Yet another update for you, and this could be a little longer than the previous ones, because apparently there is a lot more happening over the past day, than what happened over the past month.
Let’s start off with the transfer news of course. Arsene Wenger, famously revealed that he has eyes on more transfers, before the window shuts on August 31st. With 2 strikers already sealed, and another attacking midfielder added for good measure, Arsenal are now being linked with Belgian international Kevin Mirallas, who plies his trade with Greek club Olympiakos.
The Belgian striker has claimed that the Gunners have expressed an interest in signing him. This in a very hazy, poorly spoken English interview. By the looks of it, he looks part Giroud, part Bentley, funny that. It is but procedural these days to first find out more about the player in Wikipedia, when they are linked to the club, and he has a pretty decent record of 34 goals in 52 league games. Whether we need another striker, is an entirely different question. We still have Chamakh, Bendtner and Park in the team, who we are actually finding hard to move on.
There is also Joel Campbell and Benik Afobe who will be returning to the club after their loan spells next season. The big factor, though is the situation of Robin van Persie and how that develops in the coming days.
If the Daily Fail is to be believed, Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson has had a private chat with Arsene Wenger over this situation. Yet, little positive was yielded out of it, as the Gunners remain stubborn over the Dutchman’s asking price. van Persie has little option but to stay and see out the remainder of his contract, after Juventus and Manchester City have almost pulled out of the race, the former due to a match-fixing scandal.
Niklas Bendtner, on the other hand, looks like he will get his way, eventually, after recently revealing that staying in North London is not an option for him. On second thoughts, among Chamakh, Bendtner and Park, I would like to retain Bendtner, as he does have the ability to score 10-15 goals, if provided with decent service. He will now have to find a new employer to feed off his bloated ego, broken cars and expensive underwear.
In other news, Nuri Sahin is set to decide on his future this week. Recent reports state that Xabi Alonso wants to leave Real Madrid (*coughs*), and has turned down a new contract. This will of course mean Mourinho would decide on keeping Sahin at the Spanish capital. The complication, however, remains that Arsenal want to sign the Turkey international only on loan, while Real Madrid want to include a sign-at-end-of-loan option in the deal.
Some good news, then, that Alex Song has finally (hopefully) put a lid on the Barca rumors, by stating that he is happy at Arsenal. Note however the subtle usage of words. Of course, he is possibly hinting at a pay rise, which should happen sooner than later. Barca made an opening offer, which was immediately rejected by the club, and this has been quite refreshing to see in this transfer window. There does seem to be a bit of steel, and a will to prove that the club is not entirely a business entity.
That’s a wrap on transfers for now, at least. There will be more coming up of course, in the coming days as clubs frantically make offers in the last few days of the window, to make up for a lethargically spent summer. I will keep you guys updated on this. (Did I sound like Robin van Persie? My bad.)
FIFA has scheduled another round of meaningless friendlies, 3 days before kickoff of the new season, which means there will be a horde of departures from Heathrow. New signing Santi Cazorla, takes the long flight to Puerto Rico, which I feel will be detrimental to his initial progress at the club. He was wonderful against Cologne, though being just days old with the club. To have him travel half the world for a meaningless friendly, and return only 30 hours before the first game of the season, isn’t always a good sign. I suppose Arsene Wenger will give him a good rest, and start using him from the second game onwards.
Wojciech Szczesny will travel to Estonia, to face Estonia duh, in Tallinn. Laurent Koscielny has pulled out of the France squad, which will host Uruguay, due to a minor calf issue. Hopefully, it will be sorted by Saturday afternoon. Olivier Giroud, though has made the trip across the English channel. He is another player I wouldn’t expect to start against Sunderland, after the gaffer had earlier told that he and Podolski still are short of fitness.
Speaking of which, Podolski and Mertesacker have been relieved of international duty temporarily, by Joachim Loew, and I am pretty sure, Wenger will send him a thank you card, with a bunch of roses..erm…England duo Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, too have pulled out of England’s squad, ahead of their friendly against Italy, reporting really minor issues. (I see what you did there, Arsene!)
There will be a couple of head-to-heads, as Andriy Arshavin’s Russia lock horns with Gervinho’s Ivory Coast, in Moscow. Again, will be interesting to see the reception that Arshavin will get after his scathing comments following his country’s elimination from the Euro’s. Also facing off will be the best of buddies, Thomas Vermaelen and Robin van Persie as Belgium entertain Holland in Brussels. The Belgian defender, who is everyone”s favorite, revealed that he has no idea where the Dutchman will ply his trade next season.
The duo shared a bromance, despite early troubles getting along, after an on field tussle. They helped unite the squad last season after a terrible start. I would personally like Thomas Vermaelen being given the armband. He signed his new deal, with minimum fuss, and without any intense scrutiny regarding his future. He is well and truly committed to the Arsenal cause. There is also this ridiculous rumor that Wenger could hand over the armband to new boy Lukas Podolski.
We won’t know for sure, till kickoff approaches, or maybe in the pre-match press conference. The first game is just 92 hours away, as I write this, and I am as excited as a young kid is to receive his first pair of football boots!
Jai Arsenal 🙂
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