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Friday 4 January 2013

Interpreting Arsène.....?

Although AW is much respected by the media ratpack in general because of the erudite way in which he's often willing to spout forth in response to their largely inane questions, when it comes to matters of a more delicate nature, we've grown accustomed to Arsène's habitual tendency to play his cards very close to his chest.

As a result, after 16 years of AW's tenure, we Gooners are left trying to deduce what little we can from small snippets of information. For example, are we to intimate from Arsène's reported quote in response to the ongoing Theo Walcott contract saga "I don't think he is only interested in money" that despite increasing their original offer, our skinflint club is doing its utmost to leverage Theo's desire to remain in North London to the maximum, by continuing to offer him less than the wages he's being promised elsewhere?

If this is the case, we can only speculate upon the difference, but you can bet that at the same time, Walcott's agent is hyping up any potential for a Dutch auction and taking advantage of the Gunner's customary reluctance to keep everything behind closed doors, by going back to any other willing bidders and encouraging them to up their offer, in order to maintain the size of any wage increase that's likely to be sufficient to lure Theo away.

I've never been Walcott's no. 1 fan and won't be until I witness him having an influential impact upon games on a more consistent basis. Nevertheless, even on a bad day at the office, just the threat of Theo's blistering pace up front is sufficient to put the willies up most opposition defences and thereby hopefully affording more opportunities to his team mates and quite frankly we've lacked the threat of any such pace at the spearhead of our attack since TH14 made his initial exit (prior to his second and somewhat more sedate coming).

However, if Walcott should end up taking his leave of the Arsenal for the sake of an additional £10k, £20k, or even £30k per week, our club's perennial stinginess could prove far more costly, not only because the likes of Gervinho makes Walcott look world class by comparison and the sort of price we might have to pay to replace him, but more crucially, following the ceaseless, season upon season, drain of talent from the Gunners squad in recent times, what it says about the Arsenal that we can no longer hang on to the likes of Theo and the fact that this not only confirms our status as a selling club, but also the overall lack of ambition of the board.

Losing Van Persie was heartbreaking. Losing him to Man Utd was positively an outrage but Robin was amongst an extremely scarce supply of the sort of world's best strikers that in the absence of success returning to North London, I guess it was always only a matter of time before a club with a seemingly limitless bankroll made him an offer that he simply couldn't refuse.

However sadly Theo doesn't quite rank in the same category as Robin and to find ourselves outbid for his somewhat more limited talents, well quite frankly this would not only be embarrassing, but probably a mistake in pure economic terms, as imagine how much extra the Arsenal might have to pay to attract additional talent to North London in future, when prospective players are considering their options and thinking that they would require a whole lot more persuasion, to come to a club that can't even be guaranteed to retain their minor stars?

Talking of Man Utd, Arsène's efforts to silence the constant stream of questions about Nani the other day might also offer some interpretation. Myself I really don't understand our interest in Man Utd rejects, as Fergie hasn't lost anywhere near enough of his marbles to be flogging his rivals (sadly, not that we count as one of these nowadays!) anything but a complete and utter pup - see Mikael Silvestre! But to my mind Wenger's firm denial in stating that "we don't look at anyone from Man Utd" suggested to me that perhaps enquiries had been made and the Gunners had received short shrift from the Mancunians, responding in the sort of fashion that we should've done when receiving an offer for RvP.

Sure I appreciate that you simply cannot hang on to a player if he's absolutely determined to leave, but even if it had cost us a few million quid in the transfer sum, we should've remained masters of the situation and sold him to a club of our choosing, expressly not one of our competitors. Having set such a precedent at the Gunners, surely we've left ourselves prone to suffering a repeat performance of the tail wagging the dog, whereby players in future might be able to dictate where and when they choose to go!

Here's hoping Walcott chooses to continue enduring the current experience of chasing his tail, rather than wagging it

Keep the faith


Anonymous said...

Big fan of your writing. The selling of Van Persie was the lowest ebb in Wegners reign. it was beyond football or financial reasons just sheer giving up of our status of a elite premier league team. Im 30 years a gooner and like yourself know our history even before that. Wegners descent into madness is startling. his grasp on power and his relutance to ceed it is astonishing. he is culpable as the board as they a a unit. Wegner will accept his £7million and try to scrape us into CL football, the board of course delighted to take max profits for minimal investment in the team. This outfit is as frustrating as they are ill motivated. change for change sake is needed at Arsenal. Of course Wegner will stay as things are, where would he go that he can reign supreme.

all the best Adrian

Jack said...

We didn't have a choice with RvP other than to keep a disaffected player for a season and lose him for nothing at the end of it. Plaers hold the cards and decide where they play these days.

Anoop said...

i thought it was ok if we got 24 million for an unhappy player, with history of frequent injuries with one season success, which was about 10 million more than any other club offered us.. but after i see this season, i understand the importance of "never strengthen your rivals..."