Saturday, 21 August 2010

Wenger stonewalls on keepers but its going to be Schwarzer, Squillaci dropped by Sevilla

Morning Gooners.

This mornings update is sub headlined the goalkeeping trilogy, as without a doubt that is the biggest issue being discussed in this today's national newspapers.

And of course the reason for that is because it was the one issue Arsene Wenger didn't want to talk about yesterday when he met journalists for his pre-match press conferences.

Arsene was asked if there had been any movement on the Mark Schwarzer front. Instead of answering no, the boss said he would rather concentrate on getting our two goalkeepers prepared for the Blackpool game than talking about transfer targets.

He said:
"I never speak about the transfers, the offers, anything made about the players, because we have so many talks in football that are never concluded.
"It is always simple if you want to buy a player and the club doesn't agree: they say no, so there is not a lot to talk about."
He admitted the noise around a deal for the Australian had unsettled the Spaniard adding:
"It is a very sensitive subject which is difficult for me to talk about. You can understand that he is unsettled by that situation, but on the other hand, when you play at Arsenal, that is what you have to deal with.
"You have to be strong enough to deal with that and I believe he is.
"Jens Lehmann had to deal with that situation because at some stage I took him out of the team and played Almunia, so competition is part of our world. We have to accept that."
It is obviously not nice to hear your boss is trying to replace you, but maybe that might help to focus Almunia's mind on the job in hand. Perhaps the lack of competition played a part in his poor performances last season. I believe that competition if a good thing, especially in a squad like Arsenal's, which wants to win silverware.

Just a quick aside on this one. You may have seen a few stories around about Mark Hughes moaning that Arsenal's interest in Schwarzer had unsettled him at Fulham.

He classes our interest in his goalkeeper  "disrupting and a distraction." Well Mr Hughes, please feel free to label yourself a hypocrite,  after all you were the man responsible for even worse when in charge at Manchester City when you wanted to sign Joleon Lescott from Everton.

At least Arsene Wenger had never publicly courted your player. I feel it is a bit rich coming from you.

Anyway, it seems that Fulham want to sign Asmir Begovic from Stoke as a replacement for Schwarzer.

Meanwhile it seems our interest in Shay Given will only step up a gear if there is no chance of Schwarzer signing.

But there could be a problem with us meeting his City wages which is putting Arsene off a deal.

"You can't offload the players when the financial difference between the two clubs is too big as no one can pay the wages.
"I don't know how much their keepers get each year but you must pay the players who go.
"Anyway, City need two keepers. They offered Shay Given a new deal."
So it's going to be Schwarzer, at Highbury House, signing a two year deal, before the end of the transfer window. Please Arsene?

The other main piece of transfer news revolves around Sebastien Squillaci who will not play for Sevilla in tonight's Spanish Supercup second leg away to Barcelona.

The Spanish press report the club are looking for a fee for the Frenchman in the region of 8million euro fee. Arsenal's initial bid is said to have been 5.5m euros.

Reports last night suggested that this one could be tied up quickly. We've done business with Sevilla before, José Antonio Reyes signing for us in January 2004. So lets hope we can conclude our business with them soon. We all know we need a defender, so i hope whoever Arsene decides is the right player, we sign him prior to the Blackburn game. There is no need for this one to go down to the wire.

Other Arsenal related news this morning, relates to Tottenham not signing the Yorkshire Ripper, but William Gallas. Good old Harry, he's one for a quote. Seems many Spurs fans aren't too pleased with this one.

And finally for today, Arsene was asked by the BBC reporter at his press conference yesterday about Paul Scholes qualities for a piece Football Focus are doing on him today.

Arsene said he was a very good player who he'd like to have in his team but there are so many headlines out there this morning which are so far from the truth about what our manager said its untrue.

Probably the fairest write up of the situation is in the Guardian by the Manchester United supporting David Hytner.

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