Pre summer hiatus post.

June 13, 2010

Hope you are all having a good weekend, mine was made better by having a good laugh at the clanger by Green in the England game yesterday. As an Arsenal fan, goalkeeping clangers are something that I have become accustomed to and with Robert Green, they are something of a forte. All of this points towards him signing for us. That would be bloody typical. Apparently, his errors caused more goals than any other keeper in the Premier League last season which is quite the achievement when you consider that he had stiff competition from both Almunia and Fabianski.


The Star is reporting that we have agreed a deal with Joe Cole that, including salary and signing on fees, will amount to £135,000 per week. That’s an awful lot of money to be paying a player that had quite a serious injury not so long ago. Hope he’s worth it, if we sign him.


Other weekend reports linked us with Jagielka, who wouldn’t be an earth shattering signing, but would be a decent addition to the squad. He would also add some of that mythical “English steel” to the side. Also, unless his leg fell off, he would be a better player to have around than Silvestre.


Iniesta has decided that it is time for him to have his tuppence worth in the whole Cesc situation. Personally, I am hoping that the Barcelona team plane crashes on their way to their first Champions League game next season. Seeing as their official airline partner is Turkish Airlines, that is not as farfetched an event as you might think. The law of averages and all that… The only way that could get better is if it crashes into Sepp Blatter’s house while he is hosting a dinner party with Plattini and Teddy Sheringham. Unlikely, yes, but would rid the world of an awful lot of c*nts in one fell swoop.


Speaking of c*nts, Barcelona’s Joan Oliver had me fuming last night with his latest comments regarding the Cesc situation. To say that Arsenal haven’t said anything yet after they clearly, and publicly, told Barcelona that they are not interested in selling Cesc and won’t be making any counter proposals, is just infuriating and I really hope that it serves to strengthen Arsenal’s resolve in this whole saga. The arrogance with which that club operates is a disgrace and they are a club completely devoid of class.


Robin Van Persie has been talking about the World Cup and his own development. It is really pleasing to see how much he has grown both as a player and a man. It must be especially pleasing for Wenger. We could do with a few more players like Robin around the club.


Right, that’s just about that for today. The blog will be on hiatus for the next few weeks, barring a transfer in/out, in which case I will post something. But, if there are no transfers between now and the end of the World Cup, I’ll be back for pre-season after the World Cup final. Hope you enjoy the tournament. Judging by Vela’s performance the other day there is little chance of him being nicknamed ‘Vuvu-vela.’


Take it easy.


Laporta pisses me right off.

June 10, 2010

Tuesday saw Chelsea officially release Joe Cole from his contract with them, so I suppose the whole ‘who will he go to’ story will be alive and well for the next few weeks anyway. Am a bit tired of talking about that whole will-he-won’t-he transfer saga, to be honest. Word is that Tottenham are the most interested in Cole. If, and it’s a big if, Arsenal are interested in Cole (though Peter Hill-Wood has indicted that we aren’t) and he ends up going to Tottenham, then it must mean that he is going there in order to learn the age old art of tax evasion from Harry.


The biggest Arsenal news on Tuesday was that of Philippe Senderos joining Fulham. I hope that he does well there and that he can get some regular games. Of course, his arrival there has inevitably led to some more linking of us with Hangeland but I think that if we were going to sign him we would have done it by now. Senderos showed signs of being a good defender, but he always got destroyed by Drogba whenever we played Chelsea. He was certainly better than Silvestre, but I think that it won’t be too hard to find a better replacement, assuming Wenger finds one of these ‘super talented’ players he likes to mention every transfer window. I had a bit of a laugh at how the BBC used the wrong photo for Senderos on their article regarding his transfer. It may have since been fixed between the time I write and publish this but, one thing is for sure, the player pictured at the time of writing is not Senderos.


Another central defender following Senderos out the door is William Gallas who is being linked with a move to Panathinaikos. Gallas has also had yet another in a long line of strops, this time he has refused to speak to the media for the duration of the World Cup. Looking forward to his departure as he was never really a good fit for Arsenal. A good player on his day, yes, but not mentally sound.


