Arsenal Depot

A depository for musings on Arsenal FC

Cazorla Close, Szczesny Speaks, Nimble In Nigeria

Without further news on how Malaga intend to sort out their finances by today’s Spanish FA-imposed deadline, hope grows that Arsenal’s pursuit of Santi Cazorla could come to a successful conclusion within the week. The club are rumoured to have agreed personal terms with the Spaniard and are awaiting approval from Malaga whose current owners are apparently looking to sell the club.

Along with rumours of Nuri Sahin’s loan move, Arsene Wenger seems to have identified creativity in midfield as the main area for reinforcement. While all the talk prior and post-Euros was about a defensive midfielder, Yann M’Vila in particular, it’s clear now that the focus will be on improving our options going forward. It’s hard to argue with that analysis with Wilshere and Rosicky injured, Diaby’s fitness a doubt and Ramsey not on top form.

The danger though is in building up expectations too much. Juan Mata’s chase last summer hit the rocks as soon as Abramovich arrived on the scene with an open cheque book. As close as Cazorla’s deal looks at the moment, Malaga’s owners have the capacity to put together a financial package to bail the club out. Let’s not count chickens yet.

Arsenal returned home from the Far East yesterday with Arsene Wenger hailing the tour as a great experience. Although the travelling and weather made it tough for the players, tours like these present opportunities for the team to bond. Speaking to the club website, Wojciech Szczesny alluded to squad solidarity, believing Arsenal will be stronger this season especially with the arrival of Podolski and Giroud.

Arsenal’s number one also hailed the immediate influence of Steve Bould and confirmed what we all suspected – Arsenal are working on improving the defense.

We’ve done a lot of [defensive] shape work in training, work on when we lose the ball and a lot of defending on crosses. It’s all very sharp as well. Steve likes to shout at players and keep them on their toes – so it’s looking positive.

As noted on many sites in Goonersphere, our defensive problems are not related to individual players but more with shape and structure without the ball. A lot of work requires to be done in training and it is unrealistic to expect instant results. A complete overhauling of our defensive system or a change of mindset could be counter productive, so the best we can hope for is a gradual improvement as the season progresses. In the meantime, I am afraid a few more soft goals will be conceded before the tide turns favorably.

As one tour party returned to London, a smaller contingent made their moves in Lagos. Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski are in Nigeria taking part in promotional activities. From the looks of it, Bacary’s leg seems to have healed pretty well. We also got an opportunity to see Lukas smile for the first time in an Arsenal shirt while Per answered criticism of his lethargic movement by making some smart dance floor moves. Hopefully all three will bring that nimbleness to proceedings come 18th August.
As this blog enjoys a good readership in Nigeria, it would be nice to hear from readers over there how they perceive this flying visit. Do post your thoughts.

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29 thoughts on “Cazorla Close, Szczesny Speaks, Nimble In Nigeria

  1. Candid gunner on said:

    Yea,, the Nigeria contingent were met with great enthusiasm!
    I bet arsenal recieve no such support anywhere in the world as Nigeria. I stand to be corrected! That said, we can’t wait to have a full squad of arsenal play on Nigerian soil. COYG!

  2. Candid gunner on said:

    By the way, it’s 10:23 am in Nigeria.

  3. Seun Olusola on said:

    We Gunners fans in Nigeria were very elated in seein our players on our soil.They learnt AZONTO dance 4rm 1 of Nigeria dance queen Kaffy.Up Arsenal!

  4. from Nigeria with love…. we feel really glad seeing them do the azonto dance … Up Arsenal.

  5. phillable on said:

    its a great develpment

  6. Nigerians loves arsenal

  7. Salami Kehinde on said:

    Hello there, you’ve got a nice article. We enjoyed the visit of the Arsenal pairs to Nigeria, just wish the whole teams are here. Nonetheless, i can’t wait for August 18, need to see my darling Arsenal play again proberbly with Cazorla. Till then

  8. Charles on said:

    Nigerians Support,Love and Cherish Arsenal

  9. I am not only a fan of Arsenal FC. I’m addicted to the club, the history, the ups and downs etc. I’m a Gooner 100%. I often tell people I don’t follow football, I follow Arsenal. So imagine how I felt when I saw the ‘dancing trio’ in Lagos (Nigeria). It gives me more pride and a greater sense of belonging for something as trivial as seeing ‘Nigeria’ on the club’s website. Hopefully our trophies fortunes will change this season and I will keep these memories, not only because its been a while we had silverware. But beacuse that year Arsene’s Red Army came to my house….Arsenal Forever….

