Friday, July 25, 2008

Clichy feels "old"

Gael Clichy feels that he's old, not literally but just an expression. With Arsenal's squad average age at a record low, Clichy feels "old" and a senior player the younger players looks up to. And FFS, he's only 22. Here's what he said on
"I don't really feel that old myself, but when you have players like Jack [Wilshere] at 16 and Henri [Lansbury] at 17 on the pitch with you then you have to say you are old. That's it.
"Even last season I felt a bit like this - now I feel it even more.
"I am 23 soon. That does not give me any pressure and if I can give advice to the younger players then that is a great pleasure for me.
"So maybe I don't feel old but I don't feel young anymore and I have to get used to it.
"At the same time, I know I still have time in my career and I hope to achieve great things."

This sort of brings up a much debated question, "Is Arsenal's squad too young?" Some say the younger the better, but the others say that we're inexperience; we lack the "old guns" to ensure we can last and maintain our form to the end of the season, and our inexperience often goes out of hand (eg. Bendtner and Adebayor's incident, when they had a squabble). To make things worse, we just sold Lehmann, Hleb and Gilberto. Hleb's okay, but he's considered a senior member of the squad. Gilberto, no doubt, is perhaps the driving force behind Arsenal at times. Jens Lehmann? He has played as much football as Fabregas has eaten food (little exaggerated). Him leaving would further add on to our inexperience and Arsene Wenger don't really seem to be doing anything about it. Aaron Ramsey, if he's considered experience then Toure would be legendary. Samir Nasri is still young and his attitude may get out of hand at times.

Is a young or old squad better? Do you agree with Arsene Wenger sticking to his youth policy? And will our lack of experience affect our performance next season? Tell me in the comments section, cheers from Dariano.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Legendary "Comebacks"

Just when we thought they were dead and gone for good, these 2 old Arsenal legends suddenly had a "comeback". And coincidentally, the 2 strikers partnership have been considered one of the most lethal in the club's history. Yes, Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp.

Thierry Henry- We're talking about the legendary Henry we knew about 2 years ago. Not the current Barcelona one who seem to never be able to find his best form there. He said that Arsenal will win something this season, be it the Premiership or the League Cup. He has faith, and believe Arsenal can end their 3-year drought of non-silverware. He said,
“Last year I said Arsenal would win something,”
“People laughed at me.
“They laughed even more when they finished the season with nothing but how many people fell in love with their football?
“At the start of the season everyone wrote them off. A couple of months in and everyone was saying, ‘Wow, Arsenal play some great football’.
“They were the team everyone loved to watch and rightly so because they played great stuff.
“I don’t know what it is about the club but they always seem to produce something special. They always seem to be able to inspire players. I still think they can win something.”
That's some great speech there, but it's not all.
“Alex is a great player and I’m glad he’s signed for us,
“He can play on the left, on the right or up front on his own.
“He has a great left foot, a great right foot and his vision is great. I’m going to stop talking now because I’m starting to make him sound like Pele!
“I think he’ll be great for us because he’s an exciting player. He’ll fit in at the Nou Camp and I think the fans will appreciate what he brings to the team.”
Eh... Well, Hleb has leave so I don't think it matters to us anyway.

Another Arsenal legend, Dennis Bergkamp, have become Ajax coach recently, working under manager Marco van Basten. I hope "The non-flying Dutchman" had came to Arsenal instead, but at the same time I feel Ajax is probably the better place to start as coach, and also to get some sort of a license from UEFA. It is said that he will be looking at some of Arsenal's youngsters, in the hope of bringing them to Ajax. I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing, but it should be good, knowing Bergkamp's character. I hope he will just recommend some players to van Basten, and then loan them from us. I hope that they don't go poaching our youngsters instead (ironically). One player whom I feel would benefit from the "Arsenal-Ajax" partnership is Nacer Barazite. A great Dutch player with massive potential, him going back to his home country and getting some experience there is probably better. So to put it simply, Ajax is our "feeder club". No offence. Anyway good luck Dennis, hope you will one day come back to Arsenal. Some youngsters here need to learn some values from you (you know who). Imagine Adebayor and saying "Arsenal will win silverware" about 10 years later. Do you think it is possible? Let's just wait.

Please tell me how you feel about this 2 legends speaking up, is it a good or bad thing? Will Henry be right? Do you think Ajax will poach our youngsters? Tell me more. Cheers from Dariano :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Latest News- RVP and Gallas on the way out?

Rumour nowadays.

