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The Season Starts Now For Arsenal

Back again to the blogging after taking a few days off to see how this whole transfer debacle went and to tell you the truth, I’m pumped!  It wasn’t the perfect week we were hoping for but it looks like we’ve added some valuable players to the squad and we’ll gain a lot of confidence from the players that have come in!  In the beginning of the summer we signed 3 players all under 24 and at the end of the transfer window we signed 5 players all over the age of 24!  It’s been quite a hectic day to say the least.

About midday it was thought that we only had two targets left Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun.  It appeared we weren’t going to get Arteta because of differences in his wages so we only had one left, being Benayoun.  Fans who had slated Arteta for being to old or injury prone or a fake Cesc or whatever you want to call him were now looking back and thinking “what have we done, we’re only getting Benayoun?”  Well we got them both!

Arteta I feel will go right into the team and I see him really making a difference! Especially playing next to Wilshere.  Arteta is a deep lying midfielder who will let Wilshere roam more frequently.  The Spaniard is also a great set piece taker which will really give us a boost!  The only question is how he’ll cope with injuries.  The last few years he’s been plagued by them but if he can keep out of the injury room then he’ll do wonders for us, and won’t need to get used to the Premier League.

Yossi on the other hand will most likely be a squad player and his experience and creativity will definitely bring something to this young Arsenal team.  He has a lot of experience playing for both Chelsea and Liverpool so he’s no stranger to Champions League.  He’s now an Arsenal player though so we owe him our full support!

Andre Santos is our left back replacement who came in yesterday as Armand Traore left for QPR and I have to say, “phewwww what a relief!”  I’m very happy that we’ve signed a left back and honestly Andre Santos is a fantastic signing!  For those of you who have thought this isn’t a great signing, we could be going into the season with an injury prone Gibbs and a below average Traore, or we could deal with the fact that the starting Left Back for Brazil plays for Arsenal now!

Per Mertesacker is probably my favorite signing of the window because I’ve been practically begging Arsene to buy him the entire window!  The Giant German will have a big impact on Arsenal this year with his experience and height.  I’ve heard way too many people say he’ll be too slow for the Premier League but do you honestly think he’s never faced opposition who play quickly like they do in the EPL?  He will not have too much trouble adjusting along with really bringing some order and discipline to this defense!  His height will definitely help on our set pieces as well.  I do think he’ll be a starter so watch out for Vermesacker!

One thing that’s really been improved in my opinion is our depth and it will be interesting to see what happens in our midfield this year with the addition of Arteta and Benayoun.  Our defensive midfield has Song, Frimpong, and Coquelin in it still which is why we didn’t improve this spot this summer.  Coquelin was in my opinion our best player on Sunday against Manchester United and I think he’s very ready for the first team and could be valuable if Song ends up at the African Cup in January!

The season starts here for Arsenal and these last 4 buys from Arsenal are a real statement of intent because they are four players who know how to win, and they know what it takes to win!  They can really push this team and they can bring these younger players up to play at their full potential so I’m very excited about how this season is looking from here on out!

Cesc Out, Now On To Bigger Things…

Before you read this, remember that I love Arsenal, I support Arsene Wenger as our manager and I love the club, but I will be questioning a few things and I’m frustrated…

Well there ya have it folks!  Fabregas has returned to his former club Barcelona and I have a few things to say about our former Captain. Firstly it’s been nice watching him, and he’s a fantastic footballer but its hard to get over the fact that he really doesn’t care that much because he’s royally screwed over the team that taught him everything….

Speaking of screwing Arsenal over…Nasri has spoken of his unhappiness with fan chants from Saturday saying it’s “disrespectful” but in all fairness Samir, what your doing is disrespectful as well so what do you expect?  Do you expect the fans to love you after you’ve tried all summer to get out?  Do you expect everyone to sing your name when all we’ve heard from insiders is your crap attitude, and 185,000 a week being waved at you?  Sorry Samir, you’ve really walked yourself into it so you have really three choices: 1. Sign a new contract, play your heart out and win the fans back. 2. Leave. 3. Sit on the bench the entire year and the second you set foot on the pitch get booed and fans will sing of how your a cunt!

