Posts Tagged ‘Arsene Wenger’

Premier League Preview: Focus on Arsenal

Another transfer window and another captain wanting to leave, also with the added frustration of Barcelona sniffing around your midfield (again). Yes, the transfer window is never a quiet place when Arsenal are involved. Robin Van Persie with a year left on his contract looks set to be heading to Manchester United and Alex Song an unsung hero at Arsenal might be tempted to head out of the Emirates to join up with former captain Cesc Fabergas at Barcelona.

But this transfer window wasn’t all doom and gloom for Arsenal as Wenger didn’t want to make the same mistake as last year and got his deals done early. This summer saw Arsenal making what can only be described as the best signings of the summer with Lukas Podolski, Oliver Giroud, and Santi Carzorla. Arsenal finished 19 points off the two Manchester clubs and Wenger would have been planning to overturn that deficit with Robin Van Persie in the squad and it would be hard to argue that a happy Robin Van Persie with these three signings couldn’t challenge for the Premiership next year. Alas this does not seem to be the case and even if Van Persie is kept and sees out the final year of his Arsenal contract it would be difficult to say whether he’d still be giving 100% commitment to the club.

Arsenal fans can also start to get optimistic about the fitness of Jack Wilshere who missed the entire campaign last season due to injury. With a return date semi-set for October and baring any more setbacks he will be a great boost for Arsenal to have Wilshere back arriving into the busy Christmas period. He was always the ‘what if’ for Arsenal fans last season. Would he be worth 19 points, definitely not. But he certainly is worth the hype around him and if he and other key players, especially those at the back stay fit, the huge 19 points between Arsenal and the top spot seems to feel a bit smaller.

Realistically what can Arsenal fans expect?

Unfortunately for Arsenal fans Robin Van Persie seems content on leaving and Barcelona don’t seem to be giving up in their pursuit of Alex Song any time soon so there could be bad news for Arsenal before there is good news.

But, if the new signings gel well and, as ever, the younger lads come of age this could be a very good season for Arsenal, as previously stated, out of all the Premier League sides Arsenal have by far spent the wisest in the transfer window. Compared to Man City who have only signed Jack Rodwell, Manchester United who have only signed Kagawa plus a teenager from Crew (Powell), and Chelsea who have spent a lot of money but it’s all gone on potential and haven’t really signed any player of distinguished merit yet.

Overall prediction; 3rd, So how is that better than last season? Well it isn’t but I think Arsenal will be one of the main challengers for the league this season and expect them to run a good race however; I just don’t think, especially with Van Persie on the way out, they will stick it out in the last months of the League and will fade out of the picture come the start of May. Wenger will be desperate for a trophy this year and will be looking for strong challenges in the FA Cup and Champions League.

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What Next For Robin Van Persie?

Robin Van Persie announced earlier in the summer that he would not be renewing his Arsenal contract. This left Arsenal with a decision to make, cash in on Van Persie now or face seeing him leave on a free contract next summer. When Van Persie announced this via his website it shocked a lot of Gunners as they fully expected their captain to sign a new deal. Most Arsenal fans were undecided on how to feel about the announcement at first with many hoping for a U-Turn. But as the weeks went on the Arsenal fans became more and more united in their feelings towards RVP with many feeling they would be better off if he was sold.

Today it was reported that Manchester United, Manchester City, and Juventus all had bids, all around £15 million, rejected by Arsenal, with it being suggested that none of the clubs offered enough to even tempt Wenger to sell.

Today it was also confirmed that Van Persie pulled out of Arsenal’s tour of Asia; the point of no return on staying at the Emirates it would seem.

With three bidders for Van Persie Wenger and Arsenal can be patient when dealing with bids and will probably hold out for no less than £25 million. But will the three bidders return with an improved bid for the Dutch forward?

Van Persie Has Left Some Arsenal Fans Feeling Betrayed

The Prospective Buyers.

Manchester United;

It is no secret that United manager is an admire of Van Persie and it was reported that Fergie told his footballing friends that he is confident of signing last year’s Players Player of the Year. But questions have to be asked whether or not an improved bid would be likely as other positions need more attention than the attacking ones. United fans wouldn’t be too impressed if Fergie blow a large hole in his tight budget signing a striker over a midfielder or left back. At the press conference of new signings Kagawa and Nick Powell Fergie suggested that he was still in the hunt with for one or two more players. He also said that the left back area is at the forefront of his mind, with Fabio being loaned out to QPR and Patrice Evra beginning to tire after five seasons of playing around 50 games a season. The fans ideally would like to see a centre midfielder brought in as Giggs and Scholes can’t be asked to play a full season. Anderson is a constant injury treat along with Cleverley and Fletcher is still not available and may not return to the side at all. This leaves just Michael Carrick as the only senior centre midfielder that can guarantee Ferguson a full season.

Manchester City;

After winning the Premiership last season City will be looking to strengthen again in order to challenge for the Champions League as well as retaining their title. Although it is unlikely that they will return with an improved bid until they offload some players first as City currently have Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, and Roque Santa Cruz as senior strikers on the books. City fans are still on cloud 9 after winning the League for the first time in 44 years. They will be happy to add last season’s top scorer to their squad list especially if Tevez or Dzeko is sold.

Juventus;

After going unbeaten in the Serie ‘A’ last year Juventus are keen to add to their squad as they will be looking to established themselves as a regular Champions League participants for the first time since being relegated to Serie ‘B’ in 2006. However it is unclear whether Juventus will be keen to peruse their interest if Arsenal are insisting on a larger fee. If Juventus are put off by the fee they will probably turn their attentions to Liverpool striker Luis Suarez. Although Arsenal would prefer to sell Van Persie to Juventus instead of league rivals City or United.

Other Interested teams;

As always Paris Saint Germain will be mentioned in a big money move for any player but after Zaltan Ibrahimavich they are unlikely to move for another striker.

The team PSG signed Ibrahimavich from, AC Milan, could be tempted to make a bid, as along with the Swedish man they may also be selling Robinho leaving them with Pato as their number one striker although it may not make sense to risk bringing in injury prone Van Persie as Pato himself has that tag and will probably try to go for either Tevez or Dzeko with the latter being more probable.