Reyes to Atletico as Arsenal go for Diarra

Reyes showing off his new side Atletico Madrid’s kitReyes joins Atletico, not Real 

Arsenal have finally offloaded Jose Antonio Reyes to Spain, with the left-footed winger joining Primera Liga side Atletico Madrid for an undisclosed fee. The move will have come as no surprise to Arsenal supporters with Reyes consistently emphasising his desire to stay in Spain after a year on loan with Atletico’s fierce rivals Real Madrid. It had looked all the way like Real Madrid would sign Reyes but with Atletico upping the bidding to a reported £8.5 million a late change was in order.

When it’s all said and done, £8.5 million is a fairly good piece of business by the Arsenal board for a player who has been hell-bent on leaving the club even before he set foot in Madrid on his season-long loan. There’s no questioning that Reyes is a fantastic footballer but he struggled to adapt to the physicality of the Premiership in England and will not be missed by many Arsenal supporters. Hopefully his departure will open up the door for Arsene Wenger to bring in another wide player that, in my opinion, the club desperately lacks going into next season.

Chelsea’s Diarra may be on his way to ArsenalDiarra to Arsenal?

He might not be a winger, but one player who Arsenal are being linked to today is Chelsea’s French midfielder Lassana Diarra. He is apparently unhappy with the lack of first-team football he has been given at Chelsea so far and does not want to sign a new deal with the club. Unsuprisingly, it is reported that Wenger is very interested in the player and is looking to bring him to Arsenal.

Quite how Diarra thought he could displace the likes of Frank Lampard and Michael Essien is beyond me but you can’t criticise a player of his calibre for wanting first-team football. But with Cesc Fabregas, Gilberto Silva, Abou Diaby, Denilson and Mathieu Flamini fighting for the midfield positions at Arsenal I just don’t know how is going to find it here either. Maybe he should think about joining Fredrik Ljungberg at West Ham instead.

Hleb was superb for Arsenal playing in a central roleEmirates Cup round-up

I just thought I’d finish by including a quick wrap-up of my thoughts on Arsenal’s performances in the Emirates Cup over the weekend. All in all I thought the boys did superbly well. Wenger was able to experiment with a number of different players and tactical formations and on the most part, performances were encouraging. I raised some queries over the lack of width in the first half of the PSG game but moving Emmanuel Eboue to the right seemed to fix that problem. Alexander Hleb did exceptionally well in a more central position and I thought Bacary Sagna slotted in nicely at right full-back as well. He looks a no nonsense type of defender and I expect him to be the regular starter in this position on day one of the Premiership.

What was perhaps most encouraging was the performance of Phillipe Senderos. He looked sharper than I have ever seen him before and more than capable of slotting into the starting team when required this season. He’s obviously been working on his pace in pre-season and should be given credit for his efforts. The only player who disappointed me over the weekend was Denilson. I mentioned in the aftermath of the PSG game that his touches and passing were a little below what I expected but it is still pre-season and he should sharpen up over the course of the season.

Playing 4-5-1 may bring Arsenal more success this seasonWill Wenger ditch the 4-4-2?

It is clear that tactically, Wenger has some decisions to make. He has been a strong advocate of the traditional 4-4-2 for some time now but I just feel the current crop of players are suited to a 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 setup. I think the players showed in the second half against PSG and the game against Inter Milan that the side works well playing with an attacking midfielder playing in the hole behind a lone striker and two out-and-out wide players.

This formation requires strong forwards to play the lone roll and I believe Arsenal has these type of player in the form of Robin van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor and Niklas Bendtner. It would then allow the likes of Hleb, Tomas Rosicky and new signing Eduardo da Silva to roam in around the front man and provide the explosive dribbling to create space for the players around them. Regardless of the formation Wenger chooses to play, I think that the weekend has shown that things look quite promising going into the new season.

What do you think?

Have your say on Reyes, Diarra or the Emirates Cup by leaving a comment.



  1. As for Reyes, I say good riddance to bad rubbish. His whinging about wanting to be in Spain had grown more than tiresome.

    As for Diarra, I say Arsenal’s interest baffles. He is, as they say, surplus to requirements.

    As for the lack of a winger, I implore you Arsene: WE NEED WIDTH.

    And mark my words: WE DESPERATELY NEED ANOTHER STRIKER. Adebayor is spirited and makes good runs, but his finishing is uneven and he is not a clean striker of the ball. I rate Bendtner for set pieces given his physicality, but I am unconvinced he has blooded yet for much else. Eduardo, even if the Home Office approves him, is untested, and is unlikely to give you more than a dozen goals his first year in the Premiership. RVP is splendid, but he can’t do it alone. Throw in one injury, and we’re sunk.

