Wenger: “If everybody is fit then we don’t need to go into the transfer market” http://t.co/YgssWomiHf
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) December 12, 2014
Is this Arsene Wenger’s most epic banter moment ever?
I can only think of one reason why Wenger would say that he doesn’t need players: he already has someone lined up for this Summer.
Long term, Arsenal need replacements for Per, Koz, Arteta, and Flamini. Short term, Arsenal need replacements for Arteta (if injured), Flamini (there are a ton of players who are better than Flamini), and a decent backup for Per and Koz.
The only reason I can imagine he would say this is that he has a player(s) lined up for this summer. I’ve heard, via the Metro and Daily Fail, that Arsenal are after Brazilian CDM Lucas Silva. All sources indicate that Silva’s first choice is Real Madrid but if the Madridistas don’t want him he wants a move in the Summer. Personally, I think the link to Arsenal is his dad and agent trying to force Real Madrid’s hand. I’m fairly certain that Silva wouldn’t qualify for a work permit because of England’s rather unenlightened work visa requirements.
Still, Silva is a highly rated CDM. So highly rated that ESPN ran a profile on him this Fall despite the fact he hasn’t made a single national team appearance. Apparently, he is “the best passing midfielder that Brazilian football has produced in the last few years” and has been trained in defensive duties since he was a child. His positioning is reportedly excellent and he is conservative with the tackles, preferring to stand his man up and mark him rather than dive in.
If you consider the qualities that Arteta has (and I consider Arteta the archetypal Wenger CDM) you can see why Wenger might choose Silva and be prepared to wait:
|Long ball %||65||75|
Still, unless Wenger can obtain an exceptional player visa, this kid is not coming to Arsenal. But Silva is the example of the kind of player Wenger is looking for. Morgan Schneiderlin is similar and could just as easily be Wenger’s real target.
But still, why isn’t Wenger looking for backup for Koz and Per? Haven’t the team proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that just having 6 defenders for 4 positions is suicidal? Sadly, Wenger doesn’t think so. Here’s his entire quote:
If everybody is fit and available, we don’t need to go on the transfer market. But we have to consider that there could be a question mark with Koscielny’s fitness and we have to go out on the transfer market.
So, if Koz is injured Arsene feels like five first-team defenders isn’t adequate cover for 4 positions. Additionally, he feels like having just one center back is also not enough cover.
Me? I think we need three players. But clearly Wenger doesn’t.
In Dorinne Kondo’s book Crafting Selves, she describes Zen acolytes first learning how to meditate. They are forced to sit on their knees on ground covered in pebbles. Naturally the pebbles dig into the knees and rub the person’s bones. But once the acolyte has meditated this way for a few weeks they become acclimated to the pebbles. Then, when they switch to inside with hard but smooth stone floors, they are so used to meditating on pebbles it’s like meditating on a pillow.
With all the things that are blowing up around Arsenal and with Wenger sounding like he’s not even really considering strengthening the squad in January I have decided to harden myself to the emotional turmoil that lays in wait. So, every day I’m going to spend two hours listening to the Emo X Pop Punk station on Spotify.
First two songs this morning?
My Chemical Romance, “I’m not o-fucking-kay” and Blink 182 “How old am I supposed to be.”
Oh boy, it’s going to be a long January.
Look for Naveen’s Newcastle preview later tonight (8am GMT).