Is Ciani the next big signing? Sebastien Squillaci on his way and Schwarzer set to be confirmed we are putting our defensive woes behind us at last.

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If we get Squillaci and then Ciani I will be delighted, it’s what we needed, experience and talent, and that would also mean defensive midfielder options as Koscielny and Vermaelen could slot in there if needed. I still worry about the French contingent and when I read in the Guardian that Arsenal are referred to in France as the 21st club in their league, it sends a shiver down my spine.

I would still rather we signed Cahill or Taylor as the other centre back, but hey-ho, I’ll have Ciani and Squillaci all day long, bring in Given, Stekelenburg or Schhwarzer and we’re all set.

I watched the Northern chavs turn Liverpool over last night minus Mascharano, boy does that show the difference between having a great DM and having a great forward (Torres). It also showed how destructive a team can be when it employs width, in Johnson and Milner and it shows the difference a good keeper makes as well.

City were good, but not as good as us, what was great though was watching them without Adebayor and Shaun Wright Philips, two greedy boys that knew best and put money before football, good luck you two, I hope you are pleased with your mercenary decisions. It seems to be paying off! Ha, ha!

If we get our new signings in today, we could be watching them at the weekend, I’d like them in my team at Blackburn.

If we could play with two wide men we would roll teams over, right now we use our full backs as wingers and that doesn’t work because we lose the ability to defend if they counter and those same defenders can’t cross, we deploy Theo out wide so maybe we should use one of our full backs as a winger, like Gibbs, just a thought, or get Rosicky out wide instead.

What do you all think? Will today be the day we remember? Keep ’em crossed.

Have a great day grovers, see you in the comments!

1,087 Responses to “Is Ciani the next big signing? Sebastien Squillaci on his way and Schwarzer set to be confirmed we are putting our defensive woes behind us at last.”

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  1. Wiseman


    Thanks for the early post!

    Let’s hope that we get some sigings today, I would love Squillachi, Ciani and Schwarzer (or any bloody keeper).

  2. guy

    ive been screaming of vela and walcott left and right for years. the 2 quickets guys at the club. id also move vermaelan back to leftback against to 4 teams if we get ciani. we would have 5 playable cb. and a rock solid leftback.

  3. Mikeyr01

    I would be over the moon if we got Ciani and Schwartzer! For the first season in a good few I am feeling genuinely good about our chances this year.

  4. Jason

    a NEW CB isn’t coming dont get your hopes up about that
    as for a GK Schwarzer might come but unless we reach a deal in time I am not sure if we will get him

    we need to buy schwarzer sell one of our keepers and Fullham need to buy one
    this all cant be done in a day and if by 27-28 we haven’t reached a deal then dont get your hopes up

  5. chippy

    Someone wet the bed !

    He added: “He plays very simple but he wins every duel, he is a very strong defender.”

    Thats what i like to hear weve signed a nut, Lovely !!

  6. mcmellish

    City v Liverpool was a better match than i thought it was gonna be. liverpool already look done for the season and Man city look like they might be getting their shit put together. Sucked in to Joe Cole aswell, the guy is overrated and now it’s plain for every one to see.

  7. Wiseman

    Thanks Geoff, this is the only time I will get 1st.

    Ciani or Juan? Juan was better than Lucio at the WC, but I don’t think Roma will ever sell!

  8. LAzer

    WTF!! I just had one of me long posts and now its on the wrong post. GEOFF! How do I copy and paste, won’t even let me highligh. Was response to DDM…

  9. Meneurdejeu

    A healthy Tomas Rosicky is a delight to watch.

    Gael Clichy has been struggling and Gibbs needs to be given a chance.

    We have enough attacking talent as usual.

    Almunia may lose his job by end the of month. But he has played much better than Clichy over the last year and a half.

  10. Rohan Passey

    10th isn’t very bad!

    Imo, I don’t think we need Ciani. Rather, get a solid DM who can slot in at CB, not the other way round, get my drift?

    A goalkeeper is a necessity though.

  11. Northern Gooner

    Why are you so afraid of the French? The quality of these players are lot better than any English players available, and they don’t cost over inflated money. Quality and price is important, not nationality or ethnicity.

