Tag Archives: Denilson

Arsenal midfielder extends loan at Sao Paulo

Arsenal.com have confirmed that Neves Denilson will rejoin Sao Paulo on loan for the 2012/13 season. Sao Paulo admitted early last week that they were interested in extending Denilsons loan, but early reports suggested that Arsenal wanted him back in time for our pre-season tour of Asia. However, the Brazilian club seem to have got their way and I am pretty sure that most Arsenal fans would not be that bothered if they just kept him.

A statement on the official club website reads:

“Denilson has extended his loan spell with Sao Paulo for the 2012/13 season.

“The 24-year-old midfielder, who began his career at the club as an academy player, returned to Brazil last term for an initial 12-month spell during which he made a total of 47 appearances, helping the team to sixth place in the Brasileirao.

“Denilson has played 153 times for the Gunners since making his debut in October 2006, but with opportunities for first-team football limited at Arsenal ahead of the 2011/12 season, he has returned to his boyhood club.

“Everyone at Arsenal wishes Denilson well for his continued spell with Sao Paulo.”

The fact that even Arsenal have admitted in an official statement that Neves has limited opportunities at the club does not bode well for his future in North London. In my opinion, any attempts to hold on to him for much longer seem slightly futile. Surely it is time to call it quits? Denilson was once a young Brazilian who showed some potential. However, all that we saw at Arsenal was an increasing propensity to pass horizontally rather than towards the other teams goal. The fact that he made more than 150 appearances for Arsenal before he was 24 is absolutely astonishing.

I have nothing against Denilson, and I wish him well in Brazil, but the chances of seeing him in an Arsenal shirt again are looking increasingly slim. As sad as it is, this is something that I am just going to have to learn to accept… I just hope that it won’t take me too long to move on.

Screen shot 2012-06-29 at 10.39.47

Park in Olympic squad, Benayoun says goodbye and Sao Paulo want to extend Denilson loan

Today’s post begins with the news that Park Chu Young has been included in the Olympic squad for South Korea in spite of the ongoing controversy surrounding the delay of his military service. Chu Young was the captain of the national team, but was recently dropped for South Korea’s World Cup 2014 qualifiers after deferring military service by claiming residency based on a “long-term overseas residence permit” in Monaco.

Park then went some way to being forgiven by issuing a public apology in a press conference at the end of the season, and has now been selected as one of the three over-age players in the Olympic squad. Speaking at a press conference, South Korea Olympic coach Hong Myung-bo said:

“Physically, he’s much better than I’d expected him to be. He brings a lot of international experience and he will play a significant role on this team.

“As a head coach, I’d like for him to do a lot of things, but he’s just one of 18 players we have.

“I am actually worried that he might be trying to do too much for the team. I don’t want that to affect his performance.”

In other news, Yossi Benayoun has confirmed on his personal Twitter account his exit from the club and thanked Arsenal fans for their continued support during the season. Yossi returns to Chelsea tomorrow having exceded expectations by scoring 6 goals in 25 appearances for Arsenal, but is unlikely to be loaned out to us again next season. There are many Arsenal supporters (me included) who suggest that maybe we should buy him and offer him a 2-year contract, but as he is nearing the end of his career it is much more likely that he will be sold by Chelsea to a club where he would get more game-time.

The last topic for discussion today is that Sao Paulo have confirmed that they are hopeful of extending Denilson’s loan, even though Arsenal want him back in North London next season. The Brazilian club do not have enough money to buy him outright, but are optimistic of reaching some sort of agreement that would allow Neves to stay in South America for the time being.

Sao Paulo vice-president Joao Paulo de Jesus Lopes (what a ridiculously long name!) told to Globo Esporte:

“Arsenal’s staff want him to return but we are waiting for [director of football] Adalberto Baptista to have talks with them.

“Maybe we will manage to extend the loan for six more months or even another year. They liked his performances, they liked Denilson’s development. That’s why they want him to return.”

A few good performances in the Brazilian league are not enough to convince me that Denilson is suddenly a much better player than when he left Arsenal a year ago; maybe somebody in Brazil taught him that he doesn’t always have to pass horizontally? I think that it’s time for Wenger to call it quits and replace him with a world-class central midfielder.

