Monday, June 30, 2008

Euro's Over, Now What?

After weeks and close to 1 month of intense international football, the players are returning to their clubs to grab some glory again. There will definitely be different impressions the players have created, but what are the notable points of the tournament? These, based on my opinions, are some interesting things I feel I should share:

Best Goalkeeper:

He's 37 and close to retirement but he's still solid as ever. One of the major factors Netherlands could get so far in the tournament, he will definitely retire from international football with pride and style. Thanks for the memories, Edwin!

Best Outfield Player:

I don't think anybody had expected him to do THAT well. Xavi has proven, that playing well for 1 match is one thing, but playing well all-round, that's something else. I think he has earn himself the nickname of "Mr Consistent" in Euro 08.

Most Impressive Player:

He has been the talk of the town after his impressive performances for Russia. It was so good, that he's now even being sought after by Arsenal and some la Liga clubs. I didn't know him till he showed the whole world, including me, how he shouldn't actually stay at Zenit St.Petersburg. Sleek passing with creativity and the knack for goals, it may only be one tournament, but it is enough to let everybody know how good he is.

Biggest Flop:

Seriously. His performances for Sweden is nowhere as good as the one he gave for Arsenal years ago. He's showing his age, and to avoid further embarrassment, he should just retire from international football. And he did.

That's all folks. It's time to get back to club football, as the transfer window is just possibly days away from opening, and this year's Euro tournament definitely has its twists and turns, which will change every manager's opinions on certain players.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Adebayor Wants to be Paid Like Henry

Call it cocky or whatever, Adebayor has came lashing out, again, about his "spectacular" transfer saga.

News of the World has reported that Adebayor wants to be paid like Thierry Henry, by demanding a whopping 400 per cent pay-rise, which would see his weekly wage increase from ₤30,000 to ₤120,000, which means Adebayor wants to get the same "value" and salary as Thierry Henry when he was still back with Arsenal. He even said this:

“People ask if I’m asking for the same salary as Henry,”
“That is not necessarily the question.

“But I am being considered a worthy replacement for Henry while not deserving his salary. The question lies on this level.

“Either Arsenal give me what I want and I stay or they don’t and I leave.”

This actually means he worthy himself to the great Arsenal legend Thierry Henry, by demanding an absurd pay rise and squad value. This actually sort of change my opinion towards him, although I am on the side of the Gooners who believe he should stay at Arsenal. I mean, Ade is no Henry. Nobody can EVER replace Thierry Henry. He's an Arsenal legend, a French legend, my hero, and will forever be. And if that puny Adebayor thinks he can ever match up with Henry, he better wake up.

I seriously hope this report is fake, because reports from other websites cannot normally be trusted, only official reports can. But if this is really true, Adebayor has lost my respect. If it's real, I hope he stays at Arsenal.

What are your views? Do you think Adebayor was right in trying to demand for a pay rise? Do you think he can be Thierry Henry? Tell me more, here at GUNNERockYa :)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Marcos Senna Linked with Arsenal

Another transfer target added to the list.

One of the latest additions being the man above, Marcos Senna. A player whom I feel my opinions has some similarity with Torsten Frings, he has the same age as Frings, being 31 years-old which I feel is just too old. He impressed during this Euro 2008 campaign, and even though many people would think that the lack of experience was the thing that knocked us off the top of the table, I seriously feel 31 year-old is too old, it is more like "close-to-retirement" and old than experience. And to make things worse, Arsene Wenger may be willing to pay a whopping 10 million pounds for him, which is definitely not worth it. Look for other targets Wenger, he's not worth 10 million and I feel he isn't the ideal person to replace Flamini.

What do you think? Is he worth 10 million? Does he even deserve to play first-team football for Arsenal? Tell me more, cheers from Dariano :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Blog 1-Month Anniversary

I know it seems stupid, but today is a 1-month anniversary for GUNNERockYa, and we have "reasonable" amount of traffic at the moment.

I'm not posting this for fun, I'm posting this because I wanna hear YOUR views, this time, about the blog.

Tell me what I can do to improve my blog, what you like to see and what you don't, and at the same time if anybody wants to do a link exchange, go ahead :)

Don't just post comments like "Your blog sucks!" etc. If it sucks, tell me WHY :)

Peace out

Adebayor to Milan 80% Done

Reports from has said that Adebayor's deal that will bring him to Italian giants AC Milan is 80% done.

According to Adebayor's agent, the deal is almost complete and it will probably be delayed until Arsene Wenger finds a replacement for Adebayor. Here's what Ade's agent said,

“What are the chances of Adebayor coming to Milan? I’d say today we are between 70 and 80 per cent.”

And I'm sure all of you know Mr.Wenger, he's not one to sell a player without thinking twice. He would certainly be looking for replacements.

Dani Guiza and David Villa are hot candidates, while players like Roque Santa-Cruz, Roman Pavlyuchenko Mario Gomez are not ruled out.

But I just found a shocking news.

