Friday, January 30, 2009

Arsenal Granted Arshavin Work Permit, West Ham Preview

Hello all. Last night was a little rowdy for me so I slept in pretty late today, hence the late post. Not a whole lot going on with Arsenal today ahead of the West Ham game tomorrow. Arsene Wenger gave an interview to Arsenal TV Online, and said he wants to get the Arshavin deal done before the match tomorrow. He also said he has looked at other targets besides Arshavin, but given the fact that the transfer window is just about to close there isn't a lot of time to get any other deals done before the deadline. So it looks like the only signing this window will be the Arshavin signing, and you probably know my thoughts on that already.

The good news today is that Arsenal applied for a work permit for Arshy and it was granted, so he will be able to move and play right away as soon as a deal gets finalised. That's pretty good news just so long as the deal actually gets done. Even though I am not particularly excited about us signing Arshavin, I'm sort of excited just because of the fact that we're actually buying SOMEONE.

In financial news, yesterday I mentioned that it would be disastrous for Arsenal to finish outside of the Champions League Places.

We can't afford, in the current economic state, to not qualify for the Champions League, and at this rate it won't happen. We're developing the Highbury Square flats, we're paying off the new stadium, we have fairly high player salaries to pay, and the Champions League provides a lot of revenue towards those expenses.
Well apparently Peter Hill-Wood reads the blog because he directly responded to that today, saying that it would not be "financial armageddon" if Arsenal finished outside of the top four.

"But although missing out on the Champions League for one year would be a big disappointment, it would not mean financial armageddon for Arsenal. When we worked out our budget, and did our fund-raising calculations in respect to the new stadium, we did not assume we were going to be in the Champions League every season. That may be an assumption at other clubs, and it's not for me to comment on the way they are run, but we did not want to get out of our depth in terms of paying our bills."

It makes some sense I suppose but it's disheartening to hear that it would almost be accepted if we were to finish outside the Champions League spots. Yeah sometimes you have bad years and you have to work through it but I think of all people PHW should be saying we NEED to make the Champions League. Accepting mediocrity does not bring trophies to the club.

So tomorrow we have West Ham, and it's a match we need to win. West Ham handed us our first ever loss at the Emirates and we've got them at home tomorrow. Villa have continued to take three points from their matches and we've got to do the same. As I told Joaquin yesterday, an unbeaten run means nothing if they are all draws. West Ham also are on an unbeaten run, theirs is 7 games, so it's another team in good form and could be a dangerous one for us.

The injury news is the same. Rosicky, Eduardo, Theo, Cesc, Silvestre are all out. I'd like to see two goals from RvP and another from Ade. 3-1 to Arsenal. Cheers.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Arsenal Needs More Than Just Arshavin

Morning all. We had a pretty big match yesterday against Everton, and after going the inevitable goal down, Robin van Persie managed to equalize. And I have to say, it was a fucking fantastic goal. The problem is that we gave up a goal before that and had almost no attacking presence until that goal in the 92nd minute.

As I was watching the game I tried to picture how Andrei Arshavin would help us during the match. I decided that he would have probably taken Denilson or Diaby's role, either in the center attacking role or on the right wing. Denilson wasn't especially good, but he is no right winger and when he's in his natural position in the middle I do think he's pretty good. Diaby wasn't very good either, but he did at least make the assist on the one goal we scored. Could he add something where those two couldn't? I think yes, he could. The thing is, we have players already that play in the central midfield attacking role and on the right wing, named Cesc and Theo. I still can't see, when everyone is healthy, where we are going to play Arshavin. I haven't really found a good answer from anyone and it's hard to see where he fits into a healthy lineup. Mind you, Arsenal seems to almost never have a fully healthy lineup, but I just worry about what the implications of his signing could be. Theo's contract is up in the summer and if we didn't renew him because we signed Arshavin I'd be pretty upset about it.

I've mentioned all those points before though, about him not really having a natural place in the squad when Cesc and Theo are healthy (and there's also Rosicky, who should be back soon), but the real problem is still in defense. The goal Everton scored was not spectacular, they didn't break the defense down with skillful passing or immense skill; they just crossed into the box and Tim Cahill (one of only two or three players that you would worry about scoring on Everton) headed it in over Clichy. I love Clichy but one thing you can certainly say is that he is not the tallest defender in the world. Baines had way too much time to cross the ball and had nobody even attempting to come close him down. It's like someone giving Ray Allen an open three pointer in the corner, it's going in. Same way here, if you give a professional at a top flight club that much time then he is going to hurt you. Just poor defending all the way around and that seems to be the theme of our matches this year. Clichy hasn't had a good year, Toure/Gallas haven't been good, Silvestre is just terrible, and only Djourou has really looked decent and shown his potential.

