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Transfer Musical Chairs

As we get ever closer to the January transfer window speculation begins to heighten as to what could happen in the transfer game of musical chairs that entertains and frustrates in more or less equal measure.

Current reports are that disaffected Gallas is due to leave following his demotion for publicly criticising unnamed team-mates with Italy his possible destination. This coincides with a report that Senderos may end his season long loan stint at AC Milan a little early. He has played relatively few games for them so, if he does so it is unlikely that he will return with a great deal of practical benefit from his Italian job. Never a real crowd favourite for the gunners his return would generate a mixed response but there does seem some sort of synergy in the two moves.

Bendtner is another nominated in the media as on the move in January. There are stories of either a loan or possible sale of the player but today Wenger has come out in support of the big Dane saying "I believe that at this moment he puts a lot of pressure on himself and he does not play with enough freedom.

"I am sure he works harder than ever in training and that will come good but at the moment he does not get rewarded for the kind of pressure he puts into his training."

The return of Eduardo might seem to raise questions about the space in the team for Bendtner but the manager thinks it will be late January before we see him operating at a competitive enough level "It is great news," Wenger told the club`s website. "Of course the problem for Eduardo is that, even though he is playing a game, we still must get him back to a competitive level. Basically we don`t know how much patience he will need but if patience is needed we have to take it.

"I still believe that we have to give him at least one and a half months competition before he will be completely back at the level he was before.

"But he has a fantastic basis of fitness because he has worked unbelievably hard. I mean unbelievably hard. So he could still surprise us by being a little bit quicker."

Players we might not see for a time are those Wenger is looking to send out on loan. Le Boss told us last week that 'Jay Simpson, Gavin Hoyte and Kieran Gibbs might [go on-loan]. They need to play somewhere in the Championship for three or four months. Not Jack Wilshere though - he is too young."

One player definitely not returning just yet is left back/wingback Armand Traore who tells us "I am at Portsmouth on loan until the end of the season, and will return to Arsenal straight away.

"After that, I am going to have to speak with Arsene Wenger to see what he plans for me."

The summer transfer window ended with a fair amount of disappointment expressed by many gooners. It maybe though that those priorities for strengthening the squad have changed since the summer with mixed performances so far this season and the knowledge that Rosicky has been ruled out for virtually all of the season.

What are gooners expectations and priorities now? Will we be satisfied, reassured, disgruntled or unconvinced at the end of January? Not everyone will agree whatever happens.

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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday December 12 2008

Time: 1:48PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Nice piece Amos, one of your best yet. I will be both satisfied and reassured with the purchase of some real quality in key areas of the pitch. I think the majority of gooners can concur that the purchase of a quality, proven winger, and central midfielder could be pivotal with regard to whether or not we challenge for any silverware this term. A top class central defender would be a nice bonus
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12/12/2008 14:02:00

Having said that, the other side of the coin is that I will be deeply concerned if there are no improvements made. I am a believer in waiting until the new year to guage a teams potential success, and as it's getting closer we are still none the wiser with this teams confused form. Bringing in some quality and experience in key areas could help to "steady the ship" as it were.
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12/12/2008 14:08:00

We really need a CB, possibly two, one top class CDM and a class RM (FM2009 talk) and a ST if we sell Bendtner.
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12/12/2008 14:10:00

Arsene just HAS to buy. He HAS to. We've all been saying it for years, but it's gotten beyond a joke now.
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12/12/2008 15:18:00

I've heard rumours of, and would like to see, Alonso and Upson. Both teams will be reluctant to sell, but may have their arms forced. Both are players we could really do with as well. More wishing than expecting, I don't normally listen to rumours but my head turned at these two!
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12/12/2008 15:34:00

No way, Upson didn't make the grade before why should he now? He's at the Irons - a couple of high profile mistakes at Arsenal and Wenger would get crucified for it, i'd bet my house we won't re-sign him!
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12/12/2008 15:41:00

I agree with Tom's choices, though I don't see the need for a striker even if Bendy leaves.
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12/12/2008 15:43:00

Not my ideal choice of player but if we're going to raid the cash strapped irons, we'd could do a lot worse than Scott Parker. He would do all the unglamorous, ugly work that flamini used to do for us...
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12/12/2008 15:50:00

