeed, the list of players that have now been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium now numbers 100, according to our friends at blog site She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, who fastidiously track these things.

Being the Addict that I am, I can't help but read every single snippit of Gunner gossip. I study every minuscule line about who Arsene Wenger might be watching or where the scouts may or may not have been, just to try to get an insight into who Arsenal might be signing. Most of the time, of course, I'm left thinking 'What a lot of Bollocks' and cursing myself for wasting another minute or two of my life on some fantasy concocted by some bored sports hack.

Not that we should be too surprised, as Le Gaffer himself recently disclosed that he has had calls from agents offering the services of more than 200 players who want to play for the Gunners.

Of the century of names below, Arsenal have signed just two of them during this transfer window - Welshman Aaron Ramsey from Cardiff on a reputed £5 million deal and Frenchman Francis Coquelin who joined on a free transfer from some club called Stade Lavallois.

Of the remaining 98, Samir Nasri seems to be accurate and we all have our own thoughts about who should be on the wish list - Karim Benzema, Samuel Eto'o and Yaya Toure would be among my targets - but I just thought I'd copy and paste She Wore's current A to Z for you in case there are any rumours that you've missed. Check their site in a few days time and I'm sure the list will have grown.

Anyway, if you have any observations - good or bad - on any of the players mentioned below, be sure to share them with your fellow Arsenal Addicts using our comments facility. Or if by any chance there is anyone missing from the list - perhaps a player with the elusive L, U or X initial -  then let us know and we'll endeavour to fill in the gaps.

So here it is, She Wore's alphabetical top 100 of supposed Arsenal-bound players that my fellow sports journalists have been filling white space with in the past few weeks.

A. Albiol, Alcantara, Aquilani, Arda, Arshavin, Agbonlohor
B. Ben Arfa, Barry, Balotelli, Boruc, Bia, Bischoff, Bentley
C. Camacho, Coquelin, Chantome, Caceres, Christofi, Chellini, Crouch
D. Dunne, Drenthe, Dabo, Diego, Delgado, De la Red, Derdiyok, Diogo (also known as Santos)
E. Eto'o, Edu
F. Frey, Frings, Falcao
G. Gattuso, Gomez, Gudjohnsen, (Mario) Gomez, Guiza, Gervinho, Ghilas, Guzan, Gouffran, Given, Gomis
H. Huntelaar, Henry, Hart, Hibbett, Hennessey
I. Inler
J . Johnson, Jaaskelainen, Jibril
K. Kompany, Kranjcar, Keita, Kirkland, Kaya
M. Martins, Marchena, Makoun, Maxwell, (Mark) Milligan, Moutinho, Matuidi, Mertesacker
N. Nasri, N'Lundulu, Neves, Noble
O. Obertan, Ozyakup
P. Puyol, Pele, Pjanic, Perrin, Parejo, Podolksi
Q. Quaresma
R. Ramos, Richards, Ramsey, Robinho, Ribery
S. Stilic, Santa Cruz, Saha, Spear, Silva, Senna
T. Toure (Yaya), Thuram, Trochowski
V. Villa, Veloso
W. Wright-Phillips
Y. Yebda
Z. Zarate, Zapate, Zhirkov



The story of this summer so far for us Gooners is that both Emmanuel Adebayor and Alexander Hleb are on their way out of the club, with Barcelona being their destination of choice.

As usual, Arsenal have remained tight lipped about the speculation, while Barca have been shouting from the top of their very tall stadium that both players want to make the move and therefore should be at the Nou Camp soon.

That remains to be seen, but if it does go ahead then I'm hoping that Arsene Wenger uses his position of strength to broker a deal whereby Yaya Toure comes in part exchange for one player, while I wouldn't be surprised if Samuel Eto'o was involved in the other deal. I'd love to think that Thierry Henry might return, but the realist in me doesn't think that will happen.

Anyway, whatever happens we're in another summer break where Barcelona seem to dominate any headlines regarding Arsenal's star players. Over the years we've poached Cesc Fabregas and Fran Merida from the Catalan club, but they have taken some of our club's prize assets along the way.

In 2000 Barca bought Marc Overmars for £25 million and Emmanuel Petit for £5 million; Giovanni Van Bronckhorst joined the Gunners from Rangers in 2001, but two years later he too went to Barca on loan. His transfer fee to the Spanish giants was never disclosed, but it's rumoured that the deal was nominal to placate Barca over the signing of Fabregas; and of course last season, Arsenal's record goalscorer Thierry Henry became a Barca player after a £16 million transfer to the club.

Even ignoring the Van Bronckhorst  deal, that means Arsenal have profited greatly from the Catalan club over the years. Wenger made £18 million profit on the sale of Overmars, £2.5 million on the Petit deal and £5.6 million on Henry, bringing the grand total to more than £26 million.

That money has been wisely reinvested in numerous Arsenal players over the years, but as a fan it is galling to lose talent to Barcelona who more than any other European outfit seem to view Arsenal as feeder club. I can't think of a recent season where the Barca hierarchy didn't try to unsettle Arsenal players, while their Spanish rivals Real Madrid seem to do the same thing on an annual basis with Man United.

Hopefully one day soon Arsenal will be in the financial position where they can just laugh at speculation and fend off predatory clubs by stating that our best talent just simply isn't for sale. But until then, I suspect we'll continue to be treated as a training ground by Barca at least until the inevitable happens and Cesc Fabregas moves back to the city of his birth to play for his childhood heroes.