Any two of Jadson, Mata, Hazard will do as Fabregas is off!, Eboue on his way | Joel Campbell in London!

August 15, 2011

Finally, the inevitable has come to pass, the Fabregas saga after almost three years has come to an end with Barcelona and Cesc having their way in the end. Like all Gooners, I am relieved that it is over. Yet, I cannot emphasize that he we have lost a great player, a talent like him is very rarely found. Nonetheless, as the saying goes ‘no player is bigger than the club’. Fabregas leaves, just like many left before him, Arsenal was, is and still be here. I wish him the best of luck at Barcelona.

My gripe, one of two, is we didn’t sell him for what he is worth and secondly the timing isn’t right. If we knew he was not going to stay, the door should have been shown to him back in May. We have let it run for far too long and now suddenly with 15 days to end of the window, we are without our, I am afraid to say, backbone. As for the price, we are getting what was paid for Carroll! It is outrageous and I am amazed how the club agreed to it ( I am gutted, still nothing can be done now). The details of the deal are here.

Moving on, the immediate concern now should be to find the perfect replacement for him. One who can do a job straight away. And as Nasri also seems to be on his way out, a replacement for both should be a priority.

The rumor in the blogosphere is that we are considering Jadson as replacement for him. I have expressed my views on him here. Again, If he can do the job in 10 million, I am up for it. He alone, still won’t be enough.

There is also word on the street that Mata talks were to be opened if Fabregas was to depart. I hope they do start. Wenger recently revealed that we won’t be buying Mata and he didn’t give any reason. However, he said the same about Jadson and even said that Fabregas and Nasri won’t be leaving! I am keeping my fingers crossed that we will open talks and eventually buy him.

Personally, I would Like Mata to come. He is young, he is talented, he has pace, he has potential and he will adjust nicely to our style. With him and Jadson partnered with Wilshere and Ramsey, we can be a force to reckon with. Don’t forget we will be having Gervinho, Miyaichi, Walcott, Chamberlain and Arshavin on the wings. Honestly, I can already feel the excitement right now.

The other potential replacements are Eden hazard, I would love him too. We have been linked with him for a long time. This summer it looked like we will finally get him. Somehow the rumors have gone quiet. With Fabregas gone, I am sure they will surface again. Then there is Yoann Gourcuf. Last summer we were continuously linked with him. We never got him though. Even Chamakh has urged Wenger to buy him, may be that will bring the striker out in Chamakh, gone missing since December last year.

Javi Martinez, a 22-year-old, making waves at Athletic Bilbao is another option. Marvin Martin is another one who is making his name in France. There are so many options and all are quality. I just hope Wenger finds the right player and doesn’t use the excuse of not finding the right man.

For me, it will be great if we can sign any two of Mata, Jadson or Hazard. It is all in addition to Gary Cahill and, if we can, a striker. That makes a total a four signings. We have the money, so it all depends on Wenger now!  I will keep my fingers crossed till the end of August.

In other news, it is being reported that Eboue is on his way to Galatasaray. This was said on their official website:

“Galatasaray has begun negotiations with Arsenal FC for the transfer of Ivorian-Belgian professional football player Emmanuel Eboue. The public will be updated about the developments.”

No official word so far has been released by Arsenal though. However, Eboue has no squad number at Arsenal.

Personally, I am glad that he is moving on. He was what you would call a squad player and even not great at it. He also didn’t seem like improving. No doubt, he had his fair share of good performances, he won’t be missed on the field. I can’t say anything about the dressing room though. This move will be good for both the club and his career. After all, he wasn’t going to get much playing time with Jerkinson in the squad.

There are also reports that Joel Campbell flew into London last night to finalize his switch to Arsenal, a deal worth almost a million pounds (930,000). Young Guns Blog has all the details here.

That is all for now. Udinese game is up next, and we need to win this one.

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It is quiet out there, Fabregas might stay after all, Clichy gone? Fixtures shouldn’t be a concern!

June 22, 2011

When I had last posted on my blog we were close in on Gervinho, Cahill, and Samba.  A week later, a week into my vacations, we are still nowhere (or somewhere that only Arsenal can tell). Many have reported that they are done deals and I am hoping this really is the case but the silence from the Emirates is deafening. I have been waiting for an official Statement but nothing has come out yet. Do they want to give us a surprise? Or are they waiting for 1st of July? I do hope it is a good surprise.

