Saturday, 21 May 2011

Jack's knackered - Argentine attacker linked in free transfer - Cahill battle

Morning Gooners.

The players will be heading to the training ground for the final time this season in preparation for tomorrow's game with Fulham. It will be the case for several of the first team that this will be the last time they are coached by Arsene Wenger prior to their summer moves away from the club.

We already know the identity of one of those who won't feature for Arsenal again after tomorrow - Denilson - and I have to say that I was surprised by the amount of pleasure his decision to leave the club has brought to a group of fans.

Whilst I agree it is best for him to move on as his career with the club has gone backwards in the past two seasons, he is still an Arsenal player. Many say they won't boo a player who wears the red and white shirt of our club but that's not the evidence you pick up at the ground. It's the same with 'fans' who say they'll support the team. You support everyone who plays for the club not just the few you think are good enough.

Denilson has been over taken in the pecking order by Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey. Is that because they are better than him or because he's not put the effort in? Only Arsene Wenger and the player himself can answer that question.

Personally I'm disappointed. Not that Denilson wants to leave but because he hasn't fulfilled his potential with the club. I feel sad every time a player leaves Arsenal. But his departure creates room within our squad to see another player promoted or signed to add that competition for places in the starting 11 we need.

Roma are already being linked with the Brazilian's services by the Daily Mail.

Elsewhere The Sun have come up with the number of minutes Jack Wilshere has played this season in all his 57 games for club and country. More than any other player in the under-21s squad. In their article, they also say Arsenal have noticed a drop off in Wilshere's performances by studying his GPS figures.

I still believe it is madness that Jack will be selected on Monday. He doesn't need "tournament experience" everyone who wants him to go suggests. He's played in every important game Arsenal have played this season. And they are bigger than an under-21s competition in Denmark this summer.

If Jack is knackered next summer and doesn't perform for Arsenal next season there can be only one person to blame... Stuart Pearce.

Arsene Wenger has praised the contributions of Robin van Persie and hopes he'll be able to deliver an injury free campaign next season... don't think there is much chance of that, but we can hope/pray.

The manager has also said he'll be looking to add players to the squad this summer. He hasn't put a number on how many players he'll sign and nor would you expect him to with the way he works. From all I've heard we'll be in for a busy summer.

"We need to add, of course, and we will do. But we have a strong base.
"We have enough quality to beat anyone in the world, even with the current squad. You have a Champions League Final and only one team has beaten both of them and that is Arsenal.
"We have a good team and the best away team [in the Premier League]. The loss of the Carling Cup Final had a huge impact on the team and we did not handle it well."
I'm asking myself why didn't the manager and the staff handle the defeat in the Carling Cup final well? Surely that has got to come down to the mental strength of being able to pick yourself up again and focus on the next game. We were all devastated but we had plenty more to play for and we should have given a better account of ourselves certainly in the league and FA Cup.

The manager has now said he is open minded about bringing some new faces into his coaching set up after initially saying he wouldn't in his press conference with the broadcast media on Friday.

He said:
"I have enough experience to know what is important and what is less than important. It will be difficult to find a coach who teaches me how to manage a football team."
Which is difficult to argue with apart from the fact that perhaps someone else would have had the answers to how we get back on track after the league cup final defeat and go on to win against Barcelona and Manchester United in the Cup. That person might also have the answer to how we arrest our league form and win more than two games in our last ten.

These are all big questions for the manager to answer with his decision this summer.

One area where the manager has said he will be decisive during the close season is over the futures of Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy who's contracts run out next summer. Wenger says they'll be sold if they don't agree to renew as he won't let another Flamini situation arise.

Personally I think Nasri will be sold. I'm told he's asked for a huge wage rise and that is the sticking point.

Gary Cahill is a player constantly linked and Manchester City are said to be interested in him according to the Daily Mirror. You know we'd have no chance if Mancini went for him. 

One quote which I'm particularly frustrated by which the manager has made is about signing players for the right money.

He said:
"I always try to get value for money. That is the job of a football manager."
No Arsene. With all due respect your job is to coach the football team. The chief executive can decide if we're getting value for money with your advice but it is his job to say whether we are able to afford it.

I admire that you spend Arsenal's money as if it were your own. But this is where you have to step back and let the suits decide if we are able to spend money on which ever target you come up with.

Finally we come to a transfer rumour which would be right up Wenger's street. A free agent. There are rumours from Argentina that we've signed a pre-contract agreement with Ricky Alvarez. 

He's a 6'2" left footed attacker who can play behind the striker or across the midfield. Would be an interesting one if it comes off.  I know it's being re-reported by but I just wonder how realiable Fox Soccer are? Would be a typical Wenger signing if it is true. Unknown player on a free.

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