Van Persie mess, Denilson back on loan, why? Nigeria tour postponed – AFC

Well the past 48 hours have been a bit of a PR disaster for Arsenal football club haven’t they? The biggest hammer blow being the Robin Van Persie revelation that he has made the decision that he will not extend his current contract and therefore signalled the end of his Arsenal career. This news was excellently summarised by my partner in crime Cdrive77’s blog post yesterday.

Arsenal fans are used to losing their top player (and captain) year on year, when will this trend stop? For all the talk of self sustainability that gets spewed out to the arsenal fans time and time again when will this policy transpire into a top team unrivalled by all? We the arsenal fans have had the patience, stuck by the team and manager as we await the new dawn of Arsenal reaping the benefits from the being ahead of the rest when the Financial Fair Play rules kick in.

I admit the financing from a sugar daddy rich owner doesn’t sit well with me, a team should build their own success and buying titles is a major cop-out. I would not like Arsenal to win things that way and besides it’s a bit too late in the day as the F.F.P rules are just around the corner.

What the other big clubs seem to be doing now is building their teams with a strong core that when such rules come into play it will take minor acquisitions to add to the core to continue and grow. This is the part where Arsenal needs to catch up with the rest, if the overall plan is for the future when exactly does the team itself come into the reckoning?

Ever since the new stadium was built the one area that suffered was the playing team, I believe the general plan at the time was minor additions to a highly successful core. What wasn’t in the plan was for the team to disband as rapidly as they did. Many of the players from the invincible’s era were happy winning things, we put the money in for the right players and reaped the benefits. This stopped and so then did the commitment of the players who got us to that standing. They were used to being the best and then suddenly changed to carrying the team as lesser players came in. The emphasis was heavily leaned on the youth and many young players needed nurturing; the bigger players did not favour rubbing shoulders with and carrying the young. The opportunity to rub shoulders with the best as they were used to was more tempting. Once we peaked and conquered the premiership back in 2004 the next step would be to attack Europe and bring in the champions league trophy instead we reached a plateau and concurrent regression.

Winning team

It is from this stage where a team which should have been growing has weakened with each year, the bigger marquee players have moved on year after year and the team itself has suffered as we have had to rebuild to fill voids of those who have left. The key eye for spotting talent from Arsene Wenger has ensured that with every gem that has moved on another gem surfaces and becomes invaluable.

The problem I have is that such a policy cannot last forever; the signs were there last season as we were so close to finishing the season outside the top four for the first time in Arsene’s era. This is the wakeup call the club needed, the scare that would open the eyes of the money men at arsenal that the team needs to be the focus and has to grow. If we lose a massive cog from the team we end up going back to the drawing board. I’m not advocating purchasing players we could not afford in the long run but im happy in the knowledge that everything was done in our power to keep a player. And if those players do not want to be a part of the team then we move on, we don’t honour their wishes and send them on their way with a handshake and a smile. Our focus should be on Arsenal and Arsenal alone. The timing of Robin’s announcement was all wrong and in a way didn’t show respect to the same men who honoured Van Persie’s silence. They protect him while he pissed over them without a second thought; and this is what irritates me as it makes the club look like chumps. We are Arsenal football club and we should call the shots, if a player wants out then we play hardball. Too many players have left over the past few years wrapped in cotton wool only for the club to reveal the bad points of the players long after they are gone. Why tell us at the last AST meeting that Fabregas refused to play for us last season as he wanted to play for Barcelona only? what benefit is there in telling us this last month and not at the time? They might as well have taken that story with them to the grave.

The Arsenal hierarchy need to start doing things differently to avoid turning us into a laughing stock. The team needs to be the focus from now on, do everything in their power to keep the players we build the team around and keep the core together. Let the Robin Van Persie saga be the last year this happens. Self sustainability may be the way forward but without a team you risk falling out of the top four places and that’s where the money stops and trouble starts. We are no longer guaranteed top four and our new acquisitions already have the burden of needing to hit the ground running to ensure we stay there.

