I was hoping for a draw and a few red cards…

Looking at the table after the match, it's clear to see we've got a lot of work to do to get into and stay in the top four, let alone challenge for the title.

I've just got back from a manic weekend, so will keep this blog very short - of course, I'll be back in full force tomorrow. In the meantime, I'll leave you with the quote regarding the Arshavin transfer.

“I can confirm that Zenit did get an official offer from Arsenal about Andrei Arshavin. It was rejected as insufficient. They offered about £10m. No new offers have arrived from them since. At the moment, Arsenal are the only club to have approached us about the player.”

Rumours are that Manchester City are prepared to offer £15m…

I’m sure there will be more to this story very soon.

Til tomorrow.]]>

  • Berth

    Lets see what happens from here.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[it says on BBC that he will sign for us in Jan desipte the 10m offer that was rejected.

    I thourght Evra limped off after setting the goal up? Not sure if he is out for any length of time though.]]>

  • Fabrez

    < ![CDATA[Yeah...Evra certainly did pick up a knock. Dunno how if it's long term or short-term tho. I was hoping for a draw...ah well.
    And as for Arshavin, i get the sneaky feeling that Zenit's tactics for selling him is in so many words saying, "Arsenal bid £10m, anyone willing to bid higher???" Ideally, it shud b private & if anyone is saying to the public how much the bid was, it shud b AW not Zenit.]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Why is anyone surprised by Zenit and Advocat's behavious - they did exactly the same thing last summer. They tried to auction him off then and it failed, and now they are doing the same thing.

    As I understand it, the main sticking point is not the cost of the player but the structure of the deal.

    European football often bases its transfers and contracts around performances and goals - that's why you often see fee's quote as £1m rising to £2m based of appearences.

    In addition to that the money is transferred in chunks - Pompey still owed £5m to Spurs for Defoe nearly a year later which was written off when he moved on.

    Russian clubs don't play that way - they want a set fee and they want it all up front - a lot of clubs including Arsenal would struggle to put more than £5m together just like that as it is usually tied up in outside investments etc.

    We'll see, but the longer this drags on, the more I feel like this is going to be a Man City/Robinhio all over again.]]>

  • Cappz

    I agree – the statement from Zenit is basically trying to auction off the player. I really doubt he is going to come to Arsenal. I hope Arsene has a back up plan.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Why are our signings always such a painstaking affair…Nasri was an on one minute off the next saga…it is so frustrating.

  • Fabrez

    Cud be very similar to the Chelsea/Man City/Robinho incident indeed Kieran. One of my concerns is…if this deal doesn’t happen, Wenger seemingly never has a solid back-up plan… granted we have to accept that in the January window it is indeed hard to do transfers. I do trust the boss so let’s see what he achieves by the end of the window…in the meantime, we need solid performances & 3 points in every game.

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Arsenal Football Club miss David Dein. David Dein was Wengers man on the inside. Wenger picked a player and Dein convinced the board to buy. Then he went and negotiated, convinced the other club to sell and convinced the player to come. This bought us brilliant players, Henry/Viera etc and Dein was instrumental in bringing Bergkamp and Wenger to the club in the first place.

    There is no better Chief Exec than David Dein in the footballing world, so much so that he has been approached by both United and Chelsea to take up the reins. Only because of his passion for Arsenal has he resisted.

    That's why our transfers are a shambles and that's why I firmly believe we've not managed to lure the talent we need. Wenger can't do it all himself.

    The only reason United manage it so well is because of the stregth of the team Ferguson has assembled behind him and the ability of those at board level to conduct business.

    Cheslea have Kenyon.

    Arsenal have a South African who spent years wasted in MLS in the USA. What does he know about the European game, and in fact the Russian game?

    I promise you Arshavin would have been playing against Bolton for Arsenal if Dein was at the club.]]>

  • parsi

    < ![CDATA[Aston Villa are posing a serious threat to the Champions League places this season and a lot of people are saying they will qualify at Arsenal's expense. I beg to differ.

    I think that Aston Villa are a decent side with a first class manager and they fully deserve their lofty position in the Premiership table. I don't see them lasting the pace though.

    The Premiership is a marathon not a sprint and I feel that there is a huge chance that Aston Villa have peaked too early. Arsenal on the other hand have yet to hit top form and are due a bit of luck, something Aston Villa have had in bundles recently.

    Villa have had lady luck smiling down on them, especially in games against Everton, Hull City, West Ham and West Brom. Surely this luck cannot last forever? Arsenal are due some luck and if we get half as much as Villa then we will be very lucky indeed. Although I will say we were lucky at Villa Park to come away with a draw!

    Arsenal are slowly putting together an unbeaten run which will give the Arsenal squad some much needed confidence. It's seven games undefeated now and a clean sheet yesterday will give the defence a boost.

