Archive for the ‘The Chocolate Leg’ Category

Many are already hailing the Santi Cazorla signing as the deal of the summer, but what a saga it has been. Don’t get me wrong – I am quite excited to see him don the red and white like every other gooner this season. He’s long been hailed the best player outside the La Liga duopoly of that club and that other club by Spanish fans and will somewhat fit into the Cesc shaped hole left in our squad since the summer of 2011. That’s how special of a player he is.

Cazorla started his professional career at his local club Real Oviedo before joining Villarreal months before turning 18. He worked up the reserves side at the club and made his first team debut for the side in November 2003. The following season, he joined newly promoted Recreativo on loan and pulled the side to a historic 8th placed finish in La Liga. He was proclaimed the Spanish player of the year 2007 by Don Balón after his brilliant performances that season. His return to Villareal the following season saw him help the club place 2nd place in La Liga ahead of Catalan giants Barcelona (07-08). When Real Madrid approached him for his signature in August 2008, he publicly rejected their advances:

“There are many other things in football besides Real Madrid. It’s clear that it is possible to say “no” to them. There is no doubt that they are a great team, but I also feel very satisfied and valued at my club. I hope I can continue growing at Villarreal because I am young and I’m only starting off with the national team.” (HITC)

However, when newly rich Málaga came calling in the summer of 2011, Villarreal found it difficult to turn down the €21M they offered for his services. Villarreal had to compensate for the huge debt they had accumulated and the Spaniard was seen as a more expendable asset than the club’s other star player, Giuseppe Rossi. This was also a record signing for Málaga and by far the biggest deal of the 10 signings they made that summer.

Senna, Villarreal’s captain, compared his departure to that of Villarreal’s finger being cut off. But it was worse than that. The departure of Cazorla ripped out Villarreal’s heart and sent them to the 2nd Division at the end of the 2010-2011 season. They felt the blow even harder when he helped Málaga qualify for the Champions League the following season. Despite this, Cazorla wanted out of the club. Player wages went unpaid during the campaign and promises made by their new owners and management were broken. Cazorla was one of four players (van Nistelrooy, Rondon and Mathijsen the others) who threatened to make a formal complaint against Málaga to the Spanish FA in July.

When Arsenal showed an interest in the crafty midfielder earlier in the summer, Cazorla consulted former Gunners Robert Pires and Cesc Fàbregas over the transfer and was encouraged by what he heard.

“Robert played with me at Villarreal. He knew about the rumours of me coming here and always encouraged me to sign,” he said. “He told me it was a very good club and I was going to enjoy London, the city, and the move.

“The same with Cesc Fàbregas. He said this was a big club and that I was going to be very happy here, he said I would adapt easily. And I can feel that.” (Guardian)

The midfielder has 45 caps for Spain to date and was a member of the squads that won the Euros in 2008 and this past summer.

Today, I’m joined by Málaga resident and Arsenal fan Robbie Ducker (@RobbieDucker) who has followed the Cazorla saga closely.

1. What was your initial reaction when you heard Cazorla was going to join Arsenal?

I was very excited (sad from a Málaga point of view) because he is probably the most naturally gifted player in La Liga outside of Madrid/Barca.

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

I think it will be a huge loss for Málaga because he was at the center of most their attacks. I hope someone will step up and fill his shoes (maybe Isco). This is like Arsenal losing Cesc or RvP. He was clearly their best player and influential in them achieving Champions league football.

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

His strengths are his passing, his creativity, his pace, two footed, he would get past players with ease and leave them chasing shadows and he’s also a set-piece specialist. I remember watching Málaga vs Real Madrid, and it was level until Santi scored a brilliant FK in the 90 min to win it. His biggest weakness is probably that sometimes he would try to do too much on his own.

4. How did Cazorla grow as a player while at Málaga?

I think he’s become more versatile as he can play in most position in the midfield. At Málaga he played on both wings, the CAM position and even as a DM on occasions.

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

Very well. He’s a Spaniard and plays like one. Passing is very important to him, which will suit Arsenal’s passing game very well.

