Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Advocaat: Arshavin, please go!

By 1970’s Gooner

Even Zenit’s coach is rooting for the Arshavin transfer saga to end! He is clearly fed up with the on off deal that has been witnessed in the last weeks.

"I hope that, with regard to Arshavin we will have finally taken some action. The whole story has taken too long. It is time to give a final answer” he said to the Russian media.

Advocaat recently had to leave Arshavin out of the line ups for the club’s two friendly games in the United Arab Emirates.

More importantly he also began to consider life without Arshavin in his team plans for the resumption of the Russian season in March.

In fact Zenit had already purchased Danny (a wonderful player by the way) at the beginning of the season for the hefty sum of €30m as a replacement thinking that Arshavin would leave for pastures new.

Now Dick Advocaat is quoted in the Russian media as saying that Zenit will be better off without Arshavin:

“I hope that the club will say yes. It would be better for Andrew and for the team”

It seems that Advocaat will not have to wait longer. Reports suggest that the player’s agent Dennis Lachter has travelled to London in order to agree personal terms on behalf of the player.

It is hoped that transfer dateline which is three days away, ending on Monday 2nd February, will be enough to get the deal through.

N.B If the last day of the transfer window is on a weekend the deadline can be extended to the following Monday at the request of those involved for business reasons. The last day of this transfer window is a Saturday.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Arshavin transfer is a done deal. Medical scheduled for the next two days

By 1970’s Gooner

As first reported on this site a long time ago when Arsenal put in an opening bid of £12m we can reveal that, contrary to what Arsene Wenger would like us to believe, the Arshavin deal is considered by the Russian media as already done.

In fact his medical has been arranged to take place in London in the next few days when the player is expected to join his new team mates.

Again contrary to what Wenger would have us believe the club is getting the papers ready for a work permit application to the Home office.

This has to be done in time for Arshavin to have a chance to play as soon as possible. It cannot yet be officially lodged as the signed transfer papers have to be part of the documents to be submitted.

It is reported that Arshavin has finally accepted to return half the amount of €5m he received from Zenit as his signing on fee for extending his contract with the club in 2006 for another four years.

It was agreed then that the player will return a part of that amount in accordance with the number of years he would have served of his four year contract.

The transfer fee appears to be £15m with Arshavin putting up the other £2.5m.

In the meantime Oleg Blochin, one of the all time top Russian forwards and now a coach, has predicted that Arshavin is not suited to English football and that he will struggle in the Premiership.

He considers him as too fragile and lacking the physical prowess to withstand the rigours of the English game. On the other hand he considers Tottenham’s Pavlichenco as the player that will do well in England as he is more strong and physical.

This remains to be seen however. We hope that Arsene knows best…

Thursday, January 15, 2009

War breaks out between Zenit and Arshavin over Arsenal

By 1970’s Gooner

Reports coming out of Russia suggest that Zenit are ready to go to war against Arshavin if, as we revealed yesterday, he carries out his threat to go on strike.

Zenit spokesman, Alexey Petrov, has stated that if Arshavin does not show up on the 16th of January to join up with the rest of his team mates for their winter tour of UAE the club will dock his wages off.

“Andrew is a Zenit player and therefore he is obliged to travel with the team. If the player is absent then Zenit will impose the appropriate fine” he said.

Arshavin is reported to have been furious at this latest development and has come out saying that he will not play for Zenit again!

“I will in any case not play for St. Petersburg again” he said. ”Even if the club would not agree to let me go (to Europe) I do not intend to play for Zenit. I would just sit and do nothing”.

According to friends of the player, the closest people to Arshavin, his mother and wife are trying to persuade him to temper his anger and to approach the situation with a cool head.

They are trying to urge him to stay with Zenit at least until the summer, when the transfer market may pick up again, the financial crisis will be on the decline and more clubs will have more money available to satisfy Zenit’s demands.

But apparently Arshavin is not going to compromise. It has been reported that he is so keen to move he has even offered to pay the difference between Arsenal’s bid and Zenit’s valuation (about £5m) in order to facilitate his move.

And data with regard to the biggest earners in Russian football show that he can well afford it. He was the top earner in 2008 with a $4m salary ahead of Vagner Love, Peter Odemvingie, Anatoly Tymoshchuk and Zenit’s top scorer Pavel Pogrebnyak.

As has been proven in almost all the cases where a player wants to leave a club, there is usually one winner.

