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Wenger the manager, van Persie the assistant and the two-faced Fabregas

It’s really strange to know how quickly games come thick and thin when every football season starts. When Walcott scored Arsenal’s last goal against Fulham, August couldn’t come soon enough because everyday spent with the media Vultures felt like forever.

A stalwart who served the club for eight good years was sold honorably to the oil money bags while another player that served for three years and had a half season of wonders had a lot of shenanigans before he was sold to the same oil money bags.

August was marred by Gervinho’s debut red card, Liverpool’s winless streak at Arsenal’s home broken and the club’s biggest defeat since the days Zeus gave Greece the license to host the Olympic Games.

The high points of August were the emergence of Emmanuel Frimpong, Theo Walcott and van Persie’s good goal scoring form and qualification to the Champions League.

Arsène Wenger’s side had the best away form in the league last year but his team couldn’t match it with its performances at the Emirates. He told the media Vultures that his team’s Old Trafford nadir has distorted their excellent recent form on the road and that’s not a lie.

It’s not everyday you get spanked with eight goals. Even Wigan Athletic received nine in a big blue basket at White Hart Lane but that score line was never repeated again. Chelsea slammed eight past them to win the league in grand style.

Wenger has also labeled the enthralling 1-1 draw against the German champions as a fair result and it’s an assessment that has been shared by Per Mertesacker.

The German warned Arsenal about the threat that Dortmund posed and he recently told the media Vultures that Arsenal had Lady Luck on its side.

It’s normal for a manager to be asked about the futures of loan deals and Wenger has gone on to say that he’ll not rule out signing Yossi Benayoun on a permanent basis.

The Isreali mosad (lol) also told the media Vultures that he didn’t reject a Liverpool move to join Arsenal.

Arsenal’s opponent tomorrow is currently in a precarious state and the fans are literally requesting for Steve Kean’s head on a plate. Shortly after the wealthy Indian businessmen took over the club, they sacked Big Sam despite being in 13th place and Steve Kean took over the affairs of the club then sweated blood and sand like Spartacus to reach the 40 point mark and end up in 16th place.

The most annoying issue about Blackburn’s situation was that they had not managed any away point in 2011 but they came to the Emirates at the start of April to secure a boring 0-0 draw. Wilshere had a glaring miss in that match and all the media Vultures that were hailing him for his performances criticized him for his lack of goals.

However, Arsène Wenger has expressed his sympathy for Blackburn’s manager:

“I have a lot of sympathy for Steve Kean. He is a young manager and you want to give him time to do his job.”

“A lot of the time you complain that the English managers do not get a chance and I can understand that, but when they do get a chance you must give them time.  It’s hard for everybody, even for those who manage for 30 years.”

“I just believe this job is difficult. Everyone who has been in it knows it, and how much depends on the situation you are in at the moment. When you don’t win at the start it’s difficult.”

Premier League chairmen have been proven down the years as an impatient bunch and many managers have lost their jobs under acrimonious circumstances.

Still sticking with tales of managers, Arsenal’s No. 2 Pat Rice was the man in charge when Arsenal faced Dortmund but he has told the media Vultures that van Persie assumed the role of an assistant manager on the pitch:

“Did I like it? No. It has never been one of my ambitions to be manager of a football club.”

‘It was too stressful for me and extremely strange not to have the manager with me. He is normally shouting in my ear.”

Rice also took out time to play some sweet tunes about Arsenal’s No. 1 citizen:

“Robin is the club captain and we encouraged him to be verbal on the park and off it.”

“He was asking me one or two things about what we could do better and I was saying one or two things which could make the team better.”

“As for the goal, it is nothing unusual to see Robin do that. It was a great run by Robin and a terrific ball through.”

“It was unusual to see Robin hit it with that foot but it proves he is not a one-foot footballer.”

Van Persie was imperious against Dortmund and his performance as a captain rubbed off on his peers. He scored Arsenal’s goal and was on the end of almost every corner kick that was swung in by Dortmund.

Van Persie is one player that Arsenal cannot afford to lose because the burden of goal scoring will be transferred to Chamakh and Park CY.

The Moroccan had a great start for the club but his form and confidence waned as he spent more time on the bench. Park is a good player but the fans haven’t witnessed him in action yet, I have a hunch that he’ll start against Shrewsbury in the Carling Cup on the 21st.

Cesc Fabregas is a player that wrote his name in Arsenal’s folklore in his eight-year stint at the club. He represented the future Wenger preached about and he dropped a legacy at the club for being one of the most creative forces to have ever worn the Red and White.

As a footballer, Fabregas is the W in world class but he had some ambitions that Arsenal failed to meet in his last six years at the club. His saga with Barcelona was one of the longest ever in Premier League history but Arsenal decided to give in to Barcelona after holding the fort for a very long time.

Fabregas left for Barcelona but reiterated that he’s an Arsenal fan by heart but the media Vultures recently released a report that Fabregas stated that Arsenal cannot win a trophy anytime soon:

“I want to be in a club able to win the big titles year after year and I don’t see that kind of future for Arsenal.”

“I still have many feelings for Arsenal but I fear they won’t be able to push the other big clubs in England away.”

“If you look at the team this season I can’t see them finishing in front of Manchester United or [Manchester] City, or Chelsea.”

“It was part of my decision to leave – I find it hard to see Arsenal winning the league or Champions League in the near future.”

“I hope they will replace me and the others that have left with some quality players and maybe they can take Arsenal back to their level as champions.”

There are things that are not certainly needed from footballers that were respected in their previous clubs. Fabregas is a player whose songs will be in full voice when Barcelona visits the Emirates but after these quotes, the boo boys might be on show.

