A quiet day on the news front but with Chelsea ‘leaking’ to the media that they have a £100m transfer kitty for the coming close season, the price of every player that anyone has said that they want Arsene to buy just increased by 25%. A rapid growth in the number of players linked with the club has occurred with everybody trying to sling around enough mud, hoping that one will prove correct and they can claim the ‘scoop’ on the signing.
Last close season, it got to frankly ridiculous levels because Ferguson had done his business by the end of May and Chelsea were not looking to sign that many people. That left only Arsenal and Liverpool as the ‘big’ clubs to link players with. It would be nice if Arsene tidied the incomings within a fortnight of the season finishing having the players back for the pre-season so that the settling in time is minimalised.
The problematic left side of midfield might have a solution in the long term with Armand Traore believing he is the solution,
It’s my position originally in football so I kind of found myself normally in the left wing. I’m starting to enjoy playing there more and more and, yes, it’s better for me
It is mentioned in the article that he might do an ‘Eboue’ and appear there in the first team. If that is the case, I hope he has broad shoulders because the criticism that will come his way is something that does not bear thinking about.
Philippe Senderos‘ father has ‘revealed’ that the Swiss International has been given time off by Arsene to get his head together but that he is phoning home regularly. In his case, it has always been known that he is a confidence player and that particular aspect of his make-up is easily shaken. Whilst I think long-term he will develop into a good player, it is also pretty obvious that he is not going to be given the chance to win people round in the same way that other more illustrious predecessors have done. Essentially his problem is that even when he is playing at the top of his game, he is not going to dislodge either of Gallas or Toure unless they have a dramatic plunge in their form. For the Swiss International, this is not going to help.
People might point out that he has been at the club for long enough to show his worth but that is to easily forget that he has lost at least a season and a half through injury since joining. However, before he is shipped out permanently, I would have thought that there is considerable merit in him joining a team either here or abroad, that is going to play in European competition. That said, the easiest thing in the world for him to do would be to walk into Arsene’s office and ask for a transfer. The last two seasons have been a test of character for him, as well as a steep learning curve. Whether he will take the ‘easy’ way out will speak volumes about him.
For next season, much hype is surrounding the arrival of Carlos Vela at the club after his spells on loan. Undeniably, Vela has done well for his Spanish clubs in the past couple of seasons but it strikes me as there is too much expectation surrounding him. From what I have seen of his Primera Liga games, he is talented but the Premier League is a different kettle of fish. It is more physical and he will need time to adjust. Given the distinct lack of patience being shown with young players – they get perhaps half a season and after that, if they are not world-beaters, there are numerous demands for them to be sold. Had Vela been available this season, who knows, he might have cured the ills of the team by relieving goalscoring pressure on Adebayor. He might not have done and then where would we be.
The same pressure is about to arrive on Walcott’s shoulders. One good run at Anfield and the media question why he is not starting, forgetting that his fresh legs in that match enabled him to outpace defenders and midfielders who might have marginalised him tactically. Let us not forget that it was not so long ago that many were questioning whether Walcott would ever make the grade.
The key to this is that Arsene has a balance to strike. He wants to win trophies. He has a squad that might be on the verge of doing it. He is hamstrung by his own success though; a decade of trophies has raised expectations. Whereas in the past, Arsenal youngsters have been given time, they are now judged by Cesc Fabregas’ standards. If they are not there by the end of their first season, woe betide them from sections of the support. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. Every Arsenal fan wants them to win but in an age of quick fixes, it is assumed that these can be filled by spending cash and to hell with the future.
It is a big ‘ask’ after three trophyless seasons but a bit more patience is required before another cycle begins.