A glut of news today! My job so much easier. In some rather perculiar / tiresome / bizzare news, an Adriano loan offer from Inter Milan (which apparently has been made to a number of clubs besides us) has been rejected by Arsenal out of hand. Reportedly West Ham are now making serious bids to loan him for the season, which will bring about predictable calls of last season of “why haven’t we signed Masch/Tevez/Adriano” again, our ambition called into question, and such like things. In response to the offer (seemingly confirmed by Wenger’s response), Wenger said that the loan deal required our loaning back a player to them -believed to be Matthieu Flamini – which was out of the question. As for the need for a striker (and remember, the Championship Manager-hungry media always prefer strikers/attacking midfielders for transfer rumours), Wenger quashed it immediately, saying:
“I have bought Eduardo Da Silva. I already had Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie and I brought Nicklas Bendtner back. I still have Theo Walcott and Abou Diaby can play through the middle. Why should I bring more forwards in? I have big faith in my squad and they’ve proved me right so far this season.“
And apart from the quirk about Abou Diaby in my mind, it’s spot on. A defender would be nice to bring in, as well as Diarra, but a striker is just not necessary, and difficult to accomodate.
On Diarra, incidently, it looks quite likely he’ll at least leave Chelsea. As to whether we’re the one’s who are going to end up with him is another matter entirely – the only reason I keep my eye on this one is that it will add depth to the squad, especially seeing as we need more utility players to cover for niggly injuries. Flamini is definitely one on the list, but Diarra will be an assertive competition for Matthieu.
In some more downheartening news (or utter crap, you tell me), Jens Lehmann is ‘considering his options’ after being dropped in favour of Manuel ‘Sun God’ Almunia. Frankly, I can’t really pay it that much credence, rumour wise, for a number of reasons. Firstly; he has a whole season ahead to get his head straight, his confidence back and his arse firmly back into the starting lineup. Secondly; there is no way that Wenger will sanction his sale when all we have is Fabianski as backup. Thirdly; Arsenal are not wrecking his chances for German selection, it’s his own two fumbles that have cost us two points in the league that are doing this. I’m sure he’s mature enough to know that he just has to sort his head out in training, and within any number of games he’ll be back – unless of course, the Sun God proves himself to be a fine goalie, which I have a hunch he’ll be for a few games yet.
Wenger’s done his soundbytes for the day, speaking on both Tomas Rosicky and Johan Djourou. With regards to Rosicky, Wenger believes he is not at ‘optimum shape’ yet, and that a string of games without injury is important for his development into the squad. Which is what we’re all hoping for, essentially. Several fans have slated Rosicky for his latest performances, against Sparta in particular – yes, the left side of that match was rather anonymous for most of it, but the Fulham and Man City games, for me, have been very encouraging on his side of things. Give it a bit more time before conclusions are drawn.
On Djourou, Wenger simply wants the young defender to be playing regularly. Worryingly, he is not worried at all at the prospect of Gilberto or Alex Song in defence. Importantly, however, Wenger sounds like he’ll opt for Jourou as first choice replacement for Kolo Toure in January, saying
“I wanted him to be experienced. I know Kolo will go in January [to the African Nations Cup] and I want Johan to play.“
Which would sate the anti-Senderos camp (why are we all so factioned up?), but it’s good to hear he’s in Wenger’s plans. We all just wish we weren’t so thin on the ground at the present time.
On an aside note, Liverpool are reportedly after the one and only Julio Baptista. As hilarious as that news is, it can be tempered with the rather exceptional display the Kop paid to that little Evertonian kid in the news, recently. I’d hope we could do similar classy things for Tottenham. They need all the happiness they can get these days.
And that’s your lot. Sparta Prague tonight, and I…really don’t want to jinx anything with my predictions. Fingers crossed. Fare thee all well.