Monday 6 August 2012

Santi dots his 'i' and crosses his 't' for Arsenal!

This Dragon software never ceases to amaze me. Today "Hello again Gooners (I had to type that)" became "hello again goodness" and "The boomers"! Yes it's not doom and gloom it's now zoom and boom, or va va voom as Thierry Henry used to say. But thank goodness it looks like we're about to sign Santi Cazorla. All he has to do now is dot the "i" and cross the "t" in his first name and we should be there. Virtually every football website in the world has announced the signing except for Arsenal's official one.

Perhaps this latest signature is a statement of intent and Robin van Persie would do well to recognise that this club could be going places. He, of course, could be on the same plane with Santi Cazorla, as the team travel to Cologne. But when he comes back don't be surprised if he ends up in Manchester, signing for United for £20 million. City seem to think they have no chance all of a sudden. It makes you wonder what goes on behind closed doors.

Still, the media are lining up plenty of replacements, surely not all of them are incorrect. Kevin Mirallas sounds like he fits the bill, as it's a very small bill that! £6.4 million for a striker who scores goals is peanuts in this day and age, so perhaps Arsenal will be tempted to sign the 24-year-old Belgium international striker from Olympiakos.

Ganso, meanwhile, is not as tempting as the Santos president Luis Alvarez de Olvieira Ribeiro says the player won't be sold for anything less than the amount of his huge buyout clause. The player himself is saying is under contract in 2015, so I see no movement on that front at all.

If we want to buy more players we could do worse than raid Malaga again. Former Arsenal transfer target Salomon Rondon has just been sold to Rubin Kazan and has signed a four-year deal. Apono has just joined Real Zaragosa. Spain under 21 international winger Isco looks set to move to Manchester United, while Joris Mathijsen is also up for grabs. I'd consider putting in a bid for Jeremy Toulalan, Joaquin, and Carlos Kameni. The latter would certainly put "the cat" amongst the pigeon-like flappy goalkeeping-types at the club!

But none of the above really sound like Arsenal Wenger style signings. Instead, he's more likely to go for someone like Luke Shaw of Southampton. The 17-year-old is highly rated and the Saints rejected a bid from Chelsea, so if we're going to get him were going to have to pay in excess of the Blues' offer which was £4 million. It wouldn't surprise me if we did, if the kid is as good as people say. I haven't seen enough of him to comment at this stage, but I'm very pleased with Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, so I'm assuming that Southampton are very good at producing young football players. Although, of course, TV pundit Stewart Robson doesn't really think Theo is a footballer as such! I totally disagree, but I like to hear Robson's views nonetheless and for all his faults I think Robbo's technical analysis is very sound. It's always refreshing to hear and speak his mind, even if it is critical of the club.

It's far better to listen to pundits like Robson and Paul Merson, and hear some of the tripe that masquerades as news. For instance, who came up with the story that Arsenal were interested in Gregory van der Wiel. I can't see the Dutchman's transfer from Ajaz to Arsenal happening in a million years. He had a poor Euro 2012 and he was involved in a Twitter controversy, that might endear him to the Twitteratti at Arsenal but is unlikely to impress the likes of Arsenal Wenger. The full back really shouldn't have been posting pictures of himself with Lil Wayne when he should have been on international duty with Holland. He had been excused international duty on account of concussion, so going to a rap concert would hardly be medicine or recuperation, in this case, for most sensible players. And Wenger usually buys sensible players, which is why I'm ruling this particular deal out.

Of course, Arsene Wenger never seems to keen on players that are ready to speak out. Andrey Arshavin has suffered in this regard, and reports suggest that he could end up at Queens Park Rangers on loan initially with a view to a permanent move. I will be very upset if this happens, but perhaps it's inevitable that the talented mercurial meerkat will move on soon.

Finally, I have to thank Manuel Almunia are for making me chuckle. He said he thought he would win trophies at Arsenal! What did he mean? Reserve team trophies? I think he was lucky to become our number one, but he wasn't too bad as a stand-in keeper, in my opinion. It'll be interesting to see how many cups he wins at Watford. He's already played his first game for them picking the ball out of the net against Spurs in a 1-0 friendly defeat.

That's all for this time. Until the next time, up the Gooners!

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