Posts Tagged ‘Arsenal’

Football

Why Arsenal will announce a new signing today

By Stefano on May 20th, 2013

So the speculation can finally end. Arsenal are back in the Champions League next year – well provided they negotiate the qualifying round – and that £70 million burning a hole in Arsene’s pocket can be used to buy some of Europe’s elite players.

One thing is for sure. Arsenal will announce a new signing in the next 24 hours.

Here is the theory. Arsenal haven’t been able to open season ticket renewals for gold members (the vast majority of their fans) until today as they didn’t know how many games they would be playing next year. With the season over they need that money in their bank account as fast as possible – in fact Gooners will only have ten days in which to pay it!

Economic pressure means that there is a section of fans who are mulling over a renewal of their season ticket. They need a reason to sign up for another year and quick.

So I wonder if those deals with Higuain and Jovetic – well at least one and quite possibly the former – will get announced today.

So expect Arsene to be busy today..



Football

Wayne Rooney to Arsenal? Surely not…

By Stefano on May 17th, 2013

The Wayne Rooney to Arsenal story has reignited again this morning courtesy of the Daily Mail.

The paper says Arsenal have been discussing a bid for the England player since March and are now poised to make their move.

However it also adds

‘putting together a financial package to land him is the major obstacle to a deal.
Lukas Podolski, the top earner at the Emirates Stadium, is on just over £100,000 a week compared to Rooney’s £250,000.’

It just won’t happen will it?! If Wenger can get Jovetic, a similar player who arguably comes with less baggage for £25 million and £120k a week, he is not going to fork out stupid money for Rooney.

I think this is serious mischief making by the Mail.



Football

Arsenal appear to have signed French striker…

By Stefano on May 17th, 2013

So says French radio station RMC which is reporting that Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign Auxerre striker Yaya Sanogo on a freebie this summer. Apparently it s four year deal for the striker who is currently plying his trade with Ligue 2 side Auxerre.

If it is true then the good news is that Sanogo ceryaionly knows where the sticks are. The 20 year old has scored eight goals in seven games for Auxerre in Ligue 2 season.

The bad news is that he is a bit injury prone. But then I seem to remember another Arsenal striker had issues with injuries for a while…

So is Sanogo the next Henry? Or the next Joel Campbell. We will find out soon enough. Above is his four goal haul against Laval in March which probably got Wenger and Grimandi over excited. Mind you, two of those goals my gran could have put away…

This one does sound like a goer to me though.



Football

Arsenal update: David Villa – it is us or Spurs?

By Stefano on May 17th, 2013

So David Villa’s quest to re start his carer in North London and the Premiership continues, however the news this morning is that the Spanish striker might not heading for his expected destination

The Barca man, who very nearly joined Arsenal in the winter window is, according to radio station Cadena Ser and newspaper Mundo Deportivo, on his way to White Hart Lane and that a £15million fee has already been agreed between the two clubs.

However any deal is predicated on whether or not Spurs qualify for the Champions League.

Presumably if Arsenal qualify then the striker will want to join the red and white half of North London.

So what is really going on? I wonder if the Vila rumour is similar to supposed Arsenal deals for Higuain and Jovetic.

Maybe agreements have been signed but are only going to be activated if the club achieves Champions League football.

Both Arsenal and Spurs will need to announce some big transfers on Monday to ensure that, in these recessionary times, those wavering over renewing their season tickets cough up the cash.

Personally I think Villa is too old and out of form for £15 million. What do you think?



Football

Crystal Palace and Arsenal – comparing the Premiership with the Championship

By Stefano on May 16th, 2013

Arsenal fan Julius @OneGunn3r on the differences between life at the top of the Premiership and Championship.

It only really struck me last night just how sheltered a fan I am. I decided to get a ticket to the Crystal Palace vs. Brighton play off semi final, caught up with the romance of a big rivalry and the opportunity for both sides to get one over each other on a march to the big time that is Premier League football. It was always going to be a heated clash, but for me, the iron didn’t strike in the way I thought it would.

