Graz Defeated, Goalkeeping & Other Transfer Talk
Sturm Graz were brushed aside with Samir Nasri taking the pole position with three goals in two pre-season friendlies. When I observed last week that they needed to score more from midfield positions, I meant in competitive games. Let’s hope that young Samir is not including these matches in his target of double-figures for the season. Henri Lansbury added the third and Wenger will doubtless be as pleased with that as he is that no injuries have been suffered thus far, an almost record-breaking run considering previous seasons.
As these fixtures go, it was another good run out. The opposition were not of the highest quality, as you would expect, the fixture progressively getting tougher ahead of the new season. As much as the win was achieved, the omission from the first team of Manuel Almunia is pre-occupying minds as anything else.
The Schwarzer rumours gained more ground yesterday with the player-coach notion resurfacing. A stumbling block with the purchase, insurmountable at the moment, is the lack of a Fulham manager. With Eriksson and Jol both out of the running, a new incumbent is apparently no closer which is making Wenger look elsewhere. His covetous glances do not appear to be directed towards anyone that the media can ascertain and with suggested targets all distancing themselves from any move to The Emirates, a patient game of wait and see is emerging.
Wenger spoke about the situation, suggesting that anyone unnerved by the competition should not be at Arsenal,
We are at a level of where competition is part of our job. We have to live with that. You cannot play at Arsenal and be destabilised because you have competition with other players
It is a case of like it or lump it, which is exactly how it should be. No-one is suggesting that any of the goalkeepers has said that they will be demanding a move if Wenger signs another yet the assumption is that Almunia or Fabianski will be moving either permanently or on loan. And it is a hard assumption to argue with.
Should a new signing be made, barring injury one of the three will not play at all this season. With the emphasis on youth development, Almunia would seem to be the obvious choice to leave for pastures new. However, that would depend on Wenger’s assessment of Fabianski; are the lapses in concentration simply growing pains, the lack of regular first team action catching him cold or, more disturbingly, are they part of his goalkeeping make-up?
Eduardo‘s move to Shaktar has been confirmed and the striker added a personal note to the move, striking a believably sincere chord as opposed to some of his peers upon departure:
I had some very difficult times with my injury, but Arsenal was always there for me – the medical staff, the management, the players and the supporters. Thank you everybody.
The injury he suffered contributed to the curtailment of his spell at Arsenal, of that there is no doubt. He has struggled to shake off the niggles which followed and this hampered his effectiveness. Hopefully he will get his career back on track, for certain he will be remembered fondly.
His departure is a signal to the apologists of Taylor, Shawcross and their ilk. Here was a natural predator, a relative unknown on these shores who should have been lauded for his goalscoring feats. Instead the neanderthal mentality which blights the national team has robbed us of a chance of witnessing Eduardo’s growth into that player. Sadly he will not be the last until the apologists change their views and condemn actions, and more importantly, the authorities come up with a suitably severe punishment for transgressors.
As Eduardo left, Wenger observed that he had not given up hope entirely of keeping Sol Campbell. Sunderland had emerged as favourites to sign the defender but with Steve Bruce capturing Titus Bramble – presumably with a tranquiliser dart fired from a open-backed Land Rover – the choices appear to be as limited in the North East as they are in London. Much, if not all, will depend on Campbell’s new personal circumstances, his wife apparently having ties to the North East.
Not much else to say today so, ’til Tomorrow.
Posted on July 22, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 156 Comments.