When I travel, we always sign someone!

Every time I travel during a transfer window, we always sign someone. Maybe we should set up a fund right there for the “Send Dev away so Arsenal sign someone” charity… it happened for the Arshavin transfer and the Nasri transfer and the Sol Campbell transfer too!

And who you may ask (where have you been this weekend)… and of course, we have now completed the signing of Maroune Chamakh, aka Chamakh Attack. He has now got the 29 shirt number, which is interesting – as I thought he’d have the number 10 – maybe that means that Gallas will be staying or maybe that means we have a new number 10 coming in… or maybe it just means that the number that we give a player is relatively arbitrary! (more likely!)

So, we’ve signed a new striker, a striker who has Champions League experience and a huge desire. And he is an Arsenal fan! He has been talking about always wanting to have played for Arsenal – how we are his childhood team and how this is a dream come true and of course, he has already talked about “us” and “we” and he’s only been here a day or two.

“They are the team of my youth. It was a choice of the heart. I like the Premier League and Arsenal, without any hesitation, is my preferred club. Anything that goes with Arsenal is a dream come true. My goal was to join Arsenal out of all the English clubs because it is a club that makes dreams. I have been a fan since I was a child. The fact that he [Arsene Wenger] is interested in me is a great satisfaction. When a club like Arsenal and Arsene Wenger is interested it makes me very happy and gives me motivation to improve. I can’t wait to get advice from the likes of Samir Nasri, Diaby, Sagna, Song. If my English was better then I would probably ask English players as well. I can’t wait to see the stadium. In France people take a trip to London just to see it.”

Yes, he sounds like an overexcited puppy, but I do love the passion he is showing at the moment. It’s great to hear stuff from players like that. In Chamakh, we have a player who is hungry and blessed with skill, pace and the desire to win. He’s had an impressive season in a Bordeaux side which isn’t the best in the world, although Gourcuff (future Arsenal signing?) has also been impressive. He looks like the kind of player that could be a real fox in the box, someone who will latch onto the loose balls, and someone who we get a bucket loads of goals, baring in mind the chances he’ll get. We’ve now got five strikers International strikers at the club in Robin Van Persie, Maroune Chamakh, Niklas Bendter, Eduardo and Carlos Vela and finally we’re becoming heavier in a department that we were robbed of through injury last season.

In previous seasons, Arsene hasn’t bought because we have the players in the squad who can do a job and we have the numbers – normally four strikers is enough – but with Arsenal, we are an injury prone club and I think Arsene has realised this and that’s the reason he has five strikers going into next season. I’m actually very glad it’s a world cup year, because we will be able to see the best of Carlos Vela, who despite his lack of game time at Arsenal this season is a very exciting young player. If he can show the dynamism that he’s shown in the Carling Cup and for Mexico in the past throughout the World Cup, he will be knocking at the door big time at the start of the season. It’s an exciting time for some of our younger players, gaining more experience and shaping up nicely for a title push.

I’ll deviate from the Chamakh signing and post a little quote from Carlos Vela, ahead of tomorrow’s game:

“We’re on the same level as many of the best national teams. Obviously Italy, Brazil, Argentina their results have shown the quality of their players and Mexico has unfortunately not been able to take that step we all want. We have seen in World Cups that we have battled Italy and other big-national teams of great level without any problem, I think you just have to take that small step to show that we can win, we can succeed and I do not see a big difference.”

Fighting talk from the Mexican and with South Africa and France in the group stages, he’ll have to get into the groove very soon, starting with the friendly tomorrow against England at Wembley. I think he’ll do well tomorrow and do even better throughout the tournament, keep your eyes peeled for the Mexico games!

In other news, Newcastle are preparing a bid to loan Jack Wilshere for the season next season and I’ll be happy with that – I think Newcastle are a team that do like to get the ball down and do try and the 50,000 supporters at St. James Park will get him a big match mentality. Ex Sp*rs coach, Houghton, is currently manager up there, so we have to be careful that he doesn’t drum the skill out of Wilshere, and Owen Coyle down at Bolton does have a track record of playing the beautiful game.

