Let the season begin… 2009/2010

Howdie Folks,

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…

WOA seats

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!

  • Berth

    Gallas, Toure, Senderos, Djourou, Vermaelen and Silvestre – Wenger should stop being indecisive and take a bold by selling one of these players – You have 6 central defenders; Not very good man. On the contrary the thought of Arshavin, Edu, Rosicky, Nasri and hopefully V.P makes me shiver. I sense good things this season.

  • Berth

    * a bold step

  • Mehedi

    I have a feeling somethings gonna happen this season.
    I am fired up.

  • AJ

    According to Sky sports italia, Melo has signed for Juventus, but at this moment, I don’t see anything on their websites.

  • TheSKAGooner

    AJ -

    I just saw the same thing on goal.com. But I’m not sure if it’s a rehashing of the previous “announcement” that Juve had signed Melo. It’s the first story on their front page, so I am guessing it’s new. But holy crap if true! Didn’t Fiorentina’s GM or Owner say just yesterday he was going to talk with AW about swapping Eboue & that he rated Eboue highly for the swap? Crazy, crazy stuff.

  • Berth

    Just to confirm thee Melo deal checkout the link- http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/2523360/Arsene-suffers-Melo-defeat.html.

    In a way am really pleased but then we need to move on to the next possible target before other unknown vultures hijack them.

  • Mehedi

    Hey melo to juventus >?
    All over the internet

  • Yemi

    “he worrying thing of course, is that this turns into an Alonso / Inler / Barry – which ends up in us signing no-one.”

    I hope this is not what has happened ? I did not route for melo after he extended his contract but reading dev’s article on the reason, i have backed down on that. How ever, as gazidis has said and i quote “Few additions will make Arsenal challengers” I hope to see one 2 more signings in the least. A DM and probably a forward

  • Pete

    It’s official, Robin Van Persie has signed a new contract :D

  • Pete

    Arsenal Football Club is delighted to announce that Robin van Persie has signed a new long-term contract with the Club.

    Van Persie (25), who joined the Gunners from home town club Feyenoord in 2004, was Arsenal’s leading goalscorer last season with 20 goals from his 44 overall appearances.

    In his five seasons with Arsenal, Van Persie, who is capable of turning a match at any time with a flourish of his left foot, has made 177 appearances for the Gunners, scoring a total of 63 goals in all competitions.

    The Dutch international striker, is also a regular with his national team and has scored 13 goals from his 37 appearances, already helping the Netherlands qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa.

    Van Persie, who was an FA Cup winner with the Club in 2005, played an integral part in Arsenal’s run to the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup semi-finals last season. As well as his 11 Premier League goals, Robin scored five times in the Champions League and four in the FA Cup. Throughout the season, Robin produced many important and match winning performances, most notably scoring both goals in the 2-1 league win at Chelsea last November.

    Arsène Wenger said: “It’s fantastic news that Robin van Persie has committed his long term future to Arsenal Football Club, we’re all delighted. Robin is a hugely gifted player and has the talent and goalscoring ability to win matches at the very top level. We have already seen many times what Robin is capable of on a football pitch, but at only 25, there is still much more to come from him. Robin has the potential to become a true Arsenal great.”

    Robin van Persie added: “I’m so happy to have signed a new long term contract. I’ve been at the Club for five years now and there really is a great feeling here at Arsenal. We have a top class manager, a squad full of superb young players, a world class stadium and brilliant supporters. Arsenal Football Club has a very bright future and I want to be part of it.

    “My heart is with Arsenal and I just can’t picture myself in a different shirt. I just can’t see it now because I love this Club so much. If you look at the last five years, look at the steps I have made every season, if you look at the support the Boss and the whole Club gave me, the fans gave me, my team mates gave me – this is the right decision.”

    Everyone at Arsenal Football Club is looking forward to Robin’s continued contribution in the forthcoming years.

  • els

    Yes yes yes! RVP!

  • Yemi

    mid-week great news, we just secured a great player in RVP! also saw the guys in their training under the rain while le boss was fully involved.
    Hope there is more good news to come in form of a DM and one other player

  • Berth

    Its great news that one of our best players of last season signed. Am sure the Gazadi’s appointment so far has been good.

