Weird transfer XI – Some shockers in here!

There have been some weird transfers over the years. Some that just didn’t make sense at the time and seem even worse when you look back. Here are some that stick in my mind: 

GK: Edwin Van Der Sar – Juve to Fulham.

The whole thing was just weird. Clearly too good for them. Eventually made his move to Man U and won it all. What’s unreal is he was at Fulham for FOUR years. What a total waste of time.

RB: Mat Debuchy – Newcastle to Arsenal.

May not seem that weird but as a Newcastle fan, we couldn’t believe Arsene Wenger paid us twice as much as we did for him, to take him off our hands. He’s done nothing at Arsenal and none of us are surprised. Weird.

(I also have to mention Julian Faubert from West Ham to Real Madrid on loan. Very strange one)

CB: Laurent Blanc – Inter to Man Utd. 

Seriously this one was weird for the entire time he was there. He was clearly too old and contributed to Fergie’s worst ever season in the Premier League. So ridiculous.

CB: David Luiz – PSG to Chelsea.

This one was weird right? No-one could understand it. He then helped them win the league. So weird. He’s now not in the team. Not so weird.

LB: Mikael Silvestre – Man Utd to Arsenal.

I found this one just very strange. I couldn’t get my head around it. Fergie never sells to a rival, so he must have been past it, but he wasn’t that bad, which made it all just weird.

CM: Thomas Gravesen – Everton to Real Madrid.

Has there ever been a weirder permanent transfer? He actually played as well. Twilight zone.

CM: Edgar Davids – rocks up at Barnet.

This wasn’t a transfer and he was player-manager (kind of) but come on. Edgar Davids playing for Barnet? Weirdo.

CM: Ivan Campo – Real Madrid to Bolton.

I could have put Fernando Hierro in this team or even Djorkaeff but Campo was still in his prime and had only recently stopped polishing his Champions League medal. He would spend six years at Bolton. Six.

FW: Nicolas Anelka – Fenerbahce to Bolton.

PSG, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Man City, Fenerbahce, Bolton, Chelsea, wait what? If Anelka were to go for a job interview, he would need to explain the gap in his CV for that 2-year spell at Bolton Wanderers. How? Why?

FW: George Weah – Milan to Chelsea.

This was just weird. It’s like it never happened but it did and I for one can’t forget it. George Weah was a mirage, a mysterious idol to be watched only on Football Italia, winning World player of the year. Not struggling to play up front with Chris Sutton. No. No. No.

FW: Ian Rush & John Barnes – Leeds & Liverpool to Newcastle.

First off, these are two players so technically makes my XI a 12 man team. However, they came at the same time and given their ability at their respective ages, they just about make up one players worth.

As a Toon fan, I watched Kevin Keegan sign Ferdinand & Ginola in 1995 and almost won us the league. I then saw Kenny Dalglish sell them both in 1997 & replace them with over the hill Ian Rush & John Barnes. What? I know they say ‘sign what you know’ but this destroyed our team and put the club back for years. Perhaps forever. Why Kenny? Why? Utter nonsense.

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Angry Kieran Gibbs set to leave Arsenal for Newcastle after FA Cup final omission

Arsenal have signed left-back Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer for next season and with Nacho Monreal first-choice, Kieran Gibbs’ days are numbered at the Emirates.

The Englishman has been plagued by injuries his whole career and was reported as injured, then ill, before the FA Cup final but was angered after not being told about his omission from the squad by Arsene Wenger.

So Gibbs is set to leave Arsenal in the summer after a massive 10 years since making his debut for the North London club, with Newcastle his most likely destination. A fee of around £6 million should be enough to take him to Tyneside and would be a much-welcomed addition to take over the left-back duties from Paul Dummett.

The semi-retired Welsh international Geordie wizard just isn’t up to scratch for the Premier League. He was decent in the important games during our Championship campaign, with keeping Brighton’s ‘Championship Player of the Year’ Anthony Knockaert quiet being the highlight, but he still showed on countless occasions his lack of positional sense, total reluctance to ever get forward and still has a massive mistake waiting to happen in his locker.

