Oops, he did it Cygan

_42036994_cygan_gettyYou can count the number of bad transfer moves Arsène Wenger has made at Arsenal on one hand. Even if you have been in a freak avocado stone accident and lost three fingers and a thumb.

The name Pascal Cygan must still make Wenger flinch. The great French coach could probably justify the exorbitant fee spent on José Antonio Reyes as a long-term investment that never quite panned out. There are a bunch of people in the City who would doubtless understand and probably now have the time to listen. But the €3 million he spent on his cumbersome compatriot would look dodgy even on the books of Lehmann Brothers.

In Wenger’s defence, Cygan has always disguised his flaws well – behind awards, including France’s Etoile d’Or for his “consistent” performances at Lille, and behind trophies, inexplicably including a Premiership title in 2003-4. It wasn’t until you actually saw him try to run, or kick a football, or turn in a small space, that his failings as a player became apparent.

This weekend, another coach was left red in the cheeks by a Cygan masterclass in defending. Villareal‘s eminent Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini, who has used Cygan sparingly during his three years at the club – just 42 times, in fact – paid the ultimate price for selecting the former Arsenal man against Osasuna this Saturday. With Pellegrini’s side leading 1-0 thanks to a fine first-half goal from former Manchester United man Giuseppe Rossi, Cygan fluffed a routine clearance in his own six-yard box to allow rival player Dady to seal an away draw for La Liga‘s bottom club.

You can watch the highlights from the game here, including Rossi’s sublimely taken goal. Cygan is in yellow – apparently when he left Arsenal Wenger insisted he never be allowed to wear red again. The memories were just a bit too painful.

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2 Responses to Oops, he did it Cygan

  1. Louiscrusoe says:

    I’d love to know your thoughts on Hull CB?

    Chances of being a regular premiership contender?

  2. Richie says:

    Great post Charlie, but i would like to draw attention to your assertion that you can count Wenger’s bad transfers on one hand…a little list is needed here methinks:

    Pennant
    Luzhny
    Suker
    Jeffers (for £8m for pete’s sake)
    The aforementioned Cygan

    As well as selling Upson and Bentley. It’s still a pretty good record, especially compared to some (my own beloved Liverpool included), but not outstanding. I haven’t even mentioned the many many no-names that have come and gone. Granted, he never spends silly money on one player, but there has been a cumulative build-up of dross over the years, each one displaying how keen the media are to perpetuate the myth that anyone Wenger deems worthy of an arsenal shirt must be the new Zidane, Pele or God. Arsenal would be great if all football was played barefoot on a beach with a margherita in one hand, and judged solely on how many tricks you could do…

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