Weren’t we supposed to strengthen the team? We need a replacement for Clichy, Alex Song is charged with assault!

July 5, 2011

This summer was supposed to be about building up the team by keeping our best players and strengthening it where necessary. Ever since the season has gotten over, we have been waiting for quality players to arrive and also at the departures of the dross that we have at our club. Arsene himself made it clear that his priority will be to keep the best players and strengthen the squad! At the moment, we haven’t achieved any of the above. In fact, we have gone a step back than where we were last season!

The start to the summer looked quite promising. The news coming in was positive and we did sign a couple of youngsters and a right back. The good thing was that we showed signs in making changes. The other good thing was that clubs were coming in for our dross players (later revealed to be false news as the mentioned clubs denied the links). There were also stories about Nasri and Clichy departing with the Fabregas saga commencing from where it had stopped last summer.

Cahill, Samba, Hazard, Gervinho, Alvarez were the name of few players being linked with us constantly.  And it seemed inevitable that one of them will be announced as our new signing. Some reports even went onto claim that on first July we will be announcing at least three players.  

The disappointing reports about three of our player’s departure continued. I wasn’t concerned about Fabregas! Nasri’s situation was alarming! The worrying thing, however, was that of Clichy’s exit. I have been saying all along that the most important player to hold onto would be Clichy! And I was relieved when, last Sunday, Arsene said that talks have started in order to make him stay.

First July came and went. I had hoped that I will be writing about our new signings but they never materialized. Four days later the thing that I feared the most did come to pass. The one position, where we had no cover is now exposed more than ever. Clichy’s departure to City may seem ironic in face of what he himself said at Adebayor’s move, however, that should not be our concern. The worrying thing is that our own players don’t want to stay.  The player that was part of the first generation of project youth has abandoned that project to achieve success!

The team that he chose was none other than City, one of our main rivals who overtook us in the league last season! The team that won’t sell its own players to clubs that challenge for the title! And then Arsene says that Nasri won’t go to any other Premier League cub!

What impression of Arsenal is this going to leave on the rest of the football world? And as things are going, I don’t see anyone wanting to come to Arsenal except youngsters. As they can leave when developed! And no one wants our dross! Denilson is to join the team for pre-season according to his agent as there are no buyers!

Where does this leave us? In dire need of a left back, for one, who can easily come in and replace Clichy.  Gibbs is no where ready; Traore is not better than Clichy. Who are our options then? Leighton Baines! Who else? Arsene will have a hard time in finding a replacement and that will only be the case if Wenger does indeed look for one. The thing that is giving me the creeps is if we get no one and Gibbs starts the season as a first choice left back. I have nothing against Gibbs. It is only that he is not ready yet. In fact I don’t see him as a defender at the moment. His positioning is wrong along and his decision making is poor. Up front he is somewhat better but that also needs lots of work. He requires at least one more season to fully develop.

I wouldn’t have been concerned much with this departure if we had a readymade replacement. Now not only are we a player down but also in a very dangerous position. The price tag of all left backs is going to shoot up which will lead to only one end result that we have witnessed in recent summers! Which I desperately hope is the not the case this time.

This transfer also opens many other doors. Will Nasri and Fabregas consider this the key to their own departures! Nasri’s new comments aren’t encouraging! Will this departure give them the hope that they can move out and Arsenal won’t be able to do anything? Or will Arsene do more to keep Nasri and Fabregas? Replacing three players will be a hard task when you also need to strengthening other positions! Will experienced players ever want to come to Arsenal? Will this move make other player want to leave? There are already rumors of Walcott and van Persie wanting to leave!

Things certainly aren’t looking good for us at the moment no matter how hard one tries to convince himself.

As for strengthening the squad, Arsene now is the time! I had hoped last Sunday that the next time I will be writing when we sign a player. Well, we haven’t even made a bid for Cahill yet! Samba rumors have gone quiet. I don’t know what’s wrong with Gervinho’s signing. Alvarez’ deal has been rumored to be hijacked by Inter while Hazard is staying at Lille. That leave us with Chamberlain and according to Southampton we haven’t approached them. What have we been doing for the last one-and-a-half month? Only Arsene and the people at Arsenal can tell us the answer.

Meanwhile our troubles don’t end here. There are reports that Alex Song faces up to two years in jail if found guilty of an assault charge. It is being reported that his guards were mainly involved and a hearing is set for in August. Losing Alex Song like this will be catastrophe! But frankly speaking I don’t see it happening.

Although, everything points to a disaster, I haven’t given up! I am still hoping that one of these days we will make our moves. Clichy’s departure isn’t a good start but maybe this will urge Wenger to make quick changes that are necessary. After all this might be Wenger’s last chance to make a difference!