Go away…

In other news that further dents the fans relationship with the club is the news that Denilson has signed another season long loan with Sao Paulo. It is well known Denilson had no intention of returning to Arsenal. The club have put the player up for sale however it is alleged no offers have come in for the player. We were in negotiations with Sao Paulo to turn his loan last season into a permanent deal. We were adamant on a price but the Brazilian club wouldn’t budge and in the end we succumbed and granted the player another season long loan. This is the kind of thing that infuriates fans, myself included. Why is the player calling the shots? If Sao Paulo didn’t want the player they wouldn’t be negotiating with us. If there is no budge then the player returns and rots in the reserves until his people can organize a transfer to someone willing to pay for him. I would not be surprised if we are footing the majority of the players wages, it is claimed Arsenal have a clause to cancel the loan if an agreement for his sale can be arranged with another club. We all know that isn’t going to happen so we end up with the Brazilian who doesn’t want to play for us still on our books picking his big wages. Why are we so soft when it comes to transfer negotiations?

In more embarrassing news on the Arsenal front it was announced last night on the official site that the tour of Nigeria is now postponed till possibly next summer. In the announcement the club stated:

“We could not get comfortable on everything needed to satisfy our requirements, so we have reluctantly taken the decision to postpone the team’s visit”

To be blunt these kind of things should be looked into long before announcing any possible tour and game. This is a major own goal by the club and again sends the PR team into the spotlight. I only hope not too many fans have made arrangements and booked flights for the sole purpose of this tour. If so should the club make an effort to reimburse those who possibly could lose money if they attempt to cancel their bookings?

Enjoy your day people

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Bye Robin – An Alternative View

Morning Gooners.
Gambeano is off on his holibobs so I’m helping to hold the fort whilst he’s sunning himself. I must say I didn’t expect to step into the breach quite so soon, but the announcement on Robin van Persie‘s website has forced my hand somewhat.
So RvP will not be signing a new contract, citing that he and the club “in many aspects disagree on the way Arsenal should move forward”. It is easy to feel downhearted, especially as he had his best season last term – it is hard to know where we’d have been without him last season. Part of me wishes we could allow him to run his contract down, the club then looks like seriously challenging for trophies half-way through next season which convinces him to sign one. Sadly, the nature of football these days means we will in all likelihood have to sell him. Besides, the statement doesn’t exactly sound keen on his part. The good thing is that this news is actually quite early in the close season by Arsenal’s standards, and as this news is not exactly a total shock, the club can get down to the business of bringing in replacements. (Emphasis on the plural there.)
With this in mind, I have to say I’m not quite as distraught as some Gooners. Only a fool would seriously believe that players stay for life in the modern game, the days of one-club men like Tony Adams are long gone. Also much as RvP loves the club, he didn’t grow up dreaming of playing for us and never supported Arsenal as a kid, so given that trophies have been sparse to say the least, I think it is understandable that he would want a serious tilt at one elsewhere. (If that truly is the reason of course, and looks like we’ll have to wait for confirmation of the club’s version of events.)
I’ve always been pretty philosophical in situations like this – as players seldom stay at the club for the entirety of their careers, if they want to leave then let them. There are those that will say “if he wants to win trophies he should stay and help us win one”, but in the last 18 months is hard to see how he could have done any more. As deeply disappointing as his eventual departure may be, he has played his heart out for us, and for that at least we should be grateful. But we must remember great attackers come and go – there was an Arsenal before Ian Wright and there was an Arsenal after; there was one before Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry and there was one after, and there will certainly be one after Robin van Persie has departed. And Arsene Wenger unearthed the last two, so I’m inclined to place my faith in him to find the next one. Looking at it another way, perhaps Robin has to leave in order to make way for a next hero at the club.
Admittedly this final paragraph may set me apart from some fans but personally I thank Robin van Persie for all the goals and the efforts – he’s given us some great moments to cheer, far too numerous to mention. But at the end of the day, whether they are heroes like Henry or or sh*ts like Samir Nasri, players eventually leave, so I will wish RvP all the best (although he’ll be massively pushing my goodwill if he goes to another Premier League club). The club is still here, we will rise again, so I’ll just get on with supporting the club I love, The Arsenal.
Ooh to be a Gooner.

