Massive Friday Round-Up

Arshavin pimping himself… Let’s go back to the beginning of the week when news broke about Arshavin. He’s the highly rated Russian that helped them get into the latter stages of the tournament. He is highly rated, but he’s not world beater. I’d honestly rather have Nasri than Arshavin. Quite how he is valued at £23m is beyond belief. That’s more than Ronaldinho at a similar age. That’s nearly twice the value of Hleb. He’s openly flirted with Barcelona who were interested but at half the price. They’ve just signed Hleb, so are they still interested? I wouldn’t think so. Arshavin’s agent had said that he’d be interested in a move to Arsenal, but Arsene has publicly said that he’s not in the market for Arshavin – and confirmed that by signing Nasri and Ramsey. Now we hear that the Russian is interested in a move to Sp*rs. Blimey, are things that bad?

Arsene hits back at Spanish clubs…

Arsene has been talking about the way the “new transfer market” works. Only a few years, it would be unthinkable. But nowadays, the ball is really in the court of the player, and it seems if a player wants a move then they can quite easily angle themselves and force the hand. How can clubs prepare not knowing which players will be with them come next season? Arsene commented:
“If you don’t show respect to other clubs I think that football is moving in the wrong way. You cannot come out like Calderon has done at Real Madrid with Manchester United and tell them you cannot stop a player from leaving. You can destabilise any player in the world – that is irresponsible. These are big clubs that should be setting an example to others. I believe that football now is at the stage where it has become a world sport and the big clubs should have values and vision and set an example. If we do not do that in football, then we do not understand the responsibilities that we have.”
Without a doubt he is spot on. When have you heard about Arsenal using the media to lure a player. Players such as Campbell and Nasri have all been done behind closed doors. Media speculation the only “leak” in our interest. He talks about Man United, but their pursuit of players such as Hargreaves and Berbatov does border on the wrong side of all this. Let’s focus on ourselves and maintain our quality.

PSG / Juve interested in Gallas…

Indeed, news broke earlier than we could sell our most experienced (by age) player and captain to PSG. The fan reaction has been mixed. Some say it’s time for him to go, he’s not a good captain and he needs to be replaced, others have proclaimed his experience and said that the “incident” at Birmingham was not inspiring and lacked leadership. PSG have spoken on signing the Frenchman:
“But for the moment there’s no news. We would be happy to be given a ring by William Gallas, very pleased.”
Whatever your take, if we could replace him with Kompany or Zapata – would that be a good move?

Henry has a few words to say…

Arsenal self proclaimed biggest fan has been speaking on the Scottish tour and spoke about the team, the signing of Hleb and his take on the “Ade” situation. He is a player that knows how to handle the media much better than a Hleb or Ade. If you watched the interview, you could see how much the player was probed and how the questioners tried to get reactions, but Thierry was diplomatic to the nth degree. On Ade he said:
“The only thing I can say is that he had an amazing season last year. Whenever you have a season like he had a lot of teams are coming to get you. It is up to him in his mind. I can’t talk for him about what his choice is going to be.”
Which is true. The questioner asked if he would like to have Ade with him at Barcelona and his neutralness showed his affection for Arsenal. Henry continued:
“Arsenal, I don’t know how they do it, but they bring players who people say, ‘I’m not sure’ and suddenly everyone is raving. Hopefully they can win something because all the time no-one gives them credit, but they are always around. But hopefully this year they can bring some silverware back to the Emirates.”
He has said time and time again how much he loves Arsenal and how he is their biggest fan and I honestly believe him. He was a legend, is a legend and will continue to be. Mark my words, he’ll be back.

Gilberto sad to leave…

And we’re quite sad to see him go. But we have to respect the pride of the man and the humility involved in sitting on a bench and having rat-man-flam-man-knee ahead of you in the pecking order. The veteran midfielder has move to Pathaniakos on a rather good deal, so let’s wish him the best of luck. He’s been talking about Arsenal too and how there is every chance to win the league and champions league with the squad we have under the guidance of the manager.
“This is what they need to achieve – start to win things. Of course there is massive pressure on them, but people cannot forget they are still a young side and they have a lot to improve, to grow and to learn, but it will be very important to them if they win something this year. I am sure everyone at the club, Arsene, his staff, the players will do the maximum they can to achieve and win titles. This is the target and they won’t change it. But it will be hard again. It won’t be easy because the other teams are stronger than last year and Arsenal will have a hard season, but I am confident they will handle it. I hope they can win this year.”
He’s another fan, do doubt. It’s a mutual thing.

Toure, Hleb, Shay Given and a bit on Nasri..

As you know, Kolo Toure contracted Malaria. These guys really should take some tablets. He was supposedly quite bad at the early stages and he’s been recovering this week and noises I hear suggest he’ll be back in London for next weekend, albeit not able to play. We may see him fit for the start of the season. Of course, the next subject is just annoying now, and that subject is Hleb. He’s been in the news saying this and that and Arsene and Arsenal and political this and more nonsense. I’m just glad he’s gone. The third subject area is Shay Given, who we were probably never interested in, despite the rumours (ahem, agent). Kevin the Keegan has said they ain’t selling him and I don’t have a problem with that… Finally Nasri has been talking up his move and the club about how he’s joined an immense club. Young Samir, young dead right, we (the club, manager, players and fans) are immense, you’re immense, together we’ll be unstoppable. It’s always nice to finish on something positive, so I’ll leave you with the words of the young Frenchman:
I’m so excited. I’m discovering my new team-mates. But I’m not lost at all, with all those Frenchmen. Today I’m very happy to be a Gunner. I have joined an immense clubwhere there’s everything to achieve great things. I’m delighted to be part of this new adventure. Arsenal are a reference point. Arsene represents stability and continuity. We understand we can work on the long term with him. I think he’s been at Arsenal for 13 years. It means the world. I was looking for that kind of guarantee to advance my career. I didn’t want to go to a club, even a legendary one, where everything could change from one day to another. I know Arsene Wenger’s going to help me improve. He has had a lot of success with other French players, especially youngsters he helped blossom.”
Very exciting…]]>