The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

If You Look Through the Window, You Can See Some Stupid!

I swear, with the holidays over I intend to be a bit less of a lazy sod about writing, especially since the transfer window opening in England means it’s definitely soccer’s stupid season. My basic policy in the window is: unless there’s an actual quote from an actual club representative indicating something to be true, or strong suggestions of a rumor’s being substantiated- such as multiple sources- I’m not going to really touch it. That said, one day in and we’ve already got a live one:

Kolo to leave?

The useful bit here being an actual quote from Peter Hill-Wood indicating an admission of the existence of a transfer request. Is the rest true? Hard to say, but it’s been fairly widely reported, so I’d wager there’s some amount of truth in it, likely wedged down near the bottom. If Kolo actually goes it’s a strange decision to let him leave- it would represent a fairly ruthless ousting of a still-young player who’s meant a great deal to the club with few if any current and reasonable replacements for him (Djourou as a starter maybe, but Silvestre is not acceptable as a backup), and would come at a time when Arsene Wenger has demonstrated less ruthlessness than at really any other time in his Arsenal tenure. Perhaps he’s looking to regain that edge? Obviously we won’t know what’s in Wenger’s mind (or whomever’s- it’s interesting that Wenger did not address this, but PHW did) until the window closes, but I will say I think it would be a mistake to let Kolo go now. He’s clearly better than Silvestre, he may well still be better than Djourou in seasons where he’s not making a comeback from malaria, and the future of Gallas remains up in the air. I would worry about this becoming a re-run of Diarra and Flamini, in which a decision is made in favor of the more uncertain of two options who then departs, leaving a great hole in his wake.

If this does result in Kolo leaving, it will bring a great deal of attention back towards William Gallas and his role at the club. A huge number of fans remain very wary of a player closely identified with Chelsea and his level of influence on Arsenal’s makeup; and with Cesc out and the recent Gallas love-in in the press from some players suggesting that he’s moving back towards a leadership role, there’s going to be some anger if he’s seen to be contributing to the marginalization and forcing out of a player like Toure- one of the last close links to the last great Arsenal team. In good times, that would be forgotten and overlooked for better or worse, no matter how much people like to talk about The Arsenal Way; but in times like this, perceived to be lean by many, it won’t be so easily done. The cost for keeping Toure may be partly paid in dressing-room unrest, but the prie of letting him go will be partly paid in fan anger.

In other news, let me get on record saying I’d prefer Arteta to Arshavin on grounds that maybe Cesc would like another Spainard to play with, he’ll need no adjustment period, he takes free kicks well, and if he’s 8 million cheaper as reported than that’s another player’s worth of funds that can be used to fill another hole. And anyone who pays the least amount of attention to the Wenger/Madrid talk should go back to bed until they sober up.

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January 1, 2009 - Posted by | The Arsenal

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