Thursday, 5 August 2010

The Arsenal Paper Round: Thursday August 5, 2010

Morning Gooners,

Apologies for the lack of post over the past couple of days. Work commitments have preventing me from writing the blog and I've been totally out of the loop Arsenal wise. It's been tough being away from Twitter, Newsnow and the other selection of fantastic Arsenal blogs online.

Yesterday was the official launch of Arsenal's charity of the season which will be Centrepoint. It's a great charity and you can donate whatever cash you can spare and find out more at: www.beagoonerbeagiver.org

Arsene Wenger was missing from the press conference due to a planned meeting at the training ground which overran, so say the club. But the Daily Mirror believe he was trying to tie up the signing of Montpellier defender Emir Spahic. Instead Thomas Vermaelen was there to answer question from the media. And there was only one topic on the agenda, our captain Cesc Fabregas.

The central defender, surely Fabregas' successor as captain when he does move to Barcelona in five years time, has explained why Cesc is so important to the team.

"Cesc knows we all want him to stay. He is a fantastic player which is why he is so important for us. 
"He played some very big games for us last season and scored a lot of goals. He is really important for us, he is our skipper. 
"The boss picked him because he is a leader. The way he plays, he also plays for the team. He is a complete player. 
"When we see him, I will ask how it was at the World Cup and how he enjoyed his holiday. 
"But other things are between him and the boss. They will make a decision if he wants to stay. But he knows how we feel." 
It's been good to hear the Arsenal squad come out and tell their captain how much we all want him to stay. Barcelona players have been doing it all summer long, so for our players to say it's their desire that Cesc stays reinforces Arsene Wenger's position that Cesc should and will not be sold.

Cesc is said to be heading to the Grove for the official squad photograph, then he'll take part in the Members Day training session, before handing out awards to members of the Junior Gunners.

I would imagine that Fabregas will train with Robin Van Persie, who will return to Arsenal for the first time since the World Cup today, and any of the players who are returning from injury.

Cesc will no doubt have a chat with Theo Walcott, who is another Arsenal player to come out and say that he's looking forward to playing with Cesc this season.

"Cesc's a big player for Arsenal so I'm looking forward to playing with him next season. 
"He's one of those players who spots a ball no one else would. I've been texting him. 
"I sent my congratulations for the World Cup and said what a great pass he made for the winner. 
"After that he just needed a good mental break from it all. 
"I'm looking forward to seeing him back. He's a fantastic player for us and our captain. 
"After Spain's victory, it's a nice bonus to have a World Cup winner by your side." 
I'm not sure quite what to expect from Cesc today. The Times (paywall) report that his family don't want him to make a statement on his future until it's clear that the move to Barcelona won't happen this season. Whilst the Daily Mail suggest that Arsenal want a public pledge of loyalty.

That's not too far from what Arsene Wenger said at the weekend. He wants Cesc to speak. Whether or not that will happen today in front of 10,000 Arsenal fans from the pitch at the Grove is anyone's guess.

A few other bits and bobs going on this morning.

There is chatter that because Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs were left out of the England under-21 squad, they'll be picked by Fabio Capello for the England side to face Hungry in a friendly next Wednesday at Wembley. The squad is announced on Saturday.

The Daily Mirror suggests that Newcastle and West Brom are fighting it out to sign Arsenal midfielder Henri Lansbury on a loan deal.

And finally, Liverpool are looking at Mathieu Flamini if they lost Javier Mascherano according to the Daily Mirror.

And that's your lot. From what I read, Arsenal TV Online's coverage of members day starts around 11am. It will make interesting viewing. I'll be on Twitter whilst watching. Join me for a natter!

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