Who’s Coming In? Arsenal’s Transfer Deadline Day Set To Be Busy?

By Daniel Cowan
In Arsenal
Aug 28th, 2012

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”.

I find the assertions that we need a new striker because “Giroud can’t score” even more ridiculous because all the suggested strikers are all playing in other leagues. Would spending £35m on Falcao automatically make us scoring machines? I don’t think so.

The problem is not the shooting, it’s the loading of the barrel. The size of the goal is the same all over the world so when a striker from any league gets the ball and has sight of the goal it doesn’t matter where he is from or what league he is playing in. The only thing that can stop him, if his hits the target, is the keeper.

Our main barrel loader is now Cazorla and whilst he has excited he is not in sync with the rest of the barrel loaders and the guys taking the shots and vice versa. (Note, this is not a criticism of Cazorla or any one player). The build up to scoring a goal is like a production line in factory, if the parts or workers aren’t all working at the same speed then things get messed up. That is what is happening to Arsenal at the moment.

Our players aren’t on the same wavelength and our runs don’t match our passes and vice versa. It’ll come though and when it does we are going to be extremely dangerous. At any rate a new striker would have the same issues Giroud is having and that is adapting to the pace of the league as well as syncing up with Cazorla. When Giroud starts making blind runs to get onto Cazorla’s blind passes (like Cesc, Theo & Song instinctively knew where that Dutch geezer was) he’ll show exactly what I mean when I say the goal is the same size all over the world and all he’ll need to adapt to is the pace and power of the league but I don’t think that will be an issue especially after the way he handled Stokes rugby tactics as though they were run of the mill challenges, in fact I believe he completely dominated Shawcross statistically and won every aerial challenge.

We’re not scoring but the defence is looking extremely solid and I’ve been particularly impressed with them because playing against teams like Sunderland and Stoke who are very physical, soak up pressure well and then hit you on the counter-attack is difficult and Arsenal would have lost those games last year.

I put the improvement in the defence down to a number of factors, Steve Bould’s influence, better team discipline, greater understanding between our defenders and in my opinion, the emergence and improvement of both Jenkinson and Mertesacker. I know Jenkinson gets a lot of stick but for a lad of his age and earlier league experience he has acquitted himself very well so far and Per has been exemplary. His positioning, reading of the game and clean tackling has been a huge asset against the physicality and counter-attacking nature of Stoke and Sunderland. I personally think that Per and Koscielny are our best pairing and am coming around to the idea of Vermaelen maybe taking the defensive midfield spot which I’ve previously been against and have dismissed quite often but it could fit well with us potentially bringing in another defender but then again I don’t think that’ll happen.

Reason for the improved defensive displays?

I think a couple of goalless draws plus the loss of that Dutch geezer and Song (who was never given any stick for lacking defensive discipline) has made a lot of people nervous and desperately wanting a defensive midfielder and a new striker.

Supposedly Dick Law is in Germany and may be negotiating a move for a new addition from the Bundesliga or maybe a move out for one of our fringe players. There are many players in the Bundesliga that I’d be happy for us to make a move for like Schürrle, Schweinsteiger, Großkreutz or Piszczek (if we were to go for another RB I’d want this guy) but I don’t think we have much chance of getting any of those or rather there is a lack of interest from us especially in the last two.

I’m quite nervous about the looming deadline day because I really don’t see where we can add true quality in the next few days.

In terms of a new midfielder we have been linked with Fellaini, Cabaye, Tiote, M’Vila and Capoue in recent times and I think the first three are off the cards because of the ridiculous money Everton and Newcastle would ask for those players. M’Vila I have never been convinced we would buy nor that he would be a massive improvement on Song but now that Song is out of the picture it’s a different story but I still don’t think that one will happen despite all the ITK types saying it will so that just really leaves Capoue. Of all the players we’ve been linked with in that ball winning position he is the one I’d prefer. I’m not convinced by his passing ability but if we want an enforcer he could be it or there is another name we’ve been linked with but not for a while and that is Mavuba. He’s not a regular for France but then again Arteta has never represented Spain so we shouldn’t dismiss players based on their international appearances (nor should we build them up on it à la M’Vila).

