Monthly Archives: July 2013

Suarez interest cools, could we be switching targets?

Hello and good morning to you all. It’s Wednesday which means there’s only a few days left until the beginning of the Emirates Cup on Saturday and although I’d like to think we might have a signing or two made by then, it’s starting to look very unlikely.

The Suarez deal seems to have hit a bit of a brick wall where the only way of any progress occurring is if he either submits a transfer request or we up our bid. I don’t really feel that at this moment in time the club are going to make an improved offer. I thought we might a few days back however now I’m starting to think we’re going to focus on a different target – Wayne Rooney.

It’s clear that he wants to leave despite Man Utd confirming that he’s not for sale. However, as Arsenal fans we all know from past experiences how this ends up. The player either stays and gets paid a lot more money (like Rooney did a few years ago) or he leaves (like Cesc, Nasri or van Cunt). Now, the only two clubs that will take him are ourselves and Chelsea, every other decent club in Europe has a striker now. Man Utd have already rejected Chelsea’s first bid of £25m for him, which means it’s likely they’ll return with a second bid of roughly £30m.

I do think that is the kind of money Man Utd want, perhaps £35m, but I do wonder if they’d accept it? A friend of mine on Twitter @puppygut5 is under the firm belief that they won’t sell to Chelsea, but not necessarily because of the club but because of Mourinho. The thought of selling to a man who they have such a negative and controversial history with is out of the equation. They also consider Chelsea a bigger threat for the title than Arsenal, especially if they had Rooney. So it does make sense that they may prefer to sell to us instead.

I’ve been told by a few trustworthy fellas that the prospect of Arsenal certainly appeals to Wayne and he’d also prefer work under Wenger than Jose, too. I don’t think wages will be an issue, either. I think we can afford to give him a healthy enough package which will be more than agreeable for both him and his agent.

So what happens from here? I honestly think Arsenal are going to enter a bit of a bidding war for Rooney and find out exactly how much he’ll cost. Then they’ll weigh up their options between him and Suarez and decide who they’ll go for. In my opinion, the Suarez deal is going to go right down to the last week and potentially last day of the transfer window. The Rooney deal however, may be concluded within two weeks because Man Utd will be looking to find a replacement that can lift the fans and the players.

I think if you compare the packages, you have two very good options in them both. When you stack them up against each other over the past two seasons, you have the following

Suarez – 83 appearances, 47 goals, 21 assists
Rooney – 82 appearances, 50 goals, 18 assists

So, quite remarkably and coincidentally we have two very similar strikers in terms of statistics. They both have scored or contributed to a total of 68 goals over two seasons which is an impressive average of 34 a season. They’re both clearly very talented and able to contribute massively to their squads, so realistically we could do with either of them in our team.

You’ve gotta ask yourself, who would you rather prefer? For me, it’s a simple choice and it’s Wayne Rooney. I’d argue that when they’re both having blinders, Wayne Rooney is the better player and certainly a more complete striker. You also have to consider the baggage that comes with Suarez. He’s controversy central and if you think that’ll come to a halt under Wenger than you’re wrong. Add to the equation that Rooney will also be able to contribute instantly as he has no six game ban to fulfil and it’s an even easier choice.

The main thing for me and the overall decider though, is his experience and desire to win. He is a five time Premier League winner, not to mention the Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup, two time League Cup and three time Community Cup winners medals he has. We are desperate for somebody with such achievements, he will create such a hunger within the squad to win. He will not be coming to Arsenal to spend the next few years not winning, he will refuse that and he’ll ensure that mentality is fluent within the players, too.

Think about the affect he’d have on the young British core. He’d be the leader they all look to and strive to be. He’ll be the man they want to emulate in terms of personal and club success. I would absolutely love him at the club and I think if you asked the players who they’d rather out of him and Suarez the majority would choose him.

So, there’s my opinion, what’s yours? Who would you prefer? Right now, I would take either because I’m growing tired of the speculation and ever-growing doubts among the fans however if it was a choice I’d take Wayne all day.

For all of you that are worried that we won’t sign anybody, don’t let that bother you. We have two deals practically done that we’re holding back because we want the striker to be the first one. Once he’s sorted, we’ll probably announce the others soon after so expect about three transfers within a week or so. Who these players are I don’t know, however I’ve heard that one of them is somebody that hasn’t been mentioned in the press yet but is entirely dependant on Cesc. I’m hoping it’s Reus, please be that little German bundle of brilliance. Please!

