August 31, 2012
How are you feeling today?
Excited? Anxious? Tense nervous headache? Already brimming with righteous indignation at the inevitable disappointment that today is likely to hold?
If you’re anything like me you should have the theme from Countdown going round and round your head in a never ending loop and a pile of excuses lined up for why you failed to get any actual work done today. Welcome to transfer deadline day. The day when hope floats on the breeze… only to usually be smashed to smithereens by a low flying jet.
Any hopes that Arsene Wenger might give something away re potential signings in his pre-Liverpool press conference were dashed yesterday as he gave the most cookie-cutter of all his cookie-cutter performances. All the classics were wheeled out. There was a:
We have enough [players], that is for sure, but you always want to improve your squad and if we find a top, top, top player we will do it,
We are active but we do not just want to bring average players in. If we find a special player who can find us a plus we will do it, if not we will not do it.
And of course that old favourite:
We have already bought Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud of course. So you cannot say we have not bought, but when you listen to people you always have to buy more.
What is important as well is to believe in the players you have and we will get our long-term injuries back.
Gawd love him and I know we wouldn’t have him any other way but it’s getting to the stage where I wonder if it’s even necessary for Le Boss to turn up to his own pressers. I’m sure most of us know the stock responses well enough to step in once in a while and give him a day off. In fact it could be a good money spinning scheme for the club: ‘The Arsene Experience’. You pay a ten pound supplement off the back of your Emirates stadium tour and you get to host a press conference at the end of it.
Frustratingly it does sound like we’re being prepared for yet more transfer disappointment. It’s clear that we are aware of the need for signings but by the sounds of things for whatever reason we’ve not been able (thus far) to get in the players that we wanted. Unusually AW mentioned that we do have money to spend and that if we fail to do the business by the end of today we will try again in December. Looking at the squad, while things are not as dire as some would make out, it’s hard to argue that we don’t need reinforcements.
With news in that Nicklas Bendtner looks like he’s about to sign a loan move to Juventus and Marouane Chamakh and Park Chu-Young both discussing late moves elsewhere our forward options are looking sparse indeed. For those front three starting roles we have available Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott and Gervinho. Andrei Arshavin too if you want to include a player who we’ve been trying to get rid of for a year and who when he does play looks distinctly disinterested.
That’s not exactly great depth. Yes, you could argue for Santi Cazorla and AOC to be included as options out wide but then you’re weakening the midfield which has already taken a hit with Alex Song’s unexpected departure this month.
Arsene confirmed yesterday that Theo would be staying at the club although admitted that no agreement had been reached:
His situation is simple – he will stay with us and play for us.
Theo has one year to go [on his contract] and that is simple. We have to find an agreement with him on whether to extend the contract or not for a longer period. That is what we want to do.
As I said yesterday it’s an extremely risky strategy and that statement doesn’t fill me with any more confidence. AW went on to state his belief that Theo loves the club and is not obsessed with money. That may be true but as Ljungberg’s Cheekbones pointed out in the comments yesterday, you can be sure that his agent is fairly keen on it. And now that he holds all the cards I do worry where this one might end up.
The Champions League draw was made yesterday and we got ourselves a very winnable group I think. We’ll face Schalke, Montpellier and, as ever, Olympiakos. Certainly a lot better than it could have been when you consider that Man City face Real Madrid, Ajax and Borussia Dortmund and there can be no excuses if we don’t qualify and qualify well.
The even bigger news of course is that we’ve been drawn against Coventry City at home in the Milk Cup. Looking forward to seeing the kids strut their stuff in that one.
Right I need to go and get as much work done as I can before I get entirely sucked into a Sky Sports News vortex. Brace yourselves for disappointment. Anything else will be a bonus.
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