Archive for May 13th, 2008

Welcome to Tuesday, featuring: Friar meeting; Ben Arfa; Makoun; Theo; Gilberto

Add comment May 13th, 2008

Last night, Ken Friar met with a selection of supporters to allay any fears over Arsenal’s present and future.  Tim Payton, one of the good guys from the AST, gave arseblog the following report:

“Ken Friar assured them that there was money available and Arsene will be able to roll over his transfer budget, which was in surplus remember, from last season. During the session he broke off from discussions to take a phone call from the manager and suggested that a signing was ‘imminent’. Other important points from that meeting were that 92% of the Highbury Square flats have been sold and that no Director of Football position will be filled. The search for a new managing director is well under way and they’re hopeful somebody will be announced soon.”

Friar is a very capable man and I’m sure will do a good job until a new managing director is appointed.  Let’s not forget, he negotiated the signing’s of Fabianski, Sagna, and Eduardo with significant discretion and efficiency last Summer.

Interesting to hear him suggest that a signing could be ‘imminent’ – Arsene certainly does seem to know what he wants.  Could it be Hatem Ben Arfa, as speculation suggested towards the end of last week?  The flying winger, who was last week voted France’s Young Player of the Year, has admitted that talks have already taken place about a possible move to London.  From what I hear, it’s a straight fight between us and Marseille for the players’ signature.  This one could be a goer.

Another French-based player being linked fairly regularly is Jean II Makoun.  Now, I have to confess that I, confused by the typographical vagaries of the world, have always thought his name was Jean Il Makoun (pronounced Jean ‘ill’ Makoun).  However, it has recently been explained to me that his name is Jean II Makoun: Jean ‘The Second’ Makoun.  That’s insane.  Granted, you could be Jean Makoun The Second, but I guarantee you he is not the second person ever to have been called Jean.

Anyhow.  Arsene has spoken about Theo Walcott’s good form towards the end of this season, and suggested (as I did yesterday) that he is ready to challenge for a first-team place.

I’ll end with what is a pretty remarkable declaration of loyalty.  Gilberto was stripped of the captaincy and dropped from the side last season, yet still has the affection for the club to come out with the following quotes:

“I have always expressed the desire to stay here to the end of my career. If that happens, it would be fantastic.  I have been here six seasons now and it has all been amazing.  I would be very happy to stay here and then discuss another contract to the end of my career.”

He’s a top man.  I’d love him to stay as a back-up, but can’t help but feel he deserves better.

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