It was a strange day yesterday as the fixtures were announced, which sees us have a tough start and a tough end of January / beginning of February… but as they say, you’ve got to play everyone twice, so it is a matter of us dealing with what we have. It’s just a little bit tough when you play all three of your main rivals in a 10 day period, thanks Fixtures man!
Away from the news about the fixtures, there’s been a bit more news on the transfer front, and having all but signed Thomas Vermaelen, our attentions can be turned to other targets, namely the defensive midfield position and the striking berth… of course the striking area is somewhere where we are flourished with riches but of course, if someone goes, they must be replaced.
Apparently we’re back in and seriously back in for Chamakh, according to Philippe Auclair – some sort of journalist – although his name rings a bell (I suspect he is also related to some sort of footballing agency but I can’t remember)… and this is the news you may see on a few web sites…
Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh’s proposed move to Arsenal may be back on, according to France Football journalist Philippe Auclair. The 25-year-old, who has earned 50 caps for Morocco scoring 15 goals, netted 13 times in Ligue 1 to help secure a first league crown in 10 years for les Girondins.
So either we’ve had an offer for Emmanuel Adebayor or Robin Van Persie is not signing his contract, the latter would be a real blow – and I can’t seem to find any news from Arsenal or Dutch related sites to say anything about the subject. The link with Dzeko looks like a deal that will never happen with Chelsea, Man City and Milan – all very “rich” clubs and clubs we’d find it had to compete with a on financial level – all serious rivals for the Bosnian’s signature.
In the defensive midfield position, a position which does need strenghening, we’re supposedly looking at only one player to fill the void left by many many players departures over the last few seasons. Whilst I think Alex Song has come along tremendously over the last two seasons, I think he’s the only “real” defensive midfield with Denilson, Cesc, Nasri, Diaby and Ramsey all players who like to play in the attacking midfield role… of course, the player we’ve been linked with is Lorik Cana, and a recent posted by Pete in the comments read:
“I will talk with my family and my representatives. It will then depend on what I want to do. I believe that if I want to leave, everyone at this club will respect my decision. It is not certain that I will be terminating my contract though. I am in no rush. Of the possible destinations in the future, England and Germany are the two leagues that attract me the most.”
Actually, pardon me for forgetting, but we’ve also been linked with Felipe Melo (and Fiorentina may be interested in Senderos which would make a deal easier) and both players look very good and we could really do with either in the squad – I do believe we’re on our way to signing one of them… earlier in the season Cana said he wouldn’t move, but his recent statements show that he may be looking to do so now as interest hots up… And of course, there is one other player, Miguel Veloso – but it doesn’t look like we’re interested nor does it look like any of the major European teams are – with his only offer coming from Bolton – and they’re struggling to match the £17m fee.
It’s coming to the second half of June now, and it would make sense for any signings to be made in the next two weeks as our training starts in July, so we’ll have to stay tuned over the next week or two as if we are going to sign someone, it may happen soon…
In other news, Eboue dismissed reports that he wants to leave citing a good relationship with the manager and the fans (despite reports to the contrary) but said if a big club, like Inter Milan, came along and offered a fee for his services, he’d be interested in a move like that… interesting words, and I’d like him to stay as we do need the cover at right back and right mid (and left back and left mid) – did you know Eboue started off his career as a centre back – okay, let’s not go there!
And finally a word for Kieran Gibbs – I have to say you’ve seized your opportunity in a very similar way to how Clichy took over from Cole – congratulations on your efforts and may you continue in a similar vein next season… but it’s a position that all of a sudden looks very congested, with Clichy the #1 choice and Traore returning from his loan at Pompey – who knows what will happen next season? But I for one want to see more of Gibbs, I’m just not sure how Arsene will manage it all…
The player saying this over his chances:
“It’s hard to think at the time and put the blame on anyone else. I felt disappointed after that but I’m trying to forget about that now and this is the tournament I am in. I look at the season as a big success for me personally, I’ve got my experience in and played in some big games that I wanted to play in.
“On the other side, for the team, after what happened in the Champions League I felt disappointed, not for myself but for the team and the people I thought I had let down. I received a lot of support after that and that got me through it for the rest of the season. I think it showed a mental strength to come back from that, especially straight after. It will be difficult because when you play week-in week-out you get used to it and it would be different coming off the bench again. I’m still 19 and he (Clichy) is a world-class left-back. I’ve still got a lot to learn from him and I don’t think it will be too disappointing for me to continue learning from one of the best left-backs in the world. I enjoyed it at Norwich (during a loan spell in the 2007/08 campaign). Would I go again? I would go again if the manager wants me to, if he feels I need more experience before going back in at that level.”
And that’s a very humble view of his season and his future… with our injuries, I’m sure you’ll get a chance at left back and left mid – and I fully expect Gibbs to allow Clichy to have a rest when required (something that the Frenchman hasn’t really had the opportunity to do recently) as well as take centre stage in our Carling Cup and FA Cup runs – I’ve also been impressed with the players dribbling ability as he’s got quite a bit to offer going forward…
Okie dokie… happy Thursday and speak later…