Archive for June, 2010

About to fly to South Africa – Laporta still annoying

13 comments June 21st, 2010

I’m about to head to the airport and then on to Johannesburg via Nairobi.  Gunnerblog will continue to bring you Arsenal news of significance, though I’m not sure if that would include Laporta restating his desire to sign Fabregas, or Arsene revealing that we’re after Koscielny.  It’s stuff we already know.

If you’re interested in following my non-Arsenal adventures, you can do so on website ThreeandIn.  You can read my first entry, Packing for South Africa, here.  Helpfully, we’ve also got a twitter account.

If, however, you couldn’t give a toss about the World Cup, or indeed me, then stick with Gunnerblog for regular updates on Barcelona maybe signing Cesc and us maybe signing Koscielny.

Speak to you when I find my first African WIFI hotspot.

Koscielny seems certain to sign

45 comments June 18th, 2010

What with the twin powers of Spanish football seemingly spending every summer wining and dining our best players, Arsene Wenger has cause to feel strongly about tapping up.  We can therefore assume that he was granted permission by French club Lorient to meet with centre-back Laurent Koscielny, who revealed:

“Arsenal is one of the biggest European clubs, who plays in the Champions League. I think it’s a good club to progress further. I do not want to miss this opportunity.  They have contacted my representitives this week. I met with Arsene Wenger, as did my agents. It went well.”

With personal terms already being discussed, I think it’s safe to say the clubs are confident of closing the gap between their valuations.  Lorient signed him for about £1.2m last summer, so anything approaching the mooted €10m fee would represent good business for them.  He currently wears number 4 for Lorient, so knowing our luck he’ll probably even be able to keep his preferred squad number.

With Koscielny coming through the Emirates’ revolving door, Mikael Silvestre seems certain to be high-fiving him on his way out, clutching a giant bag marked ‘swag’ after it was revealed he could earn £4m p/season playing for Al Jazira in Abu Dhabi.  I could think of better things to spend £4m on.  Like 400000000 penny sweets.

Gallas, Sagna and Diaby all started for France as they took on Carlos Vela’s Mexico.  Although Mexico went off with what could be a tournament ending hamstring injury, he looks likely to be hanging round South Africa a while longer than his francophonic team-mates, who crashed to a 2-0 defeat.

The World Cup has improved a fair bit over the past couple of days.  Best get back to watching it.

We’d better have won the league by mid-April…

Add comment June 17th, 2010

So the Premier League fixtures are out and whilst all the talk is understandably about an exciting opening day clash at Anfield, the neurotic part of is already fixating on our run in.  Our last six games feature home times against Liverpool, United and Vila, with away trips to Bolton, Stoke, and Fulham.  There are more bogeys in that than my hayfever-inflicted nose.

Nevertheless, it’s exciting when the fixtures come out.  Always gives you a bit of a buzz about the opening weekend.  The tie with Liverpool means there’s a good chance we’ll be shunted on to the Sunday to suit Sky’s scheduling.

One can’t help but wonder whether or not Cesc Fabregas will be in the line-up that day.  He didn’t get off the pitch in Spain’s shock defeat to Philippe Senderos’ Switzerland yesterday, which is a shame as a positive contribution might have added a few million Euros to his price.  Barca President-to be Sandro Rossell has changed his tune a bit, and seems as determined as Laporta to see the transfer through:

“We are not under any sort of pressure at the moment. We have the whole summer to sort this deal out.

I am convinced that Cesc will be our player by the start of next season. I know what happens in football and I will not be surprised to see stories of other clubs chasing him. But we are very calm because the key person in all of this is Cesc himself. The only way he will leave Arsenal is if he is joining Barcelona because of his roots.”

Another play whose future is in doubt is Sol Campbell, who has said:

“I don’t know yet where I will be playing my football next season. What I do know for certain is that I will be getting married this summer, then I am off on honeymoon, but I will be back on July 27 ready for pre-season training.

I might still stay at Arsenal, but will need to talk with Arsene Wenger after the World Cup finals, and I have had an offer from Celtic, which I am giving serious consideration to.

If both Sol and Arsene were very keen to do the deal, one suspects it would’ve been wrapped up by now.  I’d like to see Sol stay in some capacity, though I wonder if Arsene is prioritising other targets – Koscielny, for one.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes yesterday.  Great fun was had by all.  And by all, I mean me.

Birthday blogging: Arsene’s texts, Koscielny’s singing, and a shiny new kit

1 comment June 16th, 2010

It’s my birthday.  It’s my party, my blog, and I’ll cry if I want to.  Fortunately for you all, I don’t want to, which should spare us all some embarrassment.  Here are the headlines:

Walcott and Arsene exchange texts

“I’ve had a little text exchange with Theo and he will bounce back. In fact I think it will make him even more determined for next season. He is a very level-headed guy and very strong.”

I don’t know about you, but in my head that text went something like this:

“Hi m8.  Soz about Capello – wtf?!?!? C u nxt c-son.  Tmb,  AWx”

Koscielny begs for Arsenal move
Koscielny’s agent Stephane Canard said:

“Laurent told the Lorient president and coach that he wants to move to Arsenal come what may.”

We haven’t heard of him and he’s mostly French but also a bit not.  It’s a classic Arsene signing.  A matter of time, I’d guess.

Arsenal have a new yellow away kit
It seems that every other Nike away kit will be a nice, traditional yellow one.  Which is good.  It’s certainly a lot better than the blue and white horrors we have to put up with in the intervening years.  Next season’s effort is pretty tasty, and the forthcoming home kit also looks to be a visual treat.

Right, I’m off to celebrate my birthday with BBQ and cake.  Not BBQ’d cake.  That wouldn’t be good.

Oh, some fella called Cesc might be in action for Spain today. Liveblog here.

The worst headline I have ever seen

Add comment June 14th, 2010

Every morning I click on Newsnow and have a glance through the Arsenal-related headlines.  There are usually a few featuring quotes from Laporta, Xavi, or another Barca cronie, and several saying that Joe Cole will sign for someone someday.  Today, however, Fanhouse UK took the biscuit with this quite extraordinary piece of bollocks:

Excuse me while I vomit all over my keyboard.  I don’t know who you are, Mike McGrath, but I do know that you know nothing at all about football.

Speaking of Cesc, Arsene has denied talking to the Spain midfielder about his future during his time in South Africa.  I suspect he’s telling the truth – it seems that nothing will happen with this deal during the World Cup – whoever the Barcelona President is.

What was Arsenal target Mark Schwarzer thinking last night?  You’re in your late thirties, and a Champions League club is interested in you for probably the first and certainly the last time in your career.  All you have to do is look vaguely solid at the World Cup, and Ivan Gazidis will come knocking with his jangling purse of pennies.  And then you do this.  Dear dear.  I’ve championed Schwarzer as a potential signing, so I’m not going to turn 180 degrees on him on the back of one mistake, but it was most certainly a rick worthy of an Arsenal goalkeeper.

Quite a few Arsenal players in action today, though Alex Song is rumoured to have been dropped by Cameroon, which seems very odd.  He must be among their best players.

In just half an hour Robin van Persie takes on Nicklas Bendtner as Holland face Denmark.  If you’re stuck at work, you can join me on the liveblog here.

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