Sunday salutations. So today wasn’t nearly as good as yesterday, both weather-wise and as far as our rivals dropping points is concerned.
It rained all morning, then, despite John Terry compounding last week’s embarrassing half-time removal by getting himself sent-off at the Hawthorns this afternoon, West Brom being awful at football meant they couldn’t capitalize on their numerical advantage for most of the second half and lost 3-2.
To make matters worse, over at Goodison park, Man City continued their perfect start to the new season by beating Everton 2-0. Even without Kevin de Bruyne, the best performer in the Bundesliga last term according to most observers, who’s strongly rumoured to be signing for City before the close of the transfer window, they’ll be difficult to keep up with, if the first three games are anything to go by. Their starting eleven is already pretty scary and they boast depth no other squad in England can come close to matching.
Unless of course we decide to sign a defensive midfielder like the highly-rated Krychowiak from Sevilla and a long-sought, deadly, world class striker. Then, I think, with everyone fit our squad would look almost as frightening as City’s, and more games would be won in the tunnel before kick-off through postural intimidation, like in the good, old Vieira era. One steely stare from Cavani would make opponents instantly sh*t themselves and the game would be mentally won before it had begun.
In seriousness though, we do need an upgrade at centre forward if we use, say, Sergio Aguero as the benchmark. Yet finding another player of similar striking pedigree, let alone one who is available for purchase, is clearly a very difficult task – something Arsene Wenger again highlighted at his pre-match press conference on Friday:
There’s a shortage in the world (of number nines). It confirms what I just said, that there’s a difference between financial power nowadays and the availability of top-class players. It is simple. For any deal, when you want to buy something you go to see the owner and if he doesn’t want to sell, he doesn’t want to sell. You cannot buy. In our job it is exactly like that. When the players are not free you cannot buy them because it’s the club who decides, the person who owns the contract who decides. In Europe you have maybe 15 clubs with a huge financial resource.
We’ve all been over the usual candidates countless times, the likes of Cavani, Higuain, Benzema etc, but the alternative, if none of the ready-made ones are attainable, is to try to unearth the next top striker. Leading up to the winter window late last year, Paulo Dybala was linked with a move to Arsenal from Palermo and is tipped by many to be the next great Argentine striker.
Of course there’s no way of knowing for certain if we were definitely interested, but I think it was the Palermo owner who revealed our interest in the player, which is as close to confirmation as you could ask for in these matters. And although Dybala’s since opted to remain in Italy and joined Juventus, his consideration as an addition does suggest Arsene has been searching for an Ajax Suarez or a Palermo Cavani.
With changes to work permit rules taking effect this summer, which I believe basically mean any player costing ten million pounds or more is automatically eligible to play in England, perhaps Arsene should act like Denzil Washington in American Gangster and go straight to the source.
Why not cut out the traditional launch pads for south Americans in Europe, like Porto and Palermo, and buy the most promising, available, young forward playing in undeniably the most prolific footballing continent when it comes to producing great strikers?
Don’t ask me which players exactly, because that’s not my job for one, and coverage of the Latin American leagues is still pretty limited in the UK. But I’d wager there’s at least a few soon-to-be world class strikers rising up the ranks at places like River Plate, Peñarol and São Paulo and if we don’t have scouts in place who can identify them, then we should get some, because it would be a whole lot easier than scouring a European market, where demand currently far exceeds supply.
By the way, if anyone from the club is reading, I’m ready and available to be stationed in Gremio to look out for the next Ronaldinho. Just saying.
See you next week.