Arseblog: Wednesday 18th June 2003

june 18th

09.12 – There’s only one football story around this morning. After months of speculation, rumours, secret deals and shameful touting, Matt Holland has joined Charlton. And David Beckham has gone to Madrid. To fight Figo for a place in the team. Reckon he’ll be seeing a lot of McManaman.

Arsenal seem to be no nearer finding a new goalkeeper. After having a ‘mega-offer’ for Christian Abiatti turned down by AC Milan, and being snubbed by the make-up wearing Turk Rustu, Monaco have delivered a hands-off message to the Gunners about their keeper Flavio Roma. Monaco’s Sporting Director Henri Biancheri said “He is not joining Arsenal, he is not leaving us whatsoever.”

Bob Wilson reckons the answer to Arsenal’s goalkeeping problem is at the club already. He thinks Stuart Taylor is the man for the job. He told the BBC “In terms of his technique, I think he’s as good as Chris Kirkland or Paul Robinson or any young English goalkeeper. And I honestly think he’s just as good as a lot of the names that have been linked with Arsenal. If you were to tell me that Buffon or someone like that was going to come in, that’s one thing. But some of the people linked are not in that class.”

I’m not altogether convinced by Taylor, but when it comes down to it, we’ve got to find a top quality centre half, and find him quickly. There are no outstanding candidates for the goalkeeping position and if giving Taylor a chance allowed us to spend a few more quid on outfield players, then I’m for it. If United can win the league with Barthez in goal for most of the season, then we can win things with Taylor. I’d like to see a bit more aggression from him though, rather than the sad puppy look he seems to have perfected.

Harry Kewell’s agent has dismissed reports that that Australian wants £70,000 a week to join Arsenal. “The next phase of Harry’s career is one that will be the best for him and make him the best possible player he can be. It will not be money driven otherwise he would have left for Old Trafford by now.”

According to the Guardian, Arsene Wenger is going to make an approach to Leeds to sign both Kewell and Robinson. It’s like fucking Groundhog Day this story. Every day a different Arsenal player gets added to the mix. Yesterday Leeds had their choice of Parlour, Jeffers and Stepanovs. Previously it was Parlour, Pennant and van Bronckhorst. Then it was just Pennant. Then Parlour, Pennant and Jeffers and now it’s Parlour, Jeffers, van Bronckhorst or Gilberto Silva. It’s never ending.

Philippe Mexes is set to take Auxerre to an industrial tribunal to secure his release from his contract.

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