Posts Tagged ‘Arsenal news’


I’ll get you something on the US Mens’ national team victory over Jamaica tonight, 1-0, for tomorrow but with work lately I’ve been kind of zonked when I get home on some nights & tonight is one of them.  By the time you work late, fix something to eat, wash some clothes, it’s already 9:15 & you just know I have to squeeze in some Football Manager time too.  So, with that said here’s the laziest blog post in the world, actually it’s not it’s just a tribute…

Arsenal’s simple passes out of the back lead to our possession dominance in the early season.

Arseblog’s tactics column predicts it won’t be long before Olivier Giroud opens his scoring account.  Dennis Bergkamp & Thierry Henry opened their club accounts versus Southampton.  Guess who we play on Saturday?

Chuks Aneke made his debut for Crewe Alexandra over the weekend.

Diaby sat out France’s game yesterday & was set to do so prior to the match.  Word is he picked up a slight knock.  Knock on wood, because we all know the history with Diaby & injuries…

Alright, there is the laziest blog post.  Hope you had a good 9/11.

 


First off, The Mirror brings us hopefully the start of a new media meme (something we Arsenal bloggers have picked up on already)- Steve Bould’s influence on the defensive side of the game for Arsenal.  Despite Arsenal’s coaching staff having been replete with defenders throughout Arsène Wenger’s tenure, Wenger included, Arsenal has had admitted defensive shortfalls in recent years (at differing times- defensive concentration, loss of shape, susceptibility to set pieces, e.g.) but it seems this most recent pre-season a more concerted & concentrated effort to work on the overall team defensive shape & defensive tactics were implemented & it looks like work on that defensive side of the game may be worth a good 9 to 15 points this season more so than trying to replace Traitor van Stapleton’s 30 goals from last term.  Long may the defense’s good early form continue!

With the transfer window shut, loan moves are the only ways players can move from club to club & highly regarded youngster, Chuks Aneke, full name, Chukwuemeka Ademola Amachi Aneke, is moving on loan to League One side, Crewe Alexandra.  Aneke had loan spells last year at Stevenage & Preston North End, respectively.  Both of last year’s loans for the youngster were considered successful  & as he’s been compared, probably somewhat hyperbolically, to a young Yaya Touré before, so I hope he gets plenty of first team action for Crewe & maybe even get into the starting eleven as a regular. 

A player at the club who has been pretty good so far this season is Abou Diaby & he seeks “revenge” for his missing time from injury in the previous seasons.  I know we’re all hoping Diaby stays fit & injury-free & his performances in the opening matches have certainly been encouraging but it’s a good bit of a risk that Wenger has hitched his hopes for the midfield in part on Abou Diaby with his injury record.  Diaby has claimed that his long injury ledger is down to problems with his biomechanics rather than any physical deficiencies or frailties.  It’s certainly an interesting point to consider.  Either way, Diaby’s performance against Liverpool was “majestic,” in the words of one pundit, and showed what he can do when he’s healthy & on song.  Diaby also scored the lone goal yesterday for France so his current form is cause for anticipation for more.

Speaking of the internationals, here’s a full rundown of Arsenal players in internationals yesterday.  The Ox getting his first full start for England against Moldova & Santi Cazorla scoring Spain’s opener being the highlights from yesterday’s matches.

Now for some personal highlights!  Following last night’s nationally ranked high school alma mater, John Curtis’ thrashing of Plant (FL), a fellow nationally ranked team, is the arrival of my first set of Arsenal home & away jerseys!  Behold the glory!:

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As you can see, for the home jersey I went with my surname, “Chatelain,” which is French for “person who goes by the nickname of ‘Curtis’ ” & for the away jersey I went with a Brazilian style nom de guerre of “Curtisimo,” which is actually Spanish for “the most Curtis.”  Obviously, I’m a silly bastard that likes to “pass a good time.”

Anyway, I got to get back to some college football as I’m mainly waiting for Dem Tigers to play Washingtaint in about 90 minutes on De ESPN but I’ve already seen Moo State beat Aubarn in a matchup of cow colleges & I’m currently watching a good game of Floriduh & Texass A&M.  Hooray for football of all kinds!