One new addition has been made to the "hot candidates" list, Peter Crouch. I mean, FFS? He isn't a good player to me, to Liverpool, and most probably other Gooners out there. I know it would be a "decent" signing but surely Crouch won't be good enough to fill Adebayor's boots? Here's what Adebayor's agent said again,

"The names being talked about are Peter Crouch, Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz and Germany forward Mario Gomez,"

Up till now I still prefer David Villa, and if you have read my blog occasionally you would know that I'm someone who disagrees with Adebayor moving away from our club. To me, he is a good player, something that I've mentioned time and again in my previous posts.

What do you think? Is Crouch or any of the players in Arsenal's shortlist mentioned good enough? Tell me more :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Arsenal, Juventus, Real Madrid and HSV Hamburg to Participate in Emirates Cup 2008

Just before the 2007/08 season Emirates Stadium announced that it will host the first ever Emirates Cup. This year, they have done it again. Arsenal will be in the tournament as usual, but will be accompanied by Serie A giants Juventus, La Liga champions Real Madrid, and Bundelisga giant HSV Hamburg. Cool eh? So much for pre-season. It will take place over the weekend of Saturday 2nd August and Sunday 3rd August 2008 and like last year, two matches will be played on each day. Arsenal will be playing Juventus on 2nd August and Real Madrid on 3rd August. This should be interesting, with league giants participating Arsene Wenger will probably take this seriously. Arsenal Managing Director Keith Edelman said:

“After the huge success of last year’s tournament, we are very proud to be hosting the Emirates Cup again in August.
“We are also delighted at the calibre of the three visiting teams to this year’s Emirates Cup. The combination of Arsenal, Real Madrid, Juventus and Hamburg will offer an extremely entertaining weekend of football for the supporters at very good prices, and will also provide the teams with a very competitive level of pre-season preparation.”

I can't wait for this, this may only be a small "Emirates Cup" but it will be embarrassing if Arsenal didn't win their own sponsor's cup. So I hope Arsenal give it all their best and from that cup we should be able to see how we fare with the other major clubs in other countries. That's all for now from Dariano, take cares and goodbye :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Stan Kroenke Revolution + Santa Cruz to be Arsene's Next Target?

I don't know if you guys actually know this, but the man on the left is actually a new member of the Arsenal Board of Directors after he recently bought 12.19% stakes in Arsenal. And from what I heard from he may just be the man that will spark a summer transfer shake-up, which may cause Adebayor to go to Barcelona. I'm not sure if it's true, but I seriously hope he doesn't interfere with Arsene Wenger's plans like how Abramovich did with Chelsea. I just couldn't imagine Arsenal ruled by a "dictator", which would probably see Arsene go, although Peter Hill-Wood has said that he will not "give in" so easily.

Another news that I heard is that Arsene Wenger may be setting his eyes on Roque Santa-Cruz as a replacement for Adebayor if he do go. Santa-Cruz is a good player, but for Arsenal's standard I feel that he's only "average". I can't see him scoring as many goals as Ade did last season, even if he's a regular first-team player. Man Utd is also going for him, so if Arsenal and Man Utd are actually going to fight for him by outbidding each other's offer then I'm sure Blackburn would easily allow him to move and look for other options. So if Arsene does wants to sign him, which I feel he shouldn't, he would have to convince Blackburn with a good price and Santa-Cruz with some golden words, like how he did with Aaron Ramsey.

Do you feel that man called Kroenke would change things at Arsenal? Should Santa-Cruz come? Tell me below in the comments section. That's all for now fellow Gooners. Take cares and goodbye from Dariano ;)

Clichy Signs Long-Term Contract

Arsenal left back Gael Clichy has been linked to Juventus and Roma recently, but Clichy has probably shown a sign to those clubs that he won't be going anywhere. He has signed a long-term contract.

Neither Clichy nor Arsenal stated the length of the contract, but it is confirmed that it is "long-term". This is good news for Arsenal, as he impressed superbly by outshining the detested Cashley Cole. First Bacary Sagna, now Gael Clichy. These are the quality and best players of Arsenal, not because of depth or talent but because they have no problems signing new contracts. They don't ask for too much, and they don't rake up controversy using the press. Probably the direct opposite of the Alex Hleb situation right now.

That's all folks, hope you enjoyed this short read :)

The Transfer Trio- Adebayor + Hleb + Ronaldo

Haven't updated this site for days. Expect much longer delays in update as my holidays are coming to a close soon and I won't have as much time to write. Anyway...

Opened my Firefox browser, and on my homepage is The first thing I see is "Adebayor to Barcelona and Milan?"

To be honest I'm really sick and tired of all these transfer speculation. Arsene Wenger has recently sent a frank "no!" to Barcelona for their enquiry on Adebayor. Nice move, but it won't stop the stubborn clubs from getting Ade. Another player from Arsenal that may be on the move is Alex Hleb. I can only say this guy is hopeless at Arsenal already; he's confessed that he wants to move, and it seems he is hell-bent on doing just that. And finally, although not from the Goon squad, he is of a particular mention. Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo, arguably one of the best players at Man Utd at the moment, is sulking all month long and indirectly saying that he wants to go to Real Madrid. I really want to voice out this: F**k off Ronaldo. Why? For 2 reasons, number 1 is that he's a key player of Man Utd, so him leaving would do all the other clubs in the premiership, including Arsenal, good. And number 2, he has lost his heart for Man Utd; and regardless of Gunner or no Gunner, a player whose heart and mind is not at his current club should not play on and should be allowed to move. Someone in a very similar situation is Aliaksandr Hleb.