  12. dennisdamenace

    To answer your earlier question gg9…..

    The comaraderie, pre and post match.

    The match day experience.

    Reliving past times, glory days, experiences.

    The banter, the singing…….

    TR07, AA23, RvP and Fab4 REAL quality players, who could’ve (probably played in previous teams).

    Gibbs, Wilshere, Chozzer players of definite potential…..

    Laughing at the opposition………….most times!!

    My signed Dennis Bergkamp shirt…….

    Anfield ’89

    Wembley ’71


    It’s only Ray Parlour…….

    The Bailey, pre Emirates days…….

    The Che, post Highbury days……

    Le Grove.

    1-0 to THE Arsenal….

    Parma 0 Arsenal 1

    Dennis Bergkamp.

    Shall i go on?

  13. LAzer

    geoff says:
    August 24, 2010 at 08:21
    Sorry, it went off prematurely!

    …famous last words before the bear passes out and Mrs Bear goes back to her Vanity Fair

  14. gnarleygeorge9


    I love it when seasoned Gooners like you & El Tel relive the glories of pre Le Gaffer.

    Incidently, I bought a 1970’s Arsenal strip from Toffs, with the old No 9 on the back. Long sleeves & XXL 😛 I will cherish it. It will complete me 😀

  15. DB10

    Crafty with words Arse&Nose… Good one!…
    It is only SKY who is running with this story, and I was wondering in any one is “in the know” as far as this story is concerned

  16. LAzer

    DDM how the fuk you bring that over? Won’t let me highlight in the previous comments section. Anyways that long winded comment was for u.

  17. Arse&Nose©

    Sky had interviews with Gazza yesterday to fill in time, wouldnt be surprised if they were making stories up to fill in time.

    At the moment they are making a huge effort to get people to sign up to sky sports packages as SSN has gone off freeview.

  18. Chipo

    Squillaci today, Juan tomorrow?

    I like this new older player policy, at least Arsene is sticking to his word on that one..

    Chamakh 26
    Kos 24
    Squilli 30
    Juan 31
    Schwarzer 36

    That’s experience right there. CL and World Cup experience too.

    Good lad Arsene

  19. gambon

    Rohan Passey

    Id say a Ciani would be perfect, or Juan.

    I see a good collection of CBs but only one guaranteed first choice in Vermaelen.

    Just imagine how awesome it would be to have Koscielny & Squillaci on the bench, or Squillaci & Juan?!

    Gone would be the days of giving away 2 goal leads.

  20. gnarleygeorge9


    Its my shoulders. I need plenty of room, & maybe also being in the top paddock a lot lately 😛

  21. gnarleygeorge9


    It hasn’t arrived yet, but it is cotton & robust from the description. I hate wearing polyester/nylon crap.

  22. gnarleygeorge9

    I wouldn’t mind a ’71 FA Cup replica shirt as well. I should thank Geoff for his link to the online gooner a couple of weeks back. Thats where I saw the ad for Toffs. Cheers Geoff

  23. Arse&Nose©

    gambon, we’d still give away stupid goals because clichy would be on the pitch.

    he is a nice guy and arsenal through and through, but he is consistently targeted by the opposition as our weak link.

  24. MickyDidIt89

    Great list.
    Will try and email Pedro and meet up with you at the Che after next game. I was only outside on satuday so did’nt get to survey the new staffing arrangements. Worrying times.

  25. Bergy

    Our wing backs give way 2 much space ,cause they always on the attack.most of time the cb are the only ones left to defend.very risky with our high def line

  26. ZARgooner

    I know Squillaci deal seems set on… and shwarzer fairly certain. But Ciani and Juan? Seems like its tabloid stuff again… perhaps these 2 guys IF we didnt sign Squillaci?

    Just dont wanna get my hopes up…. and cream my pants prematurely

  27. Ola

    A good old 442 with the speed of Walcott and Vela/Traore on the wings would have been interesting to watch. Perhaps we would get to see us break like we did when the Invincibles were playing?

  28. Stuart

    rosicky, arshavin, nasri are all wasted when stuck out on the left – but there are our best players out there

    gibbs could be good and it would have been interesting to see how traore would do at left wing as clearly he is no defender

    playing 4-4-2 would defo makes us tighter at the back

  29. gambon


    Sagna is top class, gives very little away, i wouldnt worry about him.

