07.31 – When Arseblog first started back in Feb 2001, Arsenal fans had already seen new signing Francis Jeffers spend most of his time out of action due to injury. Our much needed fox in the box spent more time on the treatment table than on the pitch.
Still though, we were willing to give him time. Last season he managed to force his way into the reckoning a bit more, scoring some goals, winning some penalties and starting games (albeit mostly in the FA cup). Then the old injury problems struck again, he missed the run-in when maybe we could have done with him, he missed the FA Cup final. Same old story. In pre-season he was given plenty of games, did very little to convince anyone he was up to the standard required at Arsenal and then pretty much fucked himself getting sent off in the Charity Community Shield.
So yesterday he joined Everton on loan for the season with a view to a permanent move next summer. Nobody shed too many tears, I don’t think. Especially not Jeremie Aliadiere who’s likely to make more of an impact on the first team with Jeffers out of the way. Still, I don’t think anybody would have any problem with Franny. He just wasn’t an Arsenal player, despite his obvious goalscoring ability. He doesn’t fit into our team. Jeffers said “I enjoyed my time there, working with some of the best players in the world, and, as far as I’m concerned, the best strikers in the world. They’ve taught me a lot.”
I know we have old school guys like Martin Keown, but was Jeffers just too ugly for this Arsenal team?
I wish him luck. Except when he plays against us, natch. It does leave us in a strange position that with Jeffers gone, 3 of our current strikers could well leave the club next summer. We know it’s DB10’s last season, it’s unlikely that Kanu will be offered a new deal and Wiltord still has to put pen to paper. If those 3 go, and Jeffers goes, it’ll be Thierry Henry and the young guns. Realistically speaking, we may be able to bring in 1 striker with the limited funds available, so AW has got to be looking at Aliadiere, Bentley, Popadolopalooza and this weirdy headed American kid for the first team next season.
We’re still waiting for confirmation of the signing of Spanish superniño Cesc Fabregas. Arseweb has a nice report from L’Equipe who are saying a 4 year deal has been signed, and there’s some interesting info about the player himself from an anonymous Finnish journalist. Barcelona are still most unhappy about the whole situation, and apparently have threatened to report Arsenal to FIFA and UEFA. However, as far as I’m aware, Arsenal have acted completely within the laws of the game and cannot face sanction for the deal.