I feel like I’ve been a mellow Gooner this summer. Whilst others around me have wavered, have shown a much more vocal level of irritation with the club’s policy, I’ve maintained my stance that I think the squad is balanced with enough quality players and that although I’d like to see a couple of players coming in, this would just be a slight improvement to an already good team. The caveat has always been providing that we can avoid the dreaded injury crisis that seems to have been the staple of any Arsenal squad for the last few seasons.
Someone’s always out for most of the season, it appears, so perhaps there was an air of inevitability about the news yesterday that Danny Welbeck is to undergo surgery on his knee and will be out for ‘a period of months’, as confirmed on the official site. The most ominous part about that statement was the ‘period of months’ and the vagaries of the timescale set upon his return sound very Vermaeleny. Rosickillian, even. There appear to be talks about him being out until Christmas, which if true really is a massive blow and means our options are limited by one. The one that I had even thought might be the player to ‘kick on’ this season was Welbeck too. He’d undergone his season of change by moving north to south and now was the time for him to show Arsene that as a hybrid between Walcott and Giroud, he could be the man who could take over Giroud longer term.
But that hope seems fleeting, for this season at least, for this moment in time. Mainly because even if he does return by Christmas, he’s going to need a month to get back up to speed and unless he bangs in a hatful of goals upon his return, he’ll find himself kicking his heels like Walcott has been at times on the bench this season. It’s a horrible state of affairs and I’ll admit, my staunch defence of the squad this season to other Gooners I know, is already being tested. Losing players this early in the season is not a good thing. I know that’s an obvious statement to make, but sometimes the long-term injuries really are the killer. We’re going to get times in the season when we’ve got the odd player out for a week or a couple of weeks – that always happens – but when your squad players are crocked for longer periods of time it becomes a real pain in the arse because you have to deep even deeper into the barrel to pull out the players you need.
That the club gave it a few days until after the transfer window ‘slammed shut’ makes sense, because there might have been some storming of the gates by some fans foaming at the mouth at the lack of transfer activity, but it still sticks in the throat nonetheless. If the club knew about this move, should they have made harder attempts to bring in a short-term solution? Probably. Or at least keep Akpom in the team rather than sending him off to Hull for half the season. Perhaps he wouldn’t get near the first team anyway, but it does make you worried for our options. Walcott has had a number of months out and has had his fair share of long-term injuries and Giroud broke his leg last season. We just need to hope that we don’t end up going so far in to the bottom of the barrel that Arshavin is bought back from the dead to play as a loan front man!
Ahh Arsenal, only you can put us through this level of frustration, eh?
What probably doesn’t help is that we also have an international break at the moment, which gives people time to stew on any news that we get, further exacerbating even the tiniest of bad news. This isn’t really ‘tiny’ and we’re slap bang in the middle of the break. It’s the perfect storm of anguish after a Transfer Deadline Day. The football gods have clearly been angered. Let’s just hope that they’ve ignored the actual football on the pitch and we can still pick up results.
Anyway, I’ve got a Portuguese golf course to go and play on, so I’m not going to get too hung up on this issue. Catch you tomorrow.