Arsenal set to raid Marseille for a Keeper? Managing players, or not in some cases….

Morning all.

Why is it that some players at Arsenal contracts or maybe even players aren’t managed well enough?

Edu, Andrei Arshavin, Nicklas Bendtner and even Lukas Podoski are just a few who spring to mind yet I know all of you could probably name more, many more.

Edu was a wonderful player who joined us back in January 2001 when he as 23 years old. During his four and a half seasons with us, he featured in 100 matches. Of course that amount averages out quite well but it’s a false reflection really on how many times he played per season.  He managed just five between January and the summer of his first season, after which he played 27, 29, 48 (48 being the invincible season) as the seasons followed but the telling one was his final season in which he made just 18 appearances.

After that final season when Edu played in just 18 matches, he left on a Bosman.

Then of course Nikki B, the man with a huge ego, but its fair to say he hasn’t ever backed up his ego with the level of performance you’d expect to match it. Well, not for us but for his country, he’s seldom let them down.

Arsenal: Games 106, Goals 24

Denmark: Games 56, Goals 24

Mind you, he’s a striker, a big strong striker and being asked to play out wide each week would have hardly helped his Arsenal cause but clearly when he plays for Denmark, he plays central, just as he should.

Even now, when we are so short up front, Arsene Wenger sees Yaya Sanogo as the way forward rather that select a player with a lot more experience.

This summer, he will leave on a Bosman.

Arshavin came to us a few years ago and to be honest from the January he signed through to the end of that particular season, he was on fire, in fact some might be tempted to suggest that his arrival secured us Champions League football that year. But after that it didn’t always appear that he was willing to give his everything each game in fact he’d often be seen with his head downwards as he’d lost the ball one more time….

We know what happened to Arshavin don’t we. Over the few years he was with us, his confidence dropped because he wasn’t being played, his game suffered and the fans were on his back. Eventually he said goodbye and who could blame him. In his first full season he made 39 appearances, in his second, 52 appearances then during his last, just 11….

At the end of that last season, he left on a Bosman.

Lukas Podolski, a German international who Arsenal fans couldn’t wait to see in the red and white of our club but can anyone honestly say we have seen enough of kind of player we thought we’d signed? Now it seems Wenger is reluctant to start him, just has he was with our Russian, yet both on their day were/are capable of changing a game…..

I have a feeling that he will turn his back on us this summer and I’d understand why. He’s not getting any younger and he wants to be playing the game he loves, not just sitting on the bench watching everyone else, especially when some are either young and raw or simply under performing….

Last season, his first, he played in 42 fixtures, scoring 16 goals and most expected that this would truly be his season but to date, he’s only featured in 12 matches and most of those have been from the bench. I know he’s been out injured but he’s been fit and healthy and ready to play since the start of the year and we’ve had a lot of fixtures since then….

I wouldn’t bet against Podolski going back to where we signed him from either and when does his contract run out?

Maybe this time, the club will try and recoup some of the money they paid for him, rather than let him walk for free…….

If the club don’t sign the right kind of players this summer and we don’t start playing with pace and movement when attacking, you know, the style of play which will bring the best out of £42 million man, we could be saying the same things about Mesut Ozil this time next season..

There is still time to play in such a way this season if Arsene Wenger really wanted to…..

Finally, The Metro report that Wenger wants to sign France international goalkeeper Steve Mandanda from Marseille at the end of the season to add competition to current first-choice Wojciech Szczesny.

Apparently he’s ready for a new challenge and the Premier League is his favoured option.

Not to play second fiddle to Szczesny I suspect so if we do sign him, they’ll be a real battle for the number one spot. Good, that’s just what we need, in fact we need that kind of competition all over the pitch…..

That’s it for another day, have a good one….

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