    Back to the real worry; a DMF position; it seems like we have gone back to Matuidi – I ve really tried to check the guy out, but have not really seen a real video like the Cana one (If anyone knows a link please help me out). So far his about 5f8 (a bit taller than Flamini) and has a good passing ability (not sure, just what I read), but then again nothing has been said or seen about his abilities to intercept passes and tackles. Its very crucial to know these features – Dev, Zohaib,WOA is there any good Link?

  • els

    Do we really need another striker even if Adebayor leaves? What about a bit more time for Vela, and has everyone forgotten about Jay Simpson, I was loving him last season looked hungry, and with a good squad around him who knows.

    So no Melo. Who does that leave that’s been linked? Cana, Alonso, Inler, Yaya, speaking of Toure’s and I’ve said this before if we had more time I would love to see Kolo alongside Fab in midfield. It would deplete the abundance of DC’s. I know as fans we want a few new signings and more experience, but couldn’t a move like this maybe retain our practically last ‘invincible’ regular? It would give song / diaby another season to mold themselves into a midfield rock. Remember how many seasons it took Flamini and he was arguably Viera quality (in another form). The thing here is impatience and possibly rightly so, we want results this season after our trophy drought. I think Wenger could possibly give the lads another season to develop, but would fear the backlash from us gooners.

    With prices hiked right up from the kaka / ronaldo fallout. Prudency has never had a better place, but not at Arsenal, not with the last 4 years. We will HAVE to spend, but with slim pickings i.e. players the mega clubs don’t want and high prices. Would we not be better having a reshuffle and then crossing our fingers. Because how much better are Hangeland, Chamakhattak, Inler. Than a year more mature existing Arsenal prodigy.

  • JDD

    i knew Van Persie would sign Van Perise=Mr Arsenal

    as for defensive mids we have been linked with Melo,Inler,Cana and Matuidi.Melo looks like hes heading to Juventus im glad because even though he is a great player the asking price was too much i wouldnt have mind seeing Senderos used as part exchange but not Eboue or Gallas.I think Cana and Inler could be easily aquired because they are valued at a good price and i think they would both jump at a move to Arsenal.However i think Matuidi is the most likely because there hasnt been much talk about him this summer thats the way Wenger likes his transfer targets also he was spotted in London last weekend.

  • NRS

    The club needs personals who are tested under severe pressure such as international finals or CL finals. We need to win something to keep the likes of Fabregas, Arshavin etc. in the club. Otherwise Barca’s sweep for Fab is only a matter of time. Melo would have been a great addition whatever the worth is. If the current attitude does not deliver within time Arsenal might loose its best talents.

  • zohaib

    Here’s a link to an Arsenal fan-site I visit regularly. There’s a very interesting article on it from Goal.com and some reaction.

    arsenal-mania.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=39638

    It touches on who we’re looking to sign and if it is to be believed then we’re either going to sign Mahmadou Diarra from Real Madrid who apparently costs somewhere around 15 million Euros, or Blaise Matuidi who’d cost 7-10 million Euros. Diarra’s 28, Matuidi’s 22.

  • AJ

    I regulary read that website too, I find them quite anti arsenal, but I had to agree with some of the things they said in one of their articles today. Also I’m so happy RVP has signed his new contract and the way he talked about the club, his future, the team, the manager and fans. Now all we need is one or two signings and it will be a great summer. I hope we don’t sign Matuidi personalyl JDD, I would just prefer Cana or Inler out of the those three.

  • zohaib

    Here’s another article which talks about the proposal from Alisher Usmanov to inject money into the club so that we could buy the players we need, which was rejected by the Arsenal board.

    I’m expecting Dev to blog about it sometime soon.

    arsenal-mania.com/articles/3106975/Arsenal-reject-cash-injection-from-Usmanov.html

  • kk

    enough for wenger, it’s high time he start playing planks on us, he should offload the likes of sendrous ebue and silvester and get good quality players to fill in the vacuum

  • dauz

    arsenal can and will win this year, in wenger we trust =D