Have yourselves a good Saturday!

Geaux Tigers!


Going into the third game of the season, I’m betting even the biggest Negative Nancy wouldn’t have believed we would’ve tallied zero goals so far.  Luckily for us we haven’t allowed a goal yet either, but as we face a Liverpool side themselves looking to get their first win tomorrow at Anfield, it’s a safe bet to go ahead & call tomorrow’s match our first real test of the season.

With no further signings yesterday on Transfer Deadline Day, with only the departures of Niklas Bendtner & Ju-Young Park being the only moves we made, Arsène Wenger has chosen to go ahead & go with the Arsenal side as is.  That means the squad, in some rough depth chart, looks this:

Goalkeepers:   Wojciech Szczęsny, Łukasz Fabiański, Vito Mannone, Damián Martínez

Defenders:   Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen, Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Per Mertesacker, Johann Djourou, André Santos, Sébastian Squillaci, Ignasi Miquel

Midfielders:   Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Tomáš Rosičký, Emmanuel Frimpong,

Attackers:   Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Gervinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Marouane Chamakh

Apart from that roster, you’ll likely see youngsters such as Chuks Aneke, Thomas Eisfeld & Serge Gnabry blooded into the squad in the Carling Cup & perhaps even making the odd league appearance here or there in a substitute’s role.  We can sit here & argue whether or not that’s an upgrade counting the players coming back from injury last year but as it is being done everywhere else, I wont linger on that.  Obviously, Robin van Persie leaving was a huge blow, but I don’t think we’ll miss Alexandre Song as much as people think, especially his propensity to not track back in key moments.

So, on to Liverpool & they’re a club that’s in transition like us moving away from Kenny Dalglish’s style to Brendan Rogers’ short passing game that heavily relies on wing play.  The Arsenal official site’s weekly scouting report gives a quick rundown of Rogers’ tactics as well, noting that Rogers also likes to play a high line, like we do too, and will likely look to press high up the pitch & win the ball in the opponents’ half.

In other words, there should be a good bit of similarities between us & the Scousers, so I think the match will probably hinge on a key refereeing decision here or there. Or more likely the home crowd boost may prove decisive, which at Anfield with the steep Kop end stand can be quite massive.

With Liverpool’s high line, and the fact he didn’t leave on Deadline Day, I suspect Arsène Wenger may re-insert Theo Walcott back into the startling lineup to try & take advantage of the space behind the defense.  Especially now that we have a midfielder in Santi Cazorla who can distribute the ball long &/or diagonally rather quickly & accurately often.  I would also guess that Wenger will start Olivier Giroud again so as to not send a message of “you have to score or you’re dropped” so early into the French striker’s Arsenal career.  Lukas Podolski is probably the second name on the team sheet behind captain Thomas Vermaelen’s.

Coupled with Liverpool’s high line, their defense has been asked to pass the ball more which has led to some issues early on in the season, including Martin Škrteľ’s gift to Carlos Tevez last week for Mansour City’s equalizer.  Hopefully, that unease in the defense will still be there though I imagine Rogers will have worked heavily on defensive communication & organization all week long in the Liverpool camp.

With all that said & Laurent Koscielny returning from injury, I think we’ll line up something like this:

Szczęsny

Jenkinson — Koscielny — Vermaelen — Gibbs

Arteta

Diaby — Cazorla

Walcott — Giroud — Podolski

Injuries
Arsenal: Rosičký (tendon), Sagna (leg), Frimpong (knee), Wilshere (ankle)

Liverpool: Joe Cole (hamstring), Lucas (thigh)

Prediction
As everyone is stating, including myself, there should be  a good bit of space for both sides to look to exploit (another reason Koscielny will replace Per in the lineup) & I think both will do so.  Rejoice, Gunners!  We get our first goal tomorrow!  However… we also concede for the first time tomorrow.  I also have a sneaking suspicion Luís Suárez, El Perro Langosta, will win a PK or an FK in a dangerous position which will lead to a Liverpool goal, maybe even the winner.  Or maybe he’ll just racially abuse every Arsenal player.  Anyway, I smell a draw even though we’ve looked much better defensively than Liverpool has.  I think away at Anfield is too much to ask for all three points & even though we look much better equipped physically to deal with trips to the North of England, I still get leery about them.  A draw for me Over The Hills And Far Away in Liverpool.  Obviously, I hope I’m wrong.          Liverpool 2, Arsenal 2

Many dreams come true and some have silver linings
I live for my dream and a pocketful of gold. 


