Thursday, 8 March 2012

Arsenal to sign a Prince -Mancini adds £10m to RVP fee -Wenger woe

Morning Gooners.

All the talk today revolves around reports from Germany that Arsenal and Cologne have reached agreement over the fee for Lukas Podolski. We'll pay the Bundesliga club £11m and the player - known as The Prince of Cologne - will sign a four year contract worth £100k a week at the end of the season.

Personally if the reports are true - and I believe they are - the signing of the German international is a fantastic deal for the club. Podolski's scoring record is excellent and the fact he can play anywhere along the forward line will help a lot.

We've been chasing the player for more than a season. We would have not signed Ju Young Park had Cologne accepted our bid in the summer. Arsene Wenger was impressed with the striker when he played the whole 90 minutes against us in the pre-season friendly when we played against them back in July - the game where Carl Jenkinson scored a fantastic own goal.

I suppose what is most surprising is that Arsenal are doing their transfer business this early - whilst the window is closed and months before the end of the season. But there are reasons for doing this. The first is the busy summer ahead. Once the season is over there is little time before the European championships, then the Olympics follow them and then we're into the season. There are few windows of opportunities to do deals which take weeks to complete.

By getting deals like the Podolski one done early, it is also setting out our intentions for next season. With  Robin van Persie not sitting down with the club until the end of the season and Theo Walcott also stalling on signing a new deal to find out where we finish this season, it shows to both players we've got intentions to improve next season.

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has not learned from his mistakes of last summer - when his comments about Samir Nasri led to the Manchester club spending more on the France international because Arsenal threatened to report them to the FA for tapping up - because last night he started the same process by speaking about our under-contract captain.

Quite how Mancini thinks that Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli are as good as the Dutchman is anyone's guess. But because of the classless comments of Mancini, his club can expect to pay more for the striker if he does decide to move on in the summer or face a complaint from Arsenal hitting the FA's in-tray.

I don't think anyone associated with Arsenal Football Club can feel anything but immensely proud following our victory last night on Tuesday night. A whirlwind 3-0 first half performance had everyone in the stadium in shock. No one could quite believe what they were witnessing, especially after what happened in Italy three weeks ago. But in the end the result in the San Siro damaged us and we couldn't repeat the same performance in the second half as we'd done in the first 45 minutes.

We go out of the competition with only regrets we couldn't put in a performance which was worthy of own high standards in the first leg. The referee had a lot to answer for and hearing of Arsene Wenger's comments afterwards, it hasn't come as any shock that the manager has been charged by his "friends" at UEFA.

Not really very surprising, but Wenger has a point. The referee's performance was a disgrace.

Until tomorrow.

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