Källström Joins Arsenal: Thoughts & Poll

Well, I don’t think anybody was expecting such a high intensity end to the transfer window!

Wenger has said before that he would like to completely wipe out the January transfer window, and I think that today shows exactly why. It’s just another time period where fans are able to question his ability. For the past few months, it seemed like the January transfer window was going to be a blessing because we have seen more recently that Giroud needs time to rest and some good competition, especially with Walcott out injured. Once again Wenger has baffled us by shunning the opportunity to sign a striker. Instead we got a 31-year old Swedish midfielder.

I have to admit, I know little to nothing about Källström except that he is left footed, plays for Sweden, and used to be at Lyon. He was a top class player in FIFA 06 I believe. He is by no means a bad signing, with him having over 100 caps for Sweden, and over 200 for Lyon. Not only can his experience play a vital role in our push for the title, but also his versatility as he can play anywhere in midfield, whether it be on the wings, deep, or in an attacking position. He will provide us a with some quality and cover with Ramsey, Wilshere, and Flamini all out.

Now the thing that I don’t understand is this: How come we made reportedly made loan bids for Kalou, Klose, and possibly Cisse all so late in the transfer window? If we wanted to sign a striker, we should have at least tried to bring one in before the end of the window. Our failed late bids for these players showed a sign of desperation and confusion in the club. Klose or Cisse would have been great short term loan options to carry us out through the rest of the season as both of them are proven goalscorers. Kalou on the other hand is… well… a player.

In terms of people leaving the club, Frimpong and Park both went out to Barnsley and Watford respectively. Frimpong left permanently, and from his face in the picture below, it seems like somebody tricked him into signing a contract with Barnsley. Frimpong was always more of a celebrity at the club than a player, but he truly cared about Arsenal and it is sad to see him go.

BfUbYoUIAAAbdGz

So what did you think of deadline day? Do we still have a chance at the title? Vote and leave a comment below.

 

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Gnabry Signs New Contract – Mourinho Speaks

Hello everybody and welcome to a quick Monday post for you.

First off, exciting young forward Serge Gnabry has signed a new deal with the club. He has shown great potential so far this season and has hardly looked out of place in the squad. Considering he is only 18, that is pretty impressive, and he is only going to get better. The young German scored his first goal for the club against Swansea a few weeks ago and played well against Crystal Palace on Saturday. He has been a big bright spot of the season so far and we hope that he will continue to get games.

Arsene Wenger spoke to Arsenal.com about Gnabry’s contract extension:

“We signed Serge Gnabry because I believe that he will be a great player. He’s nearly there now, and competes for a regular place in the team in the Premier League.

“He has technical ability, he has power, he has pace, he has finishing quality and he can give a final ball. He’s a powerful offensive player and I believe that he will be a great player for Arsenal Football Club.”

Arsenal plays Chelsea tomorrow in a game that Gnabry is almost certain to start. One of the advantages of having a player like Gnbary is that he is so versatile. So far, we have only stuck him up on the wing, but if you watch any reserve matches you see that he plays all across the top. He reminds me a lot of Chamberlain, even though Chamberlain is by no means an accomplished player. There is still a lot of work ahead for both of them but so far, things are looking good.

Serge Gnabry celebrates. Image from Arsenal.com

Moving onto Chamberlain for a second, I feel like he should be given a chance in midfield when he comes back from injury. He has said before that attacking midfield is his hopeful position and I say give him a go at it. The only problem is that we have Ozil now, so it is very unlikely for him to make a claim for that place. Chamberlain has impressed very much in three games: Arsenal 3-0 AC Milan, Arsenal 1-2 Man Utd, and Arsenal 7-1 Blackburn. He was a beast in all of those games, but all of them came a couple of seasons ago. Last year,, he wasn’t all that impressive and it felt like he was rather reserved. He is at his best when he runs at players and that’s what I’m hoping for when he rejoins the first team.

Arsenal plays Chelsea in the Capital One Cup tomorrow at the Emirates. One person is not particularly happy about it though. Jose Mourinho said this in his post match interview yesterday:

“We are going to give the game that the people that put the game on Tuesday want. If they want a big game, we cannot give the big game,” Mourinho said.

“If they want the players that were playing today [Sunday], we cannot give them that. If they want Arsenal to win a trophy, that’s a help.

“If they want a big game between two big teams in London, they should put the game on Wednesday and not on Tuesday, because I am not going to do that.”

It is very unlikely that Wenger is going to put out any players that started against Crystal Palace. I hope very much so that he does not. Most of our players are in dire need of a rest, and tomorrow is the perfect time to let some of the second-third stringers play, including Jedi Master Nicklas Bendtner. Imagine if he scored. The entire Emirates will be rocking. Anyways, this is a good opportunity to win a trophy this season. If we knock Chelsea out, our only competition in the Cup would be City, since Liverpool are already knocked out. The rest of the teams are mid-table clubs like Man Utd and Tottenham.

