Arsenal’s failed £40m deadline day bid – No room for both Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta – Patience pays off against Crystal Palace

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 06

Good afternoon Gooners. After a couple of weeks off for various reasons, I’m back today and ready to delve into all things Arsenal. It’s be a rollercoaster 2014 so far, where we have already felt the highs, lows, nerves and joy that football tends to throw at us on an all too frequent basis.

We’re still in the FA Cup having mashed the Spuds and seen off a valiant Coventry City of League One, we’ve remained unbeaten this calendar year in the Premier League and are still right in the hunt to win the title.

The transfer window has been and gone, and I for one am delighted for that. Arsene Wenger said a few years back that finishing fourth was like a trophy but, I can assure you, that entering February with your sanity and pride in tact following a month’s bullshit, squabbling and brattiness is more than worthy of a trophy.

There is plenty to talk about and, again, I’m a bit short for time, so let’s rattle through this one.

Gunners Town Top 5: Talking Points of the week.

1. Saints point could be vital

Flamini red card Southamtpon

Say what you like about the match against Southampton, but in my books, that’s a point gained. Of course, I always tend to approach football with the ‘glass half-full’ mentality, but I truly believe that it was a good result for us.

Think about it. We played our worst 45 minutes of football in that first half. It was the poorest we’ve been by a country mile, and Saints made us look like were far from Premier League title challengers. They dominated the first half, and deserved their lead at the break. We looked dodgy at the back, short of ideas in attack and just couldn’t hold onto the ball, despite possessing the likes of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta in the midfield.

Whatever Wenger said at the break certainly worked, and we quickly turned the game on its head with goals from Olivier Giroud (a superb one at that) and Cazorla. The lead didn’t last long though, and we instantly conceded to Adam Lallana’s equaliser.

With the game in a tender state, Mathieu Flamini was then stupidly sent off for jumping into a tackle, and Arsenal were made to hold on to earn a valuable point. Many were unhappy at the fact that we didn’t see Lukas Podolski play a big part in the game, but had we gone for the win and lost the match, we’d all be slating Wenger for silly tactics.

Given that we were punished by Borussia Dortmund in similar circumstances earlier this term, it appears that we have learned our lesson. Yes it was Saints (a very good side to their credit) and not Dortmund, but with 10 men and playing poorly away from home; I’d take a point. Besides, Manchester City could do no better when they made the trip to St Mary’s.

All in all, a decent point. Our unbeaten run continues, and it could prove vital towards the end of the season.

2.Mikel and Flam a sham

Arteta Flamini

You may have already seen my Twitter rant the morning after this game, but I think it’s worth repeating in this article. I believe that Arteta and Flamini cannot play together in the deep-lying midfield positions for us.

Let me re-jog your memory.






So to put it short. Together, it’s a partnership that is too defensive, too confusing, and takes away our strongest asset, which is our attacking flair.

3. A shopping spree that wasn’t to be

Kim Kallstrom 01

So that striker we were all craving never arrived at the Emirates, and the only incoming we had was the loan signing of Kim Kallstrom.

Personally, I was happy with the new boy. We were short in midfield due to injuries, he would add more experience – which he has in abundance from his Ligue 1 title-winning days at Lyon – and he would be eligible to play in the Champions League amid a heavy, hectic and testing schedule.

Of course he, like many others in our squad, has now picked up an injury and may not make his debut for another month. One thing I will say though, is that we shouldn’t write off Kallstrom before he’s even kicked a ball for the Arsenal. We’ve had similar players like him come in before and do a job for us in the past; Yossi Benayoun springs to mind at The Hawthorns. So let’s give him a chance.

As for Julian Draxler, it’s clear, Schalke denied him the chance to move and wanted to keep him until the summer: we’ll have to see what happens at the end of the season. Similarly, we were in talks with Miroslav Klose, but Lazio didn’t want him to go, and put a stop to that one. As for Mirko Vucinic, I have no idea. What I do believe is that we placed a £40m bid for someone on Deadline Day. The player in question wasn’t Draxler. The source itself is one within the club, but that’s all I know/knew. I’ve not got a Scooby who it was for, but I’m guessing it was rejected anyway.

If I had to hazard a guess, I’d speculate that it was for a striker. But regardless, nothing happened with that one, and we now await the summer. One thing that it shows though is that we are more than willing to splash the cash for TOP QUALITY talent that is deemed available, and that’s what matters.

4. Ridiculous rumour of the year?

Robin van Persie 02

I awoke on Sunday morning to the Daily Mail reporting that Robin van Persie wants out of Manchester United, and that he could be set for a shocking return to Arsenal. Excuse me…


Ahem. Apologies.

But on a serious note, I’ve got it on good record (not that you need me to tell you, it’s painfully obvious) that Van Persie is seriously unhappy at Old Trafford. His family aren’t settled in their new location, he’s frequently injured and getting his London-based doctor to head up north to help him out, and, on top of all that, United are in disarray under David Moyes.

Even with him, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata in the team, they still lost at Stoke on Saturday. Yes it takes time to gel and everyone has an off day, but United have lost five of their eight games in 2014 so far. One of the three wins they’ can boast so far this year came on a night that they were knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Vito Mannone and Sunderland, so that’s hardly a saving grace. A mind-blowing fact.

It’s become quite known that during the summer in which he departed for United, he endured a U-turn upon the arrivals of Podolski, Giroud and Cazorla and asked to stay. But by then, it was too late and too much water was under the bridge.

Anyway, it’s never going to happen but certainly made me chuckle,  and he probably ought to listen to the little boy inside him to find out the answer to his problem.

5. Patience is a virtue

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 05

There is an old saying that my mother so frequently told me as a child which was ‘good things come to those who wait’ and that phrase seems very apt off the back of our hard-fought victory over Crystal Palace.

Tony Pulis lined up his side to play ‘19th century’ football at the Emirates which is hardly surprising. But unlike Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea against West Ham United in midweek, Wenger brought along his Black and Decker power tools, mainly in the form of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

We were made to wait, but we eventually broke down a Palace team who never really seemed to challenge Wojciech Szczesny too much. Nonetheless, The Ox certainly eased the tension after the break, as the Gunners quickly came out of the blocks yet again in the second half. The rest was then inevitable.

It was once we started to get players running beyond Giroud that we looked more likely to score, and both Chamberlain’s goals were examples of that. There is only so much Giroud can do when given the ball if he has nobody around him, but Chamberlain showed that he was willing to burst into the final third and reaped the rewards of his decision.

It’s a game that we should obviously be winning, but we’ve witnessed it enough times in the past to know that these games often prove hugely frustrating. So it’s a big three points, and it puts us top ahead of the clash between Manchester City and Chelsea tonight. It’s a shame they can’t both lose at the Etihad.

That’s it from me this week. Give us a follow on Twitter and let us know your views.

Never forget you’re a Gooner.

Matt Cotton

Chief Editor

, , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Responses to Arsenal’s failed £40m deadline day bid – No room for both Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta – Patience pays off against Crystal Palace

  1. matt February 3, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

    the little boy inside him,hahahahahaha had forgotten than one,how made where we that summer though?!

  2. Jane Moores February 3, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    Enjoyed article,I am also a glass half full gooner and just maybe grit and team work will see us home!

  3. Jesse February 3, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

    Nicely done. Enjoyed it.

    Just a random follow up to satiate my curiosity, did RVP really ask to stay that summer??

Your thoughts?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Designed by Batmandela