You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘barcelona’ tag.

Silva - Attracting interest from Wenger

Silva - Attracting interest from Wenger

According to Daily Mail Arsene Wenger is looking for Spain and Valencia star David Silva. The left winger is one of the best wingers out there with a lot of top clubs after him.

The 23 year old was one of the most impressive players of Euro 2008 and has certainly impressed Wenger it seems. There have been rumors that Silva wants to play in the Premier League, though Spanish powerhouses Real Madrid and Barcelona are also afer him. Wenger is known for getting the best out of young players and Silva could be a wonderful buy for Arsenal. Valencia are going through a very severe financial crisis and they will demand quite some money for the acquiring the services of one of their best players but as is being stated, Wenger has already asked for at least 20m to be saved before the summer transfer window. Silva will have an extra incentive of playing with one of his closest friends i.e Fabregas.

Do Arsenal need him? We have Nasri, Rosicky and Arshavin who can play on the wing and are world class players and add to it Eboue. Sell Eboue buy Silva! A player of Silva’s calibre is always welcome at Arsenal.

But considering its by Daily Mail, who are becoming as bad as News of the World at such stuff, it might just be another one of those poor baseless  rumours.

Nasri Denies Rift With Gallas

Nasri Denies Rift With Gallas

William Gallas known for his bad attitude has been reported to be on bad terms with Samir Nasri. According to Nasri though it was just an ordinary little argument in a training session which was before he joined Arsenal. But now, he says, it has long been forgotten and that now they get on well.

“We had words at the Euros but it was during a training session and immediately forgotten. Since I came to Arsenal there has been no problem. We have got on well in my time here. They are just the type of things that can happen in training. It was just something that we didn’t agree on. It was all forgotten that night and we had a chat at the hotel. I don’t know why it had so much coverage. It was all over something and nothing. People said I showed a lack of respect for Thierry Henry. Quite simply when I started out in the French national side, Henry had been out with a back injury and I had been sitting in a place on the coach which in his return turned out to be where he sat. As soon as I discovered that I got up and let him sit down. Maybe people were looking for excuses because we had done badly in the Euros but certainly I don’t think you can blame that on the fact that I sat in Thierry Henry’s seat.”

Seems like a small issue. Just because he sat in Henry’s seat doesn’t mean he doesn’t respect him! And as for that argument in training between the two, it’s no surprise considering the character of Gallas! Gallas had also mentioned in his autobiography a 20 year old who did not show respect to his elder players in Euro 2008. That 20 year old was reported to be Nasri.  But lets not make a big deal of this issue as its a thing of the past and Gallas has learnt to shut up now!

Meanwhile there has been some crazy talk going on in the papers about Adebayor to be sold to Barcelona in the summer for £20m. Though I want him out, but he will never fetch that much amount of money and that it is just a stupid attention seeking news. Fabregas has also been linked to Real Madrid. Again crap news. It is just too early to be talking about such transfers right now.

To link up with Adebayor’s departure, Huntelaar is being straight away rumoured as a possible replacement. The Dutchman has been a failure at Real Madrid where he moved for £17m. Real want to offload him and Wenger has always been fond of the striker so everyone can straight away start making stories about him coming to Arsenal.

This highly zoomed photo shows Adebayor in Barcelona on Thursday wearing a wig so he as to avoid being identified.

This highly zoomed photo shows Adebayor in Barcelona on Thursday wearing a wig so he as to avoid being identified.

Adebayor has gone to Barcelona to show his African Player Player of the Year trophy to fellow injured Arsenal team mate Fabregas. However there is a lot more behind him going to Barcelona than what meets the eye and a Barcelona official, who has requested his identity to be kept confidential, has said that Barca had requested Adebayor to come to Camp Nou and have a chat about his future. The Arsenal man has been out of form this season and is drawing a lot of criticism from Arsenal fans. The official says they are interested in buying Adebayor, followed by van Persie and eventually Fabregas from Arsenal as they have money that grows on trees and Arsenal is a club who every player wants to leave when they get an offer from a ‘big’ club. Barcelona say Messi is considering a move away from the Catalan club and Etoo hasn’t been in the best of forms lately so Adebayor is the perfect replacement for them. They say the pace and a finishing of Adebayor is unmatched and they think that he can be a player as great as Henry and even better as he can score a lot of headers too. They said Adebayor is under-estimated by Gooners and that they can’t see the ‘hidden’ talent that he has, which apparently has been spotted by Barca. They claim that they had a very positive conversation with the Togolese forward and that Ade says he is prepared to make the move in the summer and he is confident he can convince van Persie and Fabregas to follow him as they are his best friends and never say no to him. All the signs look right for Barca but the problem for them is whether Wenger will be prepared to sell his favourite player. But they have a trap set for Wenger. Wenger loves to make profits on players and is quite an economist so in times of financial crisis all over the world, a big money boost for Wenger would be irresistible to reject. So they are considering a 40m pounds bid for Ade, which they consider to be a big bargain as Adebayor is worth a lot more than that. Adebayor ironically has managed to avoid the press all this time.

