Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Summer Plans....

    Just a quick update after I spent a long time chatting about to someone who should know what they're   talking about RE: Arsenal in the summer and also some snippets I'd been keeping together for a post such as this.

Summer Plans

Goalkeeper, Right Back, Central Defender & Striker - That's what was mentioned yesterday but also specifically the mention that no defensive midfielder is on Arsenal's radar this summer. This would fly in the face of @Gunnerblog and his excellent piece here Have to say it did raise a few eyebrows but person was quite adamant but has agreed to check back on the Gonalons but that's as far as it's gone.

Goalkeeper - Victor Valdes won't be signing a new deal at Barcelona and is very high on the WengerWant list, bit of chat suggesting we are already talking to people associated with Valdes. Arsenal have also been interested in Asmir Begovic since the summer but maybe relations with club and Premier League prices will see them beaten by Chelsea, Avram Grant has supposedly given Roman Abramovich the green light on Begovic with rave reviews. If they pull the trigger on a goalkeeper, I'd put whatever money I had on them trying for Victor Valdes

Right-Back - Few names being mentioned here with the only real one being Sebastian Corchia of Sochaux, there was a piece written in France about Arsenal and Corchia being agreed but if you actually read it through, it makes very little sense. Bacary Sagna doesn't seem to be in any rush to talk about a new deal in the same vein Arsenal don't seem in any rush to talk about a new deal with him and the rumours in France have been linking him with PSG & big spending Monaco. 

Centre-Back - Thomas Vermaelen's dramatic drop in form and subsequent removal from the first team has led to speculation that it's the Belgian's last season at the club, I would concur with them on what I've heard since the summer and with the rumours of agent Kees Vos being spotted at the Nou Camp in weeks gone by (A la Van Persie), this one is only going to run-and-run. Johan Djourou has also made it clear he would like to make his loan move to Hannover permanent despite there being no option-to-buy in the loan so we could potentially be 2 centre backs down in the summer and 3 if you count Sebastian Squillaci's contract expiry. As far as the incomings are mooted, was told we had a bid for Ashley Williams rejected in the January transfer window but I'm not so sure on that link.

Centre-Forward - We are in desperate need of firepower to accompany Olivier Giroud who hasn't had a bad first season in all truth, his only crime is that he isn't Robin Van Persie, but as far as incomings are concerned it's all gone quiet on Stevan Jovetic. Was told around November and December that Arsenal were talking and trying to persuade him on moving either in Jan or the summer but has gone quiet and coupled with Manchester City's growing interest, it gives me that Juan Mata feeling all over again.

Kit Deal: - After the Emirates deal was announced all eyes turned to the kitmaker deal, would it be Adidas or would it be Nike, would Adidas get "Occupy London" as was mooted but all I can tell you as of 4-6 weeks ago is that people close to Adidas expect Arsenal to re-sign with Nike.

Monday, 8 April 2013

West Brom 1-2 Arsenal - Be Honest, You thought we'd concede late, I did.

I'll be honest, I was sat at the Hawthorns watching the clock thinking the later we go without conceding the inevitable equaliser, the more chance we have with escaping at 2-2, that's what my Arsenal mindset defaults to these days. And to think for an hour Arsenal were pretty comfortable, the sending off was a rash, spur of the moment challenge from Per & maybe in hindsight he should of let Shane Long shoot but that's a massive case of "Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda". It's a win that gets bigger when you give it time to sink in. 7 massive games to come and we're on a good run of 6 wins in the last 7, it's almost a replica of last season but shows you the experience that both the manager and players have of doing what they have to in the last weeks of the season. It doesn't and shouldn't mask what has been an underwhelming season again but the post-mortem can wait until the end.

Player Ratings (Detailed) as I was there:

Fabianski - 6.5 - Didn't really have a lot to do, was a little concerned in the second half that he regressed into his shell on crosses after missing one and lamping McAuley in the back of the head from a corner but does seem to give the back four confidence.

Sagna - 6 - Very busy in the first half going forward, has an almost silent rappour with Gervinho. Excellent in the air but crap at crossing.

Mertesacker - 7 - I love Per. What he lacks in pace he makes up by standing in the right place because he knows where it's going, never really looked in trouble until the sending off (Might be down to Shane Long) and when he was in trouble prior he just dropped on the ball with his back, which was a personal highlight for the season.

Koscielny - 7.5 - Perfect foil for Per, pacy, strong, busy and breakneck recovery pace, looked full of confidence

Monreal - 8 - First time I've caught Monreal playing live and what an unassuming player he is, you hardly notice him unless you watch really closely, excellent in the air and reads the game so well and not afraid to get forward. A really dependable left-back who has slotted in perfectly.

Ramsey - 7 - Runs a lot, always tries to do something which can backfire, missed a sitter but always wanted to be involved. Looks confident.

Rosicky - 8.5 - Have to give him man of the match because he scored 2 goals but I really wanted to give Monreal the MOM. Good to see Tom get into the six-yard box for the first goal and the touch for the second goal was out of this world. Tired a bit second half and was subbed.

Arteta - 7 - If Arsenal have the ball and Arteta doesn't get it within 5 secs I'm shocked these day. The hub of everything and the increased levels of confidence in Ramsey means he can be a bit more adventurous, what's also telling is the old head on his shoulders, knows when to take a yellow for the team.

Cazorla - 6.5 - Slightly subdued performance from the Spaniard, maybe due to the booing he recieved but had an off day.

Gervinho - 7 - Always looks like he'll make something happen when he gets the ball, it could be falling over or setting up a goal but had the West Brom full-backs worried. Great cross for Rosicky's 1st

Giroud - 7 - Ran his nuts off (He doesn't like doing it though), service to him wasn't great which led to some negative comments about his performance. Extra full marking point for magnificent hair.

Onto Norwich.