I have heard so much about the competitiveness of the Championship, and judging from the game on offer that viewpoint was certainly not without reason; It was a match of true heart, with full-blooded tackles flying in and incessant goading from both sets of supporters. The only times I’ve genuinely been exposed to an atmosphere like the one at Selhurst Park have been watching Arsenal get creamed at the San Siro and seeing Ronaldinho receive a red card at the Camp Nou.

It was a genuine throwback to the days before the modernisation, and some would say commercialisation, of football. There were fans without tickets crammed in the isles, wooden seats that were stood on, smokers, a camera team relying on crummy scaffold to keep them from falling into an abyss of South London smog. In all honesty, it was absolutely awe striking. The only real blotch on the show that the Holmersdale and Arthur Wait stands put on was the sheer amount of homophobic abuse towards the Brighton contingent.

Yet, the football was atrocious. Without the stereotypically brazen snobbery of an Arsenal supporter, there was so little to get excited about on the pitch it made sense that the Palace fans generate such a fantastic atmosphere. So much of the chanting is rolling, thundering around the ground whilst the ball is lumped back and forth to the apathy of thousands, so many songs sung to the theme of Peter Ramage and co. slicing the ball out for throw ins and corners.

The contrast between what I experienced at Selhurst Park and my day job as a Gooner is massive. Whether it’s in the comfort of Islington’s leather seated Emirates or standing up on an away day at Swansea, everyone is always watching the game, waiting for that spark of magic the team is capable of. There is a tangible reaction to what happens on the pitch, a smattering of applause for a Cazorla flick or groans when Sagna opts to pass the ball backwards rather than cross into the box. Palace’s contingent seems less reactionary and more relaxed than Arsenal’s about the state of affairs on the pitch.

It left me wondering why that could be. If Arsenal plays bad football, often there is not an aura that is negative so much as barbed and drenched in poison. As opposed to an acceptance that no footballer is perfect, there are cries and yells when someone cannot function in the way highly expectant fans crave. The high ticket prices at The Emirates surely contribute to the obsession with perfection on the field. My £30 ticket for the Palace game would have cost me about £90 had it been Arsenal vs. Spurs. The higher the price, the more significant the quality is.

To qualify the difference, I can point to two matches against the cash cows of England. Last season, a ticket for a League Cup game at home to Manchester City was on sale as cheap as £25, whilst this year, when Chelsea came to the Emirates, fans were paying up to £126. Whilst the side lost both matches, there was a marked difference in atmosphere. Against City, the fans were very supportive of the players, even when they failed to match the quality on offer from the away side. Against Chelsea, even at 1-1 and playing well, every little mistake was met with roars of discontent and frustration. This culminated with an own goal, the first loss of the season and a red exodus.

When comparing the dynamics of Crystal Palace fans and those supporting Arsenal and the like, genuine footballing factors also have to be considered. The Eagles have been in the second tier for the majority of the last twenty years, whilst Arsenal fans have been accustomed to the best football on offer in the country. Their fall from a position of such strength has resulted in frustration at the failings of 2013’s Arsenal; namely through means such of almost callow anger.

In my opinion, Palace aren’t brilliant, but they do they really care? Arsenal used to be fantastic, and they really do mind their relative fall from grace. There is an inferiority complex around The Emirates about the team’s shortcomings, whilst at Selhurst Park they welcome their side’s imperfections as a true reflection of themselves. There is a siege mentality at Crystal Palace, which I am sure is common amongst many sides playing away from the glamour and glitz of the Premier League.

Which mentality do I prefer? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for. If you want your wallet emptied several times over to be entertained but almost unfailingly disappointed, pick the Emirates. But if you prefer the good old days of being unfashionable and proud, pick Palace. For me, it is, and always will be, Arsenal. Then again, I’m just a modern football fan.



Football

Arsenal update: David Villa, Lukasz Piszczek, Julian Draxler

By Stefano on May 10th, 2013

Another of the winter’s main targets for Arsene Wenger is back in the news again. Barca’s David Villa is the subject of much speculation this morning as it was revealed that he allegedly had one one foot at Arsenal in the winter.

Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo claims that the North Londoners had offered £8.5m for the 31-year-old, but the La Liga leaders wanted a larger sum. Villa was so keen to leave that he even offered to negotiate part of the deal himself.

Ultimately Barca decided that they needed the 31 year old for their domestic and European campaigns and he stayed.

Villa has had a disappointing end to his season with poor personal form as well as Barca’s undignified Champions League exit. He is still likely to leave Barca at the end of the season, but whether Arsene Wenger re-ignites his interest in the player is another matter.

A couple of sources have reiterated that Arsene Wenger has his sights on a new right back in case Bacary Sagna decides to leave the club in the summer. The Mail reports that the club are after Borussia Dortmund defender Lukasz Piszczek as a potential replacement for Sagna after the Frenchman refused to sign a one year contract extension.

The 27 year old Pole has been in excellent form this season, but doubts remain over whether Dortmund will let yet another star player leave.

Finally one player who seemingly isn’t Emirates-bound is Schalke’s Julian Draxler. Yesterday the 19 year old signed a deal with the German club that will take him through until 2018.



Football

Arsenal still considering Turkish winger?

By Stefano on May 9th, 2013

With the summer window rapidly approaching it will be interesting to see how many names that were linked with Arsenal in the winter window are quoted for a second time.

One player who might get some serious attention from Arsenal is Atletico Madrid’s Turkish star Arda Turan.

His agent, Ahmet Bulut, hinted that the player was keen to move to London in the winter and now Turkish-Football has revived the story.

Bulut apparently said

“There are a few clubs interested, Liverpool are one, and so are Arsenal. There are no official or concrete offers at the moment but two clubs have spoken about wages.

“He is interested in working under Arsene Wenger because he is very good at working with young players, and Arda wants to work in England.”

The down side is that Atletico apparently value the player at 24 million Euros and his form – four goals and eight assists in all competitions this season – would suggest that he might not be worth that kind of figure.



Football

Arsenal update: Sagna, Remy, Rooney, Draxler and Ulreich

By Stefano on May 9th, 2013

Morning Gooners, there’s plenty to chew on today with the rumour mills working over time predicting who Arsenal are going to sign in the summer.

One player who might not be going anywhere is right back Bacary Sagna. A couple of sources are saying that his dream move to PSG has broken down and that the player will stay at The Emirates. Even though he hasn’t maintained his impeccably high standards this year I think most Arsenal fans would probably like to see him stay.

One deal that is surely on the cards is the capture of Loic Remy from QPR. Wenger likes him, he wants to come, he wouldn’t be pricey, Arsenal need more strikers. Done deal?

Well apparently not. The Daily Star says that the Arsenal board aren’t convinced by Remy and instead fancy a move for Vitesse Arnhem striker Wilfried Bony instead.

Bony has been cracking them in for fun in Holland this year and will be available for the low price of just £7 million.

Personally I am not convinced by this one and I think that Remy has done enough to secure a move to North London, unless Wenger makes two marquee striker signings.

With Fergie readying his gardening gloves the future of Wayne Rooney has come under the spotlight again. The new manager, that’ll be David Moyes then, needs to make a marquee striker signing – Lewandowski? – as well as accommodate Wellbeck and RVP (who will be nowhere near as effective next season, just you watch). This would then shunt Rooney into the midfield or on to the subs bench, or into the arms of Arsenal? Well Arsene is a fan, and we could afford his transfer fee, although his wages would be an issue.

The problem for Moyes is that if he does want to go it would have to be Bayern or PSG. That’s because Man United are way too smart to sell their star players to Premiership rivals, unlike someone else we could mention…

Can’t see this one happening, but Le Grove is enjoying the speculation.

Another move that is being mooted is for Schalke’s teenage playmaker Julian Draxler. As has been mentioned many times before Borussia Dortmund need a player to replace Mario Gotze who is heading for Bayern and Draxler fits the bill perfectly. Again Wenger has admired the youngster for a while now and he has hinted that he might consider a move to England, so you never know.