Does Arsene really not think we need a new defender? No, he knows we need one, because he said we needed a "powerful defender" just last summer, when we were all saying the same thing. Silvestre cannot have been who he had in mind to fill that role. I can't imagine what is possibly going on in his head but anyone who has watched Arsenal this year would see that we have a number of deficiencies that Andrey Arshavin will not fix by himself no matter how well he does.

Aston Villa continue to win, with all the luck of a team having horse shoes stuck up their asses and leprachauns in their dressing room. We can't afford, in the current economic state, to not qualify for the Champions League, and at this rate it won't happen. We're developing the Highbury Square flats, we're paying off the new stadium, we have fairly high player salaries to pay, and the Champions League provides a lot of revenue towards those expenses. Surely Arsene Wenger, the economist, can see that some investment now will prove to be a good expenditure down the road.

I just worry about the potential problems the club could face if we don't get better soon. Yes, we are on an unbeaten run, but there are a lot of draws in that run against some teams we should probably beat and need to beat if we want to be where we want to be at the end of the year. I know it's unlikely, but I'm still holding out for a couple of new signings in the next week.

And last but not least for the day, The ArseNole turned 1 1/2 years old this week and I'm in a very thankful mood today, so I'd just like to thank everyone that reads or has ever read the site and I especially thank those that keep coming back, like Mike, Joaquin, GPS Justin, Theresa Smith, Danking, Andre, Conolly's Agent, Jamesgillesp, and all the others who have stayed with me through all this time. I can't thank you guys enough. If you're ever in Jacksonville (or in Mike's case if I'm in Tally) then there's a beer for you on me. Cheers all.

Oh by the way! I might actually do a podcast tomorrow...if I come up with some good material. If you could please send in your emails with anything you want me to talk about on there or anything funny or anything at all, then it would be much appreciated! Thanks! ArseNole{at}

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Arshavin Signing For Arsenal, Rosicky Back in Training

Hello all. It's 1 am here which means 6 am in London but I've only just checked the news and seen that Zenit St Petersburg and Arsenal have agreed a fee for Andrei Arshavin. Zenit officials confirmed that an agreement had been reached on a transfer fee and all that remains is working out personal terms.

"The fundamental understanding over the transfer of the player is achieved between the clubs," read the statement. "At the moment the basic obstacle in realisation of the transaction is Andrei Arshavin's personal requirements."

So there is no word on what the agreed fee is, but it does seem as if the deal will be done very shortly. The good news from all this, besides the fact that we're getting a player who could help us hopefully score more goals, is the news that Arsenal are still actually capable of signing players! It looked for a while as if this would go the same way as the Xabi Alonso deal, arguing over a couple of million and eventually getting no deal done at all. Thankfully though everything should be worked out with Arshavin very soon and he should be an Arsenal player in the next few days. He's certainly been begging to come so it shouldn't be so hard to agree to personal terms.

"The player will travel to London this week to finalise terms, even though Gunners boss Arsene Wenger entertained Arshavin at Arsenal's training ground before Christmas, when much of the detail was agreed." - The Herald Sun

While Arshavin wasn't exactly the signing a lot of us had hoped for, he will help the squad, especially while Cesc is out. It won't help our central midfield or our defense, but you can't win without scoring goals and that is what he can certainly help with.

In other news, there are reports unconfirmed by the club that Tomas Rosicky is back in training, which is the first time in months. If he gets back and we get the Arshavin deal done we'll have a plethora of similar players to play on the left side of midfield. I think Nasri or Arshy will play in the middle though while Cesc is out and maybe another one of em could play on the right until Theo is back and healthy.

And in other transfer news, Micah Richards, who was linked with us yesterday, says he is "flattered" by the interest in him from Arsenal.

"It's always flattering being linked with a club like Arsenal, and they have one of the best managers in the world in Arsene Wenger."

As I said, I think Richards would be a perfect signing for us. He hasn't been outstanding this year, but with the turmoil going on at Manchester City it isn't a surprise really. He could be a great defender for us for years to come, and I'd love to see us get that done.

