Morning everybody. I’ll get the transfer news out of the way so we can concentrate on… potential transfers. As you can imagine, that’s all the rage right now as at this time of writing, there are only 3 days left in the window to get ins and outs sorted. It’ll be hectic, but finger’s crossed Arsène can work his magic.
it seems we’ve made some space in the squad already, but not for foreigners yet. Henri Lansbury joins Nottingham Forest on a 4 year deal worth £1 million. We all know he never would have made it into the first team, but it’s still sad to see him go. He’s been at the club since he was 8 years old, and fought through the ranks, going on varous loans along the way. I’m sure he’s a bit jaded at being shoved out the door after spending two-thirds of his life involved with us, but such is the rat race that is professional football.
You may remember Daniel Boateng from when we played Bolton last year in the fourth rounds of the Carling Cup. He’s going on a four-month loan to Oxford United in League 2, which isn’t much better than the reserves in my eyes, but I suppose playing with different teammates in a different league is a more divers challenge than playing in your comfort zone in the coddled ranks of Colney, so I’ll leave this one alone. Anything that develops a player further can’t be seen as a failure, so I won’t judge until his loan spell is up.
Next up is a potential transfer that’s failed to steal the spotlight, until today that is. Yesterday, the Telegraph, among others, claimed that Theo Walcott has refused renew his contract due to his issue with the difference in valuation of his salary between himself and the club. 100k a week is too much for a purple patchy player, but I think we need to clamp down and keep Theo, he’s the final straw. He doesn’t deserve that kind of pay really, but where are we going to find a winger with 11 goals and 13 assists last year for cheap? Simple answer being no, just give in to a player who has done well for us in the past and has plenty more to come. I’d prefer if we didn’t let anyone’s contract run down in the first place, so we wouldn’t have to deal with players leveraging the Bosman on the club every summer, but such is life. If we’re selling, it’s a step backward regardless of who we bring in, because they won’t do as well as Theo, a player who’s already settled and knows his team well. Replacing a key player is nowhere near as effective as adding another player to a key player’s position, as it gets the best out of both. You’d have to think how much better we’d be doing right now if we had RVP, Giroud and Podolski to choose from and combine as strikers. Replacing isn’t effective if it’s half the team you’re reshaping.
With all this talk about Walcott leaving, and the initial detrimental effect of replacements, lately there’s been a lot of talk about Theo being replaced internally, with Serge Gnabry next in line to have a crack at the senior team. He follows Ryo Miyaichi and the Ox as young wingers trying to make the grade, but at the tender age of 17 and next to nothing in the way of first team experience, you can’t expect too much out of him performance wise. It’s better to let him continue to develop under less pressure, and bring in a few new faces in the remaining days of the transfer market. Young players who have yet to plant their feet shouldn’t be relied on at all.
Speaking of youth, the NextGen series is fast approaching, and Arsène seems very interested in it.
I will not miss a game when I can, believe me,”
“People don’t realize that the most important thing is to keep in touch with the top level, and the top level in Europe is NextGen. It is the Champions League for youth and that is interesting.”
“What is also interesting is that it contains some good information. France is good in youth-team work, Spain is very good in youth-team work – if you look at the trophies those two countries have won in the last 15 years you will be absolutely amazed.”
Arsène never seems to take finger off the pulse when it comes to exciting talent. Just don’t get too distracted boss, we’ve got bigger issues to attend to.
As always, there is much to look forward. to. I’ll be glued to Sky Sports News on deadline day, as should you. We’re in for a rollercoaster ride right till the very end, and I’ve come to expect it that way.