Cazorla is official

7 08 2012

In this case I think a picture paints a thousand words…

 

cazorla

The capture of Santi Cazorla is one of the most impressive pieces of business which Arsenal have pulled off in a long, long, while.

Add this to the earlier acquisition of Podolski and Giroud and this summer it seems that everything is coming up roses.

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CAZORLA!!!!!!!!

3 08 2012

The title pretty much says it all!

After all the news in the past couple of weeks that a deal has been struck to bring Spanish international Santi Cazorla to the Emirates it seems that the day has finally arrived.

The tricky winger was absent from training with Malaga this week week amidst rumours that he had jetted into London for his medical with Arsenal.

Well it seems there was more meat to those rumours than is usually the case as it looks like the deal is done and that he is due to be unveiled later on today.

For those of you who think that Arsenal lack ambition I say take the blinkers off.

So far we have sold Vela and released Almunia…. in their place we have bought in Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla.

Title here we come!





Frank Isola: Winning trophies away from Arsenal won’t be the same for Robin van Persie

18 07 2012

Robin van Persie arrived at Arsenal’s training camp this week with a few more grey hairs and without a new contract. Of course, one could have something to do with the other.

The club is hoping to resolve Van Persie’s future before the Gunners begin their preseason tour in Malaysia this weekend. All the big clubs are hot for the Dutch striker, including Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Premier League rival Manchester City.

The fact that Van Persie is in camp and apparently in good spirits and good shape has Arsenal optimistic that the captain will re-consider his position, sign a contract extension and continue to call Emirates Stadium home. Van Persie, 28, is in the prime of his career and belongs at Arsenal where he led the Premier League with 30 goals last season.

If it is Van Persie’s wish to win trophies, why not do it with the club where he made a name for himself? He can’t possibly believe that winning a championship while riding shotgun with Messi would mean the same as winning one at Arsenal.

It’s not as if the north London side is that far from being a legitimate contender. Arsenal finished third in the EPL and its manager, Arsene Wenger, is one of the best in the business at adding young talent.

Van Persie has every right to be concerned with Arsenal losing both Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri last summer. But Wenger has always been a proactive manager. He is looking to sign 17-year-old French forward M’baye Niang, who is being courted by both Tottenham and Man City. Arsenal is also trying to sign Theo Walcott to a long-term deal.

Locking up Van Persie, however, is the crucial move for Arsenal. Nearly two weeks ago, Van Persie released a statement after meeting with Wenger and Ivan Gazidis and sounded resigned to leaving before his contract expires in 12 months.

“This was a meeting about the club’s future strategy and their policy,” Van Persie said in the statement. “Financial terms or a contract have not been discussed, since that is not my priority at all.

“I personally have had a great season but my goal has been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days. Out of my huge respect for Mr. Wenger, the players and the fans I don’t want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal should move forward.

“I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract.”

Van Persie sounded sincere but don’t discount the fact that he could be a shrewd negotiator as well. Van Persie understands his value the team and could be looking for more money, more affection or both. I’ll go with the latter.

Follow FRANK ISOLA on Twitter

Arsenal is built around the Van Persie the way it was once built around his good friend Thierry Henry. And yes, Henry left for Barcelona when he was 27 but not before becoming the Gunners all-time leading scorer with 228 goals while helping Arsenal to two league titles and three FA Cups. It wasn’t until Henry arrived in Spain before he raised a Champions League trophy.

He and Van Persie were teammates when Arsenal lost to Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League Final. Van Persie never stepped on the pitch that night and that loss still stings.

Stay at Arsenal and perhaps Van Persie will get that chance again. Winning one as Messi’s sidekick just won’t mean as much.

Frank Isola – Goal.com

Normally I place no stock in pretty anything that comes from the direction of Goal.com.  Usually it is just the same story that everywhere else is running hacked to death by a 5th or 6th rate journo.

On the rare occasion when it isn’t just churning someone else’s story they normally present made up transfer rumours as if they were gospel.

On this occasion however I find myself in the odd predicament of actually agreeing with something they have published. strange or what!

Mr. Isola hits the nail firmly on the head for me with this particular statement

“If it is Van Persie’s wish to win trophies, why not do it with the club where he made a name for himself? He can’t possibly believe that winning a championship while riding shotgun with Messi would mean the same as winning one at Arsenal.”

Good question, why exactly can’t Van Persie win trophies with Arsenal? He says that the club lacks ambition but let us face facts here this is a team which reeling from the loss of two very good players last year plummeted as low as it’s possible to go before bouncing back to finish third.

Agreed the squad lacks some depth in places but it would seem that Wenger and Gazidis have been working to correct that situation this Summer.

