Good morning and welcome to that most exciting of days. Tuesday.
Sorry, I mean Transfer Deadline Day. The day when all kinds of deals go down. Players are traded like cattle, Premier League slave ships buffet about in the choppy waters scouring for a bargain here or cast-off there, oh, the fun we’ll have.
Or, to put it another way, it’ll be like the B&I ferry journey from Dublin to Liverpool – boring, vomit inducing, overly long and you end up in a place you’d rather not be. Very little is likely to happen from an Arsenal point of view anyway. We might see Ryo Miyaichi go out on loan, a few youngsters might do likewise, but it seems highly unlikely at this stage that any major deals will be done. Nobody going out, nobody coming in. Those who suggest that Arsene is up to his old tricks, leaving it right until the last minute to get the best price possible, are wide of the mark, I think.
We’ve had the whole of January to do a deal or two, to boost the squad in the areas I think most would agree needed a bit of boosting, and if its brinksmanship that’s stopped us doing that, having lost three league games along the way, that’d be very bad indeed. Which is why I don’t think it’s that. I just don’t believe Arsene wants to buy anyone, putting his faith in the players he has, the players who might come back one day and another 16 days of Thierry Henry to see us through.
You might not agree with that strategy and I the last thing I want to do is talk about how difficult it is to do deals in January. Of course there are issues which make it more complicated than the summer but it’s not impossible. I mean, yesterday there was all kinds of news about us signing an U19 from Dortmund. No, not Götze but a chap called Thomas Eisfeld. He’s an attacking midfielder yet to play for the Dortmund first team, whose contract is running out, and therefore it seems Arsenal have got him on the cheap. Which puts one in mind of a certain Amaury Bischoff but I don’t want to heap too much pressure on the lad, he’s got a lot to live up to there.
And in and of itself there’s no problem at all with a deal like that, if it goes through. An inexpensive punt on a young talent is absolutely fine, it’s just that it would tend to make people a bit crotchety if they’ve been waiting all month for a player or two to make a difference to the first team and then this is what we appear to be spending our time on. Maybe he’s coming over to be Mertesacker’s house boy.
I have little or no expectation of a ‘real deal’ today so I’m not going to be hugely disappointed when nothing happens. That’s not to say I wouldn’t like to see it. I’ve said all month long I feel the squad needs something more than rigorous team-talks, team-meetings, heart to heart chats and interventions. The battle for a top four spot has never been more challenging and we’ve got players who just aren’t performing/contributing on a regular basis, so a new face or two would have been welcome.
We can speculate all day long as to why nothing has been done, but ultimately there’s nothing we can do about it. Other than hope that what we’ve got is good enough for the rest of the season. Anyway, just in case anything happens there’s a live blog over on Arseblog News, which will detail any comings and goings. Please now insert the image of a tumbleweed into your brain and an old door creaking and slamming in the whistling wind.
In other news, Robin van Persie will face no punishment after Alex McLeish tried to get him banned. Good news for us, not that I was ever really that worried, but it really does illustrate how managers use an all too willing media to try and deflect from their team’s shortcomings. It’s not just McLeish, they all do it, Arsene does it too, but after such a captivating cup tie that the back pages were full of stuff about van Persie just shows you how the actual football is secondary to whatever controversy and sensationalism can be mined out of a game.
And clearly the withered, sunburnt, jaundiced, shrunken testicle has a problem with Robin van Persie in general. After we beat Villa in the league just before Christmas, he tried to blame Robin for the fact that Alan Hutton got sent off. Which totally ignores the fact that Hutton is a thuggish half-wit who blunderbussed his way around the pitch for a couple of minutes because, like a five year old, he couldn’t control his temper. We’ve got Villa again at the end of March, I hope we give them such a pasting that McLeish accuses Thomas Vermaelen of the kidnap and murder of Lord Lucan while suggesting that Theo Walcott is an arch-terrorist who is planning to explode the entire world.
Speaking of Theo there’s a load of stuff on the official site about how we need trophies, and a cup, and how the FA Cup win was for the fans which I understand but all the games are for the fans if you stop and think about it for a second and he’s good at that talking stuff is Theo but hopefully that jammy goal he scored won’t be last he gets this season (I mean the last goal, not the last jammy goal) and he can do a bit more, perhaps concerned that Gervinho’s re-arrival and the emergence of the Ox might put his place is jeopardy and that if this goes on much longer it could be the world’s longest sentence.
Two final things now: 1 – If you want to win yourself a pair of tickets to Arsenal v Blackburn this weekend, simply enter the competition here with thanks to Thomas Cook Sport. Entries close tonight at midnight and the question should pose little or no problem.
Right, that’s yer lot, back tomorrow to announce the all the new signings. Hahaha, urgh. Until then!