Cesc, Campbell And Experience
You knew it was coming, simply a case of when not if. Cesc to Barcelona, wow, what a shock, I never thought I’d hear that story. Still, there is an interesting side to this in that there must be an element of truth, and follow the (skewed) logic here. For reasons best known to themselves, probably related to copious quantities of alcohol, the official site has started to (half-heartedly) report on transfer rumours. Now, Arsenal has a policy not to comment on deals until they are completed, albeit usually a week after everyone else has confirmed that it has happened.
So, anything that is on there would be the club officially commenting and therefore cannot be happening because that would be a breach of their policy. Which means that Buffon, Arteta, Wright-Phillips and Yaya Toure will not be donning the new Arsenal home kit next season. However, as the club has not mentioned Sagna and RvP to Juventus, Gallas to PSG or Cesc to Barcelona, there must be an element of truth in them. Unless of course that logic, like the transfer gossip page itself, is a load of old b*llocks.
Onto surer ground, Sol Campbell is feeling the luuurve of the club and his team-mates. Robin van Persie kicked it all off:
I think his character is great, he is a winner, he is honest – the Dutch way almost. In Holland, we are used to people who are direct, who say what they think and he is like that, very much.
He is one of those characters you need in a squad – when someone is easing off he just tells you, ‘listen, this is not the way to do it. Sharpen up because otherwise this isn’t going to work.’ We need that and that is why I am very pleased that he is here. When you look at when he came and the way he ended the last couple of months – fantastic.
Campbell himself is happy to be talking to the club and with Gallas increasingly likely to lead, there is a key role for Sol to play in the squad, passing on the vast experience he has to players such as Djourou who can only benefit from the former England international’s knowledge. However, to go into next season with Campbell and Vermaelen as the two senior centre backs is a huge risk, one that Wenger does not appear to want to take.
The manager has imposed a deadline on the Frenchman but how flexible that is remains to be seen. Certainly the Chairman’s recent comments about the financial requirements of Gallas indicate that the club and player remain some distance apart in negotiations. Whilst Gallas is viewed with distrust in some quarters following the events at St Andrews and his comments over the squad, there is no doubt that defensively Arsenal were more secure with he and Vermaelen at the central pairing.
If Gallas and Silvestre both move on to pastures new, then Lee Dixon’s argument that there will be four new players needed this summer holds some sway. Chamakh’s protracted move will surely be over soon which would leave three more. Nigel Winterburn suggests that Wenger will not be focussing on young players this summer, changing his rationale by looking for more experience. Possibly that is the case, the balance may not be right in the squad but it becomes a matter then of defining experience. Is it the number of games played? If so, what is the threshold because a lot of the current squad have played well in excess of 100 games for their clubs in all competitions.
A player who has spent his career with relegation-threatened clubs has plenty of experience but is it the right kind? Upson and Green are frequently linked with the club and fall into that category. Melo is another who has plenty of experience in various leagues but has not won anything at club level since 2003 at his multitude of clubs since leaving his native Brazil. If we define experience as having won trophies, then the limited talent pool into Arsene can dip is reduced further and becomes ever more costly.
I do not argue against signings this summer, the squad needs them every summer to keep fresh, as well as replacing those who are leaving. However, we should not be blind to the talent that already is at the club and perhaps the wholesale changes desired should be no more than a tweak to make things click over the whole of the season.
Posted on May 14, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Rumours. Bookmark the permalink. 203 Comments.