Starting with some actual news and not something just made up by various Fleet street hacks, the reserves featuring a rejuvenated Sol Campbell for 45 minutes brushed aside West Ham reserves 4-2 last night. A hat trick for JET showed that this young man is knocking hard on the first team's door, he's also been in a few first team squads recently. All the talk has been about Sol Campbell though, some of it has been rather negative, not that I'm surprised, there will always be a subsection of our fan base who are inclined to criticise unless we sign up numerous players for 40 million pounds a piece.
Arsene knows Sol better than we do, the fact that some of our own fans who have not seen him play for months seem to think that they know him better than Arsene emphasises their own stupidity rather than anything more profound. It leaves the way clear for big Phil to leave for pastures new. I can't help but feel a bit sad for the way in which big Phil has been treated, he's a top lad who always gave his all and a very decent centre back, I think he was unfairly scapegoated at times as well. I'm not sure how much big Phil has left on his current contract but I wish him all the best with his future career, there will always be a slightly nagging feeling that he could have been a true Arsenal legend if he had just had a bit of luck.
Now to the woeful stories that pass as journalism these days. Firstly the Mirror's 'exclusive' on Marouane Chamakh. The Mirror claims that Chamakh has agreed a deal with Liverpool, but then it is clearly stated that Liverpool only 'believe they have a deal ' and that they are 'waiting for his signature on a pre-contract deal'. Therefore there is nothing at all to this story, the player has signed nothing, it is based on rumour and speculation, this is not news. What a tremendous amount of hype for a player who has a spectacularly average goalscoring record of a goal every four games and who is not going to improve much being in his late twenties already.
The rumour regarding Mathieu Flamini and the spuds is also based upon nothing but rumour. 'Reports in Italy' suggesting Tottenham have made contact are the basis for this rather weak story, strange that there is nothing on the Gazzatta dello Sport website on these 'rumours'. Flamini is certainly a frustrated man in Milan and has been making rather a lot of substitute appearances, Gattuso and Ambrosini are the first choice defensive midfielders in Milan. It must be remember that Flamini is on 5.6 million Euros as year there and that Tottenham's highest earners are on around 4 million Euros a year, so any deal would either require a massive pay cut for Flamini or a massive pay hike for a lot of Tottenham's bigger players.
Flamini just won't go to the spuds for a lot of reasons, one of the being this financial problem. It's no surprise that the media churn out this rumour and peddle it as news, I am just disappointed and surprised that more of us don't learn to realise that there is very little concrete behind a lot of this rubbish. Flamini would be a great signing for Arsenal on purely footballing grounds, it's just a shame that the man is an arrogant fool who should never have left us in the first place; the only reason he left was because his poor ego was a little bruised from playing at full back for a year, no club needs this kind of character around, players should have more respect for their club and manager than that.
ps It appears that one rumour with some truth to it is about the Bolivian youngster Samuel Galindo signings up, he looks to be a very rangy central midfielder of good technique, another one for the future. It is strange how some Arsenal sites have claimed this story as their 'exclusive' when it had been kicking around for some time elsewhere.