    There will be a time when Arsenal go on a winning streak and it will be too much for Aston Villa to handle. I feel that Arsenal are slowly edging to this now and a big win is just around the corner.

    I also think this is worth pointing out. People forget that we are halfway through the season and whilst Aston Villa have been playing out of their skins, Arsenal have struggled and yet we are only three points adrift. That to me says a lot and if Arsenal had made a better start to the campaign then we wouldn't even be worried about Villa.

    We can only improve this season and the only way for Aston Villa is down. I expect this to happen and Arsenal to claim fourth spot at Villa's expense.]]>

  • AJ

    Aye I miss Dien and the way that he kept Wenger in check in the sense that he knew we needed expierence as well as young players, but lets give the new guy a chance, who knows, we often find gems on the pitch, why not of it?

  • Fo

    Good old David Dein, hey? What is he doing with himself anyway?

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[Wenger has been praising Bendtner...and we will see more of him.

    Despite admitting that fans want to see “the finished article”, Arsène Wenger believes that Nicklas Bendtner is a work in progress.

    After spending much of 2007/08 on the fringes of the first team, Bendtner has emerged as a valuable component of the Arsenal attack this season.

    Within nine minutes of emerging from the bench against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday, the Dane had notched the Gunners’ crucial winning goal. In fact, he had almost scored with his first touch but saw a towering back-post header well saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen.

    Speaking after the game, Wenger reiterated his belief in the young forward but acknowledged that there is still a long way to go until Bendtner reaches his peak.

    "The fans judge on the game but the manager has to consider what he can display in one year,” said the manager. “Today they wanted to see the finished article - that is normal.

    "He has spoken to me and he knows I have full confidence in him and people are sometimes surprised that I stick with him. But I believe in him. I think he has today scored a very important goal and it is not the first time.”

    Bendtner scored nine times in 40 appearances last season but he is well on the way to surpassing that tally this time around. Saturday’s 84th-minute strike was his seventh goal in 24 appearances so far in 2008/09 and his manager thinks it is down to the Dane’s understanding of the game, and not his fluorescent footwear.

    "He can be decisive,” said Wenger. “For me when a striker is in the air, on the move for a set-piece, he understands football. You see the first header he missed he attacked the ball well and was on the move. For the goal he scored he was on the move at the moment he scored. So you can say this guy is a striker and has a chance. He is 20 years old, 21 this month, but it is very young.

    "I am not convinced by them [the pink boots]. But If he wears the boots and puts the ball in the net I do not mind."

    I think the lad has been abused by many people on here (me included) but to be fair he is only 20 (21 this month) and he is only playing because of injuries.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I think it'll be fair to judge the South African from the MLS, at the end of this transfer window. See what he can get us. Keeping in mind it's his first month in the job and in the winter transfer window it's tougher to find players and find players for the right price too.

    What IS David Dein doing ?]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I think 10 mil pound for Arshavin is about right. I don't think we'll spend more than 15 mil pounds at the maximum. And as good as Arshavin is, I think there's been too much media hype around him, causing his price to inflate, among other factors such as the Pound getting weaker than the Euro. As well as ManCity having an almost endless supply of money.

    Plus, Zenit will try to sell him to whoever offers the most money. And if ManCity are in fact serious about him, then we'll probably loose out. Although I think the ManCity rumors are just rumors. Possibly created by Zenit themselves, to get as much money out of us as possible.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[If we manage to miss out on him, we need to have a clear idea of what Plan B is.

    Who do you folks suggest we go for if we do miss out on Arshavin ?

    First of all, what sort of a player do we need ? A creative midfielder ? An attacking midfielder ? A combination of the two ? A ready-made winger ? A defensive-midfielder ?

    Let's analyse what's been happening. We have Song, Denilson, Diaby and Ramsey in the center of midfield. I think that's enough players, with Nasri playing in the center sometimes, as well. So I can't see how we'll manage to sign a DM and fit him there. I do think we need one though. And ideally, I'd get a ready-made DM and rotate the other CM spot between Diaby, Song, Denilson and Ramsey. With us still being in the FA Cup, Champions League and PL, everybody should get enough games. But what I'd also ideally want to see is a proper ready-made winger playing out wide instead of the make-shift players we've been fielding such as Eboue, Vela, Diaby, Denilson, Wilshere (not a regular first-team player yet). Only Nasri can play out wide and it's just his first season so he's not stunning on the wing yet. Eboue rarely gets it right.

    The way I see it, we don't have enough money to get a ready-made DM AND a ready-made winger. So it'll be one or the other, realistically speaking. And Wenger seems to be going for the winger/attacking/creative midfielder option at the moment. It does make a bit of sense. It shows that he's more worried about Diaby, Denilson, Song and Ramsey not getting enough games, as opposed to being worried about not having a top quality DM in there.

