When someone points a gun at you and says “your money or your life,” you’re supposed to hand over the money. Not so sure that’s what Arsene Wenger would do. His love for parsimony seems to exceed his love for just about anything else. And as the transfer window limps along towards a conclusion that will surely be marked by the most hyperbolic of Sky Sports graphics, Arsenal have yet to sign that elusive GK or CB.
Attempting to confuse Fulham into selling us Mark Schwarzer, Arsenal have made another bid for him in the same amount as the previous bid. Perhaps we were hoping that Mark Hughes failed to write down the prior number and would simply assume that our new bid was higher. Seems reasonable, considering there are very few people who deign to make the same bid twice. But Arsenal apparently have no fear of rejection when it comes to transfer negotiations.
Perhaps we’re missing a much bigger story here. Maybe Arsene Wenger is a Jedi. That’s right, he’s a Jedi. If you remember the original Star Wars movie, Obi Wan Canobi was able to get right past some Storm Troopers with a wave of his hand while saying, “these are not the droids you’re looking for.” Perhaps Wenger has attempted the same tactic with Hughes. You can almost imagine how it would transpire,
AW: “We bid £2 million.”
Hughes: “that is not enough.”
AW: (waves his hand) “You want to sell us Mark Schwarzer for £2 million.”
Hughes: “I want to sell you Mark Schwarzer for £2 million … and I’m a huge cunt.”
Unfortunately, Arsene must be merely a Jedi in training because this tactic was ultimately unsuccessful. Mark Schwarzer is still a cottager. But the deal can still get done. I have it on good authority that Arsenal are preparing an improved bid in the £2 million range.
Having one bid rejected for its insufficiency wasn’t enough for Arsenal on Thursday, so Sevilla summarily dismissed our bid for Sebastien Squillaci as well. The 30 year old defender isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but he’s a strong, reliable CB who would most likely be content with a backup role to Koscielny and possibly even Djourou. (Until September when both are recovering from viscous spleen injuries picked up against Blackburn.)
All this bidding suggests that Wenger genuinely wants to sign someone, but only if he can use the change from the coffee can in his kitchen. Seriously, it’s not my job to determine how much money the club should spend. And I don’t believe that millions of pounds should just be thrown around. But if there’s a flood coming and the only guy in town with a boat wants a few extra quid to let you on board, then maybe you should consider paying the man. Just my opinion. But if you’re a good swimmer, I suppose you can try to survive the flood instead. I’m sure we’ll be fine playing the season with Alumunia in goal and three first-team CBs.
All kidding aside for just one moment, we really do need to get this transfer business done. While some suggest that we can make due with the goal keepers we have, everyone recognizes the need for another CB. I personally don’t think we can with the league or the Champions League with Almunia in goal, but I KNOW we can’t win anything with three CBs. So we can laugh at the lack of signings just a little, and have some fun with the rejected bids, but the situation is starting to get just a little worrying. Without new players I fear that our season has a woeful predictability to it. A glass ceiling if you will. Hilariously, the official website ran a poll asking fans if we needed to make additional signings to win the league. 95% responded “yes.” I wonder if Wenger visits the official site.
And while we’re busy not signing CBs and GKs, our players are busy getting the medical staff back in shape. Nasri’s injury was a blow, but Emmanuel Frimpong has one-upped Samri and torn his cruciate ligament. The young DM will be out 9 months and miss the entire season. Really this is a heartbreaking development. Frimpong might have had limited exposure to the first team this season, but surely would’ve had a place in the Carling Cup sides, and possibly the FA Cup as well. Now he will miss a season that would have been a crucial stepping stone to future first team contributions. Get well soon Emmanuel. (For what it’s worth, I have the phrase “get well soon” saved in my clipboard for easy cut-and-paste into blogs all season long.)
As far as Samir Nasri’s injury goes, everyone is upset, but I have been reading a lot of opinions that it’s not the end of the world. That’s wrong. It is absolutely the end of the world. Okay, that’s not true. But I think it’s worse than some are suggesting.
Nasri is due to miss one month. But we have no way of knowing what that means. If he merely returns to training in one month, he could be prevented from starting for closer to 6 weeks. Suddenly that means he would miss two champions league group games and the trip to Stamford Bridge. While we have talent in midfield that most teams would envy, you still want your best players on the pitch in the big games. Recently, we’ve had to make due with back-ups and that’s far from ideal.
For me, there’s no question that a midfield trio of Cesc, Song and Nasri is our best. With those three in the center of the park I think we’re both threatening and solid. There’s creativity, work-rate, and goals in that trio. Without Samir, the options lead back to Rosicky, Diaby, Denilson and Wilshere. While the former looked good at Anfield, I don’t trust any of the latter three in a big game yet. So while Samir’s injury isn’t the end of the world, I think we need him back more urgently than some surmise.
Finally, it looks as if William Gallas is going to sell his soul to Sp*rs. Our former ill-fated captain was a dressing room pariah and destroyer of team chemistry, but also a talented defender with a penis whose eye for goal was impressive. Hopefully he’s bringing more of the former traits to WHL and less of the latter. His arrival means that Harry Redknapp has accepted his extravagant wage demands. Combine that with Spuds missing out on Champions League money and Redknapp will be well on his way to bankrupting another club. I wish him all the best in his endeavors. With Gallas at the Lane, it might breathe some life into a rivalry made stale by its one-sided predictability.
A Blackpool preview later. But here’s a preview of the Blackpool Preview:
“We’re playing Blackpool at home on Saturday. If we don’t win by 5 clear goals I’m going to cry.”
More insightful analysis like that is in store for you. Until then…