Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Cahill wants Arsenal move - Kaka in London - Arshavin for sale?

Morning Gooners.

It appears we're destined for fourth place in the Premier League after Manchester City's 3-0 win over Stoke last night bounced them above us with a game to go. The table shows they're a point ahead of us and a win over Bolton will secure them third spot on Sunday.

The end of season has come to this! It's so disappointing that we've let it slip like this when we were in such a good position until a month ago. It is very frustrating how quickly our season has fallen away. We have to hope for a miracle this weekend: an Arsenal win (something which hasn't happened very often in the past three months) and Bolton to take three points off Manchester City.

But I think the smart money is on us finishing fourth and facing a Champions League qualifier. Not something I'm particularly looking forward to I have to say. But at least we'll be seeded.

Stan Kroenke has accepted that he won't be the sole owner of the club and will leave the offer of £11,750 a share on the table to those shareholders who don't want to sell at the moment. However with Alisher Usmanov hoovering up shares at £12,000 a pop, I'm sure those who are looking for a better price for their investment in Arsenal stock can get one.

Hopefully after May 27 when the formal takeover period ends we'll get to hear from the American for the first time. It will be interesting to hear his vision for the football club. Will he give licence for Arsene Wenger to continue with the project for another season or will he demand changes?

Will the money be there if Arsene Wenger wants to spend it? Or will we have to sell before we buy?

According to The Guardian, we're open to offers on Andrey Arshavin. He's not on the list of players I've heard we'll be selling this summer but you can understand why there is speculation we'll be prepared to sell him.

He's not been first choice for the majority of the season and his work ethic isn't the best of our players by a long shot. However he has chipped in with the goals and his assists are also very high. If he hadn't been hitting the back of the net alongside the efforts of Robin van Persie we'd have probably ended up outside the top four.

I know Arshavin has turned into a marmite player but I hope we keep him. We need his experience in the squad. It's too easy to say replace him with someone like Eden Hazard - who we're again linked with by the  Daily Mail. Hazard will need time to adapt to the English game where as Arshavin will be in his third full season of Premier League football next term. I know he's not set the world alight this season but he does produce vital goals and assists. And when we are looking at winning a trophy next season we do need experienced players in the squad. We have to get the balance right - something it hasn't been this season.

The other player we're continually linked with is Bolton's Gary Cahill. Personally I think this summer is the one we put this rumour to bed. He either signs or we move on. We need a central defender. This season and last has proved that our squad with four experienced central defenders still doesn't offer the depth we need going through a campaign. I think five is the right number, with reserve team defenders then offering the back up.

Cahill has told friends he wants to move to Arsenal according to the Daily Mirror, so if we offered Bolton a reasonable price I think the rest should be a formality. Wenger has had him scouted for the season so it's now down to him whether he wants to buy the player.

We certainly need another central defender. Vermaelen and Djourou have had injuries which have kept them out of the side for long periods, Koscielny has played a lot of games this season and has been lucky with injuries whilst Squillaci was out for a couple of periods during the last nine months. I think if we are to buy a central defender this summer they do need to be English and have experience of the Premier League.

It's one area of the team which I would like to see an early signing made to show our intent for next season.

Jack Wilshere thinks he's in perfect physical condition to cope with the demands of the Euro under 21 Championships, if selected. He's obviously not seen the dip in his own performances which a lot of Gooners have noticed. It's perfectly understandable that after a first full season in the Premier League he'd be tired. But he says he's fine and wants to play.

I really don't want him to play football this summer. I think it's unwise for him to be playing the number of games he has and not expect some sort of burn out next season. I'd much rather he rested up on a beach somewhere for a month and then got a full pre-season under his belt.

And finally, Kaka was in London yesterday sparking rumours he'll join a Premier League club based in the capital next summer. However it was just for the launch of a new football boot and he makes it clear to the Daily Star that he wants to stay in Madrid for another season.

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