Emirates Cup review + Arsenal transfer info: Senderos gone, Eboue going and Chamakh in London

Senderos has reportedly signed for Everton

There’s all sorts of stuff involving Arsenal going down at the moment so I’ll quickly summarise.

Saturday and Sunday saw the Arsenal boys play in the Emirates Cup and two wins over Atletico Madrid (2-1) and Rangers (3-0) meant that we picked up the trophy for the second year running time in three years. I must admit that I didn’t see either of the games aside from the highlights (part of my self-enforced off-season break) – but according to most papers and this very detailed player review by Goodplaya, we played quite well.

By all reports the most interesting thing about the weekend games was not the emergence of Jack Wilshere or Andrey Arshavin’s impossible angle goal, but the mounting evidence that Arsene Wenger will be employing a 4-3-3 formation this season. Almost every game throughout the pre-season has seen us utilise 4-3-3 and this continued in the Emirates Cup with Robin van Persie flanked by Tomas Rosicky and Nicklas Bendtner against Atletico and Eduardo receiving the same support from Andrey Arshavin and Jack Wilshere against Rangers.

I proclaimed my support for the formation shift after Barcelona’s win in the Champions League and I’m certainly excited about how it works out. It’s clear that we’re a bit short in numbers when it comes to the midfield and the change to incorporate more attacking players – of which we have in abundance – certainly makes sense. It looks like a midfield trio of Alex Song, Denilson and Cesc Fabregas will be favoured by the manager (I wonder if that will change when Samir Nasri returns?) but I still think we’re one body short and I would be very surprised if Wenger did not bring in another midfielder. 

Interestingly the manager has not discounted the possibility of Patrick Vieira returning and – given his knees are up to it – I would certainly welcome our former captain back. People might call Wenger a hypocrite if he does bring Vieira back but I say sod that, he is an inspirational player who knows the ins and outs of the Premiership better than most and his influence could be immense in improving Song and Denilson’s game. He could be used sparingly to give the lads a rest every now and again and if we did get him on a free then it’s certainly not going to make our squad worse.

Moving to the defensive side of things it seems one transfer has already been completed (Philippe Senderos to Everton) while another is imminent (Emmanuel Eboue to Fiorentina). Both would have a big impact on the squad as it would leave us one centre-back short and without any decent cover for Bacary Sagna at right-back. Basically, if Senderos’ signing is confirmed (which it will be) then we absolutely cannot go into next season without another centre-half. Brede Hangeland has been bandied about a bit lately and there was a strangely convincing story about Werder Bremen’s Naldo earlier in the transfer window, but essentially it’s anyone’s guess as to who it will be.

What is bizarre, perverse even, is that despite the absolute need to bring in a defender and a defensive-minded midfielder it is a striker that looks the most likely arrival. Indeed, reports are that Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh is currently in London and Arsenal have already made a bid for the player. It could be nothing but it certainly looks like something.

Anyway, today’s post has turned out a bit more speculative and mysterious than I had intended so I might leave it there. Just a reminder if you missed it earlier but I did up quite a detailed post about my plans for the Arsenal FC Blog in the 09/10 season as well as the announcement that I’ll no longer be blogging under my pseudonym of Spanish Fry. You can check out all the details here and if you’re a regular reader of the blog, I strongly recommend that you do.

Cheers and enjoy your week.

Have your say on all things Arsenal by leaving a comment.



  1. Hi

    Not being picky, just a note that we haven’t won the Emirates Cup “for the second year running” – we won in 2007 but Hamburg won it last year (2008).

    As I say, not being nasty, just thought you might want to change your opening paragraph.


  2. On the Eboue thing, Fiorentina have broken off their pursuit (per goal.com this morning). Apparently they weren’t willing to go to 9m pounds for him, so I think he’ll wind up staying, at least until January. I can’t say I’m too upset by that, really. He had a couple egregious Ronaldo-like flops in the first match against Atletico, but overall I like Eboue and he does bring some flexibility to the squad coverage.

