Quiet Calm Instead Of Transfer Nerves
An apparently decisive week where Cesc will meet with Arsene over his future, ask for a move and facilitate the lowering of any transfer fee to €40m (plus €5m in add-ons), or else. Barcelona’s mouthpieces in the media are trying to threaten Arsenal into submission as Rosell’s deadline of their Asian tour – why couldn’t they have left this morning to give us all some peace and quiet?
Apparently, the Spanish media believe Arsenal needs the money for liquidity purposes as the Catalan board tries to paper over the cracks of its own financial incompetence by telling their gullible followers that all of the big clubs are in the same boat. The answer is: No, we’re not.
The final match of the Austrian Training Camp is tomorrow and the central defensive issue will not go away. The chorus of concern about Koscielny has grown with observations about his physique, the lack of experience, aired to the detriment of the player. We have not seen him in action meaningfully on a regular basis and he represents a step into the unknown, a leap of faith that not so long ago everyone would willingly have taken but now seem reluctant to do so en masse.
Koscielny is positive about himself but then so was Senderos and we saw how quickly – and sadly – that confidence seeped away, principally at the hands of Didier Drogba but on other occasions too, bearing the brunt of anger over defeats that were not necessarily down to his individual failings.
The Franco-Pole told Arsenal.com that he liked “physical challenges and I’m a player that can anticipate situations. I feel that I read the game well and one of my strengths is challenging for the ball in the air.” There is a misconception that English football is the only league where the ball leaves the ground. Yet that is not the case.
Arguably, it is the most physically demanding national league where the diversity of playing styles has been found wanting at a higher level but requiring a certain robustness of players. His lack of experience suggests that he is a squad player yet perhaps this is to easily dismissive. Wenger has a history of finding gems – as well as duds such as Stepanovs – and the apparent lack of physicality could be compensated for with an outstanding ability to read the game. Until he is seen in action in a competitive match, assertive judgements should be withheld.
Johan Djourou is seen as the principle beneficiary of the absence of new signings. I would suggest that he is Gallas’ heir apparent. The question mark over the Swiss international is his absence for a year through injury. Yet that injury was not as a result of a malevolent challenge such as Taylor’s on Eduardo nor has there been any indication thus far of any recurrences like those suffered by Rosicky. Yet these are the two benchmarks by which Djourou is judged.
None of that should mask the fact that numbers are light in the centre of defence. Quite a few names circulate and I find it inconceivable that Wenger has not had all of them scouted; whether he wants to sign them only he knows. There is an obvious gap to be filled following Gallas’ departure, Wenger has no doubt identified whether or not there is an internal candidate or fresh blood is needed.
The manager has added to the uncertainty, albeit in an unintentional way. Having publicly stated that there is no clear Number One at the club, trying to motivate those already at the club but feeding the fears of supporters about other positions as well. Will he move to seal any transfer dealings this week? Certainly it is his best opportunity to do so with internationals reporting for duty in the immediate aftermath of the friendly in Poland.
Playing their cards close to their chest works for Arsenal for the most part. Sometimes it is detrimental in the short term as speculation plays into the hands of those with differing agendas. The coming fortnight will be a solid indicator of whether any fresh faces are to arrive.
Posted on July 26, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 199 Comments.