Archive for July 26th, 2006

Cole will definitely be gone by 8th August.

18 comments July 26th, 2006

That’s the date of our first Champions League Qualifier. Chelsea will want him by then to avoid the risk of him appearing for us and becoming cup-tied. Their signings this summer, particularly those of Ballack and Shevchenko, seem to be geared towards the Champions League. If they’re going to spend up to £30m on Cole, they’ll certainly want him available for their European campaign.

I have no doubts, though, that the fee won’t climb as high as the £30m The Telegraph suggest. Anything in the £20m mark would be a significant financial coup: it’s hard to think of a full-back ever going for anything in that region.

For now, Arsene insists there’s been no official offer:

“There is nothing going on with Ashley at the moment. There is no offer and we are not talking to anybody about him. I am always confident of holding onto player, but if you want me to sit here and guarantee he will be an Arsenal player next season I cannot do it. He only has two years left on his contract and we have not made any movement in that regard and when you have a player in that situation you cannot say much.”

The sooner he goes the better, really. With the internationals filtering back to training, a disruptive influence like Cole would be decidedly unwelcome. Having already rid ourselves of Campbell, the next most difficult figure in the dressing room will soon be departing: perhaps our fantastic team spirit of a few years ago isn’t far from returning?

Any fee we do recieve for Cole might be spent on West Ham’s Yossi Benayoun, if you listen to The Independent. I suggest you don’t: the £10m fee strikes me as very high, and a wide-midfielder is certainly not our most pressing requirement (unless, of course, you choose to believe the reports in the Spanish press that we are offering Jose Reyes to Real Madrid).

Last night saw Arsenal play against Austrian side SV Mattersburg, with Tomas Rosicky coming on to make his Arsenal debut. The final score was 2-1, with goals coming from a smart Jeremie Aliadiere left-foot finish, and a subtle lob from Justin Hoyte after a surprisingly good ball from a not-too-terrible Alex Song.

I was again impressed with Armand Traore, who at just 16 was described by Wenger as:

“A young boy with a lot of power. Not speedy, but super speedy. When you consider he’s only 16, it’s incredible power – he can make the difference going forward.”

Young Armand really is one to watch, and certainly looks a darn sight better than his namesake Djimi.

Ashley who?

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