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Wenger assessing the next generation

Hello everyone and good day to you. The clock is ticking furiously away and we’re now 40 hours from the end of the transfer window (as I type this). Surprisingly, we were not linked with any new names yesterday. There were no rumours. Absolutely zero. One hopes that this is the calm before the storm but with Arsenal, it is hard to make a guess either way. Because of the quietness, the focus remained pretty much on the same topics from earlier in the week.

One of which is how we are not scoring any goals. More quotes coming out from Olivier Giroud and even the normally silent Gervinho also said something. Both of which are saying almost similar things, the need to be patient and we’ll start scoring soon. Which I believe we will. While I understand the need from the media to push for that agenda, how we’re struggling in front of goal without the talisman from last season, it’s baffling to see the official website also taking the same route.

I’m sure they are aware of all the talk on the internet. They have enough people on social website and in constant communication with the big name bloggers and journalists, to not know that this is the current hot topic. I do wonder why we’re feeding it further by releasing stories like that. That has been covered quite extensively since Sunday, the day we drew our second league match of the season without hitting the back of the net. Puzzling why we still need to keep that going on a Thursday.

The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that, it is the best way to cover for the quietness on the transfer front or to put the Theo Walcott story into the sidelines.

However, it will be hard for the club to escape from the Walcott story. Everyone loves an Arsenal big name leaving during the start of a new season, don’t they. Yet, it has been a complete turnaround from what was heard/read the day before. Now, the push is more on trying to keep him around. There’s a suggestion that we could very well keep him on, even without him signing an extension to his contract. That will leave us at the risk of him leaving on a Bosman free transfer by the end of the season.

Financially and from the business standpoint, it makes no sense. Here is a player whom we have nurtured since he was a 16 year old boy. Someone who we have put in a lot of effort and time to mould him into the player he is today. To not make some return out of him would be rather foolish considering what he could bring in today’s market. An English international who is predominantly known as a good lad, who offers polar opposites on the pitch (depending on which match you’re watching) and someone who could offer plenty of commercial revenue due to his image. But we are first and foremost a football club.

While that must be taken into consideration, it should not be our priority to recoup a percentage of the outlay we have set out on him nor try to make a profit out of him. The only question which begs to be asked is this, is Walcott a player who can contribute this season to help us win a title or a trophy? If the answer is yes, then we should absolutely keep him. Even if that means we lose him for free by the end of the season.

For us fans, sometimes it is hard for us to make the distinction on a decision based on financial or the footballing side of things. I don’t envy the job that our manager or the Arsenal staff have. There are so many things to be considered. Selling Walcott could even have an impact on the potential signings that we may make in the next 40 hours. These potential signings may see that we are a selling club and thinks that a year or two with us is fine because they could use as a stepping stone to another club. Which comes back to the earlier point I make, if these players could help us win a trophy or two this season, it is something I can leave with.

One player to have benefited from the 2 games we have played thus far is certainly Abou Diaby. Not only has he played in 2 consecutive games without any recurrence of his injuries, he has now earned a recall into the France national side. Didier Deschamps placing his faith in Diaby like his predecessor has done. The key thing being noted by the former Champions League winner,

He is a very fragile player but he seems to be on the right track and I hope that nothing will hold him back now.

Well done Diaby and we are all praying for your continuous good health. One more thing to note from that squad is Laurent Koscielny. His name is in the squad despite him still being injured and we’re waiting for Arsene Wenger’s latest update on him. Perhaps Deschamps knows something we don’t. Or it could simply just be because the international matches are next week and their medical team just want a closer look at Koscielny before deciding to leave him or take him. I’m hoping it’s because Koscielny has regained his fitness. Against a Brendan Rogers’ team, perhaps we need his service more than Per Mertesacker.

Finally, the NextGen series kicked off for Arsenal and a 3-0 win under the watchful eyes of Arsene Wenger and other first team coaches. Terry Burton’s side did very well I’m eagerly waiting for the highlights on Arsenal Player.