News From The Grove

Arteta On Arsene’s Radar

Posted in Arsenal by Our Correspondent on January 2, 2009
arteta1The first half of the 2008/2009 season has been somewhat disappointing for Arsenal. Arsenal lost games that everybody expected the team to win. Defeats to Fulham, Stoke, Manchester City and Hull City. Also, the team dropped crucial points, with draw against Sunderland, Aston Villa and that horrific 4-4 against Spurs. Add to that the injuries to Theo Walcott and Cesc Fabregas, all seems lost. Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the team must make a couple of signings in order to maintain at least 4th place in the league and ensure Champions League qualification. However, the manager stressed on ‘experience’, somebody that can adapt to the English way of playing from the word go. That would mean a player who is not cup-tied and plays for a Premier League team. The first name to be linked with us is Everton’s Mikel Arteta. He definitely would be a good buy. He is creative, has a few tricks up his sleeve and most importantly, he scores a lot of goals. The other name doing the rounds is Mathew Upson. With reports that the Hammers are planning to sell a few players to finance their purchases, Upson could be a good bargain. The ex-Arsenal man has matured into a solid central defender and could become a good addition to the squad. We have also been linked with Andrei Arshavin. He was supposed to join us in the summer, however, he priced himself out of the deal. Now, his agent has confirmed that his client is ready to take a paycut to join us. I’m not sure if we require his service though. As far as players going out of the team, Arsene had already declared that he wouldn’t allow anyone to leave the team. And the big news is that the team rejected Kolo Toure’s transfer request. Kolo has not been in his prime for the last several months and he is unable to hold a regular starting place in the side. There were reports that Manchester City were planning to pay GBP 10 million for him. However, with a small squad, Arsenal can ill afford to let any players go. Also linked to other clubs are William Gallas (GBP 5 million – AC Milan) and Arsene Wenger and Cesc Fabregas (Unknown – Real Madrid). At the minute, the possibility of that happening seems very unlikely. What we require now is an aggressive bid for Mikel Arteta. That could really give an edge to the side. 

Gallas No Longer Arsenal Captain

Posted in Arsenal by Our Correspondent on November 21, 2008

gallas1William Gallas is no longer the captain of Arsenal Football Club.  After questioning his teammates commitment in an interview, he was relieved off his duties by Arsene Wenger. Although no official comments have been made by the club yet, it is understood that the choice is between Kolo Toure and Gael Clichy to replace Gallas. An announcement from the club is expected soon.

Walcott’s Hattrick, England’s Revenge

Posted in Arsenal by Our Correspondent on September 10, 2008

Theo Walcott has announced his arrival into the international scene. With a superb performance, the 19-year-old decimated Croatia in the World Cup 2010 qualifier match in Zagreb, thus making England the first country ever to win a competitive match in Croatia. First selected as a 16-year-old for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where he didn’t get to play a single game, he has come a long way. On a night when England had to do well after their lacklustre performance against lowly Andorra, Walcott took the number 7 and the right midfield from David Beckham. And did he perform or what!!

26th minute: Croatia fail to clear their line following an English attack. Ball falls to Walcott and he drives a low shot into the net.

59th minute: Rooney plays one-two with Heskey before passing it to Walcott. Walcott drills another into the net.

82nd minute: Rooney plays a through ball. Walcott sprints forward and calmly beats the goalkeeper

This will give the young man a lot of confidence and he will be able to play with more freedom. The other teams better watch out because Theo Walcott has arrived.

Since I’m not a fan of England’s football team and the only other game on TV was France against Serbia, I decided to watch that. Surprisingly, Gallas partnered Abidal in central defence, with Clichy and Sagna playing as fullbacks. Henry as usual got his customary goal and Anelka got the other in the 2-1 win for the French. Samir Nasri didn’t feature and Mathieu Flamini came on for the last 3 seconds and didn’t get a touch of the ball. Among Arsenal interests, I thought Sagna was excellent. His forward runs were awesome and on couple of occasions he easily took on Nemanja Vidic.

Well, nothing else happening as far as Arsenal are concerned. No developments yet on the Appiah issue as well. So that’s all for now. More Tomorrow.

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The News Now: Theo Buzzing, While Fabregas Wants To Improve

Posted in Arsenal by Our Correspondent on September 9, 2008

The second round of internationals are set to begin and with the kind of performance given by England against Andorra, I’ve high hopes from the Three Lions against Croatia. I mean, who doesn’t want to see those over-paid ‘stars’ get beaten by other hard-working, better talented teams! Only player I’d like to see do well is our Theo Walcott. Not because, as I mentioned, I want to see England win. But because this would give him the confidence and experience, which would come in handy as the season progresses. Walcott himself believes that he is ready. He says:

I feel great. I’m buzzing at the moment. I’m flying. I’m looking forward to it. I just can’t wait for Wednesday.”

He also says something about his final ball and Cristiano Ronaldo, which I’m not really keen to discuss. Anything to do with that one trick diver, I’m not really keen to discuss. Moving on, it seems that the new owners of Manchester City, who broke the British transfer record to sign Robinho from Real Madrid, were interested in buying Arsenal and even held talks with the ugly Uzbeki Usmanov. The Uzbeki refused to sell and it is now reported that he has kicked David Dein out of Red and White Holdings. It is understood that Dein got the kick because he promised to get the Uzbeki a total control of the club within a year, but failed due to the lockdown agreement in force, which keeps the club in safe hands until 2012. What would happen after 2012 is anybody’s guess and Chairman Peter Hill-Wood is aware that with the current changing scenario in English football, things could change for Arsenal. He says:

“We want the club to stay in its current ownership and, of course, you have some concern that someone will try to buy the club. The directors don’t want to sell but we are a public company. It depends on the price.”

The last sentence is worrying. We are the only top club in the country who have not fallen prey to these money minting machines. Whatever success we have, it is not because of any sugar daddy. These new owners of Manchester City had recently announced that they would go for Torres, Ronaldo and Fabregas in the coming January transfer window. Fabregas had come out saying that he would not be interested in joining them. He has reiterated the fact that it would be a demotion in footballing terms, if he moves to Eastlands. He loves it in Arsenal and says that he is focused on winning titles here. He also concedes that he needs to improve certain aspects of his game. What can you say about this young man. He just doesn’t stop to amaze. Not only is he an excellent footballer, he is also a very mature and humble human being, who always looks to improve not only his game but his personality. Wish there were more players like him. Compare Cesc Fabregas to Joey Barton. You know, I was never a great fan of William Gallas. But when he comes out to give sound bytes like this, you gotto love him, albeit for a minute. A couple of days back, I asked what kind of an Arsenal fan are you. Reports are emerging now that the club indeed made a bid for Stephane M’Bia of French club Rennes. They refused to sell him to us and now it is learned that he has signed a new deal with them. Well, good luck to him. Meanwhile, agents of Italian starlet Giovinco say that Arsenal never made an approach for him and he is looking to extend his contract with Juventus. Well, good luck to him as well. The cunt.

There are reports that the Stephen Appiah deal could happen in a day or two. I’ll keep you updated. More Tomorrow.

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