Saturday, July 01, 2006

Wenger cagey, Ljunberg injured, Sol in Marseille

When pressed about the likelihood of a new signing at Centre-back, Arsene remains cagey. His exact words were:

“We have Toure, Djourou, Senderos and Cygan,” he said. “If we can find someone and we can get them then we will do it. But at the moment I have not found anybody.

“But remember these defenders went 10 games in the Champions League without conceding a goal so I cannot say they are bad. I am a strong believer in them. We just want to improve our collective team play on last year. We did that well during the season and we want to keep this development going.”

That's not entirely true though is it Arsene. Phil and Toure certainly were an integral part of our champions League defensive brick wall, but I can't really remember Cygan and Djourou having a huge part in it. I would agree on the potential of Djourou, however,and I think Arsene sees him as an integral part of our defensive plans. I would certainly hope, if we don't get anyone else, that he would start in front of Cygan. I also agree with Arsene's statement that we have to build 'colllective team play' rather than just spend wads of cash on unproved or over-valued talent.

I think what most Gooners are concerned about, in fact, is just the continued presence of Cygan. He's looked alright of late, but his continued presence in the squad baffles me. We do need a new defender - a cb who could fill in on the left - but I further agree with Arsene that we shouldn't pay the mooted £10m+ for Davies. Where this leaves our search for a defender is anyone's guess. Either way, we will start the season, probably, with a back four of Eboue, Toure, Djourou/Cygan, and Clichy. Should we be excited or scared?

Freddie has picked up, unsurprisingly, another injury. What part he'll actually play this season remains to be seen. We could actually do with someone on the right to keep up the competition with Alex for his place, as Rosicky and Reyes will both want to play on the left. Freddie's battling nature remains a welcome presence, but his complete lack of firepower hit us hard last season. It would be nice to get a midfielder in who can score goals - Ribery per chance?

Meanwhile... Sol is supposedly off to the South of France. Nice work if you can get it, although apparently Marseille are baulking at his wage demands. Derby want to sign Ryan Smith, Arturo Lupoli, and Mart Poom. Poom and Lupoli I would like to stay - I'm not sure whether Smith is really premiership standard considering that he struggled to get in the Leicester team last year. Birmingham want Seb Larsson - who I rate - and Muamba - who I know next to nothing about - on loan for the season. I'm a bit reticent for Arsene to send anyone out on loan as it appears to be a little bit of a kiss of death, and I really appreciated Larsson's efforts for the team in the couple of games he played last season. I still don't understand why GIlbert's been shipped off - couldn't he have at least been tried at left back?

Other than that, no other links regarding us actually bringing players in. Sigh. A bit of excitement if nothing else would be welcome. July is so boring for football fans.

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