Was Man City Adebayor’s first choice? Loyalties exposed by Sir Alex

Player loyalty is a quality which is not always apparent in football today. The case of Emmanuel Adebayor, one good season, hold the club to ransom, and then leave whilst blaming the manager and fans is a brilliant example of what fans don’t want to see.

According to Fergie who has been sniping at City for the last few weeks, Adebayor stooped even lower while in negotiations with Man City; trying to get offers from Man Utd and Chelsea.

“At the last minute, from what I can gather, either Emmanuel Adebayor or his agent phoned us after they had agreed a deal with City and then did the same with Chelsea. He was desperate to get to either Chelsea or us.”

“When someone offers you that kind of money, it’s a big attraction to people nowadays. That is the reason they have gone there.”

If this is true it shows you the lack of loyalty Ade has for any club. Man City offered a lot of cash so he went, no more reason than that. I’m sure he would have much rather joined a club which will be playing European football next season. Personally I think £25 million is a great price for him, as long as the money is reinvested in the team.

The fact is that we have several very good forwards at Arsenal, the best of which is Robin Van Persie, if he can stay fit, then he has plenty of options to partner him, Bendtner, Arshavin, Eduardo being first in line. Adebayor wasn’t our best striker, his departure should benefit the club. Ferguson’s comments have only exposed him for what he is.

The big question – will Arsenal miss Adebayor?

Whether you are happy with it or not, there is no getting away from the fact that Emmanuel Adebayor’s transfer to Manchester City is the main talking point as far as Arsenal news goes right now.

The Togo striker completed his £25m switch to Eastlands over the weekend to leave some Arsenal fans wondering why Arsene Wenger has chosen to sell one of his top players under a month from the start of the season.

What is the general consensus though? What do Arsenal fans think about the sale of Adebayor? How will Arsenal respond to his absence? Will Wenger look to bring in a replacement?

Basically, there are two sides of the fence to sit on. First up, you can argue that Adebayor was far from his best last season, meaning that his transfer is no great loss at all. During the 2008/2009 campaign, Adeabyor’s commitment was questioned and he only managed 16 goals in all competitions.

Nevertheless, these are 16 goals that Arsenal will have to find elsewhere in the coming months and this will form the basis of the ‘What is Wenger doing?’ argument. Regardless of commitment issues, Adebayor was still one of Arsenal’s biggest players who – on his day – could win a game for the Gunners.

Therefore, the fact that he has joined fellow influential players Alexander Hleb and Mathieu Flamini – who left the Emirates last summer – out of the club could potentially be seen as a bad move. Arsenal missed the presence of these two last season and they it is entirely possible that they will miss Adebayor this season.

What side of the fence are you on? Personally, I think that it could end up being a good thing for Arsenal. The fact that he agreed to move to Manchester City suggests that he wasn’t 100% loyal to Arsenal and if this was the case, then the squad is better without him.

Nobody wants a player that doesn’t want to play for the club as it can be extremely disruptive. Perhaps Wenger agreed with this and made a decision some time ago that Adebayor would leave. Then, to get £25m to make this happen, makes the deal even more sensible.

The only issue is whether Arsenal will replace him and if so – who with? Arshavin, van Persie, Eduardo, Bendtner and Walcott provide Wenger with plenty of attacking options, but perhaps something extra is needed.

What do we think Arsenal fans? Can Arsenal benefit form Adebayor’s sale?

Arsenal reject Usmanov’s cash offer – Be patient!

Ivan Gazidis has rejected the offer of cash for transfers from investor Alisher Usmanov. It is a significant show of belief in the strength of Arsenal’s business model and a put down for Usmanov.

It is a very thinly veiled attempt at winning more favour with the fans and putting pressure on the club to buy more players ala Real Madrid. Some fans will be annoyed at the way the board have just rejected this offer, but if it had been accepted then it would have set a dangerous precedent of involvement on Usmanov’s part.

The best thing the club can do is stick to it’s sustainable model of business. The cash thrown about by the likes of Real Madrid is unrealistic and in the long term it gets you nowhere, building a team with character and understanding is more important.

The pressure on Arsenal to win trophies will always be there, and until Arsene wins one with this generation there will always be critics of club policy. The potential is there, as it has been for several years, Arsenal fans just need to learn the art of patience.

