The Thursday after the season before.

May 13, 2010

It already feels like a long time since the season ended, I suppose part of that can be attributed to the fact that, for Arsenal at least it ended a few weeks ago. At least there is the World Cup to look forward to and take our minds off the fact that there is no Arsenal again until mid-July.

 

There should be some news or announcement in the coming days over the signing of Chamakh. Let’s hope it comes sooner rather than later and that Arsene can try and get a second player in before the tournament kicks off. When pressed in his post-Fulham press conference with regard to signings he said that we’ll see in July. I’m hoping that we will have signed more than just Chamakh by then. However, I fully expect us to be sitting on deadline day refreshing websites like mad in the vain hope of seeing us get a last minute bargain, as this is what Arsene likes to try and do.

 

I see that the ‘Transfer Linked’ page is still up on the main site. That’s is the mother of all stupid ideas. Every time I see that link on the home page I can’t help but imagine that if I was listening to the Ricky Gervais podcast, the meeting in which the decision was made to put that page on the site would appear as part of Karl Pilkington’s ‘monkey news’ segment. That’s how ridiculous I think it is. Why is the club’s official site peddling pointless tabloid speculation? Shouldn’t the main site be above that kind of thing, seeking to deal only in fact? (Adopts Droopy voice*) You know what? That makes me mad.

 

This is set to be a very interesting summer as there is the issue of squad rebuilding and also the continuing saga over who will make the next move in the club ownership issue. Things have been a bit quiet over the Lady Nina shares. Would she consider selling them to Usmanov, to get back at the board for ousting her? Or would she be willing to sell to Kroenke. I suppose a more important point would be whether Kroenke or Usmanov have the money to buy her stake without borrowing to do so. We know that they are both very wealthy, but do they have the cold hard cash readily available? Whatever happens, we don’t want to see any kind of move that would be leveraged against the club.

 

Despite the plethora of players linked with us so far, and considering the number that will over the the coming weeks and months, it is worth remembering that we will have Djourou returning to the first team next season and he will be like one of those new signings that Arsene likes to trumpet. That would leave us with Vermaelen, Campbell and Djourou in the centre, assuming that Silvestre and Gallas leave as expected. At this point, I hope that both of the latter two leave. Silvestre is a given with regard to wanting him to leave, but I hope Gallas also goes as his attitude isn’t suited to The Arsenal Way (TAW), so replacing him with someone that is less injury prone, more mentally sound and a bit taller would hit the spot, for me. Judging by the comments Peter Hill-Wood made in his favourite paper, the club are going to hold firm in what they have offered Gallas, and rightly so.

 

One player that has been linked with us is Toulalan (if that’s how you spell it), who I must admit I haven’t really had much of a chance to see on TV here in Japan, but if Football Manager is anything to go by…hehe. If we did sign him, I’m sure we could shoehorn his name into that Trolololololo song…..’Toulalalalalala-lalalalalan!’

 

The Q&A session with Gazidis recently was fairly interesting, if not entirely earth-shattering. The video, in three 30-odd minute parts, is available to watch for free on Arsenal.com. Just click on the following links if you are interested and have the time: part 1, part 2 and part 3.

 

I’m wondering how frequent my posting will be during the summer, I think I will post two or three times a week from now until the World Cup squads head off to their respective training camps, thereby signaling the end of any chance of signing anyone. During the World Cup itself I don’t see any real point in making posts as there will be very little (read nothing) in the way of Arsenal news.

 

The BBC quote Wenger as saying that he will add one player to the attacking side of our squad, Chamakh(alaka) Boom I assume, and also look to strengthen the defense. Let’s just hope that he does the latter through signings rather than gym work.

 

Finally, commiserations to Fulham for their defeat to Atletico in the second half of extra time last night.

 

Right, that’s that for today. Take it easy.


Kroenke Tonk Stan making a move.

November 5, 2009

So our now good friend Kroenke Tonk Stan has today brought his holding in the club to 29.9%, edging him ever closer to the 29.99% threshold that would require him to make a formal offer for the club.

It’s interesting to see him edging closer to that mystical figure, but to be honest I don’t think that he will do anything until next May or June as waiting until then would result in him saving some £88m as he could buy shares at the £8,500 mark as opposed to the £10,250 (if my memory serves me correctly) that he would be required to offer should he hit/pass 29.99% before then as the latter figure is the highest sum he has paid for shares in the last few months and which takeover rules dictate that he would be required to pay.

No point in speculating any more at this point as due to Kroenke Tonk Stan’s silent ways we don’t really know what his plans are. All we do know is that he does things in a much more dignified and Arsenal-esque way than that big fat Uzbeki. If he does make a move at some point, the most important thing is that he doesn’t do it by burdening the club with huge debt like has happened to ManUre and Liverpool.

Last night saw us give AZ Alkmaar a good seeing to with a great performance from the team which saw two more goals from Cesc, who really is in fine form of late, with one each for Nasri and Diaby. It was good to put in yet another strong performance and we seem to have made the Emirates a bit more fortress-like this season, which is good to see. Perhaps it is finally starting to become our real home now, although Highbury will never be forgotten as it was such a magical place to watch a game.

