Date: 1st September 2006 at 3:03pm
Written by:

In the aftermath of a hectic last day in the transfer market, are we Gooners happy with what we got?

The forums & website across the net were frantic last night with discussions and arguments rumbling on well into the early hours, so lets have a look at a couple of opinions of the Vital Arsenal members.

Vital Gooner Gus_Caesar88 had this to say about William Gallas & The Beast Baptista.

On talent these guys are good signings. Both are full internationals at the very highest level. Both have vast experience of playing in big teams in major leagues.

William Gallas should be the much needed partner for Kolo, he has pace and power and unlike Kolo a decent sense of positioning. I think the arrival of Gallas will see Kolo become an even better defender.

Julio Baptista is strong, powerful and has an eye for goal. He does however lack a bit of pace and hasn’t quite got the touch of a Fabregas or Rosicky. But one thing he will do is shoot, which is what we need. If he can hit top form he will add 10-12 goals a season from Midfield, which with the departure of Robert Pires maybe very important.

However I have two major reservations over the these two signings:

The first is the motivation and attitude of the two players. Although pleased to have signed Gallas the way he went about departing Chelsea was not admirable, lets hope he hasn’t signed for us to get one over on Chelski and Mourinho. If he has moved to claim a regular centre back place then we have got one hell of a player.
Julio Baptista didn’t want to sign for us last season. The Beast has also been quoted as saying he didn’t ‘Fancy’ London. Now did he see the error of his ways??? Or was he pushed on a plane to London by Fabio Capello, who had made it clear he was not in his plans??

The second reservation regards Julio Baptista and his lack of pace. Are we seeing a fundamental shift in the way we play??? Two years ago…We were comfortably the fastest team on the break in europe. Since then Pires, Vieira, Bergkamp, Reyes have left and Ljungberg has lost a yard of pace.

Neither Hleb, Rosicky, Baptista, or Gilberto are particularly quick and lack the precision and invention of Bergkamp and Pires in quick breaks.

Add this to the inability to break teams down who are set out on all out defence and a reducing effectiveness to counter attack we may struggle to score some goals this season. But hey its only a minor reservation.

Concerns were expressed by FatOldDave about the apparent ‘low’ amount of cash we received in the Cole deal

Daylight robbery, and we’re not even going to press charges! All you have to do to sign Arsenal players now is take them to dinner, get caught, laugh at the FA, and wait until we roll over and play dead. I can’t believe DD fell for this. They played brinksmanship and won. We could have done the same deal weeks ago and they would have been rubbing their hands with glee.

Don’t get me wrong, we have signed a world class defender, and I’m sure Gallas will offer us more than Cole in the short term. But he’s 29 and in the last year of his contract. This deal values him in excess of £11m. Would anybody else have paid that? Not on your nelly.

FatOldDave also gave Pascal Cygan his best wishies.

Farewell Zinedine, And all the very best to you old son. If some with twice the talent had tried half as hard we would be Champions of Europe now.

Upon hearing the new that Mascherano & Tevez had signed for West Ham The Prof struggled to join in the debate.

I’m impressed with the way you lot are able to discuss all this, I’m still knocked for six sitting at my desk dribbling and rocking back and forth.

All in all, the Gooners seems to be pretty happy with the days work, expressed here by FAB4.

I’m pretty happy overall. If you look at the players involved, would an unhappy Cole be better than Gallas plus Cole’s cover (Clichy and Flamini)? I think you know my view on that. And the same with Reyes. Is an unhappy player ever going to be at their full potential?

I actually think Baptista brings us a new dimension of a very powerful central attacking midfielder (ala Ballack) which none of our current winger type midfielders do. It’s a new challenge for Baptista, a chance to make the Brazilian team and somewhat resurrect his carrer. I think (and hope) he’ll be up to it.

As far as Gallas goes, he’s French and must have a good rapport with TH and will probably do well with AW. I believe his biggest problem with playing LB for the Chavs was that Donkey Carvallho seemed to be the first choice CB with Terry, so he wasn’t so much covering at LB as it seemed to be his position. I think AW will’ve explained that he’ll be required to cover there from time to time (like now!!) but that he’ll be the first choice CB with Kolo. And imagine that finally KT gets to have a rest from time to time. He deserves that.