With this I will end for now. After lots of travelling in the last week I am back now and hopefully will be updating the blog regularly! Apologies for not being able to post anything in the last week! Have a good day!


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!


Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy given deadline by Arsene Wenger to sign contracts

May 22, 2011

Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy are both approaching the final year of their current contracts and Wenger is hoping that they both will extend their contracts this summer to avoid what happened in Flamini’s case.

Mathieu Flamini left on a free transfer, three years back, after letting his contract to run down, a mistake Wenger is hoping to avoid with both Clichy and Nasri.

Arsene Wenger is aware of the importance of both the players and his priority will be to secure their services or else, I fear, they will be sold to the highest bidder. Both of them have already been linked with a few clubs.

Samir Nasri has been a vital player for Arsenal this season despite fading away in the latter stages of the season. It will be a hard time in finding a replacement for the Frenchman, if he doesn’t sign the contract.

The immediate danger, however, will be of losing Clichy as there is no one at the club to fill his place with Gibbs far from being the finished product. A replacement for him will be more than necessary if he doesn’t sign the contract.

Arsene Wenger said this to the official Arsenal website:

“We will sort that situation out quickly after the end of the season. We need to know very quickly. We do not want to do that [allow them to leave on a free like Flamini]. We won’t allow that to happen. It has to be resolved before the season starts again.”

Personally, I want them both to stay. If not, then they better decide it early so that we may have ample time to replace them. We suffered a lot by letting Flamini go and to be honest we haven’t yet replaced him.


‘The best defence in open play”….Open your eyes Arsene!!

May 16, 2011

“We have the best defence in open play”, this is what Arsene Wenger was saying before the Aston Villa match and look at what happened during the game. The best defence in open play was opened up so easily that it looked like our team wasn’t even on the pitch.

And on top of it, Arsene has an excuse for this as well:

“We were punished because we went into the game too tentative. We were not dominant enough in anything we did and we were on the back foot at the start.

We have been hit very hard by bad results and you could see that at the start of the game, we suffered a little bit. But we have to rise above that and overall you could see we were a bit nervous defensively.”

How can you go in to a game being tentative when you know you have to fight for your third position in the table to be confirmed? And when all of this occurs after Arsene is saying that quality-wise and attitude-wise this season has been excellent then there is something wrong.

I really wish now that the season was over.  No need to play the final game against Fulham. It is too much to take in. Frankly, it has been embarrassing.

We know this team can beat anyone but why can’t they do it consistently is beyond me. Why do they need to go down two goals to wake up?  

Although I wasn’t expecting anything from this game, I was hoping for a good response from the team with having Vermaelen back. The game was lost in those early 15 minutes when our team was having a nap and Villa so easily sliced opened our defence with Bent finishing expertly.

After that it was attack versus defence. We woke up from our slumber and did better in the second half but it was too little and too late. Villa just had to defend their goal which they did with some help from the referee, which by the way is getting a norm.

We could have drawn or won this game. Why that penalty wasn’t given and why was Chamakh’s legit goal disallowed, I will never know. Although I have a question for the ****** referee that if he has disallowed the goal scored by Chamakh for a push that was never there, why bringing down Ramsey, while he was going for the goal, not a penalty? And a question for FA, Why are the referee’s exempted from explaining their decisions?

Nonetheless, the problem still is our defence. If we don’t let in stupid goals, even the referee won’t be able to give away goals to the opposition.

And I believe that till the time we don’t change the way we train, our defending will remain the same even if we buy all the Cahill’s and Jagielka’s. We need someone in the backroom staff that can show our players how to defend. At the moment who  ever has the task is failing miserably. More than the new players, I will be hoping for a new face in the backroom staff.

There is nothing else from the game to discuss. It was good to see Vermaelen return. He grew in confidence as the game went on. It was good to see Van Persie score again.  

I won’t comment about Squillaci. He is going backwards game by game. By the way why was he picked ahead of Djourou? Same goes for Gibbs. I have been saying for a long time now that he doesn’t know how to defend. Why was Clichy left out when before the game he was declared fit? I will never know.

Man City now has an excellent chance to finish third. From fighting for the title to second then to third and now fourth, that is progress and in just over two months. Extraordinary! Even by our standards.

But then again we always have next season to witness more of the same!! Let’s hope Wenger opens his eyes this summer or he won’t have any one left in support!! Have a good day!


Gael Clichy is not leaving Arsenal nor is Tomas Rosicky going anywhere

April 12, 2011

There is still more than a month to go for this season to end, but looking at the amount of rumours related to players getting linked in and out of Arsenal, it seems as if we are one month into the summer break. And If we were to believe all, the whole Arsenal team would have been changed twice already.

