Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Squillaci to have medical + reserves thoughts

Good morning to you. Another week begins and it looks as if it’s going to start with one of those there signing things.

Last night Sevilla’s official website posted a story saying they had reached an agreement with Arsenal over the transfer of Sebastien ‘Toto’ Squillaci and that the player was traveling to London last night to undergo a medical today. I don’t foresee any problems in that regard. We have players with brittle bones, delicate groins, knees made from rusty Meccano and hamstrings which are more snappy than elderly crocodiles. If he can’t pass a medical with us he might as well give up.

On the face of it it looks like a decent signing. He’s an experienced player who will provide good competition for Djourou and Koscielny and add depth to the squad. Obviously I don’t want to jinx him by saying too much so any further comment on him can wait till we see him holding up a red and white jersey and blessing the rains down in Africa.

There’s no movement on the goalkeeping situation. Mark Schwarzer did not play yesterday for Fulham, he didn’t even make the bench, and I doubt very much if there’s any reason for that other than the potential move to Arsenal. One thing to bear in mind, as the Squillaci deal clearly illustrates, a player can only have a medical with a club once terms have been agreed between his existing one and the new one. As Arsenal and Fulham have not reached any kind of agreement over Schwarzer anything you read about him failing an Arsenal medical is, of course, complete nonsense provoked by the latest trend in the Arsenal blogosphere to just make stuff up and try and pass it off as inside info.

We know Schwarzer has handed in a transfer request, it’s now down to Arsenal and Fulham to agree a price acceptable to both parties. Much as we need a new goalkeeper the idea of paying £4m for the Australian is madness so fingers crossed Fulham get a bit more realistic with their valuation of him. Otherwise it simply won’t happen. Whether we look elsewhere after that remains to be seen.

Arsene on Theo:

I believe that Theo can score goals because when he was young he scored goals. I know it goes away a little between the ages of 18 and 21, when players adapt to the top level, but I think Theo can score goals and I am convinced he will finish in the middle.

At the moment it’s hard to see him as a central striker, especially when we have Chamakh and van Persie (and Bendtner) to play there, but it was interesting that one of his goals came when he had swapped positions with Chamakh. I don’t imagine he’ll come up against more generous defenders than those of Blackpool again but it did show he can finish from there, as well as looking effective from the wide areas.

He’s obviously well focussed this season, judging by his post-game comments. What he’s got to do is ensure that even in games when he’s not as involved as he was on Saturday that what he does has end product.

Speaking of which, it was interesting to watch Wellington da Silva yesterday playing for Arsenal Reserves against Shamrock Rovers. For the most part he was peripheral, stuck out wide left in the first half (and decidedly grumpy coming off at half-time) and wide right for most of the second. Yet when he got the ball he came to life and things happened. He should have scored twice in the first half, putting both chances inches wide.

In the second he was again denied a lot of possession but when he got it he made a chump of the fullback each time and delivered decent ball into the area. He was always a threat despite being out of the game for relatively long periods. Arsenal won 3-1 with goals from Henri Lansbury, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Mark Randall. Stand out players for us were Lansbury, who played wide right and really looks to have something about him in my opinion, JET who is just a monster, and right full back Nicholas Yennaris, who I thought was really impressive. He moved into central midfield in the second half – as Arsenal seemed to play a 4-2-4 formation (Nordtveit went to right back) – and looked comfortable there too.

It looks as if JET and Lansbury will be off on loan. The former back to Doncaster and the latter to Swansea. They’re certainly head and shoulders above the rest at reserve level so first team football is obviously the next step for them. If they work hard and do the right things there’s no reason why they won’t get their chance with Arsenal.

Back to the first team and thanks to a couple of my Danish readers who have been in touch regarding Nicklas Bendtner. On Danish TV a ‘reflexologist’ who has been treating Bendtner for his groin problems says he’s been told by Arsenal to stop what he’s doing because … he’s making Bendnter better. Apparently the problems he’s having all relate to the car crash he had and Arsenal’s physios have told this chap to stop because they want to take the credit for Bendnter’s recovery.

According to Wikipedia reflexology is:

A natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears and their referral areas within zone related areas, which correspond to every part, gland and organ of the body. Through application of pressure on these reflexes without the use of tools, crèmes or lotions, the feet being the primary area of application, reflexology relieves tension, improves circulation and helps promote the natural function of the related areas of the body.

Sorry, you lost me at ‘natural healing’. I’m sure Bendtner is much better off at Arsenal where we have real doctors who practice real medicine and once they start applying the leeches to the affected area and using healing crystals it’ll all be fixed in no time.

Right, I’m off to find some magic dust and a shaman to fix my achilles. Have yourselves a good Monday, all going well we could have a new player by this time tomorrow.

Till then.

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