Jadson linked again! A defender is a must as Wenger says ‘We are not scared to spend the money’

August 14, 2011

After the opening game for Arsenal, one thing is for sure that we need a creative player in the middle of the park. A new Fabregas will be very difficult to find but someone who can do as good a job as him without taking time will be enough.

The signings that we have done, except Gervinho, who is close to being a finished product, need time to develop.

Last night, we did control the game and were defensively sound. However, going forward, we lacked ideas and failed to impress and achieve the type of movement and passing which is our trademark.

This brings me to the point that we do need to buy reinforcements, no matter how much Wenger says we have a large squad. We cannot mount a good challenge for the title with the players we have.

With Fabregas and Nasri’s departures to be announced any day, rumors of Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian midfielder, Jadson, to Arsenal have re emerged.

Just days after Wenger denied any contact with Shakhtar, their head coach Mircea Lucescu, according to Skysports, has revealed that Arsenal are interested in the 10 million rated midfielder. He said:

“I can confirm Jadson is wanted by Arsenal . Now it all depends on him.”

I don’t know what to make of it and I cant say how good he will be for us as I haven’t seen him play. I said yesterday that I am not fussed about this signing because I agree to an extent with Wenger that we don’t have to buy anyone just for the sake of buying.  

The only important thing is we do need a creative linchpin. If he can provide us that for 10 million, I am willing to accept him. Otherwise, we need someone like Sniejder! And it will be a delight to see Hazard or Mata play for us.

Apart from this, rumors of Jagielka, Cahill and Scott Dann are again on the horizon. I don’t know what to expect from Arsene after he said this last night on the performance of centre backs:

“If we had conceded a goal I would have been bombarded with questions about why I don’t buy a centre back! They have to take credit.”

He further added on buying players:

“I am not against spending money if the players we buy can improve our squad. We have a big squad and if some players leave we will try to bring players in. We request top quality and we are not scared to spend money”

I am certain that Wenger will replace Fabregas and Nasri. I am not so sure about a new defender though!

Despite giving a solid defensive performance yesterday, we still need at least one more quality defender. It is a must in my opinion and please! there is quality available. More so, every defender being linked with us is miles better than Squillaci. And if we can pay 15 million for chamberlain, who is yet to be tested in the league, how can we not pay almost the same amount for a defender who has premier league experience?

Also, we may have a bigger squad but none are enough for us to mount a serious challenge for the title. Yesterday’s bench was proof. Except Walcott, or maybe Chamakh, there was no one else who could have offered something different going forward. Chamberlain will be there in some time but at the moment we are certainly void in options.

I am sure as the transfer window draw to a close; we will be linked with a number of players. I just hope that we find the right player and Wenger signs him.

Until then we will have to make do with what we have!

 


Wenger: I will sign a defender?,Joel Campbell deal agreed, no Mata, No Jadson | Tevez for Nasri!?

August 13, 2011

The new Premier League season is set to kick off today, and we are up against Newcastle. However, a lot has been revealed in terms of arrivals and who to expect at Arsenal before the window closes.

With Fabregas and Nasri on the verge of exit, though Arsenal has still not officially confirmed it, there is news that we have agreed terms to sign the young Costa Rican, Joel Campbell. It was revealed yesterday by the official Arsenal site.

The 19-year-old is a left footed striker, who was involved in the recently concluded Copa America and also in the under 20 world cup. He has made 6 full appearances for his country scoring twice in the process. He has 10 goals in 12 game at the under 20 level. He has appeared 8 times for his club, Deportivo Saprissa, in his country’s Premier division.

Arsene Wenger was delighted and said that he is looking to forward to working with Campbell. He said:

“Joel Campbell has already shown that he is a player with great ability, and has also performed well on the international stage at a young age. We look forward to the formalities of the transfer being completed and working with Joel when he joins us at Arsenal.”

Now, I am caught between two thoughts here. One is that, any signing is better than nothing and he might turn out to be quite good. He is welcome to the club and may he have a great future with us.  On the other hand, isn’t it getting frustrating that we have bought another young player to develop. We have so many of such players that I am not sure who will make it to the next level. We had JET, who was supposed to be the next great striker, but we let him go. We now go on and bring another 19-year-old, who has played only 8 games for his club. We will spend time with him, develop him and then we won’t be even sure that he will commit to the club. I have this very bad feeling these days that only young players want to join Arsenal because they know they will get the chance to develop here and then leave on their terms. That’s how I feel. Anyways, let’s hope that he will adjust to our league quickly and score lots of goals. Fingers crossed! By the way, does he need to get a work Permit?

