Wednesday, 16 March 2011
No Bartley then, The usual quick deal for Arsenal
Judging by the fact that Arsenal are going in to overdrive in talking up Ignasi Miquel over at the official website it is safe to assume that there is no intention to recall Kyle Bartley from Glasgow Rangers. Our centre-back situation is parlous thanks to the refusal of the Club to sign extra cover in January. To anyone with half a brain it was obvious that Thomas Vermaelen wasn't coming back any time soon (possibly never) and it was also clear that we couldn't get through the season relying on Johan Djourou to carry us over the finish line. We've seen Miquel play in the FA Cup games against Leyton Orient and he looked what he is - a young player who is way off the level required for the Premier League at this stage of his career.
Bartley, meanwhile, has been out on loan "gaining experience" at Sheffield United and Rangers. I've seen quite a bit of him in recent weeks and, while it is only in the Scottish Premier League, the youngster has been doing the business. He is a towering individual and is certainly not afraid to put in a tackle or to mix it when necessary - he certainly didn't go missing when things got nasty in the Old Firm matches recently (probably the influence of a thug like Chris Morgan has rubbed off on him from his time in Sheffield).
The point to all of this is that, in our self-imposed crisis, we would be far better off in bringing back Bartley than by promoting an untried Spaniard. Wenger said a couple of weeks ago that he might be forced to recall the likes of Bartley, so why hasn't he done it? What is the point of sending players out to get experience if you then choose to put someone on the bench who has none whatsoever? I just don't understand it.
Elsewhere we're still waiting for Arsenal to confirm Jens Lehmann's return. The man himself has already told the press he is coming back and is happy to help out, sitting on the bench and supporting Manuel Almunia. I would rather see him replacing Almunia, but it seems we'll have to suffer another injury/suspension before we see Jens take to the pitch properly. It never ceases to amaze me how drawn out any transfer to Arsenal seems to be. Other Club's can get a deal done in hours, but with Arsenal it takes bloody ages. It makes the Club look stupid quite frankly. We all know Lehmann is an Arsenal player, the press all know Lehmann is an Arsenal player, yet Arsenal don't confirm it.
I've read a lot of nonsense in the past few days. That clown Charlie Wyett is revelling in Arsenal's current plight and claimed yesterday that Arsenal fans would be "stunned" and "shocked" by the "desperate" move to sign Lehmann. What a load of old crap. As much as Wenger should have signed a top quality goalkeeper in the past year you can't legislate for three of your 'keepers getting injured at the same time. Surely it is far better to bring in experienced quality than some no-mark who can't get in to his Club side, isn't it? I am delighted at Jens being back at the Club - do not underestimate the influence of a "winner" in the squad. There will be no slacking from certain individuals with Lehmann back in the dressing-room - he simply will not tolerate it.
No blog tomorrow as I am out for the day. I hope all the Irish enjoy their St Patrick's Day tomorrow - try to avoid too much of the black-stuff, and with any luck there will be more Irish winners at Cheltenham too.