Thursday, August 7, 2008

My kingdom for a midfielder

"It depends. If we have everybody on board and nobody injured then [OK] but maybe we could do to take one more experienced player."

- Arsene Wenger, equivocating about transfers.

I think Arsene Wenger approaches the transfer market differently to everyone else. Most managers will give lip-service to the kids in the reserves, and then look to recruit from other clubs. In a lucky year, the academy might provide one or two players, but it's a bonus if it does. Either way, the manager will have his scouts looking for seasoned recruits.

Wenger looks at his reserves side as his chief source of new players. He signs them when they're 16 or 17, plonks them in the reserves, and waits. The experienced central midfielder who we desperately need to replace Flamini has been incubating at London Colney for two, three years. Wenger only dips into the transfer market in exceptional cases, such as the Gallas-Cole swap or when a very promising youngster emerges (Nasri, Reyes, etc). Otherwise, he's content to allow the reserves to step up to the first-team.

It takes a lot of guts to do this.

Then again, maybe it's just Wenger-speak. He said that he'll only buy IF someone gets injured. Considering the injure-prone nature of our squad, this is tantamount to saying that we'll trade Cesc's brain and Sagna's left knee to get in an experienced central midfielder.

C'mon Wenger. Xabi Alonso and Cesc Fabregas would look nice in the heart of the Arsena. Or just anyone who can shave, really.


Anonymous said...

The Arsena. I like it, is it the plural?

Connolly's agent said...

No, it's a typo. I wish I was that smart. But maybe the Arsenae is plural?