Winning the League Cup may not seem like a lot, but I am going to say that it is an important trophy to win, if Wenger actually wants to win it. When Mourinho first came to Chelsea, he put out his best players to win the League Cup because he knew that it was their best opportunity for a trophy and it would give the players the confidence and belief to win more, and look at what happened. The same thing can happen to Arsenal, but only if Wenger wants to win it.

That’s all from me today, COYG.

Silent Stan Speaks! – Wenger to Sign New Contract?

Arsenal’s majority shareholder was in attendance earlier for the annual Arsenal General Meeting. Unfortunately, I was not there so I have no idea what was said. All I can provide you are some quotes said by Silent Stan. They are provided by Arsenal.com:

STAN KROENKE

“It is a pleasure to be here. This is my sixth AGM and it is great to be back. I appreciate people re-electing me to the board. Well, it was close to unanimous!

“Anyway, it is great to be here and I would tell you we are pleased with the progress of the Club and that is made up of a lot of things, most importantly on the pitch.

“None of us up here [on the board], fans, players, or Arsène [Wenger] are happy until we have won championships and trophies. We have said that over and over again and are committed to that.

“Also, when you try to build towards that, it is very important for the Club to be successful commercially, and we are very pleased with the progress we have made in that area.

“We have come a long way, with the debts of the Club being paid down, the commercial revenues are increasing in a nice way. Certainly you guys are aware of the Emirates deal.

“We have more [deals] coming and are confident. However, nothing works unless we have success on the pitch.

“The reason we got interested in Arsenal [after years of approaches from other teams] was… the tradition, the image and the success of the Club and that to me has been established by none other than our manager.

“In our opinion, with the values he stood for and the things that we value in sport, they were evidenced through him and through this club. So we are very pleased to be here and I couldn’t be more honoured to introduce our manager Arsène Wenger.”

From his words, he definitely sounds more like a businessman than a football fan to me. That isn’t bad on all aspects as you feel that his main goal is trying to get the club to get money through commercial deals and ultimately to make money. Making money transcribes to being able to sign players like Ozil so all in all, it is important to have someone who understands the business side of it. Plus, it seems like we are pretty secure in finances with him in charge, another positive.

There are many down sides to having a business owner. First off, they aren’t going to push to sign players that will make the team better. For example, Abramovich signed Shevchenko directly. Mourinho didn’t want him, Chelsea didn’t want him, Abramovich wanted him, so he got him. You aren’t going to see Kroenke wanting Rooney badly enough to get money from his own pocket to sign him. Usmanov on the other hand will do that and that is why many Arsenal fans, including myself, would love to see Usmanov on the board. He has a football heart and a gigantic wallet. What more can you ask for?

There has been talk of Wenger getting set to sign a new contract as well, which will make Arsenal fans happy. Oh how the times have changed in two months. We all remember what happened after that Aston Villa game. I don’t want to say that the reason we have been doing so well since then is entirely down to Ozil’s arrival, but it has had a very big, positive effect. He has given players and fans belief that we are competitive and good enough to win the title, and that is so important in having a side win the Premier League. You have to give so much credit to Wenger though, because without him, none of this would have been possible.

Arsenal plays Norwich on Saturday, full match preview tomorrow. COYG

Wenger Open to Spending Big Again- New Information Over Next Season’s Kits

Hello all and welcome to another slow news day on this wonderful time we like to call the “International Break”. I’m not really sure who it is a break for, as the majority of the players have to fly to all different parts of the world while we are anxiously waiting for the football to start back up.

Anyways, Wenger had a big interview today with Arsenal.com and revealed some juicy information over the Ozil transfer:

The timing of the deal was linked to the Gareth Bale deal, but also all the other deals as well because Real Madrid bought Illarramendi and Isco in the summer. When I first contacted Real Madrid, things were quite open. They also needed time for Carlo Ancelotti to get to know his squad better, so he could make a decision. So all these aspects put together explains why it happened so late. We had a big advantage, and that was that I had been in contact with Mesut before, when he first went to Real Madrid three years ago. I spoke to him back then on the phone, in the end he told me he wanted to go to Real Madrid, so I wished him well, but that first contact had been made. He knew that I wanted him for a long time, and this was not the first time I tried to sign him.

I always want to bring the best players in here, world-class players, at the best possible price. And I want to continue to educate 60 to 80 per cent of the squad ourselves. The culture of the Club, the way we want to play football and the way we want to behave, comes from within. The Wilsheres, the Ramseys, the Gibbs – these kind of players have to be the culture of the Club. Then on top of that we want to bring world-class players who will help us to be even stronger.

