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.

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