Archive for August, 2008

Senderos is going to Milan on loan

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Philippe Senderos tonight looks ready to leave Arsenal, as he is having a medical with AC Milan.

Senderos, currently recovering from a back injury is set to sign a 1 year loan deal, which reportedly includes an option to sign him permanently for around £6million.
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Inler is out of the running

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

After Saturday’s defeat at Fulham I’m sure you all are wondering, as I am, if Arsene Wenger is going to be signing a new midfielder for Arsenal. Reports today [1] suggest that one mooted prospect, Gokhan Inler of Udinese, has stated that he does not want to move to Arsenal.
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Fulham 1 – 0 Arsenal

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Well I really do not have much to say about this unmitigated disaster.
It’s most depressing to have to write this post , I watched the game on Saturday and Arsenal were truly poor. Arsenal were sunk by a first half goal from Fulham’s Brede Hangeland. You might say that Fulham were lucky to grab a scrappy goal and hang on for the win but Arsenal absolutely did not deserve to win the match. We were completely mediocre, all of our chances went begging and Van Persie wasted 4 free-kicks.

The only positive to take from this frustratingly inept performance is that it should force Arsene Wenger’s hand; he absolutely has to buy at least one first-class midfielder at this point. Arsenal looked so average in midfield, Adebayor and Van Persie were completely isolated up front, we kept giving the ball away far, far, far too easily in midfield.

With Flamini gone and Fabregas injured there is no creativity in our midfield. It is not Eboue’s position and Denilson still is not good enough to play at this level. If we cannot dominate Fulham then we really have no chance this season.

I can’t dwell on this any further, I simply want to say, Mr Wenger get your bl**dy chequebook out, and fast!

Fabregas could be back for FC Twente match

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

Just one more quick update before the Fulham game starts, there has been some encouraging news about Cesc Fabregas, who picked up a hamstring injury before the start of the season.

Arsene Wenger said that Fabregas was back in training, and while not ready for todays game against Fulham, could be ready for FC Twente’s visit to the Emirates in mid-week :

“He is doing very well in training.

While he is not likely to be involved on Saturday, he should be ready for the Champions League game on Wednesday night.

You know how important he is on the creative side of our game and you want him to be in the team, but we do not want to face a gamble for just one game and we have to be patient.

“We will have to asses him on Monday or Tuesday to see how big a gamble it will be to start him or not.”

Of course Fabregas’ contribution to Arsenal’s attacking presence cannot be understated, a fully fit Fabregas and the continual improvement of Van Persie are vital to our chances this season.

Wenger stands by Adebayor

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

Lewin changing a nappy

Ahead of the game at Fulham today, here’s a look over some of what has been said this week.

I think there have been some interesting comments from Arsene Wenger, following Adebayor signing a new contract worth £80,000 a week, having spent his summer noisily threatening to leave the club and being booed during the Arsenal victory over West Brom last week. Here I’ve collected what has been said on the subject in the last few days.

Wenger thinks the fans should lay off Adebayor now:

“We have to get behind him and support him because he is a tremendous force and has tremendous importance for the team, What happened in the transfer period did not always reflect his deep desire and overall I am positive he will recover.

I think he is settled in his own mind now. But you want your own fans to be behind him. Every player needs to feel wanted.” [1]

Legendary Arsenal striker Alan Smith (Cup Winner’s Cup final ’94 anyone?) had this to say about the booing of Adebayor in his column in the Telegraph:

“I think the booing on Saturday was down more to the fact he didn’t pass when he should and it was only a small section. Another section were calling his name.

This is massive for Arsenal. You look around at centre forwards and players like Adebayor are at a premium. That’s why they are so valuable. He can do everything; he’s great in the air, fast and strong. If he had left you would have had to question the way things were going. The message it would have sent out would have been awful.” [2]

Wenger also spoke about Adebayor getting booed:

“I believe it was linked with results and goalscoring.

It was an edgy, nervous game because when you are one up your fans want to be reassured with another goal.

