Wenger right to say West Ham win proves Arsenal can FIGHT?

It has long been one of the main criticisms aimed at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger that we have a soft centre and do not stand up well to a physical challenge. It did look that way a few weeks ago when the Gunners were blown away by a physical Stoke City side in the first half, but the boss thinks the win over West Ham yesterday was proof that his team does have the fighting qualities needed in these games.

The Frenchman told Arsenal Player, “It was a very important game for us and we knew that we had a very physical game in front of us.

“I was a bit worried because we played with 10 men for 40 minutes against QPR and had to turn up here two days later, but we had a united, combative and very solid performance.

“We are questioned a lot about our physicality and we had a good opportunity to show that we could do it – and we did it in a very convincing way.”

That is three games in a row that Arsenal have had to defend heavily towards the end and two of them that we have come through with all three points, so Wenger has some reason to be happy. And maybe we have learned some big lessons from games like the one against Liverpool at Anfield and the painful 3-3 at home against Anderlecht.

Another way to see it would be to wonder why Arsenal were not killing off teams like the Belgian champions, QPR and West Ham. So should we be happy or concerned?

Remy must take pay cut or miss his dream Arsenal transfer!

There are Arsenal players on more money than £80,000 a week. In fact our new signing Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona is to be paid quite a bit more than that, along with the World Cup winning German midfielder Mesut Ozil, but Arsene Wenger thinks that is too much to pay for the services of the French striker Loic Remy, according to a Daily Star report.

That is what the 27-year old currently earns at QPR, but the newly promoted side need Remy off the wage bill and Newcastle, where he spent last season on loan, are not willing to meet that either. So the striker and his club are in a tricky situation, unless another Premier League club are willing to meet his demands as well as pay the £10 million release clause in his contract.

I wonder if the Prof is playing a bit of transfer poker here, knowing that Remy has talked about his desire to play for Arsenal and that the time is ticking on his chances of adding to the Champions League games he played for Marseille. Maybe that will persuade Remy to take a small drop in wages, while Wenger could also try to get QPR to accept a l;ittle less as it gets him off the wage bill. Arsenal may have lots more money to spend now, but that does not mean that our manager has changed his spots completely.

Is Premier League star right to doubt new Arsenal striker?

The new star signing Alexis Sanchez has yet to kick a ball for Arsenal yet, and already there are people having a go at him. I don’t suppose we should be too surprised, because the same happens whenever Arsene Wenger signs somebody, just look at the rubbish that came out of Real Madrid about Mesut Ozil last summer.

And the fact that is is the self-appointed voice of football, Joseph 1the fink` Barton that has cast doubt on the football credentials of Sanchez should not make you worry too much. But let’s have a look at what the QPR player says about the former Barcelona star, in a Daily Star report.

Barton tweeted, “Am I the only one not overly wetting my pants over Arsenal signing Sanchez? From what I’ve seen of him he is incredibly inconsistent.

“Yes, on his day he can light up a game. But as anyone who has watched Barca will tell you. His good games are as common as his bad.

“Whilst I think it will improve Arsenal. They still need more if they are to challenge for the title. Still think they need a bit of steel.

“He plays better for Chile where he’s the main man than Barca where he’s in Messi’s shadow. Will he be the main man at the Emirates?”

Nice of Barton to compare our French centre forward Olivier Giroud to Messi there, but I think he answered his own question. Of course Sanchez will be more an important part of the Arsenal team, although we will have to wait and see if Wenger tries him in the middle.

Barton is well known for saying controversial things and generally being a wind-up merchant. And just like this time, it is usually hypocritical. He seems to think he is the best player in the world, but has ended up with the bunch of mercenaries that is QPR, having scored less than 30 league goals in his long and less than illustrious career.

Sanchez has scored almost as many in his international career with Chile and is still only 25. As for being inconsistent with Barca, Alexis had 15 goals and 6 assists in his first season, 11 and 13 in his second and 21 and 15 in his third. I would love him to keep up that sort of inconsistency. Are we worried about Barton’s bellyaching?

Spurs fighting Arsenal over two TOP transfer targets

Remember last summer, Arsenal fans, when we were all getting stressed out and wondering what the hell Arsene Wenger was playing at in the transfer market? What made it even worse was that our north London rivals, Tottenham, were spending money like crazy and bringing in new signings on what seemed like a daily basis.

Well, that all worked out brilliantly for them didn’t it? So maybe that is why they have gone back to the tried and tested method of waiting to see who Arsenal are being linked with and then trying to hijack the deal. Because the latest Arsenal transfer rumours suggest that the spuds are homing in on two of the players heavily linked with a summer transfer to the Emirates.