Me, especially after I learned Clint Dempsey signed for Sp*rs

So, Transfer Deadline Day has come & gone & Arsenal didn’t make any moves despite calls to bring in another striker, a defensive/deep-playing midfielder and/or a defender.  The latter, preferably a fullback, was the most needed in my opinion but it seems Arsène Wenger is happy with the squad as is & he’ll no doubt trot out the “like a new signing” line when Tomáš Rosičký & Jack Wilshere return from injury.

I know people don’t like that line because from a signing standpoint, it isn’t true, however, from a playing time standpoint, it is true.  If we had signed a new player in midfield, for example, with this year’s return of Abou Diaby & Jack Wilshere (due back in October), that’s two people right there that needs playing time to be found.

Complaining won’t do any good at this point because it is now clear that the boss is pleased with the squad- Arteta in Song’s spot, Diaby in Arteta’s spot from last year, & Cazorla in the advanced midfield spot.  That leaves a midfield depth of Franics Coquelin, Emmanuel Frimpong, Rosičký, Wilshere & likely two youngsters that will be blooded at some point during the season in Thomas Eisfeld & Serge Gnabry.  You could maybe throw in Chuks Aneke in there too, although I think he’ll be loaned out personally.  As will a couple of the players mention as depth.

So, at this point the only way Arsenal can bring in any new faces will be on loan, which would likely be players that wouldn’t be that useful in terms of what we need.

Deadline Day did see us work two loan deals to offload a couple of strikers, however, we’ll be paying a portion of both’s wages, in Niklas Bendtner & Ju-Young Park.  Bendtner is being loaned to Italian giants, Juventus, whilst Park is going on loan to Celta Vigo of Spain.  Bendtner gets the high-profile move his ego’s been seeking & Park gets a move to, well, actually play.  Not sure what Park’s move was ever about (shirt sales?!) but I had high hopes for him when we signed him last year.

There’ll no doubt be some impending loans in the coming weeks for some U21 and/or U19 players but for now the Arsenal squad is cemented, which I’m sure is to the disappointment of those who were seeking yet another big name signing.  It is what is, but to completely dismiss this summer as the same old thing, is a bit off the mark in my view.  Feel free to tell me why I’m just a lackey of the Arsenal board or Wenger.

But hey, Walcott stayed, amirite?!  Well, that looks like Arsenal will be playing the really high risk strategy of hoping the forward will re-sign during the season, but if he doesn’t sign a new contract in the fall, he’ll be a de facto free agent in January & will be allowed to start talking to other clubs per FIFA rules.  Personally, it wouldn’t bother me if Walcott goes, though now it’s definitely a bit bothersome since he can leave for free now but I would hope this means that Arsenal will go the extra mile to re-sign him now.  The extra money Walcott wants can easily be given to him by fully selling Bendtner & Park. Knock on wood.

Arsenal’s underwhelming deadline day wouldn’t have been so bad for me, but then you see the deadline day Sp*rs had.  I hate those cunts but you have to tip their hat to them.  They’re definitely signing aggressively in recent years & I’d like to know how they keep pulling off these deals for quality people for what seems like massive bargains- Van Der Vaart for under €10 million a couple of years ago & now both Clint Dempsey & Hugo Lloris for under a total of £15 million.  Ugh…

I’ll try to have a Liverpool preview & roster breakdown now that it’s set but then again, I have to try & squeeze in a few hours at work & then get my LSU college football on tomorrow too! Geaux Tigers, Yeyeah!  ‘Til next time…

