Nasri Injured, Sébastien Squillaci In, No Goalkeeper… Yet… & Fanshare…

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…

  • Berth

    Feels good to be an Arsenal Fan today.

  • Jones77

    I’m in total disarray!!! I’ve actually heard of Squillaci!!! Wasn’t he top scorer at Italia ’90? ; )

  • jeffvip

    Arsenal sign new deal with Lucozade Sport

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/arsenal-sign-new-deal-with-lucozade-sport

    At first, I thought we have signed somebody!!!

  • dp

    Squillaci seems like its a done deal, as is Traore to Benfica – both good deals for us I think! A new keeper to come in and we WILL win the league this year, and then Cesc will stay, Arsene will live forever…………………..

  • Bonathan

    I must confess, i haven’t seen much of squlliaci. Didn’t get in the starting line up for france but then, their manager did tend to make some bad decisions.

    I remember massive things were expected of him when he first came on the scene. never really lived up to them but he’s still been at decent clubs and has plenty of experience

  • fan

    what are the benefits of owning a share?

  • devday

    @ fan:
    From the Fan Share site:
    - Ownership Stake
    - Fanshare certificate
    - Attend the AGM
    - Chief Executive emails
    - Say in key votes
    - Six monthly update

  • devday

    @ Bonathan:
    Sevilla sporting director:
    “The player asked not to play because of the offer from such a big team but, for the moment, we believe the offer is insufficient and Squillaci is still a Sevilla player,”

  • devday

    @ dp:
    Squillaci would be a very good signing – has experience and isn’t injury prone!!

  • Goonerman

    The frimpong rumours are quite strong I think the tHe young guns blog are confirming it! Poor lad he looked like he could of filled on now and then this season, hope he can recover quickly, with these injuries I think young jack could be more and more important for us.

  • Bonathan

    How long’s frimpong out for?

    Gallas to spurs. The gallas tommy v partnership was pretty formidible last year when they were both fit. maybe we should have offered him two years. when you think about it, he’s exactly what we’re looking for! ok, so they say he was a disruptance in the dressing room, but that isn’t always a bad thing.

  • Bonathan

    apart from yes, he is injury prone. i suppose that’s the big one.

    failed in second schwartzer bid apparentely. how much do they expect for a 37 year old? ok, so keepers last a bit longer but how many go any longer than a year or two after that at the very, very top level? i can see wenger losing interest in him.

  • theusualsuspect

    Has Wenger ever been absolutely top drawer through his own making, or was it largely due to luck. I say luck in a number of situations. His record in the transfer market is no better than any other good manager. Bar a few admittedly good buys, we have seen some of the worst dross at Arsenal in living memory Please hear me out:

    Situation inherited:

    - Seaman (has never picked as good a ‘keeper since. Even Lehmann was a loony.)
    - The famous back four.
    - Bergkamp (An absolute genius with un-rivalled loyalty. If you’d continued to offer any other player one-year only deals for the length of time we did, they would have been off like a shot. The way Wenger treated him was nothing short of a disgrace.)
    - Parlour (under–rated and a vital driving force when under the cosh.)
    - Since the last of these players left, what have we won? Wenger talks about our mental strength. We have no mental strength. Our players are athletes, not footballers. They don’t know how to win things and never will do. They’ve got no-one to teach them how to win.

    Success by chance:

    - Ashley Cole (would have been sold to Palace if Sylvinho’s passport issue hadn’t blow up. He’s not brought through a wholly home-grown player, to consistently play in the firsty team since.)
    - Sol Campbelll (Free transfer. We would never have signed him otherwise.)

    Arsenal – a graveyard for young English talent.

    - Richard Wright (went backwards)
    - Mattt Upson (is he any worse than some of the shit Wenger persisted with, such as Cygan and Stepanovs?)
    - Francis Jeffers (was never going to be up to the job – poor judgement to buy him)
    - Walcott – has gone backwards since we bought him. What has Wenger actually taught him…? Answers on a post-card)
    - Stuart Taylor (was he any worse than Fabianski, Almunia, Warmuz, Shaabaan?)
    - Jay Simpson (another one of the dozen or so groomed for The Championship. Wenger runs our youth team like you would a fish farm.)

    The Success Stories

    - Vieira (hands–up – ttop buy. A winner and a leader.)
    - Anelka (sold before he developed. We didn’t develop him. He was only at the Club 5 minutes. Wenger took a punt and it came off).
    - Pires (great signing)
    - Overmars (great signing)
    - Henry (great signing)
    - Fabregas (a raw talent, which was obvious to all. Barca couldn’t sign him as he was too young to sign a pro contract in Spain. We turned his head by buying off his parents and promising him first-team football. Has Wenger actually taught him anything? He is a natural talent.)
    - Toure (A natural athlete, but a headless chicken, and got progressively worse while he was with us. Campbell carried him in most games.)

