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Plot Twists, Orks and Hobbits

He’s staying, he’s going, he’s had a medical at Liverpool, he signed someone’s Wilshere jersey. This has to be the most tedious transfer saga of them all. Nuri Sahin just can’t make up his mind. While the decision on which team he eventually joins is heavily influenced by management, It seems hopes are dashed yet again on the impending transfer of Nuri Sahin, after Marca reveals the Reds have hijacked our hijacked deal which was originally their hijack of our initial deal. Yes, you read that right.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, as Arsène remains positive about the remainder of the transfer window. In his press conference today, he had this to say:

Some things can still happen

I don’t want make a promise that I cannot keep. It does not only depend on me. But there still could be some action on the transfer market – ins and outs.

We are working [in the market],” he went on. “We’ll see what we can do.

One door opens, another one closes really. This is one transfer that I’ve been extremely excited about, but there must be something wrong if Liverpool can get ahead of us to sign him. Maybe it’s wages, maybe it’s playing time, but I think it’s simply Mou being Mou. He wants Nuri to be able to play week in week out for the entire season, which we have no hope of guaranteeing barring injury. With Jack coming back in October, and over 5 fit midfielders in the first team picture, it would be pretty tough to be able to fit in Sahin every match. At the same time, you’d have to argue that if Mourinho really wanted Nuri to develop at a top club, you’d have to say we’re a better option to Liverpool. We’re in the Champion’s League, we’ve been playing great football and look to be capable of challenging for silverware on all fronts. Yes, we have a packed midfield, but how can you say no to the Arsenal experience? The best facilities around coupled with one of the best managers in world football. This leads me to believe that either Arsène I playing hard ball for a permanent fee, which Mourinho doesn’t seem to want, or we’re just not offering enough financial compensation; both very realistic situations that have stalled previous potential transfers indefinitely.

Anyway, enough of transfer talk, it’s quite draining in this day and age where everybody seems to be “in the know” on social media, and you can never get away from the constant stream of information out there.

On to team news, which is bittersweet. Laurent Koscielny will miss the Stoke game, but I think it’s a blessing in disguise. With Lolo out presumably until the Liverpool match, it gives Per Mertesacker another chance to regain form after a lengthy layoff, and to strengthen his partnership with Thomas Vermaelen; one that is still quite new outside of training. That combined with the BFG’s size and presence in the back line should help us against the battle with the orks that are Stoke City.

At the time this is being written, the Ox has yet to train with the squad since his ankle injury which kept him out of our home opener against Sunderland. Not a huge problem really, as I don’t think anybody expects much more than a 30 minute cameo from the bench, coming in against tired legs to inject some pace into the game.

Lukasz Fabianski is also back, and I think at some point he deserves a shot at picking up where he left off before injuring himself warming up to play against Manchester United ages ago. Since then, Szczesny has more than filled his place, even taking the #1 jersey. To me, this says that Fabianski’s time at the club is coming to an end. It’s too bad, as he really showed promise at points in the 2010-11 season. For once, I had some confidence in him, mostly because he showed confidence in himself. No longer should he be dubbed “Flappyhanski”, after showing us what a fine pair of hands he really has. His departure won’t really do much more than shove more youth and inexperience into our squad, which isn’t what you really want in between the sticks, it must be said. James Shea and Emilio Martinez are both keepers who are highly touted among the youth ranks, as well as Reice Charles Cook who has impressed regularly with the reserves as of late. In my eyes, none of the aforementioned trio are ready to be the backup keeper, so keeping Fabianski is the only sensible action. A few years ago we were moaning about our dearth of quality keepers, but now no one seems bothered that a second choice international could be on his way out? Oh, how times change.

In this week of training, Wenger and Steve Bould were probably most concerned with squad dynamics and how each player works on a rudimentary level with the other members of the team. It’s quite important as the season rumbles on, as we’ll be hit with injuries at some point in time, which will force mass change in the lineup. It’s always in good practice to hope for the best and plan for the worst, especially considering our terrible injury problems in the past.

I hope at some point on Sunday we get to see Aaron Ramsey. Yes, I know you’re all fed up making excuses talking about his leg break, but you really aren’t the same after such a horrific injury, much like a car after getting sideswiped and reconstructed. I’m not his biggest fan, but Ramsey gets much more stick than he deserves. He had a tough year coming back into the squad, shouldering the creative demands while dealing with the death of his mentor. Now that everything has passed, we should all get behind Aaron as he begins a new season, a fresh start to impress everyone around him. Everyone deserves a second chance, it’s proved time and time again to be of recent success. Think Fabianski and Kieran Gibbs.

Coping well with his surroundings, another play I wish well is Santi Cazorla. He’ll need to be quick in dealing with the steroid-infused giants of Stoke, but he doesn’t seem to bothered about size difference.

It’s overstated,” he said. “The idea that smaller, technical players can’t do well here. We have powerful players in Spain, too.

Being tall isn’t what makes you a good footballer and I don’t think that’s the defining factor in English football at all.

It’s good to see that our little Spaniard isn’t phased by the physicality of the league, and it rubbishes a lot of claims in punditry that foreigners are scared of the players in England. It’s never made sense to me that someone could be easily intimidated by something as trivial as height when it comes to such a technically focused sport as football. We need only look as far as Lionel Messi to say that size has almost no bearing at all on how good of a player you can be.

Anyway, that just about sums up everything that’s happened recently concerning our beloved football club. On Sunday morning I’ll be sure to post a match preview for the battle of Mordor (the Britannia) and a review of the match shortly after its completion. Stay tuned for that, as I’ll dive into the tactical side of our game, and how we should go about facing our brutish opponents.

Follow me on Twitter: @MarshallArsenal

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