Blog Archives

New Deal for Wenger and a Tale of Sagna and the City

image

With the 2013/14 FA Cup gently placed on the Emirates trophy cabinet (yes, the black Widow spider is gone), the Arsenal hierarchy has moved on to achieve its next target – tying down Arsene Wenger to a new long term contract.

According to the Guardian, the Arsenal boss is set to sign a new three year deal worth £8m per year and the Mirror also reports that he will be given a large transfer kitty to compete with the ‘big boys’ of the Premier League.

If Wenger signs the deal, he would extend his day at the club beyond the 20-year mark which will be an exceptional achievement. Arsène Wenger and Arsenal, a match made in Heaven.

He spoke after the Cup final triumph of the need to add “two or three players” in the summer transfer window and he hopes to complete the signing of the Queens Park Rangers striker Loïc Rémy, whose contract has an £8m buy-out clause. There’s a long summer ahead so there will be enough to dwell on issues like this.

Rémy might not be the almighty striker the fans need but having him around wouldn’t be a bad idea either. He reminds me of Thierry Henry and he’s a good finisher, and he’s also versatile enough to play on the wings or strike alongside his fellow Frenchman, Olivier Giroud, when the need arises.

Wenger guided his team to a first trophy in nine years as well as another Champions League qualification campaign, so the Gunners would be anxious to know who they face in the playoffs. They are guaranteed of a pot one spot if they win their qualifying fixture but the Gunners would be weary of the likes of Borussia Dortmund and PSG that are in pot two. That’s a tale of another day though.

Speaking of tales, Arsenal fans fears have become realised with the fact that Sagna is odds on to join Manchester City for reasons best known to Chuck Norris, Lord Voldemort and the evil monkey in Chris Griffin’s closet.

Sagna, who becomes a free agent next month and has been unable to agree to fresh terms at the Emirates Stadium, is considering the offer of a three-year deal from Manchester City which would significantly increase his current wage of £50,000-a-week. Several other clubs have monitored the 31-year-old’s situation.

Wenger was so keen to retain Sagna’s services to the level that he was ready to break the club’s rule of offering over-30 year olds one year rolling contracts but this wasn’t good enough for BacMan.

Sagna waved to Arsenal supporters at Wembley and he even had tears in his eyes as he left the stadium.

“I don’t know whether it was my last match for Arsenal. “As everybody knows, I am at the end of my contract and we haven’t found an agreement [with the club]. I am happy to lift a trophy. On a personal level, this final was a revenge after losing the 2011 Carling Cup to Birmingham City. There was a lot of emotion

.”

It has been stated that he would arrive at the Etihad after the World Cup and it’s going to be interesting to see how he challenges Pablo Zabaleta in the right back position.

Arsenal will have an uphill task in replacing the full back with Toulouse’s Serge Aurier heavily linked, even though I won’t mind me some lil ol’ Seamus.

A review of the season will be published tomorrow.

Sayonara

Sagna and Fabianski Reject New Deals: Thoughts on their Futures with the Club

Lukasz Fabianski and Bacary Sagna are poised to leave Arsenal

The exodus from Arsenal continues

Arsenal has been renowned in recent times as a “selling club” following the high-profile departures of key players in recent seasons. Unlike a club like Atletico Madrid that replaces a high-profile departure with an equally exciting new signing, Arsenal usually replaces their stars with cheaper options that won’t match the player that left for greener pastures.

For instance, Arsenal lost two creative talents in the forms of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri in the same summer but the manager chose to favor an Aaron Ramsey that wasn’t ready at point in time, so he struggled for fitness and form. More recently, the Gunners lost a perpetual goalscoring machine of the first kind, Robin van Persie, and replaced him with Olivier Giroud, a forward that combines his purple patch of good form with goal droughts.

This summer, it looked as if the Gunners finally got it right in the transfer window, as the club was a deadwood-disposal campaign which saw the likes of Gervinho and Vito Mannone leave for meager amounts while Andre Santos, Denilson, Andrey Arshavin, Seb Squillaci and Marouane Chamakh left for nothing. The Gunners went on to sign a progidal son, Mathieu Flamini, and a world-class talent in Mesut Ozil, which gave everyone a lift.