And this will be good news for Arsenal.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Arshavin goes on strike

By 1970’s Gooner

Arsene Wenger is a wily owl.

Everyone had thought that going for Arshavin would have been futile with Manchester City’s petrol dollars bound to snatch him away once the bidding war was underway.

But it seems that Wenger must have known something otherwise he would not have gone in with an opening bid for the player. As you may remember we first reported on this site a £12m bid by Arsenal.

Whatever the amount eventually is agreed, Arshavin seems to have made his mind up. He wants to play for Arsenal:

"In some games last season, Zenit played football which was very similar to that of Arsenal" he said.

He even revealed what shirt number he would prefer to wear should he join Wenger's team.

“I would prefer my present Number 10 but in the team where I hope to move it's not vacant.

"So I'm ready for any number they are going to offer me."

The sad thing for Arshavin of course is that Zenit want the highest transfer fee they can get asking for as high as £20m.

Well, we can reveal that there has been a rift between Arshavin and his club with him pressing them to come to an agreed fee with Arsenal so that he can get his wish to play for them.

He has, it is reported, got a fellow football player to call the Zenit coach Dick Advokaat and let him know that Andrei would be 'opting out' of games until the Zenit hierarchy agrees to let him leave!

It seems that the only way that Arsenal would get to sign him would be for the player to really want to come to the Emirates.

If Arshavin carries out his threat then this may well force Zenit’s hand in the matter.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ex Arsenal target, Appiah, passes medical at Tottenham

By Aries

Arsene Wenger asked Stephen Appiah to come over to London Colney so that his staff and himself could assess him. This was a few months ago when the captain of Ghana finally relieved himself off the clutches of Fenerbace and became a free agend.

He had just recovered from a botched knee operation in Turkey which, as he claims, had gone wrong leaving him out of action for the best part of ten months.

Since then a lot of clubs had been interested in him including Arsenal who were (are?) still looking for a strong experienced defensive midfielder.

He however flatly refused to go on trial:

“If they want to check me out in terms of fitness that is fine but don’t tell me to get on the field and play for you to see how good I am because even if I am sleeping and I wake up I can play” he said.

Appiah then went on to prove his fitness by playing in Ghana’s last two World Qualifiers.

Well he has in the last two weeks been on trial with Spurs as Harry Redknap, who was keen on signing him during his Portsmouth days, renewed his interest now that Spurs can afford his £60,000 a week wages.

Our sources in Ghana indicate that Appiah has impressed during his trial at Spurs and has undergone a medical this week which he is reported to have passed.

It is reported that doctors have been assessing his blood, heart and more importantly, the knee which has kept him out of action for so long.

It would appear that the only impediment now will be his wage negotiations between Appiah’s agent and Tottenham Hotspur.

He’s expected to sign a contract which ends this season and may be extended if he impresses.

Wenger needs to switch players round and then we have a chance

By 1970’s Gooner

There were three negative and one positive aspect that were very apparent during yesterday’s uncharacteristically limp encounter against Bolton.

The first was the lack of creativeness and ingenuity

This was also apparent during the Portsmouth game which we also won in similar fashion (1 0 to the Arsenal). Portsmouth was also not very ambitious and paid for it by conceding late on under the pressure that inevitably mounted in the latter stages of the second half.

In both games Wenger had to switch a creative player in the middle and I think that is what eventually brought dividends.

Nasri was the player that brought this balance and creativeness and it is so obvious to me that he is the real alternative to Fabregas.

He should start games in the middle, not moved there when things are not working.

Against other more positive teams or when we play in more hostile surroundings eg away from home I fear we will struggle, really struggle.

The second but related point is the fact that the team lack tempo

Certainly in the first half the pace of the game was slow and a reason for this is because the midfield players are not driving forward with the ball. They were most of the time passing sideways and sideways and boring us to death.

When Nasri came into the middle he had drive and did move with the ball forward thus rendering opponents out of the game (just like Fabregas used to do) and therefore helping to decongest the space and create the chances that eventually came, culminating in Van Persie’s delightful cross for the otherwise ineffective Bendtner.

Until Fabregas comes back or even if he ever leaves Arsenal then I am not worried. I am convinced Nasri is that good.

This brings us to the third point which is the obvious lack of width in the team

I have gone on about this a lot this season and I think if this is corrected along with Nasri being moved into the middle then we will go a long way in correcting a major imbalance in Arsenal’s formation.

Let me repeat why width is particularly important for a team like Arsenal.

