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Who then Arsene? Too many rumours, not enough signings!

August 26, 2014

Morning all.

Not good news re Olivier Giroud it seems. Suggestion is that he had a second scan on his foot yesterday afternoon and it’s feared it’s broken. If so, we won’t see our big Frenchman for at least three months.

Just as he was starting to look fitter and a bit more mobile than the previous couple of games, we’ve lost him and his absence will be massive tomorrow night. He may not be the striker we all want to see leading the line against the top sides in the league and in Europe but he’s a workhorse for the good of the team.

Now we are left with Yaya Sanogo, Joel Campbell and Alexis Sanchez to fill the void. Alexis can play there but he’s not up to full speed and strength yet and playing up front on his own on Saturday didn’t quite work, he’s the kind of player to play off Giroud, not perhaps instead of him.

So that leaves the other three and just what Wenger’s plan will be remains to be seen. Of course, Lukas Podolski may simply be told he’s staying and be seen as the interim solution but he’s not played one single minute of pre-season so tomorrow is out of the question. Campbell and or Sanogo it is then. I’d go with Campbell because of his work ethic and have Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis either side of him. Pace, directness and grit!

Besiktas will be grinning from ear to ear. Not because Giroud has suffered a bad injury but the very fact that their chances of progressing to the Champions League group stage have just improved. No Ramsey, no Giroud, neither of our goal scorers from the weekend. Oh, and no Arteta or Gibbs either…..

If Giroud is confirmed to have a broken foot, surely Arsene Wenger will have to now sign a striker, he simply has to and he has just six days to do so. Even if that player is Remy, he has to get someone else through the door sharpish because relying on two young rookies for the next three months will not win us anything this season!

Suggestion is we are interested in the Italian winger Alessio Cerci, a player who is also able to play as a second striker.

Too many rumours and not enough signings this summer, it’s as simple as that.

This was meant to be our summer, the one in which the club and in particular Arsene Wenger showed true ambition in the transfer window and build a squad which truly was capable of challenging for the Premier League and other competitions but it’s not been, not yet.

We have added just two players to our squad, the other two were replacements for Fabianski and Debuchy, it’s a simple as that.

Yes there may be players lined up waiting to see if we qualify for the Champions League group stage but why wait so long? There are plenty of players around the world who would make this current quad deeper and stronger and not all are shallow enough to only want Champions League football. After all, Alexis Sanchez didn’t think twice about signing on the dotted line many weeks ago and I’m sure others wouldn’t have hesitated either had we tried just a little bit harder.

But Arsenal don’t do that do they, well, Arsene Wenger doesn’t..

Fourteen years ago today the club signed Sylvain Wiltord from Bordeaux for a club-record £13m. This summer, we could could have signed Loic Remy for less than that but we haven’t. Surely Arsene Wenger has to, simply has to go and sign or someone right now.

That is of course, if the club aren’t prepared to aim a little higher…

The club also need to sign a central defender and midfielder because if they don’t, 2014/15 will probably be the season that Arsene Wenger doesn’t get one of the top four places in the Premier League.

Get it done Arsenal, get it done Arsene Wenger!

That’s my rant over for today….

 

 

 

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Luiz Gustavo linked & 25 Goal a Season Striker at Arsenal!

August 25, 2014

Morning all.

Gossip:

The Mirror report that Arsene Wenger is again interested in signing Luiz Gustavo to bolster our midfield.

Reports in Greece suggest Roma have agreed personal terms with Olymipacos for the Greek international Kostas Manolas.

However, Italian journalist Gabriel Marcotti believes the players agent is in England to seal a deal for the defender:

Mario Balotelli’s agent, Mino Raiola, is currently in the UK. He is in London trying to do a deal for Kostas Manolas, presumably to Arsenal.

This story has been bubbling away longer than a saucepan full of brussels at Christmas. The big Greek international was left out of the squad for Olympiacos’ first league game of the season and that omission has fuelled speculation that he’s on his way to us. The longer this goes on though, the more I suspect it’s untrue. Unless he’s waiting to see what happens on Wednesday night of course.