I would of bet my house on us not signing that fish face Silvestre, and if i had id be in a cardboard box right now with a blanket of ice.
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12/12/2008 15:56:00

Silvestre? Funnily enough I was watching cartoons the other night and he looks exactly like Tweety pie, right down to the swelled head and the strangely yellow complexion!
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12/12/2008 16:04:00

Do we want Senderos back? There is no hidden agenda there, simply, do we want him back?
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12/12/2008 16:05:00

Yeah Ownz, point taken, but Arsene's stated that he doesn't go back etc etc. And he is a man of his word. Plus he's French, therefore not English, and was less than £1m, LG - shouldn't you be down the boozer?!
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12/12/2008 16:10:00

LG, I certainly want Sendy back. We've missed him. I don't believe for one single moment that Benitez will ever sell Alonso to us. Just won't happen. I do think AW knows he needs to buy in January, his entire manner this season has been different from that of last season, when he was so confident and convincingly positive and assured until February. He says all the expected things but he hasn't seemed convinced of it himself when he says it, and his team selections bear that out. It looks like he hasn't been certain of his first 11 all season long. I also think he's privately aware of his mistakes and disappointed at some of his players he's put so much faith in. I really do believe he will buy in January, and possibly sell too. If he doesn't sell in January, I think that unless things change dramatically with certain players in the 2nd half of the season, he'll sell them off then.
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12/12/2008 16:19:00

I suppose I can't gauge how seriously this 'Gallas is leaving' rumor is while not in England. How strongly do you guys feel that he will end up leaving. If he does, it could be disastrous. It seems our biggest problem is lack of experience, and he is EASILY our most experienced player, its not even close really.
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12/12/2008 16:23:00

Shewore - Been there since 12:00, just got back mate and am now putting my "permanent" out of office on. Boo! But fellow employees are joining me soon enough for a few beverages! Have a great night Guys 'n' Gals and an even better weekend. Boro 2 - Arsenal 3!!!! Have it!
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12/12/2008 16:33:00

While he is our most experience players I reckon Gallas has been prone to some massive blunders this season, and has bit lucky more of them haven't led to goals, that said if I were Wenger I wouldn't let him leave until the summer at the very earliest. But to answer your question TP there isn't really any substance to the rumours of him leaving, and his body language doesn't suggest it (not to me anyway), but that said nothing would surprise me with Gallas!
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12/12/2008 16:42:00

I don't see Upson as an improvement on our current line up - not at all. I don't see us re-signing him. I'd love to get Alonso, man, but agree with Jaelle that Rafa won't be keen - besides he's Liverpool's best player at the moment. I find it hard to think of who I want us to sign. No real obvious candidates, not ones that would be available, anyrate. I could easily reel off a bunch of fantasy signings, but I won't. One thing: If Gallas goes, it's that hole that we will have to work hardest to fill.
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12/12/2008 16:46:00

I didnt want to let Gilberto go (for the experience), and now I dont want Gallas to go for the same reason. Time will tell if I get what I want :). Getting Senderos back may not be a bad idea - play him in the FA Cup, and with our horrible injury record, we need more players. As for exits, I'm not saying Bendtner should go just yet, although I'm pretty close to it. The lad needs to improve, pronto. He will not get so many chances at any other club and has no one to blame but himself. As for the ins, we've gone through it so often already, and its not even Jan :). I'll wait for the action, rather than any words, either from us or Wenger.
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12/12/2008 16:57:00

Rocky, skysports did a report on how Gallas has affected our season -- we've won more games with him than without him. That's why I was very worried about his absence at Man City. Last season we won more without him, this season it's the reverse. We need Gallas--he's put in some very good performances but people only remember the blunders.
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12/12/2008 17:20:00

I know hes english but why dont you go in for Gareth Barry? Barry and Fabregas would be a formidable CM pairing. If Wenger doesnt buy in January than hes officially lost the plot with the whole trust the youngsters policy you are 2 or 3 experienced players away from a really good team
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12/12/2008 17:33:00

