Archive for June, 2008

I can’t talk about N*sri anymore…

1 comment June 25th, 2008

He’s signing, alright.  He’s signing.  Everyone knows he’s signing.

The BBC ‘understands’ it.  There are probably single-celled organisms on distant planets that are as yet unknown to man who ‘understand’ it.

There is no longer a need for it to be reported.  When it is announced on, I will relay the news to you.

Until then, I just cannot handle any more.

Nasri confirmed? Adebayor to leave? Squad numbers announced (Not a question).

1 comment June 24th, 2008

Hello.  It’s been a while.  This week is mayhem for me.  But I’m here now, and that’s what counts.

Samir Nasri yesterday revealed on his own website that he has signed a four year deal with Arsenal.  This backs up reports I’ve heard that the deal is done, we’re simply waiting for the go-ahead from Marseille to make the announcement.  Nasri will join up with the squad in a few weeks after a well-earned holiday.

In the past few days, the transfer speculation over Emmanuel Adebayor has reached new levels of fervour, and if reports are to be believed, we’re now willing to sell the big man for around £25m after being unable to meet his exorbitant contract demands.   Milan and Barcelona are hovering, and with Arsene already having showed his ruthless streak this year in allowing Flamini to move to Italy, it seems Adebayor might follow the Frenchman out the door.  As regards on-field matters, I’d be gutted to see him go.  Let’s wait and see.

The squad numbers for next season have been announced, and Manuel Almunia is the latest in an illustrious line of Arsenal Number 1s.   I’m pleased for him: he deserves it.  Vito Mannone has been handed Almunia’s old number 24 shirt, and will be third choice behind Lukasz Fabianski.   New boy Aaron Ramsey inherits Flamini’s 16, and Mexican striker Carlos Vela will be number 12.

Whilst I’ve been away, Gael Clichy has joined fellow full-back Bacary Sagna in signing a new deal with the club.  Fantastic news, especially when the rest of our squad seem liable to leave at any minute.

Cesc Fabregas is the last Arsenal player left at Euro 2008, after his penalty sent Spain into the semi-finals.  Cesc was outstanding as a subsitute, and must be running Xavi and Iniesta close for a starting place.  Whilst those two are undoubtedly excellent midfielders, Fabregas consistently releases the ball earlier and with more pace, allowing the speed of Villa and Torres to cause any defence problems.

Hopefully you’ll hear from me a bit sooner next time.  Till then…

Samir Nasri: Finally, someone Understands…

39 comments June 19th, 2008

For weeks now Arsenal fans have been crying out in vain, “Where are you, Samir?” We’ve waited anxiously, refreshing NewsNow in the vain hope that will catch up with the rest of Western World and unleash the worst kept secret in football: Nasri’s imminent arrival.

Sadly, such relief has not been forthcoming. France’s participation in Euro 2008 has come and gone, and still there is no Nasri-shaped blur appearing on our horizon. Still we languish in the purgatorial pit of our own hope. Nobody has known our pain.

But now, finally, someone understands.

And of all people, it’s Auntie Beeb:

Arsenal have won the race to sign France midfielder Samir Nasri from Marseille, BBC Sport understands.

(You probably only need to watch the first twenty seconds of that video to get the message. If you watched the whole thing, I’m sorry, but then perhaps I oughtn’t apologise for getting you to listen to the signature work of one of the greatest composers of all time)

The thing is, as I have pointed out before: the BBC have a habit of saying they “understand” stuff, when what they are actually doing is “guessing”. So I may have given you all false hope. Oh well.

Ps. Patrick Vieira is still my hero
PPs. Jens Lehmann’s plans to deal with Ronaldo should follow tomorrow

EuroWatch: Van Persie continues to impress but it’s all over for France

40 comments June 18th, 2008

Van Persie smashes in his second goal of the tournament

Robin van Persie’s rehabilitation continued last night as he played ninety minutes in Holland’s 2-0 victory over Romania, bagging his second goal of the tournament in the process.  After coming close with a header and a right-footed effort after the tightest of swivels, Van Persie finally hit the net with a scorching finish into the near top corner.

It’s that kind of deadly shooting power we hoped to see from Van Persie last season, but injuries had other ideas.  Hopefully he’ll soon he doing that in the red and white of Arsenal as well as the orange of the Netherlands.

Holland were joined in going through by Italy, which means that William Gallas’ France are out.  This was clearly a tournament too far for an ageing side.  Of course, France’s loss is Arsenal’s gain, as it frees up Samir Nasri to complete his move to London – the midfielder should soon become our second major summer signing.

Finally, what could Jens Lehmann be planning?  Use the contact form to give me your guesses and I’ll publish the most entertaining tomorrow…

Tough run-in the hallmark of 08/09 fixture list

Add comment June 17th, 2008

Assuming no significant changes are made to the schedule the Premier League unveiled today, our final six games of the season will read as follows:

Liverpool (a), Middlesbrough (h), Portsmouth (a), Chelsea (h), Manchester United (a), and Stoke (h).

Ouch. Fortunately, we start the season with a run of seemingly winnable games, before we play Spurs, United and Chelsea within a few weeks of each other in a spell commencing at the end of October.

On the face of it, the fixture list seems pretty similar to last season’s – there is the potential for early momentum, but the real crunch games will come right at the death. It’s clear we need to keep that momentum going all the way to the line rather than limping to the finish as we did this time round.

Congratulations to Bacary Sagna, who has been voted fourth in our official Player of the Season poll. Arguably, he should be higher up in the listings. Perhaps the Gunnerblog End of Season Awardsâ„¢ (coming soon) will see him fare better.

Sagna’s French colleagues, William Gallas and soon-to-be-a-gooner Samir Nasri face the prospect of joining Philippe Senderos and Johan Djourou in hurtling out of Euro 2008 tonight. Jens Lehmann, meanwhile, lives to fight another day. Whilst for Arsenal’s sake it’d be good for Gallas and Nasri to get a rest, I hope they get through. Especially at the expense of Italy. I can’t stand Italy.

Wait and see, I guess.

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