News From The Grove

Zenith Trying To Inflate Arshavin’s Price, Claims Agent

Posted in Arsenal by Our Correspondent on January 7, 2009

arshavinZenit St. Petersburg is trying to use the media to inflate the price of star playmaker Andrei Arshavin, according to the player’s agent Dennis Lachter. When asked to comment on the reports that Arshavin is on the verge of signing a three year deal with the club, Lachter had this to say:

“There is no news, no negotiations yet. I represent the player and I can assure you I would know if something had been discussed. It is the people of Zenit trying to initiate some kind of interest. They are trying to use the media to make the price of Arshavin £20million – I would not take it seriously.”

Meanwhile, Zenit have confirmed that Arsenal is the only club they are talking to about a deal for Arshavin. Maxim Mitrofanov, the club’s General Director, said that a deal could be reached within the next two weeks. However, he wasn’t willing to name a price for the player. He said:

“It’s very difficult to discuss the Arshavin value. We want to get an adequate payment. We also need to see what player will be coming to us to replace Andrei.”

Emmanuel Eboue, who said that the Emirates boo boys made him a stronger person, has now revealed that Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan are interested in him. He went on to say that although he is happy at the Emirates at the minute, the decision lies with the manager. He said:

“I have been linked with Inter before, but at the moment I am happy at Arsenal. I am fighting to reach the level I was at in 2006. I have been the victim of many injuries and that is why I have not been consistent enough. But I will fight and prove my worth to the fans. I am happy at the club. Inter are a great club as well, but I don’t know what will happen. Let’s wait and see.”

Jack Wilshere has signed professional terms with the club.  Jack turned 17 on New Year’s day, which allowed him to sign his first professional contract. Speaking about the boy’s qualities, Arsene Wenger said:

“We are delighted that Jack has signed a professional contract with us. Jack is a player with great potential, with an ability to find the final ball and also score goals.  Jack is a passionate and committed young player, he is not afraid of tackles and I am convinced he will have tremendous penetrative power in a few years.  We have already seen Jack’s qualities in both his first team performances and in training on a regular basis, and we look forward to Jack being an important part of our first team for years to come.”


Arsenal 6 – 0 Sheffield Utd, Michel Platini Has Lost It

Posted in Arsenal by Our Correspondent on September 24, 2008

First watch the video of Arsenal vs Sheffield United Carling Cup tie that Arsenal’s young team won 6-0. Now some facts. The average age of the Arsenal team that took on Sheffield Utd was 19. The oldest player on the pitch was 23 year old Lukas Fabianski. 19 year old Carlos Alberto Vela scored a hattrick. 16 year old Jack Wilshere became the second youngest goal scorer for Arsenal. Sheffield Utd had such experienced players as Gary Speed and Paddy Kenny.

Fielding a young side in the Carling Cup has been a policy of Arsene Wenger for quite sometime now. And we have been successful in reaching the later stages of this tournament quite consistently. Four out of last five seasons we have reached the semis or beyond. We routed Liverpool 6-2 at Anfield. But never have so many people sat up and taken notice of this young breed of players. They always knew that Arsenal develop young players. But they are now scared of the products that this football factory is churning out. Even the detractors of Arsenal and Arsene Wenger must have noticed that there were a number of English boys in the team who tore Kevin Blackwell’s team apart.

Wenger believes in this team and believes that this bunch of young players can go all the way. He said:

“We want to win the trophy with this team. [I won’t change the team] Tottenham or not Tottenham or anybody else. I believe the only pressure you have is when you go through the rounds and get to the semi-final. Suddenly everybody is starting to say OK, and now you have to change all the players. “You let them play how they played tonight and suddenly you say ‘sorry you don’t play anymore’. For me that is not serious, no matter how far we go we have to stick to our policy.”

With Arsenal sitting on top of the table, the youngsters showing how good they are, Eduardo and Rosicky on their way back to the first team, it looks pretty good for the team at the minute. The way the team plays, the attitude, the team spirit, all instilled in them by Arsene Wenger, as seen by the ‘secret document’ discovered in a hotel. Speaking of which, Wenger declared that we are proud of our Bolton prep-talk. And why wouldn’t we be? There is nothing wrong in what Arsene said/says to the team. And the results are to be seen. We went one down and still managed to wallop them.

We play beautiful football, we play effective football and people like to watch us because we play entertaining football. That is why our club and our manager are respected world over. Because he has contributed a lot for the development of the players and the game of football as a whole. Everybody accepts that, except a certain Michel Platini. The UEFA boss has alleged that Wenger is more concerned about business than developing football. In an interview, Platini was asked about the introduction of video technology in the game. To which he replied:

“I like to talk about football, him (Wenger) about business. We must stop with Wenger and all that. “It would make me happy that Arsene Wenger never sees it.”

