Member’s day, transfer roundup and the Champions League play-off draw
When Walcott scored Arsenal’s last goal in the 89th minute at Craven Cottage, the gooners and other football fans alike geared themselves up for three long months without the beautiful game but Sunday’s Manchester derby in the Community Shield will serve as a curtain raiser for the 2011/12 season. While football fans were starved with action on the pitch, they’ve been well fed with action off it with the media Vultures feeding everyone with stories from different sources. Arsenal has been one of their favorite subjects with the club’s transfer inactivity so it was expected that they were going to link Wenger’s club with players from the Milky Way as well as link players out of the club.
The media Vultures have reported that Arsenal’s African cult hero and favorite farmer, Emmanuel Eboue has agreed a 3-year deal with Turkish heavyweights Galatasaray. Farmer Eboue has been at Arsenal since 2005 and has amassed over 130 league appearances for the club but Jenkinson’s rise to glory probably played a part in Eboue’s decision to leave. Let’s not forget that Sagna’s fitness as well as his consistency last season reduced Eboue league appearances to just 13 so a move away from the Gunners seemed on the cards for the Farmer. I’m pretty sure that Eboue would groom another Arsenal player that’ll be diving all the time because every team needs a diver that will always be there to create free kicks. In the Champions League final of 2006, it took an Eboue dive to create the free kick that brought about the match’s opener. A Thierry Henry assist for Big Sol Campbell.
Farmer Eboue will surely be missed but his legend will live on…..Twitter at least with the handle @Eboue_Eboue. I’ll urge every gooner to follow @Eboue_Eboue because he has the most hilarious Arsenal tweets.
“@Eboue_Eboue: If MUFC bids for Nasri , Arsenal should counter with a bid for Howard Webb. Win-Win”
“@Eboue_Eboue: Barton to Arsenal? He may be good with guns but he definitely isnt a Gunner”
“@Eboue_Eboue: Denilson says he will accept any club from Spain or Italy playing Champions League football. On those lines, I will accept any date with Megan Fox or Angelina Jolie”
Marouane Chamakh has recently been linked with AS Roma but the Moroccan has said that he has no plans of leaving Arsenal because he’s keen to prove himself worthy of the club. Chamakh scored 10 goals in his first 21 appearances for Arsenal but his goal scoring well was dryer than the grounds of the Kalahari desert with one goal in his next 17 appearances. His dip in form in the tail end of last season coupled with his poor start to the preseason has become a cause for concern for a faction of the gooners. We all know that Robin van Persie is a striker that’s capable of scoring 40 goals in a season if he’s fully fit but the demons of injuries always know when to strike his Dutch glass bones. Nicklas Bendtner is really close to the exit door and Carlos Vela might be used as a winger so an injury to van Persie would lay all the burden of attacking to Chamakh. He’ll get his first real shot to stake a claim for the jersey in Europe because van Persie will be suspended thanks to the incompetence of Massimo Busacca.
Moving over to news regarding possible arrivals, Valencia’s boss Unai Emery has told everyone that Mata is going nowhere. Arsenal had a bid rejected for the left-footed bloke but it seems as if an improved offer is on the cards. However, the media Vultures say that Arsenal will set its sights on Sochaux’s Marvin Martin if Mata’s proposed deal falls through. I’ve never watched Sochaux play any match but I’ve done my homework on the chap and he’s labeled as a player with very good technique on the ball and excellent vision. He’s a 23-year lad that has been with Sochaux since 2008 and has notched up a century of appearances for the club. He has also represented France on two occasions and he has scored two goals. Both goals came in the 4-1 friendly victory over Ukraine. Andrey Arshavin and Jack Wilshere could see Martin and have some hope because he stands at 5′ 7″ tall but his frame is not a determining factor for his footballing attributes.
I’d still take Mata any day but Wenger knows best.
Birmingham’s Scott Dann has also pledged his future to the St. Andrew faithful and I’ll let him know when I give two fledgling f*cks. The gooners have been crying to Wenger to deliver the defensive messiahs in the form of Chris Samba and Gary Cahill then Dann pops up from nowhere to be touted as a possible target for a club that already has Laurent Koscielny, Johan Djourou and Silvestre’s long lost cousin called the Squisha. We need defenders that are better than the present crop with the exclusion of Thomas Vermaelen and Scott Dann is no where close.
Yesterday, thousands of Arsenal members visit Emirates Stadium to watch an exclusive open training session with the first team. The junior Gunners were given the chance to make flags and banners showing their Arsenal heroes while they strutted their stuffs on the training ground. Members then began streaming in to get their seats as soon as the first-team had finished having pictures taken ahead of the new season, giving them a prime location from which to watch training and the special on-pitch activities taking place.
As soon as the team had been put through their paces, five young members were picked from the crowd to take penalties against the club’s goalkeepers. Others were involved in a crossbar challenge with Benik Afobe, Carl Jenkinson and Henri Lansbury. While everything seemed to go according to plan, a few eyebrows were raised when Nicklas Bendtner trained as normal with the rest of the team, while Samir Nasri, Manuel Almunia, Emmanuel Eboue and Jack Wilshere sat out completely, with Theo Walcott doing some light running.
Almunia has been out of favor for a long while while Farmer Eboue’s days are numbered in the club but B52’s training could indicate that his fagent hasn’t found the deal from the million and one clubs that he said has been linked with his son/client. Bendtner is a player that I admire because he adds dynamism to Arsenal’s play but he has a mouth that needs to be shut like Weapon XI in X-Men Origins. Chamakh is the likely replacement for van Persie but I’ll like Bendtner to remain at the club so that he’ll be able to fight for his place in the team instead of chickening out to Portugal or Germany. Benik Afobe, Ryo Miyaichi, Emmanuel Frimpong and Henri Lansbury caught the eye with decent touches and it seems as if the quartet has been promoted to the first team this upcoming season that commences next week at St. James Park.
After the training session, it was Q and A time and Wenger was barraged with the usual cliches he was used to but he did well to create answers that everybody wanted to hear. In other Arsenal news, Vermaelen wants the club to challenge for title honors this season, Miyaichi was blocked from taking part in an Under-21 friendly for Japan, Wilshere says that he’s still trying to prove himself, Samuel Galindo has been sent to Gimnastic de Terragona on loan and Jenkinson explains why he chose the No. 25 jersey.
At least Jenkinson didn’t say that Emmanuel Greedybayor was his role model, as the lanky Togolese proclaimed when he wanted to take over Kanu Nwankwo’s jersey.
Finally, the draws for the Champions League play-offs takes place today and Arsenal has been seeded so the club is going to avoid Bayern Munich, Villarreal and Lyon so Arsenal’s potential opponents are Rubin Kazan, Udinese, FC Twente, Odense and FC Zurich.
Not a bad way to enter the group stages innit?
For those that don’t know, I didn’t win the award for the Best Sports blog in Nigeria but it was an honor to be nominated as one of the top 5 Sports blogs in the entire country.
I’m off to Ikeja.
The football quiz comes up today and I’ve loaded my head with all sorts of football info ranging from milestones in the World Cup to MVPs, top goalscorers and much more.
N1,000,000 is worth cramming Christopher Samba’s middle name for.
It’s Veijeany 🙂
Wish me luck