Gibbs’ Goals for England U21 Video + Vermaelen and Dzeko

Kieran Gibbs put on a lovely performance last night for England U-21s in their friendly against Azerbaijan, and was in a class of his own. He took two goals, and you can see them in the videos below. Good stuff from the young guy, cue newspaper articles on Arsenal’s ‘production line’ of quality left backs..

A friendly against Azerbaijan isn’t much to go by, but I think we all know that Gibbs is quality, and the more experience he gets the better he will get. I’m not expecting too much next season from him though, Wenger won’t be putting undue pressure on him.

In other news it looks like we may have signed Ajax defender Thomas Vermaelen. The rumours surrounding the story have been growing, and now the Guardian are reporting that we are going to spend around £10 mill on the 23 year old.

We’ve needed a new central defender for some time, and I think everyone knew that Silvestre’s signing last season was not the answer. I think that defence is the key for a successful title challenge next season, lets just hope that if he does come in that Vermaelen can do the job.

Meanwhile it looks like Milan are going to snap up Dzeko, the striker linked with us, and Senderos apparently wants to stay at AC too. If we get some cash from him then it should go straight into reinvesting in another defender.

“As far as I am concerned I would like to stay in Milan because I do not think that there is a place for me at Arsenal.”

If Senderos stays at Arsenal it wouldn’t be a bad thing, but I think we should look for someone of higher quality.

Would we be happy with Barry at Arsenal?

We all know by now that the close season means one thing – transfer speculation galore. Throughout the next couple of months, Arsenal will be linked with a host of players, the moves for which will probably never materialise.

This is part and parcel of the media keeping interest in football high when there aren’t many significant games. It starts of as a bit of harmless fun, but when Sky Sports News continue to talk about ‘their sources’, it can get extremely annoying.

Anyway, where am I going with this? Well, it seems we may have some transfer speculation with a bit of substance. Don’t be surprised if it drags on throughout the summer, but unlike so many – this one seems realistic. Gareth Barry is reportedly interested in a move to the Emirates.

The Telegraph wrote a piece this morning which claims that the Aston Villa midfielder is holding out for a move to Arsenal in a bid to participate in regular Champions League football. Liverpool are also tracking his progress after missing out on his signature last summer, but it is being suggested that Barry would rather join Arsenal.

Would we want Barry to join though? It is thought that Arsene Wenger would need to spend around £12m on the England midfielder, who has one year remaining on his contract at Villa Park. Is this a good deal for Arsenal? Personally, I think that Wenger could do a lot, lot worse.

Ever since the departure of Mathieu Flamini last summer, Arsenal have been crying out for a holding and battling midfielder player to do away with the problem of being light-weight in the centre of the park. Barry – who Wenger has watched several times over the few months – could be the answer.

Often when a player is linked, I try to picture what role they would play in the team and Barry fits the bill in my opinion. Playing alongside Fabregas, he would look very much at home. It’s hard to say who he could emulate, but I see him as an Emmanuel Petit type figure.

This is purely me speculating though and I would really like your opinion on this. Is he the type of player you would like to be watching at the Emirates? Could he add something extra to the midfield? Which former player could he play a similar role to?

Looking at this initially though, I think it would be a good signing. A midfield of Walcott, Barry, Fabregas and Arshavin sounds pretty good to me. I guess we will just have to wait and see how this one develops.

By Thomas Rooney

What are Arsenal fans’ views on the future of Adebayor?

One of the main talking points as we reach the end of the 2008/2009 Premier League campaign is the future of Emmanuel Adebayor. There has been plenty of speculation about the Arsenal striker’s future with Inter Milan, AC Milan and Chelsea all reportedly tracking his progress.

Sections of the Arsenal crowd booed the Togo striker during the recent defeat to Chelsea and in doing so, made their feelings clear on where they hope Adebayor will be playing his football next season – away from the Emirates. Is this the case throughout Arsenal’s support though?

I am intrigued to find out exactly what Arsenal fans think. Is Adebayor a world-class striker that Arsene Wenger would be crazy to get rid of? Or is he a player that the club should cash in on as soon as possible?

During another season without a trophy for the Gunners, there is no doubt that Adebayor hasn’t hit the heights of the previous campaign. Compared to 30 goals last season, he has only managed to find the back of the net on 16 occasions. In fact, he has only scored in the Premier League three times since the turn of the year.

It hasn’t just been his lack of goals though. Many have criticised him for a lack of effort and commitment to the Arsenal cause. It has, perhaps, looked like he is happy with the fact that his time with the Gunners is coming to an end.

