Why Didn't Arsenal Buy Hangeland?

Another varied Mailbox, which questions why Arsenal didn't buy Brede Hangeland, tells us why City can buy players, and wonders why Pepe Reina is happy to be a sub...

Last Updated: 06/08/14 at 10:40

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We Pointed It Out Because It Was Treated As A Serious Point
'(Ed - This was a joke that seems to have slipped you by)'

Is there any need to sound so smug/self-righteous when someone misses a joke on your site?

I don't consider F365 to be a funny site at all. In fact, people like Sarah, Nick, Matt et al are the very epitome of "unfunny" whilst decrying others sense of humour and flaming the very essence of what comedy actually is.

The only person with a sense of humour on this site is John Nicholson and we all know this before we read his articles as he has a "very northern mind". This means that we know what to expect, someone who doesn't take life or himself too seriously so that he can make interesting and funny reading.

People with no sense of humour need not to get so hissy when someone doesn't get their "joke" because most of the time, they really are not funny despite their attempts to be so. Mediawatch is the worst culprit of this, trying so hard to be funny but failing so badly that it is actually hilarious. There are no smiley faces on your site.

I wonder who posts under the moniker of "Ed"?

Fat Man Scouse

Arsenal Should Have Bought Hangeland

Am I the only one that thinks Arsene has missed a trick?

I appreciate that after all these years of ignoring the Iagos of Arsenal's following advising him to "put money in thy purse" - he's appeared like a kid with a fresh five pound note in a sweet shop following years of having no pocket money at all and now wants to stuff his pockets full of all the sweets he can carry.

But it seems to me what we've been looking for cover for Per Metersacker and not Koscielny. I understand the club probably doesn't want to lose out on a transfer fee for Vermaelen so why didn't they bring in a player they would have had to pay any money for so they could forego the £10m or so Thomas would have brought in and then let him go for free next season?

In doing so we would have kept a player who wouldn't have to settle in as would a new player and provide the necessary cover in defence.

The player we've missed out on is of course Hangeland. He would have solved all of our problems, given us the additional lanky centre forward, knows the league, lives in London and was available on a free and could have gone straight in to play City and Palace in the next couple of weeks - providing Per with the necessary rest time.
Graham Simons, Gooner (is sure F365 readers are smart enough to appreciate a Shakespeare reference), Norf London

Pepe Reina, Why?

Pepe Reina's imminent transfer to Bayern looks a very strange decision on his part, he is far too good to play second fiddle to Manuel Neuer. At the age 31 he is probably coming into his prime as a goalkeeper and he is basically going into semi-retirement now as you can't see him getting much game at all ahead of the German machine.

It's a tough life for keepers as there is only one spot in the team, his problem seems to be that the top clubs are all pretty well sorted for goalkeepers at the moment but to get around that he should maybe drop his wage demands for a while and keep playing for a challenging club. Edwin Van Der Saar had a few good years at Fulham before United took him back to the elite club level again and same would be true for Reina if he keeps playing first team football. It would be a shame to see him do a Cudicini.
Parmjeet Dayal

On The Big Penalty

I think Rich Jones is quite correct! From memory (as I am an old bloke) I once watched Leeds vs Man City in September 1991 in the old First Division at Elland Road. Man City got a penalty which Peter Reid stuck against the post. The rebound fell to him and he scored. Interestingly he knew straight away that it wasn't a goal and the referee quite correctly gave a free kick.

Weirdly this wasn't the most unusual feature of the game - David Batty scored his 1st ever league goal at Elland Road in that game as well! Just the 4 years after making his debut.

well spotted Rich!
Andrew Booth

...Regarding Rich Jones's mail about the penalty in the England/Sweden Women's game. A work colleague was at the match spotted this from the other end of the ground and was shocked to see the goal given.

The only reason he felt it was given was that none of the Sweden players complained about it.

So maybe if they were up in arms the ref may have remembered the laws of the game? I don't think ive ever seen a free kick given for something like that bar that Henry/Pires debacle years ago.

Salary Cap
Nobody ever seems to talk about salary caps when it comes to restraining the "idiotic", "bankruptcy-inviting" spending done by some "irresponsible" clubs? They're the norm in the USA, but in Europe they're a naughty word that shall not be uttered when it comes to keeping football competetitive and fair? Instead we have this complex system of the FFP-rules, which also the Premier League are taking even further themselves, that include the most idiotic ways of calculating different things to satisfy limits that are completely arbitrarily set.

A salary cap would effectively spice up the footballing world unlike the FFP-rules, which do nothing but lock and dig in deep the current power hierarchy. Let's rather just look at the top European clubs at the moment and put a cap slightly below what the big boys are spending at the moment. This would mean that come the next transfer window they'd be unable to hire new players unless they're willing to give someone up in exchange. No more hoarding all the talent just because you can, but instead make the managers actually work to find the best team under the limitations.

I know the actual part of setting that cap would be difficult considering that the European top-flight football is played in such many countries, but I bet they could try to find a decent compromise of salaries-after-taxes.

But the other "noble" goal of the FFP-rules, keeping clubs from going under, wouldn't be solved. But then again, can we really solve that if we don't allow the clubs to really plan their income and hence lock the league structure and the UEFA competitions? But I don't think we want, so let some go bankrupt if they really want to. New ones will come along, don't worry. It's not like kids will stop playing football if one clubs gets replaced by another.
Jake, ironically a CFC-fan.

