It seems that the media cannot agree on where Joe Cole‘s future, be it at Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United or Arsenal. Even Manchester City has emerged as favourites along the way. It’s so bad that the same newspaper has different opinions, Paul Smith at The Mirror believes it’s a done deal, his colleague John Cross says the opposite. All good stuff.
Cole would be a good signing, a typical Wenger midfielder in his skill and vision, capable of scoring and providing from wide positions, particularly as he is comfortable on the left. It would free Arshavin to play more centrally if Wenger so desired and Cole has even suffered injuries; the perfect Arsenal player.
The wages being quoted should not be an issue. Firstly, we already pay well as it is; not the megabucks for everyone that some clubs pay but the spread within the first team appears not to be as wide as others, the lower earners not as far from the top earners elsewhere. That of course brings its own problems, with other clubs able to tempt star performers with far greater salaries.
One of those should be allowed to go. Yes, Him. And that’s according to Andy Gray, not me. Gray observed:
Cesc won’t be the first great player to leave a club and he won’t be the last. And I honestly think that Arsenal can cope without him. I’m not of the mind that Gunners fans should be full of doom and gloom if he does go.
It won’t be the end of Arsenal.
Of course he would be a loss but if Arsene gets the transfer fee and can spend it wisely it may make Arsenal even stronger. I think they did incredibly well to go so close last season and with a little more strength in depth I believe they could have gone all the way and actually won it. It was there for the taking.
Should He go, it is crucial that Wenger is allowed to spend the fee. Actually, that he spend the fee because the club is no longer in a position where the debt over property is of such a size that it is preferrable to pay it down. More to the point, the Board realise what a pivotal player Fabregas is and there is no direct replacement for him.
Like all players of his ilk, when the leave the change that happens is to the style, tweaked to compensate for the absence rather than the manager becoming involved in a fruitless search for the same player in a different body. Others have attributes that Cesc does not, he possesses likewise.
Gray is correct in one aspect of his observations. Personally, I believe van Persie is far more crucial to the side and his absence was more detrimental to the campaign than any other individual.
You could argue that keeping van Persie at the club is more important for Wenger. And if he has a strong World Cup he’ll be fit, strong and raring to go after a long lay-off last season when he was injured.
Quite simply, we missed his goals. Chamakh may provide those were, God forbid, the same circumstances to arise in 2010/11 but to expect that from a new signing is straining realism too far perhaps.
Were Cole to join, Wenger would have had an outstanding summer in terms of signings from the financial point of view. Yet two or more may be required still. Sol Campbell has yet to determine his future, increasingly though that looks to be away from The Emirates. We would need two centre backs, one immediate first choice and another to be back up, filling the Campbell role. That would leave four available in a normal season but it is hard to remember when Arsenal last had one of those.
It may be a way off but you can already see how next summer is going to play out. If Fabregas remains, a repeat is in the offing whilst Wenger is already ‘sought after’ at international level and may be so at club level as well if a new contract is not signed.
But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. There’s a long way to go in this one yet.