    Ola, 4-4-2 is dead, time to move on.

  30. johnny hoy

    What doesn’t equate is the dislike of the French players, and the name of your blog. Are you one of those who think French people are soft? Have you ever seen their fucking Rugby team? By the way, the ground’s called the Emirates. We sold our soul, get used to it.

  31. Rohan Passey


    I feel we are genuinely short at DM. Diaby and Wilshere are NOT DM’s and will struggle against the more physical teams. Hence the concern.

  32. Thierry Henry is god


    Feels like you’re being overly positive here, otherwise a good post as always.

    After all, all you need about Arsenal and fan views is nicely rapped up here.

    I believe we’ll get Squillaci, and Almunia will be our nr uno.

    Schwarzer will stay in Fulham because they’ll not get a replacement.

    And the rest are “two expensive”.

  33. DeiseGooner

    So it seems Wenger has seen the error of his ways in not offering a decent term contract to a 30 year old (or was it 31?)While i see the merit in shorter term contracts for those that may be “losing it”.. i do feel the players we have lost to this policy may have been of benefit to us with their experience.

  34. Thierry Henry is god

    We have the option of changing a game with some subs to make a 4-4-2 if needed, I don’t know what for, but it was tested during preseason.

  35. Arse&Nose©

    Sagna is ok, doesnt offer much going forward but solid at the back.

    Clichy on the other hand is a weak link, constantly targeted by opponents. Doesn’t offer much going forward either.

  36. Chipo

    Sevilla defender Sebastien Squillaci admits he found it “practically impossible” to turn down fellow Frenchman Arsene Wenger as he prepares to complete his transfer to Arsenal.

    The Spanish side last night confirmed they have accepted an offer from Arsenal for Frenchman Squillaci, who is expected to have a medical today with a view to signing for the Gunners ahead of next Tuesday’s transfer deadline.

    “If a French player receives an offer from Arsene Wenger, it’s practically impossible to turn down,” he said.

    “It was a sensational offer for me and I was happy Sevilla let me go. It was a difficult situation but I knew I had to take this chance.

    “I knew if I played against Braga then I would not have been able to play for Arsenal in the Champions League,” said the defender, who refused to play for Sevilla against the Portuguese outfit in last week’s play-off.

    “Arsenal were always the team I watched out for. For any spectator like me, you had to watch a squad with [Thierry] Henry, [Robert] Pires, [Patrick] Vieira and [William] Gallas. Now, I’m happy to have my name in the history books. For me, this is a great new challenge and I’ve gone there purely to be part of that.

    “I don’t think my age is a problem. My experience in football is great and players of my age tend to be at the peak of their playing career.”

    Read more:

  37. Jonathan

    I would like Wenger to get someone like Peter Storey/Flaminin/bone tackling specialist.In the modern game of soccer,you need someone who is not afraid it will hurt him and scares the opponent.
    Players who perform this role like/ Cole/Fletcher/ mascherini /etc will break up enenmy attacks. You cannot fight fire with paper. It must be with fire and then the fun starts.
    Reyes was kicked all over the park at OT and that’s why he got sick/terrified of the tackling in the epl. I have noticed since those days the refs are clamping down on this type of tackles. Give a yellow card for the first of this tackle and then the player will play football and not injure the opponent.

  38. arsenalvideo

    Stop moaning because wenger signs french players, what he can get for £10m in france would cost the double in england, is that what you want? a team of average english players? few weeks ago you moaned about Wenger not signing anyone. will you ever be happy with his decisions? Did you say the same think with Vieira, Henry and Pires?

  39. LAzer

    Diaby or Wilshere were being played there because we were playing at home vs. a championship side and the suspensions and injuries. I don’t think they are long term solutions. Song will be back at DM, Cesc as playmaker and Diaby box to box. I would like to see Rosicky given a run though, he looks in terrific nick and Cesc looked disinterested.

    I like how Wenger is letting Jack play the box to box role. He said it himself, the lad wants to track back and mix it up a bit. Let him do it now and get used to it before he grows up thinking hes a pretty play maker. That can come later, we know he has the touches, passing and shooting ability.