  3. it’s a bit strange how wenger said he won’t be buying a striker as he already has enough claiming it would un-balance the squad, but it seems like chamakh is his no.1 target. I think we need a cb though.

  4. @ R Sennai – Right you are. Apologies.

    @ TheSKA – I’m not upset about negotiations being cut, if they have been. Eboue’s versatility is helpful and it leaves us with one less position to worry about.

  5. Good post..i agree with most.i Def think we sld play 4-3-3 (Almunia,Clichy,Gallas,Djourou(or ideally Hangeland/Upson),Sagna;Song(ideally a new DM even Vieira wld be good),Cesc,Nasri(when fit but till then Deno/Diaby);Arshavin,Theo,RVP (With Eduardo playing a lot also).We def need a new DM(top priority)dont think we need a striker(but will always improve squad and give club a lift).As for sales i want senderos deal done asap but hope we keep Eboue(he is great cover for both RM+RB)

  6. if someone had said at the end of last season we could flog Senderos, Adebayor, Eboue and Toure for £50m+ i would have ripped their arms off and still would. In my opinion that leaves us with only Silvestre to shed from the 1st team squad. If we could get rid of all these, I would certainly add another centre half or 2 Zapatta £8m and Richards £8m being my choice as they can both play right back too. I would then add Matuidi and Chamaakh as they both want to play for Arsenal and at around £10m for the pair are VFM. Still leaves money to spend in Jan if needed. As for PV bring him back and bring back DB (next boss) and TH when they are ready to come. PV and TH as player coaches,Pat Rice and Neil Banfield can then move on.

  7. Andrew – much to say about all the changes etc. – all good – but instead I’ll just restrict myself to saying that I feel a whole lot better about things after the Rangers win. I loved these two comments from The Great Man too. When asked to comment about Toure’s recent remarks he said: “Let’s win the games and not talk too much,”


    And a fantastic bit of ‘Wengerlese’: “You want me absolutely to say what I do not want to say, and I will not say it.”

    Have we got the best manager in the world? I think so.

  8. I dont think we nid a new DM as such. The only thng needed is that we defend as a team starting with the strikers when we loose the ball. The playerz nid to put in dirk kyut n tevez like performances in terms of work rate. Pady would be very much welcome and i believe his presence alone in the dressing room wil work wonderz for this team. Shame about senderos as i really really rate him. Atleast he is better than the manc sylveste!! Wilshere should be given games. How about when fit the midfield trio of Fab4, TR7 n Nasri with the atackin 3 as RVP, DUDU n Arshavin. We’d be scoring a minimum of 5goals per game n conceding 3 or 4 bt a win is a win….lol.

  9. Yeah I too think that selling Eboué – despite being good business – would be one exit too many. Although he’s incredibly annoying at times (propensity to dive and wayward ball distribution), he’s a useful utility player on the right side.
    Difficult to dampen the hype about Wilshire – he really is the real deal.

  10. Hey Andrew bit a trip out and it’s going to take some getting used to no more spanish. Also it would be great if you put in a section for us xbox users (or ps3 if you are unfortunate haha) for us to put in our live accounts and when fifa ’10 comes out we can have a awesome player league?
    On to football matters and we will have a couple of signings this season I’m sure or maybe a couple of the boys will come up as if eboue goes we have traore as rb cover gibbs has shown how good he is already and the likes of randall and db10 reincarnated (wilshere) will step in and I think barring injuries we do have a great squad not many big names but a very balanced squad and now all the favourite boo boys have gone the fans might really get behind the team.
    Also I’m on holiday in brissy 20th – 30th of oct and would love to catch up with some gooners and have a beer over a game or breakfast over a cl game if poss.

  11. I think the best formation for us next season will be 4-3-3:Almunia,sagna,gallas,(hopefully a new defender like hangeland),clichy,(new DM),fabregas(on the right like xavi for barcelona),rosicky,arshavin,RVP,eduardo.

