The Arsenal captaincy, Rosicky’s bet and Lehmann’s admission

The Arsenal captaincy, Rosicky’s bet and Lehmann’s admission

Gilberto has been treated very poorly by WengerGilberto disappointed, Gallas delighted

A really interesting story has broken today with the news the Arsenal captain who never was, Gilberto Silva, was not told directly about the decision to appoint William Gallas in the role by manager Arsene Wenger. Gilberto explained that whilst he was not disappointed about being overlooked for the Arsenal captaincy he was disappointed about the way the news was broken to him.

“I was surprised [Wenger] didn’t speak to me about his decision. He had the time to do it because I was at the training ground before it was made public. He didn’t say anything to me and I just found out about it that evening when I saw it on the Arsenal website. I wasn’t upset about not being captain, but I was about the way I learnt about it.”

It was obvious that before the decision was made, Gilberto was the popular choice for captain in most people’s minds and it was a real surprise when the news broke that Gallas had been named. You really have to feel for Gilberto about this. He has been nothing but an excellent servant of the club and to be treated this way by Wenger is a quite shocking. Wenger has always been known as a great nurturer of talent and a respectable human being but there is no excuse for him not telling the Brazilian about his decision surrounding the captaincy. Or is there?

Gallas - a more intimidating leader?Why was Gilberto not told?

For this to make any sense you have to ask the question, why didn’t Wenger tell Gilberto that he would not be named captain? Is it because he wants to sell him and did not want to tell him the truth? Maybe. Is it because he wants to phase out his responsibilities during this season and blood in the likes of Abou Diaby and Mathieu Flamini? More probable. Either way, something has definitely changed in the way that Wenger now values Gilberto.

The decision to name Gallas – a man who has displayed an outspoken nature and determination throughout his career – suggests that Wenger wants someone to represent Arsenal in a more intimidating way. The younger players need to believe they can tough it out against intimidating clubs like Bolton and Blackburn and maybe this is the a way that Wenger believes this can be achieved. Recent comments from new captain Gallas suggest this may be the case:

“We have shown everybody already we can fight. Maybe something will happen this year, maybe we can win something, I don’t know. But the squad is very compact. They want to win and they want to fight.”

Wenger is not known to make mistakes like this so there must be reason behind all this madness. There have been times when supporters have complained that Wenger has lacked the decisiveness of managers like Sir Alex Ferguson to make the tough decisions and cut players loose because it is best for the club. Gilberto has always been a great servant, but has Wenger now decided he does not want him to help anymore? Personally I think Gilberto is a valuable asset to the team and should remain a big part of the club for at least another year or two. Whether Wenger sees this as the case is another matter entirely. It is a very interesting situation and one that we may find out more about before the tranfer window closes on 31 August.

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Sorry Tomas, my money’s on HlebRosicky v Fabregas v Hleb

In more positive news, Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky has revealed that he has a bet going with Cesc Fabregas and Alexander Hleb about who will score the most goals this season.

“The three of us, we are preparing a bet – the one who scores more goals will win. We still don’t know what the prize will be but that decision will be made soon.”

It might not seem like much but I think this little bet says a lot about the team spirit at the club at the moment. These sort of things don’t just come from nowhere and it suggests that Hleb, Fabregas and Rosicky have bonded during their time at the club. Just on the actual bet, it’s actually a pretty tough call. If I had to pick one I’d go for Hleb but in all reality I think any one of the three could end up as the higher goalscorer. I’ve got a new poll going and I’d love to see what you think.

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Lehmann bounced back from his mistake wellLehmann & Sparta Prague

Finally today, German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has admitted that his mistake against Fulham in the opening minute was the worst of his career.

“I have never taken such a woeful first touch in my entire career. I first wanted to play the ball out to my left. However, I changed my mind midway through. If that is the way the season begins for me, it can only get better.”

I have admired Lehmann’s attitude after such an awful error. There are plenty of goalkeepers who would’ve crumbled after a moment like the one against Fulham and the thing I like most about Lehmann is his ability to remain unaffected by his own mistakes. At the end of the day he doesn’t make any more than the average goalkeeper and he rarely, if ever, compounds one error with a second one. His bungle aside, I actually thought Lehmann had quite a solid game against Fulham, making numerous saves and looking confident against the high ball. There will be many people thinking he deserves the axe after his mistake, but I am certainly not one of them.

