The Keeper Conundrum…

Morning all… the transfer market has officially kicked off, and it looks like even we’re on the verge of another signing – albeit based on the fact that our two summer targets, Sol Campbell and Mark Schwarzer looks of our reach now. The Solman has signed for Newcastle, whilst Mark Hughes appointment at Fulham means that it’s increasingly unlikely that Schwarzer will sign.

So where does that leave us? Well, it leaves us short in defence and messy in the goalkeeping department. It feels like I’m a broken record, but it’s clear that it’s two positions that we need to fill. It’s a bit of an annoying thing for me as a fan to see that we had our transfer targets as a 35-year old centre back and a 37 year old keeper, but perhaps I don’t know what exactly is going on – perhaps this is all smokescreen – but we have started our pre-season friendlies and have the Emirates Cup coming up soon. You would want whoever was going to be the mainstay of the squad to be here already. Having said that, if it does take a week or so to get the two players we need in, then obviously the wait will be worth it.

I did a quick poll on Twitter yesterday (prompted by Gooner Get Ya’s post in the comments) asking who we’d like in terms of keepers, if we could have one of the following:

  1. Akinfeev
  2. Marchetti
  3. Schwarzer
  4. Stekelenburg

Who would we choose? Well, an overwhelming 75% of responses indicated that Akinfeev would be the number one choice, believed to be the most talented out of the group and with a lot of experience behind him. Schwarzer was second, ahead of both Stekelenburg, which I thought was strange considering the fact that he’s so much older and the fact that the latter was in a World Cup final. But the World Cup was a competition which let Stekelenburg down. His stock depreciated after a few blunders, but with his overall reputation still very good, and with the fact he has so much experience under his belt, plus the fact he is number one for his country and plays for a club who need to sell – Ajax – he could be a decent signing.

Marchetti came in fourth in the poll, and probably because he is more unknown – but out of the lot, he is probably the most likely player to come in. His club Cagliari have announced that he’s on the way out and have even mentioned that we’re the club interested, and it’s quite surprising after this quote, that the papers aren’t going mental.

“I understood from his words that he doesn’t want to stay with us. I would have preferred it is he had said so to me and not to the newspapers, but there aren’t offers for him. And there is full confidence in (reserve goalkeeper) Michael Agazzi. The only real club that is pushing for his signature is Arsenal.”

That quote was from club president, Massimo Cellino and it would be hard to see him making it up – which means it could be the signing we’ve all been looking for. The emphasis on the comment is “pushing” for his signature which means we’re trying hard. The stopping point is the price and rumours are that have offered £4m but the club are holding out for £6.5m. If we can stretch a little more, the Italian number one (well, at the World Cup anyway) could be down at the Emirates sooner than we think.

Edit: Sky Sports News reports that Marchetti was left out of the Cagliari’s pre-season’s friendly yesterday against Bastia.

And back to the defender we all know we need – especially with Djourou looking like he’s going to be a tad injury prone this season, as well as Koscielny looking like he may get blown away in the wind, the current target on everyone’s lips is Weder Bremen’s Per Mertersacker. Arsene commented on the defensive situation saying:

“We are still on the search for centre-halves. We have three and we need at least four. There are people we consider and are analysing and we look at the financial possibilities,”

There have been rumours that we’re in negotiations with Bremen, so I’ll be keeping an close eye on that one too. There were rumours that he was seen in a Highbury pub, but everything is still unknown about whether the picture was genuine or not…

For now, I would just like to leave you with a stubborn but very correct Arsene statement from yesterday:

“I am very happy with Cesc and we are all very happy at the club with Cesc. He is a very important player for us, he is our captain and we have worked very hard [for him] to be the future of our team and that is why we are always adamant about [not] letting him go.”

That’s it Arsene, tell them how it is… Cesc is staying…

Til tomorrow…

  • Goonerman

    I’m sure wenger will buy because if he didn’t I seriously think his life would be in danger but I did find a quite from last night after the final game in Austria which scared me a bit because the same kind of quote has been used before and no signings ever arrived! When asked if he would add to the squad defensively wenger said,

    ‘ “I believe what is important is that we focus on the qualities we have and do not worry too much. I think it is important to continue to develop the qualities we have started since the beginning of the season and if the opportunity comes we will take it”

    I hope my quote is wrong but them kind of words from wenger make me very worried!

