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Posted by Sam Limbert on 08/07/2012

Honestly, I’ve taken my eye off most things Arsenal in the last week and a half with the London 2012 Olympic Games meaning I’ve been trying to understand the rules of judo and have been getting massively over-excited about track cycling and handball. I’ve watched some of the Olympic football tournament, but have been so engrossed in the other sport that the men’s football has generally felt like a needless sideshow. The women’s football tournament however was a superb advert for fans to follow the female game more, with Team GB beating Brazil.

I’ve partly not been bothering myself with Arsenal news because the Olympic Games don’t come to a nearby city very often. The wave of Olympic excitement in and around London has been brilliant, with sport bringing people together and making people proud to be British. Also, there has been a severe lack of media coverage of football ahead of the new season, which is probably a good thing as it’s stopped me fretting and starting to worry about Arsenal too far in advance of the season. We go through enough emotions during the season so avoiding some of them in pre-season should be welcomed.

The major Arsenal interest was in the women’s football tournament. The Team GB 18 player squad featured six Arsenal players, all of whom featured in their impressive 1-0 victory over favourites Brazil in front of a record UK crowd for a women’s match in this country at Wembley. Arsenal have been flag bearers on the pitch for women’s football for many years, however despite the success of the team, the women’s game has struggled for coverage and popularity.

The motto for London 2012 is ‘Inspire A Generation’. Many people just disregard these sort of statements because they’re arguably just written for advertising and branding purposes, but the motto really is true for these Olympics Games, and it’s been typified by Team GB’s women’s football team. Goal scoring full-back Steph Houghton has become a household name, whilst Kim Little, Alex Scott, Kelly Smith, Rachel Yankey and Ellen White were all Gunners that made significant contributions to the Team GB side that reached the quarter finals. The FA and the Women’s Super League have to build on the success of the women’s game from the Olympics, and play some WSL at the big stadiums. Arsenal should play some games at the Emirates as there should be, and is, an increasing interest in women’s football.

A lot of the club football news to squeeze its way through the mass of Olympo-mania has been about the Arsenal, with Robin van Persie still hanging around and Santi Cazorla arriving from Malaga. After the cancellation of Nigerian tour match, we’ve had a lack of pre-season games, but with all the other sport drawing others’ attention, Arsene Wenger quietly seems to be building Arsenal to be faster, higher and stronger in this Olympic summer.

In my last blog, I was a bit downbeat about Arsenal having just watched us dominate a pre-season match with Manchester City, but still lose. However it seems everything isn’t as bad as it seemed. From the snippets of news that have come out of the club, the team seem to be in good spirits, and with the quality of players arriving, that should be the case. Lukas Podolski’s international record speaks for itself, Santi Cazorla is an absolute steal from Malaga, and I think Olivier Giroud will adapt well to the Premier League. Part of me thinks that if all three were such good deals, why were more clubs not in for them? However, it also shows how Arsene Wenger can pick a deal, and was able to get a better deal because of our quiet way of doing business and the attraction Arsenal still has for players. We might knock our own club back sometimes as fans, because of the hopes and expectations we have, but to a lot of players in Europe, we’re still a top club with a genuine chance of winning trophies.

The squad is looking full, so departures are inevitable. The likes of Nicklas Bendtner and Sebastien Squillaci are still on the books, and hopefully departures are forthcoming. However the sale of Robin van Persie, when it once seemed inevitable, is now in a little bit of doubt. With every day that goes past towards the end of the transfer window, the more embarrassing Robin van Persie’s statement looks. Although not directly saying he wanted to leave this summer, the digs he took at Arsene Wenger and the club appeared to have made his position at the club untenable. However reports suggest that interest has cooled in van Persie. He must also be impressed by our summer signings.

Whatever is going on with Robin van Persie, and none of us can truly know what he’s said to anyone inside the club, it seems we’re nearing a conclusion by default. I agree with the club’s position of not wanting to sell on the cheap, so if the offers aren’t there, then he stays. Simple. If he goes to one of the Manchester clubs, he’ll be remembered as a good player for the club, but nothing more.