Arshavin - Hleb expects him to have a great time at Arsenal

Arshavin - Hleb expects him to have a great time at Arsenal

Alexander Hleb has tipped Andrei Arshavin to shine at Arsenal. The Belarus midfielder himself is one of the most creative midfielders around but has failed to do at Barcelona what he is capable of. The void left by Hleb’s departure in the Arsenal side was filled by Nasri but with injuries to Fabregas and Walcott, Arsenal are looking very unimpressive as of late. However, with Arshavin coming in, the lack of creativity of Arsenal lately may be a thing of the past very soon. Arshavin is quicker than Hleb, can provide killer passes, has brilliant technical skill and is not at all shot shy so he can score great goals (unlike Hleb). Hleb is surely missing his time at Arsenal as first team opportunities at Barcelona have been very limited for him so the playmaker has it seems been following Arsenal and we have seen him commenting about Arsenal before. Now the former Arsenal man has tipped Arshavin to stardom at Arsenal:

“I’m sure he will be a success at Arsenal because I know what you can do when the coach trusts you. I know Andrei well and also the style of the team, which makes me believe that he will enjoy his time at Arsenal.”

Hope he is right.

Fabregas and Hleb - Old friends reunite

Fabregas and Hleb - Old friends reunite

Meanwhile injured Arsenal captain Fabregas is enjoying in Barcelona while he recovers from his injury and had a chance to meet his old pal Hleb. The duo were best friends during Hleb’s time at Arsenal. The two friends spent a night out last Wednesday and watched Arsenal’s dramatic draw with Everton together.

“I watched the Everton game on Wednesday night with Alex Hleb in Barcelona. It wasn’t being shown on general television in Spain, but eventually managed to find a place where it was on, but it was a very strange place! It was nice to watch it with Alex, and I was very pleased for the team that they got the equaliser.”

So Fabregas sure must be having a good time there. To meet up with old freinds is always a great pleasure. But on Fabregas’s part, the fact that he, staying in Barcelona, has stayed away from Camp Nou is a very positive step. He is a very committed Arsenal player and I sure am proud he is our captain.

Burnley celebrate the opening goal

Burnley celebrate the opening goal

Giant killers Burnley have claimed yet another Premier League scalp in West Brom. The FA Cup replay saw the Championship side thrash Tony Mowbray’s side 3-1 at Turf Moor. This means if Arsenal truimph against Cardiff at the Emirates on 16th of February, they will once again play Burnley, who knocked the young guns of Arsenal out of the League Cup. Burnley have already defeated Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Fulham and now West Brom.

fabregas02

"Now my only worry is that I recover as soon as possible"

Apart from that Fabregas says he wont go anywhere near Nou Camp. The Spaniard said:

“I’d have liked to have gone to watch Barcelona at the Nou Camp, but I wanted to avoid all the speculation about my future. Now my only worry is that I recover as soon as possible to return to Arsenal and help my team.”

No surprises there. Once again the Arsenal captain wastes no time in addressing speculations regarding his future. Hope he returns earlier than expected. He has the will and I am sure he can do it. Arsenal need him back big time!

Arshavin - Can't wait to start playing!

Arshavin - Can't wait to start playing!

Meanwhile Andrei Arshavin had a session with the fans. The new Arsenal player looked very excited and claimed that he has been a Gooner for quite some time now. He says he joined Arsenal because he likes he club’s style, Arsene Wenger and a few players. The forward is already looking to spur Arsenal’s silverware ambitions.  The Russian said:

“Arsenal’s aim is to win the Premier League title and be European champions. That is always the target for this club, so everybody knows that.

