Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The season starts today, and transfer speculation

Yes, it's only 8 August and already our boys are strapping on their boots, putting on the red and white, and getting ready to start the new season.

It seems a little ridiculous to me that we're barely into August and the season is beginning, but I suppose that's modern football. I would say that the football season shouldn't start until September - would we prefer quantity or quality in football? I know what the advertisers and television companies want so here we are. If we have another successful Cl run - here's hoping - we could end up playing 60+ matches this year. Seems a little ridiculous.

Arsene's named his 18 man squad and there aren't too many surprises. Thierry was never going to play, Jens can't, and Ashley, perhaps, won't. I still think we'll have a reasonably strong team out. Something like: Almunia, Eboue, Djourou [please not Cygan], Toure, Flamini, Hleb, Fab, Gilbs, Reyes, Adebayor, Van Persie. Thats a side capable of getting at least a draw which is all we need from the first leg. My main concerns our that our midfield will be as lightweight as ever - I'm hoping Adebayor may offset this somewhat, that we don't really have much quality to come off the bench, and that Zagreb our certainly no pushover. Could be a long 90 minutes. The game should be on ITV 1, but if anyone knows any different do say in the comments.

In transfer related news..

Gallas's 'move' to us has been exposed as a non-starter, with his prodigal son-esque return to the Chelsea training ground yesterday. Personally I think it was all talk by his agent to try and put Gallas in a more favourable situation, and we were the unwitting pawns.

That Gallas was given the number 3 shirt leaves Ashley in an odd situation. Maybe Chelsea are trying to play hardball - making him realise his move isn't a certainty in order that he'll put pressure on us to let him go. Arsene seems to be accepting that this situation needs to be resolved so I'm hoping now that - and I'm setting a new deadline here - he's either gone or on his knees begging for the fans forgiveness by 19 August when we kick off against Villa. Any apology now would appear hollow - but maybe if he was sufficiently humilated he might learn something and we could all come out of this stronger. Or not. Expect Chelsea to bid around £20-1m for him and us to give up and flog him in the next week or so.

The big incoming news is that Arsene is definitely getting one, and possibly two, in by the deadline, although names aren't forthcoming. The only names he is mentioning are those that he's not interested in. Namely Msr Ribery. The Guardian has linked us with him for £13.5m, and the People had us in for him at around £16-7m on Sunday. Way too much either way. If we could get him for around £10m I think it'd be a good deal. Anymore and its a little too much of an unnecessary risk.

The Ghanian triallist has ostensibly dropped off the radar, but I think that's a deal which will happen. Apart from that I haven't really seen any names mentioned.

Finally, here's Jose in a Real shirt, taken before our game in February. The questions are many. Why? Why are they surfacing only now? Does Jose have moments when his brain completely shuts down? Does this mean anything? Qui sait. Either way, Real players continue to show their lack of class.

Right, I'm hoping my redcurrant shirt will fit me for a while longer, and also hoping that England can win the test match.



Anonymous said...

After taking a closer look at the Reyes photos I can say that the second one is definately a fake.

Anonymous said...

I fear for us tonight i think were gooner be a bit lightweight all over the pitch. Also why cant we attract any world class players is it because they know arsenal is debt ridden ?

Anonymous said...

Who says we can't attract world class players??? I think you have to bid for players to purchase them.

Anonymous said...

Ribery for Reyes is great business.

Reyes is of gypsy stock. He can't speak Spanish properly so he would never settle into London life.

If we can get the investment back on the twat then let him go...

What about Gardner of Bolton for Cashley?

Anonymous said...

I heard that Ashley Cole and Cheryl are converting to scientology.

Anonymous said...

i like cheese

Anonymous said...

"Ribery for Reyes is great business". Wrong and irrelevant. The former's not coming, the latter's not going and Jose (whatever you think of him) is a more experienced, proven, versatile player.

Anonymous said...

Wrong and irrelevant?

Are you thick?

What has Reyes proven? That he can't handle the English game, he can't score goals and he can't handle life in England.

Oh yes - he is experienced in making continual comments about moving to Real Madrid.

Who had the better World Cup dickhead?

Anonymous said...

Reyes isn't going anywhere - when are you guys going to realise that Real Madrid have a press-machine that does everything it can to destabilise the players they want. At the moment this machine seems to be in the hands of very unscrupulous people. It's not just Reyes, it also Diarra at Lyon and Kaka at AC Milan. All three clubs have made complaints about the behaviour of the Spanish press and the heirarchy at Real. And as long as so-called Arsenal fans see Reyes in Real shirt and start wanting to see him go, they will continue doing it. Reyes is a great talent, he still has a lot to prove, and, most importantly, he is a Gooner. So back him or fuck off.

