At the time of writing, there are just three, yes three days, count them, only three days to go in the transfer window. I am of course, not the manager of Arsenal and there is probably a good reason for that, but in my opinion we still need two players signed in those three days. This is on a par with how I tended to deal with University assignments. Now, Arsene Wenger is an educated man and he looks like the kind of guy who would get things done ahead of time – he just doesn’t seem like someone who doesn’t plan and ad lib’s his way through life. So this leaves me confused – why the hell is he leaving this so late? Is it for the adrenalin rush? Is he a performer who likes to keep his audience guessing?
Last week, a few people took it upon themselves to criticise me for my low assessment of Emmanuel Eboué. For anyone who saw the Fulham game, it would be fair to say Eboué was the better performer of the two central midfielder’s. But that is somewhat of a moot point because Dr Stephen Hawking, wheelchair and all, would probably have been the standout in that midfield pairing alongside the nightmare that was Denilson. Now, i’m sure Eboué is 100 times the football than I, or many people will ever be, but to be heading into a top flight league game as one of the contenders for the league title with him in the midfield is a clear indication that not all is well at the club. I doubt there are many sides in the Premier League who would choose to start him at the heart of their team, and sadly the point I was trying to make last week has been laid bare for every Gooner to see after the debacle at Craven Cottage.
There are certainly more questions than answers that have come out of the weekends match, a few of which have been answered with our 4 – 0 overnight thrashing of Twente in the Champions League qualifier. But I thought i’d use this weeks column to just throw some of these out there:
- Which position does Arsene Wenger see Alex Song as playing? Last week he mentioned the names of Diaby, Denilson, Ramsey along with Song as contenders for the midfield, yet brought him on at Centre Back in place of Touré. In his 12 or so minutes he actually looked reasonably good, adding to his displays at the tail end of last season where he started to prove himself to the doubting fans (myself included). But with Denilson playing as poorly as I can remember an Arsenal player in recent history, why then did he not throw him on into the midfield alongside Eboué?
- On that note, and as discussed on a few other blog’s this week, if Arsene isn’t prepared to throw on Ramsey or Wilshire when those on the pitch are struggling, just what is the point of having them on the bench? If he intends to give them a run only when we are 3 or 4 goals up, then it would seem to me that the squad is alarmingly light on numbers.
- Just how well regarded is Djourou? Is Song now ahead of him in the pecking order? If after a loan spell and a few chances to push for a spot in the first team, he isn’t considered good enough to even be third choice, why are we holding on to him but letting Senderos move to Milan on loan? And why did we send Senderos on loan and replace him with an injured 31 year old who isn’t likely to be fit until mid-September? When we have a long injury list and a recent history of players failing to recover to schedule this seems a risky move. If Gallas or Touré were to injure themselves seriously, we would be left with Song or Djourou to start in the back line – neither of whom were considered candidates even for the bench until recently.
- Will Van Persie and Adebayor gel as a front pairing? Until Bendtner came on late in the second half, it seemed like an awkward union up front. Meanwhile the promising pre-season form of Carlos Vela hasn’t been enough to get him any game time in the league. I’m not sure if he was injured or just not available to be selected but either way, with Eduardo out until later this year, to only have one player on the bench with any Premier League goals to their name (Bendtner) is a real worry. Alongside Ramsey and Wilshire was goalkeeper Fabianski, Kieran Gibbs and Johann Djourou. Yes we have injuries but why fill up the squad with players you don’t trust? Arsene only made two substitutions on the weekend, which is strange considering how poorly he felt they had played. Obviously despite the new seven man bench, we really only had a few players with any realistic chance of getting a game.
Has Arsene been caught out with his transfer plans?. It seems Wenger was confident of signing Gokhan Inler, even to the point where he announced he was hoping to have someone in by Wednesday. Unfortunately that transfer didn’t go as planned, and with Steven Gerrard injuring himself, the chances of Liverpool releasing Xabi Alonso seems more unlikely than ever. Arsene had talked about how financially speaking it was better to wait until later in the window, but I wonder if our obvious need for a midfielder after the weekends performance, will actually drive up the price from any club who knows how desperate we have become.
Still, perhaps all is not lost. I don’t believe it is a coincidence that as soon as Fabregas was fit to play, the team clicked and put 4 goals in. Certainly if we can keep Cesc fit, and with Rosicky to return, I don’t think we are in danger of dropping into mid-table mediocrity like some trigger happy Gooners have suggested. I wonder if it is legal to field Cesc covered in bubble wrap each week?
By Paul Wright – Allgoonerdup roving report
‘Thomas – it’s up for grabs now’ – Where was you?
As part of this season and trying to tie in with all the 20th anniversary shenanigans of that famous last minute championship win, allgoonerdup.com is doing a ‘JFK where was you moment’. But obviously the moment we’re doing is – ‘Thomas – it’s up for grabs now’ moment. Every Gooner knows where they were when that goal went in and we’re going to publish your tails. The idea is do one Gooner’s piece a day, so get amongst it and send your emails in via the contacts page and mark the subject line ‘Thomas – it’s up for grabs moment’. I’ll be doing some sort of fancy graphic and that just to give the piece some ‘air play’. But get your emails in and hopefully we’ll get the ball rolling next week with your ‘Thomas – where was you moment’.
Win a new tee…
That’s right you can be the owner of this spanking brand new bit of kit ‘The Joy of Cesc’ from our Online Shop.
All you need to do is tell us, and keep those eyes peeled people because we’re changed the question, on what famous 1970′s book is the tee ‘The Joy of Cesc’ based on? Simple? Great – now get involved and let us know your your answer, name, address and t-shirt size via the contact form and mark it ‘T-shirt competition’. Lovely, job done.
60 Second Round-up
Majority share holder Danny ‘Diamond Geezer’ Fitzman says we’ve got a shedload of cash if Le Gaffer wants to spend it. I’m not sure about the statement ‘if he WANTS to spend it’ Wenger needs to fecking spend it. I really don’t see us challenging for the title or Uefa Champions league trophy unless we add to the team. I’m not getting carried away with out win against FC Twente. Don’t get me wrong Gooner’s I’m not being all ‘bah humbug’ but the Dutch side are about on par with a League Two team, we wouldn’t exactly get excited about caning one of those teams now would we? I think it’s plain to see especially after the Fulham debacle we do need strengthening as when our first choice players are out we’re desperately thin on the ground.
Le Gaffer has promised us a lot in the past, even as last season was ending he promised to keep the team together. Now I’m not going to have a go at him there, Wenger hasn’t got control over players if they really want to leave, so that is completely out of his hands. But he can address what needs to be done, lets hope he does it. The money is there, go and spend it. It’s not as if it’s going to do us any good having money in the bank when we need ‘quality’ players on the pitch. Not sure about you Gooner’s though but I’m not holding my breath to see what players Le Gaffer will (or wont) bring in. I’m not sure why I’m not getting excited but Le Gaffer has promised a lot in the pass and hasn’t delivered. I hope that’s an old Jedi mind trick and Le Gaffer brings in a world class player!
We are Arsenal