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

He’s small so might struggle with the physicality of some teams. But when Arsenal has the ball (which is most of the time) he will be fine and will control the tempo of the game just fine.

7. How do you think Cazorla’s relationships with Arteta and Pires will help in Cazorla’s adjustment to playing outside of Spain for the first time in his career? 

I think his relationship with them will more help him in living outside of Spain for the first time, because on the pitch he will soon be regarded as one of the best in the EPL.

Thank you for joining me on this series. I would also like to extend my thanks to the three people that have contributed to the blogs. If you have not read parts 1 and 2 of the series yet, they are as follows:

Part 1: Lukas Podolski

Part 2: Olivier Giroud

Bring on Sunderland! UTA

Follow me @goonerathena =)


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.” (

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. 😎

(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



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!


A to Z: Football’s headline makers of 2011

Posted: January 1, 2012 by kbashisms in The Chocolate Leg

My friend @cpncortez and I did a blog post over at the acclaimed A Football Report.

It is an overview of the year’s biggest headline makers in the world of football. From Balotelli to Wambach, we’ve covered got your A to Z covered.

To check it out, click here. I hope you enjoy it!

The Century Man

Posted: September 26, 2011 by kbashisms in The Chocolate Leg
Tags: , , ,

Arsenal actually won a game and kept a clean sheet this weekend. You can’t tell that from glancing at my Twitter timeline or reading the vast majority of Arsenal related stories that have been in the news since yesterday. The media and gooners alike have seemingly returned to the masochistic slump they had been in for most of the past 8 months and their poison of choice this time seem to be the following quotes from Arsenal captain and the club’s newest Century Man, Robin van Persie. When asked about his contract renewal talks, he responded:

“I’m happy with my contract, I’m good. That’s how it is, I can’t say much more. I can’t look into the future. It’s not only about me, it’s about the team. I don’t want to give the wrong message to speak about my own stuff while the others are a bit more important, especially now. I can’t see we are talking now because we are so busy. We have games every three or four days. I don’t think it’s clever to do that during the season.” – The Guardian

Is it clever to talk about contract negotiations when the club is in the situation it is in right now? After the most inauspicious start to the season since Wenger has been in charge, it is no wonder the captain would want to deflect from any talk of his future. This is a time to focus on the squad and the long arduous season ahead. Although it could be deemed as unrealistic to speak of a title challenge at this point, being 9 points behind the Manchester teams, it would be foolish to write off Arsenal’s chances in securing a top 4 position at the end of the season. That is something I (and I’m sure most of us) would take gladly if handed on a platter right now. Unfortunately, that is not how the world works. Finishing in the top 4 is no longer something we can take for granted. Blood, sweat and tears have to be shed to pull it off. This is something Robin clearly recognizes.

The Dutchman still has two seasons to go on his current contract on which he is reportedly being paid 70,000 a week, 20 grand less than what was reportedly being offered to Nasri by the club in his new contract negotiations this past summer. Considering the Dutchman’s contribution during his time at Arsenal, 70K a week sounds to be a reasonable amount of money for a player of his class and calibre especially when you factor in his extensive injury record (Damn you Dutch DNA!). Who knows how much his weekly pay would be now if he was actually fit for most of the past 5 seasons?

This is something we gooners love to speculate on: “What would Arsenal have achieved if Robin had been around for most of the season?” Fortunately for us, we did manage to get the semblance of half a season out of a fit Dutchman last year. During a period of time when it seemed most of the rest of our squad took an early start to their summer break, Robin kept our chances of Champions League football alive. The striker scored 26 goals in 31 games in 2011 at a rate of one goal every 100.3 minutes of playing time. To further illustrate the magnitude of this, the league’s top scorers Berbatov and Tevez scored 20 goals last season. Robin scored 18. He also set a new Premier League record by scoring in 9 consecutive away games between January 1 and May 22. In addition to his club tally, he scored 6 times for Holland during the calendar year.

