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The Goon blog


Archive for April, 2010


Chamakh signing confirmed – arrivals – in Andrey’s defence 8

Posted on April 30, 2010 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

19.20

“We have a basic squad and I believe in the squad I have, but if I can make an addition – two or three maximum – then we will do it.”

Arsenal aren’t like any other team. They are a team who suffer a ridiculous amount of injuries and after the past few seasons have been curtailed in some form by injuries to key members of the squad, its time to plan for these injuries because there is certainly no progress being made in stopping the injuries. Now, I’m not talking about stockpiling players or making tons of world class signings because it just isn’t going to happen, I’m talking about increasing the general level of the squad overall – clearing out the dead wood. Its the defence that needs the major surgery in my book, every player that is leaving needs to be replaced… and then we can concentrate on the signings that will take the team up a level.

With Gallas and Silvestre leaving, we are going to need a new partner for Thomas Vermaelen who must be of the highest quality. The replacement for Silvestre could be a younger defender, supplemented by Sol Campbell’s experience (sounds like a new deal is almost a certainty). That’s two signings already. Then of course, one of Fabianski or Almunia has got to go and a new number one brought in, again of the highest quality. That’s three signings and with the impending arrival of Marouane Chamakh that makes four new signings.

The ‘signing to be announced’ or words to that effect by the boss, is going to be Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh – its the worst kept secret in football right now.

Starting to see what I mean? If we raise the overall quality of the squad the starting eleven will be stronger as a result – better players can step in when there are injuries and you can never underestimate the factor of having competition for your place, we don’t really have much of it and the place where its most blatantly obvious is between the goalposts.

With the money available, and there’s talk of at least a £30 million budget… maybe more, there is sufficient funds to add some proven quality to the squad; note. I’m not saying potential quality. Potential is all well and good but we have enough of that on the fringes of the squad and in the reserves at the moment, these players can be integrated as and when, but shouldn’t have pressure put on them because the manager hasn’t sufficiently improved the first team and got a decent sized squad.

Like I’ve said over the past few weeks, now isn’t the time to go into great detail with names etc. We have got a summer to do all that . I think I may be looking too far into Arsene’s comments, of course, its totally stupid to name how much you have to spend and where your gonna spend it, its the sort of thing the Tories would to if they got into government -thats a story for another day though.

Interestingly, the boss notes that there is practically no market in Europe due to the financial issues that clubs and countries alike are having after the recession, Wenger saying that only the very top band of clubs will have funds. I think one country’s clubs will be in the market to buy some quality players at cheap prices and that’s the German clubs. The Bundesliga is very much on the rise at the moment and the German economy is one that is relatively healthy compared to other countries – Bayern Munich spent big last year and they are in the Champions League final, they didn’t buy just anyone, they brought wisely and where they needed to improve. Just look at the impact Arjen Robben has had, 20 odd goals this season and he has started less than 30 games. Remarkable. That’s the sort of job I think the boss has to do this summer.

The anger surrounding the Andrey Arshavin comments has probably subsided after he spoke to the same Russian paper again re-affirming his commitment with the club and blaming the translation of what he has said for all the stories about he wanting to move to Barcelona (which he never actually said). Whilst he has to take some responsibility for what he said and how it has been interpreted, the club should not let players give interviews to foreign news sources unless its a special occasion or they have been given special permission. It would solve a whole host of problems. Andrey said:

“I respect the club and I am happy that I am a part of it, I am very grateful to the Arsenal fans, who love me. I am often translated wrongly. If I talk to the English press, there is no problem but when I say something in Russia, some special news agency takes it, translates it and sells these quotes.

“During the process of interpretation they translate my words as they see fit.  I find this unpleasant because people might think I said something that, in fact, I never said.”

Hopefully he and the club have learned their lesson. Anyone who has real big issues with him speaking out need to look back to when he was talking about women drivers etc. This was bound to happen sometime.

Oh and before I go…

Transfer rumour of the day: Kasper Schmeichel to join on a free after being released by Notts County. Verdict: Another Notts County to Arsenal story? Nahh.

Right, thats seems to be about it for today. Til tomorrow.

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Argentine ‘Sergio’ heading for the Grove 3

Posted on April 29, 2010 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

Sadly its not this Sergio

23.30

Transfer rumour of the day: Blackburn’s Stephen N’Zonzi to join. Verdict: Can’t see AW dealing with the Walrus

I write this after watching Inter Milan beat Barcelona 3-2 on aggregate to progress to the Champions League final and face Bayern Munich. I was delighted Barca went out, their play acting, arrogant fans and the way people always seem to support them is laughable. Oh, the way they are run is laughable too, actually.

Most Arsenal fans hate Jose Mourinho – I’m not too keen on him myself but you have to admire his success. His football isn’t pretty, but the trophies speak for themselves. Brace yourselves for the outcry in the Catalan press tomorrow, demanding Blatter give them an automatic place in the final because they are a club full of dickheads who think they can tap up every player they like and not get any punishment. Its not bitterness at them beating us, I admired the way they played and accepted it because we are miles off them, but the things they get away with disgust me.

One more note on Mourinho… If he is the next manager of United, Liverpool or returns to Chelsea at some point, we should be a little worried.

Back to Arsenal – you can tell its been a slow couple of days because I have hardly mentioned them yet.

