Gary Cahill to Arsenal? Sign him!

April 16, 2011

Defense is one of the areas where Arsenal has looked vulnerable this season despite performing admirably on most occasions. And it is no wonder that we are linked with a new defender every now and then. Since last season, one of the names that have been frequently linked with us is that of Gary Cahill, who currently plays for Bolton Wanderers.

Now, Gary Cahill has come out and admitted that he wants to play at the top level of European football. He also revealed that his manager, Owen Coyle, is supportive in this regard.

Speaking to the Daily Mail regarding the transfer speculations since last season and his future ambitions, Gary Cahill said:

“It’s a bit weird in a way. Normally when there is transfer speculation, the manager comes out and says, ‘They can forget it – he’s going nowhere’. But the thing about our manager is he’s not only ambitious for himself and his club, he’s ambitious for his players. He wants them to have the same drive and desire to get to the top. He expects us all to want to better ourselves.

So when all the speculation started last summer, he called me in for a chat. He checked first of all that it hadn’t turned my head, then he came out with this statement about outgrowing the club one day. He just said, ‘Gaz, if you were happy just to tick along at your age there would be something wrong. You’ve got it in you to play at Champions League level and I honestly believe it’s going to happen for you’.

It was lovely to hear that, really flattering, and what he said has made it easier for me to contemplate moving on and taking another step forward in my career. If there is an opportunity to do something big you want to take it.”

He also admitted, after seeing Jack Wilshere’s progress this year, that he wants to be out there and test himself against the best. He continued by saying:

“I still speak to Jack Wilshere after his loan spell here and when I watched him in the Nou Camp (against Barcelona ) the other week I couldn’t help thinking, ‘That’s where I want to be: testing myself against the best’. I know there is extra pressure to deliver and prove you’re worth a place alongside top players but I like to think I could handle that.

At 25, I’m still young but I’m not exactly the new kid on the block. I have played enough Premier League games and gained enough international experience to be ready. I thought Jack did really well over there in Barcelona. I want to show I can hold my own in that company.”

This will have alerted many clubs as Cahill hasn’t mentioned a specific destination for which he wants to leave.  On the other hand, when reading between the lines, I think that Gary Cahill is looking for a move to Arsenal and wants to come here. Why? Because he wants to play top European football and considering the EPL table right now (if he stays in England) only top five or maybe six teams can give him that opportunity. And in these teams only Arsenal are in need of a centre back. Also he has given the example of Wilshere’s progress here at Arsenal, which wouldn’t have been possible if he were in another club. And I have a feeling that he wants to do the same. That’s how I see it and maybe I am wrong.

Still, I would go for him anyways before any other club makes an offer. I see no harm in signing him as he has plenty of Premier League experience, he is good in the air, he is good with the ball at his feet, and he has strength and most of all he is only 25. Besides we were after him and we know he is one of the better options available and he is prepared to leave Bolton. And most of all, he is only going to get better at Arsenal under Wenger.  

I hope we do make an offer for him and sign him this summer because we won’t get a better opportunity than this. Or someone else will definitely sign him and considering Man City and Chelsea’s wealth, they will be the first ones to go for him.


Arsene Wenger’s positive injury update ahead of Liverpool, Wojciech Szczesny set to start in goal

April 16, 2011

Wojciech Szczesny is set to start in goal against Liverpool on Sunday as Manuel Almunia won’t be risked with his knee injury.

Arsene Wenger, at his pre-match press conference, confirmed that Szczesny has had a full week of training after recovering from his injury in good time and therefore might be in goal. Wenger, however, didn’t rule out the possibility of playing Lehmann as he said that Szczesny still has some tests to take.

On the injured players, Arsene Wenger gave positive update as he confirmed that Alex Song and Johan Djourou are back and available in the squad and also added that Thomas Vermaelen is in full training and a good chance to play this season.

The manager concluded by saying that except Fabianski all the injured players are back in practice with Bacary Sagna, Aaron Ramsey and Tomas Rosicky the only doubts for Sunday.

Arsene Wenger, on Friday, said:

“We still have some tests to make but Wojciech is back in full training so it could be Szczesny [in goal]. It is a big surprise for us because we thought at the start [of his injury] that the season was over. But he was given the green light four weeks after the Barcelona game, so he had a full week of practice.

Jens wants to help out when it is needed, he knows the rule. If I decide to play him he will play without any problem and I can just congratulate him on the game he played. He saved a very important ball at 3-1 and overall his decision making was perfect.

[Manuel Almunia] is back in training, I have not spoken to him yet, how he feels, but it will be difficult to take a gamble after what happened to him in the warm up [against Blackpool].

We have plenty of players back, some are short of competitive edge but Johan Djourou and Alex Song are both available and even Thomas Vermaelen is in full training now. There is a good chance [he will play again this season].

We have some doubts still for Bacary Sagna, Aaron Ramsey and Tomas Rosicky but overall there is no big injury any more. Apart from Lukasz Fabianski everybody else is able to practice again.”