  40. Rohan Passey


    I would love it if that happens. Let’s wait and see.

    Good summary of Toto:

  41. DB10

    Here is a good analysis about our new signing to be by…. Enjoy
    By Andy Brassell

    Having already made his big defensive investment of the summer with his £8.5 million outlay on Laurent Koscielny, Arsene Wenger has been more typically creative with his latest reinforcement. The arrival of France international Sebastien Squillaci from Sevilla is a typically unglamourous Wenger signing, but could be the touch of experience at the back that Arsenal have been crying out for.

    So what will Squillaci add to the mix? examines his qualities next to those of his new central defensive colleagues…..


    A strong suit. Though Squillaci is tall rather than towering at 6’1, he anticipates the flight of the ball and the forward’s first move well. Arsenal have arguably lacked a defensive leader since the departure of Kolo Toure – someone who can give them authority at defensive set pieces.

    Arsenal’s vulnerability to straight, long balls has been a problem for far too long – Squillaci has the presence to put a stop to this. Wenger will hope he can pass on his mastery of these situations to the less experienced Koscielny and Djourou.

    Better than: Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny, Johan Djourou


    This is a key area in which Arsenal’s centre-back pairing, whoever they may be, have to improve this year. As already mentioned elsewhere in these pages, Thomas Vermaelen’s major fault is being drawn towards the ball too easily, and he has a tendency to overcommit. Squillaci is not afraid of a last-ditch challenge should the situation demand it, but is far more sanguine..
    Squillaci’s first instinct is to block and jockey, rather than watch an attacking move escalate. At Lyon he formed an effective partnership with Cris. Though neither of them were blessed with breakneck speed, they became excellent at helping each other out. If Cris went towards the ball, Squillaci would always make himself available to sweep up behind his skipper.

    Better than: Vermaelen, Djourou
    Comparable to: Koscielny


    This is the area in which the former Monaco man could conceivably come unstuck, and could give him the odd problem early on in his Arsenal career as he strives to come to terms with the hurly-burly nature of the Premier League. Squillaci tends to rely on his reading of the game to make a pre-emptive strike, rather than leave himself one-on-one with a forward.

    For this reason, Koscielny or Djourou might be a good match for him in the centre of defence. Squillaci can play right or left of centre, but deployment on the left would give Koscielny the opportunity to cover him diagonally – the quicker Gael Givet, now of Blackburn, did this well when the pair played together at Monaco. Alternatively, Gael Clichy can come across from left-back.

    Worse than: Koscielny, Djourou, Vermaelen


    Squillaci made his name as a muscular, physical competitor in Ligue 1; these were exactly the characteristics that attracted Manolo Jimenez to buy him for his traditionally rugged Sevilla side back in 2008. The Frenchman should have little difficulty in absorbing the blows which come with being a Premier League defender.

    This is an aspect of the English game which Vermaelen also took to very quickly. Received wisdom is two such players don’t complement one another, though the Belgian’s desire to bring the ball out of defence, as well as the successful partnership between two ‘destroyers’ in Alex and John Terry at Chelsea, suggests this would not necessarily be the case.

    Better than: Koscielny, Djourou
    Comparable to: Vermaelen


    Brought up in sides that expect to play out from the back, Squillaci is no mug on the ball, without exactly being Rio Ferdinand either. Clearly some degree of competence in possession is vital when playing for Arsenal and the 30-year-old meets this criteria; the evolution in the likes of Tony Adams and Steve Bould in the early years of Wenger’s reign suggest that Squillaci could even improve is his new environment.

    Arsenal’s rhythm will be kept going by Squillaci at the very least. Koscielny is more stylish and Vermaelen tends to demand the ball more, but the former Lyon man is a sober and appropriate foil for either player in this sense. Alex Song’s growing presence in the fetcher/carrier role means Squillaci will always be the centre-back to hang back.

