The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

Pascal’s Midfielder- Worth a Wager

Matuidi, Vieira to sign?

Quick thoughts:

1. I’ve had my say on Vieira, and my opinion hasn’t changed… unless Matuidi comes as well. If the idea is to have Vieira as spiritual leader and godfather to a young midfield (and not a cheapo starting option), than if Vieira is completely on board with that concept it could be a brilliant move. Risky, dangerous, unlikely to happen…but there’s a real upside if everyone is on the same page. It makes even more sense if Wenger thinks that Song’s future is at least in part at center back.

2. There’s two major downsides and two major upsides to Blaise Matuidi. On the downside he’s again one of the cheapest of all options and paying the quoted price for him would still leave the team heavily in the black for the God-knows-how-manyth transfer window in a row, so some of the serious questions about the club’s financial dealings remain unanswered (not that it’s the job of any one transfer to answer them). He’s also yet another juvenile Frenchman with limited top-level experience and none in the Premier League, so it’s hard to project how he’ll perform especially in year 1. However, those downsides are trumped by two enormous upsides: he solidifies options if nothing else at the defensive midfield position and helps to insure the club against the inevitable plague of injuries which will (and have already begun) to happen; and more importantly than anything else it demonstrates for the first time in God knows how long some real evolution in Arsene Wenger’s thinking towards the ideas that defense matters and sometimes adding to the squad is the answer, or at least part of it.

If these moves happen, and if Matuidi is who Wenger apparently believes him to be, and if he can settle in well, and if Vermaelen can as well, and if there’s a bit of luck with injuries… then Arsenal will win the title this year. No doubt in my mind. Andrey Arshavin is quite possibly the best player in the league; a strong defensive midfielder will give Cesc a chance to be himself again; the defense is finally shot of the never-fully-functional Gallas/Toure pairing; Adepaymore is gone and Eboue is leaving, so the contingent of creeps at the club is the lowest in forever; and the competition through attrition and arrogance is the weakest it’s been in forever. I have not really believed that Arsenal had a serious chance to win the league since the last time they won the league; if these moves happen then this year, I think they do.

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July 31, 2009 - Posted by | The Arsenal | , , , ,

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