So that one was one hell of an uneventful Wednesday evening. Our high expectations of some awesome football sweeping aside a lacklustre and managerless Bolton. Predictions? 8-0? Hatrick from Eduardo, two from Ramsey, a thirty yard scorcher from Vermaelen, and then in the final ten minutes from substitute Carlos Vela. Alas, we will never know… alas.
So, we remain in third, with a game in hand, and that game could either be played next Wednesday 13th January or the Wednesday after – the 20th of January – and if indeed it is played on either of those days, then it will be a Bolton double whammy, one at home and one away. It’s a shame we didn’t get to play yesterday as I’m sure we would have beaten them and I’m sure we would have closed the gap on Chelsea to one point.
There is no point dwelling on the game, we do have another very important game against Everton on the weekend, and this weekend, I will be accompanied by a good friend of mine (Everton supporter) down to the game, so it’s got some extra spice and friendship rivalry added in to. There will be time tomorrow to take a look at the game preview and see whom we think will play. In one way, players such as Denilson and Arshavin who have both returned for yesterday’s game, will have more time to recuperate fully.
Since we’ve been caught up in the snow / will it / won’t it go ahead furore which was yesterday, we’ve been sidetracked a little from the January transfer window, which is starting to bubble a little with various different stories. One of those stories is the Chamakh to Liverpool stories, which is starting to gain some momentum and considering the player can now sign a pre-contract agreement, considering he is a half decent striker and considering he is free, he is any team’s dream signing. Of course, we’ve been tracking him for some time, and we did spend a lot of the summer trying to sign him, which makes us think he’s our player – kind of like how we thought Ryan Babel was kind of our player and would eventually sign for us… ahem Yaya Toure ahem… and there have been a few of them. But of course, Chamakh isn’t our player, and if he signs for Liverpool, so be it. No doubt they’d train the skill out of him and he’d end up at Sunderland – news is that Ryan Babel is going to sign for Birmingham, sanctimony to the fact that the transfer policy at the Pool is all over the place.
With Birmingham apparently offering £8m for the striker, you’d think that we could match that and bring Babel to his footballing home – some quarters believe we didn’t sign him due to his problems off the pitch – but I’d like to think Arsene has something better up his sleeve. Having seen Babel in starts and spurts, I do think Arsene can do wonders with him, I don’t think he’s really progressed at Liverpool but does have the skill, potential and pace – and aerial ability to bring something to the team.
Outside of Babel, how many other strikers (which some sort of aerial presence) are available for under £1om this January transfer window – some people have mentioned Benni McCarthy, but at 32, and frozen out at Blackburn, can he really do a job for us? Debatable. Carlton Cole has also been mentioned a few times, and yes, he has impressed me at West Ham – but would he want to swap regular first team football for a place on the bench once Van Persie and Bendtner have returned – and could we get him at a reasonable price. Is he any better than Jay Simpson / Sanchez Watt (or what they could be in a year or two)….
Arsene is most likely ready to buy and he has said this:
“There is no way we can carry on with only one striker. Bendtner is being treated now and will come back on Friday for tests. If he is out for another two months, we will need to buy someone, absolutely.”
We have been linked with a few other players, such as Gignac, who currently plays at Toulouse as well as a player called Lacina Traore (dubbed the new Adebayor… ouch)… both are very much highly rated and both fit the mould. The link with Traore is on the back of all the newspapers today, and the player has a supposed asking price of 4m euros, which is something we could work with. He is 19, tall and highly rated, so let’s see what happens in the next few days.
After a little bit of research (well, just entering the player’s name in YouTube), here’s two goals he has previously scored, so you can acquaint yourself with him.
That’s it for today… more tomorrow.