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Wenger to reveal future plans "next week"


Looks like they are finally dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on Arsene Wenger’s contract extension, as according to the official Arsenal.com website, Le Boss today told journalists, “You will have some news next week.”

The feeding frenzy that caused among the assembled sports hacks at Wenger’s weekly press conference led him to add, “At the moment I cannot tell you more.”

But when pushed on whether it would be good news for the Arsenal faithful, Arsene tantalisingly added, “There is nowhere better in the world [than here] that is why you come [to talk to me] every week. But I will tell you more next week.”

For weeks now the boss has just used the word “soon” when he has been quizzed about when he would make a decision on his future. However, everything Wenger has said about his role at Arsenal has indicated he will extend his contract, which runs out next summer, as he is keen to develop the next set of youngsters coming through the ranks.

Speculation has Le Boss signing a two or three year extension, worth in the region of £3 million per year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if his new deal ties him in for a longer spell, with an option to move up the ladder to board room level with a director of football role within four years. I also would expect Wenger’s represenatives to have written in an ownership clause, allowing him to move on if Arsenal changes hands and he is unhappy with the new regime - although those details are obviously something we won’t be told about.

Got an opinion on this story? Then get it off your chest by using our comments section below

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Posted by Gordon Masson on August 31, 2007 5:18 PM in News
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Transfer activity... Simpson goes to the Den on loan


Arsene Wenger said on Tuesday that there would be “no in, no out” during the transfer window, but there’s hope yet for those of us looking for a big name player to join Arsenal, for this afternoon the club released youth team skipper Jay Simpson to Millwall FC.

The 18-year-old Simpson has been farmed out on loan to The Den until 1st January, with the League One side delighted to have secured his services.

“Jay is a very promising young player, quick strong and aggressive, who will add something to our squad,” said Millwall gaffer Willie Donachie. “I'm very pleased that we've managed to bring Jay in and we will remain on the lookout for one or two more experienced players.”

Simpson was a regular for Arsenal Reserves with 16 appearances and two goals in 2006/07, a season that also saw the forward captaining the Under-18s side which reached the Semi-Finals of the FA Youth Cup. In that same competition Jay cemented his place in the Club’s history books by scoring the first hat-trick at Emirates Stadium in the quarter-final victory over Cardiff City.

A mere seven hours to wait to find out whether there will be any new players heading into Emirates Stadium this weekend. Don't hold your breath...

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Posted by Gordon Masson on August 31, 2007 4:51 PM in News| Players| Transfers
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Do Arsenal really need any new signings?

Only a few hours remaining and as yet, no signs of any imminent arrivals at Emirates Stadium.

Given Arsene Wenger’s recent comments, it is unlikely there will be any new signings before the close of the transfer window at midnight tonight.

In recent years, it has become apparent the top clubs feel they need two players for each position at least. Maureen over the at the Bridge was always harping on about having a complete set of four wingers when he had Arjen Robben, Damian Duff, Joe Cole and Shawn Wright-Phillips all under his command.

Wenger, although having never stated it publicly to my knowledge, indicates he thinks likewise.


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Posted by Mo Khan on August 31, 2007 2:43 PM in Players| Transfers
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Vote Bergkamp for Hall Of Fame recognition

Thanks to Pies reader Dan Budden for reminding us about tomorrow's BBC Football Focus programme, which is launching a text vote to decide which players should be inducted into the National Football Museum Hall of Fame. Dan, along with all of us at Arsenal Pies, is anxious to make sure as many people as possible vote for Dennis Bergkamp.

Other nominees in the Football Focus poll include Paul Scholes, Sir Trevor Brooking, Ray Clemence, Len Shackleton and Ray Wilson.

If DB10 gets the nod, the Dutchman would join fellow Arsenal legends Herbert Chapman, Arsene Wenger, Alex James, Ian Wright, Liam Brady and Tony Adams in the Hall of Fame, which was established five years ago.

The Focus team will certainly be getting a text or two from me, as Dennis is my favourite player ever to pull on the shirt and the fact that he remains a fan, with his own box at the new stadium, makes him even more of a legend in my eyes.

During his decade long career at Highbury, Bergkamp netted 120 times for Arsenal and was a major contributor in our two League and FA Cup double seasons, the Invincibles season and remains the only player in history to win 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in Match of The Day’s goal of the month award for his hat trick against Leicester in the opening month of the 1997-98 season.

Arsenal Pies will keep you posted on the appropriate details for the text vote when it is announced.

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Posted by Gordon Masson on August 31, 2007 1:58 PM in News| Players
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So Dein's back? What's all the fuss about?

Today, as you no doubt will be aware, is transfer deadline day.

