Arsenal loan players make an impression at the Euros

It may be sacrilegious to make such a comment, but I’ll make it all the same. As a Gooner I really find it hard to be too excited about the European Championship, the World Cup or any international competition.

Sure I enjoy watching football, because that’s what those of us who love the beautiful game do far too frequently. I am a proud Englishman and want my national team to do well, but I find it difficult to cheer on an England team containing the likes of Terry, Cole and Parker; players I despise.

Arsenal is my first love, so when I watched England play France I was interested in seeing the performance of the Ox and sadly only a couple of minutes of Theo.

While Arsenal play beautiful, sophisticated, slick passing football; England play dull, turgid one dimensional football that is all too predictable.

It is of course no coincidence that the one English midfielder with the ability to make things happen is an Arsenal player. That the English national team is bereft of midfield quality apart from Jack Wilshere is a serious indictment of those running English football. Arsene Wenger has proved time after time that he knows how to develop young talent and it is England’s loss and Arsenal’s gain that he manages our club.

There was a real buzz watching Lukas Podoloski playing for Germany and his presence, plus the likely arrival of Olivier Giroud from Montpelier will hopefully convince RvP that Arsenal are likely to be serious contenders for top honours next season.

These signings also suggest that the Professor will have a more defined plan B, adding Giroud’s strength and aerial prowess to Arsenal armoury. While Arsenal will never play long ball football, there are times when this option is necessary.

If Ivan Gazidis’s comments that Arsenal plan to buy quality rather than quantity come to fruition then I am confident that the 2012/13 season will be a remarkable one for Arsenal and one that will see a return of silverware.

With one round of matches in Euro 2012 now complete, there have been mixed fortunes for current and ex-Arsenal players. RvP lacked his usual sharpness, missing chances he would normally have buried; while Szczesny in the Polish goal had a nightmare, being partly responsible for the Greek goal and also collecting a red card. However Bendtner, in a very different role, impressed for the Danes.

But for many of us Gooners, the performance of Andrei Arshavin raises a number of questions. How can a player be so bad for one club and so good for another? In the few months since returning to Zenit St. Petersburg on loan, he has by all accounts been outstanding, both for club and country; while in the first half of the season in red of Arsenal he was often an embarrassment.

Arshavin looked the perfect match for Arsenal and had some outstanding matches, but overall was a disappointment and worse often looked disinterested. It is clear that the player did not want to live in London and while it is not always easy to identify such a problem in a player, maybe the club should consider the player’s mindset as well as his fotballing qualities before making a purchase.

On the subject of mindset, if Samir Nasri, is as reported, surplus to requirements at Manchester City, should we consider trying to lure him back to the Emirates? He was so desperate to leave Arsenal; yet seeing him give a man of the match performance and score a quality goal against England makes you realise what value he could add to our team.

About the writer

Phil Harris has been a season ticket holder at the Emirates and Highbury before it for 20 years. He maintains a critical eye on all thing Arsenal and sports and in his spare time can be found gambling at

Arsenal midfielder back in Euro 2012 contention

Tomas Rosicky is a relieved man. The 31-year old Czech midfielder had feared that his tournament could be over, due to an Achilles problem that he picked up against Greece a week ago. There was good news for Arsenal and the Czech Republic today, as the influential midfielder returned to training.

It will not be known until tomorrow whether he is fit enough to play against Portugal, but he will be desperate to add to his 87 caps and 20 goals. Once nicknamed “little Mozart,” Rosicky is the main playmaker for the Czech Republic.

They will need him on good form if they are to overcome a talented Portugal side, complete with Christiano Ronaldo, tomorrow night.

Another midfielder who has already been eliminated from the competition, Nigel de Jong, has stated his intention to stay at Man City and fight for his place. Arsenal had been alerted to the possibility of signing the combative midfielder for very little, as it was thought he wanted a move.

Mancini seems to have convinced the Dutchman that he still figures in the plans at the Etihad, so de Jong is happy to remain where he is.

Andre Santos Doubtful That Robin Will Stay at Arsenal

One of Arsenal’s most fresh signings Andre Santos seems to be uncertain that club captain Robin Van Persie will stay with the club after this summer, saying that every player needs a change at a certain point.

