By Tony Attwood and Sir Hardly Anyone
The Telegraph has just published a poll of readers on the issue of how many players Arsenal need to buy in the next 10 days. The answers
- None (The squad is fine as it is) 6% (that includes your two humble writers of this piece)
- 1-3 (Minor tweaks needed) 76%
- 4-6 (Reinforcements required) 13%
- 7+ (Only major changes will do) 2%
- Players aren’t the problem #WengerOut 3%
These figures caused us some considerable amusement and bemusement as we sat in the Untold Space Station looking out into the depths of the solar system, seeking Planet IX while sipping our cappuccinos.
And it was that bottom 5% that really did cause us to pause and consider. These people believe we either need seven or more new signings, or that the manager should go. These are the people who have never heard of the notion that players may or may not fit into a team, who believe that new managers are available and will always make an improvement, who believe that constant total revolutionary change is needed.
These are Arsenal’s Trotskyists.
The fact that we have Arsenal Trots and that they represent 5% of the people who read the Telegraph’s Arsenal page on line and fill in the form is interesting. We both had our doubts about that newspaper but to find five percent of his readership carry such revolutionary fervour really is too much.
But it is also interesting that this vote comes at a moment in which we have Francis Coquelin back in full training a month earlier than expected, and have just signed a new defensive midfielder. And at the moment that we have Rosicky back playing (he’s playing for the under 21s this weekend) and Alexis back both ready to play. And that lazy nicking a livin’ fella with the umlaut. And that Welbeck chap in full training next week.
“Ah but Arsenal get more injuries that the rest of the universe put together,” is the cry.
But “no” we shout, because the new figures proved that we don’t get more injuries – Arsenal is very middle of the road for injuries.
So what is it that is influencing the Arsenal Trots. Is it that the papers keep saying we have a £50m budget and won’t spend it NOW! Or are they forgetting that when the right player comes along (£42.4m for Mesut) we spend it, because we hadn’t been spending it on every creature that moves (in the style of Liverpool!)
Are they forgetting that we got Elneny? Are they forgetting that in the past year we have brought in such new players a Bellerin, Coquelin and Campbell. Not new to the club of course but new to the first team, and how. Are they forgetting that we are about to introduce the likes of Gedion Zelalem (he has played 13 times for Rangers this season, plus despite being only 18 has now played three times for the USA under 23s!), Jeff Adelaide and Alex Iwobi?
Now we can’t say which of those three is coming into the team next season to make the impact that Bellerin, Coquelin and Campbell have made, but we would be very surprised if at the very least one of them doesn’t make an impact. In fact if two of them step up that would be par for the course.
And I wouldn’t be that surprised to see some movement towards the first team on the part of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Jon Toral, Wellington Silva, or Emiliano Martinez.
But still the Arsenal Trots want money spent big time and no end of brilliant youngsters will keep their thoughts at bay. So who?
Here are the real people (as opposed to those found in the bloggettas, or lurking around estate agents offices) who are tipped as the men we will have…
- Granit Xhaka for £37m from Borussia Monchen Whatnot.
- Andriy Yarmolenko, £25million for 13 goals in 22 games this season.
- Nolito of Celta Vigo who apparently created 96 goalscoring opportunities in 2014/15. As long as he’s not nicking a living then. A snip at £12.6m
- Goncalo Guedes of Benfica. He’s a winger, I’m told.
And the ones we won’t get are Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuaín. But that never stops them popping up on the menu.
So the transfer story that won’t go away is… the story that we need to buy someone. We have been doing ok in the Cup and League thus far with a depleted squad – no Alexis, no Ozil, no Rosicky, no Coquelin, no Santi Caz, no Welbeck, no Jack, and WE CAN’T GO ON LIKE THIS.
We need someone.
Or maybe not.
Two more anniversaries
- 21 January 1899: Adam Haywood scored the only goal of the match against Gainsborough to make it six goals in four consecutive games. Sadly only 2000 turned up to see the game.
- 21 January 1905: The last league game for Bill Linward. He came in and played two games in two days and made an immediate impact on the season. Overall for Woolwich Arsenal he played 50 times and scored ten goals. His prime season was the promotion season of 1903/4 when he played 27 times.