The Deadline Day Frustrations:
Morning Gooners, I hope this transfer deadline day finds you well and not rocking in a corner, mainlining Sherbet Dip and swilling down Tizer like it is going out of fashion.
It is fair to say that my piece last week about Chelsea and Manchester City pissed off a lot of, well, errm, City fans. I didn’t have one Chelsea fan pull me up on it. And as Manchester City will add Fernando and Eliaquim Mangala to their squad by the end of today, I think my original point stands. Oh to hear the thoughts of Jack Rodwell, Javi Garcia, Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards…
Do I care that the billionaire club’s fans want to Tweet abuse to me? Not a bit of it, that is what the block button is for, and I hope the piece got a lot of views. I didn’t read any Arsenal fans disagreeing at all!
Arsenal, of course, on the back of announcing two big sponsorship deals this week (Puma and a watch company…a company probably better than those that make the watches you see advertised in the back of ‘Take a Break’ and which usually have The Prince of Wales’ face embossed on the strap) will of course sign…almost certainly no-one.
Yes, despite this season proving to be the best chance Arsenal will have for a while to challenge for the Premier League, and with the team (in many people’s opinion) just short of a striker, Arsene Wenger won’t buy anyone…despite having all of summer, autumn and winter to line up a deal. And you know that we’ll be talking about this same situation come August 31st 2014…
Does Julian Draxler represent good value for money at £37m? The question should be, will he represent good value for money at £37m now, when he will arguably be worth £45m+ after a decent World Cup?! Seasoned Bundesliga watchers rate Draxler as a ‘once-in-a-generation’ talent. He isn’t necessarily what the team now, but maybe he is actually worth buying now and saving for later?! Tomas Rosicky won’t play on forever, and as we’ve seen with Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey; injuries can happen anytime and last for months on end.
What is the best Gooners’ can expect today then? Probably a loan in, either a youngster like Alvaro Morata or an aging poacher like Miroslav Klose or Dimitar Berbatov. Basically, cover for Olivier Giroud; a striker who himself doesn’t convince me against the big sides. And for the next eight weeks or so, those are the only games coming up. And let us face the honest truth here; Arsenal haven’t convinced against the bigger sides now for a few seasons. A smattering of great results at Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool, Chelsea and Marseille have been balanced out by humpings at Milan, Manchester, Napoli and Tottenham in recent times.
Yes, I did say Tottenham. The last few trips to White Hart Lane haven’t gone especially well, have they? Napoli away was dire, and home defeats to Bayern, Dortmund, Chelsea and Manchester City have exposed Arsenal too often recently. This last year has shown a new resilience to this Arsenal side, and after almost every loss this season, this side has bounced back with a win; which perhaps now demonstrates the ‘mental strength’ Wenger keeps identifying but until now was lost on most of us.
Personally, I think Manchester City will be hard to nudge off of the top. The game at The Emirates against them will be the best chance Arsenal have, in my opinion, to take the vital points away from the runaway, free-spending Northerners that may just prove to be the slim difference at the end. Arsenal do owe both Manchester sides a beating and they’ll be a long time coming.
Southampton away was a tough game, and in hindsight, a point wasn’t an awful result; it is great to see Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud net away from the comforts of The Emirates and whilst many in the media read the result as the start of the wheels coming off, I don’t think it does. Manchester City didn’t fare any better there and The Saints are a match for anyone on their day. Obviously, Mathieu Flamini’s red card and suspension is not ideal at all, and factored in with Ramsey’s injury and Mikel Arteta’s hot/cold form, you’d think that Wenger should perhaps look for some midfield cover today…
So, enjoy the deadline day, I strongly advise that you all keep tuned into Giles and Dan and ‘their’ stunning ITK insights on Twitter, and watch their predictions sweep in.
Or not. Ha! Don’t drink that Kool Aid.
Have a great one, let us hope Crystal Palace get the humping they deserve for hiring Tony Pulis and see you on the other side.