Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rosicky following training plan during holidays ready for the League’s opening day

By 1970’s Gooner

We all know the difficult year and a half that poor Tomas had to endure before he could begin proper training again.

As he revealed at the end of the season, Arsene Wenger took the decision to rest him rather than play him in the last few games even if he was considered fit enough.

It appears that Wenger’s action was obviously beneficial to Tomas as he is taking advantage of all this extra time to get even more fit and ready for the opening day of the new season.

This he revealed in an interview given to a Czech paper “”.

“I am implementing a training plan, which I brought from London. It is mainly concerned with strengthening my physical condition. But to be home with family and friends, is beautiful”

He reiterated once more that his knee is now back to normal without any problems.

“Everything is good, the knee holds. I feel really great and I look forward to the opening day of Arsenal’s season”

Tomas revealed that the doctors had suspected that the tendon was not entirely in order and may have needed to take radical action in a second operation.

“When they opened the leg in Germany they found that the tendon was not damaged after all, but had scars around it. They had to clean it up. Now everything is in order”

Now he is well again and doing all this fitness training. But only when he plays in a game will he know that he is back to normal.

“Training is important, but cannot replace the experience of a game. I need a real test to know in what state I actually am”

This can not be predicted or estimated, therefore I am full of expectations. There is no fear, but uncertainty”.

All Gooners should not be surprised to see Tomas back in action very soon probably in the pre season friendlies.

And what a fantastic addition to Arsene Wenger’s armoury this will be.

Tomas Rosicky will be like a new signing….

Arsenal’s in and outs (so far)

Tomas Rosicky
Thomas Vermaelen

Amaury Bischoff

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Africa Cup of Nations spells danger ahead, but Arsene Knows right?

By Kazeem

It is no longer news that the 2009/2010 English Premiership fixtures have been released. The main danger that lies ahead for Arsenal is not in the opening fixtures (which include playing Manchester United as early as the 29th August) but later in the month of January.

It is Arsenal’s performance during the early months of the new year which will may make or mar the rest of the season for us Gunners.

This might be repeated again and will not necessarily be due to the heavy and difficult schedule that lies ahead:

Arsenal play Everton home (Jan 9), Bolton away (Jan 16), Aston Villa away (Jan 27) and Manchester United home (Jan 30) during January but also face Chelsea away (Feb 6) and Liverpool home (Feb 9) within the eleven days after that.

No, it is the “agony” of the real possibility that during January Arsenal may be missing four players for the Angola 2010 African Nations Cup which runs from 10th to 31st January 2010.

These are Song, Toure, Adebayor and Eboue. There is the possibility of course that the last three (and Senderos) might not be Arsenal players by then…

Nevertheless if we are to believe Arsene Wenger that no players will be allowed to leave this season then we have to consider the effects the Africa Cup of Nations might have on Arsenal’s thin squad.

In that period we will be left with four central-defenders, Vermaelen, Gallas, Djourou and Silvestre. And if the African players are too tired or injured by the time they return we will also have to face the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea (in early February) without them too.

Any injury or suspension to the first two of the remaining players will force Wenger to field what are really second and third choice defenders. And we saw what happened against these teams when Silvestre for example had to fill in.

The question is: "Has Arsene planned for this?"

And there’s more. While the duo of Toure & Song are being missed in central defence, Emmanuel Adebayor could also, for the same reason, be missing from the attack.

Presently, Eduardo is injured and we cannot really rely on Bendtner & Vela for those crunchy ties. That will leave us with only Robin Van Persie available…. if he is not injured at the time.

But Arsene knows, right?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Vela could be away practically all of pre season

By Aries

Carlos Vela and his Tottenham mate Giovanni dos Santos are the only European based players to have been called up in the Mexico national team which will in effect keep them away from a large part of their respective clubs pre season preparations.

They are to participate in a series of friendlies prior to taking part in the Concacaf Gold Cup and end up with a serious World Cup game against the USA.

The latter is due to take place on the 12th of August 2009 which is only a few days away from Arsenal’s first League fixture of the season at Goodison Park against Everton.

Carlos has already travelled to Mexico and spent time with his family at his home town, Cancun, the well known resort.