Anyway, short and sweet today. Have things to do.

Take it easy. I’m off to listen to the Rolling Stones…


A chance to rebound.

May 10, 2009

Today sees us take on Chelsea at the Emirates in a game which gives us the perfect chance to rebound from the crushing disappointment of our exit from the Champions League. However, Chelsea will also be looking to do exactly the same and their exit from the competition must have been much more psychologically crushing than ours due to the manner of their exit.

 

The boss has said that he will stick with Gibbs for today’s game and i hope that he does because he is certainly a better prospect at left-back than Silvestre.

 

At the back we should therefore line up with Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Djourou and Gibbs. In midfield, I expect Song, Cesc and Nasri to play in the middle, with Song taking up the more defensive role thus leaving Cesc and Nasri more freedom to get forward. Walcott and possibly Van Persie may operate on the flanks, with Bendtner up front. Well, I hope that he starts with Bendtner up front as the young Dane will have a bit of a point to prove to the fans after his mid-week escapades. Though, it is more likely that Adebayor will start up front.

 

I think that Vela and Ramsey will get some playing time today, too. At this stage, I think it is important to give players like Ramsey, Vela and possibly Wilshere some proper first-team playing time ahead of next season.

 

Let’s hope that Arshavin can overcome his illness to play some part in today’s game.

 

In the Guardian today, Amy Lawrence talks about how Drogba is just the kind of player that Arsenal need. While he is a loathsome, diving cunt that I would hate to ever see wearing an Arsenal shirt, a player of similar stature and ability would be great for us. We need strikers that are willing to put themselves about and work hard for the team.

 

Despite Arséne’s comments on Friday that the players don’t know what is best for the team, Almunia has again come out and voiced his dissatisfaction with how we have done this year and that things need to change.

 

The young players are internationals and have been playing for Arsenal for a long time. They have played many games. They should have the experience now.

“Everybody is concerned by what happened against United. We need to be criticised. We need to do some self-analysis because Arsenal is a big club and we are not here to lose. Four years without a trophy is a long time. It’s too much for the fans – they deserve something more from us. Every time a team is in a bad situation you need someone to find a big solution.”

 

He went on to say:

“We played crazy from the start. We played more with the heart than the head. United didn’t do that. Can we compete with them next season? I don’t know. We’ll have to see what happens in the summer.”

 

He is right to say that this team need to be criticised, because they have been molly-coddled  a bit too much by the manager and they need to know that they have to start performing and delivering. They excuse of youth can not, and should not, be tolerated next season. This squad have been together for a few years now and the honeymoon period is now most certainly over. Time to deliver. It is a very big summer for the club in terms of transfer activity and maybe a look should also be taken at our coaching positions and maybe the assistant’s position, too. When I see Pat Rice sitting next to Arséne i just get images of Phil Neal sitting next to Graham Taylor in the infamous “Do I not like that!” documentary. He comes across very much as a ‘yes man’.

 

Reports in the Daily Star link us, yet again, with Fulham’s Brede Hangeland who I think would be a decent signing for us and could definitely strengthen our defence, given his performances for Fulham this season.

 

It appears that some tosser Portsmouth fan spat into Theo’s water bottle during the game at Fratton Park. Filthy bastard. That’s just not on, by all means shout abuse at someone, but spitting INTO a drink is out of order. I’m sure that the media won’t say much about it but, if they do, I am sure that Mark Bright will say that he’d rather get an elbow in the face, a broken arm, rib and leg and dislocated shoulder rather than have someone spit in his drink. We can but hope…

 

Even Alisher Usmanov is sticking his big fat oar in by saying that we need to invest heavily in the squad to catch up with ManUre. While despising the big fat Uzbek, I do agree that we must invest in this squad, but it need not necessarily be heavy investment as long as we get the right quality.

 

Reports in papers suggest that Wenger has between twenty and forty million to spend this season, but I imagine that this figure has been plucked right out of each journalist’s over-imaginative ass.

 

Lee Dixon has a good article in today’s Times and he is spot on with everything that he says. I must admit I like Yaya Toure and was impressed with him when he played for Barcelona against Yokohama Marinos (not the best of teams, I must admit) in a friendly a year or two ago.

 

Non-Arsenal related news, it was great to see Stoke beat Hull yesterday and with West Brom winning it sets up the possibility of Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Hull being the teams to be relegated. How great would that be?! Fingers crossed it’ll be ‘howay (with) the lads’ to the Championship next season.

 

If you don’t already, check out these other Arsenal blogs, they’re very good and offer well-balanced opinions. Arseblog; Gunnerblog; Goonerholic; East Lower.

 

** UPDATE: hahahahaha. Thankfully our players just have belt and gravity issues.

 

** UPDATE 2: The domain name for the site has now changed to http://thenorthbankblog.com

 

That’s all for today. Take it easy.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.