I write this blog post today, in reality I should be packing my bags – why you may ask? Well, of course, you’ve guessed it, I depart for South Africa tomorrow – a very exciting adventure to support England and of course, all the beloved Arsenal players that will be putting on a show out there too.
One player who technically isn’t an Arsenal player any more is Philippe Senderos and in reality, stints at Milan and Everton over the last two years have really meant that he’s not been an Arsenal player for about the last two years. I, for one, wish Senderos all the luck in the world. He always gave 100% when at the Arsenal and was very fond of the club. The major problems I believe were down to confidence and the ability to make a mistake, something which Arsene eventually had to call time on. But I do believe that his time at the Arsenal would have given him the experience he needs to go on and become a good player and I think after his training and experience at Arsenal, Internationally, at Milan and then up in Everton, he will finally become the player he was supposed to be under the guidance of Roy Hodgson. For any Liverpool supporters out there – I doubt Hodgson is going to be your new manager if he’s busy signing players down at Fulham…!
But back to all things Arsenal and we’ve got quite a few people down at the World Cup and for those of you who aren’t sure who’s going, here’s a quick overview of the World Cup Arsenal team…
Goalkeepers – None
Sagna – Song – Gallas – Clichy
(France) – (Cameroon) – (France) – (France)
Eboue – Cesc – Diaby
(Ivory Coast) – (Spain) – (France)
Van Persie – Bendtner – Vela
(Holland) – (Denmark) – (Mexico)
Due to the desire to show you a 4-3-3 formation and due to the fact that Alex Song plays centre back for his country, I’ve put the Cameroonian at the back – hopefully that’s a good guide to who will be playing at the World Cup. The consensus says we should support France as we have 4 French players and a French manager, but I’ve got a sneaky eye on Holland – and I think most of you do – of course, I mean that as a second team – and it’s England as our first team!
And that will be my first game of the tournament, on Saturday – England vs USA – and I can’t wait – I am officially over excited, but I love it. Although Arsenal have no English players at the World Cup, we could end up with one, with the Daily Mail confirming that Joe Cole has been released by the club on a free along side Michael Ballack. The news broke just a day after £8m Benjani as well as Petrov and Sylvinho were released by Man City.
“Joe Cole and Michael Ballack will signal the start of a free transfer stampede when they are formally released by Chelsea. After Manchester City showed the door to striker Benjani, winger Martin Petrov and full back Sylvinho, Chelsea will follow by letting England midfielder Cole and injured Germany World Cup captain Ballack leave after failing to offer them new contracts. Cole will become one of the highest-profile free transfers in England, but will not hold talks with any club while he is with England’s World Cup squad in South Africa.”
As I said yesterday, I have major reservations on whether Joe Cole is anywhere near coming to Arsenal. My view is that he would stay at Chelsea, but with news that he’s now been released, I think he will go to one of 4 clubs. He wants a high pay packet, and Man City can certainly offer that, but only Man United and Arsenal can offer him guaranteed Champions League football. Being a London lad, it suddenly makes a move across the capital a little bit more appealing for us and for him. Of course Harry Redknapp is trying to get on the case, but I just can’t see Cole going to Sp*rs, it would be too much of a drop to go to a side who will never win the title.
In transfer news, I was crawling through the Lorient FC forums today to get some info on potential target Laurent Koscielny and found some very interesting information… here’s a snapshot in bullet point format:
- We’ve scouted the player several times
- We have spoken to Lorient about him in January
- We had initially offered 5 million Euros which was rejected a month ago
- Their director said that would sell for anything less than 15 million Euros
- Their fans believe Koscielny is their best player
- We came in with a second bid of 8 million Euros as well as the option to loan Francis Coquelin for a season
- The club entered into negotiations and ending up rejecting the second bid
- We came in with a final bid of 10 million Euros and the loan of Coquelin
- This bid is said to be verbally accepted and could happen in the next few days
- The forums also revealed that the consensus in France is that Mexes is joining us from Roma
- The French centre back is said to be costing us about 10 million Euros too as he’s fallen down the pecking order at Roma
After finding out all of that, I really did feel like a detective – but I did feel more confident that we have a centre back or two on the radar and something could really happen in the next few days. Of course, these points were taken down by reading the Lorient FC forum, and although some did have sources, some didn’t – but I don’t see why they would be talking about this so much if there was nothing in it… and with Sol potentially off to Celtic and Gallas reportedly having agreed a 2 year contract worth £10m with Panathinaikos, both the aforementioned players should and could be very important and realistic signings.
For now my friends, adios – until tomorrow…