A look back at the first month

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Fabregas reflects on his excellent start to the seasonFabregas gets Player of the Month 

Cesc Fabregas has been named Player of the Month for August on the official Arsenal website. With three goals (his fourth was scored in the match against Blackburn, which was played on September 2) and a number of fine performances I think the fans made the right decision. Interestingly, Alexander Hleb and Gael Clichy finished second and third respectively in the voting.

Fabregas and Clichy have always been respected by the Arsenal fans and it’s great to see Hleb getting some recognition as well. The goals he scored in Arsenal’s first two matches of the season against Fulham and Sparta Prague were absolutely vital to the club getting off to a positive start and it’s great to see his performances recognised by the fans. Two other players who deserve credit for Arsenal’s fine start are Mathieu Flamini, who has worked tirelessly and consistently wherever he has played and Bacary Sagna, for slotting in effortlessly into the right-back position.

The great first month by Arsenal has been, above all, a team performance. The defence has been superb, conceding just three goals (two of them errors by Jens Lehmann and the third a fluke by Portsmouth’s Nwanko Kanu) and the midfielders have been full of energy and goals, something that the likes of Fabregas, Hleb and Tomas Rosicky found hard to come by last season. I feel there is still room for improvement up front, whilst Robin van Persie started brightly with two goals he has faded of late and both Eduardo da Silva and Emmanuel Adebayor are yet to hit their best form. There are signs that Eduardo will get there soon – two superb goals for Croatia overnight will help his confidence – and we all know what Adebayor and van Persie are capable of.

I’m absolutely delighted with Arsenal’s start so far; 10 points from a possible 12 in the Premier League and comfortable qualification to the Champions League group stages is nothing to laugh at. But if the forwards can start firing and Manuel Almunia continues to play well in goals then things could get even better next month.

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Arsene Wenger speaks about his new contractIt’s official: Wenger signs on

I mentioned this a couple of days ago but since then the announcement that Arsene Wenger has signed a three-year extension deal with the Arsenal Footbal Club has been made official. Wenger gave an interview upon signing the new contract outlining his reasons for it and the expectations and hopes he has for the club in the coming years. You can view the transcript of that interview here. One of the questions Wenger was asked was whether he thought the current squad has the ability to achieve what the previous great sides of 1998 and 2002-2004 did and it was great to read his response.

“Yes, they have the ability. Don’t forget this squad has been in the Champions League Final without losing a game. A big part of the squad has done remarkably well performance wise in the Carling Cup, and, of course, they are maturing very quickly. The first signs this season are that the team has really matured. There’s a completely different attitude – a completely different attitude – towards the competition. They’re more responsible, more disciplined and that can bring success.”

It goes without saying that I’m very happy with Wenger staying with the club. The extension means he will be there until the end of 2010/11 season and will have more than enough time to achieve great success with the current squad of players. There isn’t another manager around that I would rather see in charge of Arsenal than Wenger. I have always been an admirer of the way he goes about his business, developing great players rather than purchasing them, and his player management skills have also been first class. Wenger has made some rather odd decisions at the start of this season, such as naming William Gallas as captain and sending Johan Djourou out on loan, but if the club has a successful season then those decisions will be fully justified. In short though, great news for the Arsenal Football Club and its supporters.

What do you think?

Have your say on Wenger’s new contract and Arsenal’s first month by leaving a comment.


39 thoughts on “A look back at the first month

  1. Wenger is my hero! Along with Sir Alex, when he eventually retires (or, moves away) he will go down as one of England’s greatest managers, and most certainly Arsenal’s greatest. We are very fortunate to have him.

  2. No one man is bigger then the team, or bigger then Arsenal. Im glad he stayed, but if he didnt sign to me it wouldnt matter. Ian Wright left- we did fine, Henry left- we’re doing fine, cuz that’s Arsenal, we are not about one player, or one manager, we are about a team effort that will continue long after Wenger leaves.

  3. “if he didnt sign to me it wouldnt matter.”

