Did someone just open the retail arm of the Arsenal business to include players? One minute we’re struggling to sell players who are out of contract, the next the floodgates open!
Yesterday saw the comfirmed departure of Kyle Bartley. How this happened is a total mystery. One minute he’s being welcomed into the first team squad, the next he’s thanking the club for their support? I do hope he wasn’t shipped on because we couldn’t shift £52k a week Johann Djourrou? That really would be a poor judgement call. Kyle barely got a kick for us. Instead of persisting with potential, we’ve opted to stick with tried and tested ‘not good enough’.
In other news, Alex Song leaving is pretty much a certainty. ANR announced he was saying his goodbyes and I was told that was right. I’ll try and get some detail today. Rumours were circulating that he’d told the manager he’d strike if he wasn’t allowed to leave. I’m unsure about that, but like I’ve said before, we’re best off without him. You need everyone pulling in the right direction… he hasn’t been and that’s been going on for a very long time. Interesting that I was told a few years ago the two players you’d least like to hang out with at Arsenal were Denilson and Song.
I’ll give you more detail when he goes, but it’s looking like a formality now. Curve ball departure of the summer if it happens eh? What did I tells ya?
The big question is what we do next? I was speaking to Arsenal Addict yesterday and he said we don’t really need to replace a defensive midfielder because Song didn’t really play that role. He was supposed to but was so heavily indulged by the manager he avoided his responsibilities.
So do we bring in someone new for the sake of squad morale and the certainty that comes with experience? Sahin has apparenlty slowed his move to Liverpool waiting on what we do with Song. A Turkish international with experience and a hard assed approach to the game (thought not sure he’s a DM as such). Or do we share out the role between Coquelin and Frimpong? I mean, I love Coq as much as the next man… but can he rise to the challenge? Can he hold his own for 90minutes? Can he control himself and maintain discipline until a satisfactory result is achieved?
I just don’t know…
New on the left back front has literally just hit the newswires. Cheikh M’Bengue, the left back from Toulouse had this to say.
“To be honest, I did not expect. When a big club like that think to you, it’s nice, but we are surprised more than anything else. (…) I have my agent who deals with that and I think he has discussed with President (Olivier Sadran). I had not planned to leave, I have two year contract, but it would be difficult to accept (to stay). (…) Arsenal, it can not be refused if everyone is benefiting. J hope that if there is an interesting proposal, it does not block me. should also see the player’s interest. Arsenal, it would be great. ”
Either my translation is sh*te or his English is chronically underwhelming. Could be agent talk, no offer yet, just an expressed interest.
Squad morale will be rocked from losing Robin. The summer cycle of misery has continued. The only way Wenger will convince the players we’re not a selling club is to buy. He has a deflated market of sellers. We know he can do it.
Talking of Robin, one of the guys I sit next to at Arsenal, let’s call him Steve for anonymity purposes, spoke to me this morning and highlighted a very valid point about Robin. When has he ever played well with a strike partner? He plays with one for Holland and he’s always under-performed. So unless United turn Wayne into a midfielder, you wonder what’s going to become of the £64million man!
Now the dust has settled… I’m not that fussed about another striker, I’m just worried about midfield and our massively under resourced full back positions. If we shape up there, this squad could be contenders. We have two strikers who know where the net is, we have a creative midfielder with world class pedigree, Arteta is a performer, we have Jack coming back into the mix and possibly this could be the season Aaron Ramsey makes the step up. We also have Chamberlain who will no doubt have a big impact on what we do this year, plus the emergence of Ryo and maybe we’ll see a great season out of the Theo. The starting back five are all very talented individuals, under the guidance of Steve Bould, they could be a talented unit. We just need to plug a few of the holes elsewhere in the squad… because if we’ve learned anything over the last few seasons, it’s a squad that wins you the league, not a starting 11.
Ok, ok, I might be getting carried away here, but I point blank refuse to let Robin Van Persie and his move to United sully a thousand pound purchase I made. I don’t want to head to the stadium tomorrow under a cloud. I want this year to be exciting for the right reasons. Right now I feel like I’ve just bought a brand new Ford Mondeo and I’ve discovered a scratch… I’m still pleased with the purchase and the joy / women it’ll bring me, but I need to address the scratch. Arsene is literally addressing a scratch, this time last year, we were trying to repair the aftermath of a car bomb.
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Does Arsene have the cojones I go against his irrational fear of spending what he has available? Does he know where the t-cut isle is in B&Q? I hope so guys…
Update from Arsene:
‘We have massive squad and I believe we have what’s needed.’
Plus, he as good as confirms the departure of Alex Song.