Let the season begin… 2010/2011 starts today…

The season has now started, our players are back to the training ground, and those involved in the World Cup will be back next week. With the majority of our squad absent from the World Cup, the likes of Chamakh, Eduardo, Nasri, Arshavin, Walcott, Denilson, Vermaelen, Almunia and Fabianski will be back in training soon – a bit of a rarity, although I doubt we’ll see too many of them at Barnet on the 17th July. The youth team and reserves (well, there are no more reserves, but you know what I mean) are back in training (and have been for the last week) and they were joined by a certain Laurent Koscielny yesterday. The player has all but signed, and the fact he’s now started training is a big way of letting us know he’s signed without letting us know he’s signed.

Even though Francois Coquelin has joined Lorient FC already on loan and played a game – announced and match reported on the Lorient FC website, there has been no information on the official Arsenal site about it – so maybe we’ll get a double whammy tomorrow? Not to let us down, Ouest France has reported it in greater detail. For those French speaking fans out there, check out the news fresh off the press:

http://www.ouest-france.fr/sport/une_foot_detail_-FC-Lorient-Koscielny-a-Arsenal-mais-Gameiro-n’est-pas-a-vendre_40394-1435277_actu.Htm

The article basically says we’ve reached a deal which could rise to 12 million euros, but is believed to start at approximately 8 million euros. Koscielny (pronounced “Cos She’ll Knee”…) has only one year in the top flight but he is very highly rated and Lorient didn’t want him to leave. He can still choose where he wants to go internationally, being both Polish and French.

The rumour mill is super high at the moment, with all sorts of goalkeepers and defenders being linked. The closest we’ve come to a goalkeeper is the potential signing of Mark Schwarzer, who at 37 and £2m is surely not the kind of signing we need – especially after is disastrous World Cup. Do we have to just trust in Arsene? Hmm, hopefully it’s a smokescreen and we’re actually after someone slightly better and slightly younger… yes we have Mannone and Szczesny in the waiting and of course, that’s the plan – fast track them into the first team and give them a mentor.

There is one interesting sub-plot going on behind the scenes and that is Arsene Wenger’s public admiration for the Japan player Honda. For those of you who haven’t read what he said about the Japanese international, here’s the quote from Arsene commentary on Eurosport:

“This Japanese team is based on a solid and collective defence in which everybody knows exactly what to do. When they get the ball they can give it to Honda – and the magic starts. When they get that genius Honda playing up front, he had shown what a top class player he is. For me he’s the best performer of the competition so far.”

Arsene often comments on players during his commentary, but of course, he can’t sign all of them, but I haven’t him laud that amount of praise on one individual… as soon as I read that, I thought, if Arsene rates him so highly, why not try and get him down at the Emirates? His agent said there has been no contact, although Milan are rumoured to be very interested.

“There are rumours abound but no one has contacted us or CSKA. In football you never know what can happen but right now not many clubs have great economic resources and I think that’s also true for Milan. He plays in a beautiful city for an important club, but obviously if there are offers from big European clubs it’s difficult to say no. At this time there are no bids and all in all he is happy at CSKA. We’ll see.”

After Arsene’s genius comment, many people have automatically linked him with us, but with CSKA currently holding his registration and likely to demand big money for the player – additionally, having only signed him in December – then it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

Finally, captain Cesc Fabregas was in the press today ahead of tomorrow’s Germany vs Spain game and took time to talk about the opposition:

”We have watched all of Germany’s games. When you are here, you don’t stop watching football and we know every team. They are a very strong side, probably the strongest side in the tournament at the moment. As a team they are very quick on the counter-attack but defend very well. I like (Bastian) Schweinsteiger. He is playing really well. He is having a great World Cup.”

If we only signed Schweinsteiger, it would be absolutely amazing, but how much would Bayern want for their talisman?

Only 11 days until the big “first game” against Barnet, it’s time to get excited…

  • Roachy

    If Martin Keown’s comments about the tug of war for ownership of the Arsenal FC (Kroenke v Usmanov) is having such a profound effect on the availability of reasonable transfer funds to Wenger this summer, I fear another average year for us.

    Fran Merida’s comments are childish for a kid with so much talent he really struggled to let go of him mums skirt tails and HTFU. (Harden the FCUK up)

    Lets hope Wenger finds funds for Neuer and Mertasacker and at a min these two are signings we actually make!!

  • parsi

    Although I was gutted for Theo Walcott missing out on an England World Cup squad place I think in hindsight it is probably a good thing he wasn’t involved.

    Arsenal are that hated by the English media I have no doubt that had Theo gone he would have taken the blame for England’s demise. Even if he didn’t play a single stinking minute.

    Sure, Walcott would have been devastated at missing out, especially when it seemed so sure he was going to be included, but the way England performed means he can prove a lot of people wrong.

    After the season he had with Arsenal he didn’t deserve to go to South Africa anyway. I know injuries disrupted his campaign but he struggled to show his potential when he played.

