Ready For Action But For How Long?

FOR SALE: Two strikers with careful owners. Full service history. If your name is Arsene Wenger, please call 0871-RIPOFFSALES

A bit later this morning than planned but a theatre trip for Mrs YW took precedence. It means I have a day of childminding duties. Sorry, spending quality time with the boys.

The eve of the match, it feels a long time since the win over Wigan. Newcastle‘s arrival at The Emirates tops off the longest week in football since the last international break. Concerns have been raised at Highbury House that there may be a shortage of directors available to greet Mike Ashley and his Barcode confederates since news broke of Barcelona’s willingness to part with David Villa if Arsenal can come up with £16m. Dick Law has arrived in the Catalan capital to negotiate the fee downwards, seeking a cash discount, whilst Ivan and his motley crew of top executives empty the carrier bags, coffee machines and piggy banks to see if they can come up with the £298.74 that the club are prepared to offer.

Arsène is meticulous about getting value for money in all aspects of the club’s business. The rationale for either signing is clear; they will not strengthen the squad but with Lukasz Fabianski now the only injured player requiring treatment, the manager is concerned that the medical staff will be under-utilised. Rather than lay anybody off in these tough economic times, he has decided to be frivolous with £25m of the £1bn transfer kitty that he has to spend.

Seriously though, in my humble opinion, only one of those players would improve the Arsenal squad and he does not currently play in the Premier League. The problem with both is their injury records. Can Arsenal afford to take the risk in either case given their past? Well, yes, they can. Football is about risks and at times I wonder if Arsenal have become so risk averse in the transfer market that a paralysis engulfs the club when opportunities, such as Juan Mata, arise. The reasons for deals falling through is rarely as clear cut as is portrayed in the public domain, the likelihood being a number of factors scotching a signature. Blame, when it is apportioned, often falls at the manager’s door. He is the easy target and those whose job it is to bring the players in evade criticism.

Wenger is not entirely innocent in this but neither is he entirely at fault; a convenient scapegoat for those who want the big signings. It does bring a smile to my face when people scoff at the Manchester City’s, Chelsea and PSGs of this world though. How do you think Arsenal won the silverware in the 1930s? With a squad full of youth players? Not without good reason were Arsenal known as The Bank of England club. Do we devalue our own history because of that or is it just pre-Premier League (pre-Wenger) so it doesn’t count?

All sections of the support devalue something about the club, to an extent it is the nature of football supporters to cast envious glances elsewhere. The squad is not as bad as is made out but nor is it without weaknesses. Personally I am not so sure that Gervinho going to the African Cup of Nations is going to be as big a loss as the manager thinks, publicly at least. The Ivorian has been inconsistent this season – improved on last time around though – but he has to avoid disappearing entirely as he did after the respective tournament last season.

It comes down to consistency. The team need to find it, the players must find it individually to make that happen. Arsène noted that United and City showed they could be caught this season; not by Arsenal though. Anyone who thinks that sixteen points will be made up between now and the end of the season is mad. Arsenal are in the race for third and fourth, no more. Second potentially but that needs Chelsea and City to start dropping points on a regular basis for the nine point gap to disappear. Oh, I know we overhauled that gap last season but this is something else altogether more difficult.

Wenger is of course stating the obvious with his comments about reward coming from stringing a run of results together. I find it interesting that people are observing that getting the performances right means the results will come. Personally, I take the opposite view. Grind out results and performances will come from that confidence. It is clear that confidence has been rocked, that’s why the result at Wigan was important. Yes, they are fighting relegation but Arsenal did not play well. The clean sheet proved to the players that they can hold their own when not at the peak of the form or in difficult conditions and that is an important factor. Crucially, they did not sit back and become content with the point they had, they still pushed forward until the breakthrough came. For all of Theo Walcott’s faults in his contract talks, he deserves credit for chasing down Gibbs errant cross. That spirit needs to be typical for a long run to be forged.

Strengthening the squad will help that, injuries may have abated for the moment but this is Arsenal, we know that they will come back. The worst thing in the world would be to fail to act now, becoming complacent because a problem has gone away. Maybe we will not suffer any serious injuries between now and the season end, that would be nice. But you can’t rely on it. Can you?

’til Tomorrow.

311 thoughts on “Ready For Action But For How Long?

  1. Bill, I am not sure if Villa is currently worth that much. Going by current goal scoring form, age, physical build, lack of PL experience, it will be a gamble.

  2. Villa and Cazarola will get along quite well. I don’t have doubts over that all. To get VIlla for the rumoured £16m, would be a good bargain. We need someone experienced alongside Giroud. Villa and Cazarola, could be strong than let’s say Robin and Song. And Villa like Robin, could also score incredible goals on his own. Of course the latter, is much better at the moment but as we’ve been infromed that we are not going to spend, than the least we can do is bring in Villa, for a year or two. If we’re sticking with Giroud to ‘shine’ in a couple of seasons.

  3. What the fuck is wrong with this man?

    ‘”Yes [we want players who can make an immediate impact], that is why it is so difficult as well. Man United bought Robin van Persie for £24 million and he is 29 years old.

    “They have scouts all over the world. They looked everywhere. Don’t think that they just came in and bought Van Persie, they looked everywhere else. But to find the quality of striker that would strengthen a top Premier League team at the moment in the world is difficult.”

    What the fuck are you saying! You’re the culprit who gifted Robin to the United and now complaining about finding it so difficult to find an exceptional striker!

    Lest we all forget, Robin could have been kept for a paltry £40m, for a period of four years. That sum of course comes around £10m a year only! Apparently, the club though that amount of money didn’t reflect Robin’s contribution to the team! Or that they’d break with their wage structure! I am worried about where it’s headed with Theo. Because right now, I would keep him and bring in Falcao as well. How much would Falcao cost over a period of 4 years? Villa is an interesting option, the least we should do this transfer, if we’re serious about challenging.

  4. What am I saying!? I apologize. We have to keep it in the back of our heads that we’re never ‘really’ competing for any trophies. We can’t compete financially. Arsene told us so…..

  5. In a twisted sense it means we’re going to try to win the trophies in the cheapest way possible! Forgetting the self created problems and limits that arise from such a line of thinking. Let alone, what the fuck does it even mean by ‘winning a title without spending’!?

  6. works for me like you can’t imagine…klic.

    kinda sucks we are playing late today..might put too much overcompensating-pressure on the boys if we drop to 8th.
    hopefully they’ll stay calm

  7. Works for me too AMAN ,more power to you, YAH PURPLE POWER.
    COYG. KICK some barracuda Ass today
    don’t the negative vibes being thrown every which way effect your positivism , enjoy the game everyone, come you GUNNERS

Comments are closed.