Friday, 6 August 2010

Smiling Cesc returns to Arsenal training, Theo's gunning for success and delusions of grandeur in the white half of north London

Morning Gooners.

There is just one story dominating the newspaper world Arsenal wise today, that being the return of Cesc Fabregas from holiday and in turn his first training session with the Gunners.

His return couldn't have been more public, at members day in front of 10,000 cheering Arsenal fans. It was great to hear the ovation he received when his name was announced and he jogged onto the pitch.

This in some quarters has been seen as an Arsenal victory. However we all know that Barcelona won't give up on signing him until the transfer window closes.

The obvious problem Barca have is they don't have the money worthy of signing a player of the status of Cesc Fabregas.

There were scurrilous reports emerging yesterday via Sky Sports News that Cesc hadn't turned up at the Grove. Of course they just hadn't seen him arrive and turned it into some huge drama. Obviously makes good TV for them, but remember Sky Sports News, your card has well and truly been marked and you cannot be trusted. 

Once out on the field, Cesc looked happy. He was smiling and joking with Thomas Vermaelen and Tomas Rosicky. It was great to see our captain back.

There was talk on Arsenal TV Online that Cesc would speak to the fans. This didn't happen. Arsene Wenger said a few words, but nothing we hadn't already heard him say.

I do hope that Cesc speaks to the fans, whether through ATVO or an official statement on the Arsenal website. There was talk on Twitter of something of that nature. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen. Hopefully his agent Darren Dein will see that it is best for his client to show his commitment to Arsenal and its fans at this time.

I think it's the one thing left to complete the jigsaw of events and then we can move on to talking about the new season.

The Guardian say Cesc turning up for training is a victory for Arsene Wenger. While the Daily Mirror say it's the clearest indication yet that Fabregas won't be leaving.

Two former Arsenal players at the Grove yesterday certainly think he'll stay

Bob Wilson, who was master of ceremonies at Members Day, said:
"This was the clearest indication you can get that he will stay.
"There will be an announcement soon that tells everyone that Cesc Fabregas is going to stay at the Emirates Stadium for this season, and for maybe longer.
"The way that Barcelona has handled things has been totally wrong. They have offered a very paltry amount for a player who is one of the greatest players on earth. 
"I don't think we need to tell him that everyone at the club loves him. He has a second father at the club in Arsene Wenger and I think Arsene will be able to get his head around the fact that he is an Arsenal player and not a Barcelona player."
Whilst former skipper Kenny Sansom added
"I've had a chat with Arsene Wenger and he told me he's going to stay, which is great news."
Cesc trained yesterday with Robin Van Persie who has also returned after the World Cup. They worked alone with fitness coach Tony Colbert while the other players concentrated on ball work.

We'll have to wait and see what happens with Cesc over the coming days. He's been called up for a friendly for Spain next Wednesday in Mexico, so no doubt he'll miss the Liverpool game all together, what with all the traveling involved.

One player who needs to have a big season for us is Theo Walcott. He's been talking with The Times.

He said:
"We have got to believe that we can win [a trophy]. I believe that we can win the league. There is no point in going into the season in any other way. We had meetings during preseason in Austria and there is stuff that we can take on to the pitch.
"We cannot use the excuse that we are young players. We have experience of playing in the Premier League and Champions League.
"We want to turn the Emirates into a fortress. The team that concedes few goals will win the league."
He's quite right. Arsenal need to be strong defensively all over the pitch this season. We were excellent at the start of the last campaign, but that all fell to pieces after the two games in Manchester.

I really hope that Theo comes strong and put the disappointment of not going to the World Cup behind him and uses it as motivation that he needs to push on and be the player we all want him to be.

One transfer rumour for you.  The Daily Mirror report Leeds, Crystal Palace and Hull have agreed a £1.3million  fee  for Jay Simpson.

There is delusion in the other part of north London. Jermain Defoe expect Tottenham to go further than Arsenal in the Champions League than Arsenal.

He told the Daily Mirror:
"If we can get past the play-off qualifier, I honestly think we will go further in the Champions League than Arsenal."
Do you mean in terms of flying more air miles than Arsenal, because if you think that Spurs going into their first season in the Champions League will reach a later stage in the competition than Arsenal (13 seasons in the competition on the trot) you are very much mistaken.. The draw for their qualifier is later this morning.

And finally for this morning, the man who was thinking about his pension pot at the age of 24 rather than playing for the best club on the planet looks set to be on the move again.

After Manchester City realised what he was really like, it looks as though Emmanuel Adebayor will never darken the doorstep of the Premier League again. It seems he's off to Italy according to the Daily Mirror.

And that's it. Arsenal fly out to Poland today to take part in their last pre-season game tomorrow against Legia Warsaw. It's live on Arsenal TV Online. Then it's just eight days until the big one at Anfield.

Join me on Twitter for Arsenal related stuff throughout the day.

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