De la Red, Alonso, Moutinho, Veloso or Barry.

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So that appears to be the list of defensive midfield options, who would you choose, who would he choose? Will he buy anyone?

Diaby or Ramsey are the home grown options, but are they ready? I think not, Diaby looks good but is injury prone and loses possession to easily and Ramsey is just too young, I have no doubt that they will become great players but I honestly don’t think they’re ready just yet, you could also throw Denilson in the equation, but he’s more of an attacking player and again not quite ready yet.

It’s a long season and they will no doubt play their part but you need a big squad and we have the smallest of the top 4, so we need a new signing.

Let’s take a look at what’s on offer, firstly let me say I like them all but let’s break it down.

Alonso and Barry are ready, old enough and premiership proven, Alonso is a little injury prone but would work great with Cesc, Barry has it all, but wants to go to Liverpool but Hoyte plus cash would do it and he only wants the scousers because we haven’t asked after him.

De La Red looks strong and likes to shoot, again he is Spanish and would work well with Cesc, but is he better than what we already have?

Moutinho I like and would be available at the right price but Veloso can cover at centerback which makes him more of a Wenger signing.

So I think if Wenger dips in it will be for Veloso, I wouldn’t be unhappy, my choice would still be Barry because he’s English and that would help with the youngsters coming through and with Hoyte as bait, plus the Bentley cash he would only actually cost us £6.5 million, O’Neil saves face, Benitez loses out and everyone goes home happy.

However if it’s anyone, again I would bet on Veloso. I wouldn’t complain either way, but I would if we signed no one.

In an ideal world I would also sign Zapata or Kompany as we still have change from the original £25 million plus the Hleb, Muamba and Bentley cash and minus the salaries of Flamini, Gilberto and Lehmann, but we won’t so there’s no point in thinking what may or may not be.

Great to hear Robin bigging it up and if he stays fit, I think we can kick the Torres/Keane partnership into touch, Robinho didn’t look the player I thought he’d be at the weekend so the chavs can have him, my only regret last year was not getting Anelka back, I watched Arsenal TV last night and they did a thing on super Nick and I got quite emotional.

Only one day to go to see us again and I’m sure we’ll get stronger and stronger, Ade looked like he’s been getting lessons on the offside rule, RVP looked awesome, Theo looks set to break through, Wilshere got a number and Ramsey and Nasri look to be great buys, we know what the others have got, save the spuds, but if Bent is emerging as their saviour then this season looks great for us and bad for them.

Have a great day Grovers, today could be the day we actually sign someone, Oi! who called me stupid!

 

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Is that the best you could do? Shock Theo admission…

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Morning Grovers! I trust you all hard a marvelous weekend and you are suitably rested for the week ahead! Only a week until International Left Handers Day… how exciting!

So, how do we all feel about our beloved team this morning? Me… well I feel great about it!

Yesterday showed us a lot about the coming season. We now have a good idea about who is going to play, we know who is ready and we know that there is every chance that we are going to be able to deal with the departures of Hleb and Flamini.

So here are my key thoughts:

After saying yesterday that Nasri would take a while to settle in, I have decided to retract that comment and go with a more encouraging statement: He will do well. I liked the way he went out left, then he went out right… he tracked back, he tried to shoot and he generally integrated himself into the Arsenal system of play. I do reserve the right to say he is shit tomorrow though…

Theo Walcott is going to be some player this year. He is beginning to fill out a bit and he is learning to utilise all that pace he has. The most encouraging thing about Theo is that he shoots on target and he always looks for the right pass. Wenger had this to say on the wee man,

‘For now he is not a link player between the midfield and the strikers, like Robin [van Persie] can be, and he is maybe, at the moment, a fraction short physically to play as a real target man because there you get bombarded in the air. He can play wide right and wide left as well.’

I remember Arsene being that harsh about Robin… he clearly has high hopes and he is setting him targets. He is going to grow as the season goes on and I am hopeful of a 15 goal haul this year.

I did get a little insight into Theo’s life whilst flicking through the pages of Nuts magazine,

‘Me and Southampton’s Jake Thompson like to got to Nando’s then got to the cinema and watch two films back to back, really close to the screen until our eyes go funny.’

What a couple of mentalists…

Adebayor is a greedy bastard footballer with no shame… but tell me a player who isn’t? I think it is time to move on… he has got what he wanted; we’ve got what we wanted… now it is time to support him whatever your view is. Lets be honest, he looked at home against Madrid, his frame is starting to resemble Drogba’s and pretty soon he is going to start finishing like him (Please, Please, Please!).

Ade had this to say on the subject of his George Bush like popularity at the Grove,

“Some of the fans will love you and some will hate you but I’m in a good position and most fans love me. For me, what happened this summer is over.

“You have to come on the pitch, enjoy your football and show them you have desire to play for their team.

“Today I am where I am because they gave me a lot of chances.”

 

It’s the usual egotistical rubbish you expect him to spout, but the last two quotes couldn’t be truer… I thought the badge kissing was vom inducing and predictable… surely his intelligent PR team could have thought up a better way to win back the hearts and minds?

Diaby is starting to play like we know he can. Towards the end of the second half he started to get a bit sloppy with his play… and his tendency to be clumsy in the challenge is a bit worrying… especially for Wesley Sneijder who is rumored to have busted his cruciates thanks to messy challenge from Big Will. If our new centre midfielder can keep his mind focused on the game for long enough… he’ll do alright, because boy does he have some skill.

Denilson played better today, he imposed himself on the Madrid team and he played the ball a lot better. I am not convinced he could take on the CM role this season, but he looked better.

The defence is looking good. Senderos played well (No seriously, he did), Gallas looks concentrated and the two full backs were on top form. I hope everyone is going to back Big Al this season, because he hasn’t put a foot wrong in my book and he deserves his position as numero uno.

Finally, Jack Wilshire and Aaron Ramsey are the chosen ones this year. Ramsey played well but was over shadowed by Wilshire bombing down the left, jinking the ball inside the Madrid defender… running on and chipping to Bendtner at the back post. The boy looks brilliant and I can tell you for a fact, I have never seen a boy of 16 get people off their seats like Jack does. He is one exciting prospect and I think I love him… I know its wrong… but I can’t help it…

So all in all, a solid couple of games. We played great football and reduced Madrid and Juventus ball watching… the only thing we lacked was that clinical edge in front of goal… but that will come my Grover friends.

A question I asked myself last night was:

Out of the last 3 days, who would I take to go into our starting 11?

Robinho for £32million? Sneijder for £24million? Diarra for £20million? Anyone from Juventus or Hamburg? The answer was no… If you took away the reputations of a lot of the players on show and just judged on ability… we were right up there with the best. The fact is, Arsenal had all the stand out players of the tournament on show. We do need another midfielder to bolster the middle of the park… but bar that, we are right up there in my eyes…

… but hey Grovers, you may have a differing opinion to me… let me know in the comments section!

P.S. Lansbury… cut your bastard hair! Oh, and to all the AKB’s who read the title and commented without reading the post… the title was reference to Ade’s badge kissing.

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Senderos £7mil plus Given and disappointed love… what???

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A double post this morning, aren’t you lucky!

So Arsenal are asking for £10mil or £7mil plus Given for Senderos, so on that note it’s apparent we don’t want him, so it will be impossible if he stays, good deal Keegan, take it.

So that will make another £7 million going into the black hole that we won’t see again, but don’t worry, he’ll be replaced by yet another unknown 16 year old, that has promise, then he may convert Randall or Lansbury to center back.

Okay yesterday, what can you say other than we lost, no Cesc, no RVP, no Kolo, no Alumnia and no Clichy, what exactly are we getting from these games that we don’t already know?

Jack Wilshere, Carlos Vela and Aaron Ramsey should all be in the first team squad. Lansbury, Randall, Rogers, Gibbs, Simpson, Denilson and Gavin Hoyte should all be sent out on loan but Justin Hoyte, Philipe Senderos and Vito Mannone should be sold, they’re not good enough.

Eboue should be cover at right back and that’s it. Get the cheque book out and buy a center back of quality and a defensive midfielder, the excuse of none are available is toot, Barry is, Veloso is and if Barry goes to Liverpool then Alonso is, stop cheating us, if we go another season without silverware we equal our worst ever run, and I was there for that one so I have no wish to be there again, with the resources we have and the money we pay there’s no excuse.

To say the fans weren’t upset with Ade as it was more ‘disappointed love’ baffles me, we hate him, he’s a greedy ingrate that earns double in a week what most of the poor sods in the stadium earn in a year, get real please.

We dominated for large stretches of the game yesterday but failed to win, we’ve done the same for the last 3 seasons, you can’t keep doing the same thing and not progressing, coming third is not winning no matter how well we played, simply refusing to buy the talent we need isn’t going to win the league, please do something now before another season goes up in smoke before Christmas, go and buy a center back and a defensive midfielder that is world class, because our tickets certainly are.

And before anyone gets on and says our season was alive until February, I was being rhetorical.

There is no disputing the talent coming through, they are awesome, but you need to realise a group of players we do have are just not good enough, and playing them year after year in pre season games will not make them better.

Let’s hope we see a better team out there today Grovers or we’ll end up out of Europe before the season begins.

Have a hopeful day too, if Hamburg win 1 nil and we beat Madrid 2 nil we retain the Cup, play our first team annd we might, don’t and…

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