Tuesday, 27 July 2010

The Arsenal Paper Round: Tuesday July 27, 2010

Morning Gooners.

There is more than enought to keeping us busy today.

We'll start with Kieran Gibbs who could have a major part to pay in our ambitions this season.

He's been speaking with Arsenal.com and talks about the problems of being out of action for six months last season with a foot injury.

He said:  
"My foot is all fine at the moment and I'm all ready for the new season.

"I feel good. My foot's not causing me any problems and there has not been a lot of reaction to the metalwork I had in there.

"I'm still at that stage when I'm just happy to be running and free to play football again."
It will be interesting to see how hard he can push Gael Clichy for a spot in the starting line up. Clichy is still our number one and there were fans over the summer saying we should sell the Frenchman. I disagree. I think he is a mayor part of our defence and even though Gibbs is promising, he still does not have the experience required to take the position full time.

I would much prefer Gibbs learnt from Clichy and provided him with competition for his place. That is something our squad is lacking... competition for places.

Wouldn't it be nice if we had competition for places in the heart of our defence I hear you say. Quite right.

And one player who fancies a move to the Grove is Ajax's Belgian international Jan Vertonghen, who it appears is keen to follow his countryman Thomas Vermaelen to north London.

The story is in The Sun.

He said:

"I lost a friend when he (Vermaelen) went to Arsenal but for my career it was good. We get on really well. I speak to him sometimes a few times a week.

"I see him with the national team and he sometimes comes back to Amsterdam for a few days when he is free and we hang out together.

"He is one of my best friends and I'm very happy he has been such a success at Arsenal. He tells me really good things about Arsenal and living in London."
Could be a possibility. He fits the right mould and certainly has the european and international experience we require. And again, he would provide competition for places.

The Sun catch up with Arsenal youngster Tom Cruise who is on international duty for England's Under 19s. 

And the same paper has a piece on Premier League managers buying English players. It makes quite interesting reading but the graphic within the paper does a hatchet job on Arsene Wenger.

They report: "In his 14 years as manager of Arsenal, Wenger has brought in 83 players at a cost of £250million - but only SEVEN have been English.

"That means just eight per cent of the Frenchman's signings - accounting for £21m of his outlay - have been available to play for England."

But they praise Martin O'Neill at Aston Villa who has signed - what the paper say - is an impressive 60 per cent of English players.

Look at how much he's spent though. £80.6million on 30 English players compared with £21.3million Arsene has spent on seven English players. Also how many trophies have Villa won? I rest my case.

English players are not good enough, that's why Arsene hasn't spent money them and it is why he is producing his own.

Seems to be a bit of movement on Manuel Almunia front this morning with The Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Mirror all reporting our keeper is wanted by Osasuna.

I wonder if there might be a problem though with a transfer fee?

Also there is talk that Mark Hughes could be heading for the Fulham manager's job according to the Daily Mirror.

That might hopefully speed up any move we're making for Mark Schwarzer. 

William Gallas is leaving it very late before he signs for a new club The Daily Mail report he has turned down an offer from Panathinaikos because they weren't offering the money he wanted.

Could he end up back at Arsenal? I think it's very unlikely but you never know.

Meanwhile our chances of signing another forward, one we don't particularly need, in the form of Nice forward Loic Remy look to be just paper talk.

The Daily Mirror quote the Nice president Gilbert Stellardo saying:
"I have heard about interest from Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, but I've had no contact.

"The only clubs I have talked to are West Ham and Fenerbahce."
Which says it all. 

After yesterday being linked with a move for Phil Jagielka in The Independent, Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has now said he won't be making a move for the player.

He told ESPN.co.uk:
"A good player again, outstanding player, but we wouldn't be in the market for someone like that."
Perhaps it was Everton or Jagielka's agent trying to ramp up the price by talking to the Independent.

And finally for today, our legendary Brazillian defensive invisible wall Gilberto Silva won't be returning to the Premier League.

Liverpool were said to be interested but The Sun have caught up with his agent Frank Trimboli.

He said:
"Gilberto is very happy in Greece. He always wants to play at the highest level and Panathinaikos can offer him the chance to play in the Champions League."
Which of course Liverpool cannot. Merseyside on a Thursday evening will be a lot busier than Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

UPDATE: Sky Sports are reporting Sol Campbell having a medical at Newcastle United today.
And there is a game of football on tonight. We're taking on SC Neusiedl 1919 before flying back to London tonight.

I'll be watching the game on Arsenal TV Online, why not join me in conversation on Twitter later.

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