I'll get back to you guys in the morning if there is any more news on the Arshy deal. For now, take solace in the fact that he will almost certainly be an Arsenal player in the next few days.

Cheers. Hopefully we'll be seeing pictures like this one soon. Yeah I'm terrible at photo editing.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Micah Richards Would Be A Great Signing, FA Cup Replay

'Ello all. Just got home from eating a burrito at Moe's. Delicious. Celtics play in 10 minutes and my bed is calling my name for a nap, so it should be a good day. We played Cardiff earlier today, and played to a 0-0 draw. My thoughts on that in a minute. Just a quick thought before that though. I've been reading through my Official History of Arsenal book that I just got, and I've really realized how much legendary Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman did for the club and the game itself. Arsenal hadn't won a trophy in almost 50 years of existence before he led the club to three FA Cups and several championships in the 1930's, and really changed the whole way the game is played. He got the tube station at Gillespie Road renamed Arsenal Station, and made Arsenal the biggest club in the world at that time. He is the real reason Arsenal is what it is today, and I think every Arsenal fan should be thankful for that man coming to our beloved club. He died at age 55 this month seventy-five years ago. Cheers you to Mr. Chapman.

Enough history though, and on to today's match. Sure they are a division lower than us, but I don't think 0-0 is such a bad result for us. For one, it's much better than a loss. Second, we kept a clean sheet, and defense has certainly been our weakest point this season. So while our attacking wasn't what we'd like it to be, it does give us a home replay and extends our unbeaten streak. We had a lot of young players in like Kieran Gibbs, and also some shite players like Alex Song. Obviously a win would be prefferred, but it could have been like Portsmouth, who were knocked out 2-0 by Swansea City. I feel bad for Tony Adams. He hasn't had a great start as manager there but I don't think it's all his fault. They have lost several players, including Diarra and Defoe, but I don't think the fans will be very forgiving after Harry Redknapp led them to the FA Cup last year.

In other news, the News of the World reports that Arsenal are going to make a 7 million pound bid for Man City's Micah Richards. If this was true I would be jumping for joy. 7 million for an English youth international with a big future ahead of him? It'd be a dream come true. We all know Richards is an Arsenal fan, and even though he hasn't been in the best form this season, I think a lot of that can be attributed to the way Man City has been run this year. They have had horrible team chemistry, with a lot of players coming in and leaving. He was great last year with Richard Dunne, and I think he's the type of player that could work well with any of Kolo, Gallas, or Djourou. If he is really available for that little amount then we should be signing him today. It'd be a much better use of cash than Andrei Arshavin.

Speaking of Arshavin, there is no news about his situation, so we haven't signed him but the deal apparently isn't dead either. Still crossing my fingers we use the money somewhere else.

Ok, short post today but I'm going to watch the Celtics game. Let's go C's. Cheers.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Arshavin Deadline Today, Who Cares?

Morning all. Today is a big day for Arsenal and for me. I just got my copy of the Official Illustrated History of Arsenal and I am facking stoked. I'll probably read through it a good seven or eight times this weekend. For Arsenal though, it's the last day (supposedly) for us to work out a deal for Andrey Arshavin. Zenit say if there isn't something worked out today then he won't be coming to Arsenal.

I'm just going to come out right now and say, to quote John Leard, "Fuck 'em." If they won't take 15 million for a 27 year old who is probably not any better than Nasri, who is younger than him by six years and only cost 12 million, then why would we want him? He's not worth as much as they want to our team, and I'm sick of this story over and over with him. Zenit should be nutting themselves over 15 million for someone who is going to buy out his contract in a couple months. Then we can get him for free and laugh in their faces. Arsene Wenger has been asked if Arshavin was the only player he was targetting, and Arsene Wenger said no, so there are other options. This isn't the end of the world.

I don't see why everyone cares about us signing him anyway. He's played in the Russian league, doesn't really fit into our team once Cesc is healthy, and he'll have no resale value. If I asked people who they WOULDN'T like to see leave the club, I think two answers I'd get for sure would be Theo and Nasri. Both are young, they keep getting better, and they bring something special to the team. Of course Cesc will always have his place at Arsenal, so where does Arshavin fit into that team? Does he take Nasri's spot on the left? Then we've wasted 12 million in the summer buying him. Does he take Theo's place on the right? I think we need Theo's pace down that wing, which Arshavin can't match. And while Theo and Carlos Vela may one day be strikers, right now I think they are at their best on the wings and I'd sure as hell rather have them than Arshavin's whiny ass. Wenger says it takes most foreign players six months to adjust to the English game, so would he help us this season anyway? I don't think so. In 8 months his contract can be bought out for free, so why pay 15 million now for a player who is free in 8 months if you want him.