Even the tabloids have gotten bored with the stories and now many have started asking questions. I believe in one thing though that if we have reached an agreement on the above players than there can be no stopping them in moving here. If, however, it was all speculation, we can forget them. Expect to see only Gervinho arrive as he is from the French League. While keep everything crossed for Samba and Cahill as their value has gone up and Man City and Tottenham are all also getting involved. And with 8 days to 1st of July, a lot can happen as within football things change within a day.

By the way, what were they thinking when they linked us to Barton, Odemwinge and Taarabt. Eto sounds interesting but I know it will never happen.

Coming to other matters, there has been a positive development for us in the case of Fabregas. Sandro Rosell’s, Barcelona president, comment regarding Fabregas’ value going down clearly speaks that they don’t regard him much and won’t go all out to buy him. Sandro Rosell said

“What is the limit for signing him? We’ll need to see. First we need to know what his salary is and what are his conditions. Everything is in relation to the salary and the transfer fee but, if last year we offered 40 million [euros], a year has passed, it is clear that this year his value is less. Since then there has been wear and tear and now he’s worth less. In the case that we were interested our offer would be reasonable. We would not go overboard.”

And added

“I don’t think he will go to another Spanish club. Cesc is of Barça, and if I were the president of another club I wouldn’t sign a player who holds dear the colours of another team.”

It also seems that they want Fabregas to put in a transfer request so that he can be acquired for less money. Well Mr Sandro, you can forget about Fabregas for now and forever for one, you don’t have the money and two, Fabregas is happy here and he won’t give in a transfer request. And after your comment no sane man will as you don’t appreciate his quality. I hope Fabregas does realize that Barcelona don’t want him and that the best thing to do now would be forget about Barca and play like a true leader for Arsenal and guide us to trophies. And in return Rosell will get to know the true value of Fabregas.

There has also been progress on Clichy’s situation with Roma showing interest in him. The value that is being quoted is £7-8 million. Although this is better than what Liverpool were offering but still in my view it is less. And I am astonished that the value of our players is so less considering a certain striker went for £35 million who isn’t better than Bendtner IMO.

The replacement for Clichy is a bigger concern though. Gibbs is in no man’s land, Traore is not better than Clichy, Enrique, with whom we are being linked, seems fine, Leighton Baines might do well. The rest is up to Wenger as to who he has in his mind. Else force Clichy to extend his contract as I have been saying all along.

Nasri’s situation has also gone quiet. And I still haven’t figured out what the real issue is. Is it money or trophies or is it his position? A month has passed since we played our last game of the season and still we haven’t sorted out one of our best player’s issue. And I can’t help it but ask what the hell are the people at Arsenal doing? We haven’t bought anyone! we haven’t been able to sell anyone! what really are we doing? Maybe I am getting impatient but seriously by now a decision on Nasri’s contract should have been taken!

Meanwhile, the fixtures have also been released for Arsenal for the next season and I had a smile when I went through the list. I was smiling because we have all the difficult fixtures in the first half of the season. No doubt the month of August is difficult but we always have a good start to a season and I am hoping we will be having another good start. However, it is a long way to go and  it shouldn’t be a concern as a season doesn’t depend on the fixtures, it depends on how you play. Before that we need to address the issue of our players and our team. Just over three weeks to our first game of pre-season before which we need to sign players so that they can gel-in and adjust with our style.

Before I end, WTTGT is reporting that Clichy has been sold to Paris St. Germain for £10 million. This seems bizarre to me. For now we can only wait and see what happens in the next couple of days. Have a good day!


Goodbye Nicklas Bendtner and welcome Eden Hazard!

June 13, 2011

Nicklas Bendtner made it clear at the start of this month that he wants to leave Arsenal hundred percent. It now seems that he may have his wish as Besiktas have made an approach for him. It is being reported that Besiktas will be making a 10 million offer for the Danish front man this week.

However, Inter Milan is also in the mix, as they have shown interest in him. If both the clubs are involved, we may after all get a good price for the Dane. What then matters is where Bendtner wants to go and hopefully he will decide very soon. Personally I feel that 10 million is a great deal. At least we will get the money for buying Samba. And with him gone we may get room for signing a striker who is in-league with Robin van Persie.

