Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Alex Song crocked? - Pat Rice undecided on future - Defenders linked

Morning Gooners.
As expected, things on the Arsenal front are very quiet. It doesn't help that we didn't win on Saturday, nor do we have a midweek fixture although the reserves were in action last night.

That was a chance for Jens Lehmann to get back between the sticks and have another run out. I'm looking forward to watching the highlights on Arsenal TV Online, because by all accounts it was a good game. Arsenal ended up winning the tie with Sunderland 4-2. There is a match report on Arsenal Reserves and Youth.

A familiar face was in the crowd. Not one you'd expect to see at a reserves game and you might have thought Emmanuel Eboue had better things to be getting up to on a Tuesday night. But he was there at Underhill taking in the action (Picture via YoungGunsBlog).

Perhaps it had something to do with the Daily Mirror story from yesterday linking him with a move to Spurs. He might want to be seen showing his face supporting the Arsenal in whatever way he can. He signed a new deal with the club last autumn, so it will be interesting to see come the summer whether that was just to protect his value or whether he does have a future at the club.

A player who is vital to our chances of winning Premier League games is Alex Song and there have been internet rumours that he'll be out for a month through injury.

The Sun have obviously got their fingers on that pulse and have put together a highly detailed story on the exact extent of the Cameroon international's problem.

All of two lines. I'm told it's not as serious as a month out and that he should make Sunday's game with Blackburn. But with injuries and Arsenal, it's a case of watching this space.

I have also been told Pat Rice is yet to make his mind up about whether he's to renew his contract with the club at the end of the season. It will be a huge change in the backroom team if Rice, who must be one of Arsenal's longest serving employees, leaves Arsene Wenger's side in the summer.

Steve Bould is often talked about in terms of being a possible Arsenal manager of the future, but I'm told he likes what he's doing with the under-18s and wouldn't necessarily put his hat in the ring if the job became available.

But it has been interesting to see the old guard return to catch up with Arsene Wenger, once the News of the World broke the story.

There's a few transfer lines around.

The Daily Mirror's John Cross has been busy and has linked us with two defenders. He reports that Charlton's 19-year-old left back Carl Jenkinson will join in the summer.

That must cast a doubt on one of the three players we currently have who can play in that position. Gael Clichy has pulled out of contract extension talks with the club, Armand Traore is on loan with Juventus but must be nearing the end of his present deal and Kieran Gibbs hasn't developed as fast as many had hoped he would this season.

Another of the deals Mr Cross is reporting on is that of Barcelona's 15-year-old left sided defender Xavi Quintilla. If that one comes off it's likely to ruffle a few Catalan feathers.

The last of the transfer rumours is about Samir Nasri leaving the club. He's been linked to several clubs in Italy. However his agent Alain Migliaccio has poured cold water on the speculation by saying:
"I don't think it is impossible, but nobody has talked with me. Would he like to play in Italy in the future? Why not?
"AC Milan, Juventus and Inter Milan are all great clubs, but now Samir is really good in Arsenal and I think he will not move from London."
Finally, Oliver Holt in his Daily Mirror column has some interesting thoughts over the future of Arsene Wenger.

Whilst I agree with him that we should do everything we can to keep the manager, I don't think he's right when it comes to a goalkeeper and central defender. I believe the problem this season has been our back up players have not been up to the standard we need to fight for the title.

But like he rightly points out, we're second in the league and have spent little money in comparison with Chelsea and Manchester City.

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