First of all, apologies for the mini absence from the World of Arsenal for the last couple of days. After Huddlestone was called up into the England Squad, I was lost for words for a few days. In usual fashion, if I haven’t blogged for day or two, you get a double, triple mega blog from me to make up for lost time… so no messing around, it’s time to get straight into it… Before I look at the wonderful world of all things Arsenal, I’ll touch briefly on the world cup…
My Thoughts On The World Cup
So, pretty much all the 30 man squads were announced earlier this week, with the exception of some teams, who decided to name smaller squads, Brazil the cheekiest, by only naming 23… so, what did I think about all the squads. Well, let me start off with the English squad first…
Capello named his squad of 30 and in the thirty, we didn’t see Sol Campbell. And in all honesty, Arsenal bias apart, I can’t see why Capello didn’t call him up. If I asked you who the best four English central defenders in the country are, surely you’d say Ferdinand, King, Terry and Campbell. And after those you’d throw Gary Cahill in there, and at a stretch, you’d look at players like Dawson, Upson, Shawcross and Woodgate. You wouldn’t even consider Carragher after the season he’s had… but then, we’re not Capello and he makes the decisions not us. Why Upson made it into the squad ahead of Cahill, I’ll never know. And the Carragher call up isn’t centre back cover, it’s right back cover – instead of Micah Richards, probably due to the inexperience of the latter.
Over to midfield and I was glad to see Scotty Parker in there – he has had an amazing season and becoming the £10m player than Chelsea once bought. He is the only naturally defensive minded midfielder in the absence of Hargreaves, but the question I wonder is whether Capello will choose Carrick instead purely based on reputation rather than form. Big decisions to come from the big man. The choice of Adam Johnson, I do applaud, but if he goes, it would be as a left sided option, as the right side has a plethora of options in Walcott, Lennon and Shaun Wright-Philips. My gut feeling is that Capello will take Cole, Milner, Lennon and Walcott as his 4 wingers and omit Johnson and SWP.
Up front, how on earth did Gabriel Agbonlahor not make the final 30? What does he have to do in order to get into a squad of 30 considering his goals, hold up play and pace over the top. Big mistake in my book. Heskey’s inclusion is always debatable, but he seems like Capello’s favourite despite the rest of the nation not really fancying the big man.
Which bring me to the surprise non-inclusion of Samir Nasri from the France squad, and the surprise inclusion of Abou Diaby… very strange behaviour. As I’ve said on twitter and facebook consistently this week is that Samir Nasri’s goal against Porto should have guaranteed him his place – on top of an excellent season down at the Emirates!
My Thoughts On Our Squad
Well, Arsene has all but confirmed the signing of Chamakh and it’s a welcome addition, with Van Persie and Sagna speaking out in a good way more than the others. One player that does seem to off this summer is William Gallas. There have been so many contrary reports. Some say he’s currently on £60k and some say he’s on £80k. He demands, though, seem to be for a 50% increase, meaning he is potentially demanding £120k for 2 years – which works out at £13m excluding a contract sign on fee. Now, if you look at Terry and Ferdinand, then these players are on or above that amount, but their respective clubs are over £1.5 billion in debt, so you can see why Arsene and PHW are happy to let the player go for nothing this summer.
Sp*rs are the latest team to be linked with Gallas, but at 33 next year, in need of a 2 year contract and a sign on fee and demanding wages of anywhere between £10m – £15m for it, they can have him… don’t get me wrong, he has proved to us that he is a good defender this season but as he gets older and has less to prove, it may be time to let the former captain go. Djourou is a player whom was earmarked for replacing Toure in the squad and there are high hopes for the Swiss International next season. Stick in Nordtveit but minus Silvestre and Gallas, and keep Campbell, we’re in need of a big name or half big name centre back this summer.
Another position that I am under the impression that we’re going to strengthen, is of course, the goalkeeping department. The news on the grape vine is that Arsene is keen on bringing in an experienced stopper to take over as number one, and letting either Almunia or Fabianski go… There has been a little rumour that we tried and failed to sign Igor Akinfeev in January, but we’ll have to wait and hear about that from Arsene when he gets a chance to tell us all about it. We’ve been linked with Buffon, but in reality, he didn’t leave Juventus when they were relegated, so why would he leave now? Bob Wilson has apparently been talking about the need for a new number one, and he’s an insider, so more than likely to happen.
And the whole Yaya Toure thing has got new momentum now, all sparked by his agent, that he is going to leave Barcelona. It strikes me as strange that we keep hearing stories. He’s on big wages for a top team and plays regularly – why would he want to swap that for anything else? But if he wants to leave, he’ll be an interesting addition to our squad. Would he get ahead of a midfield containg Cesc, Nasri and Song? We’ll see in the next couple of weeks.
Finally, anyone who believes that Cesc will leave this year, don’t worry, it’s really not going to happen. Just ignore the story. Cesc is our man for next season for definite.
Okay, that’s a wrap for today. No quotes, just opinion today!