Robin has basically grown frustrated with the lack of trophies Arsenal seem to be going through in the last 7 years, and rumours have it that unless Wenger will be able to bring in top signing which could convince the Dutchman that the Gunners still hold a chance to win the title, he’s going to leave.

Santos thinks that it’s hard to ignore the interest coming from so many top clubs, and Robin’s extraordinary late form will make Wenger’s job of keeping him virtually impossible.

“He has been at the club eight years and this was his best season.” Santos said. “Sometimes, a player is interested in getting to know other teams and of course, playing well, he has attracted interest from many other teams. Of course your mind is affected.”

Robin’s decision will certainly not be made for at least another month, but the waiting is harder with each day passing for Arsenal’s most loving fans who wants to see their favorite player commit to their beloved club.

Top Arsenal and Tottenham striker target admits Premiership desire

The prolific Spanish striker Fernando Llorente has been instrumental in helping Athletico Bilbao overachieve this season by reaching the Finals of the Europa League and the Copa Del Rey, which has made many Premiership teams step up and take notice.

Both Arsenal and Tottenham have been strongly linked wth a move for the giant 27 year-old after he managed to knock in 29 goals in 53 appearances for Bilbao this season, and he has told reporters that he is tempted by a move to the Premier League.

Llorente said: “I might end up playing in England, who knows? At the moment I’m at Athletic Bilbao, but who knows later.

“Xabi Alonso and Fernando Torres have told me about the immense respect that the fans have for their players there.”

Llorente has already scored seven goals for Spain and with David Villa injured he could get a big chance to impress further at the up-coming Euros. If Robin Van Persie finally decides to leave the Emirates then surely Llorente would be a more than able replacement?

Arsenal facing serious competition for Olivier Giroud

Spanish La Liga side Malaga was bought in June 2010 by Sheikh Al Thani, a member of the Qatari royal family, so they are not struggling for money. His spending power has seen the club rise up the Spanish league, and they claimed a spot in next season’s champion’s league competition.

Malaga need a new front man to partner Julio Baptista since Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy retired from football. Arsenal should beware, because the man they have selected for the job is Montpellier star Olivier Giroud, according to Talksport.

Giroud scored 25 goals from his 43 appearances for Montpellier as they pipped PSG to the title. He has a contract with Montpellier until 2014, so the club will want to get as much as possible for the hit man. It is believed that the player himself has told the club that he wants to move on to a bigger club.

Arsenal were hoping to sign the striker for a cut-rate price of £10 million, but with super rich Malaga in the frame they may have to stump up a lot more. Giroud has told the press that he will not do anything about his future until after Euro 2012.

Giroud has only made five appearances for France but he will be hoping to add to that this summer and earn himself a big move. Keep your eyes out for him.

M’Vila WILL play at the Euros

I must admit to being slightly relieved when I heard that French defensive midfielder Yann M’Vila limped out of the friendly match between France and Serbia after just four minutes. For one thing, the 22-year old is very highly rated and England are already looking a bit thin on the ground, creatively speaking.

It was thought that the midfield enforcer’s injury would rule him out of Euro 2012 altogether. This, I felt, could only be good for Arsenal. Wenger knows everything about the player that he needs to, but a good showing at the tournament may have sparked a bidding war. Rennes have already said that nothing will be done about his future until after the Euro’s and were obviously hoping for a price hike.

So, with M’Vila injured, Arsenal could take their time and drive a hard bargain with the French club. The latest news is that the player will attend the Euro’s after all.

“The ankle is not broken. It’s reassuring,” said the France team doctor. Manager Laurent Blanc added, “We can think that he will be fit for the first game. His participation in the tournament is not in question.”

Now Gooners will have to worry that either he compounds the injury and wrecks any potential start to next season, or he plays a blinder and attracts the attention of other clubs willing to pay silly money.

Marvin Martin admits he’s ready for Premier League move

French international attacking midfielder Marvin Martin has admitted the fact that he’s looking forward to making a move away from Ligue 1 side Sochaux to a more powerful team now that he has become such an important part of the French national squad.

Arsenal have been keeping an eye on the attacking midfielder for the whole season, and according to rumours Wenger wants to complete a deal for the French youngster as soon as the European Championship will be over at the beginning of July.

‘I’m ready to go play overseas, but I have not made a decision about my future,’ Martin said.

