SportsNet - June 2012
As a team Arsenal aren't known for splashing the cash. The reasoning behind this is twofold. Wenger likes to look for bargains in a France and he puts an emphasis in youth. The Frenchman thinks it's very important to promote from within however it isn't necessarily successful all the time. This summer, Wenger has looked for bargains in France once again.
Last season for Montpellier, Giroud won Ligue 1 golden boot award. Known as a classic English centre forward, Giroud is very different to any French striker. Giroud was instantly linked with a move to Arsenal and the rumours seemed to have come true. Although Wenger doesn't usually go for a powerful player, he seems to like Giroud's finishing ability. However Giroud has also been linked with a move to Borussia Monchengladbach which may hinder Wenger's plans. Giroud has expressed his opinions and he has said that he would welcome a move to England over Germany.
After the drawn out process of the group stage, this first round of knockout games has flown by. It has also produced some of the best performances of the tournament. With just three games left before a champion is crowned, let's see what the past round has revealed about the remaining teams.
They certainly looked impressive in their quarterfinal against the Czech Republic. They had the lion's share of the possession and dictated the pace of play through effective use of the wings. The individual performances of Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani were especially noteworthy. Ronaldo often started the counter moving forward with intelligent distribution and was a constant threat in and around the Czech penalty area, while Nani ran the defense ragged on the right wing and provided some great services.
"A train to nowhere that we are riding. We're riding over and over again. A train to nowhere.
And we are gliding. A way that never may happen again. A train to nowhere".
These lyrics of the catchy tune 'Train to nowhere' by Bad Boys Blue are reminiscent of Arsenal football club.
It has now been seven long years since an Arsenal Captain lifted a trophy. To be precise there has been no trophy in Arsenal's cabinet since 21st May 2005.
So where is the problem? Maybe we can get an idea from the line up of the team that played that sunny day at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and compare it to the team that played on the last day of this past season when Arsenal barely crossed the finish line against a determined West Brom team at the Hawthornes.
At Cardiff the Master Jens Lehmann was in goal. His back four were Lauren, Kolo Toure, Phillipe Senderos and Ashley Cole. Midfield was spearheaded by Patrick Vieira ably supported by Cesc Fabregas, Gilberto Silva, Robert Pires. Reyes and Bergkamp headed the attack.
Having limped out of the easiest group, England's Hapless Hodgson's spoilers were taught a football lesson on Sunday as Milner and Carrol particularly looked like the donkeys we all know they are back in England. The fact that the Germans were praying that we would win says it all.
Much has been made of Gerrard by a hysterical and prejudiced English media, but the sad truth is that he was shown what a really world class midfielder looks like in Pirlo. Moreover, every touch by Terry was greeted with embarrassingly over the top praise by a media desperate to show its bigotted bias for a disgraced former captain who by rights should not even have been there at all.
Even more embarrassing was the ridiculous BBC commentary where we were treated to Mark Lawrenson criticising every touch by Ashley Young whilst conveniently overlooking Gerrard giving the ball away in his own area along with Terry who got caught several times moving up when Ballotelli got in behind. Lawrenson might be good for a laugh with his off the cuff remarks, but his comments are farcical and no value whatsoever.
To bring Ray Allen back, or let him leave for another team, that is one of the biggest questions facing the Boston Celtics this summer. The prevailing wisdom seems to be it is in the best interest of the Boston Celtics to let Ray Allen leave for another team because they have up and coming guard Avery Bradley to replace him and Allen will be unwilling to share the shooting guard duties with Bradley for less money than is projected to be offered by other teams.