Plenty on the agenda this morning as we kick into 4th gear heading into the final straight of this long, harsh and very boring transfer window.
Before we jump into that, Wenger and Arteta have been defending the striker situation we’re in. As I mentioned before the Stoke game, if we failed to score, people would start pointing out the obvious.
‘You miss Robin’
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that any club on the planet would miss a player of Robin’s stature. He’s the best in the business at the moment. He’s at the peak of his powers and Arteta was pretty straight up in highlighting this.
“You can’t replace Robin,”
“It doesn’t matter who is brought in. United went for him at the age of 29. What does that say? There aren’t many bigger talents in the world. To replace Robin is impossible because he’s a special player.’
Logical and on the money. There is no one in the Premiership who could replace what he does and there is no one in Europe who could come in and deliver straight away. We’ve gone out and signed the best in Ligue One and one of the most consistently prolific in the Bundasliga. We’ve also tried to improve their chances of scoring by bringing in a creative midfielder who might go somewhere near to matching what Cesc offered us before he left.
On Arteta, isn’t it refreshing to hear his no-bullshit interviews? Apparently he’s as straight up and honest in the dressing room. I’m hoping he imposes himself more on the dressing room this season and by all accounts, it sounds like he has so far this season.
Wenger made a few good points. Why are they good points? Because I’ve made them in my last two match reports.
‘The understanding was missing. One month ago Cazorla and Podolski did not know each other. There is work to be done on the training ground. There is potential, but something is missing.’
You can’t expect electric football in a month. Last season, you knew you couldn’t expect it all year. It didn’t happen. This year, I think we’ve got the players who can strike up some exciting football. I don’t think it’s going to be as intricate as the 2008 team. I think it’ll be more direct and I think we’ll see more variety in the types of goals we score. The Steve Bould impact so far seems to be less full back foraging. They’re only going forward when completely neccessary, which takes something away from our attack, but hopefully, moving forward, it’ll give our midfield more confidence. If we score slightly less goals but concede a shed load less, then we’ll improve our points total.
More rocket science for you.
In the transfer market, all the journalists are being whipped into a frenzy by player agents. Last year I spent the transfer window with a guy from the BBC. His phone was non-stop… every agent you could imagine was calling him with little bits of info designed to stir up the interest of other clubs. That’s why I’d recommend you don’t get your hopes up about everyone. If someone is being linked, take that as ‘the player is interested in moving’… but don’t take it that we’re interested in buying.
The hot names are M’Vila, who I’d suspect is in an ABS (anywhere but Spurs) mindset. Two clubs are in for him apparently… however, I have my doubts that it’s us. Only because he’s clearly been available all summer and we’ve had a need since Song left… and we’re still shirking a bid. The other rumour that is gathering pace is the Cabaye one. This makes sense on many levels. Firstly, he’s a very solid centre midfielder according to all the Toon fans. I’ve never been blown away by him, but that’s because I’ve always watched him expecting him to be like Cesc. He’d be our Sahin… except we’ll have bought him. Pardew said if Newcastle sell, they’ll have to buy. So Newcastle are prone to an attack from a big club. How big would the bid have to be? One suspects around £17million would do.
We’ve also been linked with some centre backs who can play right back. The Mirror reckons we’re out the race for Mbiwa because Napoli and AC Milan are in for him. Not sure how that works? That’s like saying Mila Kunis is off my radar because Vannessa Feltz and Jo Brand are buying me a Peroni at the bar. Thank the lord The Sun realise this and they say we’re trying to sign him along with Chelsea. I like his name as well. Not as much as I like the name of Angel Rangel. The Swansea right back who can play centre back (he’s 29). So one thing is clear, we’re looking for a centre back who can play right back.
In other news, Malaga are said to have Chamakh 19th on their list of players to bring in on loan. That’s great news. If we shift Chamakh on, expect us to make a move for a striker. Whoever it is will be third choice, so expect us to be raiding that Mongolian Sheep Herder league for that ‘special talent’ Wenger has been talking about. Nik Bendtner is doing a good job of attracting zero interest in his skills. Juventus have thrown him on their shortlist. They’re doing a good job of moving away steeply from the marquee signing of Robin Van Persie that was there to announce them back on the scene… to a player Sunderland shunned. Push comes to shove though… I’d rather Nik B as third choice than I would Chamakh. The only risk you run there is him having a great season and then going at the end of it.
In injury news, we should have Koscielny fit for the next game. Then after that, a steady stream of important players should roll back into the side. Expect to see Rosicky and Sagna back in the fold after the international break. I know celebrating the return of Rosicky is weak, but he was a performer last year and he is certainly capable of shaking up a game. Jack Wilshere is working really hard in training, so expect to see him in October. Once we have those three back, there will be some serious competition for places, especially if we make a successful impact in the transfer market this week.
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Anyway, where do you think we should buy and who? Let your thoughts be known in the comments…