Daily Archives: March 10, 2012

No Deal For Lukas Podoski and a Tale of Andre Villas-Boas


In recent times, Arsenal has become every media vulture’s favorite topic and swarms of hits from fans and neutrals alike go to articles involving transfer gossip and injury news because these are the two main topics that everyone tends to feast on.

The gods of injuries settled in the Red Half of North London eons ago and they tend to take turns with different positions of the playing squad. Last season, Arsenal lost Manuel Almunia, Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone to mysterious injuries leaving Wojciech Szczesny and youngster James Shea as the only goalies in the squad.

Szczesny put up commanding performances on a consistent basis but a tendon in his finger was ruptured in the Nou Camp when he attempted to catch a Dani Alves free kick. Manuel Almunia was reinstated back to the first team but his shaky and High Blood Pressure causing outings prompted Arsene Wenger to summon Mad Jens Lehmann from retirement. It’s worth noting that Lehmann has been offered a coaching role at the club. #deeeench.

This season, the injury gods ravaged all recognized full backs in the club causing Arsene Wenger to tear out a script from Tony Pulis’ Stoke City journal to field his center backs as make-shift full backs. These evil gods have also denied Arsenal the services of Jack Wilshere and the fragile Abou Diaby all season long.

Moving over to transfer gossip, Goal.com reported that Lukas Podolski had agreed personal terms with Arsenal then the Daily Mail reported a few days later that Arsenal had agreed a £10.9m deal for the German International making him another classic Arsene Wenger bargain signing.

This news brought butterflies to the tummies of Arsenal fans worldwide as their manager had finally decided to listen to their pleas for a quality signing and articles like 5 reasons why Lukas Podolski should be signed by Arsenal was thrown into light again.

However, Arsene Wenger has come up with a piece of info that could turn Arsenal smiles upside down as he has revealed that there has been no deal for Lukas Podolski:

“I have not a lot to say about that because if we sign a player we will inform you. At the moment we have not signed anybody. There is still no agreement.

“The distance to the agreement is not always linked with the signing. “When you are very close you are quickly very far again, but Podolski is a good player, I wouldn’t deny that.”

When it comes to transfers involving Arsenal, Arsene Wenger is renowned to being coy and a part of me believes that the deal has been agreed but Wenger is trying to his best to hide it from the media vultures till Podolski is seen with an Arsenal jersey in the summer. Why else would Podolski will be silent about it?

Wenger also stated that Robin van Persie would not be sold should Podolski arrive at the club and Arsenal’s captain has been on the end of countless speculation regarding his future at the club. Van Persie’s agent has welcomed news linking his client to AC Milan while Manchester City’s boss, Roberto Mancini has publicly declared that he wants to sign the striker.

Mancini’s ploy to unsettle van Persie has infuriated Arsene Wenger but he has stated that his prized asset is too professional to be unsettled.  Van Persie on the other hand has claimed that he’s still “improving”:

“Even now, I’m still improving, when you say ‘I’m not improving anymore,’ you are finished. My heading could be better for example. I’ve improved but what’s the maximum? I’m not going to know until I find out by trying. Yes, I’ve scored a couple of good headers this season. But when are you satisfied?

“People can say, ‘He’s scored three headers this year – I’m satisfied with that’ but I don’t think so. Why not five? Why not 15? It never really stops. By saying ‘Never be happy,’ of course I am happy in a way. I’m enjoying my football. But I’m not satisfied that easily.

He scored 48 goals in 2011 and he hasn’t taken his foot off the pedal in 2012. Van-tastic.

Andre Villas-Boas was the genius behind FC Porto’s renaissance and he came into the spotlight following FC Porto performance in the 2010/11 campaign that saw the Portuguese outfit win the unprecedented treble. AVB’s records in his first season at FC Porto were phenomenal.

  • The club record for the most matches across all competitions unbeaten (36). This record was previously held by José Mourinho at 33 matches. Part of this streak was completed by the previous coach of FC Porto, Jesualdo Ferreira.
  • The most wins in Europe in one season by a Portuguese club (13)
  • The most points in a thirty game Portuguese league season (80)
  • The highest number of consecutive wins in the Portuguese league (16)
  • The biggest margin over the second placed team in the league (21)

Elsewhere in West London, Carlo Ancelotti was going through tumultuous times at Chelsea as the team that won the League and Cup double the previous season became a mere shadow of the club that scored for fun in the league. Ancelotti started 2011 on a low but restored some belief into his side as they had a late surge in the tail end of the 2010/11 Premier League season.

With barely three games to go, Chelsea usurped Arsenal as Manchester United’s title challengers and were just three points behind the table toppers with the same goal difference. The rest was history and Carlo the Cannibal was given the boot by the U.S.S.R. dictator, Roman Abramovich.

AVB came in his stead to become Chelsea’s worst manager in 15 years with a poor win rate of just 48%. Abramovich has ended AVB’s reign after months and fellow B/R writer Louis Hamwey published an article on 5 reasons why Chelsea was right to sack him.

It’s worth a read.

Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczesny expressed his views that AVB was sacked as a result of the cabal of English players that “run the club”. He spoke about how they’ve had many managers in recent times in contrast to how things are run at Arsenal were everyone is loyal to Arsene Wenger.

This has certainly caused an uprising among some fans but Chelsea’s caretaker boss, Roberto Di Matteo has told Szczesny to concentrate on Arsenal rather than commenting on what is happening at Chelsea.

In as much as I’m indifferent about AVB, I wish him all the best in his future endeavours.


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