Walcott And Diaby – The New Signings Or Just Welcome Distractions?

It seems that our January signings are about to arrive! Theo Walcott’s imminent signature at the end of a new contract heralds the end of the club’s interest in Wilfred Zaha whilst Abou Diaby‘s appearance for the reserves yesterday will bolster the midfield until the visit of Stoke City to The Emirates on 2nd February when the masterplan’s flaw will be cruelly exposed. Unless of course Arsène is has a cunning plan to drop Diaby for that game. Everyone I know wishes Diaby a full recovery this time, everyone surely wishes that he would realise his full potential. It is fair to say that everyone wishes that Arsène would realise the folly of relying on his compatriot being able to fulful more than a bit part in the season.

Divine Intervention?

His injury record hides his obvious talent. At 26, you expect a first team player to have played more than 169 times. Only once has he managed more than 30 appearances in one season; he has just about scraped into double figures in the past season and a half. I have immense sympathy for the man, his dream of becoming a professional footballer has become something of a personal nightmare. It is testament to his character that he comes back for more, year after year. I wonder if a less physically demanding league suit him better, one where the exertions required are a step down from the Premier League? The vicious circle emerges, the full fitness needed to engineer a move is denied by the physical demands placed on him when he is deemed to have reached that level.

Another string to the transfer bow is the emergence of claims that Carl Jenkinson has turned down the opportunity to move to Crystal Palace on loan for the rest of the season. The report suggest Wenger wants the full back to have more playing time. If that is true, it is hardly surprising that Jenkinson did not want to move on. Should Bacary Sagna’s performances not rapidly return to their former consistent level, the younger right back probably thinks he is a certainty for a run in the first team. It is unclear whether this is linked to Manchester United stealing a march on buying Zaha. The interest in the winger was not surprising given the media attention his performances have garnered. Although in some respects it was given the belief that the manager has put in Ryo previously. Injury has forced the youngster out of the public eye in his loan spell, as has being out of the Premier League. Is his imminent return the real reason for dropping of interest in Zaha, if there was a genuine intent to sign the player.

Some of the ‘left-field’ transfer talk this window has been in signing a goalkeeper to challenge Wojciech Szczesny, to keep the Pole on his toes and push to a higher level. I understand the need for that long term but it does not strike me as an urgent need. If this window of opportunity closes at the end of the month with Walcott’s signature and a new reserve goalkeeper, that would not strike me as strengthening the squad. Quite simply it is not urgent and unlikely to impact the short-term needs of the squad. The youngster spoke of his own determination to remain at the club. His ability to produce a cutting comment has not been quelled despite his absence from social media, Cesc getting a barb thrown in his direction. A refreshing change although such has been the recent frequency of those who have proclaimed their love for the club it is a case of “I’ll believe it when I see it“. He is a player who will always have his detractors, his brashness rubs people up the wrong way but the potential to be regarded as a goalkeeping great is there; delivery is now the next phase. We shall see.

Elsewhere Gervinho talks of the African Cup of Nations, about redemption for last season’s defeat in the tournament’s final. I am sure that Arsène is looking for the Ivorian’s redemption as well; if only he find the receipt to return him to the shop…

’til Tomorrow.


312 thoughts on “Walcott And Diaby – The New Signings Or Just Welcome Distractions?

  1. A compassionate imperturbability

    What a rare but wonderful combination of personal qualities

    If there was an award you tinker ………….

  2. Well Frank, I wouldn’t speak of my right to criticise, if so many people didn’t criticise me for exercising my right. Or even worse, tell me I don’t have the right to criticise.

    The point about prices is not unique to Arsenal as has been made clear beyond the walls of this blog; it’s about making football more affordable. Let’s put it this way, the Villa and Stoke games for myself and number 2 son are going to cost £100 each to get there and into the seats. That to me is a decent price to pay including travel. When it costs me that for my own ticket for Category A games, the day out becomes doubled for one person. Another way of looking at it is to enlarge the availability of tickets for families around the ground because the Family Section is a complete fuck-up in terms of organisation by the club.

