Morning all. Today is July 21st which means that all the players that played in the Euros, including Samir Nasri, report for training today. So welcome to Samir, welcome back to van Persie, and not welcome back to Emmanuel Adebayor.
So we'll start with the boss talking about Theo Walcott. He improved dramatically at the end of last season, sparked some might say by that amazing run against Liverpool in the Champion's League. (Great run but tough memories right after the conclusion of that goal.) However, he wants to play striker, not on the wing, and Arsene has said he intends for him to be moved up front down the road. Arsene had this to say about him:
“Theo made a step forward last season and you expect him to improve again,” said Wenger after the 2-1 win over Barnet on Saturday. “The target last year was for him to play 15 to 20 games and show quality. The target this year is to become a regular player.
“What position he’ll play in I don’t know. At the moment he looks more at ease wide than as a central striker. But we have to wait through the preparation games and see how ready he will be. The Barnet game was not a good opportunity to judge him.”
And I agree with him whole heatedly. I think if he continues to improve on the way he played near the end of last year he can certainly win the starting spot on the right side of midfield and if he pushes on from there he can get some games as a striker as well. Think about what options we have on the right, Walcott, Eboue (no comment), and maybe Rosicky or Nasri if the other is playing on the opposite side. Not exactly an impossible spot for Theo to lock down as his own. I'm looking forward to seeing more of what Theo can do this season. He didn't look good at all up front in the Barnet match but that's to be expected as he hardly ever plays in that role plus it was the first game back. I have grown out my facial hair to match Walcott's chin-strap style beard and have dubbed it "The Theo." It's actually quite nice.
I hope the boss doesn't persist with Eboue. Surely he realizes that the man brings nothing to the table. It's been a lingering thought in the back of my mind all summer, that of having to deal with another full season of Eboue starting on the wing. But I think the boss may finally realize that Theo can bring much more to the team playing in that spot. Eboue is no more than a backup right back and it should be kept that way. The farther away from the pitch he is kept, the better. We should just get him a cage that he can be locked in to watch all the matches, so that Arsene isn't ever tempted to play him. Have I mentioned I'm not an Eboue fan?
It took me ages to find this video so I hope you enjoyed it. Not the best quality video but if you watched it live it'll still be amazing to relive it; it was for me.
As far as transfer news, The Telegraph reports that PSG and Barcelona are interested in William Gallas for 6 million pounds and that Juventus could put in a 15 million pound bid for Robin van Persie. For once that actually sounds like a player Arsene Wenger might not mind losing. I wouldn't be upset at all to see us sell William Gallas for 6 million pounds. He's 31, he shouldn't be captain and this would be a great way to make sure we bring in a new defender and keep Kolo Toure in the starting lineup. There's not a bad way to look at it. Then Kolo would get the captaincy, we'd get our powerful defender and we have no whining from Gallas. I don't know if the interest from PSG is real or not but if it is then I'm begging Arsene to sell him. It would just take care of a bunch of problems all at once. Anyone disagree?
As for Robin van Persie, I don't think Arsene would let him go, especially with the fragile state of Emmanuel Adebayor's relationship with the club at this point. So I don't think we have anything to worry about there. I'd probably take 20 million for him though, if they offered that.
Bakary Sagna spoke about his injury and how well he's recovered from it, saying that there is still some pain but he can play normally.
"I needed to find my performance level again and be prepared to give more than I have before.
"I do think, though, that I will be fit for the start of the season.
"I want to focus on my own game, perform for Arsenal and see what the season brings. Hopefully it will be some cups."
I love Bakary. He always has a great attitude and works hard, not to mention he's the best damn right back in the league. Here's to your full recovery mate! Cheers!