That’s all for today, we’ll see how things progress over the week but I’d expect it’ll be quite quiet now until next week at least. Have a good day, more tomorrow.

Advertisements

Can we stop criticising Wenger and start supporting him?

Good morning people, a smallish blog today as there’s not much going on in the Arsenal world.

Apparently Arsenal are trying to offer Bendtner and €1.5m for Malaga right back Jesús Gámez however they’re rejecting the offer due to his high salary and would rather sell the player outright for €5m-€6m. Another club that are struggling with the Dane’s wages which is clearly the key problem with selling him. It seems as though a handful of clubs have dropped out of the race to sign him for this reason alone. Does he not want to play in the World Cup this year or something? Can’t we just package him up and send him to the Bermuda Triangle?

Anyway, I was thinking yesterday about how many times the press and public have mounted pressure on Wenger to buy X player or sell Y. And then how many times they’ve all been completely wrong. A guy made a good point yesterday regarding Chamakh. How many people were calling Wenger tight because he wanted to wait and get him on a free rather than pay for him? Yet these are now the same people calling him clueless for buying Chamakh in the first place.

How many people slagged off signings like Koscielny, Mertesacker, Ramsey, Jenkinson, Arteta, Song, Walcott, Gilberto, Hleb, Rosicky and so many more yet years later they became or still are, integral parts of the squad.

How many people criticised him for not buying players that were available like Green, Parker, Samba, Given, Dann, Johnson, Joe Cole, Shawcross, Diame, Dempsey, Hoilett, N’Zonzi and so many more yet none of them would even get anywhere near our first team?

How many people said he got it wrong when he sold players like Nasri, Anelka, Clichy, Toure, Adebayor and so many more yet none of them were anywhere near the same players they were when at the club?

Of course, we can’t forget the Jeffers’, the Stepanov’s, the Silvestre’s and the Luzhny’s but every great manager has them, it’s inevitable that you won’t get every signing right. Sometimes it’s out of their control because their scouting staff rate them so highly yet when it doesn’t go well the manager takes the blame.

Wenger once said something along the lines of “a great manager isn’t somebody who can buy great players it’s somebody who can make great players out of the average ones he’s already got” and it’s completely true. Look at Nasri for example, he’s been a shadow of his former self since he left the club and why? Because his style of football suits the Arsenal philosophy.

Manchester City didn’t buy players that suited a philosophy because they didn’t have one. They just bought whoever was good and thought they’d play together but football doesn’t work like that. It’s all about chemistry. Yes, City won eventually, but they only won it on goal difference against one of the poorest Man Utd sides in recent years who, on paper at least, are significantly weaker.

My point is that when Wenger makes a signing, he buys one that can suit our play and our values. People will point to players and ask why didn’t we sign them? It’s because they wouldn’t work. Their passing is too poor, their fitness levels are too low or their movement isn’t very good. These are key things required to make it into our squad, if you don’t have any of those then you’re bound to be fighting a losing battle.

Look, I know Wenger doesn’t get everything right and I’m not going to pretend he has because he’s made awful signings over the years. However, he is undeniably an absolute world class manager. He’s tirelessly tried again and again to give players chances even if it means costing the game. He’s put his reputation on the line year after year after year because he has so much faith and confidence in his team. Yes, he gets it wrong many times but look across the globe and tell me another manager that has made as many world class talents as he has in the past two decades?

Nobody has. Nobody.

All I’m saying is that fans need to have more faith in the guy. People are criticising him already because he hasn’t signed anybody. He then signs somebody and he gets criticised because that person wasn’t the person that they wanted. He gets called tight because he doesn’t want to spend twice the amount on a player he knows in his heart is gonna flop like the other names being thrown about? Then he gets criticised because the player he bought isn’t good enough. Criticise. Criticise. Criticise.

He’s a better manager than all of us and better than we’ll ever be. I wouldn’t walk into my boss’s office and tell him he can’t run a business because a fellow employee was shit, would I? So why do we think we can justify the same actions for our team? Realistically we know nothing in comparison to his knowledge. Yet we still think we know better.

At the end of the day, let him get on with his business and if come September we’ve made little or no signings we shouldn’t look to criticise even more because what can we do? The window is closed and nothing can be done. Instead, we should back the squad no matter what and get behind them because regardless of who we sign I don’t doubt in my mind that a roaring Emirates would motivate any team to win no matter who the opponent is. That’s 54 points on the table for us regardless of away games which is a huge step towards the title and that’s something we can control.

