And after a quiet Monday, it’s all kicked off again today, and loads of stuff has been happening…
Firstly we heard earlier that Arshavin wanted a move to Barcelona and would do everything to make it happen, his agent apparently saying he was awaiting a phone call from Laporta… but before I had a chance to discuss this, Dennis Latcher, the agent – said this:
“This is the first time I’ve heard anything about these comments. I haven’t spoken with anybody and it’s quite strange to hear. It appears I’m getting quite famous again, but also that somebody is just trying to use my name. I’ve never spoken with Barcelona and I think that somebody is just trying to get a story. All this stuff is made up. Two months ago I heard a lot about some kind of conflict between Arshavin and other Arsenal players. It’s bullsh*t you know.
Quite categorical there, hey! No need to waste time on that story… now onto something more interesting and the fact that the WOA gang now have their very own season ticket – yes, after years of red, silver and away games, as well as sharing season tickets, buying them off people who were away and of course, the first season at the Emirates in the very expensive club level, we’ve got our season tickets!
Take a look at the view from our seats… very exciting…
And talking about the new season, the players were training in the rain today, and it was good to see Rosicky and Eduardo amongst the others looking very sprite-ly… of course, there was no Cesc, no Walcott and no Gibbs as they’ve featured heavily in the summer games.
And if Fiorentina get their way, we may see Melo joining us too as they have again re-iterated their wanting of Emmanuel Eboue…
“(Arsenal manager Arsene) Wenger wants to talk to me. I have no objection also because Eboue seems a valid swap.”
Of course, I doubt Arsene would want to sign the Brazlian enforcer for the whopping £21.5m that has been touted, but if the club want Eboue and value him close to that of Melo, we could see a lesser amount of money transferred, some people saying as little as £8m + the Ivorian. And something that has also been brought to my attention is that Melo had a clause in his contract regarding receiving a one year extension if he featured in the first team and in fact, Melo has done just that with no substitute appearances, so the clause was invoked and Melo signed on the dotted line. Melo does have a clause in his contract at around £21.5m which of course, is good for him – in case a big team want him and of course, allows him to sign a contract amid speculation that there is interest. If I were Melo, I would have probably done the same thing.
It is interesting to see that we’ve been in contact with the club as it’s a sign of our intent – the worrying thing of course, is that this turns into an Alonso / Inler / Barry – which ends up in us signing no-one.
Just before I go, a little something from Martin Keown, who’s been talking about our two Swiss defenders. Of course, Philippe Senderos has returned from his year at Milan and will come a better player for it – it doesn’t seem that he does feature in the plans of Arsene as the recent signing of Vermaelen indicates. At the moment, we have Gallas, Toure, Senderos, Djourou, Vermaelen and Silvestre – quite a lot of central defenders.
Anyway, Keown had this to say:
With regards to Philippe, it’s an interesting question. If he has been able to learn from his loan move and if he is given another chance, he’s only going to be better. The thing with Philippe is he needs to learn the game. He’s a highly intelligent individual but at times he’s made elementary mistakes on the pitch. Football intelligence is a different experience to that off-field. What will be fascinating to see is whether he has improved those elements that he needed to.
In the pictures on the Arsenal web site relating to the training, you can see Philippe is actively part of it, so maybe he will be staying and maybe Toure will move to right back as cover as Eboue leaves for pastures new… a lot of questions still to be answered…
A player who we all backed last season was Johan Djourou whom was pretty good in most of the games he played and some commenters have even touted him as a first choice defender alongside Vermaelen…!
Keown has this to say:
Johan is at the crossroads now. He has to start becoming a first team player. He’ll want that, he’s a big strong lad and more than capable with the attributes to make it. He just has to put a game together. Arsene has lots of confidence in him, but injuries have taken their toll recently. If he can iron out the niggly injuries, he’ll turn from a teenager into a man. His career is in his hands and he’ll be desperate to get in that side for pre-season.
And finally, the competition to win a StayChilled Kit Cooler launches tomorrow, so tune in tomorrow to see what the questions are… and for those of you who were previous winners of the Italian Job competition, we have just received the prizes so we’ll be getting them in the post this week!