Monday, 12 November 2012

Wenger wants training time -Two bids for Zaha knocked back -Dzeko bid?

Morning Gooners.

So it's the start of another international week. Four days which club managers don't need, tucked inside an already packed fixture schedule. Why do FIFA and UEFA feel we need a round of international friendlies at this point in the year? There isn't another meaningful international game until February, so this week's matches are about nothing more than making money for the national football federations.

The manager and his coaching staff I'm sure would have preferred to have a week on the training pitches at London Colney. But instead the vast majority of the squad fly off and a handful of players are left to train with the youngsters.

Wenger clearly wants to spend time with his team and work through their defensive issues. It's noticable how quiet the Steve Bould cheerleaders have gone since we started shipping goals. There is little talk of defensive shape or work on the training pitches. Once you're into the season it's so difficult to make time to focus on anything other than the next game, especially at a big club like Arsenal when the team is playing every three or four days.

The situation is clearly frustrating to the manager. He said:

"We have no time to train on it, because the players go away, and when you play every three days you cannot practise too much.  
"At the moment we cannot rotate too much, so it’s not ideal. I would prefer that the team stays here, and prepares our next game."

And we all know who our next game is against.

Hopefully we'll have Wojciech Szczesny and Kieran Gibbs back for next weekend. We've struggled through without the Poland international between the sticks but I think the biggest loss to the team has been Gibbs, who's impact you don't realise until he's out of the team. He's become integral.

There is talk today of January signings in the newspapers. The Daily Mirror and Daily Mail says the manager has made his top two targets Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko and Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.

The Sun say we've already had two bids knocked back on 20-year-old Zaha, who has been called up by Roy Hodgson for England's game with Sweden on Wednesday.

There are of course other names. The likes of Athletic Bilbao forward Fernando Llorente and Atletico Madrid striker Adrian Lopez are also on Wenger's wanted list.

As I said in a recent post, I think we need to make two key signings. Theo Walcott or a replacement for the England international. And a striker to replace the greedy badger.

The newspapers talk of a goalkeeper to challenge Szczesny for the number one spot and name Swansea’s Michel Vorm and Liverpool's Pepe Reina but neither of their teams would consider selling unless we made a crazy offer and I'd rather Reina stayed on Merseyside, he's doing a better job of getting us an automatic top four spot there.

For me, we desperately need back up in our attacking positions. The thought that Abou Diaby or Tomas Rosicky coming to rescue our season seems far off. Will either be back before Christmas? We need to presume not and plan accordingly.

That's all for today. Back with more tomorrow.


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