How’s it going people? You good? You totally pumped? I hope so…
I’m not sure how much news there is today. I feel like the news outlets don’t have much to work with, so they’ve started taking calls from agents looking to push on their clients.
Giovinco, of Juventus notoriety has hit the radar… the 26 year old attacker has been mooted as a possible option to replace Theo in the short term. He’s 5 foot 5, so I can’t imagine he’d be a striking option, but out wide, his ‘low centre of gravity’ could help us. I can’t say I’ve watched him that much over the years. I can tell you he’s played hardly at all this year. It’s a hard gig at Juve at the moment, they’re loaded with attacking talent. Last season, he made 33 appearances, racking up 16 goals and 6 assists.
What I have deciphered from some serious Grimantubing is that he’s a hustler, he’s like a footballing ferret, he’s a tough player for someone so small… obviously he comes with Italian perfection on the technique front and he’s very good with the ball at his feet… he can also go round players from a standing start… something Theo isn’t exactly gifted at doing. I think, from my three minute assessment, he’d fit out style. I’m guessing the lust for leaking his availability to the press is that he’ll want to go to the World Cup. Taking on an talented player with a massive point to prove isn’t the worst idea…
… at least someone could ask Viviano why he keeps crying at training.
It is interesting reading around the web. There’s a certain section of the fanbase that like to justify inaction in the transfer market. One person latches onto a concept or an idea. Asprilla to Newcastle killing their title chase is a favourite being peddled at the moment. Now, I don’t want Arsenal to head into a massive mistake and sign someone with fascist ideals who might upset the tone of the squad. However, what is clear is that the squad is creaking. The idea that we can wing it for another 6 months is fanciful. If we’re suffering fatigue related injuries in December, that won’t let up if we don’t add more players to the mix.
We’ve lost Theo Walcott, we don’t really have a back up for him. Gnabry is a talent, but he’s 18 years old. Chambo is also a talent, but he’s not proved anything at the highest level. He doesn’t have goals in his game as it stands and he doesn’t have the ‘clinical assists’ potion in his locker. That’s not to say it won’t happen, but it’s a gamble.
Up front, Nik B wasn’t the solution despite being fit for the last three months. Now Wenger is saying he is? Now, I have no doubt that Nik B could be as effective as Giroud if he put his mind to it. If Wenger believes that, we have a solution… but if he’s just bluffing, then we’ll have a broken Giroud who is fatigued physically, but worse, mentally as we saw in the West Ham. So tired he couldn’t think.
The squad is creaking, inaction in this window doesn’t mean we can’t win the league… but it opens us up to failure because legs will lack freshness in the second part of the year. City and Chelsea have players in abundance… they’re not suffering the same problems we are at the moment.
We’ll see though. It’s all to play for, it’d just be nice for once if Arsene stocked the squad so he can comfortably compete till the end of the season. An experienced wide player and a striker would greatly help the cause.
It’s also amazing that fans were digging other fans out for backing the Bayern fan gesture. It really does show you that some people argue points, not because of the topic, but because of who is delivering the news (redzone being a prime example of this). It doesn’t matter that Bayern haven’t paid for their stadium. We pay £17m a year for The Emirates and it generates nearly double the revenue of Highbury. We’ve just announced new deals and Ivan has spent the last 2 years telling us Bayern are the benchmark when it comes to football clubs. He says that because they’re a business juggernaut, but not just that, they embody all the values Arsenal want to have as a club… as well lots of the values we do have.
Now, the club did give fans a voucher for Christmas, and they give us lots of access to information other clubs, like United don’t. However, the one thing that sticks in the throats of fans is the ticket pricing. Now, I don’t care what my ticket costs when I’m getting value like this year. In fact, as much as I bitch, I don’t really care at all because Arsenal is such a massive part of my life and always has been. However, I’m not everyone. I’m fortunate enough not to have kids and all the cost associated with them. I have a London job yahda yahda…
However, we have to accept certain things with Arsenal. We’ll never lower season ticket prices. Too many people want them in the richest City in UK. The best we can hope for is a price freeze.
Back to the Germans. Bayern spent £90,000 reducing the price of their season tickets for 3,000 people. Just say, for arguments sake, Arsenal did something similar.
Say there are 25 away games a year loosely. If Arsenal said, we’ll reduce away tickets by £15 across the board. For an away fan, that’s a £375 saving straight off the bat. Big money. That’d be 38% of the cost of my home season ticket. For 3,000 fans, that’d cost Arsenal £45k a game. Over the season, that would cost £1.1m. The equivalent of a £20k a week player. Like, say, Yaya Sanogo. It’s a pittance in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a big deal to Arsenal fans. It’s rewarding loyalty. It encourages away support. It’d be ground breaking in the UK.
We are the reason the Premier League rights go for so much (well, a big chunk of the reason). Our unwavering support and passion for the game. Why not give something back?
Food for thought. But all this bollocks about Bayern’s generosity being geared around a free stadium is total nonsense. I know some people have a online remit to defend everything Arsenal, but football isn’t a normal business, so sanctioning something like this should be easily doable.
Final bit of today… data and football. Some of you find it boring, some of you don’t believe in it, some of you would like to know more. Here is a great piece about how it’s changing the game. A must read. Remember, Arsenal are playing catch up on this. We have a lot of the capabilities, we just don’t utilise it all in the way other clubs do. This quote from Harry Redknapp at Southampton made me laugh, because it’s exactly the sort of luddite attitude that pervades football.
He was nervous about overloading the players with information.” Southampton lost 3-2. On the team bus, Redknapp turned to Wilson and said, “I’ll tell you what, next week, why don’t we get your computer to play against their computer and see who wins?”
Anyway, that’s your gift for today. Cherish is and make sure you write me a proper thank you note in the comments section.
Have a ripping day, and hey, remember, it’s Friday.. turn to the person sitting next to you, put your hand on their leg, look intensely into their eyes, well up a bit… then turn away and crack on with your e-mails.
Never, ever tell them why you did that.