He has been dropping hints that he wants to move, and at times he said it out loud that he insist on moving. If I could tell Wenger what to do, I would say, "If he wants to move so badly, then let him." No doubt about it, he's a good player at Arsenal, but if he's not keen to remain and be a Gooner then just let him move to Barcelona or whatever club. Like I said earlier, if he don't give his best for the club, then why keep him?

It's a point of no return now, Hleb WILL go, I'm quite sure of that. Imagine you're a player at Arsenal, you look at Hleb and you know he's not the same friend you know anymore. You know his true self and he has probably lost your respect. That's for one player at Arsenal. Imagine the whole 11-man squad feels the same thing. So if Hleb don't go, he'll rot in the stands and show some shitty performances. If he goes, we'll earn some cash :D

This shouldn't have happened from the start. Players nowadays are always narrow-minded; they always think that they should move to other so-called "bigger clubs" when they don't realise that they are currently at one themselves. I mean, Arsenal is a major club isn't it? The players at Arsenal don't really match up in reputation to Barcelona or Milan, but then think about it, Arsenal's squad value is much lower than Barca (tbh), but is Hleb's importance at Arsenal the same at Barca? Probably not. He shown some great performances at Arsenal last season, and he's already considered a "key-player" to our campaign. Go to Barcelona and he would be outshone by Leo Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and some other players. At Arsenal, he and Fabregas are proably the only 2 main creative force there. Simple. There will be little competition.

Now let's get to Adebayor. He's not so much of a "loud-mouth" like Hleb, he's pretty quiet about his transfer speculation but he has dropped hints here and there about it. Adebayor's a good player, and for this case I feel he should stay. He's vital, important, and good. He is Arsenal's top-scorer last season, and selling our top-scorer is a little risky. I have to agree we still have other options like David Villa and van Persie, but it will be difficult trying to find that deadly striker that hunt goals for us again. Villa needs time to adopt, van Persie needs to find his form and fitness, Eduardo needs some time to find his lost confidence after a long period off the pitch and Walcott is still young and I prefer him to play on the wings. Try to keep him Wenger, Milan already got Fla-money and we won't want to lose another player to them.

What are your views? Should Hleb go? Should Adebayor stay? Are you as sick as me about Ronaldo's situation? Air your thoughts, as the transfer window is 8 days away (according to time of publish).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Can Almunia be Trusted?

This topics has probably been debated for months, ever since Lehmann suffered a dip in form this question has been asked time and again, "Can Almunia be trusted?"

Almunia, who is only 31 years-old, is born in Spain and have only make 40 appearances so far in his 4 years stint at the Emirates. But next season seems different, Wenger hasn't said anything about signing a new keeper, in fact I once heard that Arsene Wenger will be sticking to Almunia and won't be buying a new keeper. The first time I heard this news i had quite a big reaction: You're making a mistake Wenger!

To be honest, the first few games I see Almunia play in he sort of impressed me, he doesn't have the eccentricity of Jens Lehmann and is more reliable than Fabianski. He made a few good saves, and I thought he's "not bad".

But soon, as I see him play more and more often I feel that he's just an average keeper, and Arsenal need more than "average keepers" to win the title. Maybe not exactly world-class, but what Arsenal need is a "top-class" keeper. What is my definition of top-class? A top-class player is a player who is chosen to represent his country; in Almunia's case, he's not even called up for Spain. Even if he is, he would be behind Casillas, Reina and Valdes. Which is why I seriously think Arsene Wenger needs to invest in a keeper.

Sadly, I feel Arsene Wenger won't do that. Almunia's already chosen to pose for our new kit, it may not really mean much but it has confirmed that he should be a first-team regular. And to further prove it, Almunia may get his English nationality on December this year, and if he gets it he can represent England. So Wenger would probably give him a chance to prove himself to Fabio Capello. I'll be damn when Arsene Wenger complains at the end of next season that Arsenal were "letting in too many goals". If it really does happens, then he can only blame himself.

What are your views on this? Should Almunia be our "number 1" next season? If he shouldn't, then who should? Take cares from Dariano :)

Phillipe Senderos- Should He Be Given a Second Chance?

His fate is sealed. Now only Arsene Wenger knows what he's going to do to Senderos next season. Switzerland's Euro 2008 campaign is over, so the only way Senderos can convince Wenger to keep him is by going to his office or impressing on the training ground. Now I will try to read Arsene Wenger's mind and analyse Phillipe Senderos. It's judgment day for Senderos.

