I know that Gerry has submitted a post but I thought I might throw one out there which doesn’t delve too deeply or go on too long as I’m sometimes wont to do. We haven’t had too many comments here lately, so maybe we’re all rather enjoying our Summers and aren’t quite ready to get back into the roller-coaster ride that being a supporter can sometimes be.
Compared to last Summer where we had a major tournament to watch and plenty of drama around Cesc’s return to London (but not Arsenal) this one seems relatively tame. A year ago we had stumbled to the finish line and gotten up for 4th while winning the FA Cup in the shakiest of fashions. This time, with the same trophy–but lifted in a much more stylish way–we’ve also had the pleasure of a seeing some obvious improvement in the early part of the transfer window–and a nice bit of turnabout in the eye-poking between us and Chelsea–through the Cech transfer.
For those watching the International game we’ve seen another cracker from Jack Wilshere (in England qualifying for next Summer’s Euros) and more body exposure from Alexis Sanchez after sealing the Copa America title for his country. There was enough cheek in his penalty kick to justify our player of the season keeping his shorts on. More of this naked brilliance in the new season please…
In more recent news, Lukas Poldolski is off to Galatasaray. Their Istanbul rivals, Fenerbache, however, have claimed Robin van Persie. Istanbul, I guess, is a soft landing for older strikers who are no longer able to make the grade in England. It’s not quite FC Dallas, where Abou Diaby is suggested to be going, but both moves seem significant steps down. What say Gooners about the departure of Lu-lu (and Diaby and any of the others–Ryo Miyachi or the academy players who have moved) and the big tumble our former Captain Van Persie has experienced?
For me, I’m not too concerned about Poldolski’s departure as it coincides with Theo Walcott’s return to fitness. The two players are not truly comparable but they would compete for playing time. Danny Welbeck, bought when Giroud and Walcott were both out with lengthy injuries, should also get his chances.
Diaby is a painful one. He seemed a dedicated and skilled player who lost his career to injury. A shame, but the club can not be faulted for standing by him. I’ll always remember him as the very best player in the French team from their matches at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but that’s not saying much if you can recall their performance. Maybe if he had the leadership qualities to hold that group together (which included former Arsenal players, William Gallas, Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka and Bacary Sagna)–and then transferred that strength to his body–he could have lived up to the hope that he was the one to replace Patrick Vieira.
Miyachi, the speedy but slight Japanese prodigy, was a punt which might’ve drawn in a football mad viewing population but never grew into all the promise. My thought is that, at the level of ambitions we hold as a club, the jump from the youth ranks to the first team is a gap few can bridge. Next up, but still only 18, is Krystian Bielek.
Will Bielek get into the first team? Captain Mikel Arteta has been signed for another year while Mathieu Flamini, who also has a year left on his contract, has been linked with a move away from the club. With the emergence of Francis Coquelin and the steady play of Santi Cazorla in a deeper role the urgency to sign a defensive mid seems more muted. What say Gooners on this account?
I’m not going to try and decipher the hit-hounds (and whores) and their cryptic and often misleading (or dead wrong) headlines–stay tuned for Gerry’s post? Nope, I will not be twisted into knots trying to figure out who the 25 year old world cup star (for whom we’ve just made the massive bid) might be… Nor will I click on the link. Instead, I just try and get inside the mind of the manager (probably because I’m jealous of the hair atop that mind…) based on the (real) news at hand.
So, congrats to Captain Mikel on his contract extension, good luck to the former Arsenal strikers in Istanbul (and others headed elsewhere). This news seems fine by me. (RvJudas dumped by Van Haal seems almost like Dutch poetry…) What do my fellow Gooners think? Rankled, Disappointed, Despairing? What would Summer be without such feelings?…