The Sun is reporting that Nasri’s move to Man City has been blocked by Arsenal for the reason that we want Tevez in exchange. Now, I don’t know where The Sun came up with this idea but I really like it. However, there are concrete reasons that we won’t see it happen. It is simple, Tevez is estimated to be around 50 million, his wages are extremely high, he wants to leave England and not just Man City and we already have bought a striker, Joel Campbell. So why will Wenger spend another 25 million, that is if we sell Nasri for 25, for another striker who doesn’t want to stay in England? May be, he will surprise us all. I won’t have my fingers crossed for this one.

Arsene Wenger also revealed that we are not moving in for Mata. He said:

“We will not do (a deal for) Juan Mata. I don’t have to give a reason”

There you have it, short and bitter. After months of speculation, we won’t be going after him, great! I would have really liked to see him in an Arsenal shirt. He does join our list of failed summer transfers though.

Arsene also put an end to rumors regarding Jadson. The Brazilian midfielder is valued at 10 million by his club, Shakhtar Donetsk. The rumors started after Fabregas’ move to Barcelona was reported to be completed. Arsene, however, said that we are not talking to his club:

“We are nowhere near on Jadson. We are not talking to Shakhtar about him”

I wasn’t really fussed about this signing so basically I don’t care if he isn’t coming.

The ambiguous statement, on the other hand, is that Wenger has revealed that a defender will be signed before the transfer window closes. There is a catch however, the player must be better than what we already have! Now, this was one the thing I didn’t want to hear. This is what he said when asked about signing a defender:

“We have specialised people who work everywhere. Every club looks for centre-backs in the whole world. People with unlimited resources look for a centre-back. We are not in a supermarket where you go to a shelf and you ask ‘where are the centre-backs or the strikers?’

We are today in an international market where all over the world people look for the same players. Massive clubs have scouts all over the world and if they don’t find anyone, in the end they come to us. You don’t need to be a genius to understand that.

We will have a new centre-back by the end of the transfer window because Thomas Vermaelen only played five games last year. To buy just for the sake of buying – you won’t find me there. If I’m convinced the player has the quality, I will always do it if he’s better than the players we have.”

He should have stopped at “we will buy a new defender by the of the transfer window”. And seriously how can he not find any one better than what we have, amazing! I want to ask Wenger that does this mean Joel Campbell was signed becasue he is better than the players we have? Wenger’s rule of buying players must be same the same for every position or is it just for defence?

I just hope that Wenger does find whatever he looks for in a defender and pray that it is not a Squillaci and then signs him. Enough with this BS of having quality and not finding the right player.

That is all for now. Will be coming up with Newcastle preview later…

 


Christopher Samba to Arsenal!?

June 12, 2011

Should we sign him??

After losing Phil Jones to United and with Man City looking to seize Gary Cahill, the latest name for whom we have stepped our pursuit to sign is Blackburn’s defender, Christopher Samba. We were linked with him in January before he extended his contract to be tied down with Blackburn till 2014/15.

It seems now that he is a top target for us after Gary Cahill. Standing at 6’4”, he will surely solve our problem of lack of height at the back. He is strong and had a pretty good season with Blackburn having single handedly controlled their defense. He has been in the Premier League for a while now so experience may not be an issue.

Steve Stammers in the Mirror this morning has also said that Wenger will be looking to bring in Samba to add muscle and power to the centre of defense.

With a value in the region of £10 million he might be a bargain considering the prices of defenders in the EPL these days. I would prefer Cahill over him at any time but considering City is in the mix, we will never be able to match them with the money they will offer Cahill. We do need a defender though and if not Cahill then Samba might be a good option.

After all Wenger did admit he will be looking for height this summer. Keep your fingers crossed!!


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.


Will we get a new defender?!, Vela off to West Brom and Szczesny is our first choice keeper

January 29, 2011

With so many players linked over these past few weeks, and with us short at the centre back position, one would have been hundred percent sure that a defender would be signed in order to make up for the numbers at the back. As it stands the transfer window is almost over and there are no signs that a a new player will be coming.

During this transfer window, I haven’t talked much about the players linked because speculations always end up futile. The other reason being that I did an article back in December, where we were in a similar situation, and I had said that to avoid similar situations in the future we must sign a defender in the January transfer window. That article didn’t go down well with the readers. The timing of the post maybe wasn’t good but the problem was there and we still haven’t addressed it. We survived that period and thankfully we have survived it again this month, and I hope we won’t have a similar situation in the future. But we have an opportunity to solve it, yet we haven’t taken it.

