Friday, September 2, 2011

And They Have a Plan

photo by dyobmitvia PhotoRee

By Correspondent Ed

I remember with great fondness my deep foray into the world of Battlestar Gallactica (new series) with the new and improved, wicked hot cylon ladies.  I also remember the shows great tagline, repeated at the beginning of each episode just to set the tone:

"The cylons were created by man. 
They evolved. 
They rebelled. 
There are many copies." 
[Then an ominous pause before ……]
"And they have a plan."

Ooooooo, that still makes me shiver a little bit, that whole evil plan stuff.  I mean, they're not just out there trying to get us, they've got a plan, too!  And we don't know what it is!  In the immortal words of Bill Paxton's Private Hudson from the movie Aliens: "Game Over, man!!  We're all gonna die!!"

After watching the beat down of the team formerly known as Arsenal this past Sunday, and after watching Arsene Wenger excuse it at least in part on account of fatigue (so sad), even the most loyal fan of the current manager must be wondering "Does Arsenal have a plan?"

What happened to this big four team that they sold their two best players and then simply banked the money?  Or worse, since when is Arsenal like any other middle of the pack team, just selling players to big clubs?  I expect it from Wigan.  I expect it from Bolton, or even Spurs.  But Arsenal?

Like everyone, after the sale of Fabregas and Nasri for a combined 57 million pounds, I expected Arsensal to make a move for another world class player or two, either at the fomer players' positions or even at some other spot like center back.  If Liverpool is spending the Torres money and then some, wouldn't Arsensal be the team bringing in the the next best thing from La Liga or Serie A?  Well, I guess not unless you consider Mikel Arteta to be that guy.

Let me quickly state the obvious:  he’s not. 

Arteta is a solid player, who at age 29 is on the downward side of his career.  He was a terrific player for Everton, but not a world beater.  He’s kind of like a poor man’s Cesc Fabregas. 

Piers Morgan, an Arsenal fan with a show on CNN that no one watches, did everything but send a posse out to gun down the guy who is arguably the most successful Manager in the team’s history (three premier league titles; four FA Cups).   Piers’ main criticism of Wenger was that he is unable to come to a decision on personnel, and therefore he’s unwilling to move on players until it’s too late. See, e.g., Ashley Cole.

Well, that could be true, but it doesn’t seem to match the facts.  For example, Wenger did move on Bolton’s Gary Cahill, but apparently the offer was so low it only served to insult Bolton's management.  And his move for Arteta was about as fast and furious as it gets.

My point here is this: Arsenal don’t sound like a team with a Manager problem, they sound like a team with a money problem. Arsenal were one of those teams that used to just sweep down all United-like and just take people like Cahill, throwing cash at the feet of the Boltons of the world like a mobster throws cash at the reporter whose camera he just stepped on.  But now, despite desperately needing players, Arsenal pretty much held still and kept a ledger for the year at plus 48 million pounds.

Sadly, I don’t see Arsenal competing for the top four this year, and unless they bring in a great talent during the January transfer window, they seem a team destined for something like 7th place.  This isn’t good for Arsenal, and it’s also not good for the league.  It’s legendary that Arsene Wenger once said after being booed following a 1 - 1 draw with Middlesbrough, “If you eat caviar every day it’s difficult to return to sausages.”  

Lately, sausage seems to be the only thing they’re serving at the Emirates, and even worse, this seems to be according to plan.

This is farlieonfootie for September 2.

1 comment:

  1. Paxton should have won an Oscar for that scene alone. Still an outrage.

    Having run into Correspondent Ed with my entourage at Club Numbb last night at around 4am, I suspect he meant Ashley Young and not Ashley Cole.

    Sincerely to all except FOF (who can suck it!),

    Carlos T.