    To summarize: To compete for the Premiership, we need 80 goals. 70 for a Champions League slot. Even if Hleb, Rosicky, Flamini, Gilberto and Theo all step up, we’re not better than 65.

    And those are the facts.

  2. Interesting. I would argue that our four strikers are enough to challenge for trophies, especially if Wenger looks to play with more attacking midfielders. Whilst they have not shown it before, I am convinced Hleb and Rosicky will provide goals and whilst I agree that Adebayor’s finishing can be a bit hit-and-miss, that will come with time. Great comments, though.

  3. Reyes is gone, at last.! I liked him a lot when he signed on, but his moaning has gone too far. At least we got some money by his sale. And hopefully we’ll see another winger coming to Arsenal. Even if Arsene signs someone to play in the wings, it’ll be interesting to know if he’ll go for someone who runs at defenders or someone like hleb.
    And wtf is Diarra for? He played at RB and DMC for chelsea. At both positions we have more than enough players.

  4. hey,you right!derek about that spainish’s good too have foreign talent but i think arsene wenger should buy some local players with the similiar calibre as dyer or gerard.i fear that if england national team see that english players are not been able to progress through the barclays premier league they will want to limit the number of foreigners playing in wenger start looking locally pls.

  5. We don’t need Diarra, it’ll be a big mistake if Arsene sign him. It’ll block the development of Gibbs, Randall and Lansbury. We need another striker and a left winger, ‘cos if we sustain injury after Ade is in Africa, we’ll be in real trouble. I also believe Song should be sold; its one acquisition I don’t understand. The guy is not good for us. I’m happy for Sendy, he’s one player I’ve always slated, he better work on his pace. I think he can do so if he sheds some weight.

    SF-the season is looking good and I have a feeling that this is our year. Out of four gaols in the Emirates cup competition, midfielders scored two and strikers also scored two. Good beginning.

  6. I SERIOUSLY doubt any truth to the Diarra transfer. Simply becuase it is reported in the papers. As we all know, AW operates so far beneatrh the radar, and never keeps his cards too far from his chest. I believe we have the finest and deepest cenral midfield in the league. As for Dereks’s comments, I strongly disagree with his belief that we need ANOTHER striker. We scored 63 goals in the Prem, with RVP leading the way with 11. There is plenty of firepower in our squad. Henry had 10, as many as Gilberto. I see nothing to make me think we wont score 80 this year, providing we dont loose half our strikefore again. A vesatile, multifooted winger with scoring ability is what i believ we need to finish the puzzle. Mark my words, Eduardo scores as many, if not more, than Bent.

  7. “I SERIOUSLY doubt any truth to the Diarra transfer. Simply becuase it is reported in the papers.”
    Sorry to play Devil’s Advocate, but what about Sagna?

  8. Sagna had already had our shirt on in our stadium when that was discovered. I only remember hearing of the interest then.

  9. There was definite interest showed in the media for Sagna before he signed. However, I do agree with you that it is unlikely that Diarra will be brought in, especially now that Flamini has agreed to stay (hurrah!).

  10. I would be interested in where it was printed, before he was spotted in our kit, as I trawl for any decent stories. Sagna did not become seriously linked with our club until THAT photo. I dont remember any speculation on this site of his arrival… BTW SF: The best b;og on the net. most insightful contributors, without all the childish crap that you find on all the others. Congrats!

  11. Look at our team after the Emirates win,They were Vibrant,happy,confident,enthusiastic and together.
    Anelka has never been part of any team.
    If he comes to Arsenal he”ll be nothing but disruptive just by being in the changing room.
    He treated us with such disrespect he doesnt deserve to wear the colours.
    We dont need him.
    We need a wide man not Anelka.

  12. sam nix – Thanks for the compliments about the blog, I’m glad you enjoy it. As for the comment about Sagna – you can find the first post where his name was mentioned here on 30 June
    Joshua – I agree. Anelka is not someone we want, we need a winger. Van Persie’s comments after the tournament showed how much this current group of players love playing together. Good stuff!

  13. Ah yes SF, I do remember that… a rare occasion where the media where fairly accuarte. i guess my point should have been that 99% of who we are linked with is pure spculation, nothing more. As AW always says, “You will find out when we anounce it.”.. usually.

  14. Totally agree. That’s the fun with Arsenal though, I reckon. When we sign someone it’s always like *BAM* WE SIGNED SOMEONE!!! Just like Eduardo. People went nuts about his signing, it was classic!

