It’s Thursday today and still there are another 4 more days to go before Arsenal plays. Time seem to pass slower when there are no matches to be played. Stories are few and far between, at a time when players prefers to spend their time after training with their families in preparation for the upcoming festive season.
It is no wonders that media rehash old stories. I don’t blame them. The lack of stories does not help and they have to sell papers, column pages, advertisement and what have you. That is what they are paid to do. To produce inches in the papers or online site, they have to come out with something. Even if it means rehashing old stuffs (note : kinda look like what I’m trying to do here).
So here’s the old stuffs that I was bleating on about. That interview with Marouane Chamakh seemed a whole lot familiar. That he can describe Cesc Fabregas as a kid shows just how different a signing he has been compared to what we have come to be accustomed to. Not the archetypical Arsene Wenger signing in that he is no longer a youngster. It’s been so long since that I can’t recall the last finished article a player that Wenger has signed.
Wenger has his customary pre-match special interview with Arsenal TV and was more pragmatic about the upcoming January transfer window. Miracles are not what we want and that is not what we will get. There’s a lot of truth about what he said. That the signing would only be made if the particular player fits to our system and that he is eligible to play in all competitions. On top of that, you still have the transfer price to discuss. Something which we all know for certain that Wenger would not overpay if he deems that the quality does not match the price.
I can try to examine the market to see who’s available but I fear that my scouting network is not even 1% of what Wenger has. I’m sure there are reports upon reports piled on his desk by his scouts on any possible new signings. I can definitely tell you the position that I would be recommending to Mr Wenger should he ever seek my opinion. That is the defensive midfield one.
Alex Song emerged since last season to be the owner of this position. Though, this season he has somewhat change the definition of the role. Normally regarded as the water-carrier position, something which Claude Makelele was a master at. Someone to just sit and screen in front the defence. As with Gilberto Silva’s case, the less you see of him, the better. So invincible was our former Brazilian midfielder that he totally escapes my memory whenever I think about Brazil in the 2002 World Cup.
Just like with Chamakh, it is impossible to expect Song to play in every single game. Unfortunately for us, the prime candidate that was Emmanuel Frimpong suffered a season ending injury just before the start of the season. The youngster had every right to feel aggrieved after impressing in pre-season for Arsenal. Denilson is someone who possess the discipline to perform that role but sadly lacked the sufficient concentration to do that well.
Remember the criteria; not cup-tied, doesn’t mind playing second fiddle, right price and right experience. Doesn’t leave you with much is it? From the Premier League alone, only Stuart Holden (Bolton), Jack Rodwell (Everton) and Dickson Etuhu (Fulham) matches those criteria. While these players are starters for their respective club, a transfer to Arsenal with less playing time would still be considered a step up.
Outside of England, I’m hard pressed to find anyone who is not first choice for their club side. Mainly because we seldom get to see those players play if they are not starters. Even those that we see are starters are probably in those dead rubber European games which frankly makes them cup-tied anyway. In that respect, it is not hard to understand Wenger perspective on the difficulty of making new signings in January.
If you have any idea, would love to hear from you. More tomorrow.