News update + I’m off for a few days 5 August, 2008Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News.
I spoke to you this morning so there’s not really much to update you on, however a fresh interview has come out with Bacary Sagna who talks about a few things including how we can still win the title. He also talks about the new arrival Samir Nasri but he begins with his absence from the team at the end of last season coinciding with our dip in form:
“It was not just because of me. Everything changed, some players were playing not in their positions, and it is always difficult when you change everything. But it was difficult personally to see my team-mates losing games.
This season, we will try to be wiser. We will show everyone we are still the Gunners and that we can win the title. We play to win everything and we will try to do it.
I have not been playing for five months, so it is great to be back here with all my mates. We have been getting better and better. We are playing quite well at the moment, and won on Sunday against a good team. We showed everyone that we can still play well, even if we have lost some players.
I think he [Samir Nasri] can do it and will show everyone he can play very well. Samir is a very good player and we are lucky to have signed him. I have played alongside him in the French national team. I believe he will show everyone he can play very well and will find his place in the Arsenal team.”
In every single player interview this summer, the focus has been on winning trophies next season. It could just be that the interviewer asks them but I do hope that there’s a strong desire to right our wrongs from last season. I like what Sagna says there: “We are still the Gunners” and “We play to win everything and we will try to do it.”. I know if we have fight and determination this season we can win that long awaited title. It’s going to take hard work though.
Sagna seems to know a bit about Nasri and it sounds like he rates him. He does look good but I do think he’s going to take a little while to settle in. Sagna slotted straight into the team and English football but I don’t think that’ll happen with Nasri to be honest. You never know, I’ll probably be totally wrong.
Tomorrow night we go away to Huddersfield Town and the Squad has been announced for that game. It’s pretty much a reserve side with a few of the younger pre-season stars thrown in:
Nacer BARAZITE, Kyle BARTLEY, Johan DJOUROU, Jay EMMANUEL-THOMAS, Lukasz FABIANSKI, Rui FONTE, Emmanuel FRIMPONG, Kieran GIBBS, Gavin HOYTE, Justin HOYTE, Henri LANSBURY, Vito MANNONE, Havard NORDTVEIT, Aaron RAMSEY, Mark RANDALL, Jay SIMPSON, Theo WALCOTT, Sanchez WATT, Carlos VELA, Jack WILSHERE
I reckon we’ll start with a reserves-look XI and then those players with more first team experience will come on as subs. I reckon that those one’s in red will be going to Amsterdam this weekend so we wont want to tire them out.
I’m going to Ireland early tomorrow morning so there’ll be no match report for tomorrow night’s game. I might be able to get onto the blog a few times while I’m out there so make sure you check the site. I plan to watch the Amsterdam tournament while I’m away so should be able to write about that. Normal service will resume in 7 days. See ya.
Robin van Persie vows to stay fit 5 August, 2008Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News.
“I have learned a lot in the last two years because I have been injured so much. I learned what my body can take and what it can’t, so it was an interesting period for me.
I hope next season will not be so unlucky with injuries. But at the moment, I just do not want to think about that, the negative stuff. If you think positive, you get positive.
My target is to be as fit as possible after a month because the season is long. We have to build it all up slowly with gym work, cardio work and games. It is really important for me to get a good start.”
This is the latest from Robin van Persie and I think it is what has been on everyone’s mind. Robin is a very talented player, he can do things with the ball most people can’t, he has a killer instinct and a great shot. He is a deadly striker. However, we’ve never seen his true talent to the full extent because his seasons are always cut short by injuries.
Last year we got a brilliant cameo from him early on. I think he had a record of something like 5 goals in 7 and we thought maybe this is the year that he actually made the impact. I tipped him as the one to look out for, for the 07/08 season. To start of with it looked like I was right, he was scoring for fun. Then the inevitable happened and he picked up another long-term injury.
The same happened the season before that, ever since he’s been at the club his time has been blighted by injury.
When I was at the pub the other day for the Emirates Cup, we were talking about the new season and the subject of Robin came up. I was asked what my thoughts on him were for the new season. I said that he’s a fantastic player and one that can be a real match winner for us but he has to stay fit…and that’s a big ‘but’.
If he can stay injury free for a whole season then he is going to be incredible. Better than Adebayor last season. I seriously think this guy is the best player we have at Arsenal along with Fabregas. That’s how much I rate him. He’s just got to stay fit though. For me, it’s make or break for him this season. If he plays a handful of games and gets injured again for the rest of the season then I’m sorry, he has to go. As much as I wouldn’t want him to he just has to. There’s no way we can keep a player who is so unreliable.
Ok, say Wilshere turns out to be this fucking God at football. Better than ‘Kaka, Ronaldo, Fabregas and Henry put together. Scores a hat trick every game and always leaves you stunned at his ability. Well imagine that he could only stay fit for one game a season, his bones were so brittle that he’d get injured just from one game and that was him out for months. We wouldn’t be able to keep him would we? I know that’s an exaggeration but that’s the sort of problem with van Persie.
Anyway…van Persie also says in that interview that he believes that any one of the top four can win the title. He also mentions that we had a good pre-season last year yet after 1 minute of play in our opening game against Fulham we were 1-0 down! So it doesn’t really count for much, just fitness. We probably weren’t prepared mentally for that first game against Fulham, or maybe Lehmann was just an idiot. We’ll never know.
Robin’s also been talking about Adebayor saying that the two can strike a strong partnership this season. They looked good together at the weekend actually and it’s only early days yet. If those two can get even better as a partnership then we’re laughing. Imagine an Adebayor on the form he was last season and a (fully fit) van Persie on top of his game in attack. We’d score so many goals, it’s quite exciting.
And finally, Armand Traore has declared his future to the club after signing a new long-term deal. The left-back come left-winger is a highly regarded prospect at the club and I’m sure everyone is delighted that he won’t be leaving any time soon.
I know he has his critics, some say that his defending isn’t great and his positional work isn’t spot on, but the same could be said of Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy when they first started. Those are two names that Traore has to live up to and it’s a big task for him. I’m a fan of his and I believe he can do it. Gael Clichy is fucking awesome so he’s got some work to do to beat him for a place in a team, however if he did then Traore would be incredible.
He’s got the pace, he can dribble as good as anyone. Defensive work can be sorted out in training but he’s got the natural gifts to take him all the way.
He’s started playing on the left wing recently and I think I remember him saying in an interview that that was his new preferred position. He is quite suited to that role too so he has got a couple of options.
He probably needs to go out on loan next season to gain some experience but Wenger might want to keep him as Clichy’s back up. I suppose we could stick Gallas on the left but he’ll get the hump about that.
Right I suppose that’s your lot, but I’ll be back later. I’m going to Ireland for a few days tomorrow morning so the blog will be quiet. I’ll explain later. Thanks for reading.