January Transfer Mayhem – Are you ready?

This morning I found myself in a greasy spoon in Waterloo reading the Sun. The backpage was dominated by two stories. The first, Aston Villa's increasingly frustrating period of fortune continuing. More on this later. The second, Arsenal's £12 million bid for Everton's Mikel Arteta. I sincerely hope this is true, and am inclined to believe it (wishful thinking or not).

For me personally, Arteta stands out as an exceptional player with high quality and talent. I have always thought he would be a perfect Arsenal player. Why and how on earth he is still at Everton is beyond me. I don't mean to disrespect Everton, but this guy is a fantastic footballer and he deserves to be playing for a team that challenges for titles and that competes in Europe's top competitions.

Arteta would be a perfect signing because he would need no adaptation period to settle in to the Premier League, and he has vision and skill akin to Cesc. However, Arteta would need to be one of several signings (at least two more needed) in order for us to turn this season around.

We still need that Flamini/Vieira/Mascherano-type holding midfielder. As much as I think Song and Denlison have vastly improved in the last few weeks, we are still showing an incapability to finish off games, and defend narrow leads. We need someone who has the grit and determination, and experience, to help us with this frailty. For me, these two players are a minimum requirement for us in January, but it would be nice to bring in another winger to compensate for the long-term losses of Rosicky and Walcott.

Aston Villa. People are really starting to take notice of the fact that Villa are doing their utmost to dislodge us from the top four. This is because they are actually scoring some good results, reaping the benefits of having a good manager, and a quality young side, and they most certainly are getting the rub of the green at the moment. There is no doubt in my mind that they are a threat. There is also no doubt in my mind that we will ultimately finish the season in the Champions League places. I think we are due a very strong second-half to the season, and I also think that Villa's participation in the UEFA Cup may distract them from the task at hand. Many clubs find it very difficult to handle league games at the weekend, and European games in midweek. Given Villa's lack of European football for many years, I am confident (and hopeful) that this could be a problem for them.

Many of us are anxious as to what January will bring. We are all praying that Arsene signs a couple of players, and are secretly concerned that he will decide not to, and rather rely on the resources of the club and keep the faith in the youth. Only time will tell.

Dev should be back writing tomorrow and the day after. I'll be back on Saturday evening with a post-match analysis of the Plymouth FA Cup game. Have a great night tonight, whatever you are getting up to, and have a Happy New Year.]]>

  • devday

    < ![CDATA[Greetings from Dubai. I've managed to get a 2 minute salvo on the net quickly before reaching central Dubai for a crazy party.

    Rumours about Arteta are very strong. I hear that we've lodged a £13 million bid. Arshavin is supposedly on his way to Juventus.]]>

  • devday

    JAT, wicked blog mate, doing me proud.

  • Fabrez!

    < ![CDATA[With respects Arteta, it's a strong rumour indeed. Only time will tell but I think Arsene has gone for him. Everton need the money & we need the player...if only it were that simple! But i do agree with him fitting the bill to be an Arsenal player...he's got that quality about him. Right next to Cesc...or sometimes in place of Cesc so that Cesc can get rest now and again...probably rotate a bit so they are always fresh for their games...which ever way AW uses him, i think he'd do fine...a definite plus to our squad. I'm not aware of how good he is defensively but he gives his all & he'll b a great buy anyway.
    2009 is a new year so we better wake, smell the coffee & know that we've got to battle every game and play with heart, courage and utmost desire to even remotely think about the title. 4th spot Villa seem to be a threat but we are due for a heck of a 2nd half of the season so it's time to deliver the goods.
    PS - Any1 kno if Eduardo will be back for the FA Cup game? I'm going to that game so if he plays i'll finally see him back in action live...granted i get the feeling he's not gonna play...may be too soon :S]]>

  • debs

    fabrez I think Wenger said the fa cup’s too soon for Eduardo. but you never know- he was way ahead of schedule in terms of his last injury so he may end up being fit early this time again! lol

  • debs

    By the way, since I’ll not be posting any comments for another year, lol, just thought I’d wish evryone a fabulous 2009 ahead. It’s been great being part of this blog in terms of commenting, and it’s been even better reading what everyone else has to say. I’ve got great respect for Dev, Jat and every1 else who’s got something worthwhile to say and I’m sure 2009′ll be an even better year. We’re due a bit of good fortune in the second half of this season, and I hopeit starts in the transfer window, followed by great results, not as many injuries, if possible, none lol and speedy recovery for the lads injured at the moment and finally, a trophy- FA cup and champions league’s still within our reach! But yeah, whatever happens though, I’m still proud to be a Gooner and will always be til the day I die! So yeah, here’s to an amazing year ahead, cheers!

  • RF

    < ![CDATA[Good 1 Debs, I hope 2009ing should be shining for us.
    I think 2008 was more about injuries and disappointing draws. I am sure we're gonna bounce back even stronger in 2009. Let the good begin from the very next Match .
    Shut Up the Odds - that's what I want.


    Go Gunners !!!]]>

  • Pete

    < ![CDATA[Hi guys. I'm a long-time reader/first-time poster, my New Years Resolution in action lol.

    Am hoping Wenger does us proud in this transfer window, because it could really make all the difference for us this season. For me, all he needs is 2-3 extra players to slot right into the squad. Arteta would be a fantastic signing. Been watching him play for the last few seasons and he's been the real difference for Everton, a quality player. He's good in centre-midfield as well as on the wings, just the type of thing Arsene tends to look for in a player. As to whether he'll leave Everton is another thing, but hopefully we can take advantage of their current financial situation and prise him away from the blue-scousers.

    As most of you have already said, defencive-midfield has been lacking this season, so thats another priority. No one in particular springs to mind at the moment, all the best DM in the premier league seem to be doing well in their clubs right now (Alonso, Mascherano, Barry), so this might be a more tricky find. Lets hope Wenger goes all out signing someone who fulfills all these requirements.

    Another top-quality defender wouldn't go amiss either. Brede Hangland would be a perfect signing, as he's been the real difference in Fulhams defence. But again, I doubt he'd leave the West-London club at this stage.

    Just as an aside, doesn't Jack Wilshire turn 17 today? Which means he becomes a full-time professional footballer as of today? Will be interesting to see how, it at all, Arsene includes him in the first team.

    Happy 2009 fellow Gunners :-)]]>