The window is shut, the chilly draft of transfer anxiety has been extinguished and we at Arsenal have two shiny new toys to play with.
Well, when I say ‘shiny’ and ‘new’, let’s just say that we’ve salvaged a couple of tatty old playthings from the cardboard box in the bottom of the wardrobe.
Now the question is: what effect will the loan signings of Pablo Mari from Flamengo and Cedric Soares from Southampton have on the rest of our season?
You’ll get your chance to have a say in the Polls below.
For me the signings were an emphatic response to two things: first, the continued fragility of our defence which still looks shaky despite the obvious improvements under Mikel Arteta; second, the spate of defensive injuries that has blighted our season.
Neither player seems of the quality to transform our team, but both should add strength in depth and a layer of solidity to our back line.
Of the two, the centre half Mari might turn out to be the more promising. Some bloggers on AA have likened his style to that of Per Mertesacker. If he can be half as good as the BFG he’ll be worth having. And we have an option to buy him in the summer if he impresses sufficiently.
Soares, a right back, is a Portuguese international and has plenty of experience in the Premier League. You imagine he’s there as cover for Hector Bellerin, although that does raise a question about Ainsley Maitland-Niles’s future. AMN has done pretty well as a stand-in fullback – will he now get his chance in midfield? Or will Soares push him down the pecking order?
Before you vote, there is one way of judging our new arrivals that cannot be overlooked. I refer, of course, to the AA Anagramometer. Regular readers will know that this author believes that intrinsic truths about players can be discovered by making anagrams of their names (the way some people claim to tell the future in the tea leaves in the bottom of a cup or in the lines on the palm of your hand).
Pablo Mari is encouraging. A quick scramble of the letters of his name gives us this message: “PAL, I RAMBO.” Fair enough pal, if you’re Rambo you should be able to toughen up our defence, perhaps with some hidden booby traps and the occasional hand held surface to air missile. Anagramometer Verdict: 73% POSITIVE.
Cedric Soares, however, could go either way. On the one hand “CED IS A SCORER” is encouraging (even though he has only netted once this season so far) and “RAISED SOCCER” might indicate that our boy was brought up on football from his earliest days or that he has lifted the level of football wherever he has played. But “O, SCARED (CRIES)” hints at a timidity of character that’s not what you want in a defender. Anagramometer Verdict: 48% POSITIVE.
And so to the Polls:
” tatty old playthings from a cardboard box”…..Remember how good Andy’s old playthings were and if Mari and Soares turn out to be our new Woody and Buzz, I for one will be happy enough.
Thanks for another monster of a post, Rocky.
Spot on – I had ‘Toy Story’ in my mind when I wrote that line…
For what it’s worth I voted “moderately successful” in the first poll and “Top, FA Cup and Europa League Champs” in the second 😀
Snap, Rocky…….given it’s not a secret ballot involving stars.
Thanks Rocky, that made me chuckle.
I voted Very successful … and top 6 or better and EL champs. Well, you have to aim high 🙂
Arteta has made a point of praising A M-N since Cedric arrived so I guess he anticipated the negative connotations of his place in the team.
I see Mari as a first choice FB by the end of the season and Cedric as back up against further fullback injuries.
So ings get a foul in the box no call interesting, will there luck Ever run out
No chance, Fred! You ain’t getting a penalty at Anfield!
Huddersfield losing 2-3 @ Fulham.
Smith Rowe scored and got an assist
Spot on, Kev! Lincoln are 0-0… and did you see on his Instagram that Olayinka had a protective boot on 😳
133 minutes of football and Haaland has scored 7 goals for Dortmund… wow!! The Mancs wanted him and ended up with Ighalo 😜
Sue can u tell me why I still following leeds
Who Smith row on loan to hudders
Hi guys, sorry I’ve been a busy grandma, which is lovely but makes it hard to come on the blog.
If anyone fancies contributing with a pre-match tomorrow that would be great, just let me know. Thanks
Yes, Huddersfield, Fred 👍
Haha, I don’t know 😀 I still keep an eye on them… ever since we beat them, they’ve only won once!
I can do a pre match Peaches
But if anyone else volunteers feel free – I’m sure people are getting sick of me
……. and me 🙄
Apparently Sue, Olayinka is back at Arsenal for treatment, he got crunched in the 90th minute of his debut. 😕
According to Jeorge Bird, Daniel Ballard is in light training and could play in April.
I understand what you are saying Rocky and Peaches, but scraping the barrell is better than nothing! 😆
You could always copy and paste a post from Just Arsenal.com, they have about 500 posts a day about anything remotely connected to Arsenal like should you sit crossed legged or open legged whilst reading a programme at half time ?
I`m off to a gender reveal party today for my son and his wife, her dad is a Spud!…………….he has no f##king chance!
My missus will just about make it as she has recently become half deaf after bad flu like symptons, I know this is terrible , but a part of me just wishes she could have become dumb instead, I then could have then used my training as a sign language expert from numerous porn films!