In other news, we have stepped up our pursuit of Lille’s young winger, Eden Hazard and there are reports that we are going to bid for him this week.

With everyone having their eyes on Nasri’s situation, it’s about time we secured one of our long term targets before other clubs seize him. Eden hazard, widely recognized as the one of the best young talents is in sight of many clubs which now also includes Barcelona.

At Arsenal, many see him currently as a possible replacement for Nasri, if he decides to leave. However, I would want him to come to Arsenal even if Nasri stays.  The question that remains is will Arsene Wenger offer the £25-30 million price set on him? I guess that Wenger will this time because you rarely find talents like him. Below is an excerpt from an article written in The National about him.

His is the kind of pace which terrifies: quick changes of direction, instant acceleration, continuous movement. Coupled with the athletic gifts is a sublime technique. Hazard has the kind of ball control which cannot be taught, the type you see in video games, ball stuck to his foot. His passing is accurate, his vision is improving. What’s more, he is unselfish. So sound are his fundamentals that he will often pass up a shot to find a better placed teammate, a legacy of what he was taught as a child.

After reading the above, tell me if he wouldn’t fit at Arsenal!?

Have your say in the comments!


Barcelona players get extra wages for tapping up Fabregas! Man City after our targets and van Persie has a point!

June 12, 2011

Going through the all the news, I was surprised at how much time Barcelona players have. Every now and then you will hear someone asking Fabregas to come back to Barcelona.  It’s like they get extra wages for tapping up Fabregas on daily basis and saying how much he loves Barcelona. A couple of day’s back it was Iniesta who said that Fabregas will gel in well with Barcelona. A day later it was Pique having a go with saying something similar. At least change the script. It is getting boring. And it reminds me of how Barcelona plays, “It’s my turn with the ball… it’s my turn with ball…”

And just imagine what their conversations these days will be

Pique: “Today it is my turn to tap up Fabregas.”

Iniesta: “No! It’s my turn.”

Pique: “But you had your say yesterday!”

Iniesta: “But I am short on money! Give me your lines and no one will notice.”

Pique: “No way dude! I have memorized all the lines for today. You can have Xavi’s turn tomorrow.”

Seriously! Get a life or come up with a bid worth of Fabregas’ caliber.

Jokes aside there is nothing much happening. There was a report that said that our bid for Gervinho has been hijacked by Man City. After saying in yesterday’s report that we may have signed him, I can’t say anything about this. But one thing is for sure that Lille have refused Tottenham’s bid of €12 million for Gervinho.

Lille’s general manager Frederic Paquet has been quoted as saying

“We received an offer of €12m (£10.6m) from Tottenham which was refused”

That means that his price is more than that of €12 million and it seems very unlikely for Wenger to splash such amounts on him. Or maybe he has already signed for us. We can now only wait and see where Gervinho goes, if he does leave Lille.  

Man City has also launched a bid for Bolton’s Gary Cahill. It will be another great blow for us if Man City can somehow buy out Cahill.  Wenger get him now or it will be too late.

Tough times indeed for us. Meanwhile, Van Persie had something interesting to say.

“Every year it always goes wrong in an identical way and that is frustrating. When you look at results in the last years, then Arsenal shouldn’t be talking about winning the league because too many times things have gone wrong.

Sometimes you have to eat the truth and be realistic. But I do believe with the signing of a number of players, then next season we should be in there competing for prizes.”

Harsh but he speaks the truth and till the time we don’t realize our mistakes and correct them we will tend to suffer. It is also a clear message to Wenger that the players want to see some new faces. If van Persie is saying that we shouldn’t be talking about winning the league then something really is wrong.

As for Diaby, I can’t believe what he was thinking when he was talking out loud with owning a spurs shirt. Geez!! From where did we get such players? Even if you own it keep it to yourself. And if you really want to go to spurs say it out loud and go. You won’t be missed seeing you never play three games in a row.  And you won’t have any difficulty wearing the shirt out on the streets.

I guess that would be all for now. At the moment every player on whom we are laying our hands are being snatched out of our clenches. But hey! I am not giving up and never will. Keep your fingers crossed!!


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??


