Morning all, it’s a bank holiday here in Ireland and given the dearth of Arsenal related news this morning it might as well be a bank holiday everywhere else.
Yet here it would be impossible to send a bank transfer to say, oh, Malaga, to a football club for one of their players. Which is a shame. Their financial dire straits mean you can get all kinds of bargains and I was going to try and nab one to walk to the dog each morning, but such is life.
There’ll be no such restraints in the UK today though. Arsenal are expected to complete the signing of Santi Cazorla, we should (hopefully) get the official announcement and the pictures. Santi with the thumbs up, Santi in his shirt, Santi holding his shirt, Santi in his shirt with a football, and then the obligatory interview for Arsenal Player.
Is it too early to speculate on what number he’ll wear? He wears/wore 12 for Malaga but new boy Olivier Giroud has taken that one, so as we wait for the club to cut Carlos Vela’s umbilical I reckon 11 might be the one for him. Update: in my early morning fuzz I forgot completely that the Cuddly Maverick wears 11. Anyway, no doubt all will be revealed soon enough, although at this stage it’s like being a kid, seeing a bike shaped package wrapped under the Christmas tree then being asked to wait until new year’s eve to open it. Or something.
This week will see the team travel to Germany for a training camp ahead of the friendly against FC Koln on Sunday. There may well be things to read into who travels and who doesn’t as transfer deals are worked on. Obviously there are still just about a couple of weeks until the new season kicks off but you’d hope that the week leading up to the Sunderland game would see our focus entirely on that game. That means getting as much done this week as possible.
Roberto Mancini has been talking about Robin van Persie, saying:
Van Persie? No, I don’t think he will come here.
Some might take this to mean City’s pursuit of him is over but I don’t believe that. There’s no financial reason why they couldn’t make the deal happen, but perhaps Arsenal’s reluctance to sell to them or van Persie’s reluctance to go there is an issue. In the first instance I very much hope that’s true, if we’ve sent them the arse/your mum fax then I will be impressed. In the second I wonder if van Persie has realised what the backlash to him going there would produce.
Although most footballers can pretty much justify anything to themselves, maybe, just maybe, there’s a part of him which doesn’t want to stain his reputation completely and fancies the move to Juventus instead. But Mancini playing things down makes little difference, he also said something similar about Nasri before signing him.
Samir is under contract with Arsenal. Also for Samir it depends on many things. I don’t know the situation but for Nasri it is difficult.
Yeah, really difficult. Just lash enough money at the ‘problem’ and it becomes less and less difficult. And while Mancini is probably one of the more personable managers in the league I wouldn’t trust a word out of his mouth. If he told me today was Monday I’d check my diary, so let’s wait and see what happens. The same applies with Theo Walcott. There’s been plenty of time for him to sit down and talk with the club about his future, it’s about time he, or we, made a decision there.
And then there are those who should be on the way out, those who probably won’t travel to Germany. After his decent Euros and the high-profile underpants I thought we might have moved Nicklas Bendtner on now. It seems odd that there haven’t been a stream of clubs knocking down our door for The Greatest Striker That Ever Lived but of all the players we have available for sale or loan, I’d have thought he’s about the most valuable.
I know he’s not to many people’s taste, if his ego was in line with his actual football ability he’d be greater than TGSTEL, but put him in the right team and give him some decent service and he’d get 10-15 league goals in a season. Whether the baggage is putting potential buyers off or it’s a combination of that, his dodgy driving, his reputation for being somewhat hard to handle, his wage demands and his promotional underpants it’s hard to say.
Andrei Arshavin is interesting QPR apparently, while the club have reportedly rejected a loan bid for Marouane Chamakh from Besiktas because they wanted to pay in poorly scrawled IOUs and Monopoly notes. There’s nothing stirring regarding Sebastian Squillaci, but let’s see what plays out in the next few days. The club have done very well in terms of transfer business in thus far, perhaps exceeding expectations, so let’s see if we can be as effective when it comes to players going out.
It would be nice to see our squad start to take on its final shape for the season ahead. There’s a lot to be said for being settled and ready when things kick off. We know this to our cost after last summer when there were so many things still up in the air due to our transfer intertia, but this time around we’ve certainly been more proactive. There is still work to be done, however, streamlining what we have, focusing on those players and making sure we’re 100% set for Sunderland and beyond has got to be the priority now. It promises to be a busy 12 days or so.
And that’s that for this morning. News throughout the day on Arseblog News, which you can also follow on Twitter. And just a quick mention for the competition here to win books from our friends at GCR books. Deadline is extended and I’ll announce the winners tomorrow morning.