Ramsey in GB squad, Campbell to La Liga, no bids for RVP yet – AFC

Stuart Pearce named his 18 man squad for the London 2012 Olympics yesterday; a squad that included young Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey amongst the likes of fellow Welshman Ryan Giggs and Micah Richards.

There was no place in the squad for Kieran Gibbs even though he was heavily tipped to be included. I don’t think Gibbs will be losing much sleep over his omission anyway.

The experience will be good for Aaron Ramsey, he had a tough season at Arsenal and the potential for a good tournament would do wonders for his confidence. The opportunity to learn off of Giggs will benefit him a lot and judging by the rest of the squad selections Ramsey has the opportunity to be one of the leading lights in the GB team. I don’t think Ramsey ever played in the same team as Giggs for Wales so this will be a special opportunity for the player.

Ramsey himself said of his squad selection:

“I’m delighted to be a part of it”

“It will be a good experience and a different experience to play in the Olympics, being part of a British team and playing alongside some of the English players too”

He is clearly excited and it’s a pity he didn’t have David Beckham there also to bounce off of. I hope he comes through the experience with his confidence rebuilt and a fresh impetus going into the new season. He has the potential to be as influential as Cesc Fabregas was to the team, he just needs to find his rhythm again and increase his consistency. Good luck Aaron I’ll be cheering you on but not Stuart Pearce.

Joel Campbell looks to be off on loan again for next season as word started to spread of his impending loan deal with La Liga outfit Real Betis. If the move does come to fruition that will be a great move for the young Costa Rican to make. La Liga is of a much higher standard than Ligue 1 and a real push in the right direction for his development. It is not known whether work permit problems are behind this move however given our recent acquisitions up front opportunities would be limited for the young forward next season. Better for him to test himself in Spain, although the Spanish league is dominated by the two giants there is still enough quality in the league to raise Joel’s standard.

In spite of the rumours of bids for our captain Robin Van Persie with wages and fees on the table from Juventus and Man City Peter Hill-Wood has come out publicly to state that there have been no bids for our captain as yet. He has also stated that Robin is not for sale as Arsenal does not want him to leave the club.

Hill –wood said:

“As far as I am aware nobody has made any offer for him and he is away so we are not in any dialogue at all”

He followed that up with:

“We’re not in the remotest bit interested in selling him”

Of course these quotes are based on what Hill-Wood knows, is there a possibility something could be happening behind the scenes unknown n to him? Probably not, though he is known for letting the cat out of the bag too soon on many Arsenal related issues. I know if I knew someone who can’t keep a secret I would wait until the last possible opportunity before I bring them in to anything.

Robin is apparently still on his holidays getting away from all the stresses of the last 11 or so months, I think the silence has made us all assume the worst though there’s still no guarantee he is staying what we need to do is wait until he is back from his holidays and having talks with the Arsenal men before we jump to any conclusions. Let the papers make up what they want but be aware nothing is happening for now so take all reports with a pinch of salt.

Enjoy your day people

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Euro 2012 over, Miyaichi out of London 2012 – AFC

We have reached a football inter-lull again, all the goodness we witnessed from Euro 2012 is now over, the dust is settling and realisation is kicking in that there is no more football for a while.  The Euros themselves were quite enjoyable overall, most of the games were entertaining and as expected the latter stages were tense affairs and lacked entertainment value but still kept you glued to the screens. Still we can’t complain since the final gave us four goals to digest. Former captain Cesc added another Euro championship to his CV as Italy appeared to have used up all of their mojo in the earlier rounds I guess peaking to beat the Germans.  Now with Euro 2012 over we have to wait a little while until the Olympics kick off; to be honest I’m not even too excited about Great Britain team because I do not tend to care for Stuart Pearce and his erratic decision making.  Personally I hope no Arsenal players are named in his squad, I wouldn’t put it past him to name Jack Wilshere in the squad to try to wind up Arsene Wenger. We all know he’s not ready for action but that won’t stop Mr Pearce.

