Friday, 30 July 2010

The Arsenal Paper Round: Friday July 30, 2010

Morning Gooners.

There is football tomorrow involving our team! How cool is that. And instead of being one game and having to wait three days for the next one to come along, we have only to wait 24 hours before the team comes out again at the Grove to play another game.
Can't wait. Even though it's pre-season.

Arsene Wenger has been talking about our prospects with the official site.

Now you could think he wouldn't be as upbeat as he is, but he's not holding back despite the pile of cash Manchester City have spent this summer restocking and adding to the egos they've already got at Eastlands.

He said: 
"I am very confident [we'll do better than last season]. We know in England that the Premier League is the biggest league in the world and everybody invests a lot of money. 
"We invest in our work, in our beliefs, in the quality of our behaviour and I am confident that will pay off.
"We finished third last year and we hope we can improve on that. But the race will be tough."
This season will be the most competitive yet I believe. I think we'll be up there with Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City challenging for the title. Anyway, I'll post my pre-season thoughts in full nearer the game at Anfield.

Yesterday our Captain broke his silence on the on-going transfer saga which has surrounded him this summer.

Speaking with Spanish magazine DIR Emotions, and picked up by Daily Mirror among others, Cesc said:
"He [Arsene Wenger] does not want me to leave. My last conversation with him in London was one of the most difficult moments I have ever experienced. I was left very upset.
"He [Arsene Wenger] is a second father to me, the most important person in my life after my father. He has been very supportive of me and has treated my like a son. I am part of his family.
"I am from Barcelona. I am a club member, along with my grandfather, my uncle and my cousin. I feel those colours and have since I was young. I am Catalan, I am from Arenys, I have come through the Barca youth system.
"Those players are my friends and have been for many years. They play stellar football and everything they have won they deserve 100%.
"[Carles] Puyol gives me confidence and has taken care of me like older brother. Bojan inspires calm. [Sergio] Busquets is simple and authentic.
"Xavi is a maestro. [Andres] Iniesta has so much patience, especially given what has happened to him in terms of injuries.
"[Lionel] Messi is calm, shy, and very kind. [Victor] Valdes has a lot of personality.
"However, I am Arsenal's captain. I am a Gunner and that is where I have made myself as a player and matured as a person."
From what I understand, this interview given prior to the World Cup, but only released yesterday. I have great respect for Cesc and all that he has done for our club.

I'm glad he has chosen not to come out and say that he wants a transfer. That would certainly not go down well with all us Gooners if he did and I think he's wise enough to know that Barcalona don't have the cash needed to buy him this summer, nor the guaranteed starting position he would rightly demand.

I do think he needs to speak to the Arsenal fans and reaffirm his commitment to the club for the forthcoming season. And I hope he will do that as soon as possible. It's being reported that he returned to London yesterday from his summer break and that he'll meet with Arsene Wenger.

I hope this is when Arsene will tell him he won't be leaving this summer and that he will need to make his peace with certain sections of the Arsenal support.

Then once he does this we can all get behind him and the team and give them all our backing for the new season.

As an aside, Carles Puyol has been spouting off again in The Sun saying we kidnapped Cesc as a 16-year-old, put a gun to his head and made him sign a long contract and are now holding him hostage. That's not quite what he said, but if you can bare to read the same old rubbish Barcalona like to get off throwing in our direction, knock yourself out and click the link.

With the appointment of Mark Hughes at Fulham yesterday, hopefully we might get some sort of movement one way or another on the transfer or not of Mark Schwarzer. The Daily Mail say the goalkeeper is "determined to quit Fulham for Arsenal" despite there being no quotes from the player. Lets hope it's true.

I know he's not to everyone's liking but I think he would inspire more confidence in our defence than Almunia does.

And if the Daily Star are to be believed, Cagliari are asking £12.5million for Italy keeper Federico Marchetti, which knowing Arsene would be out of our price range.

A few transfer rumours around this morning.

The Daily Mail say 5ft 4in midfielder Sebastian Giovinco, 23, who is currently with Juventus would like to play for us.

Whilst in The Sun we're linked with a swoop for 24-year-old Holland midfielder Ibrahim Afellay.

And once again The Sun are promoting the Serdar Tasci to Arsenal story. The German defender currently plays for Stuttgart.

And finally on the rumours this morning, the Daily Star say that Millwall want to sign Arsenal Jay Simpson on loan.

I'll leave you with an interesting piece on the official site regarding squad regulations for the forthcoming season.

And that's it. Enjoy your Friday. I'm off to buy myself my first iPhone. Any suggestions for call App can be Twittered to me.

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