It seems that we’re in full flow on the transfer tittle-tattle-go-round, which means the happiest people to be are journalists, because they are the ones who have all of the attention. This time of year must be on their objectives or something, because the self-promoting and exposure-grabbing knows no bounds. If there’s a meeting of fans, a journo will be there. If there’s a radio show needing a sound bite, the journos will be there. If a TV sports channel needs 15 seconds of filler clippings, the journos will be there. And we will lap it up because we have nothing else football-related to hang our hats on.
The sports journalist media must be livid that the season is so short, because the hits and clicks that they must try and secure in the summer to boost annual web targets, is drastically reduced. Think retailers at Christmas and some sort of unseasonally good weather that stops people from staying indoors and shopping. Yeah, that.
The current excitement from an Arsenal perspective is the movements of Petr Cech, who has said that ideally he wants to find a solution whereby he plays more football, doesn’t have to move his family, or suffer the palaver of uprooting abroad. John Cross was asked about this yesterday at a supporters club meeting and said that he thought Cech wanted to come, but Chelski are asking for £10million+ and they will probably drag it out all summer.
If Cross is right, then it would make sense, because Jose is a petty and pathetic human being and none of us could expect anything less from him. But for a change (assuming we are in for Cech of course), I’m not as fussed, because I firmly still believe we can compete with our existing team. Why not? Chelski won the league and there’s no doubt that they were the best team for it, but memories must be short, because they’re excellent start to the season was as mcn down to the ability of their manager to field the same XI for a prolonged period of time, as ours was poor because of the litany of injuries we had.
Do I think Cech would improve us as a team? Of course. Do I think without him we have no chance of winning the league? Not on your nelly. Because as much as Ospina and Szczesny may not be world class ‘keepers, if we bolster our squad numbers in a couple of areas, I still think we can win the league. Imagine what we could do if the same players fit from February until April were fit from August to January? I’m picking January because I believe that if you start to build momentum in a squad, all players up their game, which makes it easier to rotate because you can trust more players to perform. That’s what I believe happened with Chelski this season. They raced to a lead and then when they wobbled a bit this season, the players who dipped in form could be rotated with others in the squad, who were coming into a winning team. It’s easier to play in a winning team than a struggling one.
In existing squad news, Santi Cazorla has been voted third in the fans Player of the Season awards, with 8.4% of the vote. It is deserved recognition for a player who you could be forgiven for thinking would be looking for a new club this summer, if the thoughts from last summer and the fan and pundit majority were to be believed. I have to say I wasn’t sure how Santi would fit in to the current first team dynamic with Ramsey and Wilshere in the squad, but he has reinvented himself in a way that now makes him undroppable.
Sitting alongside Coquelin – who I do wonder if he might have got close to the voting, were it not for Alexis and probably Mesut – he has been outstanding this season, no more so than the 2-0 away win at Moneychester City. It is testament to his performances that instead of wondering who will play central midfield out of Wilshere or Ramsey, the end of the season saw Rambo shunted out wide to be accommodated in the team, as opposed to Santi playing in one of the wide positions like he did at times last season. Those twinkle toes and the ability to retain position and set us going from deep has meant that we’d added another dimension to our game. With Cazorla sparkling in that position, it means players like Ramsey or Alexis know they can make runs from further up the field, when we have the ball on the edge of our own box. Again, as I said last week, I’m reminded of the Cazorla ball for Ramsey’s goal against Hull. That is the sort of ball you get from Cazorla and that is why he is so important to the team, because his vision allows him to do that, something probably only Mesut Ozil has in the team other than Cazorla.
I would have actually have had my 3-2-1 in a slightly different way to the fans, as Santi would have been in at number 2 behind the inevitable crowning of Alexis as player of the season. I can only assume that Mesut will come in at number 2, because creative players tend to feature highly in these types of awards. Personally, I’d have had Koscienly, Cazorla and Alexis, because whilst Kos missed a chunk of the season through injury (like most of our team if you think about it – Walcott, Giroud, Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshere, etc), he was good before he became injured and better when he came back. Ozil has been brilliant since returning from injury, but by his own admission, he struggled at the start of the season.
Anyway, that’s probably enough from me for one day. I’ll leave you to your own affairs and check in with you again tomorrow for some more musings.