Monday, 30 January 2017

Roland keeps his hands in his pockets

News this evening that we are trying to complete a loan signing of Arsenal U23 midfielder, Krystian Bielek. He has made one EFL Cup appearance for the Gooners and The Professor wants to toughen him up to see if he offers them anything more. Bit of an odd one for me given we are crying out for another goalscorer.

So, the window is closing and I don't think we will see anyone else, certainly not the marquee signing Karl Robinson was dribbling about. Robinson may have a point about not wanting to pay over-the-odds but it could also be face-saving given uncertainty over whether or not Roland Duchatelet would cough-up.

The win at Bolton on Saturday was impressive, coming as it did with ten men who actually played for 80 minutes and came from behind. The icing on the cake was impressive performances from new-boys Jake Forster-Caskey and Nathan Byrne who combined on the break for the winner. I will be as happy as anyone if we can push-on with the squad we have but logic tells you that will be extremely difficult to do when we haven't replaced top scorer Ademola Lookman and have also lost next-in-line Josh Magennis. Tony Watt has been brought back but he is likely to go missing in the next few weeks and isn't an out-an-out striker. 

I think we are a country mile off promotion contenders and talk about the play-offs is fanciful but if Karl Robinson can get  tune of what he's got and we end up getting close, Duchatelet's parsimony will be to brought into sharp focus. He does have to cover an ongoing operating loss but this season should be in profit when it eventually gets reported and he clearly has his eyes on repeating the performance next year with Aribo and Konsa playing up their values. In the meantime of course, we remain very much a mid-table Division Three side with no more realistic ambition than the relatively smaller clubs around us.


Personally, this season has been another Duchatelet low point for me and I am struggling to muster any enthusiasm for what I am seeing. The mere fact some people are wetting themselves over a win with ten men is telling - we really are desperate for any sign of hope, however small or fleeting. I have been to fewer matches than at anytime since the 1970's and I am really excited about seeing Scotland play Ireland on Saturday instead of Fleetwood Town at the Valley. The match day experience has become a tedious, repetitive grind.

I will see this season out but like fellow blogger Wyn Grant (Addicks Third Division Diary), I am wondering whether I will stop going altogether next season if nothing changes. I really can't believe I feel that way but I get a fraction of the previous enjoyment from going. Hardly any of my mates attend matches any longer and they aren't even bothering to come down for a drink. The football has been very poor on the whole (certainly at home) and I despise Katrien Meire and the way we have been treated as Customers over the last three years. At least someone (one of the expensive PR people we now employ) has managed to shut her up which has broken the series of operating blunders and foot-in-mouth moments for now. Old yellow teeth is still his arrogant, ignorant, absent self but we know he's ready to sell when he can get out without taking a bath, so there's always hope I guess.

1 comment:

Dave said...

31st January 7pm, Nicky Ajose officially a flop as he is loaned back to Swindon. With what we are saving on wages (won't be all of it I bet), we have signed 18 year-old Arsenal prospect Stephy Mavididi. Not sure he will get much playing time and he's unlikely to stay beyond the end of season loan. Looks like a bit of PR to off-set Ajose loss to me.