We have two types of buys: one where we get a player back from injury and one where we get a player from an external source.
Here’s the thing, I don’t like to be messed with. I don’t enjoy it when the boss comes out and says that they were “very, very close” to a signing but for some mystery reason were unable to complete the deal. I don’t like it when he then follows that bombshell up with his patented winsome grin and refuses to tell us who the player was.And I especially don’t like it when they follow all that up with injury news that says half the team is crocked.
In yesterday’s pre-Chelsea Arsenal dot com exclusive interview, Arsene Wenger did just that. When questioned about how close they were to a signing, he looked into the camera, smiled, and said that they were very close, that they worked all day Monday trying to get this mystery player in, and that they just couldn’t.
Arsenal are seriously underestimating the average supporter’s anxiety over this issue. Me? I was fine with the fact that he didn’t sign anyone but I know a lot, A LOT, of supporters are not. It’s to our detriment as a club to simply dismiss that anxiety and tell them to “go support someone else” or worse, toy with us the way that Arsenal are doing in this interview.
And what really gets my goat is to follow that up with injury news. Who are these “likeanewsignings” that we’re getting back? Sol Campbell is back to full training, Eduardo and his very very tiny infinitesimal hamstring that won’t keep him out for more than a few minutes much less a few days is crocked, Vela is out with an unspecified injury, Diaby is not in training and has a huge question mark over his head for Sunday, and Bendtner is back but… Wenger says it will be 1-2 more weeks before Bendtner is back to full strength.
Let me translate that for you:
- We didn’t buy anyone
- Though we were actively looking and had a target and even were in negotiations up until the close of the window
- No, I won’t tell you who he was
- Nope, not even the position we were looking at
- HA HA, ISN’T THIS FUCKING FUNNY
- I’m not laughing WITH you!
- Oh and the center forward who is supposed to be the guy who will supposedly save the season from the center forward role is not 100%
- He’s 2 weeks away from 100%
I don’t know why they published this interview; it’s even frustrating me, the wild-eyed-optimist. Either tell us who you were trying to sign and why the deal fell through or just drop it. It’s neither funny nor informative to fuck with the average supporter like this.
It also, apparently, bothers Andrei Arshavin who has become something of a quote machine for the British Press. Who knows what they actually asked him but he was kind enough to give the Daily Fail a headline stuffing quote:
Third place is where we stand today, and that is already a great success for Arsenal when you take into account the class of our eleven players. Of course, we try to win every match, but class is class.
If Arsenal want to become champions, how can they select Arshavin as centre forward? ‘I am 173cm and it suits me, but next to the big centre halves of United it is very difficult to fight for the ball, especially in the air.
It’s (his statements) from frustration (that Arsene didn’t sign anyone). Van Persie is injured and unlikely to play again this season. Eduardo is injured too, but he may be ready to face Chelsea. We are in a difficult situation when it comes to recruiting players.
I have no doubt that the Daily Fail chopped the interview and manipulated Arshavin to get the best bits out of him but Arshavin is never one to hold his tongue and I’m sure at least a bit of that frustration is real.
I suppose the positive to take from this is that Wenger, and the players, know that they needed a player, tried to get a player, but somehow failed. Hey, maybe the Sun is right and Arsenal tried to sign Mohamed Zidane?
Chelsea on Sunday
Arsene also talked about the need to bounce back from the hiding we took at the hands of Man U and it’s all the stuff you’d expect: we lacked sharpness, we need to get that back, the season’s not over, etc.
Interestingly, he mentioned that the ACN has had an effect on Alex Song and that he was not 100% against Man U last week. I’m surprised by this because I thought Song was one of the handful of players who really put in a shift against United.
Still, it’s great news because Song and Eboue have had a week of rest and should be fresh for the Chelsea game. An injection of fresh legs from the likes of Song and Eboue could provide just the boost to take Arsenal over the edge. At the very least Song will have his work cut out for him, shielding the back four from the likes of Drogba, so any edge there is wholly welcome.
Reportedly, Wenger canceled the team’s scheduled day off in mid-week and has been drilling them non-stop in preparation for the big clash on Sunday. Frankly, I’d rather he’d have canceled Clichy and Denilson’s day off last Sunday.
What to watch on Saturday?
For my American readers, the Merseyside Derby is on ESPN2 in High Def tomorrow morning. Kickoff is at 4:30am (PST) but if you’re like me, you’ll be up anyway!
The other match of interest is the Bolton v. Fulham match which could see the introduction of Jack Wilshere to the Bolton side. Owen Coyle bemoaned the fact that Jack couldn’t get on last weekend and seems very keen to get him some time this weekend. It would be interesting to see but unfortunately Setanta USA isn’t playing the game until 5:30pm (PST).
That’s it for now, see you later.