Major kudos for Kieran’s article yesterday, a timely reminder of Arsene’s achievements since he joined the club and after my piece the day before which was written after the Liverpool game. Sometimes, I have to say – it is easier for us to forget where we are today and how we got here and worry that there is something wrong. The team we have – a first XI on form – is as good as any other team in the league, but the questions are always about the reserves and of course the goalkeeper.
Rumours surrounding the keeper is that we’re now in for both Given and Schwarzer but the money is on the Fulham keeper. Our original bid in May was for £2.5m and it looks like we’ve upped it to £4m. Apparently, it’s quite far advanced, although – personally, I’d prefer good old Shay Given – someone who’s been hailed as a good keeper on many an occasion… someone who I have looked upon and said, “I’d love to have them down at the Grove!”… whatever happens in the next few days, I think it’s one of the two.
Over to the other position in question, the other central defender we so desperately need… rumours coming out of Spain and especially Sevilla, is that Sebastien Squillaci could be on his way to Arsenal. He has one year left on his contract and is unhappy in Spain. Reports are that we could land the former French international for around £3m – and I’d be happy with Squillaci as another option at the back – especially with question marks over Djourou’s fitness. The big question is whether he will be signed and debut in time for this weekend – with Djourou still injured and the impressive Koscielny suspended after his red card – it’s either Nordtveit, Song or Squillaci at the back.
One player who won’t be playing this weekend is the unlucky Samir Nasri, who – I must say – must hate August – it’s a month where he always seems to get injured – with the website announcing he’ll be out for a month:
Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri will today undergo minor surgery on his knee following a meniscal injury sustained during the match against Liverpool on Sunday. Nasri, who has been in impressive form, will be out of action for a month.
It’s quite unfortunate that Samir somehow managed to injured on the first day of the season – we’ve suddenly got two defenders out, four midfielders (Cesc, Denilson, Ramsey and now Nasri) out and a striker in Bendtner out too.
Sometimes, you have to wonder how our players get injured so regularly, sometimes, you just brush it off, because you know it’s going to happen.
And finally, The Arsenal Supporters Trust have launched The Arsenal Fanshare system – a way in which fans, like me and you can contribute to owning a share – it’s a bit more of a formalised version of the AST and joining the scheme costs from as little as £20… the official website announced:
Arsenal Fanshare gives you a chance to build shared influence, shared ownership and shared values with other fans by buying affordable new ‘Fanshares’ in the Club. An Arsenal Fanshare is equal to one hundredth of one share in Arsenal Holdings PLC and with current shares in Arsenal Holdings at £9,500 one Fanshare therefore costs about £95.
It’s a prime opportunity for fans to try and own the club and it will hopefully become a credible threat to the likes of Kroenke and Ismanov. I’ve personally just signed up and bought two fanshares (£190) – and set up a direct debit of £40 a month, which means it’s £480 per year, and that’s another 5 fanshares a year – if things go well, with a few more contributions here and there, I could own a share within the next ten years. Overall, I think it’s a great idea and been done well.
The strapline of the scheme is as simple as this: Arsenal Fanshare has been established by Arsenal Supporters to build on the proud tradition of custodianship at Arsenal. Custodianship means looking after the club’s values and spirit, and seeing these are kept safe for future generations.
UEFA have been very vocal in the last 24 hours about the scheme and UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino told the telegraph:
“The growing influence of supporters’ organisations in Great Britain, in this particular case via the Fanshare scheme at Arsenal FC, is good news for European football and strengthens the concept of financial fair play. At a time when the global economic crisis and the lack of financial discipline threatens the very survival of many football clubs, supporter involvement offers a credible and sustainable alternative and we at Uefa welcome any such moves.”
So, what are you waiting for… time to involved in the ownership of your club…
Well, I’ll leave it at that for now, I’ll be back tomorrow for a Blackpool preview…