Friday 31 August 2012

No more snowmen at Arsenal please!

So here we are. The day of reckoning on the transfer front has arrived. 

The Theo Walcott transfer saga has continued despite the best efforts of Arsene Wenger to put the matter to bed. If he really wants to do that, he needs to tuck Theo up with a teddy bear stuffed with a £100k-per-week wage packet plus a hefty signing-on fee plugging up his hot water bottle.
If Wenger doesn't and just insists that Theo should stay a good boy and remain in bed, the diminutive winger could end up getting whisked off somewhere like that kid does in 'The Snowman'. For some strange reason, it's quite easy to imagine Theo singing 'We're Walking In The Air'. The next line would surely be, 'I'm flying down the wing'. 

But if Wenger is serious about Theo staying, he should make sure he's flying down the centre. That's where Theo wants to play and Wenger always says he sees the England international as a striker, eventually. Well, after no goals scored in our first two games, now would be a good time to start trying him out there. The future starts here! 

Apparently, Wenger spoke to Theo personally, after the 0-0 draw against Stoke, and Le Boss was expecting to have to deal with a petulant over-age teenager, sulking about being dropped. But as I've said before, Theo's attitude is refreshing. Although, Theo's chin was touching the floor, apparently, due to his disappointment at being dropped, he still professed his love of the club and Wenger was pleasantly surprised to hear that he wants to stay. However, it still seems a tad risky not to sell Theo, if he's still refusing to put pen to paper on a new deal.

Although some reports suggest a short-term deal has been agreed, I find this hard to believe as no specific details have been revealed. And even if it's been agreed, it doesn't mean it's been signed. Unless you get the deal signed, then you can't rely on a gentleman's agreement protecting your interests. Remember when chairman Peter Hill-Wood said he had a gentleman's agreement with Barcelona over Cesc Fabregas. Next thing you know, the Spanish version of 'The Snowman' whisked one of our 'kids' off into the Catalonian night.

Please Arsene, we don't need another performance of 'The Snowman'. Once in Spanish was enough.
Meanwhile, we now know our opponents in the Champions League: Schalke, Olympiakos and Montpellier. None sound that easy to me. Schalke have lost the ageing Raul, but still have Klass Jan Huntelaar to worry us. Olympiakos are never easy to play against, but if their Drama-born superstar, Ioannis Fetfatzidis, is that theatrical maybe he'll get sent off or something. Or perhaps he'll win a penalty, which would be worrying, if it were against us. Then there's Montpellier, Olivier Giroud's old club. I wished we'd signed their number 10, Younes Belhanda, as well as that would make them even weaker.

I'd been hoping for Malaga, Anderlecht and Braga, so Group B is much more difficult than I was hoping for. Strangely, I predicted we'd play Schalke and Olympiakos. It was just a guess. I didn't have any inside knowledge. Honest!

Back to the transfer front, for a moment: there are strong rumours that we're about to sign Dentinho for 8.5m euros. He sounds like a Brazilian chewing gum to me, but I know we've been linked with him before. His agent is Ben Thorne, who represents three Chelsea players: David Luiz, Oscar and Lucas Piazon. So perhaps Dentinho will join Chelsea instead.

TalkSport have re-ignited rumours that we're about to sign Gregory van der Wiel from Ajax. I hope not, as I wasn't impressed with his performances for Holland at the Euros. Arsenal's chief negotiator (AKA a man with importance but without a job title), Richard Law, wouldn't confirm or deny this rumour.

I don't really believe TalkSport much these days, but they're sure to get something right. They claim Arsenal are chasing 6 players: 1) Yohan Cabaye (yes, Arsene, please get him, even though it was me that started this story, just like Olivier Giroud!), 2) Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), 3) Yann M'Vila (Rennes), 4) Cheikhon Kouyate (Anderlecht defender),  5) Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), and 6) Milo (Haras El Hodood). I'll take a number one and a number five please!

The Daily Mail claim we have asked Chelsea if we can have Michael Essien on loan, which is a bit like getting Yossi Benayoun from them last year. Who would have predicted that? Not me! Other sources say we're trying to get Daniel Sturridge on loan too. Why stop there? Why don't we try to sign the entire Chelsea reserve team? They would rather sell Sturridge for £15m, so I guess we can forget about that happening.

One semi-confirmed signing is a new goalkeeper. But don't get too excited. He's 17. He's Macedonian and his name is Dejan Iliev. Apparently, he's joined our youth set up from FK Belasica. Great! Maybe he'll be pushing for a first-team place by 2020!

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