So my question is what would Arsenal get for the 15 million? A player we don't need in a position where we do actually have some semblance of depth. Let's move on to what we really need, which is defense and defensive midfield! Maybe instead of ignoring the obvious holes in the team and signing an attacker, we could actually address the team needs and get someone defensive minded! What a novel idea.

I think us losing out on Arshavin would be just about the best thing that could happen to Arsenal right now. If we make NO signings just because we can't get him then that would make me upset, but I think us signing Arshavin would make me even more upset than that. It just isn't good business.

Everyone, including me, Joaquin, you, Kolo Toure, my mom, my dog, your dog, Samir Nasri, and Samir's mom, knows we need help defensively, so that is where the money needs to be spent. I like goals as much as everyone else but it doesn't matter how many you score if the other team scores more! Gallas and Toure can't play together, and Silvestre is shit. Djourou has been a bright spot but for the love of God can we just bring in a quality, established defender for once in history? Arsene has worked with Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Sol Campbell, and other great ones, so he does know what a good defender is, he just seems to have forgotten we need them. As for defensive midfield, when you lose Flamini, Diarra, and Gilberto all within six months, you probably need a replacement for at least one of them!

If you can't tell, I'm a bit pissed off and it's led to a bit of a rant this morning. I want your opinion. Do you agree about Arshavin not being needed or are you a part of the Arshavin blow-fest that a lot of the Arsenal community has become this month? Do you think defense is the more pressing need? Leave your thoughts. FA Cup tomorrow, get excited. I think Little Jack Wilshere might get a run out. Fingers crossed. Cheers.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Arshavin Deal 50/50, Rosicky To Return Soon

Morning all. We are in the midst of a mighty 8 match unbeaten streak which is pretty exciting don't you think? Problem is that Aston Villa seem to keep winning. Which needs to stop. Seriously.

So there are a couple of news items today, and of course the top story belongs to Andrei Arshavin, who assuredly is making some people sick of hearing about him other than me by now. Sky Sports is reporting that the deal for him is only 50/50 now, because "negotiations have taken a step back" and because of Man City not being able to sign Kaka. They think City may go in for Arshavin which honestly wouldn't bother me too much. If it means we'll spend the money on a defensive midfielder or paying someone to take Eboue off of our hands it would make me happier. I still think defensive midfield and defense should be our main priority but Arsene Wenger doesn't agree and he gets payed to manage while I do not.

Still, there is a lot of time before the end of the transfer window and I'd expect that we'll get a deal done for Arshy before it's all said and done. He clearly wants to come and if we're getting him in then the sooner the better so he can get used to the team.

In other creative midfielding news, Tomas Rosicky has hinted that he may be back in action for Arsenal soon. He's been out for over a year and I personally have wondered whether he'll ever play for the club again. We really could have used him this season but mabye he finally is actually nearing a return.

"Everyone surely knows that I am not in my ideal state of mind, the one I used to be in when was in Arsenal's starting line-up two or three times a week," he told his own website.

"Now I am playing a different game. I have been working hard every single day and want to be back soon. I need to be patient.

"I have to respect Arsenal management's decision not to comment on my state of health, as it's their choice and they have been doing their maximum to have me back in action.

"I am not the first or the last football player who has been sidelined for a year.

"I am looking forward to when I will be able to say to the fans 'I am fit and going to play at the weekend'. I believe it will not be a long wait."

I know that is a really long quote but I didn't think any of it should be taken out because there are a couple of interesting things in there. The strangest part of it is where he says that Arsenal management made a decision to not comment on his health. Presumably this is so they don't say he'll be back in six weeks and then he isn't yet again. It is still interesting though that they would just decide to not comment on it at all. The last sentence in there though is the best news, because he clearly feels that he is indeed getting healthier and is getting nearer to a return. I really hope he does get back and healthy, because we could really use him. I'm not holding my breath though, with the way he's recovered in the past, or not recovered.

There really isn't any other news besides Gallas saying he'll see out the rest of his contract at Arsenal. Can't say I really care on that one. I'd just as soon sell him today.

