Transfers, or lack thereof, and Henry’s First RBNY Goal

By on July 23, 2010


Well, it’s a bit of a slow news day for Gooners. Arsenal remain in Austria preparing for a final friendly with Austrian Regional League East side, SC Neusiedl am See 1919, this Tuesday before next weekend’s Emirates Cup. Yesterday, the Boss made these remarks regarding transfers:

“There is no news on a defensive signing but, numbers-wise, we are short in defence. The situation is still open for Sol Campbell and for the rest, we are still looking. […] We still have Robin van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner to come back and join the squad and we now have Marouane Chamakh. I don’t think I will go into the market for a centre forward.”

The trail seems to have gone cold on Bremen’s Mertesacker, my preferred target, but apparently the club are still considering pressing Everton for Phil Jagielka. He’s a solid Premier League CB, but the numbers being thrown around, £18m, are just ridiculous. There is no way Arsene would or should pay that kind of money for the player. If I was to guess, I would say even £10m would be stretching it for Jagielka.

Also, there are rumors circulating about a possible exit for Rosicky with CSKA Moscow, Borussia Dortmund, Hamburg, and Cologne just some of the names thrown around. Rosicky’s agent claimed that there were inquiries being made as far back as last month. I don’t see any reason to sell Rosicky at this point unless he wanted to leave. The midfield has not been bolstered except by the anticipation of an increased first-team role for Jack Wilshere and the return of Aaron Ramsey. Rosicky is still a quality midfielder to have coming off the bench and for rotational purposes.

In other transfer news, there are reports from Spain that Barcelona are now considering Mesut Ozil as the Fabregas deal seems more unlikely by the minute. The Bremen midfielder, also linked with us, is said to be available for £15m. Also, William Gallas’s move to Panathinaikos has apparently stalled due to the player’s excessive wage demands.


Being a long-time RBNY season-ticket holder, I’ll keep a spot at Arsenal Station, on otherwise slow news days like this, to keep those interested abreast of Henry’s American exploits. Last night I attended the RBNY debut of Thierry Henry at Red Bull Arena. In the 8th minute, Henry had a chance to put his new club ahead but Cudicini made a good save.

In the 25th minute, Henry finally opened his account after RBNY midfielder, Joel Lindpere, went by the flat-footed Hutton and put in a cross which Henry got a toe on and found the far corner. But, beyond the goal, Henry brought the rest of the team into the game and put on an entertaining 45 minutes. RBNY led at the break and outplayed Spurs for much of the first-half.

The same continued in the second half as RBNY, especially Mac Kandji, confounded the Spuds. Only two silly errors at the back by the second-string RB and second-string GK gave Spuds the lead but both goals were against the run of play. RBNY continued to pin them back for the final 10 minutes or so looking for an equalizer. The scoreline was highly misrepresentative of the performance.

In the clip above, the first crowd shot following the goal is of yours truly, Arsenal Station, in his 2002-04 home kit, and my brother. Anyway, Henry looked fit and, more importantly, looked like he was having a great time. The atmosphere was great and RBNY were by far the more cohesive and creative side on the pitch. Overall, it was great to see Henry score against Spurs and, especially, to see Spuds outplayed by an MLS side, pre-season or not.


  1. Ted Harwood

    July 23, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Did you slip a little cash under the table to get Arsenal Station some air time, there, Michael?

    Good to see that the Spuds can’t handle Thierry no matter what shirt he’s wearing.

    • ArsenalStation

      July 23, 2010 at 12:42 pm

      Sheer luck, Ted. Thierry looked really good. He could’ve easily played 60 minutes. But even more importantly, he looked like he was enjoying himself and his integration into the team seems to be immediate. He was able to do a number of dummies because he picked up new teammates making runs off him. It’ll really get interesting when it’s him and Angel up top with Kandji out wide.

