Ignorance Is Bliss: More Thoughts From Arsenal’s Transfer Window


I’ve been marooned in the Austrian mountains for the past six days. I didn’t hear or see a kick at Old Trafford. All I was privy to was the fact that Coquelin started and that we were 3-1 down at half time with RVP having missed a pen. I then found out the full time result.

I was one lucky Gooner. I had the opportunity to completely switch off from the result, with panoramic views, dunkel Weiss bier and great company to keep me from having to analyse what an almost unbelievable spanking that was.

My BlackBerry wouldn’t pick up any local networks for some bizarre reason, which was just as well. I haven’t seen any press, looked at twitter or read any blogs until looking anxiously at deadline day in hope that we’d armed ourselves with the know-how and skill required to lift the team having lost Cesc and Na$ri and suffered a (Udinese aside) woeful start to the season.

No marquee signings, no breaking of club transfer records, and none of the players that we have all been hearing we would sign (aside from late whispers on Mertesacker), but reflecting on the late business, I believe Wenger, Gazidis and his Highbury House team did well given the circumstances.

As I’ve written my fair share of transfer pieces this pre-season I’m gonna put my two euros worth forward on the players acquired since the sale of Na$ri.

Regular followers and readers will know that I have been championing us to sign Arteta all pre-season (and the past two pre-seasons also) as he offers proven Premier League quality. He’s the right age too (29), and although he has no full international experience, he plays the Arsenal way, has that arrogant, mean streak that all good played have and possesses something we have lacked for years; consistent quality from dead balls.

Jack and Rambo will learn from Arteta also; a great addition in my opinion.

I’m relieved that we’ve signed a left back, and one with a lot of experience also. We were watching Jose Enrique for a long time and were set to bid, but for reasons only Wenger can answer (probably a gut feeling that managers have with transfer targets) that bid did not happen. People within the club I spoke to after Enrique had joined Liverpool were bemused.

Gibbs started the season with promise, but then came the prerequisite injury, so the capture of Santos – international tournament experience with Brazil, Champions League experience with Fenerbahce – is a good move. He’s quick, tough and with 10 goals in two seasons in Turkey offers a goal threat. Again, something we haven’t had from left back for years – Silvinho?

The signing of Benayoun will certainly have some Gooners moaning, but there’s no doubting his technical ability, versatility and experience.

Wenger was close to signing Benayoun when he left West Ham for Liverpool, and has long been an admirer of the Israeli international. He’ll provide needed experienced cover and competition and will mean that we won’t have to rely on out of form squad players to come in from the cold.

I spoke of Arsenal having a summer exodus back in April. At the time of hearing this, I hoped, as Wenger did, that Cesc and $amir were not two of those that would leave the club, but these situations were out of control. Cesc went home, Wenger couldn’t persuade him to give him ‘one more’ one more year and the Board called rank on Wenger to sell Na$ri, which has resulted in good business given that for the fee received for the grabby Frenchman, we have signed Arteta, Gervinho and Park Chu-Young, whilst not having to pay £90k a week to a player quite clearly motivated by money.

The Mertesacker deal was headline news in Germany. German sports channels covered the transfer in depth (yes, that’s all I had in the Austrian mountains), indicating the high regard Germany has for one of the first names on their national team sheet.

It was clear that Jagielka was the number one target, but with Everton wanting £18m and seemingly not budging, plus Bolton playing transfer roulette and holding onto Cahill despite Arsenal’s advances, the move for the German ‘defensive pole’ also looks like good business at £9m.

At 6ft6, he could be the player to galvanise our defence when bombarded with set pieces and balls into the box.

When looking at the squad there is now a nice blend of experience and youth. Time will tell if they can gel in time to make this season something other than a transition. We have money in the bank to invest in the M’Vila’s and Hazard’s, or maybe even the Cahill’s if necessary.

It’s been a testing time for the club of late, but with so many new faces and a huge array of talent at the club, the next few months are, for me, exciting.

Let’s forget all the shit and move FORWARD with players that want to play and win for Arsenal football club.