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Ins & Outs

Ins & Outs


So much has been said and written about the departure of Emmanuel Adebayor, a lot of guff about what a coup it is for the blue half of Manchester and that this one signing alone will propel City into the top 4, and of course that means at the expense of Arsenal. Equally and possibly even more has been written about the fact that Arsenal had to sell because we are so poor. If there is one thing about the sale of Ade it is that the wonderful English media have filled their boots with the ammunition it has given them.

Emmanuel was a good player for the Arsenal, well at least he was for one season. The season before last he scored over 30 goals and quickly became the main man and a hero. However he also became a cocky so and so and in my view, really did start to believe his own hype. Certainly his agent saw an opportunity. So last summer, for the whole summer, we had to read and listen to one story after another. Various clubs were said to be chasing Adebayor, and it looked for quite a while like he would be sold. But then a change of heart, oh and a new contract, with a substantial pay rise, and Ade was staying. He said all the right things, how he had always loved Arsenal and that he wanted to stay a long time. He followed that by walking onto the pitch and kissing the badge, and so we thought he meant it. But some fans were still not convinced.

And so it came to pass, City flashed the cash, Ade was given a double your money pay rise, no Champions League football, and off he went, for “football reasons and the challenge”. He left blaming the Arsenal fans for his departure, which was a nice touch.

I won’t miss him, I have seen his type come and go, and no I don’t wish well. I am glad he is gone and I hope the City faithful really do understand just what they have bought. If Ade does score 30 goals this season, and city don’t make the top 4, he will be off, and that is maybe the best you can hope for.

Kolo Toure

Gutted. That is the only word I can think of. I am gutted that Kolo has left the Arsenal. Arsene says he has seven centre halves and that that is just one to many, so why not sell one of the others, I could think of three I would prefer to be sold. But in Arsene We Trust and Arsene Knows, so Kolo is off to the blue side of Manchester.

For City this is a really good buy, okay so the reported fee of £16m may be a little over the top, but if you have it, then you can flaunt it, and good luck to you. Kolo will be a good buy for City and my only wish would have been that we got Micah Richards in return, but I guess that was never going to be the case.

I remember years ago when Kolo first appeared, he was this all action, running all day long, sort of player, and my first memory of him has to be him playing left wing at Highbury. He was always smiling, always appeared to play with real happiness. He was, and still is, a model modern day footballer. Fit as a butchers dog, honest as the day is long and someone that genuinely wore the shirt with pride and passion. Kolo I was proud you were a gunner and you always will be.

One regret I do have with Kolo being sold is that I had always wished that his brother Yaya would have joined us and that the two could have played on the same team. And now, somehow I guess that will also never come to pass. Yaya was one of the three players I really wanted Le Boss to have signed this summer, but I guess I can now stop dreaming about that one, which is a shame.

Thomas Vermaelen

I am like so many other Gooners, I had heard of Vermaelen, seen him play a couple of times, but in truth did not really know a lot about him, either as player or a personality. But being a fan of Arsene’s Arsenal this type of signing is nothing new. The boss has been buying players like this from day one.

Vermaelen (23), who was the Ajax club captain last season, made his first team debut for the Dutch club at just 18, after playing at Youth level for Belgian side KFC Germinal Beerschot. During his time with Ajax, the club won the Dutch League Championship in 2003/04, with Vermaelen also winning the Dutch National Cup on two occasions (in 2006 and 2007) and the Dutch Super Cup twice (in 2006 and 2007). So yes we know he played for a footballing side and we know he is a winner who has won titles and cups. However for me, the one thing that we do know for sure is that Thomas will be a footballer, he will like the ball, he will play the football, he will be able to pass and will be comfortable with the ball.

So what concerns, if any, come with this Belgian international, well for me, his lack of height may be a concern, Arsenal have been crying out for a big beast of a centre back, someone 6:3+++, someone who wins everything in the air, a player who smashes forwards and likes to do so. But I am not 100% sure we have signed that in Thomas, he is certainly no Keown or Adams that much is for sure. Maybe Vermaelen will end up a player like Frank McLintock the former Gunners club captain. Lets hope so.

During his 143 appearances with the Amsterdam side, Thomas, who is predominantly a central defender, gained experience in both the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League including two appearances against Arsenal in the 2005/06 Champions League Group Stages. He has made 21 appearances for Belgium, now being a regular in his country’s set-up since making his full international debut in March 2006.


© 2008 Paul Kavanagh. All rights reserved.