When the subject of Vieira turning out for Spurs next season was raised earlier in the transfer window, Gunners fans everywhere collectively spluttered their chosen beverages all over themselves in disgust like someone who had just caught a glimpse of one of their old best friends fellating a Nazi. ‘Surely not!’ we all cried out.
Then something amazing happened. Rumours started to spread that he was not infact fraternising with fascists, rather, he was looking to rejoin us and it was like those scenes in films where a couple in a field run longingly towards one another, from quite a distance, and really quite slowly, to a joyful soundtrack. ‘Hooray!’ we all cheered, ‘Paddy’s back!’
However, a scratchy needle yanked from a record back-to-reality sound happened (metaphorically) today when the player, according to Sky Sports, decided he’d rather stay at Inter instead. Easy come easy go I suppose.
Throughout the duration of the story linking him with us, I couldn’t help but see similarities between it and Michael Schumacher’s return to F1, someone whom I must also profess to being a fan of. Two past masters of the trade, returning to help the teams that had effectively made them as sportsmen in their hours of need (sort of). And yet, the cynical, pessimistic twat inside me, the one who watches the Goonies and thinks ‘They might have been having a nice time back when they were kids, but I suspect they all have crap jobs now. And Chunk’s probably dead.’ thought: ‘What if they come back and aren’t very good, thus ruining the glorified images I have of the both of them in their heydays?’ The stories are mirrored further with both men seemingly pulling out of their respective returns today and that sceptical part of me can’t help but think it’s for the best.
On the other hand, there’s still the childish part of me that believes Paddy will come back and form the meanest midfield partnership with Cesc the Premier League has ever seen, delivering us the Premiership, Champions League and FA Cup with ease and then he’ll call on my house and say ‘Oi Tristan, do you wanna kick about?’ and I’ll say ‘yes’ and Wenger’ll be there and be so impressed with my skills that he’ll offer me a 50 year contract on the spot and I’ll go on to score the winner against Spurs and in my celebrations throw my shirt over my head to reveal another shirt underneath which reads ‘Up yours Lawro!’ making the prematch MotD analysis very awkward. Or something along those lines.
Actually putting some actual analysis on the subject from an Arsenal point of view, I’d say that Tim Stillman raised the very valid point that next season could be a breakthrough one for Abou Diaby, a player Arséne has a lot of faith in, who could step up to the plate and prove to be a Flamini-esque partner to Cesc, as could perhaps Alex Song, and bringing in Vieira as a stop gap would reduce the amount of first team action for two players whom Wenger clearly sees a lot of potential in, yet they have both reached the age where they need to be proving themselves regularly this season.
On the other hand, there is the argument that we would be bringing in a quality player with a wealth of experience who might help rather than hinder the progress of all the centre midfielders at the club, as well as playing an important part in the campaign ahead.
Ah well, there’s still three weeks of transfer window left and you never know what might happen. We might swoop to sign David Bentley for all you know. I sincerely hope we don’t, but you never know.
Moving on, poor Manuel Almunia’s England hopes have been dashed by mean ol Mr Capello. When he first announced that he was hoping to become the England No. 1 we all guffawed at him as if he’d just announced that he was going to grow a third testicle and become ruler of Poland, however at this moment in time, from an England perspective, I can’t currently see a better candidate. As good as Ben Foster may prove to be, he hasn’t been a regular for a top four side over the last two years and if I were Capello, from a tactical side of things it would make perfect sense to use Manu, at the very least as a backup keeper.
Although from a less tactical side of things, seeing a Spaniard represent England would still seem completely unnatural, in the much the same way as if you were to stumble upon a cat dressed as Flava Flav.
That’s yer lot for today
Vieira A No Go, Almunia’s England Chances & Nazis