Sunday, 1 August 2010

The Arsenal Paper Round: Sunday August 1, 2010

Morning Gooners.

Well after yesterday's game which I blogged about last night, there are a few things going on this morning.

I'm not going to cover the Cesc Fabregas stuff in this post, because that's mainly what the manager spoke about after the game and  will cover it in a separate post.

So from this morning's papers.  George Graham has been speaking with the Sunday Mirror about the news season for his former club. He talks about our next step as a club and being at a cross roads. It makes interesting reading. 

He said:
"The talent is there, everyone can see that. But what I would like to see, what the fans I am sure want to see, is for the team to go one step further.
"They defied many predictions last season when they took their challenge into the last month. But now, can they go one better?"
Graham has a Chris Waddle moment surrounding Theo Walcott's development.

He said: 
"Has he improved in the last four years under Arsene Wenger? I would say there are question marks. Pace? Yes, he has that in abundance. But what he seems to lack is an awareness of what to do at the right time.
"He has had injuries, I know. But now he is fit and he has the chance to show this season that he can take his game to another level, that he can fulfill the potential he showed that night in Zagreb."
The next player he casts his eye over is Robin Van Persie.

He said: 
"I want to see him have more minutes of playing time. Yes, he is talented but he must now be at a level where he scores 20-plus goals a season in the Premier League.
"He is one of the best players in the Premier League but you want your best players out there for the majority of the games. For whatever reason he seems to miss too many."
Then it's onto Abou Diaby. 

Graham said: 
"He has everything you want in a midfield player – he is strong, he can tackle, he can score goals and he can pass the ball.
"But he can be outstanding one week and the next you are wondering how he got in the team. If he can be consistent, he can be a huge asset."
And finally the rule is run over Nicklas Bendtner. 
"I want him to step up to the plate, I want him to be the player he thinks he is.
"Then there's Andrey Arshavin. He has special talents but again, he must be consistent.
"I would like to see Arsenal to get off to a flyer, stay basically unchanged for the first month to six weeks.
"There seems to be too many occasions when they are kept out by little niggles rather than serious injury.
"Mental strength is what is needed. Now is the opportunity for the players of Arsenal to prove they have it."
His assessment of these players is good. It is a big season for many of them. I've always thought that Theo hasn't progressed as much as we would all have liked to. I hope there is a point when it all clicks and we see Theo as he should be in an Arsenal shirt.

Van Persie needs to stay injury free and then he can show what a top talent he is. It's not his fault he has had so many injuries, but wouldn't it be great if he can keep away from the treatment room this season.

As for Diaby - he also frustrates me. When he gives 100% he can be the best player on the pitch and run the game.  To often to me he doesn't look interested. He also slows the game down by taking too long on the ball. He doesn't seem to realise our game is built upon quick distribution to our forwards.

And Bendtner has improved season upon season.  You know that when we're all pinning our hopes on him when Van Persie is injured and Arshavin is playing as the central striker to come back from injury quickly. It will be interesting to see how many games he has this season if Van Persie and Chamakh stay fit.

On to some transfer rumours.

It appears that Carlo Cudicini has leapfrogged Robert Green to be Fulham's first choice replacement should Mark Schwarzer join us, according to the Sunday Mirror.  You have to think that if this transfer is going to happen it'll happen within the next week.

One of our central defensive targets Phil Jagielka has suffered a knee injury according to the Sunday Mirror. He missed Everton's game with Norwich yesterday after breaking down in training during the week. But the paper - who value him at £15million - say he could play against Everton Chile in midweek.

But the News of the World say we're tracking Montpellier's Emir Spahic. The central defender is 29-years-old and the captain of the Bosnian national side.

And to the last of the rumours, which involves on of our own players. The Sunday Telegraph say Arsene is ready to let goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny go out on loan.

Finally for the paper round, spare a thought, however small, for Emmanuel Adebayor. The Togolese international has been told he can leave Manchester City after just one season, according to the News of The World.

Updates later on the Celtic game on Twitter.

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