The week in news: Gallas, Fabregas, World Cup squads + more

It’s been a rather busy week following the completion of Arsenal’s season. There’s been lots of talk about players going, potential transfers as well as the announcement of the squad’s for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and I have summarised it all for you today.

Campbell’s contract extension

The signs are good that Sol Campbell will be extending his contract with Arsenal. The player has spoken of his desire to play at the top level for the next two years while Robin van Persie has commented on his desire to see Campbell stick around next season, pointing to his character and attitude as two of the best attributes that he has brought to the club.

Gallas likely to go

In complete contrast to Campbell, it looks for all money like William Gallas will be heading for the exit door. According to Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood the Frenchman’s wage demands are simply too high and the club are not willing to improve his salary for a one-year extension.

There is a chance that Gallas may look around and realise that he’s simply not going to get the same money nor the same opportunity anywhere else in Europe and decide to stay But the likelihood is that he will sign a two or three-year deal in France or Italy and head off after the World Cup.

Wenger wants more defensive strength

Gallas’ likely exit will leave a defensive-shaped hole in the squad that simply must be filled. He had a terrific season before calf problems took over, responding well to the captaincy debacle and forming a decent partnership with new boy Thomas Vermaelen, so if he goes then quality will need to be brought in.

With Campbell set to stay, Vermaelen first-choice and Johan Djourou in much the same developmental stage he was in at the start of last season the only way the manager can “add more defensive strength” is to bring in an experienced player of a similar quality to Gallas to plug the hole. Any suggestions?

Cesc Fabregas happy at Arsenal

Contrary to a number of stories floating around that “Cesc has alerted Barcelona of his interest” or “Fabregas wants to join Barcelona before the World Cup”, our fabulous captain has stated his happiness at Arsenal and a desire to sort out a new contract with the club before the start of the World Cup. Those Arsenal supporters freaking out about the stories floating about need only to read his actual quotes to see what I mean:

“I want to make a decision about my future before the World Cup. It’s impossible to perform at a tournament such as the World Cup if you’re not fully focused on the sporting aspects of the game. It does not benefit anyone.

“If I ever leave Arsenal it will be to play for Barcelona. I would like to go, whether they want me or not is another matter. I am 23 years old and I have a long career in front of me. I’ve never hidden the fact that playing for Barcelona is a dream that I would like to fulfil.

“I’m very happy at Arsenal. I’m in no hurry to leave the club. Barcelona are still playing for the Liga title and I’m still an Arsenal player. It would be a lack of respect to discuss a transfer now. No candidates for the Barcelona presidency have approached me, so I don’t feel used.”

Literal translation: I am happy at Arsenal. I want to get my contract sorted so I can focus on winning the World Cup. I want to play for Barcelona one day but not for a while because I have a long career ahead of me.

Nothing we didn’t know already then.

Nasri, Djourou excluded from World Cup squads

Perhaps the most surprising news of the week was the exclusion of Samir Nasri from France’s provisional World Cup squad. Likewise, Johan Djourou was left out of a Swiss team he probably would be starting for had injuries not taken their toll this season while Sol Campbell also missed the cut for England.

The Arsenal players who were named in the provisional squads and are still in with a shot of going to the World Cup are:

Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Robin van Persie (Netherlands), Carlos Vela (Mexico), William Gallas (France), Gael Clichy (France). Bacary Sagna (France), Abou Diaby (France), Philippe Senderos (Switzerland), Emmanuel Eboue (Ivory Coast), Alex Song (Cameroon), Nicklas Bendtner (Denmark) and Theo Walcott (England).

Of the players named I’m only expecting Abou Diaby to drop out of the final squads, so it will be another good showing from the Arsenal players at the World Cup.


Have your say on the week in Arsenal news by leaving a comment.



  1. Fabregas is so obviously saying that he has not been tapped up by Barca but stating quite clearly he yearns for the move!!!

  2. @ anon – No, he isn’t. I can’t believe that is the first comment, a quite clear ignorance of the statement he has made.

    “I’m very happy at Arsenal. I’m in no hurry to leave the club.”

  3. Same old lazy journalism with the Fabregas story;

    “I’ve got nothing to write on Boss.”
    “Surely something else can be written on Fabregas to Barce!?”

    Great news about Sol, not so great about Willy G – he should know he isn’t going to continue (or get higher) wages of 80k a/w forever. If he goes, he goes – I would rather have him but it really is completely down to him.

    Not surprised about either Nas or Johan being excluded, Johan isn’t 100% and Domenech is the biggest clown going. Best of luck to all our boys in SA.

  4. I don’t care… I’m pulling for Diaby. I hope he gets in the final squad and sees the pitch. He’s going to be with Arsenal next season and it would great for him to have World Cup experience.

  5. Isn’t cesc on an 8 year contract or something? Im quite sure that he’s under contract for quite a few more years, so I’m not too sure what it is he has to decide on about his future

  6. We all knew Cesc was going to Barca. I think it has just been sensationalised because this is the first time he has really come out and confirmed it. His statement wont change the fact that he loves our club and will always give 100% on the pitch. And that’s what we expect from our young captain.

  7. Hi Drew, Hi All,
    It’s so good to see the blog in my e-mail. On the way home from work I remembered that there’s no Friday night on arsenaltv and no fan forum. So this dear,sweet e-rag is the very oasis.
    Gallas, yes he was good but I was so pro Toure that all I can think of is couldn’t he have left sooner rather than later?
    Am I the only one who thinks that Phillpe (problem child III)
    Senderos is a good pairing for his once-and -to -be-anon Swiss national teamate Johan.
    Djourou is too laid back and mellow though quick and skillfull. Phil is too keyed up and plays too tight an offside line far too often.
    This leaves of course Sol and Vermaelen. This is a pairing of opposites to some degree(age/speed/size) but they are both clearly recognized as committed and professional central defenders and that’s not a bad way to start.
    As for Fab, he’s going to go so I prefer that we get as much as we can, improve the team in size, strength and depth and open his place in the formation for Nasri.
    I know Cesc is better but it’s the over-all improvement of the team that counts and we are deep in small creative midfielders who read the game well and pass. We need a few big, fast scarey types who chase hard, tackle hard and will exhibit on very short warning the difference between “Here Rover” and “Sick-em” .

