Missed targets – Do we really care?

There was a good two-week period at the start of the transfer window when Arsenal looked set to capture an unknown Argentinian player by the name of Ricardo ‘Ricky’ Alvarez from Velez Sarsfield. The noises coming from the player, his club and other interested parties was that the deal was all but wrapped up and the attacking midfielder was on his was to Ashburton Grove.

So for a week or two we sat and waited, watching and re-watching a nine minute YouTube clip of the player, trading whispers that this guy was going to be the new Freddie Ljungberg and growing increasingly impatient that the deal wasn’t being concluded quickly enough.

Rumours began to circulate that the gunners were not prepared to pay Velez Sarsfield the full £10m* they wanted, *depending on who you believe. Some people started to get a bit edgy and the club was being urged to stump up the cash to get the deal done, no one wanted to see a repeat of the Mark Schwarzer debacle.

Suddenly the whole thing was over & Alvarez had signed for Internatzionale

Fast forward a couple of weeks and from out of the blue Arsenal were being linked with an even lesser known player – Costa Rican striker Joel Campbell.

Our interest in the 19-year-old was initially broadcast via Twitter by Gunnerblog and the usual flurry of chatter began, and before Campbell’s father Humberto could start flirting with anyone with a cheque book many Arsenal fans were claiming it was a done deal, that Campbell would be a direct replacement for Nicklas Bendtner (despite doubts over the South Americans eligibility for a UK work permit) and that he was the new Nicolas Anelka. 

Guess what happened next… Yep… Other clubs started to show an interest and the move slowed down. Arsenal supporters once again started to voice their dissatisfaction at the clubs supposed inability to wrap a deal up quickly. Then BAM! Arsenal pull out of negotiations after the player & his representatives failed to attend a scheduled meeting with Arsenal’s Dick Laws. 

It appears that the player and his father were playing silly buggers and have either been wooed by another club or are holding out until they are. *Reportedly Manchester United

Unsurprisingly the cacophony of doom mongers drowned out the sound of rational thought and debate and the club were again being criticised for their transfer dealings.

Now don’t get me wrong, the perceived lack of transfer activity has certainly aggravated me over the course of the summer – I’ve even written about it but…

While an apparent reluctance to stump up the required cash or to just simply pull our finger out and get on with the signing of an established Premier League centre half that we desperately require is undoubtably frustrating, missing out on a couple of players who the vast majority of us had never heard of a short time ago, let alone seen play or dreamed of seeing in an Arsenal shirt, is no great travesty and shouldn’t be viewed as such.

At the moment it is easy to become annoyed at every single so-called failure on the part of the club and the manager, I’m often as guilty as most, but let’s be honest do any of us really give a tiny little rats arse about these two players?

Now, with regards to a centre half – whilst there are still plenty of whispers in regard to Bolton & England’s Gary Cahill as well as Chris Samba at Blackburn & Everton’s Phil Jagielka and almost certainly a requirement for us to add depth in this department, Kyle Bartley has spoken of his determination to break into the Arsenal first team.

I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t be going after at least one of the above mentioned defenders but at the same time I really would like to see Bartley given a chance this season, especially if it’s at the expense of Sebastian Squillaci. The reports of his time on loan at both Sheffield United & Rangers were very positive. In fact both sides expressed a very strong interest in another loan spell or indeed a permanent move.

Bartley has said that Wenger is reluctant to sanction another loan move at the moment and that he wants to step up and make it into the first team – that is the kind of positive attitude our squad needs. The 20-year-old has returned to the club for pre season training after recovering from the medial ligament injury which dampened the end of his time north of the border and he was subsequently left out of the Asia tour in order to work on fitness and form part of Neil Banfields pre season Arsenal XI.  After completing 45 minutes against Woking last Friday & playing the full ninety minutes against Hastings last night he’ll now hope to travel to Germany and face Cologne this Saturday & play some part in the Emirates Cup the following weekend.

The club is often criticised for its failure to produce quality defenders so it would be disappointing to see Bartley denied the chance of breaking this mould.

Thanks for reading.

Up The Arsenal!


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