Sol out? Koscielny in, guess who’s next through the door…….

June 30, 2010

So it seems Sol is locked in talks with Celtic, that’s him gone then in my opinion. If he wanted to stay with us he would have sorted that out by now, no doubt Celtic are offering him more money and maybe he wants to play abroad again! Scotland is abroad in my eyes 😉

That leaves us with new boy Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen, with Johan Djourou in there too. Not enough for the Premiership season we have ahead so I think we can expect another centre half signed soon. My hope is that when the Koscielny deal is finally announced, its done so with another signing. Maybe Schwarzer, maybe another centre half, maybe even both!

I hope for Gary Cahill, 24yr old, 6′ 2″ Englishman, who’s right footed! We now have two lefties, so we need a righty to balance the defence…

Another option is Madjid Bougherra, a 27yr old defender who can also play in midfield. A dual role player, Wenger likes them!! He shouldn’t cost too much either.

On to other players linked with us right now……………….

Mario Balotelli – 6’3″ striker who is constantly saying he loves being linked to us, he’s only 19yrs old, maybe if Eduardo leaves Wenger will look for another striker, but will he take a chance on another young striker? Would the new Inter manager sell him to us, I doubt it. Can’t see this one happening!

Loic Remy, another striker hoping for a move to us, he is reported to have rebuffed West Ham in hope that our wiley old boss brings him to Arsenal. Now this one is a tad more interesting in my opinion, he’s 23yrs old, FRENCH and we’ve been linked with him for the last 50 years 😉

The other one in the mix is Joe Cole, I have changed my mind over this one, I would rather Jack Wilshere remain with us rather than go on loan and play the similar role – Jack has attitude and desire, why pay an ex chav £100K a week when we have a fitter younger player who can play in the same position.. For that reason, I don’t think Wenger will take a chance on Joe Cole…

The good news is that we aren’t linked to a central midfielder yet, maybe Melo will just be snapped up in a no fuss, no thrills and spills deal after Holland knock Brazil out of the World Cup – now wouldn’t that get us all up to fever pitch??

We look a really weak side defensively, things have to be done, players need to be bought. In midfield we lack support for Song and between the posts we need a new face….

I don’t know what Arsene Wenger is up to during his spare time in South Africa but I sure as heck hope he’s sorting out the weaknesses in our current squad, because if the new season were to begin right now, we’d be doomed……

It seems more are leaving right now than joining, but have a guess at who you think will be the next player in……

That’s it footie wise for today….

Off topic – I don’t know if you like tennis, but I was pleased with two things at Wimbledon yesterday. One was Venus Williams getting knocked out, the other was seeing the greatest and most successful female tennis player ever to have graced the court return to the game at 53 years old. Having faced and got through a cancer scare, Martina Navratilova partnered Jana Novotna in the Ladies Invitation Doubles Competition, she won too, I hope they go on to win the competition.

Does that not prove that if you’re old enough you are good enough, or should that be if you are good enough, you’re never too old – there’s hope for me yet 🙂

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Wenger unfair to the youth, how can that be?

June 29, 2010

Now let’s get this clear. I am not attempting to disrespect Arsene Wenger’s brilliance as a manager, in this article! What I am trying to do, is to understand the logic of how he sees certain youth players, and the way he treats them from a first team perspective.
Arsene has long held a justified reputation for his careful, studied treatment of young players and for allowing them to develop their careers in what is recognised as one of the best club structures in the world. But what is the actualite?

Well, over the past number of years, Le Prof has successfully put out “youthful” teams in the Carling Cup and to a lesser extent in the early rounds of the FA Cup. So, what do we define as “successful”? Well from 2003/4 to 2009/10 these youthful teams have, in the League Cup, reached 3 quarter-final rounds; 3 semi-final rounds and 1 final. Many clubs putting out their first team squads would be proud of this achievement.

So far, so good for the youth development system, it seems. But what has happened to the kids who have played in these teams, as regards their first team opportunities? Go on, tell me, how many have gone on to be included regularly in the first team squad, let alone play in the first team? Their names do not exactly flow off the tongue, do they?

