By Tim Bostelle
My new year’s resolution was simple this year - listen. It’s sort of meditative, if you want to think of it that way. I spend at least five minutes of every day just listening.
Most days all I hear is the hum of the central air system as I lie on my couch at work. But sometimes I hear the buildings creaking or imaginary sounds. It’s disconcerting to hear the buildings creaking. They are moving. They are alive.
"I have a feeling we will see a centre back, but not the “world class” or £50m player people want, come to Arsenal this month"
The big problem with meditating is that once I hear a noise my mind starts to wander. If the building is creaking I imagine it swaying ever so slightly. Then I lie there and try to feel if the ground is moving. If I’m particularly paranoid I imagine that the creaking sound is the ground swell of the big earthquake that is going to kill everyone in the Puget Sound region sometime soon. So far, it’s been a lucky escape and the buildings creaking around me haven’t been portents of cataclysm.
Creaking is scary but imaginary sounds, on the other hand, are fun. For example, today, I lay on my couch and listened for a few minutes and I heard that Arsenal are not ‘keeping tabs on’ or ‘monitoring’ the Luis Suarez situation at Barcelona.
This whole story is comically inept. Wenger wanted a Suarez-type: someone who was an angel in training and a demon on the pitch. He got that player, Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez has already proven himself to be a better footballer than Suarez. Also, Alexis Sanchez plays piano.
There are so many ridiculous Arsenal transfer stories right now that it’s hard to concentrate on listening. All I hear is “Isco” and whenever I hear “Isco” all I can think of is “Cisco Kid” by War. Do you think Isco eats the salted peanuts out the can?
The journalists in Great Britain have lost their collective minds. Arsene spends £75m on two world class players and suddenly they are linking Arsenal with anyone and everyone. I keep saying this and I’ll say it over and over again: we are not buying a regular first team starter in January. Every time Wenger has tried that in the past it has backfired.
Remember Wellington? Arsene bought him in January 2010 and since we couldn’t get a work permit for him, shipped him out on loan. He’s been on loan ever since. That’s the kind of player Arsene buys in January. Krystian Bielik is another great example – 17 years old, a prospect for the future. Probably won’t see the starting line-up for a few years.
There’s your defensive midfielder you’ve been crying out for! And even better, the Telegraph is already comparing him to Patrick Vieira!
It’s probably wishful thinking on my part but I still suspect that Arsenal are after Schneiderlin this summer. If you look at his long passing percentages, his tackling, his interceptions rate, and his turnovers and dispossessed numbers he seems to fit the bill for what Arsene wants from the “most defensive midfielder on a team which doesn’t really have a defensive midfielder”.
There is one other type of player Arsene buys in January, the Nacho Monreal. And sure enough, Arsenal have been sniffing around looking for a Monreal type of player: professional, decent back-up, but not a big name signing.
I have a feeling we will see a centre back, but not the “world class” or £50m player people want, come to Arsenal this month.