Updated signing/departures list (updates in red):
Confirmed signings: Santi Cazorla (Málaga), Olivier Giroud (Montpellier), Lukas Podolski (1. FC Köln)
Confirmed departures (includes U21s & U19s): Benik Afobe (Bolton Wanderers- loan), Manuel Almunia (Watford), Kyle Bartley (Swansea City)Niklas Bendtner (Juventus- loan to buy), Daniel Boateng (Oxford United- loan), Pedro Botelho (Atlético Paranaense), George Brislen-Hall (Norwich City), Alban Bunjaku (Sevilla), James Campbell (Dundee United), Joel Campbell (Real Betís-loan), Tom Cruise (Torquay United), Denílson (São Paulo-loan), Samuel Galindo (Lugo-loan), Ben Glasgow (Stoke City), Gavin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge), Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest), Sean McDermott (Sandnes Ulf), Jeffrey Monakana (Preston North End), Rhys Murphy (Telstar Velsen), Oğuzhan Özyakup (Beşiktaş), Ryo Miyaichi (Wigan Athletic- loan), Chu/Ju-Young Park (Celta Vigo), Philip Roberts (Inverness Caledonian Thistle-loan ), Alex Song (Barcelona), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad), Sanchez Watt (released- Carlisle United?), Wellington Silva (Ponferradina- loan)

 


Obviously the transfer news for Arsenal right now is dominated by whether or not Theo Walcott is to re-sign with us by tomorrow or be sold by friday.  I stated my position in yesterday’s post & it’s a bit laughable people are now pointing to Theo as some key cog in our side.  WTFever.  That is definitely the pot-stirring, nothing but winding-up media creation of the likes of TalkShite radio in the UK.  You can point to last year’s statistics all you want, Fat Axl (Adrian Durham from TalkShite), problem with that is they’re last year’s statistics.  And so effing what if Theo’s an “England regular.”  England are rubbish.  If Theo is sold he can easily be replaced by a cheaper option that will likely be more effective.  And if it’s The Ox that takes his place, all the more reason to ship Theo out & perhaps it would then mean a stay for the likes of someone like Park.  Or maybe the manager has some daft idea of playing Santi Cazorla on the wing when Jack Wilshere & Tomáš Rosičký return.  Or getting in a more defensive midfielder, pushing Arteta forward in the midfield & putting Cazorla on the wing.

So, as you can see, it ain’t the end of the world if Theo leaves.  Unless you’re Adrian Durham from TalkShite who just loves to hate him some Arsenal (warning: the argument put forth in the link is so incoherent & non sequitur, it defies belief even for a pure wind-up merchant like Talkshite Adrian).  He’s currently pushing Theo Walcott leaving Arsenal would be disastrous for the club & he’s no doubt especially butthurt in recent days since his elven, bromantic partner, Luka Modric, up & left Sp*rs for Real Madrid.  Sad Adrian must be sad.  So, lash out at Arsenal.  Boo hoo, Fat Axl.

” ‘Ello, I’m Adrian Durham from TalkShite Radio.
If you look in a dictionary,
my picture is next to the entry, ‘fucktard’ “

In U19 news the NextGen series started today for Arsenal & they opened up the competition with a bang as they defeated French side, Olympique Marseille, 3-0.  Highly touted Chuba Akpom scored twice & Nico Yennaris bagged the other goal for the young Gunners.  I had originally posted in a previous post that the NextGen series was to be played by our U21s, the new incarnation of the reserve side, but I was mistaken.  As I stated above, in this post, the NextGen series is actually a U19 competition.  Either way, good on the young Gunner squad & way to acquit the club well in the opening match.  The next match in the competition for Arsenal is the U19 side of Basque club, Athletic Bilbao, of Spain on September 6th.  Le Boss has stated that he’ll watch every single game of the competition for the club, so it’ll be a good opportunity for the youngsters to show Le Boss what they’ve got!

