Sunday, July 27, 2014

Transfer Reflections



So Arsenal played New York Red Bulls and I have no comments to make except that Titi's still got it. Playing a slightly more withdrawn role, and without that legendary pace, Henry still had a telling contribution to make and is evidence of the fact that class is well and truly permanent. He played a role in the winning (and only goal) against us in what was otherwise another, slightly dull (you know it was, even though Henry was there) pre-season friendly. There was some form of negative reaction on twitter, but that's sort of the expected reaction on twitter anyway. The smallest of things get a negative reaction on a twitter. I suppose realising the fact that it's a meaningless game, simply to improve player fitness, and improve the Arsenal brand, isn't meant for a lot of people on twitter. Oh well, we live in a world where Piers Morgan is allowed to speak. 

In actual news, Arsenal officially confirmed the signing of David Ospina from Nice (what a cool club name, OGC Nice. If someone asks you what club do you support, the response could be: 'I like Nice'/ 'I support Nice'/ 'You know Nice? It's a nice club'). With Fabianski departing some time back, we needed a back up keeper, and in David Ospina we arguably have an upgrade. Szczesny will of course be the No. 1 keeper at the club, but in bringing Ospina, Wenger has added some great competition to the goalkeeping position. Ospina is a year older than Szczesny, and he and Szczesny can fight for the keeper's job for years to come. Some may say it's harsh on Szczesny, but I think it's harsh on David. He's joining the club in the prime of his career, after a great World Cup, and he's going to compete against a player who in my opinion is at his best when competing. We've seen this before. In the 2012-2013 season, he had several underwhelming displays, was dropped in favour of Fabianski, and returned in magnificent fashion. He also had arguably his best season in an Arsenal shirt last season, and the genuine competition is going to make him a much better keeper in my opinion. 
Plus, after Chelsea (with Cech and Courtois), Arsenal arguably has the best set of keepers in the Premier League. My, have we come a long way from the days of Almunia and Fabianski. 

The transfer of Ospina is another definite sign that this season, Arsenal and Arsene Wenger mean business. Thus far we've brought in Sanchez, Debuchy and Ospina, and it doesn't seem as if we're done with our dealings in the transfer market. When you look at the fact that we've already bought a genuine world class star, an upgrade on the right back position, and an upgrade on the backup keeper position, it's hard to not be excited as to what maybe in store for the fans. It was only 3 years ago, that we brought in players like Park Chu Young, Benayoun and Andre Santos on deadline day. 3 years later, it's only July and we already have 3 brilliant signings, and to say that the club has come on in leaps and bounds, would be quite an understatement. Our transfer season isn't quite over as yet, and a holding midfielder and a defender would be ideal. But an FA Cup winning team and one which finished 7 points behind the title holders, has already been improved to a great degree. Even if we were to buy no more (which I doubt), we'd still have a fantastic squad. 

Sanchez of course is the player we're most excited to watch in action, and while he may start on the flanks, it's almost guaranteed that he's bound to play up top at some point in time. Arsene Wenger's comments hinted that he saw Sanchez as a striker, and hopefully he will make as much of an impact as our illustrious former strikers. 
I haven't written much about Debuchy simply because I haven't seen as much of him as I would have liked. But from what I've seen, and what I've read, he's quite a solid right back. He may not be as consistent as Sagna, but he's got better stats, is better from an attacking point of view and clearly Deschamps thinks he's better than Sagna (although Deschamps also thinks Sakho is better than Koscielny). A lot of our play over the years has initiated with Szczesny kicking the ball long, and Sagna winning the subsequent aerial duel, and Debuchy is a player who can do the exact same kind of thing. 

Coming to transfer rumours, David Ornstein of the BBC is reporting that the Calum Chambers deal is expected to be announced on Monday. I wrote earlier about Chambers, and while there seems to be no doubt that he would constitute an exciting signing, I can't help but worry about Jenkinson. There's a lot of teams who want him on loan, and we'll just have to wait and see what happens. 

That's it for now I suppose. Until next time.