A Grand Old Saturday At The Emirates…

Morning All,

It’s a grand old Saturday at the Emirates today as we’ve signalled our intent to correct the fallacies of last season and maybe the season before by making the defensive signing that we’ve all wanted for some time. Arsene has looked at the best defenders in Europe and we’ve known about our interests in the likes of Zapata amongst others – but the boss has decided that the Belgium International, Thomas Vermaelen is the man to fix our defensive problems.

The more you think about this signing, the more it makes sense – the player is young in terms of a footballing career, but old enough in terms of Arsenal to bring experience and maturity to the team. The player was captain of his team, which in itself brings a level of experience, leadership and confidence to the squad. His leadership skills are something that are required in a back line short of confidence and in our squad, we’re beginning to create leaders all over the pitch, something that we’ve really added with this signing and the signing of Arshavin in January.

The player and manager have been very delighted with the move and the player is also confident we can win trophies.

Players, such as Robin Van Persie, and I’m sure previlent in other members of the squad want new, decisive signings to be added and the Dutch striker has commented on his personal preference of signing Vermaelen. It’s a signal that Arsene wants to correct things in the squad that aren’t right – and if you remember Cesc saying earlier in the season, that the boss will make the signings he needs to ensure we’re challenging next season.

Something I briefly touched upon in the comments, but I think the next signing we have will be that of Van Persie – as essential it is to get new quality players in, it is equally important to keep the best of what we have and Robin definitely falls into that category.

Coupled with the signing of Vermaelen is the rumour that Kolo Toure is on his way out – to Man City – and I really hope that it’s just paper speculation. Toure is Arsenal through and through and players like that are hard to find. It’s like when you’re an employer and you’ve just hired someone, ploughed bundles of time, energy and training into getting them into the person you need them to be, and then for them to get up and leave for pastures new. I’d rather have someone who wants to stay than someone using the club as a stepping stone – we all know that Toure alongside an established centre back is a good combination – the Toure-Campbell partnership winning us Premier Leagues and getting us into the final of the Champions League – maybe Vermaelen is a more suitable partner than Gallas.

Of course, that does raise the question of which defender will leave, with Toure, Gallas, Silvestre, Senderos and Djourou the other 4 centre backs in addition to our new signing – many fans believe Senderos will be on his way out as will Silvestre – but I think the gaffer may throw a surprise with the departure of either one of Toure or Gallas. It’s hard to speculate so I’ll leave Arsene worry about it – at the moment, we’ve brought someone in who is very good and in a position we’ve been lacking, so we’ve got to keep our faith in what Arsene is doing and underatand that he can see the team issues just as much as we can.

In other news, the young hotshot tennis player, Anna Keothavong has revealed that she is a big Gunners fan – with her favourite player being Robin Van Persie – for his looks as much as his ability. The current England Womens #1 has talked about her love for the club saying:

“I haven’t been to The Emirates. I drive past it the whole time. I would love to go there and watch a game but I haven’t had the time yet. I call myself an Arsenal supporter. I should know more than I do – the rest of the family are more fanatic than I am. If anyone from Arsenal sees me playing and wants to invite me to a game, I’d love to. I’ve got a shirt with my name on the back and No 1. That’s a start.”

And I think any of the Arsenal players who follow tennis will surely be on the phone at some point next season – I’m sure Keothavong will have a lot to offer and Wimbledon may be her real breakthrough.

More reaction to come on the Vermaelen signing – but now we’ve signed him, who would you like to be next through the Emirates turnstile?

  • The Irish h3r0

    Love this new signing.He is exactly wat we need a concrete fondation we can build on.Like vidic for united nd terry for chelsea.But still think we need a strong,aggresive,ruthless DM.We have to be able to bully teams if the ocastion calls for it.Maybe Senna or I’d love to sign xabi alonso not really that physical but imagine him nd fab at the engine.No more miss placed passes we would be direct and an unstopable force.Ooohhh just thinking about the team were gona have next season makes me feel like a giddy school girl everyones a year older were only goin 2 get better we won’t be waiting much longer on some silverwear I’d bet my house that this year is our year COME ON THE GUNNERS TIME TO BE REWARDED FOR YOUR EFFORTS THE LAST 4 YEARS

  • zohaib

    Dev, how does Toure, Gallas, Silvestre, Djourou and Senderos make 4 defenders ?

    Oh I get it – Silvestre and Senderos aren’t complete defenders so you count them as half. So half and half is one, and three more mean 4 ! Woohoo

  • Pete

    I think Vermaelen is the kind of player who’ll take the initiative on the pitch. He seems to have a good decision-making ability and from what I’ve seen so far, he has a knack of popping up in the right places at the right times on the football field.

    As for holding midfield – I’ve heard figures of around £15 million for the signing of Felipe Melo, and maybe he’s been having a quiet word with Gilberto Silva about becoming a Gunner whilst on international duty together in the Confederations Cup. But personally, and I’ve said this many times before lol, Lorik Cana is my prefered signing, as his tenacity is what impresses me the most, it’s quite Viera-esq!

  • Fo

    Pete – I really want Felipe Melo – just watching his video makese me think he will be the one to sort out our DM problems – he sounds like a nice guy too – I’d prefer him over Cana.

  • Pete

    Thats fair enough mate, he’s a good player :D

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d be happy with Melo’s signing. But out of the two, Cana was the one who reminded me more of Viera, whose been the player we’ve struggled to replace. Also, he has a former team mate in Samir Nasri as a Gunner, so there’s a familiarity that already exists between the two, which could prove helpful.

    But as long as we sign someone good then thats main thing :D

  • Pete

    Just heard on SSN an official announcement from Man United confirming Tevez is definately leaving the club.

  • TheSKAGooner

    Pete and Fo –

    I’m torn between Melo & Cana as well. Melo does bring a bit more offense to the DM role, but Cana is the more physical DM we’ve been missing. I guess it depends on how tightly we want to link the midfield to the back four. With Melo, we’re really adding a “defensive attacker”, and with Cana we’re adding a holding midfielder/defender. It’s an interesting set of opportunities presented by both players.

  • Pete

    Cheers mate :D

    I do have a funny feeling that Melo is more likely to be signed out of the two though, especially with the possibility of Senderos going the other way.

  • Berth

    The best news so far is the Tevez news of rejecting a lucrative offer from Man U. That means a new super – hero is emerging some where else – did I hear someone say Mancity!!!

  • TheSKAGooner

    Just reported that PSG might be making a bid for Eboue. Might this be part of a swap for Sakho? Perhaps clearing space for a DM arrival?

    For himself, Eboue says he doesn’t know anything about the bid.

    Interesting…

  • zohaib

    If Melo’s the ‘defensive attacker’, we alerady have someone similar in Denilson. So the one we need is, I have to agree with Pete, Lorik Cana. He’s what we’ve been lacking. But somehow I don’t see it happening.

    If we don’t sign anybody for DM, I’m expecting Nasri to be played there to see if it works.

  • random

    What about puttin kolo in DM. he has shown passing ability, burst of pace with the ability to go past people and initiate play, strength, a decent shot(which although not always finding the back of the net, will force the defence of the opposition to attack him – leaving gaps and causing the defensive lines to change as we often play teams who jus sit there knowing that most of our players cant shoot with power outside the box or at least wont), experience, and everything else we wud need – i think he’s perfect and we wouldnt require any spending/ selling as that reshapes the team and that causes distrupt and it takes time for people to gel together

  • RANDOM

    What about puttin KOLO TOURE in DM. he has shown passing ability, burst of pace with the ability to go past people and initiate play, strength, a decent shot(which although not always finding the back of the net, will force the defence of the opposition to attack him – leaving gaps and causing the defensive lines to change as we often play teams who jus sit there knowing that most of our players cant shoot with power outside the box or at least wont), experience, and everything else we wud need – i think he’s perfect and we wouldnt require any spending/ selling as that reshapes the team and that causes distrupt and it takes time for people to gel together