Hallelujah, Arsenal back in action! + Wenger confirms at least one more signing

Hallelujah, Arsenal back in action! + Wenger confirms at least one more signing

Hello there again. Today is of course Monday and that means my first post for week. It’s been a massive weekend too so sit tight for a moment to digest everything that has been going on in the world of Arsenal.

Saturday night saw Arsenal start their pre-season campaign with a 2-1 win over Barnet. The boys went a goal down to a fine free kick before two of the reserve-team stars from last season – Jay Simpson and Nacer Barazite – turned the score around in the second half.

It was far from a full-strength team from the start for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger proceeded to make 13 substitutions (you heard me) during the 90 minutes. Interestingly, while the starting team was far superior on paper to the side which started the second period it was the lesser known reserve-team players who shone.

At the end of the day though, there’s not too much that can be read into a game like this. It was a good first runout for the boys and it is great to see the start of the season edge a game closer. Exciting stuff.

After the match, the manager had a lot to say about a number of issues including the Emmanuel Adebayor situation, the likelihood of further signings and his expectations of Theo Walcott going into the new season. Indeed, despite again referring to the need to stick to the current wage structure at the club, Wenger voiced his desire to hang on to Adebayor and his confidence that the Togolese striker will remain an Arsenal player:

“I fight to get the players the maximum wages, but you have to respect that we have a wage structure. I want to keep him and let’s see. He is an Arsenal player and I am very confident that he will start the new season with us.”

Which is fair enough. The manager also went on to say that he will definitely be signing at least one more player and a maximum of two before the start of the season. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that he still wants either a centre-midfielder or a centre-back and that the only reason he will be signing a second player would be if Adebayor leaves.

It might take a genius to work out just which player the manager will bring in, however. The comments he made a few weeks ago where he intimated his contentment with his defensive options and the reported interest in Gareth Barry and Xabi Alonso do suggest that it will be a midfielder rather than a centre-back that he is after.

Personally, if I was manager I would be putting the need to sign a centre-back ahead of the need to sign a midfielder. I still feel Arsenal need a Christoph Metzelder or a Per Mertesacker type of player to fill the Tony Adams role at the back.  Kolo Toure and William Gallas are too similar and Philippe Senderos and Johan Djourou still lack the confidence to take on the best strikers going around (although I still have great faith in the latter).

But as I said, all indications suggest that Wenger is lining up a central-midfielder. And really, who am I to judge?

Aside from Wenger’s various comments there were a few more tidbits floating around. Alex Hleb has been talking about how much Cesc Fabregas loves Barcelona and might play for them some day while Tomas Rosicky has confirmed he will miss the start of the season.

Regarding Hleb’s comments, they’re hardly earth-shattering. Everyone knows that Cesc is a born-and-bred Barcelona boy and that he will most likely go back there at some stage in his career. As for Rosicky, I just hope he takes as long as he needs to recover because a fit and healthy Rosicky means a better Arsenal.

And that’s about it. Thanks for reading and I’ll be back tomorrow.

Have your say on Barnet, Adebayor or Wenger’s potential signings by leaving a comment.

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28 Responses to “Hallelujah, Arsenal back in action! + Wenger confirms at least one more signing”

  1. Nyachaga Nyachaga
    July 21, 2008 at 7:16 pm #

    on my side i think it could be better if the manager make 3 signing, one centre back, central-midfielder and attacking winger as we used to have pires and overmas, type of those guys will be perfect.

    am writting form Tanzania East Africa.

  2. gunnerbee
    July 21, 2008 at 7:18 pm #

    1st

    cool bring on the season

  3. mjc
    July 21, 2008 at 7:28 pm #

    Sign Zhirkov.

  4. kelvin muthami
    July 21, 2008 at 7:28 pm #

    I HAVE A STRONG FEELING THAT WENGER SHOULD SIGN ANOTHER GOALKEEPER, ALMUNIA ABSENSE CAN LEAVE THE CLUB AT BAD STATE. truely a gunner from mombasa kenya

  5. Cescky
    July 21, 2008 at 7:30 pm #

    i think v shud leave it upto wenger…the professor knows best….v hav 2 world class centre backs…1 down seasn isn the reasn to blame them…ill be happy to see yaya joinin arsenal….

  6. butterfingers
    July 21, 2008 at 7:43 pm #

    AS much as everyone says we hope to sign yaya I for one don’t because arsne had him on trial 2 seasons ago and didn’t sign him for bugger all so we won’t be spending 12 mill on him and we shouldn’t have any more african players as the afc is in jan and that’s our bussiest time of year just think how bad we would of ended if ade went last year or toure got injured and when he did come back he was so tired and got thrown in at the deep end when senderos did really well considering the stick everyone gives him. barry or alonso would be good as they both know the prem.
    Cant get my bloody media player working so just have to settle for friendlys on sententa but did wallcot play and was it on the rm or striker?
    Also to spanish, le gunner, jay,panda and the rest of the regulars….. Has anyone started a dream team up yet and we should do a mini league for a laugh and see who’s da best eh?????

  7. SettaKeys
    July 21, 2008 at 7:47 pm #

    Maybe Arsene should sign Cristiano Ronaldo?

  8. TDP
    July 21, 2008 at 8:07 pm #

    I think Arsene has some big decisions to make. I would certainly agree with Fry in that we need a big centre half like a Mertersacker or Metzelder. However, the two Germans had very poor Euro tournaments and are regularly criticised by their fans and media. I think their performance was more down to the fact that they are too similar – just like our own pairing – and with a Gallas or Toure alongside them they’d be great assets. But the names aren’t so important, we need that TYPE of centre back. Wouldn’t we all want Tony Adams in his prime at the heart of our defence now?

    I think Arsene is reluctant to drop Toure or Gallas and this is the real problem he has. It seems as though he is looking at central midfield and I feel a signing here is crucial. Idealy, a centre back and a central midfielder would satisfy Arsenal fans.

  9. sam nix
    July 21, 2008 at 8:31 pm #

    i have a feeling that we will see Djourou played in his preferred role of DM this season, this suggesting that we will be looking for a CB. Djourou has all the attributes to be a solid arsenal player and i know his preferred role is DM. at least hes another option.. i have fuill faith in him too, SF.

  10. george
    July 21, 2008 at 8:37 pm #

    wenger must sign atleast one strong striker. george nyasing’a goseta KTL

  11. Hartwick89
    July 21, 2008 at 9:14 pm #

    Fry:
    The Ade thing is really getting annoying. Today if he shows for pre-season that means he’ll be there. As for Hleb….What is his problem? He’s sounding like Bentely these days? I guess he doesn’t respect Gunner fans anymore. Lastly, We may sign another CB unless Gallas gets a new contract.

  12. robert
    July 21, 2008 at 9:26 pm #

    If we going to spend a ridiculously amount of money on a defensive midfielder, I think we should buy Miguel Veloso, I have seen him play several times, and I can assure all gooners that he is just as good as Flamini. He is strong, hard working, good at tackling, he can play in several positions and he can shoot really hard and really accurate. He can become the best defensive midfielder in the world if he moves to a top club soon.
    A cheaper option would be Nigel de Jong. I saw him in the Euro cup and he was really good. He is only 23 years old and he has played about 60 league games for HSV and 100 for Ajax. I don’t know much about him but I know he can play as a full back and as a midfielder.

  13. rudebwoi goona
    July 21, 2008 at 9:31 pm #

    XABI ALONSO

  14. mildgunner
    July 21, 2008 at 9:36 pm #

    Almunia will be perfect on the bench with a quality goalkeeper brought in. Changes need to be made on the defensive front with an experienced midfielder and centre back. That is the only way AFC will push for top honours next term

  15. Spanish Fry
    July 21, 2008 at 10:18 pm #

    @ sam nix – I like your faith in Djourou. I’m not sure he will end up at centre-mid though, I think Wenger will look to keep him at the back. I think he’s quality though – last year he only really got that shoddy performance at White Hart Lane to show for a year’s hard work so hopefully this time around things will improve.

    @ robert – Veloso is an interesting option and I like your thinking with de Jong as well. I would never really have thought of him but now you mention it fits the bill pretty well. Young, sharp, versatile (he used to play on the wing remember) and technically gifted. Kind of reminds me of Toure…

    @ mildgunner – I think Almunia is just fine. There’s no need to replace him in my eyes.

  16. Spanish Fry
    July 21, 2008 at 10:20 pm #

    @ Hartwick89 – Hleb’s acted like a bit of a knob for sure, but I don’t think he can be blamed for the latest comments. There’s nothing really wrong with what he’s saying, it’s just the media jumping on his words and stirring the pot.

