Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Do something to stop being punched in the face

Hey folks, what’s happening? All good? A quick Saturday round-up for you.

There doesn’t seem to be much going with Arsenal. Well, I say that, but clearly there’s a concerted effort to embrace minimalism as a concept for squad building. Or, should I say, squad dismantling. So far, there have been no new arrivals, and the departure lounge looks busier. Did we bring in Marie Kondo as a consultant or something, discarding the things which no longer ‘spark joy’.

There are reports that Juventus and Barcelona have been in touch over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and I have some thoughts on this. Firstly Juventus. Having just signed Dusan Vlahovic, a player we were after in January, why would they want him? Secondly, even if they did we should tell them to stick it because the offer is likely to be seven-trillion old lira paid over the next eight thousand years. Thirdly, it makes me afraid that part of any deal might involve Alvaro Morata, a player I have such an intense dislike for that it would spoil this window more than not bringing someone one.

I don’t quite know what it is about him. Obviously his time at Chelsea plays a part, but his nomadic wanderings around Europe and sketchy transfer fees and loans make me think he’s owned by some kind of crap organised crime syndicate who are using him to launder money. Getting Morata as the striker would be like waking up on Christmas morning hoping to see a brand new football but instead you get a goat’s bladder filled with toenail cuttings and ear wax. I will personally set fire to Edu’s barbecue tongs if this happens.

As for Barcelona, such are their finances they couldn’t afford a ticket to go up the Sagrada Familia, let alone pay a substantial portion of Aubameyang’s £300,000 a week wages. I guess there is some room for creative accounting, what’s another few million when you owe over a billion? It doesn’t seem that likely, however this is a situation that looks like it needs to be sorted before Monday because if not we’re going to have another senior player picking up wages for doing nothing which, as we can all agree, is not the ideal use of resources.

There was talk of Eddie Nketiah being sold to Newcastle which doesn’t seem to be imminent as he’s currently in Dubai with the rest of the lads. At this point, not much would surprise me though. The Calum Chambers sale to Villa came out of nowhere, and despite the fact he didn’t play much, I’d have been ok with him staying until the end of his deal. It’s a bit different up front though because we lack sheer numbers. At the back there are ways we can cover, move people around, but the reality of our squad right now is that Eddie is the only senior back-up for Alexandre Lacazette, so that makes a departure unlikely, not to mention what it says about our firepower. Which isn’t so much fire as a wet stick covered in some kind of moss.

The squad, as it stands, looks thin.

We have the rest of today, then 48 hours until Monday night to get something done. Will we? I don’t know? Should we? Yes, of course. Can we? Beats me. As I said yesterday, even if the guys who have departed are the fringiest of fringe players, going through January with what appears to be an asset stripping/cost-cutting mentality is going to get people wound up.

This is not our first rodeo, we’ve been through this time and time again, and I do think there’s a tendency for fan reaction to the transfer window to become somewhat overwrought. That said, the clamour for a signing or two isn’t being greedy, it’s not wanting more and more on top of what we’ve already got, it’s about wanting something to address the key issues we have in the team – especially up front. We know we have a chance to fight hard for a top four place, and doing nothing this window would be like a boxer going into the ring with one hand tied behind his back. We might do ok for a bit, but eventually we’re going to get punched in the face quite a lot.

As someone who has spent most of his life avoiding being punched in the face – literally and metaphorically – I’m somewhat on edge right now. I like my teeth where they are, my nose not to be smooshed all over my face, my cheekbones intact, and my ears not boxed into a cauliflower mess.

All eyes on Edu these last couple of days.

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