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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