Sunday, 23 January 2011

Arshavin & Bendtner off? - Hazard and Oxlade-Chamberlain in?

Morning Gooners.

Hope you're all feeling good about the result yesterday. With City losing in the late game, it puts us back into second position in our own right with 46 points and Manchester United ahead but just two points, although they have a game in hand. We're still right in there and need to keep the momentum going in the league. 

Yesterday we kept our fourth Premier League clean sheet in four games. A record we want to keep hold of with goal difference looking like it may well be a factor. Manchester United have a better goal difference than us by three. So it's certainly not an unattainable target to achieve.

News from the tabloids this morning is that Arsene Wenger is planning a massive clear out in the Summer, so say the News of the World.

They are reporting this morning that Andrey Arshavin could be the most high profile player to leave the club, along with Nicklas Bendtner and possibly Gael Clichy.

Whilst the current form of Arshavin is worrying, I would suggest he could still turn it around and get back to something of his best in the title run in.

He's a player who, on his day, brings so much to this Arsenal team. He offers us something different. Nasri has some of the same skills in his locker, but Arshavin at his best is excellent.

I personally would want him to stay, likewise with Bendtner and Clichy.  

The Dane polarizes Gooners. But I would argue that he has still so much potential. He's just 23-years-old and is just coming into the part of his career that we should start reaping the benefits of the time and effort it has taken to develop him into a player who has scored 40 goals from 73 starts and 66 sub appearances in red and white.

As for Clichy, it just goes to show what a difference putting a player who is prepared to track back and work hard for him defensively in front of him makes. The Frenchman has been solid since Nasri has made the switch and there has been little noise from the people who moan about him since that change has been made.

Whilst there is plenty of potential in Kieran Gibbs, he has still to force the issue and make a case for him to be given starts. At the moment he hasn''t made the manager think that Clichy isn't his first pick at left back for league games. A run of games in the cups will help him, but I can't see him being first choice at the club next season.

So in  place of Arshavin and Bendtner we could go for Eden Hazard, although the News of the World stresses that no agreement has been reached with the player over personal terms or his club Lille over a fee.

The other name linked with a move is Southampton teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain by the Mail on Sunday.

Arsene Wenger said on Friday that he likes to keep the transfer dealings of the club secret.

Therefore I would question why he would chose Friday - if the Mail on Sunday's story is correct - when the world's media descend on London Colney as the day to show Chamberlain around the training ground. Surely there would be a chance he could bump into some journo who recognised him or his dad?

Only time will tell whether these deals go through.

Elsewhere in The People, Thierry Henry gives his views on Arsenal this season. Well worth a read.

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