Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Arteta's defence -Wenger closing in on M’Vila and Cabaye -£7m France international scouted

Morning Gooners.

The fall-out from our draw with Stoke continues today, with Mikel Arteta defending the team in the press. I can't be the only one who isn't too disappointed with the way we've started. Of course I want the team to win, but I understand that the manager has had to put a new team together following the sale of two first team players and this team is going to need time to gel.

I don't appear to be hearing the clamour parts of the media are that Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski aren't up to the task. We know that the Frenchman missed a great chance against Sunderland and the German might have scored on Sunday if it hadn't been for a last gasp dive from Andy Wilkinson which blocked his shot.

But I believe Gooners are rightly being patient with the new striking pair and their team mates. Neither of them are going to replace Robin van P€r$i€. He was a player who had found the form of his career in the last 18 months and had had six years of Premier League experience prior to that. Yes, he probably would have put the ball in the back of the net in our last two games but he's no longer an Arsenal player and we have to look forward, not backwards.

Arteta said on Sunday:
"You can't replace Robin. It doesn't matter who is brought in. United went for him at the age of 29. What does that say?  
"There aren't many bigger talents in the world. To replace Robin is impossible because he's a special player.  
"You can't ask anyone to be as good as him. He scored almost every time we played in the league last year." 
I'm not concerned about Podolski and Giroud. I have faith they will come good. There is an adaptation period for any player when they come to the Premier League, but I think both have the pedigree to be a success.

The media need a narrative and the one they are choosing to write about at the moment is the fact we've been unable to score in two league games after selling our star striker this summer. It is of course pointless to mention that last season, with a certain Dutchman in the team, we failed to score in our opening two fixtures of the season.

Arsene Wenger has been quick to defend his new signings. He said:

"Look, it's two games. In fact, he [Olivier Giroud] has started just one game. [The constant comparisons with Robin van P€r$i€ are] not fair on him. 
"He has played 90 minutes here. He played 25 minutes in the last one. A striker has to be relaxed. He doesn’t need to be tense."

It's early days. Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry didn't score straight away when they arrived at the club.  So let's not let the media write Giroud and Podolski off straight away when they've not been given a chance.

Elsewhere, Martin Keown purrs about Santi Cazorla in the Daily Mail.

Meanwhile in the final week of the transfer window we can only hope the club's cheque book is being dusted off in preparation for a couple of new signings.

The Daily Mirror believe we've missed out on our chance to sign versatile defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa because Italian sides AC Milan and Napoli have shown interest in the 23-year-old Montpellier player. However The Sun believe it's a fight between us and Chelsea for the player's signature. The French club are believed to want £7m for their captain who has a year remaining on his contract.

Yanga-Mbiwa, who has been capped by France, is seen as the versatile player we need to play in the heart of defence and could also be a back up at right back. Arsenal watched him last season while they were running the rule over Olivier Giroud.

The Mirror also report Swansea's Spanish right-back Angel Rangel has been watched and Wenger could target the 29-year-old before the window shuts.

In other transfer tittle-tattle, the Daily Express believe it's a straight race between us and Spurs for Yann M’Vila of Rennes and Yohan Cabaye of Newcastle.

Finally, the Daily Mail report that Juventus have put Nicklas Bendtner on their shortlist of strikers they're looking to sign.

That's it for today. More tomorrow.




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