Emirates Cup Preview (As Arsene gets closer to bringing in Chamakh, Matuidi & Vieira)

I write this at about 2.30pm, and yes, I am very late to leave to get down to the Emirates in time for the Emirates Cup game against Athletico Madrid, but as I don’t intend being back to anywhere with a computer in the next 12 hours, I thought it important to take some time out quickly to write an article! I’m sure they’ll be a few comments on how we did post game too :-)

Arsenal v Atletico Madrid
Emirates Cup, Emirates Stadium
Saturday, August 01, 2009, 16:15

The annual Emirates Cup kicks off today and Rangers take on PSG in the first game, before our beloved Arsenal take on an Athletico Madrid side boasting the likes of Sergio or “Kun” Aguero, Diego Forlan and many other big names – an ex gooner too in Jose Antonio Reyes. If you watched any of the pre-match stuff, you may have heard the interview with Makelele, where he talks about Arsenal and the potential signing of Biase Matuidi as well as bringing back Patrick Vieira in some capacity – both positive indications that these two moves may be possible.

Arsene himself, in a pre-match conference said he hadn’t ruled out the possibility of bringing Vieira back or ruled it in – which in my book is very positive – as normally Arsene rules out everything! Here is what the gaffer had to say:

“There is a football decision and there is a psychological impact of a player of that stature that could come in. But at the moment we need to look at the level of experience in your squad to make this kind of decision. We are nowhere near to making a decision like that, but it is a possibility. We do not rule it out and we do not say we will do it – that is my decision at the moment.

“I speak to Patrick, I speak to many players who have been here because I keep good connections with them. He has gone through a difficult period as well in the last season. I am aware that he wants to come here. I think Patrick is a legend here and he would always like to come back to this club. That would be his first choice.With emotion you always like the club you spent time. But as a professional as well, you always give 100 per cent for whichever club you sign for.”

And from a footballing point of view, you have to consider whether it would be a good move – whether a 33 year old Patrick Vieira could or would bring anything to the side – as Arsene said, it coul dbe more psychological than on the pitch – don’t get me wrong – I have a lot of time for Paddy, and if he came back I’d be over the moon. However, the deliberation from Arsene is that if we had a central midfield pool of Matuidi, Vieira, Cesc, Song, Denilson, Ramsey – and only two could play, then someone wouldn’t be happy. Oh, yeah and Diaby.

In other news, despite Arsene saying we’re not close to a signing, the president of Bordeaux has admitted that Arsene has spoken to him and made an offer for Chamakh – an offer too low for them to accept. You’d expect more in this department in the next fews days – I believe everyone believes if Arsenal do meet the £7.5m asking price, then the player will move in the next week or so.

Back to the cup and it looks like Clichy will be out for a while, he’ll miss this tournament and potentially miss the start of the season, but with Traore, Gibbs and Silvestre around, it may be a position that can be covered – based on the pre season friendlies, you’d probably expect to see Traore at left back and Silvestre as back up.

My line up today would be:


Sagna – Djourou – Vermaelen – Traore

Wilshere – Denilson – Cesc – Rosicky

Arshavin – Van Persie

We’ll see what happens later today…

Now I am even later, so adios for now, I’ll be back on the comments post match!

  • TheSKAGooner

    Arsene said Clichy would feature today. He’ll be ready to go for the start of the season barring any setbacks.

  • Leeroy.N

    I agree with letting Bendtner start today. He has been more productive coming off the bench, but this could be a landmark season for him, with the amount of minues being available and the amount of starts he will get. It could be a great year for him. Watching PSG earlier, I personally would snap up that young Centre Half Mamadou Sakho, he was seriously commanding today, I was really impressed.

    Going back to Chamakh, I would bring him in. He does seem like a good player, hungry for goals and not shy of shooting outside as well as in the area. He seems to have a good sense of the area he is in, and pretty much knows where the goal is all the time. He’s got my vote!!

    Vieira.. I will always stand by bringing him back to the club in anyway shape or form, we seem to be flirting with the idea, almost as if testing the water and seeing what reaction it makes with other teams rather than just dancing around it. Get him in Wenger!!

    Matuidi. I am still pretty unsure about him and what he has to offer. I have been looking around at stats and vids and he seems pretty average, or decent in what I have seen. Nothing really jumps out at me with him, but then it could be a time of change and for a gamble for us.. and why not, a new year and a new season.. out with the old and in with the new.

