Wenger’s injury update on Vermaelen, Walcott, Gervinho, Benayoun and Koscielny ahead of Tottenham

October 1, 2011

Arsene Wenger gave mixed injury news ahead of the North London derby on Sunday.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, the manager revealed Laurent Koscielny will definitely miss the Sunday game after failing to absorb any of the tests on Friday. While on Theo Walcott and Gervinho, the manager said a decision will be made either today or on Sunday with Walcott having more of a chance to be available. Arsene Wenger also confirmed Squillaci and Benayoun are completely fit and back with the squad with Squillaci short on match fitness only. 

On an update on Thomas Vermaelen, the manager revealed a delay in his recovery from the surgery. Vermaelen now will join the squad one or two weeks after the international break.

Meanwhile, with Arsenal short on defenders at the moment, Arsene Wenger said he is tempted to start with Alex Song in defence but hasn’t decided it yet with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also having a possibility to be in the team.

Arsene Wenger on Friday said:

[Laurent] Koscielny looks to be definitely out for Sunday, it looks short for him. He couldn’t absorb any test today [Friday]. For [Theo] Walcott and Gervinho a decision will be made on Saturday or Sunday. The most likely to be fit of the two looks to be Walcott. [Yossi] Benayoun and [Sebastien] Squillaci are completely fit. Squillaci lacks match fitness, Benayoun does not.

It will be a fraction longer than expected [before Thomas Vermaelen returns]. He will not be straight back [in the squad] after the international break. It will be one or two weeks later.

[Alex Song in defence?] Squillaci will not be fit enough to start the game. If I am tempted I can answer honestly ‘yes’. Will I do it? Honestly I don’t know yet.

[Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] He is a possibility to be in the squad, I haven’t picked the team yet.


Wenger on who will feature tonight: Jenkinson, Miyachi, Chamberlain, Coquelin and Frimpong set to start

September 20, 2011

Carling Cup is going to get underway tonight with Arsenal hosting Shrewsbury town. Arsenal are set to stick to their youth policy for the Carling Cup, as has been done over the last few years. 

Arsene Wenger, speaking ahead of the game to the official Arsenal site, revealed he will give a chance to his young players while keeping a balance between experience and youth. 

The Manager, adding he had the team in his head before the Blackburn game, confirmed that Ryo Miyaichi, Francis Coquelin, Frimpong, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chamakh, Jenkinson and Ju-Young Park will all feature tonight.

Arsene Wenger, on Monday, said:

“We have a big squad now and we want to make use of that. I will give a chance for young players to shine and find the right mixture in this competition between keeping our faith in young players and, of course, winning the games.

“That means having the right balance between experience and youth.”

“I had my team in my head before the Blackburn game and it will remain exactly the same. We will have Frimpong, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ryo, and maybe one or two more. There is an also opportunity to see Park for the first time.

“Chamakh will also feature. You will also see Jenkinson start in his position. We will try to find a mixture between youth and experience.”


Cesc, Nasri, defending and Wenger: A look into the summer that has passed and what comes next!?

August 12, 2011

Here we are, almost three months after we ended the last season in dismal fashion, at the start of the next. A summer that was promised to be different has so far been the same.

Although a lot has happened since I last posted on the blog but considering what we needed and what was required to be done hasn’t been done yet.

Yes, we bought Gervinho, who looks impressive and give us a direct approach for a change, and we bought Oxlade Chamberlain, who will be a star in the next three years and Jerkinson, who also is one for the future. They all are welcome additions to our squad and in future they will turn out to be great players for us for sure. But in terms of preparing for the next season, we have  been where we ended last season. In fact, if you ask me, we are considerably weaker than before. And before everyone jumps at me, I am not being negative, it is the reality.

The Fabregas saga, the Nasri situation, the way our defense performed in the pre-season, these are proof enough that we have stood still in terms of improving as a team.  

I am not fussed about Fabregas or even Nasri leaving, heck I am because you seldom find a Fabregas. It is just that if they wanted to go, they should have been shown the door at the start of the window. Their replacements should have been bought to gel in with the team. We are less than 24 hours away from the start of our first game of the season and we still haven’t figured out what’s up with both of them. Even now is not too late, sell them and buy the replacements, that is, if we do want to replace them.

I am convinced for sure that we will lose both of them before the window closes, what I am dreading is that we don’t bring in the proper substitutes.

I know most will say that we have Wilshere and Ramsey and I don’t disagree. These two are going to be great players and one day they will be world class. Nonetheless, they still have a lot to prove and for this season they certainly are not the answer to the void that will be left by Fabregas’ departure.

