Jovetic rumours grow while skipper pledges to fight for place

This is going to be a long summer for Arsenal fans; the names rolling off the conveyor belt of rumours are endless. To be honest with so many names linked with the Gunners you can be forgiven for believing some could be possible more than others. It’s inevitable the gunners will sign players this summer, the past two seasons spent competing with Tottenham is far from acceptable and the next campaign will require more motivation than just finishing above Spurs. To build on the past few seasons strengthening will be required; there will be no loss of a leading talisman this year so Arsene Wenger at least has a baseline to build upon.

The name of Stevan Jovetic has refused to go away all last season , the rumours grew stronger once the season ended to the point of rumours of his agent being in two places at the same time finalising deals for the forward spread through Twitter like a bush fire. The possibility of the attacker leaving his current club Fiorentina became a realistic outcome with the assertion yesterday by his club that he is free to leave at the right price. This can be deemed a good and bad thing for Arsenal as the statement from the club has made his availability public knowledge to all; if his services are seriously considered for the Emirates then negotiations need to move fast before a bidding war kicks off. Arsenal doesn’t do bidding wars and evidence of this can be looked back upon as reasons for missing out on past targets such as David Silva and Juan Mata.

jovetic

It may transpire that the Montenegrin was never a serious target, one thing Arsenal fans will need to bear in mind before firing abuse at the manager if he indeed moves on to another club. There was a lot of criticism at the Failure to sign Yann M’via last summer however the French midfielder has since proven to be quite the misfit; a bullet dodged in many fans eyes.

You would think with all the effort and pressure to finish in the top four had paid off and players would line up to experience Champions League football with the club next season however qualifiers still loom before Arsenal are definitely part of the Champions League line up. The looming Champions’ League qualifiers can possibly become a stumbling block in negotiations; it will certainly be a bargaining chip agents can use to their advantage.

Club captain Tomas Vermaelen was quick to dismiss rumours that he will be leaving the club in the summer. He explained competition is part of what happens in football and he’s ready to fight to get back into the team and return to the level that earned him the right to be selected as captain again. The partnership of Mertesacker and Koscielny kept the Belgian out of the team on merit towards the end of last season and despite the wound to his pride at being dropped whilst being captain I fully believe in his abilities and expect him to win back his respect.

vermaelen

Whether he will still be captain next season I do not know, the extra burden taken away might be the best thing for him so he can fully focus on his game. That’s not to say a new defender will not join the ranks this summer, an established defender rather than potential is likely to keep all the current personnel on their toes.

Well done to Lukasz Podolski last night for scoring a goal for Germany within the first 10 seconds of the match. Will expect more of that next season for the Gunners

Enjoy your day people.

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Arsenal claim 4th place ‘trophy’

So that’s it, fourth place secured with a win at Newcastle. No playoff though I doubt Arsenal fans were too bothered about that, Spurs won but that effort was in vain as Arsenal took hold of their own destiny and achieved the win required.

Any Arsenal fan that tells you they were not nervous before or during the match are cold faced liars, the tension was unbearable at times and the final whistle could not come quick enough towards the end.

AFC FINAL WHISTLE

Laurent Koscielny provided the deciding goal to maintain champion’s league football for the Gunners and was a rock at the back to boot. Man of the match in my eyes and it is hoped his form from the second half of the season is here to stay permanently.

The whole team deserves praise for holding their nerve to carve out the result when the pressure was surely on, Tottenham had the far easier game to play and it was important that Arsenal scored the first goal to alleviate any extra nerves which could disrupt their performance.

The importance of securing fourth place cannot be stressed hard enough, competing in the champions league is the difference between attracting players of the calibre of Jovetic or settling for players of lesser ability. European football is a bargaining chip in negotiations and will ensure top players will consider signing up at the Emirates, it also ensures the current squad won’t get itchy feet for football elsewhere.

giroud celebrates v newc

Many have commented on Arsenal’s celebrations at the final whistle, saying that they celebrated as if they had won a trophy; I can assure you if fortunes were reversed and Tottenham achieved the fourth place they would have celebrated the same way if not harder. Fourth place was at stake but also was the chance to better your bitter rivals, nothing can be sweeter than achieving at the expense of your rivals. A trophy was not won but the tears of the spurs players at the final whistle is worthy of celebrating 20 times over.

worth it

worth it

Arsenal can now build on this, it will take shrewd business from Arsene Wenger to improve the team and create a squad capable of challenging for honours in an Alex Ferguson-less Premier league. The core of the team is there, there shouldn’t be a Robin Van Persie-esque departure from the squad this summer. The additions from last summer should improve on their solid debut seasons and a clear out of the less involved players should come to fruition.

