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Archive for June, 2011


Arsenal closing on Gervinho, Alvarez, Cahill 52

Posted on June 30, 2011 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

Since May Arsenal have inquired after a whole host of players. This may have been the result of the mistakes that were made last summer where we had a few stone wall targets – when we failed to bring them in we were left reliant on youth or forced into a panic buy. One of these was Sebastian Squillaci. He was well down the lists of center-backs Arsene Wenger wanted, he played like it too, consistently left high and dry with our high defensive line.

Both Cahill and Samba have been targeted this summer along with Phil Jones. Personally I feel that Arsene wanted to give him another year at Blackburn and felt he had to act quickly after realising that was never going to happen. The sum of money offered would have been a new transfer record for Arsenal. Before this, Arsenal had already spoken to Blackburn about Samba – a fee was agreed in principle, £9m rising with add-on’s. An issue arose – I guess it was due to clauses Blackburn agreed to when they signed the player about a percentage of the fee being paid to his previous club – their owners are so naive when it comes to football, they don’t have a clue. Samba still wants the move and Arsenal, rightly, won’t pay above what they offered. I get the feeling later in the summer some sort of compromise will be agreed though.

Arsenal are moving for Cahill though, the suggestion is at least one player will move in the opposite direction. Personally, I would like to see Vela go there for a season on loan, maybe with Lansbury too. I would rather take straight cash for Nicklas Bendtner or keep him – he can be a valuable asset to the club, despite what some sections of the support think.

The fee will be a sizable one but there is money in the bank, it would be a step in the right direction but the defensive problem is one one strictly reduced to the personnel on offer. It runs deeper and that must be sorted when the players report back next week for pre-season training.

A fair amount of time ago Arsene Wenger hinted at the ideal number of center-backs he likes in a squad.. last season we were still one short of that number – it is more than possible that we will see another defender arrive along with Cahill. We will probably have a look at the free agents on offer but it would not be at all surprising to see Samba arrive as I said earlier. Somebody like Bendtner could majorly pad out a deal like that, and Blackburn would have the funds to pay his hefty wages. Could his pride take that, I wonder?

Another, more exotic name, that has been linked with us closely recently is that of Ricky Alvarez. He is a player that nobody really knows much about – some self styled South American football pundits tend to think he is the real deal. If he is then that is great, it could well be the case that he takes up the squad position of somebody like Tomas Rosicky who I don’t expect to be an Arsenal player next season.

Various media sources have the deal at an advanced stage – some claim he has already signed. Apparently we are prepared to meet the fee demanded (from what I am told) and with the player seemingly delighted at the prospect of being an Arsenal player I can’t imagine anything holding it up. Transfers are complicated things though – lets see what occurs.

And Gervinho… did he have a medical yesterday – didn’t he have a medical yesterday? I was told at about 9am yesterday that a player was at Colney for a medical. Many mentioned Gervinho’s name as talk of that spread throughout the day – the suggestion is though that it may even have been Cahill at the training ground. The Gervinho deal is all but done though, it will be announced in due course.

A lot of people in the media – and in the blogosphere – have born the brunt of a lot of frustration at people who are privileged enough to have information that is not readily available. There are bad eggs out there, there are also genuine people. When I pass on information I do so in good faith – in other words I don’t make it up, what would I gain out of it? Website hits? Do me a favour. Why would I put my Samba news on Twitter about 24 hours before writing it up? In football things change rapidly – information can be outdated very quickly. A little understanding would make the online football world a lot more pleasant.

Anyway, that is my say over. I have just written this before a 5am start so I hope it made sense..

Til tomorrow.

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Clarification & Juan Mata’s Arsenal link 35

Posted on June 29, 2011 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

I published a quick article earlier that caused a bit of a stir. Maybe I should explain my thinking a little more..

The league champions have brought in a very good player in Ashley Young -  a player Arsenal had been keeping an eye on all season – they have also brought in a fantastic young defensive player in Phil Jones. It is a sign of intent and ambition, a desire to improve on last season and go one step further. City, believe it or not, have been inquiring about class players on the continent and will probably be making some sizable moves soon – Chelsea are going after Neymar.

Look at Arsenal right now and can you see any of that? There is a lack of killer instinct on the pitch and off it. How many players have we placed a bid for this summer? More than you may think, that is for sure. The only signing we have sealed was done and dusted months ago. I get the feeling that we are just being taken for a ride by other clubs, they know we do have money to spend and more often than not one of our rivals will stump up the cash if we don’t. Is this the reason we are going for players of Samba’s quality? No disrespect, but he is hardly Fernando Hierro…

It makes it worse to know that we look set to give in to Barcelona and give up our captain for a stupidly low fee. This is as they are securing the signing of Sanchez too for a fee that would pretty much match that paid for Cesc with all the add-ons activated. It is a farce. I will have my say on the conduct of Cesc if/when he leaves, it isn’t all positive but he could have behaved far worse. If Madrid came in with a bid I would still sell him to them, just to spite Barca.

A lot of people doubt today’s story in the Mirror about us losing both Cesc and Nasri – it is written by John Cross and Darren Lewis – two very respectable journalists who have no motive to scaremonger. Like I have said on numerous occasions, when a journalist writes a story he has often been tipped off from somewhere – it isn’t a case of creative writing to meet a deadline. The Guardian are also now reporting Barca tabling a new £35m bid for Cesc.

There will probably also be one last contract offer to Samir Nasri today or tomorrow, the deadline day for him. If he doesn’t accept, Arsenal will actively try to move him on.

The other day there were reports of Arsenal tabling an £18 million offer for Valencia’s Juan Mata – he is a player we showed an active interest in earlier this year after Lille started playing silly buggers with Eden Hazard’s asking price. Arsenal made contact with Valencia and the players father. Nothing materialised and I doubt there has been any change since then.

For what it is worth, I am very much looking forward to next season. I do think we will get some players in, the quality of those players is what I will probably end up questioning.

Til tomorrow.

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As our rivals strengthen, Arsenal weaken to a worrying degree 50

Posted on June 29, 2011 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

Chelsea are going after class. United are going after class. Liverpool are going after class. City are going after class.

Arsenal are looking set to be shorn of one of the worlds finest players and a player with the potential to hit that level in Samir Nasri. Forgive me for being a little underwhelmed with the mooted replacements as well.

Arsenal are being shown up as lightweights. At the end of the last season we saw the glass jaw on the pitch – this season we are seeing the glass jaw off the pitch. £34m is the rumoured fee for Cesc from Barca – That will buy you Andy Carrol, and a bit of hair shampoo to smooth his locks. What an utter disgrace.

Cesc is an Arsenal player under law unless an offer is deemed good enough to release him from his contract with Arsenal.The accepting of an offer so mediocre shows Arsenal are not only weak at negotiating the arrival of players, but also their departures. We can’t keep Nasri and Cesc but can’t get rid of Denilson – yet when a £10m offer comes in for Abou Diaby, it is rejected. Laughable business.

Where is the ambition? Where are the players with the names that would boost shirt sales across the globe? That would make business sense, an investment not only on the pitch but commercially.

Where is your ambition and backbone, Arsenal?

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