Arsene talks about Arshavin as Ljungberg has a word…

Morning All,

Yesterday was an interesting day of football, as the USA beat Spain 2-0 to progress to the final of the Confederations Cup, definitely an upset, I totally expected Spain to beat the US, but the American team played in the same vein as they did against Egypt… very impressive – with Brazil vs South Africa tomorrow, it could be a very different final than many people thought!

I’m off to Prague tomorrow for a stag do, so either I’ll find some sort of Internet access at some point during my travels or the faithful JAT will take over for a day or so… you’ll find out tomorrow no doubt…

On to today and I have to say that there has been some really good commenting at the moment, some really good feedback from regular commenters and new readers, keeps me very engaged in your thoughts throughout a busy work day – thanks and a message to let you know your feedback plays a big part in making this site what it is…

So, Arsene has been quite vocal, recently revealing his plans to sign one or two players in addition to the signing of Vermaelen and the intent to keep the squad together – pretty much what I wanted to hear. He’s also touched on the signing of Arshavin and what the signing meant to him, the player and the rest of the management down at the Grove…

“As soon as I met him I was convinced he was the right man for us. Andrei Arshavin came in and he had had no real preparation before we signed him, so we kept him in training for three weeks. In fact his first game was the goalless draw against Sunderland, but he was still getting fitter. After that he made a very quick impact. The 4-4 draw at Anfield was a massively spectacular game. It was a game in which we just got caught again in the last minute, but in fairness on the night, Liverpool didn’t deserve to lose. They played at a top pace – it was a fantastic game. Andrei Arshavin got four goals at Anfield – four great goals. He showed what he is about, speed, finishing, character and personality. It was a great night for him.”

Interesting words from Arsene, and the signing of Arshavin has seriously re-ignited a lacklustre Arsenal team. The signing changed the dimension of the team and added another level of excitement to the team and the league. I for one, am very excited to see Arshavin play next season, fully fit and with a team built around him – and by that I mean by that a team that knows how Arshavin works and plays with him to maximise the Russian’s potential…

If you look at the team in it’s entirety, we’ve certainly got a group of amazing players… and I do have a good feeling about next season.

Golden oldie, Freddie Ljungberg has added his comments to the barrage of quotes and comments we’ve been hearing recently, from Pires to Adams, from Dixon to Winterburn and now Freddie… the ex-Sweden International spoke about how “every year we had to win something” and the fact we haven’t for so long is surprising. Freddie goes on to say that finances are tight and that may be a big factor in what’s happening at the Emirates.

Take a look at the video (if the ESPN embed system works) but all in all, it was a very still interview, with not too much said.

And finally, Theo’s also been in the news… apparently not too pleased about his lack of playing time with the Under 21 national side, but he was brutally honest about his game against Finland.

‘It just didn’t go for me against Finland. Even my parents booed me off! Sometimes you are flying and sometimes you do nothing then a bit of magic happens. That day just didn’t go my way. I wanted to show what I could do coming off the bench against Spain. I was disappointed not to start but that showed I can achieve great things in this team.’

Theo’s performances have been inconsistent recently, but when he’s on fire, he’s really on fire…

Okay, til next time…

Oh, one more thing… just to let you know that we’ll be launching a competition very very soon to win one of 5 sets of Arsenal bottle covers. Check out the prizes here…  http://www.staychilled.com/acatalog/arsenal.html. The sets are worth £8.99 each and they’re a really good accessory for the summer, we’ll be launching the competition as soon as possible so stay tuned…

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  • Gooner Get Ya

    Arshavin is a quality player and I cant wait to see him fully fit next season.

    Off topic again..sorry but if you believe The Sun there is an interview with Cesc and it makes for bad reading for the Gooners, I have cut and paste the article below.

    CESC FABREGAS last night shocked Arsenal by admitting: “My family would understand if I signed for Real Madrid.”

    In a heart-rending interview he talks about the frustration and pain of four barren years in North London and brands the Gunners “impotent”.

    Real Madrid’s huge summer spending spree to attract the world’s best players to the Bernabeu sits in stark contrast with the policy followed by the Emirates side in recent years.

    Midfielder Fabregas is one of Real president Florentino Perez’s top targets and his words are even more significant given the Spain superstar must have known they would cause a stir in England.

    More worryingly, the Gunners skipper hinted Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to leave Manchester United and join Madrid has made him think about his own future.

