Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Eisfeld signs and prepares the way for Gotze? -Rosicky to start tonight?

Morning Gooners.

It seems like it is pretty much a case of as you were when I return from a few days of not blogging. Yes, we've signed one player - Thomas Eisfeld from Borussia Dortmund on the ubiquitous "long term contract" - and let another leave on loan - Ryo Miyaichi going to Bolton until the end of the season - but Arsene Wenger  has done no real business this transfer window.

Thierry Henry has joined of course and we all knew we needed cover for Robin van Persie while Marouane Chamakh and Gervinho were at the Africa Cup of Nations. But as I think we all except, the signing of Henry has papered over a number of cracks which we can all see in this squad.

I'm sure the manager isn't blind to the fact this squad has deficiencies. We have been hampered by injuries in the last two months especially and have been without Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby (apart from his cameo appearances against Fulham and Borussia Dortmund) for the whole of the season.

Could we have done with more reinforcements in January? Yes certainly, would be my answer. Could we afford to do those deals. Again, the answer would have to be yes. So why haven't we?

Well the manager says it's down to the fact that the global football economy has been shot to pieces by the recession.

He said:
"I don't know if you have seen the numbers in Europe but there are 1.6bn Euro losses [among football clubs, according to a Uefa report], that's not debt but losses. 
"That is absolutely amazing. That means tomorrow if you had to stop your activity, half of Europe would be bankrupt.  
"It means that football has to respond and I don’t know if financial fair play will come in, but it looks like economically the whole of Europe is becoming a bit more cautious."
I'm not an economist, but surely this is the best time for Arsenal to invest their cash in new players who they would be able to prize away from their current clubs for less than the market rate - especially if these clubs are in financial difficulty.

Instead of making the big money signing of Mario Gotze, we sign Esfild. Instead of bringing Eden Hazard to the club last summer, we snap up Gervinho. I'm not saying either of our two signings are bad players, but when we were linked with the creme da la creme it's a bit disappointing to end up with those who played a supporting role.

Perhaps Wenger has chosen not to make any signings now because he wants to leave the cash for the next person who will fill the manager's hot seat at the Grove - be that in the summer or when he retires. Perhaps he knows he's got a huge rebuilding job to do this summer when Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott leave. There could be the fact that none of the players he wanted to sign were available in this window and that he will have to wait until June to do the business he really wanted to do now.

It seems we're still no closer to knowing who Theirry Henry will be taking the place of in our Premier League squad.

Anyway there is a game tonight, so we must look forward to that.

The early team news is positive. We have no new injuries from the Villa game last weekend. The manager made decide to give Bacary Sagna a start. He also has Johan Djourou, Mikel Arteta and Thierry Henry available.

I expect the line up to be very much the same from the one which started at the weekend, with a couple of changes.

Szczesny - Coquelin - Mertesacker - Koscielny - Vermaelen - Song - Arteta - Walcott - Rosicky - Oxlade Chamberlain - van Persie.

I can see the manager giving Aaron Ramsey a rest and against Villa, I thought Rosicky had an excellent game. We certainly need to pick up three points tonight. Zero league points in January really isn't good enough.

Where ever you're watching the game, let's get behind this team. They need our support more than ever now.

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