The official site is running some profiles of the younger members of Arsenal’s squad.  So to get the lowdown on some lesser known Gunners check ’em out:

Martin Angha
Charles Reice Cook
Nico Yennaris

Speaking of young Gunners, a U19 striker, Irishman Philip Roberts, is leaving to go on loan to Scottish Premier League side, Inverness Caledonian Thistle until January.

Beşiktaş is apparently interested in Marouane Chamakh again & every club in Italy is interested (supposedly) in The Greatest Striker Who Ever Lived, the one & only Niklas Bendtner.  I hope so.  Get on with it (leaving), Bendtner & Chamakh!

Tomorrow is the Champions’ League draw.  We’ll all be waiting with bated breath to find out who the Gunners will draw in their group.  Hopefully Sp*rs will get a touch group for them to battle in the CL too… BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

And ohhhhhh by the way, Green Day is scheduled to play a concert at The Emirates Stadium next summer.  So, there’s that.

Tomorrow & Friday should be hectic with comings & goings at the club.  ‘Til then, have a good one.

Updated signing/departures list (updates in red):
Confirmed signings: Santi Cazorla (Málaga), Olivier Giroud (Montpellier), Lukas Podolski (1. FC Köln)
Confirmed departures (includes U21s & U19s): Benik Afobe (Bolton Wanderers- loan), Manuel Almunia (Watford), Kyle Bartley (Swansea City), Daniel Boateng (Oxford United- loan), Pedro Botelho (Atlético Paranaense), George Brislen-Hall (Norwich City), Alban Bunjaku (Sevilla), James Campbell (Dundee United), Joel Campbell (Real Betís-loan), Tom Cruise (Torquay United), Denílson (São Paulo-loan), Samuel Galindo (Lugo-loan), Ben Glasgow (Stoke City), Gavin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge), Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest), Sean McDermott (Sandnes Ulf), Jeffrey Monakana (Preston North End), Rhys Murphy (Telstar Velsen), Oğuzhan Özyakup (Beşiktaş), Ryo Miyaichi (Wigan Athletic- loan), Philip Roberts (Inverness Caledonian Thistle-loan), Alex Song (Barcelona), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad), Sanchez Watt (released- Carlisle United?), Wellington Silva (Ponferradina- loan)

Likely signings: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United), Jésus Navas (Sevilla),
Likely departures: Andrei Arshavin (Al-Sadd [Qatar], Fulham, Galatasaray, Reading, Zenit Saint-Petersburg), Niklas Bendtner (Galatasaray, AC Milan, Inter-Milan, Juventus, Spartak Moscow), Marouane Chamakh (Beşiktaş, Fiorentina, Málaga, Rubin Kazan, Valencia-loan), Denílson (AC Milan), Łukasz Fabiański, Vito Mannone (Hull City), Chu/Ju-Young Park (Al-Ain [UAE], Blackburn Rovers, Celta Vigo), Sébastian Squillaci (Bastia, Olympiakos Piraeus), Theo Walcott (Liverpool, Manchester City)

Possible signings: Ibrahim Afellay (Barcelona), Lucas Biglia (RSC Anderlecht), Nicolai Boilesen (Ajax Amsterdam),  Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), Tongo Doumbia (Rennes), Omar El-Haddouri (Brescia), Isco (Málaga), Cheikh M’Bengue (Toulouse), Stéphane Mbia (Olympique Marseille), Philippe Mèxes (AC Milan), Yann M’Vila (Rennes), Paulinho (Corinthians), Angel Rangel (Swansea City), Jese Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Cheick Tioté (Newcastle United), Kenneth Udjus (Sogndal), Emiliano Viviano (Palermo), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Montpellier)
Possible departures: Johann Djourou (Napoli), Conor Henderson (Charlton Athletic-loan), Ignasi Miquel (Brighton & Hove Albion- loan), Aaron Ramsey (Fulham)


Well, headline, I’m glad you asked because I was wondering the same thing.  As you can see below it’s still Armageddon for Arsenal as they sit in twelfth place with no goals, NO goals, NO GOALS! GOALAGEDDON!