Well, you could say that the youthful Cesc, Song and Denilson could fall into the successful category, but they were really “bought in” players, recruited from other teams’ youth development systems. There have also been many others included in the “bought in” category, including Merida, Barazite etc, who haven’t made it, as of today.

O.K. so, what of the British kids who have successfully come thru the Arsenal youth system and, via the League Cup, made it as first team regulars? How about Hoyte, Lansbury, Randall, Bentley, Sanchez-Watt to mention a few? Well none of these!
We have high hopes for the future success of young Jack Wilshire and perhaps Kyle Bartley, but so many others look doomed to make a living with lower league clubs.

There is undoubtedly a great new crop of youngster coming thru the system such as Zak Ansah, Chuks Aneke, Beni Afobe and Jay Emmanuelle-Thomas. I wish all of them a successful future for themselves and Arsenal.
But is Arsene, on the strength of the current situation, deserving of his reputation as a great developer of youthful talent for the Arsenal first team?

Well what do you think?

Written by Red Arse

The future of England 🙂

 


A Sad Reality…..

June 28, 2010

 

mikeB left this comment on Avenell Road last night, it was later in the evening and most of us had gone. The comment deserves more than to be lost on a days before post,  it deserves debate, so here it is today…….

It is a sad reality of our media dominated game that we will never function as a successful national team until we take away the fear.
We see it with the players. Household names that are revered the world over fail to live up to club form… why? Because they play with fear.

A manager with the noblest record starts his England career with freedom and verve. Two years later he is so frightened that he leaves behind his most gifted impact player, and instead plays the same tried and tested format that his failed predecessor used… why? Because he was scared to do anything else.

Success for England is sadly unattainable in our current frenetic, Z-list celebrity crazed, and media dominated game. This has been true since the 1970 World Cup, when a media feeding-frenzy took the England Captain, one of the finest and most decent men ever to grace the game, and accused him of being a shoplifter.

Ever since then the media has been digging up dirt, besmirching reputations, and generally interfering in the psychological well-being of our national team and its many coaches.

I am not asking our trusted guardians of the ‘fourth estate’ not to do their jobs. What I am asking for is that they do their jobs responsibly. Until we take away the fickle interference of the British tabloid press, and the capricious and vested interests of other media outlets (Sky Sports take a bow) England will continue to fail, because they are too terrified to do anything else.

The inconsistency of a venomous media is quite shocking. England’s hero, from the qualifiers, suddenly became an untalented spoilt brat; unable to run with the ball, unable to cross a ball, unable to create space, and without an iota of ‘footballing brain’. According to the suddenly hate-filled tabloids, he was a man doing nothing for our great England cause; and why…? Because certain vacuous individuals, with axes to grind, and vested interests in their own self-promotion, were given platforms in the tabloid press, and told us it was so. For an already fragile England team it was cancerous, mendacious, and debilitating.

Great players don’t become bad players overnight. A great manager doesn’t become a poor manager overnight. Not unless they are hounded by the press until they are afraid to function.

That is what we saw against Germany… A team of fine individual players, led by a great manager, unable to pass, unable to shoot, unable to cross a ball, unable to express themselves, unable to make decisions, unable to function, unable to win… and why…? Because they were too terrified of failure.

This isn’t just about Theo Walcott; he is merely a symptom of a greater and more malignant disease, but if he and Jack Wilshere and co. go on to play for the national team they will fail too… The so-called pundits, and the rest of the rabid media in this country, with their vacuous opinions and feast and famine approach to football, won’t allow them to do anything else… Not if there’s a headline to write, and a quick buck to be made.

Written by mikeB


Why Özil after two good games? Is it Goodbye to Dudu?

June 27, 2010

It seems that the whole world of footballing fans suddenly want their club to buy Mesut Ozil and we Arsenal fans are no different are we.

One great display against the ten men of Australia, an average performance during Germanys loss to Serbia but then a wonder strike from the player to earn his country a 1-0 win over Ghana, seems to have convinced us all that he is the man we want Arsene Wenger to sign.

Well, yes it would be wonderful wouldn’t it to finally bag ourselves an out-and-out attacking midfielder, a winger some would call him. I’ve forgotten what a winger was its been so long since we’ve had a ‘real one’.

