Morning. Let's get right down to it. The Independent says Arsenal are going to offer Stan Kroenke a place on the board. This is a far contrast from the way they feel about Usmanov, and indeed felt about Kroenke some time ago. When Stan from the States first bought into the club everyone thought that he was part of a takeover plan which never came about. He simply bought 12 percent of the club and has worked well with the board ever since, even signing the lock down agreement to not sell his shares before 2012. The moral of the story is the whole team of Arsenal board members and shareholders are doing their part to keep that fat oaf Usmanov out of the club and it appears to be working.
Good news on the injury front sees Tomas Rosicky had a successful surgery on his knee. The surgery was yesterday and was supposed to be an exploratory procedure to try to find out the problem but they discovered and then reportedly fixed it by attaching the tendon with two titanium anchors, which should keep it in place. The doctor that performed the operation said that after his rehabilitation he should have no problems and get back to having full functionality in the knee. Great news and I can't wait to see Tomas back next season.
We've been warned off Obafemi Martins by Kevin Keegan, which is fine because we don't want that cunt anyway. It does say we haven't approached him thank God because we really don't need Martins and if we paid 15 million for him I'd shoot myself.
It looks like we're going to be loaning out some potential first team players next season, as Armand Traore may be going to Portsmouth with Alex Song going to West Brom. I have no problem with Song going to West Brom because I think he will get games there and get to have good experience in a team that will almost certainly head right back down to the Championship. The only problem I have is with Traore going to Pompey, where I wonder if he will get games on the wing. Don't they have better options for the wings, including one we're trying to buy? Either way, let's hope they both get good experience if they do get loaned out and they'll be better off for it.
The Times reports that Yaya Toure would be interested in a move to Arsenal if there was a bid for him. He had this to say today:
"I am conscious of interest from certain Premier League clubs. I can't say anything for the moment, but it's true that it would be great to play for a big club with my brother. That would be fantastic, but you never know."
I love Yaya as a player. I thought he was immense against Man United in the first leg at the Nou Camp. He's a ready made Flamini replacement and he would never want to leave Arsenal. It'd be a brilliant signing in my eyes, and I just have a hunch that it may happen.
There is a poll on Sky Sports for the goal of the season. Adebayor's goal versus Sp*rs is in the lead so let's keep it that way.
So now it's time for player review number two, about our favorite number 3, Bakary Sagna!
In the Past: As Sagna just joined Arsenal last summer we don't have much of a past on him besides that he played for Auxerre before coming to Arsenal and nobody at all had heard of him when we signed him. He made 87 appearances for Auxerre in Ligue 1 and 17 appearances in the UEFA Cup and was part of the team that won the French Cup in 2005, and he was also named in the French team of the season that year. He moved to Arsenal for 6 million pounds.
This Season: Sagna pulled off something that doesn't happen very often when foreign players move to England, he hit the ground running. Wenger said when he came in that he didn't expect Sagna to play right away and that he had intended to give him half a season to adjust before throwing him into the league games, but his performances in the pre-season gave him the starting right back slot and he fit right into the English game. Many people a season ago thought Emmanuel Eboue was one of the best if not the best right back in the Premiership, and it shows how well Sagna has played that he has fully replaced him and made that spot his own, forcing Eboue to the wing. He scored his first goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge off a beautiful header from a corner kick. He got injured later in the match which turned out to be what ended his season unfortunately. He was rewarded for his performances by being named in the 2007/2008 Premier League Team of the Year. He notched a total of 5 assists and 1 goal in the league this year, which is quite an impressive tally coming from right back. In defense, he only received three yellow cards all season, received 40 fouls while only giving up 12, and won 39 tackles while only losing 17. He is also a candidate for the Arsenal Player of the Season award.
Next Season: I think you have to say that going forward we should count on Sagna to be one our most reliable and best players. His impressive first season gave evidence of what he can do for the team and I think he will be able to build on that due to the great attitude you see from him. He is a very humble guy and a hard worker who seems to genuinely love playing. What we don't want to see is injury problems of course. We have to hope the injury he suffered near the end of the season this year won't come back and cause him problems because that will effect his consistency in his performances. He certainly has the right back spot locked up though, which may end up forcing Justin Hoyte out of the club because it doesn't appear he will be getting very many games. If Sagna can keep up the level of performances he's had this season, or even raise the bar a little more, it will make that right side of defense one that no striker or winger wants to come up against. And yes I am a fan of his hair.
One last note, I'm still looking for contributers for the upcoming ArseNole podcast. If you would like to co-host with me I am looking for one and if anyone can think of anything funny or interesting to put on there that would be great. Just add it on the comments, forums, or email me, ArseNole@arsenole.com