Saturday, 4 June 2011

RVP: say it ain't so! - Gervinho to replace Arshavin? - Defoe on his way?

Morning Gooners.

I thought it might have been too good to be true and it was. I am of course talking about the quotes attributed to Robin van Persie yesterday in the media when we all had hoped what he'd said about Chelsea and Barcelona players was true. But last night he officially dashed all our hopes with a statement on the official site.

Something I'm hoping isn't true is a nasty rumour started on twitter which has found its way to the pages of the Daily Star. They're reporting we're interested in signing Jermain Defoe from Spurs. Whilst I know we're looking to bring in a striker, I seriously hope it's not Defoe. His form last season was awful and whilst I appreciate he was injured for large parts of the season he still couldn't find his way back into the team when he was fit.

I also know he wouldn't get on with the players we have in our squad and whilst I detest John Terry having  contact with Jack Wilshere whilst he's on England duty, I know that's only for a short time. If Defoe joined he'd be in Jack's face 24/7 and I wouldn't want to inflict that on anyone.

Like I said, I hope this is just a twitter rumour.

It's no rumour that Jens Lehmann has had his squad profile removed from Arsenal.com and the Daily Mirror has linked him with a return to Schalke. It was great to see him back in an Arsenal shirt and I'll remember his role against Blackpool this season. What I'm sure all Gooners will never forget is his role in the Invincibles team. It would be good to see him given a role in the Arsenal coaching set up once he's got all his badges. Hopefully we'll see Man Jens back at Arsenal one day again.

Another player heading out of the door is Denilson. The interview he did with the Brazilian media has filtered its way back to England where the Daily Mirror are running the story.

He said:
"My idea is to accept any offer from Spain, Italy or Germany from a club that is playing in the Champions League. I dream of maintaining a place in the Brazil national team.
"I've spoken twice with Arsene Wenger and my decision is clear. I'm not happy at Arsenal and, after five years at the club, it's best for me to go.
"I don't blame Arsene Wenger at all. I believe I've had my best season personally but want to win titles.
"After the Carling Cup final it all went wrong for Arsenal."
There is reported interest already from the three countries he's already talked about so I wonder if he thinks he needs to get minutes under his belt before he joins another club. There is talk of him playing in Brazil for three/six months. I just wonder if Arsenal would consider that. Let's face it, after he leaves us he won't play for a bigger club or be on such a good wage as he's getting here. He needs to rebuild his career and good luck to him. It's a shame things didn't work out and unfortunately in football, like every career, you sometimes have to cut your losses and look for a new challenge.

One Arsenal player insisting he won't be quitting is Andrey Arshavin. He's quoted as saying:
"I'm 99 per cent certain to stay."
It's interesting to hear that Lille's Ivory Coast striker Gervinho is being lined up to take the Russian's place in the squad. That is of course dependent on us receiving an acceptable offer for him. There is also an implication on the deal with the futures of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas still up in the air.

And talking of our captain, David Villa is the latest Barcelona player to voice the opinion that Cesc should rejoin his boyhood club. It's lucky there isn't an international tournament otherwise this could get very boring - saying that it is already.

Theo Walcott is expected to start England's game later against Switzerland and he's been talking about his season with Arsenal.

He said:
"I had the best season I've had in a long time. I have scored a lot of goals and got more assists.
"As a team, we weren't able to perform to our abilities in the last few games. We should have got third but it was just snatched away from us.
"We have only got ourselves to blame on that front. We have to win trophies but there have been signs there, and I think we can do it next season." 
It's great that he's positive about next season. I think last season Walcott improved a lot from the season before. His crossing and final ball were so much better and that is obviously in part down to the work he did in his own time on the training pitch. Also, he improved in front of goal and the game against Tottenham away in the league showed just how deadly he could be if played as a striker.

It will be interesting to see how he's deployed next term by Arsene Wenger. Does he trust Theo enough to play him and Robin van Persie in a 4-4-1-1 or will we see Theo out on the right hand side again? I think it will be telling in the players Wenger signs this summer. If Wellington and Ryo Miyaichi get their work permits and we sign Alex Chamberlain from Southampton, I think we're likely to see Theo moved front and centre more as the youngsters develop on the wings.

Finally, a quick round up of the internationals which took place last night.

France drew 1-1 with Belarus. Bacray Sagna, Abou Diaby and Samir Nasri played for Laurent Blanc's men. Sanga created France's equaliser - crossing for Malouda to score. The Arsenal defender and Nasri played the full 90 minutes whilst Diaby was replaced after 73.

In Group A, Thomas Vermaelen came on as a second half substitute for Belgium in their 1-1 with Turkey.

Today: Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Robin van Persie, Tomas Rosicky, Andrey Arshavin, Nicklas Bendtner, Johan Djourou and Marouane Chamakh are in action.



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