Gibbs is an experienced 27-year-old with a point to prove, given he has never quite made the most of his potential. If he can stay injury free, then he will be as solid a left-back as NUFC could ever hope to bring in for such a reasonable fee.

Watch this space.

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Sol Campbell: the forgotten Premier League man mountain

“It was as if he was indestructible, such a power spread from him”

Very rarely will you find someone who truly understands or recognises the greatest centre-back to grace the Premier League stage. He was born Sulzeer Jeremiah but you know him as Sol. The man mountain of Sol Campbell.

Whenever you ask someone to make an all-time Premier League XI, the centre-back partnership will usually consist mainly of John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Tony Adams, Jaap Stam or Nemanja Vidic.

20 years a Premier League player with over 500 appearances. A multiple Premier League winner. A multiple FA Cup winner with two different teams. A League Cup winning captain. Three times selected in Premier League team of the year.

11 years an England international with 73 caps. Played in two World Cups. Two European Championships. Captained his country. Selected in the 2002 World Cup & 2004 European Championship teams of the tournament.

Never ending sliding tackle by Sol Campbell

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All impressive reading but his unique and greatest achievement was being the linchpin of a team that went a whole league season unbeaten. To win games requires a team to score goals. To not lose games requires a team to not concede goals.

As the main defender of a team to go a whole season without defeat is special, however, when you consider his centre-back partners he had at the time, it shows how special Sol Campbell really was.

“Sol had become one of our main players, and we now had an absolute physical presence and stability at the back.

He is monstrous and, with his full power and also his ability to score a goal, you have an outstanding player. With Jens Lehmann, Ashley Cole, Lauren, Touré, they were all winners.”

Wenger speaking on Campbell and the defence of the Invincibles season

The 2003-04 season was the first time Kolo Toure would be used as a centre-back by Arsene Wenger. He needed a rock beside him to help guide and cover his mistakes that he would inevitably make being a rookie, Sol Campbell was that man.

The other options at centre-back that season was an ageing Martin Keown and Pascal Cygan. For Arsenal to go unbeaten with these options is quite incredible.

But this incredible achievement by Campbell wasn’t his first. Two seasons previous to this he made the controversial move from Spurs to Arsenal after a solid 2002 World Cup, in which he made the tournament best XI, and in his first season at the club, he won the league and cup double.


Not only did he achieve this but he took over the mantle of club legend Tony Adams without much issue. When Arsenal sealed the title at Old Trafford it was Campbell in the heart of the defence with Adams not in the squad.

For the FA Cup final 12 months after Michael Owen tore Adams and Keown apart, Campbell was Adams partner this time around as they kept Chelsea at bay with a clean sheet to win 2-0.

“I signed Campbell as I found that when playing against him his attackers could not pass him like they could other players

…it was as if he was indestructible, such a power spread from him”

– Arsène Wenger

From the years 2000-2005 there can be not much dispute that Sol Campbell was one of, if not THE, best centre-back in the world. He had every attribute you could want.

Strong, fast, read the game extremely well, good in the air, strong tackler plus he could grab you a goal like all good centre-backs should from set-piece situations. Sol Campbell had it all.

Sol Campbell's Goal | UCL Final 2006 vs Barca

He scored in a Champions League final in 2006 despite losing his place earlier in the season and wasn’t set to play at all against Barcelona that night. Which shows the mental strength of the man.

Speaking of mental strength, coping with the Spurs fans over the top hatred in 2001 was Sol 2quite a sight. He also went on to win the FA Cup as captain of Portsmouth in 2008, you know, like you do. What a man mountain this lad was.

The possible reason why Sol doesn’t get the recognition he deserves is he was never one to hog the limelight. He went about his work quietly and professionally. He wouldn’t be one for a post or pre-match interviews giving it the big one nor gallivanting round town with the paparazzi snapping away at his actions.

