Archive for July, 2005

Despite our predictions, Baptista didn’t sign. But the kit is still yellow.

25 comments July 30th, 2005

Therein lies some consolation.

I have removed the offending image from the right-hand side of your screens.

In future, if I provide previews of kits, I will make the face that of a suitable fellow such as Peter Crouch. The sort of lanky misfit that we don’t want at our club.

Zat Knight. There’s another one.

But yes, the too-good-to-be-true transfer of Julio Baptista has finally collapsed under the weight of an offer from Real Madrid. He should he unveiled as the latest Galactico come Monday. First Robinho, then this. No wonder we didn’t want to sell them Vieira. Perhaps this is their revenge for us sneaking him off to Juve behind their backs.

So many conspiracy theories, so little time.

Oh well. I’m sure we’ll sign someone else, like…


So anyway, we beat Ajax 1-0. And Arturo Lupoli got the goal, very late on, after some good work from substitute Alex Hleb. He looks a tidy player, who loves to run at defenders. Another promising performer was substitute David Bentley, who made an appearance on the right-hand side of midfield, and put in a lot of very solid work.

On Sunday we face Porto.

That’s about it, really.

Arsenal to swoop for Dacourt?…

27 comments July 28th, 2005

Despite Arsene’s denials, The Mirror claim that Arsenal could today unveil french midfielder Olivier Dacourt.

Although Roma are currently held back by a transfer embargo, the frenchman could be allowed to leave on a free.

It’s probably just another rumour, but he would add experience and depth to our midfield in the absence of Vieira. He’s scored some brilliant goals in his time, too, and has that aggressive streak that some fear we lack.

Another potential signing, Alex Song, could reportedly be involved in a part-exhange deal including Seb Larsson. I find this very hard to believe. Larsson was recently rewarded with a long-term contract, and is very highly-rated by the management. He’s one of the youngsters who stands to profit most from Vieira’s departure.

And finally, something I’d previously failed to mention: Freddie Ljungberg is close to penning a new contract. Good news.

Ajax tomorrow. Hurrah.

Baptista deal surely off – Time to look elsewhere?…

25 comments July 27th, 2005

It looks for all the world like the £18m transfer of Julio Baptista won’t happen.

Quotes from this interview with ABC Seville include:

ABC- So, the Arsenal move is ruled out?

Baptista – I think so, for the time being I don’t want to go there.

ABC- Have Wenger and Dein been a pain?

Baptista – Absolutely not, they told me they wanted to meet me and that’s what they did. They said the were interested in me and they’ve demonstrated it.

ABC- Have you told Arsenal your wishes yet?

Baptista- I told them it was very important for me to get the nationality, and they said that anyway they were going to try to sign me.

ABC- But if you don’t want to go, what are they going to negotiate with Sevilla?

Baptista- Of course, it’s complicated. My thought is to stay here, next year we’ll see what I do.

ABC- But Sevilla could be interested in letting you go for the money Arsenal is offering.

Baptista- It’s me who must make a decision, and the people who work with me.


Doesn’t look great, does it?

The real shame is that, due to his versatility, he would have killed two positional birds with one stone – not only could he have filled the midfield void left by Patrick Vieira’s departure, but he would also have been equally adept upfront.

Arsene is famous for waiting to secure his targets, and he may decide to try and pursue Baptista at a later date.

However, with the new season looming, surely some investment is required.

Personally, I believe triallist Philippe Christanval will sign. Alex Song, on the other hand, may well return to France for one more season, after which he could well become an Arsenal player.

But that leaves our central midfield options as follows: Gilberto, Flamini, and Fabregas.

Admittedly, both Pires and Hleb can fill in there, but they lack the physical presence to make a real impact.

A player with experience, power, and superb technique is required. Some might suggest, in that case, that our failure to pursue Edgar Davids is bizarre. But Davids is not the player he once was.

Instead, I’d like to see Arsene turn his attentions to Bayern Munich’s Brazilian international, Ze Roberto. Although he plays on the left wing for the Germans, his international role is as a holding midfield player.

His left-footedness would bring balance after the departure of Edu, and his pace and strenght would fit perfectly into the Arsenal style of play. If we can afford Baptista, we can afford Ze Roberto.

By the way, since my last update, we’ve won two friendlies. Not much of any real significance to report, apart from a rather brilliant individual goal from Alex Hleb against Ritzing.

Anyway, tata.

Could YOU be Arsenal’s new central midfielder?…

16 comments July 24th, 2005

Apparently, Alexander Hleb told Arsenal Magazine: “Before I got into football, I used to be into high-board diving.”

“But my dad was always saying to me, ‘Forget about this diving stuff, you should be playing football’.”

Thankyou Hleb senior. We owe you.

It would seem, however, that old habits die hard:

Meanwhile, rumours of Sol Campbell’s availability continue to gather pace. If, as speculated, Toure and Senderos are cemented as our first choice pairing, I could understand Sol wanting to move on. It would be a real shame though – surely what we’ve been crying out for is genuine competition between three excellent central defenders?

Whilst a few sources are reporting that we’ve agreed a fee for Julio Baptista, the player himself seems intent on remaining in Spain, leaving that gap in our midfield as wide as ever.

In their desperation, it would seem are offering Patrick Vieira’s slot up for grabs in some sort of auction:

Here’s hoping Michael Essien comes in with the highest bid.

Baptista 50:50; Arsenal 5-0

27 comments July 21st, 2005

Arsene has spoken out on the protracted Baptista transfer saga, saying, â??It is 50:50â?.

â??It is down to him. He might stay where he is or go to another club in Spain. Iâ??m not sure he will go to another club in England but I donâ??t know.”

Difficult to interpret, really. I reckon he’s probably just telling the truth – both Sevilla and Arsenal are waiting to see if Baptista wants the move, suggesting a fee has indeed been agreed.

Last night, Arsenal beat Austrian minnows Weiz 5-0, with captain Henry grabbing two, as well as goals for Flamini, Bentley, and Bergkamp. Henry’s first really was a thing of beauty, flicking the ball over a defender’s head with his right foot, before volleying it in with his left.

I do get the feeling that the captain’s armband will bring out the very best in our talismanic striker.

It also emerged last night that 17-year old Alex Song has joined Philippe Cristanval on trial with the club. Arsene said, “It was his first game but he looks to have talent. We will look at him for a week and then weâ??ll see where we go from there.”

Arsene also delivered that fantastic news that we will not be signing Guti, cryptically stating, “It is either a yes or a no, and it is a no.”

Thank god for that.

However, rather worryingly, he has since added, “If we can add one more we will but if it doesnâ??t happen then it doesnâ??t happen.”

Don’t know about you, but I think a goalkeeper, a central midfielder, and a striker wouldn’t go amiss.

Let’s hope he’s bluffing.

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