Injuries and transfers. Looking forward to two cup games in four days.

By Tony Attwood

It is being said that Arsenal are taking a good look at Victor Wanyama of Celtic, with a view to signing the defensive midfielder.

He is a Kenyan international who can also play centre back,  and he was one of the goal scorers when Celtic beat Barcelona.

In the summer of 2008 he signed for Beerschot AC  which is not only in Belgium but is also in the province of Antwerp, so I will refrain from further comment and wait for Walter to reveal more about the club.

In all he played 50 league games for the club, and scored two goals before moving to Celtic for the 2011/12 season, where he has played 52 league games and scored 10 goals.  The transfer fee is said to have been a little under £1m.

What makes him a possible transfer target is that in October last year his agent (obviously a highly trusted source, naturally) said that the player had rejected an improved contract, and noting that the player’s wage demands could not be met by Celtic.  Not exactly the best way to please current, and impress prospective, employers.
But the general comment about him is that he is “skilled in holding up the play with his strength, in tackling and has a general calmness on the ball”.  So it is possible.

But the link with a central midfielder is interesting.  Ramsey is getting better and better, and besides Arteta we have other players who can play there.   And does it mean that Frimpong is seen as not coming up to standard?   Or is it all the usual speculation following a visit by one of the club’s scouts to see his sick aunty who lives north of the border?

Meanwhile the press are already beefing up the idea that we are going to buy another striker and a right back in the summer.  (Incidentally Andre Santos is also saying that he expects to return from Gremio where he is on loan to  the end of the season.)

And although the summer is about 20 degrees away (at least where I live and work) maybe we can look forward to think who else might depart.

Sebastian Squillaci and Andrei Arshavin will be out of contract, and can’t expect a renewal.  Nicklas Bendtner, Marouane Chamakh, Johan Djourou and Park Chu-Young are all out on loan and will be back and under contract.

Obviously I don’t see loanees while they are away from the club, but I can’t imagine anyone coming back – other perhaps than a re-awakened Bendtner.  However the deal with Juve includes (I am told) an option for them to buy him.  He has played eight times for the club, but is now out injured, and probably will be for another month.

Turning to injuries, it seems that Jack Wilshere will miss the cup game on Saturday, but be included for the Champions League next week.

Thomas Vermaelen is probably in a similar position, but Laurent Koscielny should be available for both games.

The interesting position will be left back where Monreal will play against Blackburn but not in the Champs League as he is cup-tied.  Gibbs is injured and Santos has left on loan.  So, that could mean Vermaelen playing at left back – another reason for him not to play against Blackburn.

There will of course be the normal pre-match preview by Billy the dog, in which (following his extraordinarily accurate analysis of the opposition for the Sunderland game) there will be further revelations about the diminutive principality of Blacheborne.

But it will be particularly interesting to see how Diaby will be used.   He is clearly highly valued by Arsenal, as he is by France, but is being used cautiously this season.  He might well feature in one of the two cup games, but which one?  With Wilshere likely to miss the Blackburn match I guess Diaby could play in that.

And then there is Cazorla.  There is talk of him being tired from playing every game, so again maybe he could be left out for Blackburn.

One other thing: Fabianski played in a recent reserve game.  Maybe he will get a game against Blackburn.

Put all that together and the team for Blackburn becomes a very different one from the team that plays in the Champions League.

The books…

The sites…


23 Replies to “Injuries and transfers. Looking forward to two cup games in four days.”

  1. We do look a bit light at the back, was a bit surprised to see JD go without a replacement…unless Wenger thinks Miquels time is near ready. Still expect us to beat Blackburn, but with a Mike Dean induced kicking into the bargain. As for transfer targets, I really wish we would extend Sagnas contract…not only a fine RB but a versatile defender as well. He could rotate with Jenks. With the MF, do see these stories on Wanyama and Capoue, does this mean Wenger has lost faith in Coq? I have always thought he has done well when called upon. Just have not seen enough of Frimpong to really know much, but he certainly loves this club if that is a factor.Good luck to Santos in Brazil, he gets slated in some quarters, he is certainly not a conventional LB, and yes, a silly mistake over VPs shirt….but in my opinion, VP should have protected his ex team mate a bit better , the fact he did not speaks volumes. Some say Santos was/is a waste of money, but like VP, TV5 he scored a few very very important goals last season. Ultimately, think he is like Arshavin, a good attacking player, but without the natural fitness a squad player needs when called upon at short notice with little game time

  2. Ah Beerschot… I could tell you a few stories about them 😉 Certainly not the club that is known for its serious way of operating and it looks for the moment that they could be on their way out of the highest league in Belgium and would face bankruptcy.

    Another example on to be careful what you wish for. Sometimes a new owner has a bigger mouth than his wallet in reality is….

  3. Victor Wanyama is an interesting player for me, But not for footballing reasons, rather, he highlights a trade route in to European football.

    He made his international debut aged 15 which under Belgian rules (I think, open to possibility of being wrong, as always) allowed him to enter Belgium as a professional footballer or even student? After 3 years in Belgium a person can apply for citizenship or an EU passport.

    Victor Wanyama spent 3 years in Belgium before his move to Celtic, Scotland is a known stepping stone for players from the continent in to English football.

    His agent has many African players in Belgium.

    His agent maybe using Arsenal as an advertising tool or maybe he will sign?

  4. Utd also rumoured to be interested in Wanyama, if true, we dont tend to get into bidding wars with such teams.

  5. Why we might be interested in a player like Wanyama or Capoue is to be the occasional 4th choice CB while Miquel gains more experience.

