Wednesday, 24 March 2010

The Arsenal Paper Round: Thursday March 24

Andrey Arshavin, originally uploaded by Ashburton Grove Blog.
Morning Gooners.

Well start this morning with an interview our Russian superstar Andrey Arshavin has given to a TV station in his homeland.

The Sun have picked up the story and have hyped it up, with a back page headline: "We won't win title", while inside the headline reads: "We need 4 superstars".

Now we all know that Arshavin says it how it is rather than how people like to hear it. It is refreshing in a footballer when others will tow the club line and make very bland statements.

For this he has to be applauded.

And I have no problem with him saying what he's saying.

He said:
"I am still of the opinion that to win trophies Arsenal needs more players.
"There is the simple fact that last summer we sold two players and bought only one. So there is an obvious deficit of at least one. Then we lost Van Persie, Gibbs and Ramsey for a long time. So for me it is natural we need new players.
"Without the variety of players we have less diversity in attack. That allows our opponents to read our combinations more easily. Finally, it results in less ball possession for us and our defence comes under more pressure.
"The League is very interesting, at least as long as we continue fighting to win it. But without new experienced players, real stars, it will be difficult to achieve success.
"Ideally we need three or four such experienced players and then among our youths there should be guys who are not only good at playing football but have real character."
Now I have no real problem with what he's said. However I will take issue with a couple of points.

One: We can't buy any players outside the transfer window.
Two: We're second in the league and in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

There would be plenty of people who would say Arshavin is right, we don't have enough experience. But we've only really failed this season when we've played Manchester United and Chelsea. And then I would suggest the game at Old Trafford was one where we threw it away.

I think the other point I would make, would be that had Bordeuax not tried to hold us to ransom over Marouane Chamakh, he would have signed for us last summer.

At the weekend against West Ham, I thought Arshavin was off the pace and disinterested in the game. He goes on to say how he feels he hasn't reached the heights of performance as Cesc Fabregas, Fernando Torres or Didier Drogba.

He said:
"I do not have a sense of stability in my game. I feel I can match them and sometimes when I catch some inspiration I show performances that are on the same level or close to them. But I am still not as consistent as them."

As expected Thomas Vermaelen lost his appeal for his red card and one match ban to be overturned yesterday, as report the Daily Mail.

Some good news, so it seems on the William Gallas contact talks.

The Daily Mirror are reporting that Gallas will sign the deal Arsenal offer to him which would we a one year deal with an option for a second if he plays a certain number of games.

The Daily Telegraph are discussing our options in defence ahead of the Birmingham and Barcelona games.

They think Arsene will decide to go with Alex Song and Sol Campbell.

To be honest, I'd rather have Campbell fresh for the Barcelona game and play Mikaƫl Silvestre with Song at St Andrews.

Former managing director Keith Edelman is being tipped as one of the favourites to take over as chief executive of the Football Association, according to the Daily Mail.

And finally, Tony Pulis is still bleating on about Arsene Wenger.

He won't let it drop. The Sun are running the quotes made by Pulis.

All I can say Tony is, 2-0 and 3-1. Thanks for the six points.

To finish, can I wish Portsmouth the best. They play Chelsea tonight, who make up their game in hand. The table tomorrow will look very interesting.

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