I’ll start today’s post with the official Arsenal newsletter published yesterday, in which 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 next 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's leaving the club, but we have to remember that in his first seven seasons at Arsenal, he was a cultured professional that did most of his talking on the pitch with his exceptional style of play.
While his form dipped in his last season at the club and injuries—as well as Barcelona—took their toll on the player, he still gave his all, and I cannot fault that.
There are not many players in world football that would be nursing injuries and still 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, Fabregas said: Aaron’s engine is unbelievable. His final ball will get better and he will be the next star at Arsenal."
Then, on the Udinese game tonight, Fabregas said: “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 tweets directed at Nasri.
A huge percentage of the tweets had profane content, 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?
Nasri started by saying that he wanted to see Wenger’s activity in the transfer market. He then flirted with Arsenal’s fiercest rivals, Tottenham, but Sir Fergie was having none of it. Nasri also demanded pay parity with Arsenal’s highest earner, but after negotiations the club decided to heed to his demands.
Manchester City has offered a whopping £22 million for the player, but I really hope that Arsenal would say no to the offer. However, Nasri's recent shenanigans bring him closer to an Arsenal exit.
Nasri has 387,557 followers on Twitter, and he lost a lot of followers after that tweet: Many gooners on the blog's timeline tweeted that they had unfollowed him.
Arsenal has two weeks to hold on to the player, and I hope that Wenger would do what’s best for his Arsenal.
Farmer Eboue notched up 214 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 10 goals and supplying 25 assists to his teammates in his five-year stint at the club. That’s eight assists short of the great Paul Scholes, who 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 in which players move for reasons known only to themselves.
The primary lure is money, as it was with Emmanuel Greedybayor’s move to Man City. Others move because they have problems with their present employers (van Persie’s move from Feyernoord), and still others move for 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.
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.
Moving over to tonight’s match preview, Arsenal will host Serie A’s Udinese in the first leg of the Champions League playoff, 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 those players decisions.
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.
At 33 Di Natale is the most experienced Udinese player 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' minds 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 due to 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.
Here’s to our first European game without Fabregas.
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