Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Sahin deal nears as Arsenal close in on M'Vila -Wilshere's return

Morning Gooners.

Who would have thought after spending £22.5m on a striker, Manchester United would stumble to an opening weekend defeat to Everton, the club who always seem to lose their first game of the season. Now I'm not laughing too much. This will be a long and difficult season for all 20 teams, but for sections of the media to point at our opening day draw with Sunderland and state we are in crisis... I think they need to reevaluate what a crisis is.

We've seen Southampton take the lead against the league champions Manchester City in their own back yard and give them a run for their money, with Spurs losing to Newcastle and Liverpool getting thumped by West Brom. If the opening set of fixtures tells you anything, this season is going to be competitive and no one should underestimate the opposition.

On piece of business which needs clearing up from the weekend is the departure of Alex Song to Barcelona. He signed a five-year-deal with the Spanish club yesterday and left Arsenal by firing a broadside at the club, after stories emerged over the weekend that he was lazy in training, unprofessional and wanted more money.

The Song camp reacted with a briefing to the Daily Telegraph which said:

"Alex Song was massively committed to Arsenal, he loved the club and was dying to sign a new contract.  
"We tried six times to renegotiate his contract. They kept saying it has three years to run.  
"They’d say things like ‘we’ll sit down in September, October,’ when at first they’d said it would happen in the summer. 
"Then Barcelona came in and yet Alex still said he wanted a new contract. When they said we’d all sit down on 1 September that was the final straw.  
"That shows disrespect to the player. Barcelona is a once-in-a-lifetime thing; you have to jump on that train when it comes."
So Song was so committed to Arsenal that at the first sign of Barcelona lifting their skirt for him he jumps ship. And why should Arsenal want to renegotiate the contract of a player whose deal still has three years to run during the summer transfer window when they are busy with players they want to bring to the club?

The truth of the matter is that Song wanted more money. He wasn't happy on £55k a week. He sold his house this summer and had expected to leave Arsenal. It wasn't the club who disrespected Alex Song. He disrespected the club with his antics.

Like I've said in the last few days, we're better off without his attitude stinking out the place. Arsenal can do better than Alex Song. The player who is probably Arsene Wenger's best development success story might have doubled his take home pay with a move to Spain, won't be missed as long as he is replaced.

And the club's move to bring in Nuri Sahin seems to have hit a snag over whether we can sign the Turkish international from Real Madrid for a fixed price at the end of a season long loan.

Hopefully it will be resolved very soon and Sahin can join up with his new team mates at the training ground for a couple of sessions before Sunday's match with Stoke.

Once the Sahin deal is out of the way, I would expect the club to focus its attentions on Yann M'Vila in the last week of the transfer window. It's clear the we are one of the few clubs the French international would consider joining and as the closing of the window becomes nearer you can expect Arsene Wenger to drive a hard deal for a player who he has closely watched over the past two seasons.

Another addition to our midfield sooner rather than later is Jack Wilshere, who the Daily Mirror claim is four weeks away from returning to full training. That shouldn't come as a shock to anyone as Jack has been running without pain for a little while and is due to incorporate ball work into his sessions very soon.

The manager has said that he will also be looking to secure the signing of a defender before the end of the month.

Wenger said:
"We are looking to bring one more midfielder in of course, and maybe one defender as well because we still feel we are short in some positions."
With the Sahin deal close, M'Vila still on the radar, I wonder if the manager will try and tempt Phil Jagielka to leave Everton. He tried to sign the England internatiional two summers ago but got the cold shoulder. But Jagielka is exactly the type of player we need. He's so versatile; can play in the centre of defence, at right back and in midfield. He in my opinion would be a superb signing.

It's getting him to move south which appears to be the problem. Hopefully it's one Wenger can solve.

That's it for today. More tomorrow.

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