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Archive for July, 2010


Posted on July 31, 2010 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

– The headline isn’t seeking hits. It is merely making a point at the more…attention seeking members of the British + Spanish press.

Just when will Barcelona get the message eh?

They are not just flogging a dead horse in their pursuit of our captain, they are more flogging it, covering it in petrol and setting it on fire. Utterly pointless and a complete waste of time.

It is the hypocrisy and the complete and utter stupidity of some members of that club that truly astound me – one minute you have the club president claiming that “public pursuits of players is just not our style” and later on that evening on the club’s very own television channel their captain said this:

“After seven years of great service, I thought Arsenal could have granted him his dream move. Cesc has given everything to Arsenal to try to win a trophy but they haven’t matched his expectations. I won’t say he is in a prison, as we know how privileged we are as football players.

“But after how clear Cesc made it that he wanted to be in Barcelona, I thought they would have granted him that. We all thought a deal would be done this summer.  But Arsenal have refused to talk and we are going to have to wait another year to get Cesc home.”

If that isn’t a public pursuit I don’t know what is. You do have to question the intelligence of some of these players and officials – when will they not get the message that Cesc Fabregas signed this amazing piece of paper with a few words on, its called a contract. With me so far Barcelona? Yeah? He put a thing called his signature on this piece of paper, this means that he is contracted at Arsenal for at least another five or six years. Do you know what this means? No? Ok, let me explain.


I don’t think I can explain it any simpler.

I think it is high time the media stopped reporting the articles regurgitated in the Spanish press, all they are doing is trying to keep it in the public domain, just picking and picking away at Arsenal, at Fabregas and everybody connected to this transfer they so desire. It seems that for the whole length of this pursuit they have forgotten about two things.. Cesc’s contract with Arsenal Football Club and Arsenal Football Club itself. They might have wiped the floor with us on the pitch but we still merit respect, we are the ones with the power to sanction this transfer and if anything they should be around Highbury House licking the shoes of all the club officials to try and butter them up.

What I just can’t get my head round is this desire to have one of the world’s finest footballers on the cheap. £29 million quid. To you and me, that is a fortune you can only dream of having in your bank account, but for a business and sporting asset – and a fine one at that, it is peanuts. Actually, I worded that wrong. I can’t get my head round just why they think they are entitled to this player for a smaller sum. It is arrogance in the extreme.

There is nothing in these articles printed every single day in the press anymore. His future lies at the Emirates Stadium – Barcelona players have admitted as much, Arsene Wenger has stated his intention to keep him for this season and seasons beyond that too:

“Look at the length of his contract and you will see he has five or six years to go, when you sign a contract it means we are committed to a player to pay him and keep him no matter what happens.”

Have at that Barcelona.

There is absolutely no reason for all this stuff to continue now – continue it will though. At first we will have the ‘CESC TO BARCA IN JAN DEAL’ headlines. Following that will be the ‘CESC AGREES TO BARCA SUMMER TRANSFER’ headlines. There will be no escape and it should just encourage the club to keep their stance, and even strengthen it if possible. The Spanish rags, AS, Marca, Sport.es… let them keep writing. The ITV commentator that declared Cesc a Barca player during the World Cup, the likes of Andy Durham and Darren Gough on TalkSHITE radio… you are the ones that will make the club even more stubborn in their resolve. This is a radio station that slags off Marlon King wanting to resume his career and demand he is not given another chance whilst they have Stan Collymore on their payroll – and when someone points that out they cut them off !!!

People I have the solution.

Don’t listen to them. Don’t increase their listening figures so they can demand more advertising money.

It is the only way they will listen to you, too.

There will be little more comment from me on this whole scenario, I’ll talk about our club captain of course but when it involves Barcelona I won’t blog it up – in most cases I will just add it to the Cesc Fabregas tapping up dossier compiled on a separate page (click here). You can add to that what you want as well in the comments, I’ll publish any evidence you get on there.

