May 5, 2010
History tells us Wenger never gives up on his man.
Rosicky was monitored for a number of years, we missed signing him when he left Sparta Prague, in the Summer of 2001, for Germany.
AW finally cashed in on the Czech international during the Summer of 2006.
Felipe Melo is a player I personally rate very highly, he is obviously a player the manager also rates as he had a bid rejected by Fiorentina last Summer, before he moved to Juventus for close to £25M.
I doubt he rejected us, more likely the cash offer we made was nowhere the amount the Old Lady of Italian football could muster.
Following a poor season for both Melo and Juventus, a parting is very much on the cards.
According to well respected Italian journalist and Transfer insider Fabio Santini, of the Tuttosport daily newspaper, Wenger will indeed have his man this coming Summer, and at a fraction of the price Juventus paid for him last year.
The bone crunching, aggressive midfielder is exactly the type of player needed at the club.
Readers should be aware of a common misconception when understanding what role the Brazilian will take up at the heart of the Arsenal side.
He can certainly play as the out and out defensive midfield enforcer, protecting the back four and spraying passes to the clever footballers in front of him.
I see his natural role as being more box-to-box, he can help out in defence and he can also join the attack, he certainly has the Brazilian touch and vision to be deployed in a more attacking role if the need be.
Essentially, he would be competition for Diaby, as opposed to Song, who he could do a splendid job in covering for if injuries/suspensions arise.
Diaby has been a huge let down over the past 6 weeks, after starting the season so well, he has fizzled out, badly.
I’m sure he will come back stronger next season, following a pre-season without a World Cup, but he needs hard competition for his place to push him to the next level.
Melo is the ultimate midifielder for us, he can play all three roles, DM (Song), CM (Diaby), and even AM (Cesc), such a truly World-class player, who is no longer just a young prospect, as will be highlighted during the World Cup, is exactly the kind of headline grabbing transfer the boss needs to make to put a little ease back into the supporters minds.
Chamakh is sealed, Melo looks highly likely given the transfer track record of the Italian journalist… who next?
March 30, 2010
All the talk tonight centres on the United game in Munich.
I shall be watching the all French affair between Lyon and Bordeaux, there is real niggle between the two-sides following a dispute about timings of fixtures in their domestic league.
Lyon have been the force in French football since the turn of the new Millenium, but in very recent times the team from the south-west of France have overshadowed them.
Bordeaux are managed by ex-Manyoo centre back, Laurent Blanc, whilst Lyon are managed by former Monaco stalwart, Claude Puel.
Puel was instrumental in helping Monaco and Wenger win the French league title in 1988.
Wenger persuaded Puel to take charge of the Monaco youth team in the early 90s… Thierry Henry was one of the players he first took charge of in that youth set-up.
Henry still accredits Puel with helping him take the first steps towards footballing greatness.
Puel graduated to take the hot seat at Monaco and followed in the footsteps of his mentor, by leading Monaco to the league title in 2000.
Blanc has had a fantastic start to his managerial career, he talks regularly to bacon face… I wonder if he wines and dines the French refs?
Which protegé will come out on top?
Over the 2 legs, I think Lyon will prevail, they have a wealth of Champions League experience and a striker who I would love to see at the Emirates one day, Bafetimbi Gomis.
Gomis is player whose name you should remember, as he is made for the Premiership, and I would be very surprised if he does not cross the Channel, sooner rather than later.
He was rumoured to be high on Wenger’s wish-list two seasons ago, before moving from Saint Etienne to Lyon, and if supposed gossip surrounding a possible hitch in the free transfer of Bordeaux striker, Chamakh, are to be trusted… Gomis could be the man for us.
Gomis is a classier, skilful version of the clown that plays for City.
Lyon will want to keep things tight tonight, a singular strike from Gomis will do them.
This is the game all Gooners should be watching tonight!