Arsene and Wilshere talk + Arsecast 203 (round table)

Morning all,

some interesting quotes from Arsene have emerged from a radio interview he did in France. They’ve been carried via the Twitter account of the President of the Arsenal supporters club France. And if yesterday’s performance by Mr Blatter has taught us anything it’s that Presidents are men of honour and quiet dignity who are to be trusted implicitly.

I don’t want to throw the two gentlemen into the same category by any means but there’s some interesting stuff in there. He talks about Nasri:

With Nasri there’s a little disagreement on the financial terms of his new contract. What is certain is we won’t sell Nasri to Man Utd.

Which tallies with what I’ve heard about the problem. Some suggest it’s because he’s looking for a role in the team that he can only have if another player leaves but what it’s coming down to, as I told you the other day, is money. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if he’s worth what he’s looking for (alleged parity with the very top earners at the club) on the back of one admittedly good spell at the start of this season.

Then he talks about Cesc:

This year, there’s no interest for Cesc. So I want to keep him because he’s the best midfielder in the world and he’s our captain.

There might well be a key word missing there when he talks about no interest, and that’s ‘yet’. The Mirror runs a story this morning saying Barcelona are ready to bid £30m which is all well and good but when £30m won’t buy you a fully grown Andy Carroll they’d want to seriously increase what’s on offer for Arsenal to consider it. And I think they will do that, whether that ends up being acceptable to the club remains to be seen.

As for the rest he says he’ll be trying to buy defenders from the Premier League to help make our defence better able to cope with the Premier League (Cahill? Samba? John O’Shea?), he won’t be going on holidays because he’ll be going to South America to look at players (Copa America?) and that old reliable:

We’ll invest in players who can bring something more to the team, and that won’t be easy.

Which I think it something many fans would disagree with. There are literally hundreds of amputee, club-footed, earless, raised by wolves in a cave in the woods who use growling as a form of communication, footballers out there who have a better scoring record than Rosicky, for example. In seriousness though, I understand he holds his players in high esteem but perhaps that esteem is too high in certain cases and every now and again he needs to take a bit of a risk with a signing. If he will gamble on the potential of the youngsters he’s brought through why not on a player he has to pay actual money for?

And while I accept there’s a lot of work to do this summer I do worry that the manager isn’t going to take any kind of break. I don’t mean he should laze around not bothering to do important stuff but all of us need to recharge our batteries at some stage. He’s no different. Still, he’s a workaholic. Yes, I know, he’s addicted to workahol.

Meanwhile, from Spain, comes £8m in return for Denilson, according to the Mail. Sevilla said to be interested although I’ve heard another team that will be cash rich from a big transfer might also be in the chase. Either way if we get anything approaching that much for Denilson I’d be a very happy man.

Jack Wilshere is in all the papers this morning and the young man speaks well about our season, about what went wrong and about what we need to do for the upcoming campaign. I particularly like the bit about being more aggressive on the pitch (if not exactly the bit about the referees – I’m not sure copying United there is the right way to go). However, there was a time when you knew you couldn’t bully Arsenal, at the moment we have a bit of a reputation as a soft touch, the whole ‘they don’t like it up ’em’ thing.

Of course nobody likes it up ’em, in a football sense anyway, and while I will never advocate foul play or dangerous play of any kind, I do think that adding some more physicality and robustness to the team would help a great deal. Players like Wilshere get kicked and they get back up and straight into it again. That’s one way of dealing it and showing you won’t be bullied out of a game (something some of our players could do well to emulate), but having a bit more size and strength in the side, as well as that kind of character, would make a difference. Let’s see what the manager does to bring that about this summer.

Now then, as promised it’s time for the final Arsecast of the season and is tradition it’s a roundtable discussion with the esteemed bloggers from Goonerholic, Gunnerblog, East Lower and Goodplaya. Up for discussion, well, everything. The team’s collapse, the manager and whether or not he’s gone as far as he can, the character and mentality of the team, ticket prices, and the positives from the season. Running at nearly one hour it’s a great big lump of aural arse for you to get your ears around.

As well as that there’s an appearance by Mick Bendtner and the winners of the Pelé Sports competition from the last Arsecast – including those fantastic football boots.

You can subscribe to the Arsecast on iTunes by clicking here. Or if you want to subscribe directly to the feed URL you can do so too. To download this week’s Arsecast directly – click here (38mb MP3) or you can listen directly below without leaving this very page.

[audio:http://arseblog.com/podcasts/arsecast_episode203.mp3]

And from there the ‘cast will take its summer break, unless something remarkable happens, and will return refreshed, tanned and with a haircut for the new season.

For today though, that’s yer lot. Have a good one.

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