Friday, 31 August 2012

Transfer Deadline Day.....And It's Live!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

"And As I Told You"

Sorry for the headline, I hate people who use that on Twitter, it's normally reserved for the berks who get 1/50 things right and cling onto the 1 for dear life, almost as if they have a complex where they are begging for attention, and attention-seeker if you will. That Theo Walcott stuff from yesterday turned out to be not too far from the mark, and as.....STOP IT!

Personal rant aside, It seems as if the "Week of Chaos" predicted by most (including me) isn't going to come to fruition, all seems calm and tranquil (Walcott aside) around The Grove, which again leaves me with a feeling that some inside the club aren't willing to go the extra mile to get us in with a shout, finishing 4th or 3rd  is enough for them, maybe I'm wrong but it's not enough for me and when you consider the scale of ticket price fans have to fork out. Again Arsenal remind me of a "Jam Tomorrow" club, but will tomorrow ever come? And when Tomorrow does come as I'm promised, will be in any fit shape to captialise on it. I'm left wondering every single time.Also should hear some platitudes from Arsene Wenger pre-Liverpool today, I don't know whether to bring my decoder or just throw it at someone. I think the Liverpool game will tell us more about the team as Liverpool will definitely come and have a go at us which will test defence and also show what we can do on the counter-attack.

Injury news was made better by Didier Deschamps admitting Laurent Koscielny was fully fit and back to full training as he was included in the French squad along with Olivier Giroud and Abou Diaby

There is genuinely no news floating around at the minute, media lockdown enconses all of N5, whether genuinely nothing or protecting, remains to be seen.

Champions League draw is made this afternoon and it looks to be the most difficult group stage in years with big names and long journey's littered throughout the draw, lets hope we get a bit of Manchester United's luck when it comes to Group Stage draws (Excluding last year)

Join me and a whole host of jolly folk* tomorrow for what potentially could be the biggest waste of time ever, Liveblog will run here and on simultaneously.

Ta Ta

* - Disclaimer - Tim Clark of @arse2mouse will be joining me for some of it, and he's not jolly at all.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Theo & Transfer Tumbleweed

First up and to get out the way, deathly quiet on both incomings and outgoings yesterday although it's widely thought that yesterday was the day when things kicked into motion for all clubs and not just Arsenal, if I'm talking about this on Thursday, then my fingers will be hovering over the panic button.

Theo, Theo, Theo, Theo.......I wasn't at all shocked that these details were leaked to the press yesterday, it was surely retaliation for being left out of the team on Sunday, an ultimatum Friday about signing a new deal or being left out went unheeded and even thought of as a "bluffing tactic" by Theo's people, needless to stay it's not gone down well and may have contributed to yesterday's leak. For what it's worth I don't think Theo Walcott deserves 100k a week, he's too hit and miss and went missing far too much last season, he also is capable of being a match-winner and the nagging issues I have with selling Theo is that he isn't properly replaced and also will come back to haunt us, I think and hope a compromise is met because it doesn't sit well that over the past 2 summers, 5 big players have left us either for hometown teams, because they don't buy the project or because we won't pay what they think they deserve.

Quick note: Thanks to all for the feedback in the infant stage of the blog, 17,000 page hits for only 7 posts. Lovely.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Dzeko and Dembele....Decent!

Morning, Tumbleweed was the order of the day yesterday in the final week of the transfer window, but we awake this fine Tuesday to reliable tweeter @geoffarsenal 's news about Arsenal enquiring for Edin Dzeko of Manchester City, would very much like the signing although questions would be raised about the similar qualities to Olivier Giroud. Having spoken to someone who would know better about these things, the Dzeko interest seems to be legit but with a couple of caveats, that a deal was much more likely when Robin Van Stapleton's destination seemed to be Manchester City and also before Sergio Aguero's knee injury which would keep him out for a month.

Today would also seem to be the day that the enquiries start to stream in for all players in anticipation of haggling and Friday's Supermarket sweep style ending to proceedings and again I hear that Fulham's Moussa Dembele may be someone who is on Arsene Wenger's radar, to quote "Arsenal still have a sniff at Dembele and Fulham think so too" - whether this pans out knowing Tottenham's serious interest is another matter but it shows we are looking at the right sort of players for the right sort of positions.

It's going to be a long, busy, rollercoastious (I've made that word up) week.

Until Tomorrow.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Stoke 0-0 Arsenal - There were positives, seriously!

Another draw, another goalless draw - sounds dour, dull, boring and what have you but watching some facets of the team left me really excited for the next few games.

We defended REALLY WELL, for the whole 90 minutes, without pressing the shiny self-destruct button we all know and tear our hair out about every week, every time we were under siege there was a challenge and someone going for the second ball, the work rate tracking back was brilliant, and remember Vito Mannone, Carl Jenkinson and probably Per Mertesacker aren't first choice, so it was a great team defensive performance.

But defensive work isn't going to catch the eye of the pundits who again bring up the fact that Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud aren't in the same league as Robin Van Persie. I'd like to bring up 2 things with Mr Redknapp, 1 is that they actually are literally in the same league and 2. Robin Van Persie wasn't in the "same league" as Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry once upon a time. The lack of goals are a concern and if I did have a stick to beat Arsene Wenger with, it would be for the lack of playing time the new players have had over the summer, the Summer Asia tour is a great money-spinner but the good old days of playing 5th divison Austrian teams did give the first-teamers ample oppotunity to get to know one another.

