Friday, 23 July 2010

The Arsenal Paper Round: Friday July 23, 2010

Morning gooners.
Afraid there isn't too much to report this morning. The players are still training in Austria and as there isn't a game until after the weekend, I suspect the Arsenal news will be thin on the ground. I'd imagine that we're in line for a number of speculative stories regarding moves for players.

One of those transfer type stories is picked up in the Daily Mirror, who report that Sol Campbell is going to sign a 12-month contract extension with Arsenal.

The 35-year-old has spoken with Celtic, Sunderland and Newcastle but will return to London Colney after his honeymoon.

The story is also reported by The Sun.

It will be great if Sol does stay but I feel we are still in need of an experienced central defender to come in and provide real competition for places with Vermaelen, Djourou and Koscielny.

Even if Wenger does want to promote Havard Nordtveit - who Young Guns report is to be offered a new contract - and Kyle Bartley, I still feel we will be short in this area.

Djourou is injury prone. It would be a miracle if he came through the season without one spell on the sidelines and Koscielny is unproven at the highest level.

There have been rumours over Everton's Phil Jagielka and Bolton's Gary Cahill. But no movement.

I hope that Arsene does make some progress in this area and perhaps I'm reading too much in to what he said after the Sturm Graz game, but I do feel it was Sol Campbell plus another.

There could be movement on the goalkeeping front as well. The Daily Mirror say that Manuel Almunia has been left devastated after being frozen out.

Now I'm not sure quite how true this is. Yes Almunia hasn't started either pre-season game, but if he was "ill" like Arsene said he was for the Barnet game, as I said in the blog yesterday you wouldn't risk him in another friendly if he wasn't 100% fit.

Wenger is obviously keen on Mark Schwarzer, despite his non committal after the Barnet game. The Sun say we're to up our offer to £3million.

If there isn't movement expect Lukasz Fabianski to start in goal. The Times report that Atlético Madrid are still monitoring Manuel Almunia, originally reported in The People a couple of Sundays ago.

Following yesterdays blog, Arsenal.com released a statement from Eduardo following his move to Shakhtar Donetsk.

It's a great read and proves what a first class chap he is. I doubt he'll ever be forgotten.

He said:
"Before I start a new chapter in my career with Shakhtar Donetsk, I just wanted to send a message to all my friends at Arsenal.

"The past few days have been very emotional for me. Although I am excited about the challenge ahead with my new club Shakhtar Donetsk, I am so sad to be leaving my home for the past three years - Arsenal Football Club.

"Arsenal is a very special football club and I will miss so many people - my team mates, all the staff and of course, the wonderful Arsenal supporters.

"I would just like to thank everyone for your support during my time at Arsenal. When I first came to England, I could not speak the language and knew nobody, but as soon as I arrived I was made to feel at home and part of this big family. Also, I want to say thank you to the Arsenal supporters  - you have been fantastic to me and always sung my name and I will never forget this.

"I had some very difficult times with my injury, but Arsenal was always there for me - the medical staff, the management, the players and the supporters. Thank you everybody.

"Although I have now left the Club, Arsenal will always be in my heart. I will always look for the Arsenal results and of course, I wish Arsène Wenger and the great players at the Club well for next season and the future."
Bit of Cesc Farbregas to Barcelona stuff today. David Villa has been designated the person chosen to tap up our captain today. The Sun has the story. I won't bother quoting him as you've heard it all before and if you feel like punishing yourself you can click the link.

Tomas Rosicky has been linked with a move to CSKA Moscow and Borussia Dortmund by the Daily Mirror. Can't see it happening myself now we've let Eduardo leave.

There is some chatter about Nice striker Loic Remy, but as Wenger said yesterday, we don't need a striker. 

And it's great to see Thierry Henry still has it. His poachers instinct is still there after his holiday in South Africa. His first game for New York Red Bulls against Tottenham was last night.

You know he loved scoring this goal!

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