Yesterday saw the club officially announce the return of the stand names from Highbury. So, from the start of the new season onwards we will once again have the North Bank, East Stand, West Stand and the Clock End, complete with its newly installed clock. It is a welcome return and is made even better seeing as this blog was named after my favourite place to watch games from at Highbury. Below, via Arsenal.com, is the new layout guide for the stadium.
Elsewhere, Joe Cole proved Ancelotti right (in that it was predominantly a financially motivated move) when he signed for Liverpool in a £90,000/4yr deal. Now, of course he will play much more football at Liverpool than he would have at Arsenal but, that is assuming he actually stays fit. His fitness record over the last few years isn’t great and it will be interesting to see whether or not his body can stand up to regular games. Anyway I, like most Arsenal fans, am not particularly bothered that he didn’t sign for us. Word is we offered him £80,000 per week over 2years. At least the fact that we didn’t sign Cole will mean that there is a greater chance for Wilshere to show us what he can do and stake a claim for a regular role coming off the bench in the league and starting some games in the domestic cups.
Guardiola spoke a little about Cesc in his press conference yesterday but there isn’t anything new in what he said. However, you just know that Barcelona will not give up until they get their man, be it this summer or one or two summers down the line.
It seems that Eduardo has moved a step closer to leaving the club with reports coming out yesterday that he had passed his medical and looks set to sign for Shakhtar Donetsk, for a fee in the region of €7.5m, sometime today. It will be sad to see him go, particularly since his Arsenal career was destroyed by that Taylor tackle as he was beginning to find his feet at the club and show what he was capable of. Let’s just hope that the same fate does not befall Aaron Ramsey.
Szczesny has spoken about how he wants to prove to Wenger that he is capable of challenging for the no1 spot. While I really hope that he develops into our future no1, I think that it is a bit early for him to become our first choice keeper. He needs to get some more experience under his belt before that can happen. Though, there are exceptions such as Casillas at Real, but he is very much the exception to the rule.
The club should have already arrived in Austria by the time you read this but as of yet I haven’t received any confirmation of those that travelled and those that didn’t. Perhaps the club are trying to keep the names close to their chest so we don’t discover that Almunia hasn’t travelled because he is negotiating a move away? Well, we can but hope, eh? The names of the travelling party should be made public fairly soon.
Right, that’s about that for today as I have to get the finger out and begin packing for my 5wk working trip to Korea. I will try to keep making posts here, certainly every Sunday, and I hope to make two or three posts during the week, too. But, I don’t think at this point that I will have time to make daily posts while in Korea. I will be there from July 21st until August 23rd, when I will return to Japan. Take it easy and keep the faith.