Considering how our summer panned out, it is understandable that anxiety levels are rising as some of our players are nearing the end of their contracts in the next few years (Walcott, Song, and Vermaelen being the others who will need to be drawn into negotiations in the next year or so). Arsene is no doubt going to avoid another Flamini or Nasri situation and aim to have them tied down to new contracts by the end of next summer. And yes, this is in addition to dragging our team out of the abyss of the bottom half of the league table and into the top 4.

Additionally, anxieties have not been calmed by the news that Robin’s new agent is the infamous Darren Dein. Dein is no stranger to the Arsenal faithful and is the agent behind some of our recent scarring departures – Cesc, Nasri and Clichy. He was also a good friend, best man and agent to one Thierry Henry who he helped leave for Barcelona back in 2007. Even though this detail is a cause for Arsene and the board to worry about these upcoming contract negotiations, it is also important to note that Robin’s situation is different from Dein’s other clients.

Firstly, Henry was nearing the end of his peak form and was led to believe that the Arsene could leave the club after the departure of David Dein when he opted for the sunnier climes of Barcelona. This is speculation Arsene has firmly squashed recently when doubts were raised again about his own future at the club. Although many fans were sad to see an Arsenal legend leave at the time, most understood it was for the best for the club and the player. Much of the same sentiment was felt when it came to Clichy’s departure. Although he had left the club accomplishing much less than Henry had, the vast majority of fans and clearly the club felt it was best for him to just move on.

As amicable as the Thierry departure was, the Fabregas saga on the other hand was fuelled with much speculation and outrage from both fans and English and continental media. I’m fairly certain half the Amazon had to be torn down to provide for the rags that kept that story spinning for the best part of three years. The prodigal son wanted to leave. He wanted to go back home. This is something that Arsene recognized when he was asked about Robin’s situation this weekend. His eventual departure this past summer marked the end of an era and has set the club on a completely different path when it came to signings.

Nasri’s departure, on the other hand, generated a level of fury and venom I hadn’t seen since Adebayor left for City. The parallels between those two players and the way their transfers panned out are quite remarkable when you look back on it. It is also interesting to note the similarities between them and Robin. All three were termed ‘difficult’ and temperamental when they first joined the club but most were convinced that a manager like Arsene Wenger could get the best out of them. And that he did.

Young RvP in an Arsenal kit

However, unlike Nasri and Adebayor, Robin has matured greatly from the temperamental boy who had been kicked out of the Excelsior youth system. Even current Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk (who was his coach during his tumultuous years at Feyenoord) has been singing his praises. Robin himself has called Arsene his second father in numerous interviews. After all, the man had given him the chance to prove himself in one of the clubs of his dreams (the other ironically being Barcelona – VIDEO). He has recently been quoted saying that the only club he would ever leave Arsenal for is Excelsior, where he would play his last years before retiring.

“The really top players aren’t fooled by riches or fame because they are fully focused with their football. It isn’t easy. Sometimes a certain amount of nonchalance can creep in and everywhere in the world you see it goes wrong when players start playing casually.” – Express

He has also been vocal about his disapproval of policies used by clubs like Man City, Real Madrid and the ilk. After all, this was a man who had taken his girlfriend and now wife Bouchra to McDonalds on their first date!  Robin van Persie is Arsenal and Arsenal is him. This is, after all, the club that kept their faith in him through what he described as being some of the hardest years of his life and he has done his bit in repaying this faith in the last 10 months. Not only does he lead by example, he is also vocal both on and off the pitch. From giving Diaby an earful for picking up a careless card during half time at the Blackpool game last season to the now famous bust-ups with Vermaelen and Arteta. It is impossible to deny that he is passionate about the club and we sometimes get a glimpse of the feisty teenager he was back in Rotterdam.

I know it’s too idealistic to believe that despite all this we can still count on Robin to sign a new contract with us. It will after all possibly be the last major contract of his career. He wants to be part of side that is competing on all fronts and winning trophies and unfortunately he is not a part of such a team at the moment. The club has to recognize that to keep its current stars, they will have to make the right signings. And quick. As Robin himself said, “If my street is clean enough, then I am happy. I am not like that. I want the whole club working well, not just my street. Otherwise I will work on my serve and play tennis. Or ping pong, or darts.” (Daily Mail)

As supporters, there is not much we can do to affect player negotiations and continuing to feed into the media driven hysteria that has surrounded the club for much of this year does no good for anybody but the rags. So the next time you have the privilege of watching the Arsenal, sing as loudly as you can and ensure the team that you are behind them 100 per cent. After all, Robin van Persie “play(s) for love, not money”.