    But I think considering the two options (either get a DM or a winger/creative/attacking midfielder), it's probably better to go for the attacking player and continue playing the 4 midfielders we have, in the center. Rather than getting another central midfielder and playing make-shift players out wide.

    Now the question is, who do we get if not Arshavin. Arteta in my opinion is the next best player we could get, of the names mentioned. If Arshavin costs us 20 mil pounds and Arteta costs us the same, its cheaper to get Arteta because of the Pound being weaker than the Euro, as well because Arteta's already used to playing in the PL.

    Who else ?]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Zohaib, the prices quoted for Arshavin are already adjusted for exchange rates, so £20m for Arshavin would be the same as £20m for Arteta.

    Arteta is a great player, and one I admire very much.

    But where as Arshavin wants to leave and Zenit seem happy to milk the move, Everton need Arteta. Selling Arteta would mean potentially slipping down the league and missing out on Europe.

    I think Arteta would actually be the better choice in terms of what we need in the team, but I don't think he's even as realistic as Arshavin.

    There really seems to be a drought of quality midfield players looking for a move.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[How about Yoann Gourcuff. I've read that him and his father have made it clear that he's not going back to AC Milan. And Bordeaux are trying to sign him. I've also read that the clause in his contract is for around 15 mil pounds. That, if true, is pretty decent money. He's definitely a quality player.

    Here's a goal he scored this past week.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dI0--mM7Ue4]]>

  • zohaib

    That is INSANELY amazing footwork, and what a finish. Speechless …

  • zohaib

    Oh I wasn’t aware of that. Thanks for the clarification Kieran. You’re right. It seems that when we actually might be able to sign a ready-made player, that there are none available in the market !

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[

    That is INSANELY amazing footwork, and what a finish. Speechless …

    Zohaib, I’m sure you don’t mean Bendtner on Saturday! lol. Who then, pray tell?]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[hahaha no no. I mentioned a link to Yoann Gourcuff. I'll try to write it again :

    http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=dI0–mM7Ue4

    (I've given a space between www. and youtube....
    so please adjust that.)]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[sheeesh. i'll try once more. I was talking about Yoann Gourcuff. Mentioned a link, so its 'awaiting moderation' :

    youtube.com/watch?v=dI0–mM7Ue4

    (plz add the www in the beginning)]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    Haha, there’ll be 3 links when Dev gets back!

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    But yeah, that’s tasty!

  • Fabrez

    Hmm..that’s well good! I’m kinda assuming (since i aint no french speaker!) the commentator said the move was something Zidane would do…which is true. What is the player’s nationality tho? If he consistently plays creative footy, i guess he’ll b a nice addition!

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[How would you guys feel about Frank Ribery? He's said he wants to leave Bayern Munich and open to offers, I wonder if Wenger has considered him.

    Arteta has gone on record saying he's happy at Everton and "tired of all the transfer rumours", so I guess thats that.]]>

  • Berth

    Pete where did you get the Ribery news

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[Just read ofer at Wikipedia, Yoann Goucuff is a young French player, 6'1 attacking midfielder. Looks a little like Kaka too lol.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoann_Gourcuff]]>

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[what about Ibrahim Afellay?

    he is pretty good and is a wing/am that looks pretty skillful but he is only 22.

    youtube.com/watch?v=SWAKahoyD-E]]>

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[HI Berth,

    Ribery is just a suggestion of mine, not actually something I've read anywhere. But I've read a few French reports qutoing him that he's currently "open to offers" from other clubs.

    I read that over at http://www.sportinglife.com/football/transfer_centre/

    I seem to remember there was lots of talk that Wenger was interested in him during the '06 World Cup.]]>

  • Fabrez

    Ribery would fit in nicely i’d think. I think his transition would be something like Nasri’s. A bit quicker than we think. I think the fact that Arsenal has such a heavy French influence helped Nasri settle in quiker than he would otherwise…cud b the same for Ribery. Plus he’s an calm and experienced head to my knowledge and we all know how skillful he is…so i think he’ll b good for us. Won’t cost us £20m which is another plus!

  • Fabrez

    Oh yeah…and he’s an actual winger and not a make-shift one!!!

  • Cappz

    Very true Fabrez!

  • Debs

    Lol Fabrez, but Wenger’ll probably end up playing him as an attacking midfielder or something! Lol

  • Fabrez

    For real! The mind of Wenger is one i don’t think i’ll ever understand!!

  • Debs

    Lol! Hope he doesn’t do that to whoever he buys; play them out of position, but he just likes to try things differently! But I guess as Ribery’s a proven winger and he’s got bags of experience playing there, I doubt if Mr Wenger would go there!