For a team that was supposed to be strengthening the defensive side of our team over the summer, we have so far been going about it a bit arse about face. Though, perhaps Wenger has been reluctant to bring in a player until we had offloaded the deadweight as he is mindful of the 25 player squad limit coming into effect from next season. Get the players out first, in order to ensure that there is space for the new players to slot into. At least I hope that that is the reasoning behind our summer transfer dealings to date. Either way, it really is time to get some defenders in, lest we get lumbered with Silvestre for another season. Now that Neil Lennon is taking over the reigns as Celtic manager, Big Sol has a decision to make.


Joan Laporta is ‘totally sure’ that Barcelona will sign Cesc. I’m totally sure Laporta is a cunt. Symmetry. Surely it must annoy Cesc that Laporta is putting words into his mouth that Cesc has never actually said, at least not publicly anyway. This level of tapping up and unsettling is just ridiculous at this stage and the fact that FIFA are quite happy to sit there saying nothing and letting it continue speaks volumes about the people in charge there. Maybe it’s time that Arsenal fans started emailing the FIFA offices and demanding that Barcelona be charged with publicly tapping-up and unsettling a player whose contract is protected. What is the point of having player contracts if they are neither respected by clubs or players? It also annoys me that Arsenal are not pushing the authorities to get their fucking fingers out and do something about it. I’m all for Arsenal not getting drawn into the whole media circus around the transfer, but surely it would just take an official phone call or fax or something to FIFA to get the ball rolling and to punish those pricks at Barcelona.


Looking forward to the World Cup, I am hoping that this tournament will have the same transformative effect on Diaby that the ACN had on Song. Diaby clearly has a lot of ability, but all of the ability in the world is no good if it isn’t matched by application, effort and consistency. It’s time for Diaby to step up as I feel that he is approaching make or break time in his Arsenal career.


That’s about all I have time for today. Take it easy.

E = MC Hammer.

June 8, 2010

A short post today, followed by another one on Thursday or Friday and then a final one this coming Sunday before the blog goes on a World Cup induced hiatus.


Reports today suggest that even the powers that be at Barcelona have enough wit about them to realize that the stories that, having said that Cesc isn’t for sale and that no negotiation will be entered into, Arsenal are now likely to accept 50m-60m are untrue. No doubt it is their own planting of this story in the newspapers that has led them to this Einstein-esque level of deduction. I suppose this is all part of their strategy to have us believe that they aren’t the bunch of shit-faced, tapping up, b*stards that we know them to be. It won’t work. Too much damage has been done by that club over the years to alter the way that we view them. In many ways, Barcelona are the club equivalent of John Terry, and we all know how much Arsenal fans hate John Terry. We let Cesc go off to the World Cup and they try to get into bed with him while at the same time pretending to be our friend and to greatly respect us.


One player I like, but hope that we don’t sign, is Yaya Toure. I saw him playing for Barcelona, in Yokohama, a few years back and was really impressed with him. But, the reason I don’t want to sign him is because of his bloody agent. That guy just can’t stop talking about his player moving clubs and to be honest the last thing we need at our club is a player whose agent will be hawking him around every summer. So, thanks but no thanks.


It’s just a short post today as there is nothing new to say on the Joe Cole story and just some whisperings that Koscielny wants to play Champions League football next season (don’t we all?) and that Coquelin has said that he’d like to go out on loan next season if it meant that he would get regular games. Cue newspapers putting two and two together and getting some ludicrous answer that will translate into the same story we have been reading for the past few weeks. Nothing interesting or new in it.


Finally, one of our young keepers, Sean McDermott, has signed his first professional contract with the club having made 12 appearances for the u18s side, coached by Steve Bould, last season. He was born in Norway but has represented Ireland at both u16 and u17 levels. At this stage all we can do is congratulate him on securing a professional contract and wish him well for the future with his development.


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

Sticking it to the (Catalan) Man.