One player apparently not making an appearance at London 2012 will be our very own Ryo Miyaichi. The young winger has been omitted from the Japan final squad announced which is quite a bizarre decision. Especially with his links to London his inclusion would have resulted in an added fan base to the japan side as gooners would have supported Miyaichi and Japan in their numbers. Quite a blow in general as the Arsenal man has recently broken into the japan squad, the experience at the Olympics would have been a great experience for him. Hopefully young Ryo can turn this into a positive and give it his all in pre-season training and games and work his way into Arsene Wenger’s plans for next season.  A big ask really as I think he would benefit from another loan but who knows, he could take his game to the next level and make it hard for Wenger to send him out again.

I haven’t really commented on the Theo Walcott to Spurs rumours since the whole story is a load of bull, I really think this is the press having nothing to report so start using their assumption skills. (AVB likes Walcott) + (AVB joining Spurs) = Spurs want Walcott. Maybe they should move one step at a time; AVB hasn’t even been announced as Spurs manager yet.

In other news the Carlos Vela’s permanent move to Sociadad is picking up pace as reports from Spain state negotiations are going on between clubs and look positive.  Arsene Wenger has ruled out taking the France manager position. Good move there since that hot seat has become as much a poisoned chalice as our very own England manager position. Good luck to the sorry soul that talks on that role and tries to manage those egos.

That’s it from me this morning, enjoy your day people

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Jack to miss season start, M’Vila interest over? AFC

So Sunday 1st July greets us with depressing news. News that our very own Jack Wilshere could actually be sidelined for longer than expected and any sign of a return may not be before September. The mirror paper reports his rehabilitation from the operation he had back in May would take up to 12 weeks and that would effectively rule him out of the start of the season. Not ideal as it would have been more beneficial if Jack had a full pre-season behind him making him ready for the new season rather than joining the first team well into the season and having to hit the ground running. Jack is so important to Arsenal and its future however can we afford to ease him back into the team; early season is so fast paced the risk to jack’s ankle with be very high.

With England in desperate need of a saviour to ignite a new dawn under Roy Hodgson it is very likely he will be thrown into international football at first opportunity.

Although this is quite worrying news for Arsenal fans to digest I am sure this information has been known to Arsenal management. What they have planned in light of this information is not known but there has to be a contingency plan in pace in terms of cover. As we learned with Aaron Ramsey last season having to rely on a player who has returned from a long term injury and throwing them straight into the deep end not only hurts the player but hurts the team also. Through no fault of Ramsey himself his contribution to Arsenal midfield was under the microscope more than usual due to our poor preparation and start to last season.

Arsenal fans wanted answers and Ramsey’s form was highlighted, with the loss of important personnel from our midfield that season Ramsey wasn’t the afforded the luxury of being eased back into the team. This is a similar scenario that could be faced by Wilshere for Arsenal and England. This situation has to be handled with the upmost sensitivity or we could risk losing the player longer or denting his confidence to critical levels if he doesn’t reach the high levels he set before the injuries as soon as possible. A year is a hell of a long time to be out through injury and ring rustiness is inevitable I just hope Arsene has everything under control.

In light of the sombre news we were all waving off Yossi Benayoun to pastures new. Could he have been able cover until jack is back up and running? Would Yossi himself be happy effectively keeping the seat warm for Jack until he is back to full fitness? It seems with the Jack news that our transfer business this summer will be far from over. Who has wenger got his eyes on to fill the void, will there be a promotion within. Could Henri Lansbury receive the opportunity to prove himself at last in the Arsenal midfield or will the returning Denilson play a part this season. Not to mention Francis Coquelin and Abou Diaby being in Arsene’s thoughts.

One player who seems to have fallen out of Arsene’s thoughts is Yann M’vila. It seems the young midfielder’s behaviour at Euro 2012 hasn’t gone down well with our manager. His reaction to a substitution in France’s game against Spain didn’t go unnoticed and may have harmed his chances of a move to the Emirates this summer. One thing Arsene doesn’t do is babysit troublesome souls, any sign of petulance and the front door shuts on that player. Will be a shame to lose out on a player we need though it will be important that the squad isn’t ego driven and actually has some togetherness.

With the transfer window now open we will see how the transfer dealings pan out before season start. We leave it into Arsene’s hands. Arsene knows…

Enjoy your day people

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