    Comparable to: Djourou
    Worse than: Vermaelen, Koscielny


    Without being especially agricultural, ‘Toto’ picks up his share of bookings – he took five in just 16 La Liga appearances last season – but this reflects more on his 100 per cent commitment and his profile as an old-fashioned, no-nonsense centre-back rather than any short fuse.
    It’s the other half of his temperament which will interest Arsenal fans more – his winning mentality. Squillaci’s career has been littered with trophies (seven), from the Ligue 2 title win back in 2002 while on loan at Ajaccio, through winning the championship in both his years at Lyon (including a double in 2008) and being topped off by Sevilla’s Spanish Cup win in May.

    He has extensive Champions League experience, and was an important figure in Monaco’s thrilling run to the 2004 Champions League final. In short, Squillaci has big-match knowhow in abundance.

    Better than: Koscielny, Vermaelen, Djourou

  42. Ola

    Flooding the midfield with players, short passing outside the box and trying to keep possession is pretty but also rather inefficient against teams that know how to defend. It is good enough if you have iniesta and xavi who never looses the ball in your team but we don’t. I would want to see more speed and directness in our game. One thing is for sure. We don’t really know how to break anymore. Too many players, like Diaby, stops the flow looking for a 2 meters pass sideways rather then keeping momentum going forward.

  43. dennisdamenace

    MDI89 – Sounds like a plan, however i’m missing the next game. But, anyone after that should be fine….

    Although, i feel as though Pedro feels intimidated by all the burly Gooners there, seeing as that he is Arsenal’s very own version of Russell Brand…..

  44. rajin

    man citys game make every body shock…….and they can destroy us too if u let mistakes in our defensive play so we must be careful

  45. DB10

    Sorry I left out the conclusion:


    There is little suggestion that Squillaci will be the first name on the team sheet at the Emirates, but there is a strong chance he will become a key member of Wenger’s squad, particularly as the season draws on.

    His experience – plus his ability to communicate, both football-wise and with French as a first language – with his central defence colleagues could bring much-needed calm to what has in the past often been a harried Arsenal backline.

  46. gooner

    Anyone have a sneeky feeling Koz may be used in the DM slot if necessary. Apparently he was bit of a utility man early in his career, only settled as a definite CB last season. He’s quick and his passing is decent, seems to read the game well. Just a thought?

  47. mcmellish

    I reckon Kos could make a quality DM, he seems quick and strong in the tackle, he reads the play well and he has a solid passing range. I’m fairly certain he’d be better than Diaby or Denlisn playing there.

  48. Mark C

    If we get Squillaci and Ciani – do we need Djourou?

    Will he be a back up DM?

    Will Choozer be 4th choice CB? Squillaci and Ciani have already been choosen to play for France so in theory are better than Choozer.

    Juan – is small

  49. chippy

    Good piece and personally think hes a good signing but only time will tell i guess,

    🙂 Unreal isnt it ! I spose in Arsenal terms it is a swift recovery look at TR7 he was originally out for 2 weeks max after the Newcastle game we didnt see him for over a year !

    Oh you missed White Hart Lane 87 of your list 😉

  50. mcmellish

    I’m hoping ad praying that we have Schwarzer wrapped up before the Blackburn game cos I don’t want to be having nightmares anymore about Almunia and Flappster in goal.

  51. Queen of Suburbia

    I have a funny feeling we might stick with Almunia.

    If Wenger feels that his problems last season were down to the bereavement he suffered in September then he might feel like keeping him on.

  52. gambon

    Juan never looks small to me, im surpirsed Wiki says hes 5.11

    As a quartet Vermaelen, Koscielny, Squillaci & Juan would be very good, and well balanced in terms of ages.

    No-one likes to see a long termer leave, but I dont think Djourous good enough for a big club.

  53. gambon

    I cant see Almunia being number 1, Wenger has displayed his complete lack of faith in him.

    Hopefully Almunia as #2, Fabianski sold, and one of the younger guys loaned out.

  54. gambon


    It should be the best Pen taker, regardless of if Cesc is leaving.

    That said i dont think Cesc is our best, but mentally he seems to get it right.

  55. Pat

    Juan would be the best CDM choice if we were to sign him imo.

    If we get him, I cannot say I have anything against Wenger. He’d have kept his word and brought in very good signings.

  56. gambon


    I think we have 13 homegrown so we could. Id like to see him loaned for the season and given a last chance to show hes up to it.