Please leave any comments below. I want to know 1) If Arsenal fans would take Benayoun next season and 2) if we want Denilson back at the club. I have already made my opinions very clear.

Transfer Talk: Thursday 18th August

Marvin Martin

Arsène Wenger is stepping up his interest Sochaux midfielder Marvin Martin, just one of the players he is reported to be monitoring as he searches for a replacement for Cesc Fabregas. Wenger revealed earlier this month that Juan Mata will not be joining the club, although I still believe that we are close to agreeing a deal for Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Jádson.

France Football reported a few days ago that Wenger has already contacted Sochaux over a bid for Martin, who has drawn comparisons to Xavi Hernandez and Zinedine Zidane. He might not be an avid goalscorer, but 17 assists in Ligue 1 last season speak for themselves. He is known for his excellent vision and fantastic technique, opening up the opponents defence with his incisive passes.

Sochaux club president Alexandre Lacombe has already stated that the club are keen to keep the French international, although this is looking increasingly unlikely as they attempt to fend off interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Lille. In an interview with Eurosport Martin seemed untroubled by rumours of his departure, preferring to let his agent and the club sort out his situation:

“I am not thinking about that [moving clubs] just now. I have said all I want to say on the subject, but it doesn’t matter where I play, I will always give 100 per cent.

“There are other people whose job it is to take care of these things, but for the moment my agent has been leaving me in peace.

“I am in my fourth year at Sochaux now, the third in which I am playing regularly. I know the team and the team knows me, but in life you can never be sure of anything. We will see.”

Martin earned his first call-up to the French national team last year, with two goals against the Ukraine making him only the fourth French international to score twice on their debut. He then capped off a fantastic season by being nominated for the UNFP Young Player of the Year (an award which has previously been won by Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Samir Nasri), along with Mamadou Sakho, Yann M’Vila and Andre Ayew.

In my opinion Martin would be a fantastic buy. He would not be too expensive – especially when you consider the combined total of £60 million we have made from the sales of Cesc Fabregas and (almost definitely) Samir Nasri – and we definitely need to bring in at least one new central midfielder. As things stand, we are struggling with injury and suspensions and have sold/loaned out Fabregas, (Nasri,) Denilson and JET. Bear in mind that Aaron Ramsey, Emmanuel Frimpong and Thomas Rosicky are the only central midfielders available for our games against Liverpool and Manchester United, although Alex Song will be allowed to play against Udinese next Wednesday.

Bye bye Denilson… for now

As we have previously revealed, Neves Denilson stated his desire to leave the club shortly after the end of last season.

Denilson is probably not Arsenal material, but I’m sure plenty of Premier League clubs would be willing to snatch him up on the cheap.

However, due to Wenger’s rigid wage structure, Denilson has enjoyed wages well above what he is worth for some time now. Arsenal’s wage structure prevents players receiving very high wages but also stops them getting low wages – most players receive salaries that are quite similar. This means Arsenal pays out a lot in wages. Arsenal’s wage bill was £111 million in 2009/10, which put us fifth in the Premier League:

Top Premier League wage bills 2009/10 (2008/09 wage bills in brackets):

  • Chelsea – £174m (£167m)
  • Man City – £133m (£83m)
  • Man Utd – £132m (£123m)
  • Liverpool – £121m (£107m)
  • Arsenal – £111m (£104m)

Source: Deloitte

So despite Wenger’s wish not to give ridiculously high wages (eg. Nasri), he also doesn’t like to give low wages to fringe squad players. Therefore, Denilson, Rosicky, Chamakh and Diaby are earning plenty of money without really deserving it. And no other club will offer such high wages to such players.

Wages have apparently been a major stumbling block for Denilson’s move abroad. Yesterday, Wenger announced that our Brazilian is likely to be going home on loan.

“Denilson is likely to leave to go to Brazil on loan.”

The Brazilian previously said that his future is probably in “Italy or Spain.” It seems that no clubs in either of those countries were willing to pay his wages either.

Denilson played 153 games for Arsenal and scored 10 goals. Although he may not play again for Arsenal, he will continue to be a Gunner for at least one more season. As an Arsenal fan, I would like to thank him for his contribution to the club, but we can all agree that it is time for Neves to move on.