So that's about it, big thanks to my mate Patrick for hooking me up with the new header design, I think it's pretty sweet.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wenger Confirms Arshavin Inquiry

What up hoes? So I said I wouldn't post today if the news was only about Arshavin, but of course it is and I am still going to do a post. Why? Because today Arsene Wenger confirmed what we have all long suspected, that we are in talks with Zenit for him. He says we aren't close to signing the player at the moment, but the negotiations are ongoing. He finished by saying that he is very hopeful. I'm very hopeful too. I hope it doesn't end up like the Xabi Alonso deal in the summer where we wouldn't go higher than 12 million and they wanted 14 million so we just got nobody instead. We won't pay the 20 million they want so I'm thinking it's probably a similar bid to Nasri's, 12 million or so.

Meanwhile, Arshavin's agent, who in typical agent fashion has been ridiculous throughout this month, says there won't be a move this week but is hopeful about next week.

"It looks like nothing will happen this week now, but there may be some movement early next week."
So we'll ahave to wait and see but it looks like this one might very well get done. I still think defensive midfield and defense are more pressing issues but it's typical Arsene Wenger. We need help in defense and in attack though so I can see how maybe if we help the attack it could help the defense along with it.

We play Hull this weekend and it's a game we absolutely must win. They beat us 2-1 at the Grove in one of the worst home results I can remember (losing to Sheffield United a few years ago and the first loss at the Grove to West Ham spring to mind also) and so we need to avenge that defeat and also just because we really need the points. Villa haven't been losing very much at all so we need to match them win for win and when they slip up we have to take advantage. Hull is one of the teams that we really should be able to get six points a year against, yet we've lost three of those already, so we have to turn it around. Luckily, we haven't lost since we played Middlesbrough at the end of November, so we are on a bit of a hot streak. It's going to be tough without Cesc for the next couple months but the Champions League qualification is still a goal we have to achieve. Hopefully bringing in a player like Arshavin will make up some for Cesc's absence.

Roy Hodgeson says it will take "something special" to get Jimmy Bullard from Fulham. I would think something special wouldn't be more than a couple million quid. Fulham aren't exactly loaded with cash and they aren't going to be contending for top honors anytime soon. If we want him, we can get him, but you can never really tell who Arsene wants.

I've added a nice little widget to the side panel from that has the upcoming fixtures for Arsenal. It's pretty nice and I like looking at it, so if you like looking at it consider checking out It's a football community website and has prediction games, things where you can pick your all time and current Top XI, and a lot more. I don't get paid for telling you to do this either I just think it's a nice site. You can even friend request me on there if you want.

That's all I've got. I'll get back to you all tomorrow with some more exciting Arshavin news, woohoo! Cheers. Also I've changed the banner for the top of the page, which really shows how terrible I am with graphics. If anyone is good with graphics and feels like touching that up to make it look a little better, that would be awesome.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Man City is Mad, But Kaka is Even More So

Morning all. Haven't posted in what feels like forever when in fact it has only been six days, which is still far too long to go without posting. However, there has been very little news for me to go over recently, as everything seems to revolve around Andriy Arshavin. In fact, today, the news is still about Arshavin and nobody else. I'm hoping that this is a clever cover and we're doing some sort of business on the side. Like for a defensive midfielder and a center back. We probably won't buy either because that would be logical you know, and that's not how we do things at Arsenal.

Nicklas Bendtner is in the news, with reports saying that he gave Bolton our lineup before the match over the weekend. It seemed a weird story at the time it came out, but now it is even more strange with Nick's dad coming out and denying the reports.

"I can't even comment upon this. It is completely brain dead. No
footballer could in his wildest imagination do something like this. This
is talk for the devil. This is the English in a nutshell. This is the way they
are, and something we have to react to with laughter."

"It could be that he has passed on that information. That he said, 'I am
going to score against Bolton'. That's the story and situation in this

So it's a pretty strong denial from Nick's father, but the strange part is that he admits that his son "passed on that information." The information is that he was going to score against Bolton? I don't think he walked into the opposing dressing room and said, "Ya know, I fancy myself scoring today. Just wanted to pass that along." I just can't see that happening. I don't know what to believe on this one but if he did pass information to the opposing team he's either a moron or really has a terrible attitude about the team. I'm not really a fan of his in either case but I am thankful that he did score.

