So let's take a look at all things Arsenal. A big thanks to the JATmeister for his blogs yesterday in my absence, terrific job as always.
Adebayor set to stay…
So, we’ve potentially reached a conclusion to all of this talk, dubbed the “Ade-bye-bore” saga, with a did he, didn’t he? Will he, won’t he? angle being adopted for the last few weeks. The man from Togo has finally released a press release and said:
“Now I can tell everyone that, yes, I will sign a contract. I never told anyone I would be leaving this club, never ever. I’m very happy we’ve found a solution.”
“I have three years left on my contract and I’m putting two or three years more, so I’m very happy being part of this family. I can say this on Arsenal TV, I can say this on Sky, I can say this on every TV station in the world – I never said I am going to leave Arsenal.”
It’s been a strange time this summer. It was clear before the holidays that Ade wanted to stay at Arsenal. It was clear when he said it, but all the media really has swayed a lot of people’s mind. He’s right he didn’t say anything, but did he try and manoeuvre a move through his agent? Is this just a back track as nothing materialised? Who knows the real truth? Do we believe Ade…. Anyway, he continues:
“When we started talking about my contract I never told him I’d be leaving this club and he knew my desire. My desire was to stay at this club so for me he’s like my father, he’s my boss so whatever he tells me I’ll do it, so our relationship at the moment is always strong.
“There is no doubt about that.”
Interesting affiliation with Arsene, which of course is synonymous of Hleb, but Arsenal is a great club with a great manager and Arsene plays an important part in keeping and attracting the stars. Let’s wait for confirmation of this contract and see how he performs later today.
Gallas re-appointed captain
Arsene confirmed that William Gallas will remain as club captain. I believe this season it would be inevitable that the Frenchman remained as captain. Stripping the captain of the armband would have had quite a backlash with some fans and players especially William. But has the uncertainty recently shown Gallas that he better get more mature in his role?
“If he plays, he will be captain. If he does not play, it will be somebody else. But William will be the club captain, yes.”
Simple, to the point and quite obvious that if he doesn’t play, someone will be captain!
Arsenal vs Juventus Preview
Today sees Juventus join us at the Emirates in what promises to be an exciting game. After the game against Stuttgart there is a real buzz around pre-season and playing Juventus will be an excellent game to get stuck into. Arsene’s had a few words to say about the games:
“First of all it’s two days where people are coming to watch good football without any special pressure. The fans are like the players when there is a lot at stake. It’s a big pressure and I think about it with great memories because it is a great day for the fans. The weekend is of a good quality and is done in a good atmosphere. There is a good mixture of enjoyment and quality of games because the top teams come here. I believe everyone is happy to play in this tournament and none of our squad would want to miss it.”
The line up today will see Cesc and Diaby team up in the middle for the first time this pre-season and an insight into a potential partnership.
Players such as Fabianski, Senderos, Eboue, Denilson, Ramsey, Vela, Bendtner, Wilshere, Lansbury, Mannone, the Hoyte brothers and Traore should all make an appearance in the second half.
With players such as Del Piero, Trezegeut, Nedved, Tiago etc, it will definitely be a stern test.
A Quick Look at the Champions League Draw
And we’ve pulled old brolly Steve McClaren out of the bag, and FC Twente. I’m happy about the tie of course as we’ve not been drawn against heavy weights Athletico, Prague or Kiev. Arsene has been diplomatic about the draw:
“It’s a football country, the clubs are always well organised and we will be favourites. It will be important for us to be at the top of our concentration to go through. Steve McClaren will get his team well organised and make it difficult for us, but I still feel the biggest part will be how well we will play and how we will go into the game.”
Whereas Steve McClaren talked loads of rubbish and confused everyone as usual:
“In one respect it is a tough draw for us, on the other it is now an opponent we know very well, not just myself, everyone in Holland knows the Premier League well so Arsenal will be no strangers to us. On one hand it is very, very tough for us but on the other it is very exciting.”
Here’s the draw in full (with some interesting ties in bold):
Anorthosis or Rapid Vienna v Olympiakos
Vitoria v IFK Gothenburg or FC Basle
Shakhtar Donetsk v Domzale or Dinamo Zagreb
Schalke 04 v Atletico Madrid
Aalborg or Modrica v Rangers or FBK Kaunas
Barcelona v Beitar Jerusalem or Wislaw Krakow
Levski Sofia v Anderlecht or BATE Borisov
Standard Liege v Liverpool
Inter Baku or FK Partizan v Fenerbahce or MTK Budapest
FC Twente v Arsenal
Spartak Moscow v Drogheda or Dinamo Kiev
Juventus v Tampere United or FC Artmedia
SK Brann or Ventspils v Marseille
Fiorentina v Slavia Prague
Galatasaray v Steaua Bucharest
Panathinaikos or Dinamo Tbilisi v FC Sheriff or Sparta Prague
Time is off the essence right now, so I better grab some zzz’s before my next flight. I’ll be back tomorrow and hopefully be able to give you some reaction on DB’s £17m move to Sp*rs, our £7m profit, Arsene’s spending and an awesome win against Juventus…
Have a good day…]]>