Arsenal in Need of Transfer Miracles

Whatever happens, this transfer window is proving more entertaining than those which went before. Entertaining if you enjoy a good tasering, dousing in pepper spray followed by hot sticks poked in your eyes. Or, to the denizens of Croydon, a normal Friday night.

Spurs, according to media reports in France, are looking to hijack the Willy Saliba deal as we look to tie up the arrangements over bonuses and fee payments to Saint-Etienne. The Swamp dwellers offered more than Les Verts are asking which immediately raises questions over the credibility of the reports given Daniel Levy’s track record. 

But the reaction from some quarters defied belief…

But if we’re going down the path of oneupmanship, this is some way short of Emmanuel Petit leeching cash from Alan Sugar so he could get a cab to Highbury to sign for Arsenal.

Golden days, eh? Photos of Edu, Raul and Vinai watching training yesterday launched a thousand memes. No transfer business but social media was happy. We are still no better off than we were at the start of the transfer window which opened 58 days ago, with 26 days remaining. 

This is, at the moment, on course to be a worse window than 2015. Which it won’t be, I’m fairly confident in saying. Not totally confident, just fairly. We’ll get deals over the line but will, I think, be left with a squad bloated by players we don’t want.

The flip side is that we’ve promoted youth. Some of our brightest academy talents will sit on the bench most weeks while Unai Emery is berated for not making the most of them. 

This highlights the dangers of not having a pot to p*ss in. We overestimate the ability of young players to slot into the Premier League when they have little comparable experience. Smith Rowe’s injury limited his opportunities in Leipzig. A better organised club would surely be sending him out on loan again this season so that he can properly develop?

Promised Youth A Miracle

Nelson suffers by comparisons to Jason Sancho. Everyone saw what the Dortmund and England winger can do, so Nelson is expected to achieve the same. Immediately. A brief flurry of goals last season in Hoffenheim raises those expectations but are they realistic?

The same for Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah. They dallied with first-team football last year and I’d expect more of the same this time around.

I’m all for giving youth a chance so long as you realise that the price youpay is patience. If their performance levels prove patchy, that must be tolerated. Resist rash judgements over their Arsenal careers on the basis of one match; that serves nobody’s purpose. Hope must govern our emotions not our expectations.

Maybe they will make the grade at the Emirates; I hope they do but I don’t expect it. We’ve seen others before them who were equally promising shipped off on loan, never to darken the first-team doorstep again. 

A prime example of how we overburden youth (indirectly) is Krystian Bielik. On the basis of having a good season with Charlton Athletic in League One, people are genuinely losing their sh*t over Unai Emery not having a “role” for him next season. 

His comment came pprior to Laurent Koscielny’s treachery. It seems unlikely given we reportedly like the cut of Benfica’s Ruben Dias’ jib. Fundamentally, Bielik doesn’t have the experience we require at the centre of the defence. Calum Chambers meets our needs better and he is ill-suited to the Premier League as a central defender.

Shattered Dreams

However, that didn’t stop toys being thrown out of the pram at a rapid rate of knots. You would think the young Pole was a Krol or Beckenbauer the way people spoke about him. He was a victim of his showreel’s success. And in fairness, he played exactly like a young Krol or Beckenbauer in that six-minute video. I wonder how he fared in the remaining 3,000 or so minutes he played in last season? 

Ultimately, the over expectations cast on youth are a direct result of failures in leadership off the pitch. The club endured a seismic change last summer. The all-powerful Arsène departing. Ivan followed suit before his mess came crashing down around our ears.

Poor leadership, however, is the doormat of Enos’ Texas ranch. Kroenke bears full responsibility for that poison seeping through the club’s veins and he won’t care unless it impacts on his investment. 

As we know, football club finances bear little resemblance to results on the pitch. We’ve failed to build a title challenging squad for more than a decade yet during this time, Arsenal’s value increased. 

Looking for leadership from Enos or Junior is futile. Raul is the man for the footballing side while Vinai wonders if the commercial deals are yet more trolling. Edu walked into a sh*tstorm and I can’t believe he did so blindfolded. More power to his elbow if he thinks he can save us.

Me? I think it will be a minor miracle if two of this three survive this season, either walking citing broken promises or shattered dreams, or following a poison pen letter from L.A.

Not as much of a minor miracle as us finishing in the top four, mind you…

‘til Tomorrow.

11 thoughts on “Arsenal in Need of Transfer Miracles

  1. Azeez says:

    Quite unfortunate our fans in England are finding it difficult to speak in one voice. Boycott matches and stop funding Kroenke’s pocket. WE WANT OUR ARSENAL BACK. #Kroenkeout!
    #KROENKEOUT!#KROENKEOUT!#KROENKEOUT!