I’m just fed up of our fans feeling such hatred for a man that has done so much for the club and who has put his career and reputation on the line for us all. He’s the most unselfish manager in the world in my opinion yet so many people literally hate him. I see somebody say yesterday on Twitter that they hope we sign nobody and end up 5th just so he can get the sack. Why? Wouldn’t you rather him do well because that means the team does well? Why such bitterness towards the guy? What has he ever done to you? It’s not like he’s spat in your face and beaten up your mum, is it?

Anyway, I’ll leave it there for today. Sorry if this article was a bit long-winded and poorly written, I’m feeling a bit rushed and annoyed this morning. Here’s a video of Arshavin trying to punch a goalkeeper to cheer you up. More tomorrow.

The weaknesses, realisms and pressures of modern day football

Hello and a good Monday morning to you all. There doesn’t seem to be a huge abundance of worthwhile transfer news floating around this morning so I assume the newspapers and twitter whores haven’t emerged from their caves yet. I think the fact that the biggest thing going around is that Chamakh may be off on loan to Crystal Palace for six months pretty much sums up how quiet it is. When you consider the article has emerged from The Sun, then you know it’s pretty much desperation and that everybody is clutching onto the straws of transfer gossip just to get by.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love for Chamakh to leave somehow, either on loan or as a permanent deal. However, from the people I’ve spoken to it doesn’t seem that any team in the UK want him, perhaps because they’ve actually seen him play. I know of interest from Bordeaux, another unknown French club and probably some random sides from Portugal and Spain too. Let’s just hope somebody, anybody, anything, will take him. And they’ll take him far away from our club and everything connected with it.

Anyway, speaking of The Sun, they have actually published an article of some worth (I know, can you believe it?) this morning which has some interesting quotes from Arsene Wenger. He starts by talking about the strengths and weaknesses of managers, saying

In football management, you cannot cheat because when you work with 30 players, they detect the weaknesses in your personality.

The moment of truth is when a player sits in front of you and decides if you can help them to become successful.

No matter how big a star he is, he is ready to listen to you if you meet his needs. And the way for him to establish that is to test you. If they think you can help them, then they will respect you.

You can’t really disagree with Wenger here, it is in fact the main reason many footballers decide to join Arsenal over other clubs. A lot of players see it as a way of progressing and improving themselves both on the pitch and off it due to working under a world class manager. Of course we have many benefits as a club which work in our favour as well, but don’t for one second think that the manager doesn’t play a huge part in deciding it. It’s well known that the main reason Podolski joined the club is because of Wenger’s ability to talk German. Without that he may not have joined.

This makes me think that both Moyes and Pellegrini may struggle in their first years. Moyes especially because although he’s the manager of Manchester United, he’s still effectively the Everton manager in terms of personal achievement and reputation. Some players won’t even know him, for example I can’t tell you the manager of Frankfurt who finished sixth in the Bundesliga last year. If that person became manager of Bayern or Dortmund this year, I might know him by name from then on but he’d still be the same unknown manager from the year before. Players won’t think any differently.

Wenger continues, talking about the players views on the squad, he said

Then they must decide whether they are in a squad who can help them become successful. That was a problem for Arsenal when we were operating under financially-restricted conditions. For some players, we didn’t have enough stars to be successful as quickly as they wanted to be.

I guess this can be targeted at players like Cesc, Nasri, van Persie, etc who left for clubs who were competing above us in football. They’ve all gone on to win trophies and unfortunately that’s the harsh reality of the situation. Nobody will be feeling more hurt than Wenger because he built these players from young starlets to some of the best in Europe. The hardest thing is that had we kept that group of players together, things may have turned out different. However, once one or two players started to leave, the rest soon followed and that’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. Wenger continued, saying

In football, you manage people who are 18, 19, 20. The maturity is not yet there but they are under huge public pressure to perform and win in front of 60,000 people.

You can work in an office at 70 per cent of your potential and do your job well. But you can’t as a footballer.

That’s where the stress comes from. One player being weak can cost you the game.

Every minute of every day a footballer tests himself.

That puts the body and the mind under pressure because you know you can only perform in a game if you’re 100 per cent. What makes a top-level sportsman is their motivation for success.