  8. Cesc may not be leaving but this is the first time he commented during a public event. Why did he feel the need to comment explicitly since his contract is still active for a couple of years. Is this his way of sending a message to Wenger to strengthen and add players he wants?

    In the event that Cesc leaves its not the end for Arsenal. He can be replaced and Arsenal will still go on.

  9. So let’s think a bit more clearly and logically about this. Cesc goes to Barca for say 50mil plus Toure. With 50 mil we could buy Melo, Arteta and have enough left for say a SWP or similar. Sure we still NEED a keeper as we just don’t have one now, and a good centre back, but 1 player, Cesc, for three others (maybe four) sure sounds like reasonable management to me – especially when the replacements are the quality of Melo, Toure and Arteta – for NO CASH outlay. The 45mil or whatever is in the pot can be used for a quality CB and keeper – say Cahill or Hangeland and Hart.

    Geez, I’m getting excited just thinkin of how good that team would be when added to the likes of RVP, Verninator, Song, Clichy, Arsharvin, Sagna, Jack, etc etc etc…..

  10. @ gazgooner – i see where you’re coming from but the most clear and logical way to think about this is that Cesc is not going. He’s just not going, there’s no point contemplating it.

  11. hey andy, i heard of a new rule from the EPL bosses that state that ALL EPL teams can have no less than 25 players in their first team(it used to be 30) and that 60% of the starting 11 HAVE to be English… i mean, if this is true then isnt it a bad decision to retain campbell? i mean, i love this guy but wont it be a better decision to buy a better defender, if this is true, AW will have to get rid of 5 players to begin with, i can name those 5, but then he has to get rid of a few others too if he is gonna buy some new players…pls discuss this 😀 thnx.

  12. I for one am happy to see the back of Gallas. He seems very petulant and childish and the look on his face when he went off in the Champs League with another calf injury was an insult to the club’s management.

    I’d also be very pleased if Sol hangs around for a season or two. Top quality defenders can play into their late 30s if they’re managed properly.

    Cesc is obviously sick of the number of columns he receives in the football gutter press by issuing a statement like that. It quite clearly says yes he would like to go to Barcelona but after spending a long spell at Arsenal, much like Henry did.

    Let’s hope all the Gunners at the world cup do well, but not too well and stay injury free.

  13. All well and good…we all are still saying thesame thing..for fab, if he wants to go, let him go .. all i know is there is replacement for everybody.. i blive with good support from everybody, the team will do better next season…. most importantly…a good sticker is needed to support van. Tnks

  14. As much as the Fabregas’ stories are wildly annoying, i think we all learned (with thierry herny)that players CAN leave and that they come and go but the team doesn´t. I agree with @gazgooner, although that won´t happen soon…

    Andrew asked on thoughts on who could be signed as a CB, and i see tim cahill as a great centre-back who could be a great addition to the squad, even though Coyle rates him at 30m and wouldn´t stand in his way if a big club comes for him… i think he´s the one… English, knows the league, good eye for goal…

  15. @Andrew Weber I just Hope your comments come true!… If Cesc leaves I will be extremely sad…

  16. With arsenal & baca in his mind, cesc will not be a good performer next season, i predict. we need players with great attitude to fight for the club next season, so those who want to go should go early so that they can give AW time to build his team 4 the next battle. cesc can go but our challenge is that we have not been replacing such big players, for example Henry and Viera have ever since not been replaced.

  17. Prof if fab will allow him bt it’s better for him to stay,so that he won’t regret like ‘A hleb.’Buy melo for fans sake.get rid of ,’edu,’den’,and others that are not fit be on the pitch for us. Up v p.

  18. All these stories of our captain leaving, will on apply more pressure on our manager to strengthen the team with experience – now.

    Being the optimist that I am, I can see our manager adding 3 or 4 quality players and next year the fans are rewarded with multiple silverware!

    Life is unpredictable, the things you worry the most about rarely occur.

  19. Barca has the team where Fabregas will be in “second plan”. it is in his best interest to stay with Arsenal where he can improve and be the centre of the team. I think, except if Barcelona makes him a great offer, that he will stay.

    But still we need stronger defence and another Van Persie 🙂 I hope that this year Chamakh shorely comes to London to play for us.

  20. It’s all so machievallian, its doing my head in. A big part of Cesc”s statements was that “when” he leaves Arsenal, he wont be going to Real Madrid or Man City, winning the hearts of the Catalonian audience, and more Nike ads. But he was also he was flirting with Laporta, and manipulating Wenger. The outgoing president made this quote Thursday, according to Total Barca:
    “The player must show his desire to play for the best team in the world, considering as he was once a blaugrana himself. Because of that, he must tell his club he wants to come to Barca.” .
    Basically saying that as Cesc is under contract to Arsenal, it is up to him to ask to leave, and the deal is done. Laporta goes on to say, that he needs to ask before the world cup, as his price will go up after. If Cesc does leave (and I know Andy that you think he is staying) we shouldn’t sell till after the World Cup, and get top dollar, but Cesc is trying to save Barca money.

    I love to watch Cesc play and he has been a great player for Arsenal, but he is also a very clever man. He wants a wage increase at Arsenal, or he is off the Barcelona Gravy Train, were his image rights will be huge for club and player. And he wants it all sorted, so he can concentrate on Spain and raise his profile even higher. Either way, Cesc will be the winner. And Arsene is over a barrel.

  21. i am glad they are finally planning to shore up the back line. an experienced defensive/holding midfielder would also be good

    i hope to god this coming season will be better

  22. @lulu
    Smart psychoanalysis bro. In this age of money and status we can’t expect any players to remain loyal. In the end its all about survival for oneself.

    However I don’t believe Cesc would be leaving if he does Wenger will have an emotuonal breakdown. Anyway Cesc is replacable, Arsenal had been succesful without Cesc before he came to the club.

