Monday, 9 August 2010

Given to the Grove, Guardiola's respect, Wenger to sign on and transfer shenanigans

Morning Gooners.

The countdown to the season begins in earnest this week, as the traditional curtain raiser is out of the way, the real football starts next weekend.

They'll be a full preview later in the week, something I'm working on at the moment.  Many of the national newspapers are carrying their own today. The Daily Mail writers pick the sides who they think will win silverware this season.
Anyway, they'll be more predictions later in the week no doubt.

A bit of transfer speculation to start the day with. The Daily Mirror say that Arsene Wenger will turn to Manchester City's Shay Given to plug the gap between the posts at the Grove. 

The Metro ran a story on July 15, which said we'd go after whichever of the City keepers wasn't number one, so perhaps this one has legs.

The one question I would ask is why would Manchester City entertain a bid or loan move for which ever keeper they decided wasn't their number one from one of the teams they will be fighting with for a top four slot with?

We all know that City will be more of a threat this season and they see us as competitors for one of the Premier League top four positions.

As Arsene Wenger said only yesterday in his Observer interview, Manchester City have never finished above us when he's been manager of the Gunners.

But that could change if they get team cohesion right.

Either Shay Given or Joe Hart would be an improvement on the goalkeepers we currently have at the club. Almunia has never been involved in the international set up for Spain, but both City goalkeepers have for their respective countries.

But with either Given or Hart in our side, I would suggest we would take a step forward in our ambitions to win silverware this season.

It could be just newspaper talk. Lets not forget that we've had the chance to sign Given before when he left Newcastle. You can't imagine that Arsene Wenger would have not considered him. I remember sitting behind his goal in the North Bank when another Gooner shouted  at him that he should join us when he was playing for the toon. His reaction was to give the thumbs up at the crowd.

Would either Hart and Given be happy to sit on the bench at City? I think they might have to be. Because I cannot see City letting either of them leave on loan to a competitor.
Cast your mind back to last season when Given was injured at the Grove. City had to play their four choice keeper, then sign Marton Fulop on an emergency loan.

I don't think it will happen. Although I believe there is very much a need for a new goalkeeper in our set up who will provide competition with those who we currently have on our books.

The Daily Mail today suggest we'll renew our interest in Mark Schwarzer with a £4million bid.

Following yesterday's Observer piece by Amy Lawrence, the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail have a go at Arsene Wenger's contract situation with the club.

The one question about Wenger's future I would ask is why would he persuade Cesc Fabregas that his future lies in north London if he himself was preparing to leave the Gunners next season?

One player who could be making a move to north London is Montpellier's Emir Spahic. He was apparently saying his goodbyes last night as his side played Bordeaux.

Bacary Sagna, who's interview regarding Spahic has been removed from the official site, says the Bosnian centre-back could be a good addition to the squad.

He said:
"I knew him from last year because he played well and scored some good goals.
"I used to follow him in French football last year and he is a good player.
"He is the captain of the Bosnian national team so he's a good player.
"Spahic is a good enough player to play for Arsenal and everyone will welcome him if he does come.
"He is a positive man and a good player and we need that.
"All good players would be welcomed into the team and will settle into the squad because the atmosphere is great here."
Other bits and bobs: 

Arsene Wenger talks about Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere following their call up to the England national team. 


Pep Guardiola, believes Arsenal made the right decision in keeping Cesc Fábregas and said he would have done the same thing.


A few transfer lines as well.

The Daily Mirror say Jay Simpson  will sign for Hull City for a fee believed to be around £1.2million.

And the Daily Telegraph report Birmingham manager Alex McLeish has distanced himself from speculation that he will sign former Arsenal defender William Gallas.

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