The way it’s going, you would think that we’re now in June and the European Championship is upon us. Why? Have you not seen all the Arsenal related news having to do with transfers and how much money Arsene Wenger will be allowed to spend? Last time I checked, we’re supposed to take every match as a cup final. Then, how can we be worried about what’s going to happen in 3 months’ time?
The amount being bandied around has increased (gradually or not, depends on your valuation on the matter). The latest figure pushed the transfer kitty up to £100 million. That’s a pretty big sum. Add to that, the possible sales of players and we could be pushing somewhere £120 million or £130 million mark. If for instance, some cases where we can’t sell off those players and need to pay compensation for breaking the contract, there should still be around £75 million left (assuming the number is correct in the first place).
First and foremost, it’s about moving on or releasing some of the players we have whom we have no used of. I don’t need to name names, it’s quite clear who those players are. Not so much because of the money they can generate or even to free up some part of the 4th highest wage bill in the Premier League. But mostly because, we need space for the squad registration, should anyone come in.
We will know tomorrow whether we will have Andrey Arshavin, at least until the end of the season. The Russian captain is coveted by his former club, Zenit St Petersburg, albeit over a loan deal. It will be a pain to go through why we’ve reached such a state with Arshavin, so I will spare you that. Can he still contribute to our cause? Absolutely, his invention at the Stadium of Light shows what he’s still capable of.
Despite the poor form and seemingly lack of effort, I’d won’t let him go for now. The reason is simple. He offers something different than what we have. Even when they are on song, neither Gervinho nor Theo Walcott has the vision that Arshavin has. I agree that those instances are few and far in between but the two are more guaranteed starters than Arshavin. However, if the first plan doesn’t work, I’m tempted to give Arshavin a try just because there’s a tiny possibility that he might find something out of nothing.
Speaking of Walcott, there’s a rumour about Arsenal doing a swap deal with Chelsea for Daniel Sturridge. Forget about who’s going to pay extra, what would we do without Walcott? Who can we give the Theo chants to? Who’s going to give Ryo Miyaichi a run for this money in the speed test? Who’s going to come up with another autobiography when they hit 25 years old? That’s what I think of the matter, which should tell how much I believe in this story.
With Per Mertesacker out for the rest of the season and Sebastien Squillaci whom we can’t trust to play more than a single half or anyone higher than the 17th spot in the Premier League, I seemed to think a recall for Kyle Bartley is on the cards. Sending a budding centre back away for so long and putting him behind Squillaci in the pecking order is a harsh punishment for scoring an own goal in the Emirates Cup. Given that Rangers themselves have gone into administration, I’m not sure the club would still want to continue to bear parts of Bartley’s wages nor do I think it’s a conducive environment for him to continue his learning process.
I saw the highlights of the Reserves game against Norwich. We won 5-0 and lots of first teamers got to see some action. Arshavin, Yossi Benayoun, Marouane Chamakh and Park Ju Young helped the youngsters to win while there’s even a comeback goal for Benik Afobe. Perhaps accidental or perhaps it has to do with too much sitting down on the substitute bench, but Chamakh has got himself injured in that match. Which in a way it’s unfortunate because we would have hoped for him to at least get a goal to try and improve his confidence. As it turns out, it was a boost for the other 3 first teamers who all got onto the scoresheet.
The banter has started early for the North London Derby. Jermaine Defoe claiming that it will be a bigger match for us than to them. What do you mean where’s the link? I’m not going to link any Sp*rs player’s quote into this Arsenal blog. As is the case with everything in life, the truth hurts. They are in a very healthy position compared to ours. A defeat for them this Sunday wouldn’t hurt their hopes for the season as much as it would to ours.
While I would love to be able to boldly claim that we’re a better footballing side than them, this season we can’t do that. Bunch of idiots they are but they are 10 points ahead of us in the league. Though, don’t be fool be their position. They will still be looking to put one over us. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. We will have to bring our A game to the field as well.
A win this Sunday does not solve all problems but it will restore some much needed pride.