Andre Arshavin took to twitter to bid farewell to Arsenal, he thanked the fans, his colleagues and all the staff at the club as well as wishing the club well in next year’s champion’s league. It’s a nice touch from the diminutive Russian who never said a bad word about the club during his exiled period this season. He left the club with many quality memories most notably the 4 goals at Anfield and that winner against Barcelona. He will be fondly remembered by Arsenal fans and I for one wish him well in the next chapter of his career.

arshavin tweets

Guys, please take advantage of the bragging rights to all the Tottenham fans you know. Do not feel sorry for them because they would not hold back if roles were reversed. Make them feel like rubbish today and for the rest of the week if you can.

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy…

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One player in, loads out at Arsenal. Gambeanosnitch.com is a year old.

It’s the day before the final round of games for the season, I’m sure there are many nervous Gooners counting down until kick off against Newcastle. Everything hinges on this one final game in which one part of North London will be distraught while the other will be ecstatic.

It was nice of Arsenal to provide the fans with some news on other topics to take their minds temporarily off of D-day. One of the first pieces of news to filter out was the confirmation from Arsene Wenger that the club are in advanced talks with the representatives of Auxerre striker Yaya Sonogo to sign him.

sanogo

Yaya Sonogo certainly fits the bill of an Arsene type purchase, he’s young, he’s French, he will come cheap due to expiring contract and he has a history in his young years of injuries. He certainly has a lot of potential, he has been quite prolific in Ligue 2 for Auxerre this season and is a France u-21 international. But for injuries I am sure he would certainly be on the radar of more football fans and clubs looking to purchase him.

Right now it looks like Arsene has purchased a player that would make a welcome addition to the squad for next season. He is young and so any introduction to the first team will be slow and steady but it has been quite clear this season that the abundance of options on the attacking front have been severely lacking. Players have slotted into the central striking role when Olivier Giroud has been unavailable but specialist centre forwards have been short in numbers.

Talking of young potential coming into the club, yesterday was a day that revealed a number of players from the youth set up that will be leaving the club. Although not officially announced by the club yet a number of players have revealed they are moving on to pastures new via various social media platforms. Players of note that came as a slight surprise to be leaving are Reice Charles-Cook and Jernade Meade. Charles-Cook seemed to be receiving good reviews for his performances for the u-18’s and seemed to be one that would be around for a while however he revealed on Twitter he will be moving on. Jernade Meade was another player who came as a surprise especially since he made his debut for the first team this season and impressed in those appearances. Clearly he had a massive stumbling block to the left back spot at Arsenal with two established internationals ahead of him. The left back spot at Arsenal seems a sound position for years to come and Meade cannot be blamed for believing his best chances of carving out a good career may remain elsewhere.

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There have been announcements from players over the past few months that they are leaving so it was a case of them playing out their contracts before moving on. Players such as Martin Angha and Kyle already have moves arranged with other clubs whilst Conor Henderson confirmed his departure a while back.

There are a few players that seem to have been on borrowed time and come as no shock they are being released, players like Sanchez Watt, Craig Eastmond and Daniel Boateng who have all tasted first team football at Arsenal but just never managed to kick onto the next level and build on their Arsenal careers.

Despite the players moving on I wish them all the best in their careers, they have received a good education at the club and there are plenty examples of players that have left Arsenal and carved out decent top flight careers. It’s up to them now to fight and try to prove Arsene may have made a mistake, good luck to all, the fans always keep former young Gunners close to the heart (Unless your name is David Bentley).

The 3rd place play off has evolved from a pipe dream to a more realistic outcome with the announcement from the F.A of a proposed date and venue in the event the league table results in a tie for 3rd place between Arsenal and Chelsea. Villa Park has been selected as the venue on the 26th May. To be honest a play-off would not bother me as it would mean that Arsenal won their game against Newcastle, which is the dilemma I would rather be debating than anything involving the club across North London. The season would be done, the chance for one more fix of football is alright by me, bring it on!

One small matter to mention is Gambeanosnitch.com turned 1-year-old this week. It’s certainly been a fun journey over the past 12 months and I certainly appreciate all that have visited the site, shared their views and have generally made my efforts seem worthwhile. The posts may be a little less frequent from when I started out but we can’t all be as awesome as sites like ArseblogGoonerholic and others. Prime example is attending the Wigan game on Tuesday night, braving the pouring rain in the front row, staying for the lap of appreciation, the long drive home via a pit stop at Dixy Kentucky Fried KFC, arriving home and crashing out knackered before having to be up for work at 6 the next morning. I have the match report and my thoughts and reflections in my head waiting to come out but sometimes just don’t have the time to get it written up. Some writers to join the blog would be the best solution, feel free to contact me via twitter, Facebook or email if you are interested in joining and contributing to the site.

