Appiah speaks + Arsenal’s Champions League threats

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Hello again from an extremely rainy Brisbane.

Some people don’t like the rain. I’d go so far to say that many people hate it. But it always seems to put me in a good mood and today has been no different. Heck, I’m about as smiley as that Guy Smiley guy from Sesame Street. You know the guy. He smiles a lot. That’s me today and I can tell you, it’s pretty fun.

It may have something to do with the fact that momentum surrounding a move for Stephen Appiah is growing. West Ham and Portsmouth as well as Arsenal are being linked with a move for the Ghanaian and the man himself has had this to say about the speculation:

“There are contacts, there are talks – I can’t say anything yet. I am not going to put people off, my agents are talking so I have nothing else to say. My dream is to play in the Premier League and with the help of God, I will realise that dream.”

Ooooo how the plot thickens. I know it’s only rumours up until this point but I can’t help but think that there’s something to this. As I said yesterday, it just seems peculiar to me that Arsene Wenger is yet to speak about the lack of a signing and that suggests to me that he is in talks with Appiah. Fingers crossed it turns out to be true.

As with the past few days, there’s not much else going on at the moment.

According to reports Robin van Persie has picked up a foot injury whilst on international duty with the Netherlands. However, this only appears to be a minor problem and he should feature in the friendly against Australia – my team – over the weekend.

The only other thing of interest floating around are some comments made by Wenger about which clubs he believes pose the biggest threat to Arsenal’s chances of winning the Champions League. The manager had this to say:

“There’s the usual English teams, the two big Spanish teams and you could add Inter Milan this year maybe. They have experience and a massive squad now. They will be difficult to beat. But if you want an outsider in there then maybe Bayern Munich.”

It’s interesting that he points out Bayern Munich because they are a team which I also personally feel will do very well this season. Their absence from the Champions League last season means that a lot people will not be looking at Bayern to pose as big a threat as the likes of Real Madrid or Manchester and that should suit them well. Just as aside, I think that this season Franck Ribery will show that he’s one of the very best players on the planet, right up there with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

It’s clear that Wenger is an admirer of Jose Mourinho when he includes Inter Milan as one of the favourites. Inter have never really shown much in the Champions League but I believe that with Mourinho at the helm they will be unbelievably strong. It will be interesting to see how things pan out.

Anyway, I’m going to go back to dreaming about Stephen Appiah in an Arsenal shirt now, so I’d appreciate a bit of peace and quiet. Cheers.

Have your say on Appiah or Arsenal’s Champions League threats by leaving a comment.


36 thoughts on “Appiah speaks + Arsenal’s Champions League threats

  1. It would be pretty good if Appiah joins our gunners, he is good & can add value to the Squad.As for champion league,i believe with our young & determined guns we can make it to the finals.Let Wenger sharpen his troops.

  2. Yeah, appiah luks like a good intake. But what baffles me is dat many fans blieve d one more signing will win us d league. D team win games

  3. I agree with you Geoffrey. Wenger may have acted strangely through this transfer season, but if he backs it up with results in both the Premiership and Champions League I guess we’ll just have to accept it. I think that Appiah would be a nice additive to the club, it’s funny how you basically threw it up as a hope a few weeks ago Spanish, and it seems to be coming to pass.

  4. Rainy Brisy eh?
    Melbourne was a fantastic sunny 20c today.

    Don’t know much about Appiah but I do remember us being linked with him a season or two ago?

    Highly regarded within the ghanaian squad as a leader and no nonsense DM.

    I believe he had a career threatening injury but may be worth a go considering he’s a free agent.

    Once bitten…

  5. Hi – I don’t share your optimism regarding Stephen Appiah, though would love you to be right.

    I think that with the Clichy comments you are seeing a very cleverly orchestrated PR offensive. Rather than send AW out to say despite his previous comments regarding transfers we now don’t need anyone, Arsenal are using very popular players to deliver the message. I’m fully expecting AW to highlight these comments in his next press conference as a way of saying “don’t just take my word for it, listen to what Clichy, Fabregas et al have to say – they are a team with confidence, how can we bring experienced players in to replace them, blah blah blah”. I’m fully expecting to see profiles and injury updates released on Amaury B, Diaby, Denilson – all aimed at delivering the message that we have a very able pool of midfield players competing for places.

    As an aside, I am one of the few that believes our squad is not as dire as every seems to say, so am not crying in to my cornflakes anyway.

