Confirmed: Arsenal sign Arteta and Benayoun!

August 31, 2011

Arsenal has done a great job on the transfer deadline day.

It is now officially confirmed that Andre Santos, Per Mertesacker and Benayoun have joined Arsenal.

According to BBC, we also have signed Arteta for a fee of around 10 million. He will join the club on a four year deal.

This is what @bbcsport_david tweeted on twitter minutes after the window officially closed:

“I can confirm Arteta and Bendtner are DONE deals #bbcfootball #afc #safc #efc”

“Arteta signs for Arsenal for fee in region of £10m. No news on contract length, squad number. Bendy to #safc on year-long loan #bbcfootball”

Arsenal has officially confirmed Arteta’s signing and Bendtner’s loan move to Sunderland.

Great news all around!

More to follow!


Arsenal officially announce the signing of Andre Santos and Per Mertesacker!

August 31, 2011

After unveiling Park, Arsenal has now officially announced the signing of Andre Santos from Fenerbahce. Santos has joined on a long term contract. He will be wearing the number 11 shirt at Arsenal and have A.Santos on the back of his shirt.

Arsene Wenger, on signing him, said

“Santos is a quality player, with the ability to both defend well and get forward and help with attacks. He has experience in the Champions League and for Brazil and has proven he can deliver at the highest level. We welcome Santos to the Club and look forward to him having a big impact for us.”

Santos, himself after completing the move, said

“I am delighted to have signed for Arsenal. It was one of my dreams to play for a major European football club and I have accomplished this. I am very happy to be part of this team. All the Brazilians who came to this club spoke wonders about it and I am delighted to be part of the Arsenal family.”

You can see some of his pictures here.

Following Santos, Arsenal also announced Per Mertesacker’s signing. He will complete the move from Werder Bremen which is pending completion of formal registration processes.

 

More to follow

 


Aftermath of United defeat: Changes required, Santos and Park signed, Benayoun next?

August 30, 2011

After the humbling, thrashing (whatever you want to call it) on Sunday, only one thing comes to my mind, we are where we deserve to be. It had to happen one day, better now than in the middle of the season. To waste a whole summer doing nothing but losing your best players, what else do you expect!

Even two days later the pain hasn’t lessened and there is no point in going over it again. If you, however, want to see what is wrong with Arsenal, this game will show you everything, if you can muster the strength to watch it. It does get unbearable because this was all avoidable. Our inability to acknowledge our weaknesses and rectify them, our inability to accept that we are not good enough, our inability to find finished players (where do we look? I am still wondering), our ability to find an excuse for anything and our ability to make a mess of everything has led us to this point.

This summer was the perfect opportunity to make everything right and make amends. Last season’s ending was the cue that we cannot continue the way we were going. What followed in the summer is in front of everyone. Starting the new season weaker than where we finished, without a proper attacking midfielder, without a proper left back and without enough depth in any position and then come out and say that we cannot find the right players is just too much Bullshit. (Here I was thinking that a day rest will have reduced my anger but it does feel good to have it vented out)

Who to blame for all this? the board, the management or the owners.  Who will accept the responsibly and answer the fans what they were doing this whole summer?  I guess we won’t get the answer to this any time sooner.

So, we have to move on as it is no good crying over spilt milk. Changes are required on a massive scale. We cannot any more be content with mediocrity. We cannot any more wait for results; steps are required to be taken to bring instant changes. Lots of work needs to be done as we now have another opportunity to make things right.

Starting with changes in the back room staff because they clearly are not doing a good enough job. Either the fault is with them or with our players. Our players make the same old mistakes game after game without learning from them. Look at Walcott, 5 years on and he is still where he started. His shooting might have improved but he is still naïve like every other player that plays for us. We don’t adapt and we don’t learn. We don’t even know what do to when things aren’t going our way. Heck, even the manager makes decision that forces you to bang your head on something. Either the back room staff needs to change or else the whole management, board and owners. I am afraid Fabregas was right when he said that he stagnated at Arsenal. It seems our whole club has stagnated.

Signing players is the most obvious thing that has to be done. And we don’t need three to four players; these were the number required when we had the squad of last season. Now we need at least seven to eight and they have to be finished products. 17-year-olds won’t do us any good as we already have plenty of that. We cannot any more wait for players to develop; we have waited long enough in the last 6 years.

The other thing that needs to be done is to make everyone accountable. The players have to be responsible for a bad game. We cannot anymore allow our players to hide behind the excuse of inexperience. We cannot anymore consider being in the top four a job well done (even ending in the top four looks unlikely this season). The manager himself has to change his definition of success and his philosphy. Being in the top four is good but winning trophies is the ultimate thing. You cannot expect everyone to buy the crap that being in the top four is success.

I am sure that we will see changes at Arsenal. My only concern is we cannot have any more delay. Indecisiveness now is not going to be repairable. We have a strong foundation, only our inability to make the necessary upgrades is going to be our downfall, which I am afraid has started and we are plummeting down with the speed of a bullet. I will be glad to be proven wrong, rather I am desperate to be proven wrong. However, as things are going, we can forget top four for this season.

On a lighter note, there has been some good transfer news related to Arsenal. According to numerous news outlets we have signed Fenerbahce’s left back Andre Santos for a reported fee of 6.2 million. The news of the deal started circulating late last night and according to some news sources, Arsenal have confirmed it to them that we have signed the player. The player himself will be in London today for the medical and subsequent signing of the deal. Arsenal’s official site isn’t showing anything but we can all be rest assured we have signed a left back after all, a signing I have been asking for ever since Clichy departed.

Also we are close in on Park Chu-young. The news has been circulating for the last two days. Nothing has been made official but I have a feeling all our signings are now going to be announced on the final day.

We are also in for Benayoun, Alex and Malouda after several sources have claimed that we have enquired about them. I have my reservation on all three as they are all Chelsea rejects. If they weren’t good for Chelsea, they cannot be good for us. However, if we don’t get any one, we will have to make do with them and that is if they want to come.

Despite being close to signing a striker and left back, we still need plenty. Three players are, however, necessary just to be there number wise, a centre back, an attacking midfielder plus a defensive midfielder. Less than two days remain though. It is a race against time and let’s hope we get the quality signings we require or else this season we are in for a thrashing.

Before I conclude, I want to applaud and say thanks to the fans that went to Old Trafford on Sunday. You really did us all Gooners proud. The only good thing to remember from that game is your support. And I am also glad that Arsenal has decided to refund the away fans tickets, although in my view they deserve more than refunded tickets.


 


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.


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!

 


We need more players like Emmanuel Frimpong, Chris Samba wants to take the next step, Carlos Vela is staying at Arsenal!

June 24, 2011

These past few days have been really boring with nothing new happening. And in all the boredom, Samba’s signing has gone from being interesting to done to a matter of want-to and don’t-want-to and we are still where we were when we played the last game of the season. It now seems that Blackburn is not willing to sell their backdone. Blackburn’s manager, Steve Kean, has been quoted as saying, in regard to Samba’s possible departure

“We don’t have to sell him. He signed a five-year contract in the last window and he’s one of the players we would like to keep… we are going to try and hold on to all our good players.”

Well it was surely going to happen. On the other hand, Samba himself has come out said that he is ready to take the next step and hopes that Blackburn won’t “put a stick in the wheels”.

“I know there are discussions with some clubs. If a good opportunity arises, I want to seize it. It is necessary that the club understands that I want to go one step further. I hope they will not put a stick in the wheels. It’s been four and a half years I have been at Blackburn and two years I have played in relegation battles.”

This does sound similar to our own situation of Fabregas to Barca, the only difference in that Fabregas hasn’t publically said that he wants to move away (or has he?). Now I can’t tell what will happen in this case but one thing is for sure that if we really are moving in for him then we will be required to pay a hefty price. Is Wenger willing to pay such a price? This is a question that can be answered by Arsene alone, although, I myself am convinced that this summer he will. When remains to be seen!

By the way, the thing that made me laugh was when I read the same story that has been out there for the last two years, ‘Arsenal moving in for Phil Jagielka’. Seriously, do the people who right such stories don’t think for an instant what they are writing. One moment we are after Samba, Jagielka isn’t even mentioned, the next, as soon as Blackburn says we won’t sell him, we are after Jagielka. It is one thing to speculate and another to just put up the same story that has been read over and over again. They must really believe that people don’t think! 

Anyways moving on, the latest development on Clichy is that he wants a move to Liverpool despite an offer from Roma that includes £30 million wages for 5 years according to The Sun. Is Liverpool offering more in wages or Clichy doesn’t want to play European football next season? Sounds quite ridiculous to me but if this report is true then Clichy will have his reasons.