Arsene Wenger really bothers me on this subject as well because Wenger wants commitment but he’s going to try and keep Nasri who will leave him next year for free…I’m confused…you keep saying you want commitment, but your not getting it so go out and find a replacement.  You say the transfer market it’s hard to find someone to replace him but honestly I see players going to other places that we should have been involved in and could have had ourselves a very good player.  Example…Arda Turan, went to Atletico Madrid for 12-15 million!  Are you kidding me?!  We could easily just put Eboue in the bid and gotten him for 7-8 million pounds…

Bremen is basically begging Arsenal to come get Per Mertesacker, who has had a great start to the Bundesliga so far and looks to be back in form…I don’t understand it at all.  AW likes to tell us of the players he’s bought so far and how they are quality…but they’re all under 20 years old..we already have plenty of those!  Without the Nasri money we have about 50 million to play with right now, honestly, if your not afraid to spend the money, then prove it because all your doing is making a fool of yourself right now.

Honestly I’m hoping I’ll be proved wrong but its very frustrating right now that we’re back at square one.  AW talked about how the fans are being manipulated by the media…honestly, we’re no manipulated by the media to see that our team isn’t good enough right now.  The weird part is, the strongest part of our game Saturday was our defense!  Vermaelen is his usual ridiculously awesome self and Koscielney looks like he’s even put on some muscle during the off season and improved.

The part I’m worried about is our attack with our injuries, we have some good players but Ryo is still getting his permit, Arshavin has his days and should be played in the middle.  Rosicky is hit or miss, and Ramsey plays best with Wilshere.  Walcott and Van Persie and just coming back from injury and Gervinho is now going to be suspended!  AW has to be kicking himself for dragging his feet on the Juan Mata deal because he would have been a great player to come in and take over.

AW says that the Mata deal is dead, and that there isn’t any negotiations with Shakhtar for Jadson, while Shakhtar have confirmed that negotiations have taken place for Jadson…So we’ve been in for 3 different Shakhtar players this year in Willian, Costa, and Jadson and all three are skilled players but why aren’t we after players that have played well in bigger leagues?  Like Yoann Gourcuff, or Eden Hazard.  Yes Lille don’t want to sell Hazard…we didn’t want to sell Fabregas, every team has their price!

Anyways, I’m done complaining for a little while and onto Arsenal vs. Udinese with what I’m hoping for with our lineup!  No RvP, Nasri, AW, Jack Wilshere so what I think we’ll see is this:

Szezsney
Sagna Kos Verm Gibbs
Song
Ramsey  Frimpong
Gervinho Chamakh Arshavin

This is what I’m hoping to see!

Szezsney
Sagna Kos Vermaelen Gibbs
Song
Ramsey  Arshavin
Gervinho Walcott Chamberlain/Ryo

I think we’ll see both Frimpong and Song in the midfield and take a more defensive approach to things with it being important that we don’t concede!  I would love to see what Chamberlain can bring to the team though as well, and I’m not sure if Ryo is back and ready to play yet but would like to give him a chance against the Italians.  Gervinho being suspended in the EPL will get another run out and Walcott will hopefully come out much better than he did at Newcastle.

The Arsenal reserves won today against Manchester United 2-1 but not without casualties with Benik Afobe and Armand Traore both injured and we could be without a functional left back soon enough if we’re not careful!

Tomorrow will be nerve racking but they are Italians and a  terrible league so I expect nothing less than a win!

What Happened To “Super Quality” acquisitions?

Last week Arsene Wenger told fans that he was looking for “super quality” players to bring in as he probably was already aware that Arsenal would have trouble keeping hold of want away Fabregas and Nasri.  This summer we’ve been linked with players that match that description like Benzema, Mata, and Cahill but we’ve also been linked with some very average quality players as well like Odemwingie, Rodallega, and most recently Scott Dann!

Is this the “super quality” we’ve come to expect from Arsenal?  Dann is a decent player and has good height but would he really be a better option than Gary Cahill, or Per Mertesacker (who had an fantastic game last Saturday)?  Not in the slightest!  Recent reports have us linked with a Brazilian named Jadson and while there’s no doubt he has talent, we need players that can come in and get the job done.  In my opinion, buying Scott Dann is buying a #4 center back, when we should be trying to purchase someone who is as good, or better than Thomas Vermaelen.

