World Cup, Cesc & Ibrahimovic, No Mata Who & Win A Home Shirt
World Cup Round-Up
The World Cup received its first shock according to the Eurocentric media. Some of us think that Japan’s win over Cameroon, a result which may just eliminate them from the competition, was the first but those Swiss minnows, they were the giantkillers, felling the Spanish with their Toblerone, sinking the fleet of foot with a scrambled goal.
Spain had the possession yet their clearest opportunities were from distance. The Swiss were resolute in their defending; had Alonso’s shot found the back on the net rather than the centre of the bar, who knows how the outcome would have been affected. To rely on that as an indicator of meriting a point is false for the Swiss can equally point to the woodwork as denying them a more emphatic scoreline.
The defending European champions missed the directness of Cesc. For all of the passing patterns, few of the midfield supported Villa and Silva properly in the manner that the Arsenal captain did when fit for his club. That is a sign that benchwarming is not necessarily going to be the option if he goes to the Camp Nou.
Elsewhere Chile put others to shame with an openly attacking formation and style of play whilst Uruguay look set to progress as South Africa fall at the first hurdle. A win over France is required with other results going their way.
The Emirates Revolving Door
Transfer talk is moving back to centre stage. Firstly, the goalkeeper that we have yet to acknowledge but apparently want to sign, Vincent Enyeama, flushed with success following his World Cup performance for Nigeria, is talking to Galatasaray. Well, he’s not but his Mr20% is and never one to shy away from talking up his client, Andreas Muller – for it is he – reckons that the Turks are in the driving seat.
Anyone who’s been in a taxi in Istanbul will be shifting somewhat nervously at that thought but not the fearless Herr Muller. Oh no, sir, not him. Fresh from smiting dragons, the rumour mill has been fed by his tales of derring-do and Arsene baulking at paying an asking price believed to be, well, unknown.
Over in Spain, Juan Manuel Mata, has said that a move to Arsenal would be ideal if Valencia sell him. Or Liverpool because they have lots of Spanish players and we have well, not so many. I, for one, would not be unhappy with his signing, the player’s displays last season were sometimes exceptional and he might well add more attacking prowess. Not too sure how he will add to the defensive concerns raised by Wenger but let’s worry about that later.
Barcelona has apparently set the market value for Cesc as £37.5m (€45m). They might as well fax Ivan with the message, “Listen, we’re a bit brassic at the moment but the player is unhappy at Arsenal so let’s do a deal and then when we come for Gael Clichy next summer, we’ll pay £20m over the odds. Honest Guv“. Oh, and sign it El Del Boy Trotter whilst they are at it.
There is an apparent gap in the logic being applied to their pursuit of Fabregas. We know that they can already afford £29m since that was their original bid. Factor in the £35m they are demanding from Manchester City, this indicates that they have at least £64m (€75m) to fund a deal.
Laporta said earlier in the week that he appreciated that Arsenal were seeking to maximise their income whilst Barcelona were looking to minimise their outgoings. The two are not mutually exclusive but when you conduct your transfer business through the back pages, you tend to pay amounts that are a lot closer to the higher figure because everyone knows, or has a fair idea, of how much money is available.
But fear not my little chums for El Mundo Deportivo has it all sorted for us. Remember how Barcelona blew it when they valued Ibrahimovic at the same level as Eto’o. Well, his stock has risen despite an indifferent season and now Arsenal can have him for Cesc! Their logic is impeccable; Arsenal does not have a traditional centre forward and the Swede ‘fits the bill‘.
According to them, he is world class, better than Bendtner. But if he is that good, why sell him? David Villa is surely not going to play every game this season and what of the options needed to change a game; a squad system? Another teeny, tiny flaw is when you compare Ibrahimovic with van Persie so instead that one is quietly dropped, better not to mention that at all. If it was €45m plus Zlatan, I wonder if Arsene’s head might turn. Resolute beforehand, perhaps not in this instance.
Still never let it be said that the desperation to sign Cesc in Barcelona is receding. And getting any less entertaining.
On the outside is William Gallas with the Juventus stories now picking up pace whilst Mikael Silvestre is certainly gone. Sol Campbell though has not ruled out staying, confirmed by the player wanting to talk to Arsene when the manager returns from the World Cup. As a reserve, nurturing the young and inexperienced through, Campbell would be a good tutor; hopefully, the defensive ills from last season would not need three months or more of his attention in 2010/11.
The fixtures are out today, the close season seems almost over when that happens. Liverpool away is the internet rumour; I’ve never seen one of those which got it right over the years.
WIN A HOME SHIRT
Arsenal Football Club has kindly donated a new home shirt (to be released on July 29th) to the winner of this question:
Which Arsenal managers have played in the World Cup Finals?
Send your entries, along with your name and address, here or to aclfcomps[AT]btinternet[DOT]com, changing the bits in square brackets, with ‘New Home Shirt‘ in the subject line, to have a chance of winning. Closing date is midnight, Sunday 20th June 2010.
Good Luck to all who enter.
Posted on June 17, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip, World Cup 2010 and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip, World Cup 2010. Bookmark the permalink. 187 Comments.