If silly season hadn’t started yet it certainly has now!

If silly season hadn’t started yet it certainly has now.  I thought my Nan heading down to the club shop to scrounge for bargains in the sales on Christmas eve was the moment, but the noises coming from the club yesterday surpass even that. Frankly the first thing to say is not to read too much into any public statements right now, everything but pictures of players holding shirts is likely to be unreliable and a bit of smoke and mirrors. So diving in with 2 feet, here is what I managed to glean from yesterdays news.
Lets assume for the time being that PHW saying we wouldn’t spend was an attempt to strengthen our bargaining position. “Not really fussed mate, but if you’re flogging it I’ll give you a tenner. No? Suit yourself… Whats that you say… Done deal.” Only Chelsea are dumb enough to publicly state they are desperate for a player in public. Money however is an issue for us,  details on the extra features from william hill so sensible bargaining is the order of the day.
What about Arsene’s musings though? Firstly there is good news, when asked about Real Madrid – all the Spanish lads here said to me it was a done deal 3 weeks ago – he said his long term future was at Arsenal.
“I don’t think anyone can doubt my commitment here. You can question my decisions and I accept that, but not my commitment. No [no one has spoken to my representatives], because I represent myself.”
For all those people with short memories, or who cannot see that really we are actually a very well run club, the exact reason this is good news was then made crystal clear by the boss himself.
“When I accepted to stay [as manager] I knew what would be available and what kind of restrictions would be existing. I deal with that and have no regret and no imagination about how much money is available. What is most important is the Club has built a new stadium and we live in a very strong and healthy situation financially.? ?”You look how many clubs have done that and we play at the top. How many clubs have managed to build a new stadium, have a good financial situation and continue to play at the top? This team is together getting stronger and stronger but what we need to focus on is continually developing and not live in dreamland where we are linked with players of £30-£40million because that’s not realistic.??”Chelsea haven’t built a stadium and they lose £100million per year. How do you imagine you can deal with that at Arsenal Football Club without going bankrupt? We have to be responsible.”
In short, what everyone always knew really is true. We built a stadium, this costs, so we spend less on players in the short term. Anyone who says that we made the wrong choice on what to do given a choice between the two is a fool – simple as that.
Arsene Wenger built one of the greatest sides ever to play in English football. He then dismantled it, culling wages, and built a new team on youth development and collective team play. How many managers in the world could do that and maintain such high standards? We played in the last 8 of the European cup last year (and were robbed). We lost out on the league by 4 points.  All this done at a massive disadvantage relative to the men he was competing against. This guy is a fucking genius, any sane football fan can see that as well as his faults, it boggles the mind though that some Arsenal ‘fans’ feel the need to deny this. He aint pefect, but he is pretty damn good folks and as close as anyone out there.
So what of the actual transfers then? Im sure everyone has already picked up on the word “progress” being used to describe the situation with Arshavin. For me this tells us very little about the players future destination, it seems very un-Arsene to name a target prior to signing, so this might still be a ruse to flush out other targets. Then again it might be genuine, Arshavin looks real class, is coming into his peak and wants to be in London. What it does tell us I think is that one of these scenarios must be true and both involve us being after an attacking midfielder. This looks logical and Arsene has said we need in this department already.  Although no one but Le Boss knows who, we can start getting hopes up about a new arrival out wide. (Nasri looked so good behind the striker last game that we shouldn’t have a problem accomodating everyone when Theo is back.)
Typically Arsene, we will strengthen in attack, focus on technique and look to do it at a middling price. The statement that 30/40 mil won’t be blown on a single palyer shouldn’t come as a surpise. This may mean we miss out on the David Villa sweepstakes, but in honesty what we need is defensive solidity…
So what about our options at the back? Everyone has heard the usual names aready I’m guessing. For me Chiellinni is the best we have been linked with or could hope for. A rough, tough, not so little b’stard who defends first and last and with all his heart. I have to say that if we buy Upson, or are even considering it then the manager should be sacked. That goes for all the West Ham goodies up for grabs in there firesale. Upson, Parker, and the most laughable rumour in history Bellamy are just not as good as the players we have. Nowhere f’in near. Whatever else we wind up doing, buying mediocre midtable fodder who don’t stand out at that level and have blown every opportunity they have ever had a higher level is a joke.
In all honesty for all our difficulties I cannot think of a player at another PL team, bar those above us, who I think should start at the Arsenal bar some sort of mega death virus injury crisis. N’zogia looks good, but not as a regular starter for us yet. I hope we sign Johnson form Boro, but he is raw and unproven. Arteta is the only other exception and I guess is the class of the best of the rest and has been for a few seasons. I wouldn’t mind him,  especially as he is a proven commodity in dealing with the scrap of the PL.
Oher people have explained better than I could the effect of the pounds exchange rate on deals with the eurozone countries, but perhaps this will be a factor, meaning more deals in E. Europe and S. America (Any names Harper?) Then again maybe everyone needs cash and this will get factored in to the prices. Who else plans on splashing 10 to 15 mil outside of the PL, only a select group of large Spanish and Italian clubs,  but only a few. The days of cashing in on the PL might not be over for mid-table French sides, they just might send us their best and Sp**s the shite for a little less this time around. As Bak and Eddy showed, the gaffer still has an eye for a gem and knows what it is worth. (Compare money spent by Arsene on RB’s – or LB’s for that matter – in over a decade at Arsenal with the Chavs in the last 4 years, truly shocking.)
Whatever the ins or the outs, on this I have no inside information I’m afraid,  after yesterday it looks increasingly likely that things are happening already to ensure there are some. Personally I would be shocked if we do not strengthen at the back,  or get a tackler in CM and push Song back. Whoever arrives will probably come from a team out of the CL already realistically. Beyond that I hope yesterday ushers in a period of quick and efficient dealings that allows us to move beyond the specualtion quickly and settle as team,  almost a new one without Cesc at the heart of everything. We have had long enough now to identify problem areas, prospective players, and get our business done in a sharp manner that will show the club is back operating effectively with the new boy Gazzidis riding shotgun for Arsene.
You never know, the next 10 games are all winable, we should be favoured in each. We are undefeated in 6 matches. Maybe a quick influx of talent,  building on our recent improve ment, and a stretch of games to build fo rm and confidence maybe we can get ourselves back into this league season. If not we need to find stability, figure out some clean sheets, and get ourselves ready for some serious rumble in Europe.
Peace out folks and happy new year.
My team if I were picking today:
Sagna Gallas Djourou Gibbs
Song   Diaby
RVP          Nasri               Vela
Anyone who follows the NFL, I fancy Arizona. Minnsota, Indy, and Baltimore for what my bull-spit guesses are worth.

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