Round Up: Man City, Transfers, Sol and Van Persie

Afternoon Fellow Gooners… It’s been a weird weekend in the wonderful world of Arsenal, and it certainly was a weird game on Saturday – completely overshadowed by the returns of Adebayor, Patrick Vieira and Kolo Toure to the Emirates. The game itself felt like a typical end of season game where both teams had nothing to play for, and both teams looking for a draw… But in actual fact, the away team did have something to play for – the challenge for the fourth spot… which makes it very strange to me that City went for the 0-0 draw. Their tactic was to pack the midfield and get men behind the ball – they started with Nigel De Jong, Gareth Barry and Patrick Vieira in midfield – that’s 3 defensive midfielders. Bearing in mind the up coming games and bearing in mind that Sp*rs lost earlier in the day, I was shocked that they would come to the Emirates to get a point. Many people including myself thought it was going to be an open game but it was anything but.

To be honest, we didn’t really help the matter either, which our formation, which I believe was pretty negative. The players involved could have easily played a 4-4-2 with Diaby and Song in the middle and Walcott up front. I don’t want to bash our players too much, but I really do feel that Nasri and Rosicky are very similar players in what they contribute to the team and if one plays, the other shouldn’t. Just imagine if we played Bendtner and Van Persie up top (VP slightly behind the big Dane), Walcott on the right and Nasri on the left – kind of what we did later on, we would be much more effective. Simply put – if Cesc is not available, then we can’t play 4-3-3.

Back to Man City, and having beaten us at their ground and knowing that a win against us would have meant they would have gone into fourth, you really do have to question the negativity of the game. Man City have to beat Sp*rs now if they were to come fourth, and although it’s none of my business, I would have been well annoyed as a City fan when I saw my team stack everyone behind the ball. For us though, it was important not to lose and our third place is pretty much assured now, so that’s ultimately good news and a step up from last year.

Transfers

Arsene has mentioned this several times, and this summer could be the summer that we spend a little bit more and don’t sell any players – i.e. finally add to the squad. Arsene has been in the press recently saying how the stadium was the main factor in our transfer policy in the last 5 years, but now we have cash available to spend and he intends to do so in the summer.

Arsene did reveal in his programme notes on Saturday that he has targets that he hopes to acquire very soon.

“With the season drawing to a close, people are inevitably looking to discuss our transfer targets. I do have targets and have been talking to people, but I cannot mention any names at the moment. What I can say is that the World Cup will not affect our recruitment, unless there is an exception that nobody could foretell. In my view it is dangerous to buy on the back of a World Cup – for one thing the prices afterwards are always artificial, and for another you have to bear in mind that anyone can have three weeks of glory on a football field. All told, I believe that the earlier you settle your teams for the next season, the better it is and the less anxiety you have.”

You have to think, bearing in mind that Arsene normally says he doesn’t have anyone on the radar and that no one is available who can increase the quality of his squad – that considering he has come out and said this now, he actually does have people lined up to come in. I think Maroune Chamakh is one of those players (does it spell the end for Eduardo?) and a new goalkeeper and a new centre back would no doubt be on the agenda. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but I genuinely believe we’re going to have a compliment of players join the squad to really push us on a level.

Sol

Would you give the big man another year? I certainly would. Personally, I believe he has come back a better player than when he left – crazy isn’t it?

More importantly, for England right now, would you take him to the World Cup? Arsene certainly thinks so…

“I see that many centre backs are injured so why not?  He’s got the experience and it’s up to Capello to decide. He was at the game today so ask him! Of course [Ferdinand and Terry] have an advantage because they are younger but if they have a problem in numbers he’s always there. I do not select the team and I do not say Capello has to take him, I just say you compare him today in the Premier League with the other centre backs then he doesn’t suffer in the comparison.”