    What a formation that would be,provided we can get that two crucial players(excluding chamakh of course).

  12. It would be good if Eboue did stay. Hpwever, with Clichy, Gibbs and Traoue, we should have enough to cover on the right (I know they are all left footed, but they are all good enough to cover the right).

    Senderous was ok, but probably not good enough for Arsenal. Still weak in the air at set pieces – it was good to see Alex Song clear a corner at the weekend – he certainly strengthens our weak area – in the air, offence or defence.

    Still going to gripe about our set pieces. Impotent in attack and not great in defence at set pieces, – need some height in the team if we are going to do anything this year.

    Great flowing football at the weekend, but a team is onlyas good as the weakest link and that is definitely set pieces.

    Wilshire looking good. Eduardo looking good.

  13. @Arsenalkenya,ur prediction waz wrong..i think we need 3 players-(hangeland/upson/mexes)-Toulalan-chamakh.The 3 in midfield shud be CF4, TR7/SN8,TOULALAN.

  14. Goodafternoon all, after a successful Emerates cup is everyone feeling a little more positive about the coming season. My highlight of the whole wk end was the way Eduardo put that second goal away against Rangers. I know it was only Rangers, but the man is so cool under pressure. He is the new ice man. Come on Zola make a bid. Also is Arshavin left or wright footed, i cant tell.

  15. I really think keepin Eboue wld b rite.In case Sagna is injured or nt fit he cn replace.And he gud at RM. Senderos shld sold,even slyvester wit any price tag.So we get 2 xperiend defenders who cn context 4 up balls.

  16. Absolutely right, we need a defensive midfielder. We have enough strikers but then if Chamakh talks go through the better.

  17. Hey it sounds fan but when it comes to business let the deal work nothing we can do as we are only fan but not the owners of Arsenal. I hope professor knows what he is doing but why only African players

  18. @theicehammer – ‘only Rangers’? You mean the Scottish Premier League Champions? Once again you come with a smile on your face and a cosh behind your back. We pretty much played Rangers off the park. And Eduardo at West Ham? Dream on.

  19. Agreed, we must sign another CD. Hungeland is cup tied so we can scratch him off the list. AW already said he’s looking to sign 2 players before the end of the week, Naldo/Zapata and Inler/Toulalan would be great. He also said Eboue is not leaving, we dont have to worry about that.

  20. @MasindeKenya
    Which African country does Senderos come from?
    We all know why Adebayor had to part ways with the team, and as for King Kolo, it was very much his decision, as he ‘needed’ change. I hope that you’re not implying any form of racism from Arsenal’s part.

  21. arsenal boys should just keep up that spirint of demolishing opponets in the way they done it in two days.am so happy about.pliz let wenger should not be making mistakes of living out players like arshavin,tomas,fabregas,theo and nasir becoz these are players who can change the game irrespective of time.

  22. arsenal boys should just keep up that spirint of demolishing opponets in the way they done it in the two days.am so happy about.pliz wenger should not be making mistakes of living out players like arshavin,tomas,fabregas,theo and nasir becoz these are players who can change the game irrespective of time.otherwise am confident that even without sighning any other new player arsenal can win trophies.

  23. @ Andrew – he played in the Europa league qualification thingy last week so he cant participate in the CL untill the knock out stages.

  24. So long, big Phil. I never understood why AW was so quick to write you off, but what do I know?….

    Best of luck at Everton.

  25. good stuff andrew, i read on the bbc sport website about ibrahim affelay coming to arsenal, it would be nice if you follow that up

  26. I’m fairly comfortable with Senderos leaving although I did admire his enthusiasm and gritty determination. I’d also be comfortable with Eboue leaving if he eventually does. What I’m very uncomfortable about, and it seems to happen every year for the past 3 years, is that when there’s 4 or 5 players out with injury or suspension at the same time the cupboards are bare of quality reserves. C’mon Arsene, you need to sign another seasoned fullback, defensive midfielder along the lines of Viera and possibly another winger.

