A Win and a Loss for the Arsenal

By on July 28, 2009


Arsenal ended their central European tour last night with a 5-nil victory over Hungarian side, Haladas Szombathelyi. “Haladas” is Hungarian for “progress,” but it was the Gunners who seemed to make progress over last year’s result. Two goals each from Nicklas Bendtner and Eduardo and a penalty from Robin van Persie rounded out the scoring on the evening (no matter what Richard Clarke says). The most interesting developments from the match were the sharpness of Eduardo and Senderos’s second appearance in the holding role.

Meanwhile, Football365 (among many others) are reporting that Kolo Toure has flown back to England to have his medical ahead of a £16m pound move to Manchester City. Once again, I have to say that at that price it seems a good bit of business. While I would rather he stay, since the second half of last season showed us what the Gallas-Toure partnership could do at its best, Arsene seems to be taking advantage as best he can of the distorted transfer market. Toure’s contract was up following next year and if Arsenal could not resign him this season they would have faced losing the player on a free. Instead, Wenger will have milked Man City for possibly close to twice what Toure is worth in a realistic market on top of the £25m for a troubled striker.

Kolo and Ade

The new Manchester night life.

With Toure out of the picture, it makes it seem much more likely that Senderos may now seriously consider remaining with Arsenal. One can only assume that Wenger is seriously considering deploying Senderos, on occasion, as one of two holding midfielders, most likely next to Song. Yet the formation we saw from the start of the match looked more like a 4-3-3 with a central striker supported by two advanced wingers and a three-man midfield behind them.

Of course, the final arbiter in whether or not £40m for Toure and Adebayor were worth it will be on whom that money is spent. After the match, Arsene said:

I am more focused on getting everybody fit for the start of the season but we are looking at opportunities as well, there are still some pre-season games to see what we really need. When the time comes we will do something.

As usual, Arsene will leave it late. He wants to try different combinations and different roles for individual players and see the side in stiffer competition before making any final assessments of the club’s needs. Wenger has always done this. Vieira, Ljungberg, Henry, and Gallas were all brought in after the first of August. We all know that Arsene will not spend money just to spend it. When and where our new transfer kitty will be expended will depend solely on the availability of players who directly fit our needs. Arsene will not feel that he has a deadline of August 30th to spend the entire £40m, though Toure’s imminent departure has aroused more Brede Hangeland rumours, and it could be quite likely that he will wait until the January window to spend some or most of it.

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more about “Haladas v Arsenal (27 July 2009)“, posted with vodpod