The big news of the day though is not about Arsenal, but about Manchester City. Today they flew a delegation into Milan to meet with AC Milan officials and to lay out a 100 million pound transfer bid for Kaka. They also are willing to pay Kaka 250,000 quid a week, which comes out to 13.65 million pounds a year. Absoultely monster numbers and it shows just how badly they want a world class name at the Eastlands. However, there are some serious doubts as to whether Kaka will accept the deal or not, saying he wants to "grow old at AC Milan." Now I for one have never liked players that move teams or clubs just for more money (see Ashley Cole), but I think if I was Kaka here I would have to accept this deal. It's just too much money to not take it. No, City are not in the same class as AC Milan, but if Chelsea can buy some quality than City could be able to as well. Who knows who all they could bid for in the summer that could turn them into a team like Chelsea's and then they could indeed me challenging for honors. It's a scary thought that so much money can be thrown around on one player, especially when our club is hesitant to spend any at all, but I'd rather be in our position than City's. I'd much rather have our cheapskate board than a "sugar daddy" who blows too much money on players that will underperform. Just saying that in Kaka's case, you really should take that deal, it isn't coming around again.

Remember how Charles N'Zogbia was begging for a move away from Newcastle and really wanted to go to Arsenal? Well since we aren't bidding for him now he's begging for a move to Lyon. It's mental some of the quotes he comes out with. He has absolutely no commitment to Newcastle and while Newcastle are a bit shite and are cunts, if you sign for a team you should probably be a little more commmited at least.

And that's all I've got for the day. If there is any news other than Arshavin news tomorrow then I'll talk to you then. If not then the day after. Cheers.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Arshavin Isn't Coming to Arsenal, Eboue to Inter

Morning all. Remember wayyy wayyy back when we were supposedly after this young attacking midfielder that had been really impressive and the transfer saga was drawn out for over a month amid masses of speculation? Oh yeah, that was just this past summer with Samir Nasri. The same thing is now happening with Andrei Arshavin. Except this one has been even longer than the Nasri story. We've "been after Arshavin" since the Euros last summer and it's pretty much a struggle to even have to read through the articles about him coming anymore. I don't know how people can get excited reading transfer stories at all considering the amount pure shite that comes up on NewsNow and the like.

My personal feeling is this...if we were going to get Arshavin, the deal would have already been done and he would be here. What reason would there be that we wouldn't have completed the signing yet if we really wanted him? Some will say because his price is too high, but the price (20 million reportedly) is the same as it has always been reported so there should be no reason to expect it to change. Zenit have been very stubborn about the price they want for him and if Arsene isn't willing to pay that then he should move on to another target.

Arshavin's agent has not made things any easier either, constantly talking to the press and complaining about the lack of offers for his client. Now he's supposedly "warning Arsenal" because Zenit are trying to drive his price up. No shit. If anyone actually thinks Arshavin is worth 20 million they are mental. He does, thankfully, say that no clubs have made an offer for Arshavin, including Arsenal.

Zenit representatives had this to say:

"It's very difficult to discuss the Arshavin value.

"We want to get an adequate payment. We also need to see what player will be coming to us to replace Andrei."

Sky Sports reports that Zenit are currently talking to Arsenal about Arshavin yet in the article they produce no quotes to back up this statement.

It's all a bunch of crap and I almost feel sorry for the reporters who have to write stories about this same thing every single day. Then again I don't, because all of us have to read their useless shite every day.

Moral of the story is I don't think he'll be coming to Arsenal. Zenit want more than we are willing to pay and I can't see them lowering their price after keeping it the same for the last seven months. I really don't even know where he would fit into the squad. Yeah he could play in the middle while Cesc is out but what about when Cesc gets back? Of all of Wenger's "youth movement" the one I want to see lose playing time the least is Theo Walcott, so if Arshavin took his spot I wouldn't be happy at all.

In other news, Emmanuel Eboue says that Inter are interested in signing him. Hallelujah! Really though I can't see any legs to this story. Why would Jose Mourinho want to bring in Eboue? I guess if he really needed someone to keep the locker room entertained or something, but certainly not for his footballing prowess. If there is any truth to the story though then let's please ship him off as he brings nothing (or a little bit more than nothing, maybe) to the side.

Torino says that there is no chance that Alessandro Rosina will go on loan to Arsenal. Alrighty then, that clears that up.