Right, I do realise I have missed out on the stuff from today’s press conference but there really wasn’t anything new spoken about. There is also the small matter of a game against AC Milan today in the Emirates Cup. I will write about it after but it may well be after the conclusion of the tournament as I am attending on Sunday, it will be manic. Young Guns author Jamie Sanderson and myself will also be meeting with Mirror Football journalist John Cross so if there is anything you want us to ask on your behalf let me know in the comments.

Right. Up yours, Barcelona.

Til tomorrow.


Arsenal bid £10.7 million for Mertesacker + maintain Jagielka interest 74

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


its all started to pick up now the players and manager have returned from the pre-season tour of Austria – and the search for a defender seems to have taken a further step when yesterday, Arsenal offered £10.7 million for Werder Bremen defender and German international Per Mertesacker. There is no say on how the bid will be taken.. whether Bremen are open to a sale or against it. There is also interest from Milan in the player so any deal will have to be done pretty quickly.

He isn’t a bad player but I don’t quite see how he fits in with our defence – our strengths as a team expose his weaknesses, he isn’t fast or agile and I think there’s double decker buses with a smaller turning circle. But, he is an improvement on Johann Djourou (positive news on the injury front) and Laurent Koscielny – he is a hell of a tall dude who will certainly give us a bit extra when defending set pieces, and gives us a chance to become more of a threat at the other end too. The fact we are now actively in the market for players will encourage the fans who have been getting more and more disgruntled.. myself included. It looked as though there was a lack of ambition, a lack of willingness to spend the money available and with the cheats up at Middle Eastlands snapping up any player they see as half good in the weekly MATCH magazine nobody can compete. However, now their activity is coming to an end, the prices can deflate and proper (well, kind of) transfer prices can come back.

Interestingly, I have been told that we may well be seeking three players – with at least one arriving. It sounds silly but it is entirely possible, especially with Milan’s interest in Mertesacker. The back-up plan in the case of being snubbed by the big German is Everton’s Phil Jagielka…. there is still very much interest there on that front. The first bid was a disgrace at £6 million, but I doubt we would bid that much again if we were in a situation where we simply had to add to the defensive ranks. I have no idea who the third player may be.. be careful how you interpret what I say though, the may be a third player. It is by no means fact.

This is going to sound silly now, but the club have had two approaches for Thomas Rosicky this summer, and both clubs inquiring about him are tied up in these deals. Werder Bremen expressed an interest in doing business for Per Mertesacker, with a fee + Rosicky deal, and Everton also made an approach for him earlier on in the summer. Whatever the selling clubs want, I can’t see him being part of any deal, it would just cause more problems in another position.

There has been more stuff surrounding Cesc Fabregas circling around again, he apparently made these comments to a Spanish lifestyle magazine

“I’m a Barca fan, I’m a club member, as is my grandfather, my uncle, my cousin… I have had the colours in my blood from a young age, I’m Catalan. “However, I’m the captain of Arsenal, I’m a ‘Gunner’, and I have become a player there and matured as a person. “He is a second father to me, the most important person in my life after my father. He has behaved really well with me and taken me in like a son. I am part of his family, he doesn’t want me to leave. And in my last conversation with him in London, it was one of the most difficult moments I have experienced. I ended up very upset.”

I’m fed up of this now. For what it is worth it looks like he is staying and I have no doubts at all that he loves Arsenal and is open to staying here. I think it might just be one of those situations like where you go on holiday, come back and are totally miserable because you didn’t want it to end. Most of his mates are Barca players, you can understand it. I just wish there was a little more clarity, and most definitely class on the Barca front. I maintain that they need some sort of punishment for the incessant tapping up.

Tomorrow Arsene Wenger will hold his pre-Emirates Cup press conference so all the news will be re-tweeted when it comes out here. Also there will be transfer updates on my Twitter too because I can’t be doing with writing a blog for every rumour or bit of info. There is a possibility we may see Johann Djourou play which is good news after he limped out of the game midweek. Hopefully his fitness record will gradually improve but it just shows how we can’t afford to rely on him, probably even as a third choice defender.