Personally, I don’t blame Fabregas for leaving and don’t have anything against him. I would have liked him to stay. He has given us close to eight years of delightful football. His skill, vision and ability to change games won’t be forgotten and I will always remember him as one of our great players. And I believe we will never truly replace him with any kind of player.

I, however, don’t have many sympathies for Nasri. I know he is a good player and likely go on to be a big player. Still after having one good season where he was close to consistent doesn’t justify his attitude. If he were loyal to this club, he would have signed the contract back in May. He isn’t and he never will be. The best thing is to sell him and get done with it. He isn’t worth more time than what he has already wasted for us.

As far as defense is concerned, I was always on the edge of my seat whenever the opposition was attacking in the preseason games. No matter what people say, we just have forgotten how to defend or just don’t want to.  I know that when we want to defend, we can, the game against Barcelona last season is proof enough. Why don’t we do it consistently is a question only Wenger can answer.

Why haven’t we improved our defense or why haven’t we bought any defender is also beyond me. Squillaci clearly doesn’t know defending, Djourou and Koscielny are known to make the stupidest mistakes, Vermaelen is returning after a year and I hope he starts from where he ended, when he was injured. On the left, the situation is even worse. I know this has turned into a cliché but Gibbs is not ready. I have said before, he is not a defender at all. He can be a good winger and that is all. And his injury record is also not great. Traore is stable but he is not better than Clichy right now and we all know Clichy had his flaws. So why haven’t we got a replacement for Clichy yet? For me this is  relying too much on hope!

The irony is that, at the moment, I myself am desperately hoping for Vermaelen, Koscielny and Djourou to have a great season without injuries. I am also hoping for Traore and Gibbs to pull off performances worth player of the season awards. And, I know I am getting too far, but I am hoping Wenger will buy a defender and a left back.  

I am also off the opinion that the way we defend can only be improved if we change the way we practice. Right now, I am not convinced that what we are doing in training is helping. Is something wrong with our back room staff or is it just that we don’t give too much attention to it? Whatever it is, we need to solve the problem. And considering, we haven’t done it in the last two years, I know it will be much of the same this season, the pre-season showed that clearly. Still I am not giving up, there is always hope!

The thing that I am most pissed off on is that Wenger hasn’t kept true to his word. He said at the start of this summer that he will try to keep the best players and improve the team in places where it requires. He hasn’t done that yet. We have the same disastrous defense, we are about to lose Fabregas and Nasri, we have already lost Clichy. (I am grateful that we won’t be going to see Denilson this season though.)

Also If you remember, back in January Wenger said something about not buying a defender as we have too many of them already or something similar. Considering what we have bought this summer, doesn’t it seem ironic that he has brought in two wingers, when we already have a surplus amount of them but not a single defender which we need the most? And I am not complaining here. We do need them because we still don’t have enough depth in any position. We have many youngsters but they cannot be relied upon for the whole season. He also bought a right back but then went onto selling a left back and we are still stuck with Eboue.

He said that he will only buy players who will improve the team. As we don’t see any defender right now, does that mean there are no defenders out there that are better than what we have? Also except Gervinho, we can’t even be sure that chamberlain and Jerkinson will make it to the next level. I hope they will, but what is the guarantee that they will stay with us then. Nasri hasn’t committed yet after it took three years to develop him. Seriously! Sometimes I get really frustrated the way Wenger gives his justifications for not buying

Why the rant? Because I have to get these thoughts out of my mind. I know all is not bad. I don’t like the way we have dealt with the Fabregas and Nasri situation. I don’t like that we haven’t bought a defender and Left back. I don’t like that we are still stuck with Eboue (or not! a move to Galatasaray is on the cards)  and to some extent Diaby. I am willing to give Chamakh a chance. If I had my way, I would have sold him and played Bendtner in the middle, as there have been no buyers for him.

Despite all this, there are some great things to look forward to. I am delighted by Gervinho’s addition. He is the most direct player that we have bought in recent years after Arshavin. I just hope that he stays that way. He is quick on his feet, he can dribble and he has an eye for goal. He has adjusted nicely into the team and his partnership with Van Persie will be something to look forward to. Ryo Miyaichi has shown that he can play and he certainly has pace. He also got the work permit which is one of better news this summer. Frimpong is another one who impressed during pre-season. He certainly is going to be a great asset in the future. Jerkinson was also impressive and one day can be a replacement for Sagna. The partnership of Wilshere and Ramsey is what really excited me. Wilshere is certainly developing fast and his vision is improving. Ramsey too is doing great but he needs to take more responsibility. Both of them still need time though and they will get it this season. Van Persie is still on his goal spree and hopefully he will remain injury free. Szczesny is doing well in goal and no doubt he is going to get better. We have Fabianski and Mannone after him which leaves our goal keeping in good hands.