 

Pl. Team GP W D L Pts GF GA GD
1 Chelsea 3 3 0 0 9 8 2 6
2 Swansea City 2 2 0 0 6 8 0 8
3 Everton 2 2 0 0 6 4 1 3
4 West Bromwich Albion 2 1 1 0 4 4 1 3
5 Manchester City 2 1 1 0 4 5 4 1
6 Fulham 2 1 0 1 3 7 3 4
7 Manchester United 2 1 0 1 3 3 3 0
8 Wigan Athletic 2 1 0 1 3 2 2 0
9 Newcastle United 2 1 0 1 3 2 3 -1
10 West Ham United 2 1 0 1 3 1 3 -2
11 Stoke City 2 0 2 0 2 1 1 0
12 Arsenal 2 0 2 0 2 0 0 0
13 Sunderland 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0
14 Tottenham Hotspur 2 0 1 1 1 2 3 -1
15 Reading 2 0 1 1 1 3 5 -2
16 Liverpool 2 0 1 1 1 2 5 -3
17 Norwich City 2 0 1 1 1 1 6 -5
18 Queen’s Park Rangers 2 0 1 1 1 1 6 -5
19 Southampton 2 0 0 2 0 2 5 -3
20 Aston Villa 2 0 0 2 0 1 4 -3

Anyway, I currently see some Sp*rs & some Liverpoop beneath us at the moment as well, which makes me go LOL.  No goals scored & you’re still beneath us?  I guess you truly will never walk alone, dopes.

As luck would have it Liverpool is our next opponent at Anfield next week, so we get to hear that crappy Rogers & Hammerstein show tunes song prior to the match.  Hear that, Liverpool?  Your club song is a show tune.  How many Tonys do you have with all your European Cups?

And if I was still a betting man, I’d put money on El Perro Langosta winning a PK this weekend (Howard Webb is officiating the match, after all).

Luís Suárez seen here partnering giant photoshop-headed Andy Carroll

Oh yeah, we’re apparently still  on the trail of Yohan Cabaye, Yann M’Vila, Etienne Capoue, Ibrahim Afellay & every other midfielder that’s kicked a ball in France (did you know Wenger is French?) or Spain in the last 11 years.  I have a sneaking suspicion with all of our midfielders coming back soon, which Arsène Wenger made a point to highlight the other week, any signing here will be of the old “um, who? I have to look him up,” super-scout variety that Le Boss used to drop on us every summer.  Or I could be crazy.  Both are solid bets, I think.

We’re also apparently linked with Nicolai Boilesen, a fullback for Ajax.  I don’t know that much about him other than he hasn’t played too much for Ajax in his time there, but I would still trust our scouting network to know something we don’t & not only be taking a flyer on someone just because he plays for a specific club with certain prestige.

Anyway, as I’ve said before, it’ll behoove us to move people on before we get people in, so this week should be interesting since Wenger has hinted both overtly & subtly that we could be seeing two more signings.

Updated signing/departures list (updates in red):
Confirmed signings: Santi Cazorla (Málaga), Olivier Giroud (Montpellier), Lukas Podolski (1. FC Köln)
Confirmed departures (includes U21s & U19s): Benik Afobe (Bolton Wanderers- loan), Manuel Almunia (Watford), Kyle Bartley (Swansea City), Pedro Botelho (Atlético Paranaense), George Brislen-Hall (Norwich City), Alban Bunjaku (Sevilla), James Campbell (Dundee United), Joel Campbell (Real Betís-loan), Tom Cruise (Torquay United), Denílson (São Paulo-loan), Samuel Galindo (Lugo-loan), Ben Glasgow (Stoke City), Gavin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge), Sean McDermott (Sandnes Ulf), Jeffrey Monakana (Preston North End), Rhys Murphy (Telstar Velsen), Oğuzhan Özyakup (Beşiktaş), Ryo Miyaichi (Wigan Athletic- loan), Alex Song (Barcelona), Robin van Persie (Manchester United), Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad), Sanchez Watt (released- Carlisle United?), Wellington Silva (Ponferradina- loan)