Of course, there is another question – will he go out on loan anywhere next season? Do we need him to return to the squad – well, we do have a plethora of midfielders, with Ramsey to return, but with Ramsey out for a while still, I can see him having some game time next season. I’d be all for him signing up on loan until Christmas, and re-joining us in January – which gives him more experience in the Premiership and also gives us a new signing in January (normally when we need them!), but I’d like him to come back to Arsenal first and get some good old fashioned Arsene Wenger / Emirates Cup pre-season in first!

In World Cup related news, former Arsenal player, Lassana Diarra is out of the world cup with a mystery stomach injury. Whilst his exits and comments about Arsenal have been somewhat insulting against the club, I would have wanted him to play in the World Cup – at the end of the day, you want the best players at the World Cup, but it’s not meant to be, and I hope it’s nothing too serious. In other news, injured William Gallas was out an about on a buggy race and had a little crash but he escaped with nothing but scratches, so is still on course for the World Cup.

Finally, if you’ve seen the video of Arsene Wenger unveiling Maroune Chamakh, then there is a little worry in my mind that Arsene may be a little bit ill. He didn’t look that healthy in the video, what do you think? Take a look for yourself, the video is an Arsenal.com freebie: http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/free-video-chamakh-signs-for-arsenal and tell me what you think? Do you think that Arsene is just busy signing players that he forgot to eat and didn’t brush his hair?

And ultra-finally, apologies for the lack of a blog post yesterday – totally due to the lack of Internet access in my Berlin apartment and no wifi in a close proximity, but I’m not away until the 3rd of June, when my Vegas trip means we’ll probably sign someone that week! And if my previous experience in Vegas alongside Matthieu Flamini and Wayne Rooney shows, there may be a few superstars around, although probably not as it’s a world cup year!

And ultra-ultra-finally, two crazy fun loving football fanatics (just like me), Tottz and B have finally launched their own blog (I’ll be Vegasing it up with both early June). Tottz is a hard core Gooner and B is unfortunately a Liverpool supporter, but their views are very interesting and I’ve always enjoyed the banter – the site is called our2Penneth, obviously aimed at giving you their 2 pennies worth…! The site an be located at http://our2penneth.wordpress.com/ and the first blog is all about Cappello’s squad for the World Cup, so if you have some time and want in on the debate, check it out now…!

And ultra-ultra-final point to make is that Merida’s departure to Athletico Madrid is a very good thing in one player – well, yes we are losing a decent player, but at the same time, if there was any truth in the Cesc rumours, we would see Merida also leave, so the fact he’s off, means Cesc is staying! Wohoo!

And that’s a wrap for today, time to get home and get some rest in time for the England vs Mexico game tomorrow – til then, Guten Nacht!

  • Demzzz

    I saw the video and wow he does look skinny looked like he hasent slept he just jumped out of bed. if u see how chamkah looks so goldern brown but wenger looks like sh1t! i dont want to be worried but who else can take over from arsene. he brought in a brilliant youth system he makes moneys aswell plays the good game which turned us into one of the most watched teams in the world.. if we lose that hey! faith has to help us on our way!

    But out to chamakah i aint heard a player say that. he is only on 50 000 a week which shows me he aims to be more of a footballer then a money graber. i was loseing faith in arsenal footballers when the likes of money come rushing to there head! i wont even be mad if fabergas goes, because he made it clear barcelona is his child hood team but i hope we get no less then 40 mill for him.

    and on transfers i aint really feeling sending whilsere on loan i feel he is ready to shine at arsenal now. i believe aswel in january we will have a youngster by the name of wellington silva who would be blessing us with some samba magic in which we are missing. apart from nasris silky touch and van persies eye for finding space. not like walcott who runs and forgets he running with the ball or eboue who just looks like a lose puppy!

    anyways it looks like next time you go on holiday we might have lost fabergas and gained chamakah BFF! which i cant wait he has more then fabergas, he can shot, he can pass, he can cross, he can link up, he is a wonder kid and he is only 23, the same age ill play 20 mill for him any day!

    anyways great blog and until next time. in arsene we trust!