    The Great Transfer Failures (too many to mention)

    - Caballero, Diawara, Warmuz, Shaaban, Jeffers, Inamoto, Cygan, Stepanovs, Tavlaridis, Reyes, Almunia, Fabianski, Silvestre, Bischoff, plus the likes of Diaby, Denilson, Walcott, Vela etc. (The Invisibles)

    The Present Failures

    - Has a Manager in the modern era played more players out of position? (Arshavin on the wing, Eboue as a winger, Song as a centre-back, Walcott on the wing, Bendnter on the wing – just buy a fucking winger and a fucking centre back)
    - Keepers (no more to be said)
    - 3 centre backs.. (no more to be said)
    - The rise of the diddy men (is it any wonder we get the injuries we get? – don’t remember Vieira, Petit, Adams, Keown, Pires and Henry out every week when they were in their prine. Yes they were injured in their later years, but that is to be expected after a long hard career.)
    - The hyposcrisy of signing 30+ shit players on 2+ year contracts.
    - The dross in our squad on big money to match their big egos (Denilson, Diaby, Bendtner, Walcott et al.)
    - Unfulfilled potential (see above point for explanation for lack of ambition)
    - Continued failure to build a ‘squad’ that will see out the season. We resemble a family on the bread–line living hand-to-mouth, whilst in the Bank we’ve got millions. Players playing out of position (Song, Eboue etc) because Wenger won’t buy players to cover each position sufficiently.

    Wenger now resembles a driver that’s fallen asleep at the wheel. The car is continuing to move forward, but in the wrong direction, hitting debris as it continues. The problem is that he was never a competent driver in the first place. He made some good moves, but in a number of instances it was simply just luck.

  • pad

    The famous back six I suppose you can call “luck”.
    Parlour, Wright and Bergkamp too.

    But Wenger had the judgement to keep these players when others considered them past their sell by date, and to actually sell them at the right time.

    But he has made some good purchases and shrewd sales too, that indicate he has a lot more than luck.

    A lot of the “failures” you list were amongst many squad players whom any top modern club would buy and sell in large numbers.

    I think the decreased budget caused by the new stadium, increased resources of main competitors, and general “Wear and Tear” (such as the premature falling aprt of the 2007 – 2008 Mark Three Wenger Team), have taken the edge of Wenger.
    I also think we have an injury problem at the club that needs in depth investigation, which the club are now doing.

    These are the success stories, and there are a lot of them:

    Vieira
    Petit
    Anelka (large profit)
    Overmars
    Kanu
    Henry
    Edu
    Grimandi
    Gilberto
    Lauren
    Sol Campbell
    Ljungberg
    Pires
    Toure
    Fabregas
    Vermaelen
    Flamini
    Sagna
    Clichy
    Lehman
    Eduardo (pre-injury, outside of Wenger’s control)

  • Bonathan

    nah. wenger has done this club wonders. his player development has been second to none and has brought a good level of success to the club.

    ok, so in recent years that hasn’t held but he’s had to budget far more than any other top four manager and i think most other managers would not have been able to hold on to a top four place under the same circumstances. We have been very close 2 times in the last 3 years to winning the premiership. 3 years ago, i firmly believe if we’d beat birmingham that day we’d have went on to win the league.

    I do think he became slightly obsessed with young players for a while there and we’v lacked that bit of experience but he seems to be trying to get that experience back now. that might seem like a strange comment given he’s recently let go of some of our most experienced players, but the signings he’s looking at now have experience and also a lot of our ‘young’ players have plenty of experience under their belt now. we’re nearly there.

    he has set us up well for the long run and i think/hope we might start to see some of that hard work pay off this season in the for of silverwear. if we do, it will just be the start.

  • andrew

    @ the usual suspect:

    There is certainly some merit to your review of Arsenal transfers but ultimately you get the answer wrong. Arsene Wenger, as you say, is no better than any other good manager. Okay, so you admit he’s a good manager! I’ll take it. I’m glad we have a good manager at Arsenal.

    Every single team in the Premier League can recount their good and bad transfers in a similar manner. Be happy you support the gooners. If you aren’t, go f** off and be a Sp*rs fan!

  • Bonathan

    i would agree his principle on 30+ year olds is odd. only offering certain players a one year contract, then bringing silvestre in for more than that is pretty shocking. silvestre of all players.
    i personally think there were a couple of players who could and would have been useful had he just offered them a year longer.
    of course, i’m not sure completely what has gone on behind the scenes, whether or not it was just down to that but i think gilberto silva and robert pires in particular still had something to offer. especially when you consider gilberto left the same summer as flamini, who was never replaced in the end. he would have played a lot that season while song was still developing and we all knew flamini was leaving.
    pires would have been a very useful squad player for another year or two after he was let go and you could argue william gallas may have been a mistake given that we now find ourselves looking for an experienced centre back with only days remaining until the new season. having just had one of his best seasons with us as well i might add.

    nobody’s perfect, and i guess that has been one of my beefs with mr wenger, but hey, please read my above post for my overall opinion.