The only new development is in regards to Carlos Vela. His agent is saying that Vela is going to stay at Arsenal as he is very much in Wenger’s plans. His agent, Eduardo Hernandez has told ESPN Radioformula in Mexico

“I have had eight conversations with Arsenal, the most recent was last Friday, and Carlos is an Arsenal player, he will stay at Arsenal and is not for sale. The process with Carlos is a little bit slow. Arsene Wenger is an extremely demanding coach, he sent him on loan for six months to West Brom not with the results he wanted, but, nevertheless, everything is going very well.”

We have seen very little of Vela at Arsenal and I believe it has been unfair on him. He himself hasn’t been able to grab the opportunities and make his mark.  But that also is our own fault as we have been playing him out of position. His finishing is good, can improve, still the main problem is that we cannot get the best out of him by playing him wide. That is why I think the best option for him will be to move away from Arsenal or go on loan for a whole season. We do need a striker though and Vela is not the solution for next season. It is all my opinion though and we can’t really say what Wenger has in his mind.

Before I conclude, I would like to share what Emmanuel Frimpong has said on twitter about being ever shown the door at Arsenal

“Arsenal FC is pumping through my veins. I will never leave Arsenal even if I get released I will beg on both knees to stay they’re going to have to escort me [out].”

If only we can have the same attitude from all our players!


Gazidis assures signing players, Arsenal to have talks over Gervinho, Arsene interested in Emmanuel Riviere

June 14, 2011

Just a quick update today as I am busy somewhere else. Yesterday, Ivan Gazidis had a question and answer session with the Arsenal Shareholders Trust. I haven’t yet seen the session due to not finding time so can’t really comment on what happened. Ivan did, however, assure the fans that Arsenal will be making new signings this summer and a few of the current squad will also be asked to leave.

He was off the opinion that despite a massive disappointment the season cannot be seen as a disaster.

“Coming off the end of the season, I share with you a sense of profound disappointment. We had a season that promised a great deal and looked like it could turn into a very special one but in the end a familiar story began to tell itself. I understand the feelings that we all felt.

It is very clear we had some shortcomings and in this close season we are going to see some turnover of players. Some new signings will be coming in and some of our existing squad will be going out. As Arsène has said, it will be a busy close season for the Club.

But also it is important to recognize that it has not been a disaster. We have a young squad and we don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The trick will be identify which parts to keep and which parts to turnover. And we will do that within our financial capabilities.”

I don’t want to sound negative but if finishing fourth in a two-horse title race isn’t disaster than I am afraid Ivan has lost me. It might have been disappointing if it was happening for the first time but to happen for four years consecutively is quite worrying. I will be discussing more of this after I have seen the whole session. For now, I am grateful that Ivan considers buying and indeed selling a few players, hopefully not to include Nasri and Fabregas.

In other news, Lille’s general manager Frederic Paquet has confirmed that they will be holding talks with Arsenal for a possible transfer of Gervinho. The general manger said

“He [Gervinho] wants to go and has developed contacts with Arsenal. We will soon have talks with them and see what they offer. He has expressed a desire to go to England and we will see what happens.”

With news coming out on daily basis related to Gervinho, it seems that we really are interested in him. let’s hope the talks are fruitful.

There is also talk of Arsene’s interest in Saint-Etienne striker Emmanuel Riviere. He has been compared to Thierry Henry and is valued at around £4.5 million. In the player’s own words

“I am flattered to be linked with the clubs mentioned. I am a young player, so to be linked with Arsenal is fantastic for me. If Arsene Wenger is interested in you it means you have potential to be a very good player. People compare me to Thierry Henry and that is a big compliment. If I can achieve half of his career I will be happy.”

With Bendtner on the verge of leaving, we do need to sign a striker this summer. Who will we get can only be answered by Wenger.

Today there were also reports that revealed Tottenham as the possible challengers to us in acquiring Christopher Samba. Blackburn themselves will do their best to keep Samba but my gut feeling is that if Wenger truly moves for him, we will get him this summer.

The biggest surprise of the day for me, however, was the news of a possible swap deal between Chelsea and Tottenham involving Drogba and Modric. My initial reaction to this was WTF! As for the rest, we will find out in the coming weeks.

By the way the media has already started speculating who will be the team to replace us in the top four next season. At the moment many are favoring Liverpool. Don’t the media love writing us off? Although I can’t say anything about titles at the moment, I am sure we will finish in the top four.

Have a good time!!