In part two of our ongoing, two-part series, we again play the part of nosy neighbors in order to learn just what it is our friends elsewhere have been up to. It's a bit of keeping up with the Joneses, except we want to do much more than keep up with the Joneses. We want to pummel them and leave no doubt in their minds as to where things stand, pecking-order-wise, and to put them back in their rightful places, leaving things crystal-clear, nice and tidy so that there are no unpleasant misunderstandings. Yesterday, we looked at the three clubs that managed to finish above us (in large part, it had to do with out-spending us). Today we'll look at three other clubs with designs on leap-frogging us: Everton, Spurs, and Man U.
31 July 2014
We've done a nice bit of business to this point in the transfer-window, no doubt about it, having added four players and a physio who might help them and the rest of the squad stay on the pitch. We may still crave and perhaps even need a few more players, such as an out-and-out striker, a holding midfielder, and a centre-back, and rumors abound around a few names sure to get us salivating. However, for as busy as we've been, it's well-worth investigating our competitors' affairs to see whether we're merely running to stand still or running away from the pack. There is still a month and change left before the transfer-window closes, but we can use this time just as well as anyone else in the Prem. Here, we'll look at the clubs that finished above us in 2013-14.
29 July 2014
Forget Alexis. Forget Debuchy, Ospina, or Chambers. Ignore any reports around any other player we may or may not sign. Those players, after all, will vie for time on the pitch with other members of the squad, rotating in as necessary or deserved and, more crucially, replacing them when they're injured. Arsenal's most significant signing of the summer won't compete for time on the pitch . He won't reduce anyone to time on the bench. His job will consist entirely of keeping our players on the pitch as much as possible. Shad Forsythe, fitness coach for Germany's national team, will come in to work alongside our current fitness coach, Tony Colbert. Forsythe's name may not be as drool-inducing as some of the players we covet, but his contributions off the pitch could prove to be even more vital than any contributions any players could make on it.
28 July 2014
Week after week has turned into day after day. In a transfer-window that is still weeks away from closing, it seems more and more like Arsène is signing players with an eye to something more than simply strengthening the squad. Gone, it seems, are the days when we had to wait until deadline-day to learn of a signing. 10 July: Alexis Sánchez signs. 17 July: Mathieu Debuchy signs. Then, a lull...until 26 July: David Ospina signs, and two days later, 28 July, Calum Chambers signs. Time seems to be folding in on itself at a rate that will see us signing someone else 29 July, then someone else twelve hours later, and another six hours after that, and another, and another...in short, we seem to be disappearing into a wormhole with no end in sight. By the time it's all said and done, we'll have signed every player in the known universe, after which quantum physics takes over. It boggles the mind.