So it looks like ‘Mr Socko’ (little WWF reference for all you old school wrestling fans) is on his way to The Arsenal after his father…erm…Passthepoddodomolous Senior…said on a Greek radio station that it’ll happen tomorrow. Which I can now confirm is officially today.
It’s one of those moves where Sokratis himself will probably be rolling his eyes and saying “really Dad?” To his old man, followed by “They specifically said don’t say anything until it’s announced on their website. They stated quite clearly that they have a very anal PR team and they get well twitchy about people running their mouths before they get the chance to do the big unveiling. It’s their thing”
I’m sure it won’t exactly scupper the deal which is probably why Sokratis’ father did it, so he could get a few seconds of the limelight in the real life equivalent of a race to send the first “Done deal” Tweet on social media.
So we’ll probably get a shiny new player and I must say kudos to the club for their manoeuvrings because by linking us with Fellaini yesterday, the news today of somebody who is not actually the fuzzy-haired Belgian, is like nectar.
Compared to that absolute clobbermeister Sokratis is like a gift from the Greek gods themselves.
Clever Arsenal, clever.
On a serious note though, it’s a weird signing, is this one. It’s weird in the sense that everyone seems so underwhelmed by it. When Squillaci arrived we were excited to be getting an experienced player who could add value to the squad.
We all got excited.
It didn’t work out.
When Silvestre arrived we wondered why but he was an experienced player who had won things.
Most of us got excited.
It didn’t work out.
When Mustafi arrived he was a German international who was the best defender at Valencia and had won a World Cup.
We all got excited.
It hasn’t worked out perfectly – yet – but I still think there’s a player in there.
Yet here we are with a guy who has a decent age profile, plenty of experience, has won things.
Yet none of us are excited.
Perhaps that’s because we’ve been burned a few times and are now immediately being defensive. Perhaps it’s because he’s come off of the back of a poor season. Perhaps it’s because his style of play has been more linked to Mustafi’s and as a result we’re all fearful of an absolute car crash in the heart of our defence.
Whatever it is, this signing will probably be greeted with a polite clap by the fanbase at best. There will be no fanfare.
But perhaps that’s a good thing? Perhaps having a player arriving with low expectations will surprise us if he performs. And perhaps it will show that maybe, just maybe, this current approach of ‘ready made’ signings by Sven et al is the right one.
All we can do is get behind the player, head coach and new regime, which I think by and large everyone is doing.
But we’re all still allowed to be a little apprehensive. On the one side we’ve got Sokratis and Lichtsteiner coming in to add experience and a bit of depth to the defence, but on the other hand it’s hardly the kind of big bold statements the club could make to show it’s serious about competing at the top of the league again.
We all know that the team needs to be built back up to even getting close to that stage, but if we’re really looking at this profile of player as we’ve seen, then it shows just how poor the position was left in by Arsène. I’m not going to get into an Arsène bashing session, but he’s talked up these players and if we’re getting the likes of journeyman Sokratis in it’s hardly a ringing endorsement, is it?
Or perhaps it is. Perhaps Emery has looked at the squad and said “actually gents, I think it could do a lot with this lot, just need a bit of depth” and if that’s the case then perhaps we should be excited to see what the existing bunch of misfits can do together.
That’s certainly what I’m hoping for anyway. I’m hoping that he thinks he can squeeze some more juice from the fruits he’s been given and that as a result all we’re doing is prepping a squad for a multiple competition assault. That’s the optimistic football fan in me anyway and at this stage in the year we can all be afforded a bit of optimism.
And with that I say my goodbyes for another day.
I shall catch you all in the morrow.