Good morning, everyone. Nothing better than walking to work in the rain, spilling coffee on one's shirt while shaking hands with someone, and then sitting down to a nice dose of sensationalist Arsenal reporting. Yay! The rest of the links are coming in a separate post, but first, a word on John Cross's (yes, I am linking to it) column in the Mirror claims that not signing Mark Schwarzer has cost Arsenal a shot at trophies (again) below the fold.
Here is a short, partial list of refutations to claims he makes:
- Arsenal DID NOT start missing out on trophies as soon as Jens Lehmann was dropped, as Cross claims. Lehmann made 38 league appearances in 2005-06 and 36 in 2006-07. Neither year brought trophies. He made 7 league appearances in 2007-08. No trophies. Blaming that on Almunia is factually wrong.
- Cross also says "But Wenger, who has annoyed some by spending the whole World Cup working for French TV station TF1 rather than signing new players..." The deal for Laurent Koscielny was done during the World Cup (July 7th). The Cesc Fabregas situation was handled during the World Cup. Again, not only sensationalist, but factually wrong. Arsène Wenger would not let his television work interfere with his Arsenal work, ever.
- And then this gem:
In fact, Wenger did not do very well overall in the transfer market. French defender Laurent Koscielny for £8m from Lorient, Sebastien Squillaci from Sevilla for £3m and Marouane Chamakh on a free transfer.
Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp, meanwhile, made -and succeeded with - an audacious move for Rafael van der Vaart. Chelsea spent big, Manchester City, too and Manchester United spent more. All of Arsenal's title rivals strengthened. Arsenal didn't.
If anyone -- ANYONE -- can explain how spending a total of 11 million pounds on two center backs -- the POSITION THE CLUB NEEDED MOST -- and getting a man who appears to be a very very good center forward/false nine FOR NOTHING AT ALL is "not doing very well in the transfer market" and not strengthening the squad AT ALL, please do so in the comments section.
That is but three points out of the entire article. It really boggles the mind to think that Arsenal have given up on the title simply because they didn't pay over the odds for a 38-year old goalkeeper. Incredible. John Cross has his finger on the pulse of things and looks to be a lovely guy, but he is better than this, and he must know it.