Citing the example of the recent victory of Romania’s CFR Cluj over AS Roma, he continued:

“That is what makes football so great. It is what people like Wenger do not want, little clubs beating the big clubs, because they want their business.”

Wenger didn’t like these comments and nor did the League Managers’ Association. LMA Chairman Howard Wilkinson said:

“Platini has made serious and personal comments about one of football’s greatest ever managers, who is also counted among our most respected member.”

Why did Platini say those things? Because, him and Sepp Blatter are two morons that need to wake up to reality. Rather than making and supporting rules that are good for football, for example goal line technology, they go on harping about meaningless ‘home grown’ and ‘6+ 5’ rules, which are in direct contrast to the European Union laws. And besides, how is the introduction of goal line technology against small teams like CFR Cluj and how is it good for business? Platini accuses Wenger of doing little for football. Wonder what he has done for football himself? Yes, nothing is the answer. Him and Blatter have somehow got their chair and every once in a while, these two meet in some secret dark hole, get high on some crack and give some ridiculous statements to the press. And the bald one goes to South Africa to do a stupid little jig.

It’s time the national associations wake up and see what these two are really upto and ensure that these maniacs are thrown out. Because they are harming the game of football with their crazy demented ideas.

More tomorrow…

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Adebayor Hattrick Demolishes Blackburn, Jack Wilshere Creates Arsenal History

Posted in Arsenal by Our Correspondent on September 13, 2008

After two games in short interval for England, it was felt that Arsene Wenger would rest Theo Walcott for the game against Blackburn. But looking at the kind of form he is in lately, he was named in the starting line-up. Wenger’s move was vindicated almost immediately, as Walcott, deployed on the left, skipped pass three defenders as he cut inside and found Robin van Persie with an inch perfect pass. The Dutchman made no mistake and we were up inside eight minutes. Although there were a few scary moments when Blackburn attacked, the back four were never really under any pressure and Santa Cruz was surprisingly quiet today. The second goal at the stroke of half time was a gem. The attack started from inside the Arsenal half and went all the way to right corner of the Blackburn box, went back to the centre circle, then to left of the Blackburn box, from where Denilson’s cross was easily dispatched by Adebayor. A string of 20 odd passes. Arsenal started off the second half from where they left and soon it was a question of how many the Gunners would put past Paul Robinson. Adebayor got his second when Eboue went down under Warnock’s challenge inside the box. Although he was stretchered off, I’m not sure if Warnock actually touched Eboue. It looked more like Eboue touching Warnock and then going down. Anyway, Adebayor completed his hattrick a couple of minutes later, after receiving a clever pass from Aaron Ramsey. He easily rounded off Robinson and bulged the net. Speaking after the game, Wenger said:

“Blackburn are a team that can be dangerous going forward and I feel that, as well as our good offensive performance, we had a good defensive performance. On crosses they can be extremely dangerous but we kept [Roque] Santa Cruz quiet. I am happy we didn’t concede and that we always looked fluid going forward. It was a well-accomplished away game.”

It was well-accomplished indeed.With this victory, we have now 9 points from 4 games, with a goal difference of 7. Only Liverpool and Chelsea are ahead of us, following their victory over the two Manchester clubs. Interestingly, Manyoo are in the 13th position and Spuds are where they belong, bottom of the table. Here is the full table for you. Next up is Champions League group stages game against Dynamo Kyiv in Valeri Lobanovski Stadium. We don’t have a great record against them. Out of the 4 matches played between the two teams, Arsenal have won 1, lost 2 and the other one was a draw. Therefore the players need a lot of rest, possibly some oxygen therapy, some heat treatment and stuff like that to make sure all knocks and niggles are gone. At present the situation doesn’t look too good. Speaking of which, Wenger said:

“Nasri is a big doubt for that, Eboue we might lose and Clichy too. We have to assess them tomorrow. It doesn’t look too good.”

Now, if Clichy goes and with Traore on loan at Pompey, who’ll take over the leftback position. Possibly Gallas, with Djourou partnering Toure in the middle. We could also see some young players making the trip. Speaking of which, Jack Wishere today created history by becoming the youngest ever Arsenal player to play in the Premiership and the youngest ever player to represent Arsenal in the league. The complete list is here.

In the other news, the 33-year-old Brazilian played a closed door game for us against Fulham. It is understood that it was to assess his fitness. Why would you let go of Gilberto Silva (31 years) and not pursue Stephen Appiah (27 years) and go after Maicon. This is beyond me. Anyway, that’s all for now. More Tomorrow.

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