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Who do you want Arsenal's first choice strikers to be?

As you can see from the above poll, I've given you the choice of every possible permutation for the existing strikers in our first team squad, so you can have your say in who should partner who up front for the Gunners this season.

I've left in Emmanuel Adebayor because there's still no definite news on whether he's departing or not, but even if you were to take Manu out of the equation, if our forwards can avoid injury then the options open to Arsene Wenger are pretty sweet.

Personally I think the Adebayor and Eduardo partnership worked best last season, as Eduardo was responsible for the Togolese striker hitting his richest seam of form and it was noticeable how much Ade-cool's goal ratio eased off when the Crozilian's season was so cruelly ended...


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Posted by Gordon Masson on July 22, 2008 9:17 AM in Poll
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Should Arsene Wenger battle to hang on to Adebayor?

I have a really simple poll for you today.

Following the ludicrous statements that have been coming out of Emmanuel Adebayor's mouth in the past few days, I've heard a lot of talk among fellow Gooners about what they think of the Togolese striker.

Some fans think he's playing a crafty game to squeeze a bit more out of Arsenal for his wages. Others think he's being a typical greedy player who is ready to dump the club that have helped make him the player he is just to jump ship to a team whose owners pay silly money to players who quite often don't get a game.

For those of you who haven't kept up to date with Ade-cool's words of wisdom, he held a press conference the other day to state that he's happy as an Arsenal player and he wants to stay. However, just a few hours later he was telling journalists that he hadn't made a decision on whether to stay, but that he'd make up his mind next week, with bids from AC Milan and Barcelona expected for the striker.

I'm resisting the temptation to lay into him purely because the 30 goals he netted for the Gunners last season was the most any Arsenal player has had in a single campaign for three years. Undoubtedly he has become an important player for the Gunners, but as we've seen in the past, no player is bigger than the club and I can't see Arsene Wenger being too happy about the mixed signals coming from the 24-year-old.

So should Arsene accept a £20 million-plus bid for the African forward? Should Le Gaffer agree to a pay rise and fight to keep Manu at Emirates Stadium? Or perhaps you're just beyond caring. Vote now or forever hold your peace

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Posted by Gordon Masson on July 1, 2008 10:12 AM in Debate of the Day| Poll
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Which Euro 2008 star would you like to see at Arsenal?

It's a slow news day, with the 'is he or isn't he' saga of Samir Nasri's transfer to Arsenal dragging on and the newspapers still insisting that Alexander Hleb and Emmanuel Adebayor have played their last games for the Gunners.

Until Arsenal confirm anything, I remain sceptical about any and all transfer rumours, but as I said, it's a slow news day, so I thought I'd give you lot a bit of fun by giving you a few names to mull over.

All eight players have been linked with potential moves to the Emirates Stadium during the Euro 2008 tournament and with Spain in such good form, it's not difficult to see why a quartet of their players - Dani Guiza, David Villa, David Silva and Raul Albiol - feature on the list.

Le Gaffer has spoken of his admiration for Russia, so it's no surprise that I've included Andrei Arshavin, while French hitman Karim Benzema has been associated with a move to the Gunners for a couple of years now.

Rounding out the selection are in-form German striker Lukas Podolski and French midfielder Jeremy Toulalan, who is regarded by some as the next Patrick Vieira, although given his nation's poor tournament, if Le Boss did make a move for the Lyon player I'd imagine he'd not want to part with too much cash.

Anyway, I'm sure you lot will tell me if there's anyone else that you reckon should be on the list, but in the meantime, get voting for who you'd most like to see Arsenal sign.

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Posted by Gordon Masson on June 25, 2008 8:31 AM in Poll| Transfers
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Your vote: Cesc Fabregas was Arsenal's player of the season

Yeah, I know, it's not the most shocking headline of the season, but it's confirmation that Arsene Wenger's work on developing a Spanish teenager into one of the world's best midfielders by the age of 21, has proved successful.

