Burgenland eaten – Fabregas fires back – Gallas to continue as captain

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There is a lot of Arsenal news for me to catch up on since last Thursday so bear with me while I get through it all.

First up is the 10-2 demolition of Burgenland XI – the side with the strangest and funniest name since Grasshopper-Club from Zürich. Nicklas Bendtner scored four (yes, four), Carlos Vela got three and Jack Wilshire scored two including a well-taken penalty in the second half. Don’t ask me why Arsene Wenger is letting a 16-year-old take penalties with guys like Theo Walcott and Vela on the pitch but regardless, he finished it with great confidence.

The two goals that were conceded really shouldn’t have been but when you’re 10-0 up in a pre-season friendly it’s not really a big deal. It was a clinical performance against a shabby team and it was great to see guys like Bendtner and Vela finishing with such confidence. It might be too early to say just yet, but I expect both to have a decent impact on the Premiership this season.

The positive vibes from the result against Burgenland was made all the more vibey by comments made by Cesc Fabregas following the match. The young Spaniard had previously been quoted as saying that he hadn’t said ‘no’ to a move to Real Madrid, but he poured cold water on those claims with the following comments:

“I have not spoken to any media so it’s frustrating to read quotes that I have supposedly said about my future. I have spent the summer relaxing with my family, friends and girlfriend and I return to training with Arsenal tomorrow.  I think that some people are just trying to make mischief but my intentions are very clear. I am happy here at Arsenal, my future is with Arsenal and the priority is to achieve success and win trophies at Arsenal.”

Pretty emphatic and hardly surprising, isn’t it? I think it’s great that Fabregas has again come out and made his intentions so clear. It just illustrates what a great little guy this great little guy is. I know there’s ultimately no use berating the Spanish clubs for their continual disruptions of players – they’re never going to stop after all – but it is good to see them get shown up for what they do every once in a while.

Moving on now and there’s been a number of bits and pieces floating around with regards to just who will start the season in the middle of the park alongside the irreplaceable Fabregas. Both Denilson and Abou Diaby have staked their claim, with Tomas Rosicky suggesting that it will be the latter who will be given the chance to play by the manager.

“I think that Diaby will be given a big chance to play often in Flamini’s position. He was playing on the left when I was injured, but he is more a centre midfielder, the same type like Patrick Vieira. I expect a lot from him as I know from training that it is difficult to play against him. He has long legs and really is very similar to Vieira. In my opinion, he is able to do very well.”

They are interesting statements, for sure. For a player as talented and experienced as Rosicky to make these sort of comments it suggests that Diaby commands a certain deal of respect in the Arsenal ranks. In contrast, it is difficult to say whether a player like Denilson commands that sort of respect.

It’s fairly clear to that Wenger has an important decision to make. At this stage if I had to pick between Diaby and Denilson for that second central spot I would pick the Frenchman hands down. He has more experience, looks more comfortable on the ball and perhaps most importantly, is more physically intimidating than the still slightly lightweight Denilson.

While neither player has displayed the dogged determination and grit that Mathieu Flamini showed last season, Diaby is a stronger candidate for the role in my eyes. The decision that Wenger has to make is whether he wants to bring in another Flamini or work towards developing Diaby into the player that he is most often compared to; Patrick Vieira.

Regardless, I still think a signing needs to be made in there. We are light on numbers and as the manager has already said, another body is required. Whether it’s Amaury Bischoff or Gareth Barry I don’t really care, as long as Wenger has faith that whoever starts the season alongside Fabregas can be as effective as Flamini was last season.

It’s a tough ask and while I might put that beyond Denilson at this stage, I don’t think it’s beyond Diaby.

Finally today is the relatively big issue of the Arsenal captaincy, and the apparent revelation that last season’s captain – William Gallas – will be holding onto the armband. The Frenchman, the oldest member of the current squad, has admitted that while he made mistakes in his first season as Arsenal captain he is hoping to learn from them going into the new campaign:

“You want to be the best captain and give good advice to your players, but sometimes you can make mistakes as well. This season I know what I’m going to do and I know I am ready to change my way of speaking to the players.”

I actually don’t think that Gallas as captain has been the disaster that the media and a lot of other Arsenal bloggers have labelled it as and am more than happy for him to hold onto the leadership role this season. He made mistakes, for sure, but the important thing is that he learns from them and ensures they do not happen again. If he can then I think Gallas’ vocal nature and desperate will to win will come to the forefront and he will have a good impact this season.

That is it in an epic post today. Once again I apologise for the lack of an update last Friday and yesterday. If you read the note I left in the ‘Quick & to the Point’ section of the blog you’ll know that I broke my foot on Thursday night and have been attending various doctors, X-ray and physio appointments that have got in the way of my blogging. There’s only so much time in a day after all!