*Credit for the statistics goes to Arsenal’s statistician Josh James and the good folk at Opta.

Follow me on twitter – @goonerathena

Chamakh L’Equipe Interview Le Twist

Posted: August 9, 2011 by kbashisms in The Chocolate Leg

Early Tuesday, Chamakh was interviewed by French news channel L’Equipe. This video clip has the full interview with the striker on the “Foot and Co” show and his views on Fabregas, Nasri and Arsenal’s transfer activity this summer. The interview was conducted in French and since many of us are not fluent in the language, we have asked Pauline (@_superbanane) to help us come up with a comprehensive translation of the interview.

It will be interesting to see how the English and Catalan media manipulate Chamakh’s quotes in Wednesday morning’s papers. Some of it has already started via the infamous Barcelona based twitter account @barcastuff which is claiming that Chamakh slammed Arsene numerous times in the interview, something which he clearly did not do according to the translation and video clip.

Link to the tweet

The Translation:

Who is going to leave Arsenal? 

Chamakh: I don’t know. I think both of them are likely to leave (Nasri and Fabregas) but I don’t know, the situation is embarrassing for the manager. I don’t think it’s a matter of money especially as it concerns Fabregas. It’s more that Arsène is looking for his successor but can’t find him. Before he can release them, he wants to find good replacements. That’s the real problem in my opinion. The season is starting this weekend so it’s embarrassing.

Marouane, didn’t you suggest him to sign Gourcuff ?

Chamakh: I could have suggested Gourcuff to him but Arsene is the man in charge and he’s the one to make all the decisions.

You’re saying both Nasri and Fabregas could leave. But how is Arsenal going to cope with those departures?

Chamakh: I think the club can release only one of them, and I’d say Cesc because he has wanted to leave for a couple of years and we all know he comes from Barcelona. Samir is in different situation. He would leave for his own sake because his contract runs for another year and if they don’t sell him now he’ll be able to leave for free next season. So it’s kind of embarrassing for the club.

Yes but he doesn’t want to sign another contract. So it’s a matter of money, since he’s asking for exorbitant wages.

Chamakh: Yes, kind of. Well, I don’t know, I’m not part of the negotiations but all I know is that if they don’t manage to extend his contract, he’ll be free at the end of the season. Could the club give up on £20m to keep him for this season? Yes, maybe.

But would it be wise? Look, Bordeaux did the same for you but I can’t see Arsenal losing Samir for free when they could get £20m, knowing Cesc could leave as well. It’s complicated.

Chamakh:  Yes. Well, I would love Samir to stay and he could be a key man for the team. But it’s really weird that a club like Arsenal finds itself in such a situation, having players with only one year left on their contract and not managing to make them sign another one. It’s a very delicate situation.

From the interview, it seems that Chamakh is referring to the Nasri situation to be “embarrassing” to the club. This is a sentiment that is shared by many of the club’s supporters who have expressed frustration at the club’s inability to tie down the Frenchman to a new contract and most, if not all supporters would rather sell him this summer for a decent price than lose him on a free next summer. It is also important to note that Chamakh states that he does not think Arsene and the club will sell Fabregas or Nasri unless they can find adequate replacements for them. This indicates that the club probably does not feel Ramsey is adequately ready to take over Cesc’s role and may be looking for a replacement externally.

Although some might say some of these comments from Chamakh were unnecessary considering the situation the club finds itself in right now especially with regards to the Fabregas and Nasri sagas, they do give us somewhat of an insight into the state of mind of one of our players. I highly doubt Chamakh knows precisely any of Arsene’s or the club’s transfer plans and he even states that this is what he thinks will happen. It is important to keep that it mind when reading any of the sensational headlines these quotes will no doubt generate in the media.