When two players like Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas leave, you replace them with players such as Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Arda Turan, Yoann Gourcuff…there’s a reason they cost more!  Now I know it’s not for sure yet and the board has said they will reinvest all money that is made from Nasri and Fabregas but we need quality more than quantity right now!

Tomorrow is an early press conference for reasons that many believe that we’ll be announcing either the arrival of players or departure.  Quite possibly both but either way, it’s at 9 o clock UK time which means in order for me to find out I have to stay up until about 4!  So it could be a long night!

Busy Day For Arsenal And It’s Only The Beginning!

Saturday was a tough day for Gooners and for the team as we lost and saw Arsenal not play well, and Arsenal have finally responded.  Maybe not in the way that most fans would have hoped but we signed a player who is very good.  While many of you think he’s only just played in League 1 I do think he will adjust just fine to the Premier League and fit in well.  For those of you thinking we just wasted money from our budget when we have other needs, well this put a very small dent in the budget and I doubt it will be the last of the week.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain signed today for Arsenal and was very pleased to make the move.  He’s getting a lot of comparisons to Theo Walcott but he’s a different type of player despite playing the same position.  Chamberlain can also play in an attacking midfield role and is a very direct player and has great vision, dribbling skills, and passing as well.  He will come right into the first team but I don’t see him getting much action for the first month.

I have three thoughts on this transfer as well.  1. While Gervinho took forever to conclude, this one took literally no time at all.  We heard stories that it would happen a day or two ago, this morning that he was having a medical and now that he’s signed.  Lets hope a few more happen like this. 2.  It’s nice to have players who actually want to play for our club and the three players we’ve signed really wanted to play for Arsenal. 3. So much for improving the size of our team!

We should be seeing a defender coming through the door soon, I’ve heard Cahill and Jagielka possibly but not sure which one and I’m praying its Cahill.  Per Mertesacker has continued giving subtle hints to Arsene Wenger to come and get him and I hope AW picks up on them.  AW wants to sign a defender already with EPL experience but it wouldn’t hurt to get two defenders 1 with and 1 without!  Both players of great quality so I would be very happy.

Nik’s been talking about how he’s for sure leaving but he won’t tell us where he will be going.  He said this:

“Hopefully it will be sorted soon but as I said to the Danish press, when I know something they will.  I would like to play at a place where you are happy and play every week, that is the most important thing for any football player and hopefully that will happen soon.”

Ashburton Grove wrote on Nasri leaving Arsenal for Manchester City and has agreed terms with the club.  He is a credible blogger and does an extremely good job writing for his site so I don’t take the things he says lightly.  This transfer may happen and it does seem like Manchester City would do on impulse after losing to Man U on Sunday.  This, for me, is good news as I’ve wanted Nasri out for a little while because he’s another player that doesn’t want to play for Arsenal and therefore shouldn’t.  It is thought that Chamberlain is his replacement which could be, and maybe its not!  With a 22 million fee we could use that to buy a good replacement.  The formal bid for the player will come shortly.

Lastly the Transfer Tavern are reporting that Arsenal are interested in FC Twente striker Bryan Ruiz.  I saw that and I got excited but I’m not really sure there’s much to it in validity.  Spuds are interested in the striker so they’re assuming Arsenal are too which they don’t realize that’s not how it works.  We become interested in the player then Spuds try to get him until the player says I’d rather go to Arsenal.  The player will have a 14 million pound price tag so not huge, but not small and Arsene would try to bring that down a bit, but he’s a fantastic player.  He’s a left boot and has really excelled for Twente.  Arsenal are in need of a striker despite Joel Campbell’s transfer imminent.  With the loss of players to the ANC this January Arsenal will need a striker to cover especially with RvP track record.

Anyways, that’s all for today, I’m looking forward to seeing tomorrow’s headlines and hopefully writing to you about another signing!  People of London are in my thoughts and prayers, stay safe!

The Search For a Center Back Continues!