  • RVP

    imagine

    marchetti
    sagna vermaelen mertesacker clichy
    nasri song fabregas
    arshavin van persie chamakh

    mannone
    eboue koscielny djourou gibbs
    wilshere diaby rosicky
    vela bendtner walcott

    denilson ramsey schezny

    healthy 25 man squad i think

  • vj

    don’t forget RVP that we can add the likes of eastmond lansbury JET nordveit traore as under 21s

  • jeffvip

    RVP,

    our squad always seems so strong until injuries stuck in on us.. its tiring, every season repeat and repeat again..

  • Kieran

    The photo was fake, open it in any good image editing program and check the EXIF data – it was taken two years ago. The room, the player and the other dude are all from different photos, the shadows are different in each bit.

    I’d love Mertsacker to come, but consider Bremen’s valuation of their best player, a player who had an excellent World Cup – it might fail for financial reasons.

    @ RVP:
    25 man squad would need 3 goalkeepers. Just one injury to the first choice would mean playing the second but having no goalkeeper to sub.

  • devday

    Kieran D knows his stuff!

  • Goonerman

    @kieran
    Surely if we kept chezza then he would fit in with the under 21 rules so we could only have 2 senior keepers! I’m not sure just a thought. I do agree that the mertsacker picture lark is probably rubbish!

  • edison

    serdar tasci is in the press today again, perhaps if mertrsacker is going to be too pricey – then we will go for tasci ?

    Ferber his agent, said in The Sun: “Serdar admires English football and has huge respect for Arsenal.”

    around £18m im not sure i can see it happening though

  • Kieran

    @ Goonerman:
    Yes, sorry, Wojciech Szczęsny is only 20. So it’s a viable for the next season, after that a rethink might be required.

    However – what happens to Mannone? He’s ahead of Szczęsny at the moment and he’s 24. So he either takes a place in the 25, or we use him in just the domestic cups, which I’m sure he won’t like.

    Remember – he may or may not play during the premier league season, but at least he has a chance through injuries etc. If he is not in the 25 man squad, then he won’t get that chance at all.

    I suspect Arsene will name 3 keepers + Szczęsny, again looking at City and even Arsenal where it’s not unheard of to find two keepers injured at once.

  • Arsefan101

    @ Kieran:
    Surely it is time for Mannone to be #1, he’s old enough – if he is good enough – a question – when did Casillas break into Real Madrid’s squad..?

  • Goonerman

    @arsefan
    I think casillas actually became real Madrid number 1 at around 20 so he was really young but I think whoever knew him at the time was quite sure he was gonnna be a world class keeper, I think we could do the same with Szczęsny but not so soon maybe a few years down the line!

    Looks like the fabregas crap could kick off again over the weekend thanks to the stupid media iv enjoyed the last crackeds week lol it’s been very peaceful

  • Kodjo

    It looks like the mertsacker deal might not happen bcos of his clubs valuation ….arsene wants to spend smart not just throw money around….

    a bit off topic but i just compiled the list of good players that arsenal has missed out on signing for quirky reasons…

    van nistelroy…was offered to wenger on a silver platter…but he opted not to… why??? the rest is history

    ronaldo…extra 5-7 million demanded killed the deal…after having been given a tour of highbury and taking pixs with the first team players

    van bommel- also given a tour of highbury…but his attitude problem??? used his tour at arsenal as leverage in his dealings with other clubs….

    sam eto-straight choice between barca and arsenal…chose barca over arsenal…was to be paired with henry

    j.m guti-got cold feet at the last min..deal was apparently agreed..fear of relocating to england

    robinho-real madrid got in the way…they offered a lot more money

    kewell-chose liverpool over arsenal at the last min…the rest is history

    makalele-real madrid got in the way again!!!

    petre cech-euro rules/limited playing time for his national team got in the way

    yaya toure-was let go after trials/training with the first team…problems with obtaining work permit??? apparently monitored after leaving arsenal…in the end barca came in with a better offer

    angulo-deal was completed…player developed cold feet when the reality of relocating to london hit him

  • sycicsid

    i really hope we sign 2 players

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    open to discussion: do you think wenger will play a propper team in the carling cup this year?

