If you looked at a graphic of all the teams in the Premier League and how many players have been brought in, you would think that it was the middle of June, not the beginning of August. And by that I mean if you look at Arsenal’s transfer record it looks like the middle of June.
The Emirates Cup starts tomorrow with Porto playing Galatasaray followed by Arsenal v Napoli. It should be an exciting encounter; much more exciting than playing against Vietnam and the Indonesia XI. Arsenal still haven’t opened their bank account for the new season, but one player who was linked heavily with joining the club is set to play tomorrow. That’s right, Gonzalo Higuain. Everyone made it seem very plausible that the only destination for Higuain was Arsenal. Arsenal supposedly struck a deal with the player and were making encouraging talks with Real Madrid before Cavani left to PSG. After that, Real believed that they can get more money from Napoli and the rest was history. Higuain did end up leaving for £34m, which is a price that I believe is too high for him. Then again, we could have bid that and then have more money to sign other players, like Fellaini.
Wenger had his pre-match press conference today, in which he addressed the Luis Suarez situation:
“The transfer window finishes on August 31 and we are working very hard to strengthen the squad,” he said.
“I don’t want to speak about Suarez because that’s between Liverpool and Arsenal.
“We completely respect what Liverpool wants to do. And we want to do that, if it’s feasible, in an amicable way. We have to keep as much as confidentiality as possible.”
I have always had a high respect for Wenger because of his professionalism. He is never going to come out and say something to make things heat up, something that managers like Mourinho would do. Although, at times you wish he would be a bit more precise and authoritative over things, you have to admire the way he handles ambiguous situations. His comments about keeping it with Liverpool alone may explain the reason why you haven’t been hearing news about it every single day, compared to a certain over-rated-priced chimpanzee.
One of the main concerns with Suarez is his discipline, another matter that Wenger spoke about:
‘We have values that we want our players to respect. No matter where they come from we will be of course very touchy on that.
‘This club has built a reputation not only over my years here but over 130 years, and values that are very important for this club have to be respected by every player, no matter where they come from.
‘And that will be with every potential signing.’
If Suarez does join, one of the reasons why I wouldn’t be as worried is because of Arsene Wenger. He hasn’t let players become bigger than the club, act in childish manners, or do anything that a professional shouldn’t do. The last player that I remember acting in that sort of way was William Gallas. Do you remember what happened to old Willy? He was stripped of his captaincy due to his public attack on the team. Wenger took immediate action and was dropped and stripped of the captain’s armband. If Suarez acts in some fashion that is disrespectful to the club, I am sure that some punishment will be in order.
Arsenal legend Ian Wright has also spoken upon the proposed deal:
“I’d welcome him at Arsenal with open arms,” Wright told BBC Sport.
“But if I was Suarez, when you look at everything, it does seem strange he would want to go to Arsenal. I would give Liverpool another season.”
“Gerrard is not someone who comes out and says things flippantly,” said Wright, who scored 185 goals in 288 appearances for Arsenal.
“If you look at Arsenal – not won anything in eight years, just challenging for fourth place, not really any players there who will make him say ‘I’m going to play with him and him’ – Gerrard has got a point.”
Suarez must have some reason why he would want to join Arsenal. Is it because of Champions League football? Is it because of Arsenal’s future? Or is it because of Liverppol’s change kit? The latter seems to be the most likely to me. Anyways, he could be the first of many big signings at Arsenal, or he could not join and be the first of big players that we have failed to sign. Hopefully the solution is reached sooner rather than later, like inbetween Liverpool’s first game and Arsenal first game. That way he could knock out two of the six games in one day (I don’t think that’s possible)!
Finally, Arsenal’s big summer singing Yaya Sanogo is set to make his debut this weekend. He’s another player that Wenger has spoken of:
‘Sanogo will surprise you, because your expectation doesn’t look to be high. He will not surprise me because my expectation is very high. He’s a top class striker.
My expectation for him is high. He is one of the best young players in football manager (a game which Wenger needs to play more of). He did do very well for France in the Euros this Summer, so I expect him to pick up where he left off. My instant reaction when I see him is that we have signed another Kanu or Adebayor like player. The boy is tall and has those long legs like the Kanu and Adebayor. Let’s hope that he has a better career here than both of them, as neither Kanu nor Adebayor really became great players for the club. Kanu did have some magnificent moments, like the hat trick at Stamford Bridge, but he failed to become an in and out starter for the side. Adebayor had some great moments for Arsenal as well, like when he left. Speaking of Kanu, yesterday was his birthday. He turned 24.
I’ll hopefully be able to watch the Emirates Cup tomorrow and then write a match report after the game. Have a good day.