  2. comrade23

    July 23, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Everything I’ve heard is that we put in a bid of 6m pounds for Jagielka weeks ago, and Everton haven’t stopped laughing, so we haven’t made another approach. And I must criticize your valuation of the player… if we spent 8.5m on Koscielny, a player who’s had one season at the top flight in France, is moving to the top league in the world and is built like Shermanator from American Pie, Phil Jagielka is worth at least 10m. Gone are the days when you could snap up a great defender for 3-5m. Chelsea and Man City saw to that. I believe Sol will re-sign for us for a season, but I fear, much as I love Sol, that he’ll be the last central defender we sign. Which means Vermaelen playing with a rotation of Djourou (who still gets caught flat-footed far too often), Shermanator and Sol, soon to be 36. And if the rumors are true and we’re either getting Schwarzer or no one, I fear for this team’s chances. The club will have proved to have learned nothing from the failings of last season, sad to say.

    • ArsenalStation

      July 23, 2010 at 12:21 pm

      I think you’re absolutely right about the rotation. I understand your point on Koscielny, but as of now, £8.5m looks to be a bit over the odds for a player of his experience and, more importantly, build. Whether or not we think Jagielka is worth £10m or £12m, I don’t think that anyone besides David Moyes would value him at £18m. I mean, we signed Vermaelen for much less than that and Jagielka is no Vermaelen.

      I also am not a fan of our interest in Schwarzer. At 37, and being offered a player-coach role, it seems obvious that Arsene is still committed to either Fabianski or Szczesny in the long-term.

      And, yes, it is highly frustrating to see that our 2 biggest failings of last season, lack of depth in defense and sub-par goalkeeping, are not being addressed in any serious manner this summer.

    • Ted Harwood

      July 23, 2010 at 1:11 pm


      I’m not sure that we can already worry about Koscielny’s physique. He’s a bit on the thin side, but he’s 24, and could thicken up a bit (although in the short term, probably not). He also has only played in two games, and he may soon realize that his approach needs to be more physical on Arsenal. Also, in the preseason, he may not go as hard into challenges as he needs to in order to avoid injury.

      I’m not saying he’s a tank, but I want to wait and see him in action in a couple of Prem or FA Cup games, you know?

      • comrade23

        July 23, 2010 at 2:05 pm

        Agreed, we do have to reserve judgement. However, Kos himself already admitted in an interview with the official site that physical strength is his biggest drawback. While I commend him for his honesty, let’s not think for a second that other teams won’t attempt to take advantage of this. I shudder to think what the likes of Drogba, Rooney, even Kevin Davies will try with the Kos. I know Arsene has everyone on special diets, but I think in this instance he should be fed nothing but steak and creatine. As an additional benefit, he may develop a taste for blood.

  3. Davi

    July 23, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Jagielka is not a proven *top class* defender in the PL. Hes a bit above average, but still not fantastic. I agree, 10m would be a lot for him. He does have an injury record as well, I think. Imo the only reason we’d be after him is that he is english – but I think it’s correct that we would rather keep a hold of sol. His experience is a good influence on the squad and I still think hes technically a better defender than jagielka. Hopefully he can get his fitness up to play more than one game a week from time to time, though.
    We could really do with getting some more cover for song. I thought I heard flamini was available. If so, forgive and forget, that guy could totally transform our side. Flamini and song in the middle of midfield could simply destroy all comers.

    • ArsenalStation

      July 23, 2010 at 12:22 pm

      That is my assessment of the player as well, Davi. He is a solid PL centerback but nothing special. It’s just another case of overvaluation of an English player… would any team outside England even consider paying £10m for him… I doubt it.

    • comrade23

      July 23, 2010 at 2:12 pm

      I’d heard that about Flamini as well, and I’m with you 100%, although it’s highly unlikely. Also, Alex Song is being sold on Craigslist for $50 or best offer.

      I wanted to keep hold of Sol as well, and he was sensational down the stretch last season. But it’s myopic to think that he can play twice a week for a full season, as would be required, so either we’re committed to going with Shermanator and Mr. Glass (Djourou), or we need someone who can partner Vermaelen. And I think this team is past the point of training someone up… we need an infusion of quality in defense. With Mertesacker never a real option, there aren’t that many players who could step in and immediately improve our back line. While I disagree with your assessment of Jagielka as a player, I think we can both agree that a mid-20s, physical defender with experience is what we should be looking for. Apart from TV5, all of our central defenders are lacking at least one of those criteria.