However, Fabregas has denied these claims and has used Twitter as the perfect medium to back it up.

Fabregas is closing in on 1,500,000 followers but with Twitter having a limit of just 140 characters, Fabregas fully explained himself with five tweets:

@cesc4official: “I’d never speak 1 bad word about Arsenal FC, here’s one more proof that so many people put in newspaper whatever they want and its not professional.”

“I want Arsenal to be successful as much as every single fan. That’s not why i left, it was never in my mind. Arsenal FC made me who i am today.”

“And nobody will ever change that. I never gave any interview away since my press conference at my presentation and there i just said…”

“…The truth and what came out of my heart. Great words about this great football club cause that just what they deserve: succes and trophies.”

“People can hate me for leaving or remember that i gave my all for the club. But me talking 1 bad word or saying something against Arsenal FC will not be seen.”

These tweets came from Fabregas’ BlackBerry and they are good enough to quell every quote that was stated earlier by the media Vultures but as the saying goes:

“Behind every rumor, there’s an element of truth in it”

Fabregas has also revealed that he’ll leave his door open for Arsenal but I don’t think that Wenger would think of re-signing the bloke after all the drama this summer.

Arsenal recently resigned Sol Campbell and Mad Jens Lehmann but they were signings that were made out of desperation due to injury worries in the positions.

Arsenal’s midfield is blessed with a large haul of midfielders so Fabregas won’t really be needed back at the Emirates.

In other news, Arteta is pleading for patience with the new signings and Wenger wants to seek the correct balance with his Carling Spoon selection.

That’s a wrap

Sayonara.

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Van Persie wants reinforcements and Arsenal books a date with Olympique Borrupiakos

At 11.59pm yesterday, I was still convinced that there was still time left in the transfer window but as soon as my clock’s pendulum hit the 12.00am mark, I realized that Arsene Wenger has only FIVE days left to bring the much needed quality that is still lacking at Arsenal Football Club.

I’m pretty sure that Wenger has a certain starting XI in mind and he doesn’t want to dent the learning curve of Ramsey, Koscielny, Wilshere among others but he has to delve into the transfer market because Arsenal is a squad that have players that are susceptible to injuries.

Gibbs seemed okay when Arsenal played Newcastle in the club’s Premier League curtain raiser but at the stroke of halftime, everybody learnt that he had done his hammy. Koscielny was meant to be Vermaelen’s partner in crime this season but after 30 minutes of play against Liverpool, he kicked the ball away and held his waist like a woman that’s going into labor.

These early season injuries should have sent a spark to Wenger’s head to let him know that if he truly wants to end the trophy drought, he needs to add a quality player or two quality players.

Vermaelen is also adept as a left back and is more than capable enough to play when Gibbs gets injured so Wenger has to purchase a center back that will be able to play with Koscielny or Djourou as the case may be.

Alex Song is Arsenal’s No. 1 defensive midfielder and Emmanuel Frimpong has shown signs of progress but his inexperience will definitely take its toll on him in the course of the season. We all witnessed what happened at the Emirates when Liverpool came around. Alex Song would have been intelligent enough to know that he has been booked earlier on so there’ll be no need for any reckless challenge so as not to incur the referee’s wrath.

Song will leave Arsenal for the best part of one month when he represents Cameroon in the 2012 African Cup of Nations that’s taking place in Gabon and Equitorial Guinea so it’s a priority for Wenger to buy another holding midfielder that will be a good cover-up for Song because I can’t lay all my eggs in Frimpong’s basket at the moment.

Finally, Arsenal Football Club needs a striker that can deputize for Robin van Persie when his glass bones decide to give up on him. Carlos Vela has gone back to Spain on loan while Nicklas Bendtner has been sitting on the bench with his eyes firmly fixed at the exit door. Chamakh is all that Arsenal has and he hasn’t proved his mettle this season but Wenger is still hoping that he’ll come good.

It would be a pity if Nicklas Bendtner does not find a club within these five days because he now looks like a deserted figure at the Emirates. A young striker that showed so much promise decided to open his chewing-gum occupied mouth to tell the world that he deserves to play every week in a top club like Arsenal.

If he was backing this up with goals and Man of the Match performances, I would’ve nodded my head like an Agama Lizard in support of him. He scores when he feels like and misses when we need him the most. If he fired that shot from Wilshere’s pass, it would have gone anywhere and the last time I checked, the net can be classified as anywhere or somewhere in the field of play.

Not withstanding, Arsene Wenger needs to get it right with the few days he has left. No more fabled tales of not finding the right player because no matter how many goals you score in a game, you’ll still go home with 3 points.

Arsenal’s skipper rVp met Wenger earlier on about the possibility of making signings but the media Vultures reported that Wenger told his new captain that he’s happy with his squad. However, Robin van Persie has come out to tell the media Vultures that strengthening is vital:

“It is vital for Arsenal, we lost Fabregas and Na$ri which is hard for us because those are two great players.

To come up with that performance in the second half is special. If you look at the team, people questioned our mental strength but we showed loads of that.

It was Jenkinson’s best game, we played very well, Szczesny was on fire and he saved almost everything.

Frimpong is doing well. I’m happy that we are in so let’s go from there.”

With Nasregas now a forgotten phrase, the next big thing in Arsenal is Robin van Persie so if he wants his boss to buy a player or two, Wenger has to heed to him even if it means signing another quality striker that can put his place under threat.

The media Vultures continued doing what they do best by linking Arsenal with potential arrivals and with little or no news of the departures because the usual suspects are all gone.