  2. Noon Gunner says:

    Azeez,

    My gut agrees with your rage, Azeez, but the prospect of even millions of Arsenal fans ranting and railing against Kroenke is only a small part of what it will take to shift him. He understands power and specifically the power that super-wealth confers. Having unhappy fans at one of his clubs is nothing new for him and as far as I know he’s shown no democratic leanings in any of his sporting businesses. Angry fans being angry may work when an owner has emotional or social ties to the club or its community/city, and is vulnerable to feeling publicly shamed, but he has no such ties and, I suspect, doesn’t do embarrassment or shame.

    So I struggle to imagine the circumstances that might cause him to sell, other than the club’s value starting to drop like a stone. As Yogi rightly says, “football club finances bear little resemblance to results on the pitch’, so even if we have a dreadful season, the actual value of Stan’s AFC investment will be affected by a complex convergence of (1) revenues, which will fall if we play losing football and crowds are unhappy, costs (2) which I’m guessing he has already instructed Vinai to start ruthlessly managing down, and crucially (3) the price anyone with the cash would be willing to pay him for the club. He will be interested in a fat capital gain on sale.

    So while fan agitation may successfully cast a shadow over ‘his’ club (taking all our enjoyment with it), our best hope lies in there being a lurking buyer with deep pockets and a better philosophical approach to owning the club. Aliko Dangote appears to fit that bill, as he’s a lifelong Arsenal fan, but he has said he must finish finish building a huge oil refinery in Nigeria before he will be ready – and, if Stan doesn’t want to sell, he may have to look to another club (Chelsea??). He seems to think his refinery will be up and running during 2020. Seems we must be patient…

  3. Bill says:

    Really awesome post yogi

    It would suck if spurs outbid us for Saliba.

    Hope springs eternal with each new group of promising youth. However, I am not sure why anyone would expect that players like Nketiah, Reiss nelson, Smith Rowe Bielik and willock will turn out any differently then the previous 100 or more heavily hyped youth. If even one of them turns out to be close to as good as we hoped then we will be beating the odds.

  4. Bill says:

    Miracle on 34th street was not just a great Christmas movie but its one of the all time greatest movies in history. The club could use a miracle or 2 right now.

  5. consolsbob says:

    £30 million for a kid that wouldn’t have featured next year anyway?

    Never heard of him either. Drop it and spend the money on another CB who will play next season. let the spuds have him.

  6. C says:

    I think Bielik wont Player of the Season so I would fancy the other 3000 mins were pretty damn impressive too. Personally, I would rather Bielike get a chance at CB than Chambers who seems better suited to the DM position in the PL. With that said, Bielik as #4 probably isn’t a bad thing given Holding (when fit) would be ahead on him. The thing with Bielik is that he was ALWAYS highly regarded and when thrust into match time, has performed. Not only that but he would provide us versatility and allow for the sell of say Chambers and Elneny to help raise funds for maybe a top CB and then further sell of Mustafi. So my plan would look something like this:

    1. Promote Bielik to first team as #4 CB
    2. Sell Chambers and Elneny for say a combined 30-40M
    3. Spend more on say Ruben Diaz at 35-40M
    4. Sell Mustafi and use his funds to help.bring in a winger or CM
    5. Sokaritis and Diaz are our first choice with Holding and Bielik as #3 and 4

  7. C says:

    consolsbob,

    We actually would only be paying part of(from reports, similiar to what Liverpool did with Keita) it this summer and the remainder next.

    He is actually highly rated with quite a number of top clubs wanting him but he wants to stay in France next season which turned them off. Next summer could see him go for so much more if he builds and continues his development from this season.

  8. Paulie Walnuts says:

    If Bielik hadn’t stood out at Charlton there would have been something wrong. League 1 is a million miles from the EPL. If he was that good teams at a higher level would have been after a loan deal.

    Of the young players mentioned , I think Willock may have the best chance. He’s still got plenty to learn but hasn’t looked out of place when I’ve seen him in the first team , albeit against more limited opposition.

  9. colts says:

    good evening dreamers,

    very happy with the saliba deal should it go through. the creatures from the toilet bowl are obviously still salty over sol it seems, ha.
    thank you once again kos for the possible acquisition of 22 year old Ruben. holding will have a fight on his hands next season with saliba potentially coming in.
    whilst in America the amigos should try and infiltrate the nba and sign up a couple of 6ft 5 studs and train them to play d.
    put that in your scouting pipe and smoke it. untapped markets…
    of the kids only Nelson excites me as he’s exactly what we need in the forward line and has matured slightly. add say Malcolm with Mickey and saka for rotation and we’re looking good up top.
    midfield is still a worry, we need a starter in there.
    I feel good about edu based on one quote I came across. not verbatim but ‘he doesn’t suffer fools kindy’ or something to that effect.
    I think if we buy smart and make this outfit more robust in depth to last. 4th doesn’t appear to be that hard to get given the potential circumstances for other clubs.
    plus we dassler again, I like that energy.

    peace

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