Arsenal top of the table

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Arsene Wenger has transformed the Arsenal Football ClubHave you read the ‘Arsenal Team of the Decade’? 

I have to apologise for the lack of updates of late at the Arsenal FC Blog. Daily readers will know I have spent most of the last week compiling quite a detailed article on the Arsenal Team of the Decade which has now been completed. The article takes a look at the best players to play for the club during Arsene Wenger‘s ten years as manager. For those of you who missed it, you can view the article here. I strongly encourage you to leave your thoughts on my selections and let me know if you think I’ve made any glaring omissions.

Anyway, on to the new stuff…

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Will we see scenes like this at the end of the season?Early fixtures give Arsenal comfortable start to the Premiership

The English Premier League fixtures were revealed earlier this week and Arsenal have been given every chance of getting off to a good start in the 2007/08 season. The first five weeks see home matches against Fulham, Manchester City and Portsmouth and two slightly trickier away games against Blackburn and Tottenham. After that follows a run of three very simple games – at least on paper – against Derby, West Ham and Sunderland.

The release of the new fixtures has also meant that Arsenal are top of the table due to their alphabetical advantage over the rest of the league. For a team that will be determined to win back the Premiership title next season there is every chance that Arsenal will still be there when they go into two successive big games against Liverpool and Manchester United in late October. The real test of Arsenal’s title credentials will come in late March when the club faces Chelsea, Bolton, Liverpool and Manchester United in successive fixtures. Ouch.

You can view Arsenal’s full fixture list here.

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Babel wants to join ArsenalBabel admits Arsenal admiration

One of the players that has been heavily linked with joining the club over the summer – Ajax’s Ryan Babel – has stated that he would love to play under the guidance of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal. 20-year-old Babel was full of praise for Wenger and Arsenal and admitted that he is a big supporter of the club.

“If I get the chance one day to train with Arsene Wenger it would be a dream. From when I was young I supported Arsenal. I liked the style, the ambience, how they show themselves on the field – everything.”

Babel’s comments are obviously a pretty firm indication that if Arsenal were keen for his services and could agree a fee for the player he would most likely sign in an instant. I wrote in a previous article that Babel would be the most likely signing made by the club if Wenger saw the need to purchase a forward. With Julio Baptista now gone and Emmanuel Adebayor likely to line up for Togo at the African Cup of Nations, there might be a need for a big, strong forward like Babel.

Babel’s other major drawing card is his versatility. Whilst usually appearing at the head of Ajax’s three-pronged attack, he is also able to play on either wing when required. Personally, I believe Babel would be a good purchase if Wenger does want a striker. However, I think purchasing Babel as an out-and-out winger would be a mistake. Whilst Babel is versatile, playing on the wing is not his natural position and it would seem to me to be a case of trying to fit a round plug into a square hole. A much more feasible (and unfortunately more expensive) option would be Lyon’s Florent Malouda, a player that I see as the perfect signing for the club.

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Nordveit’s signing draws comparisons with that of Philippe SenderosArsenal sign new Senderos

Arsene Wenger was in Norway earlier this week to put the finishing touches on a deal with FK Haugesund to sign their 16-year-old defender Havard Nordveit in a deal reported to be worth £2 million.

I see Nordveit’s signing to be very similar to that of Philippe Senderos, who was signed in late 2002 as a 17-year-old for a very similar sum of money. It has to be said that although Senderos has made solid progress at the club he is still some way off fulfilling his potential and using his career as a guide we are unlikely to see Nordveit make any real impact at the club until next decade. Arseblog certainly agrees. Having said that, he is still a highly regarded young defender whose services should be welcomed by Arsenal supporters.

What do you think?

Have your say on Arsenal’s fixtures, Babel’s admiration for the club or Nordveit’s signing by leaving a comment.


10 thoughts on “Arsenal top of the table

  1. My prayer is that Haarvard don’t become another Swiss Tony, who seem to have hit a wall in development. The problem with Swiss Tony is that Arsenal is an attacking team so our defenders need to be pacy and agile to be able to catch and collect back the ball when a forward movement fails. However, Swiss Tony don’t have the pace needed in countering a counterattack. He is also not good on the ground (this one can be improved, but he’s spent almost 6 years at the club and getting to 23). He did well in the Champion League run ‘cos Arsenal played 4-5-1 formation which was very defensive and thus got support from Gilberto in particular. Swiss Tony will be very good in a defensive leaning clubs like Chelsea and Pool but not in attacking teams like Arsenal and MANU, that’s where the problem is, which it seems most have not noticed. His poor performances against teams like PSV,CC finals, Boro and Blackburn in the FA much showed his weaknesses. AFC wants to win the league this year and can’t afford to make such mistakes in defence, he can be sent on loan where he will have a chance to play weekly and see how far he develops. Right now he’s not AFC quality and is a mistake always waiting to happen. ARISE ARSENAL. NEVER STAND STILL

  2. Regarding our LW position, I’ll suggest signing the Dutch under 21 player ROYSTON DRENTHE; I’ve been watching him in the on going under 21 competition and he’s just a delight to watch. He is strong,pacey, direct and can defend. Very suitable for the EPL. I’m hopefully AW is watching’ He will be cheap and may cost about 4+ and wages of 25k. Let’s go for him.

  3. Harlan – Very interesting comments. I think the jury is still very much out on Philippe Senderos. He’s solid – but his weaknesses are there for all to see like you said. It is interesting that you have pointed out that he would likely do well in a defensive team like Chelsea or Liverpool and that is why he is struggling at Arsenal. As for Drenthe, I’ve read a little bit about him recently and it seems quite positive but I’ve never seen him play. We’ll have to watch this space…

  4. Many readers and fans of Arsenal bit to this one- the urgent signing of DRENTHE! I watched the Dutch young team and 3 people caught my attention – DRENTHE, a baby looking defender DONK (mainly because he is always calm even in crisis) and Babel( because of his calmness whle taking the penalty) but for Drenthe I must have shifted in my seat no less than 12 times each time he took on not one midfielder or defender, but a whole group of defenders and midfielders and cut through them like a knife in butter!

    Wenger, you may have your reasons signing people like Sendros, Flamini, Song, Baptista, Poom which us fans cannot get privy to, but sign this young man and turn him into a midfielder Arsenal will be a different entity altogether.

  5. Mbonigaba – Thanks for your comments. I wasn’t able to watch the game but all the feedback about Drenthe has been sensational. If he is as good as you and other supporters say he is then he is definitely worth looking into. Enjoy the blog!

  6. All the talk about Henry unsure of Arsen Wengers staying with Arsenal is BS last season was the hardest ,what with UEFA,and World cup it took its toll on Henry he was worn out+Piries Berkamp lauren Cole Edu to name afew were there to assist his play.The new ones did not gell with him and at 29-30 he new his game would suffer.The euro was his last big comp He is not an asist type player he needs world class around him So with 2yrs left on his contract it made sense to sell him, thats why he did not play for the last 2 months,so he would be fit for his medical.Look i loved the man on the pitch and glad i have all his games on disc,but please be honest with us.The one thing i cant for the life of me understand is that you would have been a legend to remain at Arsenal they would have had a statue for you,up ther with likes of Pele and Mahumid Ali as sporting legonds.All just for money shame on you Clive Belcher

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