PERSPECTIVE: LIFE AFTER THE TRANSFER WINDOW by Uche
The storm is finally over. The transfer window is shut and I could not be more relieved. We did not make the signings we expected and it was painful. But surprisingly, we are getting over it. For me, what I did was to avoid all things football for a couple of days and it turns out that there is actually more to life than football! Who knew?! Oh boy. Staying away really helped me because I have come back calmer, less upset and more introspective.
You see, when you are in the thick of it all and furiously digging for transfer news every five minutes like we all do, we tend to forget a few things. Transfer season really is indeed silly season and it doesn’t say much about anything. Anthony Martial for 38 million pounds? Kevin De Bryune for 53 million pounds? I am mad at Wenger alright for a variety of reasons but for those prices, I wouldn’t have bought any of those players either. I only have to think back to Manchester United loaning Radmel Falcao for 10 million pounds last season and paying him around 340,000 pounds a week for what? For him to score four goals the whole season and finish fourth in the league? What about Angel Di Maria for 65 million pounds? What did they get in return for that?
Wenger is tight, arrogant and annoying but there is more money than talent in football right now. Not his fault. It is also true that the players who can improve our team are few and that those few players are not available for sale. Maybe Wenger didn’t try hard enough and I personally feel that he didn’t try hard enough but here is the thing. Does it really matter? Man United bid a 100 million for Bale and failed. And then they bid the same figure for Thomas Muller and failed again. What does that tell us? If you were the Real Madrid manager, will you sell? Will you sell Karim Benzema for 75 mil when you have no replacement for him? This is not about money anymore. If you throw silly money at these clubs, they might sell you an Anthony Martial but not a Sergio Aguero. Would you sell Robert Lewandowski for any amount if you were Pep? The answer is no. Well, those are the only strikers that will improve our forward line except you are going to argue that having more Danny Welbecks in the team is progress.
Remember Danny Welbeck? He is an Arsenal striker and it turns out that he is not better than the much maligned Olivier Giroud. And talking about Welbeck, when he returns from injury, we will have a total of three strikers. But you will not hear pundits mention this fact. When Welbeck returns, we will actually have more depth up top than City and United. Did you know that? City have Aguero and Bony. United have Rooney and Martial. Bony is injured and Aguero is injury prone. An Aguero injury to a high flying City will leave them without strikers and this can happen at any time.
Do you guys see where I am going with this? Our summer did not go as planned but we are far from finished. Anything can happen. The world is not coming to an end. Far from it. We are in for big surprises this season. You only have to look at Chelsea languishing in 13th place after winning the league last season, Liverpool losing 3-0 at home to West Ham after spending over 50 million pounds on Benteke and Firmino and United losing to Swansea for you to realize that strikers won’t decide who wins the league. They will have a say but they will not decide it. Strikers are easy to nullify. That is why Costa, Rooney, Benteke, Giroud and Walcott are not shining yet. Strikers will not decide the title. A supreme collective effort is what will win the title. The biggest threat to winning the title isn’t Manchester City and the top teams. It is EVERY OTHER TEAM in the EPL because something is happening folks. We have moved into an era where every game against any opponent is a cup final. Three points has never been harder to gain. Any team can take points off any team, no matter the profile of your players.
So this is not the time to give up because we did not buy Benzema or whomever. This is the time to fight and be hard to beat. This is the time to pull ourselves together, play for each other, throw in everything we have got and see what happens. That is all anybody can do, no matter who they are or who they buy because the EPL is not the Bundesliga. Nothing is decided – and a team’s squad depth means squat if they don’t play to their best. I mean, how did Manchester City end up empty handed last season boasting a strike force of Aguero, Dzeko, Bony and Jovetic? The could not even win the Capital One cup!
This is football folks and in this game, one plus one is never two. You can have the best players and still lose to West Ham or Crystal Palace. This is the EPL and in this league every game is a brawl. Don’t ridicule the strikers we have. They may not be the best strikers but they are ours and they can do damage to teams if they play to their best. We beat Chelsea to win the Shield with this same squad.
Benzema did not play that game. We beat Liverpool and Man City to finish 3rd last season with this same squad. Cavani did not play. We beat Manchester United to win the FA cup with this same squad. Enough of this pity party. Our season is not over. Come match day, we will be rooting for the ‘brainless’ Walcott and ‘Lamp Post’ Giroud to score because they are all we have and when they start performing, we will realize that we are capable of winning and that we are equally capable of loving them again.
So this is where we roll up our sleeves. Anybody can beat anybody. This is where we fight. Peace.