The Week of Chaos has begun, and although the flow of information is thin at the minute, Arsenal are busy with both incomings and outgoings, to what extent I do not know, the Cheik Tiote/Mapou Yanga Mbiwa stories in the papers at the weekend are legit. Fee is always going to be an issue with Newcastle and Louis Nicollin is loathed to lose his captain but with one-year to go on his deal, Montpellier face a struggle to keep hold.

Theo Walcott's contract situation and subsquent benching on Sunday raises a few eyebrows as well, think there is more mileage in this story as well.

Going to be a busy week on AVOMA culminating with Deadline day on Friday. Stay tuned.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Stoking Fires & Sahin Stone....Finally

Arsenal travel to Stoke this weekend for the first away trip of the campaign, always a tricky fixture with the raucous home support and the issues that have had the clubs at loggerheads for years. Injury news sees Laurent Koscielny miss out as he has not quite recovered from a calf strain, although good news as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukask Fabianski should be ready to take their place in the matchday squad.

 As far as team selection goes, I wouldn't expect too much tinkering from the team that drew vs Sunderland, personally I would think about moving Podolski to wide left and bringing Giroud in to give Shawcross & Huth something to think about, it would give a more fluid and natural balance to the team which could shift into a 4-4-2 quite easily if required. Also would think about giving Coquelin a run at right-back as the pace from Stoke down the flanks could give Jenkinson a problem.

My Arsenal XI
Szczesny, Coquelin, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Diaby, Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud                                     

The Nuri Sahin episode seems to be finally at an end with the player expected to sign for Liverpool today, it's always annoying to miss out on a player but as stated before on this blog and Twitter, It's not the end of the world. Most reporters are saying that there is no buy-out option attached to it but I understand there might be a "first refusal" clause which I don't think will help Liverpool either, the player plays well means Madrid will want him back and if the player plays badly or team perform badly, will Sahin want to stay there?

The financial side of the deal made more sense for Madrid to push him to Liverpool as well, covering 70% of Sahin's wages (If you believe what's out there) and a loan fee reaching £5m (Again, If you believe what you read), a £10m outlay on a player you might not see again next season. Very understandable why Liverpool have gone for it though, their task is to break the top 4 sooner rather than later so a gifted player like Sahin may work, and if it works then they will obviously have more funds and be able to compete for other players in summers to come, also on the flipside very understandable why Arsenal haven't pushed the deal with no purchase option.

There's no rumours to debunk first thing this morning but you can keep up-to-date with anything in the "Transfer Talk" section.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

I've got Sahin to tell you.....I'm bored now.

This transfer saga has more twists and turns than a twisty-turny thing, depending on who you believe this morning Nuri Sahin will be playing for Liverpool or Arsenal in the very near future - Marca are the latest ones to mess with everyone's head by printing this un-named article that you can't find unless you realy search for it. - I'm not going to question the validity of the report but it does have the feel of "Sportsmail Reporter" about it.

This is the same Marca that last night ran with "Nuri Sahin Packs It's Bags" which goes to say that the player missed training on Tuesday awating his loan move to be completed to Arsenal  .

Exhibit C in this fiasco is Click Liverpool journalist Richard Buxton's report on Sulia last night, for those who don't want to click on it, the article says that Arsenal have run unopposed for a couple of days.

Whatever guys, seriously whatever. I'm bored of it now, I've always considered Sahin a luxury player and I think I've wrote before that signing Sahin instead of a defensively minded midfielder may come back to haunt Arsenal later in the season. Whatever happens, happens.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

You're only Robin Yourselves

Bit of a bitter taste in the mouth these days reading stuff on Arsenal, not from the mainstream media about 1-game crises, but from some Arsenal fans themselves.

I'm genuinely as annoyed and frustrated about Robin Van Persie's decision to leave for Manchester United as the next one, but the amount of things I've seen about how good it would be to see him sustain an injury, and not just the odd 1 or 2 which you can put down to idiocy, but a lot, and I mean a lot from people I enjoy reading stuff from either on Twitter or blog form.
This is Arsenal remember, The Arsenal who lost Aaron Ramsey to a double leg-break, and even though he is back playing, he's never quite hit the heights he was striving towards before the injury.

A rivalry was made that day with some sections of the Stoke City support for revelling in it, and for the subsquent finger-pointing because Ramsey allegedly did not respond to Ryan Shawcross' apology as well, altogether a nasty episode which will undoubtedly carry on for years to come.
        Then we have Eduardo, who's Arsenal career was shortened in much the same way as Aaron Ramsey, he never regained the form he was showing pre-tackle and was moved on.
 The shame about Eduardo is that he was one of the best natural finishers Arsenal have probably ever had and to see the Eduardo post-injury was a sad sight to behold, devoid of confidence, reticent into a tackle.
Abou Diaby is the final case, a promising box-to-box midfielder who showed promise in the Vieira mould, has spent best part of 6 years trying to recover from a horror tackle and never quite making it without a setback. It's been sad to see the list of muscle injuries he's suffered as a result of said tackle.
You get the link, I'm unhappy Van Persie has left and as much as I understand it,
I'm still unhappy.

Saying all that,  I can't wish injury on a player and I'm a little bewildered that fans who fight the injured players corner as much as Arsenal fans seem to, would feel any differently.