Thursday, January 14, 2010

Return of the Sol

It's been a muted transfer window so far.

I remember last year, waiting on tenterhooks for the Arshavin deal to come through. We were going through a horrid patch, and Wenger and Gazidis were equivocating over £2-3 million. There was a tension in that transfer window, and there was a real sense that our season was on the line. There was a lot of relief when we finally got Arshavin.

We don't have that kind of pressure this season. We need a defensive midfielder to cover for Song. We need a centre-back as backup for Gallas and Vermaelen. We need a goalkeeper to replace Almunia. But then again, we're 3-4 points off the lead and we've got players coming back in the next few weeks. It's not that big a deal if we don't sign anyone of note. We don't have a team that can win the league, but we've got one that can finish in the top 3. And considering how depressing things looked in July, that's excellent.

One thing I don't understand is why we're keen on signing Sol Campbell. He's 35 and he left Portsmouth last season because he was past it. He's obviously a short-term placement to cover for Djourou, but I still don't get it. We've got the money to go for a real signing. We're not bankrupt like Liverpool or Man Utd - we can afford to spend £15 million on a good defender. I don't know who we could buy, but it beggars belief that Wenger thinks that Sol Campbell is the best defender available.

And in any case, we've still got Senderos. Why can't we play him? Senderos isn't that bad; he's just a bit slow and has confidence issues against Drogba. Give him a few games and he'll be alright as a back-up defender. He was part of the defence that got us into the Champions League final, after all. He's a decent player. I'd go as far to say that he's probably better than Sol Campbell.

And we've got Silvestre on a 2 year contract, don't we? Didn't we extend his contract? Why the hell did we do that, if we don't think he's better than an over-the-hill, 35 year old who's only been training with us to keep fit? Why did we sign him in the first place?

The only reason I can come up with is that Wenger's feeling nostalgic for the Invincibles. Wenger's not the kind of guy to keep mementoes - he's been quoted as saying that he doesn't even know where his Premier League medals are. But as he gets older and he looks around the dressing room and sees a bunch of kids in puffy parkas with bum-fluff on their faces, I imagine he starts pining for past glories. So it's probably comforting for him to see Sol Capmbell, pull him aside every now and then, and reminisce about a time when they were the kings of the Premier League.


Vertino said...

Weg, the signings of Silvestre and Campbell are more for off the field purposes than off it. I don't for a minute think Wenger dreams of playing both of them in one game.

Silvestre was brought to possibly appease Gallas who at the time was a very angry man. True, it amused most of us including Gallas but experience that Mikel has is invaluable. There aren't many dignified players around that would keep quiet and play with the unknowns like Bartley.

The signing of Campbell for me is more baffling. Because just days ago he could have done the same and brought Vieira. He is English, however, and in defence, the major issue is communication. Sol wasn't much of a talker but given his hunger to make ammends, I think we might see a more determined Sol.

About Senderos, I heard that he still had pain in his right foot which meant he couldn't train as much and certainly not play as much. I'll believe that for now. But if he goes and plays 10 games for the rest of teh season for someone else, I won't be happy.

Connolly's agent said...

I remember someone saying that Silvestre was bought to be Gallas' partner, citing their performance together in the French national team as a reason why Wenger would think they'd be good together. Obviously, it wasn't to be, but it's a interesting idea.

I get the idea of having veterans at the club to give the yuongsters a bit of experience. But considering the kind of money Wenger (should) have at his disposal, he could've bought a defender at his peak and had him make a legitimate contribution on the pitch as well as off it, rather than two over-the-hill defenders who are only good off the field.