The Armchair Gooner

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

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.

January: Huntelaar to come in? No-go Thierry? Walcott to stay?

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar: Good striker, awful taste in knitwear.

Morning folks.

It seems Fridays are the days reserved for gossiping. Where once you might think such an activity was the reserve of plump, opinionated trollops in social circles blabbering on about this, that, and the other, these days speculative chitter chatter is associated with football journalists.

One of the rumours that appears to be gathering a formidable head of steam is Klaas-Jan Huntelaar moving to Arsenal in January. Like most transfer talk around about this time, it’s published in a great many places, but there isn’t a whole lot of substance – mostly dubious quotes and tenuous links.

I’m not sure we need him. Yes – he’s a bloody good striker, but his main attributes aren’t that dissimilar to Olivier Giroud’s. If we are to enter the market to recruit a new forward – and we should – I’d imagine we’ll be looking at someone a bit different to what we have. Only Theo really offers us lightning pace in the final third. I’d like us to go for someone with technical ability and speed – a different option wouldn’t hurt.

On the subject of Mr ‘Sign Da Ting’, it’s looking more and more likely that we won’t see a resolution to his contract anytime soon. It’s getting a bit silly, isn’t it? He wants to stay, we want him to stay – how difficult can it be? There are sure to be pesky agents trying to extort money from the club behind the scenes, and Theo’s media comments may not truly reflect his desires, but Jesus… can we not get a move on?

One player who may not, contrary to belief, be heading to Arsenal in January is the king of kings, Thierry Henry. Arsene has hardly ruled it out definitively, but it would appear his club, The New York Red Bulls (ridiculous name), are less-than enamoured by the idea, and would prefer their 35-year-old prize asset to get some rest during the American close season.

Truthfully, I’m not entirely sure it’s a good idea. It payed off last time, and provided us with some of the better moments of the season. However, even then it struck me as something of a stop-gap; a quick solution to a problem that required a permanent fix. I love Thierry, as I’m sure you all do, but maybe this year would be one step too many, and it would be better for all concerned if it was put to on side.

Olivier Giroud is starting to show his class, and Walcott and Podolski’s effectiveness from the wings should see both being favoured in those positions – even if Theo may not like it. Another option to be used in rotation with Giroud would keep things fresh, and give us a better strength in depth. I personally think that’s the better choice.

But, hey – that’s just me. What do you think? Would you welcome a permanent signing instead of a loan to cover those departing to the African Cup of Nations? Does the romantic in you wish to see Thierry back? Let me know in the comments.

That’s all for today. Tomorrow I’ll post a preview of the Villa game. Until then, thanks for reading you beautiful bastards.