June 3, 2010

Yesterday saw Arsenal make an official statement regarding Barcelona’s opening bid for Cesc, which was rumoured to be in the region of £30m. The response from Arsenal was very strong and definitive with regard to their resolve to not even consider the possibility of considering an offer, let alone make a counter-proposal to Barcelona. The full transcript of that statement is as follows:


"Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas is under contract with the Club until the summer of 2015. He is a highly-valued member of the team and part of our future plans.

We have followed recent speculation linking Cesc with a move away from the Club but as there has never been any official approach for him, only two informal exchanges, in which we made it abundantly clear that we have no interest in transferring Cesc, we have refrained from publicly passing comment. However, yesterday evening we received an offer from Barcelona for Cesc and in response, we immediately and resolutely told them once again that we have no intention of selling our captain.

To be clear, we will not make any kind of counterproposal or enter into any discussion. Barcelona have publicly stated that they will respect our position and we expect that they will keep their word."


That statement is about as resolute and definitive as you will ever get from a club and it seriously puts the onus on Barcelona to back off and show that they are the type of honourable club that they would have you believe that they are, but that we all know they aren’t. Summers of endless speculation about our players moving to them have shown us that they are anything but honourable. If there was a UEFA ‘tapping up’ league they would finish top, followed closely by Real.


If an Arsene Wenger analysis of Group A in the World Cup sounds like it might float your boat, click here. I’m looking forward to watching some decent games in the World Cup, but it is hard to be too enthusiastic about it when Ireland aren’t involved. I will be cheering on Holland in this year’s tournament. I would have supported Spain, but I don’t want that meddling little turd Xavi to win anything.


There are various reports, with sources unknown, claiming that Joe Cole has agreed a 3yr deal with Arsenal. However, The Mirror’s John Cross is fairly adamant that nothing has been signed yet and that Cole will wait until after the World Cup to finally sign for someone. I must say that I am getting used to the idea of him playing for us. My most vivid memory of him is from an FA Cup game (3rd round I think…or was it the 5th round…) against West Ham at Highbury that I went to with my brother and a friend and we were laughing how the size of Cole’s jersey made him look like a tubby midget. Anyway, we’ll just have to wait and see whether or not he decides to sign for us.


Elsewhere, Big Sol has been, not so subtly, more or less telling Wenger to get the finger out and sort out his contract or else he will be off. Hope we do sign him up for another year as it would be good to have an experienced head in the squad and someone that can actually teach our young players the art of defending.


The Sun is trying to make a big deal over the absence of Cesc from a picture that was embedded in a club membership renewal email. However, I wouldn’t go reading anything into that as Cesc is right there on the physical membership application form. Who knows why he isn’t in the email’s picture, but for me it isn’t an issue. The FA used Walcott to model the England squad’s World Cup suit and look how that worked out for him. So, whether or not Cesc is in the email’s picture is irrelevant.


Some seriously lazy journalism has turned a highly speculative ‘Barcelona have offered Chygrynskiy on loan as part of the Cesc offer’ into a ‘Arsenal are interested in Chygrynskiy’ story. That kind of laziness just makes me angry. There’s more chance of Theo playing in this year’s World Cup final than there is of that story being true.


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

Theo Wal-nott & Ramsey signs on.

June 2, 2010

Greetings from a warm and sunny Yokohama. A bit of news to get on with so I may get on with it.


The big news of the day yesterday was the exclusion of Theo Walcott from the England World Cup squad. It was a surprising move by Capello and I imagine that Theo must be absolutely gutted. However, given Theo’s form he shouldn’t be all that surprised. He still has a lot of developing to do. Unfortunately, he won’t get the benefit of three or four weeks of advice and coaching from David Beckham, which begs the question; if Walcott isn’t going to the tournament, what do they have Beckham there for? I had assumed that he was there to help Theo, but I guess Capello has different ideas on that. It was interesting to hear that, at the beginning of May, Baldini told Wenger that Theo was going to the World Cup. So, what happened between the start of May and yesterday? Did Theo manage to play his way out of things during their training camp? Martin Keown has said that he isn’t surprised that Walcott hass been left out because he is a bit of a one-trick pony.


On the plus side, it means that he can have a full summer of rest and have a proper pre-season with us and actually be fit and fresh come the start of the season in August. The ol’ cloud and silver lining and all that.


It was also announced yesterday that Aaron Ramsey has signed a new contract with the club. It’s great news and obviously means that there are no real long-term fears about his injury. I really hope that he can come back and develop into a key player for us. Who knows, we could be closer to having a starting eleven including Gibbs, Wilshere and Ramsey than you might think. Give it two or three years and I think that they will all be regular first team starters. Am I being a bit overly optimistic? Ah sod it, it’s summer, the time for optimism. Hopefully Theo can also develop and become a regular starter.


Ramsey had this to say about his time at the club so far:

“I’m very happy here. It’s a great Club and I’ve learned a lot so far since I’ve been here. I think there is still a lot more to be learned and I am happy here. Every player wants to play in a team where they can play football and I feel that this is the way it should be played, so that’s one of the reasons I signed a new contract.

I think he (Wenger) has helped me massively so far. I think I have still got areas I can improve on but generally I think I have improved as a player and I had just started to show that and started to play a bit more in games but unfortunately then the injury came.

Regarding his injury, he had this to say:

"It was very frustrating. But there was nothing I could do about it. The way I think about it is that it has happened now and there is nothing I can do about it so this is my challenge now, to get back. That is what I am concentrating on.”


Apart from that, there really isn’t a lot going on today, all is quiet on the Cesc front which, to be honest, is a bit of a relief. It’s nice to get some respite from the shitfest that is Barcelona tapping up our captain. Still not a single word from either UEFA or FIFA on it. Surprise, surprise.


The Daily Shite Mail is reporting that we are considering sending Francis Coquelin to Lorient on a season-long loan in order to push through a deal for their defender, Laurent Koscielny. Can’t say that I am all that bothered about this rumour as I know nothing about the player.


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

A quick Tuesday round-up.

June 1, 2010

I’m writing this post after work on the train from Tokyo to Yokohama, so I’m not sure how long it will be. Yesterday was a quiet one in terms of Arsenal related news so I decided not to post anything as there really was nothing to say. I’m still trying to figure out if there is much to say today. One thing that did happen, in a didn’t sort of way, was the passing of the deadline which the Star set on Sunday for Joe Cole signing for us.


It seems like there is a real interest in him from both ourselves and ManUre. Given that he is a London lad and hasn’t ventured outside of the capital to ply his trade, you would have to figure that we would be slight favourites for his signature, if that side of things plays a factor in his final decision. Would signing both Chamakh and Cole serve to help Fabregas decide to stay for another year or two? His signing, while not entirely desirable, would certainly help to boost the strength of our squad. Luckily, he isn’t as c*ntish as some of his fellow Chelsea teammates.


Xavi moved one step closer to being a fully-fledged member of Mensa by saying that he predicted a whole two years ago that Cesc would one day rejoin Barcelona. Well done, Xavi. It is clear that you shouldn’t be playing for Barselona, you should instead by working at CERN. Nothing new or earth shattering in his quote and it’s just more of the usual Barselona skullduggery of trying to get a player to do their tapping up for them.


Arshavin has described Arsenal’s season as being nothing special, even pitiful. I’m assuming that he has been misquoted and that he actually was referring to his own performances and overall contribution to the team over the season. Maybe that is the reason we are interested in Joe Cole….taxi for Arshavin? He owes us a really good season next year, if he is still at the club.


Gallas missed the end of May deadline that he had been set by Wenger for the signing of a new contract, so it’s time for us to forget about him as an Arsenal player, though I get the feeling that some of us have felt that way about him for a while. Time for our former captain to go and sit sulking on a pitch somewhere else. It never really worked out as we had all initially hoped that it would. Good player but a bit of a mentally imbalanced loon, too.