  27. Whatever formation Wenger choses to use this season is up to him as the Manager, but still see the need for a defensive midfielder – of Viera and Alonso making and a Central defender as Senderos is gone.

    Bringing in another Striker like Chamakh who has the height and scoring ability is no bad but what must be done must be done in good time, in the right way and when necessary.

  28. A very worrying phase

    Ade gone, Eboue packing – even big Phil taking his shiny skull to North West parts if rumours are to be believed

    My worry is just WHO am I gonna booo next season ?

    All the scapegoats signed off and driven away !

    Phew – I just remembered there is always Nic and Denilson to blame -as any fule kno

  29. As we all know, Wenger is truly a forward thinking type in football in business and in life.Is this the reason he continues to be blind to the fact that our defence is still lacking.Can only hope that he has the vision to bring in better quality than Eboue and Sylvestre as back up.A powerful and INTELLIGENT DM is also a must to maintain the depth to win the league。
    He collected and trained some of the finest talents in the world,it is time to prove the theory by bolstering our back line。

  30. “Is arsene the best manager in the world”, not by a long shot he isn’t, you may have been able to argue that when he first came but not anymore especially if you leave him to select and buy his own players he does not have a clue about defenders or goalies that is why Arsenal can’t defend a lead not even with 4 minutes to go.Some one neeeds to tell him that the money he has does not belong to him and he should not be so tight with it

  31. Senderos gone – YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS. And i hope he plays against us in the opening game on the Prem. We defo need another CB now and Naldo would be prefect really. I am still hoping of De Rossi and I hope we sign a Cb or two and a DM before a ST, although I would like to see a ST being bought, specially if Vela is going on loan to Fulham.

  32. CHAMAKH ??? COME ON!!!!!













  33. woah chill out jesus with the bold type givin me a sore head dude.
    i hope eboue stays not just for cover but because of his big beautiful smile.

    with big phil gone i would agree with most in that we need a cb just to keep flipper from the pitch.

    as for a striker i would be more happy with a …………. i was almost going to write dm but am just sick of talking and writing about the big gaping hole to the left of cesc i am just going to ignore it, from now on the defensive midfielder position is dead to me ( he turns his back naboo style)

  34. another thing websies when you put youtube clips of the match’s on could you find one without the guy shouting ‘goooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaallllllll’


  35. I completely agree with “rocknrolljesus”.

    (with what he said not the bloody CAPITALS)

  36. Chamakh is not a first team player 4 arsenal if we need a striker to replace ade, i think we should go 4 high class striker someone like huntelar. Pls baba AW buy a good striker and a dm bcos we must get at least a trophy this coming season.

  37. how brilliant was jack wilshere in the emirates cup.hes the future of arsenal along with ramsey,vela,djourou,traore,and hoyte

  38. wilshere is our little messi. fran merida also impressive…these 2 will push for the first team dis season..we hav an embarrasment of LBs in gael,gibbs and traore all capable in like-minded.still need 2 experienced leaders to challenge for PL

  39. @ Gunnerrealist – ‘Arsene knows nothing about defenders or goalies’ – yeah, right. That’s why he’s the only manager in over a hundred years to take a team unbeaten through the whole season in England’s top flight. Viera, Toure, Sol Campbell, Jens Lehman were all Wenger signings – all part of ‘ The Invincibles’ defense. What do you know?

  40. I watched both weekend games and there was a marked difference in attitude, enthusiasm, and hunger in the players. I know everyone is trying to impress, but boy we certainly were due for some showing from the players. Heck Wilshire was phenomenal! One thing I noticed though was the fact that Song got cought pushed up high in the field a couple of times. I thought that exposed the defense unecessarily.

  41. We need defenders cos the way I see it, it can’t be ALL strikers. I believe Eboue should be kept and another good defender bought. This will ensure that it doesn’t go like last season where we couldn’t keep or defend our goals.