I’ll start with the most hilarious of them all. I usually generalize the English Press and journalists alike as the media Vultures but I’m going to point out the faction of the lot that came up with this funny tale. The Mirror reported yesterday night that Arsenal made a meager £6m bid for Bolton’s Gary Cahill.

Bolton’s boss Owen Coyle has been in a standoff from June and has slammed a £17m price tag on the player’s head so a £6m bid would be regarded as an insult to Bolton and Cahill. It reminded me of how Arsenal felt when Barcelona brought the initial £26m or so for Fabregas.

After reading this tweet, I felt that there was a little bit of sense in it so I decided to share it:

“@Jimmy_Chilides: The bid for Cahill was missing the 1 when he sent it over,Wenger wanted to bid £16mill not £6mill but apparently there was a miss type LOOL!”

Everyone was informed that Wenger was lining up a £16m bid so I’m in the opinion that it was an error from The Mirror but if it’s true……

The media Vultures also reported that Arsenal is after a bloke from Sochaux called Kevin Anin. The last Sochaux player Arsenal was linked with was the tall and technical Marvin Martin but his stories have died down faster than the way it took Ledley King to score that goal against Bradford City in 2000.

Kevin Anin was also linked to Arsenal’s fierce rivals, Tottenham and there are tales surfacing that he skipped training at the club to force a move out. That’s not the type of player I would like to see wearing the Red and White. You can afford to be rough as a player but football managers in general do not tolerate indiscipline.

See what happened to that GhanItalian Mohican, Mario Balogoat that said that he didn’t know who Jack Wilshere was. After all his on the pitch and dart-throwing off pitch shenanigans, he spends a lot of time wearing a hood at the bench. That’s what indiscipline can do to a player’s career.

They’ve also reported that Valencia and Malaga are closing in on Arsenal’s target Mikel Arteta. Valencia is a club that has £26m to spend after the sale of Mata to Chelsea and Malaga is a club that has the money to buy 10 Matas so if Arsenal messes up with their proposed hunt for Arteta, these clubs will snap him up.

Arteta is an accomplish player that hasn’t really gotten the chance to wear the Red of the Spanish national team so he might be in the opinion that a move back home would help his cause but a move to Arsenal would be a brilliant bargain by Wenger because he has vast Premier League experience as well as a good passing range and a dead ball specialist. Having an Arteta in Arsenal would mean that birds would be able to fly past the Emirates again because van Persie has killed a considerable chunk of them with his free kicks.

The media Vultures have also reported about the kind of news that the gooners are accustomed to. They have unveiled that Arsene Wenger is after an 18-year old French teenage sensation called M’ Baye Niang

Niang plays for Caen in France and has been touted by the French media Vultures as the next Thierry Henry and I have a hunch that Wenger might go for the lad. For starters, he’s French, he’s young, he’s a prospect and he’s fabled to be the next Thierry Henry.

C’mon, its Arsene Wenger I’m writing about now. We all know that he has a thing for players of this sort.

Moving over to news regarding departures, the media Vultures have reported that Arsenal’s 3rd choice goalie Vito Mannone is about to go on loan to Chievo Verona. It’s not yet Don Vito’s turn to shine at Arsenal so another loan move would do wonders to his confidence. It’s even better for him because he’s heading back to his Italy where he would eat a lot of pasta and take his girlfriend to the Leaning Tower of Pisa when he’s free.

They’ve also reported that Rosicky is considering abandoning Arsenal for Wolfsburg. If there’s any player in the club that owes Arsenal his services, it’s Tomas Rosicky because Arsenal stuck with him for the best part of two pregnancy periods when he was out with his hamstring injury. Many clubs (especially in Italy) would have rescinded his contract in that period.

In other related news, Emmanuel Greedybayor has completed his loan move to Sp*rs, Morten Olsen is keen for Bendtner to leave Arsenal and $amir Na$ri has stated that Arsenal lacks ambition.

After the grueling process of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League, the suit wearing chums led by Platini decided that it was time for the grouping for the 2011/12 season. The show was anchored by CNN World Sport‘s Pedro Pinto and a few football figureheads graced the occasion with their presence.

The 2001 FIFA Golden Ball winner and Champions League with Real Madrid, Luis Figo was the first person to honor the show with his fresh presence. He and another football great Paul Breitner did the draws for the top seeds and the results where:

A: Bayern B: Inter Milan C: Man United D: Real Madrid E: Chelsea F: Arsenal G: FC Porto H: Barcelona

Manchester United’s Sir Bobby Charlton was the next figurehead to reach the stage and after doing the draws for the 2nd seeds the results where:

A: Villarreal B: CSKA C: Benfica D: Olympique Lyonnais E: Valencia F: Olympique Marseille G: Shakhtar Donetsk H: AC Milan

Euro 88 winner and former Chelsea player/coach Ruud Gullit was next in line for the draws for the 3rd seeds and the results where:

A: Manchester City B: Lille C: Basel D: Ajax E: Bayer Leverkusen F: Olympiakos G: Zenit H: BATE Borisov

1990 FIFA Golden ball winner Lothar Matthaus did the final draws and the final group stages looked like this:

Group A:

Bayern, Villarreal, Manchester City, Napoli

(Group of Death)

Group B:

Inter Milan, CSKA, Lille, Trapzonspor

Group C:

Man United, Benfica, FC Basel, Otelul Galati

Group D:

Real, Olympique Lyonnais, Ajax Amsterdam, Dynamo Zagreb

Group E:

Chelsea, Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen, Genk

Group F:

Arsenal, Olympique Marseille, Olympiakos, Borussia Dortmund

Group G:

Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit St. Petersburg, APOEL Nicosia

GroupH:

Barcelona, AC Milan, BATE Borisov, FC Plzen

The last time I checked, this is an Arsenal blog so I’m going to lay emphasis on Group F.