In comments on the official site earlier, the boss was keen to make the point that he is in discussions with a couple of transfer targets this summer, he also said that he prefers deals to be done earlier in the summer to allow the team time to gel. Arsene said:

“I have definite transfer targets and I have been talking to people but I will not tell you to who, I believe the earlier you settle your team the better it is and the less anxiety you have.”

We know there will be arrivals in the summer, the question is: are they of the quality and in the positions pretty much everyone seems in agreement on? A goalkeeper, a defender and some extra quality to replace a bit of dead wood in and around the squad. Forgive me for being a pessimist but I believe comments just like this were made this time last season after we bombed to Man United at the Grove; are they just a big PR exercise to keep fans happy and keep a good atmosphere on the final matchday against Fulham? I guess only a few people know the answer to that and they are not going to say a word..

The boss has always been skeptical about buying players off the back of a tournament and his opinion has not changed on that:

“unless there is an exception there that nobody knew before. Also post-World Cup the prices are always artificial.

“Overall I feel it is very dangerous to buy on [the strength of] the tournament because sometimes there are players who are fresh and have not played the whole season. Everyone can have three weeks of glory as a football player. Ten years is a bit different.”

I guess that rules out any star performer at the World Cup then, hes moved to quash that one before its even started!!

The teams for the Emirates Cup have been announced and they take place on the opening weekend in August, we will face AC Milan and Celtic, Lyon will be there too. I will be heading down to the Grove for the games on the Sunday so give me a shout if you plan on going too.

The teams are a little underwhelming if I’m honest.. Where have the days of us facing Real Madrid and Inter Milan gone? We had a real prestigious tournament going but now we seem to be letting the Scottish teams in who – and no offence to any Scottish fans – just aren’t at the same level. It sounds arrogant I know, and its not meant to, but Real Madrid to Celtic who are some 8 points off the pace in the SPL?

AM Rumour round-up:

There seems to be a lot of chatter about Arsene making a bid for the AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper, apparently valued around the £8 million mark. Sergio ‘sadly not Aguero’ Romero is a player I’ve not really heard much of but I’m hearing he is rather keen on securing a deal for him. Look, I don’t want any more experiments in goal and I think there are keepers with better reputations out there that could play for us for the next 8-9 years and do a bloody good job. Its the one area where I really do not want us to faff around.

Steven N’Zonzi and Phil Jones are linked in the Daily Mail – what foundation that article has I’m not sure, this line made me laugh though…

’21-year-old N’Zonzi, who has earned comparisons with Patrick Vieira, fits the bill of a typical Wenger signing’

Tall? tick. Relative unknown? tick. French with African descent? tick… yep, ticks all the boxes for an “ARSENAL TRANSFER EXCLUSIVE”

Phil Jones on the other hand, is an option that I think we are looking in to.

As is the Serbian defender Neven Subotic (spelling?)

Just a little sidenote, I now think Andrey Arshavin is going to stay, but he needs to knuckle down and genuinely work hard next season.

Its gonna be quiet until the summer now, we only gave two games left.. one against Blackburn next Monday then at home to Fulham the Sunday after…

Back with an update sometime tomorrow/today.

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Comment on players linked to Arsenal Comments Off

Posted on April 26, 2010 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

15.50

There’s sod all else to talk about, the game at the weekend was something of a non-event whilst there wasn’t really anything meriting extra coverage in todays blog so I might as well just comment on the stories doing the rounds today.

Rumour of the day: Arsenal will listen to offers from Tomas Rosicky. Verdict: Load of old bollocks

Cesc Fabregas and the secret deal! Arsenal paid captain £3m to stave off Barcelona interest - Daily Mail

Comment: Its unfounded but wouldn’t surprise me, everyone at the club does hold the fear that when Barcelona come calling, and they will, that Cesc’s head will be turned and he will want to move. At the moment that doesn’t worry me at all but with the financial situation being a healthy one now, there is no reason that our very, very best players cant have wages that are up there with the very best teams in the world. It would give us a lot more strength in the transfer market.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger reveals the news every fan wants to hear – I’m ready to splash the cash this summer – Daily Mail

Comment: The quotes in the article come from comments made a week or so ago that were published in a Dutch magazine. Nothing new here, just a pointless story from some sections of the media who treat fans as if they are a bunch of retards.

Mutual frustration for Benzema & Huntelaar alerts EPL suitors - sport.co.uk

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema and AC Milan forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar are both frustrated at their respective lack of first team football, and their concerns will alert a host of Premier League suitors including Manchester United, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, Manchester City and Liverpool FC. In January the highly-rated duo were both linked with Premier League champions Manchester United, while West Ham United and Everton were other clubs mentioned in respect to the Holland international.

I think it is more speculation other than anything else, there’s no source or anything suggesting they are going to have any dealings with the club. No point in chasing it up.

The PFA awards are a sham… Wayne Rooney was named as player of the year which was a foregone conclusion since about September time, but the young player of the year award went to 24 year old James Milner who is probably about half-way through his professional career – how the hell is that young? Are you saying James Milner is better than the 22 year old Cesc Fabregas? You know, people bang on about some sort of English conspiracy and it really does make you wonder sometimes….

The rest of the stuff that has been kicking about is just being re-run after the post match comments from the Citeh match, its gonna be quiet for a while until the World Cup kicks off. Whether I do something for that I havent decided yet…

til tomorrow.

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