“I have already had a training session, and I am pleased with how I have been welcomed. Everyone has been very hospitable.

“I’m yet to train at the stadium but I’ve trained at the training ground and I was happy with how they took to me. Everything was very good, everyone was welcoming, asking me what I needed and things.

“We trained for an hour and a quarter, in the gym and then on the pitch. I got a positive impression from my new team mates. They believe in me.”

“Arsenal play very fast and attacking football that I really like, and there are many creative players.

“Wenger is a great man, and I never thought I would be able to play in his team.

“Here in London, I have had three or four interviews in English. It is clear that I am unlikely to speak without making errors, but it seems to me that I am being understood. In any case, I have only had to resort to using an interpreter a few times in these interviews. Naturally, I will improve.

“Naturally there are problems with English because I don’t know the language very well and can just chat about basic every day things.

“And today I was sitting in the changing room and it was all French – now that’s a language I have a lot of problems with*laughs*! But I hope we will get over the language barrier and everything else very quickly.”

Looking quite confident and happy from the start! As always the players have made a new player feel at home and that is very vital for one to settle at a new club. It’s good to see he has already had interviews in English. Learning the language will be vital for him to settle in quickly. He seems really confident and hopeful. That’s really good.

by Zain Shahid

This season has been one of the worst in Arsene Wenger’s career at Arsenal and when you look at the trend with Arsenal’s points tally and performances overall improving since the last 3 seasons, this season has come as a big unpleasant surprise. The big question in everyone’s mind is what has gone wrong this season.

Arsenal miss their partnership
Arsenal miss their partnership

The main reason in most people’s minds would be the departures of Flamini and Gilberto. They were our main holding midfielders and who would not agree to the fact that Flamini was one of our best players of the season, second only to Fabregas. With their departures we have had to play on most ocassions without a holding player or sometimes with Song in that role and everyone knows he is just not good enough to be in our first team. And the fact that Wenger has been more interested in signing Arshavin than a defensive midfielder came as a big surprise to me. (Talking of Arshavin, Zenit have said they are waiting for a reply from Arsenal as negotiations continue; and Wenger has said he wants the deal done before the match against West Ham.) We know there has been a lack of clean sheets this season and it can be blamed on the lack of a natural holding midfielder in the side rather than putting all the blame on Gallas and Toure. But to add to that the lack of defensive cover has also been a big factor. When Gallas and Toure have been out, the far from convincing Silvestre has come to fill in or the inconsistent Djourou. If Arsenal fail to keep a clean sheet against West Ham tomorrow then they will have just 15 clean sheets so far whereas last season in the same period they had 20 and we have conceded 35 goals so far compared to 28 last year at this time.

One of the most creative midfielders Arsenal has had in recent times
One of the most creative midfielders Arsenal has had in recent times

Another reason is Hleb’s departure and with it his creativity that pierced defences open. Ok Hleb did not score as much as he should have but he was exceptionally talented when it comes to creativity. I’ll be honest, I miss Hleb. Some might say Nasri has been a great replacement and I agree, especially considering he scores a lot. But the problem lies in piercing defences open, creating a lot of chances rather than passing sideways all match. Nasri can do the job but he can’t play up to the level he is capable of on the left. Last year Hleb was played as a second striker and he was brilliant there, I see no reason why isn’t Nasri played there too. He has showed with his few performances in the centre how good he can be and especially with Fabregas out he is needed there.

Not good enough...
Not good enough…

Then comes the lack of support Fabregas got in the centre and lack of quality in midfield. This really does not need much explanation. We all know Song has been hopeless and Denilson can’t defend so Fabregas has had to worry more about tracking back rather than doing his job i.e ripping apart defences with his exceptional passing. On the wing we have seen Denilson, Diaby and Eboue. All have not played up to the mark. Imagine for instance if Denilson was in AC Milan, or Barcelona or Manchester United. Would he be in their first team? Noway! He is not good enough to be in the first team of a top European club. Same goes for Song, Diaby and Eboue. We have been just waiting and waiting and waiting for them to come of age. Will they ever be good enough? Doesn’t seem so does it?! Especially Eboue. I have always mantained he should be sold and replaced with a natural, world class winger and I stand by it.