It is also the day after the Champions League Group Stages draw was made in Monaco, with Arsenal pitted against Sevilla or AEK Athens, Steau Bucharest and Slavia Prague.

Yet this morning’s papers are dominated by yesterday’s other major news concerning the Gunners: David Dein is back. And he he’s brought a couple of friends with him.

Alisher Usmanov, a 53-year-old Uzbekistan-born Russian oligarch and Farhad Moshiri, an Iranian-born UK citizen have teamed up to create Red & White, a holding company of which Dein has been appointed chairman.

Dein, whose abrupt departure from the Arsenal board in April this year set the wheels of a takeover in motion, sold his 14.58 percent stake in the club to the duo for £75m.

The response to this news has been varied. Some, like the Sun’s Steven Howard, think this latest twist in the Arsenal ownership race is good news for the Gunners and their fans alike.


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Posted by Mo Khan on August 31, 2007 1:15 PM in News
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Eduardo - your Man of the Match against Sparta


It was a very close vote, but our new Brazilian-born Croatian striker Eduardo Da Silva came out top in our Man of the Match poll for the midweek Sparta Prague game.

Eduardo's contribution included netting Arsenal's third in the dying seconds of the game, as yet another example to those who leave early that, well, they just shouldn't. His tenacious runs kept Sparta's defence on their toes all night, while he showed some great touches which have us all eager to see more.

According to the Polldaddy count, Eduardo pulled in 34% of your votes - narrowly ahead of the 30% for teenage sensation Theo Walcott, who played his best game in an Arsenal shirt so far and set up Tomas Rosicky's 7th minute opener with a fantastic cross that devastated the visitors' back five.

I've confessed here before that I'm not Theo's biggest fan, but even I had to admit he played well, in the first half at least. I think he faded away in the second 45, where his crossing once again let him down, but the fact that he was getting past players to even swing in those crosses was a positive sign.

Cesc Fabregas came third in our poll, with 15% of your votes, which isn't too shabby for a player who came off the bench midway through the second half. Eduardo's brilliant run and clever pass to set up Fab 4 with his 82nd minute strike, no doubt contributed to your decision in voting him as the game's best player and it's reassuring to see that the 24-year-old isn't just a poacher, but can play the role of provider as well.

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Posted by Gordon Masson on August 31, 2007 12:15 PM in Champions League| Players| Poll
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Poll: Do you think a change in club ownership would be good for Arsenal?

Speculation is rife that our former vice-chairman David Dein is putting the various building blocks he needs in place to launch a full takeover bid for Arsenal Football Club.

As we reported here yesterday, Dein has sold his 14.58% stake in the club to a company called Red & White Holdings, which is owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov and his London-based business associate Farhad Moshiri.

With the company admitting that it intends to build its stake in Arsenal, many observers believe that Dein (who is Red & White’s chairman) will now buy out the 12.2% stake in Arsenal acquired by American billionaire Stan Kroenke earlier this year. If that were to happen, Red & White would control nearly 27% of the issued share capital in Arsenal, making the company the club’s largest single shareholder.

If Red & White were to amass more than 30%, stock market rules could force them to launch a full takeover bid for the company.

The current Arsenal board owns a combined 45.45% of the issued share capital of Arsenal Holdings and those directors have agreed not to sell their individual stakes until at least next year.

However, that of course means there is 54.55% of the club’s 62,219 shares in general circulation, making any takeover attempt a very real prospect now.

Arsenal’s largest shareholder remains Danny Fiszman, whose 15,000 shares represent 24.11% of the club. Fellow director Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith has 9,893 shares (15.9%), while Richard Carr owns 2,722 shares (4.4%). Arsenal chairman, Peter Hill-Wood’s shareholding of 500 shares accounts for less than 1% of the company, while the remainder of the board - Keith Edelman, Ken Friar, Lord Harris of Peckham and Sir Chips Keswick - account for less than 1% with their combined holdings.

With those facts in hand, we thought we’d ask you, the ordinary fans, what you think about David Dein’s latest chess move. So we’re urging you to take part in our poll, the technology for which is run by the wizards at Polldaddy.

Simply select the statement you feel best sums up your thoughts about Arsenal falling into foreign ownership and click Vote. We’ll give you the weekend to mull it over, before publishing the results on Arsenal Pies early next week.

Want to do more than just vote? Then use our comments section below as a forum to exchange your views with fellow Arsenal Pies regulars around the world

If you’ve enjoyed feasting on Arsenal Pies then you’ll love whoateallthepies.tv, the best source of football news, views and gossip in the blogosphere!

Posted by Gordon Masson on August 31, 2007 11:00 AM in Poll
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