Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cesc to Get New Deal, Kolo Toure Review

Morning all. Sorry I didn't get anything up yesterday but there was just about nothing for news and I just really wasn't up for it. My Under 7's finished our season today with a 5-1 win so that was good news, but the bad news is that now with no Arsenal and no team to coach football is officially over for a couple of months. But enough about that, we'll get on with the Arsenal.

Carlos Vela will be on his way to Arsenal for the start of next season, and Arsene Wenger says that they have applied for his work permit. Carlos has played at Osasuna all season, and he has played fairly well on the left wing, but Arsene says he will be used as a striker at Arsenal, and compared him to Eduardo. I wouldn't be surprised however, if Rosicky isn't healthy, to see Carlos get some games on the left wing.

Cesc Fabregas is set to sign a new deal, just 2 years after signing his 8 year contract. We don't want to take any chances after what happened with Flamini and what could happen with Hleb, and nobody deserves a new deal more than Cesc. He's going to be making the most money on the team, which he should, and it just shows that Arsene didn't think Flamini was so irreplaceable because he'll break the wage structure for Cesc just like he did with Thierry.

Arsene Wenger has tipped Alexander Song as the next great Arsenal centre-back. He did well in the last few games of the season but I hardly think he's at the level where we'd put him in against Man United or Chelsea and feel comfortable. Imagine Drogba versus Song...

There isn't that much else for news so we'll just get on with the transfer news/rumors.

Several sources are reporting that Diego would be the preferred target if Hleb were to leave this summer. He's a 23 year old attacking midfielder playing for Werder Bremen. He really is a quality player. However, he is not the answer to Hleb leaving. He is a central midfielder that plays behind the strikers, not a right winger. He is a great player but we want an out and out winger, not another player who is going to come inside and take away all of our width. If he is used the right way, I'm all for bringing Diego in, but if not then let's not bother.

Samir Nasri has also been linked with us as our "creative player" that Arsene said he wants to bring in this summer. He's a good player as well by what I have seen but since I do not watch the French league I only get to see highlights, which is what everyone is going by when they say he's amazing.

We've also been linked with Aaron Ramsey of Cardiff, who is playing today in the FA Cup Final. He's a young winger who people think very highly of. He's valued at 5 million pounds and supposedly Arsenal and Manchester United are both after him. Update: Portsmouth have just won the FA cup with former Gunner Kanu scoring the winner.

So now for our player review on Kolo Toure.

In the Past: Kolo is currently Arsenal's longest serving player, having joined the club in 2002 for only 150,000 pounds. What a buy that turned out to be. He started his career as an attacking midfielder but Arsene moved him to center back to partner Sol Campbell at the start of the 2004/2004 season. It turned out to be a great partnership because we ended up going unbeaten that season and won the league. Since Sol left our center back combinations have been missing the strength and height that Sol brought combined with the speed and agility Kolo has. The two were great together and Kolo became an essential part of the squad. He has started at center back ever since.

This Season: Toure has been partnering for a good part of the year with William Gallas. While they can both be considered elite defenders, they have not formed a good partnership in central defense. Most people think it is because the players are too similar as neither is especially good at marking the taller, stronger forwards in the league. Kolo has scored some goals this year, most notably against Middlesbrough to equalize late in the game and also on a free-kick against Bolton. He's had to play at right back for the last month of the season due to the injury to Bakary Sagna. He suffered an injury at the African Cup of Nations in January and seemed to be slow to find his feet upon his return, so Philippe Senderos took his place during that time.

Next Season: Kolo Toure to me should be the next Captain of Arsenal. I personally think he is a better option in the middle than Gallas is and with a taller, stronger back next to him I think we would be able to return to the defensive strength we had when he partnered Sol Campbell. Toure is one of most experienced players, and is a world class defender. I expect him to have a great season next year, and hopefully he is not removed from the starting eleven when a new center back is brought in.

That's about all I've got today. Remember to email or leave a comment if you have any ideas for the podcast, and I'll try to get something together tomorrow. Cheers.


Anonymous said...

We've been linked with Aaron Ramsey of Cardiff!! Ninaian Park is their stadium!!
I saw him come on against Pompey today, looked like a good player, but not for us!

Mike said...

I was surprised to hear that Vela is expected to play a more central role. I think he played on the wing for Mexico against the US and I was very impressed with him there. Looked dangerous for a young player.

Andre said...

I've seen a few Marseille games a all of the French internationals w/ Nasri. He is definitely quality and would be a good fit.

ArseNole said...

Glad to hear from you Andre. Do you think he is capable of playing out on the wing or is it another case of say...Hleb, where he is a more central player that is forced out wide.