At this point, I’m just going to go ahead and tell you that if you’re at all a rational person, if you look at the world and are able to make sense of reality, and if you like making sense of things, it’s probably in your best interest to stop reading news about Arsenal now because if you don’t… you… may start throwing things. In fact, just stop reading this post right now.
Seriously. Stop. Go outside, walk the dog.
You’re not stopping? Ok…
Two days ago Arsene Wenger made the proclamation that despite the loss of Arsenal’s most important midfielder (Mikel Arteta) to his now annual January three-week injury layoff Arsenal were not really in the market for a midfielder because “If you think there are any players of Arteta’s calibre available now in January,” he said, “I wish you good luck.”
This was a bold statement from the Arsenal man, especially considering that he had just selected Abou Diaby to play in Arteta’s place in a crucial match against Manchester City. Abou Diaby, who has started a grand total of 24 Arsenal matches in the last 30 months, struggled mightily against the reigning League champs and looked so far removed from “Arteta’s calibre” that the only praise Arsene Wenger could muster for the man after the game was that he played 60 minutes without picking up an injury and that he will “get stronger.”
Meanwhile, reports surfaced this morning that Arsenal look set to lose out on four long-rumored transfer targets as Everton are on the verge of signing Toulouse midfielder Ettiene Capoue, Queen’s Park Rangers look set to swoop for Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila and Marseilles forward Loic Remy, and English forward Wilfried Zaha looks set to sign for Manchester United. Yes, I know, by mentioning Arteta and Diaby and then Remy and Zaha I’m mixing midfielders and forwards. I’m doing that only because there are a lot of folks who believe that Arsenal also need a striker now that star center forward Gervinho has gone off to the Africa Nations of Cups.
And if you’ve ever wondered why there is a divide among Arsenal supporters, or if you’ve ever wanted to catalog what that divide looks like, what arguments each makes, you need look no further than the comments that this article will receive below. Because what this all really comes down to is an argument over what each person believes is “a quality player.”
Some people will argue that Diaby is “Arteta calibre” and they will point to that one game that he had back in 2009 where he really just looked a world beater. The other person will state, plainly, that he may be the Lionel Messi of midfielders but he’s started less than one game a month for the last two and a half years.
Some folks will say “well who the hell are YOU to say which players are quality? You sound like that bitter fan questioning Harry Redknapp over why he picked Frank Lampard over Scott Canham. Redknapp was right, Lampard was miles better than Canham.” And their opposites will reply with a catalog of examples of players that Arsene didn’t rate who turned out to be fantastic.
On it will rage, Arsenal fans will now begin to throw things against walls, probably their own feces, as they go ape-shit over this latest news.
How do I personally feel?
I think Moyes is the most astute manager in the Premier League in terms of getting value out of the transfer market. He doesn’t get the big payouts that Wenger does but then he doesn’t bet as much as Wenger does either because Everton don’t have the same deep pockets that Arsenal have. I have been a fan of Capoue since I was convinced to give him a chance by Tim from Arse2Mouse and I would love to see Capoue in an Arsenal shirt.
Based on his stats and on watching him play football, I believe that Capoue would provide the steel that Arsenal need in midfield, protecting Jack from “wheelchair” tackles. I believe Capoue is a fantastic deep-lying playmaker as well and would offer some great service from distance for either Theo to run under or for Giroud to win. Capoue is also able to play center back and he is one of the best in France in terms of winning aerial duels, I believe that those are two places where he could help Arsenal.
But most importantly, Moyes is reportedly bringing Capoue in because Chelsea are going to sign Marouane Fellaini. And if that’s true, then, it means that Everton are losing a star player to a big-spending team (which many agree is inevitable) and are looking to replace like quality for like quality in the transfer market. And that’s something that many Arsenal fans feel like Arsenal have not really done lately.