‘I know there has been contact but I’m 100 per cent focused on France and the Euros.

The strange thing about that statement is that the only big League Martin can go to that is “overseas” is England!

Arsenal’s manager is still looking for reinforcements in the midfield section of his team after losing Fabregas and Nasri last year. Now the fact that Frimpong is out for a very long period of time and Diaby along with Wilshere are still not fit and ready to play despite being away from the pitch for the better time of the season.

Martin might be able to bring back the spark in Arsenal’s game, especially now that they lost chance to sign Hazard and that it seems like Belhanda won’t be moving away from Montpellier any time soon. Do you think that the Frenchman would be a good addition?

Alex Chamberlain excited about playing under Hodgson’s tactics

The Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is very happy with England’s new manager, Roy Hodgson. The player says that it is a positive thing that Hodgson is the team’s manager, as he allows attacking-minded players like Chamberlain express themselves.

In an interview for the Football Association’s website, Chamberlain said: “The manager is a really good man, he gets on really well with the boys and he has a little laugh but when it comes to doing his job he’s been brilliant so far with tactics.”

“He lets players like me who like to run at people express ourselves and he gives us the license to do that.

“So for someone like me who likes to go forward it’s exciting to have a manager who lets you do those things.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm around the camp, everyone is trying to impress because there is a lot of competition for places.

“With the new manager coming in it feels like a fresh start – well it would do for me because it’s my first trip – but the boys seem like they’re really listening.

“He’s putting his points across to us, we’re taking them on board and putting them into the training sessions.”

“I’m not fussy about where I play, I’ll just do the best I can in any position,” he said.

“I was over the moon to make my debut in the first friendly and for the boys to win was a good start for us going into the tournament. Hopefully there are better things to come.

“It’s been a mad year for me all round and to get selected for the Euros was massive.

“I’m not too sure what to expect but it’s going to be exciting.

“When you’re a young lad you want to play in massive tournaments. I can’t wait.”

Euro 2012 is the first major tournament for the Arsenal youngster and he seems very excited to play. The 18 year old is not experienced at all for this kind of competition, but he might compensate this issue with his talent and “age-madness”. Will he manage to be an important England player for the Euro?

Oxlade-Chamberlain – Theo will look after me at the Euros!

The Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still pinching himself after getting a shock call-up for the England squad for this summers Euro2012 tournament, but extremely happy that the more experienced Theo Walcott will be there to show him the ropes.

“It is massive to have Theo in the squad as well,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said on the official Arsenal site. “To be named in the squad, straight away you think of everyone else there.

“I have been watching the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and John Terry for a number of years on TV and also playing for England. That only seems like yesterday and now I’m going to be going with them, it is a bit daunting but I can’t wait.

“Straight away, I thought about how good it would be having Theo there, because I have a mate! I get on well with Theo and when I first came to Arsenal he took me under his wing to help me out.

“I know Theo and I know that he went to a World Cup at 16 and enjoyed it. That obviously gives me inspiration and encouragement and I’m really looking forward to it.”

It will be a great learning experience for the 18 year-old to go to the Ukraine with the England squad, even if he doesn’t play. He is obviously going to be an integral part of the squad one day, and you never know, Hodgson may throw him on at a critical time and he may come back as an England hero!

Van Persie thinks Holland will need some luck at the Euros

Arsenal’s striker Robin Van Persie seems to be set to continue his incredible season form in the summer at the EURO 2012, where his team will face Denmark, Germany and Portugal in the toughest group of the tournament.

Robin has been named the best player in the premiership this season, while some of his national team colleagues like Robben, Huntelaar, De Jong or Van der Vaart have also had incredible seasons, so our Gunner may be part of an amazing team this summer.

“It will be quite tricky because we have a really tough group – the first game against Denmark, then Germany and Portugal.

“We have to look at it game by game, just give it our all and see what happens.

“You need a bit of luck during the tournament, hopefully we can get that.

“Even after the group stage, we will have a really tough task, because we could meet Italy in the second round, then Spain in the semi-finals if we both win our games.

“So if we win it, then for sure we will really deserve it.”

Everybody hopes for Robin to stay at the club and it is believed that he will decide this before leaving for Poland and Ukraine, but no news has appeared so far. What do you think Robin will choose to do?