Friday, 17 September 2010

Wenger on transfers and tours, Coyle and Allardyce moan, Ramsey set for return

Morning Gooners.

Lots to get through this morning as there is plenty of stuff about. The main action off the pitch happened last night as Arsene Wenger answered questions from shareholders at a special event.

There was plenty to probe the manager about. His transfer policy, a foreign tour to the USA or Asia, keeping Cesc at the club among others.

I suppose one of the main issues was the goalkeeper and why we didn't bring someone in to replace Almunia as number one.

The manager said:
"Our goalkeepers have been exposed to a lot of pressure in the summer and there was a lot of speculation.
"Their mental strength was tested more than ever. But when you are an Arsenal footballer you have to live with that. In every position you know you can be challenged - that is part of the job. The goalkeepers understand and accept that.
"I believe we have four very, very good goalkeepers. Manuel Almunia is in front at the moment because of his quality and the way he accepted what happened to him. Since the start of the season the way he has responded to the challenge has been absolutely outstanding. That is why I give him my full support. 
"It is sometimes easy to reduce that fact we dropped points [last season] to the fault of the goalkeeper. Normally in any goal you have four or five mistakes. But the keeper has the last. 
"You can take any goalkeeper and they all make mistakes."
I would give the manager's answer a huge caveat because he's not going to come out and say he wanted this player or that player now we've no longer got the opportunity to sign them what with the transfer window closed.

It will also pull the rug from under the keepers we've currently got. And there is no doubt the manager could easily remove the little confidence they've got if he said we should have definitely signed a new goalkeeper. 

That said I think Almunia has had a solid start to the season. Maybe the speculation in the summer was what he needed to force him to pick up his game.

The manager has also talked about the midfield and why we didn't sign a player there. He says we have enough players in that department and he's right. Bringing someone else in could kill of any chances Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey have at playing in the first team.

I like that the manager looks at the bigger picture of not now, but the future, whilst still competing for trophies.

There is also the question of a pre-season tour to the USA or Asia. More on that in the Daily Mirror. I think it is highly likely that it will happen next summer, probably to the USA. But it will be Arsene Wenger who has the final say.

I understand the official website were filming the event, so expect to see more on there later today.

Elsewhere this morning, Sam Allardyce and Owen Coyle have been moaning about Arsene Wenger.

No surprise there you might think. And you'd be right. Allardyce says Wenger is trying to outlaw tackling, whilst Coyle says the manager was disingenuous about a text message he sent the Bolton manager.

Read more about Allardyce in the Daily Mirror and about Coyle in the Sun

Now we know Allardyce doesn't need an opportunity to have a pop at our manager. He's been out foxed by him from day one and the only way his teams can get something from their games against us is to try and kick us off the park.

Coyle on the other hand shouldn't have said what he did in my opinion. Arsene was right in what he said. Bolton are a good team, when  they're not kicking our players up in the air and actually want to play football. 

I'm sure the manager will be asked what he thinks about the statements his fellow managers have had to make about him when he holds his pre-match press conference later today.

There are a selection of opinion pieces written following the Braga game. Both the Daily Express and The Guardian focus on Cesc Fabregas.

Meanwhile Gael Clichy has been speaking about what we can do in Europe this season.

Aaron Ramsey took part in a supporters Question and Answer session prior to the Bolton game. He says he won't think about his leg when going in to his first tackle.

And that's exactly the attitude to have. Good on him.

And finally for this morning, the official site tell us Abou Diaby and Thomas Vermaelen could be back for the West Brom match a week tomorrow.

They'll be more later after the manager hold his pre-match press conference.  

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