Arsenal has been landed in a group with French heavyweights Olympique Marseille, Greeks superpowers Olympiakos Piraeus and German champions Borussia Dortmund.

The group is not as hard as Group A but there are some tricky encounters to be played. Arsenal has some history with Olympiakos and the memories of playing the Greek outfit are quite fond but the two-legged affair with Dortmund will be the peak of the bunch. Rosicky will get another chance to return to the place he once called home and stars like Lucas Barrios, Shinji Kagawa and Mario Gotze will have a chance to shine at the European stage.

Arsenal would have to ensure that it tops the group to avoid the likes of Barcelona again.

Sticking with Barcelona, a website called The Gaffer has dropped a bombshell regarding Arsenal’s former captain, Cesc Fabregas.

The site revealed that Fabregas has admitted that he has made a HUGE MISTAKE by joining Barcelona.

Barcelona is a club that I really hate so I took the liberty of publishing the entire article in this post to save my readers the stress of clicking on the click but please feel free to do so if you want to.

SPANISH SENSATION Cesc Fabregas has revealed that moving to Barcelona was the biggest mistake of his life and is desperately lobbying the Champions’ League winners for an immediate return home to his teenhood club Arsenal.

During his last three seasons in north London Fabregas made no secret of his desire to play for Barcelona, changing his first name by deed poll to ‘Wantaway’ and training in a Barcelona replica kit paid for out of his own pocket.

But in an emotional interview with Heat, the playmaker revealed how his dream move has turned into a nightmare.

“My dream move has turned into a nightmare”, he said. “It is like I finally kissed the girl I have been fantasizing about for years, and then opened my eyes and realised she was Carlos Puyol.”

He continued: “Nothing about this as good as I hoped it would be – it is too hot, they all speak too quickly, and everybody has their dinner at midnight.”

Fabregas is reportedly disappointed by the level of Barcelona’s famous continental sophistical, describing it as “merely a diguise for a lack of banter”.

Friends of the star hinted that Fabregas had arrived for his first day training gleefully expecting a team mate to cut up his socks, set his trousers on fire or sleep with his girlfriend for a joke. When his initiation failed to materialise Fabregas is said to have flushed his own head down the toilet so he could feel like one of the lads.

Fabregas is also unhappy with his lack of playing opportunities: “When I signed for Barcelona Guardiola promised me an automatic first-team place, but I am the worst player at the club.

“I spend most of the day carrying out undemanding administrative tasks. It has been terrible for my self-esteem. I have begged the manager to sign Nicklas Bendnter so I can get my confidence back.”

Fabregas confessed that his nostalgia for England has led to disturbed sleep and erratic behaviour. “Last night, I dreamt that I was being kicked through the middle of Stoke on a wet Wednesday night. In the dream I was so happy, but when I woke up and remembered all the photocopying I had to do, I was devastated.

“I am so lonely I have even started phoning Emmanuel Frimpong. We weren’t really friends during my time with the Gunners, but now the thought of never partnering him in another shuttle run makes me feel like crying. I just want to go home.”

Although Arsenal are thought to be interested in ending Fabregas’ Spanish exile, manager Arsène Wenger is unwilling to meet the Catalan giant’s £35 million valuation of the player, and instead targeting several rough diamond French teenagers who might be good in 2016

The Gaffer is a satirical site by the way. However, I wish that this kind of a thing would happen to $amir Na$ri.

I hope that someday, he would call all the media Vultures and say:

“I really hate it here at Manchester City. The money is too much and Clichy forces me to watch Arab porn with him.

I also hate the fact that everything is Blue here. They remind me of my Marseille days and my memories are not too fond because Ribery bullied me a lot with his evil scar and his style of play that saw him take all the glory

Diaby broke my leg in 2009 in training and I’m really scared about training on the same pitch with Nigel de Jong. He was the evil man that broke my friend’s (Hatem ben Arfa) leg and I could be next”

I wonder how that got into my head. Maybe I was caught up with the moment.

That’s enough for one blog post.

Sayonara

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Udinese preview, Nasri tweets and Farmer Eboue signs for Galatasaray

I’ll start today’s post with the official Arsenal newsletter published yesterday. Arsene Wenger said,

Dear Arsenal supporter,

I thought my players gave a solid performance at Newcastle on Saturday. We were in control of the match and I felt that Newcastle had last season’s 4-4 draw more in their mind than we did because they were organized not to concede goals.

I must say they defended well and made it difficult for us but I felt that we were missing something in the final third and in the speed of our passing. But overall we had a good performance and I can’t remember Newcastle having a clear-cut chance of scoring. We deserve credit for that and I believe that Vermaelen and Koscielny played very well together.

The big talking point came at the end with Gervinho’s sending off and I feel we were harshly punished. We try to play football and sometimes we overreact so we have to take control of that. Idf we have an area to improve on, then that is it.

You will know by now that the club has agreed terms with Barcelona for the transfer of Cesc Fabregas. We have been clear that we didn’t want Cesc to leave and that remains the case. However, we understand Cesc’s desire to move to his hometown club and have now accepted an offer from Barcelona. We want to thank Cesc for his contribution at Arsenal and we wish him success in the future.

The transfer window is still open and we are not scared to spend money if we find the right player. If it is for £2m or £20m we will do it if he adds quality to our squad. We have all our scouts all over the World and we look everywhere.

Thanks for your support”

I’ll write the comment made by Dejiano D’psychic,

“I can’t understand Arsenal fans. He’s an Arsenal legend.

