Posts Tagged ‘transfers’

No Diggity, No Doubt

Posted: September 3, 2013 by lpgcast in LPGCast
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Nope, none at all.

wenger

It’s an explosion of feelings on this week’s LPGCast. Join Sarah, Zara, Jenn, and Jess as they discuss the transfer signing of the season and the NLD.

ozilisagunner



Post-Stoke

Posted: February 7, 2013 by lpgcast in LPGCast
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Win Some, Draw Some

Posted: February 1, 2013 by lpgcast in LPGCast
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…As long as we don’t lose anymore.

Remember Deb? If not, check out her Twitter page and follow! She’s one of our former podcasters and is gooner to the max.


Welcome back listeners and podcasters. It’s been such a long time, please enjoy our first podcast of the ’12-’13 season!

 


Of all our signings this summer, Olivier Giroud has been the most elusive. Considered a late bloomer like his former Tours teammate Laurent Koscielny, the 25-year-old Giroud has experienced a meteoric rise in France in the last year, helping Montpellier win their first ever Ligue 1 title and scoring 25 goals in the process. The Frenchman said, “With Montpellier, it wasn’t written that we were going to be champions, so that’s what made it more beautiful.” (Arsenal.com)

Giroud was first drawn to football as a youth watching Marco van Basten and Zinedine Zidane, joining his first professional club, Grenoble, at age 13. He spent 6 years in the Grenoble youth academy before signing his first official contract at 19. He then spent the next few years with limited playing time in the lower divisions of French football. He was eventually sold to Tours in 2008, where his playing time and exposure began to increase, paving the road for a move to Montpellier in 2010 after a season in which he was named the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Ligue 2 player of the year.

Koscielny looks back fondly on their time together at Tours. He said of the forward: “I played with him at Tours and he was a great player then. Now he is even more confident and scores lots of goals. I know his qualities and he will give a lot for us. I know he has the physical quality to play in this league. For a striker it is about confidence and I am sure he’s working hard to start well with Arsenal.” (Daily Star)

When Arsenal came a-knocking this past summer, Monpellier were powerless in stopping their leading forward from leaving for London after the Gunners met his release clause of just €12M. In this part of the blog series, I will be joined by Montpellier supporter and French Football Weekly contributor Phillipa Booth (@Philby1976) who will share some insight on how she thinks Giroud will adjust in England.

1. What was your initial reaction when you heard Giroud was going to join Arsenal next summer?

It seemed almost inevitable that Olive would leave at the end of the season – I thought that having CL experience as the established star player in the team would have been an easier choice, rather than having to move country, play CL for the first time, and have to compete for a place (wherever he went) but he seemed set on going, and you can understand his motives. As to his choice of club, he had mentioned his love of the Premiership several times, so a move to England was expected – even before the RVP brouhaha, Arsenal looked a good fit. All in all, he will be missed, but no hard feelings from the fans.

2. How much of an impact do you think his departure will have on Montpellier?

Losing your top goalscorer, particularly when he started every match he wasn’t suspended, was always going to be tough, but Montpellier have been very astute in handling that – two strikers (Herrera and Charbonnier) have been brought in, and the remainder of the money from Arsenal has also paid for a winger (Mounier) and a versatile defender (Congre), so overall the squad has been deepened.  Herrera was good pre-season but the first game of Ligue 1 (1-1 at home with Toulouse) suggests that someone needs to tell the rest of the team that they aren’t aiming at Giroud any more!  Once they’ve got used to having a different style of front-man, they should be OK. On this, I did a round-up of Montpellier’s usual selections, and transfer dealings here.

3. What are the strengths and weaknesses you have observed of Giroud? Both on the pitch and off it.

One strength is his strength! He’s a big guy, and good in the air; to quote one friend (name withheld to protect his reputation) – “I love Giroud’s chest” – he’s a good target man, who can chest down, cushion a header, flick on, etc.  He’s also good on the ground, and seems a smart, unselfish player, providing assists as well as goals.  He isn’t the fastest, but fortunately knows it, and adapts accordingly.

4. How did Giroud grow as a player while at Montpellier?

He arrived at Montpellier having been top scorer in Ligue 2 in the 2009/10 season with Tours, and his first season was solid (although the team was a bit shaky!).  He really blossomed last season, however, taking on the responsibility to be the focal point for the team with playmaker Younes Belhanda.  He has mentioned in interviews working on his aerial game to be a provider, not just a goalscorer, so his all-round skills have definitely improved.

5. How do you think Giroud will fit into the Arsenal team?

It sort of depends whether Arsenal hang onto RVP – if so, presumably there would be competition for that striker position, and you would assume Giroud would be the supersub / cup guy / injury cover rather than the starter; either way, you’ve got a strong target man to aim crosses at, but whose game is a bit more nuanced than a traditional ‘big man up front’.  I think it’s a good fit, and with Podolski having come in as well, that should be an interesting combination – I’m also eager to see how things work out if Oxlade-Chamberlain plays with him.

6. How do you see Giroud coping in England and the Premier League?

Ligue 1 seems to me to be refereed much more strictly than the Premiership (so, there’s a view here that the Premier League is some kind of lawless wasteland where anything goes, which can cause transition issues – just look at Diakite’s first game for QPR), so it might take a while to adapt to more battering from defenders, but he’s a big bloke, so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.  Off-field? He will get a lot of press attention, no doubt, which will also be different from France (there are very strict laws about privacy, press intrusion, etc).  But I suspect he won’t mind that. 8-)

(Clearly not…)

7. Giroud and Koscielny seem to be quite close from their time playing together for Tours. How do you think this relationship will help in Giroud’s adjustment to playing outside of France for the first time in his career?  