{On if Arsenal fans can expect 1-2 new big signings a season} If the big signings are needed, then yes. If it’s just for marketing reasons, then no. But for football reasons, why not.

Things are changing for the better at Arsenal as you can tell by Wenger’s interview. He seems to be much more open to this whole thing called “transfers”. I think that we will be spending money again in January and hopefully it is for another big name player, preferably a striker with the name Suarez, Lewandowski, Diego Costa, Benteke or Falcao.

I never really had any doubts over whether the Ozil transfer would be completed on time. I was just amazed at the amount of time it took from him to sign considering he had a medical with a good ten hours left in the transfer window. Of course the deal was tied with the Bale deal, and as Wenger confirmed it, it means that Tottenham pretty much sold us Ozil by them selling Bale to Real Madrid. It’s hard to see why Real wanted Bale instead of Ozil, as one is an injury prone over-hyped chimpanzee , and the other is Jesus Christ reincarnated. We got the better end of the deal, no doubt about it.

Moving over to Arsenal’s deal with PUMA, Arsenalinsider has given us new information about next seasons kits. Apparently, Arsenal will stick with the current away scheme which is yellow and blue for the away kit for next season. They have mocked up a photo of it to show what to expect.

From Arsenalinsder

Looks simple enough to me. You aren’t going to go wrong with yellow and blue for the away kit, as it is the original colors. Fans will surely be pleased with the design.

Now the third kit is going to be a bit different; Arsenalinsider says that it is going to be… dark turquoise! I am completely fine with PUMA going out of the way to use new colors for the third kit, as we will hardly be wearing it. As long as it isn’t pure white I am happy (or pink, those pink jerseys are usually nasty).

That’s all for today, not much going on but as always, I’ll keep you posted.

Interlull: Zzzzzzzzz

Why do they have to have internationals? We wait the entire Summer for the Premier League to start and then they stop it for internationals. It has to be the most boring period during every football season.

I have been away for the past week which explains the lack of blog updates. Considering it is internationals, there hasn’t been much to report on. I’ll just be providing a quick summary on everything Arsenal related over the past week.

First off, and most surprisingly, Nicklas Bendnter scored a brace for Denmark against Italy. I am happy for Bendtner as I feel like he has had a bit of a hard time over the past couple of years. He scored a couple of headers and was booked for taking off his shirt after scoring his second goal. Now he is going to have sit out Denmark’s next game, but I’m sure he will still be delighted. Giroud also scored a brace for France against Australia. His fist goal was an absolutely beautiful finish. He was able to chip the ball into the other side of the net while going backwards. His second goal was a tap in from twelve yards. Ozil also got on the score sheet as he scored Germany’s third goal against Ireland to win the match 3-0.

Moving away from the internationals, British sprinter Linford Christie may have spoiled Arsenal’s new home shirt for next season.

Image from Football Shirt Culture

It has been rumored for quite some time that Puma are set to take over as Arsenal’s kit supplier, although nothing official has been announced. Considering the amount of Puma meetings that the Arsenal player have been attending lately, plus the image above, I don’t think there is much doubt that Puma will be our kit supplier and that is indeed the new home shirt. It looks good enough to me, although it is sort of bland. That thing Giroud is wearing is quite disturbing, and could be the official Arsenal sleeping bag pullover.

Finally, Wenger and Ramsey won the monthly awards for Premier League manager and player of the month. A much deserved award for both as they have turned our season around. Let’s hope that we can keep this up for the rest of the season. COYG

Jack is Falling Back- Wenger is the Man Above All Other Managers

Guess who’s back, back again, 
Jack is back, smoking cigs

There is a certain pressure that comes with being the only hope for the future of your international football nation. Wilshere has to be feeling it right now.

Fortunately for Wilshere, he is at the only club in England that will help him and nurture him into a fine footballer. I have doubts about him reaching his potential at other clubs, because really, Wenger is the best manager in the Premier League and he has the talent for developing players, even when they are in their mid twenties. Look at Giroud for example. He is developing into a fine natural goalscorer. When we first signed him, he seemed like he could maybe be the next Emile Heskey. Now, he is challenging for the the Premier League golden boot award.

So Wilshere was spot smoking last night by some creeper with a camera. There are quite a few contrasting opinions over whether or not he should be scolded or fined for doing this. Some people may say that it is his life and he can do what he wants to do with it, while others say that it is an unhealthy habit that can cause his career to stutter a bit. I personally believe that Wilshere is the icon for the next generation of football in England, and it is a stupid decision for him to start smoking. By doing so, you are encouraging young people around the world even to start smoking. Not only is it bad for your health but also your reputation as a footballer.

