The Window Has Closed – Ups and Downs

With the closing of the transfer window let’s see where Arsenal are right now:

Pluses – The five signings are all strong.  Sanchez, Chambers, Debuchy, Ospina, and Welbeck are either making or should make strong contributions to the team.  Given that Arsenal is in four contests they will all be needed.  

We did it on the cheap, like we always do.  Even with the signing of Welbeck the team spent a little over 80 million.  That is offset by the money the team will get from being in the Champions League.  Since we don’t want to end up like Leeds or Rangers it is always smart to be a little tight with the money.  

Minuses - We only signed five.  That is the fewest of any team in the Premier League.  Over the summer the team lost 5 players so the roster didn’t get any larger.  The big reason this is a such a concern is that Arsenal were crippled by injuries last year and if that happens again we will be screwed again.  

Some big holes didn’t get filled.  Most importantly the team did not get a new holding midfielder.  Anyone who follows the team knows that weakness in this area lead to some beatings at Chelsea and Manchester City last year.  The failure to address this has left Arsenal open to the same counterattacks that hurt them so badly.  

All-in-all I think this summer is an improvement over last but there is still work to do if Arsenal are really going to be a world class club.  


Today Is the Day

By 6:00 pm est we’ll know if Arsenal are serious about contending for a title.  If they don’t bring in a central defensive midfielder, a striker, and possibly a back up defender, they won’t have the players to compete with Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool.  Not knocking the guys they brought in but it’s too much to expect them to compete in four competitions with such a thin team.  

The Window Closes At 11:00 pm gmt

Like a I said in an earlier post this week is going to set the frame work for Arsenal’s season. Tomorrow at 11:00 pm gmt the transfer window closes in the Premier League until January 1.  

These are critical hours for Arsenal.  

The teams needs a holding midfielder first and foremost.  Then they need a striker and a backup defender. Given the talent in the Premier League Arsenal will not be able to contend for the title unless they get a midfielder and either a striker or a back up defender.  In an ideal world they would get all three.  

Well, if it was really an ideal world all three would already be on the team and I would the owner of the club.  Unfortunately none of those have happened.

Of course, Arsenal love the drama so you can expect things will go down to the wire tomorrow evening.     

Get Ready for Some Cruzing

No, I am not talking about the Al Pacino gay-killer 70’s movie.  Instead I am referring to Ted Cruz staffing up for a probable 2016 run.  Cruz is pulling together a team that has solid Iowa experience.  The Texas senator knows this will stoke the fires over a possible presidential bid.  Frankly, that is exactly the way he likes it. 

Interesting to see how Cruz tries to play it in New Hampshire.  Will he go all in or will he focus on Iowa and hope momentum carries him to victory in the Granite state? That’ll tell you how serious he is about winning. 

Look Out Iowa – Here Comes the Pence Express

Wake the kids and phone the neighbors, Mike Pence (yes, that Mike Pence) is going to visit Iowa in September.  I wonder why? Could it be to promote the GOP and support its great candidates on the ballot in November?  Could it be to see the Hawkeyes pay?  Maybe to both.  Or it could be that the Indiana Governor is testing the waters for 2016. 

My money is on the last one.

Pence has a solid conservative voting record, mid-western roots which will play well in Iowa, and as a governor does have executive experience. However, he also has a stern, humorless personality, similar to Mr. Fitts in American Beauty.  Is that really the guy to get the GOP back into the White House?  Many in the party base may think so.  

He is in the second tier of candidates but don’t be surprised if he moves up as 2015 moves along. 

Obama Is the Worst President Ever* Part 3 – Iraq/Syria

* – When it comes to communicaions

Today, President Obama said that when it comes to dealing with ISIS the U.S doesn’t have a strategy yet. Ouch.

You can just see that being used to attack Obama and Democratic candidates in the fall.  Why?  It doesn’t exactly inspire much confidence when it comes to dealing with a group that cuts people’s heads off.  If Obama wanted to give the GOP a way to hit him hard he just did. 

Now it’s certainly a very smart thing not to rush into a military conflict in the Middle East without a plan. We kind of did that once over there and it didn’t turnout to great.  But to say OUT LOUD that you don’t have a strategy is probably the worst thing you could say as people ISIS kill people on tv. Seriously, what was he thinking?

More Signs of Libertarians Being Overrated

Apparently, not everyone has joined the rush of media hailing the upcoming Libertarian golden age. Of course it is hard to believe considering how much press Libertarians get for doing so little.

It turns out that the young folks may actually be not just socially liberal but also supportive of government programs to help the poor.  

Research from Emory University finds voters under 30 identify as liberal and not libertarian but a margin of 35-16.  Their attitude towards social welfare spending is more favorable than those over 30 by a 10 point margin.  Numbers like this show that the GOP might be fooling itself if they think younger votes will automatically flock to them if they nominate someone like Rand Paul.    

After coming of age during the Great Recession some people don’t automatically embrace the market as the solver of all life’s problems.  Go figure. 

Studies like this should give the GOP pause to think that simply changing their position on gay marriage or pot (neither of which will be easy) and leaving everything else in place is suddenly going to bring in a whole new flock of voters.  In some places it may turn off many of their socially conservative supporters but that is a story for another post.