Friday, 9 September 2011

Arteta "wows" teammates in training -Mertesacker talks Adams -Argentina midfielder scouted

Morning Gooners.

It appears all is very much quiet in the Arsenal camp ahead of tomorrow's game with Swansea. There is no updated injury news to give you, with the manager's exclusive interview with the official site having not been published as scheduled yesterday.

Yossi Benayoun completed his first training session alongside his new team mates. And it appears the youngsters in the Arsenal reserves have taken to Mikel Arteta who have been wowed by his skills in training.

Per Mertesacker is also exciting members of the Arsenal media team with his English. After Carl Jenkinson's early season domination of all things on the official site, it's the German's time to take centre stage following his arrival at the club.

And his continued PR offensive is going well. He's already endeared himself to a lot of Gooners by talking of his support for the club from a young age. Now he's talking about wanting to emulate an Arsenal legend.

Mertesacker said:
"We didn’t get many pictures of him on the television but Adams was a legend here. He is a special one for me.  
"When I was looking at English football I always looked to Arsenal and he was one of the great defenders when I was ten or 12 years old. I knew he was the centre-half for Arsenal.  
"I like the players [like Adams] very much - I have enjoyed seeing them over the years. I hope I can improve my performances here and get better and better - I want to be useful for the team."
I'll admit to having a soft spot for the German already. He's the type of  player we've been crying out for and now the manager has finally waded into the transfer market to get him. It might be dangerous talking about Tony Adams because he was a one off. But if Mertesacker can be half the player Adams was we're moving in the right direction.

What I've enjoyed seeing this season, especially from Jenkinson, is the no nonsense approach he's taken to clearing the ball from danger areas. If only several of our other players were of the same ilk. Think of Johan Djourou smashing that ball away in the build up to Danny Welbeck's goal at Old Trafford instead of letting it bounce. The game might have started differently.

The other thing about Mertesacker I'd be interested to see is how he'll deal with playing in a defence schooled in the Arsenal way. Will he be the organiser? Will he attack the ball? Will he be the player who sweeps up the danger behind? All questions I hoped are answered tomorrow.

Another area of the pitch I have questions about is who will play in our attacking front three and in the deep lying midfield roles.

By all accounts Aaron Ramsey had a very good game for Wales at Wembley on Tuesday night, even being named man of the match despite being on the losing team. Team mate Neil Taylor has been speaking highly of the Arsenal midfielder in today's Daily Mirror.

Will the Welshman be retained or will Tomas Rosicky be preferred? The manager has also got to think about which of his new signings will start. I expect Arteta and Mertesacker to definitely in the 11, probably with the other three deadline day signings on the bench.

I would imagine that Emmanuel Frimpong will be recalled in Alex Song's continued absence. Gervinho is also still suspended, so will Andrey Arshavin keep his place in the side?

It's fantastic that after what happened at Old Trafford we have so many options now. But it also shows how crazy we were to go into the opening three games of the season with such a threadbare squad.

Elsewhere there is a survey in The Sun which tells us that Arsenal fans aren't happy about the start of the season. The 8,000 football fans (not Arsenal fans) are obviously entitled to their opinion, but I don't think they are representative of the whole fan base.

Transfer tittle-tattle: The Daily Mail report we're scouting Anderlecht's 25-year-old Argentina midfielder Lucas Biglia.

And finally, spare a thought for the owner of a Spanish hat shop called Arsenale who is being forced to change the name of her business because the football club we support thinks it infringes our trademark...

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