Arsene Wenger intends on splashing the cash this summer, and is hot on the heels of 2 world class players and a definite future star…in fact the deals are meant to be as good as done, only the final formalities to be concluded…
Now there’s a headline many would love to see….. And it would surely quell the urges of even our most rabid transfer slags…
The three players in question….
(In a parallel universe)
Mesut Ozil £42m
Alexis Sanchez £32m
and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain £15m…
If we were in a position that these lads weren’t already at the club, we’d probably be celebrating the greatest transfer window of our lifetimes. Well, the fact is we already have them.
Along with Ramsey, Walcott, Koscielny, Cazorla, Bellerin, etc. Sadly as they’re not being paraded as new signings, with huge price tags, we as a whole tend to forget quickly, how strong we have actually become already.
As we’ve said all along, as we’re not an oil driven club, we can’t go out and build it all in one summer, spunking £100’s of millions in one go. Ours would always be a slow burner, even after we got back on a stable financial footing. Well, our slow burner was lit about three years ago, and looks like it could finally blaze. We’re getting to that stage now where we’re starting to look like proper team again, a challenger, or a winner even.
We slag off Chelsea fans for thinking football began in 2005, with the arrival of Roman, and Liverpool for their ‘5 times’ shite, yet sometimes with ourselves, you’d swear we thought football began and ended in 2003-2004 with The Invincibles.
Every side since, and Wenger himself, (the creator of said invincibles) will forever live in the shadow (unfairly) of that truly great (not once in a generation side, more like once in a 3 generation) side.
Now though, as we’re about to start out on this season, (which including the transfer window, starts on the first of July), finally there are similarities.
Firstly, we’d finished the previous season as FA Cup winners, as we just have… Though we’d finished 2nd in the league (close enough this year, wink wink!!
The summer previously, we’d signed Gilberto Silva, and he’d got a year under his belt, got used to our system, and ended up being the rock upon which, the rest of the attacking elements of our side could blossom. “Well that didn’t happen last year”, you say, well, maybe in Coquelin it kind of has. Ok, he wasn’t signed last summer, but he’s been at the club, and knows our system, and he came in and became the rock that allowed…. You see where I’m going…
Coquelin the new Gilberto?
The attacking elements of that side may never be recreated again. Henry, Bergkamp and Pires are a trio that is hard to top in most people’s books, (throw in Freddie of course, and Kanu) Messi, Neymar and Suarez aside. Alexis, Ozil, Giroud/Walcott aren’t a bad place to start all the same. (Not saying their even close).
Next, if all the talk is to be believed, there’s the impending signing of Petr Cech. This could be the “be all and end all” of comparisons. In the summer of 03-04 we signed very few actual first teamers. The side was nearly complete, (and ironically, financial restrictions had kicked in due to the beginning of The Emirates Stadium project.) so we only added Jens Lehmann (again, see where I’m going here). The rest were bought with an eye to the future, or for immediate cover, among them, lesser known names such as Robin van Persie and Cesc Fabregas. (Not bad unknowns as it turned out).
During that summer of 2003 we also negotiated the contracts of Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires, which we could liken to our current talks with Wilshere and Walcott (compared in situation only, not ability by any means).
We also bought Jose Antonio Reyes in the January of that season, and seeing as I haven’t quite mastered looking into the future yet, I’m going to say we have our Reyes already, in the shape of The Ox.
It’s all getting a bit spooky….
Look! I’m not going to sit here and say we’re now going to go next year unbeaten, not by any means. That, as I’ve said already, is beyond even once in lifetime stuff, (even though we very nearly did it before, only 1 defeat away to Chelsea – typical, in 1990/91, though it wasn’t in any way near the same style).
What I will say though, is that like in the summer of 2003 we’re not a kick in the Arse away from having a great side. We have quality all over the pitch, and unlike what some will say we have quality cover all over the pitch too.
If Cech comes (I still don’t believe he will,) the Czech, No 1 backed up with Sczesny.
Kos and Per being backed up by Gabriel and Chambers (or maybe even Gabriel ahead of Per, who knows).
Debuchy, a full French international, backing up Bellerin, such has been his improvement.
Then midfield is where the fun starts, midfield. Coq, backed up by Arteta, with the option of Ramsey or Wilshere playing there also. After that, take your pick. Any amount of combinations of Ramsey, Cazorla, Wilshere, Oxlade Chamberlain, or Ozil. Leaving us with Alexis, Giroud, Walcott, Welbeck, Chamberlain and Ozil for the front 3, with the option of Ramsey or Wilshere also, to be used on the wings, depending on the opposition or our injuries at any given time.
To me, that looks like a mighty competitive side, although I would like another striker. But my toys will stay securely inside my pram, if we manage to get the Cech deal over the line, and maybe add one or two for the future along with him. (Though we’ve a few knocking around that department too, Gnabry and Zelalem to name but two).
We forget too easily what we’ve already got, and waste too much time and energy worrying about big name, big money signings. We give out if there’s a signing announced, and it’s only some academy player from Spain, or a wiry skinny striker from Holland, not the big money names that other clubs are hunting, but like I’ve already stated, in the summer of ’03 pre Invincibles a young Fabregas and Van Persie were bought, so maybe hold onto your criticisms of young players bought, for a while.
This has taken time, like the club said it would, but under our noses Wenger has slowly assembled a large talented squad, that he, and I feel can really push for the title this year. (Not bad for a man diagnosed with dementia, by some of the big accounts on twitter, only a year or two ago!)
The long and the short of it is, while some dream of big name, big money signings, and what they could bring, I would rather dream about what we have, and what they can bring us.
Till that future
I’m a 37 yr old Irish Gunner, and have been for 27-28 years now….
(Really 20, but trapped in a 37 yr olds body)..
Answer to ‘Woody’, as normally when ‘John’ is used, it means I’m in trouble for something..
I took my time deciding, didn’t follow the mainstream, and definitely chose wisely…
I let the club choose me, and didn’t let other people’s views or successes choose my club for me..
Seen the good times, the great times and the bad and really bad…
And strangely, enjoyed all of them, as you can only relish the good and great after you taste the bad…
Thats why I try to keep on the level-headed side of things, when things don’t go our way,
as it’ll make the successes all the sweeter when they arrive…
… and they WILL arrive…