Saturday, 30 July 2011

Two signings imminent -Wenger on Fabregas' future -Lansbury has to fight

Morning Gooners.

Well it's back to the Grove today for the first games of the Emirates Cup. It will be nice to watch the teams in familiar surroundings and of course good to see Thierry Henry back on the pitch, even though it won't be in an Arsenal shirt.

One player who won't be involved is Cesc Fabregas and it was his future that the manager discussed heavily yesterday when grilled by the media. If you expected the manager to play this situation with anything other than a straight bat, you don't know how Wenger operates.

The manager said:
"He will not be involved this weekend because at the moment he is not settled. He is coming back from an injury and is not settled with us.
"You know all the speculation which is around his position. That has to be sorted out soon.
"I'm just worried that the player has to be completely focused and committed to our club. And at the moment he's coming back from an injury and we have to sort out that situation.
"He is the captain of our club and we have to make sure he is really focused on being with us."
There are newspapers who are running this story saying Wenger has told Fabregas to make up his mind or to sort himself out. This is a load of rubbish. He said nothing of the sort. The problem isn't of Fabregas' making. He doesn't want to be stuck between his two great loves arguing over him. I'd imagine what he really wants is for Sandro Rosell to pay the money Arsenal want for him. But it's clear that Rosell doesn't want Fabregas as much as Pep Guardiola does.

When asked about a deadline, the manager said the only deadline in reality was August 31. Which is true, this is when the transfer window closes. However, with an important August for the club, we need Cesc Farbregas focused to be playing for Arsenal if he is to stay. What I wanted to know from the manager is whether he would play Cesc in any of the August games at all? Is he really going to leave his captain on the sidelines until September 1st for the situation with Barca to be resolved one way or another?

If this is the case, that means Cesc won't play in five of our biggest games including two against clubs we'll be challenging with for the title. I'm not sure that is the best decision for Arsenal, but if his head isn't straight and the player isn't focused there is much we can do.

I hope the manager will be pressed further tomorrow afternoon on these issues because it seems the strategy isn't quite right. Chairman Peter Hill-Wood has already said the impasse with Barcelona cannot continue forever, so hopefully the club will make moves to remedy this situation one way or another sooner rather than later for the sake of our season.

Thierry Henry was asked about whether he would keep the manager on.

He said:
"I would keep Arsene for life. I know he got a bit of stick recently, but hopefully they can change that this year."
The manager is open to criticism as the next man and I know he's made mistakes. But I still believe he's the man to take Arsenal forward. I do agree with Henry when he says those who want Wenger replaced to be careful for what they wish for. We've had unparalleled success with the Frenchman in charge. Could another manager come in and do what Wenger has done with the same budget? I'm not so sure.

I was pleased to hear the manager say we're be doing our business in the transfer market sooner rather than later. But when he said he would be very active earlier in the summer, we've yet to see that materialize. Hopefully he'll be true to his word and make the signings we need to make to benefit our team. The season is only two weeks away and we can't keep on delaying signing our targets. We need to start the season well and if that means spending two million more than we'd like to on a player who would add that exceptional quality the manager does on about, the I think we need to bite the bullet and do it.

The Guardian report Tottenham have made a bid for Juan Mata. However we appear favourites to sign the Spain international, according to the paper because we can offer Champions League football. And when asked in the press conference about the player, Wenger said he was a player he liked, however that doesn't mean we're going to sign him!.

Phil Jagielka was also mentioned but Wenger would only say that an agreement needed to be reached with Everton.

Could one of those signings be Joel Campbell? He has admitted he's back in talks with Arsenal over a move.

Wenger said he would give Henri Lansbury a chance to fight for a place in the team, which is good to hear. And by all accounts he scored a cracking goal in the reserves 7-1 demolition of Boreham Wood last night.
The Englishman has also been linked with a move to Brighton in Daily Star.

For some extra reading, head to the Daily Telegraph who have a nice interview with Aaron Ramsey.

And finally the manager has revealed Abou Diaby won't play for Arsenal until September at the earliest after under going ankle surgery during the summer. I have to ask myself why Diaby had to play in those meaningless games for the French national team instead of having the surgery done at the back end of last season. He would be fit for the start of the season if he hadn't played for France. It shows you were his priorities lie.

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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