It is officially 7 days until our annual trip to Barnet – a game in which we may see one of our two new signings – Maroune Chamakh or Laurent Koscielny – both bought from the French league, Bordeaux and Lorient respectively. There will be some bedding in and some adapting to life in the premiership for both players and the pre-season friendlies will give us a glimpse of what they’re both made of. With Johan Djourou recovered and having beefed up to a decent level since last season, there are noises that it will be Djourou and Vermaelen who get the nod for the two centre back positions with Koscielny as third choice, and youngster Nordtveit in at fourth choice.
Koscielny has publicly admitted that he will need time to adapt and advocates his main aim is to get into the team:
“I will need time to adapt. I have to earn a position in the team and play. Nothing is for sure so far. I believe I will have to work hard, doing a lot of bodybuilding exercises to resist Premier League forwards. I am not strongly built, but I make up for it with some cleverness, positioning and anticipation. I believe the manager has appreciated my state of mind, my concentration on the game.”
Part of Koscielny’s game is to play the ball to feet and start an attack from defence – something that both Djourou and Vermaelen also have. It’s Arsene’s style – his imprint. Everyone at the club should be ball playing. Anyone, anywhere – and that’s why players like Senderos didn’t end up having a future. The boy Koscielny looks good, but of course, we don’t know enough about him to comment either way. Arsene has been in the press and has been talking about signing “one more defensive” players.
Most of us probably think that it’s another central defender, especially in the context of the answer – but of course, “one more defensive player” could be a defensive midfielder or a goalkeeper. The underwhelming signing of 37 year old Mark Schwarzer could be the signing, but I’m hoping for something a little better.
Rumours about Joe Cole haven’t yet ceased and despite “ongoing talks” with Sp*rs, the ex-Chelsea player is still heavily linked with us. With Sp*rs able to offer first team football, willing to pay his astronomic wages and kind of in the Champions League – it does look like his ideal destination. As a club, we’d be unwilling to fork out sums around the £115k mark (as being touted in the press) and couldn’t possibly offer first team football with Rosicky, Nasri, Cesc and Ramsey all very similar in their style as well as other attacking midfielders such as Arshavin and Walcott on the wings.
Things are starting to hotten up in the transfer market – we’ve signed two players, and have a few loan returnees. Man United welcome Smalling and Hernandez. Chelsea have signed Benayoun and a few other players here and there and City have snapped up three in Boateng, Silva and Toure Junior. On top of that, in Europe, we’ve seen Real Madrid and Barcelona make big signings as well as movement for the likes of Eduardo the goalkeeper and other impressive players. If we are to sign more players this summer, I’d hazard a guess that it will be wrapped up by the end of July – which is good, because we’re already 10 days into the month!
Bolton boss Owen Coyle has re-iterated his desire to see Jack Wilshere at the Lancashire club next season, but personally, I’d love to see him back at the Arsenal. He’s Arsenal through and through and after his performances at Bolton next season, think he could make an immediate impact – of course, at minimum, I’d like him to be around for the friendlies to see how he could fit in if he were in and around the first team next year.
Tonight is the penultimate game of the World Cup and sees Germany take on Uruguay in what looks to be quite an exciting game.
As I write this, I understand Raoul Moat has been captured by police, but by the time you read this, we’ll have some clarity…
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