Roundup: Adieu Dudu/Keeper/Austria

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With Eduardo now officially the fifth Arsenal departure of the summer, the squad evolution continues apace. We’ve now lost two attackers (gaining one), three defenders (gaining one) and have gained one midfielder (Wilshere).

So in terms of snipping the squad’s deadheads, the work carries on.

And unfortunately, a deadhead is what Eduardo had become. You’ll appreciate that I don’t mean that vindictively but it was clear last season that poor old Eduardo’s injury has robbed him of the pace, confidence and sharpness that marked him out as a lethal Arsenal number nine. He was a pale shadow of his former self.

I feel desperately sorry for him, but I do think a fee of £6m, if true, is a good deal for Arsenal and that a fresh start in a new league is the right move for Eduardo. There’s simply no room for sentimentality.

But there can be no doubt that the position many Arsenal fans are worried most about is the one that has not yet been addressed – goalkeeper.

We all know that Wenger has a masterful way with words. But as well as the memorable one-liner he has a politician’s ability, when quizzed, to neither confirm nor deny, and to reveal something at the same time as giving nothing away. That’s why, despite being quizzed on his plans for the goalkeeping position earlier this week, he was as evasive as ever.

Were we still interested in Fulham’s Mark Schwarzer, he was asked. “Not really”. That’s not a yes, of course, but nor was it definitely a no.

“At the moment, in pre-season, there is no No.1 – you have to give a chance to everyone to show how good he is. You cannot decide that today.”

Classic Wenger, defending his players, keen to keep his plans under wraps.

But seeing that Almunia has had ample chance to show us how good he is, Fabianski has on ample occasions showed us how good he is, and Szczesny has never played a Premier League game, you’d think a deal for a new number one will happen at some point between now and the end of August.

I would agree with those who say Schwarzer is still the likeliest deal.

Last night saw a 3-0 win against Sturm Graz and the word on the tweet is that Samir Nasri was the pick of the bunch. I’ve not been following the tour that closely yet – I opted to save up for a pint at the Emirates rather than shell out the £3 for the first 3 pre-season games – and besides, pre-season is still so young that it’s impossible to draw any real conclusions.

But phew, it’s nice to have some Arsenal to talk about after a summer largely bereft of it.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. Kieran Delaney

    If you’re counting Wilshere as a +1 after returning from loan, you’d really have to count Djourou and Nordtveit returning from a season long injury and successful Bundesliga loan respectively. 3 defenders out, 3 in then.

    I’m not suggesting either are going to set the squad on fire at this early stage but both have played a fair amount in the two preseason games so far and both have looked solid – Djourou in particular, looking like he’s doubled his size.

  2. Daryl B

    As ever, a good post Eastlower.

    Eddy will be missed, it`s really tragic how his career at Arsenal was cut short by that utter c**t Taylor.

    Sadly with the new season coming I keep fearing that we will see more of the same from the likes of Stoke, Blackburn and possibly Newcastle (Barton on his return season before last anyone?)

    Fingers crossed we will not suffer at the hands of these talentless clodders to the same lengths we have done.

    Cannot wait for Ramsey to return and hopefully show us that he won`t be bullied by these scum hatchet men.


  3. RotorGoat

    Fair point Kieran – especially re: Djourou. But Nordveit I am less sure of in first team exposure. Probably Carling Cup?

  4. Boss

    Good post, as usual. Although I do think the blog could use updating a little more often…

  5. RotorGoat

    You’re right Boss, it could. I’ve struggled a bit this summer with other commitments but also, the summer is always a bit of a slow one…


    I really hope we buy a new goalkeeper. Schwarzer would be a decent no. 1 if we start the season with Almunia and Flappy, i mean the defenders don’t have faith in them let alone the fans. I honestly can’t see why Wenger is delaying surely it was obvious from last season thats where we needed strengthing the most.

  7. Jekyll

    Exactly, why are Almunia and Fabianski being given a ‘chance’ in pre-season at all? They had their chances last season and both were spectacularly, calamitously awful. What are they even still doing at the club after that? Should have been straight out of the door come May.

    You sense that Wenger is looking for an excuse to do nothing with this position. He’ll cling to some good saves in pre-season matches as proof one or both have ‘regained confidence’.

  8. aj

    Who is the other attacker we have lost?? Dudu, yes. Who else?

  9. Jekyll

    aj – Merida

  10. RotorGoat

    Aj – I was thinking Merida. Bit part only but an attacking player nonetheless.

  11. aj

    OK. Thanks guys!


    Jekyll- i suspect it’s the fact that the board don’t really want to part with proper money. I really don’t understand spending a lot of money on essentially a very important part of the team. The both cost us points last year they should have been booted out of the Emirates big time.I wouldn’t want Almunia and Flappy in my sons football team.