Monday morning! Our first game is on Saturday!  We still haven’t signed a Center back and we’ve only made 2 signings.  With Arsene Wenger stating that we might see some action for Arsenal in the transfer market this week, we are certain to have our fair share of rumors!  There are three we have been linked with all summer: Phil Jagielka, Chris Samba, and Gary Cahill.  I think Samba is off the table as is Jagielka because both clubs want to keep their player.

There has been talk that Arsenal is stepping up their interest for Gary Cahill amid Vermaelen’s back injury.  Wenger didn’t believe that his injury was too concerning and was more concerned about RvP and Gibbs.  Gary Cahill carries a price tag of 17 million pounds even though he only has 1 year left on his contract.  Arsene doesn’t want to pay that much money so my guess is he’ll negotiate the crap out of that deal and we’ll see it completed…August 28th!

The other news is Werder Bremen telling clubs they would be willing to sell Per Mertesacker.  Bremen has a money issue as well as Mertesacker being in the last year of his contract.  Mertesacker would NOT carry a heavy price tag and would bring in to the club some height, as well as some discipline.  Most people who I’ve heard that don’t like Per thinks he wouldn’t make it in the EPL because of the pace of the game…have they watched the Bundesliga?  It’s by no means slow or much lesser than the EPL it is a top league.  He brings with him loads of experience and the Germans are all about organization and discipline so he could be a valuable addition.  Yes I’m aware he had a bad year last year…but he also played for a bad team last year, put him in the Arsenal squad and he may do wonders…

So what do I think we should do?  Buy them both!  Cahill and Mertesacker would both be valuable additions and then we would never have to see Squillaci on the field ever again!  I know Wenger wants a defender who already has Premier League experience but we have Bremen basically handing them to us for a small fee and it would be unwise of Arsene to really pass up on it.

I’m nervous about this week because I don’t see any deals being concluded soon so it could be a really tough game to watch on Saturday…especially if Marouane Chamakh leads the line!  I’m sad to admit it, but….I WOULD RATHER HAVE NIK BACK!  Nik would lead the line with confidence at least!  Maybe he won’t find a club and will decide to play for us because from what I’ve heard from open day is he looks like he’s playing really well.

If Nik does go soon then it’s quite imperative that we sign a new striker other than Joel Campbell.

Transfer News: AOC, Biglia, PM

Well we’re just about to start the week that we get our ‘super quality’ so that we can be ready for the season ahead.  A few new stories this morning starting with the one we hate the most as Xavi and Victor Valdes have both come out saying they expect Cesc soon!  Both players are friends of Fabregas so there’s a good chance they’ve been talking as well and while Fabregas won’t say a word every Barcelona player has done the talking for him and well gotten away with every bit of it!

No worries though because if Fabregas leaves we have a midfielder lined up right?  Hmmm…well Alex Oxlade Chamberlain has been rumored to be on his way to Arsenal this week.  Arsenal would pay 7 million pounds as the initial fee and an extra 5 million in add on’s for things he does for the club!  The plan (according to the report) is to integrate him in ASAP and start him with the Carling Cup.  The other player that has been rumored to soften the blow of Cesc Fabregas is Argentine International Lucas Biglia from Anderlecht.  The talented midfielder is more of a defensive midfielder and would cost between 6-10 million.

I would like to see Biglia in an Arsenal jersey soon but AOC I don’t think we need.  We have so many youthful players coming up and do we really need another player whose never played in the EPL and is still very young.  Biglia could fill in as a backup for Song and Wilshere and is a hard tackling player.  He’s recently become an international with Argentina and is looking to better himself by moving to a bigger team.  With the squad depth right now he’s a player Arsenal should jump at.

Lastly is Per Mertesacker and I’ve always been a fan of his and earlier this summer was posting a lot on him and praying he would come here.  Well Werder Bremen have now said they will consider offers for him and won’t stand in his way of leaving!  So will you make a move Arsene.  Recently Arsene said that it’s difficult to get the transfers done because you have to see if they will sell then agree a fee well we already know both Anderlecht and Bremen will sell, now give them the money and bring in the players we need!

