All Arsenal’s Signings show fundamental changes in policy and attitude
Good morning/afternoon/evening you Arsenal crazed beauty. How are you this fine day/eve? It’s good to metaphorically see you again here on Gunners Town. If truth be told, I missed you, you handsome devil you.
If it weren’t patently obvious, I’m quite chipper as I begin composing my post this fine Thursday eve. Quite chipper indeed.
You see, I’m quite a fan of the way in which our summer is shaping up. It’s been one hell of a ride so far in terms of recruitment for us, and for a multitude of reasons too. In fact, each of those reasons can be exemplified by each of the individual signing.
Not quite following? Let me explain thusly. I have pictures and everything.
1). The Superstar
Our slew of summer signings was kicked off with a signing so wonderful, that the rest of the window is frankly starting to feel like a bit of a let-down. We started this sexy session of scintillatingly seductive signings with our climax. We’ve walked in, dropped our pants, exploded all over everyone standing innocently in the room and then decided we might like to try a little foreplay.
Ladies and gentlemen, as described here last week, we signed Alex – Bloody – Sanchez.
Arsenal Football Club, for two summer windows in a row, have signed a world-beater. Now, I’m sure myself and many others have waxed lyrical enough about the man and his significance to our team, but let it be stated one more time. We had a dire need of his ilk up front, we identified him early-on, and we went and got him in spectacularly unspectacular fashion. No frills, no fuss, early business done wonderfully hassle-free.
What’s almost as surprising as his capture is the timing of it. Our top priority being sorted early on in the transfer window before we could possibly get distracted by cheaper, easier alternatives? What an alien concept in the life of the Arsenal supporter of 12 months ago.
The timing is almost as significant as the signing itself. It shows we mean business, and it shows we have the means to back up our intentions to get said business done.
2). The Prudent Replacement
Sadly, Bacary Sagna will never again wear the red and white (or blue and yellow) of Arsenal Football Club competitively every again. (I like to think that he still wears his shirts to bed every night. It’s the little things that keep me most amused).
Now, no one will begrudge the way he left the club, nor his consummate professionalism both on and off the pitch. He’s never said anything unwarranted about the club, has always had the utmost respect for our fans and, to my mind, embodied the class, dedication and stead-fastness I like to think characterise the club.
So, how do we go about replacing such an integral fixture of our teamsheets of the past seven years? By cloning him, apparently.
Arsenal have replaced our dearly departed Sagna with a man so similar in his play-style and consistency, he’s taken the poor man’s place in their national team. Enter Mathieu Debuchy, the only fullback in the Premier League with more successful headers than Sagna last season.
He’s defensively sound, potentially superior in the attack (in terms of crosses completed successfully) and has more years in his tank.
When was the last time an important component in our team left, and was replaced successfully? I certainly don’t remember.
3) The Competitive Option
That amazing day at Wembley gave us many things. The end of an era of transition, the end of a tenure of failure to win anything, the end of Tottenham’s window of reprieve for our winning the league at White Hart Lane, and, perhaps a lot less significantly, the end of the time of one Lukasz Fabianski at our club.
He might not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but at the time of his leaving, Arsenal lost a very, very good second choice keeper and found themselves all the weaker for it.
Our reaction this season? To sign one of the stars of the world cup, one David Ospina. He’s a man brought in to play second fiddle to Wojciech Szczesny to begin with, but also a man with all the tools, wherewithal and backing of the club to usurp him as our Number One.
Our Mr. Arsene Wenger has gone out and bought a 25-year- old keeper with a burgeoning reputation and a career on a steady upwards trajectory as a competitor to his 24-year-old Number One. A Number One that he has publically stated, on many an occasion, he expects to wear the gloves of our club for years to come. It’s a bold move, to throw the gauntlet between these two players and encourage them to fight it out, and I love it. Its ambitious, it’s ruthless, and it’s the kind of ethos that weeds out the meek and strengthens the already strong.
4) The promise of youth
Our final confirmed signing (at the time of writing, mind) is the youthful right-back/defender/midfielder Calum Chambers.
This lovely man is a signing for the future with the added benefit of covering a multitude of positions during a very timely window.
His signing increases our much-lauded British Core, allows a player in desperate need of first team playing time to go out and prove himself (Carl Jenkinson) and gives us the option of fourth CB cover that was lost with our dearly departed Sagna.
This particular signing ticks many of the boxes traditionally associated with the checklist of our manager, none more so than that of being a promising youngster. He’s tall, composed on the ball, has an impressive reading of the game for a defender of his age (helped by his time spent in midfield) and has a good relationship with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain already.
So, what’s so strange about this signing?
The price, £12/16 million, for a young defender is a lot of money to spend, especially considering that that price is based most strongly on potential, as opposed to any as-of-yet-realised feats.
We’re showing that we’re willing to pay the premium if we think that potential is there. Think back to two years ago when we were asking for this kind of money to be spent on one Wilfred Zaha and we, rightly or wrongly, turned it down.
So, it would appear that change is under-foot, and not small changes either. There’s a ruthlessness in the way we’re weighing our needs, our means, and our plans for the future. Why, as I type this out and draw this post to a close, there are reports emerging of Juan Quintero flying in to London to complete a transfer from Porto to us for around £16 million.
Now, wouldn’t that be something. Everyone and their dog are begging, screaming and bellowing for a defensive midfielder and Wenger has gone and decided that he wants to grab the next James Rodriguez before anyone else figures out who he is. That’s some A-Grade trolling right there, and I can’t but love it.
I say it again, ladies and gentlemen. It’s an exciting time to be a gunner. Revel in the possibility, indulge in the excitement, and always keep it classy, Arsenal fans.
I’m a passionate Arsenal fan in South Africa with a penchant for the expletive and a driving need to vilify stupidity, incompetence and reactionary fact-calling at every opportunity.
I’ve been supporting Arsenal for nigh on 10 years now from my far-removed vantage at the tip of Southern Africa, and my life is all the better for it.
My heroes include Abou Diaby (for kicking John Terry square in the face, accomplishing something we’ve all dreamed of doing), Arsene Wenger (for the gift of the amazing football he’s given us over the last 20 years consistently enough for us to feel entitled to it), and every one of the Gooners singing their hearts out on match-day, no matter the performance (I’ll join them some day).