One of the latest transfer rumour surrounding Arsenal is that Robin van Persie, more affectionately known as RVP to Gooners, is being linked to Juventus. This is highly unreal, but it is said that 15 million pounds can seal the deal. This leads me to think: are we actually being bullies in the transfer window? Firstly Adebayor, then Hleb, and now van Persie. I hope Arsene Wenger steps up and prove to everybody that we shouldn't be victims of bully, and give a big NO to Juve. We should also make new signings soon, because at this rate our squad will only be fighting for a UEFA Cup spot.

One more very funny rumour is that William Gallas may be the latest player on his way out of the Emirates Stadium. He is said to be targeted by both Barcelona and PSG, and 5 million pounds seems to be enough for the current Arsenal captain to move to the Spanish and French club. Anyone out there thinks that this is possible? This is probably false, but I trust you all won't believe that I made a post just to tell you a false rumour, don't you? I just wanted to take some time out and think. So rather than cracking our brains thinking whether this is a true rumour or not, I feel we should sit down and think: Can we really cope without William Gallas? Is he such a good player? He's already 31 this year, he is still a vital part of the team but think about it: just like how Robert Pires left Arsenal, when do you think it would be Gallas's turn? Next season? This season? Believe it or not, I sense something bad may happen to Gallas this season. Be it injuries or another player outshining him, one day it will be time for the current Arsenal skipper to call it a day at the Emirates. The big question is, when? Then who should replace him?

Share with me your thoughts, and let's just hope Arsene Wenger wakes up.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Arsenal Sign Coquelin... If you know who I'm talking about

Arsenal have signed their third player this season, another teen from French Third Division Laval. He's a guy called Francis Coquelin, and he impressed during a trial with Arsenal last season. He then move to North London for free as he did not sign a professional contract with them. So if you're confused, he came to Arsenal the same way Fabregas and Merida did.
“Arsenal have signed French midfield player Francis Coquelin on professional terms,”
“The 17-year-old has joined from SASP Stade Lavallois Mayeene MFC.”
I'm not totally unhappy with this new signing, but Arsene Wenger seems to be taking our club's future lightly. If you read this post you would know how I feel, and if you ask me, Arsenal should get a new defensive midfielder and some backup defenders right away. Signing a 17 year-old kid is not going to change the club's position; tbh if that lad didn't come to Arsenal I wouldn't know him. He may however make an impact few years later, but nobody will know what will happen few years later. I'm not convinced by this signing and I hope Arsene Wenger gets his facts right up in his head. 1 more month to the start of the season and all we got is one great signing in Samir Nasri; Ramsey and Coquelin are players for the future.

Do you agree with me? Is Coquelin a good signing? Is Arsene Wenger really wrong in not signing any other players at current? Tell me more, cheers from Dariano.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Worried, Worried, Worried...

This time I'm worried. About a month ago I could just say, "Don't worry, we still have time," but this time, we are just 1 month away to our first EPL fixture against West Brom. And Arsene Wenger has been selling Hleb, Gilberto, Flamini (free) and maybe Adebayor. We have only signed Ramsey, Nasri and Vela (return from loan). Pardon me if I missed out any players, but it still seems to me that we are not signing enough players. With Gilberto and Flamini gone, we are in desperate need of a replacement. Diaby and Djourou is not good enough, and although we are linked to several players, there are to me more players that are attackers than defenders that are linked to us. Examples include Andrea Arshavin, Arda Turan, Sebastien Giovinco and many more that I can't remember. Meanwhile for defensive midfielders we are linked to only quite a few: Raul Albiol, Marcos Senna and Torsten Frings. Obviously there are some more, but if you compare between the number of attackers linked to Arsenal and the number of holding midfielders linked to Arsenal, you would realise Arsene Wenger is sort of like signing attackers his current top priority. I'm really, really worried. We don't have any major evidence that an official bid have been made for any DM's, meanwhile we are constantly linked to Arshavin. Don't fool around Wenger, this is serious. Then where's the defenders we need as backups? A good striker, perhaps as a replacement for Ade? We have once been linked to David Villa, but now there's no news about him moving clubs. We have only got 1 month, and I'm afraid we don't have much time left to sign players. I'll be damned if Aaron Ramsey is going to be a first-team player next season- he is still young and Arsene would be wasting his creative talents if he plays him in a holding midfielder position. Please, ease my fears, and make some new signings soon.