      • Davi

        July 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm

        Mertesacker could be a very good signing, but he has had his injury problems as well. (Id jump at the chance if I were wenger still)
        Nordtveit is looking good in preseason, and so might be useful as an emergency CB.
        As usual, our season will depend on whether certain players can shake off injury problems, I guess.

        • ArsenalStation

          July 23, 2010 at 3:10 pm

          I think you’re right, Davi. Both in 2007-08 and last season, we led the league with relatively few matches remaining and in both seasons we experienced long-term injuries to key players.

          I fully believe that if RvP hadn’t been injured like that for so long and maybe if Gallas hadn’t been hurt at the end, we possibly could’ve developed a lead in the league and more confidence.

          If we can get away with no long-term injuries to Cesc, Robin, Song, and Vermaelen, then I think we are still in with a decent shout for a shot at the league this year. But any significant weakening of the squad will make that all but impossible.

  4. Davi

    July 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    @comrade23 – there’s no reason to assume that koscielny will not work out simply because of his physique. Gallas was a pretty capable defender, and his build is quite similar. Djourou just needs experience to become a world class defender imo. The main risk with him is his injury record in truth.

    • ArsenalStation

      July 23, 2010 at 12:40 pm

      I don’t think I would compare Koscielny’s build to Gallas. He looks much less solid and powerful. It’s hard to see at the moment how Koscielny will be able to deal with even strong non-superstar PL forwards like Bent, Heskey, Carew, etc…

      • comrade23

        July 23, 2010 at 2:18 pm

        Agreed, the two are worlds apart. Gallas wasn’t tipping the scales at 200 lbs, but he is a solid, muscular specimen. For a 24 year old, Kos shows remarkably little upper-body muscle. And this isn’t a judgment of him as a player, that would be silly having only seen a couple of preseason run-outs. But the fact of the matter is that in the Premier League, many forwards are very physical in and around the box, and Koscielny will need to counter that. If he can manage it with guile and quickness, that would be wonderful. But it is something he will need to face, and such a slight physique does not inspire confidence in me.

      • Davi

        July 23, 2010 at 3:08 pm

        I still really disagree. Gallas is very slight for a centre back, but makes up for it with his pace and reading of the game.
        I think that was why mourinho was reluctant to play him in the centre when he was at chelsea.
        Hopefully kos will be something like Gallas was a few years ago.

  5. Goonerpower

    July 23, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    He is a clever defender. It’s not all about being big. People look too much into size and it don’t always help. He will be a good signing.

    • ArsenalStation

      July 23, 2010 at 3:13 pm

      I hope he proves to be. I haven’t seen anything of him before this pre-season and still not enough to judge whether he has enough intelligence and technique to overcome his physical disadvantage in such a physical league as the PL. Let’s hope so… Either way, he couldn’t be worse than playing Silvestre at CB.

      • comrade23

        July 23, 2010 at 6:01 pm

        Are we forgetting Pascal Cygan?

  6. irish gooner

    July 23, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    if campbell signs then thats enough defenders,,,i doubt wenger will sign a keeper either fab ianski and chesney will fight it out for the no 1 spot,,,,2 weeks ago i thought we needed another dmf but after watching frimpong n the last 2 games im happy he can act as cover if song or denilson gets injured,,,i hope wilsherinho stays wit us this season aswell,,,he better off wit us anyway even if he only gets 15 games this season its better he gets 15 games wit arsenal than 30 for bolton,,,,,arshavin for player of the season id say,,, he is looking fresh, fit and pumped up,,,,anfield awaits!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • comrade23

      July 23, 2010 at 5:23 pm

      I share your enthusiasm over Frimpong’s play so far, but I’ll need to see what he can do against some better competition than League 2 Barnet and Sturm Graz before I’m willing to hand him the reins in Song’s absence. On a separate note, I don’t know why people still go on about Diaby playing the defensive role when he’s clearly not suited for it.

      As for GK, I do hope you’re mistaken, but I fear you may be correct.

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