Monday, November 3, 2008

Vieira for Portsmouth?

"He is definitely a player I'd like to bring here if he was available. I will be speaking to Inter manager Jose Mourinho and asking about him. With Patrick you know what you are getting, he is a proven winner and a great character."

- Tony Adams, new Portsmouth manager

It's taken me a while to find a story worth my while, but I think I've found it. Tony Adams, the new Portsmouth manager, wants to buy Patrick Vieira. This is on top of him hiring Martin Keown as coach. Looks like Adams is intent on turning Portsmouth into Arsenal Mark II. 

What I find interesting is that remark about character. Vieira was the last great Arsenal captain and in many ways, was never really replaced. Four years down the track, there's still a Vieira-sized hole in the middle of this Arsenal side. It's not just his skill or his physicality that we miss most - it's the leadership qualities, the sheer presence of the man.

When Wenger gutted the Invincibles and started playing the kids, he didn't just dispose of ageing players. He also dispensed with years and years of inherited dressing room spirit, of tradition, of pride in the shirt and the determination to win any way possible. And we never got that back. 

I've been advocating for a centre-back, a defensive midfielder and a goalkeeper. But even if we bought those players in January, we're still going to be missing that spirit. We're still going to be rudderless when we're up shit creek. Gallas isn't the captain we need, and Cesc isn't ready. 

I'm wondering whether an influx of players will help create the kind spirit we need. Adams wants to bring Vieira to Portsmouth for his character and experience. Do we need someone similar at the Arse? I'm not suggesting we make a bid for Vieira, but maybe we need someone who can drive this team forward. 

Anyway, if Tony Adams gets Vieira, it means Lassie Diarra's on his way out of Portsmouth. He's probably going to end up at Tottenham, but I think we should make a bid for him anyway. You never know how things pan out, and he's a pretty handy player. He's not Flamini, but he'll do the job. 

Alternatively, we could go crazy and buy Lorik Cana. What a nutter. 


Anonymous said...

Hope things are OK in Romania and that you have some rest in Turkey. Keep your chin up


Connolly's agent said...

Oh, I'll be right. It's a 24 hr train ride, so I'm bound to get some rest. Chin up?

ArseNole said...

Agree wholeheartedly with the comments about Vieira. While Vieira was at Arsenal, he was more than just a midfielder that could make a tackle and also get forward, he was a leader that absolutely epitomized the word. He loved playing for Arsenal, he loved his team mates, and he wasn't afraid to give the team a kick up the arse when they needed it, and could put the team on his back and carry them when he had to. I don't feel like Cesc can carry that load yet either, although if we don't start winning Cesc may not be around all that much longer. Let's hope for a win against United Saturday to swing us some momentum.