If he does ultimately stay, it’ll feel like an extra player. As soon as van Persie released that statement, it felt like he’d left so I have imagined going into the season without him. I still don’t think he can be the club captain, and with Thomas Vermaelen leading the team in Asia, he would seem the obvious choice. I’m still unsure as to whether he’s guaranteed a starting place at centre back with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny also competing for the two spots. I think Mikel Arteta should get a bigger role in the squad with the vice-captaincy.

So despite being heavily distracted by the Olympics, I’ve gone from pessimism to optimism about Arsenal’s season during the summer months. The squad is definitely stronger than last season, and with others re-joining the squad after the Euros, some of the occasionally abject performances in Asia should be things of the past. My biggest concern at the moment is that there is only one friendly left before the kick-off against Sunderland. Plenty of the squad are yet to appear in pre-season, so will have to hit the ground running. However the signs are good that this Arsenal team will be faster, higher (although Cazorla is more Arshavin than Mertesacker in terms of height), and stronger.

My other recent cause for Arsenal optimism came in the break from my wall-to-wall Olympic fortnight. Just more than 1,000 others got the first chance to see some of our newest youth recruits blossom at Meadow Park on Saturday, as an Arsenal XI beat Chesham United 6-2. Did I recognise most of the 16 and 17 year olds playing for Arsenal? Not really. However one or two of them will make it into the first team, and even though they were playing a limited Chesham team, it’s exciting to see another crop of youngsters coming through the club. Full back Hector Bellerin, midfielder Kristoffer Olsson and Isaac Hayden and striker Philip Roberts caught the eye with confident performances. It wasn’t really a major game, but it signalled to me that the season is just around the corner. As much as I’m loving the Olympics, the sporting bread and butter for most of us is the football season. Arsenal have signed some good players, so it’s time for a little bit of blind pre-season optimism.

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Posted by Prof. Oyeboh. Razaq on 08/07/2012

Very good and realistic blog with on-the-point projection.

Posted by bc on 08/07/2012

the squad may appear overloaded, but in fact we only have 28 players (homegrown/non-homegrown) so only 3 actually have to find new homes. squillaci, park and bendtner appear to be favourites. if we could just add some more defensive players, 3 would be nice, yanga-mbwia, capoue and sahin. that would mean 3 more leaving, chamakh, eastmond and arshavin and we would have an awesome squad
gk - szcesney, fabianski, mannone, martinez
fb - sagna, jenkinson, gibbs, santos, yanga-mbwia
cb - vermaelen, koscielny, mertesacker, djourou, bartley, miquel
holding mid - song, capoue, coquelin, frimpong, wilshire, arteta, diaby, sahin, yennaris, henderson,
attacking mid - walcott, cazorla, gervinho, chamberlain, rosicky, ramsey, ryo, lansbury, eisfeld, aneke
strikers - rvp, podolski, giroud, watt

Posted by Anonymous on 08/07/2012

nice post.. :)
i hope we cash-in at the rvp situation and invest on the younger talented prospects like kevin mirallis or nuri sahun

Posted by Emmanuel Ekwere on 08/07/2012

I'm really encouraged my GOONERS like our very dear Sam-Limbert. This is an excellent write-up from you Sir. Arsenal are certainly going to beat some teams SILLY this season. Kudos to Le' Prof Arsene-Wenger. Even Death can't stop my love for ARSENAL. Ciao

Posted by 11Rosicky on 08/07/2012

Season is around the corner and Santi signing is an exciting one. I have come to terms with losing Robin over the summer and him staying will just be awkward for almost everyone. Breadth of options up front is unbelievable but does raise many questions as to how this talented personnel will fit in an effective formation. With Diaby and Wilshire coming back, middle of the park looks effectively covered.

My question is, we will miss Robins scoring prowess but how important is it that will we miss Robin the leader?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. As a leader, Robin was good, but isn't irreplaceable. There seems to be a lot of respect in the squad for guys like Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta.

