Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Wilshere's a winner - Wenger identifies world class players - Denilson's off?

Morning Gooners.

Well there has been a flurry of activity over the last 24 hours in the Arsenal world as we head towards the final senior international games of the season at the end of the week.

Samir Nasri and the French contingent have reported at Clairfontaine, whilst Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott won't have much of a journey to make as London Colney is England's training base for their Euro 2012 qualifier with Switzerland on Saturday.

It is the young Englishman, who spoke last week to the written press and obviously gave them so much material they've kept some back until today, as his words are the subject of many stories across the newspapers.

Wilshere spoke about Arsenal's season and the future of English football for the national team.

He said:
"Arsenal’s a big club and we need to be winning trophies to help us keep our big players - sooner rather than later, too.
"We know we need to keep up with the top four in terms of our spending this summer. We need to stay in the top four and push on for a trophy. We were so close this year.
"I hope we can keep Cesc Fabregas, for a start. He’s been a real example to me on and off the pitch.
"He’s our best player. In some of our games he has been our best player by a mile, and we need to keep our best players if we want to win things.
"It will be a disaster, 100 per cent, if we don’t win a trophy next season. We know that. The fans feel it. We feel it. We just need to win a trophy."
And when you read that quote, you could forget for a second it is Wilshere rather than Arsene Wenger who is saying it.

I hope that Jack is picking up the better parts of Cesc's game rather than the stupid back-heal on the edge of your own box and defending a free kick inside your own box with your hand rather than your head and giving a penalty away.

Jack has come on leaps and bounds this season. To many that has been largely surprising but for Arsene Wenger and his coaching staff, they would have expected this type of breakthrough. Wilshere was a gem for the under-16 and under-18s, so that spell at Bolton really prepared him for what was to come this past season.

However I'm not so keen on his idea we follow the gamesmanship of Manchester United in surrounding the referee when we don't give a decision given our way.

He said:
"We need to be more aware and have more aggression. You see the other teams get round the referee when something is not right and you think we need to do it as well. Manchester United are the best at doing it.
"We have some players that can do it, but we have to go as a team. It’s no use just Van Persie going because it looks like it’s just him having a go at the referee. We have to show more authority and take control a bit more."
Whilst I agree we need to be more clever in our play and fight more as a team, we don't want to become like Manchester United or Chelsea. No one likes or respects them for surrounding a referee to try and intimidate them into giving us decisions.

Arsene Wenger has been speaking to French radio station RTL. You can read the full transcript of the interview with former France international Bixente Lizarazu.

One of the interesting quotes I think is regarding the players he is targeting.

He said:
"So we need players who know how to manage this kind of game, which means English players, or players who know the Premier League."
Now for me, I've never seen Wenger back himself into a corner like this before. He says we'll target players who currently play in our league, something which has never happen previously. This also means we'll be paying higher prices, because we know the Premier League has an invisible added tax for players who have developed in our league.

I think when the window closes and we don't sign anyone from another Premier League club we'll get the same line which is trotted out every time we don't make a signing: the players was not available at the right price. By backing himself in this corner, the prices are sure to go up. Let's hope the manager has thought a few steps ahead.

The other interesting point is on Samir Nasri's contract. As I've said previously, the issue with him not resigning so far is down to money and Wenger confirmed that.

He said:
"We have a financial disagreement with the player, and I will work on it during the summer, to ensure he will extend his contract."
You have to question why Wenger himself is dealing with this situation and not Ivan Gazidis or Dick Law. They control the purse strings. For me, I don't believe we'll get passed this impasse. Nasri and his agent think he's worth more than Arsenal think he is based on the first six months of last season. They have every right to hold Arsenal over a barrel because the club didn't tie the Frenchman down to a new contract last summer. In many ways we only have ourselves to blame. So I can only see one conclusion, Nasri will be sold.

And the manager tells us he's off on holiday to South America. Can that be to conclude the deal for Ricky Alvarez? Speculation will surely only intensify now.

The media are keen to stir up the Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona stories and the Daily Mirror are continuing that theme with their latest offering. The one thing which must bug Cesc is that if his boyhood club want to sign him so much why don't they make him their first priority? Instead last summer they only had enough cash to buy David Villa and this summer they're going to spooge £35million on Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi.

And as for Carles Puyol's comments, I wouldn't expect anything less from that disrespectful (fill in your own expletive).

Arsene Wenger has already stated there has been no bid for our captain and I know it's early in the summer, but we have to hope that Barcalona will conduct their business with Arsenal in a more civilised manner than they did last year.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail report Sevilla are interested in signing Denilson and are expected to offer of £8million for his services. Perhaps a good bit of business, but considering he was being linked with Barcelona in the January transfer window, perhaps we could hope for a bit more.

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