Sorry for not writing in over a week, it’s crazy, but I actually don’t make my living talking and writing about soccer, insane right?!? I was whisked away to a far off land last week for some business. I have now returned, to find the dust settling on a transfer window that has left our fan base torn, confused, frustrated, and in some cases hysterical.
The window shut Monday evening with Arsenal snagging Danny Welbeck from Manchester United. Snagging may not be the right word. Welbeck, well aware he wasn’t going to get time as a center forward in the next half-decade with Rooney, RVP, and Falcao ahead of him, sought out a club that might be a better fit. We may never know how much van Gaal rates Welbeck, but from the legions of United supporters on twitter, reddit, and facebook the move away from Manchester has not been received well.
Enter Arsenal. Yes there were other suitors, but from what the “respected” journos tell us, he only wanted Arsenal. With Giroud injured, Sanogo raw, and the remaining cast either injured, better suited out wide, or of the “false” variety, Welbeck has in my opinion, what my father would say, the knife and cheese in hand. From the portuguese expression “a faca e o queijo na mão.”
The opportunity is present for DW (not Welbz, never Welbz) to become Arsenal’s number 1 starting center forward. At least until Giroud returns in early 2015. With service from Ozil, Ramsey, Sanchez, Cazorla, and company, something he was never really afforded at Manchester United, the 23 year-old Englishman should be able to find his footing with Arsenal, and perhaps his career. I have never really rated the man myself, sharing the same sentiment as my good friend and Manchester United supporter Dave (@socceryankdave) who typically describes DW as a scorer of great goals, not a great goal scorer. But as karma has it, he is now an Arsenal player, as with any player that dons the cannon on his chest, he will have my support.
The comparisons are also coming in from media and fans alike. “He can be our Sturridge. He just needs a real opportunity, and a manager to believe in him.” I’ve also heard the Diego Costa comparison, the one that didn’t find his place until his mid-twenties. And then what every fanbase does, looks within to reincarnate and project onto their new signing the moniker of a club legend, in our case, Thierry Henry. It makes for nice copy, both 23 when arriving at Arsenal, both widely played out of position and not afforded the opportunity to shine. Can he match Henry’s technical ability? I’m not bold or brash enough to even come close to saying out loud Danny Welbeck is the next Thierry Henry (it took twenty minutes just to type that), but the iron is hot, and I suppose, it could very well be his time to strike.
For Arsenal’s business as a whole, I think the media spun and intensified hysteria has taken hold of far too many normally level-headed supporters. It is hard to grade a transfer window in the short-term, and I would agree with most, that we are likely still short a defensive player. But what drives me up the wall is the insistence that the club is completely incompetent in its transfer activity. For a fan, with no inside knowledge of the real, not the mouthpiece journalist spin, but the actual inner-workings of the negotiation process claiming that the club didn’t do this or that, for this reason or that reason, I find laughable. None of us have this information, nor does the club want us to have this information. The insistence that twitter knows more than the whole of the club and it’s manager is arrogant at the minimum.
I’ll leave discussion on the window at this, if we had made the same exact signings but in reverse order, Welbeck, Chambers, Ospina, Debuchy, and closed out with Sanchez, would most be complaining right now?
Enjoy the doldrums of the break,
Up the Arsenal!