Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Transfer silly season has arrived - Wenger not stuck in concrete - JET flies

Morning Gooners.

It seems like it's finally arrived. Silly season during the transfer window. First it was Richard Dunne. Now it's Christopher Samba. It would be mildly amusing if our need for a new central defender wasn't so desperate.

I mean, there is now talk that Johan Djourou is set to be rested for tonight's FA Cup third round reply with Leeds United and rookie defender Ignasi Miquel - who is yet to make his professional debut - could come into the side for the Swiss international.

The manager said he'd been forced to play Djourou more out of necessity because of the club's injury problems and in his interview with Arsenal TV Online the Frenchman didn't mention he had any plans to rest him. 

What he did say though was that he was no nearer to identifying a central defender..

He said:
"No, it is still nowhere. We get many offers but, at the moment, nothing concrete.
"I cannot tell you [about the type of player] at the moment because it has to click in my head and nothing has happened yet."
With the amount of games the manager watches, you've got to worry that he's been unable to identify a target. Perhaps Steve Rowley hasn't undated the database on Arsene's laptop and he's still looking at players from 2001.

I'm sure the boss has someone in mind but is just putting feelers out and biding his time until the very last moment to swoop for his ideal candidate.

"Those two cup games were not good enough, but against West Ham, everyone played really well and were fighting for each other. 
"This game is vital because we have a big chance. If we win against Leeds, then it will be a game against a lower league side again. 
"I have looked at the draw, there are a lot of other Premier League teams playing each other, which means we have big chances to make progress. 
"We have the squad to go further because 90 per cent of the players are fit and we can rotate a bit when needed."
It would be unthinkable to lose and I hope the boss doesn't make wholesale changes to the side. I, like Robin, think we've got a huge chance of doing well in the oldest cup competition.

Leeds manager Simon Grayson talks about his team's fans getting on Theo Walcott's back:
"To be fair to him, you don't see many being as honest as that. He should be applauded for that. He will have learned his lesson probably and not do it again. But if he's playing, our fans will make their feelings known."

I'm sure Theo can cope. After all he was taken on holiday to Germany in 2006 by Sven Goran Eriksson. There can't be many worse things than that.

Finally, good luck to Jay Emmanuel-Thomas who is heading over the Seven Bridge to play in Wales for Cardiff.

I'll be back later with a preview of tonight's game.

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