Looking back at the week: Protest, Wenger, Fabregas, Pat Rice and Vermaelen | the story behind the new Arsenal Crest

April 30, 2011

It has been a long and busy week for me but finally I have found some time to update the blog. A lot has happened since the Bolton defeat though. The talks of a protest was a big surprise. Won’t say much about it! If the people who are in for the protest feel that it is the right way to approach whatever they want, good for them.

To start off with, I was really saddened with the result against Bolton. I was very much looking for a win but all we got was what we have seen in the past and in far too many games. I didn’t see the game though as I had a class to attend at that time (yes on a Sunday!) but what I saw in the highlights didn’t do any good. It summed up our season very nicely. As long as we won’t learn from our mistakes and rectify them, we will be forever inconsistent. The manager and players have come under lots of criticism since then, some of which is justified but in most cases people have gone overboard.

The solution to all our problems and mistakes is not to sell Wenger or a complete overhaul of the team as most are suggesting. The solution, as far as I am concerned, is a return to basics, to mix things up, to try new things, bringing up youngsters such as Wilshere and Szczesny and reinforcing the team where it requires. We have become too predictable!

Arsene Wenger has taken all the blame for the failures of the team this season. I feel that more than Arsene, the players are to be questioned, who have let themselves and Wenger down despite doing so good till February.  Wenger is to be blamed for not using players in their favoured position, for believing in some for too long while they have consistently shown that they will never come good, for not strengthening the squad when required, for not blaming the players when they should have been blamed.  The players are, however, responsible for how they perform on the field. They are professionals who are being given insane amounts of money to perform and they should be held accountable for how they play.

However, with all the flaws that Wenger and this team has, for me they are still the best. After seeing how Real Madrid fared with all their money and star power against Barcelona in Champions league, I am convinced that money doesn’t guarantee success and that this team will come up good and deliver trophies. Both the Spanish giants have star power but the way they relied on cheap tactics was a disgrace to football. 

Most of our former players have been quoted as saying that we require at least three players to strengthen the squad. I agree with them on the numbers. To make place for the new comers, we will, however, need to sell a few as we have a few good youngsters also coming up.

Wenger is also saying that we need to keep this squad together. I say, keep it together but put in some experienced players to push the players when things are down. Buying will also help keep the few players who might be thinking of leaving. Will it harm to buy players like Bastian Schweinsteiger and Gary Cahill who are only going to get better under Wenger and help us improve the squad? This is the question that Wenger needs to answer this summer and we have a long summer to talk about it. Wenger has won things before and it’s my belief that he will do it again. But he will need to make big decisions this summer.  

There was also the usual talk of Fabregas leaving in the summers.  Seriously! when is the media going to get tired!? Why can’t they just wait and see what happens than to just claim that anonymous sources have tipped them that Fabregas is leaving? And on top of it, every Spanish player claims to have been confided in by Fabregas that he wants to leave. I am not saying that they are making things up but at least have some decency to keep things to yourself. I don’t want Fabregas to leave and it would be great if we can keep him. However, if he leaves us, we can cope without him. And when he does, we will all know. It is doing no one any good by talking about his future every other day.  

One of the better news is the return of Thomas Vermaelen to the football pitch. He played for Arsenal reserves against Manchester United on Thursday. No doubt, it has been a frustrating injury for him and for us but hopefully he will return stronger than before. We might see him before this season ends but I am looking forward to the pre season. Wenger made it clear in his pre match interview that Vermaelen won’t be available on Sunday though. Vermaelen had this to say on his fitness and first appearance in seven months:

“I’m fit at the moment, I feel great and, in training, I don’t feel any problems. So physically I feel good. It’s up to the boss, he makes the decisions. I’m available at the moment so I hope I will be back in the squad soon and that is my target. The injury is fine, I didn’t feel anything today and played the whole 90 minutes without any problems. I’m really pleased with it.

It felt really good today and I’m happy to be back. It’s always good to be back on the pitch and your first game after a long injury is always special. It’s been a hard time, a difficult time and I’m happy to be back now. It’s been really frustrating because at the beginning I thought it was only going to be one week or a few days and I kept getting setbacks. It was a hard time but from these kind of situations you learn a lot. Your mental strength will be better and you always have to focus. It’s just a hard time but in these times you learn a lot of things.

It’s always important for players to have a good pre-season but for me it will be good to be fit before [the] holiday. I can go into the holiday with a clear head and come back fresh. This season was really unlucky for me but I am looking forward to the next months and the next years.”

