Thursday, 30 June 2011

Wenger speaks - Cesc's coy - Alvarez's pledge - Gervinho latest

Morning Gooners.

Last night Arsene Wenger spoke with the local French television station in Strasbourg. He did not speak about the situation the club finds itself in with CEsc Fabregas, Samir Nasri or Gael Clichy, but never the less, had some interesting things to say.

For, our French friends at Gro(o) has translated the interview for us. Check out their blog - which is mainly in French or you can follow their English and French tweets on Twitter.

"All the clubs are on stand-by to add to their team.  Everyone are waiting to see what will be opponent next's choice will be. It's like a poker game, where every player tries to keep the best card in his hand. All the business will get going around the end of July or beginning of August, when each manager will try to adjust the squad. 
"Pression is part of the job. Premier League is the most difficult competition in the world. We are playing against teams who are richer than us, and our fans are deeply awaiting for trophies. Sport is to be competitive, to make all you can do to win and to accept judgement of the others. We always want to win, but we also try to do it with a full respect of the rules. We try to keep the club in good financial shape, but in an environment where others don't care about this. It makes thing more difficult. 
"We should be the example to follow, not to blame. Unfortunately, there are few people in press who try to give the wrong vision to public opinion.
"We try to develop the best way to play, with the best financial result and the best human relationship. And we try to be consistent. Yes, we didn't win, we have to admit it, others were stronger than us. But in 15 years at Arsenal, we've always been in the top four, and that's very important. Consistency is a huge part of success. 
"Every season, you always want to win everything. We were very close last season, but we lost energy while trying to compete in all the competitions. Three weeks before the end, we were in the run. We made 27 games from January to March, and we were under pressure with tought games, injuries, and the loss of  important players like Fabregas or Van Persie. Both of them played 17 complete games, it's insufficient for key players like them."
About PSG, Wenger said:
"I have a long time contact with owners of Paris Saint Germain, mostly because I work with them outside football. But I always respect contract and involvement. I still have three years left on my Arsenal contract and I'm deeply convicted to stay until the end of my contract. I will ever be thankful to the club to give me the possibility to follow my way of play, and to realize it."
I think it's worrying that the boss expects the transfer market to get busy towards the end of next month. I was hoping for a few key signings soon, but I imagine that when it's easier to do business with all the players and managers back from their holidays. Hopefully he's talking in general terms and not in relation to the business Arsenal will do. I know there are a number of players we're looking to move on but as yet have heard little, if anything, about us finding clubs who want to do business.

Cesc Fabregas has also been speaking and was interviewed on Spanish radio last night.
"There is nothing to talk about. I'm calm. If something has to happen it will. I am always optimistic.
 "If a player is on the market it's because a club doesn't want him. I have no problem."
Now there is no way that Arsenal are actively looking to sell Cesc. All the noises are being fed from Barcelona and that it mean to unstabilise the Arsenal support. All this talk of transfer fees being agreed and £35m being the amount Barca are going to pay comes from Spain. They are trying to drive the price down and ground Arsenal into submission.

Obviously the club are wise to this. They know the true value of Cesc and it's not one Andy Carroll. If the first bit of business done in the first transfer window since Stan Kroenke became the majority shareholder in the club is to sell Cesc Fabregas, I think there will be very strong displeasure from lots of Arsenal fans especially if that sale is below his true market value.

If we were offered £50m for him, you can understand the club's position of selling. But for anything less will send completely the wrong message about Stan Kroenke's vision for the club. It also wouldn't be good for Ivan Gazidis either. The CEO is obviously in a tough position with regards Fabregas but add to that the fact Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy could both leave as well, you have to ask yourself why something like this could be allowed to happen on Gazidis' watch. Who was the person who agreed that Nasri and Clichy could start last season without agreeing new deals? Why wasn't an ultimatum made to both players? Sign on or be sold. And we must remember that this was during a summer where Nasri wasn't even picked for the France World Cup squad and his stock was a lot lower than it is now.

The Daily Mirror think the signing of Gervinho can persuade Samir Nasri to sign a new deal. They go on to "understand" the player had a medical at London Colney yesterday. From what I'm told there were no medicals going on at the training ground yesterday.

The signing of the Ivorian isn't going to keep Samir at the club. Meeting his wage demands might. The Sun say Manchester United are set to place a bid of £20m, which I think we'd find hard to turn down. And if you think about who we could replace Nasir with - someone who's been flirting with consistency and had one half of a good season at the club - I think we should probably do a deal on him and flog him to the highest bidder.

As for Clichy, the Independent are reporting Manchester City are interested in signing him and are preparing a bid of £7m. I do think it's likely we've seen Gael wearing the Arsenal shirt for the final time. But talk of moving our best central defender - Thomas Vermaelen - to the Frenchman's position is just madness to me.

Ricky Alvarez has been speaking about his dream and it's to play for Arsenal. On Twitter he said:
"I'd love to play for the Arsenal. It's a dream for me. I wish to God it can be realised."
Hopefully we'll complete some business soon.

And the Daily Mail are again linking us with a move for Joey Barton. Weirder transfers have happened in the past, so I'm not ruling it out just yet.

Follow Ashburton Grove on Twitter, chatting Arsenal throughout the day. To receive the blog everyday you can subscribe via e-mail or take the RSS feed to your favourite reader.

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