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.
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…