But hang on, were we not crying out for players with experience, did we not ask for players who have been there and done it, did we not say we have too many young players in our squad and we wanted oldies to ‘show the way’ to the young uns??

We did, so what makes us all suddenly believe that Mesut Ozil is good enough for Arsenal Football Club. Be honest with yourselves, did you want him before this World Cup? No, nor did I!

We have little to no chance in buying him in my opinion and feel free to voice yours loud and clear, but Wenger has said he will not buy a player off the back of a four-week competition. Add to that, he has had two very good games in three, is that really enough to convince Wenger to splash out vast amounts of money? Nah, I don’t think so.

Werde Bremen will be sat rubbing their hands together as this tournament goes by knowing that if their 6’0″ attacking player continues to shine they will be able to stick a £20M price on his head.

That price tag will be far too much for Wenger. However, his contract ends this time next year, maybe we will see another Audrey Arshavin scenario in January if he hasn’t been snapped up by then..

I don’t think we’ll get him, but I’m sure he’d look good in Red and White and he wears the Number 10 🙂

Sad news this morning written in many papers, that is that Eduardo could be on his way. Reports are that Arsene Wenger no longer has him in his first-team plans and he would be better suited to league where football is a less hard. Well, I wonder how Martin Taylor feels this morning having read the papers?

If this transpires to be true then I truly hope it’s not the beginning of the end of our little poachers career…

Well done to Ghana for yesterdays win, great to see the African flag flying and today it the turn of England. No doubt it will be a high scoring, entertaining match with plenty of goals.

Have a good day all, enjoy the sunshine and the football…


Gooners’ Despair over Fabregas unfounded??

June 26, 2010

A theme running thru all the Arsenal blogs in recent weeks has been a resigned, and perhaps a somewhat cynical, expectation that Cesc will eventually leave the Gunners for his Catalonian “home” club.

I am not so sure. One thing the World Cup will have shown him is that the grass is not always greener on the other side. A splinter up the bum from the Spanish subs bench is likely to feel the same as a splinter up the bum from the Barca subs bench.

Fabregas has always been a little coy, following the end of the season, in simply restating his desire to return to Barca “at some time in the future”. During the resultant outcry from Gunners fans, everywhere, he has made only one cryptic but illuminating statement to say “I have discussed the situation with the manger, whom I trust absolutely, and the future is in his hands”. What to make of that?

I believe at the end of the season, when Arsenal came so close, but ultimately failed to win the premier League title, and coupled with his season ending broken leg, Cesc was understandably despondent. Another unsuccessful season had come and gone, and Arsene seemed to be no nearer changing his unsuccessful “youth” policy.

At the same time the Barca Presidential elections were in full swing with promises from both candidates to “bring Cesc back”. During pre- World Cup training, many of the players in the squad, who also play for Barca, put a lot of pressure on him to re-join the club and reminded him of his Catalonian heritage. But during the World Cup, Cesc would have had his eyes opened to the difficulty of getting into both the Spain and Barca teams.

At the meeting with Wenger, Cesc would have told Le Prof of his disappointment at the lack of trophies over the last 5 years; that there appeared to be no possibility of this changing while the current youth policy remained in place and that meanwhile Barca were winning titles for fun.

In response, Arsene would have promised Cesc he would make “class” signings, in the close season, to help win trophies but that if Arsenal still failed to win anything in season 2010/11, he would let Cesc go, provided a “fair and reasonable” transfer fee was offered, by Barca.

I believe that Cesc will stay for another year, we will win the Premiership and the European Champions League and Cesc will stay for life.

Written by Red Arse


Jack Wilshere to Man City…. Yeah right!!

June 25, 2010

 What absolute and utter garbage!!

Red Arse talked yesterday about how we get built up only to be let down by the rumours that do the rounds every transfer window. Mostly of course we tend to get ‘excited’ about those we are linked to, occasionally we get just a tad down hearted about those suggested to be on the brink of leaving.

Right now, the main talking point is about whether or not our captain will leave, but then yesterday I saw this written on the good old football rumour site. Someone who is obviously trying to have a laugh, suggested that Citeh are going to sign Jack Wilshere, they have assured him of regular football and the lad can’t wait to move.

I’m not even going to give this any more thought, its rubbish, utter rubbish!!

