Good morning from a sunny Dublin. With a World Cup barbecue planned for tonight I'm delighted that the weather has improved after the deluge we had yesterday. If I'm lucky it will hold up for tonight but we have made alternative plans just in case.
Things remain fairly quiet on the transfer front but I did hear a rumour from a source I trust that Sami Khedira of Stuttgart and Germany is a definite target and the club showed a lot of interest in him before the World Cup. With the World Cup over for Germany now we will see if that interest is followed up and I suppose he would fit nicely into our squad and certainly offer some strong competition in the defensive midfield slot.
We are again linked with Subotic of Borrusia Dortmund and Serbia and with our need to add another centre back to the squad he wouldn't be a bad alternative although the price may be too high for Arsenal. We all know that Gallas and Silvestre are gone and it looks like Campbell will follow them. All three of them are in their thirties and their replacements will be younger as Koscielny is 24 and Djourou is 23 which means our average age will be even younger than it was last season.
In fact the only player in his thirties that I can think of at the club will be Almunia and I'm not alone in thinking that his days are numbered too. If he does go the boss's policy of offering short term contracts to over thirties will be there for all to see as we won't have any of them at the club and clearly players at that stage of their career are voting with their feet.
I'm absolutely delighted that Silvestre's contract has ended and there has never been any talk of Arsenal offering him another one but Gallas still had something to offer. Unfortunately the club weren't prepared to meet his demands and from what I've heard no other club is either. Maybe he'll have to reassess those demands before he eventually finds a club to play for. Even if he does reassess those demands I can't see the club being interested in signing him again as he is a known troublemaker and we can do without his bad influence in the dressing room.
There were rumours that Barcelona President Sandra Rossell was going to meet Arsene Wenger at the World Cup and I don't know what truth was in them. If the meeting did take place I hope our boss told him that he had spoken to his predecessor and refused the offer he made for Cesc and he also told him and the world that Cesc was not for sale and we did not want any more offers for him.
If Sandra failed to understand I hope the boss told him to leave and stick his offer where the sun doesn't shine. Even Sandra couldn't fail to understand a clear and unequivocal statement like that and maybe Cesc can go on his holidays tomorrow and relax without constant media speculation fuelled by Barcelona.
Ahead of tonight's World Cup final Cesc has said he is desperate to play at least some part in the game and to help his country win the World Cup for the first time ever. He said if he is lucky enough to start he will give everything he has but if he has to start on the bench so be it and if that is the case all he can pray for is a chance to play some part.
I don't expect Cesc to start but if they are losing or failing to create chances I think he will come on as he makes things happen more than any other player in their squad in my opinion. If he does come on it will be difficult cheering for the Dutch against him but all those mouthy Barcelona players alongside him will make it that bit easier.
Spain are rightful favourites and the Dutch will have to get both van Bommell and de Jong to kick a lot of Spanish players before they have a chance of winning. I feel slightly dirty supporting a team like the Netherlands with those two players in it and if they continue their behaviour of the World Cup so far I can only hope that the referee deals with them but knowing who that referee is I have my doubts.
Luckily RVP is in the Dutch team and the thought of an Arsenal player with a World Cup winners medal is reason enough for me to continue my support for his country. It will be interesting to see how the Spanish attempt to deal with Robben if he can get the ball as they are not averse to putting the boot in or dirty tactics too if needed.
Hopefully it will be a great final and the best team on the night will lift the trophy but if not at least it would be great to see so many Barcelona players going home with their tails between their legs and their mouths shut about our captain. That's it for today.
Here's a few goals from Marc Overmars.
See You Tomorrow.