Friday, 27 July 2012

Cazorla's fee is set but will Wenger sign him? -Benik's effing great!

Morning Gooners.

At lunchtime we take to the field of the Beijing National Stadium to take on Manchester City in our second game of our tour of the Far East.

This match will certainly be a step up from the opposition we've faced already this season and there is bound to be a bit of niggle between the two clubs. It could be a spicy occasion.

However being pre-season, I don't expect we'll see too many hard tackles being made. And after all it is all about fitness and getting a touch of the ball.

It will be interesting to see whether Gervinho, who has been given a central role during training sessions, actually starts one of the halves in that position. On Tuesday we saw Abou Diaby and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain occupy that position. Could the Ivorian be handed a chance against City?

It appears that Arsene Wenger has earmarked the central role, playing in front of the two deep lying central midfielders and behind the striker to Santi Cazorla, if he signs.

According to the Daily Mirror, Wenger is concerned Jack Wilshere won't return to the team the same player we saw in his first full season. And I would have similar concerns. Jack has been out of football for a whole year and he was only in his first full season when he was injured.

His development as a player would have stalled the minute he came off the pitch. He was learning the game well and had a fantastic first season for the club. But when he finally returns from injury, we won't see that same player.

He'll need time to readjust to the game. He'll be rusty and out of form. Already I read people expecting him to be the same players as he was prior to his injury. That's just not going to happen. He'll need time and patience from all Gooners until he's back up to speed and that could take six months.

So signing Cazorla to relieve that creative burden which was placed on Aaron Ramsey's shoulders last season and to help us cope with the reintroduction of Wilshere does seem like a good idea. There is certainly smoke here. Whether the deal will be done is another question.

The Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini has said that his club won't sell the Spain midfielder for less than €20m would be "like giving him away". So we might have to up our bid.

Elsewhere Abou Diaby has been speaking about his fitness and how he's worked during his holidays to ensure he's ready for August 18 against Sunderland. I really hope he's put his injury concerns behind him because he could be a really important player for us this season.

And finally, Benik Afobe has been involved in a Twitter spat with a Spurs fan. I can't disagree with what he's said and it's factually correct, but some people will take umbrage with the F-word.

Lastly for today, the Daily Mail have an interview with Thomas Vermaelen which is well worth a read.

That's it for today. More tomorrow.




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