Saturday, 13 September 2014

Welbeck conspiracy and City quickie

Really interesting presser from Wenger yesterday. After an 8 day hiatus from social media - one that notably happened as soon as Welbeck signed for the club - the boss was forced to face the media as part of the obligatory pre-match conference. When asked about Danny Welbeck, with no place for cover, Wenger stunningly said:

“If I had not traveled that day, Welbeck would not be here. The coincidence made that because I was on my way. If I stayed at home, Welbeck would not be here today. I will tell you that story one day but that’s the truth.”

I didn't find it particularly strange that Wenger had gone to Rome on deadline day. Lest we forget, he had gone to Switzerland around the same day 3 years ago, and we had signed Yossi Benayoun, Per Mertesacker, Mikel Arteta and Andre Santos that day. Until Arsene's "admission", I took conspiracy theories like Gazidis overruling Wenger and sanctioning the signing as a bit of a joke. There was no way, I opined, that Wenger would go abroad and come back, only to find a new player or two at his disposal. It seemed unreal.

Until now.

There's plenty of evidence to suggest that Welbeck was indeed a Gazidis buy. Think about it - in whichever corner of the world Wenger was in, surely he had the time and internet connection to cough up four decent sentences on Welbeck? Forget that, if Wenger was fully in the loop and knew Welbeck would be a Gunner hours before he signed, surely it's the absolute minimum formality to keep his quotes prepped?

The inescapable fact is that Wenger has consciously, knowingly and deliberately refused to comment on Welbeck's signing until he was forced to. And when he did, he's gone out and created more uncertainty, fueling the conspiracy theory that explained his 8 day absence in the first place.

Was Wenger unaware of the speculations that were brimming owing to his silence? Was he lost for words? Did he suffer from mini-Laryngitis? Did the Martians invade his house in Rome and threaten to keep him quiet on Welbeck, or else they would murder the Pope? All unlikely.

The only rational conclusion - however unbelievable it may sound to anyone - is that Wenger sulked because Gazidis bought a player behind his back. And don't think that this isn't possible; Wenger stated his contract deal till the last day because he didn't agree with the terms. In the end he caved, hence Gazidis got in guys like Jonker and Forsythe to ail an outdated backroom staff. Perhaps overruling Wenger in buying Welbeck was one too many.

There was the usual guff about the quality and promise, which was followed by this:

“Danny Welbeck is an ideal signing for us because he can play through the middle, where I think is his best position but [he can play] as well on the flanks. His qualities are his team attitude and his pace as well."

This worries me, but doesn't genuinely take me aback by any stretch. Wenger is well-known to misposition people and Welbeck could be another victim due to his "versatility". I could be wrong by a mile, but with Wenger at the helm there's no way I'm ruling it out.

If (as retaliation to Gazidis sticking his oar out and paying over the odds for Welbeck), Wenger decides to play Welbeck on the left or bench him in favour of Sanogo, that would completely cap the conspiracy. It would absolutely, beyond reasonable doubt, prove that Wenger's pissed at Gazidis and is doing all he can to ensure project Sanogo lives.

Welbeck is a fine player, but sacrificing him for Sanogo would throw 16 million down the drain. I genuinely wonder how Wenger's apologists would justify that.

Man City at the Emirates is beatable, but under Wenger - a manager who plays Ozil on the left and persists with an incompatible formation - I'd be amazed if we win. We have the potential to do so much better, but Wenger is holding us back. Hopefully, it's only a matter of time before everyone realizes that.

UPDATE: #Arsenal team to play Manchester City: Szczesny, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Wilshere, Ramsey, Alexis, Ozil, Welbeck

Meh, the AKB's would probably blame injuries and referees anyway.

-Santi [Follow me on Twitter @ArsenalBlogz ]