Out there it’s a desolate wasteland of news. As we head towards the weekend things are sure to pick up as team news for Friday trickles out and we all try to guess who’ll play in the FA Cup against Coventry. Until then, I’m a little at a loss regarding subject matter today.
So, perhaps foolishly, I looked to Twitter for guidance – an idea about as sensible as setting your foot on fire and trying to kick yourself in the face. What horrors awaited me when I gazed helplessly at my timeline? Well… other than some incredibly puerile remarks attributed to Big Ted (not me in any way, I can assure you of that), I was met with furious debates raging for hours at a time regarding contract offer – allegedly – presented to Arsene Wenger and a bumper offer being readied for Julian Draxler.
I’ve never understood why an offer needs to be “prepared”. Surely it’s a simple case of choosing an amount to bid and offering it? I don’t postpone trips to Tesco for a few days just so I can really make sure I know what I’m going to purchase when I’m in there. I just do it.
The offer in question is said to be in the region of £35m and involves Podolski moving the opposite way. I certainly don’t like the last part. I’ve grown to love Lukas and he is a wonderful finisher in front of goal. Draxler is a fantastic talent certain to be a great player for years to come. I’d love us to sign him, but he could take months to settle and loosing an experienced member of the squad, and a very popular one, could have an averse effect. Anyway, the story is most probably complete sh*te.
Regarding the Wenger debate – here’s the thing, folks; I’m not what you’d consider to be someone associated with either extreme opinion regarding Le Boss. Some feel he is beyond reproach and an ever present beacon of shining light and example. Others, simply feel he should have done immeasurably more over the past few years to bring back success to Arsenal. When the warring and snide bickering dies down I personally feel that there are sensible points to be gleaned from both sides.
Arsene Wenger’s influence on Arsenal and his legacy is beyond question. Whatever you may feel now, it is impossible to deny he has revolutionised the Club we love and given us some truly wonderful memories. From things as rarely appreciated as his dietary innovations to the fabulously intricate attacking football the team is now renowned for, Arsene has brought us joy like no other. Rightly, he will be considered a great of Arsenal Football Club.
But, it is also impossible to deny there have been recent mistakes. Transfers have baffled, high-profile players have jumped ship for large fees and a once competitive team, until recently, has fond itself floundering somewhat. A victim of his own triumphs, the past 8 years under Arsene’s guidance only appear so bad by comparison to the wonderful years that came before them. We’ve had the odd disappointing cup final defeat and pushes for the title cut painfully short, but nothing of any note to shout from the rafters about.
Could we have done more? Yes. Should we have done more? Yes. Has Arsene navigated us through a difficult period of change in an inflated monetary climate to produce a self-sufficient Club against a influx of oligarchs and oil billionaires? Unquestionably. I often look at the way Arsenal is run and thank my lucky stars we haven’t been sullied by crippling debt and abhorrent outside influences.
Yet, I often find myself wondering how different the past 8 years might have been had be taken a risk – taken a chance and gone after that one high profile player instead of putting so much faith in unearthing obscure talents. ‘Project Youth’ was a vanity affair for Arsene, but I saw no reason why it couldn’t have been done hand-in-hand with experience and class.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is I love Arsene Wenger to bits, but I won’t defend him mercilessly. He may not sign a player this window and leave himself open for endless attacks and the displeasure of many. He may surprise us all. We can’t know what’s coming, only speculate. When the dust settles from arguments and rationality takes ahold, it’s practically impossible to think of a better man to lead the Club forwards. Remember not too long ago many were crying out for David Moyes to take charge.
Does Arsene deserve a new contract? Yes, but we all deserve some glory just the same. Hopefully we can have both.
That’s all for today, folks. The comments await. You know the drill; hit me up with your thoughts on the Manager, on the potential of new signings (or lack of) and wether you feel a bumper new contract for the highest paid leader in English football is justified. I’ll look forward to reading what you have to say.
As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.