We still have time but with Squillaci returning, Vermaelen on the way and Song also able to play at the back, there is only one percent probability that a defender will be signed.

Following is what Arsene Wenger said yesterday:

“I focus on my squad and I feel we have 22, 23 outfield players who can cope with what we need. Vermaelen looks to be making good progress, Squillaci is back available, so that was the only position we were short, at centre-backs. If I don’t make any signings it is because I have not identified a special player who could strengthen our squad at the moment.”

So that’s that. I won’t go more into this. Wenger knows more for sure and I hope he is right on this one and I hope we don’t have similar situations as we head into the final lap of the season and don’t rue this opportunity.

Coming onto other news, Vela is off on loan to West Bromwich. It’s about time that a move has been made because he deserves to play games and staying at Arsenal he was getting many. It’s a good opportunity for him to prove his worth and I wish him the best of luck.

Also Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Szczesny is Arsenal’s number one keeper.

“At the moment Wojciech is No 1. He’s done nothing for me to take him out. [As for Sunday], I can rotate the goalkeepers. In the Cups I sometimes play different ones. “

This has come at the right time as we have looked pretty solid with Szczesny in goal. He still has a lot to learn but with him, there is a feeling the the defenders are more confident. And with Fabianski also doing great, the goal keeper situation looks fine. As for Almunia, he will have to prove his worth but it’s quite clear that he will have a hard time in doing that.

That’s all for now. Tomorrow is yet another Cup match and this time the opposition is from League one. I don’t see anything but a win for us. Enjoy the game where ever you are and have a great day.


Defender Linked!: Will it solve our problems?

November 29, 2010

The last few matches have revealed that we are still very much prone to conceding goals at the back. After getting three clean sheets in four matches not too long ago, we have again gone to our knack of conceding goals, mostly due to defensive errors. The situation has led to many defenders getting linked with us to solve the problem. Bolton’s Gary Cahill is the foremost of the players linked to us with reports suggesting Wenger will move in for the defender in the January transfer window with a 10 million bid. With Bolton’s debt rising, they will be tempted with the bid but it will require more than this to part ways with Cahill.

I am in for the notion that we need a new defender come January if we are to have a chance to challenge for the trophies. The question is will it solve our problems? The thing that I have noticed is that most of the problems that we have are not due to the ability of the defenders but due to some basic mistakes that we are not avoiding. Even a top class defender will be made to look normal with the type of mistakes we make. The problem is further escalated due to the fact we are weak in defending as a team. We fail to keep our organization whenever we are under attack. I don’t know why it is but it is visible. Most of the times we are caught ball watching or out of position, we are weak in the air, not attacking the second balls, the midfield is not supporting the defence most of the times, our clearances are weak and we are not confident in defending the set pieces. Even if we are doing it, we are not consistent.

This problem is serious because at the moment even with a two or three goal margin a win is not ensured for us. Although this is also due to some other factors but the problem of bad defensive organization is one of the foremost.

Someone once mentioned it to me that the reason might lie in the way we practice. It’s like we usually play the beautiful game of passing the ball and looking for killer balls to open up defenses. So in practice sessions we will be doing the same thing. Our forwards and midfielders would keep the ball down and move forward, not relying much on the aerial route or set pieces. Therefore the defenders will also adjust and practice for this type of play and not the long ball game. That’s why you will see that we are good in the one-on-ones’ and in tackling but weak in the air.

Also in our style of play most of our team is involved when we attack leaving plenty of space behind. As a result a slight mistake can lead to many open spaces which the opponent can exploit and we have suffered due to it a lot.

Now I feel these problems cannot be solved wholly by buying a world class defender, although it will greatly reduce the burden and may bring some organization at the back. To counter all these problems we need to change the way we practice. We need to work out a way to defend set pieces, corners, crossess and long balls. We need to learn to defend as a team. We need to be more effective in our pressing. We need our players to stay close to the defenders when we are under attack. And for all this we need to keep our focus.

Also our keeper needs to communicate with the defenders more. The keeper is the one who has to take charge of his area and organize our defensive shape. Although Fabianski is doing great but he needs to learn to command his area and only then we can avoid conceding avoidable goals.

I am not saying that we will not be doing somthing about these problems but we need to change something somewhere. It cannot be done overnight for sure but it is high time that we dealt with them. The season is entering one of the important phases and results here will be crucial. Let’s hope we do find the solutions to our defensive frailties.