It’s all very quiet at the moment. Perhaps you would expect this though, given the fact we play on Monday, which is why we see only the occasional titbit of information from the official site. Today’s informational advent calendar chocolate equivalent is Jack Wilshere for me (I say ‘for me’ because it was probably released yesterday by the club, but I’ve only just seen it now), who has spoken of the importance of a signing like Mesut Özil and how it lifts the club.
I do find insight like that interesting, you know, because it does show me that the players are like us. Despite the extravagant lifestyle they lead, despite the fact that off the field they can be world’s apart from us, on the field they are the same as you and I. They are infinitely better at doing what we do on the football field, granted, but they have the same emotions, the same propensity to being affected by the human mind and as such confidence and belief are so important. To hear that the players get as much of a lift of a signing like Özil as we do is nice to hear. It shows the importance of that boost and it must have given the club a real positive when Cech arrived in the summer. It does make you wonder about Arsène’s comments about finding talent though. I have seen people use references to players like Arteta, Flamini, or even Joel Campbell, stating that it’s a bit of a joke that Arsène says he can’t find better players across the globe. Of course there are better players and of course there are many that would improve on those I’ve mentioned. But when you are talking about getting in players that will give the other players like Jack a massive lift, of building their confidence and of adding that little bit more belief, the list starts to narrow down quite considerably. So in that regard, I can see where Arsène is coming from, because if he wants to make a statement right now, like he did with Özil, Alexis, or maybe even someone like Arshavin all those years back, he has a small pool to pick from. Nobody will be jumping for joy if he replaces Flamini with an £8million player who is about 10% better. We all want somebody more like Le Coq, who is 50% better and costs £25million. Well in January a £10million player becomes a £25million player, so any hopes we’ll buy and get that significant upgrade, will probably disappoint a lot of people I think.
I do think he needs to buy though. We can’t rely on the fragile limbs of some of the players in the current squad, to carry us through the whole season, because we only ever seem to be a hairline fracture away from another injury crisis.
So, we know we don’t get value in January, we know we want 50% upgrades on players we already have and therefore we know that the pool of talent available is a diminished one. Kind of rings some alarm bells, doesn’t it? The good news is that Arsène has a scouting network, he has vastly more experience in finding somebody (usually with the help of his scouting team) and he watches a hell of a lot more football than I do. Let’s hope he’s planning his next move for a player that will have the likes of Jack swooning again.