  23. Im pissin my pants reading some of the stuff on here today.
    ‘Let Cesc go we have proved with Henry and Vieira that life goes on’.
    Is that the message of the day and do you really belief it? What have we won since we sold, and FAILED TO REPLACE these two legends????
    So you would be ok selling the club captain at 23, a player who single handedly won us games this season (villa & bolton) and has more passion,goals and bottle than Nasri, Denilson, Vela, Walcott and Diaby put together!!!!
    ‘Think of who we could buy with the Cesc money!’
    For crying out loud weve been thinking about big signings since we made £32M on Petit and Overmars double deal….and what established international proven quality have we EVER signed?
    If he sells Cesc for 50M he will look to spend 10M because hes a joke.
    I dont blame Cesc for wanting to go, what good is his loyalty if the manager wont repay it? He asked last summer for re-strengthening after the Toure/Ade sales and again in Jan when it was evidident to all that our injuries were exposing our lack of quality cover.
    Now he has seen that when he,Verm and RvP are missing from the team that Nasri, Diaby and the rest dont have the balls to carry the fight…..their not winners. Cesc sees the tabloids are flooded with rumours of players such as Torres, Gerrard, Villa, Zeko, Buffon, Ibra, Ireland, Cole, etc. all looking for moves and who are we been linked with???……..Chamakh, Yohan Pele, Sakho and a deal for hazard that sees him loaned back. Will Barce be fighting us to sign any of these players??
    £22 for Anelka
    £32 combo for Overmars and Petit
    £13.7 Vieira
    £16.1 Henry
    When did we ever re-invest in quality?? I dont blame Cesc for leaving

  24. You know every good quality player at the end of a season would want to win trophies, but if this doesn’t happen, measuring their world quality will not be possible. Wenger should wake up and buy players, and begin winning trophies or else more players will want to leave. They cannot be ploughing their energies when the so called ever maturing kids never mature.

  25. Chill out Shambo no need to be pissed reading other people’s comment. Seems nowadays all your comments have an underlying message that Wenger should go. I believe he should not be offered a new contract untill he wins something and do some tweaking to the side, but of course all I can do is rant. Sometimes its better to let go of the past if not you’ll be bitter throughout the future.

    Cheers all! Holland to win the world cup!

  26. Cesc is right to go,he’s got no helpers,apart from a few,most of our middlefielders are jokers.They’ve failed to deliver in big games,Wenger has 4gotten it’s the fans dat bring us money,he sh’d buy players,win trophies 2 pay back fans.The game has changed,no more miracles,the more u invest in a club,the higher it’s chances of winning titles.It’s not inexperience,these players have spent enough time at Arsenal,playing at top level in the PL,CL,FA,CC etc not 4getting most of them are international first choices.No club is not hit by injuries in a season,it’s the mentality of the team to cover-up these links as needed.

  27. Let Gallas go if he want’s,he might get a club willing 2 pay him dat much but i believe with his age serious injuries have started.I gaurantee this is going 2 be his major problem,he’ll end up not getting regular playing time,pay cuts again finally dropped from international team.While at Arsenal,he’d be given time 2 recover,rested n play more.I think we’ve more bigger problems to deal with than Gallas’.

  28. It is always the same, at the end of every season, the papers start with Cesc going to Barcelona. i always ignore this crap, until the prof says so, it ain´t gonna happen.

  29. Fabregas is contracted to 2014 so what’s to sort out? Two defenders one keeper and Chamakh and we have a decent side.

  30. @Laninja,
    There is never an underlying message in what I say, im not that subtle. I just put what I see out there mate.
    I most certainly do NOT want Wenger to go. I do want him to admit hes failed us with alot of his signings, tactics (lack of) and his lack of thought for the fans. You never hear him talk about the fans, we are taken for granted and just numbers on a spreadsheet.
    Im not asking him to do this publicly, he can do it by offloading the passengers and finally buying quality.
    Iv given countless ‘stats’ and historical facts on why we are so far behind Utd and Chelsea, heres another one; we were supposed to be catching up with Chelsea after the 2008/09 season and it looked like we had a chance because they only signed Turnbull, Zhirkov and Sturridge…..but then we offload Kolo and that other git and we never replaced them. Well thats done now, I know so theres no point whining over it any longer but watch what will happen this summer, keeping in mind what iv said about trying to catch up Chelsea and Utd. Watch Chelsea go out and splash on quality now to re-inforce their status, watch Utd do the same even though their ‘broke’, Spurs and City will always spend big… watch who we recruit and who is shipped out….I guarantee we will not have any rivals for the signitures of the players Wenger has lined up….because Real,Barce,Utd and Chelsea dont want success in 6 years, they want it now.
    And my other sore point is that I will have to watch Nasri, Diaby and Deni saunter around yet again next season. Has anyone ever stopped to think of the one big difference between young fellas and older pros when it comes to being medal winners in any comp???
    Tony Adams and co didnt know if they would ever win a trophy and so when the chance came their sheer desire and determination got them there, they didnt know if they would ever be there again……Diaby looks like a lad going around saying ‘ shur, im only 22 iv loadsa time yet’….

  31. Mexes anyone?

    Will be looking for a higher exposure gig after being left out of the French WC squad.Plus Roma need to cut down their spending and acquire some immediate Euro’s.

    He’s experienced and when in form, is one of the best CB’s around (plus he’s French!). His asking salary and Roma’s asking price wouldn’t be as high as it was 12+ months ago when we were first rumoured to be interested.