It's really difficult to understand how this 23 year-old defender had come to such a miserable state. He once formed a formidable partnership with Kolo Toure in the centre-backs, and with that partnership he managed to lead Arsenal to their fist Champions League final in the 2005/06 season. It is believed that Arsene Wenger even touted him as the next Tony Adams; handing him the number 6 jersey of Arsenal and being made captain on several occasions. I myself, for once, don't even understand how he could have suffered such a dip in form. So instead, rather than rely on guessing as to why, I'm going to give my views on whether he should be given a second chance.

An excellent leader, great defender, and only 23 years of age, I honestly think he should be given a chance. It's normally easy to remember what people did badly, but people tend to forget what he did right. He showed great form duing the time Sol Campbell was injured, which many regard his best season yet. During 2006/07 he didn't really impress, but he normally got the job done. And just last season, he made several mistakes, the most infamous being the clash with Liverpool during the Champions League quarter-final. Then he went on to make more mistakes, he seemed to be lacking concentration and has even recently told the press that he's in a "mental breakdown" after seeing his own bad performance on the pitch. From then on, Arsene Wenger made a small comment to the press about selling Senderos next season and the press went to spread it; resulting in we Gooners to think whether he should stay.

And to further prove why I want him to stay, Arsene Wenger is prepared to make him the future captain of Arsenal; he is perhaps "captain" of the "reserves" squad Wenger normally field during Carling Cup and FA Cup fixtures. So it's like training him for years, and because of some mistakes he made in a single year, he needs to be sold. It's not sensible, it's a waste of time for both parties, so I really feel that he should be given 1 last chance. Just one chance, if next season he still "lacks concentration" and cannot live up to expectations, then I won't have any complaints about Arsene selling him.

What is your opinion on this? Should Phillipe Senderos be given a second chance? And why? Share it with me below, and give me your views, because I wanna hear what majority of you all say. For now take cares and good bye :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

WTF Wenger Has Been Doing

Another half-a-month and the transfer window is open again. But even before the transfer window opens some managers have started opening their cheque book. Well, what have Arsene Wenger, the man we Gooners call "The Professor", been doing?

Talk about transfer speculation and the first person that comes to your mind should be Hleb or Adebayor. They have been linked to AC Milan and Barcelona, plus a few other clubs. I don't know when it's going to stop, but I have a feeling that it will stop once Arsene Wenger give in to their offers. I hope it gets sorted soon, if Adebayor goes then Wenger should prepare to use that money to sign some strikers, 2 major candidates being Lukas Podolski and David Villa. If Hleb goes, Samir Nasri seems certain to be coming. I will get back to Nasri later.

Then how about the players that have already gone? So far, only 2 players have left Arsenal, Jens Lehmann and Mathieu Flamini. Then just who the f**k is Wenger going to replace them with? For goalkeeper I have heard no news of Arsene Wenger making a bid, yet even talk about signing one. For Mathieu Flamini there's only speculation and no solid evidence that a formal bid have been made.

Now the players that are speculated to come. If I name all it will be a very long list, so I will only name the common ones. Hatem Ben Arfa, Yaya Toure, Raul Albiol, Arda Turan, Gokhan Inler, David Villa and Lukas Podolski, Yoann Gouffran, and finally Samir Nasri. The guy who is already offered a contract from Arsenal but is trying to delay it, but oh come on. You can't try to impress the other managers anymore. France are out of Euro 2008, so why not just signing that damn contract? It's a once in a lifetime chance to come to Arsenal. Maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but normally players that Arsene Wenger sign are not total-failures.

And last but not least the players that will come. So far, only 1. Aaron Ramsey for 5 million.

See the difference? So exactly WTF are you doing, Arsene Wenger?

Who Should be Arsenal Captain Next Season?

Today, I'm going to talk about the Arsenal Captaincy issue. It has been speculated for a long time, ever since Arsenal's form went down towards the end of the season and Gallas trying to be the Incredible Hulk, smashing ad boards and going crazy. And the funny thing is, the "Hulk" broke out in tears after that.

Now, let's see the candidates:

William Gallas

The current Arsenal captain, he looks fine but when you see him in action it seems as if he got a freak accident and starts to get violence. The incident when he smashed the ad boards has ore than tarnished his reputation; once bitten twice shy, so I believe Arsene Wenger won't appoint him captain next season.

Kolo Toure

The longest serving member in the current Goon squad, Kolo Toure is arguably the best defender in the world at the moment. But when it comes to leadership abilities, is he any good?
Toure should make a good captain, but the only problem is that once Toure is made captain, Gallas won't be happy about that (I've a strange feeling). And from how I see it, Toure is a good vice-captain, but he don't looks suited to be a captain. He can command the defence and made one of the "senior" members, but it won't work out well if he's made captain.

Francesc Fabregas

It may seems surprising, but even the 21 year-old Fabregas is being listed.
Some Gooners would wish to see Fabregas become captain; I'm one of them. A world-class playmaker, and one of the best players at Arsenal, he possess some good leadership ability. I would love it when he's captain, but sadly, I myself have to admit, not yet.
Definitely a future Arsenal captain, he won't be given the captain armband this season, but maybe a few seasons later he will. He is just too young at the moment, he just won't command the respects of his team-mates as much as Gallas and Toure would do. So, too bad Cesc. Future, but not now.

