Olympics done, Song staying, Ryo loan, Bendtner talks – AFC

Oh man, it’s finally over. The Olympics have come, blown us away and now trickled away into history and taken a firm place in our memories. I have to admit in tandem with Euro 2012 the Olympics perfectly filled the inter-lull usually felt in close season. Shamefully the London games filled up so much of my time I never managed to release any posts during the two weeks. A mixture of watching the games and being glued to the computer trying to buy damn tickets to the event meant my attention to the Arsenal took 2nd place. This must be the first time ever in my life I’ve put Arsenal second best but to be fair it all starts for Arsenal on the 18th when Sunderland come to town. I’m fully focused and promise no more distractions.

Now where do I start on the Arsenal news, Robin Van Persie still hasn’t left though after his reception at the Cologne game that potential move could move a little faster now. Personally I wouldn’t boo Van Persie but that’s me, you can’t expect every Arsenal fan to agree with you. I still think there’s a small possibility that he could change his mind and sign a new contract and with that in mind the fans could have maybe greeted Van Persie’s introduction to the game with silence rather than boos. That could be the straw that breaks the camels back though on the counter argument he has publically stated he will not sign a new contract. Lack of commitment to any club would be met with disdain and our ‘current’ captain will need to work hard to win back the respect from the Arsenal faithful IF he decides to stay. We’ve seen it work with Wayne Rooney at Man Utd and so it is proved possible for a player to change their mind. I am in the camp where if he refuses to sign a new contract and would rather go on a free next season then we should sell him now. If he signs a new contract then all is forgotten and we move on.

One thing that has quelled most of the fans fears over Van Persie is the positive performances from the new boys against Cologne. Podolski bagged two goals showing a taster of what we are in store for this season and Olivier Giroud looked very dangerous and was always in the mix for the majority of the time he was on the pitch. He didn’t score as he seemed to have a personal battle going on with the Cologne keeper, he was always on the end of chances, he showed an aerial threat and there’s no doubt the goals will come for the Frenchman.

Apart from the forwards new boy Santi Cazorla looked very tasty in midfield and I have to admit the squad is looking good right now. Playing Cologne is a much different proposition from premiership football but there were still signs of the connection; a telepathy between the established and new players that will undoubtedly reap benefits once the season gets going. Jack Wilshere is still the man and hopefully he will overcome the injuries and resume his excellent career but Wenger did a great thing here signing Cazorla. We couldn’t afford to wait for Wilshere and heap great pressure on him to hit the ground running. Cazorla has instantly taken the burden off and now Jack can concentrate on getting fit whilst Santi can come in and fill the void left by the loss of Jack and Cesc.

Some good news on the Alex Song front as the Cameroon man insisted he is happy at Arsenal. He revealed there is truth to the rumours that Barcelona came a knocking but assured fans that he has no reason to move from a happy place but also revealed his pride at being linked with the club. Song was quoted saying yesterday:

“I am not going to lie if I said there is no interest but I am at Arsenal and I am happy at Arsenal.”

Any player would be proud to be linked with that club; with my rose-tinted glasses off Barcelona are a class team and the envy of all… even lucky Chelski. But now that the man has spoken please can you go away Barcelona.

It’s funny how much you appreciate a player when there’s a chance he can go. We have all grown to appreciate the man over the years; he initially divided fans views on him but has blossomed under Wenger to a valuable first team player. We know his focus could me more tuned to the defensive side of his game rather than his through balls but one thing we can’t deny is since his rise to prominence in midfield we have shaken off the tag of having a soft centre. For a few seasons we were classed as being all tippy tappy with no steel to stand up to the men; now I have seen Alex Song really show his strength in the middle of the park and lead by example. He is not the finished article by any means, plenty still to work on but at 24 now he really has come on leaps and bounds and there’s nothing stopping him from continuing the development. I’m glad he’s staying and im sure he won’t regret his commitment.

Young Ryo Miyaichi has gone to Wigan on a season long loan, this is a great move for the youngster, he gets another opportunity to shine in the premiership and Wigan provides the platform. Wigan surprised a lot of people with their football in the final part of the season; they pulled off some massive wins against big clubs including our joke result at the Emirates. Victor Moses could be on his way and that will only open the door for Ryo to fill the main man role at the club. It’s a good fit for him and I’m sure he won’t let the Latics or Wenger down.

Niklas Bendtner has sort of broken his silence to reiterate he has no intention of staying at arsenal and expects to leave before the transfer window closes. The striker revealed to Danish press:

“Arsenal is not an option and that is something both the club and I agree on”

To be honest I don’t really care what he does. He doesn’t want to play for us, he had the potential to be a true arsenal star but his ego often got the better of him. He wants to leave so he is already in the past. He’s not worth any more wasted words I just hope his advisors will be honest with him and tell him Barcelona and Real Madrid are not knocking on the door.