  57. Pat

    Cesc is a very poor pk taker imo.

    I’m always worried b/c he always goes for the same corner and in all honesty, Sorensen should’ve saved his pen at Stoke last year.

  58. wattsy65


    All I require of a CB is to win the ball Air / Ground and then pass it to someone in the same colour shirt, nothing fancy just defend well……simple.

    Providing our purchases do that, then great.

    The thought of Alumunia being trodden all over at Blackburn is really scary, you just know he will bottle it. But despite all the talk there is no tangible evidence of a new GK arriving that I can see.

    Good to see Hodgson is turning Liverpool into the new Fulham, there is absolutely nothing in that guys CV to suggest he can turn them round, safe hands maybe, a good talker yes, but a couple of titles in Sweden and Cuckoo Land does not a title winner make, which i think is good news for everyone, the sight of Gerrard and Torres looking pissed off every week will be wonderful.

    Happy days

  59. Big Dave

    We made 37 mill from CL footy last season.

    Our results in September will be very impressive.

    Rumour has it our stadium is very close to being debt free

  60. km

    I’m really pleased by Wenger this year…he’s making the right signings at last!

    I’v got a feeling that we’r for another CB/midfielder. I’d prefer a mean DM tbh because Song can always play CB if required.

  61. Arse&Nose©

    Almunia is not a bad #2
    he is good against most of the teams
    just struggles against top 4 and up north away games.

  62. makenzi

    We dont need any more central Defenders after Squillaci. there will be 5 CBs; Vermalean, Koscielny, Squillaci, Djorou and Nordeveity, We also have a promising CB in Bartley.

  63. dennisdamenace

    QoS – What a situation to find ourselves in. Keeping a player because he satifies a certain critereia, rather than being the best person for the job!

    I wonder how much longer FIFA/EUFA can skirt around the EEU Employment laws?

  64. km


    i’d get rid of DJ and bring in Juan. Have never been convinced by DJ. That way when Sqeeky & Juan go in 2yrs time Norviedt & Bartley will step up and we’l get another young CB as no.5

  65. chippy

    Was that for before the match activietys or something not relevant ! “Cool down” missing that must have pissed you of even more lol

  66. gambon


    Youre looking at quantity, not quality.

    Juan is much better than our CBs, he can only improve us.

    Id rather have 3 great CBs than any random 5 CBs.

  67. woody

    I called for a traditional right winger ages ago,and mentioned Eden Hazard,switch Walcott to the left he can then cut into those wider spaces inside on his best right foot,Arshavin clearly is not the player he was and looks so disinterested,keep the full backs in more defensive mode,and if Clichy wants away sell him for as much wedge as possible.

  68. dennisdamenace

    I was arrested in Soho the night before, for defending a mate who was attacked by a drugy!!

    Fucking police tried to get my mate to be a witness for them against me!!

    Quite funny though, as it tee’d off again in the back of the van on the way to the station!!

  69. MickyDidIt89

    Only yesterday I put out for a left sided winger, but totally agree with you about Arshavin. Would have swapped him for Milner in a flash.

  70. km

    City strangled L’pool y’day. They made Pool lool like Bolton!!! Thats how bad it got. City used their width r.well with Milner & Johnson impressive and they kept possession r.well with their 3 DM’s.

    I was r.impressed with Kompany – he handled Torres r.well. Good CB imo.

    If Mascherano had played it might have been a different result and allowed Gerrard to play 2nd striker. Gotto say Mascherano is a cunt! I wanted City to lose but the Argie let me down! 😉

    L’pool in a pickle now because Barca won’t pay £25m (they’r skint) and Mascherano refuses to play. Pool need money asap to get some players in. They look r.poor tonight. Hodgson has been handed a poisoned chalice

  71. chippy

    Shit thats harsh, The police never change always after the easy nick the cunts!! Got celled at Villa Park for the cup semi against the mancs for fuck all and whilst in the cell i asked the Sergeant the score the wanker told me we were 3-0 down 🙂 They just do it to get a rise !

    So the Interview this morning on SSN and he pretty much said what weve all said on a daily basis for the past 2 years we are a couple of players short we allways promise but never deliver ! The blokes still a cunt tho !