Morning, a quick Saturday round-up for you.
Obviously we have our final pre-season game tomorrow and with that the manager’s first chance to give new boys Giroud, Cazorla and Podolski some playing time. There’s nothing stirring regarding Robin van Persie so there are suggestions he could take part too and with Arsene Wenger seemingly unwilling to sell to Manchester United the possibility of him starting the season at the club increases.
I think Man City really want him but something narky is going on there between Mancini and Marwood and with the Juventus coach suspended for 10 months I think that pretty much rules him out of going there. If we refuse to sell to United, a stance I think many would get behind, it might well be a case that he’s got no choice other than to knuckle down and get on with things. All the same, until midnight on transfer deadline day I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of him going somewhere. There’s an interesting line in The Mirror this morning, John Cross says:
Van Persie’s agent Kees Vos has reached stalemate with the club who are keeping a dignified silence over some of his tactics and also Sir Alex Ferguson going public with the fact that he wants the Arsenal captain.
Which would suggest that although the player is publicly keeping quiet and getting on with training, they are still trying to make a move happen. Quite what those ‘tactics’ are I don’t know but an agent looking for his commission on a big transfer deal is a motivated guy, especially if he and his client are singing from the same hymn sheet. Talk of reconciliation is premature I think. And for further excellent reading on this, I suggest the latest from Goonerholic.
Meanwhile, in Spain the Song to Barcelona stuff rumbles on. El Mundo talk about how he’s the one that they want (ooh ooh oooooh), and hope to have the signing done by the first game of the season. It’s nothing new, we’ve been here countless times before with these kind of stories, and it’ll be interesting to hear if Arsene has got anything to say about it when we hear from him tomorrow either before or after the game.
Might he consider the fact he’s brought Song from Bastia for £400,000 and can sell him for £15m+ a job well done or does he want to continue with a player whose career he has, perhaps more than any other, forged from very raw materials. He’s one who divides opinion, no doubt about it. Many will say we could have a better defensive midfielder, one more dedicated to that part of the game, others that it would be madness to let a player go who has worked so hard to improve. Whatever happens, he’s got three years left on his deal, he doesn’t strike me as the kind to agitate sufficiently to force our hand so it’s very much up to us.
Meanwhile, Cesc Fabregas may find himself in hot water at Barcelona. He was asked about the signing of Song and said:
I’d rather not speak about possible signings, out of respect for Arsenal, which is a club that is very dear to my heart. Names are thrown about every summer. Whoever comes in will be very welcome, but it’s up to boss to decide who we need.
This is not right. Where is the talk of DNA, of how good he would be, what he would bring to the team, his various qualities and so on? He’s gone rogue! Sandra Rosell will have him in a re-training dungeon all weekend. Anyway, one to keep us amused as the Walcott and van Persie situations are, despite needing clarity, pretty boring as it goes.
Elsewhere, Sebastian Squillaci could be on his way to Olympiacos in a £1m deal. Obviously things have not worked out for the Squid at Arsenal but it is quite funny how frenzied people get when they talk about how he HAS TO GO. When you think about it, that Fulham game aside (which really was just one bad header after Djourou got sent off) he had precious little to do with any of what happened last season. He played just 6 times and he was hardly the single cause of defeats we suffered, so letting him go means very little from a footballing point of view, although obviously it frees up a few quid in wages, that’s about it.
Also confirmed as a departure, about a month after Real Sociedad actually announced it on their own website, is Carlos Vela.
Beyond that not a great deal happening this morning. I expect we’ll get a lot more in the wake of tomorrow’s game and of course it gives us our first chance to see the new boys and try and glean some insight into the manager’s thinking ahead of the first game of the season against Sunderland. If you can’t see it, we’ll be providing live blog coverage on our new and improved live blog, details on that tomorrow.
Right, have a good Saturday, sun is shining, bacon is baconing. Let’s do it. Till tomorrow.