BBC Homepage feedback | low graphics version
BBC Sport Online
You are in: Football: Teams: Arsenal  
Front Page 
Eng Prem 
FA Cup 
World Cup 2002 
Champions League 
Uefa Cup 
Worthington Cup 
Eng Div 1 
Eng Div 2 
Eng Div 3 
Eng Conf 
Scot Prem 
Scottish Cup 
CIS Ins Cup 
Scot Div 1 
Scot Div 2 
Scot Div 3 
Rugby Union 
Rugby League 
Other Sports 
Sports Talk 
In Depth 
Photo Galleries 
TV & Radio 
BBC Pundits 
Question of Sport 
Funny Old Game 

Around The Uk

BBC News

BBC Weather

Wednesday, 9 August, 2000, 16:35 GMT 17:35 UK
Wenger's horse play
Arsene Wenger comes under fire from Nimes
Arsene Wenger comes under fire from Nimes
Arsenal have been accused of "kidnapping" 19-year-old French midfielder Guy Demel from Nimes.

Demel, described by Gunners manager Arsene Wenger as "the Patrick Vieira of 2005", was recruited from the French Second Division side on a free transfer during the summer.

In the same way that they signed Nicolas Anelka from Paris St Germain, Arsenal swooped on Demel as he was preparing to sign his first professional contract with Nimes.

I find it revolting. I'll eat a horse if Demel plays in the first team in the next two years
  Nimes football director Pierre Mosca
The Gunners took advantage of rules in France that allows trainees to skip the obligatory first contract with the club of origin if the player moves abroad.

Such a swoop can be a financial disaster for the trainee's original club.

Arsenal sold Anelka for 23m three years after signing him from PSG - and the French club have just splashed out 22m to buy him back from Real Madrid.

Anelka (left) was also snapped up by Arsenal as a teenager
Anelka (left) was also snapped up by Arsenal as a teenager
Pierre Mosca, Nimes football director, said: "It's not a transfer, it's a kidnapping. I find it revolting that so-called big clubs use such methods to attract young talent."

Mosca, quoted on website, also poured scorn on Demel's quality, saying he was not as good as Jeremie Aliadiere, the 17-year-old French striker signed by Wenger.

Mosca said: "I'll eat a horse if Demel plays in the first team or in the Champions League in the next two years. Last season he played twice in the second division. He's not Anelka or Aliadiere. We'll see in a year or two but I'm sceptical."

Despite Mosca's belittling remarks, many others believes Demel is comparable to Vieira, a virtual unknown when Wenger bought him from AC Milan.

The man who coached Nimes reserves last season, Bernard Boissier, said: "Guy is a very good player. His game and his physique remind me of Patrick Vieira", while former Nimes player Omar Belbey described Demel as "very strong technically with a great engine."

Search BBC Sport Online
Advanced search options
See also:

05 Aug 00 |  Arsenal
Seaman still first choice
04 Aug 00 |  Arsenal
Pires takes a Real swipe
31 Jul 00 |  Arsenal
Bergkamp's message of hope
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to top Arsenal stories are at the foot of the page.

Links to other Arsenal stories

^^ Back to top