First things first – the op went well and I will play amateur football again!
It has been a quite tremendous week of World Cup football with goals a plenty as well as plenty of rumours. There’s only one place to start however and that is with the what seems to be a long drawn out transfer process, containing several moving parts and once again Luis Suarez. For our part in the whole saga, for once, seems to be a side note rather than the main event. We are obviously trying to do everything to get our hands on Alexis Sanchez. Liverpool are doing everything in their power to get around £50m + Alexis Sanchez for the bitey one. What Alexis Sanchez wants we don’t yet know. Barcelona don’t seem to care where Sanchez goes, however with the whole Fabregas saga turning out the way it did, with it not going 100% to plan for both parties involved, they may well be thinking they don’t want to do any business with us if at all possible. This might strike you as unlike the way Barcelona do things, however their image as a club has been slowly diminishing in the eyes of the public and form my personal view has completely evapourated. The whole way they acted in getting Cesc there in the first instance only to throw him away as the scapegoat is testament to the way the club has recently behaved. I digress…
There have been a fair few Twitter sources mentioning the Sanchez to Arsenal story including Goal.com and Sporting Witness – not always 100% on the money as you know. However Guillem Ballague has been tweeting about his knowledge on proceedings regarding the above and has said that Alexis Sanchez doesn’t seem to be a part of the deal for Suarez, which can only be good news for us. In addition this is a guy who does seem to know his stuff, especially where transfers involving Spanish clubs are concerned. What worries me about his comments are that Juventus are also involved with interest even though we have a personal agreement with the player. It may seem like a journalist erring on the side of caution to have a fallback for a story, however as Sanchez has played in Italy before it is something that cannot be discounted. His most recent comments lean towards us having only to match Barcelona’s evaluation in order to complete the deal. If that is the case then it seems a few i’s and t’s require crossing before the deal is complete *don’t think about Higuain, don’t think about Higuain, don’t think about Higuain*.
In other transfer news, and by news I mean rumour, it seems that we are close to having a replacement for Bacary Sagna in Matthieu Debuchy. Solid, experience, French – fits in perfectly. I think that it was always going to be difficult to replace a great right back but I this happens then I don’t think that we can be too displeased. I do think that Wenger is thinking about the development of Hector Bellerin and Carl Jenkinson with this signing in mind. I say that as having seen a few youth/reserve team games last season, Bellerin looks like a real prospect. I truly feel that him and Jenkinson will be the future right hand side for us for many years to come, which is why Wenger may well opt for Debuchy over someone as young as Serge Aurier. He wouldn’t want to ‘kill’ Bellerin after all…
Moving onto the defensive midfielder conundrum, various stories are circulating with regards to Morgan Schneiderlin and Sami Khedira. Either would be great for us, my personal preference would be Khedira for his Champions League experience. This is a very short term view but I think that if we plan for the future all over the park we may not have the ‘experience’ to cross the line when it matter most – towards the end of the season. That is pretty much where all of Arsenal fans have been living this week, feeding off the little transfer gossip that is around so I think it’s time to move on to the World Cup.
There have been some great world cup games this week, some absolute beauties and the two days without football have been agony. Wimbledon can only do so much as to filling the void of football. A truly great game this week was for sure the Belgium 2-1 USA game. One of the best 0-0’s followed by brilliant drama in extra time. I really wanted the USA to pull off an upset due to the fact that they were a brilliant team to watch with such high energy throughout. Belgium, though, had just a bit too much quality over the course of 120 minutes. How about that substitute right back for the States though? Yedlin…Sign him up Wenger! The kid looked awesome, high energy and looked quicker than Walcott. He looked OK defensively but seeing a guy have one good game is different to consistency I guess…he does look a real talent though. Moving onto the quarter finals and we had a belter with Brazil ousting Columbia, but only just! A brilliant advertisement for the world cup as a whole, the refereeing aside, which was atrocious and led the players to believe that they could get away with anything. If the ref will continue in giving people ‘one more foul’ they will continue fouling. This in turn led to the 2 best players on the pitch suffering from some pretty awful tackles throughout. It really is a shame that Columbia had to bow out as we will no longer see James Rodriguez helping to light up the tournament – something he has quite refreshingly done so.
So we have a lineup of Germany v Brazil & Argentina v Holland. Two great games in prospect, however I can’t help but feel that the European teams have been stifling the opposition and been fairly boring to watch. A Germany v Holland final would be a truly dull affair only to be lit up by breaks in play through aggressiveness. I feel the best final that the competition and the people watching it deserve has to be Brazil v Argentina. The home nation against a Messi led Argentina. In Brazil. I know it feels as though if this game were to happen there would be a whole lot of trouble that followed. However I think with Neymar’s injury and Thiago Silva’s suspension for the Semi Final the Brazilian fans almost seem accepting that it couldn’t be there year. I guess that may help the situation, however if we think about the Arsenal missing Mesut Ozil against Sp*rs and losing being OK I can pretty quickly surmise that the Brazilians will not be happy or even remotely accepting if Argentina beat them on home soil.
Enjoy your week ahead and let’s hope we’re toasting Alexis Sanchez this time next week.