Take a deep breath,  especially the doom and gloom merchants amongst you, but Barcelona don’t have the deep, rigged, pockets of Real Madrid.

We hear this afternoon they have agreed a fee in the region of £35M, for the purchase of Valencia and Spain forward, David Villa, so where now do they propose to find another £40M .. at least?

Do they intend to use Yaya and Ibrahimovich as make weights in any proposed deal?

This smells a lot like the the supposed transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid in the Summer of 2008… you know the one, that actually ended up taking place in the Summer of 2009.

Gab Marcotti makes some wonderful points regarding the supposed move for Cesc, and why it may not be quite what it’s cracked up to be.

We all need to calm this down a notch and understand that Guillieme Blagger and the other baldie off La Liga Revista are not totally in the know and are tabloid hacks at heart.

Hunter for example was telling us last summer how Villa was close to becoming a Real Madrid player, and then close to being a Barca player, in the end, he remained a Valencia player.

Relax, let’s just wait and see how this develops, but going overboard based on nothing but hackism is playing right into the hands of the anti-arsenal movement who love to see our grand club in turmoil.

If you are a gooner… why would you help such a movement?

The overall standing of the club is of far greater importance than any player or manager, so knocking the club won’t help our cause.

The actual quotes coming out of Barcelona today, linked here,  offer a different, calmer view on the situation.

Cesc has never said anything other than he would love to go back home and play for his beloved Barca again, but he is still under contract for another 4 years.  We do not need to sell, and we certainly do not need to accept any derisory offers.

So bearing that in mind, lets go back to the original question… where do Barca now find the funds to buy Cesc?

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An afternoon that will leave many a Gooner spitting fire with regards to the antics of our least favourite Ivorian, namely Emmanuel Eboue.

Strangely enough, up until his daft sending off, the young African was having a decent game for his standards and even had a perfectly legitimate goal ruled out for an alleged foul on Woodgate.

He aint pretty and he will not be starting many games down the Arsenal right hand side of midfield again, thankfully Arshavin will be deployed there.

He will serve a one match ban, hopefully there will be some kind of F.A action and they increase the ban to 5 matches.

Say hello to my little friend

"Say hello to my little friend"

Emmanuel Badebayor now faces the real prospect of playing second fiddle to either Nik Bendter or the quite brilliant sharp-shooter, Eduardo da Silva.

Prior to going off injured, he was woeful beyond belief.  He won zilch in the air, and continued to display his pathetic attempts to trap a football.   One of the basic, most essential skills required when leading the line for a top European football club.

Wenger certainly made a mistake in believing this chap would ever have another season like the freak one that occurred during 2007/2008.  Coincidentally, a season in which he scored 25% of his season’s tally of league goals against the worst top flight defence in many a year, take a bow Derby County Football Club.

A right pair

A right pair

OK, lets step away from the Bad and the Ugly and focus more intently on the Good, because there was plenty of good to be taken away from the lane this afternoon.  To play as we did, with 10 men for the majority of the game, away to the old enemy was most inspiring.

Anybody else get the feeling that Captain Kolo and Billy G are getting back into the same groove that helped take us top of the table last season?

The defense was immense, apart from a lapse from Kolo late on to allow the walking disaster, Roman Pavlyuchenko, a strike at goal.  I believe he hit a Spuddie in Row Z with the ahem “shot on goal”.

Almunia was very solid, and capped his display with an awesome save in the dying seconds of the match.  The Spaniard has definately got a lot more solid as the season has progressed, I particulalry like the manner in which he will marshall the defense in front of him.

Alex Song is never going to be Patrick Viera or Reno Gattuso, but he can do a job protecting our defence and giving simple balls to the more creative midfielders in the side.  He was poor at times today, giving the ball away too easily, but on the same hand he showed glimpses of what he could do.

He battled well and can only get better following a decent run of games, there is no doubting his height and ability to defend the high ball from set pieces is a major plus if Djourou is not in the side.

Give him a chance fellow Gooners.   He has only recently turned 21, and has plenty of scope for developing his game, there is every chance he can become our midfield enforcer. Like any player he needs to build up his confidence, being booed by his own fans certainly won’t have the desired effect.

We have slipped further behind the Villa, but have closed the gap on the faltering Chelski following our valiant draw today.  There is a long way to go, Villa have a UEFA cup campaign on the boil and have yet to really get any prolonged, consistent injuries or ANY poor refereeing decisions go against them…. but they will.  It’s the law.

Mark my words.