    The pricing structure hasn’t been right for some time in football and needs addressing. The club makes a play of having big commercial deals and all the while that money is being used extravagantly in the wage bill, use it to subsidise ticket prices the following season(s). It is a Premier League problem. Prior to this ghastly incarnation, football tickets were priced collectively, that’s why it was a similar price to watch a match wherever you went. Now the clubs are left to their own devices and with emptier stadia, are paying the price.

  3. “The club makes a play of having big commercial deals and all the while that money is being used extravagantly in the wage bill, use it to subsidise ticket prices the following season(s). It is a Premier League problem. Prior to this ghastly incarnation, football tickets were priced collectively, that’s why it was a similar price to watch a match wherever you went. Now the clubs are left to their own devices and with emptier stadia, are paying the price.” YW @ 9:28 am
    Easy, Yogi,easy. You are beginning to sound so “socialistic”. Subsidize ticket prices, collective pricing etc. You may begin to lose some of your neo-liberal followers.

  4. Well, someone should seriously start to address the issue of the huge difference between watching football in, say, Germany and here.

    Compare the price of tickets and season tickets for clubs in those respective leagues.

    What does a ticket cost in Barcelona or Madrid.

    Is the ‘product’ here so much better?

    Where does the extra money go? It’s alright, I know the answer.

  5. So Arsenal should check out the Bundesliga, pay its players less and use the money to reduce the price of tickets and also buy more and better players…and win stuff. Excellent. We should get onto the club straight away.

  6. I thought there was an interesting thread of sorts yesterday, but no one rose to take the bait. Diaby’s return, potentially as important as, or similar in potential impact to RvP’s return from injury?


    Ignoring for a minute obvious discepancies in nature of injury, and those of position, my views are that
    a) AW has held onto Diaby through thick and thin, and once explained why in terms of “first name always on the France team sheet, do you I am crazy?”, or in other words, yes, he’s a prized asset for Arsenal
    b) We fans get excited by goal-scorers, but in season-upon-season campaigns one looks at the “whole” and all key “game changing” players
    c) Subjectively, I rate Diaby very, very high; admitting fully that my opinion was formed also by France world cup games; it was the degree of domination, intelligence and “character” that stood out; the lad has it

    Opinion has been jaundiced by long and repeated absences and he is yet to prove himself. This is where comparison to RvP lingers, because RvP was in similar boat until the last two seasons when his form “exploded”.

    As for Balotelli, I’m a sentimental guy. But, I have a notion that he could thrive, and confront his demons at Arsenal under Wenger and with the rest of our “odd-man-out” crew. He’s unique, instinctive, dangerous, a character, younger than most think, explosive, selfish and defenders hate having him in their face. The Arsenal I know has almost always had a larger-than-life striker, a back page story, an unguided missile. It’s a quality I mis. From SuperMac, through Stapleton, Smith, Wright to Henry, Eduardo, one-season Ade, RvP, and even whats-his-face who coaches at City. Of course, it might be Theo, but he needs a bit more attitude.

  7. http://www.aclfarsenal.co.uk/?p=10385

    Today’s post.

    Barcelona can be expensive to watch as can Madrid, Bob. The league matches are not so much cheaper than Arsenal, particularly the big games.

    For the Champions League tie against Milan, the seats in the Catalan gods are £55 with the seats in the great and the good, £155. In between the range is £69 – £125. Against Osasuna in the league (Cat C equivalent) the prices range from £30 in the gods to £100. Most of the others are £50 – £75.

  8. Or go with the current model of charging high prices, pay low wages and win fuck all whilst increasing Stan Kroenke’s wealth. Yes Frank, the current model is so preferable.

  9. Watching the Copa del Ray game between Barca and Cordoba in Barcelona last night you couldn’t help but notice the number of empty seats.
    With BT’s multi-streaming bid warming up is this trend (outside of Germany it seems) going to continue?

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