So William Gallas is set to join the mighty spuds. It hardly gets me worked up because it shows that there can't have been much interest in Gallas, and one must realise that this is because he has been pretty damn poor over the last couple of seasons. As well as demanding ridiculous wages, Gallas has been a disruptive influence, an inconsistent performer, in fact the only thing he did consistently was be a pain in the arse and fail to command the penalty box.
The spuds need to be careful that they don't disrupt their happy and stable squad with the likes of Gallas, a poor signing in my view. In one game at Anfield Laurent Koscielny showed us what we have been missing by actually winning a few headers, making a few aggressive interceptions and showing some pace on the turn. For me Gallas was a very solid defensive full back for Mourinho, but he has never been a great Premier League centre back; Gallas himself seems to think he should be a centre back but has never proven this with performances.
Firstly to Emmanuel Frimpong, who has been unfortunate enough to rupture his cruciate ligaments in training this week. This is terribly bad luck given how well he had started this season. Luckily these days with modern surgical techniques it is very rarely a career threatening injury as it used to be and we are likely to see Manu back in action by the summer. All the best for the surgery and a quick recovery Manu. I wonder if Wenger will be tempted to try to bring in some short term cover in for the defensive central midfield area or whether Arsene is happy to rely on Craig Eastmond as back up.
Jay Simpson has joined Hull and good luck to him. He is clearly a very decent player but has never been good enough to force his way into Arsene's thinking. Having watched him in action for QPR a few times last year I have to say he was good but not Arsenal good in my opinion. It also appears that Armand Traore is on his way to Benfica for a fairly decent fee, all the best to him too if that goes through.
Interestingly we have had a bid turned down for the 30 year old french centre back Sebastien Squillaci who plays for Sevilla. Reading between the lines it appears Squillaci is keen to leave but Sevilla want more cash. He appears the ideal signing for the squad, he is experienced and at the age where he will not insist on playing every game, the perfect squad signing. Apparently another bid has been turned down for Mark Schwarzer, the first offer of 2 million was generous in my opinion given the age and the fact that the player only has a year left on his current contract. I wouldn't bother returning with a third offer as Fulham are taking the p*ss in my opinion.
My thoughts, Billy - Decent player, not really bothered that he will be off to Spurs.
Frimpong - shame for the lad, hope he has a quick recovery - It is all happening again, a week into the season and already missing quite a few players through injury/suspension. Yeesh
Sign Squillaci up, as i've said (and you have too Gooner1979) we need cover at the back, pretty badly. As much as some will want to deny such a claim, the fact is we are essentially down to one really fit proper centre half at the minute with Kos suspended and Djourou struggling for fitness. Song will slot in if need be but it is not the solution, another centre half most certainly is.
Schwarzer - Decent at best, i'm bemused why Arsene wants to spend £2m GBP on a 37 year old who is no better than decent. I honestly don't see a massive difference between him and Almunia. Also odd that Arsene would throw in the same bid twice.
Agreed. This situation could either go well next week and deals are done with Fulhum and Sevilla, which gives us the squad depth we apparently need, or we are going to see Monsieur Wenger do his other trick of walking away from a deal if the money is not right, possibly with a view to coming back in January.
The official website says Djourou is fit for tomorrow's game, so he can keep the seat warm for one game until Koscielny is back. Do we need Squillaci as well? I don't really think so, but for £6m I agree that it looks like a good deal.
But the keeper situation is still an odd one. If I was Mark Hughes and I was being offered the opportunity to swap Schwarzer for Given plus banking £2m in cash, I would bite Arsenal's arm off.
I know Shay Given is not the best keeper in the air, but he is pretty good and is an excellent shot stopper. I guess maybe Man Citeh won't offer him to us as a "rival"?
I wonder what sort of reaction Almunia will get tomorrow?
Ted- reckon you need four centre backs for a long season. Especially considering Djourou's injury record.
I hope Manuel gets a good reception and I shall be behind him 100%.
no club can keep 4 good centre backs happy.
I would personally like to see one of our youngsters given a chance, but if none of them are good enough, then so be it.
Anyway. Why do you two think 4 CBs is enough? With our injury record, we need 8....
Problem is that it's a very hard position for a youngster to come into.
I think you need at least a year on loan first as a CB. Bartley has a year away this season and then maybe if he does well, he'll get into the squad.
Problem is for a young player, they need games to develop, if you use an 18/19yo as squad cover they will not get enough games to develop as a young player will who plays a whole season in the championship.
Defensive errors are also not as easy to forget as missing a good goalscoring chance, this makes it hard for GKs and CBs in particular.
At over 30 and at the right wage, I'm sure Squillaci will be happy to sit on the bench a bit and this is the point.
No doubt you couldn't keep four top centre backs in their prime and mid twenties happy.
However we have one who is established, LK who is the first choice partner and is developing. Add an experienced player who can provide cover and JD who will take time to get back into the rhytm given how long he's been out, then you have it about right i feel.
Remember we have a total of approx 60 games if we have a good season. 40 league, 10 domestic cups, 10 CL games. That makes 120 CB appearances assuming 4 at the back.
So say 40 games TV, LK 30/40. JD 20. Another 20/30. That's about right I reckon.
"Jay Simpson has joined Hull and good luck to him. He is clearly a very decent player but has never been good enough to force his way into Arsene's thinking. Having watched him in action for QPR a few times last year I have to say he was good but not Arsenal good in my opinion"
Hasn't stopped several other sub-Arsenal standard players making it into our first team....
"Anyway. Why do you two think 4 CBs is enough? With our injury record, we need 8...." - Doesn't this nullify your own arguement Ted?
I agree that keeping squad players happy is a difficult thing to do but at Arsenal, it is very much a squad game. Added to this, with the injury record at Arsenal, anyone coming in would expect to have a decent chance of getting a few games. Finally, you'd have to trust le gaff to pick players who would have the team in mind rather than simply themselves and their own needs for first team football.
1979 makes some very good points about Squillaci and how tricky it is to bring in a young centre half.
Finally, while it shouldn't be much of a worry playing TV and Song in defence against Blackpool, the threadbare nature of the position would seem a hell of a lot more of a problem should it be Chelsea or United next. Djourou, for me, will not stay fit for a whole season.
1979 - Not sure about youngsters. People like Djourou came in as 19/20 year olds and have always done ok. TA6 made his debut at 17 (against Palace i think?). Rio was in the West Ham squad at an early age.
What I am saying is that if we have a good enough player, then back him. As Rhino points out (rightly in my view), AW has given tons of youngsters a go, some of whom have done very well, others not so.
It really doesn't matter whether you are 18 or 38 if you fuck up as a defender. In fact, I think we would be much more forgiving of a homegrown youngster than a 30 year old Frenchman with an Italian name.
Ethan - 8 CBs was a comedic exaggeration. Though not very funny.
8 CB's an exaggeration? Not for me.
We have 8 midfielders that like to play in the hole behind the striker, and not a single winger at the club.
So why not 8 CB's? :-)
On another note, would anyone be surprised if we didn't make another signing before the window closes?
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