Are we in danger of a silent summer + City preview

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I think there is a serious danger… the question is, would you be happy about it? Let me explain…

Our preparation for last season was extremely disrupted, we lost top performers Hleb and Flamini… we released experienced heads, Lehmann and Gilberto… then we replaced them with untested kids. Our transfer policy last year was a PR disaster, we missed out on a trio of defensive midfielders (Alonso, Toure, Inler) and a striker (Kalou). We also had the on/off Adebayor saga…

The season started off relatively well… the AKB’s were crowing before the fat lady had even got out of her changing room and everything was tickety boo… then the collapse began. Our lack of experience shone through, we lost Cesc Fabregas to injury, Gallas lost the plot and Adebayor couldn’t recreate last seasons form… we started to drop points, we kick started Spurs’ season and by Christmas people were calling for the coaches head and recruits were demanded.

Through January we found solidity at the back… but lacked a creative edge… Crab football was our speciality along with the bore draw. Then £17million Arshavin arrived for a club record … since then, we haven’t looked back. Arsenal progressed in the FA Cup where we await a semi final trip to Wemberlee, we’re through to the quarter finals of the champions league where we take on the Yellow Submarines (Minus Senna woo hoo!)… and we’re even back in with the remotest chance of winning the league!

So, in the past month we’ve found solidity and creative flair… now our injured players are starting to make their way back into the team… and we look set for an exciting end to the year.

Arsene Wenger has even started to roll out the, ‘I told you so’ lines.

So what does this mean for the summer?

Well, if we do the impossible and keep all of our players… we have a pretty beastly squad.

Keepers:

Almunia, Fabianski

I think we’re all happy with these two. Despite the criticism levelled at Almunia, he is the best distributor in the Prem and he rarely makes a mistake. In fact, he is ranked as the second best Premiership goalkeeper according to Actim, the official statisticians of the Premiership. Fabianski has the potential to be a great… given time of course.

Defenders:

Gibbs, JD, Silvestre, Gallas, Toure, Sagna, Eboue, Traore, Nordveit, Senderos

Well, there’s plenty of cover there…. I think ten defenders is more than enough! Gallas is proving his class, Kolo has settled next to him and JD is able cover. Gibbs and Eboue are more than adequate back up for our two full backs and if push comes to shove, the others could do a job.

Midfielders:

Theo, Vela, Nasri, Cesc, Ramsey, Diaby, Denilson, Song, Wilshere, Arshavin, Coquelin

If anything… it looks like we’re oversubscribed in midfield… The DM role is up for debate, but I’ve been very impressed with Denilson in the second half of the season, he is a ball winner and he’s a tidy passer of the ball (Ranked as the 12th best player in the Prem by Actim this year… the boy is clearly doing something right). As for the creative players… well… we have them in abundance now… so we shouldn’t have too many crab days going forward.

Strikers:

Nik B, Adebayor, RvP, Simpson, Eduardo

Plenty of varied striking options as well… I’m not going to read too much into the lack of clinical finishing this year. Looking at the top ten scorers in the Prem this year, you’d have to say it’s been a bad year for strikers in general. ManU, Liverpool, Arsenal, Villa and Everton all have something in common… none of them have a striker with more than 10 goals in the Prem.

So if we’re going to strengthen, where do we do it? You might not agree that all of the above are good enough… but ask yourself this… who would Arsene sell?

No one…!

So… just to recap…

A full squad

+

17 games unbeaten (and counting)

+

Arsene Smugometer heading into overdrive

=

A summer of transfer inactivity

I’d still like to see a couple of quality players bought in… but if I put my Arsene Wenger spectacles on, I can’t see where he is realistically going to purchase. Having a big squad has never been his thing… and you know the saying… you can’t teach an old coach new tricks…

In other, more relevant news Theo, Cesc and Adebayor are back in the squad… but Van Persie, Eduardo and Diaby are out…

So how will we line up? Well I reckon..