Finally the search for a keeper continues and has now shifted to Germany and Stuttgart’s Sven Ulreich. The young keeper, who has played well this season, has been mooted as a possible target by TalkSport. Would he much of an upgrade on our Pole though? I thought the whole point of buying a new keeper was to get in some experience to help the youngsters.



Football

Arsenal fans guide to Chelsea songs for tonight – with updated lyrics

By Stefano on May 8th, 2013

In what is a massively weird situation Arsenal fans will be cheering on Chelsea tonight to ensure that Spurs remain in fifth place thereby leaving fourth place to Arsenal if they win their last two games.

So Gunners fans some of the songs that you know and love will have their lyrics changed for one night only.

So for example that old classic

Ten men went to laugh, went to laugh at Chelsea

Now becomes…

One man went to mow,
Went to mow a meadow,
(aside) Meadow!,
One man and his dog,
(aside) Spot!,
Went to mow a meadow,

Two men went to mow,
Went to mow a meadow,
(aside) Meadow!
Two men, one man and his dog,
(aside) Spot!
Went to mow a meadow,

Nope I don’t get it either

Also the classic traditionally sung at players who were tracked by Arsenal, coughs, Mata, Hazard and Cahill (as well as a certain left back), but took the Blues cash namely

Salary, salary, if he don’t come I’ll tickle his bum with a massive salary

Now becomes

Celery, celery, if she don’t come I’ll tickle her bum with a lump of celery.

As for that Kaiser Chiefs song sung when Lampard gets the ball – ‘I Predict a diet’

It now becomes

Super, super Frank
Super, super Frank
Super, super Frank
Super Frankie Lampard

If any Chelsea fans can help out with the origin of the songs, or maybe suggest some more that Arsenal fans could sing tonight, leave them in the comments.

There are more songs here.



Football

Arsenal update: Jovetic, Lewandowski, Remy and Yilmaz

By Stefano on May 7th, 2013

There’s loads of Arsenal-related transfer gossip this morning – not a lot of it, it had to be said, of any substance.

The most interesting is from Goal.com which claims that Arsenal aren’t just after one marquee striker signing, but two. The site says that Arsenal are in advanced talks with Fiorentina to sign Stevan Jovetic but are also mulling over a move for Robert Lewandowski and Edin Dzeko.

Joevtic seems to be a done deal, especially now it appears that Juventus have cooled their interest in the Montengerin. The big question mark this year has been his form as he only has 12 goals to his name

Goal says

Fiorentina’s public stance is that they value Jovetic between £25-£30m but Arsenal are confident of agreeing a fee for less than £20m.

The Gunners are likely to start the bidding at around the £17m mark soon after the Premier League transfer window opens on May 20.

Arsenal have apparently been in contact with the representatives of Borussia Dortmund’s in-demand spearhead Lewandowski and are also keeping close tabs on Manchester City striker Dzeko.

I think it highly unlikely that Lewandowski will be Emirates-bound this year and as for Dzeko, I think he might be favourite to replace the Pole at Dortmund.

Much more likely to land is QPR’s Loic Remy, who has scored five times in eleven appearances for Rangers this season. A number of sources are continuing with the story and a fee is expected to be of around £6 million. If Arsenal don’t qualify for the Champions League he might end up being the only option.

Finally The Express suggests that the Gunners are also looking at Galatasaray’s Turkish star Burak Yilmaz. The player, who has been in riveting form this season, will apparently cost Arsenal around £15 million.



Football

Arsenal update: news on QPR targets from Harry and Arsene

By Stefano on May 3rd, 2013

Arsenal travel to QPR on Saturday and as Arsene Wenger has reiterated today they only have one thing on their minds – winning three points.

Maybe afterwards though Arsene will sit down for post match cuppa with Harry and talk about the future of several QPR players.

The most obvious one is Julio Cesar who seems to have emerged as Arsenal’s number one goalkeeping target.