Posted by Hong Kong Gooner on 08/07/2012

Sam, thanks for a nice pre-season blog despite the distractions of the Olympics :-) I have a lot of faith in AW's rebuilding efforts, and as fans, we should give him 100% support. It's never easy with the want-aways, and I hope RVP will do a turnaround and form a strong partnership with the new players. As soon as he starts scoring in the first few games, we can all forgive and forget...?!

Like some observers, I would still like to see AW buy some defensive reinforcement, as our next generation does not appear to be ready yet. What do you think?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think that has to be the next focus in terms of signings as we've improved in midfield and up front. We're not particularly short on numbers at the back, but could arguably improve in some positions.

Posted by makun Olayinka on 08/07/2012

Good article sam. Good signing for arsenal fc i hope they give us a trophy to justify the signing.

Posted by max on 08/07/2012

now that arsenal officially signed cazorla i would like to see them finish the loan move for sahin and then sign van der wiel from ajax to cover sagna and to be the eventual successor at the rb spot.

Posted by Ryan on 08/07/2012


Another good article. I've been impressed with Arsenal's transfer activity this summer but have been a little dismayed that all of the purchases are attackers. Scoring goals is rarely Arsenal's problem; giving them up is. As it seems that Sagna will not be ready for the start of the season are you surprised that a move for another RB hasn't been made yet?

I think many people have been too hard on Jenkinson but I don't think we should be entering the season with him as the starting RB either. There have been some rumors about a move for Van Der Wiel, although he didn't look that great at the Euro's. Do you think Wenger will move for RB before the season starts, and if so, who do you think he should tartge?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I'm not overly surprised that we haven't gone to sign another right back because Jenkinson put in a few good performances last season, plus we've got Francis Coquelin and Nico Yennaris if needed. There have been a few rumours about Gregory van der Wiel, however when Sagna is fit, he wouldn't like sitting on the bench.

Posted by Noel on 08/07/2012

As far as new signings are concerned, I think it's been a while since the summer (and Wenger) has treated the fans as nice as this one; and it could still get better yet as we wait for developments on Nuri Sahin or even Gregory van der wiel.

The big question mark, of course, is still RVP. but like you, I've also read some sports reports that the body language & attitude of the captain have been different in the last few days. If it wasn't for his public statement, I doubt the boss would have been so active in the transfer market. I optimistically think that the scenario of RVP signing an extension is no longer as far fetched as two weeks ago.

Posted by Hillary on 08/07/2012

Well written Sam.I am looking forward to the new season with a lot of optimism.I personally think that RVP was not properly advised by Dein.They wanted to use it as a ploy to turn fans against the club.They have put RVP in a difficult position,he does not have any justification to want to leave anymore because of the recent signings.The truth will surely come out,is it about money or lack of ambition?

Posted by bevic on 08/07/2012

ok, let's wait till the end of the season.

Posted by Dan on 08/07/2012

Hi sam, While I enjoy reading the blog because you speak nothing but the truth as it should be, I diagree with you on your vice-captain choice...Yes arteta has shown great leadership, but taken into consideration time he's been at Arsenal and constant performance shouldn't Sagna be top of the queque to be vice? why do you think Arteta should be vice-captain? and even if the "embarrasing looking" RVP manage to stay at Arsenal, do you think Wenger would show such a strong hand as to strip him off the captaincy?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Honestly, if RvP stays I think Wenger should strip him of the captaincy because of the disregard he showed for Wenger's ways and the rest of the squad. Sagna is a superb player, however I'm not sure if he's enough of a leader to be vice-captain. Arteta seemed to take a leader's role in midfield naturally last season, so I think would fill the role well.