I’ll just finish by mentioning that Arsenal play Sparta Prague away on Wednesday night in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier. Emmanuel Adebayor, Eduardo da Silva and Gilberto should all be missing for the trip, but I still think we have a great chance to win. I mentioned earlier that it’s quite a tough tie, but if Arsenal can’t get past Sparta Prague then they really don’t deserve to play in the competition. Arsenal should line up exactly as they did against Fulham, perhaps with Diaby and Theo Walcott in for Flamini and Emmanuel Eboue, just to freshen things up. I’m not sure I’ll be able to watch the match but if I do you’ll here my personaly review of the game as soon as I get around it it. And for the record I’m predicting 1-0 to Arsenal with Hleb to grab another goal.

Update: The squad for Arsenal’s game against Sparta Prague has been named and you can find it here. As expected, Adebayor, Eduardo and Gilberto are all missing as well as Denilson and Diaby. I can see a starting line-up very similar to the one against Fulham. Enjoy the game.

What do you think?

Have your say on today’s Arsenal news by leaving a comment.

38 Responses to “The Arsenal captaincy, Rosicky’s bet and Lehmann’s admission”

  1. goorner
    August 14, 2007 at 1:56 pm #

    i think all that the team needs is the spirit and thats why man utd won the league last season but maybe they a a bit short of players and this may or may not cost them!the midifieders do need to get into double figures to ease pressure of the strikers and i think they need to shoot more on goal!if they can do that i do not see why they do not win the title!

  2. Spanish Fry
    August 14, 2007 at 1:58 pm #

    I agree. I think one of Hleb, Fabregas or Rosicky has every chance of reaching 10 goals this season, maybe even two of them. I will be hoping that Arsenal’s team spirit gets them to title – I think it is possible.

  3. the arsenalzone
    August 14, 2007 at 2:00 pm #

    how do u guys see them in the champions league next season because i think barcelona is the only team i see above arsenal as far as being technically gifted is concerned!

  4. Spanish Fry
    August 14, 2007 at 2:02 pm #

    Barcelona have the edge over Arsenal in most respects; experience, overall talent, defensively. But when it’s all said and done football is a funny game and anything can happen. For this Arsenal team I think anything better than a quarter-final place would be a remarkable achievement and would signal that the club can win the tournament within the next three years.

  5. ugandan fan
    August 14, 2007 at 2:04 pm #

    i think arsenal have the quality to win the league but i think hleb needs to do what he did on sunday more

  6. Spanish Fry
    August 14, 2007 at 2:09 pm #

    I would love him to do what he did on Sunday more often. More shots = more goals. To get the winner like he did will do wonders for his confidence and a couple more could see his form reach new heights. I think a big part of his confidence comes from being played centrally – where he feels at home. He has looked great so far in pre-season and against Fulham when played there.

  7. Frichie
    August 14, 2007 at 2:10 pm #

    I think Rosicky will be the top scorer and win the life time supply of Dumplings, Fab will get most assists, and Hleb will get the prize for most succesful dribbles. Hleb wont always play behind the striker, and I think Rosicky is more likely to score from open play than Hleb of Fab.

  8. van persie
    August 14, 2007 at 2:13 pm #

    do u guys think arsenal can win the leagueor any thing this season because they have so many weakness and they do not have strength in depth!for the fulham game on sunday arsenal will have to bring in atleast another keeper(experienced),a tall defender and a natural striker e.g huntler or eto maybe martins orv anelka if they should challenge for the premiership & the champions league!

  9. Spanish Fry
    August 14, 2007 at 2:14 pm #

    Interesting points. I’m going to stick with Hleb though 🙂 I wonder what the prize will be, I’m sure we will find out at some stage.

  10. Frichie
    August 14, 2007 at 2:14 pm #

    What weaknesses?

    I dont see any weaknesses!

