Everyone’s going a bit mental at the moment over this wonder kid Draxler, aren’t they? I mean, he’s hit the back pages of this weeks Mirror, Twitter was going crazy at the prospect of a bid and everyone’s suddenly become a football scout and are extolling his virtues.
I’ll hold my hands up. Even I’ve been sucked in. But like some sort of vortex of transfer speculation, or killer whirlpool, the current was simply too strong for me to swim against. Hence the fact I’m even talking about his potential arrival. I hate the transfer window and the hyperbole, but at the same time I’m like some kind of Puritan with an eye for a bit of flesh, peaking from behind my hands at what earthly delights are available in front of me.
Arsene has said we’re looking for a striker and on this week’s SG pod the lads spoke about Draxler, but the general consensus was ‘not this month’. The worry asserted by the gents, however, is that by the summer everyone and his wife will be sniffing around the German. I know little of his exploits, I must confess, but that’s because I’m a blinkered Arsenal fan that only really ever wants to watch The Arsenal and rarely anything more, unless there’s not anything on TV. Some would say I’m probably not a real football fan. I probably am not. I’m an Arsenal fan and it’s my club that defines me.
But anyway, enough of my faux Shakespearian Henry V style attempt at a rousing monologue, back to Draxler. Much like a lot of people in this world, I’m very much of they ‘gimmie, gimmie, gimmie’ culture that has been bred today; I hear a name, hear multiple people say he’s an amazing player, then immediately want him to bolster the ranks. When that player signs for someone else? Sometimes I’m disappointed, but as every passing day, err, passes, I think I’m learning to realise not to get too hung up about stuff. After all, for every ‘we nearly signed Hazard/Mata/Ronaldo’, there’s always the dodged bullets of players like Niang (remember we were after him, but off he went to Milan and he hasn’t got near the first team) or Ricky Alvarez (the guy that was ‘pinched’ from under our noses by Inter Milan? Haven’t seen that much of him…although I don’t watch that much Italian football), so I’m not too worried at this stage.
Like I’ve said on previous blogs, I’m more concerned with our league form and making sure we put ourselves in a great position to kick on and win the league. Thankfully, it seems the players have that mentality as well. Arseblog highlighted a great example of the togetherness in his blog yesterday in the aftermath of the Villa game, in which Mertesacker was asked about his landmark 100 games and he shrugged it off as another performance, that the win was more important than personal achievement and that it is the way the team performs that should be applauded rather than the successes of the individual. Or he said something along those lines. But it stands to emphasise my point; the team ethos at the moment is one of victory through harmony and that is what is carrying us at the moment.
Here’s a thought: how many £35million+ superstars can you have in one team before there is the potential for that harmony I’ve just spoken of dwindling a bit? It’s a provocative question designed to stimulate debate, but I do wonder what impact it could have. We’ve signed Özil who thankfully doesn’t seem to have an ego, but the reason we’ve been so successful has been because all of the players at the moment are at similar levels of ‘superstardom’ in my opinion. We were all talking about the fact that there wasn’t any single player that the team relied on any more in the summer, which meant that we were finally not living in fear of the dreaded summer-long transfer sagas of pre-seasons past, but could the acquisition of two, three or four superstars result in that harmony eroding away? After all, a superstar often will come with his own ego that needs to be massaged, just look at masseurs Ronaldo, That Dutch Bloke, Rooney, Drogba, Suarez, Ibrahimovich, etc. They all need to feel like they are number one. So how can you stock a team full of those types of players?
I don’t really have the answer here. A counter argument to the ‘too many superstars’ debate is clearly demonstrated in the sky blue Mancunian exhibit A we’re seeing on our screens every week. But that is a formula that has cost £1billion and has delivered an FA Cup and a league in four years. The phrase of throwing enough of the proverbial at a wall to watch at least some of it stick has to run through when you’re talking about that many zeros. We have plenty of zeros, but we’re the equivalent of the son of a well known surgeon; we have plenty of toys, a nice lifestyle and a beautiful house in South Kensington. Manchester City is the equivalent of the son of the Sultan of Brunei; they give their servants the toys that we play with, then ask the servants to fight to the death using only the toys they have provided, for their own viewing pleasure.
I’ve gone off piece slightly here, but my question still stands that I’d love some thoughts on from you: how many superstars do you think this Arsenal team could have before the harmony starts to be disrupted?
Let me know.