Not Bothered About Vanishing Spray

Seeing some people lauding the FA for the disappearing spray being introduced, everyone seemed to be glad of it during the World Cup too.

Am I the only one who thinks this is a fancy solution to a problem that didn't really exist? And now everyone thinks FIFA and FA are being progressive with their measures.

Have to applaud the FA on new guidelines on head injuries, though it has to migrate towards an independent party making the decision on players continuing in my opinion.
Danny (long time listener, first time caller), Washington DC

Another Confusing Goal Idea

Good post Tumang Bokaba, we had a while back a system to also award points to goals depending on importance. It seemed a bit simpler than yours (not meaning better, just different). Basically what you is you wait till the end of the game and goals worth are decided depending on what the scoreline was at the time:
- any goal scored while your team is level with the other (so the first goal when still 0-0, or a goal scored while 1-1, 2-2 etc.) is 10 points.
- any goal scored to get your team back level is also worth 10 points
- any goal that gives your team a 2-goal lead is worth 8 points, just like any goal that gets your team back within 1 goal
- any goal that gives your team a 3-goal lead is worth 6 points, just like any goal that gets your team back within 2 goals
- any goal that gives your team a 4-goal lead is worth 4 points, just like any goal that gets your team back within 3 goals
- any other goal is worth 2 points.

Assists are worth half of what its goal is worth in all scenarios.

We had this in the Cantona years and found that while he may not have scored that many goals for MU compared to other strikers, his were massively important to MU at the time.
Mike, "Wishing you well Lamps, always a Blue legend" Chelsea

Why City Can Still Buy Players

In answer to Paul Jones and City's sanctions...

Financially, we've had a fine imposed on us by Uefa to the tune of £49 million, reduced to £16 million over the next few years should we hit the targets set by the UEFA bigwigs. This fine incidentally can be paid by our owner (and doesn't have an impact in future accounting figures so as to make us "fail" again). Our owner can conveniently service this fine from his own pocket yet isn't allowed to finance the club outside of UEFA's rules in the same manner. With us set to break even for the first time in the Sheikh Mansour era for the next financial year the fine looks set to be lowered, so £16 million over a few years isn't a massive hit all things considered.

We also have a restriction on our transfer spending, capped at £49million net, meaning any sales can be added to that figure. We haven't really been restricted here either as most of our signings this season have been focusing on strength in depth and fine tuning an already excellent squad.

Finally our Champions League squad has been restricted to 21 from 25, and as we only fielded that many players in the Champions League last season I can't see that being a massive issue either.

This all brings me onto FFP in general. The rules imposed by UEFA regarding FFP on one hand look like something that should be applauded, but I'd be interested to hear some reasoned views from fans of other teams on the points raised here, not citing Abu Dhabi human rights laws or Arsene Wenger like paranoia.

It's a good read and raises to valid arguments that FFP was invented not to prevent clubs like City, Chelsea, Monaco and PSG from ruining football but from these clubs upsetting the big clubs dining at the top table of the game. Also, and I believe more importantly, FFP does not address the issue of debt in football. It's covered in more detail in the article but clubs such as Portsmouth and Rangers would have passed FFP with flying colours.
Mark, M32 Blue

...Why do Man City still have the temerity to "buy players" and infringe on the god-given right of Manchester United and Arsenal to keep winning forever? Well, as it happens, City were merely restricted to a £49mn cap on transfers, which is modest compared to our revenues now that we are in the top-3. However, this doesn't matter because contrary to the scare-mongering by the FFP sponsors, City have not spent more than this arbitrary cap in the past 2-3 years anyway. And Paul will be delighted to know that we will soon reach break-even, in which case the transfer caps should hopefully fall away.

The deeper question Paul is asking is, why didn't the big clubs simply ban City outright or do something drastic to protect their closed cartel. Well, the reason is that UEFA know if they push City too far, the club will be forced to take the rather confusingly named named FFP (which has nothing to do with "fairness") to court. The judges may support UEFA. Or they may see it as a rule that constrains investment and penalises City despite a steady improvement in financial performance towards sustainable levels, prevents a debt-free club from spending reasonable amounts on transfers, and restricts competiton to protect a few entrenched clubs. In particular, they might wonder why UEFA is so concerned about a club that's investing in the local economy and the best academy in the country, when there are far worse owners around and clubs going bankrupt.

To put this in context, the investments made in Jaguar Landrover that prompted their majestic turnaround since 2009 would be deemed illegal and "unfair" as per FFP. So, in a nutshell, UEFA cannot be certain of winning. Hence they have to compromise. And besides, City and PSG would be the last ones anyway, and no other club would be allowed to invest to catch up or threaten the G-14 from now on. Football is saved.
City fan, London, UK

This Year's Code Is 1688-89609

I've mostly skimming the mailbox recently due to the high proportion of Manyoo talk (apparently they might be playing a 3-5-2 formation) so I might have missed mention of this year's Official Premier League fantasy football league.

Is the admin of last year's one going to renew it, or is there a new one?

Tell me people. I must know!
Adonis Stevenson, AFC

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