Bacary Sagna has come out with strong words about Arsenal’s transfer policy. He says in his interview with L’Equipe that he was surprised when Alex Song was transferred to Barcelona. He also says he ‘does not understand’ what is happening when Arsenal sell a player of the quality of Song.
I don’t think this is what a matured player like Sagna should say (if true) in the media. He has also apparently conveyed his desire to win trophies like his former team-mates Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri. While he is vastly considered to be the best right-back in the Premier League (some say he is the best in the world) his words aren’t eligible to be called the best. Yes, one can understand that Alex Song could have been one of his closest pals in the team but being professional and that too at a club like Arsenal, Sagna would do well to speak more like a team-player.
Which bring me to the question, What does the transfer of these star players mean to Arsenal and their fans?
First things first. Arsene Wenger is a man of high pedigree and like the loyal fans of Wenger (like me) say one thing often. ‘Arsene knows Best’. The manager has done, in my opinion, wonderfully well in the summer despite the lack of any significant activity on the deadline day.
Ever since the move of Samir Nasri to Manchester City, which really did stump Wenger and forced him to make 5 signings in 2 days, he has been very cautious of what happens with his players. Though the saga of Robin van Persie went on and on, he knew that The Captain won’t sign on the dotted line. Result – Lucas Podolski and Olivier Giroud.
I’d like to say something here on the contract extension stuff. Never believe a player when he says he would decide on signing the extension later. All these are absolute rubbish and it takes a player just ten minutes to call the manager and say he is signing it. That Robin van Persie made it clear he’ll decide only after the Euros, it was evident he was going out.
Look what Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has said yesterday:
“I really enjoy playing for them and am planning on being there for a while. If Arsenal want to sit down and talk about that, it is really good because I am loving my time there.”
As simple as that. And we are talking about someone who still has four years left in his contract.
Coming back to the transfers, a lot has been spoken on Alex Song not wanting to stay and Barcelona making him an impressive offer etc., at the end of the day, Arsenal, again I believe, are better off without a player who is reluctant to train happily everyday. There were reports of Song showing some shocking attitude in training, being lazy and all (though Wenger denied it) shows there is much more than just the money factor in football. Any team needs committed players.
The reality is that Arsenal have not signed three but five players. Arsene Wenger has spoken again and again about the importance of getting the injured players back. How many teams have had not one but two players who were injured right through the season?
It pains me when people accuse Arsenal of not being ambitious enough. Even more hurting is the comparing of the splashing of cash by Tottenham Hotspur. What our North London neighbours (ahem) do with their money is no concern to us and if you’re still unhappy, I’d like you to take a look at the League table and see where they are. Though they will not finish in the bottom half as the quality of the players they have will propel them up, the current position suggests that money is not everything.
Are the Gunners weakened by Song’s departure? Again the reality is it may not be. Our new and by far the most loyal No.10 is not far away from a return and when he eventually settles in, had Alex Song stayed he would have perhaps been the one to be relegated to the bench. (That he is doing it already in Camp Nou is a different matter)
The point here is with the addition of Steve Bould to the coaching team, Arsenal now look a very VERY good side. Arsene Wenger is not one to be fooled around. He knows exactly what is needed for the club and the lack of transfer activity is a direct result of that bit of confidence that he has with the current set of players.
Lack of striking options is not a problem. It is better to have players who can play up front rather than signing an out-and-out striker and leaving one on the bench unsettled and frustrated. Every player in the world would want to start in the XI week in and week out. No player is an exception but if you have a player who knows he is not the best right now but can contribute at some point he will be happy. The case of Andrey Arshavin is a clear example. Though he would like to play, he knows clearly that he can only be an impact sub in the near future. And credit to the Russian, he hasn’t spoken once about the lack of playing time. To stress the point that I’m making here, you can read Cesc Fabregas’ thoughts on staying on the bench more than on the field.
Players may come and go but Arsenal Football Club will go on forever.
Now that the transfer window is closed, time has come to thank and forget the men who have moved out, time has come to back our players in a positive way and not the way our right-back has chosen. We have a magician in Santi Cazorla, a deadly left-foot in Lucas Podolski and I’m sure Olivier Giroud will come good shortly. Many have already spoken about the time the great Thierry Henry took to settle in. We have a very good side capable of doing something significant this season.
Until next time.
PS: What a wonderful player Abou Diaby is!
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