Good day everyone.
First let us get through some Arsenal snippets today.
Ramsey spoke of how delighted he is to have signed a contract extension and I’ve already mentioned that it is good news for the club. And now, our hugely impressive Jack Wilshere has also followed suit.
I remember telling my buddy Marcus, a Liverpool fan, to watch out for him when he came on against VfB Stutggart in last season’s pre-season friendly. Within minutes, he scored a sweet left-footed shot against Lehmann. Wilshere is the kind of talent that is only seen once in a long time. I have high hopes for him and he might be the biggest international star to be produced by Arsenal since our last left-footed great – Liam Brady.
William Gallas mentioned that he is ‘relaxed’ and looking forward to next season with Arsenal. Arseblog mentioned about Gallas’ uncertain future being that of a double edged sword, he could play really well next season to put himself in the shopping window but Wenger do no possess a good record of giving playing time to players who are in their last year of contract, and I totally agree. For those who keep bashing Gallas, I have to again remind everyone that he is a top defender on his day and he was finally giving his best form just before his latest injury last season. I hope he will stay but I won’t be surprised if he don’t especially if another defender coming in becomes fact.
Linking to this, Naldo – the 26-year-old, 6-foot-5 Brazilian who plays for German club Werder Bremen – has been linked with Arsenal with Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf saying “We expect to move him for somewhere in the region of €10 million, and English side Arsenal is as of now the most likely destination.”
Let’s see, Naldo is 26, relatively unknown to fans outside of Germany and has a huge frame. All characteristics that is necessary for Arsenal. Will we get him? I believe whether he joins Arsenal will hinge on whether one or two of Gallas, Philippe Senderos and Koko Toure will leave. If 2 of them goes, I’m pretty sure one more will come in, and I won’t be surprised if it is Naldo. I don’t know much about him at all, but if Wenger thinks he’s good enough then he must be.
Now moving on to today’s main topic – Marouane Chamakh. I have briefly mentioned about him and how I think he might really be joining Arsenal. But his joining will also hinge on whether one of our strikers is leaving, and in this case it is Adebayor. Wenger confirms this.
Marouane Chamakh is a 25-year-old Moroccan international who plays for Bordeaux in France. He is lanky (1.88m) and his physique is similar to that of Robin van Persie. He is pacy, with great technique and dares to run at defenders at pace.
“Wow!” I hear you say, but I haven’t finished. There is a problem. While his strengths are certainly very suited to the Arsenal system, he is unfortunately not a prolific goalscorer. In fact, he is a pretty poor finisher and that is probably why he has not shot to the same kind of cult status as Karim Benzema – who Wenger admitted he was interested in but had signed for Real Madrid instead, in any case Arsenal will never match their offer – whose finishing is much more polished.
My feel is Adebayor is going to go and Marouane Chamakh will come in but this one will drag probably even until after pre-season has well and truly started. Wenger’s refusal to publicly admit Adebayor is certain to go and that Chamakh is certainly to arrive in his place are all part of transfer fees’ negotiating tactics.
Will I welcome Marouane Chamakh? Yes, he is well suited to Arsenal’s free-flowing football but he will need to improve on his finishing, and fast, to win fans over. There is a lot of talk about his exceptional heading ability and yes he has scored a number of headers BUT I am not entirely convinced because the goalkeepers and defenders in the French Ligue 1 is of a different (or should I say sub-standard) breed to that of the Premier League.