Yesterday my blog featured a few words and a picture of Joel Campbell, speculating that it’s a clean slate for many and that players like Joel might think they have a chance with the new man at the helm, but having watched him in bits and pieces of yesterday’s Costa Rica game against England I know I’ve clearly cursed him.
To be fair to him Costa Rica we’re always going to have less of the ball and when that happens the attacking players always suffer. But even when I did see him with the ball at his feet he seemed to either just lay it off or dribble into a crowd. If Unai had made the schlep up to Yorkshire I’m sure he’d have been heading down wondering what Campbell could offer the first team.
Not a lot on that showing.
One person who did offer a bit, however, was Wele, who chipped in with yet another goal in the most Welbeckian of styles. At first when I saw his header I thought it was a fine finish from our forward. But when you watch the replays it looks to me like it hits the side of his head and only just goes in.
Good ol’ Danny, he loves a scrappy goal, does our Welbz.
His record at international level is baffling though. He is prolific. Eight goals in 13 games and if he had that kind of form domestically we’d all be loving it. Sadly though he’s been hampered by so many injuries that it feels like his Arsenal time has – not quite been and gone – but been reduced to being more of a squad player.
Which interestingly enough is what he’ll be at this World Cup. I can’t see him starting any games in Russia unless there are injury problems and I suspect he’ll be used exactly as he was last night, an impact sub, which is also how I suspect his Arsenal career will go from now on. That is unless he doesn’t sign a new deal and is sold in the pursuit of first team football next season.
It’s a decision that Emery and co will need to make quickly on Welbeck because they’ll only have until mid August to get a deal done or risk losing out on any kind of meaningful return on the player himself. Then you’ve got to factor in a replacement being sought and it underlines just how fine a balance needs to be struck at this time of the year.
If the club make moves now to bring in a replacement and Welbeck doesn’t move on, they’ve got an expensive player who’s running down his contract that they’ll lose for nothing next summer. If they don’t make decisions on his future and let it play out without signing anybody then they risk being in a difficult bargaining position in January or next summer.
The World Cup is done by mid July and then players will have a couple of week’s off. That brings you to the beginning of August and a couple of weeks in which to sort everything out. So my hope is that agent talks with the club get a wriggle on and we don’t have yet another saga, as we seem to perpetually be involved in all summer.
It’s the same for Ramsey. The benefit with him is that the club can discuss during the World Cup as he isn’t going with Wales, so if he isn’t signing then they have an extra month to find a suitor and try to get top dollar. But again we’re hardly playing with the deck loaded in our favour.
When you look at how Liverpool have played the Coutinho exit and subsequent replacements it’s hard not to be impressed. They’re about to sign Fekir and with that they have a very impressive wealth of options. They’ve just lost Caan on a free but nobodies talking about that because of other deals they’ve been doing. It’s clever, it’s swift, it’s what we want to see if Arsenal.
There is still plenty of time this summer though and we also need to appreciate that Liverpool feel like they’re about three years ahead of us in their ‘project’. Our new structure is brand spanking new and we need to give it time for it to bed in. It might be a bit of choppy waters for a season or two, but I’m convinced this is the right structure we’ve got in place, it’s just whether the men in the positions of power are the right ones. Time will give us that answer.
It’s Friday, Arsenal love a bit of good news on a Friday (Auba was done on a Friday don’t forget), so I suspect we might have our confirmation of Sokratis today, which means we’re a ‘keeper and midfielder away from having done our business.
And it isn’t even July yet.
Catch you all tomorrow.