yesterday we had an actual new signing, yesterday we had, in Arsene’s words, news about a player who becomes “almost like a new signing”. ALANS. Isn’t that ironic?
Ryo Miyachi was granted a work permit under the ‘exceptional talent’ clause yesterday, causing much happiness for the manager as he gets to add to his collection of young, but exceptionally speedy, wide forwards. The youngster did impress during pre-season but it would be wise to be a little cautious when it comes to what he might produce for us in the short term. This time 12 months ago he was playing school football in Japan, expecting him to set the Premier League alight this early in his development is probably unrealistic.
But, as the season goes on, you would hope that some Carling Cup experience and the odd substitute appearance will see him grow as a player. And I think ‘holic is right when he points out there’s a key ingredient in the signings/acquisitions of Gervinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Miyaichi, and that’s lightning pace. We have missed that in recent seasons, only Theo Walcott has the turbo boost to really scare defences, so it does look a quite deliberate ploy on the manager’s part. And while we wait for Ryo to make his mark we can be thankful that yesterday’s news provided us with this fantastic exchange over on Arseblog News.
It’s been quite the start to the week, in fairness. A signing, ALANS, what could happen today? Two signings? The annoucement of the crippling of one of our players made simply so we can say less than 24 hours later that the medical staff have fixed him and he’s a real LANS? Or, perhaps, a departure? Yesterday, Marouane Chamakh appeared on a football show on L’Equipe TV and was asked about the futures of Cesc and Samir Nasri and his expectation is that both will leave. He said:
I think both of them are likely leaving the club. It’s a difficult situation for the manager. I think he (Wenger) is looking for their successors and he hasn’t found them. I think before letting them go he wants to find the players to replace them. That’s my opinion about the situation.
The problem is the season starts this weekend, and it’s even more difficult for us.
I don’t think he’s saying anything most of us aren’t thinking and while I did read some criticism of Chamakh for the forthright nature of the comments, I don’t really see any problem with them. If only he was this up front … erm … up front. We’ve pussied about far too long this summer over both these situations and Chamakh is right to make the the point it makes life difficult for us with the season almost upon us. What is the point of head in the sand/’everything is under control’ stuff when the world knows different?
Despite the fact Nasri and Cesc were included in the squad for the Champions League play-off round, it doesn’t mean much. Nasri is suspended for the first leg anyway and Cesc is unlikely to play due his lack of overall fitness. We still have a situation where two of our best players want to leave the club. We know about Cesc and Barcelona and yesterday France manager Laurent Blanc said of Nasri:
I just know that he is in talks with his club. Not to extend his contract because he said he would not, but to change clubs.
So there you go. Also interesting is what he said about its effect on the France squad:
If all this could end quite rapidly, it would be better for us.
I think that could rather apply to us as well. If Blanc feels it’s somehow distracting for the international squad, where a player’s affiliation doesn’t really matter, what must it be like for the club? And isn’t it interesting that Nasri is away on international duty despite not playing for us against Benfica because of ‘injury’?
Again the Man City rumours resurface, so the AOC/Miyaichi options, plus the potential signing of Joel Campbell, could mean Wenger is more open to cashing in Na$ri, but the whole thing is still a great big mess at this moment in time. I think the player has probably made it quite clear he wants to go, hence the change in Wenger’s mindset from ‘definitely keeping him’ to ‘only if committed’, so if there’s a serious offer from Manchester City, what are we waiting for?
Some closure, one way or the other, to both these situations would be more than welcome now. And although Marouane Chamakh says it makes like more difficult, it’s good to see the players who are fully involved can put it to one side and get on with things. Aaron Ramsey is focused on the new season, saying:
I’ve had a full pre-season, which is a massive advantage, and I just want to kick on from last season. Before my injury, I was starting to play regularly and then everything came to a stop – it was as if someone had pressed the pause button on my career.
Now I feel I am ready to carry on and, hopefully, improve.
I always got the feeling Ramsey’s arrival was meant as a transitional one, in that we always knew Cesc would go back to Barcelona at some stage and the young Welshman could fill the gap. Circumstances have made that a bit more difficult, obviously. I don’t think Arsene wanted Cesc to go this early and Ramsey’s development was halted by that shuddering oaf at Stoke, but sometimes timing is a key ingredient in a player’s career. Look at Ashley Cole, on the verge of a permanent move to Crystal Palace in the summer of 2001, then they discovered Silvinho’s passport was made with an inkjet and some double-sided sticky tape, and hey presto, welcome to the big time.
I’m not sure he’s ready to take on the creative burden of Cesc but it wouldn’t surprise me if he was one of the players who really made progress in the season ahead. With the current spate of injuries/absences in midfield he’s likely to start this weekend at Newcastle so let’s hope he comes out of the blocks flying.
There are some internationals tonight – although England v Holland has been called off due to the events in London over the last few days – so fingers crossed we don’t suffer any bumps and bruises ahead of Saturday.
And that’s about that. There’s no news on a new defender just yet but I’m sure Ivan has been up all night, burning the midnight oil, striving his head off, toiling, all hands on deck, to get it done. I’m sure.