Hleb and Gilberto Part Company with Arsenal

Just yesterday, I said that Hleb was in Barcelona for a medical. Now he's medical is complete, and his move to Barcelona is official. Finally, after months of speculation the smoke is clear. whether it will be a good or bad move only time will tell. Arsene Wenger even paid tribute to him, thanking him for his contributions for Arsenal while he was still at the club.
“We must firstly thank Alex for his contribution towards Arsenal Football Club during his time with us. Alex played a significant role in the three seasons he was with the club.
“We are comfortable with our decision to let him go and we are all looking forward to continuing our preparations for the new season ahead.
“Everyone at Arsenal Football Club wishes Alex the best of luck for the future”
No doubt, I wished that he stayed but it was not to be. Hopefully Nasri would make an even bigger impact than Hleb did, just like how Clichy took over Ashley Cole's role when he left.

Another man on the move is old veteran Gilberto Silva. He left for a cheap fee of only 1 million pounds, but for a 31 year-old it should be good money. His career at Arsenal began at 2002, who came from Atletico Madrid. He have had a great spell at North London, winning 2 FA cups and 1 league title. He had a disastrous last season, but I really feel Gilberto deserved a chance. He's a good backup, he may have had a miserable 1 season but he had fantastic 6 seasons at the club, and I truly believe like jsut how a superstar cannot be born in just one night, a legend cannot die out so quickly too. Anyway, let's just put the past behind us and wish Gilberto all the best. A cheerful guy and good captain, this man puts Adebayor and Hleb to shame. We miss you Gilberto, thanks for he memories...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hleb in Spain for Medical? + Arsenal to Make Surprising Barry Bid?

It's been a really long time since I updated my blog, this time it's REALLY LONG. Sorry for the delay guys, I'm rather busy at the moment so pardon me. Anyway, here's one from me before I get to bed.

Got this news from, they say that Hleb is currently flying (or flown)to Barcelona in Spain to complete his medical before joining Barca in a 12.5 million move, although it may increase by 2.5 million depending on his performances. Sometimes I get really sick listening to the same story time and again (I wonder how many times I've inserted Hleb's picture in my posts); rumours of Ade going to Milan, Hleb to Barca and Fabregas to wherever. It's like eating the same thing everyday, so preferably I want this Hleb transfer saga to settle and come to a conclusion soon. I'm not sure, but I feel it's really heartbreaking to see a "rather-good" player from Arsenal go for only 12.5 million. Please don't tell me it will rise; it will only rise when he plays well, and only by a mere 2.5 million, which means Arsene can't use that 2.5 straight away in this transfer window. I hope he leaves for more than that, compared to Adebayor's 30 million move to AC Milan, it's really peanuts and Hleb's not any of that.

Another interesting news I've heard is that Arsenal may be doing a surprising last-minute swoop for Aston Villa's skipper Gareth Barry, just when everybody thought Liverpool had his move tied-up. Good move, I would say. Great vision from Arsene to think of this move, even I myself did not think of Barry coming to Arsenal. He's a great player, and also one with great influence and experience. The perfect player for Arsenal: Experienced, at his peak, holding midfielder and for those who is a keen supporter of Sepp Blatter's 6+5 idea, he's English. Definitely the right man for the DM role in Arsenal's current first-team squad, the only thing is that he may be costly, and if I were Barry, I would rather go to Liverpool. Barry's good pal Gerrard is at The Kop, plus I'm sure Liverpool would give him more of a "home" feeling for him, having his English teammates to play with. At Arsenal the only person he mix well with is perhaps Walcott, and he's not established as a first-team player yet. So rather than venture into "the wilds" and go to a place full of foreigners, I'm sure he would want to go to a place where he have friends there. I'm not totally ruling out this move though, there's still a chance judging on Arsene's "magical charisma", which was most recently put use on Aaron Ramsey.

Is Barry a good player for Arsenal? Do you think Hleb's 12.5 million fee is too little? Tell me more. That's all for now, and thanks for reading.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Nasri Completes Move, FINALLY

No more bullshits. No more "in 10 days time". No more delays. Samir Nasri moves to Arsenal FC, plain and simple, for an undisclosed fee, although it is thought to be around 11.5 million pounds. A deal which I believe should have been completed weeks ago, he finally signs the contract and moves to Arsenal. Here's what I feel about the transfer of Nasri:

1) This boy should have done it long ago, even before the Euro's. Arsenal's reputation is enough to shut his mouth. Young and French, those 2 things alone should be enough to convince him to sign the contract.