Giroud and Podolski have come in and if the papers are to be  believed will be joined by at least two more signings. Add to that Lansbury and Bartley who have been promoted to the first team and the return of Jack Wilshere from injury and we look a bit better set up to maybe go the distance this year.

If they squad hadn’t of  been so thin last year we would have been better equipped to compete across all fronts without having to throw everything into securing champions league football and personally I believe we would have picked up a trophy, even if it were “just” a Carling cup or FA cup.

If Robin Van Persie is so driven and ambitious, then he should prove it.  He is under contract for one more year, fair enough choose not to renew but see the remaining year out and show everyone that it really isn’t about the petro dollars.





Top replacements for Robin Van Persie

5 07 2012

Well it is official now, Robin Van Persie is a splitter and will be buggering off to some team no-one cares about.

So the first order of business for Arsenal should be making sure that they get the most money possibly for the Dutch mercenary and re-invest it back in the squad in the form of another top quality striker.

Whilst we have already signed the very impressive duo of Podolski and Giroud I still expect Bendtner, Park, Chamakh and Vela to all see the door at the Emirates this summer so at least one more signing up top is needed.

One option which I am going to look at quickly wouldn’t involve spending any money at all on a striker but would be a little bit of a gamble.

Arsene might decide to give Theo Walcott his wish and play him through the middle using Gervinho, Podolski, The Ox and Miyachi on rotation on the wings along with a possible replacement for want away winger Andrei Arshavin.

Might work out well as Theo has an eye for goal and is a relatively good finisher but I feel that you would take away one of his main weapons which is his pace and his ability to run at a defender and worry them/drag them out of position.
So whilst I think it is an option it wouldn’t be my first choice and would rather be something I would try out during odd matches.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar

 Who better to replace Van Persie than his international strike partner who a lot of people say is his exact double.

Huntelaar, like Van Persie, is Dutch and is a prolific striker. With 29 league goals last season for Schalke 04, and a total of 38 goals in all competitions, in pure goal scoring terms Huntelaar would be an ideal replacement for Van Persie.

It is arguable that Huntelaar is even more clinical in front of goal than Van Persie, he was very much Johnny on the spot for the Dutch during their qualifying campaign scoring 12 goals for The Oranje against a mere 6 for  Van Persie.

Robert Lewandowski

 Lewandowksi has been a revelation for Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund.

Not only was he instrumental in their impressive league defence but he also helped Dortmund to a cup double by scoring a hat-trick against Bayern Munich in the DFB-Pokal final. The big Pole rounded out the 2011/2012 season by picking up the Bundesliga Player of the Season.

At a mere 23 years of age,  he would fit in well with the Gunners existing youth policy whilst already being a finished, world-class product.

Gonzalo Higuain

 Gunners fans are going to want a big name signing to offset the loss of their captain for the second year running. Well personally I reckon that Real Madrid striker Higuain could fit the cap.

A t only 24 years of age Higuain seems to have been around far longer, he is a regular starter and scorer for Argentina with 13 goals in 25 appearances and at a club level has managed to find the net 121 times out of 267. Not too shabby at all.

One plus that I would see with Higuain would be his assist rate which is also pretty good, at an international level he has 6 assists and last season for Real he clocked up 10 in 54 matches. Whilst this obviously isn’t the best around it proves that he isn’t a selfish player and knows when to pass as opposed to maybe wasting a chance himself.

Earlier this year Real were apparently keen to enter into a cash plus Higuain deal for RVP. If this offer were still on the table I would ripping their hands off!

Luuk De Jong

 Arsene Wenger has quite a good record when it comes to snatching up players from the Dutch leagues.

His forays into the Dutch player market have seen him pluck out some of the best players that the Premier League has seen. Most recently of course we have had Robin Van Persie who is currently one of the worlds best players, but you might remember a certain  flying winger  by the name of Marc Overmars who played the best football of his career for the Gunners. Throw in Thomas Vermaelen from Ajax and that record starts to look exceptional.

So with more than half an eye on Wenger’s former dalliances with the Dutch maybe he should have a look at 21 year old Luuk De Jong from FC Twente. De Jong is one of the most exciting talents in the Eredivisie at the moment and his  and is currently on fantastic form.

Nine goals in just eleven league games for FC Twente has seen him linked a move to some of Europe’s biggest clubs. Despite his tender years, De Joeng has already made six senior appearances for the Netherlands, scoring once.

With bags of potential and his athleticism, work rate and technical ability De Jong would fit the Arsenal mould perfectly.





Not so reliant Robin

5 07 2012

Often in life it isn’t what you say that matters, it is how you say it.
I can only but assume that a certain Mr. R. Van Persie and his agent were never made aware of this fundamental lesson. Otherwise they might have shown a bit more savvy when issuing yesterday’s statement.

