Morning all. I'm right tired this morning honestly so this one may not be as long as usual. It sucks not having any matches to look forward to. Can you believe it thought this blog is almost one year old now. Next month will be one whole year. Ridiculous.
Arsene Wenger enlightened all of us who were baffled as to how he could keep playing Eboue on the wing. He said that you cannot only go by assists and goals but by how the team plays and how many team goals and chances there are. He said Eboue brings defensive balance to an offensive side, but I'd say he's lost his mind. He compared Eboue to Ray Parlour saying that Parlour didn't score many goals on the right side either. First of all, Parlour scored more than Eboue does for sure, plus he was just a better f'ing player Arsene! Also, Parlour was a central midfielder so I don't know what on Earth Wenger is talking about. Moral of the story is that now we know why Wenger plays Eboue, because he thinks that he's the new Ray Parlour. You're an idiot Arsene (in this case).
For those of you interested in what happened during the recording of The Cesc Fabregas Show, there is a good report on it here. Basically he won new kits for the enitre audience, answered questions, talked about his past, said the goal against AC Milan was his most important goal, and said he would like David Villa at Arsenal. Yes, he really said that. He was asked if he could bring back one player with him from the Euro's who would it be, and he said David Villa. Would be nice Cesc.
Gael Clichy is reportedly very close to signing a new 4 year extension on his contract, which is great news. Sagna and Clichy have both been reported to be getting new contracts and as we have seen with Hleb and Flamini, it's really important for us to tie down our best players for as long as possible.
"We're at the end of our discussions," Clichy told www.francefootball.fr. "Everything's going well because my intention is clear: I want to stay at Arsenal."
Now that attitude is just what we want to hear! Just one more reason of many to love Clichy. He continued to say that he'd love to stay at Arsenal for a long time and leave a mark on the club like Vieira and Henry.
There have been reports of Emmanuel Adebayor wanting to go to Milan and Madrid, and recently they have been Barcelona. Ade again shot those down with a response on Arsenal.com.
I don’t know why people want to put words in my mouth. As I said on Friday, I love Arsenal and I will be here next season. I am off to Togo tomorrow but will return to Arsenal for pre-season training in July.
I feel for the guy. I wish the Spanish press wasn't as bad every transfer season. We lose one star striker to Barcelona and the very next summer they're after another striker of ours. Ade wants to stay thought so we won't have any Henry-like departures for Barca this year.
Mad Jens is in the news again, and he's talking about Manuel Almunia yet again. This time it's actually nice though, telling him not to take anything personally and that the competition in the past year will help Manuel to improve. He said if he sees him in the summer or anytime after he can shake his hand and there will be no problem between them. That's good to hear because I was sure Jens wanted to murder Almunia last year.
Ok so now time for round three of player reviews, starring Cesc Fabregas.
In the Past: Fabregas came to Arsenal in 2003 after starting as a youth at Barcelona. Wenger snapped him up when he was sixteen and put him in the Youth Academy. He was something of a prodigy though and made his first appearance on October 23rd, 2003 in the League Cup versus Rotherham United. This made him Arsenal's youngest ever player at sixteen years, 177 days. He became the youngest goalscorer not long after in a win against Wolves that same season. Once Patrick Vieira left, Fabregas really got to shine in the first team, with the climax of the transition coming in the Champion's League when we were drawn against Juventus and Cesc completely out shined the former Gunners captain. In 2006/2007 he made 13 assists in the league which was good enough for second in that category. He was also named Arsenal's Player of the Season that year and was named in the UEFA Team of the Year.
This Season: This season Fabregas had, by most people's opinions, his best season as a footballer. He won the O2 Player of the Month award for the first three months of the season while chalking up many goals for a player that hadn't scored many for us in the past. He made 45 total appearances, scoring 13 goals and making 24 assists, 19 of those coming in the league, which is tops. He was at his best earlier in the season, when he was putting in goals almost every match. He stepped up in big moments as well, scoring the decisive goal in the San Siro to beat AC Milan in the Champion's League, the only English team to ever win against them there.
Next Season: Fabregas is the essential part of our team that we can't play without right now. If you watch matches where he isn't playing the movement seems to be off as well as the pace of the attacks. He dictates almost the entire game for Arsenal and his passing skill allows us to play our high pace, passing style. The day we lost Cesc Fabregas is a sad, sad day indeed. For now though, he is still only 21 years old and (scarily for other teams) he will keep on improving. I expect him yet again to be our best player in the coming season and to be the key in our drive for trophies. Keep it up Lord Fabregas.
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