Deal or no deal etc

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We’re still ‘on the brink’ of signing Vermaelen, I see. It says so everywhere.

I suppose I can’t complain: compared to the Nasri transfer last summer, and numerous other last-minute in and out jobs like Gallas and Arshavin, this close season – all two and a half weeks of it – have been a breeze.

The Vermaelen story has the longest legs – it’s just a shame the player doesn’t.

In all seriousness, any central defender worth £10m must have something about him, even in this inflated market. Tony Adams might know a thing or two about defending but I doubt he’s been scouting him for months, as Wenger is bound to have been doing.

Wenger’s defensive judgment is not bad – he lengthened the careers of the famous back line, he bought Campbell, Toure, Lauren, Lehmann, Clichy and Sagna amongst others (let’s put Stepanovs down to a bad day at the office and this season’s sieve of a defence to there being something in the water).

Whether or not Toure, or indeed Gallas or Silvestre, will head the other way in any defensive revolving door remains to be seen. Personally, I’d be keen for both Gallas and Toure to stay. We all know the guff that went on in the run-up to Gallas losing his captaincy, but he was very good in the latter part of the season. And though Toure hasn’t been quite the buccaneering Ivorian of old, he’s an old head and a club stalwart.

It does feel as though one of them might go, though. We could do with four central defenders – we needed as many as we could muster this season – and we have four now. Who goes will depend on a myriad of factors. Whether we can get good money, whether it’s the right time, but above all, whether one of them wants to leave.

Talking of defenders, I see that Kieran Gibbs scored twice for the England U21s tonight.

With Gibbs and Clichy, we’re sorted in that department. I know it’s early days to say this, but for how long can we keep them both happy?


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.