Today I am unfortunately Twickenham-bound to watch two sets of men smash into each other in the name of sport: Rugby. As you can tell from my tone I am not a fan of the egg-chasing. People say that at a young age is when a lot of your personality, likes and dislikes are moulded for the rest of your life and I would put my healthy distain for the game down to this thinking as well. It was during a PE lesson when one of the teachers told me in no uncertain terms that unless I played for the rugby team, I couldn’t play for the football team. Of course that gave me an instant dislike for the sport which I have carried with me into later life. But anyway, THAT game has already received more prose on this blog than I care it to, so back to The Arsenal…
Yesterday evening there was a lot of noises on Twitter about how RvP has told Arsene and Arsenal that no amount of money could get him to sign a new contract and that it was about convincing him that the club needed to be competitive and sign players. Quite where these rumours have come from I’m none too sure, but to be honest it pretty much sounded like that’s what we as Arsenal fans have been talking about for the last few months. At first we all talked about Champions League qualification as the key marker but I think we all knew deep down that it would take more than that.
So there are more than a few stories this morning in the media talking about how Man City are in pole position, etc, etc, and we are all waking up to a Sunday morning with a little bit of apprehension. I think what hasn’t helped is the fact that Citeh won the league, as it now gives justification for transferring there. Players can hide their greed behind the fact Citeh are now champions and you could see someone like Robin moving for £200k a week plus a chance of winning the league again.
Rightfully, many fans are making comments about how life goes on and if Robin goes then other players will have the chance to shine. I think most fans will look at some of the players we’ve lost and agree with that assertion. But I think at the heart of the anguish is the fear of the unknown. We know that with Robin we have a thirty goal a season striker. At times Robin dragged us into a winning position and gave us three points. So fans, like me, are looking at our current situation and saying “take Van Persie out of last seasons team and we’d have finished where Liverpool are”. Yes that is true. But the formation that we play requires a reliance on a front man supported by wingers. Robin has spoke glowingly of the support he gets from Theo and so to assume that without him we would be a mid table team is a misnomer and unfair to the rest of the team. We all also know that our two shocking parts of the season were down to some poor transfer dealings for the club (something that the club are trying to rectify now) and having no full backs in January, the result of which can be seen no better than that first half at home against Man United when Johan Djourou had the shocker of shockers at right back.
Don’t get me wrong, I want Robin to stay. I want him to sign up and I want us to brig in a team capable of challenging for the title. I think the worry I feel and the worry that many of my fellow gooners feel is that we don’t know who can replace him and we don’t know if they will be an Adebayor/van Persie or a Chamakh/Jeffers. It’s the fear of the unknown. If we sign a new player from overseas to replace Robin (assuming Podolski doesn’t become that player) how do we know whether it will take him six months or a year to ‘bed in’? Think about Koscienly: could we afford to have a centre forward who looks alright for their first season before turning into a star? No. We need an instant success, which with overseas players, we all know is a rarity rather than the accepted norm in the Premier League.
Whatever happens, we need to get this situation sorted. Or at the very least, if it isn’t sorted, we get in players now so that if the worst does happen and we have another Nasri situation then we already have the players in and we’re not doing a last minute August scrap for players again.
Have a great and sunny Sunday all.