Things are back to normal as of today and if I should remind you that if I ever fail to leave a daily post I’ll try and let you know why via the ‘Quick & to the Point’ section. After all, that’s what it’s for.

Cheers and enjoy the positive vibes coming out of the club at the moment.

Have your say on the Burgenland win, Fabregas comments, Diaby v Denilson or Gallas’ captaincy by leaving a comment.


18 thoughts on “Burgenland eaten – Fabregas fires back – Gallas to continue as captain

  1. Now, i just have a strong faith that Arsenal will win at least a trophy next season.Well, to Gallas Captain(I think he will keep the title ),give him a piece of advice,say little, and love much; give all; judge no man; aspire to all that is pure and good!Vela rocks ~~

  2. I think Wenger really likes Wilshere as a player and will give him a few minutes in the league this season. He was close to doing so against Derby at the end of last season.

    I think most Arsenal fans are a little apprehensive with Diaby in central midfield but it looks as though that is what’s going to happen. My preference has always been for Barry as he provides balance and much needed squad depth that cost us a little last season. But his price tag is huge and there is no way Wenger will pay that. Flamini stepping up was a big surprise and wasn’t forseen by Wenger, having a similar situation this season with Diaby is a major gamble and one we possibly cannot afford to take.

  3. I think Diaby is the front runner because of his build. I hope he’s improved on his tackles. He had a few the last few seasons that were absolutely reckless. We don’t our holding mid to be a card waiting to happen because as a holding mid he’s going to have to tackle and challenge at a decent clip.

  4. Fabregas’ comments are very encouraging& shows rate of team spirit he has for Arsenal,the Media should stop putting words in people’s mouth.As for Diaby &Denilson for me would prefer Diaby to play that role & Gallas to keep the armband for the next season because he is experienced, respectable & is the oldest member

  5. Good to see Bendtner firing, Fabregas’ comments are more or less becoming stock-standard Cesc, which is great. It’s good to see a great deal of heart in the little guy. That said, all this speculation begs the question. Why would Fabregas a born Barcelona man, move to Real Madrid? The enemy of Barcelona I hope Diaby does play the “Viera” role. Cheers Spanish..

  6. Good to see Niklas taking a lot of chances to sticking them away. I was really impressed by Carlos Vela, he turned, swayed and looped round everyone in the box and his goals were really taken well specially his first! Walcott got on the scoresheet aswell and Jay Simpson should have aswell, I think Simspon is a good player but Wilshere should do well when he plays this season. G.Hoyte impressed me at the back too.

    This is the reason why we love Fabregas so much!! Straight away saying he belongs with Arsenal so basically GO AWAY! Gallas with the armband pleases me a little although I think Cesc will be next skipper.

  7. the thing I find about diaby is that he doesn’t pass enough so many times the ball was at his feet for up to 3 tackles and he kept on going when your playing arsenals (sorry arsne’s) way it’s 1 touch pass but denilson is brazilian so he is goiung to be behind a frenchie but rosicky must know what he’s talking about as he would see a lot of the training ground from the side of the pitch instead of on it and I’m hoping this year he’s fit as I liked him better than hleb anyhows as he can take a wicked shot and I hope rvp isn’t injured as we have no out and out free kick taker but then again I haven’t seen vela kick a ball in our colours yet. Get well soon spanish.

  8. Hopefully Gallas can learn from his mistakes from last season and step up and be the leader we need. I think AW will use Diaby to partner Cesc. You would have to think with the way Ramsey is impressing, that he will be a CM first teamer in 2-3 years.

    Bad luck with your foot Spanish Fry. Rest up mate, you’ll be back in no time.

  9. nasri is a good free-kick taker..i have seen some high lights, cant wait for wednesday, stuggart!!!

  10. This is really O/T but are you doing a fantasy mini league thing @ Oleole this year Spanish Fry?

  11. @ tunde – The Stuttgart game is definitely going to be exciting. Looking forward to seeing the big guns play.

    @ DB10 – I hadn’t joined up yet, mate, no. Not sure exactly what I’ll be getting involved in but I’ll let people know ASAP.

  12. SF-
    Jack Wilshire has been somewhat of a revelation to me! It just goes on to what I have been thinking recently…Wenger is bothered by his label of not having enough Englishman in his first Team. This boy is a gem and he couldn’t blossom any sooner. As for Gallas; I don’t know wether he’ll represent this year. I think with Cesc’s recent remarks it’ll be hard for Wenger to not make him captain. As for the holding CM Diaby looks to be the solid choice…Denilson is just too young in terms of playing experience…But certainly he is being groomed for this position. Denilson, surprisingly was scooped out of Brazil before he had any real club experience….But just wait….

  13. @ Hartwick – Regarding Gallas, the comments on the website suggest to me that he has already been assigned as captain again. I don’t think they’d post quotes like that for no reason…

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