So the Emirates Cup is over and unfortunately we didn’t win, not that it is that important anyway. It would have been our first win in the cup in four years but a spirited performance from Monaco and some dodgy refereeing probably cost us a draw. Instead it was Radamel Falcao who scored the winning goal and Valencia went on to win the trophy. What we did learn from this tournament is the following things:
- Calum Chambers could be playing as a centre back often this season
- Aaron Ramsey is going to have an excellent season, he finished right where he left off
- Joel Campbell is unlikely to be staying at Arsenal even though he’s quality – I really liked the way he linked up with Yaya Sanogo against Benfica
- The players are some way off of full fitness, it will be a real test against Man City
Our next game takes us to the Community Shield at Wembley against Man City, which should be an interesting one. What we do know is that Bacary Sagna is playing for the opposition and I doubt there will be many negative feelings toward him, fair play to him for moving elsewhere after what he’s done. City are also probably a bit short on fitness having had so many players on international duty at the World Cup.
I really liked the look of Alexis Sanchez during the game against Monaco. He looked lively and ready to run with the ball, something Arsenal desperately need throughout the season. Someone who can go at the defence. Walcott can give it a go but for me he doesn’t have that little bit of skill to get past the last defender as much as Sanchez has.
Jack Wilshere was a bit off the pace as well – I know the guy gets a lot of stick for smoking and also for under performing, but this is a massive season for him. He needs to prove that he is a class act as Arsene Wenger has put so much faith in him.
In transfer rumours, there seems to be some noise from Portugal that we’re going to wrap up a deal for William Carvalho for 30 million euros. I will believe that when I see it. If we do get him, that could spell the end for Mikel Arteta (who has today been linked with a transfer to Athletic Bilbao as it goes)…
That’s all for now.
Hi all – thoughts today have turned to discussing who might be brought in to replace Bacary Sagna. The Mirror is reporting today that the Frenchman has already agreed terms with Man City and will have a medical on Monday afternoon before agreeing a huge salary and signing a reported three year contract at the Champions.
Who can we bring in to replace Sagna? Many are expecting Carl Jenkinson to step in and fill the void. I’m not sure if Jenkinson can do the job to push us on to become genuine Premier League challengers and I think we need to bring someone in. Here are some of the options that have been mentioned:
I have to admit, I know nothing about the 26-year-old Japanese international. He’s spent four years playing in Germany with Schalke; playing in the Bundesliga seems to be very common for most Japanese youngsters, he’s short and has rapid speed much like Sagna and has played over 65 games for his national team. The player has two years left on his deal and has apparently been contacted by Arsenal representatives already – I like the idea of signing someone who still has his best years ahead of him but already has experience in one of Europe’s top leagues – definitely a good option…
I’ve watched a few videos of Serge Aurier and he looks quality. In most of those videos he was always far too forward though, so I didn’t get a chance to see how good defensively he really is. He seems to have a decent cross and pass and occasionally gets himself into the box to score goals. With 8 goals in 70 games for Toulouse, he definitely is an option for us. The one thing I would say is that he’s only 21-years-old so does he really have the experience to take over Sagna?
For not the first time, Richards has been linked with a move to the Emirates. If Sagna does move to City that makes Richards their 3rd choice right back. I’m not sure why he’s still there and he would be a great option for us. Having watched him and his defensive abilities before, at times he can be a bit of a liability. But he does have strength and pace and still has a few good years ahead of him. He’s also English so he won’t need to acclimatise to Premier League football.
The Spanish right back has been one of Atletico Madrid’s best players in their title winning season and I really like what i’ve seen of him. The one question I have is whether or not he can produce the same creativity we saw from Sagna, but defensively he is solid.
Of all of the above names, I think I would like to see us move for Richards first and then Uchida second. I don’t think Aurier can offer what we need right now and it is almost inevitable that he will move to someone ready to take a risk on him now and throw him into the first team, someone like Everton or another up and coming Premier League team.