I think people forget that for young players like Wilshere, Ramsey, Oxlade, Jenkinson, etc it’s a hugely high pressured environment to work in. When we was all learning our trades just like I am now, you are allowed to make mistakes and you’re given slack when you do. For these guys, when they make mistakes, it might cost them a goal, which could mean a game, which could mean a trophy. It’s not easy, and perhaps we need to try and remember that when they make a bad pass or a mistimed tackle. They’re still learning, they’re not yet elite players so why do we expect them to be?

I’m younger than Aaron Ramsey and I gotta say it’s absolutely remarkable that he took all that stick last season just after his horrific leg break and still progressed as a footballer. He’s been great in pre-season and you have to give him credit where it’s due. For somebody who is 22-years-old, he is incredibly strong and determined, and that is exactly why I have faith that he’ll one day be a integral part of our side. Wenger then said

Motivation is not enough. It is the consistency of motivation that counts. Many people start diets on January 1. Some of them will last until mid-January, some give up mid-June and a small number last right to the end of the year.

We are interested only in the last group because that is what makes a successful sportsman.

We want the people that are very demanding with themselves and each other for a long time.

It doesn’t necessarily mean successful sportsmen are happy people but it means they are determined and are ready to hurt themselves to be successful. That’s the type we are looking for.

And that’s the reality of being at a club like Arsenal. The demands from the club are huge and even bigger from the fans, the competition is high, the media coverage is enormous and the league is unforgiving. It must make the pressure at times unbearable and it’s no wonder players are so hot and cold, especially in their younger years.

It’s no wonder that many of them become depressed, I mean how would you feel if you tried your hardest every day but you had 60,000 fans booing you? Then you go home and you have hate mail, abusive tweets, outrageous Facebook posts, newspapers calling for your head, etc. It must be hard and I think sometimes we as people need to step back and realise that at the end of the day this team is just a group of guys playing a game of sport. Just because they’re paid ridiculous amounts of money, it doesn’t mean they’re not human. They have feelings and emotions like any of us, don’t forget that.

Anyway, that’s all for today, let’s see what news comes out during the week regarding transfers as I’m hoping for a big week. More tomorrow.

Suarez clause has more to it than you’d think

Hello and good morning, Sunday is here which is the final day of the week and I can’t help but feel like next week is going to be the big one in terms of movement at the club. We play the Emirates Cup on Saturday and Sunday so I think Arsene and the transfer team will be looking to bring somebody in to really boost the morale round the ground. Who could that player be then?

Well I’m hearing that the club are going to be placing another bid this week for Luis Suarez of around £42m. Whether it has any addons I don’t know but what I do know is that it’s aim is to sweeten the deal and get it concluded for Saturday. I found out yesterday a key detail regarding this clause that seems to be the focal point of the deal and it made a lot of sense.

Basically, to cut a long clause short, if a bid of £40m comes in and the club aren’t in the Champions League then Liverpool only have to consider the offer and inform Suarez. However, if they are in the Champions League and Liverpool aren’t, then they must accept the bid. So, why haven’t Liverpool accepted our bid? Because we’re not exactly in the Champions League yet. We’ve still got to qualify and won’t technically be until 28th August after our second league game.

Yes, we’ll most likely win because the opponents we have a chance of facing aren’t exactly difficult but until then the clause isn’t active. This is Liverpool trying to stall because they don’t want to sell to us and herein lies the problem. So, the club have two choices: play the waiting game and get him for £40m in hope nobody else comes in by that time or increase the bid slightly, say it’s our final offer and see if they accept.

So this is why we’re looking to place another final bid this week of around £42m just to sweeten the deal and say to Liverpool “look, we both know he’s going to join eventually anyway, so you may as well take the extra cash whilst you can”. At the end of the day, they don’t want to play a game of patience with a man like Wenger. You will lose. It’s impossible to beat him through patience! Anyway, let’s hope the deal is wrapped up because I’d love to see him on Saturday when I’m there.

There isn’t really that much else going on around the club. Sunday’s are usually relatively quiet because the bullshit journalists and fake ‘In The Knows’ are all recovering from hangovers. This is because they spent last night drowning their sorrows over how pathetic their lives are where they feel the need to pretend they have inside sources at the club just for publicity and hits.