With Ferdinand dogged by injuries and mixed form and with Terry going through the world form of his career, wouldn’t it be wise to have him in the squad in case. Ten minutes to go, Terry or Ferdinand pull up with cramp or something, who would you want to come on, Wes Bown, Matthew Upson or Sol Campbell?

Van Persie

Van Persie is a true Arsenal player. The tackle on Adebayor was retribution for himself and for the fans. We love Robin, don’t we? Arsene recently compared him to Messi and today, the Dutchman mentioned what he thought:

‘I still have to prove it [that Wenger is right]. Those are big words, because players like Messi are unbelievable. It is a bit early to say. It is not really pressure on me, but I hope to be in that place one day. I think I have the qualities to do so, but you need time, you need games and you need to be fit. I hope there is more to come from me. I just want to have a season without injuries and be happy.’

And finally, I’ve just watched the replay of Craig Bellamy’s punch at Alex Song and how that offence went unpunished, I’ll never know. It was a clear breach of conduct, a clear swing by Bellamy and it was astonishing that the referee didn’t do anything about it. I really do hope the FA do something about it as you can’t believe that someone can get away with something like that.

Until later my friends, have fun, keep it Goonerish.

  • http://kierandelaney.net kierandelaney.net

    I’m not sure why their tactics seemed odd – they’ve played 12 matches, nearly a third, this season with 3 DM’s, it’s hardly a surprise. Not losing for them was more critical than winning.

  • http://kierandelaney.net kierandelaney.net

    Simply put – if Cesc is not available, then we can’t play 4-3-3.

    Of course we can – it’s the lack of Arshavin and Ramsey at the same time that make it difficult.

  • goonerman

    @Devday- To hear wenger say in his notes that he actually has targets and that he is allready discussing transfers is very nice to hear becuase like you say we can go weeks and weeks with wenegr saying im interseted but there is nobody out there, and the fact he wants deals done before the world cup is even better because we normally get a signing at the beggining and then if any other buisness is done it is saved for the last day of the season which is not good for team preperation and not good for us with all the specualtion!

    Sol just gives 110% in every game he plays and if he wants another year and he thinks he can be an extra coach for wenegr in the dressing room as well as putting in a performance when needed then im happy with that!

    im hearing that man city are asking the premier league if they can sign a goalkeeper on emergency loan and bbc reckon the premier league may actually accpet it, personally i think that is a joke if it happens becuase the simple fact is that man city have a goal keeper available they are not in a situation were they need put an outfield player in goal so they should have no right! its like wenger asking the premier league for an emergency CB becuase he only has to grandads available to him, man city decided to loan out joe hart so they should play with the team available to them.

  • devday

    @ kierandelaney.net: He’s been playing Adebayor up top with Tevez just behind a lot too. A lot of the time, he’ll start either them two or Ireland ahead of Vieira – indicating at least 2 DM’s and maybe an AM or a FC.

  • devday

    @ kierandelaney.net:
    Re the Cesc comment. Personally, the formation has been suited around him. Without Cesc, none of the other midfielders can score and control the attack from the top of the three position. If Cesc is unavailable, then surely Van Persie and Bendtner in a slightly more 442 is a better option?

  • devday

    @ goonerman:
    Re Transfers – Exactly, I’d like to have it wrapped up before the world cup!
    Re Man City – Surely they have youth keepers capable of sitting on the bench for three games?

  • devday

    *** re comment 5 – of course they can score, but not as effective as Cesc and thus we lack attacking impoteous

  • Nick

    Truth! I feel like if Wenger doesn’t sign people before WC then he won’t sign them (special cases accepted) because of the artificial inflation in player values after a tournament. Prime example, look at Lukas Podolski in WC06 & Euro 08 but look at his domestic form.

    Congrats to Cesc and the Verminator for being named to PFA team of the year. Joe Hart in goal and James Milner @ LM. I’m very confused as to how Milner and Fletcher were named over Lampard and Malouda.