    The 22-year-old admitted that six years away from his homeland is a long time, prompting renewed speculation about his future.

    Fabregas said: “The absence of titles at Arsenal is what angers me the most.

    “Cristiano said he’s leaving Manchester United because he had nothing else to win. For me right now it is the exact opposite, seeing the impotence.

    “This year we wanted it, we were giving everything – but we couldn’t reach the level that everyone expected of Arsenal.

    “When you win, you’re well. But when you don’t, everyone is in a bad mood. For four years now, we’ve needed a title to regain our belief in ourselves.”

    Fabregas joined Arsenal as a precocious 16-year-old whizkid plucked from Barcelona’s academy.

    He has spent all his adult life in England and freely conceded that a return to Spain is never far away from his thoughts.

    He added: “My seventh season is about to start. It’s a lot when you’re just 22. When you stop to think, you see that time flies.

    “In football, you have to learn fast and take the best decisions for yourself and try to be happy.”

    Fabregas then dropped a bombshell by admitting that his Catalan family, who are all staunch Barcelona supporters, would understand if he joined their hated rivals Madrid.

    Cesc said: “Of course my family would understand if I signed for Real Madrid because they love me, they want me to be happy and what is best for me. They’d support me – whichever club I joined. My family will always be there for me – whatever decision I make.

    “They’re the ones who are always by my side.”

    Barcelona have also been linked with a move to recapture the prodigal son who fled home as a teenager.

    Curiously, Fabregas admitted it would be a difficult dilemma if he had to choose between Real and Barca but confessed he is proud to be aware of their interest in him.

    He added: “At the moment it’s not happened so I don’t have to choose. For any player it gives great pride that those two clubs come to sign him. It would be a difficult choice.”

    I understand Barcelona would never pay a huge sum to take him back. It would be unthinkable to cough up silly money – a fee of around £45million is the least Arsenal would expect – for a player they let slip from their grasp.

    So Madrid is the obvious choice.

    Yet the Arsenal midfielder insists he would not force his way out by publicly declaring his desire to leave.

    He continued: “I will never do that. It’s not the way I am.

    “If I have to say I want to leave I will do it face to face.

    “If one day I’m not happy, I am the first who will tell the manager.”

    He added: “I admire Arsene Wenger but each of us has his own life and looks after his own interests.”

    Fabregas’ confessions came just one week after he told Spanish TV that there was no comparison between the fantastic team spirit in his national side and the morose atmosphere at Arsenal.

    He said: “It’s difficult. What is clear is that, if you’re at a club that doesn’t win anything, the fans want to see new faces. They want to have hope.

    “I am well in England. What happens is that every player likes to win and at Arsenal we’ve won nothing for the last four years.

    “It’s difficult to explain how good the camaraderie is in the Spain team.

    “I am now at Arsenal, where there isn’t this social group which is so human, so friendly, a group of normal people like my friends and we don’t talk about things too much.”

    Wenger will be worried …

    If that artucle is true which i doubt it is, it will invite fresh interest from Real Madrid to makes us an offer we may not be able to refuse….I am worried.

  • Pete

    Beat me to it mate, was just about to post this article too lol.

    Considering that this interview is from The Sun, for now I’ll take it with a pinch of salt. It wasn’t even two weeks ago that Cesc stated how happy he is at Arsenal, and for a Catalan to come out and say he’d consider playing for Madrid is a big no-no. Barca have always struck me as the only other team Cesc would leave Arsenal for.

    If this interview is real though, I think the club need to take note of the frustration affecting the players.

    Anyhow, I love what Wenger said about Arshavin, he’s definately going to be a hugely important player next season. And its good to see Freddie again, made me feel nostalgic lol.

  • Pete

    Also, forgot to add, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an Official Announcement at some point rubbishing the Cesc interview.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    LOL sorry Pete.

    I agree it is probably not true but I think it could spark interest from Real and if they did offer £45m then would AW consider it?

  • AJ

    I agree that article is worrying and with Real throwing money around as if it grows on trees we should perk our heads up and take notice. The one bit that really stood out for me there was him mentioning the lack of comraderie, is not good, 1st because it will alert Barca and Real and encourage them even more to place a bid for our young star, but also, how much of the other members of the team feel this way?

