RvP, The Ox, Frimpong & Afobe… and Hazard…?

Morning all… by now, I think we’ve all come off the high that was the 7-1 win. A quick look at the league table kind of puts us back in the real world, where we are quite far off the top 3. Fourth is our first target and there is a fight going on, of which Newcastle (yes, they surely have to be taken seriously now), Liverpool, Chelsea and ourselves all want.

There were a lot of positives to be taken from the game – Van Persie’s movement and finishing being one of them – The Ox’s continual improvement being the other – Walcott’s return to some degree of decent football, Song, Arteta and Rosicky playing a decent game through the middle too. But hats off to Van Persie – the boy is in absolutely sparking form. He’s scoring goals for fun. One thing that I just can’t get over is how good his movement is at the moment, it’s sublime – a completely different level. The more I watch him, the more I can’t believe what or where we would be if he wasn’t plagued by the plethora of injuries that he has suffered in his life.

The skipper is very important to us, and in all honesty, every Arsenal fan is worried what would happen if he got injured. Arsene, of course, is quite worried too, and there was a relief that others have recently been scoring:

“That was a problem I faced in all the press conferences at the start of the season. If he doesn’t score, who scores, you know? It was right, I couldn’t deny that. But I always felt that if you look at our numbers the trio of Gervinho, (Theo) Walcott and van Persie were involved in all the goals so they are more the providers because we play with two wingers. But the wingers can score as well, like (against Blackburn). It is something that is needed and we need some more goals from midfield as well.”

The next thing on every Arsenal fan’s agenda is Van Persie’s contract. It runs out next summer. All of a sudden, you’re feeling worried aren’t you? Well, me too. The striker is in the form of his life, outscoring and out performing the highest paid strikers in the league (Rooney, Aguero etc), he could demand £150k if he wanted… but how will we handle it? We can’t afford those wages – and even if we could – we wouldn’t. If we don’t then will he want to leave? And if we finish outside of the top four… then… ooooh, I don’t want to even think about it.

Let’s think about the Ox instead – what a player he is becoming. He was absolutely sensational against Blackburn. There is going to be a lot of hype around the boy and granted, he is playing well enough to deserve it, I hope he just doesn’t take it all into his head. The skipper spoke about his performance so far this season and commented on not putting too much pressure on the boy.

“He is a fantastic player already; he’s only 18 and is so young. He’s good on the ball – he has everything. He’s quick, he has movement, technique, can score a goal or give an assist. He has a great future. But don’t put too much pressure on him. You always have periods when you are young when you have really high highs and you go up and down until you balance it a bit better. He will have ups and he will have periods when he’s not playing so well. So my advice is to be aware of it and be patient.”

The question is can we be patient?

In other news surrounding some of the youngeters – Frimpong has suffered a cruciate knee injury, similar to the one he had last year and will be out of action until the end of the year. The boy tweeted:

“Bad News is that I’m out for 6-9months with my Knee. I wanna thank all the wolves fans for their support since I’ve been here and really Hope wolves stay up this season.”

Ouch. He’s been excellent in form for Arsenal and Wolves, but unfortunately, his raw enthusiasm and dynamics means that he’s done his knee over (again). Poor news about the boy – he has bags of potential, but has to be so patient whilst so young. I wish him a speedy recovery.

Another youngster, Benik Afobe, could well be back in the first team sooner than later – highly rated, has pace, power and a great finish. It was in the Premier Academy League Final victory over Nottingham Forest where Afobe stole the show, scoring a hattrick and contributing two assists in the 5-3 victory at the Emirates Stadium. At that point, all fans were surely excited about the talent, only to suffer from injuries himself – but he is back and he will be knocking at the door very soon.

And finally, I’ll leave you some words about Edin Hazard from Arsene himself:

“I like him a lot, and for several reasons. His creativity, his ability to unbalance the opposition, his vision and his consummate art of giving the final ball make him a player coveted by many. Hazard has the right profile to play at a top level club, and Arsenal is a top level club.”