    It would matter to me! I agree that no one person is bigger than the club but Wenger is about as close as you can get to that. Like I said, I don’t think there is any manager around who could’ve got Arsenal to where they are right now. Who would you have if Wenger didn’t sign on?

  4. Perfect signing, if we could have anyone. Marcello Lippi or Fabio Capello those 2 guys can bring in top names. At one point you said Cannavaro is too big of a name to join. Those guys could bring those kinda players in., esp the Italian players.

  5. I’m not sure an Italian coach would be the way to go. Those two options would tend to be far more defensive than Wenger and I’m not sure if it would suit the current culture of the club. It would improve our defence though, in a similar way to Chelsea I would think.

  6. Demetrio.. no offense, but Capello and Lippi arent fit to bring AW a glass of cool water. Great managers they may be, they dont have the resolve or patientiene to stick to your guns like AW. There isnt another manager who suits our club better than Arsene. Not to mention the brand of football he the Italian mangers would bring.

  7. if wenger did go, we have to recruit a dutch manager or maybe spanish.
    but wenger is here to stay and i think this is the last team he is building.
    eduardo apparently was on fire yestaday, scored a overhead kick and a long shot

  8. Arsene Wenger was our best signing. I would defo matter to me if he didn’t sign. He will is already an arsenal legend and most probably a prem legend aswell. Even though we haven’t won a trophy for 2 seasons, Barcelona and Real Madrid were begging Wenger to join. He is so important to our club right now.

  9. anyways lads, i was watching the under 17s world cup, nigeria just won.
    but there are some youngsters coming through.
    ransford osei of ghana this guy is a class act, apparently our scouts been watching him.
    ibrahim radiu is the new okocha, he got bags of skills, but he just signed with sporting lisbon.
    chrisantus of nigeria, similar to obafemi martins, he is the top goal scorer of the tournament, again it would be interesting to see who signs these players.
    fran merida, dani aquino, iago, bojan have been brillant for spain, especially fran merida, u can see he is class and he was just spraying balls around making spain tick.
    he is similar to fabregas but a left footed version and a bit more flair to his game.
    england did ok, lost to germans of cause but henri lansbury and gavin hoyte looked good and solid, some potential there. henri lansbury is similar to david bentley.
    brazil of course they give birth to the best players and one player named lulinha this guy is going to be a superstar in the future
    so some scouting for spanish….. it was good to see arsenal flags around in some matches.
    interviewing most players in africa especially there idols are samuel eto’o, ronaldinho, okocha, henry and they love barca and arsenal, so hey we doing something right

  10. I am a massive fan of Henri Lansbury and Fran Merida. I would like AW to sign about 3-4 young players and put them all out on loan.

  11. It would improve our defence though, in a similar way to Chelsea I would think.

    Dont forget, Chelsea has won the title 2 of the past 3 years! Defence win’s championships! No matter what sport it starts with the defence. It’s good Wenger signed, but once again, NO ONE MAN IT BIGGER THEN ARSENAL. There are plenty of guys that can step in and take Wenger’s place when he leaves.

  12. Demetrio.. AW is as rare a manager as you will find. If you think there are plenty of guys who could step into his position you must not value him very highly. I dont think there are many, if any at all, who could deliver what he does in the style he does. As for Chelsea having won 2 of the last 3 seasons… I for one take far more staisfaction from what we do and how we do it.. even if it means we have barren patches without trophies. Dont you forget they wouldnt have won a thing had they not spent £350m over the past 4 years.. “Defence’s win championships”.. the way we won championships had a solid defence and arguably the best attack seen in club football. I say score more goals than your opponents. Thats football we all like to watch. Not boring 1-0’s with £300m worth of talent on the pitch. If that is what Capello and lippi bring, then may they stay far away from us…

