Now the dust has settled we can finally now assemble what remains and what is arriving to our squad now the farce of the transfer merry-go-round is over. At least we have a little while to digest what our new team now looks like- lets just hope that we can get our players back unscathed from these pointless friendlies.
Personally for me I believed that the highlight of the window could not have been bettered than Wenger dancing around Rio in a pair of Speedos, however it was topped on deadline day on the picture posted on Twitter that he was at Heathrow flying for a charity game as nonchalantly as you like whilst the football world are in a huge panic and array to bring players in. I found it more than ironic and I could only but smile.
Now, based on that I would say that it would have been very unlikely that Arsene was expecting to do any business at all even though most of the fan base globally could identify that we may be short in a few areas, those being centre half, defensive midfield and upfront- especially with the injury to Giroud.
I just can’t see any manager for any top club in Europe on the busiest transfer day of the summer making the choice that it might be a good thing to leave the country and be involved in a charity game if they truly believed that they were looking to sign players.
Forget Wenger, I am even surprised that the Pope himself arranged this event on this hugely important day and I questioned why he was not in the Vatican clued to Jim White and the team at Sky… he’s missing out.
With Wenger away you may say Ivan Gazidis and Dick Law could facilitate any deals that happen and to that i’d agree to a point, but if you were a player ready to sign for The Arsenal on deadline day would you not expect to be greeted by the manager, especially this manager, the figurehead of the club who is ‘Mr Arsenal’ himself and our longest serving manager? I know I would…
Therefore, I would argue that I do not believe that we were truly serious about adding these extra positions on Monday and that he was fairly confident that we have enough in the side to compete on all fronts, and that he had a strategy, and that strategy was hope no one gets injured or suspended.
I would say also that if you look at the time we eventually signed Welbeck that it was purely circumstance of a) Falcao joined UTD and b) the England set up were training at London Colney, and that it was clear he was not planned and more of an opportune signing. Even so, it is a good addition and a needed one.
This would then therefore suggest that he would see we have enough in the other areas, at the back in Chambers being a Utility defender to facilitate right back and centre half when needed, and Gibbo and Monreal to alternate too. Risky certainly but the fact that he also allowed Ignasi Miquel to leave for Norwich on a permanent deal indicates further that he believed it was unlikely for him to play often if at all and decided to cash in for a measly 1.5M.
But my main point is defensive midfield. Rumours would have you believe that we were very much interested in Khedira, Carvalho, Song and I am sure a few more I can’t care to remember over the last 3-4 months but ultimately nothing materialised and nothing ever really looked close.
This would therefore indicate based on the fact that Arteta looks like he’s running in hot toffee these day and Flamini’s best days are limited with age and he is already considered behind Arteta that Mr Wenger must consider that finally (again) this must be the year for Abou Diaby to get through a season with very little injury. Again a hugely risky way to assess a man who has less playing time than David Bentley these last few years and he now manages a Mcdonald’s drive through near White Hart Lane.
But ultimately what you can say about Diaby is that when fit and getting a run of games (which for him is about 3) is that his quality is undoubted and he could clearly bring a new dimension to that Arsenal midfield. He’s very technically gifted for a big lad, scores the odd goal and is good in the tackle and in the air as well as having enough clout about him to not be overawed by the likes of a Matic or a Toure.
If I am right, and Wenger has decided to take a chance with Diaby I really hope it works out for him. I honestly cannot remember a player who has been so plagued with injury throughout their career and has not retired because of it. I don’t see Diaby as someone who has been happy to take his wages week in week out, he has worked hard on numerous occasions to get fit only to have further set backs and it was clear that from his comments about hoping to make the France squad 2 months before the World Cup without having played for Arsenal last season that he still holds a certain amount of confidence in his ability.
If he does make it into a starting line up over the next few weeks/months and can remain fit, I would imagine that he could make that position his own. He’s finally had a pre-season, and apart from a few little niggles looks in relative good shape and that can only be good news for us…….. Wow, I never thought i’d say this but if Diaby stays fit, he could be like a new signing!