    All in all I’m still pretty excited about what’s going on and who we are being linked with. Things are looking good, despite injuries and departues on paper we still look goo, just a little young still. Haha!

    The future’s bright, the future IS Arsenal!

    Gooner Til I Die!

  • Pete

    Arshavin scores 1-0

  • Pete

    Athletico score 1-1

  • Leeroy.N

    Arshavin is ……just AMAZING!!

  • Pete

    Arshavin again from the tightest angle. 2-1

  • Pete

    Full time. 2-1 to Arsenal 😀 Lovely!

  • Pete

    That second goal was brilliant. goal of the month contender on Match of the Day if it was in the Premier League season lol.

    Wilshere rocked hard in the second half!

  • Berth

    Basic defending keeps letting Arsenal down. Arshavin; well he keeps being our saviour; he is just unstoppable.

  • Leeroy.N

    That’s it, they just seem to shut off for a second, letting the concentration drop that one time. Don’t stop til the whistle goes!

    But Wilshere.. so glad he is ours. What a player is now and he will be devistating in a few years too!

    Good win. Come on Gunners!!!

    Gooner Til I Die!

  • ny

    our defence in last moments was pity.Atletico should have scored 3 more goals.

  • Berth

    Djourou and Denilson where just too relaxed to get decisive tackles, that led to the goal we conceded; Wenger should go back to learn basic defending.

  • Fabrez

    Djourou was poor and Denilson wasn’t at his best. Denilson is NOT a defensive player. That’s the problem. He aint a DM. Arshavin’s 2nd goal was TOP TOP CLASS!! What a goal and what a buy from Arsene. That game was lush. Wilshere was good and Rosicky seems to be in pretty good shape. Eboue impressed at times and i’m a Gooner till i die! Arsenal 2-1 A. Mardid 😀 😀 Well exited about 2morro already!

  • Fabrez


  • Berth

    Am really ashamed that our team can’t defend a goal lead; tell me how the team will win the league with that attitude; well I guess that,s the price for too many babies; I guess they don’t know what is at stake or have the mental strength to win trophies.Experienced is really needed in the team may be a Viera could do the magic.It might seem a minor problem; but it still remains the barrier between our not being successful and being successful.

  • Fabrez

    Ok…after the euphoric feeling from the win, I thought about the goal we conceeded. Not at all a minor problem Berth…bcuz it can cost us several points a season. Imagine if that were to happen without getting the winning 5 times in 38 games in the league…that 10 points dropped…that is poor. Why were we caught so square with a goal advantage. It looked as if we were the team trying to score the equalizer. Defensively, we need to deal with those frailties.

  • Fabrez

    *without getting thew winning goal…

  • Fabrez

    If we continue to give away last minute goals i think i’ll pull my hair out this season… Going fwd we have it all but we need to defend…as a TEAM! Denilson either needs to do major hard work on being a DM or be on the bench behind Cesc and Ramsey as a creative CM. After that performance i’d think that Vermaelen and Gallas are goin to be our CB pairing. C’mon Arsenal…get it sorted!

  • Berth

    * were and experience

  • Berth

    Fab you are absolutely right; it upsets me so much because it’s still the same area we all complain about. CD and DMF position; I wonder what Wenger was ranting about, you sell Kolo and you expect a sudden and massive improvement from a good but casual Djourou or the miscommunication between the DMF position and defence or the lack of concentartion in the entire team ( today it was Djourou, Gallas and Denilson; tommorrow it could be Clichy or Gibbs). AM really, really worried about this, because its going to take more than buying a CD and DMF to solve, it has more to do with lack of discipline which I must admit Wenger is really struggling to pass on to the players; there is a problem, a big one!!

  • kodjo

    Yes basic defending lets arsenal down for the umpteenth time. Pathetic to say the least!!!!!

    denilson could have either covered the opposing player by making the pass difficult or just going for the tackle. same with djourou, man should have just gone in for the tackle. his hesitancy allowed the a.m. player to thread the ball through. and for gallas just before you try playing offside make sure your fullbacks (sagna) have tucked in so that when it goes wrong they can cover.

