Wotcha, a quick Saturday round-up for you.
We’ll start at the Euros where Germany dropped Podolski, Muller and Gomez and still beat Greece 4-2. Thankfully this means an end to any economic/austerity/credit ‘jokes’ and for that I think we should all be grateful. It also showed the strength in depth the Germans have and they are a great team to watch. It was a slight disappointment not to see Podolski but I suspect he’ll be back for the semi-final.
Tonight it’s France v Spain, a tough task for les bleus but one that Laurent Koscielny is relishing. He’ll come in for the suspended Philippe Mexes (who is bound to sign for us in a double-swoop involving Sebastian Frey once the Euros are over) and it’ll be good to see him get the chance he deserves. It’s interesting that he has put in excellent performances against Barcelona over the last couple of seasons and he’ll know the Spanish style of play very well.
Knowing and doing are two very different things, of course, and Spain’s relentless tiki taka is designed to lull opponents into a state of intense stupefaction before they pick the defence apart and score. France will need to be defensively sound and offensively better than they’ve been throughout the whole tournament but I quite fancy this to be an exciting game. Both quarter finals thus far have been a little underwhelming for me. Last night Germany were impressive enough but didn’t do anything you didn’t expect them to do anyway, so let’s hope tonight is a humdinger of a ripsnorter of a mega-giganto whopper (so that’ll be 1-0 to Spain after 119 mins, stealing the penalty shoot-out from us).
In the world of Arsenal there are a few bits and bobs going on. Firstly, Denilson is on his way back with Sao Paulo saying they can’t afford Arsenal’s asking price. Their president, Juvenal Juvenicio, said:
Arsenal want €6 million for him, but we won’t pay that so we expect him to leave soon. Of course we will try to get the loan deal extended for another year, but it won’t be easy.
His return ought not to spark any cries of dismay, it’s been on the cards a long time, simply because of the financial issue. Perhaps we might lower our price in the end but I don’t think it’s wrong for the club to try and get as much money as possible for the players on the ‘going out’ list. We put a lot into Denilson, he played 153 times for the club since making his debut as an 18 year old, so why shouldn’t we at least see what the market brings?
With the midfield talent at the club right now he knows, and Arsenal know, that his future lies elsewhere. Last summer he was close on a number of occasions to a move to a Spanish club and I suspect that’s where he’ll end up. If not, I’m sure we’ll make a decision which will suit both parties.
Meanwhile, Gilles Grimandi has been speaking about the future of Marouane Chamakh, saying:
There will be a discussion between him and the coach about how he sees things. If he feels he can fight for a spot, there will be no problem to keep him with us. If he demands more playing time, it will be different. This is a discussion that he must have with Arsene.
Chamakh’s agent says it’s all dependent on what Robin van Persie does:
The priority is Arsenal. If Van Persie leaves, he wants to stay. If Van Persie stays, he should certainly look elsewhere. If they take Giroud, he will be competing with him.
I think, with the best will in the world, even if van Persie were to spontaneously combust in the centre-circle during the first game of the season, Chamakh and Arsenal would be better served if he moved on. The first 4-5 months of his Arsenal career were so promising. He looked like a player who genuinely added something different to our attack, a player who worked hard despite his technical limitations. Once van Persie returned though he seemed to just give up.
I know it’s difficult to find form when you’re not playing regularly but even when he did get a chance he looked shorn of confidence and short on endeavour. Whether or not he’s done enough and been as committed as he should have been is speculative, but 1 goal in 18 months tells a pretty bleak story. I think there’s a point beyond which a player’s career at a club is impossible to salvage, we’ve seen it a lot over the last few seasons, and I think Chamakh is the latest to cross that line. It looked like a good signing, turns out it really wasn’t, such is life. Let’s accept it and move on.
Anyway, moving these guys on was always going to be a big part of the work we have to do this summer. I think we all know the issues and difficulties we have with wages but it’s a bit tiresome for this to be mentioned every single time there’s talk of a player moving on. It’s a fact of life that moving from a top tier club to a somewhat lesser one will generally necessitate a drop in wages, Arsenal are not unique in that regard, so let’s leave them to do the business that needs doing, however it needs to be done.
Right, I have an increasingly large, and somewhat muddy, dog to get clean. To the bat shower!