With just over six weeks to go before the January transfer window opens, Arsene Wenger has been in a typically secretive mood:
“I don’t think I will get anybody in but if I get one opportunity in one area then I will not neglect it.”
As usual, this will be interpreted in a number of ways. Does he mean there is one area in particular he would like to strengthen? Does he mean he may strengthen an area, but probably only one, and he hasn’t decided which yet?
Or, as is most likely, is he just not telling us anything?
In January 2006, Wenger said he ‘might’ buy one player. One became three with the spending bringing in Adebayor, Diaby and Walcott.
Last summer, he said he might buy one ‘super player’, and then again, his actions did not match his words, simply tinkering with his squad to find a balance.
So not too much can be read into these statements. I suspect that purchases are not key on his mind right now, but if the right player came along for the right price, he’d move. Which means we can predict all we like, but his transfer dealings will remain secret until they are complete, as usual.
Jens Lehmann is being less deflective about his future plans, making it clear that if he isn’t seeing action by Christmas, he may have to move on:
“Given what the Germany coach says, I will have to see how things are in December.”
“I definitely want to play at Euro 2008. Playing there has always been my aim.”
And that’s exactly what I expect to happen. If he isn’t back in the side by Christmas, which looks unlikely given Almunia’s decent form, then he’ll be off in January. I have no doubt he’ll go in the summer regardless, perhaps even to retire, so he might as well leave and get some football while he can.
And the once proud keeper doesn’t even mind dropping down the leagues:
“The Bundesliga is always attractive and is an option, and maybe the German second division is too.”
Now, last I saw, the bottom half of the Bundesliga was pretty rubbish. I can only imagine the standard once you drop down a league, and I’m not sure that’s what Joachim Low had in mind.
It’s Reading away tonight, in a rare Monday night match, and plenty of players are well rested, nine days after their last match. It is unlikely to be as one-sided as the 4-0 drubbing dished out last season, and with Reading on a three game home winning streak, it won’t be as easy as some believe.
That said, a victory is important to regain the top spot, and with Chelsea dropping more points over the weekend the thoughts of a two horse race akin to a few years back start to return.