Archive for May, 2008

Video: Eduardo’s amazing recovery

Add comment May 31st, 2008

Many thanks to Arsenal Analysis for sourcing this remarkable video from Brazilian television, in which the Croatia striker is seen going through a number of strengthening exercises, including some work with a ball.

Elsewhere, Eduardo told the Croatian press:

“I am returning to Europe from Brazil at the beginning of August, perhaps even by the end of July.

Doctors tell me by then I will be fully recovered and able to play football again. I hope so too. I’m feeling well and my rehabilitation is going better than I would ever have hoped.”

Whilst it’s impossible to say if the injury will have any psychological effect on Eduardo’s game, the early signs are certainly positive.  Having back in action by October would be a huge and unexpected boost.

There are lots of other ‘stories’ around, but actual ‘news’.  Don’t understand?  I’ll explain tomorrow.

Nasri to sign? Ramsey to follow?

Add comment May 29th, 2008

The Telegraph claim that Samir Nasri completed his move to Arsenal late last night, shortly after being named in the 23-man France squad for the European Championships.  That would tie in with information I recieved suggesting the signing would be announced today.

Truth be told, the deal’s been done for a week: only the dotting of the ‘i’s in Nasri’s signature remained.  Whenever the announcement comes, it can only be anticlimactic after the way it’s dragged on.  Still, we shouldn’t forget what a good signing this looks to be.  In brief new, another Frenchman we’ve been linked with a lot in the past two years, Yoan Gouffran, is on the verge of joining Laurent Blanc’s Bourdeaux.

The Guardian reports that Arsene has already moved on to other targets, with Cardiff’s Aaron Ramsey the subject of a £5m bid.  Apparently the structuring of the deal was unattractive to Cardiff, so we will return with another offer.  The interest in Ramsey is absolutely genuine, as revealed to you by Gunnerblog, so don’t be surprised if these kinds of stories continue throughout the Summer.

There are some comments from Hleb floating around saying that he didn’t say he wanted to leave the club.  Which is true.  The man he pays to represent him said he wanted to leave the club.  I’m not going to publicise what I find quite an irritating plea from Hleb with a quote.

Robin van Persie, meanwhile, can sympathise with Hleb’s plight:

“If you are 27 or 28 I can understand that you would make the decision to go elsewhere if you can earn three or four times as much. If that sort of money was also paid at Arsenal I’m sure that person would stay.”

I think rationally even the most hardened Arsenal fan can understand the lure of literally doubling or trebling your wages, but it remains the case that those comments from Van Persie are rather injudicious.

Who knows – with Inter sacking Roberto Mancini last night, maybe Hleb will be forced to change his plans and stay…

By the end of the day, we might have signed someone (who isn’t a physio).  Contain your excitement, children.

Nasri insists he can play in a 4-4-2

Add comment May 28th, 2008

Samir Nasri started for France last night in their friendly against Ecuador, and by all accounts gave an impressive performance.  Although he has spent much of his time playing in a 4-2-3-1 for Marseille, throughout the ninety minutes yesterday he was deployed both on the left and right flank, from where he drifted into the centre: I suspect that he is where we will see him when he completes his move to Arsenal.  Nasri says the position presents few problems for him:

“I ran, it was good.  In 4-4-2 that’s how it goes.  Playing on the flanks with two attacks allows you freedom to roam.  The coach does not ask us to stick to the touchline, we have a lot of liberty in our movements.  I can even come and get the ball in the centre.”

Sounds like he won’t have a problem slotting into our system.

The same was not always true of Alex Hleb, who seems set to become the subject of a transfer tug of war between Barcelona and Real Madrid.  That can only be a good thing with us, and might push his price up to the €20m mark.

Those are probably the very same clubs we’re trying to keep away from Cesc Fabregas in opening negotiations on a new deal.  Hopefully we can sort something out without Cesc’s new agent, Darren Dein, creating a problem.

Oh, and we have signed someone.  A physio.  Could that be anything to do with Gary Lewin’s possible departure for a full-time role with England, as a few papers have suggested?  Wait and see, I guess.

Tomorrow, I debunk the rumour that we might sign Lillian Thuram.  Come back for that, it’ll be fun.

