Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Cesc's shortlisted - Arshavin's new deal - Wenger on winning - JET needs to take his chance

Morning Gooners.

Off the pitch yesterday there was good news for Cesc Fabregas as he was named on the shortlist for the prestigious FIFA Ballon d'Or award.

Our World Cup winning captain had arguably his best season with Arsenal last campaign and then won the prized World Cup trophy with his country in South Africa.

He's been named alongside some of the world's best players in a list drawn up by football experts from the Football Committee, the Technical and Development Committee as well as by a group of experts from France Football.

He will find out if he's won on January 11. Congratulations to him.

Elsewhere, The Sun has more details on Arsenal's contract negotiations with Andrey Arshavin.

The newspaper suggests we're going to offer the Russian just an extra year on his deal which runs out in June 2012. Included in the new  offer is a raise on his current £70,000 a week salary by £10,000.

Although Arshavin hasn't stood out since his excellent first six months, he's still an exceptional player  - something which his numbers prove.

I would have hoped that the club would have offered him a longer deal though, a further two or three seasons. He still has lots to offer the team - even though he doesn't like to track back - one of my annoyances with him.

But his a genius with the ball, so I might let him off - for now at least!

The Daily Mail has an interesting read with football psychologist Jacques Crevoisier. He's put together 117 questions to test players to see if they have the brains to match their skills.

Arsenal have apparently used him heavily to work with the youngsters developing in the club's academy.

Crevoisier told the newspaper:
"At Arsenal I've done tests for all the young players. They were all outstanding psychologically. 
"I think Wilshere's showed him to be a bit more confident than Walcott but they all had some of the best profiles you will see."
Well worth a read.

And on to the Carling Cup. It's a competition we haven't really put our resources into since we got to the final in 2008. It's somewhere Arsene Wenger has chosen to blood his younger players but this season it appears that policy has changed with the manager vowing that we'll go for every trophy in front of us.

He said:
"...We want to achieve. We want to respond with the maximum commitment to the demands of people. We want to go as high as we can.
"People forget that we have been at the top every year but we want to add what people want from us and we want as well. It is very difficult to respond to that, the only thing I can promise is that we will try to give our best in every competition."
The manager accepts there is added pressure with his team not having won a trophy since 2005. He knows all the supporters want silverware and I'm glad in a way he's changed his policy slightly.

But I think one of the reasons he's done that is because we have a larger squad with more experienced players than we have ever had before. And if the seven players on the bench aren't getting games in the league, the cup competitions offers the manager the chance to play them.

It's also a fact that young players like Jack Wilshere are now starting first team games regularly. So it proves that his policy of blooding youngsters in this competition is working.

I wonder if we hadn't had Tottenham in the third round, would he of had more youngsters involved from the start. The likes of Havard Nordtveit, Craig Eastmond and Jay Emmanuel Thomas might have started against a different opposition maybe?

One player the manager has lavished praise over is the fore-mentioned Jay Emmanuel Thomas.

Wenger said:
"Jay is knocking hard on my door, with two hands. He has outstanding quality and the potential to be a great player. 
"One thing is for sure, he can score goals. That is a massive talent you cannot give to people."
And the player himself has spoken about taking his chance:
"I`ve got to keep doing it and keep showing that it`s not just a one-off. 
"Hopefully the boss will see what I am doing and that I am doing it on a regular basis and hopefully he will give me my chance."
I'm excited that Emmanuel Thomas has something different to offer us going forward. One thing is for certain, it will be interesting to see where the manager is going to play him.

He's good in the air and on the ground. You would expect him to be a lone front man. But he could play on the wing as well.

I think he's got a huge future ahead of him at Arsenal, if he gets his head down and works at it.
That's one thing we've got to be concerned with with Jay. His motivation may not be there. I hope the rumours about him believing he's already made it turn out to be untrue. 

And finally the manager has asked the fans to be patient with the development of Wojciech Szczesny, who is set to start in goal tonight.

I'll post a full Carling Cup preview later.

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