AFCB editor Andrew Weber rounds up the day’s news…
Transfer window goes mental
In a transfer window that has been calmer than Gilberto Silva, the news from the past twenty-four hours has gone all Jens Lehmann. It reads like this:
- William Gallas is to complete a medical with Spurs.
- Fulham have turned down another bid from Arsenal for Mark Schwarzer.
- Sevilla have confirmed Arsenal’s offer for Sebastien Squillaci.
- Jay Simpson has ended his 12-year career at Arsenal by signing for Hull City.
While it is reassuring to see that bids have been put in for both Schwarzer and Squillaci, both players I would like to see come into the side to complete the squad, the news about Gallas is a massive shock.
A former Arsenal captain about to sign for Spurs? My word, it’s massive.
In some ways I think the news will please the Arsenal fans who never really liked Gallas and never, ever wanted him to be captain the club.
I cannot personally put myself into this category but I know a lot of people only supported Gallas because he was an Arsenal player and will welcome the opportunity to rip into him at The Emirates at the next North London derby if he does indeed sign.
Can you imagine the songs that will be sung about his tantrum at Birmingham? It’s going to be intense.
It’s also interesting to note that if Gallas does sign for Spurs, he will have played for all three of the biggest clubs in London: Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs.
In the hypothetical handbook “How to be a Popular Londonder 101” I would suggest this would be way down the list.
On another note, regarding Simpson’s move to Hull I just have to say good luck to him.
He’s always given his best for Arsenal and done well when called upon once or twice for the first team and I hope he can push on and make something of his career. A goal or two against Spurs, Manchester United or Chelsea would go down nicely, too.
Frimpong “betters” Nasri
Just one day after Samir Nasri was announced to have sustained a meniscal knee injury, Arsene Wenger announced that Emmanuel Frimpong has gone one better in the 2010/2011 Arsenal Injury Competition by tearing his cruciate knee ligament.
“We have had another blow with Emmanuel Frimpong. He has done his cruciate in training. That is a massive blow. A cartilage is three to four weeks but a cruciate like that one Frimpong did yesterday is six to nine months. I rate him highly and I still have a lot of faith in him but we will miss him for six to nine months.”
As the manager stated, it is an absolutely massive blow for Frimpong, who impressed in a couple of pre-season friendlies and looks a genuine candidate to nail down a starting position in the team later in his career.
Although it is unlikely to impact the team much this season – each one of Alex Song, Denilson, Abou Diaby and Craig Eastmond are ahead of him in the pecking order – the injury will effectively put his development as a player on hold for an entire season, which is a massive shame.
Obviously I wish him all the best in his recovery and if one good thing can come out of this I hope it’s a burgeoning friendship with fellow knee-injury suffer Nasri.
Keep an eye out for a matching pair of “Frimpong & Nasri BFF” tattoos to surface sometime next year.
Good news for the weekend
Thankfully I can sign off with some really good news today: five first-team regulars have all been passed fit and are eligible for the team for Blackpool on Saturday.
“All are available – at different levels [of fitness]. I need to make up my mind who I integrate in the squad. But there is no major problem for anybody really. Denilson has not played since 14th April and not played one minute of a game [in pre-season]. He still needs to work. All the others are quite available, at least to be on the bench. But at the same time we do not want to rush it. To have a good season you need a good preparation so we want to especially build up Cesc and Van Persie well. They came back on 5th August and you need three to four weeks’ preparation if you want to do well in the Premier League.”
Judging from those comments you have to assume that Djourou and Song will start the game, Fabregas and van Persie will be on the bench and Denilson will be given a further week’s rest.
I mentioned yesterday that I feel the midfield will see Song combine with Abou Diaby and Jack Wilshere, a combination that should be strong enough to see off newly-promoted Blackpool at The Emirates.
I totally agree with the manager about Fabregas and van Persie: I see no reason to bring them back at this early stage of the season and I believe we have more than enough good players to cover until they are fully ready to play.
Although starting well in the league is important Manchester United in particular have shown in recent seasons that winning the title is a marathon, not a sprint and I would be much happier to sacrifice a little bit of quality in the early stages in order to see us finish strongly.
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