Hello there. Just some musings of the Arsenal news scape, in this present pandemic-induced lockdown:
No to Willian
Look – Willian is a good player. He is a continental champion for his country, Brazil, due to winning the last Copa America.
He has won many trophies with Chelsea.
He is a pacey and technically competent player.
But the reports of him moving to Arsenal or Spurs…well go to Spurs frankly and keep Jose company on the bench.
I’m opposed to this move in principle.
Not because he’s a bad player.
But because he would be the latest in a line of Chelsea pensioners (as it were…)
Cech was “too old” for them.
Luiz was “too old” for them.
As would be Willian.
Cech had just one good season with us – this was the Golden Glove in 15/16. And even then, he had a shocker in his first game vs. West Ham. Both goals they scored were due to his goal-keeping errors.
Luiz – well he’s been mostly bad than good. Yes, he’s improved since Arteta came. But for a player of his experience, he is a fairly average defender.
Willian may be the same, or not.
No matter how good he is, we are THE Arsenal.
We shouldn’t be getting Chelsea has-beens. We’re not their retirement home nor dumping ground. Is Chelsea really a bigger club than we are? I don’t care about their European Cup. By that logic, Nottingham Forest is bigger than them and us as they’ve won two. Villa is a big club no doubt, but they’re not bigger than we are. Chelsea earns more than we do, but even when they last won the league (and lost to us at Wembley no less…) we still earnt more than they did. I don’t think Chelsea has a bigger global fanbase either. Yes, they have many fans around the world. But so do we, and I doubt they have more. I see no evidence for this at the least.
The point is – for me at least – it’s about principle. Why take players that Chelsea deems surplus? It’s not a good look. We have no reason to feel lesser than them.
If he wants to stay in London, then why not join Palace or West Ham? Zaha for me is overrated, and I’m glad we got Pepe instead. He may be a good accompaniment or replacement for Zaha, or could do well at the London Stadium.
As long as the London location isn’t the Emirates Stadium, I’m content with that.
It’s not a good look if Willian comes.
And despite our achievements and name in football, we’re not deemed a banter club for nothing. Willian’s arrival, no matter his quality, only would further cement this.
If he’s coming to the Emirates, it should be on the Emirates Line over the Thames to West Ham, and not to our place.
Links with ourselves and Thomas Partey are building up, with ourselves and Man United in supposed discussions.
Partey seemingly has said he prefers an Arsenal move, and as our brand is strong in Africa, it seems that this could be a go.
We need a strong box to box player, and as we’ve apparently beaten United to his prime interest, this would be a positive development should this work out.
For the supposed banter club, to be strongly linked with such a player, is good going.
Partey could be a vital step in our renewed midfield balance, which is a major reason why our defence has been poor in recent years.
The rumour from the last PL meeting is that our ground has been selected for behind closed door play.
There are seemingly a few stadiums around the country, which may act as regional sources for the remaining PL games.
For the north, it is Old Trafford and the Etihad.
For the Midlands, it’s the King Power and Villa Park grounds.
For the south coast, it’s Brighton’s AMEX Stadium and Southampton’s St. Mary’s ground.
And for London, we have the Emirates and the London stadium.
Seeing us vs. Spurs at West Ham would be interesting, as surely we couldn’t play it at our place. It would technically be an “away” game, but in reality, it wouldn’t be.
I think personally it’s a good idea. The pandemic is levelling in the UK, and if football is to resume, it’s the only safe way to end the season. Yes, our country now has the highest death rate in Europe. But then the toll has levelled out in recent weeks, compared to the rise when the lockdown occurred.
And we do have something to play for. If we can put a run together, we can still get a European place (top four at a stretch) and win the FA Cup.
Having tens of thousands of fans in one place isn’t feasible right now, and even though players have legitimate concerns regarding going back, it is possible that lockdown measures may be lifted soon. In this case, other workers may have to go back to work, and why should footballers be different?
It would be weird to see other clubs use our ground. If Spurs do, then they can have a very brief glimpse of our trophy cabinet and see what they’re missing out on.
Our former two-time FA Cup final winner Aaron Ramsey made an interesting comment the other day.
He said that he left Arsenal because of a need for a new challenge and that he didn’t want to go a decade without winning the league.
Granted, we are poor. We have been for some time.
So in that sense, he has a point.
But then it seems pretty revisionist, in my view.
Ramsey was given a contract, and this was retracted by the club.
We don’t know why it was retracted, and what factors behind the scenes caused this. It has never been made in the public domain why this was such.
He clearly was visibly upset at the end of the Brighton game in 2019, where he said his goodbyes in our usual final home match parade.
But this seems like a bit of a cheap shot here. Maybe I’m reading way too much into this. Since he has a point – we’re weren’t in a fit place to challenge for the league. We’re still not.
If the contract was retracted because he took too long to sign it (which is a prominent theory out there), then maybe he didn’t want to stay after all. Though the club could have raised more funds in this regard if he left in, say, January.
Either way, we don’t know the ins and outs of his departure, and I guess a chance to play alongside Ronaldo and win La Scudetto cannot be passed up. Let’s not forget living in Turin, and new foods, culture, and language to take in.
He seems to be holding his own at Juve though – EA Sports just needs to stop calling it “Piemonte Calcio” and resolve the contractual matters causing that.
Arteta saying the Wright, Wright, Wright things
Arteta had an interview with Wrighty on both the Arsenal and Ian Wright Youtube accounts.
Arteta said that the energy has improved since he took over, and gave encouragement to Tierney who is still recovering from injuries.
He also said that Arsenal is a big club and players should feel grateful to play and sign for it.
This comment has piqued interest and debate. Is Arsenal still a big club?
I don’t see how this disputable.
We are on most metrics – fanbase, history, tradition, brand, global scope, etc.
Yes, our team has been poor for a little while.
But then this doesn’t affect these factors.
In some ways, we’re an English AC Milan. Milan has won seven Champions Leagues and many Serie A titles. But they’re way down in the league and will take some time to get back to the top. Milan’s current on the pitch state doesn’t undermine their status as one of football’s great clubs.
We do need to change our ways though to get back, and we’ll see if our goodly owner can facilitate this.
An interesting point here is that our “name” is the only ace in our pack to attract players. Our name may be bigger than Man City’s traditionally – but they can offer a more seasoned manager, better players, a better run club (sans UEFA FFP bans) and a superior team. Our name cannot trump all these things, necessarily.
Our Armenian forward is doing reasonably well at Roma.
However, he has said he wants to go. And he hasn’t done it in England, let’s be frank. Neither for us nor Man United. He clearly wants a change, and why not give it to him?
The club is supposedly holding out for £20m, but for a 31-year-old who hasn’t been at top levels in recent years, is this even feasible?
I’d take a fee of £10m or so. I don’t think he’s a bad player. He is technically strong no doubt – but his consistency is poor.
I’d deem him amongst the deadwood to be fair – and we need to urgently rebuild. Our wage bill is very high, and as the son of our owner said: “we have a Champions League wage squad at a Europa League level”.
So then why not let him go? It should be means to restructure ourselves, and given our losses financially due to a lack of CL football and the pandemic, there is no use in keeping him.
The old credo – if a player wants to leave let him go – is pertinent here. Accordingly, it suits both parties to end ties.
Well, this is just my opinion on recent Arsenal matters. What is your view?