Enjoy your day people

Do you have what it takes to come out top of the pile in a fantasy league? Join my mini league in the best Fantasy league for EPL at http://fantasy.premierleague.com/ and prove you have what it takes. Prior warning I will win but if you fancy making up the numbers join my league with the following entry code: 377771-102013.

Register, create your team then click join a league

Depending on numbers there may be a prize available for the overall winner. Prize TBC

It’s free to join, you have nothing to lose!!

Don’t forget to like the Facebook page


Van Persie and AFC talks to resume this week now holiday is over – AFC

Dear all apologies for lack of recent posts, being on holiday means putting feet up and enjoying sun takes preference. To be honest it sure beats being back home in London with the bad weather and bad feeling over Robin Van Persie and his recent publicized decisions.

Now our former captain should be returning from his holidays this week and talks are expected to be resumed between Wenger, Gazidis and his agent. There’s nothing for Arsenal fans to hope for in terms of whether he can be talked into changing his mind or not; he made it pretty clear he will not be signing a new contract with the club. For him to make a sudden turnaround will not please all, despite us initially not wanting our former captain to leave the statement he made pretty much closed the door on any goodwill and respect in his relationship with the fans.

The club have experienced this before and it didn’t work out with positive results as Emmanuel Adebayor was pimping himself out to any big club that looked his direction. He started likening clubs that showed interest in him to Beyonce, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Lady Sovereign or whoever was hot to him at the time as he was ill-advised by his agent that concrete interest was on the table. This showed great disrespect to the arsenal faithful after we took him to our hearts following a fantastic season just completed at the emirates.

Wenger and his people called him in for talks, he realised he had a good thing and signed an extension and declared he was staying at the club, the problem was the damage was already done. Arsenal fans were divided on whether he deserved our forgiveness and support; in the end he played out the following season to lukewarm reception, sometimes booed and eventually shipped out as the connection with the club was severed.

"I love this club"

He left for Man City with a few parting shots at the club and fans and ironically enough he had a much publicized spat with former captain Robin Van Persie when the clubs met. RVP clearly wasn’t happy with the mercenary ways of the Togo forward and it was clear to see on the pitch by the clashes between the two and THAT reaction to the goal scored.

Now from my perspective I accept if he wants to go, we will move on as the club will last longer than his career. That is unless of course there is a Glasgow Rangers style collapse of the club, never gonna happen. One thing we can guarantee is good balancing of the books.

Moving forward is Van Persie’s decision on which club he prefers to go to. This is where I draw a line, he attempted to be fair and upfront to the fans with his statement and didn’t fall short in expressing his love for the club. Now if he really does love the club then his decision on his next club should not involve another premiership rival. There is no bigger kick in the teeth than to line up against the club you supposedly love in the same domestic league when you are at the top of your game. Coming to the end of your playing career, no longer getting into the first XI then fans can understand an idolised player moving to another domestic rival for a final long-term contract and the chance to play more regularly in their twilight years. When you are at the top still then its disrespectful to move to a rival, if its trophies and honours a player craves then they can cherry pick that from a number of teams abroad.

What will Robin Van Persie choose? It has been mooted for a long time now that Man City is interested in signing him. Fans can’t be angry at the club for wanting to sign him, they have the money to buy who they want, he was the premiership’s outstanding player last season and would always court interest from the top teams.

Would Arsenal fans accept a move there? highly unlikely. That would in effect turn RVP into public enemy number one ahead of Samir Nasri. Robin has been at the club long enough to understand what would and would not be accepted by the fans, he has seen over the years the returning legends such as Wrighty, Adams, Pires and Bergkamp; the reception they received because they showed true respect to the club and receive it back any time they return to the club. That will not happen if Robin moves across the UK, is he willing to throw away 8 years of connection and history for maybe a bit part of a money machine with not exactly guaranteed silverware. Man City was effectively 2 minutes away from a trophy-less season.

The talks this week will not really mean much in terms of Arsenal’s future as he is 99% gone but it will be important in terms of his future connection with the club. The ball is in his court, seeing out his contract or moving across the EPL is not an option…

Enjoy your day people

Feel free to like the facebook page for this site: http://www.facebook.com/GambeanoSnitch

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

Feel free to like the facebook page for this site: http://www.facebook.com/GambeanoSnitch

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

Feel free to like the facebook page for this site: http://www.facebook.com/GambeanoSnitch

%d bloggers like this: