Thoughts on Arsenal’s win over Sunderland + some interesting transfer news

Thoughts on Arsenal’s win over Sunderland + some interesting transfer news

On a day when Manchester United claimed a – I’m cringing as I say this – deserved tenth Premiership crown Arsenal’s youngsters did their club proud by securing a 1-0 win against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Whilst I did not see get to see the game, something which seemed consistent among the Arsenal blogging community due to the understandable media focus on United and Chelsea, I thought I’d comment on the result and the final outcome of the season as whole from past/present/future perspective. As always, let me know what you think.

Arsenal have improved since Thierry Henry’s exitPast

The win over Sunderland brought Arsenal’s points total for the season up to 83, 17 higher than last season’s effort. Over the course of a 38-game season that is a substantial improvement. Given that the exit of Thierry Henry in the summer lead to an almost universal expectation that Arsenal would fall out of the top four in 2007-08 you have to say that 3rd place and improvement of 17 points is a huge sign of the strides that this squad have made over the past year.

Present

In Cesc Fabregas Arsenal have one of the world’s most sought after players; hard-working, creative and 100% dedicated to the Arsenal cause. Nearly every football observer will point to the Spaniard as the club’s most important player over the entire campaign but the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, William Gallas and even Eduardo da Silva all took turns at being the most important performer at Arsenal this season.

Add to that the ultra-consistency of guys like Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy and Manuel Almunia and the eventual return to action of Tomas Rosicky and Robin van Persie and this is a group of players that is not reliant on one or two to carry the load.

Future

Mathieu Flamini is gone, Alex Hleb may be following him, but there is little doubt that the future still remains bright for the club. Speculation linking Hatem Ben Arfa with a move to the club is a huge plus, as are Arsene Wenger’s recent comments regarding the need to bring in a strong central defender and creative playmaker to improve the squad for next season.

Add those signings with the undoubted threat that Theo Walcott will pose from day one of the next season, the return of Carlos Vela from Spain and the emergence of Alex Song as a regular first teamer and there is definitely reason to be optimistic about improving on this season’s result.

I feel Nico Kranjcar is a good bet to join ArsenalWenger knows what he wants

Speaking of the future, there was some unusually candid transfer news from the manager overnight. Obviously wanting to minimise the media predicting the downfall of Arsenal after the exit of Flamini and the speculation surrounding Hleb leaving, Wenger has reassured the supporters of the club that he knows what he wants and is very close to getting it.

“I know what I want and I am very confident. I hope to turn that around in the next two or three weeks. But the fans should be reassured by what they see.”

“It would be better to buy someone who has played in England because they are less risky. But it costs more money if they are from the Premier League, so maybe I will try to do both.”

Based on the manager’s comments I can see Ben Arfa as well Nico Kranjcar coming in. Gareth Barry is probably an outside chance as is Samir Nasri, while I’ll still keep my fingers crossed that Diego comes in. Defensively I would be looking at someone like Christoph Metzelder but as no central defenders have really been linked it’s hard to say who Wenger might have his eyes on.

I think the key is that Wenger gets moving in the transfer market sooner rather than later and he seems to be doing that. I get the feeling it’s going to be an exciting few weeks before Euro 2008 kicks off.

What do you think?

Have your say on Arsenal’s final day or the transfer speculation by leaving a comment.

