Sunday, 21 February 2010

The Paper Round: Sunday February 21

We'll start this morning with news that Arsenal are set to break their contract structure of only offering a one year deal to a player in his 30s.

The News of the World report William Gallas wants to sign a two-year deal with the club. They go on to report the club want the option of reviewing the deal in the summer of 2011 and Gallas will have to accept a drop in wages from his current £80,000 a week.

With the form Gallas has been in since the start of the campaign, I can see no reason why we wouldn't consider offering him such a deal.

The News of the World also suggests that Arsene would consider selling Gael Clichy in the summer.

Clichy has two years to go on his contact and AC Milan and Real Madrid are two sides named by the paper that would want our left back.

While Clichy's form this season has been anything but it's best, I think he can still improve and getting rid of him at this stage maybe a mistake. However much promise Kieran Gibbs might offer in the future is an unknown. He has yet to play regular first team football at the club and promoting him so quickly would be a mistake.

The News of the World links us with Stephen Ireland who they say is "increasingly disillusioned" with the regime at Manchester City. The paper reports Ireland "is hoping Arsenal step up their interest in the summer."

Emmanuel Petit speaking to The Sunday Mirror suggests that Arsene is wanted by the French Football Federation to take over from current coach Raymond Domenech after the World Cup.

He said: "If Arsenal do not win any trophies this season, then anger or even boredom could win over Arsene."

Now Arsene has shown no interest what so ever in the international game. So I can't see us not winning a trophy this season as a catalyst for him considering a job managing France.

This Arsenal team is his project and I really can't see him walking away without winning something with them.

Plus the French fans don't want him according to a poll. They would prefer Laurent Blanc or Didier Deschamps.

However Rob Draper writing in the Mail on Sunday believes Real Madrid will come calling for Arsene if the Spanish side fail to win their Champions League game with Lyon.

I can't see that happening either. He's turned them down so many times before he might as well have a letter printed and ready to send each time they sack a manager telling them he's still not interested.


Also in the Sunday Mirror Thomas Vermaelen talks to Steve Stammers about Arsenal's defeat against Porto.

The defender believes we can go through to the Champions League quarter finals

He said: "We need that spirit again in the home match.

"We have proved it before and now we have to do it again. We have to win the home game and I am confident we will go through.

"I think that we have the quality to do that."

He goes on to say: "You lose with 11 or you win with 11. That is how it is with us.

"In Porto we did not perform as a team. Now we have made it difficult for ourselves because we did not play well and we gave stupid goals away."


Andrey Arshavin has been speaking with Russian newspaper Sport Express, according to the Mail on Sunday.

Giving his frank and honest views, the forward said: "If choosing between them (Manchester United and Chelsea), I think Chelsea (will win the league).

"If we were not defeated by United and Chelsea we would be on even terms with them now. But as it is we just need to stay in the race by winning each next match. And we will fight as long as we have the slightest of chances."


England manager Fabio Capello speaking to the Daily Star on Sunday says Jack Wilshere's loan to Bolton is good for Arsenal and his country.

Capello said: "It is good for Wilshere to go to Bolton on loan. It will help him mature and develop."

Wilshere has had few starts since making his loan switch but is expected to start today against Blackburn.


Dennis Bergkamp has completed a coaching badge course with the Dutch football federation, according to the Daily Star on Sunday.


And finally, Rob Shepard in his News of the World column suggests Arsene has a blind spot when it comes to picking a new goalkeeper.

"It's time Arsene Wenger realizes his biggest blind spot is when it comes to goalkeepers," he says.

He goes on to suggest we have never found a good enough goalkeeper since David Seaman left for Manchester City.

Well I'd like to point out Jens Lehmann to him. The German won the Premier League with the invincibles side.

I think it's fair to say we have yet to replace Jens like for like with a top goalkeeper.



Transfer tittle-tattle


The Sunday Mirror report Thierry Henry will leave Barcelona this summer. He's been linked with a move to America or Manchester City.

The Daily Star on Sunday says we're chasing Brazilian striker Luiz Adriano - currently with Shakhtar Donetsk - along with Chelsea and Liverpool.

The Observer believe we are studying videos of Juventus star Ciro Immobile.

They also say Mauro Zarate won't be joining from Lazio, because his agent says: "He's too attached to the Lazio fans."

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