Pros and cons in 4-0 victory for the Gunners

Arsenal cruised to a 4-0 win against Malaysia XI. The first goal came from the spot, with Ramsey stroking the penalty home, although he may not have been the man we expected to see take the set piece.

Miyaichi and Walcott used their pace to pin back the opposition full backs. Jenkinson was powerful in his debut, standing tall in the face of a very fast winger for the Malaysian side.

Just before the break, Ramsey sent a splendid ball over the defence, which Walcott ran onto. The Englishman lifted the ball over the oncoming keeper to give Arsenal a two goal cushion in the raging heat of Kuala Lumpur.

Only Ramsey, Jenkinson and Miyaichi stayed on the pitch after the half time break, as Mannone, Frimpong and Vela, among others, came on.

The big guns (Nasri, RvP, Sagna and Arshavin) were subbed on after 66 minutes, but Denilson, who had only been on the pitch for 20 minutes, was taken off. The Brazilian, who has announced his desire to leave the club, reportedly stormed down the tunnel. Whether he was as angry as some fans are saying is uncertain, but such attitude seems unsavoury at first. To be fair, most players would have been annoyed at being a substituted substitute!

The third goal was scored by Vela, as he chipped the ball over the keeper with superb skill. The king of lobs is at it again and he was far more effective than the player he came on for (Marouane Chamakh, who still looked off the pace).

The final flourish was created by Arshavin, who beat the full back before lifting the ball over the defence, which allowed the on-running Rosicky to head home.

Their were plenty of positives – Jenkinson and Miyaichi had great debuts. Vela, Walcott, Ramsey, Vermaelen and Koscielny looked sharp. There was plenty of confidence and we won the game comfortably. Denilson looks to be off, which is undoubtedly a good thing.

However, we continued to play a high line. Chamakh lacked sharpness and both full backs struggled in terms of positioning, although they recovered well.


No takers for Neves

All of you will remember 19th May. That was the dreaded day that Neves Denilson revealed that he had handed in a transfer request, making it clear that he will almost certainly be leaving Arsenal this summer (providing that we can find a club that actually wants him). Denilson had a torrid season and has clearly decided that now is the right time to move on:

“I made up my mind eight months ago. But I haven’t said anything because I did not want to disrupt the team during the season.

“I’ve simply been to see Arsene Wenger and told him how I felt and he’s agreed to let me go.”

6 weeks on and his agent, Santiago Gerardo, has told the media that there have been no offers so far. Not a single club has even made an inquiry… And there was I thinking that there would be a throng of top European clubs willing to throw ridiculous amounts of money at us in order to sign our fantastically average Brazilian midfielder. If Fernando Torres is worth £50 million, then Denilson is worth at least a packet of Rich Tea biscuits (£1.39 each, or 3 Denilson’s for £3).

“I don’t know anything about Milan, at the moment they are rumours… The only certainty is that if nothing happens in the coming days, Denilson will join Arsenal for pre-season on July 7.

“Spanish and Italian clubs? At the moment there are no talks. I usually speak with Wenger about certain things, but we have not spoken about Denilson.”

Photo by Ronmac on Flickr

In my opinion, Denilson is extremely underrated. He has a spectacular ability to pass sideways or backwards (although admittedly his forward passing could do with a big of work) and his stats this season [shown above] speak for themselves. What more could we ask for? He is clearly one of the best midfielders in the world, although I understand why Wenger is letting him go. A player of his standard can only be held back from a move to Real Madrid/Barcelona for so long.

Joking aside, Denilson is to football what Mel Gibson is to acting – he started his career with a lot of promise and some decent performances, but a few years on and nobody wants to work with him. Until recently I never actually thought that Brazil could produce somebody who was that rubbish at football; I still can’t believe that he was captain of their U17 team.

There is an old saying that “the two best days of owning a boat are the day you buy it and the day you sell it” and to some extent the same could be said of Denilson. However, when you want to get rid of your boat I would imagine that many loose fisted people can be easily convinced to buy it off you. Unfortunately, this is not true of our young Brazilian.