Gone... And injured
Gone… And injured

A lot might say injuries have been the biggest setback this season. Imagine Rosicky on the left, Fabregas in the centre, Walcott on the right, Nasri supporting van Persie and Adebayor. With a defensive midfielder this attack can be the best in the world but poor us, all these guys are hardly fit together. But the point is players get long-term injuries like we have seen with van Persie in the past, now Rosicky is still out, Eduardo is coming back, Walcott and Fabregas still out; these injuries are not going to happen every year will they. That’s what everyone said of van Persie when he got injured time and time again but they were wrong. He has showed his fitness and class. He has been our player of the season so far. So if the aforementioned players remain fit, Arsenal are a side to be feared by all European power houses. They may be injured now, but they won’t be out for 3 4 months every season, hopefully not next season.

These reasons have led to defensive frailty and lack of creativity up front. Right now it’s just van Persie keeping Arsenal in the fight for the title, even though with all the poor results we have got this season and where we lie in the table at the moment thinking of winning the season seems quite unrealistic. This season looks like a fight for a Champions League place and not the title. The only very dim hope remaining is that van Persie contines the form of his life and with Nasri, keeps getting decent results for Arsenal till Fabregas and Walcott return. That might be the turning point of the season if Arsenal are still in the race for the title when the duo make their comebacks.

by Zain Shahid

Arshavin - Praying for Arsenal Move!

Arshavin - Praying for Arsenal Move!

Andrei Arshavin’s is desperate to join Arsenal. Zenit have resigned to selling the Russian star but their high demands are frustating not only Arsenal, Dennis Lachter, Gooners, but Arshavin himself too! Arshavin seemingly likes Arsenal and wants the move to go through but is not at all pleased with Zenit’s ‘artificial’ demands.

“I see Arsenal as my team of the future. Everything now depends on Zenit. If they want to sell me, they can do it very quickly. My hopes now rest with God. Apart from Him, nobody can help me. Zenit have to think realistically. I believe Arsenal’s offer is much closer to my real value in the transfer market at the moment. ‘It is obvious that in these times of [financial] crisis, no one will offer such a big amount.”

Seems like Arshavin is more intellegent than Zenit’s officials! Zenit should know no one is going to give them what they are asking for in these times. It’s quite obvious and I hate their stubborn attitude of sticking with their demands. Sooner or later they will have to settle for around £12m to £15m so why not do it now rather than needlessly waste time. One can see the pain in Arshavin’s words! Man he really wants to come to Arsenal badly! Wow! As for misleading comments made by Dennis Lachter time and time again, they are not to be entirely trusted as according to Zenit’s officials he is not a part of the negotations that are taking place between the two clubs. And now that Arshavin wants to leave, this saga reminds me of Hleb! He too wanted to leave, Arsenal did not want to lose him. But eventually he ended up where he wanted to go. Hopefull the same will happen for Arshavin!.

Talking of Hleb, the Barca man is quite optimistic about Arshavin’s tranfer to Arsenal. He said:

“Wenger always shows that he believes in his players. It gives the players great energy and helps in any situation. I am sure that if Andrei joins Arsenal, it will work out well. There, he would be an even bigger star. He needs to train well and be himself. Arshavin is a top-class footballer and I think he would fit into Arsenal’s plans. However, it would be important for him to learn English.”

Seems like Hleb follows Arsenal! And why would he not, he hardly plays for Barce! Poor lad! But its nice to see him talking well of Arsenal. I completely agree with him.

by Zain Shahid

Yaya Toure has made it crystal clear that a move for him to Arsenal this January is not on the cards. He said “I know of Arsenal’s interest but I insist I have no desire to seek an exit. The rumours will not affect my game. My head is with Barcelona. There are no doubts.” Barcelona’s technical secretary has also said that Barcelona will not be buying or selling in January.

Yaya Toure - Not going to join his brother now...

Yaya Toure - Not going to join his brother now...

Its no surprise anyway with the form Barcelona are in and the form Arsenal are in! But even though I always thought this move was very unlikely in January, I am still quite unhappy as he was exatly what we needed and now there is no chance of him coming. But still there is hope with the other central midfielders that Arsenal have been linked with… I certainly hope a couple of central midfielders are bought and Song is sold! I will never understand why is Wenger such a big fan of Song. Believe me if the guy was at West Brom or Stoke even then he would not have been in the fiirst team!