Archive for June 30th, 2006

Mexican Carlos Salcido set to sign…?

316 comments June 30th, 2006

26 six year old defender Carlos Salcido seems set to sign for Arsenal, and a deal could be announced as early as next week. We learned last week that Salcido was wanted by a European club, and now reports in the Mexican media have shown his destination to be the Emirates Stadium.

Salcido, who operates on the left-side of a back three, and is capable of playing at centre-half or full-back in a four-four two, currently plays for Chivas de Guadalajara, from whom we signed Carlos Vela, where has has won 30 caps for his country. It is unclear yet if he is veiwed as a potential replacement for Ashley Cole or Sol Campbell. Though he is only 5’10”, it is worth remembering that Kolo Toure is no taller, so he shouldn’t have too many problems playing at centre-back.

Salcido came to prominence in 2005, scoring this remarkable goal against Argentina in the Confederations Cup. Indeed, the defender himself confirms that this is when Arsenal’s interest began:

“The reality is that I know that Arsenal were … a team which during the Confederations Cup wanted to look at the possibilities of me going to them, but they waited to watch the World Cup and see what happened with me.”

Now the Gunners have made their move, and Salcido can barely contain his excitement. He is described as “full of satisfaction” as he says:

“I’m waiting to see what happens … I’ve already looked at taking an extensive English course. Now I’m dreaming more than ever. Why? Because I have been tested in many situations. I have played against big players, and big teams, and thanks to God I have had the opportunity to live, play and enjoy it. My biggest goal was to play in the World Cup, but it has always been my dream to go abroad … I know that Arsenal are a great team, I know that they play in the superior tournaments, and I would be very pleased to go to them.”

The Guadalajara management has confirmed it will announce Salcido’s transfer next week, and all signs point to Arsenal as buyers. But what would he bring to the squad? Well, place, intelligence, and some wonderful skill.

The fee is reported as being around â?¬4m, which for an international defender of his class would be a real steal. I don’t know how many of you caught Mexico’s game against Argentina, but he and another defender, Osorio, were both outstanding.

With one left-sided Spanish speaker possibly on the way in, there have been suggestions that Jose Reyes will be on the way out. Yet again, I’d advise you to take these Madrid stories with a whole bucket of salt.

Meanwhile, Yaya Toure has again reaffirmed his desire to leave Greece. Expect plenty of stories about us signing him. Whether or not there’s any truth in it is another matter entirely.

Still, possibly exciting stuff about Salcido, eh?

Cesc Fabregas: The Future

106 comments June 30th, 2006

As the final whistle blew on France’s 3-1 victory over Spain, a tearful Cesc Fabregas sunk to his knees. In spite of a metronomic performance at the heart of Spain’s midfield, his side had lost, and his World Cup was over. Beaten and exhausted, the emotion of the moment was too much for the teenager, and he had to be comforted by striker Raul.

But Fabregas should not feel anything but pride in his performances in this tournament. After coming on to create two goals in the comeback against Tunisia, he quite simply forced his way into the Spanish line-up. For a player still well short of his twentieth birthday, this in itself was a major achievement. But going on to look not one inch out of place is what truly confirmed his status as an international class midfielder.

Cesc is now in the unenviable position of carrying the hopes of hordes of fans both at International and club level. For both, he represents not only the present, but the phenomenally promising future. If he continues to improve at the rate he’s going, it is no exaggeration to say he could well become the best midfielder in the world.

In the Arsenal side, he has become the hub of the team. It is almost unbelievable to think that at Christmas last year, there were calls from fans to leave him out of the side. His form had not matched that of 04/05, and tired legs were contributing to some whole-hearted but sub-standard performances.

In the second half of the season, however, he was outstanding. The addition of Abou Diaby as cover, combined with the improved form of Gilberto Silva, meant that Fabregas once again had the time and space to be the metronomic passing machine he had shown signs of becoming. This run of form peaked with his masterful display in Madrid, making Zidane look ordinary as Arsenal ran out 1-0 winners. It was displays like this which made his promotion to the Spanish squad an inevitability.

Whilst the experience he’s gained at the World Cup will be invaluable, it may have done Arsenal more harm than good. For every time Cesc stars on the World stage, another envious glance is cast our way from the looming menaces of Barcelona and Madrid. For years now they’ve been trying to steal our players, and we’ve seen the likes of Nicholas Anelka, Marc Overmars, and Emmanuel Petit head in their direction. Fabregas is no different. Indeed, this summer we have seen Real Presidential Candidate Ramon Calderon claim, “If we win I am sure he will come“. Cesc, fortunately, is not so sure:

“I can’t do anything about it [the speculation], obviously my name came out every day and they involved me [in the elections campaign]. However, I was only thinking about the World Cup. I am an Arsenal player right now and I am very happy and at ease there. I don’t need anything else.”

However, it won’t be long before Arsenal start recieving serious offers from the Spanish giants. When those fees start hitting £20m and upwards, whether or not Cesc wants to stay will be compromised by the size of the sum. I think we’ve always known that he would go back and play in Spain at some stage. But each time his brilliance is globally exposed, the chances of that happening sooner rather than later increase.

So enjoy him while you can. There’s no doubt the boy loves Arsenal to bits, and to have such a thoroughbred footballer plying his trade at our new stadium is a real delight. Like I said, if he keeps improving at this rate he will be one of the best players in the world, no doubt. If he ever moves on, it will be amicable between he and the club: I can’t ever see him trying to engineer a move away in the manner of, say, Patrick Vieira. It’s quite possible he could even captain the side one day, so strong is his personality.

You may have guessed that when there isn’t much news about, I take to eulogising about a chosen Arsenal player. Tomorrow, Mart Poom.

Remember how Newsnight claimed that David Dein had overseen some shenanigans with Beveren? And that he had also been spotted dancing with witches on the moors, drenched in the blood of a thousand kittens? Well, surprise surprise, it was all bollocks. Still, they got Dein voted off the FA board, which was what it was about all along.

Lot’s of rumours about Sol being on his way to Portsmouth. I know it’s in one of the morning’s papers, I just don’t know which. It wouldn’t surprise me: Adams is there, and they’ve got a ton of money to burn/use to feed Campbell.

And finally: in this world of internet blogging, sites pop up all the time, and often they’re genuinely rubbish. However, The Cannon is not. Have a look.

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Cesc Fabregas
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