There is the stuff that Barca said a few days ago that Cesc is not for sale but the funny thing is that they refer to Man Utd throughout, not Arsenal. Like I said people, Utd are just pawns being played between Arsene Wenger’s and Barcelona’s game of chess. There isn’t much more to the story but all I can say is that I’ve heard from about two or three reliable people that it’s positive and the club are feeling optimistic a deal can be done. One thing is for sure, it won’t happen until mid-August or so and when it does happen it’ll be done quickly and swiftly.

Speaking of deals, one thing I noticed this morning is Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway saying about how difficult transfers are. He said

We have got to hone down some targets, but this week has probably been one of the worst of my life because things have broken down for all different reasons.

I thought we were signing someone the other day and they went somewhere else. It’s all a bit crazy really. You get phone calls, and phone calls on phone calls from people who are not even anything to do with the deal and then suddenly they think they are.

I know this isn’t directly relevant to Arsenal but it did make me think that if they’re struggling to sign names for a few million it’s no wonder we’re having problems trying to buy players of tens of millions. I guess you don’t realise how busy and difficult this period is for managers and that trying to get deals concluded can be a nightmare. I’m sure the club are working hard and that come September 1st we’ll have a few quality additions and a new found sense of optimism for the coming season.

That’s all for today, enjoy the final day of the weekend and I’ll have more tomorrow.

Asia Tour overview and Wenger talks transfers and squad strength

So yesterday Arsenal played the final game of our Asia Tour vs Urawa Reds and managed to pick up a 2-1 win making it four wins in four games so far. The scoreline highlights how much of a different game this was in contrast to the others and you gotta give it to the opposition, they really didn’t make it easy for us. On the game itself, Arsene Wenger said

The game was played at a good pace, we wanted a competitive game and we were not disappointed.

We created many chances but I would like to congratulate Urawa Reds, they played very well.

I won’t go into analysing the game as there wasn’t many stand out performances in this one like the others. Coverage wasn’t helped when around 25 mins of the second half wasn’t displayed due to an ESPN technical fault, which meant I missed both our goal and theirs. However, the goal I saw was the second and the winner, scored by young forward Chuba Akpom.

Sky Sports reported it as “a simple tap-in” but it was anything but. It kind of rebounded in his path but he still had a keeper and defender to put it past from a pretty awkward angle. His reactions were good and the finish was accurate, meaning he got the second goal and more importantly, the win.

Akpom has certainly impressed me throughout the tour, I didn’t know what to expect from him but I can understand now why he’s so highly regarded within the club. At just 17-years-old it’s hard to deny he’s extremely talented and certainly has the physique suited to the league. I doubt he’ll go on loan this year, the club will probably want him to continue his development within the U21s and participate in the Carling Cup. We’ll see how he progresses, but it’d sure be nice to bring a forward through for once.

Wenger also spoke after the game about a few of the other young starlets that impressed on the tour, he started with Ryo Miyaichi, saying

He has done well, you could see that he is finding his sharpness back. He is fighting for his position like many players. I like his game.

I believe he is in a position where he needs to play to have a good chance of competing at the top level. Should we buy more players I will have to reassess the situation. At the moment he will stay with us.

With Gervinho close to joining Roma you have to wonder if Wenger sees him as a backup to the squad? With a bit of shuffling and more use of the Ox, I’m sure there will still be a handful of games both on the left and right wings for Ryo to play, so perhaps that’s what Arsene is hinting at doing. He also spoke of our other winger Serge Gnabry, he said

He was very good as well. He is 17 years old and he has a presence, power, good technique and can play on both sides. He is a very interesting, promising talent.

Well Arsene, he’s actually 18 now, his birthday was a few weeks ago at the start of the tour, remember?  Good ol’ Wenger! But seriously he’s a very good player and one that I think should spend the season with the club continuing his development or perhaps go on loan to polish off his game. There’s no doubt he has the ability but it’s down to how we nurture that talent and use it effectively.

Overall a positive tour with many highlights, impressive performances and laughs. I love how well the PR department did throughout, with many entertaining videos like this one of The Ox and Jenko having a bit of banter and this one of hilarious outtakes. Stories like The Running Man were really nice to see and yesterday I heard that there was a Gooner trying to buy two tickets from a tout in Nagoya so the club saw him, came over and gave him two tickets worth €100+ each “on the club”. It may not cost the club a great deal but they will have made somebodies dream a reality then.

