So loads of debate raged on the interweb yesterday about Cavani. One minute we’re sniffing around the dustbin of Europe for a diamond that accidentally slipped in after the Sunday roast (see that clever City reference there?), the next, rumour of a £30m signing hits the web… and everyone is entirely certain it could happen.
Why so certain? Because a website reckons City didn’t bid for him last summer and the Napoli chairman is a bit of a liar when it comes to, well, everything.
Now, it might be true that you could land a player of Cavani’s talent for a decent price. You know, a proper market price, like, say, £30million. On top of that, you have to accept that players who consistently score 30+ goals over 4 years command big wages. You’re easily looking at £150k a week for a man of the Uraguayan’s talent. He’s going to be 26 this year, he’s on for his last big deal. Why would he command any less? He’s playing for a team who are top quality. They’re third in Serie A at the moment. Napoli are a Champions League team and when he plays in that elite competition, he scores. So it’s not like signing a Fellaini here… you’ve got a ready made weapon.
Last summer, he was my number one replacement for Robin Van Persie. He’s agressive and nasty in the same way Suarez is. He can sniff out a goal from anywhere and he has a fantastic mix of pace and power. He really is out there as one of the stand out strikers in Europe. We could afford him, no problem. We’d have to offload some deadwood, but we could definitley absorb his salary and transfer fee without a problem.
Trouble is, this is Arsenal we’re talking about. The story hit the web, the journalists took it to Wenger… and he teased.
“I like him as a player,”
Ahhh… he likes Cavani. Kind of like the guy running the local chip shop saying he likes Mila Kunis as a woman.
‘Will he cost a lot of money? That’s for sure. Nobody would deny that. Our banker lives just next to me at the moment and he is ready if we find the right player.’
The tease… ‘we’re in for BIG MONEY players, so don’t fret Gooners’
“We can spend the money that we have decided to spend if it is for a player we think gives us a plus. But I do not want to speak about Cavani because we have not made an inquiry for him.
No inquiry? But Twitter said a bid was launched?
“You speak about Cavani … Napoli are playing for the championship and the Champions League [places] in Italy. What is the interest of Napoli to sell Cavani? None. Unless you come there and say, ‘OK, we pay twice the price of what the player is worth’.”
The justification. The reality. The truth. It was all an exercise in spin.
‘We can strengthen everywhere,”
“You can come out of any game and think [that]. We gave away cheap goals against Manchester City [on Sunday]. At the moment, it is more important that the team remains focused. If we find something, we will do it.”
So what have the clever people at Arsenal achieved here? The same thing they managed last year. The creation of breathing space for Arsene. It’s Cavani today, last year it was Eden Hazard… how many times have we been here with the promises? Now 90% of Arsenal fans who can’t follow history will look to the summer… they’ll think Wenger has it sussed this time around… they’ll snap up all those season tickets, only to be hit by the same process we go through every year.
- The promise of change
- The acceptance of mistakes from the previous season
- The hyping of the war chest
- The lack of action
- The hype of the youth
- The average age of the squad
- The pearler about this being ‘the best squad ever’
- The reality that you’ve just been duped… again
At the end of the day, you never find something if you’re not looking. It’s apparent that Capoue is one of the hottest properties in France, he has had the most touches in the league, from what I’ve been told his performances and stats outside that last one are exceptional. He’s available… Simple fact is that there are lots of players available who could add depth and quality to our squad. We’re just not interested. That win against Swansea will serve as temporary vindication and we’ll most likely roll on without bolstering. If we do, I’d imagine it’ll be a last gasp snatch at someone we probably haven’t targeted. Whatever we do, it won’t be enough. We’re 21 points off for a reason… and it’s not one player.
Finally, a pretty sharp reminder to me, as to why I wouldn’t want David Dein back at the club in anything other than a Chairman type role.
“People have got short memories. They seem to forget what Arsene has achieved for the club,”
“Arsenal is respected around the world and much of that is because of Arsene with the results and the players he has brought in and developed.
“People underestimate him. He has transformed the club. He has done a phenomenal job.’
“I always used to call him the miracle-worker. He waved his magic wand and he delivered.’
“But it’s getting tougher because the competition is getting stronger’
We don’t need to bring in Arsene Wenger’s friend. We need to bring in someone who is modern. We need to bring in someone who can be the David Dein of 20 years ago. Someone who can do what he did, but younger. The board needs fresh blood. We need progress, not to fall back to what worked in yesteryear. The problems at the club don’t stem from David Dein leaving… they stem from not evolving and kicking things up to the next level when he went. Great companies don’t dwell on sentiment, they strive to create a new history. Arsenal need to create a new successful chapter with new people with fresh ideas.
Right… have a great day. Drive and walk safe. The snow is outrageous.