August 30, 2012
I was well up for Arsenal taking some big money risks for once in the last couple of days of the transfer window.
This isn’t quite what I had in mind.
Following yesterday’s news that contract talks between Theo Walcott and the club had broken down, it’s emerged that Arsenal have decided to keep the player beyond tomorrow’s transfer deadline – but without getting him to sign a new deal. Apparently following ‘amicable’ talks between Arsene Wenger and Theo yesterday AW is so confident that Walcott is committed to the club that he’s prepared to let the deadline pass and run the risk of allowing him to move into the final year of his contract.
At first glance you have to say it looks…risky. Essentially we’ve taken a high stakes, who blinks first, Mexican stand off of a negotiation – and at the last minute fumbled our gun and seen it slip through a grate. Basically, if we don’t give them what they want they can now threaten to move Theo for free next summer. They can even start negotiating with other clubs in January.
It’s a curious decision indeed but I can only assume that Le Boss is so confident in Theo’s integrity and they’re so very close to coming to an agreement that we don’t even think of it as a risk. But then you have to ask yourself, if Theo’s that committed to the club and the deal is so close why not just give us all a few less sleepless nights and sign the stupid deal?
I’d like to think the reason is that all our negotiators and staff are so busy concluding deals to ship out those who need shipping out and bring in some exciting new faces that they simply don’t have time to deal with it. Alas that doesn’t seem to be the case. Things are deathly quiet. Even more quiet than usual and this is with only one and a half days to go until the window shuts.
The days when Arsenal were capable of bringing in shock new signings under the radar are long gone. Every new player we sign these days seems to be talked and talked about for six months before we get any official confirmation from Arsenal.com. So the fact there appears to be literally nothing going on, sadly, seems to suggest that there is nothing going on.
And with the manager himself having said only a week or so ago that he was still looking for two or three new players we’re faced once more with the prospect of a season in which we don’t have all the elements we hoped for in place. Another season where we’ve made a surplus in the transfer market. I’m already anticipating the interview where Arsene tells us that he was only interested in signing super, super quality that was better than what he already had and ‘don’t forget we have Diaby back what we didn’t have last year and Wilshere and Rosicky still to come so we have a very strong squad’.
I really hope I’m wrong.
There’ll be enough distraction from the misery of the countdown of doom at least today as the Champions League draw is announced this afternoon. As ever the vagaries of the seeding system threaten to throw up the odd group of death while no doubt Manchester United can look forward to facing some FC Powder Puff that nobody had even heard of before today.
Clearly the teams for us to avoid are Borussia Dortmund (again) who despite being Bundesliga champions still languish in Pot Four alongside the mighty BATE Borisov, Italian champs Juventus who are in Pot Three as are PSG who despite underperforming last year have since added Lucas Moura, Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to their ranks.
Somebody’s going to get a tough draw.
Maybe if it’s us it will inspire one final late dip into the transfer market. But I wouldn’t count on it.
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