Meanwhile, it is good that some of our players and their agents are coming up with statements to put the rumours to rest (and I will like others to do the same).

Our left back, Gael Clichy, for instance, has ruled out an Arsenal exit by saying that his present and future is with Arsenal and his ultimate ambition is to win a trophy with the Gunners. This is what he said while speaking to The People:

“When I arrived at Arsenal it was because I wanted to improve myself as a player and to win titles, and that is normal with any player. Wenger persuaded me to come here at a time when I was receiving offers from other clubs – and I have to say that my present and my future is with Arsenal.”

I am leaving talks over my contract with my agent so that I can focus on my football. I know that there are rumours about me going elsewhere but I have nothing to say about that. I have always wanted to be at a club where I am content. Money is important but it is not a decisive factor. All I want is to win a title – that’s my ultimate ambition.

It is unquestionable that Wenger is a great coach but the problem is it becomes more difficult to win the title every year. He is trying to develop the young players at this club and I think that is something you cannot put a price on in football.”

This statement might put an end to the stories for now but they will surface again until Clichy extends his current contract, which is set to expire next year. For me, I will never sell Clichy even if we do get offers for him. The first reason being that he is the best left back we have with Kieran Gibbs nowhere near to replacing him at the moment and the second, there are no better options in my opinion available out there. I am off the view that it will be best for us if we can keep him here at Arsenal and in due time Gibbs will be able to replace him. 

And it’s not like Arsene is going to sign someone with experience, if we do let Clichy go, as we have unearthed a new talent in the shape of Charlton’s young left back, Carl Jenkinson. 

There is also news linking Rosicky away from Arsenal this summer. However, his agent has labeled all such news as false. His agent had this to say:

“There have been many false rumours circulating, but at the moment, there is nothing concrete. It has been quite some time since I have heard from Arsene Wenger. Therefore, there is no new news, and if there is a change, he will be the first to communicate this.”

So, at the moment there is no such indication but I believe that Rosicky’s time is over at Arsenal. He has never been the same after his injury and despite showing some glimpses of his talent last season; he has disapointed a lot this time. This season he has been ordinary and in some games he has performed well below par. And considering his age he isn’t going to get any better. If we do get an offer for him, I believe we should take it which will make room for a new signing, like Eden Hazard (if we can), as well as a chance for the younger players to come up.

What do you all think? Is it time we let go of Rosicky or even Clichy?


Do we need to sign a new keeper this summer?? | Robin van Persie injured, I hope not!!

March 30, 2011

It has been a week since the last time I updated my blog as my final year project and catching up on university work has kept me busy. During this time much has happened in the football world and I can’t make up my mind on what to talk first.

Anyhow, I will be quick and short over here. To start off with, the thing that I feared the most to occur in this International beak, I am afraid, has come to pass, which is an injured Robin van Persie returning to Arsenal. Van Persie got injured in the 5-3 win against Hungary on Tuesday after scoring the opener. He got a knee to his thigh and was substituted before half time. However, Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk believes that van Persie could be back for the weekend to play for Arsenal. He said:

“Robin got a knee to his thigh. With luck he could play for Arsenal this weekend.”

I really hope he does make it and that it isn’t a serious injury because without Van Persie, our chances of challenging for the title will surely be over. We are already in chaos at the back and if we lose our top goal scorer, I can imagine what the results will be in the final games. Last season when van Persie got injured on International duty, which ruled him out for half the season, similar things were said only to be revealed that it was a more serious injury. I hope this time it is not like that and he starts against blackburn.

The other bit is related to the goal keepers getting linked with us. Talks of Ajax keeper, Maarten Stekelenburg and Juventus keeper, Gianluigi Buffon to Arsenal have erupted after what happened in the Arsenal’s game against West Brom. Now, I am not sure if Stekelenburg is as good as he is rated. Although, I haven’t seen him play much except during the Football World Cup where frankly speaking he didn’t impress me much. He wasn’t the only one with Hugo Lloris also a high profile keeper who didn’t impress.   However, these are Stekelenburg’s words regarding a move to Arsenal:

“If Arsenal make an offer, I will leave Holland.”

Will we make an offer for him? I think that is a big NO! And I will leave the matter as it is.

Similarly, Gianluigi Buffon’s agent has also not ruled out Buffon’s move to Arsenal at the end of this season, although, we haven’t yet contacted him. I would have really liked to see Buffon come in as number at the start of this season and even right now when we need a keeper. However, after seeing Szczesny’s performance this season, I am not sure. The question that needs to be asked is that do we need to sign Buffon or any other keeper this summer? No doubt, Buffon is a top class keeper and he is an asset for any team, I feel a move to sign him or any other keeper will hamper Szczesny’s progress. We also have Fabianski, who has done well and we have Mannone in line and they will all be back next season. And hopefully next season we will not be in a similar situation, with three keepers injured, as we are now. Bringing Buffon or any keeper in for a high price I believe will be a waste of money when we can always spend that money to sign players in position we do need to reinforce, defense and defensive midfield to be precise.

