Arsenal FC: Robin Van Persie Wants Reinforcements, and the Champions League Draw

Toni Okike@@enigma106Senior Analyst IIAugust 26, 2011

UDINE, ITALY - AUGUST 24:  Robin van Persie of Arsenal battles with Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu of Udinese during the UEFA Champions League play-off second leg match between Udinese Calcio and Arsenal FC at the Stadio Friuli on August 24, 2011 in Udine, Italy.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
UDINE, ITALY - AUGUST 24: Robin van Persie of Arsenal battles with Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu of Udinese during the UEFA Champions League play-off second leg match between Udinese Calcio and Arsenal FC at the Stadio Friuli on August 24, 2011 in Udine, Italy. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

At 11:59pm yesterday I was convinced that there was 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 in 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, particulary since Arsenal have 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 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.

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, and so avoid diving in to any reckless challenges.

Song will leave Arsenal for the best part of one month, when he represents Cameroon in the 2012 African Cup of Nations. So it should be a priority for Wenger to buy another holding midfielder to provide reliable cover for Song, I can’t lay all my eggs in Frimpong’s basket at the moment.

Finally, Arsenal need 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 on the exit door. Chamakh is the only option left, and he hasn’t proved his mettle this season. Wenger is still hoping that he’ll come good, though.

It would be a pity if Nicklas Bendtner does not find a club within these five days, particularly because he now looks like a desolate figure at the Emirates. A young striker that showed so much promise, he decided to open his, chewing-gum occupied, mouth and tell the world that he deserved to play every week for 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 it, and misses when we need him the most. If he fired in that shot from Wilshere’s pass, it would have gone anywhere. The last time I checked, the net can't be classified as anywhere, or somewhere, in the field of play.

Arsene Wenger needs to get it right with the few days he has left. No more fabled tales of not finding the right player.

Arsenal’s skipper RVP met Wenger 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 at 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—linking Arsenal with potential arrivals, but with little or no news departures because the usual suspects are all gone.

I’ll start with the most hilarious of them all. I usually stereotype the English press as the media vultures, but I’m going to point out the faction of the 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 stand-off since June, and has placed a £17m price tag on the player’s head. A £6m bid would be regarded as an insult to Bolton, and Cahill. It reminded me of how Arsenal felt when Barcelona tabled the initial £26m bid 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.

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 those rumors have died down quicker than it took Ledley King to score 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, the one who said that he didn’t know who Jack Wilshere was. After all his shenanigans, both on and off the pitch, he spends a lot of time wearing a hood on 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 money to burn, so if Arsenal mess up with their proposed bid for Arteta, one of these clubs will snap him up.

Arteta is an accomplished player that hasn’t really had the chance to play many games for the Spanish national team, so he may be of the opinion that a move back home would help his cause.

But a move to Arsenal would be a brilliant deal for Wenger, as he has vast Premier League experience, as well as a good passing range and is a dead ball specialist. Having Arteta at Arsenal would mean that birds would be able to fly over the Emirates stadium again, because van Persie has killed a considerable chunk of them with his free kicks.

The media vultures have also reported 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 at the club that owes Arsenal his services, it’s Tomas Rosicky. Arsenal stuck with him for the better part of two pregnancy terms, when he was out with his hamstring injury. Many clubs (especially in Italy) would have rescinded his contract during 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 winner with Real Madrid, Luis Figo was the first person to honor the show with his presence. He, and another football great Paul Breitner, did the draws for the top seeds and the results were:

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


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, Greek superpower 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 pickk 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 on the European stage.

Arsenal will have to ensure they top 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.

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 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.



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