    What is this weakness of which you speak…

  11. van persie
    August 14, 2007 at 2:15 pm #

    i think arsenal maybe fourth again this season!

  12. Spanish Fry
    August 14, 2007 at 2:15 pm #

    Um.. Arsenal played Fulham LAST Sunday. They won 2-1. If you’re not aware check out this match report.

  13. Spanish Fry
    August 14, 2007 at 2:18 pm #

    There are weaknesses in depth, definitely. In my opinion Arsenal still need to sign a wide midfielder to cover for Rosicky, Walcott and Eboue. There is some talk about Gamst Pedersen and he would be an adequate signing for what we need. I always wanted Florent Malouda but it was never really a possibility.

  14. Frichie
    August 14, 2007 at 2:21 pm #

    Midfielders Abou Diaby and Denilson were also both missing, understood to be because of respective ankle problems, so manager Arsene Wenger was expected to name an unchanged side.

    When did this happen?????

    All the while Wenger is saying Adebayour and Da Silva only concerns and then our two young powerhouses dont get a mention even when they dont travel.

    I’ve got a bad feeling that for all the power and talent of Diaby, he has an achilles heal and is far too injury prone

  15. gunnershabz
    August 14, 2007 at 2:41 pm #

    if we can get 10 goals each from the famous 3, then i be happy.

    i got a feeling, hleb is going to be an important player for us now.

    am just worried, after watching fulham game, teams are just going to chop us, i know we wont be bullied, but am scrared of injuries.

  16. Spanish Fry
    August 14, 2007 at 2:41 pm #

    Not sure about that. Where did you get the information about Denilson and Diaby?

  17. Spanish Fry
    August 14, 2007 at 2:43 pm #

    We should be well protected. I don’t think anyone in the Fulham side played in a dirty manner. I wouldn’t be any more concerned about injuries than usual, Gunnershabz.

  18. Frichie
    August 14, 2007 at 2:48 pm #

    Its on all the websites Teamtalk , even Arsenal.com http://www.arsenal.com/article.asp?thisNav=news&article=480243&cpid=703&title=Wenger+names+squad+for+Sparta+Prague+trip No Diaby or Denilson

  19. Spanish Fry
    August 14, 2007 at 2:50 pm #

    Thanks Frichie, I’ll add it to the post. I’m off to bed lads, have a good evening/day.

  20. Tim
    August 14, 2007 at 3:22 pm #

    I’m starting to believe that there is something wrong with Wenger. I’ve always questioned the fact that Wenger would never buy a player with reputation. Is it because of self pride or fear? But recents decisions by Wenger make question him even the more. Here is why. Wenger has proven a great deal of indecision when naming Gallas captain. It is as if he knew that he was wrong. Because if he thought he is right, he would have simply named Gallas as captain and tell the world who is his deputy (Gilberto OR Toure). But no, Gallas is captain, Gilberto AND Toure will SHARE the vice captaincy, AND Jens L. will ALSO be captain … Now this is indecision, fear, copver up etc. Does anyone think the same. It would have been alright if simply named his captain and the deputy but either he is calming down every one or he is aware that his decision is not going to go well. But he should stand by it if he really believe it is the right thing to do.

  21. NicktheGooner
    August 14, 2007 at 4:24 pm #

    Wenger sure makes some strange decisions. This captaincy one and letting Djouou on Loan. But i still have faith him and i’m pretty sure that he has got some good plans.

  22. Jay
    August 14, 2007 at 4:48 pm #

    I think putting Djourou on loan was a good tactic, he is still playing premiership football and also 1st team football. We still play a strong defence and he is happy too. Also Rosicky will hit 10. Hleb will hit 11 and Fab won’t hit a lot but his assists will be mind blowing. I think Rosicky should have a go at free kicks, if he isnt goos, give them to RVP.

  23. Jay
    August 14, 2007 at 4:52 pm #

    Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is prepared to pay up to £8m for Blackburn’s Morten Gamst Pedersen. (Mirror) – I hope he bids and they accept. He is one of my fav. players and could be the answer to the wings.