I can see right up his shorts, nearly...

I can see right up his shorts, nearly…

If true, it’ll be good to add a bit more height to our defensive options and Arsene Wenger can’t keep playing Calum Chambers, or Laurent Koscielny if he has an Achilles problem.

And what about Jack Wilshere, does Arsene Wenger keep on playing him, even though it seems that we improve once he’s been replaced during a match. Jack is dividing fans opinion right now but the player is full of confidence ahead of Wednesday nights crucial match against Besiktas.

It is easy for me to say that we have great character but if we put in performances like that week in, week out we can prove it to people. We have got great character, great togetherness and some leaders out there that keep us going. We also have great players to go with that.

We never give up and at this level that is massive. We have always shown over the years that Arsenal are going to battle like mad right until the end.

There have been a few games where we have been behind right until the end but have kept going. This is a fantastic point and now we have a big game on Wednesday and this will give us great confidence going into that.

He’s absolutely right of course, to come back from 2-0 down to earn a point away from home and at a ground where we got trounced earlier this year, showed true character and determination but we have to stop going behind in games before upping our level because there our sides who if they get a lead, won’t surrender it.

We can’t afford to go behind on Wednesday, that’s for sure because one goal for the opposition leaves us needing two.

It would be quite refreshing to take the lead and go kill the game off early….

Finally, Arsene Wenger has backed Olivier Giroud to score 25 goals this season. Following comments made by  GaryLineker about Giroud not being the 25 goal a season striker we need, our manager said:

How sure are you he won’t be that man? He scored 16 last season and what he demonstrated here when he came on was very convincing.

You never have to set limitations or targets for any player, but for me he is improving every year. I wouldn’t rule out that he will get 25 goals.

What you smokin’ Arsene…..?

Have a great day all, it’s a Bank Holiday here in England and it’s raining!

 

 


2-2, but should it have been? Giroud out of Besiktas fixture?

August 24, 2014

Morning all.

What a bunch of cheats. From the officials to a few Everton players…!

And I’m so glad we don’t play that way, I really am. The way Naismith went to ground so easily in order to con the referee was embarrassing enough but the way the referee Kevin Friend was taken in was disgraceful. To add insult to injury, Calum Chambers received a yellow card for no reason.

The fact that Naismith was on the end of their second goal which was offside, made matters worse. Linesman, wake up! The foul on Mertesacker in the build up to the goal went unpunished too which at this level is wrong, so very wrong.

The first half wasn’t a good one for us for many reasons but I’ll leave that for the comments section.

The second half began and getting anything from that game 2-0 down looked a high mountain to climb…

Alexis made way for Giroud and it wasn’t long before he had his first chance but the Frenchman blasted high over that bar. The next chance he had just before 70 minutes went low and just wide and very soon after another chance went begging. It didn’t look like it was going to be Giroud’s day, nor ours. Chances need to be taken more often but Giroud was certainly looking a lot more lively than he did last Tuesday.

As we strived to get something from this game, Arsene Wenger threw on Joel Campbell to make his first appearance in the league, ok he looked rusty but you cant fault his energy and willingness to track back and help out. I like that, perhaps a few others could learn from that side of his and Alexis game.

The clock was ticking down and despite piling the pressure on Everton, we just couldn’t get a breakthrough until Aaron Ramsey popped up in the box to score from a lovely ball from Santi Cazorla.

Giroud spurned another chance, this time he headed wide from a corner. It just wasn’t his day in front of goal was it…….

Until the 90th minute of course when he finally headed home a wicked cross from Monreal.

We nicked a point. No, we were robbed of two!!

Before the game, I honestly thought we’d win and we would have if the officials had got things right on the day but to be honest, in that second half we had enough chances to win regardless of the poor decisions given against us.

Now we need a win on Wednesday, secure the Champions League group stages and then, sign up 2/3 more top quality players.