He has on Monday 22nd June, travelled to Atlanta, Georgia in the USA with the rest of the team where they will play two friendlies.

The first against Venezuela on Wednesday and on Sunday in San Diego against Guatemala.

They will then participate in the Concacaf Gold Cup, which starts on July 5th which is when Arsenal’s pre season training begins.

Mexico’s first game will be against Nicaragua and will continue on 9th against Panama. Mexico’s first round games end on July 12 against Guadeloupe.

Should Mexico progress they would potentially carry on until the tournament ends on the 26th of the same month.

Mexico will then have a fortnight before they face the USA in a crucial World Cup qualification game.

Carlos will presumably travel back to London as soon as he can, depending on how far Mexico progresses on the Concacaf Gold Cup and then he will have to cut his pre season short again to travel back to the USA (if he is called up) in time for the game on the 12th August.

If this schedule materialises it will play havoc with Carlos’s preparation for the new Premier League season which starts on August the 15th.

Mexico's poor results in the World Cup qualifiers in the region cost Sven-Goran Eriksson the coach's job in April. They are fourth of the six teams in the final Concacaf group with six points, behind Costa Rica (12), the U.S.A (10) and Honduras (7).

The top three go through to the 2010 finals in South Africa, while the fourth-placed team plays off for another berth against the team finishing fifth in the South American group.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Vermaelen: “It’s unbelievable. The best day of my life”

By Aries

Thomas Vermaelen has revealed that signing for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger will be the best day of his life.

Speaking to the Belgian press he expressed his great joy of playing under Arsene Wenger:

“Arsene Wenger stands for nice, attacking football and dares to work with young talents. That appeals to me enormously. Not that that tipped the scales though. When a club like Arsenal stands at your door, then you just go."

Vermaelen, who has been holidaying in Mauritius, also revealed that he will be flying into London on Friday morning to have his medical:

“On Friday I will fly to London to have my medical. After that I hope to put pen to paper. Boy I feel so proud, Arsenal is a fantastic club and one that, as a child, I enjoyed watching play.

“I am deeply impressed, it's really the best day of my life. Next year I will come face to face with the best strikers in the world. Unbelievable"

Arsenal will pay around £11.5m for Thomas who will be the third Belgian in the Premier League after Vincent Kompany of Manchester City and Marouane Fellaini of Everton.

Arsenal target Melo scores a beautiful goal for Brazil (video)

By Aries

Arsenal target Felipe Melo put Brazil one up against the USA in the Confederations Cup being held in South Africa. The final score was 3-0 to Brazil.

He scored a powerful header from close range after a free kick in the seventh minute and Robinho made it 2-0 in the 20th, completing a counter attack that began when DaMarcus Beasley fumbled a short corner kick. Maicon added the third goal in the 62nd.

You can watch Melo's goal on the video screen above.

If he can score these type of goals for Arsenal then we are onto a good thing here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vermaelen and that’s your lot

By 1970’s Gooner

We are all very excited to see that Arsene Wenger has taken the steps to strengthen the team's central defence (at last) and delighted that negotiations have began to bring Thomas Vermaelen to the Emirates.

Apparently the player is on holiday at Mauritius at the moment which has been delaying the negotiations for personal terms. A fee of £11.5 has already been agreed between Ajax and Arsenal.

So if we are to trust Arsene Wenger’s judgment we should be sleeping easy that Arsenal’s central defence roster has been “adequately” improved. However if you look at previous centre backs, Arsene’s choices have not been that successful.

Tony Adams, Martin Keown and Steve Bould were of course inherited. From then on his only two, of what I would call, major successes were Sol Campell and Kolo Toure.

So let’s hope that Vermaelen is as good.

However the question that needs to be answered is whether Wenger will now enter the transfer market to strengthen the defensive midfielder position.

I feel that it is this position that will make or break Arsenal’s next season. Not the central defensive one necessarily.

This is because the Arsenal style of play under Wenger is a very attacking one with all outfield players, bar the defensive midfielder and the central defenders, joining in on the attack. This is a hell of a risky tactic whose success depends crucially on three elements.