Since then, Arsenal has mounted an impressive Premier League campaign (currently in second place), awaiting a FA Cup fifth round clash at home to Liverpool and they have a double date with the European champions, Bayern Munich.

Just when we thought we were having a bad start to the week after the decimation at Anfield, the Daily Star has reported that the club’s most consistent fullback, Bacary Sagna, and reserve goalie, Lukasz Fabianski, have rejected new deals with the club and are set to leave on a Bosman this summer.

According to the Daily Star, Fabianski said,

 “I want to be No.1 in the club and in the Polish national team. I have learned a lot at London during very positive and challenging periods. With biggest respect to this great club, I didn’t accept the extension offer as I am looking forward to a new challenge in England or abroad.”

Since his arrival as Manuel Almunia’s deputy in 2007, Fabianski has made just 71 appearances and has kept 22 clean sheets. That’s an average of just 10 games per season and for a young keeper in need of consistent game time, that’s not good enough. His cause isn’t also helped by the fact that he’s been benched by his Polish compatriot, Wojciech Szczesny, and with Artur Boruc doing well in Southampton, Fabianski is unlikely to add to his 21 caps for Poland.

Fabianski’s save of life against Wolves in 2010

The Polish goalie has expressed his dissatisfaction over lack of game time in the past and there was a time when he instructed his agent to find him a new club. Lukasz Fabianski arrived at Arsenal on the back of two Polish League Goalkeeper of the Year awards for 2005 and 2006 but he was a deputy for Manuel Almunia. Wenger offered the Pole a chance in the Cup competitions but he continued to push hard for a first team place.

It was fabled that Fabianski kept like a goalie with eyes behind his back on the training ground but he couldn’t replicate that form on the pitch. When I think of his top-notch calamitous moment against Porto in February 2010, I always give myself a few fits of laughter but Fabianski matured as a player in the 2010/11 campaign. Manuel Almunia let complacency creep into his game and Fabianski came in his stead and grabbed the bull by its horns and its balls.

Goalkeepers' Union: Szczesny congratulates Lukasz Fabianski at the end of the 2-0 win at Swansea on Saturday

Fabianski benched Szczesny, albeit temporarily, at some point last season

There were times when Fabianski would have had the chance to make the No. 1 jersey his, but he has had some bad luck with injuries. After usurping Almunia in the 2010/11 campaign, Fabianski played consistently and put up some great performances notably against Everton (away) and Wolves (away). However, a shoulder injury paved the way for Szczesny to make his Premier League debut. Last season, Wenger reinstated Fabianski ahead of Szczesny in the crucial encounter against Bayern Munich and he kept his place against Swansea recording two clean sheets in a row. Unfortunately, a rib injury suffered in the game against Norwich cost the Pole his place.

There are not many second-choice goalies that are as good as Fabianski and with his heart made up with an imminent departure, I wish him all the very best. I hope he moves to a Premier League mid-table side so that at least, I can get to watch him on a consistent basis, and when he comes to the Emirates, his songs will be in full voice.

****

I’ve shared my thoughts about Bacary Sagna’s future and I won’t drawn into making more words on it but all I can say is that losing a player like Sagna would be disastrous, but if the club can replace him with quality players like Lukasz Piszczesk, Seamus Coleman, Sebastien Corchia or some random bloke from outer space, the blow would be softened. I don’t believe that Carl Jenkinson has what it takes to replace Sagna yet but he’ll get there soon.

Jenkinson v Sagna

According to the Daily Star, Sagna is upset that Arsene Wenger and Arsenal did not approach him sooner about a new deal, leaving talks until his final year at the club – in sharp contrast to their approach to other stars. Arsenal wants Sagna to sign a contract extension with the same amount of £60,000 a week but the defender feels that he deserves more.

For a player that has served this club with all dedication even to the extent of breaking his leg twice, it would be a shame if Arsenal loses Sagna because of a few extra pounds. Teams like Galatasaray, Paris St. Germain and AS Monaco will be willing to break bank for Sagna and for the fact that we haven’t heard any info about them signing a pre-contract with the fullback, it means that he still wants to stay but he believes that he has earned a pay rise.

