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Arsenal and Arsenal Station Return!
That’s right… Arsenal Station is back for the new campaign. And so are Arsenal having drawn in their annual preseason opener with Barnet, 2-2. The highlights of the match were Barazite’s class curler and Rosicky’s return, which can be seen below and also in our new Vodpod widget in the right column that will archive all highlights and videos for the entire season. Of course, the biggest news though is that Adebayor has completed his move to Manchester City for a reported 25m pounds, though as of Sunday afternoon and despite the widespread media coverage, it is yet to appear on Arsenal.com.
What everyone wants to know now is will the Boss use the money. He has already come out and said that replacing Adebayor is not an imperative. Rumours ranging from Klaas Jan Huntelaar to Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh appear to be just that as both clubs have reported no official contact from Arsenal. Apparently, Madrid have reached an agreement with Stuttgart, but the player and his agent have not. The Daily Mail claims the fee agreed by Madrid is 17m pounds. I’ve always thought that Huntelaar was the type of player we were missing up front, central and direct with only goals on his mind.
However, like the Boss, I don’t think that Adebayor needs to be replaced and that the money would be far better spent on a defensive midfielder. The problem here is that details over the payment schedule have not surfaced. It would seem likely that Arsenal would have pushed for, at least, a large percentage of the transfer fee, if not all of it, up front rather than spread out over a few years, as has become common. If that is not the case, it becomes even more unlikely that Wenger makes any serious push for a central midfielder. Though, with a deeper central defense following the arrival of Thomas Vermaelen, giving Kolo Toure a look there may become an option Wenger is willing to take a more serious look at should Song’s development not continue apace.
As for Adebayor… good riddance. 25m for him is a steal for Arsenal. He has serious attitude problems, cannot seem to stay onsides, and, generally, is a very frustrating player. He has all the potential in the world, but he just can’t seem to concentrate solely on the football. Who knows, maybe now that he’s gotten the big payday he’s obviously been looking for, even though Arsenal renegotiated a huge pay rise for him after his fluke season, he may be able to worry about what happens on the pitch more than what happens off of it. Though, I cannot see him being happy as a part-time starter and his streaky nature almost guarantees he will be given City’s options up front.
If Wenger spends the money on a defensive midfielder, this will easily turn out to be a far better and more significant deal for Arsenal than Manchester City. The first team leave for Austria early this week and face SC Columbia on Tuesday at 17:30 while a Reserve XI will face Lincoln City on Monday evening.
Barnet v Arsenal – 18 July 2009 (Highlights & Interviews)