If stability is the key to success, United will be in pole position next season

Add comment May 26th, 2008

For years now, Arsene Wenger has underlined the importance of stability (google “arsene wenger stability” if you don’t believe me).  And Arsenal have, for the most part, matched that ideal.  We have kept the same manager, resisted takeover appraoches, remained in the top four Champions League places, and (for the most part) retained a similar squad season-to-season.

Going into next season, however, arguably only one of The Big Four could be said to be in a stable position: the current Champions, Manchester United.

Chelsea are undergoing another Russian Revolution, with the man who got them to within two finals and two points of a treble, Avram Grant, sacked.  He is likely to be followed through the revolving doors by Steve Clarke and Henk Ten Cate, whilst the futures of about half their playing staff are still up for debate: key personnel like Carvalho, Lampard, and Drogba could all be elsewhere come August.  Of course, Chelsea always have the money to replace anyone who goes, but the time it will take for them to settle in has to be accounted for.  Their relative success this season was down to the same core of players sticking around after Mourinho left.  This summer might prove an upheaval too far.

The problems with the ownership at Liverpool are well-documented, and leave Rafa Benitez in a heavily-undermined position.  Not only does he have to put up with constant rumours about the owners trying to replace him, but he does not know where to go in order to obtain the transfer funds he needs to improve the side.  Until DIC take over, further frustration awaits the Scousers.

And then, there’s us.  It’s remarkable really – a season in which we progress beyond all expectation, and suddenly it looks as if we might lose half our first-choice midfield.  It’s the equivalent of Mascherano and Kuyt upping sticks and leaving Liverpool (imagine a shoot-out between Kuyt and Hleb; it’d go on forever), or Essien and Joe Cole departing Chelsea.  On top of that, arseblogger has kindly informed us that Barcelona are reporedly trying to lure top goalscorer Emmanuel Adebayor to Spain.  Even if players who leave are replaced with superior talents, the flurry activity still goes strongly against Arsene’s principles of stability.  Indeed, he himself admits that foreign players often need a six-month settling in period.  How far might that set us back?  It’s impossible to guess.

And then, the bastards that are Manchester United.  Financially powerful enough to hang on to any player, and with the reputation and trophy cabinet to attract additional talent, all is looking well for them going into the new season.

Our hope has to be that stability is not the key to success.

That, of course, would make Arsene Wenger wrong.

Oh dear.  We’re screwed.

Watching Clément Chantôme + Wenger confirms Nasri arrival

Add comment May 25th, 2008

My Saturday night’s are crazy. Last night, I flicked between the Eurovision Song Contest (Spain were robbed) and the French Cup Final, where I was able to observe Arsenal target Clément Chantôme for 80 mins, as his valiant PSG side unluckily lost to Lyon.

ChantomeHe’s not a star player – he’s primarily a functional midfielder, who keeps the team ticking over. But he’s not Flamini mk II. He runs in an economical, upright fashion, so seems to lack his possible predecessor’s crazed energy.

He has a neat left-foot, and for PSG he plays further up the pitch than Flamini ever did for us. His set piece delivery was a threat throughout the night, though he himself did not provide much a goal threat.

The ex-Arsenal player he reminds me of most is Edu.  Like the Brazilian, he is not a specialist but a midfielder who has both a defensive and offensive game: he can destroy and create.  However, on the evidence of last night at least, he doesn’t yet seem to have the presence or maturity to dominate a game in the way in which we need our midfield to do.  Plus, he’s only 20: we have young options already in Diaby and Denilson – what we need is some experience.

Arsene Wenger confirmed on French TV last night that Samir Nasri will sign before the European Championships are underway.  You can all stop panicking – he will turn up, it’s just a question of when.

Those in the UK, enjoy the rest of your bank holiday weekend.  The rest, enjoy Sunday.  Haha.  I think we win, brits.

Previous Posts

Search Gunnerblog

Get your Gunnerblog t-shirts now!

get regular updates from GS with twitter

Top Gunn

Cesc Fabregas
The man in form.

    Retro Arsenal T-Shirts from - Bringing Back The Good Old Days!: Click Here!

Latest Posts

Sponsored Links


May 2008
« Apr   Jun »

Posts by Month

Most Recent Posts

Posts by Category


Powered By

eXTReMe Tracker