Put yourself in his shoes. Even if you are not a Catalan, would you reject an offer from Barcelona? It’s true that he didn’t win any trophy for six seasons but his eagle-eyed passes pushed Arsenal all the way for these seasons. His assists put him above any other midfielder in Europe’s top five leagues.

Why will you point a finger at him when he played with mediocre strikers like Nicklas Bendtner, Emmanuel Greedybayor, Marouane Chamakh, Carlos Vela and Julio Baptista, who give jaw-dropping misses without doing any justice to his miraculous passes.

The fact remains that 303 games, 57 goals and 100 assists in 8 years is no fluke in a massive club like Arsenal”

Everybody has his or her own views on Cesc Fabregas leaving the club but we have to remember that in his first 7 seasons at Arsenal, he was a cultured professional that did most of his talking on the pitch with his exceptional style of play. His form dipped in his last season at the club and injuries as well as Barcelona took its toll on the player but he still gave his all and I cannot fault that. There are not many players in World football that would be nursing injuries yet they’ll go into the field of play, score two good goals and get injured again.

Fabregas has told the media Vultures that he’ll always be thankful to his ‘second father’ Arsene Wenger after leaving for Planet Catalunya. He said,

“If it was not for him, I would not be here today to live my dream. I will never have enough words to say how grateful I am.

 I’ll always be an Arsenal fan, I will watch them every weekend and I will go back as often as I can. I am so grateful for everything they have done for me. I’m saying a big thank you for their unconditional support during the last eight years and I’ll always carry them in my heart”

When asked about Ramsey he said,

“Aaron’s engine is unbelievable. His final ball will get better and he will be the next star at Arsenal”

…The Udinese game tonight,

“What I love most in this World is playing football and most importantly, best of luck tonight. I’ll be watching. As usual”

As expected, Fabregas still has the best interests of Arsenal in his heart and these quotes have proven it. Nasri on the other hand came under some stick from the Arsenal faithful on the social networking application, Twitter after two recent tweets he wrote. Before yesterday, Nasri’s last tweet was directed at @Persie_Official, van Persie’s Twitter account, sending him birthday wishes when he turned 28.

Nasri tweeted this recently,

“@Nanas08: Congratulations to my mate @cesc4official. I will miss you. World class player and top man.”

Congratulating Fabregas for leaving Arsenal to Barca didn’t really go down well with gooners on Twitter but Nasri added fuel to the fire with his next tweet,

“@Nanas08: I heard what the fans were singing about me on Saturday and it was disrespectful because I’m still an Arsenal player”

He deleted the tweet later but my blog’s timeline went haywire with all tweets directed at Nasri. A huge percentage of the tweets had contents of profanity so I won’t write them down in this post but the gooners shared one voice because they were really pissed with Nasri’s last tweet. How can he have the nerve to call the people that pay to watch him play as well as buy Arsenal’s jersey with his name crested on it disrespectful when he hasn’t shown the club any measure of respect in his pursuit to make his account greener than the skins of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

He started by saying that he wanted to see Wenger’s activity in the transfer market. He then flirted with Arsenal’s fiercest rivals after Tottenham but Sir Fergie was having none of it. He also demanded pay-parity with Arsenal’s highest earner but after negotiations, the club decided to heed to his demands yet the _______ part of Nasri’s contract on the table remains blank. Manchester City has offered a whooping £22m for the player but I really hope that Arsenal would say no to the offer but his recent shenanigans brings him closer to an Arsenal exit. Nasri has 387,557 followers on Twitter and he lost a lot of followers after that tweet because many gooners on the blog’s TL tweeted that they had unfollowed him. Arsenal has two weeks to hold onto the player and I hope that Wenger would do what’s best for his Arsenal.

Arsenal’s favorite farmer and African cult hero, Emmanuel Eboue has joined Gatalasaray after agreeing a four year deal with the Turkish giants. Farmer Eboue notched up 214 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 10 goals and supplying 25 assists to his teammates in his 5-year stint at the club. That’s 8 assists short of the great Paul Scholes that managed a meager 33 assists in 17 years of service to Manchester United.

I’m pretty sure if Farmer Eboue had stayed for one more season, he might have had more assists than Scholes but football is a sport where players move for reasons best known to them. The primary lure is money, like Emmanuel Greedybayor’s move to Man City. Others move because they had problems with their present employers (van Persie’s move from Feyernoord), others move for the reasons of the heart (El Capitan) while most move because they weren’t getting enough playing time.

Eboue belongs to the last category and I wish him all the best in his new club. At least they have a Farmer that can dive a lot thereby winning a million and one free kicks for them. I’m pretty sure that Eboue didn’t pass the diving mantle to any other player at Arsenal so I’m suspecting that he invoked the diving spell on his No. 27 jersey. A jersey inherited by his fellow Ivorian Gervinho.

“What else would make Gervinho hit the turf like that in St. James Park on Saturday? It could be the Eboue effect”

Moving over to tonight’s match preview, Arsenal will host Serie A’s Udinese in the first leg of the Champions League play-off and a win will be pivotal to Arsenal’s season ahead. For starters, every potential signing about to join Arsenal would like to play Champions League football and a loss or even a draw today could affect the player’s decision. With high profile midfielders like Jadson and Mata heavily linked with the club, a win tonight might just spice things up. Shakhtar and Valencia are teams that play in the Champions League every year so the players will want to continue the trend.