Some of my extensive research revealed that in the 2008-09 season, Denilson touched the ball more times than any other Premier League player. This is one stat that I fail to comprehend. It’s as if all of our other players kept passing to him and saying “you’re one of our best players. Do something!”, but were surprised when nothing happened. Arsène Wenger was then quick to use this stat as a way of justifying his support in Neves.

“If you look at the numbers and the amount of balls he wins, he is one of the top midfield players in the country on many indexes.” Arsene Wenger, February 2009

Nevertheless, Wenger soon grew tired of Denilson’s poor performances and, like every single Arsenal fan, lost patience. Only last week, we reported that Wenger had even resorted to offering Denilson as part of a player-exchange deal with Shakhtar Donetsk for Douglas Costa, but his agent confirmed that the club only wanted money.

“The Gunners have offered the club Denilson in exchange for Douglas but Shakhtar said no.

“They are not interested in Denilson and would want only money.” – Well there’s a big surprise!

What now for Neves? I honestly have no idea. Just when you thought he might actually leave, things take a turn for the worst. Maybe I am being a bit harsh? Doubtful. It’s 1am now – I might feel differently after a good nights sleep.

(For those of you who liked this article, I thought I would start the Neves Denilson Appreciation Society on Facebook. Feel free to join.)

Wilshere the new Scholes + transfer update

“We have to be a bit more nasty”

Jack has rallied Arsenal to show their aggressive side in order to avoid this site continuing to haunt Gooners for years to come. Wilshere has been a revelation this season, showing that project youth does has its benefits. Wenger’s stubbornness to stick with youth has frustrated fans, but Jack’s emergence has proven that, to some extent, it was worth it.

However, our rather aggressive midfielder has announced that Arsenal need to be tougher in order to win a trophy.

“We need to be more aware and have a bit more aggression. We’ve got some players that can do that but we have to go as a team. It’s no use just Robin van Persie going [to try and sway the ref] because it looks like it’s just him having a go at the ref. If we all get round him… you just see the other teams do it and you think, ‘We need to do it as well’.”

Although Wilshere’s cry for aggression is admirable, he does seem to be admitting that Arsenal need to cheat to win. Although he’s not asking for Wenger to pay off the referee, or for players to dive, he does seem to think that the Gunners need to try and put off the ref, so that 50/50 decisions go our way. Is that right?

Arsenal often seem to be put on a pedestal in terms of playing football ‘the right way.’ We aren’t owned by a billionaire (yet), we don’t splash the cash and we aim for a sustainable business model. Further to that, Wenger encourages Arsenal to play exciting football, without using physical methods to win games.

But do we want this label, or do we want to win? Would fans at the Emirates prefer to see Arsenal players conning the referee to a win a game, if it meant we would win trophies? It’s a tough question, but one that we should address in a different way – should other clubs be able to get away with overspending/swaying the ref, when some clubs (including Arsenal, but by no means exclusively) seem to aim for a more ‘fair’ philosophy?

Wilshere went on to say:

“Man United are the best at it. They get round the referee. We have to be more of a team, be more aggressive, show more authority and take control a bit more. I think we can be a bit too nice at times and some of our players would be the first to admit that.”

Our talented English midfielder does seem to have a bit of that Scholes mentality. And perhaps that is one of the reasons why Scholes has been such a successful player at Man United – and even Piers Morgan has admitted as much, as Scholes announced his retirement today.

Hailed as the future of English football, Wilshere seems to be following in the path of Paul Scholes rather admirably. I may not agree with all of Jack’s recent comments, but if he can bring that aggression onto the pitch (whilst avoiding the number of red cards that Man Utd’s midfielder managed to collect), then I’m certain he will be a top player.

Transfer Update


We may have seen the last of our Brazilian midfielder this season, as it seems that he is destined to move abroad. Sevilla is currently touted as the club that wants to snatch up one of the worst Brazilian players since Kleberson. I doubt that many Gooners will be sad to see him leave, and most fans will be ecstatic if we manage to receive £8 million for the sale.

