Arsene Wenger recently said this to the Arsenal's Supporters' Trust:
"I must say this year we had among the best attack but we have conceded 31 goals which is six or seven too many," he said. "It's as close as that to win the championship.
"We didn't give more goals away than any other team in the League on open play, nor on set pieces, but where we gave more goals away was on direct balls, in the air, through the middle, and most of the time on second balls.
"On set pieces and open play we were as good as Manchester United and Chelsea. The numbers are available. But we have to rectify how we deal with direct balls. When a team just goes for long, direct balls against us, we have to improve."
Its the usually sensible comments that Arsene is famous for. But he doesn't actually say anywhere that he wants to buy a centre-back. Nevertheless, and lets not let facts get in the way, that is how its been reported. Football 365 run it with the headline that "Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he is searching for a new centre-half". It may be the context of Ken Friar being busy on the phone gave the impression of lots of transfer activity this summer, but the quotes from Arsene don't actually say that at all. In fact, the Ken Friar bit didn't get quoted either.
Apparently its become gospel truth that Kolo Toure and William Gallas are now terrible players and we must sign someone else who is expensive. Immediately. Otherwise we will never win anything ever again and there will be blood on the streets of Islington.
Oh well. Its probably correct that if an excellent centre back was available for a decent price then we should try and get them. It would be nice but I doubt that's going to happen. Come what may, I'm more than happy to nail my colours to the mast and say that Kolo and Billy can work it out.
It appears though that Arsenal fans are now almost unanimous in their demands for a lot of money to be spent this summer. Theres no real consensus where it needs to be spent, but we all want the cheque book to come out big time. There were even a couple of morons at the Everton game chanting "no more kids, no more kids". Well go and watch Chelsea then.
Arsene Wenger has made his entire career based on spotting young talented footballers and playing them in the first XI when no one else would have dared. Any idiot can sign a player from Real Madrid for £30m. It takes unbelievable skill to spot a player at 16 and bring them through like he has done with people like Cesc Fabregas, Gael Clichy, Nic Anelka and Ashley Cole. Or to bring someone unknown from a foreign league like Bacary Sagna. The lists are endless.
Anyway. The cabin fever is clearly here to stay so its going to be a long summer of ranting for signings. Maybe clubs should run an X-Factor style contest to get some imbecile a contract with a bigger club. The morons would happily spend £5 a day each on phone votes to get Jimmy Bullard signed for ManUre ('parented' by Waren Barton in the Sharon Osborne role), or vote for David Bentley to go to Liverpool (you know its going to happen and you know it won't work). The Sun would love it.
Instead, if you actually read Arsene's quote, he just says that we were a bit shit against straight long balls. Yet again, it looks as if the so called football professor has been stealing his best lines from my posts again - its almost a quote from Nails and Stuff (shortly to be released in hardback). On the other hand, its patently obvious to anyone with eyes that we need to be better at dealing with straight long balls. But I reckon Arsene's a regular on AAB all the same.
I almost find it amusing that for all Arsenal's amazing football this season, the simple punt down the middle on the park has been our un-doing. There's no point in getting angry about it and I'm quite sure that anyone else we sign is going to make mistakes as well. We just need to think a bit more about our defending. We sorted ourselves out on set pieces and crosses, so why can't we deal with the long ball as well?
So, in other news, I am going to spend the summer writing a Myles Palmer style auto-biography about Me and Arsene. The blurb on the back cover will go something like this: "me and Arsene think along the same lines. I've never met Arsene but I always knew which substitutes he would bring on and when. Its spooky. Like we're twins or something. So I've written 300 pages of shite that you will regret buying......."
I'll put K-Man down for a pre-order of 10,000 copies.