The newspapers are becoming really, really lazy with regard to the Cesc transfer story as we are just seeing the exact same quotes turning up again and again with nothing new to add to the story. It’s all a bit tedious and boring, to be honest.


Almost at Yokohama, so it’s nearly time for me to wrap this post up. I’d just like to thank those that sent me messages on Twitter yesterday regarding newspaper (tabloid and broadsheet) reporting and portrayal of UK born players versus foreign players. I’m doing my MA thesis on whether or not racism, xenophobia or unfair bias is used when portraying incidents involving UK and foreign players. If you can think of any specific game/incident where you remember newspapers doing this, please leave it in a comment below. Eg: Ryan Shawcross ‘isn’t that kind of player’ after nearly taking Ramsey’s leg off, but Gallas is ridiculed for a slightly late tackle against Bolton. Oh, it can be about ANY premier league team or player, it’s not Arsenal specific. Thanks in advance.


Have a good Tuesday.

Taking it up the Barce…

May 27, 2010

Yesterday saw things get a little more interesting, just a little, mind, on the Tantric Cesc saga. Cesc himself said in an interview that he is more loved at Arsenal than anywhere else and that is probably true, too. If he moves back to Barcelona he won’t find that same love from the fans. He will just be another cog in the tapping up machine that is Barselona. There is a link to a video of said interview in yesterday’s blog. It’s not the best quality in the world, but is adequate.


Watching his interview, it was refreshing to see the respect he has and openly showed for the club in comparison to, say, Adebayor. Night and day. It’s a measure of both his love for the club and also a measure of the man. Whatever the outcome may be, Cesc wants it to be as clean and painless as possible. We will never know exactly what was said in that conversation between Arsene and Cesc at Colney a week or so ago, but our captain is doing everything in the right way, even if his bastardo suitors are not.


Later in the day, word came through that Barcelona had made an enquiry but had been, rightly, told to go f*ck themselves. I think the whole world knows that they are interested in him so, if you are that bloody interested then make a proper f*cking bid and quit fannying around. Cunt-faced bastardos. Apologies for the swearing, but that’s the beauty or writing for your own blog and not a newspaper.


The player himself said that his future is in Arsene’s hands. Thank f*ck it isn’t in Fabianski’s. So, you can read into it what you will. Either it is in Arsene’s hands because ‘Arsene knows,’ or it is in his hands because Cesc has said he wants to go and Arsene is left to do the deal between the clubs. I prefer to think it is the former. It could also mean that Cesc has said that he will stay on the condition that Arsene gets the finger out and uses that newly freed hand to also get the cheque-book out and sign some proper players in order to make us competitive again.


Away from the Tantric Cesc saga there isn’t really a lot going on. Things are beginning to ratchet up in terms of World Cup coverage, leaving the transfer mill a bit bereft of interesting Arsenal-related stories. There must be something wrong on Fleet Street as it has been at least 48hrs since I have seen us linked with the likes of Frey, Melo, Tourezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


The Daily Shite Mail links us with some centre-half called Laurent Koscielny. The bad news is that he has Polish roots, hopefully from a different bloodline than Luckarse. But, I have never heard of him before so that means there is probably an 80% chance that we will sign him.


Sagna has taken a leaf out of Barselona’s book by saying that Pape Malickou Diakhate, the Dinamo Kiev centre-half we have previously been linked with, would be a great signing for us. He says he is very dangerous at set-pieces, I’m hoping he means in terms of taking both ball and man while making a clearance.


That’s about all there is for today. A shorter post than yesterday, but I’m sure you’ll be relieved about that.


Talk to you tomorrow. I’m going to sit and bask for a moment in the glory that is Arsenal telling Barcelona to go fuck themselves. Enjoying it while it lasts. Maybe today’s title should have been ‘giving’ instead of ‘taking,’ but I think you got the point.