There are many other positives from the pre-season. However, for us to challenge for the top, we still are short on players in a couple of positions and if Fabregas and Nasri leave, we will need to add more. I just wish that before the window closes we will get the players we require and hopefully go on to have a great season and come out on top.

This season, the start for us is going to be what sets the tone to our season. With Newcastle, Manchester United, Liverpool and Champions league qualifiers in the next 15 days, we won’t have time to take a breather. We have to start on top from the first game and maintain that throughout the season. If we can get through these games with our heads held up high, than I will be convinced that we are there to challenge for the title. If we don’t, then I don’t even want to speculate on what will happen. Hopefully we will have a great season (I know there are too many hopes in this post but this is the only thing that will see us through the season, if things remain the way they are!)

Before I conclude, it was on this day last year that I published my first post. It has been one whole year for me since then and it has been a great experience. Going through all the games was fun, the wins and the loss, the delight and anger, the ups and downs, the happiness and frustration, it was just amazing. A big thanks to all who have visited this blog and still do and have been a part of it.

I have been busy for the last three, four months due to lots of reasons. However, I will try my best to posting regularly.  I love Arsenal and will continue writing about it. Thank you all once again! I have my fingers crossed for another great season, hopefully….


Wenger confident that Nasri and Fabregas will stay, Gervinho gives his word to join Arsenal, Alisher Usmanov talks

June 13, 2011

Till yesterday I had the impression that it was only Man City who could hijack transfer deals by splashing cash. It appears now that Liverpool has also learnt the art. Liverpool this summer is in the mix of everything. They for sure are looking to strengthen their squad and are rumored to be after many players. After signing Jordan Henderson from Sunderland for a hefty price, one thing looks certain that they are ready to spend some money.

I felt joy when I read that Liverpool have blown away Phil Jones deal with Man United into smithereens. Daily mail has reported that Liverpool have offered £22 million for his services as they also revealed that Blackburn owners will be trying their best to keep Jones. Worrying news for Ferguson!

However, the thing that has worried me is that Liverpool has also upped their pursuit for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. There are reports that Liverpool has matched our bid for him. If what the reports proclaim is true than we are losing our target faster than saying NO! Still I don’t believe this. If it comes to making a choice, I am certain that Chamberlain will pick us.

On the other hand, Bayern Munich has also joined Man United to sign Nasri. Money isn’t a problem for them but it remains to be seen whether Nasri really will leave Arsenal. With talks set to take place between Nasri and Arsenal this week, the Daily Mirror reported yesterday that Arsene Wenger seems to be confident in making him stay.  

In The Sun today, Arsene Wenger is quoted as saying:

“We will do everything to keep Nasri at the club. My wish is that he stays here. If he looks back he can see that he’s come quite a long way with us, and I think there is still a bit to do. It’s the club that makes the player’s career.”

Doesn’t it sound like ‘if you leave you won’t succeed elsewhere’? Still one thing is sure that Wenger will do his best to make him stay. As for reports surfacing yesterday about Nasri wanting £160,000 a week seem ridiculous to me. If it were a matter of money, Nasri would have gone to Man City or even Chelsea.

Wenger is also adamant that Fabregas is going nowhere. About Fabregas, The Sun has quoted him saying:

“I will be pretty clear about this. For me, Fabregas is with Arsenal for a long time and he will stay with Arsenal. It sometimes happens that the rumour can make the transfer.”

He will have a hard time in keeping Fabregas. I have resigned to seeing him go. It will be an added boost if he stays though.

Meanwhile, Alisher Usmanov, Arsenal’s second highest shareholder, is using the sentiments of the fans to make his way into the Arsenal board. He blames the current Arsenal board to be the reason for the club’s demise in recent years and calls for a change if he were to be on board. He labels the board as selfish as he mentions the increase in tickets price as unjust on the fans. You can find out what all he said to the News of the World here.

He does, however, know that we need a strong centre half, a strong defensive midfielder and Nasri and Fabregas to stay.

Elsewhere, French newspaper L’Equipe is reporting that Gervinho has given his word to join Arsenal and a deal will be signed by the end of this week. Haven’t find many sources on this so can’t confirm if it is true. Also there is news saying that Ignasi Miguel will be sent on loan to Bolton to help secure Cahill. Now that seems something interesting.