Arsene Wenger spoke to the press after the tour and said a number of things worth reading. The main thing though, which has got the tongues wagging and the birds tweeting, is what he said regarding transfers. He said

We are ready to do quick deals but all the transfers do not depend only on us, but we are prepared to wait. It looks unlikely before the Emirates Cup.

We still have a strong squad but we are there on the market to try to strengthen our team. With or without additions we can be title challengers next season.

People are really angry over this because they instantly assume it means he’s not bothered about signings. Of course he is, he isn’t stupid, he wouldn’t sell all our deadwood and make our squad incredibly thin if he didn’t have plans to bring in another few players. However, he’s not going to publicly admit his squad is weak nor that he’s in a rush to buy anyone. It’s all mind games with Wenger, don’t forget that. His aim is to get players as cheaply and quickly as possible and he uses the media to help him achieve that. He continued, saying

What we want is not as name but as good player. The name is less important. What is more important is the quality of the player. At the moment I must tell you we are not close to signing anybody.

But we also have to focus on the players we have and develop them. We have plenty of candidates in midfield now and there is a big fight there. Bacary Sagna settles in well at centre-back with Thomas Vermaelen out.

I think he is hinting at Suarez here saying that it’s about his quality not his history. Nobody can deny the talent that he has because he is an absolutely world class striker. He is right though, we should focus on developing our players as well because we have many talented players that will be looking to make the step up this year. Jenkinson, Oxlade, Wilshere, Ramsey and Gibbs just to name a few will all be vital in our success this year. If they can all push on we’ll have a significantly stronger side just off the back of that.

Our midfield is packed, this is why I think we’ll only buy one player in that department with Cesc the priority. It’s interesting that he points to Sagna at centre back as an option for Vermaelen when he’s injured, but that doesn’t mean we still shouldn’t be looking to sign one. This could be a mind game for him to express that we’re not that desperate for a player in that position and therefore get one in that’s a bit cheaper.

At the end of the day, don’t panic. We’ll sign at least two quality players, one of which I am confident will be Suarez and the other will be a midfielder. I also believe we’ll add one or two squad players to increase the depth, both of which would be around the £10m mark. If we don’t sign anybody, and that’s a big if, then Wenger knows the fans will be extremely upset and angry. However, until September 1st why bother getting annoyed? Let’s just wait and see how things pan out.

That’s all for today, if you fancy some bonus reading I’ve got another great article by one of my favourite writers @LadyArse about the potential buy of Luis Suarez. Speaking of which, have you seen this hilarious advert starring the man himself? It’s a must watch if you haven’t already, it had me laughing out loud throughout. Lastly, I seriously recommend you read this fantastic post by @thedanielcowan on whether or not Arsenal can spend £55m on the striker. It’s great not just because of it’s relevance to Suarez but as the perspective it offers on transfers in general.

That’s all for today, thanks for reading, more tomorrow.

Final game of Asia Tour, Suarez disagreements, Cesc deal insight and more

Good morning people, the weekend is almost here but before it arrives we’ve got the last game of our Asia Tour to play. Today the team take on Urawa Red Diamonds who are undoubtably the strongest team we’ve played in pre-season yet which is perhaps why they fall on the last day. They sit fourth in the J League, 10 points above our previous opponent Nagoya Grampus, and will be looking to give us a much harder game.

These players are full of energy and pace and will be really up for the game in front of their home fans. This won’t be a walk in the park by any means, they’ll be looking to win so it’ll be interesting to see how the team responds to a more difficult opponent. My eyes will be firmly focused on the young players that have impressed me so far such as Akpom, Zelalem, Eisfeld and Gnabry, to see how they cope with a more intense, higher quality match. The game kicks off at 11:30am and as usual I’ll be doing live coverage on the game on my twitter account @YoungArse.

The Luis Suarez deal seems to be heating up as it seems there’s some disagreements between him and Liverpool over the clause in his contract. Apparently they have both verbal and written assurances from Liverpool that if a bid of £40m arrived he would be allowed to leave. Liverpool, of course are denying this and saying it is just a clause that means they’ll consider the bid but not be forced to accept.

In all honesty I’ve never heard of such a clause that means you have to consider a bid, surely that’s just the norm? What’s the need for it to be a clause? Therefore I think Suarez may be right and Liverpool are aware of it too, however they’re trying to stall in hope that another buyer will come in. I don’t think that’s a possibility however, all of Europe’s top clubs have strikers and the only club who don’t are Real Madrid, who have already confirmed they’re not buying a striker and are apparently focusing on Bale.