I know there is more to the transfer than that but it’s been quite frustrating that both of our signings took forever!!!  David Dein though has been talking on the radio and has said Wenger is looking to bring in 2-3 more players at least!  So good news there, but hopefully will happen soon!

Before I forget, twitter talk is that we’ll be having discussions with Gary Cahill, no idea if its true just want to get you excited only to probably be let down! Just kidding, we’ll see what happens!

Could Per Mertesacker Be The Answer To Arsenal’s Prayers?

How many Arsenal fans have been waiting for the signing of a new Center Back?  Answer: Every single one of them!  For much of this off season we’ve heard this and that about Christopher Samba and Gary Cahill.  Some would put their two cents in about how we should be after Vertonghen, and Sakho and while both would be great for the club its not looking likely for us to be after them.

A week ago Bolton were in the press saying, ‘we haven’t received any bids for Cahill, if you want him get it done!’  An open invite to get the England International.  It appears that Chelsea is even looking to pick up the defender who has a release clause of 17 million.  Samba on the other hand has openly claimed that he wants to be an Arsenal player and Blackburn have acknowledged that but are still keen to hold on to the giant.  Do we really need a center back though?

Vermaelen will look to have a completely healthy year and is looking for a partner in the defense.  Djourou really put in some good work in last year especially in mid season.  His most memorable performance in my opinion against Chelsea as we dominated the entire game and Djourou shut down Drogba like he was a nobody.  Djourou needs to work on a few things though, especially his marking during set pieces.  It killed him many times this year as he has trouble tracking players and beating them.

Koscielney is another who put in some impressive performances as well, but he also put in some not so great performances.  What is weird is that Kos played well alongside Djourou, but looked like he’s never played the position before when next to Squillaci.  Kos will be best remembered last year for two things:  His impressive performance against Barcelona in the first leg, and his part in the blunder that caused us the league cup.  Kos will also be looking to improve in a few areas especially his strength.  He is great at tackling, especially when the play is in front of him.  Balls that went over the top and he had to chase he struggled with though.  His set piece defensive ability could improve as well.

Here comes the problem though, Sebastian Squillaci…Started off the season not too bad and helped get Djourou back up to speed and fitness.  Squillaci lost confidence though as the season went on and made more and more mistakes.  He turned out to be compared to Silvestre.  Our number 4 is not good enough to be in the Arsenal team and this is where we must reinforce, whether that means bringing in a real superstar and pushing Djourou and Kos back, or promoting Bartley to that spot.

So with the need for a new Center Back and Arsenal having difficulty finding one, we’ve come upon our most recent link in Per Mertesacker.  The large German only has 12 months left on his contract and has been mulling over a move to the Premier League.  Mertesacker could be vital to Arsenal’s title run with his incredible aerial abilities and his leadership.  With two real leaders in the back and two very different center backs, we could have the best defense in the EPL.

Now many of you are thinking, Mertesacker has been crap!  I know I’ve had these arguments already with people and what we have to realize is that this is a TEAM game.  When Mertesacker has players like Silvestre playing around him, and honestly not that good of a midfield in front of him, it puts extra pressure on Per and it left him exposed many times.  I’m not excusing him from some of his mistakes but you have to see that you can have talent, but in a team that doesn’t play as a team it can really hurt your game.

When I played I was a Left Back and one of our center backs was slow as balls, took too much time on the ball, didn’t have the best decision making and was really short although he’s an awesome person.  His partner in defense was 6 ft 5, fast, strong and had good anticipation and was a good player, but his partner often left him with much to clean up.  Mertesacker I believe had a similar experience and it ended up being too much to handle. The guy has so much experience playing in two world cups and the Euros as well as his Champions League experience.  One bad year doesn’t mean we shouldn’t sign him when he’s had many good years as well.

Now imagine him in an Arsenal jersey, where the team is disciplined and we have players who do their responsibilities and Silvestre is no longer in the team.  Imagine him playing beside Vermaelen and just dominating teams with their teamwork and skill.  Not only this but two leaders both from the center back spot.  It’s something I don’t think Cahill, or Samba could do as well.  I do think he would be the right signing for the club despite having a poor year last year, but a fresh start may be exactly what he needs.

