Arsene Wenger was last night facing the biggest crisis of his Arsenal reign, as goalkeeper Vito Mannone looked set to follow Andrey Arshavin out of the club in a sensational £3m switch to Sunderland.
After a traumatic month for the Gunners, which also saw Brazilian international star Denilson and Sebastien Squillaci leave the club, the pressure was once again mounting last night for the troubled Frenchman.
To add further to the deepening crisis at the Emirates, the club were accused by supporters of dithering over the transfers of Gonzalo Higuain, Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fabregas, Marouane Fellaini, Julio Cesar, Pepe Reina, Frank McAvennie, while Wenger also looks set to miss out on Sebastien Frey for the seventeenth summer running.
With Nicklas Bendtner, Marouane Chamakh, Park Chu-Young, Johan Djourou all set to leave it looks like being another summer of unrest for long suffering Gunners fans.
Right, that’s all you fucking doom and gloom merchants catered for, now back to the real world……………….
Week Four – 47 Sleeps to Go….
especially for all of you, I will now include how many sleeps there are left
until the start of the season each week. I won’t even be using a calculator.
You can thank me later. I am actually starting to wish I had included a
countdown to the transfer window the last few weeks, seeing as it will not
actually officially be open until this week!
all been happening this week hasn’t it? No? Next week is when it’s all going to
start happening isn’t it? Maybe? Please?
I was away for three days at the start of the week, and for that reason I
pretty much stayed away from Twitter, from transfer speculation, and from all
the fun and games that go with it, and you know what? I had a great time! Then, upon my return nothing had changed.
Arsenal still hadn’t signed anyone, and people were still twitchier than Harry
Redknapp on a bad acid trip. What’s more, I’m pretty sure the ITK’s are
from it all does help to give you a sense of perspective though. As I said, the
transfer window is not officially open yet, yes I know other teams have done
some business, but let’s be honest, nobody has really done a great deal have
they? I’ve seen some people use the word “dithering” again, ridiculously,
without having any possible knowledge to base this on. How do you know if we are dithering? How do you know we are even in for any of the
players you think we are supposedly dithering over? I don’t remember the club
mentioning anything about anyone since the end of the season myself, and
transfers can take time, that’s one thing that we all do know, just like we
know Arsenal like to do things on the quiet whenever possible, always have
done. Just because Carlos Tevez signs for Juventus five minutes after you see
him linked with them on Twitter does that mean all deals can go through that
enough of all that though, I don’t want to seem like I’m repeating myself every
week, even though that is pretty much what’s going on all over the place at
this time of the year. No, it’s time to continue to look at the positives!
Last week I
mentioned I would look at some players over the coming weeks that I feel could
be almost as important to us next season as the players we may or may not bring
in during the transfer window. There are a few actually, which I think we
should all consider when compiling lists of players we need to sign, we must
not lose sight of how good this squad is already. I’m not in any way claiming
it’s good enough – the league table
does not lie – but I do believe we have a great group of players who are
getting better, and are also totally committed to the cause. I know it doesn’t
get any closer than that nail biting last day of the season we’ve had the last
two years, and we can’t carry on like that, but with a squad we can now keep
together as well as add to, that kind of backs to the wall stuff can only breed
team spirit and good old “mental strength”.
that in mind, I’m starting a bit controversially this week, with a player a lot
of people won’t agree with….
Players to watch 2013/14 – Number One: Aaron Ramsey
Right, if you are still with me, please at least hear me out.
I decided to start with Rambo because to me he symbolises the fragmented
Arsenal fan base at the moment.
There are those, myself included, who have always believed he could become a
great player, there’s no “I told you so” there from me though, just the fact I
have always had that belief and still do.
There are those who begrudgingly acknowledge that he did well in the last few
months of the season but are still not sure about him, which is fine in my
book, he does still have a way to go.
Then there are those that quite frankly sum up the problem we have within,
those who have been so critical, even abusive at times that they simply will
not begin to entertain the idea that they could be proved wrong, which come to
think of it is a problem some of our fans will have if we are to win something
under Arsene Wenger in the near future. Actually, scrub that, if we do so, then
it would have been down to Arsene doing what they had been saying he should all
along. Bless them.
opinion Ramsey was the most improved player of last season, and provided a
vital role in the end of season run. I do admit to being a big fan of his, and
I’ve always personally been a big fan of any player who is prepared to work his
arse off while going through a difficult time and poor run of form, in typical
Arsenal fashion, which love him or hate him, I don’t really think you can deny
The fact that most of his detractors went pretty quiet while he became such a
big part of our end of season run speaks volumes for both the player himself,
and those who felt it necessary to take their, at times blind, criticism of him
to abusive levels.
Of course, some of our fan base being the way they are, rather than enjoy this
turnaround in fortunes of a young player who suffered a sickening injury at
such an early stage in his career, there are those who would rather say that Rambo was “only
any good for the last few months of the season”, or “a couple of months of good form doesn’t make up for the points he lost
us before that “ (yes, I have
seriously heard people say that), and so on. Some of these points may have an
element of truth to them (except maybe the last one), and I have said more
times than I care to remember that everyone is entitled to their opinion,
but here’s a thought – how about
considering that change in form as progression? I mean, he is
starting to look like the player he might have been before that injury, and if
you honestly thought he was that bad, would you not rather be proved wrong
about him than proved right?
I’ve heard some people describe him as a “decent squad player”, those people
would probably be from the second group described above, let’s call them “The Begrudgingly’s.” (Great name for a
Firstly, now more than ever it’s a squad game, so that’s not necessarily a bad
thing, it’s a long season after all.
Secondly, I believe there is a chance he could turn out to be more than that,
which would be no more than he deserves.
That, my friends, is an opinion, feel free to disagree with it if you wish…
I will admit Rambo struggled quite a bit again in the earlier stages of last
season, I’m not blind to that, but he wasn’t the only player to do so. One of
the things that annoys me about football fans in general, not just us Gooners,
is this tendency to single out one or two players out and be blind to
everything else. I probably used to do the same myself. When I was about 15.
Next week: Player to watch 2013/14 – Jack Wilshere
Plus – all the
latest transfer news and gossip!
Islington born and bred, Arsenal through and through. Supported the Gunners for all of my 46 years (so far!) through thick and thin.
Clickbait: Life as a Modern Football Fan – released 2019
Currently working on my next book – Over Land and Sea (and Lockdown), Arsenal 20/21 – A Diary of a Season – due for release Summer 2021.
I will back the club I have in my blood to the hilt and I don’t care what you think about that. UTA.
AGAINST MODERN FOOTBALL.