    Another thought, maybe Real will throw some silly money at Ade? Lets all hope they do.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Looks more likely that AC Milan will take Ade off our hands but only if they fail to sign Dzeko.

  • Vazy

    i think the suns full of it! this is all a load of cr*p, fabregas will come out in a day or two and rubbish the story, then in about a weeks time some other paper will invent something else.. is it me or are the media completely against us? i swear i don’t hear anything close to the amount of apparent stories that we get compared to the other top clubs
    this story has been blatantly twisted to suit the suns need to sell papers… bah!

  • Pete

    As expected, cesc has issued a statement:

    Further to media reports on Thursday morning, Cesc Fabregas has spoken to Arsenal.com:

    “I’m not sure how many times I need to talk directly about my commitment to Arsenal as I continue to say the same thing over and over again, but it appears that every time I have spoken to the Spanish media recently, my words have bounced back to England, leaving question marks about my future.

    “So, for anyone who is unclear or may have misunderstood what my position is, let me make myself absolutely crystal clear. I am wholeheartedly committed to Arsenal and my future lies with this great Club.

    “It is a fact that we have not won a trophy for four years and yes, I am angry about that, but that anger stems from the deep deep desire I have to win things with Arsenal. I care about this Club and believe in this team. I
    am proud to captain this team and proud to wear the shirt. It really upsets me when people express my thoughts otherwise. The spirit in this squad is fantastic and we have the ability and mentality to compete on all fronts for silverware. Make no mistake, we are focussed and determined to show that we are capable of achieving great things together.”

  • Berth

    Looks like the Fabregas comment is true. Checked out couple of reliable sites; including sportinglife.com,soccernet and Skysports.This was the same reason Gallas was stripped of his captain armband. Hope this is not true, cos if it is then we have a problem. Snitching should not be allowed in this club.

  • Berth
  • Pete

    Gooer Get Ya, you make an interesting point mate. AC Milan will have loads of cash after Kaka’s sale, and if we agree to sell them Ade at a reasonable price then we could maybe use that as leverage to tempt them away from Dzeko and buy him ourselves.

  • Berth

    Pete Dzeko isn’t coming to Arsenal, the earlier you know that the better for your nerves.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Beat me too it this time Pete…lol. I thought it would be a load of rubbish from the The Sun and by the sound of it Cesc is getting very annoyed at the amount of times he has to reassure us fans because of some idiot blatantly making up a story. Our media really need to start working in a professional manor, in my opinion they put a swear of flith on our countries great name.

  • Pete

    Cheers mate :D DOn’t think the fans are the ones who need reassuring. The papers are just sh*t stirring as usual.

    Just heard on SSN Miguel Veloso has spoken to Man City and Arsenal about a possible transfer, and according to his agent will definately be playing in the Premier League next season.

  • Pete

    Btw, the new Away Kit is available from today. Is anyone getting it?

  • Pete

    Also from SSN, Felipe Melo is apparently settled at Fiorentina, according to his spokesman, and the article suggests he doesn’t want to move.

  • manoo

    Typical media twisting words to make a transfer seem possible. Complete asses. Cesc sed he was angry, not at the club, but angry because he feels we deserve a trophy. He has made this obvious in his statment. He is clearly committed to arsenal atm, but unless we do win someting in the near future, i think he may become unsettled. This is a pretty obvious hypothesis, so please dont feel like im patronising fellow gooners (the nigerians commenting on other sites). no disrespect lol. Also pete, i did get my away shirt today, its bout 7/10. Still think we got a decent chance of signing Melo, considering what marcotti said recently. Hes saying hes commited to foirentina for the sake of it, a bit like ade last year. Duno bout veloso, if we a realy good player, teams like bolton wouldnt have previously been leading the chase for him, no disrespect to bolton. Wot bout Cana, Zapata, Inler, Mbia. Any news on them. All these are good players, we shall see.

  • CON-MAN

    Pete, I don’t know, I was thinking of it but I haven’t had an arsenal kit in ages (since we last won the league) I’ve made a habit the last 3 seasons of just getting the polo shirts that pat rice and the rest of the staff wear in pre season, those look quite good

  • JDD

    i heard more on the felipe melo rumour apparently melo wants to come and senderos wants to go to fiorentina but the deal is being negotiated.we offered 10mil+senderos but fiorentina want 15mil+senderos i fink if wenger seriuosly wants him he should jus offer the extra 5mil.we have also apparently offered 10mil for gokhan inler a offer which udinese shud accept considering they accepted one for 8mil in january(but inler said he didnt want to move then ).

