Amid the outcry about Arsenal’s signing of Kim Kallstrom, I for one think that this might prove to be a good move by Arsenal. I know people have being saying ‘How stupid Arsenal is to sign a player who could be out injured for 4-6 weeks’? ‘Why is Arsenal signing a 31 year old’? ‘This is obviously just a panic buy’! But perhaps taking a slightly longer term view of this situation may make it seem more enticing.
First, we need to look at his age (31) and comparing him to Tomas Rosicky (33) and Mikel Arteta (31). Nobody questions the latter 2 players ages or how it effects them on the pitch and surely that’s the only thing that matters, isn’t it? Can they do the job?
With reference to the so called ‘panic buy’s’, didn’t we make some panic buys at the end of the summer window of 2011, when we bought 3 players – Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker and Yossi Benayoun (loaned from Chelsea). This was just 3 days after an 8-2 arse-creaming from Man Utd and a disastrous start to the season.
Yossi Benayoun hardly played a game in his first couple of months with the Gunners, but when he did eventually get playing time, it was the goals of this so called ‘panic buy’ in the last few games of the season that put us through into the Champions League.
The other 2 ‘panic buy’s’ have gone on to become mainstays of the Arsenal first team and BFG has become a cult figure among the Arsenal faithful, so I say bullocks to your panic buys, you’re talking shit!
Calm down Dave, deep breaths…
Due to injuries sustained during the last weeks of January, Arsenal, who had an over-abundance of midfield talent available have suddenly found themselves in a ‘what if’ mini-crisis, as in ‘what if’ a few more get injured.
Because of this, Arsenal have found that we might need extra cover to face the ‘season-defining’ 2 months that lay ahead of us, February and March, with EPL fixtures against most of our main rivals on the horizon.
In the EPL during the 2 months mentioned, Arsenal will face Liverpool (Away), Man Utd. (Home), Spurs (Away), Chelsea (Away) and Man City (Home). Losing 1-2 of these games would cost Arsenal a possible League Title, lose 3-4 and we’re out of the Champions League spots. Lose all of them and there’s no Europe at all next year. Throw in some physically though games against Sunderland, Stoke and Swansea… well you see where I’m going with this.
In between these games there is the small matter of an FA Cup tie against Liverpool and Home and Away Champions League fixtures against the reining Champions Bayern Munich. Lose these games and it’s no silver this year either and not even the 4th place (like winning a cup) consolation prize.
Anybody who is knows anything about football will tell you that we’re going to lose players to injury and suspension in this period. Given the time-frame of 4-6 weeks that was stated by Wenger, Kallstrom could be playing by the first or second week in March.
If we had a scenario whereby we lost, shall we say, Jack (probable), Arteta (probable), Rosicky (probable) and Flamini to suspension (probable) and let’s also say that Ramsey doesn’t return and has another relapse. In the 5 weeks to mid-March we would be stripped to the bone in midfield? We’re not even taking tiredness into this equation.
Who do we field on 11th March 2014, to match the midfield of Bayern Munich in the 2nd leg of the Champions League? Eisfeld? Zelalem? Olsson? No disrespect to these boys and they have very bright futures ahead of them, but they’re just not ready for that.
Then after this game we have fixtures against Spurs, Chelsea and City to come.
When it was found that Kallstrom was injured, Arsenal could have sent him back and signed nobody. Instead, Spartek said they would continue to pay his wages for the period of time he remains injured. Win for Arsenal.
If he never recovers enough to play for Arsenal this season, Spartek pay his wages. Win for Arsenal.
If however, he recovered in 6 weeks, gets a couple of training games in and was relatively fit to face Bayern – or for that matter, Spurs, Chelsea and City, who would you want in your midfield, a boy just promoted to the first team from the youths or a man who has earned 108 caps for his country, has played in 3 Champions Leagues and the 2006 World Cup? I know who I’d prefer.
If Wenger had sent him back and come March we’re in need of a midfielder, what would you be saying if Kallstrom was then fit? ‘Effin shit-head Wenger! We had a player who would have been ready to cover and that dickwad sent him back. Wudda cost nutin’. Wenger out!
If we’re out of everything by the end of March, then shout Wenger out! if you feel like it. Don’t do it now – we need to get behind the team and push them on and support whoever takes the field in a Gunners jersey. Only when alls lost is then the time to shout.