This saga will only end one way for me and I think it’ll result in Suarez becoming an Arsenal player. The only question is how much the fee will actually be? If Suarez pushes enough he’ll leave for £40m, however if Liverpool are stubborn they may get a bit more but if they think they’re getting anywhere close to £50m they’re having a laugh. The Independent have a good and insightful read that is mostly truth (it is a newspaper, after all) so check it out if you fancy knowing a bit more.

Apparently Liverpool have targeted Valencia forward Soldado as a replacement for Suarez, but there’s an obstacle with being patient. Valencia need a deal done by August 3rd for tax reasons, so that puts pressure on Liverpool to get the whole thing done as quickly as possible. Let’s hope the whole thing is true so that we get Suarez pretty quickly and can move onto other targets.

Speaking of other targets, I’ve heard that the club may have a few deals already in place and are just allowing the other clubs time to find replacements before confirming the deals. That’s nice of the club, ay? I guess they’re not in a major rush because they’d like to announce the big name striker first, however it’s still comforting to know that some deals are just waiting to be concluded. My guess is that it’s a centre back and possibly a goalkeeper, because we only want one midfielder and are awaiting to see Barcelona’s decision on Fabregas.

Basically, according to the extremely reliable and friendly @DarrenArsenal1, Barcelona are using Man Utd as a smokescreen to get as much money for Fabregas as possible. What they want to do is find out how much they can get from Man Utd and say to Arsenal “look, we can get this much from your rivals, give us the £25m agreed fee plus a bit more and he’s yours, otherwise we don’t sell at all to anyone”.

Bottom line is Fabregas won’t be coming to us for the £25m buy back fee because they’re well aware they still owe us money from the previous Cesc and Song deals. Not to mention they want to pay off €60m debt this year and also buy a centre back. So effectively, they want around £35m out of us because they need the money, otherwise he’s not for sale.

We’re in a great position because we’re extremely cash rich (£180m+ in our bank) so we can conclude deals very quickly with clubs in desperate need of money. It’s exactly why we got Cazorla so cheap, because the money was there and ready.

If the deal doesn’t happen, I believe our target list is Gundogan, Bender, Fellaini, Capoue, Kondogbia, in that order. Gundogan still hasn’t signed a new contract and the club are very interested in him, so it’ll be interesting to see how it plans out. In all honesty though, Cesc needs to be our priority because the thought of him and Suarez being added to our team sounds pretty deadly. The problem is the club only want one midfielder because it’s quite congested, so they’re awaiting to see what happens with Cesc before continuing with other targets.

In small news it looks as though Gervinho will join Roma for around £7m and young striker Joel Campbell will be joining Olympiacos on a season-long loan. Frimpong may be leaving too with him posting this picture on Instagram hinting at an end to his Arsenal career. I’ve also heard that there’s a few clubs looking at taking Chamakh and also that Park may have his contract terminated.

Bendtner is also somebody they’re trying desperately hard to sell but aren’t having much luck with his huge wage demands. They may consider Fabianski’s future too depending on the arrival of a new keeper. It all certainly shows a ruthlessness to the club trying to ship out the deadwood, hey? If it all goes to plan we’d have literally shipped out everybody that the fans wanted gone.

If you fancy some bonus reading check out this truly fantastic read by @LadyArse about Wenger’s long term plan of spending big. For some extra bonus reading, there’s this great article by @elan_morin on a tribute to Andre Santos. I know, I know, some of you will be thinking what’s the point? But it might make you realise he didn’t deserve the abuse he was given.

That’s all for today, enjoy your Friday and I’ll have more tomorrow.

Luis Suarez situation heats up, an injury update and some gossip

Morning everyone, the lovely sunny sky seems to be a bit gloom this morning, which in a way is kind of refreshing as the recent heatwave has been a bit too much. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sun, but when you face it for a few weeks straight and have to sit in an unconditioned office, you get a bit frustrated with it.

Anyway, enough about that and more about the things that do matter like Arsenal. So with yesterday’s news of a £40m bid for Liverpool’s Luis Suarez being placed, the story seems to be snowballing a little bit and picking up some speed. The BBC reported that Luis Suarez was to to tell Brendan Rodgers that he wants talks with Arsenal.