Nothing is certain as yet though and the forward’s future is very much up in the air. Arsenal lost key first team players in Mathieu Flamini and Gilberto Silva last summer, so they should be wary about breaking up a relatively settled side once more.

Surely Wenger should be adding to what he already has rather than selling one of his most talented players? Consistent selection often pays off in the end and if Adebayor was sold, he would more than likely be replaced by an unproven striker trying to make a name for himself in England.

On the other hand though, if Adebayor doesn’t want to be at the club anymore, why should Arsenal hold onto him? If he is kept involved against his wishes, it will surely have a negative effect on team morale next season.

What is your opinion though? A groin injury is likely to rule Adebayor out of Sunday’s game against Stoke City, so he could have played his last game in an Arsenal shirt. Would you be happy if this was the case?

By Thomas Rooney

Arsenal troubles: Retain Wenger and strengthen the squad

This season has been Wenger’s most difficult one at Arsenal, he’s had to cope with an inexperienced squad, injuries, impatient fans, player strops, and at the end of it he has still managed to ensure that we squeezed into the big time yet again next season, as well as taking us to the last 4 in Europe and an FA Cup semi-final.

Now he has to put up with harsh questioning from fans at the Shareholders meeting, and endless speculation that he will leave to go to Real Madrid.

Personally I think it would be awful for Wenger to go. His work isn’t finished at Arsenal and there is more to come. A barren patch is just that – a patch – and we are going to come out of this.

The main thing we need is to learn the lessons of the past two seasons – both fell apart due to a lack of depth in the squad.

We need to sign quality players with experience as Arshavin is asking for:

“We must buy in the summer. Not more potential, but players who are ready to do it now, players like me.

“We need two or three. If Arsenal want to win, they have to do it. We are tired of waiting.

“I believe that out of the top four English teams, when it comes to football, Arsenal are the best.

“They have the best style and the best coach. At the moment, young players come to Arsenal because they see it as a very big team, but if we carry on like this without winning trophies, young players will not want to come.

“Everyone likes the appeal of Arsenal, the football of Arsenal, the young players of Arsenal, but if there is no result they will stop.”

Action has to be taken – sell Adebayor to Milan if that is what it takes, and bring in several new players. Ade has potential, but he doesn’t seem happy at the club – as shown by his interview on the BBC. Best thing we can do is get a large sum of money for him.

He is the only player I could tolerate leaving, if any more go then we are looking at another season of disappointment – and disillusionment among the team.

Stick with Wenger though, stability is the key – what is the rush anyway – surely a team built over years which develops to its full potential and is successful over the long term is more preferable to a quick fix?

Theo signs new deal – what can he achieve at Arsenal?

The main news concerning Arsenal this morning is the revelation that Theo Walcott has committed his future to the club by signing a four-year-deal worth £60,000 a week.

Walcott Djourou and Fabregas at Arsenal

This news was expected, but is still very good to hear. Since joining the club back in 2006 from Southampton, Walcott has made a significant impact in Arsenal colours and has firmly established himself in Arsene Wenger’s starting eleven.

In total, he has made 103 appearances for the club and has found the back of the net on 14 occasions. Speaking about signing a new deal, Walcott said that he was ‘absolutely delighted’ to show his loyalty to the Arsenal cause.

The England international went on to say that he is ‘so happy’ at the Emirates because he is working with the ‘best manager in the world’ in Arsene Wenger. Walcott was also very thankful to everyone who had helped him get to ‘this point in my career’.

One of the final points that Walcott made was that he anticipated ‘many successful seasons ahead’ and this is the point I wanted to touch upon today – what can Walcott achieve as a player? Just how good is he?

By the time his contract runs its course in four years time, there is no doubt that Walcott will want to win some trophies with Arsenal. There is only so long he can be an integral part in the ‘potential’ of this team.

In fact, should Walcott start to perform like a world-class player on a more consistent basis, it could lead to some of the other Arsenal youngsters to kick on. Therefore, the team as a whole can become more serious about challenging for major trophies.

So, in my opinion, Walcott is integral to Arsenal’s future. He is one of the most talented youngsters in the team and his rise could coincide with the team’s rise. When he is in the starting eleven and on form, Arsenal are a better team. This could be even more the case in the coming years.