  10. babatunde Adedamola on said:

    It’s really good to see the 3 arsenal players here in Nigeria. It shows how arsenal fc cherish their fans over here. And it’s also good to see our players danced with our dancing specialist kaffy. Bravo Arsenal Fc

  11. Ollya1 on said:

    Arsenal z d best team truout d globe. I really luv heard dat,our able players are in Obodo Naijja datz d gr8 1 4all ARSENAL FAN in Nig.

  12. Humble lion on said:

    Arsenal enjoys a gr8 deal of support in Nigeria, we gunners are very happy nd proud that de trio visited our country nd learnt how to dance azonto dance.We love arsenal.

  13. gbemikovic on said:

    Waoh nice since arsenal players in nigeria I can’t wait to see the full squad on the pitch in nigeria soil up gunners

  14. GUNNER BOB on said:


  15. Steve on said:

    Live in Benin City, NIG…It was fun watchin poldi and sagna do τ̲̅ђε̲̣̣̣̥ azonto and I wish we can get dis Cazorla nd Sahin bizness settled plus we also need a good defender as our defence is stil a problem…It does nt matter hw many goals we score as long as our defence is fragile, we can not win any trophy….Can someone let me know the position that poldi is gonna play?

  16. Dayo adetokun on said:

    Sincerely i was elated seeing the trio on Nigeria soil and perform the popular azonto dance….What more do you want from a great club than silverwares and loyalty to fans worldwide….We’v got the loyalty aspect,now we want the trophy.Gunner 4 life

  17. kuti kazeem on said:

    Its nice to see our super star around! Up Gunners Arsene Wenger should sign more players! Make us proud.

  18. Izam Ezekiel on said:

    It’s a grt experiance having dis guyz here in lagas, as d world is aware dat Nig. Is blessed with millions of faithful gooners, it’s really nice 2 knw dat d club hav taken notice of dis n prospos a tour it’s just grt. We are having fun dem here. It will b great 2 c Carzola joining us!

  19. pius on said:

    though not full squad, we are glad the trio came. nigeria is the biggest arsenal fan base in the world. one thing though the is loosing so much revenue in sourvirniers. the fakes are all over the place from asia. God bless arsenal.

  20. am d most happiest person in nigeria,seein my chilren visitin me at home as baba gooners,as a fan 4 Over 40YEARS GOOONERS 4 Lyf.

  21. samson on said:

    i luv it.d dance our gr8 arsenal playaz were dancin is called ‘alanta’.it was rili gud cin dos guyz in nigeria.all arsenal fans in Nigeria rili appreciate it.God bless arsenal playaz,God bless Arsenal fans,God bless Arsenal FC and God bles my gr8 country NIGERIA.

  22. solomon on said:

    so great 2 have dem in our country. Hope they contribute 2 our succex dis season. Wish dem injury free season. Up gunnaz!

  23. Wooow seeing these guys in Lagos made me feel like I was at the Emirates;it was a big day for us Arsenal fans

  24. Heritage on said:

    Without mincing words, d visit pays dividends to both supporters n d players. The supporters enjoy for the first time, close contact with some of our stars n it’s a new experience for the players that come especially Podi who alwayz put up a smile often.
    Overall, it’s a nice experience though we missed seeing all of them playing with our national team.

  25. It is a good campaign but Arsenal FC should endeavour to make up dat match nxt yr.Its a great one and we are happy.Up gooners

  26. I was not opportuned to witness the visitors from our darling club but going by what i read on the pages of newspapers, it was great while it lasted. It is a signal of great things to happen at Emirate and the trophy shelves. Great!

  27. okechukwu nwokolo on said:

    i will like to knwow if mertesacker will adapt to premier hard tackling.

  28. Eigbedion Jonas on said:

    Wow, good to hear that. We jst hope they have a good time here in 9ja(nigeria). And we also hope to see them make more commitment to our club by winning trophies 4 us this season.

  29. allboyz on said:

    From Nigeria with Love (Arsenal LOve) Glad to see the 3 Arsenal Players here.. Awesome feeling., Proud to be a gooner!

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