Udinese lost key players this summer and their squad looks weakened on paper with the only visible threats being Kwadwo Asamoah from midfield and Antonio di Natale in attack. If Gokhan Inler, Cristian Zapata and Alexis Sanchez were still in the mix, it might have been a different ball game but Arsenal should not allow complacency creep in tonight. Asamoah is a good passer of the ball and can be a threat from outside the box because he’s never scared to release a surface-to-goal missile. Di Natale on the other hand can be likened to the third of thermodynamics because he’s,

“A perpetual goal scoring machine of the first kind”

He’s also the most experienced Udinese player at 33 as well as their captain and talisman so he has to be shackled by the Arsenal defense because an away goal for Udinese could go a long way in adding to Arsenal’s present problems.

For team news, Wojciech Szczesny will continue between the sticks while the back line that played against Newcastle will be unchanged. In midfield, Rosicky would have been given another chance to prove to Wenger that an attacking midfielder might not be needed but this cannot happen because he’s injured. This means that Emmanuel Frimpong could make his Champions League debut by playing with Song at the centre while the creative burden will rest on Ramsey’s able shoulders.

Fabregas has talked the lad up and I believe that Ramsey will be a standout performer this season so an assist or two tonight will go a long way in getting the gooners mind off Fabregas.

Gervinho got a red card in the Premier League but he’ll be given a Champions League debut tonight. Walcott will probably get the nod over Arshavin and the attack will be led by Chamakh because of van Persie’s unfortunate red card last season. However, it’s a welcome rest because rVp wasn’t really up to scratch against Newcastle so the rest tonight will ensure that he’ll be revitalized this weekend when Arsenal hosts Liverpool.

My expected lineup should be,

Here’s to our first European game without Fabregas.

Sayonara.

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A tribute to Francesc Fabregas Soler: Vision and Class

It saddens me to know that after nine months of consistent blogging, my 200th post will be dedicated to my second best footballer of all time shortly after he decided to leave the club after my own heart.

…“There are not many players in the World that can offer what Fabregas has offered Arsenal Football Club. Blood, sweat, sand, assists, goals, class, determination, teamwork, technique and a 110% effort in every game.”…

…. “I must admit that I’m not looking forward to writing a post about Fabregas’ departure because it could leave a tear or two in my eyes. It’s also pleasing to know that Barcelona is a broke-ass club at the moment and I hope that they won’t reach Arsenal’s evaluation for Fabregas”…

Culled from The Fabregate continues and a signing that would really Mata – June 28, 2011.

The picture has been painted vividly and all gooners have been given a nasty bite by reality. The unstoppable force at Arsenal called Francesc Fabregas is no more.

On the 4th of May, 1987 in the city of Vilassar de Mar, Barcelona, Francesc Fabregas Sr. and Nuria Soler brought a star into this planet from Krypton. At the age of just 24, he’ll be looking forward to a new footballing chapter in his life but the memories he left as well as the legendary status he had attained in his former club will sink in the hearts of gooners forever. His career is still very young and he has his best years ahead of him but he owes his footballing life to a man that was more than a father to him, Arsene Wenger.

Fabregas was handed his Spanish national team debut on the 1st of March, 2006 in a friendly against Ivory Coast and has 58 caps for Spain, scoring six goals in his 4-year stint in national colors. Before making his debut for the senior team, he represented Spain in all junior levels. He made 14 appearances for the Under-17’s and scored seven goals. He also had five caps for the Under-20’s before moving to the Under-21’s were he made 11 appearances with two goals to his name. He stepped into the limelight on the international scene in the 2003 Under-17 World Cup that took place in Scandinavia. He was the top scorer of that tourney and he also won the MVP award in the same tournament even if Spain finished as the runners-up to the eventual winners, Brazil.

At the age of 19, Fabregas was called up by Luis Aragones to play for Spain in a friendly match against Ivory Coast on the 1st of March, 2006. Fabregas also entered the record books for playing the match because he came the youngest ever player to wear the Spanish jersey in over 70 years. A record that was previously held by Rafael Nadal……..Sergio Ramos. Three months later, Fabregas was listed in the 23-man squad list that was to represent Spain in the FIFA World Cup scheduled to be hosted in Germany. In the World Cup, Fabregas spent more time on the bench but he did well when summoned into the pitch and this turned the tables around for him. He provided an assist when Spain beat Tunisia and he also started in the final group game against Saudi Arabia. When Spain played with the eventual World Cup finalists, France, Fabregas started the game but the Pope of Modern Day football Zinedine Zidane stole the show. Fabregas also held the record as the youngest ever player to represent Spain in a World Cup.

Two years later, Fabregas was called up once again by Luis Aragones to represent Spain in the 2008 European Championships that took place in Switzerland and Austria. He broke his international duck when Spain played Russia in the group stages with a headed goal and he was Spain’s hero in the quarterfinals by scoring the match winning penalty when they played Italy in a game that ended in a goalless stalemate. He was very influential in the semifinals against Russia by providing two assists for his teammate and that earned him a starting place in the final match against Germany that ended in victory thanks to a clinical finish by Fernando Torres.

Fabregas’ contribution in the tournament didn’t go unnoticed and he was named in the UEFA Team of the Tournament.

As expected, Spain represented Europe in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup that took place in South Africa and Fabregas was called up again. He scored his second international goal go when Spain mauled New Zealand by 5-0. Fabregas and Spain were overconfident when they played USA in the semifinals and they found themselves on the end of a 2-0 defeat. USA almost achieved the same feat with Brazil in the finals but after leading by 2 goals at halftime, Kaka and Luis Fabiano turned on the style to give the Americans their own version of Samba to win the tournament.

