Jonathan Woodgate looked all set to move from ‘Boro to Spurs, but it seems Arsenal may have gazumped their north-London rivals at the eleventh hour. The Guardian reports that the Gunners ‘have also agreed a fee with Middlesbrough for the England international’. Wow, I didn’t see that coming. When I heard that a third club had come in for Woody, I guessed that it might be Man City or Everton, but not Arsenal.
Is Arsene Wenger still so bitter about the 5-1 Carling Cup debacle that he’s willing to buy Jonathan Woodgate to spite Tottenham? Surely not – Woodgate spends more time on the treatment table than on the pitch. He is not a Wenger type of signing (he’s English, for starters).
And yet there is no doubt that Arsenal need back-up in central defence. With Kolo Toure at the Africa Cup of Nations, Arsenal must rely on William Gallas + one from Senderos/Djourou/Gilberto.
Spurs, too, could use a little support at the back – but in Ledley King they already have a super-crock; they don’t need another. Can you imagine how unreliable a central-defensive pairing of King/Woodgate would be?
And why are Middlesbrough â€“ who are by no means safe from the threat of relegation â€“ prepared to get rid of their most talented central defender at this crucial stage of the season? Surely that must set off a few alarm bells in the minds of Wenger and also Juande Ramos.
Woodgate has played a few impressive games for ‘Boro since he joined them from Real Madrid, but he is not good enough for either Arsenal or Spurs, particularly with his record of persistent injuries.