This blog is a summary of the twists and turns in our supposed search for a centre back. The links are to Goonersworld forum posts and Arsenal.com articles which seem to go daily from suggesting Wenger is searching for a centre back to suggesting that he has decided we don’t need one. Some changes of heart can even be seen on Arsenal.com in separate articles on the same day!!!
On the fourth of January Wenger claimed that this January he would only sign a centre back if anyone. Despite also saying that he would only sign a centre back if Vermaelen suffered a set back, the media jumped on his comments and they were pretty much translated to “I will sign a centre back”. We were linked to the likes of Samba, Mertesacker and Cahill, the type of centre backs I thought we should have signed in the summer!!!
On the ninth of January, an injury to Squillaci added to our concerns. On the tenth and eleventh of January Arsenal.com got our hopes up with articles suggesting that Wenger was looking to sign a centre back, only for Wenger to offer Miquel and Song as possible cover at centre back! Then on the sixteenth of January it was reported that Vermaelen had suffered a setback and was unlikely to be back until March. If Wenger was true to his word then that should have led to the signing of a centre back. Then, a day later, Arsenal.com announced that Vermaelen would be back in February! Call me a cynic, but this sounds like a bit of spin and possibly the club trying to back track when they realised that Wenger might not keep his promise! Wenger himself did more back tracking making statements like English prices are still inflated.
On the twenty fourth of January it was reported that Squillaci’s imminent return meant Wenger wasn’t so concerned about signing a CB, before the next day saying that loaning a centre back could be the best option “because what do you do with five centre backs?” The best response to Wenger came from fellow Goonersworld poster CynicalGooner:
This is my favourite forum post of the year so far! When he should be looking for a centre back Wenger seemed to be more interested in attacking midfielders with a reported January bid for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and a possible summer bid for Eden Hazard. As for the search for a centre back, today Wenger is saying that we can cope without signing one. I’m sticking to my policy of ‘expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed’ when it comes to Wenger and transfer rumours. Any chance of a centre back? Don’t hold your breath!!!