Anonymous said...

Very nice piece.

I mean really, it's impressive.

But tell me something - did the kid tell the Cadena Ser DJ that he wanted to leave Arsenal one year or so back?

Methinks he did.

So he isn't a Gooner.

Gooners are guys like Rocastle and Merson - guys who wept when they were sold to the club.

Not ignorant biatches who beg for a move every five minutes.

Anonymous said...

Yep - they're guys like Tony Adams who didn't even bother turning up for Bergkamp's testimonial.

And don't give me Merson - the first 20mins of just about every game he played were absolute shite (obviously till he ran off the booze). You want to go back to that - or you happy living behind your rose-tinted spectacles??

Anonymous said...

Merson gave a hell of a lot more than Reyes has ever given the club.

The game is ninety minutes long matey. So who gives a crap how his first twenty minutes were.

And incidentally, I didn't put Adams in that category so how about I live behind my rose-tinted specs and you don't put words into my mouth.

Your words are cute. You really should become a pundit.

Anonymous said...

Oh and yes - I would love to go back to that...

Standing on the topside of the North Bank, enjoying a real atmosphere and seeing a side of guys who wanted to play for the club.

I would give anything to have that back.

I would give anything not to have to sit next to people like you at AFC games.

Anonymous said...

Reyes is a more proven player than Ribery in terms of club and international football experience. Ribery has played his league football in France and Turkey. No disrespect to either of these countries, but it's not as high a standard of football as in England or Spain. Reyes has also played more international football and scored more goals. He's never consistently shown his best form for Arsenal but is still an important member of the squad who can play wide or upfront. He was top of the assists table in the Premiership for most of last season and his workrate makes him much better suited to the English game than a lot of other Spanish imports. He should score more goals, but he's still scored some important ones. He obviously doesn't like living in this country that much and he doesn't hide it. At least he's honest about it. He also clearly does like playing for Arsenal and Wenger, which is why he's staying. Frankly, if you believe every nonsense quote and bullshit rumour that comes out of Spain (and in particular Marca) you're an idiot. Read the two official statements from Arsenal and Reyes, read the full interview he did with AS, read the quotes from Arsene in the last few days. Note that Reyes is in Zagreb preparing to play for Arsenal today, when the Spanish tabloids told us he'd be in Madrid signing for Real. It is clear that Reyes will be an Arsenal player for this season at least. Consequently, any speculation regarding him leaving is...irrelevant. And wrong. Ribery is a good prospect, but he's raw, overpriced and the links with Arsenal are more to do with his agent than anything else.

gazzap said...

With regards to your merson point, there's a difference between loving the club you play for and being a great player, but you're getting off point a bit.
point is if reyes plays tonight which 99% chance he will, then he aint going anywhere and they'll be no room for Ribery or any other winger.

I read that bridge will leave the bridge for Newcastle if Ash Cole signs for chavski. this may scupper the whole ash deal. why would chavski pay £20m to be in a similar situation to the one they're in now? ie with only one proper left back at the club. Mourinho cant rate Bridge at all. I do. perhaps AW should buy bridge for £5m??
as long as cole goes thats the most important thing.

Anonymous said...

Sensible points Gazzap. I think, in answer to your point about Bridge though, that Mourinho is happy with one proper left back with Gallas (sneaking back to the Bridge for the team photo and now probably staying - the tease) and Ferreira as cover. Anyway, that's far too much talk about Chelski...come on you Gooners in Zagreb

Anonymous said...

How about Leighton Baines from wigan, he was awesome last year plus he's english and properbly cheap!

Anonymous said...

He will not be cheap once arsenal bid for him

Goonerboy said...

Was anyone else happy to see Justin Hoyte at left-back tonight? Nice to see Arsene is giving him a chance.

Will write a full piece tomorrow, but just thought i'd say i agree with Gazzap - Wayne Bridge for £5m would be no bad deal. I've heard quite a few Chelsea fans say they'd be happy to keep Bridge and not bother with Ashley. Frankly I want shot of Ash. After tonight it's clear that we have enough players with enough desire and ability to do without him.

Gelbs said...

Nice to see Hoyte at left back. Got exposed a couple of times, but I am certainly one to not slate him and give him ago. He is British and deserves his chance. Good prospect.

Deise Gooner said...

Yes its another step up for Hoyte and he did ok. Needs to improve a lot however if he is to stake a claim for a first team place. When Clichy comes back he will take the left back spot unless Hoyte can show us he is good enuff. He certainly has the talent but needs to up his game now. Hes not an Sunderland any longer and hes playing in europe too. Lets hope he can make the step up. His positioning was poor at times but he just needs to get used to the formation and players around him. I say give him his chance at left back and see if he can make it his own.

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