Fair enough Robin doesn’t want to renew his contract with the Arsenal, that is his right. At the end of the day club loyalty and all the rest of it aside we are dealing with employees not slaves. My boss can’t force me to keep fixing broken things on the internet and Arsene can’t force Robin to pull on a Gunners jersey.

I don’t even think it is much of a surprise to the fans that he has made this decision, after all if he were dead set on staying then this would have all been wrapped up and put to bed a long, long time ago.

No, what fans, the club and anyone who has followed the saga with even half an eye will be bristling at is the manner in which the statement was worded.

Not to put too fine a point on it the whole thing came across as an attempt to take an underhanded dig at the manager, the club and the way things have been handled.

It was nothing more than a ham-fisted attempt to get the club to sell him now as opposed to running down the last year of his contract.
If part of the idea was to trade on the goodwill of the fans after his quite frankly extraordinary performances last season than I think it has backfired a little.

Arseblogger sums it particularly well:

“The statement is littered with, and I choose my words carefully here, bollocks. For example, when he talks about the meeting he had at the end of the season with Ivan Gazidis and Arsene Wenger:

Out of my huge respect for Mr. Wenger, the players and the fans I don’t want to go into any details, but unfortunately in this meeting it has again become clear to me that we in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal FC should move forward.

Perhaps if Robin were the manager this might be appropriate but he’s a player, it’s not. It doesn’t matter if he’s captain. This particular section of the statement is quite pointed. If you disagree in ‘many aspects’ with the manager about the club of which you are captain then it makes it very difficult to continue at that club. The thinly veiled criticism of the manager might well be something certain fans agree with, and we’ve all had our issues with Arsene, but it was a low blow coming from a player who has received nothing but 100% backing from the boss in all the time he’s been here, through some very difficult times.

My goal has been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days.

So the way to fulfill that goal is to cause ructions and try and make the club sell you? Nice one.

I have always given my all (and more) on and off the pitch.

Well, he’s certainly kept the medical staff busy. How much consideration did he give to how the club was going to move forward when he returned from international duty injured on more than one occasion? Or all those times he was crocked while playing for us? How is that after one full season in the eight years since we bought him he feels it appropriate to talk about giving his all. I’m not doubting his commitment when he plays, not by a long shot, but if he were an ever-present he might have a point. As a player whose absences have probably contributed to our lack of silverware, he doesn’t.

There are untruths in there too. He said:

As soon as Mr. Gazidis is back from his 2-week holiday in America further meetings will follow and I will update you if and when there are more developments.

This prompted Arsenal’s Director of Communications to flatly deny the claim on Twitter, but that this was in the statement at all is quite pointed indeed. It suggests that Gazidis is more concerned with his holiday than the future of the captain and I suspect there was a great deal of mischief making in the timing of this announcement.”

The club have of course taken the moral high ground and issued a far more classy, calm statement of their own

” We have to respect Robin’s decision not to renew his contract. Robin has one year to run on his current contract and we are confident that he will fulfill his commitments to the Club.

We are planning with ambition and confidence for next season with Arsenal’s best interests in mind.”

Now I am personally in two minds about running down the last year of his contact. On the one hand I am all for it, partially because it would show players who that ultimately the club is boss, that there is a contract in place and that they do have to respect that. Also because it is exactly what Van Persie doesn’t want to happen.

On the other hand I say fuck Robin and the horse he rode in on, let him fuck off to Citeh or Juve or wherever the hell will take his perma-crocked, mercenary arse.
Do we really want a surly, moaning, twat hanging around for a year?  Taking up a place in the squad, affecting morale, clogging up one of the largest wages and generally putting a downer on things.

Nope if I weigh things up objectively in my head I would say cash in. Why not recoup some of the medical costs we have shelled out on him over the years and use the funds to bring in another striker to compliment Giroud and Podolski? After all there is no guarantee that RVP will deliver the goods this year or ever again for that matter.

Based on what we know from the past he is as likely to snap both legs whilst playing a friendly against Botswana and spend the next 3 years on the treatment table.

I have a message for our illustrious captain. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say and came to the conclusion that the immortal words of the Bay City Rollers say it better than I ever could.





Giroud to Arsenal

12 06 2012

Ooh to, ooh to be, ooh to be ooh-la-la! Another French signing for Gooners?

It is being widely reported this morning that much fancied French striker Olivier Giroud will be plying his trade in the Premier league for Arsenal next season.

Giroud scored 25 goals last season to help Montpellier win the Ligue 1 title, igniting the interest of several top clubs.

However news has come out from Montpellier suggesting that a 13 million pound deal has been agreed which could also see out of favour Chamakh making the switch back to French football.

Following hot on the heels of the nice and early deal for Podolski this could finally be the Summer that Gunners have been longing for….








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