The first is to score the first goal which would force the opponent to become more adventurous and open up.

The second one is possession of the ball. If you keep the ball the opponent cannot hurt you especially on the counter attack where you are most vulnerable with all those players committed to the attack.

This is a tactic that Villa and other teams use a lot against Arsenal and this is why all Wenger’s teams keep passing the ball all the time, keeping possession trying to work an opening.

And the third one is to have a hell of a central defensive midfielder who will sit further back and mop up if possession becomes negotiable again.

This player will have to have the attributes of almost a complete footballer: Stamina, acceleration, effective tackling, heading ability, accurate short and long passing and even goal scoring ability. In other words when Arsenal attack he will have to be able to do the job of two men, not one.

This role was played to perfection by Vieira, Petit, Gilberto and Flamini. They all, bar Flamini, played in trophy winning teams and Flamini would have lifted a trophy if he had stayed.

Now does it look like Wenger will bring in such a midfielder?

It looks like he may not and there may be a combination of reasons for this.

He is after all stingy and restricted by a limited budget.

Also the right players possessing those characteristics described above are not that available these days are they? And you have to break the bank to get them if they do become available.

But more importantly Wenger may also feel that Song, Denilson and Diaby have improved so much that next season they will be able to provide that role.

Song, whom I rate highly, has shown tremendous improvement this season and now that a central defender has been recruited it looks that his main position will be in midfield.

Wenger will loath to sign an additional midfielder, who will, unless he is one of those supermen I have described above, unnecessarily put a halt to the development of the existing midfielders at Arsenal.

And Vermaelen’s pending arrival is an indication that this will be our lot this transfer window….

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Dinamo Zagreb linked to Eduardo loan

By Aries

Reports are coming out of Croatia that Dinamo Zagreb, the club that sold Eduardo to Arsenal considered making an offer to Arsenal to take the player back on loan for next season.

This is the information that came out of yesterday’s Board meeting at Dinamo with the club considering making an offer to Arsenal to pay the player’s annual wages which are reported to be €1.7m.

Dinamo’s Executive Vice President, Zdravko Mamic, confirmed that the possibility of Eduardo coming on loan was discussed but that they decided not to go ahead.

“At the meeting of the Executive Board we referred to players we might need and we mentioned the possibilities of Pranjic and Eduardo.

We will not get anyone. We believe in the personnel we possess and believe in its success” he said.

It is rather strange however when clubs feel that there is a possibility of Eduardo going out on loan.

Dzeko’s contract talks with Wolfsburg postponed in view of impending transfer

By Aries

As we published yesterday on “Arsenal Analysis” agent Ifran Redžepagić met with Adriano Galliani and Ariedo Braida, AC Milan’s President and Finane director respectively, in Sarajevo to discuss Dzeko’s transfer.

We can now reveal that Dzeko has made his choice and AC Milan will most likely be his next club, not Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, Inter or Lyon.

This looks likely after his agent announced today that negotiations with Wolfsburg, Dzeko’s current club, for a contract extension, have been put on hold as they will now begin transfer negotiations with AC Milan.

“I was due to be at Wolfsburg on Monday for a meeting with the top people of the club, but the situation has completely changed after Milan showed their interest. That is why the meeting has been canceled. Now it's up to the two clubs, if they will agree or not” said Redžepagić.

It is obvious that talks with the other clubs have been put on hold and Milan is now the preferred option. Milan is reported to have offered £25.8 m (€30m)and a £1.72m (€2m) annual salary.

Dzeko has already stated that Milan has always been his boyhood team and that it will be a dream come true to play for them.

"They have always been my favourite club, right back to my days as a small boy, growing up in Sarajevo" he said recently.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Milan desperate to lure Dzeko

By 1970’s Gooner

Just when it seemed that things were beginning to get hot, in fly Mr. Galliani and Ariedo Braida, AC Milan’s President and Finane director respectively, to scamper Arsenal’s chances of landing hit man Edin Dzeko.

It seems that they realised that Arsenal were getting pretty close to getting their man and decided to act very quickly.

We can reveal that they actually flew in their private plane to Sarajevo, capital city of Bosnia and Hercegovina, last Saturday and spent the whole day on Sunday talking to Dzeko’s agent, Irfan Redžepagić.