  13. Jekyll

    Angelic – you’re probably right. But I also suspect Wenger doesn’t think GK is a very important position. The whole defensive side of things doesn’t interest him so he just wants someone adequate in goal and doesn’t want to spend time and energy on it. I’m sure the high profile errors of both last season annoyed him hugely as it distracts from his focus on pass and move.


    Can Wenger afford to go into next season without a decent goalie, if we start with those two jokers and more goalkeeping gaffes happen Wenger will start to get a lot of stick very early. Hopefully he is not that blind and buys.

  15. Kipmonster

    I am proposing that Arsenal fans World wide post letters once a week for the next four weeks to UEFA & FIFA complaining about Barcelona FC’s persistent public ‘tapping up’ of Cesc Fabregas.
    Also post a letter just once to Arsenal FC requesting that they formally complain to UEFA & FIFA about Barcelona FC’s rule breaking disrespectful behaviour.
    I have drawn up 3 template letters that I will email to willing participants. All that you will need to do is type in your own Name & Address before printing off & posting.
    A momentum is needed in this regard & can be boosted by you forwarding the email I send you to every single one of your Arsenal FC supporting family & friends and encouraging them to post letters off once every week for four weeks to UEFA & FIFA and just once to Arsenal FC.
    The aim of repetitive letters would be to create an Administrative headache for UEFA & FIFA with hopefully thousands of letters received from all over the world. It would be a great way to display the strength of feeling from Arsenal FC fans.
    The purpose of the single letter to Arsenal FC is again to display the strength of feeling from Arsenal FC fans.
    The Arsenal FC hierarchy seem to exist in an ‘Ivory Tower’ immune or just simply ignorant to the feelings & wishes of their fans.

    My email address for this campaign from where I will email you the letter templates is ……..

    COME ON !! …… Lets DO this & be taking substantive action for a change instead of simply bleating on web blogs which achieves nothing as it goes unnoticed by those who should hear the complaints the most.

    I will post this on the anti Barca facebook group ………….!/group.php?gid=116042895106146

    & also on as many Arsenal blogs as possible via ……………

  16. eboueboue

    I generally support Wenger, but I’d love for him to name one other Premier League side that Almunia or Fabianski could get into, let alone start for.

    I’m glad to hear we’re in the market, but it’ll be a sick joke if we start the season with one of these two wearing No. 1 on his back.

  17. PD

    A sick joke just about sums it up. I still believe we’re going to sign a keeper & Wenger is just being cagey but with every day that passes I worry more that his innate stubbornness is going to win out. I’ll be perfectly honest; I for one will have given up on him if we don’t sign a keeper this summer. Anyway, trying not to panic too much yet !!!

    As for Eduardo…while I throughly agree the injury damaged him badly last season I think the new formation is what really finished his AFC career. Think about it; even if he was fully fit & 100% sharp….where would you play him in 4-3-3 ??? There isn’t anywhere for him. It’s not a criticism of either Wenger or Eduardo; it’s just a fact that if you change a formation it’s going to suit some players a lot more than others…

  18. Tommy

    The keeper thing should have been sorted allready. the understanding between a goalie and hes defenders are very very important. the more pre season games they get toghether the better.

    Its shocking that nothing has happened allready.

  19. eboueboue

    Does anyone else find the Milner-to-City saga a bit surreal? 24m? 30m? That’s insane.

  20. Jekyll

    If, as the club says, the debt is down and manageable, isn’t it time for serious investment in the defence? Right now it’s looking like a lack of ambition, this unwillingness to spend proper money.

    I guess as Wenger moves into his 60s he’s not going to get less stubborn. Indeed he’s looking like a right old eccentric – it’s almost perverse and self-defeating. But he himself admitted at the end of the season that more experience was required. At this very moment, the squad is even less experienced and more lightweight than last season. Not long to turn this around, and the subtexts from Wenger and the official site are not encouraging…

  21. Jekyll

    Kipmonster – under FIFA rules the players are not considered club officials, who are the ones who can be charged with tapping up. It can be claimed that the players are speaking as individuals. This is why Barca are using their players as mouthpieces. As, you could argue, is Cesc himself.

    Also, FIFA actually publish these stories on their website, e.g. Xavi mouthing off the other day. If anything they are aiding and abetting Barca in their pursuit.

  22. eboueboue

    If Wenger doesn’t want to throw money at the problem, fine. He usually doesn’t — I understand that. But he should at least be looking for other remedies in our problem areas, such as new coaches, for example. He’s coming dangerously close to fitting that popular definition of insanity. Being a Gooner is starting to feel like groundhog day.

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