Friday, 27 August 2010

Squillaci confirmed, Eduardo on his return, Schwarzer latest, Silvestre's three year deal

Morning Gooners.

Finally after days of waiting Arsene Wenger has confirmed the signing of defender Sebastien Squillaci from Sevilla. Not that you would know that development if you visited the official site.

The manager told the assembled journalists at his pre-match press conference yesterday the 30-year-old had joined the club.

"We needed a centre-back of quality and experience at the right price — he was all of that. 
"He is a real defender and is good in the one against one, good in the air and can score goals on set-pieces as well. 
"I believe he will be suited to the English game. 
"He will train with us tomorrow morning but will not be involved on Saturday."
At yesterday's press conference the manager was asked about whether Arsenal would still be higher in the league than Spurs come May.

He said:
"That is down to our performances on the pitch, of course we want to be ahead of everybody else and we are confident we can achieve that.
"It is up to them to do well and then [see] who is the best."
Spurs are going to find it tough in their group, plus playing top flight opposition midweek then again at the weekend.
Following the Champions League draw which sees Eduardo return to the Grove, the Shakhtar Donetsk striker said:
"It will be very special to go back to London and see the Arsenal fans.
"But if I score I don't think I will celebrate out of respect. The fans were good to me when I broke my leg, but didn't see my best."
It will be good to give him a proper send off.

Also discussed at the press conference was the policy on giving contracts to players over the age of 30.

Now I have never thought it was a strict rule Arsene had set down to only give on-year extensions to those over 30. Players contracts work in cycles. Sign professionally at 18, then another contract at 22/24, their main wage earning contract is signed at 26/28 and then you are heading down the slope after their peak playing years. 

Obviously it works differently for individual players.

The manager spelled it out for the media, as to why he had signed Squillaci on a three-year contract, when he had only offered Gallas a one year deal.

"It's not over 30, it's over 32. So when you have a player [who is] 32 he will just get a one-year contract. It depends on the positions as well. 
"If a central defender, then no problem to sign them until 34. But a striker is different. After 32 you go from year to year. A midfielder as well, after 32 you go from year-to-year."
Good piece of home work by the Guardian's Jamie Jackson for this stat: Squillaci is only the fourth player aged 30 or more that Wenger has signed for a fee in his 14 years at Arsenal. 

The Arsenal manager stonewalled again on Mark Schwarzer, 

He said: 
"We have four great keepers and it's important that we have confidence in our goalkeepers to play the next game."
Whilst we're talking keepers, the Daily Mail link us with a move for Lille's Mickael Landreau.  Apparently he is available for around £6.5million.

The manager talked about the different styles within the game and how he respected the way different teams played, as long as it was within the letter of the law.

Obviously Blackburn is our first real test physically. I think Wenger was just trying to remind the referee that the Blackburn players might get over physical and it was his job to sort them out.

"I believe everybody looks at his squad and tries to find a way where the game is most efficient. 
"We developed one way but it is not the only way, I respect every other way as long as the referees get the rules respected."
Ex-referee Graham Poll thinks Arsene is getting precious over wanting his players protected. Read his thoughts in the Daily Mail.

There was also talk of why so many teams have scored lots of goals.

Wenger put this down to fitness and playing without fear in the early part of the season.

"I believe at the start of the season some teams are fitter than others. Also the fear to go down is not completely integrated in their minds.
"That changes after four or five games so let's see if that trend continues.
"I am not completely convinced because many teams play without handbrakes so it explains maybe a bit the high scores, but that will not last."
Early team news ahead of the Blackburn game. Denilson is back in the squad, as is Laurent Koscielny who returns from suspension.

Johan Djourou will be in the squad but the manager said he's not quite ready fitness wise. Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie are "available normally" for the trip to Ewood Park.

Of those out longer term, Nicklas Bendtner could be back in three to four weeks with Samir Nasri not far behind him.

The Sun report we're keeping an eye on Peterborough centre-back Ryan Bennett. 

They report scouts from both ourselves and Tottenham have watched the 20-year-old defender for play. He joined the East Midlands club in January for £400k.

And finally Mikael Silvestre must be laughing all the way to the bank as the Daily Mail report he is about to sign a THREE year deal with German side Werder Bremen.

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