    If Appiah does sign, feel free to email me saying I’m a knob and I don’t know what I’m talking about – I’ll take it on the chin!

  6. Is Appiah actually any good. Why are Fenerbahce letting him go? Slightly worried about quality here.

  7. Had the same hunch Spanish Fry. Wenger is a crafty old fox. I think we also forget that he is a bad loser. when still at monaco, he used to get out of the bus and throw up if his team lost. last year it really hurt him when we missed out on the premier league last season. he is going to ensure that it does not happen again this time. during the pre season he pointed out the midfield as the area that needed strengthening. I think apiah could be that player to plug that hole. last year didnt the player say if there was a team he would sign for in the premier it would be only arsenal? if apiah is not anouced on friday then we should expect somebody in the january transfer window. Ugandan Gooner.

  8. i have the same opinion with martin village. why fenerbahce let him go? let’s say if he join arsenal and then suddenly he had an long recovery injury like rosicky or eduardo? is he a type of player that can get injured easily like robben?

  9. @ martin village – Yeah, Appiah’s good. He left Fenerbache for personal reasons. Who knows why really, might have something to do with his illness. Not sure.

    But during his time there he was immense – especially in the Champions League. He was Ghana’s best performer at the World Cup and he’s played for Juventus. He’s definitely a good player – all action and energy like Flamini rather than a calm defensive-midfielder like Gilberto.

  10. is it really arsenal are interested with appiah? or it’s just a decoy to sign another free agent? who knows? wenger often done that right?

  11. i have a feeling that were going to sign mark milligan, he needs two camps to be eligble for a work permit , and guess what australia have two games this week

  12. Gud point nr790 maybe he might sign BOTH U never know I have faith in MR WENGER and its really strange aow he hasnt said anything bout transfers but Appiah would be A gr8 addition to our team and it would be gr8 to see AN aussie playin for the GUNNERS it would be AWESOME. AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE !!!!!!!

  13. It would be nice to think that we will sign him, after all it wouldn’t cost any money, he’s a free agent, but it all depends on what his wage demands are. All we can do is keep hoping and keeping our fingers crossed that some other club doesn’t come in for his services.

  14. SF-
    That was a great article in regards to appiah…ANd, for the record my previous post made a point alth factually incorrect per PBD (Thanks). Yes, weah never played for Arsenal…but he did play for Arsene…Who Weah credits for an important part of his career. And, Berkamp was signed by rioch….But similarly excelled under Arsene management….The point was Arsene has had a career other than Arsenal and has been successful at it especially in regards to the transfer market…I agree with you, SF. As I read more on Appiah I like him both as a person and player. He would be a great pick up a Wenger signing if you will.

  15. the reason appiah is leaving fenerbahce is due to an argument over a botched operation,he should have been out for 3 months and ended up sidelined for 8 months ,some say under anasthetic the worng leg was operated on! …..martin village! iv heard his name before but i couldnt tell u anything regarding the quality of this player!

  16. SF,
    Hope you don’t mind…..I found this article on Wenger:

    Arsene Wenger

    You’re clearly a very intelligent man who could have succeeded in many different vocations. When did you realise that football was the profession for you?
    Daniel Galeano, Tufnell Park
    I studied hard at school but it was always obvious to me that if I could spend my life in the game then I would. I started to practice, at the age of nine but it was completely different to me – my first coach was when I was 19. I thought it was just a dream because living in such a small village it seemed that footballers were on another planet entirely. My parents found it difficult to accept that their son, who worked so hard in school, could go to work in football. Back then, football was not a job for serious people. They wanted me to become a lawyer or a doctor or something like that. I needed to fight to convince my parents. Fortunately, I’ve finally managed to get myself a decent career [laughs].

    I’ve heard that you play down your ability as a footballer. What kind of player were you?
    Ian King, Alderney
    I wasn’t an international but I played at the top level in France [winning Ligue 1 with RC Strasbourg in 1979]. Sometimes I think, ‘If I’d had the conditions of the modern players, how good would I have been?’ I don’t know. I came very late to the game but the most influential guy, my coach Max Hild [at AS Mutzig] has said I was quite a decent player. I was first a striker then a midfielder then finished as a centre-back so I could defend and attack at a certain level. [FFT: Hild recently compared you to both Ray Parlour and Roy Keane. Is that a fair comparison?] I would be happy to be both!

