Making unpopular statements seems to be my default mode at the moment and this piece will gain me very few friends and possibly start a mass unfollowing on twitter.
Santos has come under fire recently for his sub-par performances and whilst I don’t think he is good enough to be our top left-back I do think he is worthy of a squad place.
A long-winded exchange on twitter with someone who accused me of knowing nothing about football because I dare to think Santos is an “okay” footballer and a few news stories got me thinking about our left-back spot.
Not good enough for some fans
I threw a question out on twitter about a potential signing and I must admit that I was very surprised with the majority response.
Before I utter the name that will have 95% of you rushing to the hospital with wounds of the mortally offended kind I just want to draw to your attention the extremely popular saying “no player is bigger than the club”.
I don’t know about you but I interpret it as “the club is of the utmost importance so we should do what is best for the club”. Some interpret it as “get rid of the greedy bastard” but I think that’s wrong. If keeping a player is best for the club, regardless of the situation I think we should keep them. If signing one is best then we should try to sign that player.
I know some of you agree with that as I saw many comments and tweets about Hazard saying something like “he might be a mercenary but he is class and we need him”. I have also seen many supporters call for massive pay to keep certain players and then blamed the club when that player eventually left.
With all that in mind I want to explore the re-signing of Ashley Cole.
Have you recovered from your initial shock? Care to read on? I hope so. Read more
It’s a few days before the close of the transfer window and I honestly thought that Arsenal had learnt lessons from last year and that I would be able to watch deadline day unfold in a state of complete relax.
Our early summer business gave me belief that this would happen but it seems as though I may be up on Friday night nervously waiting to see who Arsenal sign if we indeed sign anyone.
A lot, it seems, depends on who goes out and unless we can get the exit door swinging I doubt we will sign anyone. Wenger’s degree in economics and our clubs long-standing view on “sustainability” tells me that Wenger would not see the likes of Bendtner, Arshavin and Squillaci paid to do nothing but train just so he could bring in a few more players. It’s not what we as Arsenal fans want to see or hear, many Gooners would be happy for the so-called “dead wood” to be paid to sit in the stands if it meant their squad spot going to a new signing but I can’t see it.
Wenger is only allowed to name 17 non home-grown players for his Premier League squad and at this time we have 17 and can we realistically see Wenger buying any established English or Welsh players?
So it is clear that bodies need to be moved on before we can bring any in if we agree that we’re not going to pay players who don’t make the squad however much we may or may not feel that decision is wrong.
You think he’s crap? See a doctor, you’ve clearly been hit on the head.
I see a lot of calls on twitter for Arsenal to sign another striker, a defensive midfielder and a defender. Now I don’t necessarily disagree that these additions would be welcome but I certainly disagree with some views that we desperately need a striker because of two goalless draws and the most idiotic of statements that Giroud is “crap”. Read more
Another quick one today folks (and after I said I didn’t have much time with all the wedding prep! I’m still looking for guest writers if you are interested. Please also check out this excellent guest post by
What is happening with Nuri Sahin? He’s in, he’s out, he’s shaking it all about.
According to the various reports in the papers and rumours on twitter you could be forgiven for believing that Nuri has been hovering over Coventry for a week in a helicopter telling the pilot to head to London whilst Mourinho radios in franticly that the pilot should stay on course for Liverpool.
Lotse, nimm mich in den Arsenal Trainingsplatz
I really hope that he gets his way and joins Arsenal even if it is only on loan. When it came to buying midfielders I never once considered Sahin for Arsenal but that’s not because I didn’t think he was good enough, far from it, I just never conceived a situation where Madrid would let him go.