May 26, 2010

You what Barcelona are? A bunch of f*cking c*cks. Not content with getting Cesc to push for a move, they are more than happy to just sit back and not even bother their arse tabling an offer for the player that they profess to want so much. If I was Cesc I would be more than just a bit miffed to be treated so shabbily by his suitors that also happen to be his boyhood club. They are quite happy to sit back and watch his reputation get damaged with the Arsenal fans. I love Cesc and I really, really want him to stay at the club, but Barcelona are doing their damnedest to make sure that this will be a long, protracted, epic and dirty transfer saga. It seems like it’ll be a tantric divorce. How did we go from Tantric Cesc to a Tantric Divorce so quickly? Sting, take note, this is likely to push the boundaries of stamina.


As Gooners, we all accept that Cesc will leave us someday. That’s just a fact of life. He came to us as a 16yr old, we turned him into a man, we nurtured and honed him as a footballer. But, we always accepted that he would, one-day, go back to Barcelona.


I’ve been a proper Arsenal fan since I was around 13 or 14yrs old. I was recruited by my brother to redress the balance in our household to two Arsenal fans and two ManUre fans, my father having defected from Arsenal to ManUre about 15yrs beforehand. In my time as a fan, I have gotten just three player’s names on the back of my jerseys. The first was Pires, the second Bergkamp and the third was Cesc. I only get the players I really love on my shirt. I came close to getting Adams on my 1995 home shirt, but for one reason or another, that didn’t happen. I still wish I had done. Anyway, the point is that I love Cesc and I want him to stay and lead this team to silverware.


However, I am now having to finally make peace with the fact that we are about to lose our best player, the player that I love most in this current squad. Maybe it’s because he has been here since he was 16, maybe it’s because he is one of the greatest players in the world, maybe it’s a bit of both, but it is going to rip a hole in the heart of the side and also the hearts of the fans when he inevitably departs us, which unfortunately looks like being this summer. The fact that Cesc’s father has said that his son wants top leave seems to be one of the final nails being hammered home in the coffin of our beloved Catalan’s Arsenal career. The full transcript of his father’s radio interview can be seen here. Surely that interview could be used as evidence that tapping up has taken place? How do Barcelona think they can get away with telling him to ignore the clubs that can afford to pay more for him as that’d drive up the price?


If he does leave, our final memory of him will be finishing the game against Barcelona with a broken leg. That’s an astonishing feat, and memory, and shows how much he was willing to give for the team. Perhaps a part of him doesn’t want to bow out as Arsenal captain without having lifted a trophy? We can but hope.


The way that Barcelona are prepared to drag this whole saga out is really making me angry. They are more than willing to risk damaging Cesc’s relationship with the Arsenal faithful in order to back Arsenal into a corner in a bid to get their man at a lower price. Well, this really is the time for Arsenal to make a stand. Not just a stand for the good of the club, but also for the good of the game. Big clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid cannot be allowed to bully other teams around.


I’ve read reports in papers saying that Arsenal should let him go because we got him from Barcelona when he was 16yrs old and that, therefore, we should accept a smaller fee because we are now selling him back to that same club. The point that those reports fail to properly address is the fact that we paid the guts of £2m for him in compensation, so it isn’t exactly like we got him on the cheap as a 16yr old. The fact that he has matured and developed into the player he is now is irrelevant, the original deal to bring him to Arsenal shouldn’t be linked to this potential deal. Arsenal should receive the full market value for a player of his quality.


There is a paraphrased quote from Pires at the bottom of this article in Sport which, I think, says that it’ll be both complicated and difficult to convince Wenger to let Cesc go. I say ‘I think’ because I don’t speak Spanish so that is just my best guess. Super Rob is also quoted in the Daily Shite Mail as saying that he thinks Cesc will stay with us. Let’s hope he is right.


Elsewhere, the Mirror makes another very tenuous link between Mertesacker and Arsenal by using a quote in which he says he may be interested by a foreign club that has been playing in the Champions League for a number of years. That could be any decent club outside of Germany, so it is by no means a direct reference to Arsenal. But, the Arsenal link makes for better speculation than, say, Lyon. It’s a bit like me saying ‘I like beer, particularly beer that is regularly sold in bars’ and then someone saying that I have got a job in a brewery, or something. Maybe. But, you get what I am trying to say.


