Saturday, 18 May 2013

Winning Arsenal will turn up -Sanogo close -Wenger hints at two signings

Morning Gooners.

Yet again we're counting down the hours until the final match of the season. It seems silly because come 72 hours later we'll all be wanting our Arsenal back in action. However like most I can't wait for us to wrap this season up - ideally with us finishing in third place - meaning we don't have to face an excruciating Champions League qualifier in August if we finish fourth.

Finishing outside those of those two positions is not worth thinking about. And going into Sunday's game we should be confident of winning the game. We are top of the form league for the last six games away from home - winning five and losing the other. Of those five wins we've kept four clean sheets.

When I hear and read people say they wonder which Arsenal team will turn up at the weekend, my first reaction is to say... the winning one. We've conceded three goals in our last six league games - joint second in the table with Liverpool. Only Everton have a better record, letting in just one goal in the last six games.

We should be proud of  this team for turning the corner. Since the north London derby defeat we've made sure we closed the seven point gap and now destiny is in our hands. And while it would be nice for us to have qualification all wrapped up by now, there is something about having something still to play for on the final weekend of the season which gets the adrenalin going.

Arsene Wenger believes so too.

He said:
"Sometimes you think it would be nice to play without pressure but, after, you think let’s get it back because it’s so boring.  
"It would be worse to go to Newcastle with nothing at stake for us. We have what we wanted. Let’s do the job."
The Premier League are already preparing for the chance of a third place play off between ourselves and Chelsea should result conspire to mean we're forced to play them for a third time this season. The venue will be Villa Park on Sunday week. Kick off time to be announced.

Jack Wilshere believes we've got to take our recent form and just continue to play the way we have been at St James Park.

He told the official site:

"A few people have said that they [Newcastle] are alright now and are not fighting for relegation but they will be relaxed. They can play and enjoy their game and I'm sure their manager will say that to them. 
"We've got to be professional, do our job and get a few goals. We can't rely on Sunderland to do a job at Tottenham. We have to win the game and then we'll know where we will be."

Come 6pm, we'll know a little more about our Champions League involvement next season. I want us to be playing in Europe's elite football competition. It will help us attract players who will take us on, in turn giving us a better chance of challenging for the title. And it will also help us retain our best players and keep them happy.

Arsene Wenger has already said that he'll be able to sign one or two top quality players if the worse does happen... Signings which sound like they are closer to being done than just pure speculation.

He said:

"It’s easier to attract the players – top, top, top players – if you play in Champions League.  
"That’s part of the rule of the market. But, anyway, we have a good team and we will attract one or two players that we want no matter what happens."

Clearly Stevan Jovetic is a player who we are some way down the line with. The Florentina forward wants us to be in the Champions League before a deal will be done. There are another couple of snags which might derail the deal, but it appears to be all coming together.

Another deal which is on the verge of being done is with Yaya Sanogo, the manager said at his pre-match press conference yesterday.

He told the gathered journalists:

"We are advanced with him, but it is not done.  
"I am very confident. He is a young striker who is promising, and has a big talent."
On a free transfer, with only compensation to pay, for a 20-year-old who has been given rave reviews, I personally think it's a no brainer. I can't see him getting much first team action next season, but we know the manager's track record in developing raw talent and turning it into gems.

Sanogo has had a poor injury history but perhaps a fresh start might change that. At 20-years-old there is plenty of time ahead of him and there aren't many - if any - strikers of his age tearing up the Premier League.

And the Frenchman's signing isn't going to effect the signings we want to make for the first team next season. He'll just be an added member of our already depleted youth ranks.

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

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