New Defender Coming In As England Get World Cup Nerves
Arsene spoke yesterday in the usual vague terms about the transfer activity but held out the branch of hope to many with the promise of a defensive signing before the end of the World Cup. Thankfully, he is not basing his decision on performances thus far in South Africa because no-one who has been linked has passed their audition.
Some, such as Joe Cole, have yet to be given their starring role. Others, notably goalkeepers, have fluffed their lines, even with the help of an autocue. Wenger noted:
No, we are not close at the moment. We are quiet. But there will be something happening before the end of the World Cup – certainly on the defensive side.
I would be interested in his definition of the word ‘close’. To be that confident of confirming a new signing in the next fortnight would be pretty much as near to close as you can get, at least to this layman’s eyes. The suggestion is it will be a new player which unless it someone who is playing for a nation facing a first round exit, will be one who is not in South Africa.
Favourite would be Laurent Koscielny but this morning the suggestion is that Federico Marchetti, Calgiari’s goalkeeper, is a target for the Arsenal cheque book. The central defender spoke of his desire to join Arsenal earlier this week, his Mr20% ensuring that the details of a private telephone conversation were leaked to the press.
Other suggestions recently have been Vertonghen of Ajax, a Belgian international who was Vermaelen’s parter in the national team before moving into midfield although van Buyten of Bayern would a surprising, if welcome, signing. Gone are the days when someone comes from the ‘left field’ as a signing but perhaps Arsene is throwing us a morsel to prepare for exactly that.
Who knows, perhaps it is William Gallas or Sol Campbell, however unlikely they seem. Relief will be felt by the fact that if we don’t want to compete with Gallas’ wage demands, the £4m on offer in the Middle East ought to be enough to deter Arsene from re-signing Mikael Silvestre.
And so to the World Cup, a day when the ‘big’ nations were humbled. Germany fell to Serbia, missing a penalty and finding that the card happy referee liked red only marginally less than yellow. England meanwhile left the stadium to some well-deserved grief, a performance so mindnumbing that I find it hard to believe that any of those who played have ever won any honours. They must be carried by their clubmates a hell of a lot of the time.
This is not acceptable and thankfully no serious harm was done
No, not Capello on the England performance but an FA suit on an apparent breach of security which enabled an England supporter to get into the dressing room last night and attempt to remonstrate with the England squad who were left shaken apparently. That ought to be nothing compared to how they felt after Capello finished with them.
Resorting to type for both manager and players has failed. It is time to dispense with aimless, percentage passes and start to treat the ball as a friend rather than an enemy. Heskey has to go from the side, irrespective of how much L’il Wayne might like to play alongside him. England’s best chances have fallen to a player who cannot score internationally. For the next match, Crouch should be recalled simply because this is the sort of opposition against who he has previously thrived. Were Slovenia any better, I would play Defoe.
But midfield is crucial. Lennon has failed, Wright-Phillips no better. If Theo Walcott is genuinely poorer than those two, he has a lot of work to do. But he is not, Capello was seduced by the training ground rather than the competitive matches at this level. Frankly, he has no option but to bring in Cole on the left and switch Gerrard to the right or rather better, have a holding midfielder and three more attacking ones, to support Rooney and Crouch.
To qualify for the next round, England must avoid defeat and score two more goals than USA! USA! USA! to force the drawing of lots. That presumes that the USA! USA! USA! and Algeria draw. Realistically, England must win by two goals to top the group although Germany’s defeat against Serbia makes that a dubious reward.
The results have matched the initial group phase in 1990; the performances match those of 1986. If England are to match either of those squads in reaching the quarter-finals or beyond, those with the big reputations have got to step up and produce. I am unconvinced that they are able to do so.
Posted on June 19, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip, World Cup 2010 and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip, World Cup 2010. Bookmark the permalink. 132 Comments.