Thursday, 22 July 2010

The Arsenal Paper Round: Thursday July 22, 2010

Morning.
We saw our boys have their second run out of the pre-season yesterday with a comfortable 3-0 win over Sturm Graz.

Samir Nasri continued where he left off against Barnet with two excellent goals. Our third goal was added by Henri Lansbury.

The England youth international showed good composure to slot it home after build up work by Havard Nordtveit and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas. 

The Sun has a piece which talks about how Jack Wilshere is being given a chance to prove he can make an impact on the squad.

Arsene said:
"At the moment, I want Jack to gain experience and, if possible, at Arsenal. I will give him a chance to play - now.
"I want to see if he can integrate with the first team. Of course, I will make that decision later (next month). Ideally, it is better that he gains experience with us.
"Jack has done well. I am keen not to create too much hype around the young English players because they need to work hard. We do have outstanding English talent at this club, though."
I personally hope he stays with Arsenal this season and gets given a chance.

The manager also talks about the goalkeeping situation. Now I'm not reading anything into Manuel Almunia not being onvolved last night. He was ill for the Barnet game, so I'm not sure there is a point in risking him if he still isn't 100% in a friendly. 

I thought Fabianski did well with what was thrown at him and Wojciech Szczesny had very little to do in the second half.

I think we will try and bring in another experienced keeper and let Almunia go. But Arsene has been keen to point out, as he did after the Barnet game, that there isn't a number one at the moment in pre-season for Arsenal.

Wenger said:
"We are at a level of where competition is part of our job. We have to live with that.
"You cannot play at Arsenal and be destabilised because you have competition with other players." 
I sometimes think we don't have enough competition for places in the squad and that's certainly not good for the players. They need to be kept on their toes.

Sol Campbell's options are becoming more limited with the days that pass. Yesterday, The Guardian said that Sunderland had made a move for Titus Bramble.

Now the Daily Mirror suggest that Arsene Wenger believes that Sol will sign on for another season at The Grove.

We certainly need cover in the heart of defence. Even if Sol did sign on, I would hope that Arsene buy at least one more defender with Premier League experience.

One man who has been talking about the defence is Thomas Vermaelen. He played for 45 minutes yesterday alongside Johan Djourou.

Our new defender Laurent Koscielny then joined Djourou for the second half.

Vermaelen has been speaking with Arsenal.com about who he could play alongside in defence this season.

He said:

"It doesn't matter for me who I play with. You know each other's qualities and you know how the players play.

"I didn't know Koscielny before but I have seen him in training. He is a good defender, he puts pressure on the attackers all the time and he is tight with his marking.

"I have played alongside him a few times in training and that has gone well. He is a good defender.

"Djourou had a long injury last year, for almost all of the season. I think for him it is good to be back. I know him well and he is a quality player."

Which is very true. I just hope that all three can jell and complement one another.

Arsenal.com announced that Francis Coquelin has signed a new long-term contract. He'll spend the season on loan with French Ligue 1 side Lorient.

There is a piece in the Daily Mail about Thierry Henry talking of David Beckham influence over his decision to join the New York Red Bulls and end his career in Major League Soccer.

It looks as though Jay Simpson will leave the club. The Daily Mirror say the player who has 12-months left on his contract will be available to whoever wants him for compensation.

QPR, Leeds, Hull and Leicester are rumoured to be the clubs interested in him.

The Daily Mail say we're watching the situation of Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta.

And according to the Daily Star Everton don't want to lose Phil Jagielka.  It's been widely reported we made a bid of £14m for the defender and the paper suggests we are considering coming back with an £18m offer.

I think that's a lot of money for a defender. We're not Manchester City after all!

Former Arsenal midfielder Alex Hleb is being offered round the Premier League according to the Daily Mirror. They say he's available for £3m and Fulham and Birmingham are the two clubs he's been linked with.

And finally for this morning, The Sun report that Freddie Ljungberg could be looking for a new club when his contract ends with Seattle Sounders in November.

Anything that is going on today, you can find me talking about it on Twitter.

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