Azzurri Buried, van Persie Strikes & Gossip
When the ball hits the net
The World Cup’s over, you bet
For the Azzurri
– with apologies to Dean Martin
The twists and turns of this World Cup continued yesterday with the reigning champions joining France in the airport lounge. It might have been different with chances squandered but ultimately the fabled Italian method of playing poorly and then winning the tournament foundered, the basis of the exit a turgid performance against New Zealand.
Spain may yet join them although that would be the equivalent of giving this blogger a sugar overload. Their match against Chile is by no means certain to garner the necessary three points for qualifications although the feeling must be that they will probably sneak a win by the odd goal. That would leave Switzerland needing a two-goal victory to oust the South Americans from the Round of 16, not unlikely other than the fact that they have shown little attacking invention thus far.
Yesterday continued the good fortune for Arsene. This World Cup had been threatening to seriously disrupt his pre-season; now he should have all bar Fabregas and van Persie – possibly Joe Cole – in training by the end of July. Nicklas Bendtner joined Alex Song on the next flight home as Denmark capitulated to a spirited and well-drilled Japanese side whose mastery of the ball from set-pieces put supposedly more talented players to shame.
van Persie scored his first World Cup goal in 2010 with a well taken finish to break the deadlock in a dead rubber, rubbing salt somewhat in the Arsenal wounds. It was the sort of finish that might well have been key to improving on a third place finish last season.
Today should seed Emmanuel Eboue booking his ticket home as well. A nine goal swing in the two matches will probably prove too much for Ivory Coast as Brazil and Portugal will no doubt settle for the goalless draw that will see both qualify.
Onto the transfer gossip. A link sent to me the other day has actually been taken vaguely seriously by a notorious gossip site. It beggars belief that anyone would believe Arsene would sell Alex Song or if he did, accept €4.5m for the Cameroonian. Mind you, I didn’t think that I would see the day when Arsene would be strongly tipped to buy a 37 year old goalkeeper for £3.5m; it’s been a strange old summer so far.
William Gallas‘ options were strongly rumoured to have diminished yesterday with Juventus reportedly baulking at his wage demands. Not so according to his Mr20%; the deal is very much alive and Gallas is very interested in signing for them. Well, he would say that really, wouldn’t he? I would have no issue with Gallas remaining at the club and Koscienly coming in. Add into that Campbell to guide the younger players in the cup competitions. With Djourou fit and Vermaelen the mainstay, it is decent cover in the centre of defence.
Daily Mail hacks are trying to stir up more on Fabregas but not even the Spanish media are giving their claims that Fabregas has spoken with Arsene to tell him that he wants to leave any credibility. Not when there are millions of pounds in bonuses to forfeit if he ever says anything like that. And about £20m short in the supposed £35m bid that the Catalans are about to make.
Arsene is apparently interested in signing Pablo Sarabia from Real Madrid. Yep, he’s a youngster whose never appeared for the first XI; yep, he’s got a contract renewal coming up. Before my cyncism totally engulfs this part of the post, it should be noted that the hint of truth comes from the suppression of natural talent via the Galacticos policy of Perez’s reign. But it would be no surprise at all to find out that he signs a new deal with Madrid in the next few weeks.
Posted on June 25, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip, World Cup 2010 and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip, World Cup 2010. Bookmark the permalink. 164 Comments.