  • AJ

    I agree JDD, we should just stump up the cash (assuming we have it and can) as we don’t want to him slip through our fingers. I’m just glad to hear from Wenger that he wants to get all his signings done before Pre-Season though so that the team have the most amount of time to get use to each others style of play, so hopefully our signings should be wrapped up in a matter of weeks.

  • Berth

    I don’t think I like Melo’s style

  • Berth

    RIP – MJ

  • Debs

    Exactly my sentiments Berth…

  • zohaib

    It’s a very very sad day. I love Michael Jackson. May his soul finally get the peace it deserved. Unfortunately he had too many bad people around him and his life was pretty much shattered right from the start with his father beating him and then the child-molestation allegations for which he was acquitted. It was never proved, but despite the ruling some people decided to believe in something which they didn’t witness or know to be true. They just conveniently assumed what some of the bad people in the media portrayed, irresponsibly. I will never understand such cold-hearted, evil, inhumane people. Some people call him a freak because of what he did to his physical appearance with the surgeries, but don’t people say ‘don’t jusdge a book by its cover’, or ‘it’s what’s inside that matters, not what you look like’. Isn’t judging and stereotyping people because of race or colour called racism ? By that measure, aren’t people who think what he looks like has anything to do with anything, racists ? I’m also surprised why his skin disease hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves. Some people still believe that he made himself ‘white’. But it’s actually a skin disease called Vitiligo. Because of that he has to apply thick layers of make-up to cover the white-colored patches. Again, something for which you have to hold the media responsible. But there’s never any accountability in the media. It’s about time there is !
    It’s unbelievably sad how a person who is one of the most well known and loved people across the entire world, can be so lonely in his personal life. What’s really heart-breaking is, with all that love across the world, it still wasn’t enough to save him from his troubles.
    Or, maybe his passing away was the solution. Maybe the only solution. I believe he’s in a better place now and I’m happy for him. I’m glad he doesn’t have to deal with people from this planet anymore.

  • Berth

    Zohaib yeah – the same battle with the media in all aspect of life. The paparazzi’s will always cause problems; its up to the celebrities to develop thick skin; how I wish MJ did.

  • Dan

    Check this out guys. Fab is here to stay…

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/a/arsenal/8096320.stm

    Legend in the making.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    R.I.P. Michael. He was a total legend. I loved this guy when i was growing up and even learned how to moonwalk…lol.

    IMO opinion the paparazzi need to be stopped immediatley they are complete scum and all need to find proper jobs and stop stalking these poor people who are just trying to live there lives. Admittedly some so called celebs value and actually enhance their careers by using the paps eg Jordan

    So if we stop the paps we stop creating people like Jordan, Kerry Katona and Jade Goody…so it’s a win-win situation imo.

  • JDD

    R.I.P Michael Jackson

  • Vazy

    Saw him live at wembley over 10 years ago, was freaking awesome! (and was sitting 20 seats away from ian wright and his kids!) R.I.P Michael Jackson

  • AJ

    Quick update, rumour is Galliani (AC Vice President) Has called Wenger and discussed figures with him over Adebayor transfer….

  • Leeroy.N

    R.I.P. Michael Jackson. Amazing talent and Incredible performer. Just a shame where it took him at times throughout.

  • Vazy

    highly highly doubt it, but apparently rumor has it according to the daily star wenger has made a raid for ribery for 30-40 mil + Bendtner…

    well doubt it but good call on the rumor on the ade rumor Aj… hearing it everwhere

  • Pete

    According to the News of the Wrold Arsenal are bidding for Karim Benzima, if they manage to sell Adebayor to AC Milan. Hope it works out :D

  • AJ

    Yeah I doubt it too Vazy, but who knows and Pete I just read that, would be amazing if we signed him and it would be a big two fingers up at Man U, Real and Barca if we got him, but again highly unlikely I think.

  • zohaib

    According to SkySports’ ‘Paper Talk’ page, various papers are reporting that we’re interested in Benzema !

    I’m pleasantly surprised.

    Never thought we’d actually be getting a top-quality player, the way things were going these past 4 years. With the exception of Arshavin of course. Seems 2009 is the start of better times for us. Hopefully anyway.

    SkySports also says AC Milan have confirmed their interest in Adebayor. But he’s second choice to Edin Dzeko. Oh well, at least it’s a step in the right direction. We’re that little bit closer to getting rid of Ade. And that’s good. Now we just need to hope AC Milan don’t get Dzeko.

    I wonder if we’ll actually sign Benzema if we sold Ade. For the moment I’m going to say that after selling Ade, we’ll probably make a signing for the holding midfielder role, and probably not sign a replacement for Ade this summer, unless there’s a take-over of the club itself.

    But I’ll be ecstatic if somehow we manage to sign a striker as well as a holding midfielder this summer, which would show that we finally have the money and the brains to spend on the right kind of transfers.

  • zohaib

    And now Barcelona have revealed that ManCity’s made a ‘stratospheric offer’ for Eto. And Barca say if they sell him, they’ll be looking for reinforcements. That could be a good or bad thing.

    On one side we might have another club interested in Ade, if Milan get Dzeko, and if Barca don’t get Benzema, Villa, Aguerro, Ibrahimovic or somebody else.

    But on the other side all of those players will know that there’d be a spot on Barca’s list for a striker and it goes without saying that they’d all want to be a part of that club. They’d only want Ade if they can’t get any of the better players.

    Interesting stuff. I’ve been following all the transfer gossip on the other Arsenal forums. Some very interesting points being talked about. One is, Wenger’s recently said he’d like to conclude all the transfer business quickly so that he can have a proper pre-season with the whole squad to get the best possible start to the new season. This means that he’s looking to complete his transfer dealings by the start of pre-season which is July 6th if I remember correctly. Which means we might be seeing some transfer activity in this next week. Which has me excited once again, after a boring break from football for about a month … :P

    So to sum up the players we’ve been linked with in the past week or so:

    Felipe Melo – 21 million pounds
    Karim Benzema – 30 million pounds
    Frank Ribery – 40 million pounds.

    Adebayor – possibly leaving
    Eboue – possibly leaving
    Sylvestre – hopefully being sold or as Trump would put it – FIRED
    Senderos – possibly leaving or part of a player + cash exchange
    Bendtner – might be part of a player + cash exchange (unlikely in my opinion)

  • AJ

    zohaib, Dzeko to Milan is looking unlikely, from the reports Milan have stated that they have talked with Wolfsburg and Wolfsburg has rebuffed them each time and said he isn’t for sale, so thats encouraging for those that want Ade to go and with the money we would get for him, I could see us realisticly bidding for Benzema, but would he want to join us?

  • CON-MAN

    to be honest, if benzema doesnt want to go to man utd, why would he want to come to arsenal? its not like back in the day when we had henry, wiltord, pires and the rest of our french contingent

  • Vazy

    Great comeback by Brazil! but man did the usa push them all the way!

  • AJ

    A update, took this from the daily telegraph, “Arsenal are seeking advice from their bank about the viability of a rights issue among shareholders that could allow the club to wipe out a significant chunk of their £318 million debt.”

    Basicly it would allow shareholders (basicly Usmanov) to give the club alot of money to wipe out a fair amount of the debt and allow Wenger more money to spend on transfers if he wished.

  • AJ

    One other thing from the article which is really important I think, should of said this before, “Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis says the club is “open minded” and the proposal is due to be examined in greater detail at a board meeting this week. A key issue for directors would be whether a rights issue would fit with the club’s long-term model of self-sustainability.”

  • Pete

    This is really encouraging :D

    OM WOULD LET CANA LEAVE

    Marseille will not stand in the way of captain Lorik Cana if the midfielder decides to leave the Stade Velodrome.

    Cana has been an ever-present for OM since joining from Paris St Germain in 2005 and has played over 100 league games for the Ligue 1 giants.

    Reports suggest the Albania international is keen to move on, with Tottenham, Liverpool, Everton and Bundesliga sides Hamburg and Wolfsburg said to be interested.

    OM sporting director Jose Anigo claims they would not force the 25-year-old to see out the remaining three years of his contract.

    “It’s not that he’s shown his desire to leave,” Anigo told L’Equipe.

    “It’s simply that at a given moment it’s been four years that Lorik is here and he has the right to want to experience other things.

    “Today we’re open to his transfer, if something happens we’ll listen.”