“We began contact when Wolfsburg played against Milan in the UEFA Cup. They called me five days ago and expressed the wish to come. They came to get the consent of the player to talk to Wolfsburg.

After a telephone consultation with Edin we have his consent and actually said to us that it is such a pleasure that Milan is interested in him” Redžepagić said to the Bosnian media.

He also revealed that Milan has so far demonstrated the greatest interest to sign Dzeko.

“Galijani and Braida came here to show how serious they are. They made it clear that they want to see Dzeko as a Milan player” added Redžepagić.

Redžepagić also confirmed that apart from Milan and Arsenal there are three other teams interested in Dzeko: Manchester City, Chelsea, Lyon and Inter Milan. He also offered the opinion that Dzeko will probably not be playing in Germany next season.

“I will inform Wolfsburg the contact with Milan. Objectively, I think that Wolfsburg is now in a race with clubs that are a few classes above in every respect” Redžepagić said.

This turn of events is doubly bad news for Arsenal. For one it seems that the price for Dzeko will now be in the £20m region which may be prohibitive for Arsene’s low budget.

The other reason is that if Milan get their man they will certainly cool off any interest in buying Adebayor and I am one of those that would like to see the back of him….

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Arsenal agree fee with Ajax but talks over Vermaelen’s personal terms stalled

By 1970’s Gooner

It seems that Arsene Wenger is not going to let any transfers he might plan for Arsenal this season take too much time.

He probably wants all new players to be ready for pre season training on the 5th of July so that they can get accustomed to their new surroundings and colleagues.

As we revealed a few days ago interest over bringing Bosnian hit man Edin Dzeko to the Emirates has already been lodged.

Now Wenger’s interest has turned to bolstering the defence and to 23 year old Belgian central defender Thomas Vermaelen who plays for Ajax.

We can reveal that Ajax and Arsenal have already reached an agreement over the transfer after a meeting held last Wednesday in London.

Ajax’s commercial director Henri van der Aat and financial director, Jeroen Slop, traveled to London for talks and agreed a fee of €13m (£11.5m).

They also gave Arsenal permission to open negotiations with the player.

However we can reveal that the player’s agent, ex Danish star (of the 70’s and 80’s) Soren Lerby through his company, Essel Sport Managements, has rejected Arsenal’s financial offer which was included in a proposed four year contract.

The two sides will meet again to iron out personal terms but it is felt that a solution will be reached one way or another.

Vermaelen is not that tall for a central defender, 5 ft 11in (1.80m) and if the deal goes through he will be the shortest one in the squad!

Compare him to Toure who is 6ft (1.83m), Gallas who is also 6ft, Djourou at a mighty 6 ft 31⁄2 in (1.92 m) and Song 6ft 1 in (1.85m)

Thomas Vermaelen

Date of birth: November 14, 1985 (age 23)

Place of birth: Kapellen, Belgium

Height: 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)

Playing position: Central Defender

Current club: Ajax

Number: 4

Youth career:

1999 Germinal Ekeren
1999-2003 Germinal Beerschot

Senior career

2003-Ajax 1 apps (0gls)

2004-2005 → RKC Waalwijk (loan) 13 apps (2gls)
2005- Ajax 51 apps (5gls)

National teams

2005-2006 Belgium U21 0 apps (0gls)
2006- Belgium 21 apps (0gls)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Dzeko’s agent: “Arsenal’s bid is the most serious”

By 1970's Gooner

It seems that Arsene Wenger is going to carry out the promise he gave at the shareholders meeting that he will go into the transfer market to strengthen the team.

But this latest news about an interest in Bosnian hit man Dzeko seems to be an attempt to maintain the team’s strength rather than add to it.

As the bid appears to be serious (according to Dzeko’s agent, Irfan Redžepagić) one conclusion that can be drawn is that Adabayor looks like a goner to pastures new.

He is a player who, like some other outward Wenger transfers, should have walked at least a year before. Let’s just hope that Arsenal get the same money for him that were offered then (25m).

According to the agent, Dzeko will have to consider Arsenal’s interest seriously much more than Manchester city’s!

