A couple of weeks ago I talked about how I thought the Arshavin deal would take until deadline day to be completed, or to fall apart. The reasons were quite simple – it wasn’t in either club’s interest to buckle to the demands of the other. We had no reason to raise our price with no other bidders lurking, especially as the player’s value is dropping with every day he moves closer to contract expiry. Meanwhile, Zenit were giving richer, dafter clubs the opportunity to usurp us.
Now, two days from the deadline there at last seems to be some urgency. There are rumours that he’s flown into London, rumours of a work permit application, with all sides denying anything concrete. The biggest hint, surprisingly, comes from Wenger himself, who quite openly talked about why he wants Arshavin:
“He’s a guy who can go past people in the final third. He can have the key, individually and collectively. “
“He is an experienced player, 27, a good age and we are a very young side. We will not have Fabregas in the next six to eight weeks, we will not have Walcott in the next five weeks, Rosicky in the next eight weeks. “
It is very rare to hear him praise a potential target so clearly, in normal circumstances he prefers to talk about the players already here. Perhaps this one is happening after all.
It remains conjecture, however, and in reality no-one actually knows whether he’ll be an Arsenal player come Monday night. All we can do is wait and see.
In the meantime, we have another important game today, with West Ham coming to the Emirates as perhaps the form team in the Premiership. They’ve made a habit of upsetting us at home in recent years, winning at both Highbury and the Emirates in the past four seasons. Carlton Cole is in excellent form, so our defence has to keep up their recent improvements, although they’ll do so without Djourou, who drops to the bench.
Up front, Van Persie is rested, so Bendtner gets his chance alongside Adebayor, who has not been impressing in recent matches but gets another opportunity to put things right. With Eduardo waiting in the wings, he needs to start raising his game.
Three points today would really put us on the coattails of the rest, and add extra pressure to the game at Anfield tomorrow. Let’s give them something to worry about.
Enjoy the game.