Saturday, 24 July 2010

The Arsenal paper round: Saturday July 24, 2010

Morning gooners.

It's shaping up to being a good weekend weather wise however one without any football for Arsenal. In fact, this is the only weekend when the Gunners won't be involved in a football match until the first weekend in September. So I suppose it is a good opportunity to treat your loved ones to some of your time.

Our next game in our pre-season schedule isn't until Tuesday, so we're looking a bit thin on the ground in terms of Arsenal news this morning.

However, we're lucky enough to have the release of the August edition of the official Arsenal magazine to provide us with some new news from the club.

They have an interview with Arsene Wenger which has been picked up by the Daily Mail.

The manager outlines how important a good start to the season will be for us, in what ill prove to be the most competitive Premier League in years.

"The aim is to continue to progress as we have been doing.

"We were very close last year - closer than the previous season - so we are heading in the right way. We hope we can continue that this season.

"It is important to start well, start strongly and get into a good position early on and to try to maintain the level."

I would agree we should have done much better last season and we had improved. But towards the end of the campaign we were woeful.

We had a real chance but blew it. Complacency was a problem and squad depth an issue as competition for places wasn't high enough. When injury forces us to pick players clearly not up to playing at the highest level, you know something needs to be done.

I think this season can be different. But we still need defensive reinforcements. Until we bring in a goalkeeper and an experienced central defender the fans aren't going to be happy.

But you know Arsene. He won't opt for second best in the transfer market and would rather go without than spending money on a player who isn't his first choice.

Speaking of defenders, Thomas Vermaelen believes we can step up this season.

He told Arsenal TV Online:

"We have a good young group who are very aggressive and want to improve.

"I think people will always say we can't compete - it is not the first time, but we have to do what we always do which is work hard and play our own game, then we can compete.

"I hope we can compete for the title this year and I am convinced we will."

Vermaelen is going to be one of our most important players this season. Lets hope he can keep the good form for last season going forward, as the second season is normally a lot tougher for new signings.

Talking of the proposition of the manager bringing his chequebook out, the Daily Star says we're going after Werder Bremen defender Per Mertesacker if Everton won't sell Phil Jagielka.

Don't know anything about him so lets hope if he does come he complements what we have got at the club already.

Someone we won't be seeing in Arsenal colours at the Grove next season is Mikael Silvestre who the Daily Star report is wanted by West Ham.

And another of our former defenders William Gallas is pricing himself out of a move to Panathinaikos according to the Daily Mail.

Matt Law in the Daily Express writes about the Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona saga. He states that our captain won't be bullied into handing in a transfer request by Barcelona. Nothing new there nor any direct quotes from player, managers or agent. Bit of a non story.

Cesc is never in a month of Sundays going to hand in a transfer request. If he did that the respect Arsenal fans have for him would fall through the floor. Just as a man, I don't think he's like that either. The way he conducts himself to the outside world suggests to me that he has too much respect for himself, Arsene Wenger, Arsenal and our supporters to do such a thing.

The Daily Mail has a story about our former number nine Eduardo and gives insight into his medical and how he'll have to learn Russian within five months.

And finally, interesting news from France yesterday where it was announced that all 23 players involved in France's World Cup campaign are being dropped or suspended for next month's friendly against Norway.

That means that Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy and Abou Diaby won't play any part in the game on August 11, four days before our season opener against Liverpool.

However the bad news is with the form he's in Samir Nasri will be called up.

Why on earth does there need to be a scheduled international friendly prior to the domestic season starting? It just doesn't make sense. But then I'm bias. I hate international football.

And that's it. Have a great day and if there is anything going on later, which I very much doubt there won't be, you'll find me talking about it on Twitter.

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