Almunia

Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy

Theo Cesc Denilson Nasri

Bendtner Arshavin

I’ll be very disappointed if Ade gets straight back in the team… and I’m not quite sure how he’d play with Arshavin?

In other news, the coach reckons teams should be rewarded for goals scored. He’s dreamed up some sort of crazy assed new points system. I appreciate the sentiment, but it is kind of like Arnold Schwarzanegger suggesting lower taxes for people who can bench 400 pounds… I can’t see the league implementing a points system that would only benefit the rich clubs… after all, it costs little to purchase a Championship meat head to join a wall of 10 defenders… it does cost a few pence to buy a player who can give you 30 goals a season. So whilst an entertaining idea… ultimately a flawed one.

So, what do you think? Will we purchase? Does the league need to review the points system? What team will he play tomorrow?

Join the debate and the jokes in the comments section!


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No Robinho and no Bellamy should make sure of the points.

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So Bellamy is injured, and we know that because he didn’t play for Wales and he has always been a thorn in our side so that is great news, but if Hughes drops Robinho that will be a bonus, he tore us a new arsehole at the Eastlands so I don’t fancy seeing him again for a while.

Only two more shopping days till Christmas eh? Well it ought to be Christmas because beating ManCity will see us opening a 6 point gap on Villa, and as I don’t expect them to get a result against the Mancs, I think that will be it, but don’t forget two things, the first is we have to beat City and the second is we still have to play the chavs, scousers and the mancs, so even if we get ahead of villa, we have to maintain it.

The other good news is at least we played Newcastle before they got Shearer at the helm, I think he’s completely useless, judging by his comments on MOTD, but he will have that new manager effect for the first few games, so at least that game is out of the way.

Eduardo scored last night so that was good and there are no new injuries as far as I can see, but we need to get Robin and Nikki B fit and then we are away.

I’m glad Robin came out and said that Arsenal need to match his ambition and sign quality players because he knows we need a centre back and a defensive midfielder as much as we do, hopefully the boss will reassure him with more than Song, Diaby and Denilson. Don’t get me wrong, Denilson will make it and Diaby is classy, but he’s another crock I think and we have enough of those.

Notice I didn’t mention Song, it’s all part of the new impartial me, I wonder when Rosicky is back, surely he must be near fitness, we only have 8 games left and given he’ll take 2 or 3 to get match fit, he’s beginning to run out of time.

Finally it was great to hear Traore saying he wants to be an Arsenal player even if it takes another 3 years, that’s the spirit son!

Have a great day Grovers, Saturday is looming! Our destiny will soon be upon us.


Sources close to Cesc hint at big money move…

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Le Grove HQ took a phone call late last night from a source very close to the Fabregas camp. Apparently, long term friend of Cesc; Lionel Messi, is growing increasingly tired of Barcelona’s pathetic attempts to unsettle Cesc.

‘Lionel hates the way Barca do business, he thinks they should show more class in the transfer market, so he’s been putting the feelers out for a new club. Cesc, understands his good friends frustrations. He’s been telling him about how great Arsenal football club is on the phone almost daily for the last few months, he’s pretty confident if Arsenal offer the right deal, Messi could be lining up in the red and white of Arsenal next year.’

Despite some quite dazzling displays this season, all is not well within the confines of the Barca camp,

‘Lionel cuts a lonely figure in the Barca dressing room. Many of the senior squad have grown frustrated with his stellar performances and insistence on playing like he is the best footballer in the world. He walks around the Nou Camp like he is Maradona… people are scared to even look him in the eye at the moment.’

The story seems to carry even more weight when you consider Barcelona’s interest in £35million Togo international, Emmanuel Adebayor. Our source, also a close friend of Barca President Laporta said,

‘Joan was pretty disappointed he failed to land Adebayor last summer, this year he is determined to get his man. If that involves sacrificing a player who doesn’t enjoy the Barca way with the media… then so be it.’

A cash plus Messi deal is being mooted and providing Adebayor’s wage demands can be met, Lionel could be on his way out as early as June.

P.S Tickets are available in Le Exchange —->.