Sagna would be 31 on Friday and this protracted saga would continue till the end of the season. However, it doesn’t look as if it’s affecting his game, even though he and the rest of his teammates had an off day in Anfield.

I’ll keep you updated as the situation unfolds.

Sayonara.

You can download the Gooner Daily  BlackBerry App to receive notifications on your Smart Phone when a post is published.

You can follow Gooner Daily on Twitter  @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back

Feel free to visit Gooner Daily’s  Facebook page and click on the like button.

You can also join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List to get notifications of new posts by email by clicking on the Follow button

 

Bacary Sagna: Latest Updates on the Defender’s Contract Situation

Sagna: Are you staying or going?

Bacary Sagna has been at Arsenal for as long as I can remember.

At the age of 30 (turning 31 next week), he is regarded as one of the senior players in the squad and he has been through a lot in his seven-year stint with the club. Arriving in the Premier League with a relatively unknown status, the Frenchman worked his way up the food chain in his debut campaign in England, endearing himself into Arsenal hearts and winning a place in the 2008 PFA Team of the Year.

From that moment he set the tone for what has been one hell of a career in North London.

Despite making up a lot of distance further up the pitch to support his attacking winger on a consistent basis whilst performing his defensive duties admirably, Sagna continued to maintain amazing fitness levels and the number of appearances he made in his first four seasons were staggering, in contrast to his recent injury-plagued campaigns.

In his time at Arsenal, the fans have become accustomed to his eccentric hairstyle, his beautiful Ludivine, his optimal fitness levels, amazing work rate, his influence on Carl Jenkinson and most importantly, his unrivaled consistency that has been put in question in recent times. Suffering two broken legs definitely took a toll on Sagna’s fitness and form, but he myst be lauded for trying to come back stronger.

For the first time in a long while, the Gunners managed to keep their key players while getting rid of their deadwood, and they have mounted a remarkable Premier League campaign, leading the log table with 14 games to go. They have also advanced to the fifth round of the FA Cup and they have a tasty clash against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

In recent times, Arsenal has had a mass exodus of players that have left for greener pastures. The departures of Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasir, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy and most recently, Robin van Persie, didn’t go down well with the Emirates faithful. When it seemed as if Theo Walcott was going to join the trend, he made a U-turn and signed a long-term deal that would keep him in the club for years to come.

However, it seems as if Bacary Sagna is going to join the trend but plans are in place to retain his services for the long term. Arsenal are set to offer Bacary Sagna a two-year contract extension worth £70,000 per week, but the French right-back is looking for an extra 12 months on top. According to the Mirror, the Frenchman’s future remains in doubt,

“Bacary Sagna is having a fresh round of contract talks as Arsenal make a last-ditch bid to persuade him to remain a Gunner.

Sagna, who turns 31 next week, wants a three-year deal to stay with the league leaders, and so far talks have been deadlocked.”

With the full back linked with big-money moves to AS Monaco, Paris St. Germain, Galatasaray and most recently, Al Alhi of the United Arab Emirates, Sagna will have a big decision to make on the next step in his career this summer. Unlike Robert Lewandowski, Sagna hasn’t signed a pre-contract with any club, so his future still remains on the balance.

According to stats king, WhoScored.com, Sagna has made 26 appearances this season and he averages 1.6 tackles each match, 1.4 interceptions and 0.6 fouls, notching up three yellow cards. He has also registered a goal as well as three assists this season.

With Per Mertesacker gearing himself to sign a new deal, it would be sad seeing a stalwart like Sagna leave on a free transfer. Sagna has been a vital part of the Arsenal defense that has kept 11 clean sheets in the Premier League. Sagna has amassed 265 appearances for the club and I can only hope that he would be able to add to this tally next season but should he decide to seek greener pastures elsewhere, I won’t shed a tear because Arsenal is like the Greek mythical creature, Hydra.

If you take one head out, another pops up.

Sayonara.