Lately, you can hardly read anything from Arsene Wenger’s interviews and press conferences. It was mostly towing the club line and trying to churn out as much positives as possible. Surprisingly, yesterday’s one was slightly different. Very refreshing to see to.
With the registration for any new players being limited to only two days (Tuesday and Wednesday), the focus was very much in terms of transfers. The one concerning Gary Cahill drew the most attention. Partly because an actual bid was lodged but mostly because of what Bolton’s Chairman, Phil Gartside tweeted. He retweeted a remark from a Bolton fan (it has since been deleted) of how the number being quoted in the initial bid was a humiliating one.
Wenger categorically denied doing that of course. First of all, I’m elated to see that our wheels are starting to move in terms of transfer. If anything else, this confirms that we are trying to add player(s) to the squad. That can’t be anything but positive. Secondly, in any negotiation, no one starts by offering the highest price. That would put the buyer in a very uncompromising position without any leverage.
I don’t know what goes on in the meetings between Arsenal and Bolton (off the pitch anyways). I can only assume that the official sent by Arsenal will do everything within his power to make the transfer work without undermining our control over the matter. Let’s see what comes out of this.
Then, it was also positive to see a frank admission on Wenger’s part. An admission that his current squad is not good enough to challenge. There’s no doubt that we are short of couple of players in all areas of the pitch, except the goalkeeping department. It goes to show that the manager, despite his obvious faith in his younger players is not blind to the fact that as a whole the squad needs a little more experience to get us to the finish line.
The fact that there’s the African Nation’s Cup to worry about come the busy period of January. Alex Song, Marouane Chamakh and Gervinho are likely to be unavailable during this month. That is a big concern as it leaves us without a striker should Robin Van Persie also be injured during that period. Which is why it is also positive to see Wenger acknowledging the impact of the ACN and how we’ll be a striker short.
The strangeness of those comments don’t just end there. Wenger even state for a fact that we’re looking for at least 3 players. One each for the defence, midfield and striking positions. I do believe that we need someone in the mould of an attacking midfielder. Someone with that little bit of creativity for the final third. There’s a big chance that Jack Wilshere might be given this role but then again, we can’t expect him to play every game.
Hopefully from now onwards the team will play to their capable best and not be burdened by the enormous pressure mounted on team like it was before the Champions League second leg. Wojciech Szczesny, Thomas Vermaelen, Carl Jenkinson and even Wenger himself were relieved that we did make it through at the end.
It looks like a real good team spirit is starting to come out from the current bunch. As Sol Campbell and Lee Dixon alluded to, that will only augur well for the team. Rather than to create a mentality like Jose Mourinho always does with his team, this is not about us against the world. It is about us. How we need to work together as a group, how we need to fight together as a group and how we need to improve as a group.
As in any collective sport, the impact of team spirit and ethos towards the success of the club cannot be ignored. Things are starting to gel to the club. Positive, positive and positives all around.