  24. Demetrio
    August 14, 2007 at 6:50 pm #

    The only thing about Morten Gamst Pedersen is, i’ve read that Blackburn also want either Flamini or Nicklas Bendtner as well as money. If that is the case i think Wenger will be lookin else where. Hopefully Blackburn will take the money only.

  25. Joshua Asante
    August 14, 2007 at 9:27 pm #

    I bet you lot are laughing your heads off now at all the spurs fans who said they were gonna break into the top 4.”Its comedy”
    I haven’t stopped laughing yet!!!
    Tottenham should stop making preparations for Champions League football and start making preparations for championship football.
    Its looks like Berbatovs price is coming down.
    ”Bottom 4 not top 4”.

  26. Samuel
    August 14, 2007 at 10:48 pm #

    Everton are fucking dudes.

    Didn’t Denilson and Diaby both take knocks in pre-season?

    7 million plus Flamini = Pederson would be awesome. Blackburn supposedly have rejected just a 7 million offer so it seems Arsene wants him and isn’t finished in el transfer market.

    If Wenger is still out for a winger does it mean Hleb is to stay central?

    I think Bendtner may start on Wednesday for some reason.

    Berbs is gonna have to be flung from my fantasy football team. Alliteration, muuufunksta.

  27. Spanish Fry
    August 15, 2007 at 11:09 am #

    Why would you have chosen Berbatov in Fantasy, ye of little faith?!

  28. sam nix
    August 15, 2007 at 12:29 pm #

    SF: do u think this Morten rumour has any validity? Timing of it is curious.. I bet he would look an even better player at a more technical/attacking side..

  29. Jay
    August 15, 2007 at 1:15 pm #

    Blackburn want more than 8 mil, whether thats more money or an extra player. I would let Song go and 7 or 8 mil for Pedersen but no-one else, i would offer 12 mil at the most for him. He is gifted and needs to be at a big club, arsenal could help him if Blackburn accept.

  30. knightman
    August 15, 2007 at 2:28 pm #

    wassup gooners…i wish our players the best as we wait for the game. wait for a goal from walcott and clichy. CHEERS!

  31. klon
    August 15, 2007 at 3:57 pm #

    I seriously doubt it has any validity, or I we did bid it was earlier on in the window.

  32. Joshua Asante
    August 15, 2007 at 9:07 pm #

    Our boys are good!
    I am glad Clichy is playing for us.Clichy is such a good footballer and he is such a team player too.He will really do well for Arsenal this season.
    He is the best left back we have had and the best left back in the premiership.
    Hleb is finally learn how to shoot and its 2 goals in 2 games.
    Thats how to do it,We didnt play particularly well but still came out with the win.

  33. gunnershabz
    August 15, 2007 at 9:24 pm #

    great result, i was proud of the game played.

    2-0 and played crap, grinding out a result, shows true class

    alex hleb scoring again, am happy for him, he needs more confidence and well another good finish

  34. Spanish Fry
    August 16, 2007 at 12:53 am #

    Very solid victory by the sounds of things. Great to see the boys get a win when it was not so deserved.

  35. Jay
    August 16, 2007 at 3:47 pm #

    Fabregas is off the mark and lets hope he can score more than last season but what a run form the left-back. Gael Clichy, outstanding. When people say he is average, I laugh. Clichy is a fantastic player. He can attack well, defend well and has good pace. Hleb 2 games, 2 goals, good so far for him. He has foung his role now i think. Pedersen – hoping he is coming. Rosicky now losing; Rosicky 0, Fabregas 1, Hleb 2

  36. Spanish Fry
    August 17, 2007 at 4:30 am #

    We’ll have to keep tabs on that bet, Jay.

  37. naomi
    August 17, 2007 at 5:33 am #

    watch this lads, at emirates, and the youth they exhibit is the very drive that they need this season, specifically there is this Rosiscky bet, which Hleb seems to be having a head start, i guess it is going to bond these boys as well as make this a sexy season………

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Arsenal FC Blog » Arsenal battle to victory as Rosicky's bet heats up - August 16, 2007

    […] will be a little disapointed after failing to get on the scoresheet and falling further behind in his bet with Fabregas and Hleb. Apart from highlights I really haven’t seen much of the game so anyone […]

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