Most teams defend deep, putting 10 men behind the ball, closing the space and the route through the middle.

The best way to beat them is to stretch them by widening the pitch through the use of the wide midfielders or what I would call the old fashioned wingers. My favourite from the 70’s was Geordie Armstrong who would have been ideal for this Arsenal team.

At the moment Wenger’s stubborn refusal to play Vela form the off is almost suicidal in my opinion.

He is ready for it, he has shown that when he comes on he can stretch the game.

And his presence from the off will allow Wenger to switch Nasri to the middle.

It’s a win win situation really.

The one positive aspect that has been apparent in this seven game unbeaten run is that the defence has tightened up

One major factor has been the welcomed emergence of Djourou who has provided what the defence needed. Height and along with it attacking the high balls. I think he will be our centre back for a long time to come.

So we have not been playing well but we have hang on in there. If Arsene twigs a little bit more with the choice of personnel, adds more creativity and width in the team and Eduardo makes a successful return then we might be in there with a shout in the run in for the title.

Especially if Chelsea and Manchester United drop points when they meet today…

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Denilson now settled as he welcomes his girlfriend at his new home

By Aries

After three years of playing for Arsenal, Denilson has only now managed to buy a house and settle down. Maybe only now does he feel settled and established enough in Arsenal’s first team squad to commit to such a long term investment as buying a house.

He has been a regular first team choice by Arsene Wenger this year who has been shorn of midfield options. This was after letting another Brazilian, Gilberto Silva, as well as last year’s revelations, Flamini and Alexander Hleb, depart the club.

Denilson arrived at the club two and a half years ago after Wenger first spotted him in a video he was given of another player he was supposed to assess! He liked the look of Denilson and David Dein was later instructed to get him.

But this meant that at such a young age he had to spend some difficult years in London in a foreign country without his family and friends. This he found very hard to come to terms with.

“My start was not that good. I arrived here when I was 18 years old and had difficulty adapting. I always lived with my parents, my brothers and friends around. Suddenly, I moved to a new country to live alone. Imagine? It is not easy” he said to Brazilian sports site

“I first lived in a hotel, then a house, but always alone. It was bad. You want to talk to someone, talk about anything. Now, I'm feeling at home, he said.

Now he is feeling at home literally! He has bought a house at St Albans which is a popular choice for the Arsenal players (it was for Gilberto) as it is only about 22 miles from London Colney.

And he recently invited his girlfriend Daphne Edinalvo, his parents and friends to spend some time with him.

He is friends with all of the Arsenal players but when his close family and friends are not with him his close friendship with two other Arsenal players in particular make him feel more at home. These are the recently arrived Mexican Carlos Vela and fellow Brazilian Eduardo.

“We always go out to dinner together. But I have friendship with all the players, talk to everyone. I am very happy at Arsenal now”

Arsene appers very happy with him too!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Arsenal bid £12m for Andrei Arshavin

By 1970’s Gooner

It seems that all the speculation surrounding Wenger’s interest in Andrei Arshavin is coming true.

Reports in the Russian press have today been covering the story that Arsenal has opened the bidding for Arshavin at £12m.

This seems not to have touched the Zenit hierarchy however as they have set their minds and hearts at £20m.

Arsenal however have started the bidding at a relatively low figure trying to take advantage of the fact that Arshavin could buy out his contract for £5m at the end of the year thus making himself a free agent six months later.

This lowers the player’s valuation as he would walk away for almost free in twelve months time with Zenit ending up with nothing.

The Russian press is further reporting that negotiations for the transfer of the player to Arsenal are currently ongoing with Arshavin himself spending his winter holidays in St Petersberg presumably making himself available for consultations should he be needed by Zenit.

The player himself had originally made his preference known that Spain and Barcelona were his choice. But since last summer he has said that he would prefer to live and play in England as this would be more suitable for his children and family.

Arshavin is an Arsene Wenger type of player. He is very very quick, athletic and most of all possesses high technique and ball skills.

He reminds me of Alexander Hleb without the timidness in front of goal but with a more direct style.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Arsenal Vs Plymouth 3-1. Video Highlights

By Aries

Not a lot of people outside the Emirates got to see Arsenal's three goals against plucky Plymouth.

We have found these highlights for anyone that is interested. Certainly Robin Van Persie was involved in all three goals.

The first an unchallenged header from a corner. The second a deflection of his low cross into the box and the third on the half volley slamming the ball high into the net after the goalkeeper had saved his initial lob.