van Persie joins “we need quality” brigade – Hamburg confirm Bendtner interest
Written by Jeff Patterson on July 13, 2011 9:00
Robin van Persie has admitted that any new signings this summer are “more than welcome,” and that he thinks Arsenal may need to take a new approach to the season if they want to end their trophy drought.
“New signings are more than welcome,” said Van Persie.
“Every other team is buying quality players so hopefully we will do the same. I think so [you need to invest to keep up]. If everyone is doing something you need to do it as well.”
Speaking about ending the Gunner’s six-year trophy drought, Robin felt the team needed to hold a bit back in the first half of the season, to save some energy for the home stretch.
“Maybe we can focus more on the stage of February onwards, that’s where it went wrong over the last couple of years. Maybe we can focus on that period. Most of our players will be fresh from now until the start of January. When you want to win things, the season actually starts at the end of February. That’s when we need to play better or do things a little bit differently.”
Obviously Van Persie speaks for a lot of people when he says that he hopes to see new signings to help Arsenal keep up with the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City. What I found much more interesting was the acknowledgment that perhaps the squad should start taking a different approach to the season, after several different times where Arsenal has stumbled in the home stretch.
It’s a great point to say that the season really starts in February for teams that are seriously in for trophies. If Arsenal can get out to a fast start then find a way to put in “cruise control,” maybe they will have a bit left in the tank for the home stretch. Two of the top four last year, United and City, seemed to do that pretty well. United especially was able to maintain a steady pace throughout the whole year, and rode their impressive home record and so-so away record all the way to the title.
If there is any one single thing that I think Arsenal need to do this next season, they need to make Emirates a fortress again. Last season’s 4 losses at home; to West Brom, Tottenham, Newcastle, Aston Villa… Arsenal finished 12 points behind Manchester United in the table, 12 points that would have been Arsenal’s had they beaten those four teams that, let’s be honest, you would expect Arsenal beat comfortably at home.
Draws at home to Sunderland and Blackburn account for another 4 points, making it 16 “easy” points that Arsenal dropped at home. Even if you take the Tottenham loss out of the equation, that would still be 13 points dropped to mid-table or lower teams AT HOME last year. 13 points added to Arsenal’s 68 points earned last season would be 81, putting Arsenal one point clear of Manchester United. That say’s it all really. Make Emirates a fortress, and Arsenal are that much closer to the title.
In a bit of transfer rumor, Bundesliga side Hamburg SV confirmed that they are interested in Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner, who was left out of Arsenal’s preseason Asia tour in order to secure a transfer deal. However, Hamburg director Frank Arnesen has admitted that the German club would need a “small miracle” to sign the want-away 23-year-old forward.
“We need more creativity in our offense. A midfielder with quality would be good for us,” Arnesen told Hamburger Abendblatt. “Bendtner would be a real dream, he is a very interesting player.”
“He can also play as an attacking midfielder behind the attacker. But it would almost amount to a small miracle for us to get him. There are two other clubs who have made Nicklas an offer and we are unfortunately not in that position.”
This comes on top of BBC Sport reporting that Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund are not interested in Bendtner. So apparently Bendtner has generated some interest after all. That is good news, the sooner Arsenal can move him on, and deposit the check from the transfer fee, the sooner everyone involved get on with things.
Arsene Wenger can always use a little extra financial firepower, and between this sale (if Arsenal get the 9m they are asking) and Gael Clichy’s, that would so far cover this summers signing’s of Gervinho and Jenkinson.
We shall see where this goes from here, but it’s good news that at least some of Arsenal’s summer business is progressing as fan’s had hoped it would.