Alright that's about enough for the day. Leave your thoughts on Arshavin, Eboue, Rosina, or anything else you wanna talk about. I swear I'll do a podcast one of these days when I get something interesting to talk about. For now though I'm going to go do pilates or something. I hear it will help my football. Cheers.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bullard And Laursen Could Be Coming To Arsenal

Morning all. There is pretty much nothing at all to write about today. No signings, no new injuries (Thank God), and really no news at all. However, there is a story about the prospect of Jimmy Bullard of Fulham and Martin Laursen from Villa coming to Arsenal. Now I won't pretend to have discovered this story on my own, so full credit to Arseblogger if this story proves to be true. Arseblogger says he has heard from a reliable source that those are two players we are after. Now honestly they are two players that if you said, "Hey, how would you like to have Jimmy Bullard and Martin Laursen at Arsenal!?" I'd probably say I didn't really want them that much. Bullard has never seemed to be Arsenal calibre even though he's usually been one of the best players on the teams he's been on, if not the best. Laursen used to get injured all the time but he's been pretty healthy as of late, and is the Villa captain and playing very well.

There are a couple things that make this rumor strange to me. Arsene LOVES buying youth players, and Bullard and Laursen are 29 and 31 respectively. While they have Premier League experience, it has not for the most part been with clubs that are competing for top honors, with the exception of Laursen at Villa this year. Would they improve Arsenal or would it be another case like Silvestre, where he is another body but doesn't really improve the squad? Honestly if these are true I'll be a bit disappointed. I'm not one who needs big names to come into the club, but I do want to see really good players come in, even if they aren't well known. Just like Bacary Sagna and Eduardo. I don't think Bullard and Laursen are good solutions to our problems right now, and they certainly aren't the answer long term. What happened to signing Zapata in defense and Marcos Senna in midfield? I know that Senna is older but the way he performed in the Euros makes me think that he could certainly play an important piece for us until we find someone new or Denilson/Diaby grows into his role. I'm not saying that Bullard and Laursen aren't good players, I just don't think they are Arsenal-good.

In other news, we'll see a familiar face when we go to Shite Hart Lane later in the year, as Jermain Defoe has agreed a return to Sp*rs for 15 million quid. I wonder where they are getting this money yet Arsenal never spend any. They spent loads in the summer (and yes they got a lot in for Keane and Berbatov) and now they're spending more in January, yet Arsene acts like we're on the verge of bankruptcy everytime someone asks about signings. It pisses everyone off a bit but I won't complain as long as we get some good players in at some point this month.

Gooner Talk says the Andrei Arshavin deal could be complete with in the next ten days. In the next ten days Man City could have bought Ronaldo, Kaka, Messi, and David Villa, Keanu Reeves could star in a move that actually is good, and Rosie O'Donnell could actually lose weight, but it just isn't going to happen. I don't think the Arshavin thing will either.

Monday, January 5, 2009

No Signings for Arsenal? Wenger Says No To Inler

Don't you know about the bird? Everybody knows that the bird is the word. What's up everyone? Not a whole lot going on today. The main story is that Jack Wilshere signed a pro deal, but I already posted that three days ago so that isn't even news. The other big news is that it was my dad's birthday yesterday. So how could there possibly be any more news than those two stories?

Well, there isn't much, but in transfer news, Arsene Wenger is no longer interested in Udinese's Gokhan Inler. When asked if he was interested in him, Wenger responded with a pretty blunt, "Yes, in the summer. But not anymore." I don't think you can get more clear than that. I have no idea what has made him not want him anymore, but I think you can rule him out of the transfer targets.

Wenger's interview went on with a scary thought however.

"At the moment I feel that if we do add somebody, we need to add somebody who has a special class because we have good players.

"Take a player like (Aaron) Ramsey. They show that they grow. Of course they still show lapses, a lack of experience, but they have quality and they can grow quickly."

This is not good. It's showing yet again that Arsene thinks that signing ANYBODY would stunt the development of the young players. Aaron Ramsey is facking 17 though! Can't he develop in the reserves like all the rest of the 17 year olds? We clearly need a midfielder and he's kind of saying he won't buy one just because we have young players. It's completely ridiculous and while I love Ramsey and I think he'll be very good for us one day, today isn't that day. I suppose he won't buy a winger because that might stunt Little Jack's growth and he won't buy a defender because of course we have the defensive stalwart Havard Nordtveit coming through. It's nothing against all the young players it's just that right now they aren't good enough to play regularly for a team like Arsenal. How can we expect to win when it's Deco or Gerrard against Ramsey? Maybe that will work in 3-4 years but not right now.