He had a few opportunities to score the second goal and didn’t do it. Give him time and watch him score.

I cannot understand their disappointment with him – his heart is with the club.” [3]

Sorry, couldn't resist

Wenger spoke a little more about the transfer saga:

“He had a lot of interest from many big clubs but he always told me one-to-one his preference was to stay,” said Wenger.

“I was convinced he wanted to do that and I know he made sacrifices.

“People have advisors and some clubs pay higher wages than we do, we have to accept that.

“The story did not come out like that in the press and unfortunately he is paying a price for a story which is not really him. He made a press conference in Austria where people interpreted his statements a bit differently, but I know what he told me.

“[Overall] I believe that Emmanuel has been unfairly treated.” [4]

I’ve hinted at it before but the best thing Arsenal fans can take from this situation is that Adebayor really has something to prove this season.

He had a great season last year, but after his flirtation with AC Milan and Barcelona and demands of higher wages from Arsenal he has put himself in the spotlight. If he does not produce the same level of performances this season he may not have such big clubs coming for him and would be made to look even more foolish.

In a way, I just wanted to collect this here because I think it is time to move on from this now. I’m not sure I have completely forgiven Adebayor, but the fact is it has happened now and Adebayor is still in an Arsenal shirt. I for one cannot see any sense in booing him further (though I understand it last week) or the clamour on some blogs for some sort of public hanging. All I hope is he gives his best for Arsenal this season. If he does that and next year he thinks that £80,000 a week still isn’t enough cash then he can go wherever he likes.

Wenger hints at midfield signing, who will it be?

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

A bit of team news today ahead of the Fulham game tomorrow, lets start with the good news;
Alex Song is back with the Arsenal squad after returning from Olympic football duty with Cameroon, Nasri has apparently recovered from the slight injury he picked up before the France game (was he really injured or was he skiving off playing for his country already?[just kidding]).

And Robin Van Persie managed to play for Holland in midweek without getting himself injured.

Mikael Silvestre has a muscle strain so will probably not feature in the Fulham game, but when he makes his Premiership debut for Arsenal it will be his 250th Premiership appearance.
It seems Cesc Fabregas is still a week or so away from full fitness so he will probably not play, which leaves Wenger with the choice of Denilson, Song or Eboue in the central midfield.
All that said, I would expect Wenger to roll with a similar line-up to the team that beat West Brom last week, Fulham are a pretty physical side and Van Persie played in midweek, we could really do without him getting injured so it would seem wise to stick with Adebayor and Bendtner up front as well.

Wenger has given hope that he is not finished in the transfer market yet before the deadline passes on September 1st, he hinted in his press conference that he might yet snag a central midfielder but wouldn’t say who. Indeed Wenger has had some activity since my last update, loaning out Armand Traore to Portsmouth for the rest of the season.

Taking my cue from the most persistent rumours it would seem at this stage that it will be Alonso, Barry or Inler. Apparently Alonso had agreed terms with Arsenal but Arsenal only offered Liverpool £10million for him. With Barry valued around £17million by Aston Villa, I cannot see Arsenal forking that much for him, so the most probable seems to be Inler. There are only 9 days to go before the end of the transfer window so not too long to wait.

Arsenal sign Mikael Silvestre

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Here’s an interesting one, Arsenal have signed veteran French defender Mikael Silvestre from Manchester Utd on a 2 year contract.

I don’t know how much they paid for him yet but it seems to show that Wenger believes that the young defenders Senderos, Djourou and Song will be good enough for the big time within 12-18 months.

I would imagine Wenger has bought Silvestre for cover for Gallas and Toure in central defence and for Clichy on the left. There is no chance Wenger would play Silvestre ahead of Clichy on the left as first choice, but it will be interesting to see if he gets a chance of starting in place of Toure.