Likely signings: ?
Likely departures: Andrei Arshavin (Al-Sadd [Qatar], Fulham, Galatasaray, Reading, Zenit Saint-Petersburg), Niklas Bendtner (Galatasaray, AC Milan, Inter-Milan, Spartak Moscow), Marouane Chamakh (Beşiktaş, Fiorentina, Málaga, Rubin Kazan, Tottenham Hotspur, Valencia-loan), Denílson (AC Milan), Łukasz Fabiański, Vito Mannone (Hull City), Chu/Ju-Young Park (Al-Ain [UAE], Blackburn Rovers, Celta Vigo), Sébastian Squillaci (Bastia, Olympiakos Piraeus)

Possible signings: Ibrahim Afellay (Barcelona), Lucas Biglia (RSC Anderlecht), Nicolai Boilesen (Ajax Amsterdam), Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United), Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), Tongo Doumbia (Rennes), Omar El-Haddouri (Brescia), Cheikh M’Bengue (Toulouse), Stéphane Mbia (Olympique Marseille), Philippe Mèxes (AC Milan), Yann M’Vila (Rennes), Mbaye Niang (Caen), Steven Nzonzi (Blackburn Rovers), Paulinho (Corinthians), Jese Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Cheick Tioté (Newcastle United), Kenneth Udjus (Sogndal), Emiliano Viviano (Palermo), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Montpellier)
Possible departures: Daniel Boateng (loan), Johann Djourou (Napoli), Conor Henderson (Charlton Athletic-loan), Henri Lansbury, Ignasi Miquel (Brighton & Hove Albion- loan), Aaron Ramsey (Fulham), Theo Walcott (Liverpool, Southampton)


“Oy, Curtísimo, where’s d’Stoke preview mate?”

Um, yeah.  This moron didn’t realize until this morning that Arsenal at Orc City wasn’t until Sunday.  So, yeah, Arsenal-Orcs preview tomorrow rather than today.  In lieu of that let’s move on to the daily Arsenal crisis:

Podolski: “Ermahgerd, y u no sign with Arsenal?!”
Şahin: “Because I’ll never walk alone in the Europa League.”

So, Nuri Şahin has indeed signed for Liverpoop, which, of course, led to a bit of consternation in that portion of the Arsenal fanbase that is prone to freaking out over just about everything these days.  I’m out one Arrogant Bastard as I had a wager with a friend the Şahin-to-Arsenal deal wouldn’t fall through & this leads to the now obligatory “massive blow” for Arsenal.  (Facepalm).  Football/soccer is such a ridiculous thing sometimes because all these transfers, supposed transfers, not transfers seem to somehow mean more to fooball clubs than, oh, I don’t know, actual results & where you finish in the league, if the journos are to be believed.

First of all, Şahin going to Liverpool, & the possible signing of Clint Dempsey by the Scousers as well, destroys that whole myth that somehow if you don’t make the Champions’ League, players won’t want to play for you.  Gee, amazing what money will do for a deal.  “I want to play in d’Champeens Leegue, mate! Oh… I can still make £115k a week & play in the Europa?  Ok, I like money, thanks, I see you on Thursdays, herpaderpaderp.”

Secondly, I like how losing out on a player is more of a massive blow than say, getting blown out 3-0 on opening day to a side you should be beating since you’re such a massive club that never tires of telling people how good you used to be.  The Roman Empire was once great too, Liverpool.  I guess Şahin was just lured by the promises of Europa League & Carling Cup chances.  Funny how mighty Liverpool are left these days to crow over the Tin Pot Cup, a trophy up until four or five years ago, no one gave a damn about.  You’ll Never Lift The Carling Cup Alone!

To transfer news & Arsène Wenger now is using the cryptic “might buy but if we don’t we have enough, so we probably won’t, unless we do buy,” thing:

“We will only take players who have something special,” said the Arsenal manager, who takes his side to Stoke on Sunday.

“We are still in the market in some positions, but overall we believe we have a very strong squad.