    Like Mandy, I worry that this might mean the end for Coquelin, but I don’t think it’ll be to do with lack of faith, rather with lack of patience by Coquelin himself. I hope he stays because he’s shown a lot of ability. We do have a lot of young midfielders though. Eisfeld (although he can play the Ljungberg role), Yennaris (another Gooner-Gunner), Frimpong, and then Toral and Olsson among others. So, if we lose Coquelin, we’ll still have players of similar potential coming through the ranks.

  6. Mandy 2:41pm
    Agree with extending Sagna’s contract, solid defender and I also like his combative style. Maybe if we sign Wanyama then it’d be nice if its more for his ability to play as a CB; a midfielder who can be called to CB when needed. But if its for being a MF alone then I think we are well equppied in that department.
    As Mandy also pointed out Tony, with Dean in charge we could face Bayern with even less players than predicted if he lets(a certainty) Blackburn kick lumps out of our players. In light of that should we field a much weakened side for the Blackburn encounter? Hoping for good results in both games though.

  7. Mandy, Shard
    I also hope we dont lose Coq, he’s shown tremendous quality and composure on the ball. I agree he will only go if he isn’t patient enough, and perhaps become another Owusu-Abeiye(that’d be sad).

  8. Wanyama for Arsenal ? It must be a joke of the month.

    Every day one player or another is related with arsenal.Which is a strange phenomenon for me.

    To much hype for ordinary players these days.
    During the last friendly game i watch carefully Brazilian striker that is making a lot of headline.I dont know about you guys but for me i did not see anything special.Yes not one bit.
    Of course it is one game judgement but surely no way near the headlines i read.
    And this Wanyama all i saw is just a big man in the middle of the park.Look robust but the a- b- c required at Arsenal level is not there which is quick short/long dribbling and passes.

    Good for the likes of Stoke.

  9. Alex….I saw him play against Juventus yesterday and he was completely anonymous. He never showed any ability or interest to get in the game, unlike some of his teammates and he certainly didn’t threaten Juventus at all. I agree with your assessment…he is ok for the Scottish game, where even Denilson and Squillaci would flourish but forget the EPL…he’d be left behind by real Footballers!

  10. Arsenal does not advertise who they go looking for. This endless parade of “Arsenal looking for …” is just BS. Two microseconds after a transfer window closes, there is a new parade of Arsenal looking at … in the “news”. But it isn’t news. It is bullshit. Some idiot with a keyboard and a blog has invented a story which has no standing, and they are looking for hits so that advertising on the blog provides income. Income for being a liar. Do we need to provide incomes for liars? I’m an expert in materials science and engineering, and because of having Autism I’ve had no income for most years of my adult life. Liars are more valuable, than engineering experts?

    If people want to present well constructed arguments as to why … might fit into Arsenal, including possible transfer cost, wages and player abilities, that might be useful. But don’t think for even a nanosecond this is something Arsenal is working on. It’s “your” idea, put _your_ name on it.

  11. @Gord: I do the exact samething but it seems to work okay for me on Ubuntu 12.04 + Firefox. I liked the old one better too but that could just be natural resistance to change. One thing which seemed good was immediately after the game, where all the match related stuff was grouped up. That aprt, it’s just more confusing to find out what is where now. Its not that important though IMO, as long as the news is correct..which it usually is.

  12. I agree Gord. The site is confusing now. Partly that is a matter of just getting used to it. But the earlier design was more intuitive and user-friendly in my opinion.

  13. As long as we get mentioned from time to time I don’t care 😉

    But I must admit last time we got mentioned I missed it. I’m not really used to the new site yet. But when you visit a site for so long and are used to it it is always difficult to adapt.

  14. I agree with Domhuail that Wanyama failed to impress against Juventus, his only real test.
    @Walter, I have a question about the game b/w real & manu last night. Can a referee blow his whistle when the a team is trying to take a corner??? Perhaps, you can shed some light on the topic. Thanks in advance.

  15. Gord,
    Buy didn’t they also put the Sir in Don Fungus’s name?
    Surely our Pat deserves better than that medal…

  16. With regards to the Blackburn game. Was it Scott Dann who broke Diaby’s ankle, I ask this as he now plays for Blackburn?

    Benik Afobe at Millwall? Good luck lad.

  17. Oh forgot to mention for those interested and have access to Sky sports, David Dein is on tonight Sky sports one, 10.30pm.

  18. Jove was once great, but lately they are developing more and more problems. I think it’s their coach (no, in fact I am sure of it!)

  19. Completely off the subject matter but as I know this site produces a lot of damning facts regarding the refereeing decisions our club is subjected to,I thought you might want to look into how many times The Arsenal have had a poorly awarded red card rescinded.I have tried to locate the information but so far have had no joy.I strongly suspect that we may well have never had a red card decision turned around by the disciplinary panel since the start of the Premiership,despite some truelly awful decisions;Lundberg’s red at White Hart Lane,when David Ellery thought he had head butted Ginola,who had gone down after being hit by a coin from the crowd,really stands out as vindictive for me.I can remember nearly every other club having their injust reds reversed…have we?

  20. Domhuail & arun,dont judge a player after the game yet you didnt even know that wanyama played the juventus game with a bad have to do a follow up b4 the game thereafter you can make such comments.

  21. miquel will probably be left back for bayern although i would prefer bac on the left and jenks on the right

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