So we’ll kick the morning off with a final word over the sexism stuff. Today, the Sun newspaper went with a hit piece on Richard Keys wife being sexist on page five, turn to page 31 and there is a double page spread of 10 sexist jokes, asking the readers which ones are acceptable (an excuse to print sexist jokes) and then hidden somewhere in the back there is an article about a jobless scumbag who beat a cat, threw it from the 11th floor of a building and let it die over 15 agonising minutes.
I know which I found more shocking, a shame we live in a society where an off air remark about the offside rule will curry more debate.
Anyway, we’re where we usually are in January. Wenger needs to make a signing, he’s needed to make one since December and surprise, surprise, there are simply no players anywhere in the world!
Unless of course they are under the age of 20. We never seem to have any problem picking those boys off because 1) They guarantee you a resale value 2) We’re the Real Madrid for young men.
We all read yesterday that Ian Holloway takes a cut of any transfer surplus he creates across the year. Not something I have a problem with usually. We’ve told you for ages that Arsene Wenger is bonused in a similar way and I think once again he’s proved it with the type of player he’s been signing and the inaction so far this winter.
That for me is where his bonus scheme is wrong.
Firstly, he’s not earning £250k a year like Ian Holloway. If that man is taking a cut of transfer profits, fair play, if he was sacked tomorrow in a heap of shame, his salary wouldn’t have secured him for life. Wenger is on the best part of £6million a year already. Surely he doesn’t need a further cut of transfer profits? Surely a club with ambitions as big as Arsenal’s should be telling him what he can spend because the CEO is intelligent enough to know that figure won’t bankrupt us, then bonusing him solely on what he achieves on the pitch.
Arsenal fans pay more than anyone to see their team play football. We’re one trophy position better off than we were last year and arguably, we haven’t played better, the teams around us have just got worse. We are unlikely to get a better chance of the league, we need a centre back, the coach is once again showing an ineptitude for signing players that hit his bonus and we’ll once again giving ourselves an uphill battle to make our mark.
Alex Song has been tremendous so far this year, under no circumstances should he be asked to drop into central defence.
1) He’s not good enough in that position
2) Denilson is not good enough to cover him
3) It could destroy his confidence doing what he’s doing at the moment
Hey, all of the above might be completely wrong. Wenger might surprise us with Gary Cahill or Chris Samba over the weekend. If he does that, regardless of how they adapt, no one will be able to accuse Wenger of not addressing the issues.
However, if history is a gauge, there is an awfully real chance that he’ll bank on the poor Squillaci coming back and then he’ll head into the next 3 months with just 3 centre backs. All the more perplexing as we know full well that JD’s fitness is about as reliable as an iphone 4 alarm clock. All the more worrying because I remember the centre back calamity we went with at the Camp Nou last year.
I find our weakness in the transfer market embarrassing. Almost as embarrassing as sending a girl a smutty joke picture message using an M&S sausage as a prop, only for her not to realise it was sausage. That was awkward. Did I not learn anything from Keys and Gray?!
In other news, I think I owe Geoff a bit of an apology. Sometimes he comes out with some stuff when we’re at football and I think , ‘ Geoff, you do talk some madness sometimes’, but more often than not, he gets it right, one of these times was his insistence that Jack Wilshere could become our new defensive midfielder. Well, low and behold, Fabio Capello has come out and said something very interesting,
“Wilshere is better technically than Makelele. He’s slower than Makelele but when he receives the ball he is more dangerous than Makelele,” Capello told the Daily Telegraph.
“Wilshere is the best young player. He now plays all the time with Arsenal. If you play with Arsenal, you are a really good player because Arsene Wenger likes good players.
“I think he’s mature enough to play this role. He’s a really interesting player.
Well, well, well… I didn’t see that one coming. It’s interesting because Jack seems to relish the fight more than the creative side of the game. That’s not to say that he isn’t very good at picking out passes, because he is. I see him more as an Alonso with balls type of player.
Capello also took time out to address his mistake of leaving Theo at home.
“He is playing how I remember when he started to play with us. It was a tough decision leaving Theo out for the World Cup.
“He is one of the players after the World Cup I thought about a lot. I made a mistake not selecting him.”
I’m not so sure I agree here. Theo has been very disappointing for a number of years now. I’m glad he was dropped from the World Cup squad. He’s worked on his fitness, he’s more motivated than ever before and he’s found his shooting boots at long last. The confidence in his game this season is incredible compared to last.
Just before I go, I thought it was interesting that Blackpool were fined for making 10 changes to their starting line up against Aston Villa earlier in the year, yet Arsenal make 8 changes against Wigan, drop points and no one says anything. Neither team should be fined for utilising their submitted squad, but it does go to show you that sometimes big club fear from the league bosses is real.
In fact, it’s the same for everyone. Commentators openly say on Sky,
‘The referee was probably justified not giving that penalty, could you imagine Ferguson at half time?’
Sorry, if Ferguson shouted at me and I was as big as Howard Webb, I grab him by the shirt and pin him up against the wall and demand a pay rise. Why should it be acceptable for a manager to shout at anyone, especially a match official that’s on the pay roll?
Ferguson is the King in the world of Premier League and I think it’s outrageous certain clubs have decision go their way because of how they operated. Anyway, that’s a different blog for a different day.
See you in the comments!
P.S. Two things. No I don’t have any tickets to the Carling Cup Final and if you are a Arsenal blog writer and you want to talk about us even if it’s to slag us off, a backlink would be common courtesy.