Morning all, a quick round-up of what’s going on seeing as those wasters who supposedly run the club haven’t signed a World Class player for over 24 hours.
We got our first interview with Alexis on the official site, and while most of it is the usual stuff you hear from players, I did like the bit where he talked about his motives:
Playing regularly wasn’t the only reason why I came here. I came here to win the league title, the Champions League and every title at stake.
Maybe it’s just me, but there’s a subtle difference between the ‘I hope to help the club win trophies’ and ‘I came here to win every thing I can get my hands on’. After his World Cup showing, and his last season at Barcelona which was phenomenal, he’d have had his choice of clubs. Ivan Gazidis said at the kit launch that he had lots of options but chose us. Hopefully that’s because he feels our ambitions match his.
His arrival has been hailed by Mikel Arteta, who said:
I’m really happy, everybody has been waiting for a big signing like this. He’s a proper player, he has good experience, he’s got the technique and he’s got the pace. I met him this morning and he looked very excited, I think he’s going to be a good fit.
And the vice-captain was asked about his language skills:
His English is not great…as is the case with 99% of the South Americans, but he will try. He was very interested…although perhaps a bit worried about it, but he’ll be fine. We have a very humble squad and the players will look after him. He’s got plenty of Spanish lads to talk with. We’ll look after him.
There’s more in a really good piece by Andrew Allen over on Arseblog News, but apparently Arteta was straight over to Sanchez when he arrived to offer him any kind of help he needed settling in, with the language, anything and everything to help ease the transition to a new club/culture. There’s no doubt the Spaniard is heading towards the final years of his career, but I think people need to look beyond the pitch to see what a positive influence he is at the club and in the dressing room.
When you consider the state we were in when we plucked him from Everton at the last minute (and almost bollixed the deal by stiffing him on wages at the the 11th hour), he’s played a massive role in getting us to this point. While he might not go down as one of the Wenger greats in comparison to the likes of Pires, Henry, Vieira etc, I really think he’s been one of the most effective and influential signings the manager has ever made. It might have been borne out of desperate necessity, but he’s done a hugely important job for us and doesn’t always get the credit he deserves.
He’s in the final year of his contract now, and touched on that too, saying:
I had my conversation with the manager, he knows my opinion and I know his opinion and we’re all good. That’s all I can say. I can’t stop the rumours, but you can be sure that I’m really happy here. I feel valued, I’ve been given a lot of responsibility and I like it. Until the club thinks something different about me, I’m happy here.
My feeling is that as he’ll be 33 when his contract runs out, it just gives him enough time to make one more move. Perhaps to the MLS to follow his mate Tim Cahill, for example. He might well still have something to offer us – too often we’ve let experience go when it might have proved vital, but I suspect he’s keeping his options open and both he and Arsene are quite happy with that.
Meanwhile, for those of you with a statistical disposition, @7amkickoff has a look at Sanchez in his classic ‘By the numbers’ style.
In other news, Santi Cazorla has played down talk of him leaving the club this summer, saying he’s happy here and also that ‘I’m a funny guy’.
Funny how, I wonder. You know, funny … it’s… funny, the way he tells the story and everything. Not funny like a clown or anything, like he’s there to amuse us, but just funny. You know … funny. Anyway, there might well be interest from Atletico Madrid and I do think he’ll go back to Spain at some point, but I’d be very, very surprised if it were this summer. Next summer, not so much, but at a time when we’re building a deep squad to have a real tilt at the title and the Champions League, you don’t let a player like him go.
Speaking of Atletico Madrid, there are links to their young right-back Javi Manquillo. What this means for Carl Jenkinson and Hector Bellerin remains to be seen. There might well be some logic in it, by bringing in an understudy to Debuchy – whose Arsenal career is going to be relatively short, all things considered – you get to view him first hand and judge his quality in training and in the games he’ll play.
Meanwhile, Carl Jenkinson could go out on loan for a season to play regularly, and I don’t think anyone would argue that wouldn’t be good for him. If he does well, bring him home, and let him fight it out with the Frenchman. If the young Spaniard looks better, make that deal permanent. I don’t know if that’s the plan, but if it is, it wouldn’t be the worst one we’ve ever had.
Right, not much else happening this morning. There’s the World Cup 3rd/4th place play-off game later, which would be fun with nothing at stake but might be the most miserable thing of all time too.
We’ll have a look ahead to the final tomorrow, in the meantime have a good Saturday.