  42. Yes and Steve-O makes the point that I’ve been making that it’s when the inevitable injuries / suspensions to defenders come that we’re really going to be n the poo. Imagine a defense comprised of Sylvestre, Eboue and Diaby. In fact don’t imagine – just look at our malling at the hands of Chelski last season. Happily I’m almost certain The Great Man is going to bring in another couple of defensive minded players. He can see what we can see. Apart from that I think we’ve got some superb players throughout our squad now. What a luxury when you can afford to have Nasri out injured and Walcott and Vela on the bench etc.
    But I’ve got a feeling another player who hasn’t been getting that much attention so far is really going to step us for this season. Aaron Ramsey. You can see he’s really grown and looks like a man now instead of a kid. He’s bolshy and competetive and ambitious. I think we might really see him shine this season.

  43. Breaking news in the sun (I know I know) Kalou to arsenal as chelscum have pirlo but we offered 6 mill and they want 8 mill so I hope we don’t lose out as that would be our midfield sorted and he’s happy with 60 g a week so no wage structure busting there then. Please let this one be true wasn’t fussed about any other than cana that has been mentioned but I’m excited bout this one………

  44. @ GetGUNMN – Good to hear about the improvement, particularly the comment about attitude. I’m very interested to watch the game against Valencia later in the week – it should be a great match.

  45. @ butterfingers – Kalou’s a good player but I don’t think we need him. We need a centre-back and a defensive midfielder, anything else would be a bonus.

  46. hay Nonny mouse, 10:05PM. i really thought it was working but i guess your far to clever for the lot of us. I also am happy that eboue has not left as he contributes in a positive way to the Arsenal setup. He went through a bad spell last season but has worked hard and come through. And anyway, its impossible to have a group of 25 players where everyone is good enough to start.

  47. Eboue and Sendo will not be influential losses IMO. Sendo was a liability at the back (remember Drogba tearing him a few new ones?)his lack of a decent turning circle earned him the nickname “Pasha Bulker” (AW should remember the name! For those who aren’t firmiliar, google.com). Eboue was merely a backup and was only really effective if Sagna fell ill or was injured.

    His technique wasn’t good enough to have him selected in front of Arshavin or Walcott as a RM or RAM and his defensive reading wasn’t as effective as Bakary. Not to mention he would finish seconds behind Bakary in a sprint!

    I’d like to see another RB signed (Dabo from St-Etienne would be awesome) however Gavin Hoyte will most likely be our RB backup. Whilst he is not as promising as Wilshere, Watt or Ramsey, he did make a few Cup appearances last season and did quite well.

    I think we all conclusively agree that signing DM or CB should be Arsene’s #1 transfer priority at the moment. Especially with Sendo and Eboue gone.

    In saying that though, I’m more excited for this season than last. The harmony and moral within the squad should hopefully be the backbone of our season now that the reported “West African Clique” has been broken up.

  48. it duznt make sense to me why wenger turns senderos into a good center back that we need then sells him but knowing wenger im sure he has sumthing up his sleeve.wilshere was brilliant in the cup

  49. Wenger is a smart guy….He has bid for Chamakh as well as Kalou. Kalou has Premier League experience where as Chamakh is untested. I see him buying Matuidi, Hangeland,Kalou/Chamakh.

    Senderos ios off to Everton to replace Lescott who will be heading to Money Bags…

    By the way C. Ronaldo sold his house to Ade Pay More.

  50. I lov the kind of pattern arsenal play,but we stil need more player to be as a good sub.for example we need player like flamini in d defensive midfield,player like cambell nd also someone like henry 2 suplement d team.

  51. its good to sell player like sendoros and eboune and yes if wenger concerntrates on the strikers we dont have any dont think vela and eduardo is gonna work for us to win the season we need to have a strike force as can say stronger version of arshavin physically.. who can dominate defenders physically

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