    People have raised doubts about Theo Walcott and his ability. I admit I’ve questioned him at times although I try my best to get behind him because I want him to do so well.

    He needs to prove those people, and myself, wrong.

    This is a massive year for Theo Walcott. He is still young but this could be a make or break season for him.

    I think he could be ready to finally explode at last.

    If players like Lionel Messi rate him and managers like Arsene Wenger do then there must be something special there.

    It’s easy to criticise Walcott. He is an easy target but I really do believe he will have a great season for Arsenal and will get himself back into the England fold sooner rather than later.

    This could be his year.

  • parsi

    The weekend has thrown up a smattering of transfer rumours, some which looks good, others that are hard to fathom. Waiting for confirmation of Koscielny’s signing Arsenal have also been touted to be chasing Germany and Werder Bremen’s Per Mertesacker. And while many, including myself, would welcome such a signing to add strength, height and experience to our backline, the quoted £10m is laughable for a CB who has been a bedrock of the German National side for the past 5 or so years. Late last night rumours circulated about us being offered Potugal’s No. 1 Eduardo. From his performances in the WC I have been impressed, and at 27 he represents a more viable option than Schwarzer and the 4m euro price tag is right in AW’s bargain basement isle. But with the Schwarzer rumours so strong I can’t see Wenger doing a U-turn unless there’s a last minute hitch. Another one doing the rounds was Juventus’ willingness to do a deal with Arsenal for Felipe Melo which would involve Clichy swapiing red and white for black and white. I am a Clichy fan, I think his energy and eagerness is infectious to all Gunners, but over the past 2 seasons he has become susceptible to injuries and we have been caught out numerous times by his poor positional sense. We have a ready-made replacement in Gibbs and Melo would bring much needed backbone to a side lacking in strong characters. This would be the signing I would most like to see happening, but whether AW would sanction the loss of another senior player is questionable, esp as Clichy has always expressed happiness at the club. All I know is that AW would be better served negotiating transfers than providing punditry on French TV.

  • GLONDON

    ivan gazidas.what is the point of this man.a few posters on the walls. he was brought in to help arsene and allieviate him of the transfer duties. so far nothing. this summer we needed to up there buying players to strengthen our poor squad so far nothing but a free transfer. we are fast becoming a joke. no wonder cesc wants to go. would you rather play with xavi ineista villa or eboue denilson or bentner. no brainer

  • CON-MAN

    so LK has definately signed? I was trawling the arsenal website and there was nothing there and I havent heard anything on sky sports. Also does any one know how good he actually is?

    Also as for Szczesny I think hes our one for the future. I think Arsene has a few choices regarding Gk’s. If he gets Schwarzer then really Almunia has to go as having 2 older keepers really does stunt the growth of the younger ones. Apparently Brentford really raved about his perfomances last season and I saw a youtube video last night which looked very good. I’d like to see Szczesny get a shot. We’ve all seen Almunia, Fabianksi and Mannonne I would give the young Pole a chance in the emirates cup against some decent sides and see how he does. Most likely he’ll go on loan though.

  • CON-MAN

    also Arsenal.com have the games live on TV up until 27th november on their site

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/nine-arsenal-matches-to-be-shown-live-on-tv

  • Berth

    @ Parsi ” All I know is that AW would be better served negotiating transfers than providing punditry on French TV” very good comment. And anyone thinking a German player will pass the eye of Bayern Munich to sign for a foreign club should rethink,not with franz beckenbauer around. All this Neuer, Ozil and co have a one way ticket to Bayern.

  • vj

    barca won’t pay 50 mil for cesc barca dont get cesc simple as that, they cant expect 30 mil for yaya toure and try to buy cesc for that same amount

  • RVP

    like i said if cesc wants to go then wenger should contact rafa benitez ask him how much for sneijder(who i think is the best player in the world) and how ever much he says wenger should ask barca for that amount + 5mil for cesc.

  • ny

    Inter wants Cesc.Al last one competetor for Barca in Cesc issue.I think Wenger and Rafa are very good friends.

  • vj

    i reckon koscielny to be annouced tommorow once he completes his medical. hopefully we can squeeze one more signing before the end of this month

  • GLONDON

    It seems we have pretty much signed Koscielny. Folk on here especially shifters and the D&g clan are sweating already. He isn’t the big name signing who cost over £20m that most of us seem to want (granted that would be a nice statement of intent!) but lets reserve judgement on him. I remember when we signed Vermaelen or when United brought in Vidic and thinking to myself who are they? Now look at them. Two of the best centre-backs in Europe. Since Wenger has been with us he has always made this type of signing. A relatively unknown player. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Its always a risk. Koscielny is a risk. There can be no denying that but God knows what impact he will have? Some of Wenger’s risks have ended up being some of the greatest players to grace Premiership history. Personally I would like someone else to come in at the back too. Someone with Premiership experience. Ideally it would be great for Sol Campbell to stay but I think he is northward bound to Celtic and who could blame him for wanting to play regular football at his age? He won’t get that at Arsenal. Whatever the case, Vermaelen will be number one choice next season and he needs a partner.

