Yesterday’s pre-US game presser by Arsène had the expected confirmation that Big Per will be out for ‘months’, in which the manager also confirmed that more experience would need to be brought in. I’m sure there are those out there that feel like this is a fantastic thing, because it means we might go out and find a replacement to counter any perceived deficiencies at the back, but in a way I’m a little bit saddened. I’m saddened because as soon as a new player is brought in at the back, to me it probably signals a loan for Chambers and once that happens, I think his pathway to the first team is going to be cut off over time.
There are links to Mustafi from Valencia, who looked a decent player in the Euro’s, but I still believe Chambers deserves a shot and for a change I was hoping that Arsène would tell everyone about the ‘internal solutions’ we have at the club. Instead, as seems to be the way, he did the opposite of what I expected and admitted that experience needed to be brought in.
But here’s the thing: he’s just last week told us that the market is a ‘game of poker’ and there won’t be much movement before the middle/end of August, yet when we’ll need that experience is not the end of August, but right at the start of the season. Koscielny will be back by the end of August and the result is that we’ll get some experience back in the team. I understand that we can’t take gambles at the beginning of the season by seeing if we can ride it out with our existing centre halves, so why is it acceptable to leave our striking options short, but not our defensive ones? I just don’t get it. To be fair, there does seem to be little strategy involved in our business this summer, post Vardy I mean. The club had their targets, went for them, now that they haven’t got them they find themselves looking at each other shrugging their shoulders. Or at least, that’s what it feels like to me.
Given that Holding was given Rambo’s old number, does that mean we’re sending Chambers off somewhere else for a season? Feels like that’s what’s going to happen to me. And I’m just not sure it’s the right thing to do.
Anyway, I have no influence, no insider knowledge, nor an ability to catch the ear of the manager, so I just have to sit and watch it all unfold and hope he knows what he’s doing. I hope he does.
He was also asked specifically about Lacazette, to which he understandably have nothing away, saying that any negotiations were best to be kept secret. I think that’s fair enough, but I do think there’s something fishy about the way all of this has unfolded. Lyon’s press team release a statement now, saying Arsenal have made a bid underneath the bid West Ham made about a month ago? There are some people who will say “typical Arsenal, typical Arsène”, but once those people get over any personal issues with the man/club they have at the moment, surely they too can see something seems awry here.
It takes but a few seconds to officially place a bid. Ping an email to somebody, that’s pretty much it, and I reckon we have plenty of people who have access to the wifi at Colney. So surely that means the clubs have ongoing dialogue before that? Surely they talk to agents, they know the lie of the land, so they make a bid either knowing it’s the first bid? So why would Arsenal low ball for less than what was on offer from West Ham?
Unless the offer was made some time ago? If it was, then it would make sense, but why would Lyon release this information now.
Money. Lots of it. Money derived through a bidding war that could spark a West Ham, or perhaps in their (and the players’) wildest dreams Arsenal, to fighting over a striker and driving the price up. And therein lies the crux of why we’re talking about this deal. Lyon have showed their hand and are clearly briefing people like Darren Lewis at the Mirror, that he’s available for £40million, that they’d gladly accept. Of course they would, because by the sounds of it, that would be an overly inflated price. But when Paul Pogba can become the worlds most expensive player and when a 28-soon-to-be-29 year-old Higuain can cost £75million, clubs like Lyon see the green and want a piece of the action, so it’s inevitable that by being public on Arsenal’s interest they’ll attract the attention of others.
Sadly for them – probably for us too if he’s one of the only few options left – Arsenal are more likely to walk away than go back in for another nibble at Lyon for Lazazette. So I doubt we’ll see him in red and white this season.
Still, as Arsène says, we are active and we are looking for a striker. Perhaps we should take this news as positive. The club is actually making bids. They want to get the deals done at least.
A couple of interesting thoughts for you before I finish off for today:
- Given that West Ham’s co-owner (and his son) are so eager to tell the world when they’ve bid for a player, would you rather we did that than keep it secret? Which would you find more frustrating? Knowing there’s been constant failure, or being ignorant?
- Imagine if we didn’t have Giroud, that he’d just played in the Euro’s as a target man, how much do you think Montpellier would want for him at 29 years old?
Just something for you to ponder.
Catch you tomorrow.