There was also a Daily Mail report about retirement of Pat Rice at the end of the season.  Don’t know if it is true. Will talk more on it when things become clear.

Today there has been some new development on the crest that has been seen on our new (maybe!) kit for next season. I haven’t been tipped off with the information though. I read it first over here. The main features are:  

15 laurel leaves to the left side of the Club’s crest, reflect the design detail on the reverse of the six pence pieces paid by 15 men to establish the Club – the laurel leaves also represent strength.

The 15 oak leaves to the right of the Club’s crest give a nod to the founders who would meet in the Royal Oak pub.

Underneath the crest is one of the first recorded mottos related to armament and battle – Forward.

Tomorrow we play against Manchester United. A win for us will slightly derail their title chances. A loss will make things worse for us. Will talk more about it in the preview, which I will try to come up with later.  I won’t be able to see the game though due to my class.

Lastly, my apologies to all for not updating the blog regularly this month due to my work. It is going to be the same in May as my final semester is coming to an end but I will try my best to post whenever I get time (mostly on weekends). Hopefully, at the start of June, I will be free.   

That’s all for now.


Alisher Usmanov will not sell his stake, Szczesny and Djourou back in training and some other news

April 13, 2011

The big news in the past couple of days has been the proposition of Stan Kroenke’s complete takeover of Arsenal. Stan Kroenke increased his Arsenal stake to 62.89 percent by buying the shares of Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith and Danny Fiszman. As a result, Kroenke has the control of the club and he was forced to make a complete takeover bid. If he can reach 90 percent, he can compulsory buy the rest of the club shares.

However, it seems now that it won’t come to pass due to a new development. Alisher Usmanov, whose RED and White Holdings own 27 percent of the Arsenal shares, has declined to sell his stake to Kroenke by saying that he loves Arsenal and that is the reason he is a shareholder. This is what he said:

“I’m not going to sell my stake. I love Arsenal, that’s why I’m a shareholder”

Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST) has welcomed the decision made by Usmanov and have also declined to sell their shares. AST, however, is not against Kroenke’s takeover as long as the fans have a say in the ownership of the club. An AST statement said:

“AST welcomes Red and White Holdings’ commitment to Arsenal and calls on all shareholders to work together. Their priorities should firstly be making Arsenal a successful football team, secondly placing no leveraged debt on the club or taking dividends and management fees out of the club, and thirdly helping supporters be directly involved in the club’s shareholding. Arsenal is too important to be owned by any one man.” 

I don’t know what will happen next but one thing is for sure that Arsenal will not be in the hands of a single owner, which is good news. I don’t want Arsenal to turn into a plaything for one individual. As long as the fans hold some part of the club, Arsenal will remain the club it is.

All I want is that whatever happens next, it doesn’t disturb the way the club is being run. As long as we have the money to sustain the team and buy players, ownership issues won’t matter much. I will also add that the best thing is to wait it out and see how things turn up, and hopefully it will be for the best.

Coming to matters concerning injuries, there have been reports that Szczesny and Djourou have both returned to training ahead of the Liverpool match and both will be available for selection in the squad. The reports confirm what Arsene said in his post-Blackpool comments that Szczesny is not far from returning. So if all goes well, we will have our first choice keeper and  Djourou available for the crunch final run in.

Yesterday there were also reports of a row between van Persie and Diaby at half time during the Blackpool game, concerning the way Diaby reacted before he was booked in the first half. I don’t know if it is true, although, if it is then it is good because it shows that the senior players are taking responsibility to put the wrong things right. It will be better for Diaby to realize that the way he reacted is only going to harm him and Arsenal and no one else. However, I would want that whatever happens inside dressing rooms should remain there because media will always find ways to exploit such incidents.

In other news, Wilshere has slammed the news of a possible move to Manchester City in the summer by saying this on his official twitter:

“People asking if I’m going city? I don’t kiss the Arsenal badge then leave – this club in my heart!”

Denilson is here talking about Shakhtar Donetsk’s Willian and wants him to come to Arsenal.

Champions League quarter finals are also under way and sadly we are having no part in it. Last night Man United and Barcelona qualified for the semi finals at the expense of Chelsea and Shakhtar respectively. Tonight we will find out who the other two teams are, although by now it’s pretty clear which teams will make it.

Till later…