    Maybe Arsenal should’ve petitioned the FA to let us buy another midfielder after Ramsey’s leg break. That occurred with more than 3 games left in the season, lol.

  • Yemi

    @ kierandelaney.net:
    Spot on !!!Agree with you totally about the 4-3-3.

    @ devday:

    I have always advocated one more season for Sol. But that should not be enuff reason for arsene not to buy a CB + DM + CF and one experienced GK. That is what we NEED for now

  • Sampson

    Perfectly understand why Man City had a defensive formation. You don’t want to blow out the GD with Sp*rs and a draw is all you need. MC play Sp*rs so they control their own destiny.

    The injury to Given is unfortunate. Before the injury, I don’t think MC really have a reason to sell Joe Hart. He is a great player, will eventually start and they don’t need the money. With Given injuring his shoulder and the possibility of losing form in the future, MC has another reason told keep Hart. Hart will want to leave, but if you are MC, why would you accept his transfer request?

    Some points for the offseason and next season:
    1. Walcott should be a sub. He seems to have a better effect when coming off the bench with 25-30 minutes left.

    2. As everyone says, we need another striker, hopefully its Chamakh.
    3. I think its worth signing Sol and Gallas to a contract. Dsepite Arsenal’s policy, its worth giving Gallas a 2 year deal. If not, we need to find a replacement.

    4. Clichy and Sagna need to work on their delivery. They have a lot of opportunities to cross the ball and if they can get better (i.e., like Alves), it will help the team a lot. They are good now, but no harm in getting better. Like Rooney worked on his heading this past offseason, it would be nice to see both of them workong on their delivery. Same goes for Walcott.

    5. We need another Winger. I imagine the 10 field players as follows: Clichy, TV, Gallas (or someone else), Sagna, Song, Fabregas, Arshavin, Nasri, RVP and Chamakh. We need someone in addition to Walcott. Maybe Eboue is the answer, but I think another player can’t hurt in the event Walcott gets injured.

    6. Agree with giving Sol a 1 year deal. He is a good deputy and let him play in the Carling Cup as captain to bring some experience and leadership to the young team.

  • goonerman

    so arshavin comes out and says that he would loev the chance to play for barca even if it was just for one season! that the one thing about that man i dont like and it is that he likes to talk about stuff he shouldnt and that it seems hes not 100% commited to arsenal and he could easily have his head turned! But to be honest he just is not good enough for barca which to be fair alot of players aint he would not play on the wing ahead of gthe likes of iniesta and pedro so hopefully he will safely stay

  • Nick

    I’m sorry, but if Barca are as good as he described in his little love letter to Barcelona begging for an offer (which IMO is the same thing Adebayor did in his longings to leave talking about AC Milan and others wanting him) then how did Inter beat them? How have they been held in La Liga a couple times this season? They are a great team but not invincible! Arshavin really needs to learn to shut up sometimes. Maybe if he played 100% for an entire match instead of disappearing he’d have an offer from them.

  • Yemi

    Arshavins comments should no longer surprise anyone. Its either they are twisted out of proportion for the lad or they come up with archeological interviews he granted in the past.

    They only part i don’t like is if he grants these interviews, he should put in 100% or more on the field of play. That way the fans will know that he is commited. But if he grants these interviews and he gives less than 100% on the pitch Fans will start looking at him like another adebayo, courting other clubs, playing without interest.

  • Kuka

    …..Arshavin has no idea what the media is made off. He is either too naive or just naive….Great players shy away from the media. He should follow the example of top class players. They never give interviews to the media unless its the club’s press…..

    …….The media will chew him into small pieces. They have already began doing that

  • zohaib

    hold your horses folks, lets first try to figure out whether he has actually made those comments before we start putting him in the same bracket as adebayor !

    it could be that some newspaper has tried to put words in arshavin’s mouth or just blatantly lied. let’s see how the club reacts to this over the next few days and then reach a conclusion. but lets not have a go at one of our players before we have any evidence !