Sunday, 5 August 2012

van P€r$i€'s u-turn? -Gunners after van der Wiel -Song interests Barca -

Morning Gooners.

There is nothing new to report on the Santi Cazorla front. It's just a case of waiting until the formal announcement is made. But he's very much an Arsenal player now. All the formalities on our side of the deal are done. It's just a case of waiting for Malaga to do their side of the deal.

Has the signing of Cazorla and the tracking of Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin made an impact on the squad? Some believe it has.

The Sunday Mirror report that "club insiders" believe Robin van P€r$i€ now wants to stay in north London because of the ambition shown by Arsene Wenger in recruiting double European Championship winner Cazorla.

Personally I don't believe it. When van P€r$i€ released that spiteful statement about disagreeing with Wenger and Gazidis about the future direction of the club and it's ambition, we'd already signed Lucas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. van P€r$i€ had moaned about the goal scoring burden placed on him last season to Wenger and the first thing the manager does it sign two strikers to aid him.

But now the signing of the creative Cazorla has changed van P€r$i€'s mind? I just don't buy it. To me it sounds like he's been told that none of the club fighting for his signature are going to up their bids at the moment and he may well have to see out the final year of his contract in north London.

As his statement made him the new figure of hate among a large section of our fan base, if he is to walk out on to the pitch at the Grove on August 18 as an Arsenal player, he's got to try and win us around. Otherwise he's going to get the same treatment dished out to Emmanuel Adebayor when he was trying to negotiate Theirry Henry level wages after one good season.

The only way van P€r$i€ is going to win back the fans is by putting in fantastic performances on the pitch and by signing a new deal at the club. Anything else is just lip service.

And the Mail on Sunday believe the Dutchman is still going to head to Old Trafford.

Meanwhile the same Sunday Mirror piece reports Wenger is watching van P€r$i€'s international teammate Gregory van der Wiel. The full back has a year left on his contact and Ajax want to sell the 24-year-old rather than see him leave on a free transfer.

A year after Arsene Wenger brought Carl Jenkinson to the club do we really need to sign another right-back? Some would say we do. That Jenkinson was thrown in the deep end and doesn't have the experience at the highest level. I'm not sure that there is room in our squad for another full back although I can see the argument for Wenger bringing in an experienced player to work alongside Jenkinson and play as back up to Bacary Sagna.

van der Wiel is the right age to not stunt Jenkinson's development and to give Sagna competition/rotation for his place. It will be interesting to see if Wenger does make a move for the Dutch international or whether he believes having four full-backs plus cover from central defence in the form of Djourou and Vermaelen plus the versatile Coquelin is enough for us to get by on.

Meanwhile the noise on Barcelona's interest in Alex Song is increasing. The Sunday Mirror report that the Catalan club are closing in on the Arsenal midfielder and bid of £15m for the Cameroon international.

Elsewhere, The Sunday Mirror speak to Manuel Almunia about his time at the club. And the Daily Star Sunday talk to Carl Jenkinson about the forthcoming season.

Finally I wanted to finish with a bit about last night at London 2012.

It was a night of Olympic joy for Gooner Mo Farah who won gold for Team GB in the 10,000m. A truely fantastic piece of running at the Olympic stadium. Many congrautions to him and I can't wait to see him parading around the Grove with his gold medal.

Congratulations also to Greg Rutherford who won goal in the long jump last night and is a man with Arsenal connections. The Sunday Times report his greatgrandfather Jock Rutherford holds the record for being the oldest footballer to play for Arsenal and his grandfather John also played for the team.

But it's commiserations to Aaron Ramsey as the men's Team GB side crashed out of the football competition at the Quarter Finals stage, losing on penalties to Ju Young Park's South Korea. Ramsey scored one from the spot in normal time, missed another shortly afterwards - also from the spot but scored in the shoot out. 

That's it for today. More tomorrow.

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