    Makes sense to me…

  32. Offload:

    1. Eboue
    2. Eduardo
    3. Silvestre
    4. Fabianski


    1. SWP : Midfielder
    2. Chamakh : Forward
    3. Lloris/Fred : Goally
    4. Defenders 2 ( I’ve got no options )

  33. Bayern and Chelsea have the double ( I think well deserved)
    today decides if Inter Milan and Barcelona will follow, ( I read that Barca won the Copa del Rey and Inter the Italian cup already)
    regarding this story about Gallas… I had the impression that something within the team has been wrong in the last games, maybe even earlier, I think it’s better if the chemistry is good in a team , but that wasn’t the point of course for their last defeats :coo:

  34. 😎 I liked the fazit ( don’t remember where I’ve read it): ‘Arsenal wasn’t good enough when not in ball possession’
    the most (especially the goalkeepers :mrgreen: sorry 😉 )

  35. We need strength(English, German, East Europe, wherever).
    @Shambo – Netherlands good enough

  36. @gunnerboss,
    Dutch chances depend on their defence dude.
    Their midfield and frontmen are showing good form, Robben, Sneider, RvP, VdV, Van Bommel, Kuyt and De Jong will be hard to stop i think.

  37. How many times have I heard that Arsenal Football Club is dead and buried?

    It makes me fucking laugh!

    According to everyone and their dog Arsenal are knackered. Goners not Gooners. Cesc Fabregas is on his toes, Arsene Wenger has had enough and we are a spent force.

    I’ve heard that the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City will replace Arsenal and Liverpool in the top four. Whatever.

    In short Arsenal are fucked and there is nothing that we Gooners can do about it.

    I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard such bollocks in my whole entire stinking existence!

    Please don’t listen to those toss-pots out there who are desperate to tear our club apart and please don’t believe everything you read.

    Arsenal Football Club is far from dead, it is far from buried.

    Over the last few summers and post-seasons Arsenal have been written off more than the cars I’ve owned. Its the same this summer.

    I love it. I love being written off because it makes my love for Arsenal grow even stronger, more determined to prove those doubters wrong.

    There isn’t going to be a power-shift in North London. Those Spuds may have looked like getting closer to us but they haven’t. The gap is still as wide as the one in Madonna’s teeth.

    It’s only five points they say. Well that was down to Arsenal collapsing like a deck of cards at the end of the season not the Spuds gaining ground on us.

    When they’ve qualified season after season for the Champions League and challenged for the title then they might have an argument.

    Until then they can jog the fuck right on. Mugs.

    All the knobs out there who continue to write us off, carry on. I just hope it unites us Gooners and doesn’t separate us. I’ve seen signs of splits between Arsenal fans, don’t let them do it to us.

    Yes times have been frustrating recently, even worrying as well, but lets rally.

    Don’t go mental if we don’t sign players straight away. Wait until September to judge. I really feel that this summer will be a good ‘un for us.

    Keep calm and believe.

    Arsenal are not dead. I think there are changes round the corner and this time next year we will be the ones with smiles on our faces whilst the mugs who continue to try and knock us will have egg on theirs.

  38. If we do sell Fabregas for maybe 45 million i can see Wenger spending maybe 30 million of that money instead of keeping Fabregas and investing 30 million on new players,thats the way Wenger has run the club over the past 5 years so i cant see things changing now. I really dont know why people rate Melo so highly,from what i’ve seen of him he looks very average. I’d rather sign scott parker yaya toure or try to resign Flamini

  39. @Shambo.

    Mexes merely comes to mind as I know he was linked to us in either 2009/10 or 2008/9.

    Plus, we know Arsene’s preference for French or French speaking players. Which can sometimes be a benefit as he would already be familiar with the playing styles of Nasri, Diaby, Clichy and Sagna.

    I’ll take anyone, as long as Silvestre doesn’t start I’m happy.

  40. Tom your a just come if you think that cheap shit we have as a manager is going to spend 30 mil get real. Lets bet chamaka will come and maybe a defender on the cheap for sure and that’s it two signings not more. The thing is guys when Roman bought chealse he revolutionlise English football gone are the days you can buy cheap and win he league you have to spend some money and get some quality players not no names who take ten years to develop look a barsa their youngsters are really good ours are horrible nasri, diaby, walcott, denilson. How the hell can we go 5 years and six respectively cup and league without a trophy and some of you guys make lame foot excuses about top four finish
    bullshit being enough mark my words i no some of you dont want to hear this but i’ll say it any ways as long as wenger it the manager we will not win shit he’s gone soft and too mushy with the players weekin weekout they play badly and still make the team very soon we will end up out the top four you’ll see then everynone will come to their senses then it will be too late wenger you want evolution go be a scientist leave my dear arsenal please am begging you i’v had enough of your outsmarting the fans buy saying you will buy and then change your mind when the season tickets are sold. Pls wenger leave arsenal we need to win trophies you don’t have to spend 50 mil but at least 30 or 40 am going mad Wenger buy or else out………….

  41. I am happy to hear those words coming from Cesc’s mouth. its a great relief from the sadness that had started to build in my heart. it is kundos for Sol, he got the rythim so quick and his integration with the team is promising. if only Gallas can listen to us, i would ask him not to leave, he still have some great opportunity in Arsenal than anywhere else especially considering his age and fitness.

    Domenech, his dropping of Nasri is unfortunate and we all know Nasri is a great player.

    All the best to all our boys headed south for the world cup and may those left out also feel that we love and value them, its only that all may not be accomodited at the same time.

  42. I wouldn’t want Gallas to go…………

    I love the fact that Sol is staying as backup………….

    I wouldn’t want Fabs to leave…………….

    I love the fact that Chamakh is coming free, hence no pressures on the lad to perform……………

    I WANT ATLEAST 4 NEW PLAYERS(Goalie, defender, midfielder, striker) IN ADDITION TO WHAT WE HAVE NOW(assuming no one leaves)…………….and before I forget………


  43. I think time is up for Arsene if im honest, Ive loved and loathed him. Its really time he walked and someone new and fresh faced came in. (Okay you can all go mad now)