31 Responses to “Thoughts on Arsenal’s win over Sunderland + some interesting transfer news”

  1. Panda Bear
    May 13, 2008 at 6:22 pm #

    Yeah well we definitely need about, you know, 16 players, probably if you want to go win the leauge you know, gotta spent some money, nobody wins the league without spending money you know, so from like Almunia you gotta get a new goalkeeper because like Almunia is just not good enough, is he? I mean, everyone says it so like it must be true. So I’d get in like Buffon and then bringing in like Nesta someone in the central defense, cause it’s obvious we need a central defender or if not Nesta like Canavaro because maybe he’d like 1 season in England before he goes back like he’s an awesome player, then we need wingers so I’d get like Ribery and Huarez might get them both actually, maybe Simao from like, Athletico Madrid, him as well. Midfeild yeaah Flamini leaves, you need somebody else, maybe like Kaka yeah he’d be like on for coming to Arsenal like everybody would like to play for Arsenal, then there’s a fellow called Diego. Plays for some team in Germany, don’t know anything about him but like everyone says he’s a great player, so we should probably sign him too. And just keep talking about it, and then when we don’t sign him it’s all dissapointing. Then up front like Adebayor, 26 goals, i mean anyone can score 26 goal it’s obvious he’s not good enough we need a better playing, Van Persie is geat but like he’s never fit. So ahh David Villa, he said he’d like to come to Arsenal so why not spend the money on him, if he wants to come. And we’ve got loads of money like 70 million pounds you can get loads of players for that, So i’d take Ronaldinho cause he wants to leave Barcelona and like Guero and he’s also from Athletico Madrid, with those few players and then you get rid of like Almunia and Gallas cause he’s a bad influence. And get rid as well of Sendoros and Djourou I mean Djourou what’s that about it sounds like an Israeli Marsupial doesn’t it, and then the midfield Flamini’s going Gilberto’s to old Hleb going too and Rosicky’s always injured. It’s true though, Bendtner noone likes him. So you mightas well get rid of all those players and bring in the new players cause if you don’t bring in those new players then it’s just gonna be all the same story and we won’t win the league.

  2. phatrick
    May 13, 2008 at 6:52 pm #

    What about Mario Gomez..? There seems to be a lot of speculation on him. Could be an answer for Eduardo his finishing is reputedly excellent (if the Germans call him “Mr Reliable” then he must be). I don’t trust RVP to stay healthy for a full season, great player but he’s never completed a single season in 5 without being laid off on the sidelines.

    Frankly, Niko Kranjar isn’t good enough to play for Arsenal.

    Eboue isn’t good enough to play on the wing, period! I expect to see Theo feature as more of a winger than forward next season while he is still maturing. We still have Hleb, Rosicky and Vela is a left winger/forward. I’m not sure therefore Ben Arfa is required?

    People seem not to think Denilson can do flamini’s job. I disagree, I think as a player Denilson’s more complete. His closing down is excellent and he reads the game well. Can he play a whole season without injury is another matter. We would also have song who judging by his ACN performances is capable of doing a job in midfield. It also looks like Gilberto is making noises like he wants to stay, so no big panic in midfield for me.

    Cast in stone is our requirement for a Loisao, Naldo, Metzelder, Mertesaker… we need to nip this problem of aerial cover in the bud (actually a bit late now as we’ve had this weakness since loosing sol).

  3. amiaq_ferguson
    May 13, 2008 at 7:30 pm #

    are u sure u need more striker? how many striker do u need to win trophy? hehehehe.. we have 3+1(scoring winger).. how many do u have? RVP, Adebayor, Eduardo, Walcott, Bendtner.. 5 altogether.. In Walcott, u can play him as wide winger.. but still u have another 4 strikers which is more than enuff..

    the key for Arsenal is scoring goal. and i’m very afraid to hear the news about Ben Arfa being linked with Arsenal. But I dont think Villa, Diego, G.Barry as a logical target. For defender, perhaps Ben Haim is strong enuff for Arsenal and cheap. Kranjar also a very possible signing. Defensive Midfielder anyone?

  4. C-Bass
    May 13, 2008 at 8:38 pm #

    First off great way to finish of the season. Secondly LOL at Panda Bear good show sir.

    I keep on hearing that if Helb goes then Nico is his replacement. I don’t think Nico is nearly as talented as Helb but I do think he has an eye for goal. I don’t know if that’s worth it as a trade off. Maybe it is because he should be rotating with an emerging Theo.

    A central defender is a must. Who knows what Wenger is looking for there but please not Ben Haim. He’s cheap for a reason. Oh and even after signing keep Sendi he doesn’t have pace but outside of that he can play.

    Finally Ben Arfa is looking mighty good to me. He can play out on the left with Vela and Rosicky covering there. This allows Rosicky to cover Fabregas and at least give the kid a few games off when needed.