    Were you one of those players who was always destined for management? Did you take notes during team-talks?
    David Kusher, Queensferry
    I didn’t necessarily think so at the time because I didn’t know whether I would be good enough. But I always got on well with my coaches and they with me because we shared a passion. I would drive 600 miles to look for decent players. Sometimes I would arrive two hours before the game started and stand behind the goal in the rain and then drive home the same night. What people don’t know is that when I was a young coach of 31 at the Strasbourg academy, I was coach, scout, physio, captain… everything. It was a fantastic education.

    You’re known for changing the dietary habits of Arsenal’s players. But is there any unhealthy British speciality you’re a bit partial to? Fish and chips, roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, steak and kidney pie, apple crumble and custard?
    Al Paxton, Sunderland Fish and chips not so much but Christmas pudding, yes! I like pies. Cherry pie, apple pie, with ice cream. I like a lot of things that are not good for you. But I always find it stupid that a player can practise the whole week then spoil his game because he eats something silly 24 hours before. I remember my first day at Arsenal when we were travelling to Blackburn and the players were at the back of the bus chanting, ‘We want our Mars Bars!’ [laughs] They used to eat them before the game but I took them away. Sure it doesn’t guarantee you win the football game but it means the guy with a sensitive liver doesn’t have his preparations ruined. Food is like kerosene. If you put the wrong one in your car, it’s not as quick as it should be.

    What do you think is your biggest achievement at Arsenal? Do you think there are any other records that you would like to break in your career?
    Alex Billingham, Barrow in Furness
    Going the whole season unbeaten because it’s the most difficult thing to do. You go to Newcastle in November, to Portsmouth in October maybe, and on January 1st you go to Sheffield United on a dark night where everything is against you and you still cannot lose a game. I think that’s fantastic. There is one record I’d like to break this season but I will not talk to you about that now – come back at the end of the season [laughs].

    In hindsight, should you have sold Vieira and Henry a season earlier? You’d have got more money for them…
    David Thackeray, St Ives
    People thought they were massive mistakes but in terms of Patrick Vieira, I thought we had a fantastic offer from Juventus. At the time, he was 29, had played nine years for Arsenal and they offered him a five-year contract. I was not sure we could match that and I didn’t want to block that possibility for him. Regarding Thierry Henry, we had just moved into the new stadium and we didn’t know if we could fill it. He was the figurehead – so what kind of signal does it send out if you move into a new stadium and sell your best player? The next year he asked me to let him go and, of course, I could have stopped him but I felt that after a guy’s played for you for eight years, if he wants to go its difficult to stop him.

    The papers make a big deal out of the mind games managers supposedly play on each other. Has anyone in particular got under your skin or is it all in the minds of the tabloid hacks?
    Pete Biskind, Welwyn Garden City
    I get annoyed by statements made by managers, by pressure on referees before a game or reactions after the game. And yes I do sometimes get annoyed with Ferguson just like he gets annoyed with me – but that’s part of the game and part of the entertainment. I don’t believe you can compete at this level of competition and be friends. But there’s no bad feeling, you know. Do I enjoy the mind games? Yes I do, it makes life interesting.

    You appear to be a person of strong morals – you have never broken a contract. Do you feel that football has lost its moral compass or did it never have one?
    John Hall, Birmingham
    Football has a worldwide responsibility because every big game in the English Premier League is watched by 500 to 700 million people – sometimes a billion people. Imagine a kid sitting in India or in South Africa watching Wayne Rooney or Fabregas – the kind of influence these people have in the world is highly important. Also, I believe that in our countries that have such a history of war, multi-cultural teams can show a harmonious way to live and achieve things together. Sport has a responsibility on that front. I think about that a lot because had I not worked in football I would have dedicated my life to international relations.

    If Sepp Blatter gets his way and introduces an English quota, will it be bad for the Premiership?
    Bobby Marcus, Ipswich
    I’ll always fight fanatically against all the quota systems. I find them utter rubbish. I think that sport is just because it rewards the best. You could be my son but if you’re not good enough then you don’t play at Arsenal. You could be the son of Tony Blair, but if you’re not good enough then you don’t play at Newcastle. Sport should reward the best. If you’re good enough, my friend, you play – no matter what your name, colour or passport.

