Sometimes, as an average fan of football club, you wonder to yourself... what are the players thinking?
Whenever they come out in the press, they're pretty quiet about their wants and needs when it comes to the squad. You rarely get a straight answer. It's all rather boring. That's why Sagna and his radio interview last night was absolutely fantastic to hear. He's just like us. He wants new signings, he recognises the weaknesses and that gives me hope!
It sounds like after his interview with us, he's been reading a bit of his favourite Arsenal blog (Le Grove, he told me).
“We want more players to come to the team. Lukas Podolski has arrived already and he is a German international and a quality player."
“M’Vila can make a great impact. I’m not sure about his English but it took me time to learn. But I think he would suit us as well. Arsenal is a French-speaking team and it will help him settle."
Now, you'd have to imagine that playing in the same national squad would mean they have a relationship of sorts. I can't believe he's saying these things without an inclination of what's going on behind the scenes. But he's right, a player of M'Vila's quality is exactly what the team needs. Someone who actually wants to protect the back four. Someone with agression and pace.
He also touched on the nightmare scenario we have every season...
“If we had not had so many injuries then I think we would have gone closer to winning trophies this season.”
Now, I know there are plenty of people who every year cite a bout of injuries as the reason we haven't won a trophy. Now, at the start of every season, I write something along the lines of...
'It's not injuries that kill your season, generally speaking, it's not having a squad that can cope that is the problem'
Sure enough, that's what happened again last year. We had one striker all year. Luckily we dodged a bullet in the sense that he was on fire. That said, when he was clearly tired and we were chasing games, we had no alternative to bring on. Robin tailed off towards the end of last year. He was physically and mentally exhausted. Who wouldn't be after the year he's had. In defence, we didn't really have any proper options with our full backs. Kieran Gibbs and Jenkinson are a long way off being the right standard for Arsenal and Santos seems to have fitness issues. So when the injuries start coming in, we really were in trouble.
This summer, we need firstly create space in the set-up. Players that should be easy to shift on are Carlos Vela, Nik Bendtner, Park (because I don't believe he's on a massive wage) and possibly Chamakh. I think the Moroccan is getting to the point where if he doesn't play again next year, he'll not be able to get a contract the year after. £75k a week looks nice now... not when you've got to take £15k the next time around. Nik B and Carlos V just want to play. Threaten them with reserve football next year and they'll go. Park is Korean, they have a tremendous work ethic, I can't imagine his nation will be too proud of him if he opts for the bench again. Those 4 players should bring in at least £15mill and give the boss £250k a week in wages to work with.
The problem players are going to be Denilson because I can't really see any team that would take him on. He's not particularly talented in any position and his attitude is questionable. Squillaci is too old to leave a massive deal. I'd pay him off. Why wait? JD could be a problem as well. Given game time, he could easily slip into another top 8 team. Is he a wage collector or a professional footballer? I hope he has some love for the game if the club want to move him on. Fabianski is another one who might be trouble to move on. That said, at least he has potential.
If we can make an impact on that list. We can go out and sign 3-4 quality players. Giroud, M'Vila, Kagawa and a back up keeper. Throw in someone like Hoilett and a decent back up centre back. Well, we're in a very strong position come the new year. We're in a position where there's competition all over the park. Jack will be coming back into the fold. Chamberlain will get more chance to show his talent off. We'll have a fit Arteta, we'll have a fit Mertesacker and hopefully we'll have a returning Sagna. We'll also have the right blend of youth and experience.
On the Robin Van Persie front. I don't have any inside track, what I was told is pretty much what you all know on the situation. Everyone is in the dark at the club, I don't even think the player has a clue what he wants to do. So there's still hope. I personally can't see who'd buy him. He's a great player who has proved he can bang goals in over one season. How anyone could justify the fee and salary that is being talked about is lost on me. Stay Robin... sign on and become a legend!
Interesting that Jan Vertonghen reckons Spurs are his first choice. He's their first choice because Arsenal's interest in him is luke warm at best. He's blaming the Ajax asking price for a hold up in the move, it's salary though and I guess it's linked. He wants a big salary which he won't get if Ajax want a big fee. Catch 22...
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Right, I'm off to give myself the almightyist of British sun tans. Have a great day, I'll see you in the comments... from the mobile site obviously.