Arsenal on Transfer Deadline Day: Much Ado About Nothing
Last season, it took an 8-2 spanking in the hands of Arsenal’s bitter rivals to force the manager’s hand into securing deals for securing deals for five players that helped the team’s cause. It was a lot different this time, as Arsenal was linked with players from all over the football world.
Elsewhere, Arsenal’s rivals for a title challenge were quite busy and one can look no further than the defending champions, Manchester City. With the FIFA Financial Fair Play in view, Manchester City took a subtle approach this summer in their transfer dealings and it seemed as if Roberto Mancini was contented with his squad. However, the Italian waited till mid-August to seal a deal for Everton’s highly-rated youngster, Jack Rodwell, that’s touted as Gareth Barry’s long-term replacement.
Manchester City also let some players go, with the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham), Adam Johnson (Sunderland), Stevan Savic (Fiorentina) and Nigel de Jong (AC Milan) seeking new employers. Yesterday, Manchester City secured moves for five players – Scott Sinclair (Swansea) , Richard Wright (Free Agent), Maicon (Internazionale), Matija Nastasic (Fiorentina) and Javi Garcia (Benfica).
Tottenham also made some impressive moves in the transfer market with the acquisitions of Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele (Fulham). Even with all their “activity”, Arsenal has failed to score in two Premier League games but they’re still above Tottenham.
Forever in our shadows, I guess.
From an Arsenal perspective, transfer deadline day was an amazing prospect. The departures of Nicklas Bendtner (Juventus) and Park Chu-Young (Celta Vigo) were heralded as good moves for the club, as two “deadwood” players were flushed away but it left the club a bit thin in terms of attacking personnel.
Andrey Arshavin was another player tipped to leave the Emirates but he stated that he’s going nowhere. Many Gooners won’t like to see Arshavin on the pitch but I’m among the little faction of the Arsenal fan base that likes the diminutive Russian because of his quality. However, he was omitted from the Russian squad to play Nortehrn Ireland alongside Roman Pavlychenko.
Arsenal was linked with concrete moves for a host of players in the forms of Angel Rangel, Yohan Cabaye, Cheick Tiote, Michael Essien, Edin Dzeko, Ibrahim Affelay, Daniel Sturridge, Lucas Biglia, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Yann M’Vila. It was believed that a certain amount of players in the aforementioned list were would arrive at the club, but no-one did.
Michael Essien was clearly out of favor in Chelsea, but Roberto di Matteo opted to loan him to Real Madrid instead of Arsenal, because he didn’t want to strengthen a rival. The words “strengthening a rival” are mere formalities in this part of London, as Arsenal has its history of transfers to direct rivals in recent times. What a shame.
The arrivals of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud made up for the loss of van Persie. They haven’t delivered yet on the pitch but I’m sure you get my drift. However, the loss of Alex Song to Barcelona came with mixed emotions for Arsenal fans but they’d hoped for the club to get a holding midfielder as a direct replacement for Song.
The Rennes hierarchy had stated that Yann M’Vila was going nowhere and Newcastle slammed a mammoth price tag of £20m for Yohan Cabaye. With Arsenal missing out on Nuri Sahin and Michael Essien, Cheick Tiote seemed like the perfect replacement for Song because he’s a holding midfielder that loves his primary job (breaking up play, tackling, high work rate) and he’d have slotted into Arsenal’s setup.
Unlike September 1st, 2011, that gave the fans five reasons to believe in Arsenal, September 1st, 2012, has been followed up a slight feeling of disappointment, as the fans had hoped to see a new holding midfielder for the forthcoming campaign. This now means that Arsenal is laying its defensive midfield eggs in a French basket.
Abou Diaby will have to prove his doubters wrong because he can’t be backed upon to stay fit all season long while Francis Coquelin will have to work really hard to repay the blinding and undying faith Wenger has in him.
Wenger on the other hand, has stated that his team is going to prove their critics wrong yet again,
“You never expect much from us, but we always have a good potential to surprise you, If I listened to the predictions on the same day last year, it was predicted we would finish between 10th and 15th. We finished third.”
“There are instant reactions on Twitter, on radio and the internet. That tells you a lot about the emotion in modern society. Society has moved from having a distance to events, to becoming highly emotional.
“I think it’s better to think before you say something. It’s easy to speak.”
Last season proved that, in spite of the setbacks of the Summer and Winter. Autumn and hopefully Spring made the campaign end in full bloom.
In the summer, the club sold its captain and the previous campaign’s most influential player, lost its most promising player for the entire season due to injury and was spanked heavily by Manchester United. In the winter, the club failed to get any league win in January and lost all its recognized fullbacks.
In Autumn and Spring, Arsenal went on winning sprees that helped the club seal its status as the third best team in England.
Another crazy transfer window has elapsed. The media Vultures won’t still get off our back but we can look forward to this season with renewed optimism.
After all that speculation, it was much ado about nothing.
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