  13. Capello and Lippi wouldnt have to bring in anyone. They im sure would add to the CB. But you you complain if he brought in Nesta? Or Cannavaro? Because they are two guys who could get players like that to come over, because they love to play for them. And its not fair to say they wouldn’t play a game fun to see. Capello was last in Spain, look at how they play over there and that is the reason he played more of a defesive game. Both would adjust to the English game and attack. Thats why they are so great, they can adjust to where they are. If they took over today, the only thing i could imagine they would change is to bring in 1 or 2 Center Backs, and a wing player. Riccardo Montolivo aka “The Next Totti” who Arsenal can still get in January or after this season would be a kinda players they would add. We wouldnt have to spend big, but they would add players to the positions Arsenal need when they need them. Unlike Wenger who didnt add a wing player. As i said, Wenger sigining is good news. He wont be around forever!! And the way alot of people talk, once he leaves its over. That trash. NO ONE is bigger then Arsenal!

  14. And i dont think anyone should put what Real Madrid did on Capello. As he said in the Italian news, it wasnt his decision to bench Beckham. It was those jerk-offs that work within Real. Given Wenger didnt sign, to me Capello would be perfect. He doesnt spend unless he needs something, not like Chelsea who buy just for the hell of it. Plus he can adjust his game. If he’s in Spain or Italia it will be a little more defensive because thats how they play, with exception to Barca. I England he is good enough to use what we have to make an offensive team, with a defensive. I dont think Capello has ever gotten the respect he deserves. In any country esp Italia. Lippi would be the same, buy only when a position is needed, but he would be more inclined to attack. Italia didnt win the world cup by sitting back. So its not like we dont attack. By there is a team defensive effort. When the ball is in our side of the pitch so are all the players to pick up their defensive responsibilities. And then they go forward. Only thing about Lippi is, sometimes he seems not to be able to get his team motivated. But that might be with whom he is workin with. Since it seems most of our national team (Italia) is too good to play for us now. there are plenty of guys whp can and will one day run Arsenal. Im sure Wenger will have a say in who takes over when he does leave.

  15. * when lippi was the national team coach. Aresnal dont have attitudes like some of our players in italia where they think they are better then the team. So he wouldnt have a problem with motivation

  16. Demetrio – What AW has done in the past decade is bring in a few average players and made them superstars – Adams, Bergkamp, Vieria, Henry, Wright. Lippi and Capello are great managers but you have to be a special manager to manage a prem top four and i speak for most arsenal fans when i say – there is no better manager than AW.

  17. Capello and Lippi would add talent as well, Wenger isn’t the only manager players would want to play for. Look at the players Capello brings in when he goes to clubs. Lippi would be the same. Any manager with a good rep can attract players. Wenger has done alot no doubt, but i dont know how your thinkin is. For some reason people seem to think after Wenger, Arsenal are done. That is not the case, there is a handfull of guys that could step in today and keep Arsenal at the top. Not just Capello or Lippi.

  18. honestly if steven taylor is available we should sign him, he is the younger version of john terry, he will add that british steel we badly need in defence.
    let johan djorou stay the season, and buy steven taylor in january.

  19. giovani dos santos is the next best thing coming out of the barca ranks, chelsea, man utd, liverpool and us are interested, but a £20m buy out clause is there and apparently these clubs are willing to match it.

  20. Demetrio.. no one has implied that we are done when AW leaves. Far from it.. he undoubtably will be an intrigal part of the club for the remainder of his time in football. If someone else comes in one day, then I would like it to be someone who will continue in the same vein.. not someone who will come in and try and make their mark.. I guarantee you neither Lippi or Capello could have done what AW had sone at Arsenal.

  21. On another note.. I am pretty angry with Mad Jens about his comments regarding Almunia. “I have read that Almunia said he deserves to be the No 1 but until now he has not won a single important game.” he said to Sky Sports.. Well Jens, he also hasnt been gifting our opponents with free goals. I like Jens, but yet again he has firmly placed his foot directly in his mouth.. I say keep Almunia on

  22. Re the Djourou loan, it was reported in a few articles somewhere (esp. the Swiss press) that Wenger agreed to a request from Djourou himself, who wanted first team football experience. It looks like he’ll be back in January. It’s another case of Wenger trying to help a young player’s ambitions.

