Hello to everyone, hope to find you well.
It’s Tuesday and the first round of league matches has been completed. Do one really take a look at the league table at this stage of the season? I doubt so. I don’t really look at it either. Normally, it would take me up to October or November before I really look at the table properly. Of course, up until then, I would have checked it to see where Arsenal and the others are but no real judgement of how the season could turn out. Some might like to take to gloating after Robin’s new club lost last night are still behind us in the table after the first weekend, not me.
I think we’re going to what is going to be a crucial week up ahead. Or if you like a crucial last 10 days to the end of the transfer window. Had we not sanctioned the sale of RvP and Song, I should think we would be generally happy about how things have gone. A notion that I would also agree with, even after those sales. It’s just that injuries were not permitting us to field a much stronger side last Saturday. Not wholesale changes, maybe in one or two positions.
A lot of fans want those two spots to be replaced, as do probably some of the players as Santi Cazorla highlighted. It would be an unfair expectation to have a like for like replacement for RvP. It’s not because there are no such players out there. It’s more because these players will not be allowed to leave by their respective clubs nor will Arsenal be able/want (delete as appropriate) to pay for their expected high transfer fees and wages. The problem is different with Song because while he’s good, he’s not world class. There are options are out there and it remains to be seen how Arsene Wenger would approach this.
Although the boss did allude to this after the match on Saturday. A defender and a midfielder is what he said. Whether that is related to his comments on us not creating enough is another matter. A lot went through Cazorla in that match and it wouldn’t take a genius opposition manager/coach to figure that out. Put a marker or two on the Spaniard and they could prevent us from creating. Nuri Sahin is a name we’ve been linked with for a number of weeks now. If he’s the one whom Wenger is referring to when talking about bringing in a midfielder, then it is to fill the squad with someone with that little bit of extra creativity.
Wenger’s comments on a defender though, is a little strange for me. Having done the preview (sort of) of the squad that we have going into the season, I did say that we do not need reinforcement in defence. However, the sale of Song could influence that thinking as Song is someone who can easily slot into defence when required. A move that can be vital when we’re chasing the game. It allows us to have the option to move a midfielder back into centre back and still be able to be relied upon to create something from the back. I’m not sure there are too many centre backs who can double up quite as comfortably as a midfielder, or vice versa.
Of course, there could be other possibilities why Wenger would be interested to bring in a defender. Perhaps the pre season games which saw Andre Santos playing in a more advanced role is not just to get match fitness or for moments when we do need to protect the left flank a little more. It could also be because he never expected Kyle Bartley to accept the offer to Swansea (a possibility as low as you can imagined). Or perhaps he saw Carl Jenkinson’s performance against Sunderland and was unsure whether he can be ready for a longer run in the side.
What does augurs well for us, is the admission that we might not be done in the transfer market, yet. However, caution must be thrown in the wind as Wenger is also not known to honestly speak his mind to the press. There’s a lot of things said which are meant to throw either other teams off or to ensure we get the best bargain in the market.
I guess we’ll know more as the week progress along.