plague update: I think it’s now mutated into some kind of ebola-esque virus which is eating my innards and will leave me a bloody, gloopy mess on my floor. Alternatively, I’ve got a nasty head cold. One or the other. But either way it’s not pleasant and I blame Michael O’Leary. How could the brother of our all time record appearance holder make his planes such cannisters of illness and bacterium. Did he learn nothing from Howard Hughes and his Spruce Goose?
“Get in. I said, ‘Get in'”.
Perhaps my attempts to rid myself of this filthy disease by playing football in the freezing cold and high wind and then trying to drown it in bourbon were misguided but at least I tried. Anyway, I’ll be sure to keep you up to date with the progress of my ailment. See, that’s the problem with having eight days between games and no midweek football. It’s almost like a mini-Interlull but without the players going away on planes and coming back with Dengue fever.
So you get to thinking what would make anyone feel better during a mini-Interlull and then you remember what time of year it is. Yep. Excitement is building. Little children will be looking at their calendars, counting down the days, giddy with excitement until it’s that night and they can barely sleep. Tossing and turning all night long, their little pyjamas all crumpled up and no matter how much they close their eyes and squeeze them shut they just can’t.
Eventually sleep will take them and the next morning they’ll rush down the stairs and log onto NewsNow to see if Arsenal have signed anyone. Yes, it’s the opening of the transfer window. Oh, what manner of goodies will Santa Wenger bring them? A left back? A striker? A midfield enforcer? Sebastian Frey? Of course by January 31st – after Arsene has been compounding his interest as much as possible and only then deciding to bring back a former player on loan – the excitement will have turned to anger and dismay, and not even seeing Thomas Danilevicius in the mighty red and white again will appease them.
Still, at least we know the manager’s thinking about it. Speaking about the possibility of a January transfer or two, he said:
We lose players like Chamakh and Gervinho to the Africa Cup of Nations, so hopefully touch wood we do not get any injuries to our strikers, but if an opportunity turns up in that department then we will buy.
The situation, I must say, is a bit special. Economically the whole environment has changed and people suffer more. The clubs will suffer more financially and it’s much more difficult.
Maybe we will have some opportunities because we are in a good financial situation.
Let’s be honest, losing Chamakh to the African Cup of Nations is like losing your extra toe to frostbite, but the issue isn’t about him going to that tournament, it’s about us having a player who can offer support/back-up to van Persie. I know the system we play is different now, but remember when we could rotate through Henry, Bergkamp, Kanu and Wiltord? Obviously there was a pecking order but you had, at least, some vague hope that when one of those down that order got within sight of goal he didn’t almost pass out like one of those fainting goats.
There are lots of names being bandied about. Götze, Podolski (interesting the number of German based players we’re being linked with these days), and even Kalou who, while probably better than Chamakh, is better than him in the way that a cold football in the side of the ear is marginally more acceptable than a cold football kicked at great speed directly at your testicles which makes that dreaded ‘thwap’ sound as it connects and it’s like when you fall back and hit your head off the ground because there’s that moment where you don’t feel anything and then it’s like ‘Oh fuck’.
Trying to debate about who we might buy is a total waste of time. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, and all that, and we can’t forget that the last time Arsene decided we needed a striker was just a couple of months ago and at that time he deciced to bring in Ju Young Park who has barely played. We now have the ‘Has he not played because he’s not ready or has he not played because he’s not up to it?’ debate which is hard to prove either way as long as he doesn’t play. Arsene says we’ll see more of him in the second half of the season because his ‘adaptation period’ is up but that makes it sound like he’s come out of quarantine and I don’t think it’s as quantifiable as all that.
On the other hand we do know that the boss, when he spends, prefers to spend on attacking players. Remember a few Januarys ago when everyone was begging, pleading and entreating for him to sign a centre-half and he went out and bought Arshavin? His impact was immediate, and sadly all too brief, but there’s little doubt he did make some difference to our season in those first few months.
Personally I don’t have a clue who to buy but then thankfully that’s not my job for which I’m paid millions of pounds a year. I say thankfully but it would be a brilliant job to have, if only for the fact they’d have to pay off my contract after a few months due to the fact I’m a crap manager (the newest versions of Championship Manager caught me out – as soon as you had to do more than buy Tonton Zola Makoukou, Cherno Sambo and all the free-scoring Swerabians I was fucked).
So let’s wait and see and hope that this time, if and when he decides to buy a striker, he buys a real one.
Finally for today, if you could register your interest in a reprint of the book I’d be very grateful. Due to time/time of year, it won’t happen until January, so if you’re still interested in a copy then just answer the poll here.
Right, time to medicine myself up. The only cure for an ebola cold is hot whiskeys.