“It is not realistic for Dzeko who is a leading player in Germany and due to perform in the Champions League to opt for an average club like Manchester City. Arsenal is the other case. We will discuss their offer seriously” Redžepagić said while in Germany.

So there you have it. Wenger’s interest is genuine and according to other reports it is Boro Primorac who has been running the rule over Dzeko over the last year.

Boro remember is also a Bosnian and would be ideal during this stage of the “process” and of course in the negotiations that might follow.

One must not forget, however, that there is a long way to go on this transfer yet as the player is currently having talks with his team, German champions Wolfsburg, about extending his contract.

“I will talk over the weekend with Edin and we will see what is best for him. On Monday it is back to the negotiations with Wolfsburg” said Redžepagić.

Dzeko has, what I would call, a goal scorer's record in Germany of averaging a goal every other game. He scored 26 goals in 32 appearances as Wolfsburg beat off late competition from Bayern Munich to seal the first German national title in the club's history.

He has kept that average during his time with Wolfsburg scoring 34 goals in 60 appearances while his record with the Bosnian national team is better, 12 goals in 17appearances.

He is 23 years old and stands 6ft 3 ½ in tall (1.92m). Adebayor surprise, surprise is exactly the same height! Robin van Persie is slightly shorter at 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m).

Edin Džeko

Date of birth: 17 March 1986 (age 23)

Place of birth: Sarajevo

Height: 1.92 m (6 ft 31⁄2 in)

Playing position: Striker

Current club: VfL Wolfsburg

Number: 9


2002-2003: FK Željezničar

2003–2005- FK Željezničar 40 apps (5 gls)

2006–2007- FK Teplice 43 apps (17 gls)

2007– VfL Wolfsburg 60 apps (34 gls)

National team
2007– Bosnia and Herzegovina 17apps (12 gls)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Arsenal fans vote for hope

By 1970’s Gooner

We recently run a poll on the site to see who would be voted as Arsenal’s player of the season. Prior to this when we sat down between us to talk about this subject we could not find a consensus. We realised that this was due to two facts.

The first is that the season overall has not really been that great to shout home about.

Granted we did reach the semi finals of the Champions League and the FA Cup and in the era I grew up in this would have been considered as very good.

Remember Arsenal went on a run of 17 years before winning the then called “Fairs Cup” in 1970 (beating Anderlecht in a two legged final).

This goes to show that fans will judge a particular season against their expectations and what they have grown used to in the years before.

And since Arsene Wenger came to Arsenal and started winning trophies the expectations bar has risen to a much higher level than those we were used to in the 1970’s.

The second was that a lot of the usual candidates for player of the season either did not perform up to the expected high standard or spent a lot of time on the injury table.

A prime example of the former is Adebayor but there were others that were below par like Toure, Clichy and Sagna.

Examples of the latter were Fabregas who was injured for about half the season (22 appearances out of 38 league games) and similarly Robin van Persie (24 starts).

There were others that were mostly fit and got to start quite a lot of games but did not exactly set the world alight.

Players like Denilson, Song, Walcott, Bendtner, Diaby, Eboue and Nasri. Granted they all got very valuable playing time and will be the better for it next season. But player of the season for this season? Not really.

The only ever present player that played consistently at high levels was to our mind Almunia who had a terrific season. But he only received 8% of the votes.

Yet 3799 fans who voted on our Player of the Season poll chose to go for hope.

They chose those two players who have shown that next season they will be spearheading Arsenal’s attack on the Premier League title: Andrey Arshavin and Robin van Persie.

Arshavin received 1056 votes just ahead of van Persie with only 11 more votes to win the “Arsenal Analysis” player of the season award.

He only made 12 appearances, half of van Persie’s, but scored 6 goals!

A spectacular start to his Arsenal career and one that every Arsenal fan wishes that is carried onto next season.

Who was Arsenal’s player of the season?

1. Andrey Arshavin 1056 27%
2. Robin van Persie 1045 27%
3. Alexandre Song 409 11%
4. Manuel Almunia 302 8%
5. Samir Nasri 284 7%
6. Denilson 203 5%

Total votes cast: 3,799