Let’s start this morning with the futures of the two Ls, Ljungberg and Lauren. There’s been a lot of speculation about them both in recent days, particularly about Freddie. Firstly, I don’t believe for a second the club has been as ruthless as has been reported and while they might be willing to let him go I’d be very surprised if it happened before the summer. Yesterday Arsene Wenger said Freddie still had a lot to offer the club although he did say he couldn’t predict the future (what sort of a manager is he at all?). Inter Milan have said they’d be interested in him but again not until summer.
With regard to Lauren Sky Sports reported that he was in talks with West Ham which is very disappointing. Now, it’s disappointing because we havee problems at right back. Regular readers will know how much Eboue frustrates me and while I like Hoyte I’m not sure he’s quite good enough to be first choice (although he does seem to be improving). For that reason it would have been great to see Lauren back in the side but we have to realise just how serious his knee injury was. I suppose there are still doubts that he can reach the level we want to him to reach and given that he’s out of contract in the summer the club wouldn’t stand in his way if he had the offer of a good contract elsewhere. Personally, I don’t think there’s any way Arsene Wenger would let him leave if he thought he’d get the pre-injury Lauren back.
After his four goal demolition of Liverpool Julio Baptista revealed that Arsene Wenger’s confidence in him is what made him his old self again. He says:
Arsene Wenger has put so much confidence in me that I have been telling friends for weeks now Arsenal is the club which will make me ‘The Beast’ again.
He also says that a chat with Thierry Henry helped with the captain telling him it took him a year to settle and adapt to the English game. Without wanting to put any pressure on the boy he’s now set the standards for himself and anything less than four goals per game and it’ll be obvious his heart is not in it.
The Sun says that Arsenal want to open talks with Arsene Wenger over a new Â£3m a year contract. They say the club want him to sign ‘for life’ while he doesn’t want to commit beyond 2011. 2011 is a long way away.
Liam Brady, head of youth development at Arsenal, says the future of the club looks rosy with the young players we’ve got. Chippy says:
Tuesday night’s match at Liverpool was a fine indication of how all the various departments at Arsenal are pulling together and showing that the club is functioning very, very well in all aspects. You could see how well run and how healthy it is. The aim is to keep the boys coming on and I am certainly excited about the potential we have coming along in the next year or two.
And the post-Liverpool performances and the youth at the club are something I’ll be discussing with Amy Lawrence in tomorrow’s arsecast.
And that’s about it. The last thing I have is a piece of fairly unsubstantiated transfers news which suggests the boss is looking at Shay Given to replace Jens Lehmann who looks set to leave in the summer. We could certainly do a lot worse.
Also, just in case the arses disappear off the main page this morning, which they might do, you can access them here – http://arseblog.com/arses/arses_hash_wp.php?id=289
Right, that’s it. Go about your Thursday.