The story further progressed with a few of the reliable sources on twitter saying that he’s basically told Liverpool he’d like to leave to join us. Now, this puts them in a difficult situation because they will most certainly not be holding onto an unhappy player. We know from experience that it’s only a matter of time before he’ll leave, so I guess Liverpool are trying to get as much money as possible for him.

I’ve heard that we plan to make a final bid for him between £40m-£42m plus £3m-£5m in addons so a total of £45m. They apparently want £50m but they’re having a laugh if they think they’re getting that for him. When you consider how many goals Torres had scored for them and the fact he didn’t have such baggage, you gotta wonder what they’ve been smoking to expect the same fee.

People will point to Real Madrid who are also interested in him but they can’t afford to battle it out with us. They won’t be willing to go above £25-£30m so unless Liverpool would rather sell abroad and lose £15m-£20m then I can’t see that happening. Besides, I’ve been told by numerous people that he doesn’t have a preference towards Real Madrid, he just wants to play in the Champions League and in fact would rather stay in the Premier League as he believes it’s the best league in the world.

I read a number of blogs yesterday and there seems to be a lot of controversy surrounding this deal with many unhappy about us paying such a huge sum for somebody who has a lot of baggage. A lot of people are disappointed that we’ve let Higuain go to Napoli, saying that he was less risk and had no baggage. Let’s be honest though, at £31+£3m in addons, that isn’t good value. Also, that isn’t a statement of intent, it’s a big signing I agree, but is he the world class forward we were all hoping for? Not me.

Higuain, despite being a great forward, is no Luis Suarez. You’ve gotta consider that he was backup to Benzema, who is arguably not better than Suarez and whom played under Mourinho. Chelsea, in my opinion, are currently favourites to win the league, so would you want our best striker, the guy that is supposed to scare our opponents, to be somebody who was a backup in Mourinho’s previous side? Not really.

My thoughts on this are simple, and I’m sure Wenger is thinking the same – Higuain will score you goals but Luis Suarez will win you trophies. I’m all for being moral and I think what he’s done is completely wrong, but realistically I want to win the league and I’ve never felt convinced Higuain could have led us to that. Wenger is entering his final year and wants to make a big name signing, a world class striker and smash our transfer record and I think Luis Suarez is bang on the money for all of that.

The only thing that plays on my mind is the fact that he usually plays for a few seasons before again moving elsewhere. If he won everything at Arsenal, would he then want to leave to join Real Madrid or Barcelona? Possibly. However, you’ve gotta consider he’s 27 in January, he’ll be at the club at least three seasons meaning if he was to leave he’ll be going at around 30, which is usually when strikers start to decline. We’ll be buying a deadly striker who is proven in the league that is entering his prime, isn’t that what we want?

So, for me, I really hope we sign him. I hope we step up our interest and seal the deal before the Emirates Cup because if we don’t, it’s going to be awkward watching Higuain play for Napoli knowing we’re yet to sign a striker. We’ll know more in the coming days but if his attitude and body language in Liverpool’s friendly yesterday was anything to go by, then he’ll be out sooner rather than later.

In team news the boss said yesterday that Koscielny, Oxlade and Szczesny’s injuries are all small and there’s a chance that they might all be available for the final game of our pre-season tour of Asia which is tomorrow. Worst case scenario they might not all be back but they will be (hopefully) for the Emirates Cup.

There’s some rumours that we may be looking at Ashley Williams again but you gotta wonder if he’s just  another press link that we get every year. A Sebastian Frey, a Yohan Gourcuff, a Yann M’Vila. I do hope we sign him, we need a centre back and he’s an experienced leader, proven in the league, captain for both club and country and he’ll add to the British core. Besides, I don’t have much faith in Miquel, he doesn’t strike me as someone who can handle the league and with a year left on his deal you have to wonder if the club see his future elsewhere.

The last bit of news is that apparently the club are holding out on buying a big name defensive midfielder like Fellaini or Bender because afterwards they may not have enough money for Cesc should he come available. Some people are saying it’s stupid and we should just forget it and move on but I say don’t be silly.

If we buy Fellaini and Cesc becomes available, I will be absolutely gutted that we didn’t get him and outraged if he went elsewhere. If there’s a small chance we can get him, then let’s do our best to make it happen. Besides, there’s plenty of players in midfield around Europe, we’ll get someone even if it’s at the end of the window.

That’s all today, thanks for reading, more tomorrow.