Ox Arrives Before The Carthorse & Other Gossip
Arsène proved true to his word and signed someone this week, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (or just plain Chamberlain as his shirt will display – another missed opportunity by the commercial department) joining for an undisclosed fee from Southampton. Except no-one can print that the fee is not known since that will look like reporters do not know what they are talking about. Instead, speculation puts the fee at anywhere between £6.5m and £12m down, rising to between £12m and £15m.
Good luck to him in his Arsenal career, let us hope that the great potential is realised. Having lost out to Sir Alex Ferguson over Phil Jones and Chris Smalling in recent seasons, Wenger will have enjoyed this signing a little more knowing that the United manager was waiting for it to all fall through.
Despite being a player of promise, Chamberlain was not the player that many were hoping for this week. His capture it appears, has made some very unhappy because he is not a monster centre back, Wenger apparently taking a leaf out of Nero’s book and fiddling whilst London burns, tinkering with the midfield and attacking options instead of the defence. The concept on working on several deals at once has escaped their imagination. Still, when complaints are made about the attendance figures to the extent that the club will no longer announce them, what do you expect?
Talking at the AISA AGM last night, Ivan Gazidis alluded to that point,
Arsene recognises we need to have additions and addition or additions in our defence. He recognises there has been an issue there. And he will take steps to do that…Our challenge is a little bit different. We’ve got a young squad and so we’re actually looking the other way round. We need a little bit more know-how and experience to supplement some of the young players that we have.
It is a slap in the face to the manager’s critics. Their theory is that he is unaware of the problems faced last season, gleefully pointing out that the goals conceded was the highest total since Herbert Chapman was in nappies.
The suggestion that the manager and coaching staff are not doing anything to work on this problem is ludicrous. Criticism of the pre-season friendlies is valid yet in denial to a certain extent. The first choice defence did not concede a goal during The Emirates tournament nor in Lisbon. Equalisers and winners came only when wholesale tinkering had happened.
That is not to say the problems have been eradicated or that we should not buy a centre back. They have not and we should, no-one denies this, not even the club. Impatience is the core of this, a lack of understanding or knowledge about football and its business. Gazaidis observed,
it’s not a supermarket where you go in and pick good players off the shelf. That’s not the way it works. I’m sorry but it’s much much more complex than that.
The theory that Arsenal just slam a suitcase of used fivers to seal a deal has gained too much traction. If football transfers were that simple, Nasri and Fabregas would have left Arsenal by now. That they have not indicates the problems in striking a deal for whatever reason but principally when a club does not want to sell.
Wenger has a policy of wanting to improve the squad yet falls foul of the soundbite. “Why haven’t Gazza or Jagz joined yet? You lazy ****’s are wrecking my club” – how far down the shopping list should the manager go? Does he buy simply for the sake of it, irrespective of whether the player improves the squad in all of the required areas? Or are we at a point where some improvement will do?
As much as Ivan may rail against agents and their associates, he and Wenger are as much to blame for the current undercurrent of discontent. Platitudes they may have been but telling all and sundry that we could expect a busy summer was a PR gaffe, raising expectations unnecessarily. Completing their summer business before the end of this week might go some way towards quelling the pre-season nerves.
Elsewhere, Samir Nasri is apparently leaving if Manchester City pay up whilst Nicklas Bendtner is taking a gap year without telling his mummy and daddy where he is going. But it won’t be Stoke. Or will it…?
Posted on August 9, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 1,317 Comments.