The thing about which we should be concerned right now is that we have Almunia in goal and Lehman I feel isn’t yet ready to replace him, after his outing in the reserve game against Wigan. Sadly we cannot do anything but only hope we don’t suffer much because from now on till the end of the season, each game is a must win and if more goals are let in like the one Almunia conceded, it will bring an end to yet another season of ours which promised so much.

In other news, there was talk of Barcelona not having enough money for Fabregas or something similar and Xavi opening his mouth again to show how smelly it is. I won’t link to both the news. There is also talk of Clichy’s contract and him leaving us this summer, I hope he doesn’t because, Gibbs, I feel is not ready to take over. Also Arsenal has decided not to appeal Wenger and Nasri’s ban, a good decision and one I was hoping for. Also, we are going to have Fabregas, Song, Diaby and Walcott back for the Blackburn game. Szczesny and Djourou may yet feature for us before the season comes to an end. The international break is over (almost) and as of now we only have a doubt on van Persie. So, all is not lost yet. A winning streak from now till the end of the season and we will lift the trophy, fingers crossed!!

Have a good day.


Player Ratings: Man Utd 1 – 0 Arsenal

December 14, 2010

Well we didn’t get to see the performance we were expecting from our team. And I am still disappointed, not in the loss but the way we showed up. We made United look so much better where in fact they were not that good.

As for us, our whole team was all over the place. None contributed in any department as we failed to get our game going. Our passing was poor and we failed to keep possession. We also didn’t create much as United easily broke us up.

The defense was decent on most occasions but on few they had no clue what was happening. Once or twice they were very easily opened up. The goal that we conceded was also down to a defensive error when no one picked up Park unmarked in the danger area.   

The midfield was also anonymous throughout the match as we failed to get a foothold. There was one brief spell in the second half where we looked dangerous but we couldn’t keep it up. I still think that had our midfield stepped up a gear, the scores would have been different.

In attack too we lacked creativeness as we had only one decent shot on goal.

Coming to player ratings:

Szczesny: He was our best player yesterday. He did start nervously which can be expected and it affected his distribution early on. As a whole he had a good game.  Caught everything and made some crucial saves that allowed us to stay in the game till the very end. Can’t be blamed for the goal as it were the men in front of him that were at fault. 7.5

Sagna: A solid game from the Frenchman in defense. Upfront didn’t contribute much but he did try to get forward often. His crosses weren’t that good but did make some crucial interceptions. 6

Squillaci: Still not convinced from his overall contribution. I have said again and again that he does his job but he is not aggressive. He should be a leader on the field with his experience. His clearances  are also weak and sometimes he is slow in reading situations. 5.5

Koscielny: He did well in keeping Rooney quiet. Made some vital interceptions and used his aerial ability. He still needs to raise the level of his game though. 5.5

Clichy: All will be pointing the finger at Clichy but I believe he did well. He was always alone on the left against Nani and none supported him. And still he was good on most occasions but a few times made some crucial mistakes that will be highlighted more. Partially at fault for the goal as he allowed Nani to come in but I feel he had no other option. 5.5

Wilshere: Tried hard but couldn’t make much impact. Lost possession plenty of times and couldn’t support the midfield. Also didn’t help Clichy against Nani. 5

Song: He started slowly and in the first half didn’t make much impact. In the second his shielding of the defenders was better but still didn’t help control the midfield. Did misplace a lot of passes upfront and never really created much. His work rate though was very good but he needs to be effective along with it. 6

Rosicky: He also tried hard but things didn’t work out for him. He was supposed to lead our midfield and failed to do so.  Was anonymous for major parts and didn’t contribute anything of worth upfront. 5

Nasri: He was never brought into the game often as he was tightly marked by United. And the irony is that the few good moments that we had came through him. Still I feel he failed to lead us when it was required. 6

Arshavin: Another poor game from him. Tried to do the hard things when he could have kept it simple. Maybe two games a week is too much for him. 5

Chamakh: Worked hard but never got the delivery. He still needs to improve his goal scoring instincts though. His contribution at the back was decent. 5.5

Subs:

Walcott (6) looked lively and gave us some pace. Delivered in a couple of good crosses. Fabregas (4) didn’t do much except gave the ball away. He shouldn’t have been brought on. Van Persie (4.5) also didn’t contribute much. He still needs games to get to his best.