Ball winner and partial to a dodgy haircut. Perfect Song replacement?

Striker wise I’m not convinced we are in for anyone or that a new striker would make much of a difference considering my earlier point that we need time to sync up. I probably would have said I’d want Dempsey because of his versatility and 17 goals in the premier league last season but I’m not so sure where he’d fit now. If we are going to buy a striker I think we should buy from the premier league and I’d make a concerted effort for Hernandez.

With so little time left I don’t really think anyone we could bring in would make a significant difference bar a new ball-winning midfielder and with the defence solidity we have at the moment and players to return as well as the anticipated improved understanding between our new signings and the rest of the team I’m not so convinced we need to.

Some will say that this sort of attitude is accepting mediocrity and enabling the club to just keep scraping into the champions league but to those I say this. Do you really think just getting into the Champions League is the quintessence of what Wenger considers success? I refer you to my esteemed colleague Poznan In My Pants who quite beautifully said, don’t confuse our minimum goal with our maximum ambition.

So if come Sunday when we line up against Liverpool our squad is largely unchanged don’t be too disheartened as our team is looking good and the goals will come sooner than later.

Call me too positive, say I enable mediocrity, tell me I’m deluded and this team will win nothing, I don’t care. I’m confident those who feel differently from me will be eating their words come May and hopefully will be happy to do so. If we sign a ball-winning midfielder and that’s it by Saturday I’ll consider myself lucky and our business to have been taken care of even if it’s conclusion was left a little late for my liking.

Thanks for reading! If you liked what you read please comment on this post, subscribe by email, share with friends and follow me on twitter (@thedanielcowan). (I’ve heard some people have had an issue with leaving comments. If you experience an issue please get in touch using the contact form, I’d really appreciate it.)

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About "" - 509 Posts

I am a South London born Gooner now living in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex. I'm a husband, daddy, podcaster, trainer enthusiast and aspiring author. My work is my passion and for that I will always be grateful. Here is where I write my thoughts and views on Arsenal Football Club, the greatest team the world has ever seen.

22 Responses to “Who’s Coming In? Arsenal’s Transfer Deadline Day Set To Be Busy?”

  1. flashygunner says:

    intelligent and brilliant article. Personally from experience , the way le boss has been talking about the team and the possibility of new additions is de ja vu to me.
    ‘if a special player that can add quality to our team is available we will do business, but trust me this team has quality.’ This is Arsene’s code for i am done with transfers. i therefore seem to agree with u not to be expectant, if it happens fine if no, life surely continue. BUT I DOUBT VERY MUCH.

  2. Azyyz says:

    Is good to be positive in any bussiness… I trust Wenger and i love Arsenal f.c…

  3. cupsui loves kozzer says:

    Hey dan…
    loved the article as always. Well thought out and well considered. I agree with you on Capoue he is the guy i have secretly been hoping wenger would sign all summer. But i think its a long shot. I heard something about lars bender, i’ve seen a little and he has a really good work rate and a clean tackler…guess we’ll see.

    Strikers i think we’ll be ok. Seriously Giroud is gonna be something special. That was a really tough ask against Stoke with thugs like shawcross and huth kicking and barging him all game. he stood up well and i thought he had a good game and almost scored a miracle goal. A few more games and we’ll see the front 6 clicking and goals coming.

    I ask would you be happier with 2-2 draws so far or the two 0-0 draws we’ve had? I’ll take the two 0-0 draws especially against the foes we’ve faced. We know we can score, its the improvement in defence that has been pleasing!

    I also like you link with the polish RB blaszsomethingorotherwizc…he is good! commanding defender and very direct in coming forward. But i must say maybe not neccessary with the way Jenko Fett is coming on…

    The one thing i must say that has disappointed me the most from the opening games is the quality of crossing. it has been ATROCIOUS!! I honestly did not remember one good cross in the Stoke game. we get that in order and the goals will come without doubt!

    Can’t wait to see king koz back next game!

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      Thanks mate. Bender is a good player and I wouldn’t say no.

