July 29, 2009
Having had bids for John Terry and Joleon Lescott knocked back by Chelsea and Everton respectively, Manchester City have turned their attention to Kolo Toure and today clinched the signing of the Ivorian for a reported £16m.
This transfer is not the biggest surprise. There had been rumblings of a move to City from the start of this year which were heightened further when the player himself put in a transfer request ahead of the January window. It came to nothing then but whatever might have been going on behind the scenes has come to fruition now as one of Arsenal’s most popular players of recent years packs his bags and heads North having made 326 appearance for the Gunners since his arrival in February 2002.
July 19, 2009
So, Emmanuel Adebayor has been sold to Manchester City and it is hard not to enjoy the delicious appropriateness of one the greediest players to ever (dis)grace an Arsenal jersey joining the merry band of mercenaries heading off to Eastlands to take part in the so-called project being put together there.
It would seem to be a match made in heaven and it is one that will not lose Arsenal supporters any sleep. Nor will they shed any tears for a player who so shamelessly held the club to ransom 12 months ago in order to engineer an enormous pay-rise for himself but then contributed very little of note when it came to delivering on his end of the bargain during last season. His desparture looks to be a great deal all round. Arsenal are millions of pounds better off and have cut loose a player who had become a dead weight both on and off the pitch.
July 17, 2009
Arsenal began their season in scintillating style with an emphatic 6-1 victory over Everton at Goodison Park. The players turned what looked to be a potentially tricky opening fixture into a cakewalk and sent out a message of intent to their doubters.
The game was effectively over by half-time courtesy of three goals before the break and the Gunners put the Toffeemen well and truly to the sword with three further strikes in the second half. Louis Saha's injury time reply was barely consolation for the home fans, most of whom had left the stadium long before the final whistle.
July 6, 2009
Most of the squad will return from their summer breaks this week to commence pre-season training and it is not long now before we get our first taste of action with what is becoming a traditional stretch of the legs at Barnet on 18th July. After a very quiet close-season so far, it will be good to have some real football to watch and talk about, even if most of the team that day will be made up of second-string players and youngsters.
Following the purchase of Thomas Vermaelen from Ajax a few weeks ago, there has been no further transfer activity aside from some of the younger players either signing improved deals or being released. The tiresome annual circus of transfer speculation, gossip and rumour has been pleasingly muted this summer. A few new names have been linked with the club, but nothing concrete has emerged so there is very little point in indulging in any further dissection of that. Ultimately, potential new players only become interesting once they have signed on the dotted line and Arsene Wenger is not a man who tends to loudly advertise his targets ahead of time. All we can do is sit and wait patiently to see who, if anyone, might arrive between now and deadline day.
July 1, 2009
Has there ever been a group of people more singularly devoted to shamelessly trashing the club's identity for the sake of a few quid than the Arsenal Marketing Department and their counterparts at Nike? Yesterday, in their latest money-spinning wheeze, they launched a new third kit for the coming season. If you have not seen it, it looks like a dour version of the Spurs first-team strip. On top of a second kit that looks like Chelsea and a first team shirt that has virtually dispensed with our iconic white sleeves, one wonders if anyone will actually recognise Arsenal Football Club next season?
It is highly questionable why any team would need a third kit anyway if they have suitably contrasting first and second choice colours but, as football clubs try to eke out every last penny from their supporters to pay their players, there seems to be no depths to which they will not sink to in order to keep the cash rolling in.