Showing posts with label Edinson Cavani. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Edinson Cavani. Show all posts

28 June 2014

Transfer round-up: Cavani fizzles, Sanchez sizzles, Schneiderlin suggests...

The World Cup's round of 16 has already offered a bit of drama, what with host-country Brazil defeating Chile thanks to the woodwork and the heroics of Julio Cesar, and with Uruguay failing to make up for the lost of Luis Suarez. Still, eight of the final 16 hail from the Western Hemisphere: Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina, and your correspondent's home-country, the U.S. For as proud as I may be for my half of the world's showing thus far, I'm still drawn back to what all of the action means for Arsenal. To wit, I'm thrilled that Suarez is out of action for four months (and may be out of the Prem). I found myself doing double-takes as I at first cheered on the efforts of Mertesacker and Özil before realizing I was cheering against the U.S. Looking beyond that, though, the World Cup does offer Arsène a chance to vet a few players before tendering offers. With that in mind, who's seizing the opportunity?

27 May 2014

Transfer round-up: Draxler, Cavani, and Fàbregas continue to flirt and seduce...

There's not much actual football being played at the moment as we all hold our collective breath and wait for the World Cup to two weeks' time. Sigh. You can bet your bottom-dollar that these days will be filled with all sorts of rumors, from the scurrilous to the sensational, but few if any offering much in the way of substance. It's at this time of year that I turn to the betting sites—not because I'm a gamblin' man but because I find their ruthless, cold-blooded assessment of all things transfer-related to be a breath of fresh air, if only by contrast with the click-bait on offer from The Daily Mail, The Sun, Bleacher Report, and others. It's still early days, of course, and Arsène's proclivity for leaving things late, whether they be substitutions or transfers, should never be underestimated. Still, though, there are some encouraging signs from the legitimate businessmen's community...

13 May 2014

£55m for Cavani? Let's go for 60!

Why not? If we were willing to offer £40m for Luis Suarez (yes, yes, plus one), why not up the offer just a touch for Cavani? Unlike that other Uruguayan, Cavani brings with him no baggage of the racist, bitey, divey, variety. What's more, he's apparently not happy with his role as second-fiddle to Zlatan, having to play wide instead of his preferred central position. Despite deferring to Zlatan, he's still found time to deliver 25 goals in 42 appearances. The fact that this represents a drop from his delivery while with Napoli should make the prospect of his moving to Arsenal all the more drool-inducing.

10 May 2014

EXCLUSIVE SHOCK TRANSFER as Arsenal swoop for stars [satire]

LONDON - In a stunning series of moves designed as much to strengthen the Arsenal squad as to hit out at critics, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger announced a stunning number of transfer-signings, besting rivals Chelsea and Man City to a number of them, outspending them in ways that seemed motivated by spite more than strategy.

"Is it a little bit ambitious on our part? I don't know. Are these players signed to display top, top quality? I don't know about that either, and it is too early to talk about that," Wenger, grinning, said as he spoke to a crowd of reporters who had hastily assembled outside of the club's training ground.

As stunning as the number of moves is the calibre of players signed. Nowhere among them is a heretofore undiscovered French ingenue for the backwaters of Ligue 2. Indeed, none of them even speaks French. "Is it little bit true that some of them did not speak French? I cannot speculate, only that each offered a certain je ne sais quoi. Did the player say this? I believe no. Perhaps he exuded it instead. Overall, there is top, top quality in a footballistic sense that we shall soon see."

Indeed, among the raft of signings announced were none other than Diego Costa, Edinson Cavani, Toni Kroos, Julian Draxler, and Ángel Di María, and it appears true that none of them speaks a word of French. "Is it true that Draxler has not even tasted a little bit French toast? This is my press conference. I look at you because you give wrong informations. Can we get some questions about Sunday's game? I only ask." When pressed for details regarding Cavani, Wenger shot back, visibly agitated: "Do I know if he has made a French kiss a little bit behind the bleacher? I cannot speculate on this, only to say that he looked a little bit dazed. Was there a little bit lip niggle? You tell me. Look, this is a press conference to announce that we have signed players of top, top quality. You ask why I sign players who are French, and now you ask why they are not French enough. It is a little bit, how do you say, aggravating?"

The Mirror's John Cross pressed on, wondering if the sheer number of signings, not to mention their total cost, might get subject the club to scrutiny from UEFA for violating the spirit and letter of FFP. "I don't talk about UEFA or FFP today. I only talk of this squad and its ambitions. We have an FA Cup final to prepare for. There will be time to talk of this FFP later, I promise."

Undeterred, Neil Ashton of The Daily Mail inquired about whether Wenger was worried about UEFA sanctions in the wake of investigations of Manchester City and PSG, among others. "You will miss me when I am gone, I am sure of this. For now, is it a little bit disappointment to you learn that we have set aside for the fee? I believe it is £50m, which is the fee they charge of Man City. Plus £1. Just in case."