      Giroud will be special, I agree 100%. I wouldn’t be happier with 2-2 draw because it would show no progress and there would still be huge question marks over our defence. At the moment we can pass off not scoring as a combination of new players learning each others games, adapting to the rhythm of the league and the very defensive tactics of the teams we’ve faced.

      Piszczek is a very good player and my choice if we went out for another RB but I honestly think that Jenks will be the man and he’ll only get better with more game time and learning from the best RB in Europe. He’s nowhere near ready to take Sagna’s spot full time but he is a decent backup in my opinion.

      Crossing wise I think there are a lot of explanations. Firstly there’s no point really crossing the ball much as Stoke are such a big team and we’re unpractised in the art of attacking crosses and secondly the players we had wide in Gervinho and Podolski are direct players who like to run at defenders so aren’t really in crossing positions often. I think it’s good that we play on the floor as although Giroud is capable in the air he is not purely an aerial threat and he is extremely capable with his feet and that will catch a few defenders out this year.

    • cupsui loves kozzer says:

      On the crossing depart. the thing was we had many crossing opportunities especially against stoke…and took them the problem was the quality of the crosses. I hope it gets better cause Giroud is an excellent header and can take advantage of this. It also makes our games less predictable. Having dangerous crossing changes defenders positioning and opens up space for deep midfield runs, space in the “hole” between mids and defence around the edge of the box. We really need to work on this especially early on when the development of the passing game is still coming on…
      cheers Dan

  4. G says:

    Great thoughts. I believe we will sign one more midfielder but also agree that we will have to sell first or at least loan out. We are solid in defence at the moment, but again when the injuries come, that is when we fall apart. I would have liked to have seen Walcott on sunday playing just behind Giroud instead of on the wing. But overall I agree that the goals will come. And against Stoke for the previous ( I think 4 visits) we only managed 1 win.

  5. eriss says:

    I love every bit of this article. Well written and very frankly too. I also want to believe that Wenga is done with transfers this season; I’m not trying to be flat over this, if any thing comes up by 12 midnight on saturday, then fine and ok with me. But earnestly, I don’t think I want to expect any! But generally, I think Wenga has done very well in the transfer this season and I want to say we have better days ahead.

  6. ZB20H says:

    This article manages to stay level headed in the media frenzy that is the Transfer Deadline. In an ideal world and trying to keep it realistic,

    Defence – would like to see an experienced goalkeeping backup to Szcsesny. Hugely encouraged in the improvements shown by Gibbs and Jenkinson so we may have enough in this area unless Santos goes to jail.

    Midfield – I can’t believe we haven’t been linked with Toulalon at Malaga who we all know are in weird financial position at the moment. Experienced, French, disciplined, could play alongside or instead of Arteta and wouldn’t cost a fortune if the fee for Cazorla is anything to go by.

    Forwards – our options from the bench are pitiful (Bentdner, who will probably leave anyway, Chamakh, Park) so I would like to see us sign Michael Owen on a short term or pay as you play contract. I think he could have a similar impact to what Henry did in his loan spell last season. If he could turn 4/5 tight games from the bench in our favour over the season it would be well worth it.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      Toulalan is good player and I wouldn’t say no to Owen either. I’ve mentioned him many times on this blog and have been ridiculed for it to no end but I stand by what I say, he is a great impact sub and with the amount of chances we normally create he’ll mop them up when coming on as a sub for the last 10-15 minutes.

    • ZB20H says:

      I didn’t know you were an Owen fan, I also get a lot of blank looks when I mention his name but your analysis of the impact he could have for us is spot on.

      Toulalon is a natural for us especially now the club/Wenger appear more ready to sign older more experienced players. He would be a great insurance option if any of Arteta, Wilshere or Diaby are out for a prolonged period.

      Anyway, lets see what happens. Even if we don’t sign anyone we are not that badly placed but would need luck with injuries (which we never seem to get).

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      Here’s post I wrote back in May http://northlondonisred.co.uk/arsenal-need-to-buy-big-first-they-must-bargain-hunt/ that mentions Owen. You’ll also see that I’ve not been a champion of M’Vila for a while.