Fabregas produced his best ever performance as a player in the 2009/10 campaign with 19 goals and 19 assists but he was deemed not good enough in Vicente del Bosque’s 2010 World Cup squad that started almost every game with Sergi Busquets, Xabi Alonso and Xavi across the midfield. Even a midfield demigod like Andres Iniesta had to settle for a place on the wings. He came in as a sub in most of the games but his most important contribution in the tournament was the assist he gave Iniesta in the final match against the Netherlands.

As a Spanish player, Fabregas has won football’s biggest price (2010) as well as the European Championships in 2008 but he has settled for silver in the Under-17 World Cup (2003) and the Under-17 European Championships (2004). He has also been honored for his services for Spain with the award of the Under-17 World Cup Golden Shoe (2003), Under-17 World Cup Golden Ball (2003), Under-17 European Championship Golden Ball (2004) and UEFA Team of the Tournament (2008).

Fabregas began his football career in Barcelona’s Mutant Academy in 2003 but he was snapped for pennies by Wenger in the same and was handed the No. 57 jersey. Arsenal had a formidable midfield that had talisman Patrick Vieira as well as 2002 World Cup winner Gilberto Silva with Edu and Ray Parlour providing depth so the chances of Fabregas breaking into the team were slim to none. However, he was given his Arsenal debut on the 23rd of October, 2003 when Arsenal played Rotherham United in the Carling Cup. Fabregas became Arsenal’s youngest ever player at the milk age of 16 years and 177 days after playing that match but Jack Wilshere broke the record when Arsenal played Blackburn in September 2009. Fabregas also became Arsenal’s youngest ever goal scorer when he scored against Wolves. Arsenal ended the 2003/04 as worthy champions but Fabregas wasn’t given a winners medal because he didn’t play any match.

As the years went by, Fabregas reaffirmed himself in the club and Vieira’s exit in the 2005/06 campaign paved the way for Arsenal’s new No.4 to strut his stuff on a weekly basis. Fabregas made 35 league appearances that season and was part of the Arsenal squad that went into the Champions League final without conceding a goal for 10 matches. In the 2006/07 season, Arsenal moved to their new home and Fabregas was ever-present in the squad playing all 38 league matches. He scored two league goals and provided 13 assists. In the 2007/08 campaign, Arsenal came close to silverware but Eduardo’s injury coupled with Mercenary Gallas’ childishness played a big role in Arsenal’s demise that season.

In the 2008/09 season, Gallas crossed the line again so his captaincy was stripped from him and on the 28th of November, 2008 the mantle was passed on to a certain 21-year old called Francesc Fabregas. He was compared with Arsenal’s great leader Tony Adams who assumed the role of club captain at the same age. Fabregas excelled in that campaign but an unfortunate injury caused by his national teammate Xabi Alonso in a match against Liverpool sidelined him for four months.  He came back stronger in the 2009/10 season scoring 19 goals and supplying 19 assists before representing Spain in the World Cup.

Last season, injuries and poor form were the order of the day for Arsenal’s captain but there were games were his light shone through. Fabregas was the subject of a move to Barcelona in a saga that lasted for 3 seasons.

His amazing works for Arsenal Football Club has not gone with the wind he has been awarded with some accolades in recognition of his achievements. He won the 2004 Community Shield as well the 2005 FA Cup but he was a silver medalist in the 2006 UEFA Champions League and the Carling Cup on two occasions (2007 and 2011). In Arsenal colors, he was awarded in the UEFA Champions League Team of the Year on two occasions (2006, 2008), PFA Young player of the Year (2008) and the PFA Team of the Year (2008 and 2010).

As a player, Fabregas is a very adept dead ball specialist and he was responsible for taking Arsenal’s corners on the right hand side as well as penalties. He wasn’t a renowned free kick taker but his free kick against Aston Villa in 2009 was a thing of beauty. He wasn’t a clinical goal scorer in his early years at the club but he surprised a lot of people in the 2009/10 campaign by scoring 19 goals. He is also a highly technical player that has many individual high attributes which include good first touch, composure, high determination and selflessness in his play.

Fabregas has an attribute that stands out from others, his passing range. The eagle-eyed player has broken record after record for the history bookmakers and they do the talking for him on the pitch. In his first full season at Arsenal (2004/05), he had 46 overall appearances and scored 5 goals making 4 assists. As he matured as a player, they increased and in the 2007/08 campaign he played 45 games, scored 13 goals and made 22 assists. This earned him a place in the PFA and UEFA Team of the Year and he crowned it all with the PFA Young Player of the Year award.

In his eight years at Arsenal Football Club, Francesc Fabregas made 303 appearances, scored 57 goals and had a century of assists (100) with 80 of them supplied in the Premier League.

In Fabregas does not represent vision and class, then tell me what those words mean.

Francesc Fabregas Soler, thanks for the memories.

At least, I still have you on Football Manager 2011, Barcelona can’t snatch you up from there.

Sayonara.

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Replacements for Fabregas and Nigel Winterburn believes in Arsenal without him

Thank God its Friday.

A day before Arsenal’s curtain raiser at St. James Park. Every gooner looks into a new season with optimism but there’s a dark cloud that is covering everything Red and White and it involves two of the club’s best players that are moments are from having new employers.

Samir Nasri has been at the club for three years and has been mediocre in his first two seasons. His third season at Arsenal was his best because he surpassed everything he had achieved in the previous two. He scored more goals (15), he was a better player, his technique improved and so did his confidence levels. Wenger had the chance to offer him a new deal when he was still on fire but he chose to wait till the summer. Another costly mistake by Arsenal’s professor.

