The Hope Of Improvement & Ridiculous Public Speaking
Arsene spoke yesterday of his belief that the squad will compete for the title in the coming season, in spite of the massive investment once more by Manchester City. Whilst their spending is a relief for the transfer-based media at this time of the year, consistently signing significant numbers of players makes it hard for them to build a cohesive team, understandings taking time to be built. They should not be dismissed as challengers on that basis because football is a strange beast at times and perhaps Mancini has been astute in his purchases.
Wenger gave no indication of any imminent activity although rumours abound that Mertesacker or Tasci will be joining Arsenal within the next week, depending on which source you choose to believe. The manager observed that the coming campaign will be difficult but was upbeat in his assessment of the squad’s chances:
I am very confident [we’ll do better than last season]. We know in England that the Premier League is the biggest league in the world and everybody invests a lot of money. We invest in our work, in our beliefs, in the quality of our behaviour and I am confident that will pay off.
We finished third last year and we hope we can improve on that. But the race will be tough.
It is standard fayre from Arsene; his belief in his players publicly is unstinting, rarely criticising any deficiencies, real or perceived. The hard work which the players put in brings about improvements in their own abilities and with another season of experience behind them – good and bad – the collective must surely benefit.
Wiser heads in match situations is crucial, choosing the correct defensive clearance to picking the right pass through to shooting options. Confidence is key to using this knowledge effectively. A good start to a match or the season will build momentum for the squad, building solid foundations upon which to mount a title challenge.
Whilst the squad could do with strengthening, there is an air of negativity surrounding them. Although this has been based on last season, some of it is entrenched, irrational hatred of a player such as Denilson, for example, is baffling. His performances suffered through injury to himself and others; he is however chastised more severely for his mistakes than others, more experienced players in some cases, make. Some rely on statistics to prove their case, others rely on their jaundiced sight to decry ability.
Time for the first kick-off in anger is approaching and there is the hope of strengthening still to come. I think that is needed, particularly at centre back where the depth is not as many as it could be. If Arsene is to make one more signing, it would be there; a good, solid partnership in the middle breeds confidence throughout the side and helps to minimise the number of chances presented to the opposition. Goalkeepers everywhere have their flaws but put a wall in front of them and they are not so exposed.
Cesc-mania came to the fore yesterday with comments attributed to a Spanish magazine interview. The publication in question is for a chain of fitness clubs in Catalunya and has carried interviews with sports personalities so should not be cast aside. Yet there is no indication when the interview took place and the context in which the words were spoken. We all know that leading questions are asked and I am perplexed as to why the words of the captain are being jumped on so intensely. They, after all, contained nothing new; his love of Barcelona as a city and club is well-documented.
A significant contributing factor is his silence, a situation which will last a day or two more. The Emirates Cup this weekend is in all likelihood going to be the first opportunity for the English-based media to get him in front of a microphone and to ask for his views on his future. It should be expected that he will stonewall such an interrogation, it would be unlikely that he would state his position of wanting a move unless he has formally requested one. That would be common knowledge beforehand with Arsenal wanting to try to control such an event through press releases and interviews.
Posted on July 30, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Rumours. Bookmark the permalink. 402 Comments.