A couple of weeks ago I asked you Pies readers who should be the Arsenal captain next season and your resounding answer was Cesc Fabregas. So it's hardly a surprise that it was Fab 4's name that came top in our Player of the Season poll too, with a whopping 41% of the overall votes.

As usual, Cesc is being linked with big money moves to Spain during the summer, with the usual candidates of Real Madrid and Barcelona being touted as his new employers. However, it also sounds like Le Gaffer is ready to offer Fabregas a new big money deal with the Gunners - perhaps extending a contract that is already the longest in the Premier League.

Cesc signed an eight-year deal to remain a Wenger player in 2006 and while there is still a long long time remaining on that contract, the controversial Webster ruling effectively means that he could buy out his deal at the end of next season, so speculation about an improved contract for the Spaniard could be spot on...


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Posted by Gordon Masson on May 20, 2008 8:44 AM in Players| Poll
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Poll: Who would you crown as Arsenal player of the season?

The season is over and although it ended a little disappointingly, Arsenal enjoyed a much better campaign than any of the pundits predicted we would back in August.

We finished just four points behind Premier League winners Manchester United, compared to being 21 points off the pace last season, while our goal difference increased from 28 a year ago to 43.

We'll never know for sure, but had it not been for one fateful afternoon against Birmingham, when we lost Eduardo to a horrific leg injury and then had a highly dubious penalty given against us in the final seconds, the season could have ended so differently.

At that point Arsenal were at the top of the table, Eduardo was beginning to score for fun (he scored a dozen goals in 22 starts) and I've no doubt at all that he would have notched 20-plus if he had remained injury free.

However, there's no point crying over spilt milk, so I've whittled down our first team squad to a selection of nine of our star performers this year....


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Posted by Gordon Masson on May 13, 2008 9:21 AM in Debate of the Day| Players| Poll
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Poll: Who was Arsenal's Man Of The Match against Sunderland?

As predicted, it was an experimental Arsenal side that lined up to play against Sunderland in the North East yesterday, with Arsene Wenger taking the opportunity to try out different personnel both in defence and midfield.

Lukasz Fabianski was again given the task of being the custodian of the goalkeepers' gloves and he was called into action within seconds of kick off when Carlos Edwards let fly with a vicious drive from about 20 yards out.

Apart from a few minor slip-ups, however, the back four of Johan Djourou, Alex Song, Philippe Senderos and Gael Clichy coped well against the Black Cats who rarely threatened the visitors' goal.

In what was hopefully a sign of things to come, Theo Walcott added to his goals tally for the Gunners, with his seventh goal of the season being the only strike that mattered in the final game of the season, although substitute Mark Randall wrongly had a goal chalked off in what was his Premier League debut...


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Posted by Gordon Masson on May 12, 2008 11:57 AM in Match Report| Players| Poll
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Poll: Who was Arsenal's Man Of The Match against Everton?

A 1-0 victory over Everton on Sunday ensured Arsenal kept their home record intact by riding out the season without losing a single game at Emirates Stadium.

The tempo of the match resembled something akin to an exhibition match, but it had one significant highlight, when Arsene Wenger introduced Jens Lehmann with 20 minutes still to play, giving the big German stopper his final appearance in an Arsenal top. And the reception that was afforded Mad Jens was truly fitting, as he has been a great servant to the club.

The traditional parade by the first team squad following the final whistle also saw Mathieu Flamini appear on the pitch, just hours before his announcement that he has signed a four-year deal with AC Milan. The antics of his fellow professionals as he walked the lap of honour made it obvious that the Flamster was leaving and unfortunately there were signs that Alexander Hleb might also be saying farewell, although that transfer saga may also take some time to resolve.

On the pitch, Everton should be given some credit, as they brought the game to the Gunners and Lukasz Fabianski had to be on his toes to make some smart saves before his team mates began to find their rhythm...


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Posted by Gordon Masson on May 6, 2008 7:36 AM in Match Report| Poll
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