He was a defender. That’s it. Showing his personality to the public didn’t bother him. He almost seems to be punished for this.

When you look at the ridiculous send off John Terry organised for himself, can you imagine Sol having the gall to do that? When you see Rio Ferdinand constantly in the media, even whilst still playing when he made the ridiculous TV show, ‘Rio’s World Cup Wind-ups’. I mean are you having a laugh Rio?

Adams is Mr Arsenal. Vidic became a cult hero amongst Man Utd fans with his eastern European look and tough style. Nobody in this country is really bothered about a Sol Campbell type.

Sol seems a bit too intelligent for the average football fan to get along with. Terry and Ferdinand talk the dumb London footballer so the dumb London football fan relates to him. Not many relate to Sol Campbell.

How could they? This is a man who has delved into politics and spoke about possibly trying to become Mayor of London. He appreciates art, interior design, he gives speeches at care and injustice awards. He has been to the Chelsea flower show just this week. This type of ‘footballer’ is obviously something to be mocked or laughed at.

In other countries around the world, it is quite common for famous sports stars to become Mayor’s or Politicians. But not here, this is England. We like our footballers to be dumb, so we can relate but also mock how dumb they are at the same time.

We know where we stand then. Not many know where they stand with Sol Campbell which scares them. So they choose to forget him or ignore him.

I refuse to forget a man that was an absolute rock in a defence that went a whole Premier League season unbeaten, that was a rock in the England defence that gave us a genuine shot of winning something in 2002 and 2004 before the likes of Upson, Lescott and Cahill lowered our standards significantly and who has the nerve to be a quite intelligent human being, who isn’t your stereotypical footballer in this country.

Sol, you were great.

Alexis Sanchez Attitude Is Shocking. Arsenal Need To Cash In Now!

“Who does he think he is? Is he too important to warm up with his team mates like everybody else?”

I was at the Bournemouth vs Arsenal game where Sanchez had a hissy fit at full time throwing his pathetic gloves around and turning the air blue with Spanish swear words. This reaction from pulling a draw from 3-0 down was an absolute joke. Not because it was an impressive achievement but because he was as much responsible for being 3-0 down to begin with then anyone. Watching Arsenal warm up before the game I saw something I have never seen before at any Premier League game.

A first team player having complete disregard for his team mates or coaching staff as he decided to ‘warm up’ on his own. As the picked starting XI were on one side of the pitch going through a shooting drill together and the subs were on the other side going through their own warm up, in the middle of them both was a lonely figure lazily wandering around as he now and again kicked a ball into the goal. Never breaking sweat, never moving for more than 3 steps to either side as he just stood there on his own, ‘Doing his own thing’.

Not my fault…

Who does he think he is? Is he too important to warm up with his team mates like everybody else? Is he not interested in what the coaching staff want him to do as he knows better? I cant believe something like this can be tolerated and going on at a club like Arsenal. Does Wenger even know about this type of stuff going on? Something like a star man feeling he can do whatever he wants explains why Arsenal haven’t been good enough to win the league since 2004. Can you imagine Henry, Vieira or Pires not just doing this or be allowed to get away with it. It’s a joke.

Once the game started Sanchez then carried on his one man show of walking around the pitch as he was completely uninterested in doing his bit for the team. All of this in the first half was directly in front of Arsene Wenger as well with Sanchez over on his side of the pitch. Is he blind to it or accepts it? Either way Arsenal being 3-0 was of no surprise given the total lack of commitment by Sanchez in particular. The fact he then ‘kicked off’ at everyone else in the dressing room after the game is outrageous. If I were Wenger I would sell him to the highest bidder.

Great Double Act

Now that Payet has made it clear he wants to play for a bigger club then West Ham it should be a no brainer for Arsenal and go with the Payet/Giroud combination that we all know works extremely well. Payet may be petulant but at least he actually WANTS to play for a club like Arsenal. Which is more then can be said about Mr Sanchez. Get rid.