    When you were linked with the England job in 2000, you were quoted as saying a foreigner shouldn’t be in charge of the national team. Is this still your belief, or do you think the climate in football has changed since?
    David Freeman, Bristol
    No. For a big country you need a manager from the same country. England created the game. I remember Sven-Göran Eriksson playing against Sweden with England. The national anthem is played and what do you do?[Wry smile]. That shows you’re not completely comfortable. If I’m England manager and I play France which anthem do I sing? I manage in England and I hope I can help English football but the national team should be managed by an English guy.

    I read that you’re, “not a great fan of international football”. Why?
    Darren Winter, Beaconsfield
    I’m not a big fan of international football because they destroyed it. Take Russia: once it was one country and now it’s 21. Yugoslavia was one and now is six. As a result the level has dropped. Then you add countries like Andorra, Faroe Islands and San Marino and suddenly three games out of four are of no interest. When you think of international football you think that it’s a level up but 99 percent of the time it’s a level down. That’s why I prefer club football. The World Cup winners are all from countries with a minimum of 50 million people. Ryan Giggs never played in World Cup. If Maradona was born in Luxemburg he’d never have played in a World Cup –but he’d still have been the best player in the world. In club football you get to put the best players in the world together. That is real justice.

    If you could change one rule in football, what would it be?
    Laura Hind, Brixton
    [Whistles at the size of task] I would change many things but the first rule would be that only the captain should speak to the referee. When you have a billion people watching a game and you can read the lips of a player saying “You’re fucking rubbish” to a referee it does nothing for our game. Changing that rule would have a more positive effect than all the charities we do at the clubs.

  17. The Boss is not a dumb man…he realizes he needs help and he has a chance to get that help IF he delivers on the signing of Appiah. He is quality and he would be a big help to the squad. He can play – trust that.

  18. Hey SF – what happened to the Wednesday polls? I miss them!

    Thanks for delivering an excellent blog – it’s the first thing I read every day at work 🙂

    Don’t let the silly critisism you’ve received let you down, you’re doing one hell of a job!

  19. the only time i had seen appiah was during the world cup and i was impressed by his work ethic and stamina. i think he would be a good addition to the squad because of his quality but more importantly his experience. after reading about his troubles with fenerbache it seems like he is wanting to come back and prove a point were beter to do that than at arsenal and against his old team in the champions league?

  20. I enjoy the rain as well SF. Thus I find Seattle quite soothing. Like I said adding Appiah for depth would be a decent enough move. And one of the few dwindling options left open. For those keeping track at home that would be two gambles by Wenger on players coming off of injuries. The first being Bischoff.

    Please though a few of you need to get a grip Appiah is not better than Essien. Perhaps he had a better World Cup but this is the Premiere League two years from then. They are not the same. Let’s not shovel on an amazing amount of pressure on a lad who might not even sign with us…. or any BPL team.

  21. C-Bass,
    I think it all boils down to the kind of team mates you play with.Haven’t you noticed Esssien plays better for chelsea than for country. Appiah in the arsenal midfiled would be just as good if not better.

  22. Every one knows the quality of Michael Essien and in the wc2006, Appiah was regarded better so we all know there is quality in the player. To get him as a free agent is a bonus. He fills the Dm gap and i see no reason why not to get him!

  23. according to an article I read somewere else which sounded pretty credible is tha he would not be signed. He supposedly failed the medical and they dont believe he will be able to take the demands of an entire season at Arsenal

  24. Cheers for the lovely support guys. Most appreciated.

    @ Hartwick89 – No worries with posting the story. Just maybe post a link if possible next time. No dramas though.

    @ Berrern – You know what, I completely forgot about the poll this week. Last week was a little different, I had a match report to do on the Champions League win so didn’t think it was appropriate, but this week there was no excuse! I’ll get things happening again next time around.

    @ C-Bass – We’ll have to catch a game together some time in Seattle. By the looks of things that place is awesome. I’ve always wanted to do a little road trip through Seattle, Portland and Vancouver – it’s come highly recommended. Have a good one!

    Cheers all.

  25. Appiah would make a good addition to the squad. Quite apart from his brilliant skills and experience, his galvanizing attitude is the type LeBoss favours. He will fit in the team very nicely.

  26. I don’t want to bring down the mood but I feel a dose of reality is needed – I don’t want to see more fans disappointed.

    Anyway – Appiah will not sign with Arsenal. AW is not interested.

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