Gilberto Silva

Don't really need to explain much about him, he's now a shadow of his former self and he still have that bit of leadership quality in him, but he won't be captain.
If he's made captain, we, Gooners, would be the most unhappy of the bunch. This would mean that he's going to play regularly next season and anybody would know he's no longer good. But maybe, just maybe, Arsene Wenger would test him out and make him "third-choice" captain. I just feel that if given the chance, Gilberto could still shine.

Any other new signing

Be it Frings, Richard Dunne or even Patrick Vieira, new signings in my opinion, shouldn't be made captain.
If they in turn are made captain, then the other players in Arsenal would be unhappy, it is like giving the outside world the impression that Arsenal doesn't have players with leadership qualities, and that as soon as a new player is being signed, it doesn't matter if he got Premiership experience, just make him captain. But thankfully, judging from Arsene Wenger's character that will have a low chance of happening, although I wouldn't bet on it.

So after everything, I feel that Kolo Toure should be captain of Arsenal next season. Gallas has an attitude problem, Fabregas is too young, Gilberto should just retire, and giving the armband to new signings are suicidal. Do you agree with me? Who do you think should be made skipper? Tell me in the comments section, my fellow Gooners. I want to hear your opinions :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

If I Were van Basten...

Well folks, tonight's much-anticipated Euro 2008 group C last fixture is just hours away, where it's a battle of mind-games and managers trying to outsmart the other. Well thanks goodness I managed to sneak in their office and stole their diaries. And I even got Fabregas' too! Enjoy their diary entries, and by the way sorry for the gay pictures lol ^^ Warning: Some crude humour included!

If I were van Basten...

Just few hours before the match against Romania. Now I have to face a big decision; should I tell my squad to just let Romania win or should I rather keep my pride and own Romania 6-0? If I ask Johan Cruyff he's going to give me a definite "Win with pride" answer. So let me think things through.

If I lose to Romania (on purpose, of course. There's no way that would happen), then I would face either Sweden or Russia. Which is good. And you know what's better? The Les Blokes and the Italians, who even dared to play that bad-boy Cassano, are not going to qualify! Can it get better than that? I'll be the hero! Maybe not...

My pride and reputation is going to be tarnished, Johan Cruyff is going to scold the shit out of me, and I won't even have a chance to manage AC Milan. So what to do...?

If I were Raymond Domenech...

Oh man. Vieira won't be playing tonight, he seems like he's having some kind of terminal illness! When is he ever going to be fit for France? Maybe he should have went to represent Senegal all along!

I must beat Italy, only then will my team qualify. But only if van Bastered's team win Romania. Tough one to tell, only Michel Platini knows whether he will abandon his pride and honour just for me and Donadoni to be banging our heads on the wall. How I wish I could do what Zizou did in the World Cup 2 years ago to van Basten, too bad I forgot to shave my hair or it would be a "WC Flashback". Thierry Henry should be able to play, Gomis should get a new haircut too because he sucks at the moment with it, and Gregory Coupet should have retired earlier. What to do???

If I were Roberto Donadoni...

Bad news. I just met the chairman of the Italian National Team. He says that unless I qualify and advance to the next stage of Euro 2008, I can fu**ing kiss my Italian job goodbye. This time it seems really true; I massaged his back, scrubbed his feet, and darkened his boots. It just doesn't convince him that we were unlucky to be at this difficult position because if I called the damn repair man to fix the damn hole in the drain Cannavaro wouldn't have fell inside and break his foot.

I need to beat France, the team which is managed by the guy who copied my hairstyle. He's okay, I should be able to thrash his team 3-0 easily, but for Holland, it is a different story. That wily and sly van Basten may not field their best players in order for me and Donemech or whatever his name is to be out at the group stages. Dino Zoff said we could qualify, but pl-ease! He's already 66, he better go x-ray his head and see if there's even a brain inside! If you were so accurate you wouldn't have let Maldini kick your ass by beating your record.

What to do...

If I were Fabregas...

No way would I want to face van Persie. I know there is a high possibility that Spain would meet Netherlands in the semi-finals, but I would rather sit on the bench. He's good, and I really hope he doesn't execute that "flying kick" which scored him a goal years ago, which was deemed by many the best goal he scored. I don't want to end up like the 2 idiots Rooney and Ronaldo, who fought like babies at the World Cup 2006, who then stupidly patch up their differences by treating each other KFC meals. Bummer.

Guess my fate is sealed .. I WILL face RVP, but whose team will win?

Villa or Podolski?

I'm sure if you're a Gooner who reads the hottest rumours about Arsenal these players will look familiar to you. They have been linked with the Goon Squad recently, both being quality players playing for their national team in Euro 2008 currently. Now here's the big question, "Who would you sign if you're Arsene Wenger?" Of course some people would just give a simple "Sign both!" reply, but judging from the amount of strikers we have in our team and Arsene Wenger's stubborn attitude of not signing too many big stars, it is safe to say only one will come to Arsenal. Maybe he won't even sign any of them, but today's focus is on David Villa of Spain and Valencia and Lukas Podolski of Germany and FC Bayern Munich.

Firstly, let's compare the stats. Villa is older and thus have more experience and goals with him; he scored an amazing hat-trick in Spain's first match against Russia in Euro 2008 and went on to score a total of 4 goals (so far) in the tournament. Podolski, being younger, did not score as many goals as Villa for club, but surprisingly, Podolski easily beat Villa in goals for country; Podolski scored 28 goals for Germany while Villa scored 18. And Podolski even made more appearances for his national team. So it's difficult to tell who is better at this, but I would have to go with Podolski. Younger but more goals, Villa ought to be ashamed of himself!

Secondly let's forget about records and stats all written on paper. Let's move to their ability. There's not much to say about this one. It's based on one's opinion as to who is the better player, but this time Villa gets my vote. Overall he has more technical ability with him, he shoots the ball with power, scores goals with composure, which makes him one of the most lethal strikers in the world.

Thirdly, we'll be talking about adaptability. Podolski lives in Germany while Villa lives in Spain. I don't know about the weather in these countries, but Villa looks more likely to be able to adapt the English football style. It's fast-paced so if you're slow then you can pack your bags and go home. Podolski's not slow, but Villa's faster. I don't know about adapting to life in Engand, but I'm sure Villa would be able to adapt to life in English football.

Fourthly, the price. There have been rumours that Villa can go for 20 million pounds while Podolski can leave for 15 million pounds. Villa is easily more expensive, and there seems to be more competition for Villa than Podolski (major clubs like Chelsea and Liverpool are going for Villa, while so far I've only heard Man City to be the only club going for Podolski). If Arsene wants Villa, he needs to act fast and give a convincing price. But what's good news for us is that Vila have once declared that he would be happy to go to North London, so as long as Valencia gives the consent we probably won't have much problems settling a deal with Villa.

Finally, attitude. I can't resist but bring this up, if any of the players Arsene sign has the attitude of Bendtner then I would rather he forget it. But thankfully, I believe neither Villa or Podolski have a really f***ed-up attitude like Niklas Bendtner. So this one is a tie; but from what I think, Villa would be a better mentor than Podolski if anyone of them is going to tutor Bendtner. Podolski is 23 while Bendtner is 20, and 3 years of age difference is not a lot. Just picture this: Podolski tutoring Bentdner, it seems funny doesn't it? Then now picture this: David Villa tutoring Niklas Bendtner. Seems much better.

So after all the comparisons, no doubt about it, David Villa is the eventual winner. Of course, like always they are based on my opinions, so if you disagree with me then prove your point below. Debate on the different comparison subjects, and explain why that player is the winner. That's all for now, take cares from Dariano.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Next Season Starts Today

Indeed, next season may have just started. After looking at the fixture list from, I got some mix feelings. It seems that we'll all be hyping up on the fixtures, predicting the outcome for each of them. So rather than start preparations late, we must as well start NOW. Anyway, before I start you should check out the list first.

Seen the list? Now firstly we've to look at our starting matches. We'll be having our Champions League qualifying match (This didn't deserve to happen to us), which our opponents are still unknown. Days after our first match we would be having our first premiership match, against newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion. Hopefully we can go through that fixture without problems. Soon we'll be having our next qualifier, and then Fulham, and finally perhaps our first tough test (no offence to the other clubs), Newcastle United. This may just be the match that decides whether we can win the premiership next season.

Secondly, let's move on to October the 28th, what I believed to be our first rival match, more simply known as "North London Derby". We'll be facing perhaps our fiercest rival on home soil, and tbh I'm really worried about their new signings (Modric, Dos Santos). They once said thy could be the dominating team of North London, and I really hope we can shut their mouth on that day.

We'll be facing Man Utd and Chelsea in the same month (Why does this always happen?) of November, and 5 days before Christmas we will be facing Liverpool at home. Let's see if Santa would give us a good Christmas present :)

A North London Derby on February, Carling Cup Final on March, and another encounter with Liverpool at the Kop, what more of we Gooners would be interested in is the month of May, no not totally because it's the final month of the premiership, but because it's a hot month for us. We'll be facing Chelsea at home, and exactly 7 days later we'll be going to Old Trafford to face Man Utd. We'll be having a breather with Stoke City, which hopefully will turn out to be a trashing to them like how we did with Derby close to the end of the season.2 important matches, plus 2 cup finals (CL Final and FA Final) in one, single, month. Wow. Fixtures may still change though, and remember this list is accurate as of 16 June 2008, any changes after that will not be reflected here.

So what is your opinion on this? Is it good or is it bad? Any matches that caught your attention? Discuss here. That's all folks, for now take cares and goodbye.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Defensive Midfielder Candidates

Seeing that nothing much have happened about Arsenal today, and that now I have the time, I thought it would be wasteful not to publish anything. So I've decided to write this article about the possible candidates for the vacant DM position left by Mathieu Fla-money. Lots of candidate, and lots of opinion from me.

Miguel Veloso

To see his full profile, click here.

Strengths: Great technical player, rather good holding midfielder

Weaknesses: Can't perform holding role as well as Flamini, Costly

Recommendation: 8.5/10

Yaya Toure

Strengths: Excellent holding midfielder; even better than Flamini, may cooperate well with his brother Kolo

Weaknesses: Lacks the technique of Flamini, rather costly

Recommendation: 10/10

Raul Albiol

Strengths: Strong holding midfielder, versatile; can play as center-back

Weaknesses: Probably plays better in CB role

Recommendation: 8.5/10

Johan Djourou

Strengths: Good holding midfielder, rather determined and ambitious, versatile

Weaknesses: Young and inexperience, I would rather see him play as a CB

Recommendation: 7.5/10

Torsten Frings

More detailed profile can be found here.

Strengths: Great technical player, versatile; can play all across midfield, experience

Weaknesses: Old, can't perform as well as Flamini in holding midfielder role, a little playmaker style which may interfere with Fabregas' style of play

Recommendation: 7/10


Strengths: Good playmaking ability, young and quick

Weaknesses: Not performing to best potential yet; may outshine Flamini in the future though, inexperience, need more time to adapt

Recommendation: 7.5/10

Gilberto Silva

Strengths: Very experience, good holding midfielder, influential and commanding, professional attitude

Weaknesses: Old and slow, a shadow of his former self, unhappy at the moment, inconsistent

Recommendation: 8/10

So after reviewing all the possible candidates for the empty DM position, you can probably see that Yaya Toure was my best and preferred choice. I gave him an outstanding 10/10 for recommendation, which probably shows how much I would want him at Arsenal. For now these are the only players I know Wenger feels can replace Flamini, although there may be more. Once the transfer window opens, we shall see. But if I could tell Wenger one thing, I would tell him to sign Yaya at all cost, and also tell him to read this article. It's based solely on my opinion, whether you guys agree with me is a different story ;)

Do you agree with my recommendation levels? Who's your preferred choice? Share it with me :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Latest news: Wenger going for Parejo

One of the latest news I received is that Arsene Wenger is renewing his interest in Real Madrid youth starlet Daniel Parejo.

Arsenal once had a bid for Parejo rejected, but now it seems that Wenger still want more youth starlets for the future, even after getting Aaron Ramsey.

Daniel Parejo is currently playing for Real Madrid's reserve squad, aka Real Madrid Castilla. He is a Spanish midfielder who impressed Wenger during last year's under-19's European Championships, which the senior version of the championship is currently being held in Switzerland and Vienna, more famously known as UEFA Euro.

He hopes to transform Parejo into the next Fabregas, who also originally came from Spain but was playing for Real Madrid's La Liga rival, Barcelona.

Parejo have explained that although he is flattered to be link to Arsenal, he would rather stay with Los Merengues as he knows more familiar faces there, and Real Madrid is also his hometown club. He aims to succeed in Madrid. Here's what he said:

"For me, it is a compliment that such an important European team is showing interest. I have heard rumours but my intention is very clear - my dream is to succeed in Madrid. Nobody dislikes something like that (being compared to Cesc Fabregas) but I prefer to look in the mirror and see Raul, Guti and Iker Casillas, three footballers who have come out of this youth system and have gone on to triumph in Madrid. I am young and I have patience."

But will that change?

I've never heard of Daniel Parejo until I read the article. He is touted as the next Fabregas, which means he plays as a playmaker. But what bothers me is that it will probably take 11 million to buy him from Madrid. A big sum off 11 million pounds for a player whom I have never heard of? And also a player who plays in a position we don't need at the moment? I would rather not.

Keep that money Wenger, maybe we should sign this kid next season, I trust you, but I don't trust that you should actually sign him during the this winter's transfer window. Keep it for next summer or winter, and we're talking about 11 million for goodness sake. We can probably buy Nasri with that amount of money.

So like I said Wenger, next season.

Going for Frings

Recently I have heard news that Arsene Wenger may be interested in signing Werder Bremen midfielder Torsten Frings.

Full Name: Torsten Frings
Position: MC/DM/ML/R
Age: 31
Team: Werder Bremen
Nationality: Germany
International Caps: 74 caps/ 2 goals
Height: 1.82m
Weight: 80kg

I have gotten many sources that say the 31 year-old midfielder could be going to Arsenal for 4 million pounds, as a replacement for Mathieu Flamini, with Gilberto Silva being a shadow of his former self and Denilson being too young and inexperience.

The 31 year-old Torsten Frings has experience, versatile and a good skillful and technical player. The 31 year-old is also a good set-piece taker, and is a first-team player for Werder Bremen and Germany for the current Euro 2008. And added by the fact he's only 31, he can leave for a small fee of only 4 million pounds, something that Arsene Wenger would most probably be willing to pay for. But if Wenger were to ask me about my views on the 31 year-old Torsten Frings, I would say this: Don't sign him.

If you realise I have actually been emphasizing the words "31 year-old", and I have always been repeating and calling Frings just that. Why? Mainly because that is the very reason why I wouldn't want him to come to Arsenal. yes, no doubt, last season we let the title escape from our clutches due to a lack of experience, and we certainly need a defensive midfielder to replace Fla-money, added with a little experience to inspire the Gunners to fight on for the title. But to me, a 31 year-old may be experience, but the thing is, he's old. So old, that he would leave Gilberto Silva puzzled when he comes to the club. To me, players who are 20-23 years-old are young, and 24-26 years-old are inexperience. 27-29, however, is the perfect age for Arsenal, because they are still at their prime and have the experience to lead the team. Players 30 and above are definitely experience, but they are also old. Which means in a few years time they won't be able to cope with Arsenal's fast-pace football, and thus gets sold for even less money. Frings is just that. He is experience, he's versatile and can easily cover for Rosicky when he's injured or any other midfielder, and he's a good technical player who can also take good set-pieces. But one thing that always bugs me about him and just don't seem right is that he's old. And furthermore, he can play as a defensive midfielder but will not be able to do the holding role Flamani have done well, so I can actually picture Fabregas and Frings fighting it out on few occasions. So sorry, Frings, if I were manager of Arsenal I wouldn't sign you. That's my opinion actually, whether Arsene Wenger signs him or not, it's all up to the Professor. Remember, Arsene knows.

But trust me, if Frings was younger, he would be close to perfect for Arsenal.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Big Phil" to Chelsea

Luiz Felipe Scolari have been appointed as Chelsea manager, it's official.

The 59 year-old manager who is currently the head coach of Portugal, have agreed terms with Chelsea as he looks set to move from Portugal to England. An excellent manager who famously managed the 2002 Brazilian National Team to World Cup glory and 2 semi-finals and a final with Portugal, he is a well-known and world-class manager in the international stage.

But can he do as well in club management?

My answer, sadly, is a brief yes. Why sadly, you may ask. It's because of this theory:

Big Phil + Club filed with Talent = Trouble for Arsenal

In fact, it's not only trouble for Arsenal, but also trouble for all the other Premiership clubs. Scolari is a good manager, and although he's not really proven at club management he is still a wise old manager who famously made his players read The Art of War, a world-renown military treatise written centuries ago, to raise their morale and make them have that winning mentality.

Many will still argue whether Big Phil can cut the mustard at club management, but one thing's for sure, even Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson did not make their players read any strategy books.

So as a Gooner I just hope he will be a major letdown.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Jens Lehmann Tribute

It's really funny. Literally. There are 2 reasons why it's funny. 1, just a day ago I posted my opinions on Jens Lehmann rambling about his time at Arsenal, then I told him to shut up. And now, I am actually doing a tribute for him on this site. Guess I got back some of Jens Lehmann "eccentricity". Reason number 2 is that this tribute is REALLY funny. Just watch the videos, and you'll understand why.

Jens Lehmann Funny Moments:

You just have to admire him, the comedian-goalkeeper Lehmann. This tribute's not over yet, I'll update it later when I'm free.

Ramsey to Arsenal

Full Name: Aaron James Ramsey
Position: AMC, MC, Winger
Age: 17
Team: Cardiff City (Arsenal)
Nationality: Wales
Height: 1.78m
Weight: 76 kg

Guess what? Yeah, Arsene Wenger has managed to snap up 17 year-old Welsh starlet from Cardiff City right under Sir Alex Ferguson's nose.

Cardiff City have accepted a 5 million pounds bid from Arsenal, and even though few months ago he have been heavily linked to Man Utd because of the clause that Man Utd will loan him back to Cardiff, it now seems that Aaron Ramsey have decided to go to Arsenal. Fergie may just be banging his head on the wall after he decided not to take the time to talk to Ramsey personally, as the only time they ever talked was on the phone. It is also believed that Aaron Ramsey was impressed and gave in to Professor Wenger's power of persuasion, added by the fact that Arsene Wenger's famous track record of developing young talents such as Theo Walcott and Cesc Fabregas and a world-class youth academy at Arsenal that is probably the best in the world at the moment, thus signing a 3-year contract with Arsenal. You can listen to an interview on Aaron Ramsey here.

I feel that Wenger should be going for more experience players, because last season we could not last the distance due to a lack of them. But in Wenger we trust, as he seeks to transform another youngster into a world-class player in the future like how he did with Fabregas, Walcott and so many other youngsters including Gael Clichy and the old veteran Kolo Toure. I'm so excited that we signed him, it's good to see star players come but sometimes it is also exciting to see the next big thing come to Arsenal and wonder what will happen to them 3 years later. And you know what's the best thing about it? We snapped up "Ryan Giggs" right under Fergie's nose :)

Kudos to Wenger, for taking the time to persuade him personally. So what if you did a treble season? It's the diligence and sincerity that counts.