Olivier Giroud is a doubt for that match according to Wenger:

It is a big game and I hope we have not lost him. In the final minute he stretched his ankle. At the moment it doesn’t look too good.

Sanogo or Campbell it might be then, unless Alexis gets the nod again…..

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

 

 


Two Omissions Confirm Two Arsenal Deals? Ready for the onslaught Arsenal?

August 23, 2014

Morning all.

Reports in the newspapers this morning suggest Lukas Podolski will not be in the squad for today’s game. If true, he’s either injured or off in my opinion and considering there has been no injury disclosed, one has to draw the conclusion the he’s off. Juventus are the latest club linked.

The second is Sami Khedira. He was left out of the Real Madrid side last night which lost to Atletico and saw the chance of their first trophy fall by the wayside. It’s no secret that Madrid are keen to sell their midfielder but it seems strange that no move has yet materialised. I have my own cunning theory that should we win on Wednesday, he’ll be ours, although Bayern are reported to be interested as well.

Come on Sami, come join Mesut……

Back on the 6th April this year we travelled to Everton and got battered 3-0. It was a horrid day, one of a few in the latter part of last season. We didn’t travel well and certainly not when facing sides with a bit of pace and Everton certainly had that, as well as a bit of bite.

The match was very different to the 4-1 victory at The Emirates the month before.

We’ve struggled against Everton in the league of late, in fact other than the loss away from home, a draw has been the outcome in the previous fixtures.

We had injury worries back then too, Koscielny was out, Ramsey started on the bench having just recovered, Ozil was injured as was Gibbs which meant Monreal, just about fit himself, had to deputise and he had a torrid time up against Lukaku. Their midfield ruled ours and we weren’t helped by Arteta scoring an own goal.

Sanogo came on with twenty minutes or so and should have chalked up his first goal for Arsenal. Annoyingly and wrongly, it was ruled offside.

That defeat back in April though was our last…..

Everton have made a few additions this summer, the pick of the bunch being , Gareth Barry from City, Lukaku on a permanent deal and James McCarthy.

Ross Barkley is out injured tough which is always pleasing to hear when we are playing Everton and Lukaku is a doubt which would also be welcome news.

We all know who we have signed and I think they will make a big difference today and of course we’ll have Ramsey from the start. Koscielny plays too which is key to our defence and Yaya Sanogo has recovered from his hamstring. I know he’s not a fans favourite yet, but he can be a real pain for defenders as he proved against Liverpool at home last season. They don’t know what he’s going to do at all, perhaps that’s because the player isn’t too sure either… lol

Our German trio are available for selection today but as said earlier it’s rumoured that Lukas Podolski will not be in the squad as he’s expected to leave. Whether that’s true or not I don’t know.

Arsene Wenger has a few big decisions to make today with Wednesdays match on his mind no doubt. I hope we start with Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez on the pitch at the same time….

I can’t see a repeat of the April scoreline, I really can’t and if every one of our players put a 100% shift in, I think we’ll have enough to win this fixture, or certainly not lose it. Martinez won’t set his side up to park the bus that’s for sure, he’ll get his players out of the blocks early and quickly and we have to be ready for the onslaught.

Then get a grip of the game, take control and then go for the jugular.

There’s been a lot of talk from Arsene Wenger and Aaron Ramsey about how we won’t be bullied this season.

Well today, go and prove it.

COYYRG’s…..

 


Cavani bid accepted? Reid linked & Who will nominate Arsene Wenger?

August 22, 2014

Morning all…

What’s all this ice bucket nomination thing all about?

Well, it’s all in aid of a wonderful cause and that’s Macmillan Cancer Support and many many footballers are taking part to raise money. The challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads. A common stipulation is that nominated people have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation.

Not only footballers are getting involved though, even George Bush has had a bucket of ice cold water thrown over him but as far as I know, no-one has yet had the balls to nominate Arsene Wenger but they should. Saying that, if it means parting with money, he’ll soon allow someone to throw the bucket of water over him….

I wouldn’t, I’d rather opt out and donate….. Actually, I’d do both….

