Transfer Talk

Puyol to Man United, Yaya Toure to Arsenal, Alan Smith explained!


If you’re planning to go to Glasgow tonight, don’t, it would be a silly silly move. Should Rangers win, Celtic supporters go bonkers, should Rangers lose, everyone goes bonkers. And, of course, “bonkers” is street slang for face punchy and eye scratchy. You would be far wiser to read about today’s transfers and say nothing more about it…

Carlos Puyol to Man United
Fergie has long been an admirer of Puyol’s gorgeous long hair and robust playing style – the whisper is that he’s going to throw Gerard Pique in as bait.

The Spoiler Truth-o-meter: He’s Mr Barcelona, and the Ferdinand/Vidic axis of strength might be impossible to break. Unlikely.

Giovani dos Santos to Chelsea
This guy has been hailed as ‘the new Ronaldinho’, which presumably means he’s a great footballer, not a podgy nighclubber who could eat his breakfast through a fence.

The Spoiler Truth-o-meter: Warm, very warm.

Yaya Toure to Arsenal
Kolo’s brother failed to impress Wenger a few years back when he was at Arsenal on trial, but has since had decent stints at Monaco and Barcelona, and told “I am aware of the interest from the Premier League, it would be great to play in a big team with my brother.”

The Spoiler Truth-o-meter: Sherlock Holmes wouldn’t even get dressed to solve such an obvious case.

Michael Owen to JEF United Chiba
All the greats have played in Japan – Linekar, 1990 World Cup legend Schillaci… Owen, however, will not be joining them.

The Spoiler Truth-o-meter:
Just stupid.

Joe Hart and Paul Robinson to swap clubs
Spurs are offering Manchester City £6 million to take Hart and offload Robinson. That presumably means £2 million for Hart and £4 million to look after Robinson – feed him, show him the sights, teach him how to defend corners, guitar lessons etc…

The Spoiler Truth-o-meter: Robinson is on borrowed time, a possible.

Richard Dunne to West Ham
He’s not English, he’s not had a career littered with injuries, he’s never played for Newcastle, he wouldn’t demand £100,000 a week and he’s somewhere near the peak of his career. Have West Ham gone totally mental?

The Spoiler Truth-o-meter: Man City is being run by a maniac, everyone will want out. Could happen.

Olivier Kapo to Wigan
Whenever anyone goes from one job to the next, it’s important to take a momento – some take a picture of their pals, other take a laptop and a colleague’s wife. Steve Bruce is going back to his old work to fetch Olivier Kapo.

The Spoiler Truth-o-meter: Flashing.

Alan Smith to Middlesbrough
There’s no doubting it, Alan Smith is a great striker… no, midfielder… no, right wing… hang on, what is Alan Smith? Does Alan Smith even know? And what the hecky would Gareth Southgate want with him?

The Spoiler Truth-o-meter:

9 responses so far
  • joe // May 14, 2008 at 10:38 am

    wrong about Yaya , Wenger was impressed but couldn’t get a work permit for him so he couldn’t sign him.

  • John Doherty // May 14, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Your comments about Celtic supporters going bonkers are totally unfair.
    Celtic supporters have never had a reputation for violence, in fact, they have won FIFA and UEFA fair play awards.

  • Daniel Birrell // May 14, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Please dont paint Rangers and Celtic fans the same.

    We will close our blinds and his under our beds if Rangers win.

    You are not vert educated if you think Celtic fans will cause trouble tonight

  • Daniel Birrell // May 14, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Please dont paint Rangers and Celtic fans the same.

    We will close our blinds and hide under our beds if Rangers win.