“We have a good mixture because we have experienced players in midfield like [Mikel] Arteta and [Santi] Cazorla, like [Tomas] Rosicky, and some young very promising players like [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain, [Aaron] Ramsey, [Francis] Coquelin, [Jack] Wilshere and one or two in between age wise like [Abou] Diaby, who is coming back. We believe we have a good mixture.”

And the day prior:

“We are working, we’ll see what we can do.”

With those kind of comments, historically, it means Wenger’s business is probably done so I’m not going to hold my breath over anymore signings despite the stuff a few days ago about possibly bringing in two more games.  The only thing worse than witnessing the same thing over and over again, is complaining about it.  As I said the other day to a friend, “I don’t cry over players we don’t have, I get behind the ones we do.”  Well, except for Manuel Almunia.  That guy was pants.

To players potentially leaving, albeit on loan, Celta Vigo has emerged as a possible destination for Park Chu/Ju-Young.  Hopefully, the South Korean can get his career back on track if the deal goes through & we can sell him on, albeit at a no doubt discounted fee.  I had high hopes for Park personally but his transfer is certainly one of the more curious I’ve seen, even for Wenger.

Denílson to Milan?  Blah.  Actually, a little bit of LOL on that one.  He’s on loan in Brazil with Santos but I think he would have to be officially recalled back to the club before he could officially be sold to Milan but I’m not 100% how that works to be honest.  Either way, if it happens, it’s good because it’ll be another guy off the books that may free up funds for salary (having money for transfers isn’t the same as being able to pay guys exorbitant salaries on top of it, guys).

Also, Conor Henderson, recently returned from injury & Ignasi Miquel are likely set for loan deals to get some first team experience, likely in the Championship or even League One level.  Miquel has been linked with Brighton already this season & Henderson could definitely use some playing time as he looks to recover from his knee injury & will likely not see much, if any, action in midfield, even without any more signings there (ermahgerd, Wenger, sign sum feckin’ players!, derpderp!).

And, um, Wenger wants to extend Theo Walcott’s contract.  Ok, we’ll see how that goes.  Problem is players have to want to extend their deals too.  Although to be honest, if Walcott ends up leaving I won’t miss him all that much.  We can easily find another winger-cum-forward that can dribble over the endline once or twice a game & pitch in the odd goal.  But I’m sure it will be yet another “Massive blow” to the club if he were to leave (shakes head in bemusement).

Ok, I have a Championship Promotion Final to get to (I bet somebody in nerddom is sooooo jealous right now. If Aaron Feckin’ Doran was Aaron Zombie Doran, you’d be allllll about it!), so I’ll leave with you some bittersweet news & that is that one of the Invincibles, Freddie Ljungberg has retired from the game today aged 35.  Freddie had most recently been with Shimizu S-Pulse in Japan but Gooners will obviously remember Freddie for his performances in 2001/02, where he took over some of the goal-scoring load following Robert Pirès’ knee injury, & 2003/04, the latter obviously as part of the Invincibles.

Freddie was known for his flamboyant style both on & off the pitch & formed an almost instinctual partnership with Dennis Bergkamp & formed arguably the most dangerous wing duo to ever grace the EPL with Robert Pirès.  Freddie’s darting, angular runs from the wing were things of beauty & he also had an eye for goal & the dramatic, once announcing his arrival by doing nothing other than lobbing Peter Schmeichel for the winner in a 3-0 victory on his debut against Manchester United in 1998.  His goals against Manchester United in his career included this impish toe-poked lob in 2001.

Freddie was & is a true Arsenal legend & those of us who saw him play will remember him fondly as a player who was “fuckin’ excellent.”*  Thanks for the memories, #8:

Ljungberg highlights from the Invincible Season, 2003-04

Ljungberg highlights from the second double-winning campaign of 2001/02

Ummmmmmmm, yeah…

* – when Freddie Ljungberg was asked by a reporter following the 2002 FA Cup win what it was like to have won the cup, Freddie without missing a beat answered, “It’s fuckin’ excellent.”  That was Freddie Ljungberg encapsulated in an off the cuff remark.