To commemorate the one year milestone of the site feel free to take advantage of the current offer from our partners at Zinio.com who are currently offering 40% off subscriptions to all their soccer related online magazines. Click on the image below to be taken to the site. Remember the offer is for the soccer magazines only so deselect that subscription to Fisherman weekly.

zinio offer

Enjoy your day people

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Do or Die week for Arsenal

Well, the weekend threw up some bittersweet results for Arsenal fans, a wide range of emotions will have been experienced by the fans that watched the games of their Champion’s League place rivals. Always starting with highs then come the final whistle that emotional was substituted for lows.

At the end of the day it boils down to the Arsenal having their destiny in their own hands, win their games and they get a top four place anything else and the opportunity arises for Tottenham to steal in.

It’s funny how Arsenal fans that experienced the drive for third place last season with the need for an Arsenal victory away to West Bromwich Albion in their final game were most probably unanimous in agreement that a finish to a season with so much riding on the final day should never be repeated.

afc celebrate

Fast forward twelve months and that is the exact position Arsenal find themselves in, hardly ideal and it’s probably worth getting a check up from the doctor that the heart is in good working condition because next Sunday it will be tested to full capacity.

Now with the weekends round of games complete there’s a clearer picture of what is required and the positive and negative factors that await Arsenal.

Wigan relegation/F.A. Cup

Now I certainly do not know many fans that have a dislike for Wigan Athletic, the relegation survival specialists pulled off an amazing feat on Saturday when they beat Manchester City to lift the F.A. Cup. The underdogs had fans up and down the country if not the world saluting the efforts of a modest well run club on a small budget triumphing over the money bags mercenaries. That victory alone is enough to add to the already massive number of neutral fans that would like Wigan Athletic to survive relegation once more this year.

wigan celebrate

As things have played out both Arsenal and Wigan need a victory to stand a chance of achieving their current goals. A victory for Arsenal will relegate Wigan; a victory for Wigan will almost certainly hand the remaining Champions League place to Tottenham and provide them with a chance of survival on the final day of the season. As an Arsenal fan I would take no pride in relegating Wigan but a win is vital now, and as much as any potential headlines would state Arsenal send Wigan down I would look further back to Wigan’s game with Swansea last week as the straw that broke the camel’s back. They had a real chance to put the pressure on those around them; they were playing a Swansea team with nothing to play for and failed to take advantage. Arsenal if they win will play a part in Wigan’s relegation but cannot be seen as the villains.

Their performance against Manchester City on Saturday I’m sure will have been watched by the Arsenal squad, they will realise how much of a threat they can be as Saturday was no fluke, and it was a deserved victory. Wigan will be fully aware of what they need to do and as much as Arsenal fans would like to think Wigan would be inhibited by their post match celebrations in reality they are professional football players who know what is at stake and will prepare for it as you would expect any professional football team would.

Newcastle safe                 

Newcastle secured safety with their victory over Queens Park Rangers on Sunday and will mean they will approach the game with Arsenal in a slightly different mindset. That does not mean they will roll over and let the Arsenal walk over them. They owe their fans a good performance to make up for the stress they put them through in the last few weeks. It will be their final home game of the season and I expect they will put in the effort to win the game. Depending on the result from Tuesday’s game Arsenal will be taking on the Toon army either desperate or super desperate with added prayers to win the game. One thing Arsene Wenger will not expect is any favours from Alan Pardew, the two managers have a long history of clashes over the years and the chance to put one over his rival is incentive enough for Pardew to take the game seriously with his team selection. Sunday’s game will be massive no matter how you look at it

Sunderland to coast or panic?

Many onlookers see Spurs final game as a home banker; it’s hard not to disagree. The awkward thing to take into consideration is Arsenal winning against Wigan on Tuesday saves Sunderland from relegation; they would turn up at White Hart Lane in party mode. The two clubs have no acrimonious history that I remember and the possibility of an upset there is very slim. Paulo Di Canio as a new manager would send his team out to put in a good performance but without the added incentive of something to play for his players may struggle to rise to the occasion. On the other hand If Arsenal fail to win on Tuesday the pressure will be on and we might have some sort of game on our hands.

di canio and larsson

I suppose there’s no point looking too deep into other team’s results until the midweek game is out of the way. As it stands Arsenal’s destiny is in their own hands, the players know what they need to do, the fans know what they need to do, Arsene knows what they need to do, time for Arsenal to make it happen.

Enjoy your day people.

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