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Monday, August 15, 2011

Newcastle Verdict+A Bit of Transfer Stuff

Well the season opening game came and went, some questions were answered and others were not. A lot of things stayed the same, like Joey Barton’s best routine of being a cheating arse, and Arsenal failing to open up a less than average side’s defense. However, I’m encouraged by what was on display at St. James Park yesterday. Our central defensive partnership of TV5 and Kos were excellent in defense, and Sczezsny was good in goal as well. As I’ve said before, Wenger has always rated his defense highly, and yesterday was a glimpse of why he does that. Kos showed flashes of the talent he possessed last season, but lapses in concentration caused him to make very high profile errors. The Carling Cup gaffe is the most notable (insert sob here). Yesterday Kos found his feet though, and did very well in containing Ba and the rest of the Newcastle attack.

 Any Arsenal fan knows TV5 has always been excellent, he was just hurt for the entirety of last season. His absence made adjusting very hard for Kos and Squatchy (I refuse to use his real name because he just sucks that bad). Yesterday showed that TV5 will pick up where he left off two years ago, which is brilliant. If Wenger were here right now, he would remind us that “it’s like a new signing.” Which is correct, only that it’s not a new signing. Very confusing, eh?
Even an inspired performance from our defense yesterday could not hide that fact that our once sharp, attacking threat has suddenly gone very dull. Without reinforcements being brought in, I find it hard to believe that will change. Ramsey is just now beginning to regain confidence after over a year of injury time, there is no way he will be able to just step up and fill the Fabregas role in the middle of the park. Once Wilshere regains fitness. it will be much better, we’ve already seen the promising partnership those two will form. There has to be other options though. Rosicky has a very good work rate, but when it comes to that killer instinct for passing to begin a move or finishing a move, it’s just not there. While I think Lansbury and Frimpong will play a big role this season, they’re traits mirror those of Ramsey and Wilshere. Good on the ball, with that English steel to boss the midfield. 

However, none of the midfielders I’ve mentioned compliment each other in a way that will produce the slick, attractive football, Wenger likes to play. None are the creative lynchpin that our type of offense needs. Can our current midfielders be groomed into a very effective and trophy winning side? Absolutely. For the current situation though, a goal scorer and creative midfielder has to be brought in.
Some may ask, “Aren’t we letting go exactly what you’re asking for Thad?” And if you just asked that question, slap yourself. Cesc and Na$ri leaving is exactly why we need those two positions filled.  The reason we’re letting them go is obvious though, they don’t want to be at Arsenal so frankly I don’t want them here either. I won’t go into how I feel about them leaving, that will come after I’ve cooled off a bit and had time to think about their transfer. Instead, let’s look at the players we’re linked with currently:

Moussa Sow: I just found out about this link today. He seems like pretty decent striker, top scorer in Ligue 1 last year. Big and physical, he seems like the striker we wanted Nick to be. According to Jamie Dalton, Sow was quoted today saying that a move to the Emirates has been his dream all along. He played with Gervinho at Lille, so a potential move could be on the cards.

Eden Hazard: Also a former teammate of Gervinho’s at Lille. A fantastic dribbler who was very key in helping Lille to the Ligue 1 title last year. Arsenal have been linked with Hazard for a long time. I personally think he’s fantastic and could help fill the role left by Nasri. He’s young and Belgian, so maybe TV5 could help push I move along. I’m hesitant to think Lille will allow him to leave though, since they’ll need all the help they can get in the Champions League this year.

Lucho Gonzalez: The mature, Argentine playmaker from Olympique Marseille. Tall and experienced, this man could be an answer to many of the problems that Arsenal have in the midfield. A true midfield general that could help the young kids, not get so anxious (all those apart from Jack of course) in big games. If memory serves me correctly, he seems unsettled at OM and could be on his way out. One to keep an eye on for sure.

Marvin Martin: Recently linked, after watching him a bit, he’d be a good signing. Great on the ball and has an excellent eye for that killer pass. Young and French, he’s just the kind of signing Wenger likes to make. His current club, Sochaux, have said that he’s not for sale. However, when a club as big as Arsenal come along with lots of cash, many people change their stances very fast. This a player that could be on the move in the coming weeks, hopefully it’s to Arsenal.

Gary Cahill: You all already know about this one. He’s from Bolton, he’s English, and we’ll probably pay more then he’s worth for. That said, look for this deal to be done before the transfer window closes. We’ve been linked all along, and I expect this is one deal we’ll get done.  

Jadson: Well he’s Brazilian, which is good I guess. Hopefully he’s better than Denilson, and by all accounts the deal looks close. He’d be a decent signing, not the “super quality” Wenger talked about though. A good finisher and used to playing with Europe’s elite, with Shakhtar Donetsk, Jadson could add some diversity to the midfield. This deal could be done soon as well.

Andre Ayew: A Ghanaian winger who plays for Olypique Marseille as well. This speedy winger would be brought in to cover Nasri’s position. Another young talent from France, which again is Wenger’s style, look for that situation to develop.

Right so there’s a small scouting report and a small bit of match analysis. I’ll be back tomorrow to weigh in on the Cesc transfer and preview the Udinese game.


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