Wilshere Closer to Return and some Transfer Speculation
After watching my Nigeria decimate Liberia over the weekend, I was very happy to see the new-look side under Stephen Keshi’s tutelage wow the fans that watched the game in the Calabar stadium as well as in their TV screens. While Chelsea’s Victor Moses broke his international scoring duck with a brace, an awkward moment arrived when John Mikel Obi
missed the target yet again scored a goal.
The chances of Mikel actually scoring a goal are as certain as rain falling in the Sahara, so when he dispatched that spot kick, I checked the clouds to see if there was any rainbow.
However, Gervinho and his fellow Elephants of Ivory Coast had a different outcome when they faced Senegal with the Newcastle attacking duo leading the line for the Teranga Lions. Cote d’Ivoire living legend, Didier Drogba, opened the scoring with a superb free kick and he doubled his country’s lead after scoring a somewhat controversial penalty.
The fans of Senegal decided that they had watched enough, so they started launching missiles into the pitch causing the ref to end the game prematurely with 20 minutes left to play. Thankfully, no player was injured but the same cannot be said about Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, whose season keeps going from bad to worse.
It has been reported that Walcott will be out for a minimum of two to three weeks after bruising his lung in a collision with San Marino’s goalie, Aldo Simoncini. The forward has been coughing blood and he’s also believed to have sharp pains on his chest when he breathes.
I wish the lad a speedy recovery and I hope to see him back on the field of play, as well as signing da ting.
Speaking of speedy recovery, Arsenal has arranged a closed door friendly to boost the return of Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna. Wilshere has been involved in some Under-21 games recently but with no upcoming fixture coming for the younglings, Arsenal is bracing up an encounter behind close doors for Terry Burton’s Reserves.
The prospect of Wilshere returning to a midfield blessed with the Spanish duo of Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla is hugely encouraging but I’m not going to expect fireworks for the new No. 10. Arteta has expressed his delight in playing his new defensive role while Cazorla’s gaffer, Vicente del Bosque, is happy to see his player thrive in the early stages of his Arsenal career.
I’ll keep you up to date with the Wilshere situation and from this point, it’s fair to say that the signs are really good for Jackie boy as no niggling injuries or setbacks have been reported.
With the January transfer window a couple of months away, the media Vultures are back in full force, as they’ve started again with their favorite topic, Arsenal.
Starting from goal, Arsenal’s stand-in goalie, Vito Mannone, is seriously attracting interest from Inter Milan and Napoli. Inter bought Samir Handanovic from Udinese this season so I don’t really see the point in gunning for Don Vito. Napoli on the other hand, have an ageing Morgan de Sanctis in goal, so the prospect of getting the young Italian back home is quite possible.
In this situation, the ball is actually in Mannone’s court. If he wants to stay in the club and fight for his place with the Polish duo of Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski, so be it. But if he doesn’t want to struggle for that, the exit door isn’t far away because I believe that the Gunners won’t break any sweat of Mannone’s potential departure.
Arsenal is like Hydra, one head goes out, another pops up.
Moving over to the defense, Johan Djourou is going to hold a meeting with Arsenal to discuss his future. But I don’t believe that he will not agree with the club in many aspects to move forward like that Judas with the little boy inside him.
Djourou had the season of his life in the 2010/11 campaign and he was more or less Arsenal’s best center back by a far mile but the performances of the skipper, Thomas Vermaelen, as well as Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny has seen the defender go further down the pecking order.
Djourou is contracted to the club till 2015 but his agent has stated that he’ll review his client’s situation in January. We all know what that means. Should Djourou decide to leave Arsenal, we the fans will thank his for his amazing years of service. At 25, he needs to get more games under his belt as his place in the Swiss national team is threatened thanks to Ottmar Hitzfeld the gaffer.
Still sticking with the defense, Arsenal’s cuddly maverick, Andre Santos, hasn’t ruled out a move back to his former club, Fenerbache,
“I would like to state clearly that I have a lot of respect for Fenerbache, and I love Istanbul…but for now I am a gunner.
For now, I have not received an offer from a Turkish team. However, if I receive an offer one day, thinking what is best for my family, I will make a decision.”
Well, Andre Santos had the chance to make the left back position his own when Kieran Gibbs was nursing several injuries but the ankle injury he sustained against Olympiakos last December put him out till Spring. This season, Andre Santos has had his fair share of problems and he has also seen his first team berth relinquished to Gibbs.
As he rightly stated, he remains a Gunner till Fenerbache comes calling, I guess.
In midfield, Fulham’s boss, Martin Jol, has declared that he’s confident in signing Andrey Arshavin this winter. Arshavin has been a complete shadow of the player that tormented opposition defense when he arrived and a change of scenery could bring in a new lease of life to the little Russian.
At 31, Arshavin would be seeking to end his career on a high and a move to an ambitious Premier League club like Fulham would be what this lad needs. He wasn’t invited by Fabio Capello in this international break, as the Russian side eased past Portugal with a solitary goal.
I still have fond memories of Arshavin and he’ll forever have a place in my heart after that showing at Anfield in April 2009.
Finally, Bordeaux’s hierarchy has stated that they’ll welcome Marouane Chamakh with open arms. The Moroccan is a striker bereft of confidence and it’s more than obvious that things haven’t worked for him here in North London. Due credit must go to Chamakh for holding the fort at the start of his Arsenal career with 10 goals in his first 21 appearances but he has clearly been a pain to watch in recent times.
Selling off Mannone, Djourou, Andre Santos, Arshavin and Chamakh would bring an end to the deadwood chronicles at Arsenal, even though Mannone and Andre Santos don’t belong to that class.
With all these speculations, why hasn’t any one come for Sebastien Squillaci. :(
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