So, the unmistakeable chimes of Big Ben bring the craziest few months an Arsenal fan has ever had to endure to a close. We have lost our club captain, we have lost last seasons best player, and we have been humiliated 8-2 by Man United, yet, with that big bell still ringing in my ear (insert your own joke!) there is a renewed optimism.
Fans had been calling for Arsène Wenger to bring experience into the club for the last few years, it had appeared to be falling on deaf ears, until last night. Finally, the professor has done away with his penchant for kids and brought some first class experience and more importantly leadership to the side.
A 6 foot 6 inch German international with 75 caps to his name has been recruited to teach TV the importance of defensive positioning, something that Vermaelen lacks at times as was all too evident in the home game against Barcelona 2 years ago. There is no doubt that TV is an outstanding defender, with a mean tackle, a wicked left foot, and possibly the best standing jump in the Premier League (apart from Fabianski!), but the chance to learn from a seasoned professional like Per will take him onto the next level.
In front of them we have signed Yossi Benayoun on a season long loan and Mikel Arteta for a princely sum of £10m. Between them they have over 10 years experience in the Premier League, more than most of our midfielders put together. They have been brought in to ease the pressure on young Jack and Aaron, but also to show the young pretenders how it can be done. Not how to pass a ball, Aaron and Jack need no help in that department, no, they are here to show he kids the all important ability to arrive into the box late. This is a skill that made Freddie Ljungberg into a Highbury hero, and with the wide players now at Arsene’s disposal, it is something that the new look Arsenal team can profit from. All Gooners know that we have the annoying habit of crossing into an empty box, if these two can find a way of making late runs more often then we could be adding an extra 15 goals a season from midfield.
As well as these timely additions, Wenger also found time to pick up a Brazilian Confederations Cup winning left back as cover for Gibbs whilst his bones and muscles find a way to get along, the current South Korean captain and 4 other young prospects who are already settled at the club.
Wenger has shown how a club without the megabucks of a sugar daddy can operate in the minefield that is the modern day transfer market. I have heard some fans saying that they are disappointed that we didn’t bring in a marquee signing, but i have to disagree. Big money signings bring with them an air of attitude and cockiness, something that Arsenal FC could do without after the recent Cesc and Nasri sagas. They also carry huge price tags. Cahill was touted as the ideal signing by many, but with an estimated £15m value, Wenger opted to bag himself an extra 60+ caps worth of experience and pocket £5m in the process. Surely a great piece of business.
Another name that was being thrown around by our transfer hungry fans was that of Eden Hazard. Currently with Lille and with an asking price in excess of £20m, this kid is seen as the next big thing. But if that is the case, then why hasn’t he been snapped up already? It is impossible these days to keep an up and coming talent secret from the circling vultures of Man City, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea etc so why haven’t they tried to do a deal? After all, they have enough spare change in there pockets to complete this deal without even having to nip to the local cash point! So why hasn’t it been done? Well that’s a question i cannot answer, but if they are unwilling to part with what is quite frankly spare change, then why would Wenger risk his precious money, and more importantly his future at AFC on such a player? Lets face it, after a 6% price hike, the last thing he can do is risk throwing money away. How would that look!?
Its been a crazy 3 months as a Gooner, and arguably the hardest in recent times, but we have made it through with manager in tact (to the annoyance of some), 9 new faces, and a new belief that this could yet turn out to be a successful season for our boys. I really hope so, because after all we have been through in the last few months, it is the fans who deserve it…..
Written by Fatgingergooner