The Mirror also links us with another Spanish kid but, to be honest, I don’t want to see links to teenage footballers this summer. I want to see us sign proper men with experience and quality.


Some good news, Carlos Vela might be seeking pastures new after the World Cup. Hope he isn’t counting on teams signing him based on his actual  performances on the pitch, or we’ll be lumbered with him. I also have a feeling that his departure won’t be up to him, I reckon he could get the old ‘Spanish archer’ from Wenger.


Unsurprising news, but Fran Merida has officially been signed by Atletico Madrid on a 4yr contract and looks set to  be unveiled by them this coming Friday. Good luck, Fran. Hope it all works out for you. When you signed for us, your YouTube compilation video clips were very impressive.


UEFA’s new financial fair play rules are set to be introduced tomorrow and will take effect from the 2012-2013 season onwards, though they will be gradually introduced. Basically, clubs will have to live within their means with regard to wages and transfer spending. Spending on infrastructure can still be subsidized by by the owner in the form of equity investment, not a loan. I wish that they were coming into effect from next season as that would put Arsenal in a very strong position. However, we will soon see the likes of Chelsea and City looking to severely cut their costs in order to meet the new financial regulations, which is good news for Arsenal.


It’s a long post today thanks in no small measure to Kirin beer, as I wrote the first 700-800 words while drinking last night. Hope you have made it through and are still awake. If so, well done!


There is a comprehensive month-by-month season review over at Gunnerblog. It’s good, so check it out.

***UPDATE: The latest on the Cesc situation is that it is, apparently, all down to what Arsene wants to do and what he decides is best for both the club and Cesc. I guess we will just have to wait and see. The video of that interview is here.

Venting done. Take it easy.

Not a lot going on.

May 25, 2010

Greetings from a warm and sunny Yokohama. The post season is a bit quiet this week with just some tenuous transfer links that lack any real meat so far and the still ongoing Tantric Cesc saga. The Cesc thing is going on so long that it will soon make Sting jealous. I’m hoping that it will get resolved one way or the other sooner rather than later. One thing is for sure, regardless of whether it drags on until after the World Cup, it shouldn’t affect our signing of a replacement because now that Wenger knows that Cesc wants to leave, he should be finalizing his list of exactly who could replace him. That list should be drawn up immediately, just in case the worst happens. If Cesc leaves after the World Cup ends then we should be ready to move immediately for the identified replacement, or sign the replacement just before finalizing the transfer of Cesc. But, I won’t accept excuses of having to search for a replacement after Cesc has left. That groundwork should be finalized long before that time comes, if it comes. A Cultured Left Foot has some quotes from Hleb wherein he says that Cesc should stay where he is, no doubt because Hleb himself has found out first-hand that the grass is not always greener.


Crazy figures being reported regarding the transfer fee, ranging between £30m and £80m. I think that the actual fee, should it be agreed will probably lie somewhere between £40m-£50m, though I would like it to be on the high side of £50m.


Chiellini is making noises about moving on, though it could just be that he is trying to renegotiate a more lucrative contract. That said, he would be a good, strong, centre-half to put alongside Vermaelen. He is a player that I would like to see us sign and one that we have been linked with before, though how much substance there were to those links is debatable. He is also at the ‘right age’ that Wenger alluded to when talking about the signing of Chamakh.


The Swiss Rambler had a really detailed and very interesting post about the finances of Arsenal and Barcelona and details the debt at the latter. It’s a good read.


As expected, the ‘Nigerian business man to buy Lady Nina’s shares’ story has been dealt a blow by him stating that he had been interested in investing before but now has no plans to do so.


Elsewhere, we are being linked with Bolton’s Cahill, again. So, we’ll just have to wait and see what Arsene decides to do.


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

And so it begins.

