Having just this moment completed the arduous trek from my home to Kwik Fit to drop off Clarence (Yes – I have a name for my car. Don’t judge me) it is with a sense of great accomplishment I throw myself into today’s entry.
Firstly, I should briefly cover Tuesday’s defeat in the Capital One Cup.
Given that it isn’t a competition that’s awash with glorious tradition and prestige, a small part of me doesn’t see it as the end of the world. If offered the choice to sacrifice progression in one competition in favour of others, I’d hazard a guess most wouldn’t be too slow to choose the COC. However, regardless of what you may feel about it, it is a very realistic chance of a day at Wembley and a shimmering trophy. For that reason, going out at such an early stage with a relative whimper disappoints.
During the game itself, there was a mixed selection of performances. Some of the younger/fringe players (Hayden, Bellerin, Ospina, Diaby) put in decent performances. Other more established members of the squad (Rosicky, Podolski) looked, to be quite frank here, bloody awful. Rosicky I can forgive a bad performance because of his verve and enthusiasm and the irregularity of them occurring. Podolski, on the other hand, I find hard to defend.
Lukas is an eminently likeable character whom I imagine does wonders for dressing room morale. When the mood takes him, he’s a dangerous option up front with a thunderbolt of a left foot. However, he does put in displays that make me understand Arsene’s seeming reluctance to play him. Often matches pass him by and he looks about as interested as I do when forced to wander around New Look hunting for that one bargain that will affirm the existence of womenkind.
Alas, I fear his time at Arsenal may be coming to an end. Wether it be the January window or next summer, I’d hazard a guess both parties will look to break off from one another and that’s for the best.
Elsewhere today, there are some interesting Arsene quotes that suggest he sees Abou Diaby as a potential answer to our troubles in defensive midfield.
“I try to transform him because he was injured and has the physical potential to win the challenges, to face the game will be easier for him than to play back to goal with the injuries he had.
I try to develop him in a deeper role. I think he can do it, he can be very interesting, has all the attributes. He must love it as well because he’s more of an offensive minded player.”
Some might suggest this is another case of Arsene trying to fit square pegs into round holes. Perhaps there is a little truth to that and I’d not disagree with anyone who states they believe signing a player who specialises in that position is a better idea.
Yet, I do find myself intrigued by the concept. For all his troubles, Diaby has the potential to be an outstanding player. During those fleeting moments of fitness over the past years, he has shown moments of brilliance and he does possess the one trait I feel our midfield regularly misses; physicality. Whether he’d suit the role, whether he has the positional discipline to sit back when his instinct is to be offensive, is another matter entirely. Given his body’s fragilities, it’s certainly an enormous risk.
Lastly today we have Stan Kroenke. The man who once stated he’d “never take money out of Arsenal” has taken money out of Arsenal. A figure of £3m has been paid for ‘strategic and advisory’ fees to Stan’s American company KSE. Quite what the f*ck “strategic and advisory” means is beyond me and the unrest it’s caused amongst supporter groups is totally understandable.
When you consider the amount is almost identical to the figure raised by an increase in ticket prices, it does look a little fishy. I don’t pretend to know much about the supporter groups of how the innermost workings of the Club are put together, so I shan’t comment anymore on this. My thoughts are simply that, rightfully, questions should be asked and, more importantly, answered by those responsible.
That’s all from me today folks. We’re recording a quick Goonersphere ‘Licked’ podcast today so keep and eye out for that. The comments section is panting in anticipation below and eager to be used by each one of you delicious individuals. Drop me a line with your thoughts.
I’ll try to return tomorrow with some more. Until then, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.