  15. I seriously don’t think we need more wide men..

    I mean Clichy and Traore Will be brilliant on the left, switching lb and lm between them both. Clichy is fast and can cross quite well, also very strong on the ball. Traore Is fast and very strong on that ball. Why not just use them??
    On the right we got Eboue, he did fantastic on Sunday why can’t we just use him. He has all the attributes of an rm.

    Why haven’t you mentioned Clichy in the emirates cup… On Saturday he ran around the pitch putting in tackle after tackle, and then he managed to get back to the left so he could sprint down the wing.

  16. Trunkstuff: I a admire your resolve to use what he have, but I just feel we would be making do with what we have, instead of truly filling the position. We are unfortunately not in a place to make do wiht what have, as no one around us has done. Traore/Clichy could be a very strong partnership, but not now. As good as I think those players arei think we need to better that postion. Another Pires…

  17. Trunkstuff – The reason for leaving Clichy out of the Emirates Cup round-up is simple; his performances were of no surprise. Clichy has come so far and I don’t think we even have to worry about him performing – he is now that good. I just wanted to look at the players who are under more pressure to perform or being played in different positions. I have to agree with sam nix in saying that if someone is not signed we would be selling ourselves a little short. Injuries will come and we just need one more option. Whether he starts or not, I’m personally not too bothered as long as he can get the job done when required.

  18. What is Wenger’s winger wish-list,?
    1.Arsene could not afford Franck Ribery.He wanted to come.He was what Arsene Wenger really wanted.(Gone)
    2.Robinho would fit in well but he’s no finisher.
    3.Ricardo Quaresma will go to Arsenal or Liverpool.
    4.Royston Drenthe is gifted but unproven.
    I like the boy a lot,because for a winger,he’s a good team player.There’s more to come from him.His next move is the most important of his career and Arsenal would be better for him than Liverpool.

  19. Joshua: Agreed!! I would love to see Quaresma at the Club. Mancini I like as well. Who knows how Robinho would fit in.. just think he would cost too much for us. i wouldnt depend on him for goals, more for creation and space. However, he would need to play more advanced, and, being Brazilian, wouldnt be so good at tracking back.. I did like Nani too before scum picked him up, but for £17m? dunno… As Spanish Fry has said numerous times, it could depend on the system/s we play as to who we may necessiate/sign. But I would be really happy to see Quaresma.

  20. We have been linked to Lita (link was on gunnerblog, can’t be arsed finding it). As Reading are my local team, I like to pay attention to what’s going on with them nearly as much as Arsenal and he would be perfect: young, fast, versatile, strong. Reading play a similar – although not as good – attacking game and he’s a large part of that, he’d fit in well. 7m.

    New winger before Amsterdam?

  21. dont worry about injuries during the african nations cup because ade will be back after the first week,he plays for togo for crying out either they wont be paid their bonus for them to strike or they will get out in the first round.
    you lot worry too much leave it alll to the maestro of the genius, arsenal pay to worry abt that in mr wenger, we will get the.
    how many of you had heard of gibbs b4 the past weekend?exactly, let wenger deal with that while we support arsenal.

    gooner 4 life

  22. i have to say i like the idea of diarra,yes we have many midfielders but how many are naturally defensive???if gibs gets injured our only cover there could be johan djourou all our midfielders are naturally attacking maybe diaby but again he is not defensivly minded,denilson possibly but still a bit young to read a game effectivly.Dirra has comparisions made to makalaee witch we all know how important he was to chelsea`s sucess and wondered how we didnt get him.

  23. That’s a fair call. Diarra is a lot more defensive than most players in the Arsenal midfield. However in Diaby and Flamini I think we have two players who could fit this role. Maybe others don’t agree?

  24. Harsh comments. I wouldn’t wish injury on any player, except for maybe Robbie Savage or Craig Bellamy. Reyes complained but he never said anything bad about Arsenal, so I wish him all the best. Except, like Andrew said, I hope it rains all year in Spain.

  25. I don’t think AW will go for Diarra. What we need is more depth uo front if we’re to pose any challenge to Man U, chelsea etc and still hope to make any meaningful impact in the chamo. leagu!

  26. We’ll have to see what happens. The general opinion of most readers is that whilst Diarra would be a very good addition to the side, central midfield is an area that the club has a lot of depth. The most interesting insight was made by arsenor who pointed out that after Gilberto, Arsenal don’t have too many naturally defensive midfielders. It’s hard to argue with that and it may provide the rationale for Diarra’s transfer.

  27. i think arsenal need 1 more signing.. the winger position.. after losing jose antonio reyes and freddie ljungberg i think we need to get one more killer winger.. how about vicente..? i really admire him.. he score a lot of goals and assist.. and i think his play style just like robert pires

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *