All posts by Tony Davies

Former Newcastle Striker Linked With Arsenal – Why He Would Be A Great Signing

Despite the fact that Arsenal haven’t actually announced the signings of Alexis Sanchez and Mathieu Debuchy, they are already chasing other players. That is the way the transfer market has to be played these days, as other targets can disappear very quickly. You can rest on the fact that you have been successful in obtaining fresh faces, but there are always improvements to be made.

As Arsenal still need to improve their attack, despite being very close to Alexis Sanchez, they have been chasing Loic Remy to provide competition for Olivier Giroud up front. The Metro are reporting that Remy could join the Gunners for as little as £8 million. With Nicklas Bendtner gone, Yaya Sanogo is the only other first-team striker left at the club. However, Giroud needs competition both to give the Frenchman a break and to provide a different option for the Gunners.

For me, Remy is the perfect competition for Giroud, but is not what Arsenal need. What I mean by that is he wouldn’t necessarily be a regular starter, but he would be a very good signing for the squad. The reason why I think he would be a great option for the Gunners is because he offers a different threat to Giroud.

Giroud is a player that likes to hold the ball up and have runners that go beyond him. With Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott and possibly Alexis Sanchez, he will have a field day with all these indirect runs. There have been so many occasions where he has flicked the ball on almost immediately after receiving it. He isn’t the type of player that will look for the run in behind the defenders, something that Mesut Ozil prefers.

Remy, on the other hand, will do much of what Giroud does, but he will also make those key runs in behind. He certainly has the pace to do it, as well the height and strength to hold the ball up if he needs to. Remy is a clinical striker as well which would be very handy if Walcott and Sanchez are flanking him.

Alexis Sanchez All But Confirmed As A Gunner – Who Arsenal Should Chase Next

Arsenal are a tad late to the party, but they are very close to signing two new players. Their rivals have all signed at least two new players, but Arsenal’s exploitation of the transfer market means that they could bring in Mathieu Debuchy and Alexis Sanchez in a matter of days, as reported by Talksport. The fans are obviously jubilant at this news, which has been in circulation for a few days now. However, they will now be wondering who is next on the shopping list.

I am personally wondering who Arsenal are lining up because beyond Sanchez and Debuchy, not much has been reported. There have been hints that a defensive midfielder, striker, centre-back and back-up goalkeeper will be brought in. Who do Arsenal need to focus on first though?

It was apparently made clear that the Gunners would be trying to bring in a striker next season, but if they are successful in signing Alexis Sanchez then the need to buy another expensive attacker is reduced. As Arsenal are seemingly not chasing a big-name striker, they may be content with bringing in a cheaper option that is not sought after by everybody.  The reduced competition would not only make them more likely to get their man, but also for a relatively low price.

I think Arsenal should be eyeing up a defensive midfielder next, as they need to pay up to replace Mikel Arteta who simply doesn’t have the fitness to start and finish every game of the Premier League season. He will still be a very important player, but he shouldn’t be starter. Therefore, I think the Gunners need a player who is both for the long-term and ready to play for a team like Arsenal now.

As for the goalkeeper and centre-back, the former has to be signed, but again the North Londoners don’t need an expensive name. Both positions should be covered, but the unnoteworthy names of the people brought in to do the job will probably mean it is not huge news.

Brazil Crash Out Of The World Cup – Why This Should Concern Chelsea

Last night 2014 World Cup hosts Brazil bowed out in the semi-finals to Germany in horrific fashion. It was an absolute disaster for Brazil, who lost the game 7-1. The result is now their record defeat in a World Cup finals. There were three Chelsea players involved for the hosts at this World Cup: Oscar, Ramires and Willian. Will this affect their performances in the new season?

When the final whistle was blown on the semi-final between Brazil and Germany, it was hard to put into words what we had all witnessed. Seeing Brazil perform so badly was like nothing I or anyone else had ever seen before. The players looked absolutely distraught afterwards and rightly so after such a lacklustre performance.

It might take them a little more than a good night’s sleep for them to get over such heartbreak and this will be a concern for Jose Mourinho and Chelsea, who start their Premier League campaign in around a month’s time. With the Brazilian trio possibly having that nightmare still in their heads, Alan Shearer commented after the game that it could damage these players mentally in the long-term.

I would imagine that all of the players were heartbroken, with tears flooding from the majority in yellow and green. Oscar looked inconsolable as Thiago Silva tried to comfort him. If it does take a long while for them to get over the defeat then, by the looks of those scenes after the game, Oscar might be one of those that suffers the most. With him, Ramires and Willian being key Chelsea players, this could prove damaging to Chelsea’s overall performances next season.

With the play-off to decide who finishes in third and fourth place coming up for Brazil, Scolari needs to make a decision about who to play, as another big defeat could damage them even further.

Gunners Contemplate What To Do With Carl Jenkinson – Why The Arsenal Full-Back Should Be Loaned Not Sold

Arsenal have all but confirmed the signing of Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle United. His signing is to replace Bacary Sagna who walked out of the club as a free agent at the end of last season and was picked up by Manchester City. It is a very like-for-like switch, but there are other positives to the Gunners signing Debuchy.

If Arsene Wenger had signed someone like Serge Aurier to replace Sagna, the future of Carl Jenkinson and even Hector Bellerin would have been in question. However, Debuchy is almost 29-years-old, and therefore he will act as a stop-gap in the development of Jenkinson and Bellerin. In short, he won’t be around for the long-term like Aurier would. In order to aid Jenkinson’s development it is possible that Wenger will send the 22-year-old on loan. The Daily Mail, however, are reporting that Arsenal could offload Jenkinson to Newcastle to help the Debuchy deal.

I think Jenkinson should be loaned rather than sold, as he has a lot potential that we just haven’t seen yet because Sagna has been so consistent. Ultimately, he just hasn’t been given the chance to maintain a solid run of form.

When Sagna broke his leg a couple of seasons back, Jenkinson stepped in and really impressed. There was one point where he was seriously considered to be the next England right-back due to his performances. He certainly has all the qualities, but his concentration and decision-making sometimes let him down.

Jenkinson is very athletic which means that more often than not he is able to be in the right place at the right time; in both attack and defence. A strong, powerful and clever defender, Arsenal should not let him leave the club permanently.

Joel Campbell Linked With Arsenal Exit – Why The Gunners Should Keep The Costa Rica Star At The Club Next Season

With the World Cup almost at an end and teams returning to training, thoughts will soon be turning to the new Premier League season. The transfer window has been open for a while now and teams haven’t hung around in their pursuit of new players. As we all know, most of the big clubs have signed some new players, but Arsenal are yet to open their chequebook. However, their business so far has involved bringing in young prospects and getting rid of those who are worthless at the club. Clearing wages for new players is a very important job, because if you can’t afford the wages then you won’t get the player.

In terms of incomings, Mathieu Debuchy and Alexis Sanchez have dominated the headlines, especially the latter. There are so many conflicting reports that it is often hard to keep up. However, according to the Chronicle, Debuchy is all but confirmed as an Arsenal player. Sanchez is also supposed to be very close, as Talksport insist that Arsenal are confident of securing their man.

The Chronicle also reported that Arsenal are offering Joel Campbell to Newcastle to help the Debuchy deal along. However, I think that Campbell should stay at the Gunners next season.

After the World Cup he had, the Costa Rican deserves more of a look-in. Arsene Wenger loves a versatile attacker and Campbell is exactly that, as he can play on either wing, behind the striker or as the striker himself. That versatility will go a long way in this day and age and it could be key for Arsenal next season when they go through their traditional ‘everyone is injured’ phase.

Campbell is also a superbly talented attacker and will give the Gunners fantastic depth next season if he stays. If any attacker is to go on loan then it should be Yaya Sanogo.

Willian Set To Replace Neymar For Brazil – Why He Has A Massive Job To Do

Brazil poster boy Neymar suffered a fractured vertebrae in the World Cup quarter-final against Colombia after a challenge from Juan Zuniga. This leaves a massive hole to be filled and it looks like it will be filled by Chelsea winger Willian. He has big shoes to fill, so can he do it?

Willian was unimpressive in front of goal for the Blues last season, scoring only four goals in 42 appearances in all competitions. Goal-scoring was one of the many things that Neymar brought to Brazil in their matches at this World Cup and he was probably their best player until his very unfortunate injury.

It is important to remember that last year was only Willian’s first season in England and he still might not be used to the speed of the game. Playing in the country that he grew up in, though, could give him a new lease of life, and he might just show why Chelsea paid such big money for him at the beginning of last season.

Coming up against a country like Germany is always going to be difficult and so Brazil need Willian to perform. A bad game from him in Neymar’s role could play a big part in Brazil getting knocked out. He has bundles of pace to use as well as trickery and is also partial to an assist, so he could be a big help to underperforming Fred.

It is not just Neymar that is out but also their captain, Thiago Silva, who is unbelievably important. It looks as though Bayern Munich defender Dante will take his spot, who is not a bad replacement.