Posted by Bea on 08/07/2012

Nice work as always Sam. Here's to more ladies football! I hope there is more interest - although there was a belief after 'Bend it Like Beckham' came to cinemas ladies football would be more popular! Fingers crossed this time ;)

Posted by gooner138098 on 08/07/2012

great read Sam!however don't you feel we are still in dire need of a proper LB?santos is not a defender & gibbs is one for the future and yet to mature!there were rumors that Wenger was after "the new Bale" from Southampton and also Van Der Wiel...any truth to that?we were also linked with Sakho from PSG..if he came may be TV5 could shift to LB!

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I've only heard the van der Wiel rumour, and he isn't a left back. We're not in dire need of one, but it is an area of the squad that could be improved.

Posted by Riley on 08/07/2012

I think the financial position of many clubs that aren't owned by billionaires has made Arsenal more attractive to players and selling clubs. Arsenal can actually afford to pay hefty fees for players, and the players brought in by the club are all high transfer fees compared to 99% of the clubs out there.

Sam, do you think there's any merit to these Alex Song to Barcelona rumors? Where did they come from?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Part of me fears that there might be some strength to the Song rumours, although I'd be a bit surprised if we let him go to Barcelona after some of the deals we've done with them in the past.

Posted by Jack Conway on 08/07/2012

Hope springs eternal so I am very optimistic about the coming season. I have no idea how to form a starting XI out of the players we now have but I trust Arsene will do it well. My question has to do with Alex Song: would you sell him and, if he goes, who fills that role?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I wouldn't sell Alex Song, and if he goes, I don't think we'll sign a direct replacement. We have quite a congested midfield at the moment anyway, and seem to have plenty of young holding midfielders coming through, with Coquelin being the best.

Posted by Hussam on 08/07/2012

everyone still on RVP's case for some reason.. He released a statement saying the club isn't buying world class players(which is the truth), then suddenly he's an outcast.. If the same words were to be spoken by any of the board or senior members, noone would of thought about it twice.. But when a player says it its taboo.. Although i believe Usmanov's threat was the main reason Arsenal decided to spend this summer, RVP's statement and stance also helped wake up some of the sleeping board members and the manager that we don't live in a perfect world and that you need to spend money to make money( also to win trophies)..
and Sam, the olympics are no reason to stop blogging, some of us look forward to your weekly analysis.. Thanks

Posted by TJ on 08/07/2012

Good post, Sam. I too am more optimistic for the new season now than at the start of the summer. Do you think if RvP stays he'll eventually sign a new contract? I'd rather sell him now than see him leave for free next summer. Also, if there's any money left to be spent, I think AW should get another defender or two. If the Sahin loan deal happens, defense is really the only area I can see that still needs improvement.

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think if RvP stays and we start the season well, then he might end up signing a new contract. If a good enough offer isn't there this summer, then we do risk losing him on a free, but I think that's a calculated risk Wenger and the club are taking.

Posted by Apostolos on 08/07/2012

The fact that other teams didn't go after Giroud,and Cazorla is only because Wenger did his busines smart and quietly lots of teams were after Giroud and Cazorla once turned down a move to Real Madrid which says it all.

I for one could care less about the Olympics,I have been impressed with Wenger this summer though finally he was aggressive about getting players early during the transfer period,I personally think most of that has to do with us finishing third and not fourth like in previous years(since we all know how important that Champions league money is to pay of the stadium).

If we can just get a DM I think Arsenal will be challenging for the title(M Villa or Blackburns french DM would be great) also if RVP does leave I really hope we replace him with MBaye Niang who will be a great player in a few years and would be the perfect player to fill in for RVP in the future.

*I also hope Wenger takes a good look at Olympiakos's Panagiotis Vlahodimos

Posted by Anonymous on 08/08/2012

Hello Sam:
i think we need also a shake up in the goal keeping line..don't you think?
Again sam if you are to restructure the Arsenal's squad which area would you add and which area would you subtract?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I'm happy with Szczesny as our goalkeeper, so don't think that position is a major concern for Wenger. I don't think the squad needs a major restructure, but the defence should be the next area where we can improve having signed attackers and midfielders. The likes of Squilllaci need to go, and then we could sign a full back.

