Posts Tagged ‘Sunderland’

Football

Arsenal transfer update: Sunzu confusion, Gonalons linked

By Stefano on February 27th, 2013

There is an interesting story in Here Is The City about the fate of the brilliantly named Stoppila Sunzu. If you remember rightly the Zambian defender Sunzu was apparently all lined up to be Arsenal’s first signing of the window with the association in his own country reporting that a move to North London was imminent.

And then it went odd, very odd. The player seemed destined for Reading and then Sunderland were reported to be interested and then nothing.

HITC asks the question what is going on with the player and puts the blame for the lack of activity squarely at the feet of the player’s team.

It says

The confusion stems around his agents and representatives who appear to have not been doing a very good job of representing their client’s best interests. They had reportedly informed the Zambia international, and any interested suitors, that his contract at current club TP Mazembe was invalid therefore he was eligible to leave on a free transfer.

In fact the DR Congo club, one of the richest football establishments in African football, are requesting a fee of £4 million as his contract is more than legally binding, a fact confirmed by Mazembe’s club president Moise Katumbi in an interview with the BBC last week:

“The matter has been resolved after we went through the contract with everyone and the player admitted his contract was still valid. The problem is that his handlers have been lying to him so that he rebels against us. We suspect they wanted to get all his transfer fees by declaring him a free agent. TP Mazembe is a professional club and we will never stand in the way of our players as long as the right procedure is followed.”

The club are apparently keen to cash in on one of their prize assets and £4 million would be enough to land the player. But it seems that for now at least he is going nowhere.

The Metro has an update on a player who is alleged to be one of Arsene Wenger’s long term targets.

Lyon midfielder Maxime Gonalons has apparently been tracked by Arsenal’s Mr French Football Gilles Grimandi for several months now and has put in a string of impressive performances. He’s a defensively minded midfielder who has only ever played for Lyon. The Metro reckons he will cost the Gunners around £12 million. Arsenal are reported to be tracking several midfielders including Etienne Capoue of Toulouse and Newcastle’s Chieck Tiote.

How would you spend Arsenal’s cash? Check here.



Football

Arsenal V Sunderland – five things to watch for

By Stefano on February 9th, 2013

Last year Arsenal’s game against Sunderland at the Stadium Of Light, which was almost a year ago to the day, will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. It was on a very sub-standard pitch that Per Mertesacker sustained an injury which meant that he missed the rest of the season. Arsenal went on to win the game 2-1 and today Arsene Wenger kwows that is it three points or busts for this players – or else that fourth place claim will start sounding a bit hollow.

So what should we be looking for?

1 Who is going to play as central defender? - With Vermaelen injured and Koscielny facing a late fitness test Wenger has a tricky decision to make about who will partner Per Mertesacker. The injuries raise the dreaded prospect (for some Arsenal fans) of a return to the Premiership of one Sebastien Squillaci. Alternatively Wenger could opt to play Ignasi Miquel his 20 year old Spaniard. Wenger has also suggested that Carl Jenkinson might get the nod with his pace and ability to read the game complementing Mertesacker’s physical presence.

2 Can Arsenal turn possession into goals?
– So many times this season Arsenal, have enjoyed a large amount of possession in games and not delivered enough goals. With Sunderland I expect that the Black Cats will try and hit Arsenal on the break as well as use ex Gunner Sebastian Larsson to engineer chances from dead ball situations. I wonder if Arteta will play deeper than usual to counter this.

3 Will Wilshere and Walcott have an England hangover? - Both players were exceptional for their country this week, but how will that critical acclaim affect their game today? Walcott might find his opportunities to break at speed limited with Sunderland playing quite deep. As for Wilshere, surely he is the key man for Arsenal this afternoon as he wangles his way through the middle to create chances for the team’s front men.

4 Expect lots of long range shots from The Gunners – Let’s hope that Podolski, Cazorla and Arteta have their shooting boots on. I think that a packed Sunderland defence could mean that Arsenal’s best bet are shots from the edge of the area.

5 Can Giroud continue his rich vein of form? - The French striker has been reminding Arsenal fans this week that he has started his career at the club much better than a Dutchman whose name I don’t care to mention. Away at Sunderland though is exactly the type of game where Giroud will need to get goals. He has at times squandered chances. He better not to do today as I don’t think he will get too many.




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