Happy Sunday and happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. May you be gifted with pieces of paper with writing scrawled on it. And beer. Or wine.
I’m in the sunny West of France with the in-laws, having spent the weekend relaxing, and with the total lack of interesting Arsenal related news I pretty much gave up blogging yesterday. But I’ve got a spare 20 minutes today so I thought I’d pen a thought or two. Mainly about our Japanese footballers. Don’t ask me why they popped in to my head, they just did, although whilst I am mainly thinking of former Gooner Ryo Miyachi and the forgotten man Takumo Asano, I’m not going to go back as far as reminiscing about Junichi Inamoto.
But it did make me wonder what Miyachi is up to these days. A quick check on Wikipedia confirmed his current whereabouts at St Pauli and last season he made 16 appearances and scored two goals.
For a guy that was dubbed the Japanese Ronaldinho by Feyenoord fans in 2010, it does seem quite a fizzling out of a career that had Arsenal fans getting excited about his potential, and I’m pretty sure there was a call for him to get more game time after that initial loan spell.
Sadly he never really looked like he developed, did he? And so he finds himself in the second tier of German football and the excitement over his career when he signed for Arsenal must feel like a lifetime ago.
Which brings me to Takuma Asano, who my iPhone clearly has an issue with, because it keeps changing his surname to ‘Adams’. Asano was signed last season, loaned to Stuttgart, made 27 appearances and scored four goals. It’s hardly a sparkling return for him, but the fact he’s playing more football than Miyachi did for teams suggests that at least he’s being given a chance to show his potential, and I suspect we’ll see a tiny bit of him in pre season this season.
But I’d be surprised if Arsène is calling for Arsenal fans to chill a bit in relation to a new striker, because we’ve got Asano, who can fill the insatiable void that we have for a new signing.
Asano may yet prove to be a good player and I think a second year on loan – I believe at Stuttgart – will probably have a positive impact on him, but at 22 going on 23, he’s hardly got loads of time to develop himself.
The cynic in me thinks that he’s just the latest Japanese poster boy at Arsenal to capitalise on revenues in the Far East, but I don’t think Arsène is a man to do that, which means he’s clearly just another Sanogo-shaped punt. It does make me start to wonder how many punts Arsenal and other Premier League teams have with players every season. We do hear of a fair few and very rarely to any get beyond a few league cup appearances.
It makes you wonder whether it’s all worth it. I guess the theory is that if you kiss enough frogs eventually one turns out ok, but it seems a lot of effort, and I’d love to know how much money we outlay just to keep these players in contracts when they don’t give any kind of return to the club.
Then when we do get one – like Gnabry – we just take our eye of the ball for a bit (sending him on loan) and end up losing out. I could probably write a whole other piece about the Gnabry situation, but I think I’ll just leave it there for now, because we’ve all got better things to do on a Sunday than read my warblings.
So I’m off downstairs to have myself a croissant. Au revoir for another day.