Mondays are always busy in the office and apparently they are also quite busy in the world of Arsenal. Lots of stuff happening today. Let's take a look at what's going on...
The ongoing, will we, won’t we, will they, won’t they transfer saga which is Andrei Arshavin takes another twist. A spokesperson for Zenit recently and publicly announced that we had lodged a £10m bid which the club rejected. Obviously, Zenit are playing their auction card again. By letting the world know, they’re basically trying to see who will come in with a higher bid. However, today, we’ve heard the following statement:
“Negotiations between the clubs about Arshavin are continuing. Since both sides want them to be successful, we should expect a good outcome soon — and certainly before the end of the transfer window.”
I’m not sure exactly made the statement, but it’s been banded across a lot of sites. So, the question I have, is what the hell is going on. And why do clubs not do all of these negotiations outside of the transfer window – it doesn’t say that you can’t talk about transfer until the window, it just says that people can’t move. Our transfer policy and methods do seem to have gone a little ad hoc since David Dein left.
Veloso Not An Option
Veloso is a player that I like. I think he’s got it all. He’s got the set piece ability without question and he’s a tough tackler. He’s a player we’ve been linked with and one of only a few who I think can make a difference. If you look at his performances for Lisbon, they’ve been consistent and his role is authoritative. Why I am saying all of this is probably irrelevant, as his club have released this statement.
“The club is not interested in opening any negotiations at this moment.”
I can’t think of too many other defensive midfielders that can come in and make a real difference, but Arsene mentioned several times that he is looking to strengthen in that area, so hopefully he has a plan and a back up plan. Sebastian Battaglia has been mentioned too, but if you’ve seen him play for Villareal, he’s been less than impressive.
Kevin Davies Is A Twat
Kevin Davies is a a twat – he has confirmed that by complaining about our players been injured when he fouled us. He is really a championship player at most whose only way of playing the game is to foul, foul and foul some more.
Arsene was surprised at Rafa for his outburst and to be honest, I was very surprised too. Of course, by saying what he said, Rafa was obviously perturbed by the comments from SAF previously in regards to whether Liverpool would bottle it or not. I would have suggest Rafa just took those facts and reported them to the FA. However, I think Rafa thought that it wouldn’t make any sense as the FA would probably just ignore them.
I think the only way Rafa thought he would get heard is to do it in a press conference. The funny thing is that pretty much all non Man Utd supporters agree with what Rafa said – but at the same time – pretty much everyone thinks he’s gone a little mad. Especially for not using £25m Robbie Keane when he’s drawing 0-0 at Stoke. Maybe he’ll sell him back to Sp*rs for £30m… Arsene spoke on this:
“It came as a complete surprise, because he is usually a quiet man and I would not like to comment further on that. I do not know what it was really about. I do not know what he [Ferguson] is doing – you do not know either, nobody knows in the country!
“But if Alex Ferguson, or Benitez or I do something which is not right, you have people around the referees who can make reports. I believe it is important we focus on the game, if we see something abnormal we can say it, which I did at Aston Villa after the game. But apart from that, I couldn’t see any deep problem there with English football. It is hard to determine what influence this will have on the results of the teams.”
Interestingly, Arsene says “I couldn’t see any deep problem”, but in reality, we know it’s true, I’m sure he agrees with Rafa and I swear he’s angled at similar things before… but Arsene isn’t getting involved in something that is not his battle. And of course, one thing we’ve all learnt, is that it’s not what other teams do, it’s what your own team does that we have to concentrate on…
Bendtner Looks Forward
Niklas Bendtner is looking forward to 2009 – he’s had a 2008 to forget I tell you! If only he got rid of those silly boots, we’d probably take him more seriously. I’m not sure if anyone heard what Arsene had to say about the boots, here’s a recap.
“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.”
Bendtner himself said this:
“We have talked among ourselves that 2008 was not the strongest, so we want to come out in 2009 and show what we are really about. We have won both of our games in the new year and have shown that we are strong. I have got a few late goals now, but as long as I can help the team win, I am happy. We know the game is for 90 minutes, and if you are focused most of the time you get what you deserve.”
And Arsene was also full of praise for the Dane:
“The fans judge on the game but the manager has to consider what he can display in one year. 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
“He can be decisive. 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.
Arsene refers to us as wanting to see the finished article – and he is right – and if we want to win the league then surely we need the finished article – shouldn’t we really have Bendtner on loan to someone like West Brom (cite Jay Simpson) so that they can learn and become the finished article? Maybe that would have happened if VP and then Eduardo weren’t injured last season. Carlos Vela, however, is younger and looks like a more decent proposition.
Our Youth Policy
And finally, Arsene has been speaking on our youth policy yet again, and pretty much said the same thing over and over again. Yes, we’re the only club who give people chances…
“If you take the top 10 clubs all over Europe we are the only ones who give a chance to young players. And when you are at that age you go where you can smell the chance to play. One of the problems when you build a young team up is you have to be patient knowing they are impatient. And that is the difficult side of it because everybody wants always to play.”
But then again, out of the top 10 clubs all over Europe, we’ve won the least trophies in the last four years too…
Life is a funny old thing hey?