Monday Round Up

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...

Arshavin Transfer

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 Surprised

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?

Until tomorrow….]]>

  • AJ

    < ![CDATA[Our transfer policy is screwed up, I completely agree, we should get these deals done and dusted if we can before the window opens and have the player arrive on the opening day of the window.

    As for Arshavin, he'll go this window, hopefully to us, but he will definetly go, Zenit won't want to hang onto him as he has already said he won't play for them, plus with economic conditions set to get worse they know in the summer clubs will properbly be willing to pay less.

    Veleso would be the perfect DM, but as you said Lisbon don't want to sell and if we're putting in a big bid for Arshavin I doubt we have the money left for another big bid and I doubt the directors would find the funds.

    Bendtner and Wenger can go on about how he is improving, but isn't this what we hear about a number of players, but seriously, he is not good enough cover for our strikers.

    Youth policy? More like we develop the players and then other clubs just come and pinch the players that fit the bill for their missing bit of the puzzle.

    Unless we win something this year or next year I seriously won't care how good a player will be in two or three seasons (bar Wilshire, Vela and Simpson), it will be a joke and seriously worried that this season we won't finish in the top 4 and unless sp*rs get relegated (fingers crossed) we are going to be sitting ducks for abuse from them.]]>

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA["Unless we win something this year or next year I seriously won’t care how good a player will be in two or three seasons".
    AJ maybe when next year comes, you extend it to next two years.]]>

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[

    Kevin Davies Is A Twat
    I agree 100%! He’s a right loser! Apparently we’re gonna make a statement soon in response, as he was moaning that the players ‘scream’ any time he tackles them and were conspiring to get him booked! He accused us of conning the ref, you know! Such a joker! He’s just a sore loser, and the ref should have given him a yellow wayyy before he eventually got one!
    Soz, I needed the rant! lol]]>

  • Fabrez

    As for the Arshavin deal, we’ll hear a whole lot of talk before something happens. Veloso seems a good player…but we clearly aren’t gonna get him. Sulley Muntari is a ball winner. Granted he went to Inter recently…plus he aint gonna come to Arsenal with a youth policy that shoots ourselves in the foot…but only for the short-term i’m hoping! We are at risk of losing guys like Cesc and RVP… Ade will leave also once trophies don’t come…that will make us the laughing stock of the PL…it does worry me. I think that us fans deserve more…the football business is demanding…we need silverware. AW is gonna go after the FA Cup 4 sure…and well we can’t say much about the CL until we get to the last 8 to even think about having a real chance of winning. And i will openly & honestly say i have very little faith in Bendtner… put the boy out on loan if u don’t want to sell him Arsene…goodness!

  • Fabrez

    And Mr. Davies…give me a break please. He’s just bitter about losing so late in the game and he’s also jumping on the “Arsenal are too soft/ not manly enuff” bandwagon. When u are fouled all the time as a team…the most in the league, u must expect it to stinkin hurt! And u kno, if Arsenal were to tackle as badly as Stoke and Bolton do, we’d be the side being critisised like there is no tomorrow…it’s a lose-lose situation with us. So really Davies…do us all a favour and go get a life!

  • Debs

    The FA cup seems like the realistic target and the moment, and how we fare in the transfer market in January will determine how far we go in the Champions League… It wouldn’t be too bad if Ade left, really. He’s not done much this season, but he’s got the rest of the season to sort himself out…

  • devday

    < ![CDATA[When a player acts like they did in summer, then you know it's only a matter of time until they eventually leave - as a result, we should have just let him go - especially if £30m > was offered - but in reality, I doubt £30m > was really offered which is why we probably didn't sell him - Milan and Barcelona knew that he wasn't their main target too...

    Everyone says Ade had a great season last year netting 30+ goals, but if you look at the amount of chances he had, surely he should have reached 50+

    When we have likes of VP, Eduardo and Vela playing as our first choice three strikers, you'll see the good old days come back when we used to beat teams 5-0, etc....!]]>

  • AJ

    < ![CDATA["Pissed off" I won't be saying that in two years. And yeah Davies is a mug, he's not got any skill whatsoever and seems to be more suited to rugby and being a burly forward than playing football.

    Ade is just a flop and he looks like a headless chicken running round the pitch each time I see him, once we've sorted out our midfield crisis we need to get a good goal scorer who knows the offside rule.]]>

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

    < ![CDATA[I've already stated here, it is a fact that Ade was ready to sign a contract 6 weeks before Arsenal gave it to him - they were waiting to see if any of these massive bids materialised and then he would have been off.

    Arsene Wenger is a clever chap - once Ade said he wanted out his card was marked. The only reason he still plays for Arsenal is because no one put their money where their mouths were - presumably because they thought what we are seeing now. Hold up play is nothing unless it's combined with ruthless finishing.

    If a bid for £20m+ comes in for Ade he'll be on the first plane out. We sold Henry for less and he was a better player in every single respect - even his moody attitude was better than Ade's lazy one!]]>

  • parsi

    Dealing with the Russians is not easy. The Italian Serie A teams that signed players from Russia and other Eastern Bloc countries say so. So we have to hope for the best that we get Arshavin. I think he will be a great addition to us. He is certainly at least a class above Palvyuchenko over at Spurs. Hiddink thinks he is good and that is some praise. Anyway I like to know how come we appointed an American to deal with player aspects including transfers? When one applies for a job one needs to have the relevant experience and qualifications amongst others. The American (Gazidis or somewhere close, forgive me) does not have the obvious experience, so what’s up with this appointment? There should be more transparency at the higher levels. Frankly after all this time, is he (appointment) the best we could get? What does he know about English / European or African/South American or indeed Asian football in order for us to ensure (Arsene listed and DDein used to get them) the necesary signings. This country is in shambles, we reward those who fail, we promote the incompetent, the blind lead us and the unqualified get the positions and the commmon masses pay (tickets, satelitte TV, jerseys, etc in this case). To say that it is because of Kroenke is too simplistic an answer. The other English (heaven help us if they carry on…) have more stakes in the club now don’t they, so couldn’t they overrule? Afterall, if they looked down as they certainly did on foreign investment then an American?? C’mon now, lets have proper answers. Arsenal Board listen carefully, Arsenal fans are not like most other clubs, we are thinking fans and we will challenge you if you choose not to inform us of what is happening. We have the right to know.