Its also looking likely that Cesc and Robin van Persie will be missing from the squad against Liverpool in the league opener.. more on that if it happens.

Til tomorrow


Galatasaray eye up Almunia after Osasuna discussions fail 21

Posted on July 28, 2010 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

Pre-season friendlies must be the time where Arsenal TV Online receive the most of their subscriptions as that is the only place where the games are broadcast live. It is a shame that the commentators are so arrogant and the picture quality so shoddy… it is not exactly a ringing advert of competance and value is it? That said, the £3 for three pre-season friendlies is very good value.

There has been a development over the future of Manuel Almunia – it is believed that now Osasuna have dropped out of the race crawl to sign him, Galatasaray have expressed an interest in him. This is a club that could afford his wages and would be attracted by the low fee Arsenal will be willing to sell him for, if that is the case then expect the search for a goalkeeper (if the is one) to be extended and hurried up because things are starting to get rather too close to the start of the season for comfort. The thought of Fabianski in the starting eleven for Liverpool terrifies me, I’m sure in training he is fantastic and he has huge potential – but it gives us an instant handicap, we might as well start a goal down.

I don’t see Almunia being at the club for much longer, the club have to do something about the goalkeeping situation just to save fave and pay lip service. Arsene Wenger declared at the end of last season that the goalkeeping situation would have to be assessed and if necessary improved.. he was left out against Barnet and Sturm Graz, appeared to throw a bit of a strop and was, in my opinion, the target of those “the goalkeepers have to accept competition at this club” comment from Arsene.

However, I just sincerely hope that we go into the market and get a replacement, Chesney isn’t ready yet despite having all the hallmarks of a very good future number one, Mannone has been lightening in training and has potential too, but just hasn’t got the experience, Fabianski doesn’t have the experience and has mental failings. Anything other than a signing will be, (to use that word again…) neglect.

I’m told a fee of £1.5 million will be enough for Galatasaray to get their hands on Almunia, add that to the funds for a keeper already and go to Fulham with an increased bid for Schwarzer. That would do me.

John Cross – a very respectable journalist in my opinion – is running a story about Per Mertesacker being a target for us, which fits in with information that Ivan Gazidis has been in Germany (possibly Bremen) within the past week. Its hard to say whether negotiations will be ongoing because he is no longer in the country and is currently in the USA and expected to return to Blighty on Friday.

Last night the last game in Austria for this pre-season was played, we won 4-0 against FC Neusiedl who ATVO reckoned we could notch up a cricket score against – as it turned out they were a handy team and were by no means humiliated, giving a good account of themselves.

It took a while for us to break the deadlock with Theo Walcott finishing nicely, maybe giving him a little bit of a confidence boost and getting him in shape for the Emirates Cup games. Just a couple of minutes after, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas finished a nice move off, a wonderful ball from Gibbs, he wriggled about a bit (bit difficult for someone of his stature) and finished it into the bottom corner. Great finish and hopefully we will see some of him this season as he has so many wonderful physical attributes to become quite the player for us. A different type of player.

Marouane Chamakh managed to net his first goal for us with a coolly taken penalty after being felled in the area, its good to see him open his account for the club, un-officially at least. He is a player I really want to see more of, even if he does look like the Brylcreem boy.

Fans are starting to get disillusioned and it is understandable why, there’s that team from the Middle Eastlands splashing the cash out on all and sundry whilst theres us who have brought in a striker on a free (with undoubted quality, mind), and Laurent Koscielny who has only played one season of top flight football in his career. There are massive gaps in the squad at center back in particular and it seems we haven’t really pushed the boat out to try and sort that out… its not very inspirational to say the least. Then there is the reticence of the boss to cough up for Mark Schwarzer or Phil Jagielka and the frustration continued to grow, including my own.

There needs to be a signing, one to get excited about too – I’m not talking massive cash splashing but just a name everyone has heard of, a solid name.

If that happens everyone will feel a whole lot better.

Lets wait and see…

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