Here we are then gang, halfway through the January Transfer window and at the time of writing, Twitter has almost melted twice, firstly droves of hyperactive (as in, three Dr Peppers washing down a filthy Chinese takeaway followed down by a Sunny D chaser and an aperitif of Skittles hyperactive) Gooners salivated over the (highly) unlikely prospect of Arsene Wenger wooing Diego Costa from high-flying Atletico Madrid.
Then the following week, hordes of hipster Gooners online went one better and as one; became a Twitter based flash-mob who ejaculated great geysers of hot molten man-love, all simultaneously fantasising about Schalke 04 wunderkind Julian Draxler bursting through a deep mahogany changing room door and instantly partaking in the German-love in that is London Colney at the moment; slipping himself neatly into a writhing Teutonic orgy involving Eisfeld, Ozil, Gnabry , Podolski and Mertesacker, fifteen litres of Lowenbrau and a giant apple strudel.
Personally, I too would like Julian Draxler to join, purely as he could, with the aid of Arsene Wenger’s mischievous ‘straight man’ and Santi Cazorla’s lovable cheeky character, together bring back the retro BBC comedic gold that was ‘Round The Horne’ (Google/Youtube this to understand the next part of the column). I call it ‘Julian and Santi.’
Picture the scene:
*TV flashback melody*
Arsene Wenger walks into the boot room at London Colney. The audience applaud politely. “’Ello, Vic…Vic… ‘az anyone seen my long coat, sil vous plait?” Wow, this could get funny, the audience think; he’s French, they’re hilarious! A chuckle or two descend from the aisles.
“Oh, hello, my name is Julian and this is my friend, Santi!” The audience shriek wildly at the character’s camp tone. This promises to be risky!
“Hello, I’m Santi, what can we do for you? Jules and I don’t often see you trolling about down here. We are just in here playing with our lallies and threads. Poor Jules was trapped in the closet just now.” Goodness, what bawdy language, what a treat! The audience are rocking in their chairs now.
“Ah oui, I have lost my long coat, ze zipper ‘ad little bit broke, and I waz told that eet was being fixed ‘ere.”
“Ooh, Julian, he’s speaking your actual French, I do love a continental man!” The audience, shocked at such brazen innuendo, are in pieces, clapping like seals.
“I know Santi, I know, I remember that massive erection you told me about when you gadded off to Paris with young Yaya…” Gasps and laughter from the audience, “The Eiffel Tower, you said it was called! You’d sent me that French letter!” Howls accompanying tears of mirth from the now very warmed up audience.
“Er, yes, I am French, you know zis. What ze ‘eck iz going on ‘ere wis you two?! ‘Ave you got ze zip going up and down properly or not?!” Wenger is seriously perplexed. The audience, anticipating a whopping double entendre, expectantly await the reply. Santi gives them one:
“Ooh, isn’t he bold Jules, fancy that, he must know all about your wonders with gentleman’s zips!” The audience are hysterical. It’s like feeding time in the hyena cage.
“If, it iz too hard…” The crazed audience laughter cuts off Wenger’s attempt to remove himself from the conversation.
“…zut alors… I mean, if it iz not too much trouble, maybe just take ze zipper off, and use poppers instead?!” Goodness, the audience collectively gasp, how daring!
“We’ve, er, never had a good experience with poppers, have we Santi?” Raucous laughter.
“That’s not the half of it Jules, I’ll never use them again, never! I couldn’t walk for a week afterwards!” This literally causes the audience to collapse; the laughter is too much for them. Wenger, scratching his head, leaves the two to their own devices and phones up Puma for a new design, with Velcro. He then calls the plumber to check for a gas leak and phones up Steve Rowley to look for two more attacking midfielders…
In all seriousness though, I don’t think that signing Draxler would be a horrendous mistake. Yes, he would cost a lot of money, but as many critics of Arsenal’s spending policy – myself included – have said ‘what is the point of it sitting in the bank?’ Draxler I think, especially if he were to sign within the next two weeks, would be reminiscent of the Jose Antonio Reyes signing; was Reyes really needed at the time? Not really. Was he expensive? Yes. Was he young and have the potential to be a real world-beater? Yes. Did he make the side better? Yes. Did he help the side win trophies? Yes. All of the affirmatives could be made for Draxler too. Thomas Eisfeld, Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker, Serge Gnabry and Lukas Podolski would all help him acclimatise; he is, after all, very young: 20 years old, and has been at Schalke 04 for all of his career.
Schalke 04, for their part, have practically said that they won’t stand in his way. They have signed Bayer Leverkusen’s attacker; Sidney Sam already and the young German could fill Draxler’s boots in the side. They also want to re-sign Lewis Holtby from the floundering mugs from down the road too. Granted, he may well replace Jermaine Jones, the American midfielder who has handed in a transfer request at the North-Rhine club. Talk of a release-clause in Draxler’s contract, valid in the summer, brings back squalid memories of the Suarez pursuit, but it is surely a line of investigation worth following.
Where would Draxler fit in (as it were)? Well, talk of ‘converting him’ to become a ‘German Thierry Henry’ may prove fanciful, but the potential is there. He has the skill, size and ability to perhaps evolve into a less orthodox centre-forward, a role that I think Henry filled at Arsenal and arguably Cristiano Ronaldo fills at Real Madrid, so perhaps time will tell. I believe that if this is Wenger’s thinking, then he should sign him now and give him the last five months of the season, so that he is raring to go at the start of the next campaign. For all of his ability, as well as his fans, Tomas Rosicky isn’t getting any younger. This year, we’ve seen that players such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey have highlighted that debilitating and unpredictable long-term injuries can suddenly envelop the squad and potentially derail good progress. Draxler could cover any of the ‘front three/four’ positions without a drop in quality. Look how Kieran Gibbs has pushed on with Nacho Monreal harrying for his role at left back. Look how Mathieu Flamini has galvanised the midfield. Look how Thomas Vermaelen’s benching has rejuvenated Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker…and maybe even the signing of Emiliano Viviano, an Italian international has pushed the two Polish ‘keepers on as well…let’s face it, that is about all he would have done so far – where is he? Do we need someone to check on him?!
After the well-earned three points taken from Aston Villa – a result I had wanted and indeed waited for over a mere 148 days (when of course, Villa beat Arsenal 1-3 in THAT opening home game), Arsenal will next face an opponent currently undergoing Chelsea-esque behind-the-scenes chaos; Fulham, who look to be in free-fall. After that, Coventry at home in the FA Cup; perhaps Arsenal’s best chance of silverware, and then Southampton, who will host Arsenal, provided they haven’t spontaneously combusted and/or sold off all of their disillusioned players should the magnificently coiffured Mauricio Pochettino have left the club by then…
Well, have a great weekend you Gooners, let’s hope that Arsenal give Fulham a proper tanking and then sign up a player or two.
Thanks for reading,
I have been an Arsenal supporter since the 1990/91 season after being introduced to football, aged eight, during the Italia 90 World Cup. My favourite player as a young Gooner was Stefan Schwarz and I have a soft spot now for Theo Walcott.
I am a father and husband and lecturer in a Sussex college. I have written for Sabotage Times and am also a Real Oviedo shareholder.
I try to blog daily too – ‘GregCross82’s Arsenal Blog’ http://arsenalramble.wordpress.com/