  • dampatti

    Dev – I totally agree, maybe AW is fed up of telling barca to F off regarding cesc situation. I think he should get out before he makes himself really ill.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    I don’t think Merida would have stayed even if Cesc goes. He like Cesc wants to play for his boyhood team. I would not mind Cesc going if we land Yoann Gourcuff, but would Bordeaux sell us two of their best players?

  • devday

    @ Demzzz:
    Quite a lot of non Arsenal fans have been commenting to me about how much they rate Wilshere – having showcased his talents at Bolton, I don’t think he is ready yet, but then again, I haven’t watched a lot of Bolton!

  • devday

    @ dampatti:
    Maybe he’s been so busy lining up new transfers that he hasn’t slept!?

  • Yemi

    @ dev: I think you need to take 2 or 3 more trips for us to sign a goal keeper, a CB and a DM

  • devday

    @ Gooner Get Ya:
    Bordeaux may sell to raise money – remember they didn’t get anything for Chamakh.

    In regards to Merida – I think the reason he waited so long before move to Athletico was to see how he would fair in the team next season and I don’t think he was rated that highly – when Cesc was injured at the end of the season, Arsene didn’t start him and that probably made his mind up!

  • devday

    @ Yemi:
    Did you hear Frey’s comments earlier this morning?

  • CON-MAN

    I noticed AW looked fairly ill, quite gaunt, hope hes ok

    has fran merida left?

  • devday

    @ CON-MAN:
    In the Sun on Saturday and the NoTW yesterday – he’s apparently penned a 5 year contract.

    Diaz told The Sun: “Fran’s decision is based purely on sporting questions and not money.”

  • devday

    @ Jermias :
    I couldn’t approve your comments because they made no grammatical sense and were a copy and paste of a different comment. Anyway, if you have a comment of your own, please feel free to make it!

  • Nick

    I really hope we are in negotiations with some defenders right now. Like I said a couple weeks ago, if Wenger doesn’t buy before the WC I fear he won’t. Gut feeling.

    Good luck to Fran, I know he’ll do very well at Madrid and we’ll be hearing about him.

    So Newcastle want to take Jack Wilshire on loan next season. Bad idea me thinks. He needs to be at Arsenal and get a lot of minutes.

    Anyone hear the West Ham/Henry rumors? They are supposedly gonna offer him 2years with a lot of money. I don’t think he would come back to the EPL and play for anyone other than Arsenal.

    I think Wenger is waiting to see what happens with Fabregas before making any more signings. If we lose Cesc I think he goes directly for a replacement. David Silva has been talked about a lot. Gourcuff from Bordeaux as well. I think it would be a wise move to bring Gourcuff in as he’s already very familiar with Chamakh, he’s young and has a very bright future.

  • devday

    @ Nick:
    I think you’re right – Arsene doesn’t normally buy after the World Cup so, it’s down to the next 3 weeks that we’ll see a few players come in.

    The positions everyone knows are CD, GK and CM(DM) in that order. With Gallas and Silvestre both on their way, a centre back is needed. I’ve been trying to figure out who, but there are so many names, it’s hard to find someone who I think Arsene will be pursuing. There are the usual suspects, like Cahill, Chiellini etc, but if will probably be an unknown.

  • devday

    @ Nick:
    On the Cesc thing – I don’t think he will go, I think it’s a pure fabricated story, but we’ll see what unfolds in the next few weeks.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    @ devday:
    Barca have won an appeal to Spanish FA to continue with the negotiations as it may run in to the world cup!! I am pretty sure that is not made up.

    Looks like they are trying their hardest to secure his signature but Arsenal are being very resiliant, which makes a change. The problem is no Barca players are willing to come the other way in a cash & player deal. They are not willing to spend the £50 million asking price so it is a stale mate

  • Yemi

    @ devday:
    Nope, What comments ?

  • devday

    @ Yemi:
    Frey, on possible move to Arsenal: “In life, at times, you need new challenges and I cannot hide the fact that I need that.

  • devday

    @ Gooner Get Ya:
    I heard that story earlier too – I really think that’s just the media talking – I doubt there was any ban or any appeal – if there was it would be around June not May anyway!

    Barcelona are just trying loads of tactics to unsettle the player and both the Spanish and English media are lapping it up!