03 April 2014

Ask Cavani, whither the brasileiros or argentinos at Arsenal?

Could it really be possible that Arsène Wenger, renowned for revolutionizing English football by bringing in foreign players, has completely missed the boat that brings South American footballers to the Continent? I was watching some older clips when I caught a brief glimpse of Silvinho and I muttered to myself, "he might just be the only inho to have ever played for Arsenal". He was no Ronaldinho, and that only serves to reinforce the point. The pipeline that has sent the likes of Ronaldinho, Messi, Falcao, and Agüero, among others, to Europe seems to have almost completely bypassed Arsenal. Arsenal's South American starting XI would be short a few players, and we'd have to argue over whether Silvinho or the "legendary" André Santos starts at left-back. For a manager who has built a large part of his reputation on finding and developing diamonds in the rough, how could we be left with such slim pickings?

01 April 2014

Cavani. Draxler. Drmić. A £100m transfer kitty...

First, no April Fool's nonsense. This is as sober and as serious a site as you will ever see. We tolerate no tomfoolery 'round these parts. Understood? Good. Moving on. With six matches left to play, not to mention the FA Cup semifinal, it seems a bit early to entertain thoughts of who'll be joining the club over the summer. However, the stories have already begun to proliferate. In the past, I've refused to put much stock in the actual names bandied about, preferring instead to treat them as barometers of the club's direction. As an example, we spent much of the summer chasing Higuain and Suarez but ended up with Özil, arguably a higher-profile signing than Higuain and on a par with Suarez. As such, I'm not here to convince you that we're on the verge of signing Cavani, Draxler, or any of the other players to whom we're linked but to assess what it means to be linked with players of this caliber.

07 March 2013

Transfer Targets to Turn the Team Title-wards

Reports out of [insert name of country and publication here] have linked Arsenal with [insert top-tier team or obscure backwater team name here]'s [name over-priced 31-year old or unknown 17-year old], who has turned heads with his [choose one: prolific scoring/ tenacious defense] and has lead his team to the top of [insert name of European football league here].  Arsene Wenger is believed to have discussed an offer of [roll six-sided dice four times and put sum here]. There is likely to be competition for his signature, however, with other reports suggesting that [add several names of various European teams here] are also following [player's last name here]'s progress. According to [player's last name here]'s agent, the player is keen on a move to the Premier League and the Emirates is a distinct possibility. "We have had some interest from several European clubs, it is true," said [player's last name here]'s agent. "We have had talks with Arsenal, so a move in June is possible."

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

If you read the headlines, our defense is terrible and leaky and error-prone. If only we could sign a world-class keeper or another center-back, we'd be in fine shape, right? However, a closer look at the actual numbers reveal that this is clearly not the case.

Ours is the 4th-best defense in the Prem, having conceded 32 goals in 28 games, behind Man City (24), Chelsea (30), and Man U (31). Our scoring record even sees us move to 3rd-best, with 53 goals, behind Man U (68) and Chelsea (56). So what gives? Why is it that, with these apparently-solid if not strong numbers, we languish in 5th place? After all, you'd expect a team with the 4th-best defense and 3rd-best offense to sit somewhere in 4th, if not 3rd, instead of clinging shakily to 5th.

05 March 2013

Why Qualify? We're Gonna Get Crushed Anyway...

Some of the pessimists among us look ahead to our second leg of the Champions League and anticipate a deeper drubbing at the hands of Bayern, and they also make the mistake of conflating our struggles in the UCL with a reason for why we should not even bother with qualifying for next year. After all, their reasoning seems to go, why qualify for a competition that we will only get dumped from in its second round and have no hope of winning?

This line of thinking, as I've already implied, is sorely lacking on a number of fronts. At its lowest, qualifying for UCL is entirely different from competing in it. For some teams, in fact, qualifying is the only issue that matters. Some teams, like Bayern, Barcelona, and Juventus, arrive with realistic expectations of making it all the way to the final, if not winning the whole thing. Others, like Dynamo Zagreb, Olympiakos, or Man City, are lucky to be there, even if they know they'll go winless and leave with a -4 goal-differential. For this latter group, the thrill and the prestige of qualifying is reward enough.To have a chance to go the Camp Nou or Old Trafford might just just be a player's lifelong dream--so what if his team gets absolutely blitzed? He got to shake hands with and maybe even nutmeg (or get nutmegged by, more likely) players like Ronaldo or Messi or Pirlo? Thirty years from now, that's a memory he can cherish and share with children and grandchildren. At the risk of sounding too sentimental, it gives a team a rare chance of glory--actually beating one of the giants of the world, as Celtic did to Barcelona this past November. I cried tears of joy after that game.