Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Almunia uncertain on future, Schwarzer on brink, Simpson out, Djourou back?

Morning Gooners.

Following the 1-1 draw with Liverpool there was just one man, apart from Arsene Wenger, waiting journalists wanted to speak with. Our goalkeeper and Captain of the day Manuel Almunia.

The Spaniard had previously not spoken with the media and now it was his chance to have his say about the precarious position he finds himself in.

"If somebody comes in, I will have to talk about my future at Arsenal. That is it. I cannot talk now, because the talking would be for nothing. I have to work and if one day I am not good for Arsenal, I will talk. That is no problem. I am very happy here.
"I don't see anything else outside of Arsenal.
"It will be very difficult to play for another team in England if it wasn't Arsenal. Spain would also be difficult.
"But I am 33 years old and only have a few more years left in football. I would like to enjoy them. I am a keeper who enjoys playing."
I suppose really he finds himself in a difficult situation. Something must have been said to him about his future when he sat down with Arsene Wenger at the end of last season in their post season one-on-one chats.

You can't imagine he wasn't aware the boss wasn't looking for a new goalkeeper and when no one comes in but you know the boss is still looking it must be unnerving.

And when there are all these rumours - Mark Hughes confirming an early summer bid for Mark Schwarzer - it can only play on his mind.

The Guardian report we're planning to increase our bid for Schwarzer to £3million to smooth the passage of the Australian to north London.

Whilst the Daily Mail say Manchester City will give Shay Given more money and a longer contract to stay at Eastlands - on the bench.

I hadn't realised that Given was only on £80k a week until I read the Mail piece. So he's inside our wage structure. But like I've said previously, why would Manchester City sell him to us when we are going to be fighting with them for a  top four position.

If the Schwarzer deal does happen, the Daily Mirror think Given will go to Fulham.

Former Arsenal and England number one David Seaman has his say on the situation::
"Lukasz Fabianski has a great future at Arsenal but I think they need to look at bringing in a keeper who's going to calm the defence down and be consistent. 
"Neither Fabianski nor Almunia ended last season very well. 
"And if the likes of Schwarzer and Given are available, then I think Arsene Wenger has to be looking at them."
It genuinely seems the consensus of opinion is we'll bring in Schwarzer this week. The one thing we really do need to do is settle the defence down and let them have faith in the man behind them in goal.

I think only a new man coming in with the experience of Schwarzer or Given can do that. None of the keepers currently at the club can provide that calming influence we so desperately need.

The only other bit of transfer news today is that Hull City still want Jay Simpson. Last time we heard about this move being on the cards, there was a problem regarding Hull's cash flow.

Finally for today it's good to read that Johan Djourou is back in training and could be fit for the Blackpool game on Saturday. We desperately need him to be back in the team as Laurent Koscielny is out with a one match ban following his sending off.

Talking of sending offs, Liverpool are no longer planning to appeal Joe Cole's red card.

And finally for this morning, our manager has been singled out by the Daily Express because English players aren't good enough.

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