  44. Happy Monday all,
    Iv just stumbled across Nasris outburst about Gallas not being liked in the dressing room and in doing so came across alot of related stories, most interesting are the ones about Nasri himself, actually, and his unpopularity in the national squad.
    This may explain his omission as he is rumoured to be disliked by Gallas, Ribery and even Henry and he and Benzema are seen as ‘arrogant brats’ by senior players.
    Supposedly problems began for the two during Euro 2008 when Nasri sat in Henrys bus seat, they all had seats that they always sat in, and when Henry asked him to move Benzema told him to find another seat and a fall out insued, especially with Gallas and Thuram who found it disrespectful.
    There have been other training ground altercations between gallas and the benzema/ nasri duo and Gallas has said in his Autobiography that both guys are just ‘hype’ and have ‘done nothing of note’.
    I have to say from a distance i would agree Nasri and Benzema have a higher opinion of themselves than what we see on the pitch and if it is true about their attitudes towards their teamates, especially the senior ones, then it explains their omission.
    The worrrying thing is that Nasri has said he is not the only one who isnt on speaking terms with Gallas, so maybe it would be better if he leaves because its not helping the dressing room although Nasri says that when their on the pitch the 11 ‘fight for one another’, on a personal note; Iv never seen much fight from Nasri on a football pitch but Iv heard alot of talking in the papers.
    So we are set to lose one of our few fighters in the team on a free, just like Flamini, but you have to ask the question if Gallas only had one year left on his contract last season and was disliked by more than Toure, when it seemed Toure was under contract and popular in the dressing room, then why didnt we sell Gallas and keep Toure?? That to me makes more sense but then again Toure isnt french i suppose…….. Once again Wengers thought process must be questioned, I mean why keep such a bad egg around, even if he is one of our better players, when he can leave on a free in the summer?
    If he does go now, and its looking fairly certain, then it will be some smack in the face for Wenger.

  45. Nasri if u ask me is nothing but hype. cesc was out what did he do? Nothing. Who will he bench in the french team? My annoyance is wenger kept playing him ahead of more productive players. Why

  46. Come on Andrew, surely you must dull. Read between the lines…

    Fabregas is giving Wenger his ultimatum!!!

    The fact is Fabregas is fed up with Wenger’s experiment and some of his teammates, as most of the fans are. Think back on this season and where would we be without him?

    He is the only player in this squad with the minerals to challenge the poor judgement of le boss.

    HE DESERVES THE ARSENAL’S FULL GORILLA SUPPORT! You people better start writing about this quick and start rallying the troops behind Fabregas.

    Make sure Wenger and his eu de toillette sniffing staff, and that wank Gazidis, GET THE BLEEPING PICTURE.

    Who will replace our captain with the heart of a lion…???

    If Fabregas leaves so will our chances of success for many years. AND SEASON TICKET HOLDERS SHOULD FOLLOW SUIT…

  47. Since there’s nothing much happening I like to add a few thoughts on the Nasri outburst. Firstly that quote by Nasri was a 2year old quote dug out and sensationalized by the media.
    However Nasri should know his place in the French squad, its the french team, they have gallic ego. Secondly Nasri is not a gem like Benzema who could be the new main striker for France under laurent blanc, so Nasri should start performing extremely well for us to get into Blanc’s good books. Blanc was a ManU player and a very dirty defender(somewhat like Terry but more brutal), so Nasri knows Blanc demands grit and 110% effort everytime France plays. I could see the future French team with Gorcuff taking the Zidane role. Domenech is a water carrier so its not surprising he will follow what Henry probably ask him to do which is omit Benzema. Arsenal almost signed Samuel Eto but Henry vetoed against the signing therefore Wenger bought Reyes from Sevilla, and Reyes suffered from Henry’s anger at him for the Aragones debacle. Such a pity Reyes was a very good winger.

    Turn back to 2002-2006 I remember reading the fallout of Henry and Zidane. Makelele said that Henry wanted Pires in for Zidane but at that time the French team played the way Zidane played therefore Henry couldn’t operate his best, something along that lines. If this was the Holland team they probably just fight with each other, that’s why my beloved Holland will never win the world cup, they spend too much time arguing and practising boxing. Dutch are direct(according to RVP) people unlike French who like to sulk alot.
    Fight amongst team members are not new, Real Madrid is a perfect example during the ZIdane-Raul years. ZIdane and Raul hate each other, ask any older Madrid fans, Even Figo dosen’t communicate with Raul too. But on the pitch these players just get on with it.
    As Shambo said Gallas should be sent packing if he’s a problem, yeah Nasri is wrong too but Toure Mr nice guy had a fallout with Willy too. From what I gather Gallas is a highly sensetive person and it was made worse by him sulking like a b*&^h at Birmingham.
    Anyway I like these type of gossips/stories, makes for a good build up before the world cup, anymore guys?

  48. nasri is a fraud who doesnt deserve a world cup call up,he also goes missing in big games and when called upon to play the creative role after cesc,s injury produced NOTHING. the fact that djourou,s been out injured all season leaves his omission as no suprise to me,give sol another year we need players like him around, a player with pride and passion who knows what it means to wear the arsenal shirt,let gallas go because to be honest the day he did his one man protest sitting down on the pitch sobbing like a little girl should have been the last game he played for arsenal, and if cesc wants to go so be it no player is bigger than the club and i,m fed up of all this barca bollocks,finally the type of signings wenger makes this summer will give us an indication of whether he,ll renew his contract at the end of next season and what we have to remember is no decent player will want to sign not knowing if the manager will be in charge for the foreseeable future….interesting tmes ahead!

  49. forgot to insert the gallas game i was refering to was the birmingham away game a couple of seasons ago and the fact he was CAPTAIN at the time what a leader eh?

  50. Nice one, Andrew.

    Sol – Remember he’s old school Arsenal from the The Invincibles squad. Now that he’s come back in it’d be nice to think he could sit down with AW and run the rule over who’s really doing their job and who isn’t. In reality he’s probably too much of a pro to grass on his team mates but he might give some of them a rollicking and he’s worth having around just for that.

    Gallas – is crocked. I told you that before remember? He’s f*cked. He’s definitely going and any stories about contract wrangles etc are being cooked up by Arsenal so they can do him a favour and get him a new contract elsewhere – plus get a few quid for him themselves. What we NEED is an OUTSTANDING new defender to replace him. I’ve no idea who though…
    I have mixed feelings about Gallas. Up to his injury he was having a great season for us but I’ve never felt he was really 100% percent Arsenal and of course the proof of the pudding is there. We’ve won nothing since he came in.