A great article by The Swiss Ramble talks about Arsenal’s transfer budget for this summer. One point that really jumped out at me was that Arsenal’s wage bill is at £111 million, which is substantially behind Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea, but a massive £44 million ahead of Spurs. Gooners often expect Arsenal to have a low wage bill, due to the lack of high profile players at the club. However, the article points out that fringe players, such as Denilson (and Rosicky, Eboue, Bendtner, Gibbs etc), are on high wages despite their relative unimportance to the club. Not that they don’t have a place in the squad (although it could be argued that some of them don’t), but that many fringe players/youth players are earning far more than they would at other clubs. And this may very well lead to that complacency that we see in the current Arsenal squad.

Getting rid of those fringe players, who are earning far more than they deserve, is one way to free up a bit of money that could boost our transfer budget. People underestimate the importance of wages when it comes to dealing with transfers – they account for a huge percentage of Arsenal’s expenditure. For that reason, Wenger should make sure that he doesn’t give such high wages to our fringe players in the future.

Phil Jones

Blackburn’s manager has voiced his opinion that Jones should stay at the club. Arsenal have been linked to both Jones and Samba, but Kean believes that the 19 year old wouldn’t make the cut at a top club:

“I don’t know if Phil would go straight into the team at a Champions League club… he plays like a 28 year old, he’s got experience and calmness and when needed he has got that turn of pace.”

He readily admits that Jones is a good player, but he believes that he would spend a lot of time on the bench at a club like Arsenal. Perhaps Jones’ manager will convince him to stay at Blackburn, but the likelihood is that if Wenger wants Jones, he will convince the youngster to make the switch.

Seeing Denilson in this kit would be my worst nightmare

I can’t remember the last time it happened. It had been so long, that I thought it was actually against the rules to do it. But no, Wenger made a half time substitution on the weekend and it wasn’t due to an injury!

After a diabolical 45 minutes, our Brazilian superstar, who’s passing was even worse than Rebecca Black’s singing ability, was taken off to sarcastic applause from the away fans. Denilson’s half consisted of plenty of wayward passes, a long range shot which was closer to the corner flag than the goal, and one of his trademark fouls for which he was correctly booked. Granted, he was being played out of position, but why does Wenger constantly attempt to play him in defensive midfield? Probably because when Song is injured, Denilson is the only one who can fill the gap. I know Frimpong is unavailable, but Wenger should have more than one, unproven back up for such a crucial position.

When Denilson joined the club a few seasons ago, there were rave reviews about him. He was captain of the Brazilian U17 team which came second in the 2005 FIFA U17 World Championship and he was considered to be in the same mould as Gilberto Silva. Unfortunately, he hasn’t lived up to all the hype. He would be a great player in a different league such as La Liga, where the speed of passing and pressing is generally slower (apart from Barcelona!). A team like Sevilla would suit the Brazilian, but he’s not a Gunner.

In addition to Denilson’s poor performance this weekend, David Luiz (another Brazilian) showed his class. He was very expensive for a defender, but his composure on the ball was fantastic to watch. He defended brilliantly, albeit against a Man City team which seemed to think that a draw is still only half the points of a win, and he grabbed the opener. Luiz’s determination and skill only highlights everything Denilson lacks. The speed with which Luiz plays is remarkable, especially as he is still getting used to the Premier League. Unfortunately, our Brazilian will never have that speed. And it is his slow, lazy passing which is most detrimental to the Arsenal team.

It is possible that his half time substitution will mark the end of his Arsenal career. However, he could do an Eboue U-turn and become a fan favourite. But even Eboue has lost some of his fans recently. It is clear that top players just don’t have as many poor performances as both Eboue and Denilson have had in the past. That is why Nasri, RVP and Fabregas are among the best in the world, and the aforementioned duo will probably never be good enough for our beloved club.

A couple of potential images of our home kit 2011/12 have been doing the rounds over recent weeks. I doubt they are accurate though – both the logo and the sleeves seem odd. It is a classic Arsenal shirt, without the frills that MAY be expected of an anniversary shirt (apart from the design around the Arsenal crest). I do still find it a shame that clubs use 125th anniversary to squeeze even more money out of their fans. Oh well, I’m sure the money will go towards a new keeper or centre back… I end up buying a kit most seasons, but if this is the home kit, I’ll probably be interested in buying the away kit.