So for yours truly here after 10 days of sunshine, Sagres and late morning get-ups, it’s back to work in Blighty and back to writing my daily musings at an hour in which I’d really rather be in bed.
Oh well. At least I left with very little happening and will arrive today with the Cech deal surely to be announced, barring any issues with the Arsenal FC official photographers camera or roll of film and yes, I’m aware it’s all digital these days but that won’t stop me pining for the past.
The other news swimming about – and it has been for the past few days to be honest so I’m a little late to the party here – is the noise surrounding the possible Arturo Vidal deal to Arsenal for just over £20million. I don’t know how much of it is Chinese Whispers because every report I read over the weekend seemed to abstain itself of any legitimacy by simply referencing another media publication, who in turn reference another publication, but it sounds like a most unlikely transfer to me. Mainly because if there’s one position that I’d say we’re pretty well stocked, it’d be box-to-box midfielders, where Vidal has plied his trade for The Old Lady for the last couple of seasons. He started out as a tough tackling defensive midfielder, so perhaps you can see where he could fit in as competition for Le Coq, but it is not where he has been playing recently and if you’re going to spend upwards of £20million or more, surely you want a) to play the player in their best position, or b) to play the player regularly and not as a squad player.
Are we saying that Vidal is miles better than Coquelin at breaking up the play in defensive midfield? I must admit I don’t know enough about him other than the odd Chile game and occasionally seeing Juventus, but the evolution of Francis Coquelin has been quick, so who knows how much further our young Frenchman can go.
At 28 Vidal also represents a player at the peak of his powers and also someone with no resale value. I’m not sure Arsène would countenance the idea of fluffing a load of cash like that on a player with whom we might see decline in a few years time. But then again, I saw somebody ask online whether Vidal would be Wenger’s equivalent of Ferguson rolling his last dice with The Dutch Bloke before winning the league and bowing out at Old Trafford. Perhaps Arsène is doing the same knowing that this upcoming season and the one after that will be his last.
All we really know is that there is a little more noise about this rumour than usual. Usually you get a paper having a bit of a punt and then the story disappearing. This one might be a little frivolous, but it has managed to stick around in the media over the whole weekend, so who knows.
What I know – and you do too – is that Arsène is all about the harmony and balance in his squad and if he believes he’s got a little gem in Coquelin, he ain’t going out and sqwarking over £20million on a back up. I could see anything up to £8 – £10million like Nacho who was bought to rival Gibbs, but I couldn’t see big bucks spent on a player lik Vidal, or Schneiderlin for that matter. If the guy commands a £25million fee and a £150k per week salary then good luck to him, but I can see why Le Boss said ‘non’ to his fellow Frenchman. Schneiderlin may well turn out to be the real deal at United, but it’s difficult to see how he could be a top earner at Arsenal at the moment. Think about Falcao. Top earner along with Rooney, yet had about as much impact on the United team as up-and-coming youngster Tyler Blackett, so if United want to take a punt because they need a body in that position then it makes sense. We already have one. And he’s proven he’s a good one too.
Anyway, that’s me for today. I’ll be checking the site later for special discounts off headgear. There might even be a new signing attached to one.