Friday, March 23, 2012

Transfer talk. Difficult for Arsene.

A lot is being said about the coming transfer market. For the first time since I remember, theres news of Arsenal signing players before the market starts. Yes, Podolski looking done and dusted if most views are to be believed. Many also believe that Matias Suarez has also signed a pre contract agreement and will be joining Arsenal for sure. So, that looks like two players done already, and I have to say, very un-Arsenal like, isn't it? Moreover, we seem to have started talks with Mario Götze, another fantastic player, the kind every team would love to see in their ranks. 
I did a poll recently on TalkOfTheArsenal, on which players would fans want to see in an Arsenal shirt next season, here are the results. First is Lukas Podolski with 26.01% votes, second is Mario Gotze with 22.47%, third is Jan Vertonghen with 20.45% and the Eden Hazard with 10.61%. 
All the above players are fantastic, their technique is second to none and are all players anyone would love to see in their team. And I do believe that Arsenal needs to sign a couple of more players to really have a go in all the four competitions. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of the team we have right now, and we're doing great, but sometimes we lack a little bit of an edge. To just kill the game off, or to find that killer defense splitting pass. Here is something else I also believe in, technique and skill is important to win the league, but so is team spirit. Look at our teams in the past few years, you'll see something missing which is there this time around, it's fantastic team spirit. 
Before I go on to why this transfer market will be difficult, let me help you recall the 2007 Carling Cup final that Arsenal lost 2-1 to Chelsea. I remember a fellow gooner saying that Wenger should play the big players, we have to win the trophy, but Wenger played the same team that had taken Arsenal to the final, and we lost, against the likes of Drogba and company, our players were probably not there yet. Why did Arsene do that? Why didn't he play the big players? Here is why, playing the 'kids' in the final was only being fair to them. They were the ones who got the team to the final, they deserved the plaudits for playing the final. Would you like it, if you worked hard for something and then were replaced by someone else just before the finale? No. It would leave a bitter taste in your mouth, wouldn't it? Wenger tried to keep the spirit alive. And kudos to him.
Now look at what I just said above with a broader perspective, when we started this season, we were classified as a team that were not good enough for the Champions League spot, and look at where we are now. These players have proved everyone wrong, they've worked together and clawed their way back to where they belong. They deserve all the praise they're getting right now. Now, how do you think a first team player will react when he is just replaced at the start of next season after he has fought so hard this season? He won't like it. How will other players around him react? There will be a question mark in their minds. People may say this is part of a players life. That maybe, but how many players who have taken Arsenal to third place this season be happy sitting on the bench next season? Few. And fewer will take that positively. Let's say we sign Vertonghen, who do we replace? Koscielny, who has been so instrumental at the back? Or Vermaelen? Who is one of the best defenders around. And if we don't will the Ajax captain, who is one of the most wanted defenders in Europe right now, be happy on the bench? Think about it. 
I do think Arsenal need a few more players, but not at the expense of the spirit they have right now. We need cover for Van Persie, Podolski would be a good option. But we need to make sure that we look after the players we have right now, make sure we tell them that they are integral to the club's future plans. We need a good center back, but I think a capable understudy to Koscielny, Vermaelen and Mertesacker would suffice. Someone like Jenkinson , or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who we can rely on. Arsenal do not need someone like Eden Hazard, who has made it his duty to flirt with every big club. Trust me, one difficult season at Arsenal and he'll be flirting with all the clubs around. We don't need that. 
Money can buy good players, but it cannot buy team spirit, which is equally important. Arsenal have to maintain the balance. And that is Wenger's responsibility. That's why I say, this transfer window is going to be the toughest one for Wenger. And I think he knows it. Think about it, it's never as easy as it seems. Simply signing players is never the solution.
I'll leave you with that thought! Until next time then! Keep the faith!

Smells like team spirit


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