AFCB editor Andrew Weber rounds up the day’s news…
Squillaci to sign
Spanish club Sevilla have confirmed that Sebastien Squillaci is heading to London today to complete a medical and sign for Arsenal.
“Defender Sebastien Squillaci is tonight travelling to London to have a medical at Arsenal, the club he will be transferred to after an agreement was reached by the two clubs pending the results of the medical.”
It’s obviously exciting and positive news: for all of my personal question marks that surrounds Squillaci’s quality as a player we are in desperate need of a fourth central defender and he certainly ticks that box.
Squillaci’s arrival should ensure a healthy level of cover and competition is maintained at the back, the importance of which will become more apparent as the season wears on.
After Theo Walcott’s excellent hat-trick against Blackpool over the weekend, both Arsene Wenger and Walcott have commented on his future as a player and the likelihood of him finishing his career as a striker.
“I believe that Theo can score goals because when he was young he scored goals. I know it goes a bit away between 18 and 21, when players mature and adapt to the top level. But I think Theo can score goals again now, and I am convinced he will finish in the middle. First of all he has good timing of his runs, and he senses when you have to go behind the defenders. And then he has electric pace – once he is a yard behind a central defender, nobody in the world can catch him.”
“He is developing still and maybe what happened to him is part of his development. He was too nervous in front of goal, he rushed his movements. Now he is composed, and once a player feels and understands how to be composed and calm in front of goal, it opens their mind. We forget at what pace he does things, like when het cuts the ball back. When he goes forward he can only cut the ball back because no-one can keep up with him!”
While Walcott said:
“The boss signed me as a striker but I’ll happily play anywhere for Arsenal. There’s a lot of competition up front now with Marouane and Robin, so as long as I provide goals and pop up with one now and then I’m happy with that. But if the boss wants me to play up front I’m buzzing from that. I’m working in training up front so I’ll go from there.”
They are interesting comments, particularly the one from Wenger about players losing their goalscoring touch between the ages of 18 and 21.
I think sometimes we forget how young these players are and fail to appreciate that their development happens more gradually than perhaps we would prefer.
Walcott is a perfect case in point: after bursting onto the scene with his raw pace his tendency to make poor decisions have frustrated fans enough to believe that he may never develop into the player that Wenger believes he can be.
Carlos Vela, Denilson and Abou Diaby are three other players that perhaps appear to be developing more slowly than supporters would like and often go from thrilling one week to frustrating the next.
But perhaps we need to stand back a little bit from the situation, understand the inconsistency that youth brings and give the young players the time and support they need to fulfill their potential, even if it means less trophies in the short-term.
It’s just a thought.
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