“We have a basic squad and I believe in the squad I have, but if I can make an addition – two or three maximum – then we will do it.”
Arsenal aren’t like any other team. They are a team who suffer a ridiculous amount of injuries and after the past few seasons have been curtailed in some form by injuries to key members of the squad, its time to plan for these injuries because there is certainly no progress being made in stopping the injuries. Now, I’m not talking about stockpiling players or making tons of world class signings because it just isn’t going to happen, I’m talking about increasing the general level of the squad overall – clearing out the dead wood. Its the defence that needs the major surgery in my book, every player that is leaving needs to be replaced… and then we can concentrate on the signings that will take the team up a level.
With Gallas and Silvestre leaving, we are going to need a new partner for Thomas Vermaelen who must be of the highest quality. The replacement for Silvestre could be a younger defender, supplemented by Sol Campbell’s experience (sounds like a new deal is almost a certainty). That’s two signings already. Then of course, one of Fabianski or Almunia has got to go and a new number one brought in, again of the highest quality. That’s three signings and with the impending arrival of Marouane Chamakh that makes four new signings.
The ‘signing to be announced’ or words to that effect by the boss, is going to be Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh – its the worst kept secret in football right now.
Starting to see what I mean? If we raise the overall quality of the squad the starting eleven will be stronger as a result – better players can step in when there are injuries and you can never underestimate the factor of having competition for your place, we don’t really have much of it and the place where its most blatantly obvious is between the goalposts.
With the money available, and there’s talk of at least a £30 million budget… maybe more, there is sufficient funds to add some proven quality to the squad; note. I’m not saying potential quality. Potential is all well and good but we have enough of that on the fringes of the squad and in the reserves at the moment, these players can be integrated as and when, but shouldn’t have pressure put on them because the manager hasn’t sufficiently improved the first team and got a decent sized squad.
Like I’ve said over the past few weeks, now isn’t the time to go into great detail with names etc. We have got a summer to do all that . I think I may be looking too far into Arsene’s comments, of course, its totally stupid to name how much you have to spend and where your gonna spend it, its the sort of thing the Tories would to if they got into government -thats a story for another day though.
Interestingly, the boss notes that there is practically no market in Europe due to the financial issues that clubs and countries alike are having after the recession, Wenger saying that only the very top band of clubs will have funds. I think one country’s clubs will be in the market to buy some quality players at cheap prices and that’s the German clubs. The Bundesliga is very much on the rise at the moment and the German economy is one that is relatively healthy compared to other countries – Bayern Munich spent big last year and they are in the Champions League final, they didn’t buy just anyone, they brought wisely and where they needed to improve. Just look at the impact Arjen Robben has had, 20 odd goals this season and he has started less than 30 games. Remarkable. That’s the sort of job I think the boss has to do this summer.
The anger surrounding the Andrey Arshavin comments has probably subsided after he spoke to the same Russian paper again re-affirming his commitment with the club and blaming the translation of what he has said for all the stories about he wanting to move to Barcelona (which he never actually said). Whilst he has to take some responsibility for what he said and how it has been interpreted, the club should not let players give interviews to foreign news sources unless its a special occasion or they have been given special permission. It would solve a whole host of problems. Andrey said:
“I respect the club and I am happy that I am a part of it, I am very grateful to the Arsenal fans, who love me. I am often translated wrongly. If I talk to the English press, there is no problem but when I say something in Russia, some special news agency takes it, translates it and sells these quotes.
“During the process of interpretation they translate my words as they see fit. I find this unpleasant because people might think I said something that, in fact, I never said.”
Hopefully he and the club have learned their lesson. Anyone who has real big issues with him speaking out need to look back to when he was talking about women drivers etc. This was bound to happen sometime.
Oh and before I go…
Transfer rumour of the day: Kasper Schmeichel to join on a free after being released by Notts County. Verdict: Another Notts County to Arsenal story? Nahh.
Right, thats seems to be about it for today. Til tomorrow.