Good morning Grovers. I’m nursing a massive hangover. Not from beer. From joy. Why? We won yesterday. That meant more to me than most things have so far this summer. It means we’re on track to dominate global football this year.
I didn’t actually watch the game, unlike 90% of the people I follow on Twitter who either have extremely powerful jobs… or in fact, are 15 year old students who have the summer off to Tweet and watch preseason football games. I’m jealous either way. It sounds like the game was good in parts. There were some strong performances from players like Diaby and Chamakh and there were some poor performances. You can’t read too much into a game where most of our first team are still at home. You also can’t read too much into a game on a poor pitch, in a roasting hot country with a barely fit squad. (match report here)
A workout is all it can be classed as. The fact that Eisfeld scored a goal is promising. You never know, we might get more than 7 minutes out of him this season. It was also good to see Chuks Aneke score a goal, regardless of whether it had a Lampard like deflection!
The show rolls on… and interestingly, Arsene Wenger has admitted his love for Cazorla but spewed the normal canned quotes when he’s looking at a player.
‘We are not close to signing Cazorla. We are still working that out.’
Well, at least we’re interested. I think he’d be a pretty exciting signing. I haven’t watched an awful lot of him, but apparently he can play anywhere in an attacking capacity. His stats weren’t incredible last year, but the season before he managed 16 assists and 9 goals. That’s what we need through the middle. A bit of experience, a touch of the technical wow factor and a bit of ambition from Arsenal.
We’ve been linked to a whole host of players today. Before we crack into who those boys are. I think it’s worth mentioning that Laurent Koscielny has put pen to paper and signed on for us for another 4 years. This is fantastic news. He really developed as a player last year. He was the rock at the back playing with a whole host of competent and incompetent centre backs through the year. He’s come a long way in 2 seasons, so much so, I’d say he’s most certainly our leading centre back now. There’s still another 40% to come from him over the next year. If he can link into a unit and take learnings from Steve Bould, we could have a seriously top defender on our hands. It’s a hugely positive piece of news for us all.
On the inbound gossip from. The Sun still have Arsene down for signing Yann M’Vila. Our interest is still there apparently, I’d imagine we’re just waiting to see how low we can get the price. The interest other clubs had in him seems to have dissipated with rumours of poor discipline and a meek Euro Championship. That makes him prime meat for us. If we can land him for £15mill or something around that number, I think we’ve landed ourselves a bargain. We’ve also solved a problem. Again, yesterday, someone picks up the ball 25 yards out and there’s no one there snapping at his ankles. We desperately need that.
Or, we could just do what we always do. Give a kid a go. Jamie Sanderson reckons the boss has given Coquelin a the go ahead to become our next defensive midfielder. He’s a good player, but you can’t help but think it’s a massive undertaking for someone with such a tiny amount of experience. Still, he’s only a year younger than M’Vila.
On the striker front, it doesn’t appear too much is going down at the moment. Well, unless you count this 17 year old Niang. Now, as much as I’d love to sign a tall rangy striker, I can’t help but think we’ve already got that in Afobe. Surely he should be the player we’re focusing our youth team energy on. Bacary Sagna told Le Grove earlier in the summer he was the most exciting player at the club and he reminded him of Drogba. Surely he’s the one who is worth a pop? I would hate to think we’d replace Robin by just adding in a 4th striker and shifting inexperienced players up a place?
Arsene waded into the social media debate.
‘When he apologised we dealt with it internally and fined him. We did what we had to do. You cannot forbid it (tweeting) because that is a restriction of freedom of speech.’
‘The problem is when people tweet straight away and it is a little bit of an emotional reaction.’
‘You still have to master your response and try to be correct. We have to accept what will happen.’
Arsene is right, you can’t forbid it. What I think you can do is have a word in certain players ears and explain to them they’re a public figure and a role model. If they can’t control their emotions online, take yourself offline. I watched an interview with Louis Smith (GB Gymnastic hopeful) yesterday and he said he was improving his focus by taking himself off Twitter. Frimpong should do the same. It detracts from his game and more often than not it gets him in trouble. If Iwere his agent, I’d suggest outsourcing his account to an agency (I’ll do it, call me). If he wants to communicate with the people, let them take care of it. Far easier. Far less chance of a special moment occurring.
Thierry Henry has also been talking to the press. He wants to come back to the club in some capacity. This is something I’d be totally game for. For me, coaches have to have a relevance to the players. Arsene Wenger obviously does, but I’m not sure many of the older generation of coaches do. Imagine if you’re a 20 year old striker and Theirry Henry is giving you a few pointers on how to bicycle kick from 25 yards? It’d be incredible. Thierry has experience, trophies and a presence about him you’d struggle to match. For me, even if Wenger doesn’t want him back as a coach (I’m sure he’s said he’s intelligent enough to coach before), maybe we should consider him in an ambassador role for the club? We’ve already lost out on Patrick Vieira to City… we can’t lose out on someone with a reputation like Thierry. He’d be a great person to help seal deals… with players of all nationalities.
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Right, that’s me done, see you in the comments!