Why Christopher Samba is NOT the Answer to Arsenal’s Problems

In a summer full of nothing but speculation we see Arsenal linked with tons of players all around the world.  Only a few of them are actually legitimate and one that seems to be in the works is Christopher Samba.  Blackburn are reluctant to sell and are holding out for 12 million pounds for the beastly center back.  Many Arsenal fans and “experts” think that this would be a great Arsenal signing and would help us in our Set Piece Dept. along with giving us a little more strength.

I unfortunately, am no expert and while I don’t disagree that Samba could help out in set pieces, I do think he lacks some of the things that an Arsenal center defender should have.  We, as Arsenal fans, are thinking with a narrow mind and looking at where he could help instead of what problems he would create for Arsenal.  Samba would bring strength, help on set pieces, out muscle more defenders and give Arsenal a little more intimidation.  What doesn’t he have though?  He’s slower, not as comfortable on the ball, does not read the game well, won’t be comfortable dribbling out of the back.

Arsenal play a very high line and with Samba in there we would get caught by faster strikers all day long.  The ball is played around the back four quite often as they often come support the attack and with someone uncomfortable we will have careless mistakes which could lead to goals.  It’s nice that he can help us on set pieces but I’m afraid his lack of talent in other places could hurt Arsenal more than help.  It is important Arsenal find a player of his height or ferocity who can read the game better and fit into the Arsenal system better.

Arsenal MUST find a way to sign Sakho although it may be quite hard with the money PSG has now.  Sakho is big, reads the game well and is the mould of a center back Arsenal have been yearning for.  Another good candidate would be Per Mertesacker.  He didn’t have his best year, but he’s a beast and is probably one of the best center backs when dealing with crosses, set pieces but is also a good defender as well.  Lastly,  there is Jan Vertonghen.  Not the tallest, but makes up for it with his attitude.  Vertonghen doesn’t take crap from anyone and goes in hard to the tackle, as well as being good on set pieces.

Which brings me to my next point.  Arsenal must have quality in their depth.  We often deal with injuries and must go to our backups.  The likes of Denilson, Bendtner, Arshavin, Rosicky, Vela, just haven’t cut it and if we are to really push for a title challenge then we need quality in depth.  Any player that goes out must be replaced.

Bendtner on his way out soon will be replaced by Gervinho, and when Denilson leaves, it’s important we sign a holding midfielder to replace him.  Sissoko or Matuidi should be brought in to have quality in our back ups.  Alvarez is a must whether we lose Fabregas or not.  The current crop of our bench just isn’t good enough and there needs to be a plethora or signings if we will have any realistic chance at a trophy.

So far we have none, but we must be close to at least 2 signings because we have offered Denilson to a few teams now trying to get a player in return.  It would be great if Arsenal would go back in for Douglas Costa as he is a real talent as well.  Whatever happens, happens in this transfer period but it will decide whether Wenger really wants a trophy or not and while he’ll claim we have a team that can win, they haven’t proved it in 6 years.

Transfers: Day of Disappointment but Encouraging Signs

The day came, and the day went and the only thing we saw was Arsenal sign a youngster and fail to sign a long time Arsenal Target in Phil Jones.  In the end, it was a disappointing day for Arsenal but at the same time, it was encouraging for many fans.  It was predicted by a few sources that Gervinho would be signing for Arsenal today.  I was looking forward to that happening as well but was also quite skeptical and new this may happen.  The news is that Gervinho will be leaving Lille for the Premier League, but to who?  A lot of people think Arsenal, anyone who doesn’t think Arsenal is thinking Newcastle.  It boggles mind that he would choose Newcastle over Arsenal when he has said in the past that he dreams of playing for Arsenal and that he wants to play at a top European team.

Earlier today we had a bid for Phil Jones accepted for between 16-20 million and instead he chose to go to Manchester United.  The 19 year old will play for the Red Devils next year and have to fight for a spot with Rio, and Smalling.  I’m actually relieved that we didn’t sign him even though he is quality.  He’s too young to come right into the team and is very expensive.  We can easily get better for cheaper but we may have to leave England for him.  There are rumors that Manchester United were in negotiations for Sakho and PSG and if that was true it probably hasn’t continued seeing that they just signed Jones.  It could bring in an opportunity for Arsenal to possibly bring in the giant Center Back!