Gets you very excited doesn’t it? But then… he finished off with:

“You have to know that at every season’s start, Arsenal must imperatively make a profit of between £15m and £20m. I’d add to that that one of the missions of a coach is to always buy at a price he judges to be right.”

The question is… what does that mean for Arsenal’s start of each season? Are we a selling club? Does Arsene say we basically won’t ever get Hazard? One statement, a hundred different takes and another fifty questions. There is a lot more to read into Arsene’s statement… perfect for a Tuesday…

Tottz82 will be back tomorrow with his take on all things Arsenal. Til then.

  • jeff -fulham

    If we’re genuinely interested in Hazard and can’t even put a 30m bid for him minimum plus afford his wages then I see that as criminal and I also see that as an indicator we’ll never ever be able to compete again. This isn’t seven years ago where you didn’t need bucket loads of money to win the league. Yes, you don’t even need bucket loads but when United can afford to make 20-30m marquee signings, so can Liverpool, Tottenham and of course so can Citeh. Look what money buys you real quality in: Aguero, Silva and Mata. All worth every penny in my honest opinion. If we want to compete we need at least two marquee signings. Lastly, I think Song should be a squad player he does not mop up enough for me to appreciate him. I couldn’t care less if he can make good passes here and there that’s not his job! For me M’villa and Hazard would make us such a better team. Of course, one can only dream.

  • arsefan101

    @ jeff -fulham:

    Cesc said yesterday that Song was the best box to box midfielder in the premiership.

    We don’t need £30m on Hazard.
    We need £10m on a striker, £10m on a midfielder and £10m on a defender.

  • Alvin

    Lots of interesting articles about how Wenger has to make the club a 15-20 million profit every season, so now perhaps it clear why we have been a selling club and why he doesnt spend all this fictitious money many believe he has. This has been said by Wenger himself, just goes to show just how wrong the anti Wenger mob are, wonder if we will see any of them admitting they got it so wrong?

  • jeff -fulham

    Almost spat my tea out this morning, reading on skysports website that Wenger actually has confirmed his interest in Hazard! A player that costs £30 million and Wenger hasn’t dismissed it?!? This coupled with Hazard stating a couple years back that he supported Arsenal and Real Madrid means that it may actually be a goer. I tell you what, if this happened I think Wenger would win over A LOT of gooners again, however, it hinges on us getting fourth. Even with the best scenarios happening I still find it hard to believe this will happen. Really hope it does though!

  • devday

    @ Alvin:

    The need to make a profit of £15 – £20m per year is something that has happened year after year.

    The sales of Henry, Adebayor, Toure, Nasri, Cesc etc are testament to that fact. We need to look at the last five years:

    2006 to 2011

    [1] Manchester City: £471.284.000 / £94.402.000 / -£376.882.000
    [2] Tottenham: £317.460.000 / £153.252.000 / -£164.208.000
    [3] Liverpool: £246.686.000 / £174.894.000 / -£71.792.000
    [4] Chelsea: £222.332.000 / £140.417.000 / -£81.915.000
    [5] Manchester United: £204.515.000 / £174.275.000 / -£30.240.000
    [6] Arsenal: £100.034.000 / £135.276.000 / +£35.242.000

    If you then take into consideration this summer, we’re £35m up on that too.

    So what does all of this mean?
    It means we have made £75m over 6 seasons, which averages out at £15m a season. For that reason, we shouldn’t expect any new transfers unless we sell.

    But does that mean that Arsene NEEDS to sell Van Persie this summer? Interesting – you can take this any which way you want.

  • jeff -fulham

    There is no doubt whatsoever now in my mind that AW will not achieve anything further with the club during his remaining time (I mean positive achievements). Let’s hope the decline is just for the second half of what was his reign, and does not become a continuing decline over two-thirds of the eventual reign, as his legacy is still huge and to see it being dragged down is unseemly and not right.