  • kodjo

    No wonder wenger was so vexed!!!! with scholl boy errors at the back. wenger this nonsense out or forget winning any titles. no doubt senderos will be looking at this kamikazi defending and be thinking… look if i hang around i’ve probably got a chance to play

  • bayo

    philipe senderous joins everton

  • Demzz

    Woow some serious comments about our defense! to b honest our defending aint really th best.. but ray poulor stuck the nail in the head.. we to bothered about playing football we dont think about the over sides to the game, like defensive duties, set plays.. when geroge graham was dere we was boring arsenal for a reason. because we broke down there over options so they have 2 play good football to best us!

    nw arsenal are allowing cheap goals! im not a fan of gallas.. sorry to the gallas fans.. he aint what no tony or no bould or keown or even a sol! he might have some kinda speed! but he to easy to get by.. im a fan of young johan.. he actually plays the same everygame.. i cant fault him and he is young dts the new sol campbel only thing he needs more strength and he b the complete package!

    nw.. this game had alot of reviewable moment.. one.. eboue when he goes forward gets to excited and becomes a laughing stuck in an arsenal shirt! my cuz said he does go good things.. but when he aint doing that he aint doing nothing… i cant wait to see whilsere.. thats one to watch.. ramsey needs more time.. he aint learning as quick as whilsere.. and the only resoon theo went straight to the top is because he has an asset.. lighting quick!! ramsey aint dt quick and he makes the wrong desicson..

    we do need a striker i cant see van persie being a lead role and eduardo needs a half a season to get back to his scoring ways!! ashavin is the man.. full stop.. troare actually done very well.. dt left side is gonna b a nice battle and even the the midfield if we do bring in mutilda and viera..

    my views on viera.. maybe he might bring somethign like a proper holding someone u no dts gonna b dere! all the time.. but is he gonna bring anything more then dt..

    was a lovely game.. worth the watch..

    in arsene we trust!!

    without arsen in the name arsenal were just fucknal! lol

  • Steve

    Yea, I heard that too Bayo. Probably not too bad as long as it gives us enough funds for Wenger to get in a replacement. Wasn’t atticipating Senderos playing much, what was he? 4th choice CB?

    Good to see Rosicky play, Wilshere continuing to improve and Arshavin showing us that he really is top class.

  • bayo

    steve wenger says that he would get one or two in at todays press conference and not more than that he also says he has plenty of attacking options thats why they could afford to let a striker go.I think we would get a defensive midfielderVIERA/MATUIDI.I prefer matuidi than viera people may think viera is cheap but he would definately get higher wages i dont want viera,lets get matuidi cus the problem is not really the defence but the defensive midfield position cus the defense does not have a shield.if he would buy its going to be either a striker or a defender.

  • Jimmy

    I think if Senderos does go to Everton than Wenger will be in for another CB, unless Song becomes a full time defender. I think that Gallas and Silvestre only have 1 year left on their contarcts anyway, so it would be smart to buy now.

  • Debs

    Guys, take it easy with the defence. It’s called pre-season for a reason. I don’t mind them making all the mistakes they want to make now, instead of when the season starts, so they can be addressed now. And from the reaction of the boss, he’s definitely aware it was a lapse in concentration, and I’m sure he’d have been tearing into them at the end of the match. I’d be more worried if it was the 15th of August and such an error was made.

    As for the Arshavin goal, I’ve seen it quite a few times now, and I still can’t believe how he did it! I actually thought Eduardo had tapped it in in realtime! But wow, THAT was an amazing goal! Like I said to someone, if Arshavin’s fit for the whole of the season, we’ll win the league! lol. As long as we sort out our defensive frailties! I hope we win the trophy tomorrow, and I hope it’ll be a signal for the future!

  • Fabrez

    Yeah debs i hear u but it is frustrating when u have seen such errors made for lots of last season then a new season comes and it’s deja vu…pre-season or not u feel as if that should be behind us by now and that’s what is so hard to take. But hey…as u said…we still have time to fix it…that’s the optimistic view to take!

    And i’m still at a loss when i see Arsh’s goal! If that ball had rolled half a centimetre more b4 he hit it i’m sure it would have come off the post…that was surely the last moment that ball could have been shot! Wud love to see us lift that trophy 2morro!

  • Debs

    Yeah, I know what you mean, Fabrez. The reaction of everyone around me was exactly like yours, and it’s perfectly understandable. It’s an old problem, but I’m hoping the addition of Vermaelen to the defence will refresh it, and we can lose all our defensive bad habits! The old guys probably have heard it all from Wenger, and sometimes, it doesn’t sink in anymore, and you make the same mistakes every now and again, but hopefully the new defender, especially one who’ll be fighting for a place in the starting XI as well will bring a change of attitude.