Posted by Omia Ronald on 08/08/2012

Hi Sam,
nice article as always, Arsenal needs a reliable left back and another a No. 1, who would you propose for Arsenal Manager for each of those areas?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Personally I don't think we need another goalkeeper to replace Szczesny. In terms of a left back, there aren't too many top quality full backs available. Baines is good from Everton, but I doubt we'd pay his fee. From outside the Premier League, I like Benoit Tremoulinas from Bordeaux.

Posted by Dchow on 08/08/2012

If RvP stays and contributes to Arsenal by scoring or assists in goal scoring, we should continue to support him irrespect whether he is our captain and also the damaging statements he has made.

Posted by Rob on 08/08/2012

Sahin is a must!!! This business in the Guardian about Wenger swooping for him only if Song leaves is ridiculous. I don't care if we only have him for this season. He is quality and is the extra piece the team has lacked in the past seasons. Do us a solid, Arsene, and make the summer "deal-sweep" complete.

Posted by pvo78 on 08/08/2012

Sam, we agree on so much it's scary. Speaking of defensive reinforcements, do you see Kyle Bartley getting some time in at CB this season? I'd still like to see one signed, but is he an valid option for the future as well?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think Bartley might struggle to get much time in the first team if Mertesacker, Vermaelen and Koscileny stay fit. He is an option for the future, but realistically he needs time in the first team.

Posted by chuckles on 08/08/2012

Hi Sam,
Question for ya - say we don't sell RVP for 20m this summer and he has another amazing season with us, if we win a trophy, finish 2nd or 3rd in the Premiership, and do well in Champions League, might we be financially better off letting him go for free next summer?
And since I am in Canada, has anyone ever seen a ref call a goalie for holding a ball for more than 6 seconds?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think we might be better off if we do well this season, and RvP stays. Unlike other years, we don't seem to be under too much pressure financially to sell.
I've not seen anyone stop goalkeepers doing that for a long time. Annoys me because as far as I know, the rule still exists.

Posted by Riley on 08/08/2012

There seem to be several reports of RVP going to ManU. If true, does Theo play through the middle this year? Arsene has been talking about moving him more centrally for years, so is now the time?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Theo might play through the middle more, however we need him to sign a new contract, and I think he'd be better with a strike partner rather than on his own in the current system. He could work up front with Olivier Giroud.

Posted by FA on 08/08/2012

Sam: great post as always. Good business by AW so far, but we need to clear out many players - Squilacci, Bendtner, Djourou, etc.

But whatever happens, don't sell Song! One problem we've seen repeatedly is burn-out,fatigue (e.g. Wilshere) and not having quality cover (e.g. for Arteta last term). We need top notch replacements to challenge for the league... let's go Gunners, win 3 trophies this season!!!

Posted by patman on 08/09/2012

much more excited going into 2012 than i was in 2011. still remember stumbling up to the local arsenal supporters bar in san francisco last august, drunk off my ass, hoping jack daniels would numb the pain from the stick AW had shoved up our collective assholes. shows how much i know. best thing about being an arsenal fan is that each year is a ride. united fans are bandwagon and cheap, liverpool fans are depressing, man city fans havent had as much joy heading into a season since they were chelsea fans. gunner through and through

Posted by zebra on 08/09/2012

thanks Sam!

nice write up. we do definitely need much more toughness in our back line. that's what is missing, and has been missing, for me.

question: though we did sign Podolski so early on, in a way, do you think that without van Persie's harsh words we would have been as effective in the summer's transfers so far? and what about Walcott now, is his position getting crowded?


Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think that we were still going to be active in this transfer window regardless of whatever RvP said, just because it's the sort of investment that a lot feel we've needed for a good few years. There is competition in Walcott's position, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, and he's yet to commit his future to the club.

Posted by Sam, Jakarta on 08/09/2012

Now that we appear to have a better squad than last season, how good is our chance to win EPL and UCL this season?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. It's hard to know until we see them all play together, but we're undoubtedly in a better place than we were at the start of last season.