Perhaps we could all join in but we’ll keep it fair and have just one nomination and for those who want to donate to such a fantastic cause, CLICK HERE.

But you must send a photo in to me to prove you have undergone the challenge and if you don’t, then I hope your conscience gets the better of you and you donate….

Well you didn’t expect that did you…

Aaron Ramsey has been talking about his red card on Tuesday:

I think it was a difficult game where a lot of players were going over easily and I think the European refs tend to give those fouls a lot more than they do over here, so that’s something I am going to have to learn.

That’s my first red card for Arsenal and hopefully my last as well. I’ll be a bit more streetwise and not give away free-kicks so cheaply.

I hope it is too because our side misses players like Ramsey who can have so much influence on the way we play and we are going to miss him next week for the second leg. On a perfect pitch and in front of our home fans, hopefully the performance will be a lot better than it was on Tuesday. We need a ‘Napoli at home’ kind of performance and if we can produce somewhere near to that level, we’ll be fine.

Ramsey also said that it’s vital we pick up points away from home against the so-called better clubs and he’s right. No doubt he is referring to the maulings we took at Liverpool, Chelsea and City. Everton was a fluke in my opinion and we’ll show that tomorrow.

Transfer gossip:

Well there a crazy story doing the rounds which suggests we are going to offer Olivier Giroud and £35 million for PSG striker Edinson Cavani. Someone on Twitter last night even had the cheek to suggest whatever offer we have made for the player, it has been accepted.

Dream on I say, why on earth would PSG want a cup-tied striker? Maybe PSG would like Campbell or Sanogo… lol

The Times link us to West Ham defender Winston Reid which is a new one in the media. His name has cropped up here on HH but I don’t think I’ve seen this story in the newspapers before.

Sami Khedira, well I think the football journalists are keeping their jobs because of this man, well him, Angel Di Maria and Marco Reus. Only ten more days to find out where they all end up. Same with William Carvalho and Kostas Manolas. Fingers crossed two at least end up in an Arsenal shirt. Guillem Balague believes Sami Khedira has a “personal agreement” with Arsenal but we all know how unreliable he is don’t we….

That’s it for today, have a good one.

 


Shock Exit at Arsenal! Podolski next? Wenger confirms more signings. Reus, Carvalho & Khedira back in the mix…..

August 21, 2014

Morning all.

On This Day 2010 Theo Walcott scored a hat-trick as Arsenal beat Blackpool 6-0. Hurry up and get back Theo, we need you…..

On this day, also back in 2010 Highbury House was born. Thank you to each and every one of you guys and gals who turn up each and every day to keep this place ticking over. Without you all, I’d be doing something very different to writing a load of rubbish each morning just to keep the place refreshed… lol

A big thank you to Wath, who makes sure I can have a few holiday’s each year and of course to those who often chip in with posts. More are most welcome of course….

As HH enters another Arsenal year, it seems Tom Fox won’t be.

Having played a big part in securing the multi million sponsorship with Puma, he’s rumoured to be heading off to Aston Villa as their their new CEO. Tom Fox joined the Arsenal staff back in 2009 but it seems he’s tempted to take a role which would give him far more responsibility…

Oh well, life will go on I guess, perhaps the next man in will clinch even bigger and better financial deals.

Talking of deals, we need a few done don’t we.

Loic Remy is still up for grabs. Good ol ‘Arry has confirmed that he’s staying at Qpr unless a top four side in the Premier League come in for him. Having supposedly failed a medical at Liverpool and Chelsea ruling themselves out of a deal, that leaves just Manchester City and us. Ok, there’s no way Manchester City would entertain such a signing in my opinion, so that leaves us.

Should we?

Another is Marco Reus.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, CEO of Dortmund, was asked about the transfer rumours concerning Reus and gave a boost to the interested parties. He said:

We will have to wait and see whether we can keep hold of Marco.

All I can say is that I know him really well and it’s not about money with him.

Respected German newspaper Welt stated last week that Arsenal were leading the race to sign him, they even suggested that we are set to launch a bid to secure another big star this summer.

