By Sir Hardly Anyone
It seems that my job was on the line there, but thanks to a massive, (ok, not massive but still a couple of people wrote in) vote of thanks, I get to write one more.
And what a story I have for you today! For it seems while Manchester U and Manchester C between them are buying everything that moves on this planet and on a few others, plus a number of inanimate objects that might come in handy, Arsenal are buying…
Arsene Wenger has revealed that Arsenal’s lack of movement in the transfer window is due to his desire to get the squad fully fit before assessing his options.
According to the Independent that is. Moving on from the near universal approval in the media of the purchase of a goalkeeper the word now is that
The Gunners have made just one signing this summer in the form of Petr Cech,
Just one! That’s it. The newspaper goes on even more (as if that were not enough), Arsenal have been linked with the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Arturo Vidal and Morgan Schneiderlin, but with current first-team members Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta all returning from long periods out injured, Wenger wants time to see where his squad is ahead of the new season.
So on the day that Liverpool who said that Sterling would not be sold at all, never, ever, because that would send out all the wrong signals and suggest that contracts are worthless (oh, that’s what their owner said in a conference – ooops) have sold Sterling to Man City for £49m, and Man United had said they will pay £24m fee to sign Schneiderlin, once said by all the DONE DEAL sites to be going to Arsenal, as well as the “United agree Schweinsteiger deal with Bayern” headlines now in place… now Arsenal are in fact pursuing a different strategy…
Except maybe not (see below).
“The best way to strengthen other areas of the team is to get the players who did not play a lot last year and keep them fit,” Mr Wenger said, supposedly. Which is interesting because that is rather similar to the idea set out on Untold when we argued that the club didn’t so much need new star players as rather back up players who would not mind being on the bench waiting to see if the sort of injury level we had in the first half of last season, and in many seasons before, hits us again.
Or could it be that the hinted at change of refereeing attitudes towards the “only way to deal with Arsenal is to kick them” approach of many clubs?
- Why Arsenal have the lead over their rivals
- Eight reasons Spurs will never catch Arsenal – new stadium or not
- Arsenal want to sign United defender Evans’
And that’s just this morning’s headlines in one newspaper: the Telegraph.
The Jonny Evans story is new but will undoubtedly be part of the DONE DEAL scenario for the next half day. The origins seem to be in the Daily Mirror and the theory is that we need a fourth central defender. However the alternative approach is to argue that among our back line we already have several players who could play in the centre in an emergency, so more are not needed.
And that actually reminds us all of the hysteria this time last year about the lack of defenders. I recall one comment among many screaming that Wenger deserved to be sacked last summer because going into the season with so few defenders was suicidal, whereas of course it led to the development of Coquelin and Bellerin as first team talents. But short termism has always been the best friend of the anti-Wengerians.
Anyway WBA also want Evans, so maybe not.
Meanwhile Ronald Koeman wants Calum Chambers to go back to Southampton to replace Nathaniel Clyne who joined Liverpool for £12.5m earlier this month. Mr Wenger said “non” apparently. (Did you know he speaks French fluently?) Chambers, who doesn’t, said “no” even to a loan back deal. That’s in the Sun.
And here’s a laugh in the Telegraph today – yes it is on their Arsenal transfer page this very today as ever was.
Arsenal are closing in on doing a bit of business with Southampton with the path cleared to sign Morgan Schneiderlin this summer. Manchester United were favourites to land the French midfielder, but having since signed Bastian Schweinsteiger, are no longer in the market for another central midfielder.
And The Star, that bastion of knowledge, says “Arsenal will now make their move for Schneiderlin but report they are unwilling to match the £25m asking price.” Ah it was just another Wenger Too Mean story.
So what exactly is Mr Wenger up to? In the Independent Mr W says…
“Walcott basically did not play until the end of the season, Wilshere has not played many games. Those two were very convincing at the end of the season so I hope that this season we can benefit from their participation and competitiveness.”
But let us move on. What is it that the Telegraph has seen about Arsenal that makes them so bullish and excited?
The mantle of the futuristic mind-reader and fortune teller at the Telegraph is now taken up Alistair Tweedale who has peered into all our heads and declared…
The news that Alexis Sanchez will miss the start of the upcoming campaign due to another summer of extended involvement with his international team will worry Arsenal fans.
Are you worried? If not, you are not an Arsenal fan! Tweedale says so!!!
Beyond the fact that Sanchez is of unquestionable importance to the team, top scoring in his debut campaign in London and carrying the club through winter months where others floundered, his absence will invoke memories of a year previous.
So not just worries but memories – he has been in your brain and seen what’s what. AND YOU SURE IS WORRIED. The story goes on to drag up the bits about Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski coming back from winning the world cup very slowly and how Sanchez will miss the Community Shield and possibly the opening weekend of the Premier League season, too. Shock! And then to show they have done the research they add that David Ospina and Carl Jenkinson and Serge Gnabry – who “has little first team importance” – a disparaging phrase if ever there was one. Gnabry was injured most of last season but the season before was a discovery of the magnitude of Bellerin and Coquelin last season, and is now fit.
But the Telegraph has analysed it all and found that Chelsea “will be hit hardest this time around, with eight players having travelled to the Copa America or the Under-21 European Championship over the summer. …Jose Mourinho’s options could be limited with their date at Wembley only three and a half weeks away.”
Man City also have a problem they tell us with four senior players absent for the start, but might need to be rushed back.
Tottenham, whom the Telegraph have been quite interested in of late, have Harry Kane, Erik Lamela, Alex Pritchard and Tom Carroll returning late apparently.
Moving on, other headlines tell us…
- JUVENTUS LINE UP ‘£28.8M OFFER’ FOR OZIL
WHY HAVEN’T ARSENAL GIVEN CECH A SQUAD NUMBER YET?
PODOLSKI ISSUES HEARTFELT FAREWELL TO ARSENAL FANS
Those are all from the Independent, who like to write in capitals.
Back to Mr Wenger. What he is quoted as saying is.
“We lost Ozil and Giroud for long periods last year and they contributed a lot in the second part of the season. Let’s hope all these players will be fit and available. After, if we can still add some quality, we will do it.” But of course it could all be a bluff.
And what of Tottenham I hear you cry (although actually I don’t).
But no, I think that is enough excitement for one day. I’ll catch up on them another time. Incidentally did you see the QPR fan write in and say “why don’t you just write about your own team instead of sticking your nose in other people’s business” (or words to that effect) yesterday? It is good to know the old traditions are still being kept up.
front page for the previous day’s triumph for France.
- Arsenal v Newcastle: the team and league positons AFTER the game.
- Arsenal v Newcastle: injuries, yellow cards and recent form
- Arsenal v Newcastle: the referee who just doesn’t oversee home wins
- Newcastle United’s weakness revealed and what they could do. Arsenal v Newcastle United.
- Arsenal v Newcastle: the tackles, fouls and yellow cards compared