    Fab – I don’t know why some of you Gooners get in a flap every time the Sun says Cesc is leaving. They’ve said it a thousand times over the past three years and it’s not happened yet. Worry about it when it happens. Don’t you know the Sun (and other papers) completely make up this shit to fill column inches so that the journo’s don’t have to get up off their fat asses and do any proper work. They’re laughing at you guys.

    Nasri – out of French team is a good thing for Arsenal. Okay he was injured at the start of the season but he took his own sweet time getting back on form and even then was patchy. This slap in the chops from the French manager should make him realise that if he doesn’t graft he’s going to slide back into obscurity. Because the talents there, no doubt.

    Andrew, I’ve loved your blog this season. Best read on the net and of course I include ALL Gooner contributers in that – even ‘Rocking Guns’ = nutter. wink:

    Olivwah mon braves!

  51. So here we go again. Cesc has hardly put one foot on Spanish soil and the Spanish media are all over him again with all kind of stories about his move to Barcelona.

    Now to understand how things work we must know that in Spain you have newspapers that are almost from the first to the last letter all about football and sports. Those newspapers are fighting a struggle with each other and have to come up with the best headlines possible. Some of the most important ones are Marca and El Mundo and Diario Sport.

    You can imagine that a headline: “Cesc stays at Arsenal” does not sell many newspapers in Spain or in Barcelona. What could sell you more newspapers is a headline: ‘Cesc on his way to Spain”. The average Spanish sports fan would buy the paper to see that it possible only says that Cesc is coming in with the plane to join the national team. But the main thing would be that they have sold a newspaper.

    You can imagine a headline: “Cesc is on his way to Barcelona” will sell you many newspapers, especially in the neighbourhood of Barcelona. Again when you read the article could find in it that Cesc is on his way to join the Spanish national team and that he is flying in from London to Barcelona to meet his family. But the main thing would be that they have sold a lot of newspapers.

    Now imagine for a second that you are another Spanish sports newspaper and you have to make sure that you sell also a lot of newspapers. What would you do? Well you could invent “friends” of Cesc. Or you could invent “family” of Cesc. And you could invent that they have said that “Cesc is coming to Barcelona and that he has agreed a 4 year deal”. Now how about that. I think this will sell a lot of newspapers in Spain.

    Now what the Spanish newspapers invent to sell newspapers is one thing. The thing that is frightening is that many bloggers and even main media take this up and reprint it as the truth and nothing but the truth. Even if you have only one brain cell working properly you must take everything that is printed in those Spanish newspapers not with a pinch of salt but with a whole mountain of salt.

    Unfortunately some people don’t even have that one brain cell properly working and they believe what is written in those newspapers or should I say tabloids because that is what they are in fact. And so we have the whole summer once again with the same old stories over and over again. I can bet for a few pounds that let us say in 2 weeks time there will be a newspaper or a blog that runs the story all over again and again the same blogs will bring it as new and hot news and declare that Cesc now really will be leaving and that we are doomed and that all is lost.

    I think sometimes it must be tiring when you are Cesc Fabregas. Every word you say will be misquoted whenever they can and will be pulled out of the context just to make new headlines.

    By the way, the story that Cesc has agreed a 4 year contract with Barcelona and now the only thing in the way is a transfer agreement between Arsenal and Barcelona would mean that Barcelona, Cesc and his manager all would have broken the rules. Cesc is still under a contract with Arsenal and Arsenal and Arsène Wenger have on many occasion stated that there are only 3 players allowed to leave this summer and that are: Campbell, Gallas and Silvestre because they are the only one who are at the end of their contract.

    I think this was clear enough or should be clear enough for everyone that Arsenal will not allow anyone to even talk to Cesc, let alone let him sign a contract.

    So I would just ask to the Arsenal bloggers out there: please don’t fall in the trap from the Spanish media. If they want to spread lies and rumours just let them. If the media in England want to step into the trap set up by the Spanish press and reprint these story there is nothing that can be done about it, but we can be smarter and laugh it away.

    To finish up I would just like to add one little story that I heard today from a friend of mine who has been living in Spain the last couple of years. He heard from his cleaning lady who knows someone who is living near the home of Messi that they have seen a car with a French plate driving slowly by and in that car there was a person who looked like Arsène Wenger and who asked they way to Messi’s home.

    In his car was a document clearly visible on official Arsenal paper with the words “contract” on it. According to this source it said something like 10 years and had clearly the name of Messi on it.

    So what do you make of that? If the Cesc thing would be the truth, maybe it could mean that Wenger has asked Barcelona to swap a Cesc for a Messi.

    Don’t believe this? Then why believe the story of the friends from Cesc thing? I can make it up just like they do. Or maybe I do know someone who knows someone who knows Messi? Nothing is easier spread than a lie. Remember this until the next season starts and we will see our captain back in our red and white leading us to victory.

  52. Fuck Cesc,
    If he want to leave he can leave. Trying to comprehend Barca winning d league then I now have to deal with them taking cesc.

  53. @laninja,georgetown and nonny,
    Its been rumoured today that weve had a £14M for Reina turned down?? not sure about that one.
    On the Nasri/Gallas thing, I agree with Georgetown that he hasnt backed up his own opinion of himself with performances but I also agree with Nonny that his omission maybe the kick up the arse he needs, if he doesnt stand up to be counted after this then we’ll know hes a bottler, especially after his displays when we needed him the last 5 games this season.
    Lads just on the Gallas ‘unpopularity’ thing, Iv said in my last post that Wenger sold Kolo because they didnt like each other, he too was a leader and captain at times. He was younger and tied into a contract, whereas Gallas only had a year left and ,judging by Nasris statements, is disliked by half a dozen Arsenal players………so why did Wenger sell Kolo and not Gallas???
    Im sure we could have got 8M for him off Milan or someone like that, then your left with Toure whos best years are ahead of him and no dressing room discontent.
    Does anyone feel Wenger made a huge boo boo here, especially since Gallas is being a greedy prick now and we didnt even use the Toure money to re-strengthen?
    I mean, Toure was made captain of a City team with big names and has had a good season for them, i know he was happy to leave but this was because Wenger was leaning toward the side of Gallas, who is now repaying that faith by looking foe a fat contract in his twilight years and when he has become prone to injury… this another case of bad management by Wenger?

