The Euros are getting more exciting by the day; yesterday’s game between Germany and Greece contained six goals as the Löw’s efficient machine rolled on to the semi-finals. Ozil oozed class, Schweinsteiger bossed the midfield and they scored four decent goals against a determined Greek defence. Podolski was left out the team for Schurrle, who looked dangerous at every opportunity. Lukas may have to work hard to get his place back in the team. Perhaps our new German star has been too cautious in these Euros, as Wenger pointed out:
“Podolski did a great job for the German team, he has superb team work.
“He plays in a cautious way sometimes, but he’s still scored a very important goal against Denmark for his 100th cap. I am very happy with what I’ve seen from him.”
From what I’ve seen of Podolski in the last few weeks, I’d have to agree with Wenger. Hopefully he will be given more of a free role in the Arsenal team, because when he takes players on, he can be deadly. Another Arsenal wide man who is still at the Euros and is good at taking people on is Theo Walcott. I hope will see him in action on Sunday against Italy, but I have a feeling Hodgson will pick the more defensive-minded Milner so that both teams end up playing for a bore-draw followed by penalties. Walcott’s inclusion would add some much-needed pace to the England side, but Theo has always been a fantastic impact sub, and perhaps it will stay that way this weekend.
Reports are floating around that our flying English winger might be off this summer. He is another player that has been allowed to run his contract down, and is supposedly asking for around £100k/week. The media says we are only willing to pay him £85k/week. Whatever. Those numbers sound pretty arbitrary – probably picked out of thin air when a sports writer decided that he should write about how Arsenal will lose yet another first team player. Personally, I don’t see him leaving. And especially not to Chelsea, as has been rumoured. But maybe Ashley Cole has been giving him tips on how to turn yourself from a fan favourite to a massive turd. In which case, Theo’s best move would be to take the gigantic wages at Chelsea. Or City, for that matter.
I’m going to stick my neck out and say Walcott will be here next season. All will become clear after the Euros.
In other transfer news, Bendtner’s agent has said the following:
“We are in negotiations with several clubs. We are reviewing the options before we decide where his future will be.”
His goals for Denmark have hopefully served us well, perhaps bumping up his fee to a sum worthy of the world’s greatest striker. He is in negotiations with several clubs, apparently including Malaga. As they have loads of money, they might be able to afford his absurd wages. So that’s a viable option. They have another Arsenal misfit in Julio Baptista, so if Nicklas does go there, they’ll have plenty to discuss!
Another potential Gooner on his way out, Andrey Arshavin, has angered Zenit’s owner with the following comments:
“If you have had high expectations for our team here, then it’s your problem, not ours.”
The response from the owner was quite harsh…
“How can a citizen of Russia treat the honour of his country like that?
“He should be deported.”
So a move to Zenit seems to be off the cards! Given Arshavin’s love for Zenit, if he doesn’t go back there then he won’t be going back to Russia. If this little feud is enough to prevent a deal with Zenit, then perhaps the rumours of Arshavin to Fulham will have more weight. Some fans are even calling for the Russian’s return to the club, given his performances at the Euros. But we all knew he had that talent, but rarely applied himself. We don’t need to experience his laziness again.
Finally, Wenger has dropped a huge hint about Giroud. And given Wenger’s preference to keep quiet about such things, it pretty much means Giroud is ours. Speak to TF1:
“Giroud didn’t play much, but he’s going to be an Arsenal player 90% next season.
“I think he has exceptional potential and will integrate very well in our collective and our way of playing. He’s a real team player and knows how to combine with other players and I’m sure he will do well with us.”
Now Giroud is a proper centre-forward. These stats from Arseblog show how good he is in the air – both in front of goal and in bringing others into play. Hopefully this means the end of the 4-3-3 and a return to the 4-4-2 with van Persie and Giroud up top. Unless, of course, the unthinkable occurs, and our captain leaves.