Posted by Chliean_Gooner on 08/10/2012

Hey Sam. Great Article.

I have been reading everyone's responses and questions but i haven't seen anyone comment on Diaby. I know he has had many injury problems and I feel like he is a player that almost everyone has forgotten about. I personally think he does have the talent to be a good player in the EPL but I also believe that everyone expected him to come in and be the new Patrick Viera. What are your views on Diaby and do you think he could still possibly play a role in the starting line up if he stays fit?

My last question is and it might be a silly thought but what about using him as a centerback much like we did with Toure.


Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think Diaby is better going forward than playing as a more defensive player. I could see him playing behind the striker as he's best when running at players and committing defenders.

Posted by gooner138098 on 08/10/2012

Sam, don't you think Wenger will have to be super dumb to sell RVP to man u,a direct rival club!when was the last time they sold a player to Arsenal?if roles were reversed they'd never sell to us,even with raised price!for Wenger,the best way to show ambition would be to persuade RVP to stay at the Emirates!with him we can certainly be title contenders ,given the signings we made!but without him nothing is certain!!!as for the sale of players----wenger seems more intent on selling his best players last season:RVP,Walcott & Song rather than the deadwood !it seems it's the board's policy to cash in on the players that attract interest no matter how pivotal they may be to the team!and how can Coquelin be enough if Song goes?he has to mature for years to turn into a "Song"!don't you feel we need a good DM?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think the reason the RvP deal is taking so long is because Wenger doesn't want to sell to Manchester United, and I'm with him on that. I think if Song goes, I'll be surprised if we sign anyone to directly replace him. We've got quite a few midfielders at the moment, and either Coquelin, Arteta or AOC might fill his position.

Posted by anonymous on 08/10/2012

Hey Sam,
Quick question. If RVP does leave what do you think our chances are of going after Cavani from Napoli as a replacement?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Cavani isn't a name that has been mentioned in the papers, and as Napoli lost Lavezzi to PSG, I think they'd be reluctant to sell.

Posted by Steve on 08/10/2012

Great article Sam. I think that this year's squad is even stronger than what we had when we had Cesc, Adebayor, Hleb and those guys. The best part about it is that it is much deeper than it was last year. With all the injuries we seem to get every season, I think we have better and more replacements then we have had in the past. Do you agree, or am I just being optomistic? Thanks

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. At the moment, I think the squad is looking stronger. We saw that in the Cologne friendly, with a strong team for both halves of that match. I think there might be a few departures, but overall I think we can be optimistic.

Posted by Isaac on 08/10/2012

Sam, I think we nw nd 2 get a strong CB, DM & a 2nd v. Gud GK 2 gv Sczny real competition cos sometimes he cn b really complacent.

Posted by Isaac on 08/10/2012

We also nd a beta LB with gud defensive qualities like Sagna is at RB.

Posted by Dayo Akindipe on 08/11/2012

Arsene is just getting the message.We need top players in the team.All the other clubs are"building and adding top players",rather what we were doing was"building and giving out".How can we win trophies then?
Worthy also to note I'm not excited by us measuring our success by being 2nd or 3rd this season.The league was what we dominated but now we are now used to fourth position that it will be like winning a trophy If we get to 2nd or 3rd.
For Arsenal to win trophies,"there has to be restructuring not just in the squad but in the economy policies".This works!
Despite the huge amount being spent on Emirates Stadium, the stadium doesn't get to play in the league but the players!

Posted by leke2k on 08/11/2012

What jersey number has been given to Podoski? Thanks for your post SAM

Sam Limbert: He wore 9 against Cologne, however hasn't had a permanent number confirmed.