Wilshere posted a couple of weird tweets on twitter about smoking. The first was a picture of Zidane lighting up on a balcony. Is he trying to suggest that it is okay to smoke because Zidane smoked? Well, one difference between Zidane and Wilshere is that Zidane had already won the World Cup, Champions League, and Balon D’or. It’s not like you are going to sit Zidane out for smoking. Wilshere then put a tweet saying he doesn’t smoke. It could yet be a one time thing that he was forced to do because of his mates forcing it upon him, but if there are pictures of you smoking on the internet, than you can’t say you don’t smoke.

Wilshere in twenty years.

Wilshere has somewhat fallen behind in the pecking order this season. When it comes down to it, Wenger is going to have to choose between Wilshere, Rosicky, and Arteta in midfield. Out of the performances this season, Rosicky has looked sharp while Arteta impressed me highly against Napoli. Wilshere hasn’t really had a stand out game yet, so his first team opportunists may start to become a little bit limited. Of course, this can only be a good thing as it will mean that he will have to play with more of a spring in his step, which we all know he has.

Wenger was asked about it at his press conference:

“I don’t know really what happened [with Jack], I will need to have a chat with him about that,” said Wenger. “I disagree completely with that behaviour.

“There are two things: first of all when you are a football player you are an example, and as well you don’t do what damages your health.

“The fact [is] you can damage your health at home, you can smoke at home and you can drink at home, and nobody sees it, but when you go out socially you as well damage your reputation as an example.”

You can say many things about Wenger, but you cannot say that he is a bad man. Tell me, out of all the managers in the Premier League, which one seems like the most intelligent, friendly, and devoted? Yeah, there’s only one Arsene Wenger and he has been with us for 17 years for a reason. He may have had a stumble in the road over the past few years, but his time at Arsenal is a marathon, not a sprint. We will start winning things again once the time is right, not when we force it upon ourselves. The only thing we can do for the club right now is give them our support and be patient with them. Things are changing at Arsenal for the better, so let’s not go on a panic like we did last season or the beginning of this one. The  players need morale support and the fans are the only ones that can give them that.

Özil Would Have Come for Free- Gervinho is Deluded

Another quiet day passes by in the worst weekend of football in the season…

It’s quite depressing not being able to watch any games during the weekend. Yes, there are the lower division games, but not watching the Premier League every weekend is like a little piece of me dying. The little boy inside of me wants to explode.

Speaking of the little boys inside of us, Özil has come out and said that he would have joined Arsenal for free:

“In some way, that conversation flicked a switch in me and made me realise what I had lost at Madrid – transparency, trust, respect,” Ozil told Die Welt.

“Arsene told me exactly how he saw me, how he wanted to use me, what he expected of me.

“I would have even joined Arsenal for free.”

You can interpret what he said in a couple of different ways, one being he has no control over how much he costs and he wouldn’t have cared if he joined for free, but I am going to say that he was so moved by the conversation that he had with Wenger that he has changed his perspective of life and become a gooner and when he says he would have joined for free he means that money is no longer an object that he holds to have any importance.

One player who does not fit into that category was Ivory Coast calamity Gervinho. He came out and said this yesterday:

“I was not getting much time on the pitch and was in need of this time to improve and play my best football. Wenger was not prepared to give it to me,” he explained to The Sun.

“Also my position on the wing was not what I was expecting and I wasn’t happy with it.”

“It would have helped had he shown more confidence in me,” he added.

The problem with Gervinho wasn’t that Wenger didn’t show any confidence in him, it was that he was absolute crap. He was one of those players who I believe is stronger when he is sitting on the bench than when he is playing- literally. I would rather us be playing with ten men than playing with two Gervinhos in a team. Of course, he isn’t the only player that I feel this way about (Our new number 23).

Better than Messi and Pele combined?

There is some talk going around about Wenger being offered a new deal. Why is he getting a new deal you may ask? Well apparently it is for signing Mesut Özil. Yes, signing a player has awarded Wenger a new contract. Not for the fact that he has not won the league for ten years or been on a trophy drought for eight , it is because we have signed one world class player and let go of several of our own.

I like Wenger as a person. He is somebody who you would want in charge of your club, but his failure to adapt to the changing world of football has led us to fall behind some of the new powerhouses. Do I think he is worth a new deal? It is too soon to say. A couple of weeks ago I would have wanted him sacked but I am prepared to give him til the end of the season to show us if he still has any magic left in him. It would be sad to see him go no matter what the circumstances are. He is and will forever be an Arsenal legend, which is something that may be keeping his job at the moment. A title and the Champions League at the end of the season would be a nice way to go out though.