2) Hleb's fate is sealed. When Nasri comes, we all know that Hleb will be going. There's no space in the first-team to fit both talented players, so like I said before rather than let him rot in the stands we must as well cash in the money.

3) What number will he get? My money's on number 8. Nobody got number 8 yet at Arsenal and that is rather strange, considering the popularity of that number. Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard are all good practitioners of the "number 8 wizardry", and if Nasri is as good as those 2, 11.5 will probably be a bargain.

Do you agree with me? Should this deal have been completed weeks ago? Is he really THAT good? Tell me more in the comments section. Cheers from Dariano.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hleb Burning the Bridges?

Well before I start let me just introduce to you guys a site that I feel you may be interested in going, it's called Soccer Fan Base. It's basically a forum where you can discuss about football. Seeing that the site owner asked me to help recomemnd their site, I did some advertisement for them. Now back to where I stand: Arsenal.

I don't know where this Hleb saga is going to. Firstly he says he wants to stay at Arsenal. Then he says he wants to go to Barcelona or Inter Milan. Now, my fellow Gooners, he is publicly criticizing The Professor, Arsene Wenger, and Super-Fab, Fabregas. I don't know WTF he's thinking, but i feel he's trying to burn the bridges, a move first used millenniums ago, by Julius Caesar. You know you're leaving, your fate is sealed, so the only choice? Kamikaze.

His first complain is that he's not playing in his natural position, the center-midfielder. He's often deployed on the flanks last season, although he has often played as a "hole" behind the striker. Now here's what he said,
“My view of how I should be playing didn’t coincide with the manager’s,”

“I told him last season I wanted to leave and think he was quite upset about it. But ask him. It may turn out he’s happy to see me go.”
Total bullshit. In Arsene we trust, which Gunner doesn't know that? If he didn't trusted Arsene Wenger in the first place, he wouldn't have came to Arsenal. Trust Wenger, he transforms playmakers that plays in the center to ones that can actually play wide and still have the same level of creativity. If he doesn't like it, then don't play. Guess what? He did, he played on the flanks, and he played quite well, even though he played as a support striker at times. What he said contradicts what he showed. Think before you speak, Alex.

Secondly, he had something to say about Arsenal's golden-boy Francesc Fabregas. He further added on that the reason why he can't play in the center is because of the boy wonder of North London, Fabregas. He has dominated the playmaking role of Arsenal's center for seasons, and Hleb's aren't happy about it. Wait a minute, he's not done yet.
“When we get scoring opportunities, Fabregas is much more selfish than me,” said the ex-Stuttgart player, who has often been criticised for his minimal contribution on the score-sheet.
The quote above is still okay to me, although I'm a little pissed by it. But this quote is what really makes me fucked up:
“Given a chance to shoot, he always goes for it — unlike me."
This is nonsense. I don't know about Fabregas being selfish and shooting very often, but what I know is that when Fabregas shoots, he scores. I'm not saying it's a surefire type of thing, but going for goals from long distances (commentators call them "dynamite!" and "thunderbolt!") is not really a bad thing, it adds a level of excitement to football, and there's an okay percentage that he will score. He's our second top goal-scorer last season, behind Adebayor, and you could tell most of them were from long shots. How many goals did Hleb score? 4. Pathetic 4. Maybe he would have scored more if he "go for it when given a chance to shoot".

I'm glad that I feel we shouldn't keep Hleb any longer. Here's the latest news on his future at Arsenal:
“I don’t know where I’ll be next season but I’d prefer Barcelona. It is being negotiated and, hopefully, will be decided soon.”
Good riddance. Screw you for criticizing our "media-darling" and "Professor". We appreciate your contributions to the team last season, but we don't want players with bad attitude. And furthermore, Nasri should be coming (Gulp, I hope).

How do you feel? Was Hleb in a position to criticise Fabregas and Wenger? How do you feel about his comment to the media? Tell me more, cheers from Dariano.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Arshavin's Future Lies in Ade and Hleb's Hands

Well Andrei Arshavin has been one of Arsene Wenger's target during the summer transfer window. If I'm not wrong I haven't given my verdict on him despite all the media spculation. Now let the judging bein:

