Archive for April 28th, 2010

“If I have the opportunity to blog one season about Barcelona, it would be the peak of my career.”

12 comments April 28th, 2010

The blogosphere was up in arms yesterday as Andrey Arshavin declared his interest in playing for Barcelona:

“If I have the opportunity to play one season in Barcelona, it would be the peak of my career.”

Now, this is clearly a hypothetical statement. Arshavin turns 29 before the start of next season, and knows that his chance to play for Barca has all but gone.  They have younger, fitter, superior players.  I’m not going to hang Arshavin out to dry based on what was doubtless a whimsical notion.

What I will concede, however, is that I’d prefer Arshavin to have said, “I want to help make Arsenal as good as Barcelona”. I don’t have a problem with his admiration for their ability.  In fact, I empathise.  But I wouldn’t say:

“If I have the opportunity to blog one season about Barcelona, it would be the peak of my career.”

Instead, I just hope that Arsenal will one day return to that level.  Arshavin is in the position of being able to actually do something about it – by getting out there on the pitch and attempting to emulate the Catalans he’s so enamoured with.

Many fans are tiring of Arshavin’s outspoken nature, but I think that when you step back from it all he’s often just telling the truth.  Selling a player of his experience and quality is not what we need at this stage in the team’s development.

What we could do with, however, is a goalkeeper.  One of the current incumbents, Lukasz Fabianski, seems much better at taking criticism than he is at taking crosses:

“Every supporter has the right to give their opinion. I’m not stupid and I realise that incidents like the one at Wigan make other things appear less significant and that these are the things people remember.”

Funny that, isn’t it. Just like how people will remember the time Eyjafjallajoekull erupted and threatened to throw a spanner in the works of several thousand planes, rather than the few hundred years it sat dormant. If only we could get away with claiming that Fabianski’s antics were acts of God – they’re the responsibility of the man who continues to pick him, Arsene Wenger.  Jens Lehmann has never been replaced, and that situation is now costing us not only points, but trophies.

Speaking of keepers, if City are allowed to either forcibly recall Joe Hart or sign a new goalkeeper, the existing transfer system will be seriously undermined.  What is the risk in loaning out a player if you can just call him back or draft in a replacement when required?  You’ll be better off managing a tiny squad of 18 or so players and then appealing for “emergency” dispensation to sign someone every time a couple of players end up on the treatment table.  Arsene will be licking his lips – imagine the wages saved!

Belated congratulations to Cesc Fabregas and Thomas Vermaelen on making the PFA Team of the Year, at a ceremony where the PFA Player of the Year, 24 year-old Wayne Rooney, was beaten to the award for the Young Player of the Year by 24 year-old James Milner.  The team of the year is interesting: Branislav Ivanovic’s inclusion points to the fact that it’s not been a vintage year for right-backs, whilst 25-goal Frank Lampard might feel the slightest bit narked at having missed out to Darren “Hatchet Man” Fletcher.

You can tell the season is starting to wind down: we’re running out of things to talk about.  Well don’t you worry – the transfer window is on the way…

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