Saturday, 13 August 2011

Wenger to go for Tevez? -Mata deal off -Arsenal confirm signing

Morning Gooners.

It's here! It's the first day of the season and real football is back. A day when watching those 90 minutes of the Arsenal make the rest of the week more enjoyable, especially if we win.

And whilst it's not been the best of summers, we've come through it with the squad intact - although that's likely to change very soon - and we've made three additions to the squad with the latest signing being announced last night..

The long running Joel Campbell saga (short in comparison to some Arsenal melodramas) was concluded when the 19-year-old announced he would join us at a press conference last night. Credit must go to Arsenal executive Richard Law on this one who - looking in from the outside - successfully concluded some very tricky negotiations to ensure we got the player whilst fighting off competition from other top clubs.

I don't know anything about Campbell other than what I've read about him. But I trust Arsene Wenger's judgement on him. And it's not as though we've taken a huge gamble on him. If the figures are correct, we've paid less than £1m for the player.

He'll have to be awarded a special talent work permit, much like Ryo Miyaichi, because he's not played the required number of games for his national team in the past two year nor does he hold a European passport.

It will be interesting to see how Arsene Wenger integrates him into the first team squad if he's able to this season. After being lucky with one player over a work permit, I'm not sure about our chances of getting one for Campbell.

The Cesc Fabregas saga continues with the manager refusing to announce that a deal has been struck at his press conference yesterday - mainly because it hasn't been. Arsenal hold all the card on this one and should only agree to letting the Spaniard leave the club once we are happy with all aspects of the deal.

Whilst the national media might mock him, it looked to me from watching yesterday's press conference that the manager was playing them at their own game. If he really believes everything he said we are in for a tough season. And whilst I accept none of us know what happens inside the walls of the club on a daily basis, we can see from the squad list which was announced yesterday we are still lacking in certain areas, especially when it comes to experience and winning know how.

The manager wants more credit for his team and how they competed last season, but whilst they did well enough to a point, they weren't driven over the line. They faltered. The win record in the last 13 games of three victories in the league was far from impressive. And yes, there were circumstances which were beyond our control but that doesn't stop the team from moving on straight away and performing in the next game.

I don't want to get all doom and gloom because I'm hopeful we can have a better season. The key to that though is for us to replace Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri when they leave. We're not going to be able to come close to finding ourselves a player who is as good as Cesc, but I think we can find a man who will replace Nasri and improve on him.

The manager has said we won't sign Juan Mata - on the same day he said no one would leave - despite later admitting Nicklas Bendtner looks set to be on his way.

Cesc is on his way. He said goodbye to his team mates yesterday and passed over the captain's armband to  Robin van Persie. Nasri will follow him, with all likelihood the deal for the Frenchman to join Manchester City will take place on Monday. Can I see Carlos Tevez joining Arsenal? Not with our wage structure being how it is. But it is the kind of audacious transfer we could well pull off if all parties were willing.

That's it for now. I'll post my full preview of the Newcastle game later and then join me for live text commentary of the game from 5.15pm.

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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