Posted by goodtoy on 08/12/2012

hi sam
I am quietly optimistic about the 2012 season, great signings and we should not forget the return of wilshire is as good as a brand new signing, our midfield looks great, however i am starting to see the rise of the ox and the difficulty for wilcotts automatic inclusion as unjustified. Ox brings more to the role and has a better mentality than wilcott. I doubt wilcott will accept second or even third choice pick after Jervinho, who for me will be better this year after a full season in the Epl. What do you think?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think we'll see Oxlade-Chamberlain being used more as a central midfielder, with Walcott retaining his position on the right. Walcott will be under more pressure to consistently perform though with other attacking players now in the squad ready to take his place.

Posted by Zee on 08/13/2012

Personally, I think that the squad is good enough, barring injuries and a strong work ethic. Of slight concern is the LB position; I'm still not sold on Gibbs as being entirely sufficient at the moment. Rest of the back line is pretty solid, at least on paper.

Midfield triangle should be the usual Song-Arteta- Rosicky. I'm not sure who Sahin will displace if he does come in on loan though.

And is it just me, or is the supply from the Arsenal fullbacks (in terms of crosses) distinctly mediocre?

Posted by banji on 08/13/2012

i would like RVP to stay wit the current team now and i wat wenger not to allow song should go cos he is an exceptional player and we need more good players like cazolar

Posted by oma on 08/14/2012

I think Arsenal will be ok this season,good to know recently that song wants to stay and with that news,we could do without signing Sahin on loan. Our midfield is near perfect,with options(song,carzola,arteta,ramsey,diaby,rosicky,ox,coquelin) and with Wilshire coming back, we thus have much depth in the midfield area. Our attack seems to be sharper with(Giroud,Podolski,Gervinho,Walcot), and if Van Persie and Chamakh stays, we will be very fine(considering having the highest goal scorers in the French and English top flight in your squad). We could buy a left full back/defender like Wiel as an additional incentive defense wise and then we have the perfect squad to challenge for the tittle.
What do you think Sam?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. We are undoubtedly looking stronger in most positions, however full back is probably the one area of the squad that could be considerably be improved.

Posted by Apostolos on 08/14/2012

Sam do you see Wenger making another bid for M Baye Niang(Caen). Also if RVP is sold do you see that money being spent this summer or next?

Also I gotta say can't wait for the season to start this is the most optimistic I've been about our club for years(Maybe since 2003.

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Not sure about Niang, I think that's dependent on who else leaves the club. Some might be spent this summer, but we've already spent plenty so Wenger might be inclined to wait.

Posted by Ronald on 08/15/2012

Hello Sam, i am not happy with the way teams do business across europe. some managers plans is to unsettle and distabilise other team, see a team like Barcelona has made it their priority to distabilise arsenal every season; what do you say? further other teams like Man city, are making it a habbit...i hope wenger does not loose foccus on the season that is comming ahead and start faultering now coz he had made some strides...comment Sam!!!!!!

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. Some teams might look at Arsenal as a team to buy players from because we don't have as much financial clout as others, but I don't think it's their immediate priority. It's just that we have some great players who they think can be prized away. I don't think Wenger will lose focus, if anything it'll sharpen up before the season.

Posted by Omia Ronald on 08/15/2012

Hi Sam,
I think Wenger and Arsenal fc will be makind a very great mistake in letting Song go at what ever price...don't you think. But incase he does what do you think is a satisfying counter remedy for the loss for the manager to take?

Sam Limbert: Thanks for your comment. I think losing Song would be difficult for some to understand, but we've got a lot of midfielders in the squad, and if we can get a good price, I wouldn't be surprised if it happened. I'd then like to see another midfielder, ideally a defensive one, come into the club, but we'll still have Coquelin, Arteta and others who could play in a deeper role.

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David Young Sam Limbert: My retirement as a football player came at the age of 14 due to being rubbish, it's fair to say I was more Kaba Diawara than Thierry Henry, so I turned my focus to writing about the game. I'm a lifelong Arsenal fan and have been lucky enough to watch the team across England and Europe. My favourite Gunner of all time is Dennis Bergkamp, and the 2004 Invincibles is the greatest side I've ever seen in English football. I try to be positive about the Arsenal as it's the hope that keeps us going! Follow me on twitter @SamsMatchReport.

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