With a year left on his contract, Arsenal had two possible options for the French maestro; to renew his contract or to sell him instead of letting him go for free. The contract has been on the table for all eternity and it seems as if Nasri has decided to fold his arms so Arsenal might be forced to cash in on the player. Teams like Inter, Bayern and Chelsea courted the player but the oil rich Manchester City put their money where their mouth is to make several bids for the player. The media Vultures have reported that the Arab money boys are preparing a £22m bid for Samir Nasri and there are also claims that he might be earning £185,000 every week. A 270% hike in his salary. For a player that has a year left on his contract, that’s a marvelous piece of business and I’m pretty sure that Wenger is going to cash in on the lad despite claims emanating that he’s willing to keep him at the club and let him go for free.

With Fabregas poised on a move away from Arsenal, Nasri might follow suit. However, a new replacement has been linked to Arsenal by the media Vultures, Jadson Rodrigues da Silva or Jadson as his simply known in Shakhtar Donetsk. Jadson started his football career back at home with Atletico Paranaense in 2003 playing 66 league games for them scoring 20 goals. As expected, his exploits in the Brazilian league didn’t go unnoticed so he was snapped up by Shakhtar for £4.3m. In his time at Shakhtar, Jadson has helped the club to win four Ukrainian league titles (2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010), three Ukrainian Super Cups, one Ukrainian Cup (2008) and the Europa League (2009). As a renowned Brazilian attacking midfielder, Jadson has an amazing technique on the ball because Brazil and technique go hand in hand. He’s also an expert penalty taker like other renowned Brazilians too. Finally, he’s a flamboyant attacking midfielder with excellent dribbling skills, a deft first touch and a nice passing range.

In my opinion, all Brazilian attacking midfielders are the same but each player has a distinct attribute that separates him from the lot. Ronaldinho has all the features Jadson possesses but he has extraordinary inhuman dribbling skills; so extraordinary that players clean the turf with their shorts when Ronaldinho comes around them, Kaka on the other hand is a lethal finisher and has a quick acceleration, Robinho is a trickster while Rivaldo (in his time) had the sweetest left foot in existence.

Still sticking with transfer news, the media Vultures say that Wenger has revived his interest for Boy Wonder Karim Benzema. I’m pretty sure that signing a player like Benzema will cool the troubled waters at Arsenal because he could be used as the main striker will van Persie could drop a bit deeper. Benzema could cost around £27m – £30m but money can’t be the issue because the sales of Fabregas and Nasri would fetch up to £60m.

There are also reports revealing that Arsenal is linked with FC Twente’s Bryan Ruiz who is available for just £13.75m. That transfer fee is a typical Arsenal-like fee but I doubt if we’ll go for the lad because he’s primarily a left winger and Arsenal is blessed in abundance in that playing position. So blessed that Wenger will start using a blindfold and a lucky dip to pick a player from the box. Another player linked with a move to Arsenal is Hamburg’s Eljero Elia. Juventus have placed tabs on the player but he’s saying that he’ll prefer Arsenal to Chelsea.

More wingers…bleeeh!!!

Newcastle has also joined the long list of teams that want Nicklas Bendtner and they are considering making a bid for the rangy Great Dane. There’s no point writing about Bendtner’s situation because it’s already a done deal: Bendtner wants out. Whether its Besiktas, Sporting CP, Dortmund, Hamburg, Sevilla, Aston Villa, Newcastle or even Enyimba FC or my Platoon 1′s football team in my NYSC camp in Okada, Benin, they should bring an amount that will be acceptable to Arsenal FC.

When I became an Arsenal fan ages ago, the first back four I ever knew was an all-English affair led by Mr. Offside himself, Tony Adams. His partner was Martin Keown or Steve Bould as the case maybe but the center backs had the support of two brilliant wing backs, Lee Dixon and Nigel Winterburn. After hanging up his boots, Winterburn became a commentator and still remains a life-long fan of Arsenal. While monitoring the ongoing situation at the club, he has concluded that Arsenal can still challenge for the league title without Fabregas and Nasri. He says,

“if you lose Fabregas, then you lose Nasri, you have really weakened your team but you have to be positive as long as you can bring in two players that will compliment the team, then hopefully Arsenal can be in a situation where they can challenge for the top four”

He then went on to say,

“A big signing doesn’t mean that you’re going to be successful…(Torres, anyone)…..Manchester United have made big signings that haven’t worked our for them but they’ve also made relatively unknown players that have worked very well for them….. (Bebe and Obertan..lol)”

“You’ve got to bring in the right type of player and I’m confident that before the end of this transfer window, Arsenal will make major signings. Whether they are big enough for the gooners, I don’t know”

I’m 100% behind this Arsenal legend. Its true that Arsenal hasn’t won anything even after King Henry departed but they have been close and he wasn’t really missed because Emmanuel Greedybayor (as annoying as it may seem) did a very good job in the 2007/08 campaign with his 30-goal haul. Robin van Persie has taken over the mantle of goal scoring and he smashed in 22 last season. An injury-free van Persie will be very disastrous to the opposition and I’m confident (like Winterburn) that Arsenal would sign ideal replacement for the want-away players.

In other Arsenal news, Wenger he declared that he’s happy with his center backs, so its fair to say that they’ll be no more Samba, Cahill, Jagielka, Dann or Mertesacker. :(

Get ready for another season with Sebastien Squillaci, Mr. Calamity himself.

The sentence of the day goes to Arsenal Mania,

Cesc Fabregas: “bought for pennies, (soon to be) sold for pounds and a few fond memories in between”.

I’ll miss Francesc Fabregas Soler :(

My 2nd best player of all time after Thierry Henry but just like Henry,

I’ll still be at Arsenal even if Cesc goes to Barca. :)

My blood cells are Red and White.

The last time I checked, those were the colours of Arsenal football club.

Sayonara.

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