Maybe Peter Hill-Wood will come out and say ‘He won’t get into their first team’ – well, he’d be right, a team like Citeh who have billions and trillions of money, don’t give players like Wilshere a chance, they will just go out a buy a player who costs millions. He may not even be that good (Lardybayor & Toure) but as far as they seem to be concerned, if they cost a lot, lets buy him!!

Do I dare add that the same person suggested that Aaron Ramsey is off there too…..

Ah well, it keeps us chatting doesn’t it and along the way we can have a laugh about it too. I caught a photo of Arsene Wenger after the press in South Africa caught up with him after they got wind of this latest rumour, he obviously decided to share the story with Steve McClaren….

‘Ere, Steve, guess what I’ve heard……

Steve says, ‘Bet you a fiver its bollox, shake on it’ ……

Arsene – ‘Done’ 🙂

On to other rumours, we’ve all but signed Schwarzer according to some, nearly signed Tim Howard before he went to the Mancs according to others, but apparently he has a bit of a temper and can have the odd outburst so we didn’t bother!

Turkish side Galatasary think they can make a cheap bid for Alex Song in order to tempt him away from Arsenal, well they can take a run and jump together with Inter Milan in their hunt for Robin van Persie….. ‘Arry is rumoured to be in contact with the agent of Joe Cole and finally we are supposedly interested in £10M rated Ryan Babel – £10M?? He may have been but surely Rafa has made sure his valuation is below that now…

Talking of ‘Arry, he actually mad me chuckle after the Japan/Denmark game – he said he had been in contact with the club of Japanese player Honda. He said the club though wanted to do a player swap deal. ‘Arry though said he wouldn’t swap a Honda for a Bentley….

Oh well, looks like Bendtner and Song will get the rest of the summer off, good! Two more fit players ready for the new season…

Thats all folks……


Damned transfer rumours, I Hate them, OR do I?

June 24, 2010

We get “rumours” or “reports” every Transfer Window; Arsenal are linked to this player or that. The heart soars only to be disappointed in the cold light of day by the unreality of the stupid rumour.

Where do these reports come from? Well they breakdown into distinct types.

Denis Hill Wooden-top announces Arsenal have money to spend, if Arsene wants to buy someone.
Immediately some fan knows someone at the club who says Le Prof was in Paris and seen talking to a well-known Centre Back. This is then reported as fact. Headlines appear, Arsenal are “tracking”, “eyeing” or “monitoring” said player, Subotic/Kjaer, for a “reported” fee of £30 million.
Wow, fantastic! But, hold on, so also, reportedly, are Man City, Manure and Chelsea, let alone Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan. Now how likely is Arsenal to outbid these clubs? Not at all? Nada? “Chance” and “fat” spring to mind! HATEFUL disappointment.

Then there are the Agents who are trying to negotiate new contracts for their clients. You know, “Mussolini/ Buffoon” the well-known Italian keepers are in “discussions” with Arsenal and are flattered by the interest. Wow … Brilliant; no more Almunia: except that the report is quickly followed by another in which said Agent denies any contact with Arsenal. HATEFUL disappointment.
Then there is a report that Le Prof has said about this player or that, “I like him” and “I have known about him for a number of years”. Yay, no more Denilson/Diaby — great; but wait, the player says he has heard the rumours but knows nothing directly. HATEFUL disappointment.

Then, worst of all, an irresponsible, discourteous, underhand director of (let’s say) Barcelona, bangs on about the irresistible lure of Barca for your best player, who goes all coy and says that he would like to play for Barca, “one day”. In fact so irresistible is this lure that they will honour us by offering 1/3 rd of the value of said player. HATEFUL disappointment.

But wait, actually, I find I am beginning to strangely love hearing about these rumours. I can delight in those linking us to this or that fabulous player, even if only briefly; I can rail and moan to my friends and relatives about the appalling injustice of some of these stories; and during a very quiet transfer window I can go on the net and seek out my fellow fans and chew the fat, ad nausea, regarding the merits or otherwise of this or that rumour. Bliss!

I love Arsenal and even these nonsense reports help to bridge the gap between seasons.

Written by Red Arse – the first of many I hope 🙂