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

    < ![CDATA[Parsi he's South African, worked in England and then controlled (pretty much) America's MLS.

    Ivan’s credentials are first class,” said the club’s chairman, Peter Hill-Wood. “He has a wealth of business acumen together with a broad knowledge of football that will not only help to maintain Arsenal’s pre-eminent standing but enhance our reputation within the football community and international commercial markets.”

    Gazidis has worked in American soccer for 14 years, but said he was pleased to be returning to the game in the UK. “I have been privileged in my 14 years with MLS to have worked with and for some of the best sports executives and owners in the world, whose vision, commitment and expertise have taken the league from strength to strength and provided a solid platform for its future growth,” he said.

    To be fair, whilst even I have questioned the appointment (what does he know about European football?) there is no doubting the man’s business brain. I just don’t see anybody else better either? To be honest this is really the one area none of us know enough about to comment – we just have to have faith.]]>

  • devday

    < ![CDATA[Apparently Arshavin is "interested" in signing for us - it's crazy how the media spin things - what he actually said was "In some games last season, we played football which was very similar to that of Arsenal"... that doesn't mean he wants to join us - Arsenal and Barcelona are renouned for having similar styles.

    He then went on to say "I would prefer my present No.10 but in the team where I hope to move it's not vacant. So I'm ready for any number they are going to offer me", but pretty much every club in Europe has a number 10 - so how on earth does that mean he wants to sign for us?

    Stoooopid media.]]>

  • Debs

    Lol Dev! Kings of spin, the media!

  • maverik

    dev, When did you hear of a striker scoring 50+ goals in a season. Stop dreaming and appreciate the guy’s contribution

  • gunner32

    Well there is a method to Wenger’s madness. The problem is most fans (sometimes even me) get frustrated with his plan. Wenger is planning for the long term and I believe he’s come to realize that he won’t always be Arsenal’s manager so he’s building a squad for the future in the event that he does leave. I’m not saying he’s gone in the summer but age has a way of giving you perspective and Wenger wants to leave Arsenal in good hands for whoever his successor may be in the future. We have come to expect alot from Wenger and he’s a victim of his own success. I don’t necessarily agree whole-heartedly with his approach since United can find the balance between the old and new and still dominate world football, why can’t we? But I can see what he is doing and where he wants the club to go. I think however, that once Wenger achieves that elusive Champions League title he might retire from team management and take a seat on the Arsenal board that the club has reserved for him.

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

    < ![CDATA[Appreciate what? Him coing on in the cup to fight his own players? Or standing with his hands on his hips? Or wasting numerous one on one chances? Or saying he wants to leave repeatedly over the summer?

    Adebayor scored some great goals last season, but he's definately in contention for the most frustrating player in the team, along with Bendtner. Both of them score the occasional corker and sandwich it with too much attitude and too many shit matches.]]>

  • zohaib

    Or not knowing the offside rule ?!

  • devday

    < ![CDATA[Ah, Maverik - 50 goals in all competitions?

    Well Ronaldo scored 42 last season from midfield and we created 30% more chances last season (as all Arsenal fans are fully aware of as we frustrating missed all of them).

    If you look at the number of chances that any team has, and the goals, they are distributed evenly or even-ish-ly through many strikers and midfielders. However, last season, we created so many chances, which all fell to Adebayor. In actual fact, he was one of the worst strikers in chances --> goals ratios.

    If you look at the chances --> goals ratios of players such as Eduardo and even VP (who does miss a few), you'll see much better averages.

    When a player like Ade doesn't get as many chances (i.e. this season), he will not score as many goals - simple facts.

    I appreciate the number of goals Ade scored last year, but my opinion remains that he's an distinctly average player - especially when he's only playing at 80% of his ability.]]>

  • devday

    And the points KD and Zohaib made are true too. How many times is Ade offside?? Argh!

  • Debs

    There were some stats from last season on Sky sports, and Ade was offside the most! As Benitez will say, it’s fact! lol

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Debs - guess who leads that stat this season ?

    No prizes for guessing though lol.]]>

  • debs

    Lol Zohaib, I’m struggling as to who that could be! :D

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[hahha exactly !!!!!!! Adebayor ! 42 times.

    hmmm. That number seems a bit low ...]]>

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[Agree with all comments and I can't wait for summer transfers and fingers crossed wave goodbye to Ade...lets just hope can can bag a few more goals for us and bump his price :-).

    But who would you buy instead?]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Listing some options :
    Benzema, Villa, Zaki, Kenwyne Jones.

    Who else ... ?]]>

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

    I should prolly point out, I don’t want Ade to leave as much as Bendtner, I just hope he’d pull his socks up and learn the offside rule. If my girlfriend can get it he sure as shit can.

  • Fabrez

    Adebayor was nowhere near loyal in the summer…his comments were appauling. So if he goes, trust me, i won’t b that disappointed. When u have a midfield inclusive of Cesc & Hleb (don’t like the guy!), the amount of great balls coming through means even Kevin Davies could score!!! :D And if Ade leaves, I’m a fan of Kenwyne Jones…