It is not often that Arsenal sign someone from Man Utd (Brian Kidd in 1974 apparently), but Silvestre’s importance there has been increasingly marginalised by Evra and Vidic, especially since Silvestre spent most of last season on the treatment table. Let’s hope he stays fit and isn’t another sicknote ;)

While I am not overwhelmed by this signing I do think it is a good one. At 31 Silvestre is not going to be a long term fixture, Wenger obviously knew he needed an experienced central defender and I think he was not willing to buy someone in their prime because a) they are too expensive and b) he thinks the youngsters will come good.

What do you think?

New Arsenal Online site design launches

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Well, it has taken me a while, but I have finally finished coding the new design, and it is now live. So check it out!
I’m still going to be tweaking little bits here and there over the next few days, but the core of the design is finished and should remain.
I have tested the site in Firefox, IE, Opera and Safari on Windows and Firefox, Konqueror and Opera on Linux; I don’t think it breaks too badly in Internet Explorer, but if you have any problems with getting around the site please let me know.

Big thanks to my girlfriend for helping me out and telling me when things didn’t look right.

What do you think of the brand new design? Let me know in the comments!

Arsenal 1 – 0 West Bromwich Albion

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Well apologies all for the lack of updates, what can I say it is summer and I have been partying it up a bit!
But now the summer is drawing to a close and the new season has begun so you can be assured of regular updates here at Arsenal Online.

So, the new Premier League season is under way, and Arsenal got off to a decent start by beating West Brom 1-0 at the Emirates.
It wasn’t a stellar match by any standard, but it was the right result on the first match of the season (Which Spurs and Man Utd both couldn’t manage :D ), and it was a better Arsenal Team performance than the Champions League qualifier against FC Twente.

This is how they lined up :

Almunia,
Sagna, Gallas, Djourou, Clichy,
Walcott (Toure 72), Eboue, Denilson, Nasri,
Adebayor, Bendtner (Van Persie 69).

Now that Eboue has little chance of getting his old place in the right of defence back from Sagna, he looks likely to play a filling-in role for others in defence and midfield more regularly. And while Arsenal definitely missed Cesc’s set-up play, Eboue actually had a pretty good game covering for him in midfield.

Adebayor had a pretty dreadful match up front, failing to take any of his chances and missing a bit of a sitter in the second half. That said, he always works hard and digs in to help the team, but he is there to score goals! I think I heard him get booed by Arsenal fans at one point when he attempted to strike in from a narrow angle when Nasri was clear in the centre. Not sure about that, but he is a man with something to prove this year.

Speaking of Nasri, the little guy had a great game again, he looks great on the ball and he managed to pop up in the right place to score a goal on his Premier League debut. He looks to be fitting into the side very well and hopefully should only improve as he gets more games under his belt.

Anyway, job done for Arsenal. West Brom really didn’t show too much menace, but a 1-0 scoreline always gives this Gooner a dodgy feeling towards the end (I never liked that Go West song anyway) and I was a little nervous, despite West Brom’s lack of threat, you never know! (I am not what you would call an optimist ;) ) As for the Brom, I think they will be helped a lot this season by Scott Carson saving their arses! They didn’t really look comfortable against us, never really got much of a passing game going, but the Emirates is a tough place to come on the first day of the season. I don’t think they are too bad a side though, I think they might have enough to scare a few teams this year. I did quite the look of Miller up front, maybe not the most skilful player, but the guy is a beast! The young lad Barnett in defence looks like he could become a decent defender in the future too.

Well not much more to say about the West Brom game, it wasn’t the toughest game but 3 points board, Man Utd drew and Spurs lost, what more could a Gooner ask for?
Next up Arsenal are away to Fulham (Saturday, 17:30) which should be a little more of a test and then it’s time to stick a few past McClaren’s Twente in midweek.

In Arsenal Online site news, I have been hard at work over the weekend on a new design for the site, the design is almost finished and I should begin slicing and coding it up soon. Even got the Mrs. to sketch up a cartoon Gunnersaurus so that’s definitely something to look out for. Keep ‘em peeled!

Here’s some highlights of the game :