Thursday, 26 August 2010

Squillaci deal drags on, Schwarzer in the cold, Wenger's got the wonga, Arshavin & Champions League

Morning Gooners.

Afraid it's a bit of a hotchpotch of a post today. Quite a few things going on and more to come later.

Hopefully like me you have found some sort of peace over the S├ębastien Squillaci transfer. If like me you were a bit jumpy yesterday after not hearing the deal had been finalised after two days - and I had been told it was a done deal - last night's news that he's left the country to return to Spain makes perfect sense as to why we've yet to hear anything official from Arsenal.

Squillaci will of course be back to sign but as far as I'm aware won't be in the squad for the Blackburn match on Saturday.

No doubt Arsene Wenger will be asked about the Squillaci deal at his press conference later.

In other transfer related news, Mark Schwarzer wasn't involved at all for Fulham last night as they beat Port Vale in the Carling Cup second round. The third round draw - when Arsenal become involved - takes place on Saturday lunchtime.

And on we go. I could talk to you about Arsene Wenger's new contract. It's been claimed the manager is now on £115,000-a-week, which equates to £6million a year.

But I think in the grand scheme of things he's worth every penny. We have qualified for the Champions League for 13 seasons in a row generating millions of pounds. He's won countless trophies - admittedly none in the past five seasons - but he has kept Arsenal competitive despite the financial pressure we've been under because of our move to the Grove.

I think it would be a hard job to find a manager who could have done the same or achieved more with the limitations Arsene has had to work under.

Andrey Arshavin talks Blackburn and says: 
"We have a very important game against Blackburn.
"We should win in order to leave without any worries for a break caused by the participation of the players in the national teams, this will give confidence to the team.
"In addition, we haven't forgotten about the defeat against Blackburn at the end of the last season."
It good that the team haven't forgotten. We need to remember performances like the one at Ewood Park in order to give ourselves focus on the coming season. We cannot ever think a game we're involved in is easy.

There is more Arshavin gems in a Q&A on his website. And on the official site, the Russian says:
"[When I retire] I want to be remembered as a small Russian guy who did some magic things where people did not understand how he did it."
I can think of his goal against Blackburn at the Grove when we beat them 6-2 as one of those moments.

The reserves started their league campaign last night with a thumping 5-0 win over Bolton. Full match report over at YoungGunsBlog

Arsenal's biggest share holder Stan Kroenke has completed a £292 million buy out of the American Football Team the St. Louis Rams, so unless he's got some hidden money, analysis's think a move to takeover Arsenal is unlikely.

The Champions League draw takes place at around 5pm. Knowing the usual UEFA shenanigans, we'll know who we've got by 7pm! The Goonerholic has a nice and easy look at who we could get. Whilst the official site has covers important stuff like the rules.

I'm thinking of doing something live later using twitter, so come back and check the blog out from 5pm. Lets hope for a nice favourable draw.

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