Good morning to you,
those looking for transfer news will, I suggest, be somewhat disappointed by this morning’s fare. Firstly, our search for a goalkeeper looks to be complicated by the arrival of the dastardly Mark Hughes at Fulham. As expected he’s unwilling to sell, suggesting he wants to keep the club’s best players, but we all know that he’s just doing it to spite Arsene.
If Hughes is actually walking the walk as well as talking the talk we really ought to be setting our sights elsewhere. Schwarzer would certainly have been a slight improvement on what we’ve got but hardly the kind of signing that would have people high-fiving each other outside a bar like when they see some bloke off the internet. Who the other candidates might be I do not know but I can’t imagine all our eggs are in one Australian basket.
Then there’s the other centre-half we need. There’s lots of talk about Bosnian Emir Spahic (Arise, Chimp!). Anagrams aside though he’d be a seriously underwhelming arrival. When our defence needs an injection of top class experience and quality, I don’t think he brings any of these things to the table. He’s a journeyman pro who has shuffled around Europe and currently plays for a club who, admittedly, had a good season in Ligue 1 last year after just being promoted the previous season. Maybe it was all down to him and his late-blooming awesomeness, it just seems a bit like bargain basement shopping to me.
Not to write the chap off or anything, we know Arsene Wenger is capable of finding unearthed gems, but this bloke is 30 and I just get a distinct honk of Sylvester off this. Let’s see what happens though, we could all end up loving The Spa.
Speaking of central-defenders, Thomas Vermaelen says he’s got to improve on his first season at the club, saying:
If you play for Arsenal you can never say ‘I had a good year, so now I’ll ease off’. That’s not possible. People ask you to do better every year and I will try to do that.
And on the team he says:
I hope we can perform as a team and that’s the way we will achieve what we want. That is the challenge: not only to maintain the level but to improve upon it because it wasn’t enough last season, we didn’t achieve anything. We have to grow again.
The desire to not not achieve anything, or put simpler, to achieve something, can’t be underestimated. Tomas Rosicky talks about his lust for trophies and it has to be something that burns at every single member of the squad. If second is nothing then third is one less than nothing. And even though that’s one more than fourth it’s still not great. All things considered like.
Some players are on their way out of the club. Hull are rumoured to be signing Jay Simpson for a cool £1.2m which we’ll reinvest in a pair of 34 year old Lithuanian right backs from FC Vilnius. Henri Lansbury is looking at a loan move to either Hull or West Brom while Sanchez Watt, pardon, has joined Leeds United on loan for the season.
Havard Nordtveit wants to follow in Steve Bould’s footsteps. Not all the way though. That would mean some time at Stoke where he would have his entire disposition affected by that rancid little goblin, Tony Pulis.
Tomorrow is Members Day when, erm, members are let in to watch a training session which takes place at the Grove. Last year there was all manner of high-jinks, like a crossbar challenge competition from about 20 yards so nobody tweaked a hammy, and other stuff too. I think Eboue made balloon animals.
It also sees the return of World Cup finalists Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas, two players who are absolutely vital to us if we want to achieve anything this season. Anyone who thinks otherwise is quite clearly mental in the face. As such I would hope that none of the internet blowhards who claim they’d ‘get shot’ of our captain because of what’s happened this summer are attending. Not least because they might smear their mental on the seats and some normal person might catch the mental when they sit there for a game this season.
What’s gone on this summer hasn’t been much fun but Cesc Fabregas is one of the best midfield players in the world and anyone who isn’t happy that he’s at the club for the season ahead needs their head examined. The underlying reasons for what’s gone on also need to be taken into account before people start spewing their online ire in public. Arsene Wenger said it was down to Cesc to stop the stories, Barcelona are still talking, they will never, ever stop, so let’s leave it in the hands of the captain for now.
You can watch the members day thingy live via the official site tomorrow. I want Eboue to make me a gnu!