Brazil have their work cut out against the Germans and losing two of their key players could see them ending their tournament here. The Brazilian fans have been a massive reason for them getting to this stage, but will the semi-final be one step to far?

Gunners Linked With Two South Americans – Why Arsenal Should Choose Barcelona Man Over Fiorentina Star

It must be very hard for many Arsenal fans right now as they see most of their rivals signing some top players and all they have is a bunch of rumours. As an Arsenal fan myself, I can assure you it is very hard. We learned last summer that patience is a virtue and you just cannot write off Arsene Wenger in the transfer market. We thought we were entering the season having just signed Mathieu Flamini and Emiliano Viviano on loan, but on the final day we secured Mesut Ozil for a club record fee. This is proof that Wenger and money can go together very well. 

As with every window, Arsenal have been strongly linked with some world class talent, and many outlets are reporting positives for the Gunners. They have been pursuing Alexis Sanchez ever since Barcelona looked like they were willing to sell him. However, he may not be the only winger that Arsenal have been linked with this summer. The other name to be mentioned is Juan Cuadrado of Fiorentina. The Express have reported that Arsenal could launch a £22 million bid despite Alexis Sanchez being very close to signing.

I don’t for one minute believe that Arsene Wenger will sign Sanchez and Cuadrado, as I am struggling to come to terms with them possibly buying the former. So for me, it is one or other.

This is an argument that is very hard to pick a side on. They possess all the same qualities and in similar doses as well. They are both quick, agile and fantastic with the ball at their feet. They can score and create goals for fun. They can play on the wing or behind the attacker, even as the frontman. So if we can’t tell them apart in terms of physical qualities, we will have to delve deeper.

Their price tag is also very similar as they have both been linked with moves between £30 million and £40 million. Also, with just a year between them in terms of age, any argument regarding why one is better for being younger or older does not have much substance. What does have substance is the experience that both players have. Sanchez has far more experience as he has spent a few seasons in the Champions League with Barcelona. He also has experience in winning silverware which Cuadrado doesn’t really have.

Statisically speaking, Sanchez had a better season than Cuadrado as he recorded more goals and assists in all competitions, although the Chilean did feature in 11 more games than the Colombian. Finally, this has been kind of breakthrough season for Cuadrado in terms of international recognition, whereas Sanchez has been in the spotlight for many seasons now, even going back to his days at Udinese.

Ultimately, I would pick Sanchez over Cuadrado.

THREE Players That Could Replace Chelsea Legend

Every so often, a player walks into a club and nobody really knows what to expect from them. When Didier Drogba arrived at Chelsea all those years ago, many were sceptical; when he left, the whole fanbase probably shed a tear or two. However, you sometimes have big expectations when a player arrives and that was the case with Fernando Torres. He was a star for Liverpool and, £50 million later, Chelsea fans couldn’t wait to see him in action for their club. Unfortunately for the Blues, we all know how that turned out.

Ashley Cole had a small, but good reputation. Having experienced success at Arsenal, there was a good feeling amongst the fans about the signing of the left-back. Fast forward to 2014 and you won’t find many that wouldn’t consider him a legend of Chelsea Football Club. However, his time at Stamford Bridge is now at an end, with the 33-year-old set to sign for Roma.

Here are three left-backs that could replace Cole:

1. Filipe Luis – This is the man that refused to speak to his current club, Atletico Madrid, to try and force a move to Chelsea. It is clear that the Brazilian would like to move to Chelsea and I think Jose Mourinho should go after him. Luis proved that he is a very capable full-back who can attack as well as he can defend. The 28-year-old is just always where you want him to be and he provides a fantastic outlet for his team. He would be a solid replacement.

2. Ricardo Rodriguez – The Swiss full-back had an incredible World Cup for his national side and he gave himself a stage to show the world what he has been doing at Wolfsburg all season. At just 21 years of age, he is so advanced for someone so young. The defender is unselfish, constantly makes the right decisions and would do anything to help his team. His work-rate is immense and his ability on the ball just as commendable. If you want a good left-back that could be with you for anything up to 15 years then Rodriguez is your man.

3. Alex Sandro – Sandro is a very gifted player that has been churning out brilliant performances for Porto for a few seasons now. He has Champions League experience, but is unfortunately overlooked for his country, Brazil. Some say that he is more of an attacker than a defender because of his strengths going forward, although he has worked very hard to prove that he is just as good at the back. The 23-year-old should certainly be an option for Mourinho.