May 22, 2010

Yesterday saw us officially confirm and unveil our first signing of the summer. Marouane Chamakh was unveiled as an Arsenal player and has signed on a long-term contract, which I suppose we can assume to be for four or five years, given that he is twenty six years old. The music in the video at the above link is a bit cheesy, to say the least. Clearly music isn’t a forte of ATVO.



The player, of course, said that he is delighted to be joining us.

“This is a dream come true and a great joy to be joining Arsenal. My goal was always to play in the Premier League and Arsenal was the choice of my heart. Without any hesitation, Arsenal was my preferred club. The team and history of Arsenal, they make me dream. My goal was to join Arsenal out of the all the English clubs because it is a club that makes me dream and I have been a fan since I was a child.

“I’m very excited about playing at Emirates Stadium in front of the Arsenal supporters. I have heard many great things about the stadium and I cannot wait to be playing there in an Arsenal shirt. I will give my best to this Club, the Club that I used to support. We have many great players at Arsenal and I will be giving everything to help the team win trophies next season.”


Wenger, naturally was very happy to have gotten his man and had this to say:

“We are delighted that Marouane Chamakh has joined us. He is a player we have admired for some time now and I know he will provide our squad with great quality. Chamakh has proved he is a great player with his performances for Bordeaux and Morocco in recent seasons and we’re all looking forward to him joining us.

"Chamakh is a striker of real quality and has all the attributes suited to come to England and do very well. He is also a fighter, not only a good football player, but a fighter as well. He is very good in the air and also a good team player. He is a great addition to our squad.”


I must admit that I haven’t actually seen him playing, as Bordeaux’s Champions League games weren’t enticing enough to drag me out of bed to watch at 03:45 on a work night. But, he can’t fail to provide more goals to the team than both Vela and Eduardo combined did last season.


We can now crack out the songs “Boob, boom, Chamakh(alaka) boom!" and “Chamakh my bitch up!”


He will wear the no29 jersey and will provide good competition for both Van Persie and Bendtner. It does seem that one, or both, of Vela and Eduardo may be surplus to requirements. Hopefully it will be Vela that goes first because I would like to see Eduardo get another chance to regain his form next season. It really would be a shame if that Taylor tackle ruined his Arsenal career.


Perhaps this whole ‘Cesc to Barcelona’ bore-fest will give an extra incentive to Arsene to get the finger out and sign some more proper players that have both experience and proven quality. One thing is for sure, if we do manage to keep Cesc for another year or two, we will have no chance of him staying any longer if the squad isn’t significantly strengthened with quality players. Not necessarily big name players, just quality players. Three more signings along the lines of Vermaelen would do nicely.


Speaking of Cesc and Barcelona, the latter seem to be on a damage limitation drive now that they have seen their attempts to get Cesc to agitate for a move have only served to strengthen Arsenal’s resolve to keep him and reject all overtures. The c*nt-buckets are now saying that they will respect our wishes and not negotiate anything behind our backs. Someone should tell them that those are the actual f*cking FIFA rules. C*nts. I’m sure their financial situation is a factor in this renewed stance, too. However, I’m also sure that it won’t prevent them from using the Spanish papers to do their underhanded unsettling work.


It’s great timing to announce the signing of Chamakh, given the week of doom and gloom that we have just had. I just hope that Wenger now looks to address the defensive side of our squad. Give Ivan Gazidis the names he wants to sign, let Gazidis get on with agreeing a fee and personal terms for those players while Arsene goes about convincing Cesc that Arsenal are still the right club for him to be at. I wonder will there be another signing before the World Cup kicks off, or will we have to make do with this until after the tournament ends?


I see West Ham have made a bid to sign TH14. You would seriously have to question the way a club is run when the chairmen are trying to sign players before they have actually appointed a new manager.


Anyway, that’s about that for today. I’m happy that we have confirmed our first signing. Come on Arsene, make hay while the sun shines and build on this signing as quickly as possible.


Have a good Saturday, folks.