    That just leaves the Defensive Midfield to sure up. I’m all for Makoun and I really think he would fit well. I don’t feel Denilson is strong or disciplined enough to play the position. I think Diaby could do it but he’s not the most controlled tackler and again discipline may be a problem. Bert can stay as cover if he likes but if he wants to play regularly I think he better move on.

    I think Wenger will bring in a proven creative midfielder but in central defense and holding midfield we may well see him pull someone out of his magic hat.

  5. Mike The Head
    May 13, 2008 at 9:11 pm #

    DIEGO/YAYA TOURé or BARRY or AQUILANI/RAUL ALBIOL

    are who I’d see as the best we can get.
    Diego for the creative side-
    Yaya or Barry for a physical and strong midfielder able to secure Fabregas and able to attack and shoot when needed.
    Albiol for a big and strong defender…”Long balls”…

    Let’s be heard well

    Gooner time

  6. Mike The Head
    May 13, 2008 at 9:18 pm #

    Panda Bear = ShuT Your stinKy

  7. Spanish Fry
    May 13, 2008 at 9:20 pm #

    I’m for Makoun as well. I failed to mention him.

    And yes, Panda Bear, an excellent Arsecast rendition there haha. Loved it.

  8. Spanish Fry
    May 13, 2008 at 9:21 pm #

    @ Mike The Head – I think you missed the Arsecast reference.

  9. India-Gunner
    May 14, 2008 at 3:26 am #

    My feeling is AW may go for Lescott who can also play on the LB position. He loves player who can play 2 position. Lescott is left footer, good in the air and he can score too. Ideally Micah is another good prospect but we are most likely going to price out by ManUSA.

  10. Dave
    May 14, 2008 at 3:47 am #

    All i know is that Henry aint happy…

  11. marcus
    May 14, 2008 at 6:58 am #

    kudos to panda bear, hilarious!

  12. Le gunner
    May 14, 2008 at 9:25 am #

    Managing Director Ken Friar has confirmed that they finalised a transfer of a player it looks like one is in the bag but who is it? any idea anyone? Quite as usual the Arsenal way and that how you do things.

  13. Spanish Fry
    May 14, 2008 at 10:07 am #

    Ooooo – how exciting. Gotta love transfer season heh heh.

    Hopefully it is a central defender.

  14. Mexican Gunner
    May 14, 2008 at 1:58 pm #

    The Panda Bear is crazzzy!!!!
    he`s the biggest Arsenal fan dreamer!!

    and im a little worried that people is expecting a lot form Carlos Vela, Im afraid that maybe he is not good enough for Arsenal.

  15. henrycomeback
    May 15, 2008 at 12:53 am #

    i want henry to come back to us! = (

  16. C-Bass
    May 15, 2008 at 8:01 am #

    Just finished watching the UEFA Cup Final and I must say that Arshavin lad who plays for Zenit is quite good. I know he had said he wished to play for Gunners as well. Would be a possible replacement for Helb and he can also play up front if needed. At twenty six though he might be a wee bit old for Wenger. 😛

  17. Spanish Fry
    May 15, 2008 at 11:35 am #

    Interesting. I missed the game myself. Wanted to watch it but completely forgot it was on…

  18. Le gunner
    May 15, 2008 at 8:29 pm #

    Saw the eufa cup and it was dull. Arshavin was the best player on the pitch.
    Adebayor again wants to jump ship to Barcelona. What a fool he can’t shut his stinking hole.Adebayor Hleb and Flamini all of them had one good season and all of sudden they think they are bigger than Arsenal.I honestly don’t care if Hleb and Adebayor follow that Flamoney(putain). Wenger will not lose sleep over them if they go. Wenger has one player close to his heart and will never let him go and that is Fabregas.I’ve read a comment by Wenger about Fabreagas this is what he said “He gets you in touch with the true beauty of football, and the deep aspects of the game.” It shows how Wenger adores Fabregas. He does not rate any other player as highly As Fabregas only one player comes close is RVP I feel Wenger likes RVP very much that is why he is still persisting with him despite all the injuries and sometimes the off the pitch troubles.These two players are a class above everyone at Arsenal.I feel very sad for RVP this guy is an amazing football player if he is fit he’ll be the next Arsenal star after Thierry and Fabregas.