The Daily Mail reports that Serge Aurier is being eyed up by the new Spurs boss, who is encouraged by the lack of official movement from the Gunners. And The Independent is reporting that the same is happening with the QPR and France striker Loic Remy.

Both reports insist that Arsenal is the club that these two players would prefer to play for, but how long will they wait, while a Premier League and Europa League club is trying to sign them? Not too long I would have thought.

Has Champions League sealed the transfer of Remy to Arsenal?

As Olivier Giroud was scoring his 22nd goal of the season yesterday, as Arsenal recorded a narrow win over West Bromwich Albion, the cameras picked out a familiar face in the Emirates crowd. Loic Remy, who has been linked with a transfer to Arsenal since before he joined QPR last January, has set the rumour mill buzzing by being at the Gunners’ game, so does this mean that he will be playing for us next season?

The timing could be significant. After he scored for Newcastle on Saturday, the late kick off saw Everton finally blow their chance of beating Arsenal to the top four. That ensured Arsenal another season in the Champions League, assuming that we get through the play-offs, and that is what Remy has already spoken about.

He does have a release clause with QPR, but it is only around £8 million so could easily be met by his loan club Newcastle, where he is settled, But the lure of a big club and, more importantly, Champions League football could have made up the French striker’s mind to come to Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger denied all knowledge of Remy’s attendance at the match, but I’m not sure we should believe it. He would bring some pace to the team up front and, although with 14 goals his tally is less than Giroud’s, he has missed quite a bit of the season and his goals per game ratio is better. So is Wenger set to trigger that release clause?

Arsenal get tough with transfer target Cesar over wages

Arsenal target Julio Cesar has been told that he must accept a pay cut if he wants to join The Gunners this summer. Italian side Napoli told him the same thing and Cesar later revealed that was why he declined their offer of a season long loan back in Italy. Napoli then turned to Liverpool’s Pepe Reina who has signed on with the Italian club for the season.

Arsenal have been interested in Julio Cesar since QPR’s relegation was confirmed months ago. QPR boss Harry Redknapp has said several times that Cesar will definitely not be a QPR player for the coming season as they look to secure promotion from the Championship back into the Premier League, but he may not have any choice in the matter.

Cesar himself has said that he will be looking for a move as he wants to make sure he nails down his place in the Brazil national side for next year’s world cup which will be played in Brazil of course. To add to the situation, he then said that he would like to stay in London as his family is well settled and they like the city. Arsenal seemed like the only club in the race for him, in London at least.

Asking the 33 year old to take a pay cut is a smart option as we don’t necessarily need him. It would be nice to have him at the club to help develop Szczesny or even to become our number one until he retires or moves on but his wages are not worth paying when we have a decent keeper on far less.

I’m starting to sound like I’m on the Arsenal board now….

Anyway, we can live without him but it would be nice to have him. I still think wrapping up deals for players like Luis Suarez and Gonzalo Higuain are far more important but I’m not the Arsenal boss.

Arsenal don’t need Cesar – We have Szczesny!!

Sky Sports News are today reporting confirmation of what has been speculated over the last few days, that Arsenal target Julio Cesar is on ‘the brink of a move to Napoli’.

Arsenal have been on the lookout to strengthen their goalkeeping options after it was suggested that Szczesny is one of the weaknesses in the current Arsenal team. I strongly disagree with this and although I recognise where people are coming from, I think he is a good goalkeeper that could still potentially become one of the world’s best.

Queen’s Park Rangers Goalkeeper Julio Cesar was a consistent performer for both club and country last season, helping the Brazilian national team win the Confederations Cup, although he couldn’t save his club from getting relegated from the Premier League. You only have to look at how good his performance was against Arsenal at the Emirates last season, to see that he is still a fantastic goalkeeper and I’m sure, despite my doubts that have often been expressed relating to Cesar, I think he would have been a very good addition to the squad.

But now, as reported Cesar seems to be off to Serie A side Napoli, as the Brazilian eyes a return to Italy. where he did so well in an Inter Milan shirt.

The player’s agent said, “It’s not all done yet, there are many possibilities (he goes to Napoli), but there are some details to be resolved between the player and Napoli. When will the signature arrive? I don’t know, it could be today, or in a few days. The Villarreal interest? There has been some interest from Spain, but nothing concrete. The only two concrete tracks are Arsenal and Napoli.”

It clearly shows he is set to move to Napoli, however Arsenal may still have a chance and it does also prove that Arsenal had a serious interest in Cesar this summer. It’s just a shame we failed to get him to join us. Arsenal will now probably look at the likes of Reina, Marchetti and Ruffier who have all been linked in recent weeks.

Mannone has left Arsenal so where is Cesar?

Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone has completed his move to fellow Premier League side Sunderland, ending his 8 year association with the Gunners. Mannone’s transfer away from the club would suggest that Wenger is preparing to bring in a new goalkeeper, however knowing our luck Wenger will just promote Damien Martinez.

Many believe that the incoming goalkeeper surely has to be QPR goalie Julio Cesar, who has just been awarded with the Goalkeeper’s Glove award at the recent confederations cup, beating the likes of Spain’s Cassillas and Italy’s Buffon to the award, reiterating his true quality.

Cesar’s recent comments about wanting to stay in London have only helped the cause, whilst Rangers boss Harry Redknapp seems certain that he will soon lose arguably one of his star players. At a quoted valuation of around £1-3 million, you simply cannot go wrong and I’m surprised other big teams haven’t made their interest formally known, although I have seen suggestions that Barcelona have joined the race for the 33 year old.

But the majority of speculation surrounding Cesar remains with Arsenal and I really don’t think we can go wrong on this transfer. He wants to stay in London, preferably with a champions league team and with Chelsea already having two fantastic goalkeepers that only leaves Arsenal in the fold.

Cesar would obviously be a massive step up in talent in replacing Mannone who was never anything more than third choice at Arsenal, although in tribute to Mannone, he did in all fairness produce some absolutely fantastic displays over the years, especially most memorably in 2009.

I always liked Mannone because he was a true professional who didn’t complain. He always strove to take his chances and although he never really seemed Arsenal quality he always provided admirable back up. On a reported £5k a week, there seems to be no negatives about the Italian but I suppose it was best for both club and player to move on and I’m sure we will see more from the 25 year old in the upcoming season.

All that’s left now is to sign Julio Cesar!

Why Arsenal could be in line for Reina transfer

We all know that QPR’s Julio Cesar seemed almost certain to join Arsenal after QPR confirmed that he would leave the club and Cesar said that he wants to stay in London. It was pretty much a done deal because no other London clubs in the Premier League really need a new keeper other than Crystal Palace. But today it seems that Roma are intent on taking Cesar back to Italy to replace their outgoing Dutch international goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg who has sealed a move to London club, Fulham.

My point is, if Cesar moves to Roma and out of Arsenal’s hands, should Arsene Wenger look to Liverpool’s Pepe Reina?

Wenger has been an admirer of Reina’s since before he moved to Liverpool and has tried to make moves for him several times in the last three or four years but a proper deal has never materialised. This is the perfect time to do so as another Arsenal target Simon Mignolet, seems to be heading to Liverpool this summer in a £9 Million move.

Reports coming out of Liverpool claim that the club will want to get rid of Reina as soon as Mignolet arrives at the club. Reina has also been linked with Barcelona though as they hope to get rid of long serving Victor Valdes but he may be playing out the remainder of his contract which runs out at the end of next season and Reina will not wait a whole season before a move to Barcelona.

Arsene Wenger often looked to Reina when nobody was happy with Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski but now there is Wojciech Szczesny to think about. The understanding of Cesar coming to the club would be that he would be rotated and used to tutor Szczesny into a world class goalkeeper. Would Reina do the same or would he be the undisputed number 1?

Should Arsene Wenger once again look to his long term target Pepe Reina if Julio Cesar decides on a move back to Italy?

Were Arsenal transfer rumours about Cesar all wrong?

A few weeks back it seemed certain that Arsenal were about to wrap up a deal for QPR and Brazil international goalkeeper Julio Cesar, however for a while the talk has gone cold, suggesting that once again the media may have hyped up a story with absolutely no truth.

The goalkeeper who was relegated with London side Queen’s Park Rangers (QPR) last season has stated on many occasions that he needs to keep playing at the top level and so for that reason he will be looking to leave the club this summer, and Arsenal were reportedly the ones in the driving seat. After several weeks of reported negotiations it seemed as if the two London clubs had come to an agreement, however as stated the talk of a transfer has gone cold.
Cesar has been a long term target for Wenger, with the Frenchman tracking Cesar for several years and attempting to get him last summer, upon his decision to leave Inter Milan. However the Brazilian turned down Arsenal’s offer (and has even been quoted saying it) and joined QPR instead. I think it’s clear that he was interested in the money but now at 33 years old his realisation seems to be wishing to play at the top level for a long as he physically can.

The prospect of a transfer to Arsenal still looks fairly likely, however the lack of talk and clear misinformation from the media recently in terms of the reports on Julio Cesar gives me doubts that there is any truth in the stories at all. I think there is certain interest in the Brazilian however it’s probably very likely that no official negotiations have taken place over a possible transfer from QPR to Arsenal, just probably initial talks between the two clubs and the player involved.