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!

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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 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??


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.


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.


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.