    You are not very educated if you think Celtic fans will cause trouble tonight

  • Daniel Birrell // May 14, 2008 at 12:02 pm

  • Arfan // May 14, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    There may be violence if rangers loose, there certainly will be violence in manchester if thats the case. Ive decided to stay in and watch the game today, because there will be alot of angry rangers fans in the city centre tonight if they loose.

    but let’s all hope that they get ripped to shreds tonight anyway, as it would be a victory for football

  • dan sampson // May 16, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    With some alterations to Yaya’s game he can replace Flamini, but why stop there? With talk of replacing at Arsenal I often wonder how Arsene could have fallen in love with Cesc. Now, while Cesc is a quality player, he never replaced Vieira. Vieira was not only a creator, but a ball-winner, enforcer, leader, bulwark, who could also score regularly. Cesc could never be expected to fill that role nearly as well, esp given his age and build. Yes, the young experiment has produced quality football, but there is no escaping the fact that once the pires, bergkamp, vieira seasoned warriors left the team, arsenal became second best. In the post-Vieira era Arsenal can no longer dominate, boss the pitch or hold up play. It’s time Wenger admits as much and revamps the squad.

    Yaya is just the beginning of what’s needed to build a winner. Thankfully Wenger didn’t go for Luka, who is quality, but another three foot tall midfielder is not needed. (The secret’s out – teams know how to defend against Arsenal – insufficient wide-play. Eight defenders on the top of the box and Arsenal still try to dribble it in. You don’t see Manu doing that stupid stuff and they have not one intelligent player. Ferguson’s solution is simple- when they don’t play the ball wide to broaden the defense and create more openings not to mention more crosses, he takes the player out behind the shed til there’s blood in his stool.) (Wenger, in true development style, Eboue, Walcott, Rvp, Ben Alfalfa Jr. et all better be practicing their crosses all summer long).

    Wenger, time to stop coddling the kids and give them some proper role models- Barry, Villa, Richards, etc. The current team is too young and short of real leadership on the field. Gallas you’re a man, check, but it can’t hurt to have an adult or two on the pitch.

    Any self-respecting world class club with a player hinting unhappiness ala Hleb is immediately shown the door, albeit in the nicest most profitable way possible. This scenario also underscores the subtle but oh so real attraction of a winning side. Witness Gerrard. There is no manager more capable than Wenger of producing beautiful fluent football, but winning is important as well. Three trophyless seasons on the trot takes it’s toll. Witness Barca – two empty seasons and off you go, now I favor stability a bit more than that but a certain amount of ruthlessness can sharpen and focus young minds.

    Though improved, it’s difficult to see the current squad as champions given what they are up against – deeper, more mature sides with proven winners as well as great young talent. Another five young gunners can go on loan again as we bring in experience. A page from Ferguson’s book needs inserting: no one understands the requirements to be successful in the premier league better than alex. Power as well as speed, strength as well as skill, youth as well as age, size as well as squirts, add to that durability and depth, with utter devotion to the squad mentality and yet accommodating a quirk here and there. It is also the mark of a superior manager to admit mistakes and move to correct them(best privately and expeditiously).

    No one aspect of Arsenal this season was really scintillating, are they worth keeping around for so long to only entertain but not win? ManU, Chelsea, Liverpool are not slowing down for anyone. Although I have to laugh at those silly Liverpool directors, turned down Dubai Int’l Cap for tweedle dolt and tweedle jack–s.

    Arsene, with all due prudence of course, bring in the power that brings credibility, respect within the club and without and wins. Arsene, build anew, not names but players(how old was Bergkamp when you bought him, Pires?). Also, a strict wage structure cannot exist in isolation, but it can certainly implode. What was Flamini paid 20k/wk? Those are 90’s prices. I can just see Flamini looking down at Eduardo’s erstwhile ankle and think “I’m bustin’ my ass and risking this kind of injury in this physical league for 20k/wk and my teammates are pulling in what?!” Arsene, you effectively asked Flamini to go. After dumping Kaka on his arse and chopping up Milan with razor precision, Flamini was a goner. This is the massive and little discussed downside of developing vs buying and paying fairly. The question remains, which is preferred developing or winning? Only 25 million for transfers, doesn’t make sense. If Kroenke and Usmanov are billionaire Arsenal supporters, time to prove it. No one is bigger than the club.

  • Arsene Wenger // May 17, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    I didn’t buy Bergkamp dan. Bruce Rioch did.

  • Arsene Wenger // May 17, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    And Flamini – he was on £40,000. I offered him £55,000 to remain but his mind was made up. He said he was upset that I didn’t renew his contract the year before. That I had not shown faith in him.

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