  19. Gooner for 60 years
    May 15, 2008 at 8:38 pm #

    It’s no use crying over spilt milk or decrying the fact that if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle BUT it is worth pointing out that 1 miserable goal either scored or not conceded in any 3 of our score draws would have won us the league.
    3 extra goals (in fact only 2 had we beaten United)is not beyond this side with or without Hleb and Flamini(star though he was for us this season)

    Given yet another injury wrecked season, we did so well. Here’s to even better next year.

  20. Arsenal Fan in the US
    May 16, 2008 at 12:10 am #

    I would love to see Yaya and I hope Wenger is thinking along those lines…really ready to see Vela…the squad improved better than most thought they would…Henry is still lurking about though…nah he ain’t comin back but like Dave said in a previous post “He ain’t happy”. LOVE THIS BLOG – GUNNER FOR LIFE!!!

  21. C-Bass
    May 16, 2008 at 12:20 am #

    Ade has come out for the second time and said he’s not going anywhere. I don’t know why these rumors keep coming up. He stated that he was not leaving when he was linked to Milan and has done the same now for Barca.

    I really think this guy has Arsenal in in his blood just like Clichy, Toure and Fabregas.

  22. Spanish Fry
    May 16, 2008 at 7:35 am #

    Agreed. I think you were a little too hasty on Adebayor there, Le Gunner. Don’t believe the rumours – believe the facts.

  23. amiaq_ferguson
    May 17, 2008 at 1:54 pm #

    2weeks left for AW to pull the trigger. he has promised to make signing in 3weeks. this is the right time for arsenal to do some shopping since chelsea and man utd are still in hunt for glory, especially man utd who i believe is very focus on Final game. be remind that chelsea could steal any of your target becos that is just the way they do business. Ben Arfa, Samir Nasri, Diego, Zarate are some of big names who i believe will get huge attention from EPL club.

  24. Le gunner
    May 18, 2008 at 10:21 am #

    Hatem Ben Arfa has signed for Arsenal late this evening, awaiting medical on monday and Nasri will follow according to french reports. Don’t take my word for it.

  25. Le gunner
    May 18, 2008 at 10:32 am #

    I’ve watched Ben Arfa and I have to say this guy is already an Arsenal player he doesn’t need adapting.

  26. amiaq_ferguson
    May 18, 2008 at 9:15 pm #

    ben arfa is a very good player and i judge his dribbling skill better than ronaldo, but maybe not that pacy. As for Samir Nasri, i dont think this guy is good enuff. maybe not for another two years

  27. gunner
    May 19, 2008 at 5:21 am #

    Muahaha
    Milan & Flamini not in the Champions League

  28. Demetrio
    May 19, 2008 at 10:13 am #

    Must mention that theres been some talk here in Italia that De Rossi may be on his way to Arsenal, and some people here suggest Arsenal have already agreed to a fee to bring him in. Its very under the table stuff if its true with nothing really being said by either club, but thats usually the way Wenger buys.. Personally i hope its not true and Wenger brings in Yaya Toure.

  29. Mexican Gunner
    May 19, 2008 at 10:20 am #

    I like De Rossi but heis one of the main objectives of RealMadrid so imposible, and same for Toure he is new in Barca and was one of the best of the season so I discard both…

    and “gunner”, Im very very glad too.

  30. Spanish Fry
    May 19, 2008 at 10:26 am #

    @ Demetrio – Very interesting. Who has been talking about de Rossi? By the by, I’m not the biggest fan of him after he elbowed that chap in the World Cup but he is a class player and you can’t turn down players like him.

    @ Mexican Gunner – What do you think about Wenger’s comments about Vela being a striker? I think it’s pretty spot on given that he was the top scorer in the World Youth Cup a little while ago.

  31. Mexican Gunner
    May 19, 2008 at 10:37 am #

    Hi!
    well so much better than play on the wing, in Mexico he just plays as striker never in the wing so that will be the best place for him, I hope he just play in the FA and the Carling I think hes not ready for more level.

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