  • syah

    i hope wilshere gets featured more this coming season. really love the way he makes defenders look like training cones. anyways during the game i was thinking. this is arshavin’s first full season with arsenal. this might be abit random but ARSenal, ARSene and ARShavin. its as if fate has brought these 3 together for a glorious 09/10 season. haha.

    cant wait for the game later!

  • AJ

    I reckon we´re going to see alot more of Wilshere this season and that for as would be great, I think in the carling cup games him and Ramsey will form our midfield duo, which can only be good for the pair of them. Arshavin is going to be our leading light this season and for some reason I feel like he could bang in 20 odd goals this season, it wouldn´t suprise me if he did. As for all the transfer news, I´m just hoping we bring someone in, and the latest rumour I heard (I don´t necessarily believe it before you all assume I do) is that if we want Hangeland then Fulham want Vela going in the opposite direction on a season long loan.

  • Debs

    I see Toure going about leaving Arsenal because we didn’t have any leaders, but I don’t see too many leaders at Eastlands either!

    Wilshere and Ramsey will definitely play more games witit’s definitely an exciting prospect.

    I don’t see us giving Vela to Fulham in order to get Brede. We don’t need a defender that badly to lose a striker like Vela, especially given his enormous potential.

  • Yemi

    buy! buy!! buy!!!

  • Berth

    I just forgot we defended so well when flamini played for us two seasons ago; maybe just maybe a DMF is what we need to solve this seemingly defensive problem. I wish the team a good game against Rangers, and please Rosicky, Eduardo and co try to be injury free ok; God bless Arsenal, Arsene and all Arsenal fans, especially the WOA members

  • Leeroy.N

    I hate when players take a little parting shot at a tem after it leads. When really they are looking for an easy way out. Toure was an immense player at his time at Arsenal, and he himself has to take some of the blame for things not going our way and for somr of the trophy-less seasons. Players (Adebayor, Toure etc..) can never be man enough to admit that they themselves and as part of a team failed and they just want something new and want more money.. Be a man!!! A team doesn’t need to have too many leaders or too many big names, just the want and desire to win the game. Take our game yesterday, Pre-season friendly cup I know.. but scoring with 5mins to go, then conceding 2mins with barely 2mins to the whislte would USUALLY break a teams heart and spirit. But we had the desire to win the game, at home and in front of the fans, put pressure on the players and the ball, not give up til we got the goal (and what a fantastic goal it was). That attitude alone will help us along next season. Not putting aside that we do need to fill a couple of holes in the side, We all would love to see one player new front, middle and back… but if we don’t get all we need or things dont go the way we planned. We still need to play our hearts out and have the same level of hunger for goals, defending and wins.

    I too am praying for an injury free season. We are STILL capable of big things with the squad we have, STILL capable of challenging for serious honours with young squad we have and with a couple of key signings and some concentration front, middle and back we will pick up some silverware. Maybe it will be just enough to wet the appetite for seasons to come but some none the less.

    Rosicky has such a big role to play, because he’s been absent for so long, I KNOW he is thirsty for goals. Giving Rosicky, Fabregas and Arshavin a free role to roam the pitch and having as much creatice freedom as possible will be crucial for us this season, teams could maybe mark one out of a game.. but not all 3. I expect big from those 3 players this season.

    Gooner Til I Die!

  • Yemi

    @berth: God bless you too !!!!

  • Yemi

    Hey guys, can i get a link for the arsenal match ?

  • Leeroy.N

    YEMI – Try here for Arsenal & Rangers mate. http://iraqgoals.net/ch4.html

    and here for the Atletico and PSG



  • AJ

    Yeah Toure´s parting shots have pissed me off and I agree, it doesn´t take big names to win trophies, the best example is last season in the Bundesliga when Wolfsburg won it with a team of players who just had the heart and desire and don´t forget in that league as well TSG Hoffenhiem where leading til they got badly hit with injuries and their own has stated he models his club on us, not splashing huge amounts of money on big name players, but buying young, promising players who have the desire to win and want to play for the sake of playing and not money.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Viera will return to Arsenal later this week and has been named as a possible long term replacement for Arsene Wenger. We have also been linked with ibrahim afelley 23yo winger

  • Leeroy.N

    Even better, bring Vieira in under Arsene himself.. perfect!!!

  • Yemi

    @leeroy: Thanks Mate!

  • Leeroy.N

    YEMI – No problem.