  • goonerman

    I really do want to forget about this whole fabregas lark but when it all starts to go a bit quiet Barcelona big guns come out with yet more CRAP! anyone want to hear some funny quotes from the new barca president, they make you laugh and also they make you want to kill him at the same time.

    Asked if the top price he would pay is €40m (£33.3m), Rosell insisted: ‘I would like it to be less, but it depends on the negotiation.

    ‘If you say, for example, €20m now and €20m if we win the Champions League three times in the next three years, that would be €40m, but in another form

    ‘In South Africa we will try to see Wenger. Then we will say what is happening. If we are told they asking €50m (£40m), we will say “goodbye” and we’ll let you know. If they ask for €30m (£25m) we will tell him “yes”.

    This man is surely an even bigger idiot than the president before him, what makes him we would even accept 40 million let alone 30 and for him, do they really expect us to accept under 35 million pound for possibly the best midfielder in the premier league and a player who is only 23 and has 5 years left on his contract. hopefully the more wenger see’s quotes like above the more determined it makes him to dig his heels in and tell them to just do one!!

  • GLONDON

    I really cannot go about bringing that love for england as i do for arsenal. I mean its just not possible.Two events happened after that which changed things. Firstly Eduardo getting his leg shattered by Martin ‘not that kind of guy’ Taylor, and the English media’s reaction. If a foreign Arsenal defender had done that to Rooney on the eve of a major international tournament we would’ve seen the four horsemen of the apocalypse galloping around the corner! Then ironically, the same media depicted the diving Eduardo to be the lovechild of Myra Hindley and Adolf Hitler. The overreaction in making out that he was the first person to ever dive was an absolute disgrace.

    But what was really unbelievable was how in the space of a few days the media were able to demonstrate their blatant double standards not once, but twice when it came to ‘Lord’ Wayne diving against us and then for England. Pundits commended him for being ‘so clever’ and I remember reading somewhere that ‘it’s ok for Rooney to dive for England because we need to win by any means possible’. The anger that I felt over this unabashed hypocracy and pro-England/anti-Arsenal bias surpassed anything that I felt as a child with Maradona. As far as I was concerned the England team could go forth and multiply!

    I thought it was hilarious when Cashley, Shrek et al failed to beat Algeria, and how they completely embarrassed themselves against the Germans. Next season I’m really looking forward to Tottenham, Villa, or some other bunch of Neanderthals trying to ‘taunt’ us with the moronic ‘In-ger-lun’ chant. Our retort should simply be ’4-1 to the Germany’.

  • RVP

    koscienly looks to be officially joining us tomorrow and also according to reports we are in talks with algerian defender rafik halliche of benfica and that the move could happen soon.

  • Pete

    We’ve officially signed Koscielny.

    arsenal.com/news/news-archive/laurent-koscielny-completes-move-to-arsenal

  • RVP
  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    get in

  • vj

    koscielny gets number 6 shirt, hmm are we saving the number 10 shirt for joe cole

  • Kodjo

    is kos left footed?

  • Nick

    I read earlier RVP wants to change jerseys to #10 so maybe that’s who’s gonna inherit Gallas’s #. I don’t think we’ll land Joe Cole.

    Whether or not Wenger and Rafa are friends, there’s no way Cesc leaves for anyone or anywhere but Barcelona.

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    apparently he is right footed.

  • CON-MAN

    i hope so wenger doesnt like playing CBs together that have the same dominant foot

    I also read RVP getting a number change, possible going for 10, they should of given it to him as soon as bergkamp retired

    and i wasnt sure about joe cole but could possible be coming. read in the metro that hes ‘rejected’ liverpool as he wants to stay in london. So just us and spurs (worst team ever cough cough). Apparently we’ve offered £115k a week? :S

  • manoo

    cesc vs. RVP on sunday

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Ha ha ha nice one manoo cesc didn’t play a single minute in the semi’s

  • RVP

    van persie looks set be number 10 with chamakh getting number 11

  • parsi

    what number di JC wear at chavski?

  • parsi

    The economics of Barcelona are simple.

    They can’t play the current players’ wages.

    But they can pay £80m in transfer fees for new ones, including the £35m reaped to date from getting rid of players they don’t want any more.

    From the printed words of the new Barcelona President.

    Well, they were printed in the Daily Mail, so you can read into that what you will.

    I guess they will be selling a few more assets this summer….and if Senor Rosell is wise, he will keep his trap shut until such a time as he has concluded business through legitimate Arsenal FC channels or has accepted that no deal will be done.

  • yemi

    @ CON-MAN:
    nobody is gonna offer j cole 115k, except a club like city!

  • Sam

    Spain – Holland final!
    Does this mean Arsenal are the only club guaranteed to have a World Cup winner?
    Any other club with players in both teams?!

  • yemi

    @ Sam:
    man city also have de jong in the final with netherlands.

  • manoo

    @sam

    also real madrid- van der vaart and casillas/ramos