Saturday, 12 January 2013

Agents bombarding Wenger's phone -Walcott ready to sign? -Sagna "disrespected" by offer

Morning Gooners.

Let's start with the good news. Arsene Wenger is optimistic that Olivier Giroud will be available to play tomorrow's game with Manchester City. The boss said there are "positive signs" the striker will recover in time from his cut knee to be involved.

There is news moving in a positive direction on Theo Walcott's contract situation with the club, according to Wenger.

The manager said:

"Yes. We are on a good road but at the moment nothing is signed, so I am cautious.  
"But I am optimistic we will get to a happy conclusion.  
"I was optimistic last week, but I am a bit more optimistic this week."

The Walcott camp have been briefing the media that talks are "positive and moving in right direction" but I'd take that with a pinch of salt. Remember just last summer when the greedy badgers' agent was briefing journalists that he was minded to stay at Arsenal even though he was in talks to take Robin to Man United? That turned out to be a pack of lies.

I'm more open to that fact Theo wants to stay. And I think if we put all the things he demands in place, then he will sign a new contract with us. I think he'll be more loyal to the manager than the badger was.

That said, nothing is signed. And I would take Arsene Wenger's expectation that the deal will be done before the month is out with a pinch of salt as well. If he can't be trusted to be open about his transfer dealings in his press conferences, then why should he believed when it comes down to contracts?

Questions were raised in the manager's press conference about him making signings to strengthen our squad this month.


Wenger said:
"You are under pressure always to buy in England and every problem has to be sorted out by buying people. 
"You have other ways to sort out the problems inside the club - it's getting your injured players back, getting everybody focused and motivated, and it's not only in buying players that you sort out problems. 
"Especially from people who live in a different country, they come end of January and by the time they adapt the season is over."

The point I would make on this statement is that you can see from our performance against Southampton where we had virtually a full strength squad that we weren't able to beat a fairly average team with the players we've got.

And as for an adaptation period for England... That certainly wasn't true with Andrey Arshavin who pushed us into a top four finish when he signed in 2008/09 when he score six goals in 15 appearances.


The manager added:
"I can tell you something, we have no problem with people wanting to join us. I would like to give you my phone for 24 hours, and you would see that.
"The second thing, can we afford them? Most of them, yes. A few of them, no. Can you afford Messi today? Certainly not. But we can afford 90 per cent of them.
"If you look at our squad, it's quite complete. We still work on the transfer market as well. We do not want to bring in average. We only want to bring in an exceptional player. At the moment we have not found him."

I don't think any Arsenal fan with realistic expectation thinks for one second that Arsenal have any chance in signing Messi. Wenger really does like to take his examples to extreme measures when talking about transfer dealings. But what I do think is that there are players available who we could sign at a reasonable price who are of good enough quality that would see our squad improved.

I would suggest that not all of the manager's previous signings (and we all know there names) have turned out to be exceptional players. I keep banging on about the fact we've allowed two players to leave and haven't replaced them. That hasn't strengthened our squad, it's weakened it.


I just hope that the manager is keeping his cards close to his chest and deals are in the pipeline. Although it does seem very, very quiet for that to be the case.

The only other thing of note being reported is about Bacary Sagna's contract extension.

It appears the right back feels the club has "disrespected" him by offering him just one more year on the same £60k a week deal as he's currently on, according to the Daily Mail.

Personally I think a one year extension is a bit harsh. I'd have offered him two. But you can see why the club have done it. Sagna broke his leg twice last season. At present there doesn't appear to have been any major reaction to it, but what if there is further down the line? Also, in Carl Jenkinson there is a player at the club who is chomping at the bit to take Sagna's place. It won't be too long before the youngster starts playing more games if his progress continues.

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


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