Good morning Grovers! After 4 days out it was exciting to return to a sum total of no news on the transfer front. Top work Ivan and the gang! That said, at least the no news included no movement on Robin Van Persie leaving for sunnier climes.
Just before I crack into it, I was away at a festival this weekend. As I was wading through the mud this between venues, I noticed a man lying on his back in thick mud. He had two people either side of him. As I approached closer, he was drinking a can of Red Stripe… I looked down and he’d snapped his leg in some sort of dance move malfunction. That’s how you deal with a serious injury people.
Footballers don’t know they’re born…
Anyway, back on topic. Arsenal are supposedly interested in taking ex-Vilareal wideman Santi Cazorla to the Emirates on a deal worth £15million. Massive money you’d have to say (can I caveat that with – for Arsenal / for a player over the age of 25). Apparenlty we were interested in him last year but shirked at the asking price. This time around, we’re apparently taking him off the back of some weird goings on at Malaga. From what I understand, they’re owned by a mega rich Sheikh who won’t cough up the money he owes players in back wages and the clubs in transfer fees. Shifting on Cazorla will clear those debts in one hit.
It does make you wonder what the hell is going on at Arsenal though. Why do we need another wide man? Maybe that means we’re flogging Theo onto Liverpool or somewhere like that. You’d have to say, if we pick up the Spaniard on a relatively cheap deal, we’ll have a quite an attacking line up next year.
FORGET THE 49 GOALS WE CONCEDED THEY’RE NOT IMPORTANT.
I read with horror Wenger’s quotes on Diaby being the man who can shape up our midfield next year. It just goes to show, he never learns from him mistakes. It’s a ridiculous yet predictable decision to make. It’s like Wenger is trying to distort reality in some way.
1) Diaby has the worst fitness record at the club. How Wenger can gamble a season on him being fit is beyond me. He’s averaged a total of 20.2 games a season over the past 5 years. The manager really has some nerve risking a season on him being ok.
2) When he does play he’s hardly a world beater. His decision making is poor, he dithers on the ball and he’s prone to massive lapses in concentration. It’s not like we’re awaiting the return of Patrick Vieira.
Someone at the club said I was harsh on Diaby a few months ago. It’s that type of mindset that seems to creep into the managers thought process. You need to be ruthless with players. This is sport, the players are highly played, if they have no use in your squad, don’t keep giving them chances because even if they do come good for one year… what did that prove? You just wasted 5 waiting for it to happen.
Jack Wilshere returning to the first team is a huge boost (end of August if the Independent is to be believed). Again, we shouldn’t overstate his talents at the moment. He’s still a kid and he still has a lot to learn, but he’s an asset to the teams mentality and he’s a tough tackling dynamo who can make things happen. Our midfield still feels very short of power and defensive discipline.
I guess a lot of next season appears to be wagered on Steve Bould bringing some discipline to Wenger’s ways. Kyle Bartley thinks he’s already having an impact…
“It is fantastic – already in training you can see the influence Steve is having,” he said. “I think for defenders and the whole defensive unit it is going to be a massive benefit.
“Having Steve with the first team could be as big as any signing this summer.”
I’m sure having the steely discipline of a George Graham pupil will impact what we do. The question I have is around the desire of the rest of the squad to listen and take accountability on the pitch. I’ve still got question marks over many of the players and their passion to be the best. You don’t sense there are a lot of winners outside 14 or so players. Generally last season that was where things tended to fall down for us. If Steve can inject that bit of drive, that little bit of fear into the starting 11, maybe we can kick on. It’s massive ‘if’ though… that said, we’ve all been in situations at work where you go from working with someone who isn’t really interested to someone who is focused and motivated. The difference can be astounding… let’s hope Steve has the magic touch.
As for shifting on players, well, things haven’t gone so well yet. Nik Bendtner is still wrestling with Madrid and Barca in his head. I think he’ll end up going to Galatasaray as from a far, they kind of look like Barca. That move is taking a while. Johann Djourou still hasn’t found a new club and some of the other fringe players seem to be working their way back into contention. Chamakh is one of those who wants to see out what I believe is the last year of his contract with us. The only conceivable benefit of this I can see is that he’ll be on a free next year. Generally there’s a correlation between the fear of no one wanting you at the end of this time period and a upsurge in performance. His time with us has been a forgettable one. A player clearly in the game to support his penchant for holidays in America and shisha pipes. He lost all credibility with me when he moaned he was tired in January (2010). A pathetic excuse for an athlete.
As for the Robin Van Persie rumours, well, they just keep getting more and more boring.
‘Mancini fuming City board haven’t done a deal for Robin’
‘Juve ready to offer £190k a week’
Boring, boring, boring.
Just sell him and let us crack on with the season. If he’s willing to head out to Italy and see out his days, more fool him. A poor league tainted with corruption. If he wants to go to City or United, he should have a word with his agent and ask why they think he’s worth such pittance. Whatever happens, we need to sign a decent replacement and we need to make that deal happen quickly with all the proceeds of the sale.
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Right, I think that’s it for me today… have a good one, see you in the comments!
UPDATE: Koscielny signs a new deal. A welcome bit of relief!