Good morning. Plenty to get through this morning so let's get straight down to business. Firstly, the best of luck to Jay Simpson who has joined a happily Phil Brown-less Hull City after twelve years with Arsenal. Despite obvious hard work Simpson always looked like he had too much in front of him to succeed at Arsenal.
It's sad because fans love a home-grown talent and Simpson played a part in some memorable nights, principally in the Carling Cup. All the best to him in his future career, hopefully Hull will be a stepping stone to greater things for him.
There also was bad news concerning another of Arsenal's youngsters yesterday as highly-rated Emmanuel Frimpong was ruled out of action for "six to nine months" with cruciate ligament damage.
Cruciate ligament injuries are among the worst in football, and it's a terrible setback for a youngster like Frimpong. It's a blow for Arsenal as well because he is the only other recognised defensive midfielder in the squad as backup to Alex Song.
It's a measure of the progress Frimpong has made that hardly anyone would have raised an eyebrow at the end of last season at today's news, but now nobody is in any doubt that the team is worse off for his absence. All the very best to him on the road to recovery. Let's hope the road is as short as possible.
After a long period of aimless speculation, yesterday finally brought something approaching concrete news of Arsenal attempting to sign some new players. Firstly, Sevilla have confirmed an approach from Arsenal for Sebastien Squillaci, a 30-year-old French defender.
I must confess to knowing the next best thing to nothing about Squillaci before I heard about this, so I'm going purely on the very rushed research I've undertaken but he seems to tick an awful lot of useful boxes. Experienced and (apparently) with a bit of quality in his locker, it's difficult to see what's not to like about the idea of signing him.
I can't add too much more than that because as I say I'm not familiar with the player, but if Arsene Wenger rates him then that's certainly good enough for me.
There is some talk in the media of whether the length of contract Arsenal might off Squillaci might prove a stumbling block, but I can't see the so-called "one year policy" being brought out for a player that a decent transfer fee is presumably being spent on. Let's face it, if the rule can be broken for Mikael Silvestre it can be broken for anyone.
There was also talk yesterday that Fulham had rejected a second bid from Arsenal for Mark Schwarzer. The report claims that Arsenal offered the same deal as earlier in the summer, which seems a little odd to me. I would hope that this reported offer is simply a way of opening a dialogue to find a deal.
Whilst Mark Hughes' opposition to the deal is annoying, Fulham are completely entitled to seek as good a deal as possible for their player, so offering the same terms they have already rejected isn't going to cut the mustard.
Let's hope that if the deals for these two players are there to be done then they will done relatively quickly. I doubt it will be in time for Blackpool, but I hope that the squad will be reinforced for the trip to Blackburn.
Squillaci certainly looks promising. Sevilla left him out of their Champions League qualifier the other night so as not to cup tie him, which would obviously affect any deal. I doubt they would have done that if they were unwilling to sell the player.
To go with the progress on the transfer front, there's also good news with some of the short-term injuries and fitness problems affecting Arsenal. Johan Djourou, Alex Song, Denilson and Cesc Fabregas could all be in line to face Blackpool which will give the first team the most first choice look it's had for a while.
A proper preview of the Blackpool game to follow tomorrow, but the injury news is positive which is not something I remember saying too often in recent times.
Finally, William Gallas, remember him? Apparently he might be joining Spurs which is about in line with the class he exhibited during most of his time with Arsenal. I know I should be outraged about a former Arsenal player joining Spurs but we all know the kind of player and indeed the kind of man Gallas is. Could anyone say they're really that surprised?
Spurs taking our castoffs tells its own story as well. Gallas was never going to have a warm welcome when Arsenal came across him again, if he joins Spurs he simply makes a frosty reception that much worse, and I doubt he even cares so I fail to see why I should.
On that note, I'm going to call it a day. Blackpool preview tomorrow, until then take it easy.
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