The Armchair Gooner

An Arsenal blog bringing you news, opinion and humour on a daily basis. Well, I'll try at the very least…

Beckham at Arsenal, Villa no and Usmanov says all the right things.

“Who wants a lift home with Andre Santos?”

Afternoon, scrumptious creatures of the interweb.

At a time we all yearn to hear definitive transfer news, we have got some. Instead of that news causing euphoria and dancing, I’m afraid what we have is simply a conformation of players we wont be signing.

Both moves for long-term rumoured target, David Villa, and David Beckham have been ruled out by Arsene in typically defiant fashion. Can’t say I’m all that shocked. Barcelona have long been adamant about refusing to allow David Villa to leave. Perhaps our players ought take to their respective Twitter accounts and begin bleating about ‘Arsenal DNA’ and holding players hostage against their will. You know – act as classy as our Catalonian friends.

The Beckham story on the other hand is simply a case of the press adding 2 things together and coming up with a spectacularly inaccurate answer. We have allowed Beckham to use London Colney to work on his fitness before, and there is nothing more to it than that. Signing a 37-year-old player long past his best days wouldn’t add anything to our current squad, and I’m sure our manager knows that.

One quote I took notice of from Arsene’s interview was this:

“We are still trying, but it’s hard to sign players in January who can improve you.”

I’m not sure I agree with that. Demba Ba would have improved our striking options, Lewis Holtby would have improved our midfield options and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa would have improved us defensively. All 3 were available, and all 3 have moved to new clubs for reasonable prices.

If none of those players interested our manager, or he didn’t consider them to be of the required quality to play for Arsenal, then fair enough. But to say improvements are difficult to find to me sounds a touch defeatist and untrue. For the right price, a club of our stature and history should have little difficulty attracting high quality players.

Elsewhere in the Goonerverse, Alisher Usmanov has once again taken to the press saying all the right things – if in control, he’d be only too happy to pump funds into the club and give Arsene some financial backing.

Sounds appealing, doesn’t it? Well, I’m always dubious of the man. Perhaps it’s his squinty face and nefarious features that fill me with a sense of dread, but I often find myself thinking it all sounds too good to be true. Stan Kroenke may be ‘Silent’ and a constant source of venting for frustrated fans, but there’s a lot of truth in that old adage, “It’s better the devil you know”.

That’s all for today. The comments await your delicious thoughts and opinions on the day’s news. Use ’em – it makes me feel all giddy with joy and important. Thanks for reading today, you beautiful bastards. I shall return tomorrow with a preview of the game against Liverpool.

Arsenal can sign David Villa, transfer news, Swansea, and cheerio Chamakh!

First Andy Carroll, now Chamakh; West Ham fans were understandably delighted…

Evening folks. So much for 9am every day…(I have been unwell, so give me a break)

By now you’ll have all heard the news. Shisha enthusiast, hair-gel advocate, and much-maligned striker, Marouane Chamakh has joined West Ham on loan for the next six months. The transfer was a formality in the end.

Devastation, woe, heartache; these are a but a few of the emotions that swept over me when the news was confirmed. For many years I’ve admired Chamakh, both as a footballer and a trailblazer of hairstyles. Many evenings I’ve spent trawling through his extensive highlights on YouTube, yelping in awe at his mercurial talents.

Now all that is gone. Another hero, another legend walks away from Arsenal, and we’re all a little sadder inside because of it. What are we  to do now?

Well, in all seriousness, we could replace him with a wounded donkey, but I’d like to think there are better options on the market. David Villa, for example. Even at 31-years-old, the Spanish international would be a brilliant signing. Not being one to put my faith in speculation and hearsay, I’m taking the reemergence of the rumours with an enormous pinch of salt – I’m practically throwing a bucket of the stuff at them.

However, those stories do persist, and the romantic in me hopes there is just a little shred of truth – especially now some state Arsenal have made a formal approach.

He’d be a brilliant signing, and if Arsenal can use the money owed them by Barcelona for the Fabregas and Song deals as a starting point for negotiations, then we might even have a foot in the door ahead of Villa’s other suitors. The romantic in me will continue to hope, but the realist still sees the whole saga as thoroughly mendacious, and likely to rumble on for weeks regardless.

With Arsene playing his cards characteristically close to his chest, and offering up his usual wildly contradictory statements to the press, calling any of his potential moves is an impossibility. He may not invest at all, or he may bring in 2-3 players. None of us – even those lovely ITK fellows – can truly know what lies ahead, we merely have hope and belief. Some distinctly more than others. I think we’ll bring some players in, and I think even the most embittered of souls is going to be pleasantly surprised.

In the meantime, we have a welcome distraction from league football on Sunday. I love the FA Cup. There is no better cup competition in domestic football across Europe. As a child, I remember fondly the romance and the passion associated with 3rd round day, and whilst that may have diminished over the years, it still remains.

Arsenal travel to Swansea hoping to avenge our recent humiliation. It’ll be a tough test against a good opponent. It also represents a chance for glory. There is no reason why we can’t go all the way to the final. On our day and playing well, we can beat anyone. Let’s start our journey on Sunday.

That’s all for today folks. Let me know your thoughts on the Villa transfer, on Chamakh’s departure, and on the other hot topics of the day – the hilarious bust-up at Man City between Mancini and Balotelli, for example.

I await your views in the comments. I shall return tomorrow.

No-go David Villa, no-go Huntelaar, Jack wants Theo to stay, and other news.

Christmas Eve. One more day of obscene commercialisation, and then it’s all over…

Morning folks!

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except… the four assholes coming in the rear in standard two-by-two cover formation”

That’s always been my favourite Christmas quote. I’m sure I need not tell you which film it’s from. It has little or nothing to do with Arsenal – I suppose you could argue the film’s villains have an arsenal – but I thought I’d share it regardless. It’s Christmas, a time for sharing…

A quote that is relevant comes from Jack Wilshere. As one of the 5 British players to have recently penned new deals with Arsenal, Jack has urged (not pleaded, as some media outlets describe it – that sounds needy) Theo Walcott to take note of the example they set and end all the speculation surrounding his future.

??Theo??s been great for us. We just signed five British boys so hopefully he can be the sixth and cap it off.

??I??m always winding him up, saying, ??C??mon Theo, sign?. It??s up to him and the club. Theo knows what he means to us and what he means to the fans.??

I’ve had my doubts with Theo over the years. I still have a few now. But he is a player I want us to keep. There are signs he’s beginning to come good after such unpredictability, and I’d rather that be realised in an Arsenal shirt.

With our Boxing Day fixture against West Ham cancelled, there is little news elsewhere that isn’t speculative today. One rumour that warmed my cockles upon its emergence was the tall tale of a swoop for Barcelona’s David Villa. He’d have been a lovely signing, wouldn’t he? A striker of undoubted class, who I think would score a bucket full in the Premiership.

Alas, it would appear unlikely now. Barcelona’s director of football, Andoni Zubizaretta, has taken to the press to quickly ensure we all know such stories are hogwash, and Villa will be going nowhere in January. As that news broke, it was swiftly followed by a release from Schalke letting it be known Klass-Jan Huntelaar has signed a new contract with the German side.

That’s two down. Who’s left?

That really depends on what you believe – if anything. We live in an age of social media and hit-hungry websites. The overwhelming majority of what’s available to peruse is fabrication. The smart money would be on Demba Ba, and his convenient release clause. He’s a handy striker, and has a proven scoring record in English football. However, I just can’t help but feel we could do a little better.

Other than that, you’ve got the usual suspects; Reina, Zaha, et all. Perhaps with our current resurgence on the field, a defiant Arsene Wenger will state , “we’re in good shape, there is no need to recruit”. I hope not. Good form or not; the sqaud could use a couple of new faces.

And that’s about it on the news front. With Christmas around the corner, Arsenal fans should take a moment to thank both Marouane Fellaini and Ashley Williams. One of them headbutted Shawcross, the other tried to take Robin van Persie’s head off with a football (“attempted murder“, according to a certain pickled, bitter Scotsman working in Manchester).

Thanks, guys! It was a Christmas present I know I appreciated.

That’s all from me today. You know the drill; take a moment to comment with your thoughts.

I shall return tomorrow. I hope you all have a good Christmas Eve.

That David Villa rumour…

If only…

Evening, chums.

If you’re an Arsenal fan, and you spend even the remotest amount of time on Twitter, you’ll probably be accustomed to tall tales and speculation. I love Twitter. I love being able to interact and chat with some really great Arsenal folks on there. However, it does become a chore wading through all the speculative nonsense at times.

Those of you that do frequent it’s Tweety goodness will probably have heard the story of a deal being considered by Arsenal and Barcelona that would involve Robin van Persie and David Villa trading places.

The story is, doubtless to say, complete hogwash.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t waste your time with something lacking any substance or fact. It irks me no end when I read such things. The reason I’ve brought it up here is because I think it’s a good example of the type of deal we should do when moving Robin on. It’s unlikely to happen, but having someone of the calibre of David Villa come in would certainly take an enormous amount of the sting out of losing van Persie.

Most importantly of all, it would take huge steps toward restoring optimism. Wouldn’t the new season be unable to get here quickly enough if we were salivating at the prospect of Wilshere and Chamberlain linking up with Villa?

Point being; the club need to act. Podolski and Giroud – take nothing away from them – are excellent additions. But only one of them – Giroud – is likely to be deployed in RvP’s position. We’d still need another striker at the club. Too often we’ve allowed our superstars to leave without purchasing adequate replacements. Too often we’ve entered a new season with a cloud of shit hanging over us from the summer months.

This time, I’d like to see the powers that be take charge and put down a marker – show our intent to win trophies and compete. We aren’t a million miles away from having a squad capable of doing that. All we need is that one extra step.

Just a quick one tonight, folks. Your comments and views; let’s be having them!