  23. Demetrio – i don’t quite understand why you want Lippi or Capello to manager arsenal. You have to heart and AW has heart for 11 years. Also the manager needs the fans trust and that can take ages whereas AW has the fans trust and support also no-body else has mentioned anything about not minding if AW signed or not. Every single gooner was delighted that he put pen to paper. He has signed and will be manager for 3 more seasons at least. No more needs to be said.

  24. i heard a rumour from a mate at work, he is a nigerian and he loves football, he did football radio show in nigeria and he said maculay christantus is joining arsenal.

  25. Not heard of him mate is that a good thing. I think in the january transfer window we should offer for Samir Nasri and Giles Barnes.

  26. Jay- Did i say im not happy he signed!? I said its good to see him sign but if he didn’t i wouldnt act like the world is over like i know the majority of you on here would! Every single real gooner also knows that no one man is bigger then our club. Alot of you hit the panic button when Henry left. He wasnt bigger then Arsenal and neither is Wenger. Arsenal will be great long after Wenger. What are you a fan club? You follow he crowd? You have to hear more then one person mention they wouldnt mind if he signed or not for you to agree with it? I dont care who agrees with it or not. I know for a fact that there is a handfull of managers out there, that can keep Arsenal where they are, if not make them better. Wenger put Arsenal on the map, and usually, in ALL sports, the people who come after managers like Wenger, take them to the next level.

  27. Apologies for the layout changes and lack of posts, there’s not much going on and I’m working on a new layout for the blog. Things will be better than ever soon!

  28. “the people who come after managers like Wenger, take them to the next level.” what a load of CRAP. Seriouly Demetrio, that has to be one of the silliest things I have ever heard. Following AW is nearly an impossible job. That is why his input will be so instrumental when he does step down. The coaches you have mentioned would usher in everything that isnt Arsenal. Bandwagon fans may like your suggestion, but tru supporters of the club want to see us stcik to our convictions and play amazing football while developing world talent. The people who want to see all these big names are the same ones who would diasspapear if/when the team didnt perform.. You fail to understand the way our club operates which is the main thing cluding your judgement.

  29. “Capello and Lippi wouldnt have to bring in anyone.” Again.. what a load of crap. These guys have egos bigger than Jose and wouldnt dream of joining a club if they couldnt bring in the players they want. They do not understand the Arsenal way and are more suited for the Real’s and Chelski’s of the world. Not Arsenal. “What are you a fan club? You follow he crowd?” Seriously man.. i am surpsised you would even write that. Your statements are the very words of a bandwagon supporter.

  30. Wenger is the best manager for the club by a long shot. That said, if he left, it wouldn’t be the end of the world, or even the club for that matter. I would quit jumpin’ on Demetrio, even if he does sound like a twatty glory supporter at times. You’re not, are you?

  31. Demetrio is definitely not a glory supporter. He’s had some of the most intelligent things to say that I have read on this blog. Careful with the criticism guys, everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

  32. “He’s had some of the most intelligent things to say that I have read on this blog”.. please point them out because what I have read here is quite the opposite

  33. The fact of the matter is that even if Wenger left, the club would still be around. Even if Cesc followed him to whatever club he would supposedly be going to, there’s plenty of backup and it would leave Arsenal with a ton of cash. Even though he’s the perfect man for the job, that doesn’t mean that if he left the club would go to Hell. There are plenty of managers out there who could do a job. No man is irreplaceable. I’m sure that if Wenger does go at some point, the current board will have been looking at managers for a while and will hire a guy with a similar style who likes to build up a club and establish an attacking, team passing style of play. But I seriously doubt he’ll bugger off any time soon. In fact, I’m not sure why we’re even discussing this. Wenger needs a club that will give him complete autonomy, and this is the only one I can think of that would do that. He’ll never get it at Real Madrid or England or anywhere else.

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