This summer was supposed to be about building up the team by keeping our best players and strengthening it where necessary. Ever since the season has gotten over, we have been waiting for quality players to arrive and also at the departures of the dross that we have at our club. Arsene himself made it clear that his priority will be to keep the best players and strengthen the squad! At the moment, we haven’t achieved any of the above. In fact, we have gone a step back than where we were last season!
The start to the summer looked quite promising. The news coming in was positive and we did sign a couple of youngsters and a right back. The good thing was that we showed signs in making changes. The other good thing was that clubs were coming in for our dross players (later revealed to be false news as the mentioned clubs denied the links). There were also stories about Nasri and Clichy departing with the Fabregas saga commencing from where it had stopped last summer.
Cahill, Samba, Hazard, Gervinho, Alvarez were the name of few players being linked with us constantly. And it seemed inevitable that one of them will be announced as our new signing. Some reports even went onto claim that on first July we will be announcing at least three players.
The disappointing reports about three of our player’s departure continued. I wasn’t concerned about Fabregas! Nasri’s situation was alarming! The worrying thing, however, was that of Clichy’s exit. I have been saying all along that the most important player to hold onto would be Clichy! And I was relieved when, last Sunday, Arsene said that talks have started in order to make him stay.
First July came and went. I had hoped that I will be writing about our new signings but they never materialized. Four days later the thing that I feared the most did come to pass. The one position, where we had no cover is now exposed more than ever. Clichy’s departure to City may seem ironic in face of what he himself said at Adebayor’s move, however, that should not be our concern. The worrying thing is that our own players don’t want to stay. The player that was part of the first generation of project youth has abandoned that project to achieve success!
The team that he chose was none other than City, one of our main rivals who overtook us in the league last season! The team that won’t sell its own players to clubs that challenge for the title! And then Arsene says that Nasri won’t go to any other Premier League cub!
What impression of Arsenal is this going to leave on the rest of the football world? And as things are going, I don’t see anyone wanting to come to Arsenal except youngsters. As they can leave when developed! And no one wants our dross! Denilson is to join the team for pre-season according to his agent as there are no buyers!
Where does this leave us? In dire need of a left back, for one, who can easily come in and replace Clichy. Gibbs is no where ready; Traore is not better than Clichy. Who are our options then? Leighton Baines! Who else? Arsene will have a hard time in finding a replacement and that will only be the case if Wenger does indeed look for one. The thing that is giving me the creeps is if we get no one and Gibbs starts the season as a first choice left back. I have nothing against Gibbs. It is only that he is not ready yet. In fact I don’t see him as a defender at the moment. His positioning is wrong along and his decision making is poor. Up front he is somewhat better but that also needs lots of work. He requires at least one more season to fully develop.
I wouldn’t have been concerned much with this departure if we had a readymade replacement. Now not only are we a player down but also in a very dangerous position. The price tag of all left backs is going to shoot up which will lead to only one end result that we have witnessed in recent summers! Which I desperately hope is the not the case this time.
This transfer also opens many other doors. Will Nasri and Fabregas consider this the key to their own departures! Nasri’s new comments aren’t encouraging! Will this departure give them the hope that they can move out and Arsenal won’t be able to do anything? Or will Arsene do more to keep Nasri and Fabregas? Replacing three players will be a hard task when you also need to strengthening other positions! Will experienced players ever want to come to Arsenal? Will this move make other player want to leave? There are already rumors of Walcott and van Persie wanting to leave!
Things certainly aren’t looking good for us at the moment no matter how hard one tries to convince himself.
As for strengthening the squad, Arsene now is the time! I had hoped last Sunday that the next time I will be writing when we sign a player. Well, we haven’t even made a bid for Cahill yet! Samba rumors have gone quiet. I don’t know what’s wrong with Gervinho’s signing. Alvarez’ deal has been rumored to be hijacked by Inter while Hazard is staying at Lille. That leave us with Chamberlain and according to Southampton we haven’t approached them. What have we been doing for the last one-and-a-half month? Only Arsene and the people at Arsenal can tell us the answer.
Meanwhile our troubles don’t end here. There are reports that Alex Song faces up to two years in jail if found guilty of an assault charge. It is being reported that his guards were mainly involved and a hearing is set for in August. Losing Alex Song like this will be catastrophe! But frankly speaking I don’t see it happening.
Although, everything points to a disaster, I haven’t given up! I am still hoping that one of these days we will make our moves. Clichy’s departure isn’t a good start but maybe this will urge Wenger to make quick changes that are necessary. After all this might be Wenger’s last chance to make a difference!
With this I will end for now. After lots of travelling in the last week I am back now and hopefully will be updating the blog regularly! Apologies for not being able to post anything in the last week! Have a good day!