  54. Right lads,
    I know its bad form to mention names before anyones signed but from the same source that I heard the Reina thing off Iv heard weve a bid in for Guillermo Ochoa from his mexican club for £6M, lads this kid has serious ability, I dunno what hes like under a high ball but check out his reactions and reflex saves, this is one unknown Id be happy for Wenger to take a risk on……check him out

  55. Seein as the blogs so quiet I hope nobody minds me putting on another updated clip of this keeper.
    Count the amount if times you say ‘holy shit’. I said it bout 5 times……


    Totally agree with you. As good as Cesc is, he will not fit into the Barca team, he is not better than Xavi or Ineista. As usual, people who leave Arsenal always regret it. Who has left Arsenal and made a success of themselves?

    From Mark Overmars (remeber him) he left and you never heard about him again. Everyone want to leave Arsenal because they think life is better elsewhere, but they soon think twice, and the talk on SkySports about £30m is way off min £40

  57. Am gutted Sky Sports is all over the news that Cesc has met with Wenger and expressed his wish to leave.
    Wenger is solely responsible for this because he lacks the ambition of Cesc, Henry, Arshavin, Flamini, etc who know they have an oppurtunity to play with better players at clubs better equipped to win trophies.
    Like iv said for ages, hes never shown any endeavor in recruiting top players to go with the talent weve brought through, sure weve been lucky with Verm and Arsha, but the Fabregas’s of this world want us to be looking at Torres, Villa, Chiellini, De Rossi, etc……am gutted but dont blame Cesc, he actually stayed longer than I expected… do we replace him??

  58. @shambo, firstly mate, sorry but i dont agree on what you say about gallas for the man is a winner and says things that need to be said. I doubt if he is concerned of what people think about him. Look at the chelsea team, they are winners through and through and dont give a fuck of what people think about them. Drogba, Terry, Cashley need i say more. It takes balls to stand up and be counted.
    Also on talk sport radio they have been taking all afternoon about Fabs tell Wenger he wants to leave. Listen to this…. Barca have offered £30m for him and all the supporters are ringing in slaging off your boss because it looks like he might accept that small amount.
    All supporters phoning in are asking for Arsene’s head. Listen to talk sport radio on line.

  59. @filipino dan, the man has gone, it has already been confirmed from spanish contact (giembalagay) sorry i have no idea of how to spell his name, that fabs arranged a special meeting with Arsene and discussed it with him of his wish to leave because the club is not in the position to invest in top players. He thinks he is not far off his peak and because of the added injuries these past two seasons does not want to miss this opportunity. All that now needs to be finalised is the fee. Now Barca are not willing to go over £30m (peanuts you may think) but it appears that part of the deal for Fabs coming to Arsenalfc in the first place was that the return would be at cut price.
    Could that result in one or two established players leaving………again. How much of the £30m will Arsene spend???????

  60. @scopeknight, what the hell are you talking about, dont let your emotions rule your brain, think man think. Did not Henry win the champs league and as far as the prem league is concerned nothing else exists outside our shores what bout Cashley didn’t he do the double the other day. He has wan the league twice and the fa cup three times in the past 5 years,need i go on……… Henry has also picked up another league win. What the hell have de ammers and your boys wan or done. SWEET F A.

  61. That keeper, Shambo, looks badass. Yeah the news regarding Cesc is not good. I always told Andrew that in waiting too patiently for true class in the squad…you run the risk of losing your bigger players. Players don’t have loyalty anymore. Don’t forget that.

  62. @black panther,
    the thing is mate is that weve been told all along to have patience with the youth, but from day one iv asked the question of what happens when the ‘youth’ become impatient with mediocrity and have their heads turned?
    We lost Flamini, Hleb, Vieira and Toure from not buying star players in the past but the manager still hasnt learned, that or he just doesnt care because he feels Arsenal is his plaything, well its not and Cesc leaving is now the last straw for those who still believed in what Wenger has been selling us every year.
    The debate between Arsenal fans about whether were a selling club or ‘Arsene has a plan’ has surely been answered now if its true. It shows Wenger has contridicted himself because we are still waiting for the promised success and now we are selling our captain at 23… confused when I think of his statements the last few seasons.

  63. The talk the we will accept £30 million for cesc is a JOKE. He is £40 million+. If he does go then we need to get a player aswell. Yaya Toure maybe?

    I still believe that Cesc is irreplaceable, who in world football can come in and be as good as he is? Xavi or Inestia? and the likelyhood of getting and of thoes two is 0%

  64. @shambo, surely e didn’t make those saves all in one match. Also are you sure the goals are regular shit. Why dont they ever show us the goals keepers let in, we could then see their true limitations. Must say though e looks like he is wearing springs under his boots. Is he going cheap.

  65. @shambbo, he looks the lick. Av you got anything thats makes Al or fabiwanki look that good.
    the new name for Carlton Cole is cant control.

  66. @theicehammer,
    what the fuck do you expect fans to do? If cesc wants to join barca who can stop him anyway. I think the hype is too much. Henry left arsenal in a diffrent circumstances. He was divorced and wanted a change of scenerio, and in this world and the next you can not compare henry to fab. He is an arsenal legend through and through.
    Cashley cole left for money not lack of throphies. He still has not won the trophies he got at arsenal at chelsea.
    My worry is that idiot wenger. We will sell fab and the idiot will not invest the money. I do not think fab is the best midfielder in the prem. I totally disagree with London Underground Man that he is irreplacable. Never. Is he better than Lampard (who in my opinion is the best mid-fielder in the world, why: 20 flipping goals every season, even xavi/iniesta cant compete). Guys he can go. I hate barca and if cesc goes I will equally hate him too.
    Gooners for life (my loyalty is not to wenger but the arsenal crest, cos that gay fuck has lost it)

  67. @scopeknight, dats cold man, i guess you walk it as you talk it.
    I believe Fabs is one of the best at what he does in that system. His style would fit well in barca’ system. Lamps is good at what he does bcause it is part of the Chelsea system to arrive late in the box with fantastic players like the Drogs holding the ball up.
    But Lamps is not half the player for England where as Fabs still looks the lick for Spain when played.
    Do you think Arsene will spend all the money.