Wenger is clearly keen and Cesar wants to leave. But Harry is obviously angling for as big a fee as possible. He told Sky Sports

“He’s a top, top goalkeeper. There’s no doubt about that. He’s a Brazil international so for him to play in the Championship next year would be difficult. I can understand that.”

“But he’s a good goalkeeper. It would take a good offer. How this game works is you buy players and those who don’t do well, you’re stuck with them but those who do well, they think they’ll walk away for nothing.

“You’ve got to get what you feel is value for him. He’s going to cost decent money if anyone wants to buy him. He’s a good goalkeeper.”

Wenger might also have word about Loic Remy. Wenger said of him today at his press conference.

“I’ve known him for years,” said Wenger. “He is a very efficient striker.”

He may only cost £8 million too. If Arsenal fail to qualify for the Champions League then he may end up rivaling Frenchman Olivier Giroud in leading the line next year. If Arsenal do grab a CL spot then he could be teaming up with Stevan Jovetic.

Then there’s a certain Chris Samba too.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall.

.



Football

Arsenal round up: Gonalons, Fabregas, Koscielny and Cesar

By Stefano on May 3rd, 2013

It is no secret that Arsenal are looking to strengthen their midfield this summer with one, maybe two signings. On the Emirates wants list somewhere is likely to be the £15m-rated Lyon captain Maxime Gonalons.

Wenger has sent scouts to watch the 24-year-old on several occasions this season and Lyon have hinted that it take offers of over £15 million seriously.

Gonalons is a defensively minded midfielder and is another option for along side old boy Alex Sony and Etienne Capoue.

Meanwhile Laurent Koscielny is continuing to attract attention from Europe’s footballing elite. After a supposed inquiry from Barcelona, Goal is reporting that Bayern Munich are also interested in the French defender.

Apparently they are mulling over a £20 million bid, but but the good news for Arsenal fans is that the club is confident that he will stay.

Meanwhile Cesc Fabregas has spoken openly for the first time about a possible return to The Emirates. Quizzed about his life in Spain and a possible move back to London Cesc told Sky Sports.

“I do not know what is being said and even what is written. I can only say that I alone know my own future.”

Which hardly sounds like a resounding commitment to the Catalan club. This one is going to run all summer.

Finally the gossip over the future of QPR’s star player continues with three and in speculating that Arsenal may make a move for the Brazilian keeper Cesar, but they might find his wages too much to accommodate.

I guess you could say the same for several other Rangers players too.



Football

Villa, Valdes, Sanchez, Song – should Arsenal sign any of them?

By Stefano on May 2nd, 2013

While everyone else was marveling at a wonderful performance from Bayern last night Arsenal fans had another reason to keep a very close eye on Barca’s woeful Champions League exit.

This is because for the latter part of the game all five of the players that have been linked with the club in the last few months were on the pitch at the same time – a very rare occurrence.

It gave Arsene Wenger a chance to have a peek at how a new Barca flavoured Arsenal might look next season and the results don’t look too pretty. Would this lot be an upgrade on what Arsenal have now? Mmmm.

The worst performer was Alex Song. In for Javier Mascherano he simply didn’t look that interested. His distribution was poor, he seemed off the pace and in truth his body language betrayed what an awful few months he has had in Catalonia. He looks like a player who has completely lost any self-belief.

Alexis Sanchez didn’t seem to much better either. He huffed an puffed on the left for the last part of the game to little avail. Again his link up play was poor and he seemed also to be lacking in confidence.

As for David Villa, he looks a shadow the player that has been terrorising defences for years. He created little and apart from a very good header that went just wide he barely hit anything that was remotely near the target.

Apart from picking the ball out of the net three times- none of which were really his fault, Victor Valdes had an ok game. And as for Cesc Fabregas, he was one of Barca’s better players on the night looking a lot more comfortable in the middle than out on the right where he was stationed for part of the game.

If last night is a barometer for how the players are at the moment, and let’s remember the were up against a very good Bayern team, Wenger won’t be convinced and will need to look elsewhere to offload some of their squad players.

Fabregas would always be welcome back and life might end up being a lot easier for him in London too, and Valdes would be a significant upgrade on Arsenal’s current keepers.

Barca screwed up badly by not selling Villa to Arsenal in the window. It would be astonishing if the 31 year old ended up as Arsenal’s marquee signing ahead of say Stevan Jovetic. He would be a useful addition to the squad but he as gone from being a must buy to a luxury and Arsenal won’t pay Barca anything like the money they want for him.

I also think Wenger will pass on Sanchez, and as for Song, well much depends on how damaged he thinks the player is following his season in Spain. He doesn’t resemble the cocky £15 million Arsenal reluctantly let go last summer.

In the great tradition of Arsenal and Barcelona, I think we might see some rather mickey taking offers coming in this summer. The irony is that it won’t be Barcelona saying no thanks unless they get players on cut-price deals, but Arsenal looking for bargains.

So which is the Barca quintet would you sign?



Football

Arsenal update: Draxler, Adler and Benteke

By Stefano on May 1st, 2013

It is a fairly quiet morning for transfer rumours today, but there are a few lingering on from yesterday that have small updates.

Firstly Julian Draxler has been rubbishing suggestions that he will move to Borussia Dortmund in the summer. With Gotze on his way to Bayern Munich Draxler was apparently being lined up as his replacement for the Champions League finalists.

Not so. Draxler was quoted as saying

“Some of the rumours have been taken for face value, which has made me sad. I can promise to all that I will not play for Borussia Dortmund.”

Meanwhile Schalke general manager Horst Heldt said it would take at least £85m to bring them to the negotiating table.

So Wenger just needs to find a spare £15 million round the back of an Emirates sofa then!? This doesn’t sound like it is going to happen now does it!

Also in Germany Hamburg keeper Rene Adler says that he is honoured to be linked with Arsenal. The German number two/three keeper says that he is staying focussed.

“I am under contract with Hamburg, but for every professional it will be a pleasure and honour to get linked with a club like this,” said Adler.

“This is flattering. It will absolutely hand me more motivation, I will not lose my focus.”

Finally, after a brilliant performance on Monday for Villa the stakes are being raised even higher over the future of Christian Benteke. The Belgian will be offered a new and much more financially rewarding contract by Paul Lambert/Randy Lerner to keep him at the Midlands club.

Whether that will be enough to see off the North London vultures – both Arsenal and Spurs are allegedly interested in the player – remains to be seen.



Football

The five reasons why Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger isn’t PSG-bound this summer

By Stefano on April 30th, 2013

First it was clear that he was staying, and now the Telegraph has suggested that he is on his way to France. So where will Arsene Wenger be managing next season? I think there is only one place – Arsenal.

The Frenchman isn’t about to jettison his North London project a year earlier for the following reasons.

1 At Arsenal he runs the show – If he wants a player he works with the board to get them. At PSG it could be different. There are the club’s cash backers who may insist on signings too. Did Anecelotti really want David Beckham in his squad? Wenger has huge power at Arsenal, that won’t be the case in Paris.

2 He won’t want the pressure – Sure next season at Arsenal could be tough, it will be especially difficult for the Frenchman if the signings and real campaign for silverware doesn’t materialise. But in Paris success will have to be instantaneous. If Wenger doesn’t at the very least stroll to the Ligue One title and mount a very serious challenge for the Champions League he could be out on his ear. Does a guy in his 60s need that kind of pressure?

3 It would mean breaking his contract with Arsenal – Arsene just isn’t that type of person. He will want to see what happens next season with the Gunners. He may after all be angling for an extension to his contract if things go well.

4 There will still be plenty of options in summer 2014 – If Wenger does still want to manage PSG there’s a good chance the job will be available – especially if the manager that the club choose doesn’t succeed.

5 If he goes now he will be leaving the club at a low point – Arsenal might still finish third, but there is no doubt that this has been Wenger’s most difficult season at the club. He will be desperate to go out on a high and one last crack at winning some silverware is very tempting for him.




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