They seem to be good mates and Giroud joked about them sharing a room again when with the French national team, after being ‘roomies’ at Tours – it has to help, one would imagine.  I think he speaks English pretty well already, but the general Francophone nature of the Arsenal set-up should also help him to settle in.

Again, I would like to thank Phillipa for her contribution to this blog and look out for Part 3 on Santi Cazorla later today! Also if you haven’t already read part 1 with @GermanGunners on the Podolski signing, click HERE.

I’ll leave you with with this tender moment…

Follow me @goonerathena

 

Image

I can’t remember the last time Arsenal bought three established world-class players in one transfer window, no less outside of the dying hours of the window (Arshavin anyone?). It’s certainly a relief to have most of our business out of the way unlike last season when the club made a mad scramble for replacements hours before the deadline on September 1st. It seemed that the club has learnt from mistakes made last summer. They were looking to strengthen the squad ahead of potential departures (Edit: Sayonara RvP. Enjoy your new dull life in Manchester).

Despite the fact that our signings this summer have not incited the usual “WHO?” from most Arsenal supporters, this will still be the first time many of us will be watching them play on a regular basis since none of them have ever played outside of their home country. I thought it would be helpful to ask those who are more familiar with their careers in the last few years about how they think our new signings will fit into life at Arsenal and England.

Lukas Podolski joined the club soon after the 2011-2012 season ended. The German international has scored 44 goals for his country to date, amassing over 100 appearances in the process. He’s the youngest ever player to reach the 100 milestone for Germany at the age of 26. The striker, who is affectionately referred to as ‘Prinz Poldi’ by German fans, was named Best Young Player ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the 2006 World Cup. Despite making a name for himself on the international stage, Podolski has not been as impressive on the domestic front.

Many would not have blamed Poldi for leaving Cologne for greener pastures after his hometown club was relegated at the end of the 2003-2004 season but he stuck around and helped the club in its promotion to the first division a year later by scoring 24 goals. When Bayern managed to secure his signature ahead of Liverpool and Real Madrid in 2006, they had high hopes for the rising star of German football. However, he failed to impress, and requested to leave in 2008 after being unable to hold down a starting position at the Bavarian club. Cologne’s fans raised some of the money to bring home their son the following summer.

Podolski’s second stint at the Rhine club got off to a slow start but really took off last season when he scored 18 goals in 29 league appearances as Cologne battled relegation unsuccessfully. He was playing the best football of his life according to many German football analysts and looked ready to take the next step in his career. Germany coach Joachim Low said “He’s ready for a move abroad now” in February.

Today, I’ll be joined by Chris of @GermanGunners (site and twitter) who will provide us with insight on Podolski and how he thinks the German forward is an excellent signing for Arsenal.

1. What was your initial reaction when you heard Podolski was joining Arsenal?

My initial thought was, finally good striker who can take the goal burden of RVP.

2. How much of an impact do you think his departure will have on Cologne?

The impact will be and already is massive. He was their best player all year long. But even he couldn’t prevent relegation. Cologne had to sell all their experienced players and switch to a youth system for this season. They had a bad start to the new campaign with only one point out of six. So the upcoming season will be very hard for them without these important Poldi goals.

3. What are the strengths and weaknesses you have observed of Podolski? Both on the pitch and off it.

He’s a quick physical striker with a scent finish. He is also a great team player and you can compare his fighting spirit with that of Wilshere or Liverpool’s Gerrard. Off the pitch he is the funniest guy in football I know. He is always good for team spirit.

4. How did Podolski grow as a player while at Cologne and at Bayern?

He was bit young when he went to Munich. He learned a lot in his time in Cologne as he had to lead the team and was the main man in Cologne.

5. How do you think Podolski will fit into the Arsenal team?

He will play up front possibly on the left flank. He could also sit behind a central striker in the central midfield position. With RVP probably leaving, he will link up with Giroud.

6. How do you see Podolski coping in England and the Premier League?

He will have no problems as he is made for the English game. He’s physical and will not be bullied around.

7. Podolski and Per seem to be quite close from their time playing together for Germany. How do you think this relationship will help in Podolski’s adjustment to playing outside of Germany for the first time in his career?  

It’s always good to have a guy to turn to for problems. They are good mates. But he learned to manage stuff on his own and speaks some proper English.

Again, I would like to thank Chris for his contribution to this blog and look out for Parts 2 and 3 on Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla in the coming days!

I’ll leave you with a snippet of Poldi’s other ‘talent’. Enjoy!


@goonerathena


Knackered

Posted: January 5, 2012 by lpgcast in LPGCast
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The best word to describe the performances during the holiday season.

Download via iTunes or Listen Below without leaving the page.


Hope you’ve had a lovely holiday so far! Have a Happy New Year, and join us next week in 2012!

Referenced in this podcast:

http://www.ashburtongrove.co.uk/2011/12/mertesackers-performance-against-wolves.html

http://news.arseblog.com/2011/12/arsenal-1-1-wolves-by-the-numbers/