Apparently Pat Rice made a fleeting enquiry about Barry in the summer. But you're right HY, just a couple of players, and I'm 100% sure Wenger will add the quality in the new year, I get the feeling he's exetremely aware of our deficiencies.
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12/12/2008 17:42:00

HY, I don't think Barry's wants to come to Arsenal. He wants Liverpool.
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12/12/2008 17:48:00

Yeah, I think we'd all agree with you HY, but it will be difficult to get really quality players from teams in January. Villa won't be selling Barry in January, and neither will Pool sell Alonso. The only players available to us would be from clubs in financial trouble, those that have fallen out of favor with their clubs, or those that are superfluous to their team's needs (hopefully this includes Yaya). It seems like we're hoping for a big January, but the reality is that its a lot harder to pry top quality players from clubs at this time than in the summer.
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12/12/2008 17:50:00

I'm also pretty confident that Wenger will fix the problems, Rocky. But you can bet your bottom dollar that if we go 10 days without signing a player in Jan, the gooners in blogosphere will revolt ;). The thing is, I was confident that Wenger would fix things in the summer itself, which fills me with a little apprehension that he may not do so now.
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12/12/2008 18:06:00

For the 1st time, I'm reading that a player doesnt want to come to Arsenal (Yaya Toure). He's happy where he is. Alonso was the perfect target in the summer, if Wenger had acted quickly, when things were uncertain with the whole Barry situation. Alonso was actually unsettled then, but Wenger made a bid after Alonso was re-assured by Benitez over his future. Alonso will not move now, as Pool are in a much better position to challenge for the title than we are, wouldnt make footballing sense for Alonso in Jan. Same holds true for Barry, there is a (slim) chance that he could get CL football with Villa next season.
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12/12/2008 18:13:00

Arsene does like to stick to his beliefs and by his players but, as we saw with Lehmann last season, he's not afraid to make the tough decisions (only thing there was that Lehmann was nearing the end of his Arsenal career anyway). He often talks about intelligence of players, now its time for him to display some too with the realisation that this team isn't good enough, won't be for a few seasons, and we need reinforcements to safeguard a top 4 position (forget the title). We need a defensive midfield player and at least one more creative midfielder to take the responsibility solely off Cesc. I feel our poor results and inconsistencies are having an adverse affect on the confidence of players like Clichy. Bendtner, Denilson, Song and Diaby are good but not good enough IMO.
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12/12/2008 18:41:00

I can't believe anyone would not want Upson. They have clearly not watched a West Ham or England match this season. he has been immense. Top three center backs in the league so far. i would take him in a heartbeat. As for Barry, he is not really what I would be looking for. Alonso makes more sense as he sits back and does a more disciplined job. Barry, on the other hand, is a real attacking midfielder. Only for England does he sit back and even then he roams forward a lot more. he is better than what we have and I would take him right now, but there are better options. My winger would be Maxi Rodriguez.
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12/12/2008 19:13:00

We should put in a couple of cheeky bids for Laursen of Villa and Babel at Liverpool. Add Veloso to those two and we have a title winning team. Aint gonna happen tho!
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12/12/2008 20:25:00

Yeah iceman, Veloso would suit us perfectly I reckon, but can't see Sporting selling him for an amount in Arsene's price-range. I rate Laursen too. I have to say though, this is Arsene Wenger. Any predictions are useless.
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12/12/2008 21:18:00

I totally agree wit GV,those players are simply not good enough for Arsenal(Does anyone disagree?). I think the decision to buy will probably depend on our form in December,if we win all our games then AW will have a good excuse not to get players in Jan. I wont be shocked if AW does nothin in the transfer window especially to prove that his young team is good enough,so we may need to sacrifice our CL football to convince him otherwise but dats OK cos we all love AW but I will be concerned if nothing is done in the summer. Reyes was the last player we got in Jan????? I think,not sure.
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12/12/2008 22:43:00

Reyes signed in Jan 2004, Eboue in Jan 2005, Adebayor, Walcott and Diaby all in Jan 2006.
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12/12/2008 23:26:00

gourcouff, veloso, and criscito in! bendtner, diaby, out
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13/12/2008 18:05:00

all you speculations are wrong. wenger will buy a 16yr old either from kazakhstan or mozambique, whom we have never heard of before.
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14/12/2008 00:48:00


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