This summer is going be tough people. I forgot how painful it is to craft 600+ words out of nothing every morning. Things really are very quiet at the moment. We're not being heavily linked with any players and there's not exactly a lot of scandal going round. So I'll make the most out of the limited news.
First up, the press are talking about Arsenal taking an interest in Nigel De Jong. This is apparently due to Rennes reluctance to reduce the value of their £17million man Yann M'Vila. How very unlike Arsenal if true. De Jong isn't a terrible player, but he's more of a battering ram than a midfielder, but then again, perhaps that's what we need. He was part of the Dutch side that worked its way to the last world cup final. Sometimes you need a henchman in the middle of the park. As long as they're a disciplined henchman. I guess the question would be whether he's really the future of our midfield? He's 27 years old, a Dutch international when he's not suspended and he'll probably be hungry for consistent first team action.
He'd either be a masterstroke or a disaster.
Talking of player from round that region, Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard finally made his decision.
Wow. What a move. He reckons he made the choice off the back of their Champion$ Leagu€ victory. I can understand that. Kind of. Perhaps I'd understand it more if they'd finished somewhere decent in the league. Maybe I'd understand it more if Chelsea had a young team full of potential? Maybe I'd understand it if Chelsea had a history. As they don't really have any of those attributes, I really do have to question the move. I guess he must have been told Chelsea are ripping the guts out of that team and starting again... with him at the centre of the plans.
I seriously don't understand why he didn't go to Manchester United? They've been crying out for a player to take over that Paul Scholes role for a while. He'd have been the perfect fit. Still, it's not my problem. We were never in with a shout. Chelsea have just pulled off the signing of the summer. Make no mistake about that people. That boy has serious talent. We should have made more of an effort when we could. Again, another example of us not being able to compete for tier one players.
The Mail are reporting the reluctance of Arsenal to open contract negotiations with Theo Walcott. That's ominous. Perhaps they're waiting to see if anyone comes in for him this summer. If they're not, they're once again playing dangerous tactics with a player who is still worth a fair amount due to being handsome, squeaky clean and, obviously, English. He's a marketing mans dream. Well, he would be if he played a bit better. He's still pretty young. He'll definitely carve out a decent career. He'll have to sharpen that finishing and he'll have to learn to take more responsibility. I'm just not sure he has that natural instinct for the game player like Jack and Cesc had. I'm willing to be proved wrong though. In fact, I'd love to be proved wrong.
One player I do have high hopes for is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. He can't write children's books, but he is a naturally gifted footballer. He combines pace and power with a sharp intelligence that makes him a danger from all over the pitch. This England debut feels very early in his career. However, he seems like the sort of character who can handle that. The press are obviously in a frenzy about him, but let's be fair here, it's not exactly rich pickings. There was a nice article about him in the Guardian.
'Even so, he has taken so much in his stride. The first impressions made by the youngster since linking up with Roy Hodgson's party last Wednesday have been hugely promising. Even reassuring. He has mixed well with senior players off the pitch, and seemed at ease and confident on the training ground, slipping seamlessly into the set-up and contributing heavily to the sessions overseen by the new manager. Team-mates have been pleasantly surprised, commenting on his adopted "stature" within the squad which, for a player who stands 5ft 11in, must bode well for his self-confidence.'
Impressing the senior players only seems to be an issue in international football. Who gives a crap what the older players fearful of their places think about Chamberlain?
I don't know why I got so defensive there. They were saying nice things. It's ok...
I just hope that he impresses when he's given the chance. It's interesting that Hodgson is thinking about him playing across the midfield, not just as a wideman. You really have to trust a youngster to think he's capable of taking on almost a free role. I think the main difference with this championship is that the expectations of the nation are so unbelievably low, we're almost writing this tournament off. Any failure this time around probably won't be put solely at the feet of the players. It'll be directed at the FA for ballsing up the appointment... well, not so much that, more taking so long to make the decision.
Great news to have the most exciting talent in England being an Arsenal player.
Do I need to leave you on better news than that? Ok. Kalou signed for Schalke. He's not coming to Arsenal. I'm shocked we didn't go in for him. Wenger has loved that man for a long time. What has he in store instead?
Wait and see you impatient bastards... it's only May 29th. Jeez...
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See you in the comments!