Andrei Arshavin. Honestly anybody out there who knew him 2 months ago? To be frank I didn;t know him and have not heard of his name till the Euro's began. He rose to fame by impressing with his national team (Russia) and catching all the club manager's attention. Arsenal, Chelsea, Barcelona are just some of the clubs interested in his services. Now my verdict: Arsene, don't sign this guy. Why? He's 27, probably not worth the money and superstars are not created overnight. No doubt about it, players who are 27 has just reached their peak, so they probably play their best. But in a few years time, let's say 3, he would be 30 and I don't think Arsene Wenger would keep him anymore. Added by the fact that there's much competition for his signature, he would not be cheap so paying over 10 million for a superstar only to play for you for 3 years is certainly not worth it. In fact, Zenit St. Petersburg (his current club) absurdly requested Leo Messi plus cash for him. If you ask me, I would rather get Messi XD. Another factor is that he's so popular now because of his performance during Euro08, and to be specific. He impressed during the match between Russia and Sweden and Russia and Holland. Like I said before, superstars are not amde overnight. Playing really well in 2 matches don't mean that player is good. I am afraid if he comes to Arsenal, he gets a really shit season and in the end lose profit in selling him. So to sum up my verdict, I wouldn't want him to come to Arsenal.

Next on the queue is that Arshavin has recently claimed that whether he comes to Arsenal will depend on whether Adebayor and Hleb goes. So to make sure it's not confusing for some of you, we are like trading Adebayor and Hleb with Arshavin. 3 words: Not worth it. Here's what his agent said:

“The push for Andrei Arshavin has only just got going.
“The clubs who are following him are only just warming their engines.
Arshavin’s future depends on what happens with Hleb and Adebayor.”
So if Arsene Wenger stubbornly ignored my advice and continue his interest in Arshavin, he better buck up. Cause it won't be a small price tag.

Do you agree with me that Arsenal shouldn't sign Arshavin? And is it really worth it to let Ade and Hleb go just for him? Tell me in the comments section, cheers from Dariano :)

Peter Hill-Wood: Ade Staying, Hleb Going

Nowadays we've always been hearing Arsene Wenger talk about Adebayor, Hleb and all the other stars, and I'm sure you would be quite bored to hear the same person say the same thing day in, day out. Well, we've got a new voice for today. Peter Hill-Wood, chairman of Arsenal FC has actually spoken out for Arsene Wenger, in hoping to get "The Mafia boss is speaking" type of feeling to Barcelona and AC Milan. Well here's what he said:

"We want him (Adebayor) to stay,"

"Adebayor still has a long time left on his contract and we have absolutely no intention of releasing him from that contract."
So I guess that Old Petey is actually an idol of the Togolese striker, hoping he can stay at Arsenal to "entertain" him. Will he give in to money? Or is he "money-blind"? We'll see.

Wait a minute. He's not done yet.

"Hleb has made it clear he wants to go. I think maybe he will go."

Oh, great. I won't rest easy about Hleb's situation until Nasri comes (FYI the deal's not done yet, some people got confused).

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Prof. is Fed Up + Roma Wants Gilberto

It seems that Barcelona has tested Arsene Wenger's patience. It's over the limit, and Arsene has had enough. He's probably lost patience in Adebayor, and will let him go to either Barcelona or Milan, if Arsenal can get a replacement. It's for an astounding 30 million pounds, although Arsenal have set an asking price of 35 million. As expected, Wenger won't "play" with Adebayor anymore, and will give in to Barcelona's heavy bid. But who as replacement? That, I believe, only Arsene knows. I'm not really sure myself to be honest, but it would be good if it's Villa (I don't know how many times I've said this), but the thing is Valencia has offered a contract to Villa, so if we don't striker fast then we may be the ones left crying.

Another news I got is that AS Roma seems to be interested in Gilberto Silva. They may be willing to pay a fee of 2.5 million pounds for the Brazilian defensive-midfielder. Well, I'd say, cash in, Arsene. 2.5 million is good money for a 31 year-old, and furthermore his contract expires at the end of the 2008/09 season. No one can really predict the future, so whether he will sign a new contract is still a mystery but the most logical answer would be he leaves on a free-transfer, just like how many past Arsenal players at the age of 30 and above did (Campbell, Pires etc.). So rather then let him go for free, why not let him go for 2.5 million? I admit that Gilberto would be a good backup if not first-team player, but I don't think Gilberto can cut it out in Arsenal anymore. The 2.5 million can be used to sign other players, so Arsene has got to cash in fast lest Roma lose interest and Gilberto's stuck at Arsenal.

So what do you think? Should we, for real, sell Ade this time? And if Villa's taken, who should we seek as a replacement for Adebayor? Then should Gilberto go? Is it really time? And is 2.5 million pounds good money to you? Tell me more, cheers from Dariano :)