Tottenham v. Arsenal
Although it seems Tottenham accomplished a steal from Arsenal by signing Schalke 04′s Lewis Holtby, it does not mean much for the clubs in the near future. Holtby is a great prospect, but did Arsenal really want another mid-field player not yet ready to deal with the rigors of the English game? Especially when the defense continues to be the main problem in the team as it has been since 2006. I remember when Holtby took the Bundesliga by storm during a season-long loan with FSV Mainz 05 in 2010-11, but two seasons on and he still is not the finished product. If Arsenal finish above Spurs, maybe the transfer could prove a mid-season mental lapse on the part of Holtby and his agent.
Chamakh to Hammers
Is anyone else just a little disappointed to see Marouane Chamakh given the chance to leave Arsenal? It feels like a let down from all sides. He came for free (Arsene Wenger at work) and he started his Arsenal career banging in goals. Then suddenly Robin van Persie returned. Wenger labeled the young man bristling with confidence “tired” and he shut down completely afterwards, never again to discover the free-scoring form that sparked the interest from the club in the first place. Hopefully this is not the end of his stay with the Gunners. I imagine him getting games under Sam Allardyce because he fits the West Ham coach’s game plan. But instead of Chamakh lining up next to Giroud, a successful combination in the thrilling 7-5 victory over Reading in the Capital One Cup, he will potentially line up alongside the likes of Andy Carroll or Carlton Cole. Those partnerships will be great at heading balls on or down and linking play. In all sincerity, I hope he menaces defenses and fights for a starting place at a club with less forward options than Arsenal.
Who is an Arsenal Target?
Fair play to Everton and West Bromwich this season for causing Arsenal a real crisis and competition for a finish in the top four, but I cannot see a Chelsea team led by Rafael Benitez finishing higher than in sixth place like last season. And as far as Spurs are concerned, I like to think about Jack Wilshere’s bet from last season. But who will Arsenal sign in January to sustain the squad? Will they be projects, or players ready to step into the squad rotation? If anything, bring back Denilson from his loan. Offload Johan Djourou (who is close to leaving anyway) and why not try to bring in the mercurial Mario Balotelli or Wesley Sneijder? Is it really worth signing an unknown and risk ending up in a tournament as undesirable as the Europa League?. Isn’t it troubling that Wenger admitted that the club never had interest in Michu? It sounds like an admission of guilt from a manager always trying to find a bargain. If the bargain bin has dried up for the scouts of the club why not look to bring in just one strong, tried and tested player? Why not make a play for Everton’s Leighton Baines before a Manchester club makes a bid?