    Barcelona’s long-running pursuit of Cesc Fábregas appears finally to be nearing a successful conclusion as the Arsenal midfielder has made it clear to Arsène Wenger that the time is right for him to return to the Camp Nou.

    Fábregas went back to Catalonia tonight after a brief spell at London Colney undergoing medical tests on his fractured leg, suffered against Barça in March, having indicated to Wenger that he now wishes to leave them after seven years in England. The manager will seek to speak with the 23-year-old again later this week, though it appears the Spaniard’s mind is made up.

    The Gunners have been consistently resistant to losing a player who arrived from Camp Nou as a 16-year-old but and has become their talisman in recent trophyless seasons, and may insist he hands in a formal transfer request before allowing any move to progress. However, they will effectively have little choice but to sanction a transfer now that he has made it clear he does not wish to stay.

  69. Thanks Andrew. I think the season had just been a good time for the Gunners but without any is not end.Wenger should be serious this time in term of bringing in good players like David Villa, Aterta, Chamak, Joe Hart and Buffon so that we can get something this time. The idea of keeping Vela, Edwardo, Bendtner and Silvester is scraft lets them give chance to those of Welshire, Simpson, Marida and other young players. Mr Wenger will not be to see his supporters leaving the club games and start supporting other clubs.
    Wenger should be careful this time round. Song, keep it up job well done and keep Ces around.

  70. Can we sell Diaby and Denilson? Try to get whatever we can for them and just move them on. Let that open up space for better players and free up some extra cash for a solid back line (keeper included). I honestly don’t think we even need to replace them directly.

    New Keeper

    Sagna New Defender Vermaelen Clichy
    (Eboue) (Campbell) (Djourou) (Gibbs)

    Rosicky Fabregas Song Arshavin
    (Walcott) (Nasri) (New DM) (Wilshere)
    (Merida) (Cruise)

    Chamakh Van Persie
    (Bendtner) (Eduardo or Vela)

    There’s my 25 for next season. I think Arsenal, especially in its current state, needs the defensive support of a 4-4-2. With Song doing his thing, it’s more like a 4-1-3-2. The sales of Almunia, Denilson, and Diaby will help pay for the 4 new players.

    I really like Nasri as a player but his best position is the same one occupied by Arsenal’s best talent. I think he is the one to provide Cesc with a rest from time to time. He can also slot into either wide midfield position. He will be very useful as an attacking minded role-player late in the season when the games come “thick and fast”.

    Song has been a revelation at DM, but everyone can see Arsenal has no depth at the position. Wenger needs to buy a back-up for Song until Cruise or some other youth product can be brought up to speed.

    Arshavin was lazy this year. I think he was frustrated at what he saw a hopeless venture. Once RVP went down, the fire left the little Russian’s eyes. If he can get his mind right, he can do wondrous things for this club. If not, sell him to the highest bidder and let Nasri, Wilshere, Vela, or Gibbs start out left. It would just mean more money to splash for a galaxy-class goalkeeper (we need better than Fabianski’s “world-class” abilities).

    It seems to me that Djourou is more comfortable playing on the left, which puts the squad short at right center-half. Djourou can battle for a starting place next to Vermaelen, but with his limited first team experience we can’t rely on him to strengthen the back line right away. Arsene needs to buy a player who will slot right into the starting line-up and pair well with the Verminator.

    Rant over, now -to help insure my next rant is more easily scrolled past- back to my writing class.

  71. I’m sorry to say the youth development is not working. Any tip top players worth their weight in gold will reach 23-24 and go onto real big clubs providing the ground has a pound on its book to pay back to the banks. Only then will see what Arsene is truely about. The only happy people are the share holders.

  72. @ice,
    haha haha,yes mate i have something that makes Aluminium and Flapianski look that good…..its called LSD……cause it would be purely a hallucination bro!
    I know utube clips only show the best of players but he was pulling free kicks out of the top corner and his reactions were top notch, drawing 5 ‘holy shits’ from my lips!Plus if you look at the scoreline in games clips hes not conceded more than 1 in any,

  73. @ shambo we can only dream about having a decent,with regards to the gallas toure situation it looks like another wenger balls up, how could you keep a player who doesnt speak to up to 5 of his team mates? baffling,truly baffling.

  74. the ideal replacement for cesc would be gourcuff but after the chamakh situation i cant see the bordeux president willing to negotiate.

  75. Look, Zlatan Ibrahimovic plus 20m. I’ll take that any day. We have proved that we can play without Fab. Yes it will be a sad day but other great players have come and gone and Fab is just one more.

    Arshavin, V Persie, Chamakh and Ibrahimovic. Nice

  76. Me again.

    Yep I’m resigned to it.

    He’s still in talks with Wenger this week but I’ll take 20m and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Failing that, 40m + should cover it.

    Hey, we’ve gone for long periods without Fab and survived but for me, the only thing I’m worried about is the simple fact that when we sold Flamini, Wenger came out and said that we did not need to buy a replacement because we had strength in depth. In Fab’s case, we need to replace him AND have cover. 30m and Yaya Toure is NOT a replacement. An Ibrahimovic deal would look nice to most Arsenal fans as at last we will have a forward line to be proud of and Bendtner can f**k off out on loan for the rest of his contract. I think then Eduardo can go but keep Vela.

    Chamakh, Arshavin, Van Persie, Ibrahimovic and Vela. Height, pace, experience.

  77. Cesc is not for sale period!!!!!Fucking Barca. To say I prefer chelsea to them is an understatement

  78. French squad aint representing well,I loved the energy of Carlos Vela in the France vs Mexico too bad he got injured.Hope Wenger got a pen and paper there’s Salcido on the loose!

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