A couple of weeks ago I read an article suggesting should we be offering a short-term deal to Cristiano Ronaldo?
I assume this was motivated by the footballer’s interview with Piers Morgan, which caused his release from Man United, which coincides with Arsenal’s lack of a natural goal scorer?
A need which has intensified with Jesus now having surgery and our sole senior striker being Eddie Nketiah, who has 10 League goals since 2017.
Mr Morgan himself is a Gooner, and it was he who started the debate by suggesting the Gunners could do worse than signing the free agent till the summer.
Of course, this was part of promoting his interview, not a belief it would ever happen.
Let me stress, I don’t believe it’s a possibility for a number of reasons.
We are not the kind of club who would pay such a salary for a 37-year-old, our manager doesn’t feel comfortable working with big personalities, preferring youngsters who he can micro-manage, and it’s widely believed a lucrative move to Saudi Arabia has already been agreed.
Yet it’s the attitude of my peers that I found astounding when the subject came up, like somehow, we were above that.
Even more bizarre was having a debate that Mbappe wouldn’t be good enough for us, but Eddie Nketiah is.
Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion but having watched the worst period in our modern history the last few years, how arrogant is it that some fans are putting their nose up at the world’s best players?
Mikel Arteta smartly has warned our fan base to be humble, no doubt in the knowledge that Chelsea were top of the table last season after 14 games and that didn’t lead to anything.
There is nothing humble in portraying that, just because we are top of the League, we ignore previous mistakes and don’t try and be the best version of ourselves.
If Spurs had a striker who scored in three Prem fixtures since last January, but their fans were suggesting he was better than Mbappe, wouldn’t you call them delusional and laugh at them? When predictably our title race fades due to a lack of fire power?
You know, like not replacing Aubameyang cost us the top 4 last campaign?
Eddie’s had over 100 games for us.
If your argument is he doesn’t start enough or a coach has never trusted him, ask yourself why that is?
Plus, when did it become okay for a player not to be judged on not making an impact off the bench?
Who made that rule?
Do we teach youngsters that when you get 100 opportunities the only ones that count are the games you start in?
Isn’t it best to acknowledge that now, instead of admitting it when it’s too late?
Because I’m predicting it now, not replacing an injured Jesus will have the same results as not finding a alternative for Auba 12 months ago.
We will regress, not meet our targets and only admit to ourselves when he’s being sold to a bottom of the half Prem side or a Championship side.
The irony being that if I changed Ronaldo’s name for an unknown striker, and we made a loan purchase or someone out of contract, purely because we didn’t have to pay a fee, fans would defend it. Especially if that unknown name had stats of over 20 goals the previous season.
For the last few Januarys, the priority has been to slash the wage bill with the criteria being to bring in bodies that don’t cost anything.
I know readers who mock the idea of getting Ronaldo as a free agent who openly defended the arrival of a Denis Suarez!
People refer to the Portuguese attitude and the prospect he would upset the atmosphere in our dressing room. A theory not unfounded given how he acted at Old Trafford in his final months.
Yet, let’s look at our group mentality a little closer.
This is a group of players who found the race for the top 4 too much pressure to handle. The fear of failing to qualify for the Champions League crippled the squad.
Still one of the youngest in the division, Is it unthinkable that we could benefit from his experience?
Again, it’s pointless waiting until June, bemoaning a lack of leaders, just because you don’t want to admit it now out of perceived loyalty.
I have always admired Atletico Madrid for how creative they are in the market. To be a big club you act like a big club.
The Spaniards can’t financially compete with Barcelona and Real Madrid so think outside the box.
For example, they didn’t care about Luis Suarez’s age, and he contributed to lifting La Liga.
I would love Arsenal to use their imagination and use Ronaldo’s ego to benefit us.
We could use our five-point lead over Man City as motivation. He’s the type of character who would love to prove his ex-employers wrong by lifting one more Championship.
That scenario could be enough to get him to accept a role on the bench and not upset group dynamics.
His lack of pressing would be an issue for us tactically, like it was in Manchester.
We have a system which does that, the only thing we are missing is a fox in the box, a reliable finisher in the penalty area.
With all parties knowing it’s a short-term arrangement it could be mutually beneficial.
His wage wouldn’t be an issue as it would only be till May and considering sponsorship and shirt sales, any contract covers itself.
Whisper it quietly, Ronaldo, Mbappe, etc look at us as a step down.
That’s the irony. Maybe we should wait till we can offer better than the Europa League before mocking proven winners?
It would be like an ugly person telling their friends how unattractive a model is who’s out of your League anyway.
If you think Eddie Nketiah Is better than Ronaldo, then you either have a limited knowledge of the sport or you think a definition of a supporter is to never critique anything about the club.
At which point I would question how old you are.
You don’t love the badge any less if you point out that Mbappe is better than Martinelli.
Let me ask you this?
In February it’s the last second of our match against Man City.
Who do you want a chance to fall to, Ronaldo or Nketiah?
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