How good is Walcott though? When you compare him with Cristiano Ronaldo, is he at anywhere near the same level? Possibly not. However, he could be as important to Arsenal as Ronaldo is to Manchester United. They are different players, but he can be as influential.

Opposition teams need to fear Walcott every time they play Arsenal. He needs to become the man that they put two players on in an attempt to halt his progress. Then, players such as Andrei Arshavin can run riot elsewhere on the pitch.

There is no doubt that Walcott was disappointing in the two games against Manchester United. This may well be down to his lack of games, but I would still like to have seen more from him.

The next couple of seasons are crucial to Walcott’s future. He needs to show just how good he is on a more consistent basis. He needs to be in contention for the PFA Players Player of the year every season and he needs to help Arsenal progress as a team to win more trophies.

There is plenty of pressure on Walcott’s shoulders, but he can handle it. Show us what you’ve got Theo. You are the future of Arsenal Football Club.

By Thomas Rooney

Which of these five players would you like to bring back to Arsenal?

When people talk about Arsenal at the moment, it is always regarding the future. How will the current team progress in the next couple of years? When will Arsenal be ready to challenge for the title again?

As much as I am not fed up with this talk (because it highlights the huge amount of potential this team has), I thought it would make a change to take a look at the past instead. Let’s take a look at five players from the past and decide which one we would like back.

One thing to remember for this is that these players would be coming back to Arsenal at their peak. Not as they are now – at their best. It is an exercise in which the current crop could do with some help more than anything. Without further to do, what are the five choices?

David Seaman
Some argue that Seaman has never been replaced. He made 566 appearances between 1990 and 2003 and is a true Arsenal legend. Would his ability to lead from the back be valuable in the current team?

Dennis Bergkamp
Quite simply, Bergkamp is one of the best players to have ever played for the club. His vision, his passing, his finishing – the man had everything. Imagine him amongst the attacking threat Arsenal already possess!

Thierry Henry
The first of our five that is still playing now and arguably for the best team in Europe. Henry is another player that will be spoken about in many years to come. His pace, his skill, his influence over his team mates. The man was immense.

Tony Adams
On a number of occasions this season, people have criticised Arsenal’s defence. They have lacked leadership and authority at the back according to some. How about a certain player who made over 650 appearances for the club to steady the ship?

Ian Wright
Wrighty was one of the best goal scorers the club has ever seen. He notched 185 goals during his time at the club and was a firm fans’ favourite. Would you like to see him alongside Adebayor or van Persie?

So there you have it – over to you now. Each of these players would make valuable contributions in the current team, but which would you like to see back the most?

Personally, I find it hard to look past Mr Bergkamp.

By Thomas Rooney

Arsene tells the truth about this season

Arsene Wenger gave a very honest interview to L’Equipe (translated by News of the World) before the Wigan game where he really goes into detail about Arsenal’s inconsistencies early this season and how he feels about it.

“I did make a mistake in perhaps underestimating the harmful effects of last season, especially the loss of the title. I asked myself a lot of questions during the close season about the influence losing the title in the last two months might cause.”

I really felt that the way we lost the title last season was very hard on the players – to think that even after our awful run we were still only 4 points off the top shows how close we were to glory. The fact that players like Hleb and Flamini left also didn’t help in the short term.

Wenger went through his hardest time as Arsenal manager at Christmas, and there were some people calling for his dismissal. A lot of players got slated as well as his transfer policy. He admits that the present is a different story:

“The barometer is confidence and when that seizes up . . . now we are unbeaten for 18 Premier League matches and that leaves with me with a lot of regrets.”

“And I remained faithful to my policy when everyone told me I was heading straight for a brick wall. People reproach me for not having bought Gareth Barry or Xavi Alonso.

“But I am a prisoner of my own policy. Buying Barry or Alonso is killing Alexandre Song, Abou Diaby and Denilson.”

“You can’t do a public job in a big club, not win matches and say they are all imbeciles.”

“The fact that we are remarkably consistent shows we have quality. That is no coincidence.”

This is all very true – but I think he learnt a little more about Arsenal through the hardship. The sigining of Arshavin has made a huge difference, as well as the return from injury of players such as Walcott, Fabregas, Adebayor. Denilson and Song have come on leaps and bounds this season – Song’s performance and goal against Wigan yesterday underlines this fact.

The team is playing as a unit and has been through a lot over the last two years – the experience will only make them stronger and if Wenger keeps them together this youthful team will be one of the best he has produced.