  • Goonerman

    Should someone close to cesc maybe tell him to keep his brainless freinds mouths shut because they are just digging a bigger and bigger hole for cesc to get out, for puyol to come out and tell us we are keeping him against his will is a complete joke! Ohhh no I forgot we actually put a gun to his head and forced a huge longterm contract on him and then evil mastermind made him accept over 100’000 pounds a week and then stitched the captains badge to cesc’s SKIN! OMG wenger is one sock individual, please u shameless morons go and get on with your pre season’s and let us do the same

  • andrew

    No- to Josiah.

    He will not play a proper team in the Carling Cup. Wenger will continue to use that competition to both blood the youngsters and to keep them satisfied with competitive games in an Arsenal shirt.

  • http://kierandelaney.net kierandelaney.net

    @ Kodjo:
    van nistelroy… chronic injury problems, too much of a risk for such a high fee.

    van bommel.. As you pointed out, he used the Arsenal trip to bluff and increase the wages offers from elsewhere – he’s even admitted he had to real intention of coming to England.

    kewell – I thought this was good players?!

    Those three aside, everyone else was either paper talk, or just chose another club. In some cases the players were relative unknowns when we courted them, but hindsight makes it look like we’re stupid that we didn’t throw money at them to sign them!

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    more and more fabregas rumours are floating about , someone reassure me please

  • goonerman

    wenger press conference coming up this afternoon! hopefully some interesting questions get asked about transfers and stuff!!

  • goonerman

    i know we dont want to talk about the cesc crap but i keep seeing over muppet fans talking about the fact that we are apparently keeping him against his will and that we shoud let him go but they dont get the reason why we cant actually let him go even if he is as desperate as the reports say.

    for us to let possibly the best or one of the top 3 midfielders in the premier league who is literally a baby at 23 and is on such a long term cotract with so long left it would make a joke of arsenal football club to sell him for even 35 to 37 million because it does not match up with transfers going on now and in the past year.

    you can compare this to other clubs top players for example, its like chelsea offering 30 million for torres, real madrid offering 35 million for rooney united and liverpool fans would laugh if one of them clubs valued their players at that amount so how do they think we feel.

  • Yemi

    @ goonerman:
    very correct, its all a joke !!!

    @ Kodjo:
    Brother, i have not seen you congratulating me on my girls getting to the finals !!!

  • devday

    @ goonerman:
    Eagerly awaiting the P/Conference… blog to be posted afterwards!

  • Kodjo

    @ Yemi

    Sorry big guy… i have not been following the gals tournament…maybe i’m sexist???…but congrats..i will follow it henceforth.

  • Yemi

    @ Kodjo:
    well you gat only the final to watch man

    On another note, is wenger saying something here ?

    courtesy WOA twitter
    Arsene: “We only have three centre backs and we have seen last season you needed five. We are still on the search.”

    Arsene on Nordtveit: “I still believe he needs some more experience and that is why I try to use him in a different position at the moment.”

    courtesy ArsenalDotCom twitter

    Wenger is considering “plenty of names” as he bids to bring in another centre back before the start of the season – hxxp://bit.ly/bnvjRk
    hxxp://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-we-need-at-least-four-centre-backs

  • devday

    @ Yemi:
    I think he’s finally saying we’re going to sign another defender!!!

  • Mehedi

    Hi guys

    Did anyone read or heard about puyol’s “quote” . This is crossing the border.I say let cesc go . I don’t want Arsenal to be disrespected anymore. I went to some other websites about this Puyol thing and even some Arsenal fans were out of sense and didn’t know what to say. The problem is that in top of it some sprus fan and Chelsea fans were commenting really bad . mannnn this is going to far

  • Flamez

    arsenal.com says wenger is gonna be joined by “a first team player” any chance its cesc?

  • Yemi

    @ Flamez:
    joined ? How?

  • tom G

    arsenal.com now saying it’ll be Vermaelen