One of the great things about supporting Arsenal under Wenger is that I haven’t got a clue what is going to happen. Take Diaby – the notion that he could occasionally run into the top third of the pitch, behave like a proper forward, and score a goal or two, was about the last thing on my mind when he came back from injury. Even when I saw the line-up in Turkey I thought he was just there to secure the midfield as the team tried to get one goal in a breakaway.
I also never foresaw what would happen to Flamini in his last season with us.
Which often leaves me questioning what I am doing here, writing this stuff. Especially at the moment, when the transfer window has turned upside and become, what? A transfer skylight? A transfer door? A game show in which Bruce Forsyth ploddles around making that funny noise he does and pretending he is entertaining by saying “higher” and “lower” a lot? (Probably the latter).
The point being that we have got used to transfer windows/doors/gameshows being times when the entire Arsenal first team, and most of the reserves, are going to be transferred to BarBarBarca-sheep, WC Milan, and Real Mad.
This month it seems not too many are on their way out – Gallas maybe but not too many others, while we are going to buy that guy from Everton, someone from Newcastle, a fellow from Zenit Leningrad that no one had heard of before last summer, and anyone else you can throw a stick at.
Years ago, in the early days of the Lord Wenger’s reign, when he was bringing in utterly unheard of people and playing them out of position (like that Henry chap) my mate and I used to have this running joke that Wenger’s next purchase was a goalkeeper from Peru who was going to play at the centre of midfield.
I mention this because I think I’m as likely to be correct with that purchase as I am by talking about any of the stories in the press or on the blogs. If Wenger does buy the man from Leningrad then it will be just about the first time he has done a deal that has been heralded so far in advance.
But then he always does the unexpected, so maybe that is the next twist. Certainly with no Theo, no Rosicky and no Cesc for most of the rest of the season, it is getting tough to see how we would cover if there are any more midfield injuries.
On the other hand, imagine next season, if those three are fit again, and we have bought in one or even two more midfielders, and we have most of the current bunch fit, and we have our two genius children – Ramsey and Wilshere – there are going to be players who get annoyed they are not getting games. And one year on Fran Merida will be wanting a game or two, as will Bischoff – and the extraordinary Coquelin, if he carries on developing at this rate.
Then we are back to the old thing in which Cesc is off to Spain etc etc.
In short, there is never a balance.
Happy new year
- Everton v Arsenal: a happy video, line-up and what the league table will look like after
- Everton v Arsenal: Injuries, points needed for 4th, and Arsenal the first to 100?
- Everton v Arsenal: extraordinary figures seen in the last 6 games table
- Everton v Arsenal: how this referee treats the home and away team
- Everton v Arsenal and the oddity of referee behaviour