Football transfers are all smoke and mirrors; Mulder and Scully would find the search for truth in this arena as painfully frustrating as in the search for extra-terrestrial life. They should have gone to Slough for that answer. I guess that was too simple, too limiting for the producers of the television series. One which poses such questions and then finds the answers in the first episode is somewhat limiting. You could stretch it out by encompassing the whole trip and show it real time: Episode One – The Journey To Flight; Episode Two – Q; Episode Three – The Wait. Even then I’m not sure there’s much mileage in it. Well, beyond that actually travelled.
You might have guessed that this morning’s blog is smoke and mirrors; there’s not much going on. Arsène has applied the usual caveats to talk of signing Edinson Cavani so the much-mooted £30m transfer is off. If it were ever on in the first place. Which I doubt. A new reason for not buying a player emerged, that they would be cup-tied in the Champions League. HOUSE! Yes! I’ve won the Arsenal Transfer Bingo – every reason not to sign someone has now emerged.
For Wenger, it is a bit difficult to know what he is supposed to say. Being unable to play in one tournament that can still be won is really scraping the barrel as reasons for public inactivity goes. I suppose that when names are mentioned in future, he will have to rely on “Warm”, “Hot”, “Ice-cold”, as answers when hacks turn in their questions about who is the latest target. Or continue to feed off the desire of the support for ills to be cured and make up transfer targets. The latter is the easiest course although the former has potentially more fun. For one press conference at least. In part. For five minutes.
It is inconceivable that a player would be rejected simply for being cup-tied for the remainder of this season. We are still playing for fourth place – there is not point in looking beyond that until Tottenham are overhauled; take fourth then look at third and so forth. Well third. Sigh. The ardour with which a high cost signing was pursued without any hint of substance was incredible; that shows the depths to which the confidence of some has fallen. Perhaps it’s true, I doubt it. Stories with seemingly more depth have turned out to be false and the ultimate beauty of the scenario is the barreness. I’m liking it more as I think about it.
Fortunately Wilfred Zaha is still on the market despite being signed by Manchester United last week. Well, that’s what the papers claimed and maybe United have tried to reach agreement with the Palace. A shame they’ve been talking to Liz and Phil rather than Prince Ian of Selhurst. Fortunately Theo Walcott is signing his new deal. By the speed of his signature, when he’s learned joined up writing. Either that or Arsenal are waiting for the Banda machine copies of the contract. Look it up if you don’t know what a Banda machine is. The youth of today.
Patience is a virtue at the moment, the view that most transfer business is done in the final week is going to be realised for anything Arsenal do. Which isn’t much of a guess since by this time next week, we will be into the last week of the window. Understandably in one sense, Wenger is waiting to see what happens with Abou Diaby, waiting to see if there is any reaction to recent injuries. If none, he should still not rely on the Frenchman as anything more than a bit-part player overall. When fit, great but unfortunately his fitness issues mean that he is not a player around whom a squad can be built. To do so is folly.
That contract is another reason for delaying signature(s). Until Team Walcott do put pen to paper, words mean nothing. However, is signing a new striker now the highest priority? In some eyes yes, others think more protection for the back four is still the more pressing need.
Transfer talk is a vicious circle. The more that the rumours mount, the more that there is a clamour for truth. In a situation such as Arsenal’s where the first half of the season has left the team short of expectations, action is going to be the only thing to sate demands for improvement. Yet clubs are already facing pressure from agents who try to create an auction on a sale through leaking to the press. Making formal announcements only invites other clubs who are interested, to act and possibly usurp a deal. Let’s be honest, in any walk of commercial life, successful deals are not trumpeted until the ink is dry. Football is no different.
It’s just that the horn section should have been exhausted by now.