The Sun report that Galatasaray willing to pay £22m to prise both Lukas Podolski & Joel Campbell away from Arsenal. They and other newspapers suggest Podolski would be allowed to leave but not Joel Campbell. The same paper suggests that both Milan sides want Podolski too. How about a deal with AC for Super Mario?

The Metro, well I know they are hardly the most reliable but they report that Carvalho and Khedira remain possible additions before the transfer window closes as Mikel Arteta is expected to be out for at least two weeks with sprained ankle.

TalkSport reckon we could scupper Everton’s move for PSG midfielder Clement Chantome…..

Don’t you just love all the silly gossip?

Arsene Wenger has held his press conference this morning and confirmed he is open to signing more players:

We’re open to any opportunity in the transfer market.

Dearie me Arsene, you do know how to reassure us fans don’t you!

But when asked about the possibility of signing a defensive midfielder:

We are not against that, no.

There are just eleven days left in this transfer window and we have gaping holes in our squad which seriously need addressing and filling. I hope he’s more than just open to doing further business, he has to be……

That’s it for today, have a good one all….

 


No New Players Close. They Should be Arsene!

August 20, 2014

Morning all.

On this day back in 1995, Dennis Bergkamp made his debut for us against Middlesbrough at Highbury. We only managed a 1-1 draw but regardless, it was the start of a wonderful relationship between Bergkamp, Arsenal FC and the fans…

Last night was grim.

Aaron Ramsey, who has so many times been our saviour, showed immaturity to pick up two bookings which will see him miss next Wednesday’s do or die match. Shirt pulling, the first was silly enough but to go and repeat such antics and get sent off was stupid.

Mikel Arteta hobbled off injured and it’s looking likely that he’ll miss the second leg too.

Olivier Giroud, well he could have won the game and given us a huge away goal which would have given us a great advantage in this tie but his shooting boots and his legs were clearly missing last night.

Alexis shone, as did Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain when he replaced our Chilean international but why the pair of them weren’t on the pitch at the same time amazes me. Wilshere, Cazorla, Arteta to name just a few just didn’t get into the game. Cazorla seldom does when playing on the left. Calum Chambers was again a rock in the centre of defence, a defence which did well to keep a clean sheet.

We were fortunate not to conceded and Ba came very close to doing just that from the kick off. Thankfully Szczesny was alert to tip the ball onto the bar.

Our midfield just isn’t right. Arteta, Ramsey and Wilshere just doesn’t work in my opinion. Not one of them is good or strong enough to protect our defence when needed and last night should have been clearly obvious to Arsene Wenger that he needs to sign a defence minded midfielder as if he doesn’t, we’ll be ripped apart all too often. Maybe the injury to Mikel Arteta will force him to act, not that he should need last night to make him realise we need that kind of player, it’s been clear for a while.

Callum Chambers, as good as he is proving he is, is just 19 years old. He’s played all through pre-season and if he carries on playing each week, he’ll soon be either injured, or exhausted and that would be wrong and unfair on such a talented player. Yes we have Mertesacker coming back but he alone isn’t enough, we desperately need a CB.

On last night’s showing, I’m slowly joining the ‘we need a striker’ camp to because Giroud really was woeful. He could so easily won that match for us.

The bright side of the game was Alexis and the very nearly goal from Oxlade-Chamberlain who was denied by the post. Chambers too had a chance near the end but he just couldn’t get his headed on target.

After the match Arsene Wenger talked about the defence:

We are a bit short at the back, yes you’re right. But we should have Mertesacker and Ozil and Podolski available again at the weekend. Let’s hope they are in good shape when we go home.

And his transfer plans:

Not at the moment, no. I have nothing special to add on that at the moment. Honestly, we are not close to signing anybody.

I hope he’s lying!

We’re not out of the Champions League just yet and if the club get a move on and make a couple of signings, we won’t be next week either.

Before then though, we face a very tricky trip to Everton…….

That’s your lot, have a good day all….

 


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