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There’re a few speculatively linking Arsenal to purchasing one Lorik Cana, the Albanian centre-midfielder from Olympique Marseilles.
Several amongst us are already sold by the tigerish tackler who seems to know nothing about self-preservation. Then again, he seems to know nothing about the sanctity of life either when jumping into one of those leg-breakers.
With the malaise of heart and effort on show from Emmanuel Adebayor, it’s understandable to see why transfer-window addicts covet Cana like we do.
But in a team that desperately needs defensive re-enforcements yet does not drill its players in enough defence routines, what effect would Arsenal FC, as a club, have on Lorik Cana?
The Wenger Effect:
Both Arsenal’s style of play and Wenger’s coaching would convert Cana from being a player who gets red-carded four times a match to a player sent off once every five matches (preparing for the worst, here).
The team over the years, despite its flaws, has developed a keen sense of intercepting counter attacks when put under pressure. The best examples that come to mind are the 2-0 win over AC Milan and the recent 0-0 with Man United.
In both games, Arsenal players seemed to catch every opponent’s pass short and put further pressure on the other team. Interestingly enough, both those examples were away from home.
Point being made is that Arsenal’s quick pace allows the players to tackle front on, rather than having to track back and come from behind as Cana seems to be forced to do.
It’s almost as if the man has an obsession with tackling from behind, as if he were playing Australian Rules Football. In both codes of the game, he would be sent off.
So either the team’s front-on style of play would lessen the need for him to destroy someone’s calves, or Wenger steps in.
Criticise the manager as much as you want, he has proven himself many times to man-manage effectively.
And even Lorik would think twice of confronting one of France’s greatest managers.
So if the man cannot get the orders into his head to cut down the Robbie Savage antics, he’ll have Wenger to contend with.
Granted, it’s not ‘Sir’ Alex, but we could do worse.
The Keown Effect:
If anyone could find the soul-mate to end all soul-mates in Lorik Cana, it could just possibly be Mr Martin Keown.
The man that tightened up a makeshift defence of Flamini, Senderos, Toure and Eboue to set a Champions League clean-sheets record, could be the man to turn the cluster bomb Albanian into smart bomb Cana.
That, or just teach him how to show the bastards who’s boss:
Though if anyone has seen the Keown segment in ‘Wenger’s XI’, they’ll know that this guy could make a recovery tackle like no other.