  17. knightman
    July 21, 2008 at 10:39 pm #

    we need a central defender and then we’ll have Alexandre Song, Diaby and Denilson fight for the defensive mid. Diaby without injuries isn’t a bad option. it is not like buying an established player who will take like forever to adjust to the arsenal way of playing. In fact i can bet a cold beer that wenger finds this easier and most convinient. Personally, i still insist that Song should slot in as the defensive midfielder. he is a good defender and can also go forward but the quality that i have long seen in him and probably that got him to arsenal in the first place is his low passes. SF i wish you could look into this particular aspect of song then give us a feedback. A good point of reference would be the african cup.cameroons first game started off in the first half with a total breakdown in their midfield. Song was on the bench for reasons i could not tell. The coach realised that if he didn’t do something about the mid then it would be chaos and that is when he brought in a young song. from that moment on, song featured in all games until the semis(correct me there if am wrong) where he was played despite being injured. eventually he was taken off 15 minutes into the game coz of the injury. I can’t say for sure that his absence in the team led them to their defeat but obviously it contributed to it in one way or another. You may think am out of my mind on this but trust me, Song is replacing flamini with Diaby covering for both him, fabregas and the left wing. Denilson will be there too just in case.

  18. jc bucky afolabi
    July 21, 2008 at 11:08 pm #

    i think of all we need goal keeper and central attacer in the team let prof buy these one and where there.from abuja,nigeria

  19. jc bucky afolabi
    July 21, 2008 at 11:12 pm #

    great gunners we need a striker and a centra deffender and a green alike or given alike keeper.
    from abuja,nigeria

  20. tunde
    July 22, 2008 at 1:18 am #

    i really think manuel is a good goal-keeper…besides i dont think arsene would buy a Cb because he still has faith in toure and gallas, and no one would like to be on the bench…my guess is that is AW’s biggest problem but what this players dont understand is that without the bench, the team is not complete…im sure he is going for a mid-fielder,besides lets not forget we are dealing with AW he might just suprise us all as he usually does…did anyone see the smirk on his face during the sky sports interview when he was being asked about the transfers? cunning little fox that man…and thats why we love him…first win of the season for arsenal, lets pray for more, the unbeaten run starts now…

  21. tunde
    July 22, 2008 at 1:21 am #

    oh rosicky…rosicky…rosicky!!! and spanish fry where the hell is jay? i miss his over enthusiastic approach to arsenal’s life!!

  22. TrueBlueInd
    July 22, 2008 at 6:23 am #

    Hi guys…

    A Chelsea fan here

    I strongly believe its your defence that lets your team down.

    AW should definitely hold on to all the players including Adebayor & buy 1 good CB & 1 or 2 good Midfielders.

    Cheers guys

  23. jay
    July 22, 2008 at 6:32 am #

    tunde Im here!!!! u miss my over enthusiastic approach to arsenals life haha lol. After the Barnet game i have a couple of things to say 1)Jack Wilshere should play in the Carling Cup 2) Randall, Lansbury, Traore, Simpson, Wilshere and Barazite will all go far 3) Pick Vela and Nasri for next game and 4) I love Arsenal but plenty of you knew that already! Wonder who the new signings will be – Barry, De Jong, Richards or an unknown player. ?? who knows

  24. butterfingers
    July 22, 2008 at 8:18 am #

    I thought de jong was more of a winger but he would be good but velaso won’t be coming as he’s signed an extension for another year I think? still hoping for richards and alonso as arsne breaks players into the prem league but theese 2 will fit right in. Also the totts are in the race to sign arsharvin for 16 mill. I thought he wanted cl football??? Never going to happen with the spuds.

  25. Spanish Fry
    July 22, 2008 at 12:25 pm #

    @ butterfingers – I think de Jong used to be a winger but he definitely played as a holding midfielder during Euro 2008 for Holland. He can play there for sure. I think he’s a good option.

    Having said that, Barry or Alonso would be great.

  26. Mexican Gunner
    July 22, 2008 at 2:11 pm #

    I miss Little Mozart !!
    when he will play again ??

    an yeah Alonso and Cesc could be awesome.

  27. Omon
    July 29, 2008 at 6:50 pm #

    I dont really think ars need a defender wat dey need are midfielders and i thnk alonso or makoun should be d ans 2 our defensive midfield.and we also need a winger in d person of sionko who did well in d last euro cup,at least he would be affordable.and i think d likes of diaby.hoyte,djourou should be offloaded

  28. Omon
    July 29, 2008 at 6:57 pm #

    I dont really think ars need a defender wat dey need are midfielders and i thnk alonso or makoun should be d ans 2 our defensive midfield.and we also need a winger in d person of sionko who did well in d last euro cup,at least he would be affordable.and i think d likes of diaby.hoyte,djourou should be offloaded.and a striker she be brought in.dat i think should be a person like benzema.he would really sooth arsenals game.

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