Let’s see what happens in the coming days. For now have a good day and enjoy the summer.


Barcelona’s academy breached again by Arsenal!!

June 11, 2011

After agreeing 5-year terms with 16-year-olds Jon Toral and Hector Bellerin from Barcelona last month, Arsenal have once again breached the famed Barcelona’s La Masia academy. This time we are after a 17-year-old wonder kid Gerard Deulofeu. He is a talented winger and has been likened to Ronaldinho at the academy.

According to Sportsmail, Arsenal’s chief scout, Steve Rowley, was in Switzerland to witness the under-19 European championship qualifiers and was impressed with the youngster apart from watching Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

If these reports are to be believed then I am really disappointed. The reason being that  how many more young players are we going to sign!? We already have almost 50 of our own, and we have added at least four more. What are we going to do with these many youngsters? Turn them into world class players and sell them!! Because this is what’s happening and what’s going to happen if we flood our club with too many young players.

It is one thing to infuriate Barcelona (which I like) and another to just buy every talented youngster out there. It is no wonder the senior players want to leave. I don’t care if he is the new Ronaldinho or Messi (a new Messi would be fine though). He is not going to help us next season or the season after that. We don’t need to build another squad. We have the base, we only need to strengthen the squad and signing young players is not the way.

Also I don’t understand why every youngster is agreeing to join Arsenal but not the established players. Is it because they know they will get the chance to create a name for themselves here and when the time comes will leave for other clubs.

Seriously, it is getting frustrating now. This is what I feel as I will leave the question to you. Are we going on the right path in signing young players??


We should let Nasri go! Carl Jenkinson signed, Gervinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlane are the new signings?!

June 11, 2011

First off, my apologies to all who read this blog for not updating it for a while. The truth is, I was stuck first stuck with my final year project and then the finals. The last three weeks for me have been nothing short of chaos. Anyhow, I am done with my graduation, the wait now is for the final grades. Just to remind, I have been cut off from the football world ever since the final game of the season and it will be some time before I get the whole picture of what’s been happening out there.

Nevertheless, the transfer rumors are in full swing with plenty of reports surfacing, some of them quite unbelievable. A few have even surprised me and I am disappointed by some. Anyways this summer is make or break for Arsenal. We have always had players linked with us but this time we have as many linked away. I don’t know what’s happening at Arsenal but if players want to leave then things are certainly not good.

The first bit of update I checked was on Nasri and Fabregas and the way things are, I am afraid we are going to lose both of them. I know in the back of my mind that Fabregas might go this season. The disappointment for me is Nasri’s situation. Frankly, we have made things worst for ourselves. A contract that should have been signed in January was delayed till summer and now things have gone too far for my liking. I know it is still too early to say anything but if the news ‘that initial talks with Man United have started’ are true then we may as well start looking for his replacement. In fact we would need to look for a couple because Fabregas might well be on his way too. I know Wenger will try his best to keep both of them. However, if both are willing to go then we should let them as it would do none of us good. I for one don’t want Wenger to lose transfer opportunities by wasting time in persuading players to stay who don’t want to.

And what do you expect after Nasri said this:

“Let’s find out if their [Man United] interest is true first. Then we’ll talk about it. I don’t know if I will sign a new contract. Anyway, the discussions are ongoing. Do I want to go to United? We should see if their interest is real and if it is concrete first.”

If he was committed he would have said straight away that he is staying. But hey! that’s just me. We can only wait and see what happens. Maybe it is to put pressure on us to increase his wages. Anyhow, Wenger is adamant that he won’t let him go to United. That would be like applying after shave to an open wound!!

The other disappointment for me has been Clichy’s situation. Why haven’t we secured him till now is beyond me. If Wenger has found a better replacement for him than Gibbs then I have no worries. If, however, nothing is being done then we are heading for more troubles. Daily Mail is reporting that Liverpool have offered£5 million for his services. I have said before that despite his flaws he is the best option available out there. I for one would like him to stay.

The better news on the other hand is that we have signed a 19-year- old right back, Carl Jenkinson from Charlton. Does that mean we have seen the last of Eboue? Time will tell. The good thing is that we are active in the market. Wenger seems to be excited about him as he described him as, ‘a player with great talent and natural defensive ability, but also a powerful player who likes to go forward”. I haven’t seen him play much so I have my fingers closed. Young guns are reporting that he will be given a chance in preseason to make his place in the first team.