We need to make some signings, and I think everyone with the possible exception of Arsene Wenger knows it. It's a scary proposition to think of no players coming in this transfer window, because nobody knows exactly what "special class" means to Wenger. We know he won't spend big so it isn't going to be an established world class player, so who could it be? Read the first sentence of his quote, it says "If we DO add somebody." If? There shouldn't be an if. With Cesc out, and Theo out, and the defense playing badly, how can you look at the team and say we shouldn't bring somebody in?

I love Arsene Wenger, but in the case that nobody is brought in during this transfer window, when Champions League qualification is really in jeapordy, then serious questions have to be asked about the direction he is leading this club. He has brought us to new heights but now we are falling from those heights because of a lack of quality in the squad. A squad that Wenger seems very reluctant to improve. Stubborness will get you nowhere in this business and sometimes you have to be able to admit that your plan has failed. Come on Wenger, bring in some new players and let's right this ship.

Champions League football for next year should be the paramount goal for the rest of the season. In order to do that we need Villa to slip and we have to be better than we have been so far this year. I think we can do it with a few of the right players brought in. Let's pull it together Arsenal and get the job done.

Cheers all.

Friday, January 2, 2009

No Bid For Arteta, Wilshere Signs Pro Deal, Wenger Going Nowhere

Morning all. A pretty good bit to get through today so let's get right down to it.

We've been linked with Mikel Arteta quite a bit going into this transfer season, but Wenger says no enquiry has been made. Now this could just be trying to throw off potential competition for his signature or he could really be serious about, and I have a hunch that maybe they really aren't interested in Arteta. The rumor was made up first by News of the World or something first, which gives it about zero credibility, and has just taken off from there. I still think he would be a good signing, but as of this point there is no move for him.

Wenger was a little more clear when asked about Andrey Arshavin, saying that there is no progress on him, not saying that we haven't put in an offer or an enquiry. I think Arteta would be a better signing than Arshavin as I've said but many people think he is the answer to our problems. I just think the price tag is too high and the standard of league he has been in does not make for a quick transistion into the Premiership. However, as Wenger said, there has been no progress towards signing him so we'll have to wait on that, which is the usual way Wenger operates. Usually when we buy a player we wait till closer to the end of the transfer window so that we can get the price down a bit.

Moving on to some good news, yesterday was Little Jack Wilshere's 17th birthday, which saw him sign professional terms with the club. It is believed to be up to an eight year deal, which is fantastic. I'll confess that I'm a bit obsessed with Jack Wilshere in a completely not-gay way, but just the same way I'm obsessed with Cesc Fabregas. He's just really, really awesome. I think we can expect huge things from him in the future if all goes well, and I sincerely hope that it does. In other young gun news, Jay Simpson has gone on loan to West Brom and Gavin Hoyte has gone on loan to Watford. It'll be nice to see how Simpson does with the Premiership matches and I'll be looking forward to Hoyte's development as well.

And the latest Arsene Wenger rumor is that he is leaving Arsenal for Real Madrid and taking Cesc Fabregas with him. However, Wenger has rubbished these rumors saying that nobody can doubt his commitment to the club.

“I don’t think anyone can doubt my commitment here. You can question my decisions and I accept that, but not my commitment.

“No [no one has spoken to my representatives], because I represent myself.”
So that clears that one up. He's had the chance to go to Madrid before but I really don't think he wants to. Arsenal gives him the freedom to essentially run the club how he wants to whereas Madrid or say Barca he would always have to be bringing in big names and he would have to take a lot of input from others as to how to run the club. I just don't think that is his thing.

And the last piece of news today is that Shay Given is not a target for Arsenal. It has been rumored by many sources that we would pursue him this January but Arsene says he is not interested in signing Shay from Newcastle. Personally I am a fan of Almunia and think he's proven that he is good enough to win. Is he as good as Petr Cech? No, but only two other people in the world I'd say are as good as him, so what can you expect? I'd rather spend the money on a defender or a midfielder personally.

So that's all there is today. Quite a lot going on, or not going on depending on which way you look at it. Maybe we'll get a new signing today, but then again maybe we'll have to wait three more weeks. We shall see. I'll keep you updated right here though. Cheers.