Hopefully on Arsenal’s list is the Giant German Per Mertesacker!  Mertesacker didn’t have his best season in the Bundesliga this year and has even seen less time with the national team with the emergence of Mats Hummels.  Mertesacker would operate a lot better in the Arsenal team though with a better team around him.  He would be a key defender especially on set pieces and crosses.  Lastly there is Jan Vertonghen who is apparently no longer a transfer target of Manchester City as they focus on Gary Cahill.  Vertonghen is strong, tall, and in the same manner as Vermaelen, loves to score goals.  He doesn’t like the be pushed around and is as feisty as Jack Wilshere!

Any of these options would be considered viable for Arsenal and would be an improvement.  There has been talks of other players in England such as Cahill, Scott Dann, Samba and others but they would cost the same or more as the other three and in my opinion would not be as good.

What we have learned though is that Arsene Wenger is not afraid to spend the money and will be looking to improve the defense.  These are both encouraging signs and we could see a big summer for Arsenal.  If we let Fabregas, or Nasri go we will need to replace and we already know we will be losing Bendtner, Denilson and possibly Clichy.  If there are swap deals in there like some have suggested then we may be covered but much of our transfer money may come from sales.

Samba? No Thanks I’m Bad at Dancing

So basically we were in for Samba in the January transfer window and because of that we are being linked with him by everyone and their Grandma!  The Giant Congo Defender is on the cards as a potential signing of Wenger because of him being a Giant and Arsenal having no spine.  After reading countless blogs and comments from each I’ve seen that most people are okay with Samba coming to Arsenal.  This is rather unacceptable.  He may be strong and good in the air and on set pieces but no experience besides Premier League and honestly coming into the year, neither did our other center backs besides Verm and Squillaci who was terrible in Europe.  We don’t need another defender that has to get used to it all, we need one that has already been there. Why you ask do I feel this way?

1.  While he may be big, he isn’t fast enough especially for the high line that we hold.
2. He may have prem experience but thats the end of it, there are others we could get.
3.  Lacks a football brain and doesn’t read the game well
4.  Would struggle to cope with the play of top teams in Champions League
5.  Lacks Technical Ability

Alternatives

Christian Zapata:  Another big fellow and with a bit more pace, more technical and football ability.  Can dribble out from the back and can put a head to  the ball.  Zapata plays for a team who has their on and off years but has done relatively well.  Not sure on the availability on the Center Back but is a good alternative.

Per Mertesacker:  Probably my favorite choice.  He is similar to Samba as he is big, great on set pieces and good in the air.  Where he has the advantage is his experience.  He’s 26 and has been to 2 World Cup Quarterfinals along with the Euro’s Final.  He’s played in Champions league and Europa League and  plays in a competitive league.  This is a player Arsenal should be pushing to sign.  There were rumors of us holding out until this summer to buy him during the January transfer window and Bremen didn’t do that well in the Bundesliga so maybe a good chance to grab Marin and Mertesacker!

Serdar Tasci: Not saying that Tasci is the perfect replacement, because I think Arsenal can do better than Tasci and he seems basically like Koscielny, except he also has played for the German National Team and has been in the Champions League.  He has more experience than Kos and Samba but he is smaller in stature and wouldn’t really help out with the Set Pieces

Jan Vertonghen:  Well, most thought he was going to City and he still may but ever since all the news on it came out it has gone relatively quiet and Arsenal should be capitalizing on it, but thats not how they roll.  Vertonghen is feisty, and a hard tackler.  He’s a good size and knows how to play with Vermaelen.  I was never a huge fan of him until I watched him play more and I have to say I’m impressed.  I think its a smart move especially since he’s got experience in Europe plus he’s a cheaper Center Back and Koscielny was and Jan would probably start ahead of him.

Either way, Samba for me is not the answer.  I would rather see us keep Bartley and use him over getting Samba and putting our resources into something else!  Don’t agree, thats ok…tell me about it!