On getting signed, Jenkinson said this to Arsenal.com:

“It’s a dream come true to have signed for Arsenal and I’m just so happy to be joining one of the biggest clubs in the world. I can’t wait to meet my new team-mates and work hard ahead of next season. Arsenal is a club with one of the best managers in football, many world-class players and an absolutely huge following. It’s a successful Club which will win trophies in the near future and I’m looking forward to being a part of that.”

The other news that has surfaced is of Lille striker, Gervinho. With Talksport leading, everyone is reporting that we have signed him for £10 million with no proof of course. We have shown interest in him but till the time Wenger doesn’t come out with anything as he did in the case of Jenkinson, I am not getting excited.

The mirror on the other hand is reporting that we have finalized a deal to sign Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. A deal worth £12 million and it is claimed that he will be declared an Arsenal player on the 1st of July. We have been linked with him for quite some time along with Man United and Liverpool. His father, at the start of this month, said:

“Considering where he was at the beginning of the season and end of last season, to have the clubs we’ve been hearing about looking at him, he’s made great strides. But watching him and watching his performances I think it’s well deserved. He’s only going to get better. A lot of people speak to me and say, ‘Maybe it’s too soon – look at Theo.’ But for me, I think Theo’s doing fantastic, he’s developing as a player, he’s still developing and he’s only young. To develop at a place like Arsenal can’t be a bad thing. In my eyes, I’d like him to go there as soon as possible, and continue his development.”

Everything is pointing in the right direction. I can see this deal happening if Wenger really wants to. With Ferguson getting the better of Arsene in signing Phil Jones, I bet Wenger will want to get Chamberlain now.

Well that is all for now. There is so much more to talk about that I have missed in the last three weeks. With time, I hope, I will have an update on all. At the moment I am brining myself up to date. By the way, it feels good to be back.

One thing is looking certain that this summer will be exciting!! Have a good day and best of luck to all those who are having their exams or will have in the near future.


Rumours, rumours and rumours, Way to go Wilshere and Alisher Usmanov

December 23, 2010

Time flies! It was just today that the match against Stoke was postponed. I am not complaining though as it has been a boring week for me. I was busy doing some other work which has kept me from writing anything these last few days. And it has been a pain in the a*** as it has kept me away from the football world. I have been getting updates on Arsenal though.

Anyhow, nothing much has happened even if you count the sacking of Benitez, it was inevitable. As for us, after Wenger declared that he might buy players in January, the numbers of players getting linked with us have increased exponentially. I am not surprised as it always has been like this.

What I am surprised at is that some of the rumours are just ridiculous.  For instance Lescott is linked with us. Now I don’t know but maybe someone was really drunk or that they wanted to give us laughs when they wrote this, take your pick. Then there is Mascherano, who only recently went to Barcelona.

Apart from them there are many others that have been linked, including Simon Kjear, but I feel we are very unlikely to sign them. Still there are a few that might interest Wenger. Such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who plays for Southampton in League 1.  He is being compared to our very own and former Southampton man, Theo Walcott and the club rates him higher than Walcott at his age. I think that we already have far too many youngsters and another one will not add anything. We have signed Ryo Miyachi and we have our own youth players that we need to develop and induct into the first team. If we keep on adding more young players, a point will come where we will have to sell most of them and we might lose genuine talents with it.

At the moment what we need is proven performers, if we do buy as I still have my doubts that Wenger will buy. The other thing is that we have to sell first to make place for new signings. A couple of players have  been linked away from us; namely Denilson, to Barcelona and Wolfsburg, and Bendtner to Lazio. Both of them have been diplomatic in their responses to the speculations. My honest opinion is that they are going nowhere.

My strong belief is that till the time we don’t release players we won’t be signing new ones. Injuries can also force Wenger. However, we can only wait and see what happens as only a few days are left to the start of transfer of window. Don’t get your hopes up though. Still I would love to see Schweinsteiger and Eden hazard to be signed; I know I am asking too much!!

Apart from the rumors, a certain someone, after winning the ‘golden boy’ award, feels that only Messi is better than him in football and he is on his way to win another league title. If Lescott rumors didn’t give you the laughs this certainly would. As for his remarks about Wilshere, I think he needs to play more football than warm his backside.

I loved the response of Wilsher though, who said:

“Would just like to say how honoured I am to have got 2nd place in the ‘golden boy’! And like to thank everyone who voted for me!

“And would like to congratulate Mario Balotelli on winning it, even if he doesn’t know who I am! He is a top player!”

Way to go Wilshere!! You will win many other awards for sure.

By the way, if it interests you, Alisher Usmanov is on the verge of buying more shares at Arsenal. I don’t care as long as it doesn’t effect Arsenal and we still get to buy, some of the players, that we do.


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