When the summer started I never really saw Song leaving and thus felt a “deep” midfielder was not required. We already had Song, Arteta, Wilshere, Coquelin and Frimpong for those positions and I felt the names we were being linked with to “challenge” Song were no better. M’Vila (or “M’villa” as twitter would have me believe) for example is a player that I felt and still feel is no improvement on Song. Those who have watched him regularly that I know of tend to agree and consider him as I consider him and that is as a player with great “potential”. He has had a few impressive international performances but international football is so different from club football. I’ve never believed him to be the “answer” to the teams “problems” and in fact have always felt that he was considered the answer to the wrong question but that’s for another time. If you want to read a piece on M’Vila by someone who has seen him play for a number of years then I suggest you read this by @BackoTheDoc.
The player I really wanted if we went for a “deep” midfielder was Javi Martinez.
Now you may be wondering why I keep say “deep” midfielder and not “DM”. It’s because I generally detest the term and want to dispel what I believe to be a myth about Arsenal. Arsenal do not need a “DM” nor have they played with one in the Wenger years. The closest we’ve come was Petit. Even Gilberto to my mind was not a “defensive midfielder”. Read more
The year is 1999 and Arsenal have just finished the season without a trophy. They have been comprehensively beaten by an inspired Chelsea by 5 goals to nil in the Worthington Cup, have exited the Champions League in 3rd spot behind Lens in 2nd and group winners Dynamo Kyiv, lost the FA Cup semi-final to Manchester United in extra-time and missed out on the league on the final day of the season to Manchester United by 1 point. (Incidentally United conceded 37 goals that year and still won the league, Arsenal conceded 17 and finished 2nd. These days “defensive frailties” are often quoted as a reason for not winning the league but I would suggest that United’s 80 goals scored to our 59 and Man City winning the league on goal difference shows that attack is quite often the best form of defence.)
Giggs knocking Arsenal out of the FA Cup
Arsenal had started the season poorly with 4 draws and a loss before the end of September leaving them with just 10 points and though they fought extremely hard to get back into title contention they ultimately finished the season pot-less and with a bitter taste in their mouth. Things for the fans were about to get worse.
Picked up for £500,000, free scoring Nicolas Anelka looked to be the buy of the century until Real Madrid came calling and Anelka left in a £22.3m deal. Financially it was very good for the club but having come so close to retaining the title and with no prolific striker in the ranks with Ian Wright having left the summer before the fans were understandably tetchy and worried about our ability to compete.
Santi Cazorla, the latest player Arsenal have been linked with and the latest player the ITK types have claimed we are definitely signing is my focus today although I do not claim to be an expert on him but I may have watched him more than The Boss as Wenger is reported as saying “Who is this guy?”. It would seem that Wenger is not interested in the player but Wenger not being interested usually means we are interested although I do think The Boss is being genuine when he says that M’Vila isn’t on his radar. I said for ages that I was sceptical about that deal and was sceptical if he was the player we need or not so I am not surprised that Wenger has poured water on that one and don’t expect it to be diversionary. As Wenger said, we have enough cover in midfield with Jack and Diaby coming back to fitness.
I have used various statistics in my blogs before and I appreciate that statistics don’t always tell the “full story” however I think that statistics, in their raw numeric form, is one of the fairest ways an average fan can judge a player. Statistics are often used to enforce a point and if the statistics say something that goes against a certain person’s view you can be sure that person will trot out the “stats aren’t everything” line. A great example of this could be Denilson or even Ramsey, both have very high pass accuracy % and the fans of these players will point to this and say “look, they are good passers” those in the opposite camp will say “yeah but how many of those were sideways and backwards passes?” to support their point. I just stick with numbers; I don’t agree with questioning statistics because we don’t agree with them or because they don’t fit our own views. I believe you have to accept statistics as they are or you have to take a hell of a lot of things into consideration that you may never have thought of before. I say this because I am going to use statistics to explore an idea or opinion if you will, that I have. What I am writing are my own thoughts and not fact – I feel the need to say that as I’ve had a few trolls on twitter jumping on everything I tweet as if I am claiming it all to be Gospel – alas I digress.
On to the main event – I believe that the time has come for Theo Walcott to move up front and I believe that the potential signing of Santiago Cazorla (if Wenger works out who he is ) will enable this.