Monday, June 05, 2006

An attempt to drum up some news.

Yes, being as all the world's top players are now holed up around Germany, little is going on. Well, I say little, we have signed the midfield titan that is Alexander Song for 4million Euros. Before everyone screams 'Arsene knows, Arsene Knows' - 1) yes, he is usually right, but 2) Cygan. Hmm?

We have been linked with a few players, but few of a well renowned calibre. Chiellini is supposedly being lined up in case Ash goes, which, given as he's 21, seems plausible. Zokora, who we've been linked with for most of the year, has been the subject of a £7m bid from the Spuds, apparently.

Otherwise, it seems we may have to wait until after the world cup for any new players to arrive. This will, unfortunately, inflate the price of any players we buy. Despite Arsene's ostensibly cool demeanour, I would be very surprised if he didn't swoop a few more times before the end of the summer. We have, hopefully, a long, long season ahead of us: Our first CL game is in early August and, fingers crossed, if we reach the final, that would be a full ten months later. We need to fill the cracks in the squad. We may not be able to compete with Chelsea financially, but we can still improve on the thickness of the squad before August. My money is on Ribery arriving.

As for the Beveren case, to put it simply - there is none. Regardless of whether the Newsnight editor is a Spur's fan, if we haven't broken the law, we haven't broken the law. This isn't just Gooner's burying their heads in the sand, it's fact. I dislike the shadiness of the situation, but I really don't think Dein is stupid enough to openly sign documents that could really incriminate him. Moreover, how we can be accused of financial irregularities given Abramovic's antics is laughable. As is the fact that David Dein has been removed from the FA board for David Gill: what possible accusations couldn't be levelled at Gill which could be levelled at Dein? Is the conflict of interest not just as palpable?

I refuse to comment on Ash's new book, short of saying, 'please Ashley, get a new agent'. I want him to stay but i feel the gap between him and the club is widening, not shortening.

As for England...

We thrashed an awful Jamaica side on Saturday. The only real positives to come out of the game were Owen playing 90 minutes; Crouch's hat-trick; and Carragher's astute performance at r-b. Crouchy has become a real goalmouth threat. Something I wouldn't believe a few weeks ago. The biggest negative to come out of the game was, predictably, the Gerrard/Lampard fiasco. Lampard, being the fundamentally one-dimensional player he is, hogged the attacking midfielder role, and made Stevie do the dirty work. While Gerrard put in a solid defensive performance, he could be England's best player in this tournament, and he won't be because Sven hasn't got the balls to drop Lampard and play a defensive midfielder next to Gerrard. If he did that Steve would get all the goals Lampard did, and give even more to the team as a whole.

Elsewhere - Reyes scored a storming free-kick for Spain. Before we all shout: 'why doesn't he do this for the Gooners', we should realised that Tel wouldn't have let him take that Free kick if he was on the pitch with him.

On a final note, if you need some light enertainment, do watch 'Green Street'. Despite the graphic violence, and the rather poignant ending, it is almost comically awful - if not as bad as the 'football factory- and has the most farcically implausible portrayal of a London accent - in the Paul character - I've seen since Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins. Apparently, Arsenal play 'great football' but have a 'rubbish firm'. Good.

Til later.


Anonymous said...

I actually enjoyed Football Factory...a little.

Sven won't drop Lampard because of all the sweet nothings he whispers in his ear. Yet, I'm not sold on either Carrick or Hargreaves being capable of manning the holding midfielder role.

gazzap said...

sorry to post an england comment but does anyone know why Scott parker did not get in the squad for the holding midfield role. as far as I can tell he is the only englishman that can do that job properly.

Goonerboy said...

Isn't he ill/injured at the moment?

But i agree - I dont understand how he wasn't even considered.

Anonymous said...

You can't lay the whole blame for Ashley's book on the agent. Obviously he'll have negotiated the deal with the publisher - that's what agents are for - but Ashley himself is responsible for what the book says. If he hadn't had a story to tell, there couldn't have been any book. Clearly he has been simmering with rage for well over a year - and with reason. We exploited his loyalty for as long as we could, treating him with less respect than the more favoured though possibly less talented players - usually French. He has felt undervalued and that obviously hurts. The book is revenge; it's a way of setting down his side of the story. To dismiss it as just an agent-led thing to make loads of money is to overlook the emotions involved. Money is never just money. Your wages are a measure of how much or how little your employer values your work, how much or how little he or she cares whether you leave. Ash has been in the position of someone who has loyally slogged his guts out at work for several years but who, when he asks for a pay rise, is told to get stuffed - though there's money to spare for the new assistants who are being groomed to take over his job: Clichy, Flamini, most recently, Song.

You can't blame Wenger for preferring the French - he can prefer who he likes - but you can't blame Ash either. I wish he was staying; I wish we weren't spending our millions on Song. But now it's obvious which way the wind's blowing I just want it over with. Kind of like tooth ache. Best to have it out straight away.

A swap deal for Gallas would be the ideal solution. Not Sean Wright-Phillips, especially not if we're going for Ribery, who looks like he and Henry together may be a star combination for the France squad. The wonderful Zokora to Spurs? Oh right, yet another defensive midfielder is just what they need.

DB10 said...

I'd be sad to see Ash leave, but I agree with the comment above - lets just get on with it.

In the end, both parties have probably fucked up and maybe the bridges have been burnt.

I suspect though that we'll wait until after the world cup so we get more money for him.

Maybe by that time all of this stuff will have ironed itself out, and Ash will stay!

Anonymous said...

Methinks we're waiting until after the world cup to see how our younger players perform. If Djourou and Walcott are ready, we may not need a Curtis or a Torres.
Hopefully we'll buy a world-class midfield bruiser, though. I'm not sure a season of 4-5-1 will translate into a high league position.
Agree with 1:16 about Ashley Cole; loyalty cuts both ways.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure DB10 is right that we won't buy or sell anyone till after the World Cup (God, a whole month of boredom to get through). Not sure this is a good thing vis-a-vis Ashley, however. I mean, how long has been injured - since October, isn't it, when he discovered he'd broken his foot, after which it's been one setback after another: groin, ankle, thigh, etc., etc., and in the Jamaica game he was injured again. I didn't see that game, but one of the papers noted that he wasn't getting forward like he used to, and things looked better when Bridge came on! Sounds to me like there's something not right with our Ash; he hasn't been healing properly, and even assuming he's back in training today, he won't be match-fit and match-sharp for at least two or three weeks - by which time England will be going out on penalties to someone or other. Currently he's reputedly the best left back in the world; next month, after a below-par performance for England, will he still look such a great buy? It's bad enough having to sell him; not to be able to sell him for anything like what he used to worth - that would be really the pits.

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