Oh Arsenal. You big Arsenal-y Arsenal.
Only you could drive everybody mad with the not buying anyone and the not spending money on a striker and then, a day or so after the window closed, announce that one of the forwards we did have – and on whom there was now a heightened level of expectation to contribute to this season with goals – was completely banjaxed and had been sent off to Dr Nick to repair his knee.
You’re like the child you who assures you they don’t need to go to the bathroom before you set off on a long-journey. You ask ‘Are you sure?’ and you say ‘I don’t need to go’, so you get them wrapped up, strapped in, sat down, and about 3 seconds later they say ‘I have to have a wee!’
Danny Welbeck has undergone surgery on his left knee after being unable to sufficiently step up his rehabilitation work. It had been hoped he would avoid surgery but after increasing his training workload, the injury to his cartilage did not respond as well as hoped and the decision was taken last week for him to undergo surgery by a leading specialist in the field.
Danny is now expected to be out for a period of months and everyone at Arsenal wishes him well.
A period of months you say. I think we all appreciated the efforts to keep it vague. There was no pretending like you actually knew how long it would be. None of this ‘Danny is expected to return to training in 6-8 weeks’ nonsense. No, a period of months. It’s fluid, malleable, impossible to contradict. I mean, I’ve been writing this website for a period of months. 163 of them at this point but hey.
Some say he’ll be back by Christmas. Others that his knee has been sent to a doctor out Californee way, see if he can put a fixin’ on it. Either way, ain’t no Danny to pick up that goalscoring slack. A disappointment, of course, even if he’s not somebody on whom we were reliant as such, because even if you really, really wanted us to sign a forward, at least there was an understanding that Welbeck was there as an option.
Now he is not. And he won’t be. And worries about our misfiring forward line are exacerbated. We know Giroud is a streaky goalscorer but when his charge starts running down because he has to play in every game, the goals dry up. Theo Walcott remains unconvincing in that position, Joel Campbell seems unlikely to be this season’s Francis Coquelin, leaving only Alexis.
Only Alexis – those are actually some comforting words this morning. Only Alexis Sanchez, that really quite excellent footballer who scored 25 goals last season. A player who I would be keen to see play more as a central striker because we have more scope to change things around in the wide positions, and maybe that’s how we add some variety and spark to the team.
And look, I understand why this was announced after the window had closed and not before. You don’t tell the world you’re even more desperate for a forward than you were before, but even by Arsenal standards the timing of it was tragicomic, to say the least. In today’s Arsecast, there’s a revelation about a deadline day loan move for a striker that didn’t go through, but one which ultimately would have done little else but replace like for like in terms of quality (if that).
The onus now is well and truly on the players we have to ensure the chances we’re creating are finished and that the goals start coming. It’s a blow to lose somebody who added depth to the squad, and with the manager looking for 10-15 goals more this season, he needs somebody to make up for the 9 Welbeck got in the last one. Maybe somebody is the wrong word, everybody might fit better.
It’s a blow too for Welbeck who definitely had something to prove this season. There were signs of the player he could be in his first campaign, and it would have been interesting to see how he might have imposed himself on the manager’s team selection had he been fit. Good luck to him, and fingers crossed that period of months isn’t too lengthy.
Overall though, it’s just another example of how we never, ever make life easy for ourselves, the pressure that was on after not spending before the deadline has now been increased, and with our next three Premier League games against Stoke, Chelsea and
Sp*rs (sorry, that’s Capital One Cup), Leicester, we’re going to really see what this lot are made of. Let’s hope it’s sterner stuff than Danny Welbeck’s knee.
Right then, onto this week’s Arsecast and trying to make sense of the Danny Welbeck stuff, the lack of transfer activity, whether a midfielder might have been a better purchase than a striker, and how this team might improve in ways other than spending money, I’m joined by James from @Northbanklower and Andrew Allen. It’s quite an impromptu podcast, the Interlull usually means no Arsecast but under the circumstances … there’s some, if not all, of the usual waffle in there too.
You can subscribe to the Arsecast on iTunes by clicking here. Or if you want to subscribe directly to the feed URL you can do so too (this is a much better way to do it as you don’t experience the delays from iTunes). To download the Arsecast directly, use the link below the player, and if you are a regular listener via iTunes, if you would be so kind as to leave a review/rating that would be greatly appreciated.
So, that’s really about that, we’ll have news throughout the day on Arseblog News. For those wondering about Tim Stillman’s column (fnarr), he’s on holiday. The Gent should be here later on, laudanum permitting.
Oh, and if you’re into podcasts, you might like this episode of my other podcast in which I sit down with Marc Maron – a man who has practically defined the genre. He was in Dublin during the week, and the story of how it all happened is contained in the podcast itself. Check it out.
More from me here tomorrow, until then have a good one.