Thursday, 15 July 2010

The Arsenal Paper Round: Thursday July 15, 2010

Yesterday morning Arsene Wenger finally returned to London Colney to take charge of training for the first time this pre-season.

The manager has returned in time to put the finishing touches to his squad ahead of their first competitive game against Barnet on Saturday.

There is a nice gallery of images of the boss and his players at

We're now in the build up process to the game this weekend and when Arsene returned to north London he would have seen the shape of his squad.

The official site have listed a number of players who could play, which won't include Cesc Fabregas, Robin Van Persie, Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy, Abou Diaby, Emmanuel Eboue, Alex Song, Nicklas Bendtner and Carlos Vela.

The squad could include new signings Marouane Chamakh and Laurent Koscielny plus Manuel Almunia, Thomas Vermaelen, Tomas Rosicky, Samir Nasri, Theo Walcott, Denilson, Jack Wilshere, Johan Djourou, Andrey Arshavin and Kieran Gibbs.

Tickets are still available and the game will be streamed live on Arsenal TV Online

You would hope looking at that squad that he realises we are light in certain areas and will start his transfer business shortly.

The Arsenal squad will fly out early next week to Austria for their training camp, with their first game against SK Sturm Graz on Wednesday.

So Wenger has just a few days to conclude some of these deals, because ideally you'd want them done sooner rather than later. Especially so they can be integrated into the squad before the first Premier League game of the new season, exactly one month away.

Lionel Messi has again been talking about his mate Cesc Fabregas joining him at Barcelona.

In the The Sun he sounds a bit like Super Ted.

He said:

"I'd be happy if we signed him (Fabregas).

"It's great we've signed Villa. With Fabregas, it would be Messi and his friends against the world."

Whilst Fabregas himself has played down the incident which saw those pranksters Carles Puyol and Gerard Piqué pulling a Barcelona shirt onto our captain at Spain's victory party in Madrid.

"These are things that happen at special moments, and I don't think it should be gone on about much more because it was just another anecdote of a great night, a great celebration.

"There are times we do not even know what we do, so everything can be forgiven. Pepe took me there [to the front of the stage], and the truth is that I didn't know anything like that was going to happen and so I was a bit surprised. At first I thought it was a flag or something, but it's nothing. You had to enjoy it and if it's a way to have fun, it's nothing.

"I think now the less said about the subject the better, because these things are worse for everyone when they come to light and people talk more about the matter. Right now we have to be very calm and what will be will be."

Some more footage has emerged from a bus top parade which shows Gerard Piqué caught on camera spitting at a member of Spain's coaching staff.

A bit of a transfer round up:

The Sun say the agent of Christian Zapata has told them we've not been in contact with him regarding the possible signing of the Udinese defender.

The Metro say we'll move for one of Manchester City goalkeepers, once they decide which of Shay Given or Joe Hart will be their number one this season.

The paper says we'll go for the one who isn't City's first choice because they'll want to leave to play regular football.

And finally for today, a thought for Thierry Henry who yesterday completed his transfer from Barcelona to the New York Red Bulls.

And the fixture god gave him an easy hand when he plucked TH14 first game out of the hat.... a home friendly against Tottenham Hotspur next Thursday.

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