Daily Archives: March 28, 2013
With the exception of Theo Walcott suffering an injury during the international break, everything seemed pretty good for Arsenal football club.
Arsenal’s newbie, Nacho Monreal, played 90 minutes for his nation and provided the match-winning assist for Pedro Rodriguez as Spain grabbed an all-important win over France while Santi Cazorla had to make to with a place on the bench.
From a French Arsenal perspective, Laurent Koscielny played for the entire game but that can’t be said about Olivier Giroud, that managed for get some game time in the dying moments. I don’t know if French boss, Didier Deschamps, was expecting the striker to perform some magic with just a handful of minutes to play.
Elsewhere, Tomas Rosicky, Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen all played 90 minutes for their respective nations while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski had to be content with a place on the bench.
With nine Premier League games to go, Arsenal will make a final surge for a fourth place finish as they continue breathe down the necks of Tottenham and Chelsea. The Gunners will have to make do with the current crop of players but as expected, the media has wasted no time in linking the Gunners with a host of players.
On potential arrivals, speculation linking Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic to Arsenal has gained a lot of ground, and the player himself favors a move to North London. However, in a sudden twist of fate, Jovetic’s Fiorentina teammate and World Cup winner, Luca Toni, came out from his lair to advise his chum against switching to the Emirates,
“If he has to leave, then make it for a real top club. Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United fit that bill, but Arsenal are not better than Fiorentina.”
Luca Toni is a household name in world football and he’s renowned for his amazing goals to game ratio in most of the clubs he’s played for. This journeyman no different from Nicolas Anelka has played for up to 14 different football clubs scattered across Italy and a big money move to Bayern Munich was sandwiched in between.
Toni, like every footballer, is open to his own opinion but comparing Arsenal to Fiorentina in a ploy to make his teammate stay in Florence is pretty deluded if you ask me. I don’t watch Jovetic on a regular basis, but I humbly feel that he’s a bit overhyped like the Neymars of this world.
On his day, he’s a pleasure to behold but he’s not what Arsenal needs at the moment. Arsene Wenger should be better suited searching for a recognized holding midfielder and an out-and-out striker to challenge Giroud for his place, not a young playmaker forward that would join a part of the squad flooded with personnel.
Still sticking with attackers, former Gunner lobber-in-chief, Carlos Vela, has been linked with a move back to the Emirates. It is believed that Arsenal inserted a buy-back clause in his contract with Real Sociedad, by the Aztec Warrior has played down any potential moves to a place he once called home,
“Arsenal are a big team who gave me the opportunity to play in Europe. I will always remember that, but I didn’t have the opportunities that I felt I deserved.
“I am very happy here [at Real Sociedad] and would like to stay here.”
No one can deny that Carlos Vela’s potential was massive and a hat-trick against Sheffield United in his full debut made fans drool. Vela couldn’t command a first-team berth but he showed glimpses of his quality when he was summoned on the pitch. His penchant for lobbing opposition goalies became a trademark and to be honest, he hardly disappointed when he was one on one, unlike the World’s Best Striker, Nicklas Bendtner.
I believe that if Vela had half the chances Bendtner got…
If I take you down memory lane, Arsenal fans and probably Arsene Wenger would curse the day the club let Zlatan Ibrahimovic of its sights as the mercurial Swede rejected Arsenal’s proposal for a trial before joining Ajax. After a successful spell in Holland, Zlatan has gone on to win a host of titles in leading European nations before settling for the petro-greens of Paris St. Germain.
Lightening doesn’t strike twice but it seems as if Arsenal’s plans to hand Nigeria’s Sunshine Stars defender, Godfrey Oboabona, a trial is about to hit a massive brick wall. The defender was more than happy to fly to London to show what he was made of, despite the fact that the world witnessed his exploits in the concluded African Cup of Nations, where his team emerged victorious.
Manager of Sunshine Stars FC, Mike Odoko, has potentially blocked his trial move to North London after these comments,
“The world has seen Godfrey play at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa where he featured in all of Nigeria’s games till they won the trophy, so we won’t send him on trials. I want to believe Arsenal have sent for him to have a medical rather than a trial.”
“There are several offers from other English clubs, who have been impressed with his performances for Nigeria and that’s why we believe he will sign straightaway than be given a trial. For now, there’s been no contact from Arsenal to us.”
Be the judge of that.
On potential departures, Arsenal fans would be delighted to know that Mr. Calamity himself, Andre Santos, has expressed his desire to remain at Gremio on a permanent basis. Amen to that!
Andre Santos was one of Arsene Wenger’s world-famous “panic buys” and he had the left back slot for keeps when Kieran Gibbs continued to struggle with niggling injuries. The Brazilian also spent a considerable chunk out as well when he injured his ankle in a dead rubber game against Olympiakos.
At the start of the new season, Gibbs grew into his role admirably but Santos’ form waned so badly that Arsenal fans had nightmares by the mere sight of his name in the starting lineup. His stunt with Robin van Persie was the last straw and fans barraged him on Twitter for that act.
His manager also lost confidence in his ability even to the extent when he delved into the transfer market on deadline day to sign a new left back when Gibbs got injured yet again. Like Odenilson, he has gone back home and has found solace in the front of his compatriots rather than a hostile environment across the Atlantic.
Like Andre Santos, Arsenal’s out-of-favor Russian attacking midfielder is living on borrowed time and he’s heavily linked with a move to Azerbaijani outfit, Khazar Lankaran. The little magician set the Premier League ablaze in his debut campaign in the winter of 2009 and Arsenal fans regretted why he wasn’t eligible to play in the Champions League that season.
As the years went by, he struggled with his form, fitness, work ethic, life in England and pretty much everything else to the dismay of the fans that sang his praises. Arshavin has gone so further down the pecking order that he now shares the same cave with Sebastien Squillaci.
The Azerbaijani side is coached by Liverpool legend, John Toshack and the lure of a huge pay day in Azerbaijan would be something an aging player like Arshavin won’t think twice abut.
Finally, Galatasaray are planning to have three Ivorian musketeers as they intend to sign Arsenal’s eccentric winger, Gervinho, to join Didier Drogba and cult hero, Farmer Emmanuel Eboue (I call him a farmer because he uses his body to till the football soil, I’m sure you get my drift).
Gervinho has endured a bitter-sweet campaign as he enjoyed the early part of the season, even to the extent where he scored five goals in seven games but as the campaign progressed, we saw the old erratic Gervinho back and his gaping goal miss against Bradford City still goes down at one of my lowest points this season.
A win over Bradford would have earned the Gunners a semifinal berth against an Aston Villa side they were odds on to win. Had the Gunners dispatched Aston Villa, Swansea would have stood in their way to glory and they would have hope to go one better in their second Capital One Cup final in three years.
Alas! It was not to be as Gervinho alongside his teammates decided to be profligate despite scoring for fun in previous rounds.
Well there’s actually no point crying over spilled milk.
I’ll keep you updated with more transfer activity in the coming days, weeks and of course, months.
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