    • ZB20H says:

      I have just read your linked article and I am pretty much in full agreement about Owen and it seems we agree that experienced goalkeeping backup would be a good thing too.

      I wrote a blog about the whole hysteria of the Transfer Window last December, whilst not specifically about Arsenal it does echo your sentiments about how frantic people become about finding the ‘one solution’,


  7. Peter Mwangi says:

    I think you are absolutly correct. What I have read is absolutly fascinating brother . Keep up. Arsenal all the way . Scoring or not I’m still an arsenal fan.

  8. Mbugua says:

    I think Wenger is done with the transfers and quite honestly am comfortable with the current team. The goals will come in plenty since we have improved defencively. Am crossing my fingers for the game with liverpool to see how we fair…

  9. SuburbanGoonerChris says:

    Some good points there Dan. What I do find interesting is the fixation by some of us fans on one or two players, like M’Villa. You’ve highlighted an option in Mavuba that could be a perfect opportunity to bring in a decent player into a role, but so many people hear the name of one player and think getting him means everything. Sahin was a classic example. I think we should be bold and bring in players before we sell, but I suspect that we won’t be able to sell so it wouldn’t surprise me if we see three or four loan deals for some of the senior Arsenal periphery players. That might free up space, but to be honest I wouldn’t expect a ‘one-in-one-out’ policy, and I think we might see one midfielder and that’s yer lot kids. I wouldn’t bank on it being a big name though.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      Thanks Chris. It’s weird because the whole M’Vila thing started on twitter & hardly anyone knew who he was but quite quickly the YouTube scouting kicked in and he was being touted as the saviour of our midfield and defence. He’s a promising talent but that’s it, he’s not the “answer”. If he was Wenger would have bought him already, he’s available, he’s interested and if recent reports are true he is extremely affordable.
      I’ve given up trying to convince people he’s not as good as the hype (yet) because it’s hard to argue with people who have only seen YouTube clips and a couple of international matches (which should never be the barometer for a players suitability for league football) and lie and pretend they’ve watched him for years. I’ve seen him play about 20 times over the past few years for Rennes (plus highlights) and I’ve seen Rennes concede goals that if Arsenal conceded (and have done) twitter would go mental with “if we had M’Vila that goal would never have happened”.
      I personally hope we get Capoue or Mavuba as they are both quality players and Capoue is better than M’Vila in my opinion. Failing that and the rumours of Cabaye are true then I’ll be happy as we’ll be playing with two holding/pivot midfielders and my piece about how Sahin would have been ample replacement for Song would not have been an entire waste of time 🙂

  10. festo says:

    Ill prefer that we sign, Dembele, Isco and Yanga mbiwa

  11. edgar says:

    generally guys i agree with you, though i can just say we need a quality midfilder. Why em saying this is becoz of Diaby, the guy has been out for long with injuries so to be certain that he won’t be out again will be a risk not worth taking but everywhere we are fine. Pple do not know how happy some of us are reason being RVP has gone. We alws forget how time flys that guy was injured for much of his career at the gunners to see his back makes me happy he costed us many matches for instance the 8-2 at Old trafford how many misses, AC Milan net to beat he chose to give the keeper, and they are many. In Wenger we Trust i can say some of us good times are coming guys.

  12. Julien Durand says:

    Honestly, I’m quite happy with the team as is. If Walcott really picks up and goes, we could probably do with another versatile midfield/winger a la Ox/Cazorla. Or Ribery 😉
    But other than that… eh. Maybe a better backup right-back, though Jenkinson handled himself admirably against Stoke.

  13. Nice one Daniel. Interesting idea to have Vermaelen in the midfield. I agree that it probably won’t happen, but I think it’s at least a viable option should we get bit by the injury bug. Hard to keep either Koscielny or Mertesacker on the bench.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      Thanks mate. Last few blogs have been rushed (I’m really pressed for time with impending nuptials) but check out some of my late July stuff to get a real feel for my usual style of writing.

    • Congratulations man! I have a 2 month old baby. Not ideal for blogging either. Glad we got to connect today. No worries, the blog is awesome. Talk to you soon!

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