Hello again. I hope you’re well as we race towards the promised land that is the weekend.
There’s quite a lot of Arsenal transfer speculation floating around today – and that seems as good a place as any to kick things off. Two names in particular are getting a bit of exposure and those are Fiorentina’s Brazilian midfielder Felipe Melo and Bordeaux’s Moroccan striker Marouane Chamakh.
Senderos for Melo
According to a couple of sources Arsenal are very keen on Melo – a defensive midfielder with a reputation for being a bit of a tough nut – and that there is the potential to use Philippe Senderos as leverage to lure the Brazilian away from Fiorentina. It all sounds very primitive at this stage but if his reputation is anything to go by then he certainly appears to fit the bill for the type of player we need.
There’s a fairly good chance that Melo will start for Brazil in their Confederations Cup game against USA tonight, so anyone interested should check that out. He started in their 4-3 win over Egypt but to be completely honest I hardly noticed.
The other name thrown around recently is that of Marouane Chamakh. According to respected French journalist Philippe Auclair Chamakh is close to signing for Arsenal but I really think we need to be patient on this one. My gut feeling is that it’s a little unlikely even if Emmanuel Adebayor does make way given the fact that he would be ineligible for an extended period at the start of 2010 due to African Cup of Nations commitments.
On the other hand, as a relative unknown playing in France he appears to be a typical Arsenal signing and if Auclair’s previous reliability then there might be a chance. Nothing more than that though, at this stage.
Eboue too good for Roma
Emmanuel Eboue recently claimed that he might leave Arsenal due to a lack of playing time. However, comments made by his agent overnight suggest that he’ll be staying put despite interest from Roma and Fiorentina (again!). In his own words he said:
“The player likes the way Arsenal plays. I honestly think that Fiorentina and Roma aren’t at Eboué’s level. The two clubs are not among the top ones in Italy, that’s the reality of it. But if any of the Milan clubs or Juventus come after him, that could change things. Inter have never contacted us but if they should call us we would be in Italy without any problems. But no one has called me.”
Not at his level? It sounds like Eboue’s agent has about the same intelligence as he does. It’s as a big and obvious a “come and get me” plea as I’ve ever seen by a footballer’s agent and it would be hilarious if it wasn’t so pathetic.
There’s a simple reason that the “big” Italian clubs haven’t called and that’s because he’s a bit of a lemon. After the year he’s had you’d think Eboue would be jumping at the chance to sign a new contract but unfortunately he and his agent don’t seem to see it that way.
Personally I’d like to see him stay because he’s a decent player and an excellent second-choice right-back and if he did leave then the manager would certainly have to replace him. Also, let’s be honest, he’s a bit of a character and that’s always good fun.
Cesc out for Spain
I mentioned earlier that Felipe Melo is in action for Brazil tonight as they attempt to qualify for the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup. Meanwhile, Cesc Fabregas’ Spain have made quite easy progress to the same stage, albeit with the Arsenal captain missing in action in the 1-0 win over Iraq last night.
Cesc missed out after injurying his leg in pre-match training after a nasty kick by – surprise, surprise – Xabi Alonso. Apparently our little Spaniard was pretty pissed off about the incident at the time, but he calmed down later and refused to attach any blame to the man he considers a good friend. After this and the knee-injury incident last season Alonso is certainly pushing the boundaries and it might be a case of “three strikes and you’re out”.
Fabregas should be back for the semi-final where Spain are likely to play Brazil or Italy. It will be interesting to see how he goes against hard-man and potential future teammate Melo if that match-up eventuates.
Walcott, Gibbs in action
On the other half of the globe, Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs are set to start for England in their U21 Championship game against Spain. Apparently the English team were fairly drab in only beating Finland 2-1 in the first game, so it will be interesting to see how the Arsenal boys go against higher quality opposition. Judging by the season just passed, I’m sure they’ll do fine.
And that’s really that in quite a long post. If you want to watch any of the Confederations Cup or U21 Championship games online tonight then be sure to check out the MyP2P website because it’s quite simply the best going around.
Anyway, enough from me. I’ll speak to you tomorrow.
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