Do Arsenal need top quality?

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How’s it going!

No soccer ball this weekend. I know you’re itching for it, but look, fan fatigue can end in tears. So what I’m saying is this. Relax, stop powering that F5 key, leave the newsfeeds alone and take a day of chatting Arsenal. A touch of respite will take you out of the ‘transfer panic zone’…

Well, Arsene Wenger’s comments might put you in that zone. He’s doing that old man moaning thing… this time venting about the transfer window being an irritant and unwelcome. How a man who has serious gaps in his squad can say such a thing is beyond me. This window isn’t an irritant, it’s an opportunity to shoot for the stars and make some serious noises about the title.

We need a striker. A Theo. And a right back. We can look internally, but as we’ve seen so far this season, numbers are the issue because we’re overusing players. We’ve obviously meandered the season spectacularly well so far, but we’re almost never in the mix come April.

The Morata story is getting boring already. One minute Madrid want to keep him. Then they want to loan him. Then they want a bigger fee. Now, the latest is Benfica want to buy him for £7m. A very low price for a kid who banged in 15 goals last season. Surely we should look at him as an acquisition if we think he’s worth while? Having 3 strikers isn’t a problem over a season. United manage it…

Wayne Veysey has gone to town on transfer targets. The man takes a hammering online for his info, but I can tell you, though sometimes wrong (shock horror, someone isn’t 100% right all the time), the bulk of what he says is good info. Anyway, he reckons we’re looking at Draxler this window… money talks, but will moving when he’s one of Europe’s form players be a consideration in World Cup year? Doubtful…

He also talks about Llorente, Lavezzi and Morata if nothing comes off elsewhere.

For me, our best bet will be an out of favour player looking to break into a World Cup squad. We need hunger more than anything. I’d love us to nail a perm player, but not at the expense of quality. That said, I do think we get a touch hung up on perceived quality. Flamini, a player huge swathes of the fanbase slammed for being average when he left us, has been a revelation. Why? Because he works hard, embodies the passion we all love and he performs a functional role.

As I’ve said many times over the years, you don’t always need to sign technically perfect wizards of the game… you need a few Flamini / Grimandi / Parlour type figures in the mixer. Now, that probably won’t work with forwards, but it could work elsewhere.

Sorry to keep this short, but I’m penning this on an iPhone because all my computers are ruined!

Have a great day!

Arsenal: The cost of generosity | Gaps in the squad that need filling | Tiny winger a target

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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.


Jackson Martinez scouting report | Sky nail football chat show | Morata back on?

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I’m not a massive TV watcher outside of sport, but after taking the decision to stay in the flat of late, I’ve had the chance to take in some programmes. Sport mostly. I had the pleasure of watching Keane vs Vieira the other night.

What a cracking show. I appreciate I’m very late to the party on this, bar the obvious anti-Ferguson slant agenda from both ITV and Keane, it was a very classy hour. It was interesting to hear Patrick slamming United for landing major decisions at Old Trafford with Keane kind of agreeing. It was also nice hearing two power houses of the game dissecting one another’s game.


Big name winger linked again | Striker purchase / injury issues | Italian football assessment

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Things are starting to look scary on the striker front. No Nik for 3 weeks, no Theo for up to a month (massive loss) … maybe a Park Chu Young resurgence?

It’s desperate times for Arsenal. Wenger has been quite open with his choices and misses. As we reported in the summer, he did inquire for Lewandowski, but he’d already made his mind up on Bayern a long time ago. Wenger said he’d be interested in Mandzukic, but he won’t leave until Lewandowski joins Bayern in June. Diego Costa plays at a club in the La Liga mix, and they have a player who’ll be looking to get into the World Cup zone.

Outside those names, you start to struggle. Mario is a nutter of exceptional talent, but his ego could kill squad spirit, which has carried us for large chunks of the season. Jackson Martinez, the free scoring Columbian plying his trade at Porto has begged for a move, however, there is such a big risk plotting for players in sub standard leagues. However, if the price is fair, there are plenty of success stories… Costa, Falcao and Hulk spring to mind.

On the young player front, again, you’re struggling here because unless the kid is from a weak club (and untested) you’re unlikely to nail down a player you know can help drive your season on. Morata is massive bag of potential, but the expectation he can come to London, settle and deliver in 4 months is fanciful at best. We could opt for someone like Benteke, but for me, if he can’t arse himself with motivation in his second season at Villa, what hope do we have long term of keeping him interested?

You could go down the golden oldie route. We could opt for Berbatov for half a season. He’d be all over that move. His last hurrah. His last crack at the Champions League. But he’d be expensive in the eyes of Arsene. We could also go for Rickie Lambert. I know. I said it. Sorry. But he scores goals and he’s doing well this season and he did well last year. I’m talking pure stop gaps. What a way for him to end his career. If he was Spanish and called Ricardo Lambertinho, you’d take that suggestion seriously.

I’m so sick and tired of dealing with semi racist football snobs…

There’s a strange story doing the rounds that Barca are looking to sell Pedro to Arsenal.

Issue is, there would be two Pedro’s on the Arsenal scene. Not sure how I’d feel about that. Not sure that there’s any truth in the story either. Why would you sell a player who bangs in so many goals? It does have to be said, he’s been linked with us quite a few times. He’d be an excellent replacement for Podolski.

I caught some games yesterday. Swansea beating United really made me smile. It’s become a thing with my flatmate… hangout, drink some beer, laugh all game at how bad United are… wait for the close up of David Moyes looking extremely ill and lost… LAUGH… wait for the close up of Alex Ferguson angrily chewing gum… LAUGH… go onto Twitter, read United fan tweets… LAUGH.

Jeez, I was more laughed out after that game than I was after watching an Eddie Murphy Raw rerun.

A couple of sharp observations from me. Jonjo Shelvey, looks a really decent player. He’s still raw, but he’s 21 and he’s running their midfield, scoring goals, making some great passes. I like him. Can’t believe Liverpool let him go. Another player I think might turn in a spectacular second season is Wilfried Bony. He’s built like a WWF wrestler, and he plays like one at times. He has a rasping shot, he’s powerful and fast on the ball and he’s very instinctive. I think he has 13 goals this season. He could be one to watch next year.

I also took in the Roma vs Juve game. Firstly, I have to take it back about the Italian support, well, at least at the Juve ground. Quite a spectacle. They were really noisy. The players were responsive as well. They seemed to love the reception. I also had the chance to revisit Gervinho. The best thing he did all game was fall over his own feet whilst running across the edge of the area. The African Ronaldo? Do. Me. A. Favour.

Players I did like. Well, the obvious two are Pogba. Despite his ridiculous hair cut, he really is a top talent. Vidal is also a player and a half. A real rampaging midfielder with everything going for him. Italian football, though classy, really doesn’t have the intensity of the Premier League. Back in the day, we had the intensity, but zero technical ability. Now we have the same technical ability, and the much more intensity. Which is why we have the best league on the planet.

Anyway, that’s all I have for today. Enjoy your day. First full week back. really upsetting. NO FOOTBALL EITHER.