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Monday, July 26, 2010

Arsenal Transfer News: Goalkeepers, Fabregas and Aggressive Defending

Good morning, it's a bit of a quiet one, Arsenal news-wise today. The papers have resorted the old favourite of inventing transfer links in order to get a bit of copy to make up for the lack of actual news.

Before we get into that, Johan Djourou has been saying that the team need to get more aggressive in games. He says, "I thought that we were looking quite solid, but it is true that 41 goals is too much when you are playing for the top places.

"I think sometimes we are missing a bit of aggression. It is not that we are not good enough, because the team is good enough.

"We have top players at the back, top players all over the pitch. It is just that we have to be stronger as a unit."

I think for the sake of everyone's sanity, I'll leave the "I thought we were looking quite solid" bit alone. But Djourou makes a good point. The players that we have, even in defence are good players. Individually I wouldn't point to any of them and call them a weak link, it's how they work together that is causing us a problem.

More aggression from the team might help. Personally I think the team has already gotten more aggressive over the last few years. They do better with teams that try to kick them off the park now, last season's game at Blackburn notwithstanding.

It would be funny on some level if Arsenal did crank up the aggression and teams like Bolton and Blackburn started complaining about Arsenal's over-physical approach.

The team did well in a number of games last season when they were required to come from behind to get a result, and indeed they did well to twice come back from the dead in the title race so there is a good spirit there in the team.

I don't think it's necessarily a question of mentality that needs improving, just simple organisation.

The Djourou article on also refers to the "departures of William Gallas and Mikael Silvestre", I find it strange that the club never really officially confirmed either player leaving beyond a quick comment from Arsene Wenger saying they'd probably sign elsewhere.

Then again, I suppose Arsenal fans have already spent quite enough time over the last couple of years discussing Gallas, and bemoaning the presence of Silvestre so perhaps it's best they were shuffled out of the back door.

Gallas, despite now being club-less, is apparently still making some impressive wage demands from whomever he may end up signing for. I'm sure Gilberto Silva would be delighted to see him again at Panathinaikos.

Silvestre seems to have retired not just from football but from life, I don't think anyone's seen him since the season finished. Not to state the blindingly obvious but I wish he hadn't been quite so awful at football, because he deserves credit for his professional approach during his time with Arsenal.

He never complained about not being in the side, and always gave it his all when he did get on the pitch, even if his all wasn't really good enough. Good luck to him wherever he ends up.

Now, depending on what you're reading this morning Cesc Fabregas is either staying at Arsenal , or Set to have "showdown" talks with Arsene Wenger to decide his future.

There isn't really anything to decide though. Barcelona aren't going to bid the required money, and Cesc is under contract. What is there to sort out?

The "Cesc stays" article is based on quotes from Andres Iniesta, and as much as I ignore him and the other Barcelona idiots when they're tapping Cesc up, I'm paying even less attention to one of them speaking in our favour.

Iniesta should just forget the whole situation and get a suntan or something.

To finish off, a couple of goalkeepers have been linked with a move to Arsenal, Maarten Stekelenburg of Ajax, and old favourite Igor Akinfeev of CSKA Moscow. Both of them are tremendous goalkeepers whom I would have at Arsenal in a second.

Realistically I don't see us signing either player though. If Arsene Wenger was willing to spend a lot of money on the goalkeeping situation I think he'd have done it by now. Rightly, or wrongly I don't think it's as big a priority to the manager as it is to the fans. Personally I think it will be Schwarzer or nobody.

So that's about all for today. Enjoy your Sunday and I will be back tomorrow

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