Something In The Air, The Unforgiven & Transfer Gossip
Arsenal travelled to Germany yesterday with a familiar scent in their nostrils, the altogether more putrid aroma of transfer gossip. Arsène named his squad, immediately confirming that Bendtner and Almunia have offers to consider and would not be joining next week’s Boot Camp. Neither will Cesc but more on that later.
Equally unsurprising is the absence of Abou Diaby. It is pre-season and he is injured, a familiar refrain. The Frenchman who is high on people’s lists for a clearout, has to be one of the most unfortunate of footballers. Many blame his problems on the injury suffered at Sunderland although it is somewhat of a stretch to believe that to be the cause of the muscular problems. Whatever the case is, his Arsenal career must be one of the most injury-blighted in the club’s history.
Recognising the shortcomings in his squad, Wenger noted that a new defender was high on his “To Do” list. He was careful not to commit to the monster centre back being demanded,
Certainly, we will have to find one more defender. We [are] working on it. I can promise we work very hard on it. In fairness, everybody looks for players. Everybody looks for the same area and you see that nobody turns up with magic. It’s all about being steady, working very hard on it and being calm as well
Whether he is keeping his options open in case Keiran Gibbs does not work out in the left back spot remains to be seen. Thomas Vermaelen was enthusiastic about the young Englishman’s progress and abilities, supporters seem more reticent. His injury record is the key complaint although some have still not forgotten (or forgiven) his performance at The Emirates in the Champions League semi-final against Manchester United.
The truth is that none of us know how he will manage as Arsenal’s first choice left back until the summer is behind us. Wenger has seen something in the player and Armand Traore to believe that they can provide the required cover for a season. A new centre back may change that with Thomas Vermaelen repeatedly favoured in the position, a square peg in a hexagonal hole.
There are four friendlies left before the trip to Newcastle. Wenger may rotate his team once more today at half-time but is creeping towards playing his first choice XI. Then we will see his ideas, the Asian Tour suggested that Vermaelen at left back is not one of them.
The footballing equivalent of “Are we there yet?“, elicited the same tired parental response from Arsène yesterday. “No movement” was deemed to be encouragement or nothing’s happening, depending upon which media outlet you believe. The expectation is that Fábregas’ hopes of a move will be extinguished in seven days time.
Arsenal, according to the received wisdom, are standing firm on £40m and all cash. Such fortitude is no different to that shown by Southampton over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in January and Everton over Phil Jagielka now. Although it is a novel twist to suggest that he will be a £35m player.
Posted on July 23, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 319 Comments.