In the end, they did it. After 38 games and a...
A smattering of Arsenal news
In political news cycles Friday’s are days you would throw out the “trash” – or the stories you weren’t really paying attention to and didn’t expect the general public to pay attention to. It’s usually done after 5PM and the hope was it wouldn’t get picked up.
Now, for this blog we typically try and just do one article focused on one subject. It’s more because of my attention issues than anything else. But in honour of “throwing out the trash” news cycle and the shifting of some of dead wood announced today – I give yout his smattering of stories.
Shifting the “Deadwood”
Arsenal supporters have been asking for ages for the club to move those players the perception is, just don’t have what it takes to cut it either for Arsenal or within the Premier League (or both.)
And it looks like Arsenal are now full on involved in program to Lend our goods out to whomever will take them.
Take the confirmed departures of Marouane Chamakh and Johann Djourou. Chamakh it was announced has joined West Ham United on a 6 month loan deal. No terms have been announced and it’s unlikely that an option to buy was included. What I think a safe assumption is that Arsenal are hoping he will get a run of play and improve to the point of increasing any sell-on value the Morroccan may have.
JD leaves the Premier League entirely. Djourou’s departure nearly happened in the summer with Napoli looking like the side who had the most interest. However it’s Germany where the Swiss international has landed. Djourou will go and become part of Hannover’s back line. There are varying reports on the deal with Kicker saying there is an option for Hannover to buy. Others have stated that a sell-on clause doesn’t exist. Again like with Chamakh details haven’t been released.
In addition to these moves, Sebastien Squillaci in an interview earlier this week came out and publically said that he intended to leave Arsenal – his hopes were this January but for sure in June (when his contract expires). Squillaci’s likely destination is France.
The lingering deal out there is Andrei Arshavin. Word is that there was likely a move to Reading in the making but that has all but died down. Andrei wants to stay in England it seems but there is reported outside interest from Holland and Lazio in Italy. I suspect that Andrei will go as well this January as he no longer even makes the bench for the squad.
I don’t know about you but I hate loans. And Arsenal wouldn’t be in the position to need to make these loans if a.) they paid players proportionate to their experience and skill level and b.) never made some of the bad deals to begin with.
Loans for the players we already out there rarely seem to work. Denilson and Bendtner spring to mind. And the real reason those loans haven’t worked out is because no club wants to buy a player on the contract expectations they have – set by their parent club. But I digress (see what happens when I don’t focus.)
I am sort of pleased that these players are being moved on. I say sort of because it only fixes part of the problem.
The Theo saga.
New year, same story. Arsenal are embroiled in a long enduring saga to lock down one of its talented players.
Call it a broken record, Ground Hog’s day but it has been an all too familiar story for this club over the last 7 years. So here we are again, trying to get a talented player, currently in form to stay. It used to be we’d reluctantly let them go and argue that it’s not always greener on the side of the pasture.
But lately that hasn’t been the case. Nasri and Clichy leave and win the Premier League. Robin Van Persie leaves and looks surely to get his first league title. Cesc Fabregas leaves and in his second season looks set to get a winner’s medal for securing the La Liga title (ditto for Alex Song.)
Now we just want them to stay so we don’t feel utterly degraded.
I don’t know where we are with Theo. The rumours are that Arsenal have gone and upped their deal to be around £90k per week. If true that represents a major shift in their position from the £75k per week they had originally offered.
The sticking point that seems to be out there is certain guarantees around playing time and position. I never like those kind of guarantees, mainly because playing time is earned (you’d at least hope so) and position is also earned.
Theo is still developing. Rather nicely I believe and will be a solid talent and a good forward for us (should he stay). His finishing, once maligned has improved dramatically. He still makes some poor decisions like retaining the ball vs passing and small things like that but overall at 23 Theo finally looks to filling into his potential.
To let a player, again, of his ability leave the club continues to send the wrong message not only to the supporters but to the fans. Arsenal need to put an end to this and make every effort to sign Theo. The signs are positive – Theo says he wants to remain at Arsenal, Arsenal want him to remain – just get it done please.
Low ambitions affecting play
I’ve been all over the lack of ambition or sense thereof being communicated by this organization. And I beginning to wonder if the lacksidasical approach we see the players exhibiting is directly in correlation to that approach.
Take for instance Bacary Sagna. Over the last few weeks, a player once regarded as the best RB in Europe is quickly becoming a shell of his former self. For sure two injuries to the same exact area will cause you to lose a step. But it just seems to be more than speed that ailes the Frenchmen.
He has seen the club sell his teammates, some of the best talent in England and not seen them replaced with similar level talent. He has heard his manager and board talk of fourth place as success. Let’s face it Bacary Sagna’s bar has dropped much like the bar of the club he plays for.
Really, you could argue the whole team goes about its business in a similar vain. They play like a club who are being prodded for 4th place. Doing just enough to eek out that prized spot.
The reality is that by creating diminished expectations it filters to the players. And it has. At least that’s my opinion. How else can you explain a team that decimate an opponent one week and look abjectly disinterested the next?
I don’t begrudge the targets the club has established. However, how hard is it to just come out and say – the goal of this club is to win. We want to win everything we are in. When winning is your target – then that’s what the organization strives for and settles for everything else isn’t tolerated.
I’d really like to hear at the end of the year – we’re disappointed we finished where we did. Sure we have the consolation of a champion’s league spot but we really wanted to win. We’re told the club want to win but they way they present themselves doesn’t communicate that.
Is it the magic panacea? No, there are other issues at the club. But with the focus firmly set on the right target it likely won’t hurt the club.