Archive for January, 2006

24 Hour Countdown to Walcott-mania…

39 comments January 19th, 2006

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hopes to seal a deal for Theo Walcott “in the next 24 hours“.

We are very heavily in the race,Le Boss told, “but nothing is done and, as long as nothing is signed, you cannot talk about it“.

Some very well placed sources have confirmed that Theo had a medical with Arsenal today, and I’d imagine the announcement will happen at around 1pm tomorrow.

Southampton, however, being a PLC, might announce the sale in the morning. Unfortunately, they don’t need to say who he’s been sold to…

Ha. Don’t worry. It’ll be us.

Meanwhile, with us travelling to Goodison on Saturday, we’re without three left-backs: Ashley Cole, Gael Clichy, and Pascal Cygan. To be fair, Cygan is not really a left back. Or a centre-back. Speaking of centre-backs, Sol Campbell will have to have a fitness test. Fun and games.

Walcott to sign today or tomorrow…?

18 comments January 19th, 2006

Those rumours of a medical today have now spread like wildfire, and it’s now seen pretty much as fact.

One thing I can confirm is that Walcott is not training with Southampton this morning: a sure sign that some sort of move is imminent.

I really can’t underline enoguh how big a coup it would be for us to get him. A young English talent, the most talked about teenager since Wayne Rooney – this is the kind of signing that fans have always wanted. I think, especially in this case, his nationality does mean something to the supporters. To have the line led by an Englishman would be a nice thing.

Let’s hope we’re all put out of our misery sooner rather than later.

Come on Theo!

ps. Adebayor on his first team ambitions…

Walcott Medical Tomorrow?

29 comments January 18th, 2006

Rumours are suggesting that Theo Walcott will have a medical at Colney tomorrow. Personally, I believe the stories.

My take on it is that Walcott will be an Arsenal player by tomorrow night.

Brief, I know, but it’s late.

Arsenal Lead Shortening in Walcott Race

11 comments January 18th, 2006

Theo Walcott is the fastest player in The Championship. The worry for Arsenal now is that he’s sprinted out of sight.

This weekend, The Gunners seemed certain of a deal. Walcott’s agent even went so far as to declare the deal “70% done“. Meetings on Thursday had progressed with little difficulty, and it was thought that only a duck-shooting trip for Rupert Lower had delayed the deal. Most observers viewed Arsenal’s lead as insurmountable, and expected Walcott to be an Arsenal player by Tuesday.

But he’s not. Southampton’s stalling tactics have worked a treat, with two other clubs, believed to be Liverpool and Chelsea, now firmly in the race. Both clubs represent massive threats. Chelsea’s financial might is unmatchable, and if Walcott’s head is turned by Roman’s roubles, we don’t stand a chance. Liverpool, meanwhile, are the club Theo has supported from boyhood. He’s only sixteen: those ties are still strong.

Southampton are currently weighing up the bids, but they may find they have little option. For Wenger to come out his his now infamous “two and a half” signings comment, I believe he must have come to some sort of firm agreement with Walcott. A man who is normally so quiet over transfers would not make the same mistake did with Julio Baptista. If, as some sources suggest, Walcott is 100% committed to Arsenal, Lowe has no choice but to accept the bid or risk losing the player to a tribunal.

Arsenal remain favourites to sign the teenager. But be sure: our club will not be dragged into a bidding war over a player who as yet has shown little more than awesome potential. Everybody at the club, above all Arsene, wants Walcott to come to Highbury. But with the ominous threat of three other clubs circling the St. Mary’s stadium, more and more it seems that the final decision will rest with the player.

Nerve-wracking stuff.

Hatricks for Thierry & Arsene as Gunners hit 7th Heaven…

623 comments January 15th, 2006

It was the 68th mintue of the match against Middlesbrough when Thierry Henry raced through to notch his hatrick. A goal that not only put Arsenal 6-0 ahead, but also saw him equal Cliff Bastin’s club record of 150 league goals for the club.

On the touchline, Arsene Wenger smiled, delighted at the club’s second hatrick in two days. Thierry’s on-field heroics had matched the dealings of the club off it, securing three signings in one spectacular spree.

You may be surprised to hear me say “three”. But perhaps less so when you consider that Arsene himself couldn’t help but make the same slip when questioned about whether or not he would buy to replace the injured Pascal Cygan:

“I’ve already signed three players.”


“Sorry, two!” Wenger blurted out. Then the punchline:


Asked if he was referring to Walcott, the Arsenal manager simply said: “I would like to tell you.”

It looks like he’s well and truly in the bag, with many papers already declaring that the deal will be completed tomorrow. If you, like me, believe that the club signing new players ought to give the current squad a lift, then yesterday’s match was the perfect evidence.

To win 7-0 is always astonishing. To do it with two eighteen year olds in the side, one of whom (Johanne Djourou) was making their Premiership debut, is astounding.

To be fair, Arsenal were significantly aided by a hapless Middlesbrough defence. Every time Jose Reyes or Henry got the ball you felt they could score. The only player, in fact, who didn’t inspire this confidence was Freddie Ljungberg, who conspired to miss a whole array of chances. Even Aleksander Hleb managed to stick one away. The wait for Ljungberg, however, goes on.

As well as Thierry’s record-breaking hatrick, there were headers from Senderos and Gilberto, and a wonderful Robert Pires curler.

Nobody’s kidding themselves that our season is suddenly back on track. But it is amazing what a week like this can do for a club.

Roll on tomorrow.

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