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Last summer:

30th April – Podolski signing announced
26th June – Giroud signing announced
7th August – Cazorla signing announced

Looking back at our main activity last summer, Podolski’s deal was sorted almost ludicrously early (very un-Arsenal-like), Giroud’s in good time and Cazorla’s as the season was about to begin. July was a total wasteland, just as this July has been a vision of transfer apocalypse.

Now, we know that we nabbed Cazorla because Malaga were skint, and we got him for a good price, and on that basis he fitted in well with Wenger’s ethos. Top quality player, very reasonable price. Merci beaucoup, bonnet de douche, Chateauneuf du Pape and all that (not that Wenger is Del Boy, because he couldn’t be further from that, really). But we got him quite late, and I think you can see where I’m attempting to go with all this.

I cling to this like a limpet to the hull of a ship: in a constipated transfer market, August can sometimes be the prunes (needs more work – Ed).

Intransigence can give way to necessity, prices can drop, just like in any auction – or go up, true – but my point is that in July some players are on holiday, the managers can be on holiday, the teams are off around the globe making money and in August, they’re not. Things heat up.

“But what about Man City”, I hear you say, and even our chums up the road for that matter, who have broken their own transfer record, and I have no answer to that. I merely grasp at the coat-tails of optimism.

And as long as there’s time – almost five weeks remain – there has to be optimism, right? It just makes no sense to me for Arsenal to a) announce they have money, very publicly, b) for everyone in positions of power to admit we want to strengthen, c) to offload players we no longer need in order to free up space in the squad and the balance sheet and then not do anything. If that happens, it makes no sense to me.

I’m not preaching patience, because we’re past that. I’m just saying that I can’t envisage Arsenal not strengthening. I can’t see a sensible reason why we can’t or won’t. And Cazorla is the perfect example to give that deals – and not just any deal, but world class deals – can be done as the season is about to begin. Arteta and Mertesacker are other examples of excellent players being bought pretty much as the transfer’s fat lady is reaching her crescendo.

There’s a fabric for success in what we have already. Some players have grown visibly over the last season, others will improve now they’ve settled in, some are back from injury. Our defence underwent something of a metamorphosis in the tail end of the season. Why would you not build on that?

I might look like a mug on 1st September, or whenever the window closes, but applying logic to this I think we’ll see some substantial incomings. It makes no sense not to.

*makes rod for own back*

For those who’ve not yet seen it, there was a good chinwag on Google Hangout with Arseblog, Gunnerblog, Arse2Mouse, Goonerholic and myself. Here it is. A bit of gloom, but not 100% gloom…


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. Demostines

    Agree, all is not as it seems… 😀

  2. East Lower

    And yet we might all be smiling in ten days. I stress the ‘might’…

  3. LilMountain

    The Hig and Suarez deals just show we lack the ability to do business at this level in the market anymore. So, even if the intention is there, it is no guarantee of any success

  4. East Lower

    True, but was not the Cazorla deal at the right level? I’m slightly playing devil’s advocate of course, because I know where you’re coming from.

  5. PDDD

    Here’s the thing though. We desperately needed players last January. We got all the same ‘it’s a difficult market’ stuff then that we’re getting now. Gibbs gets injured; we bought a new left back within 48 hours.
    It can be done if the will is there.

    We’re obviously trying to buy a striker. Other than that – injuries aside – I actually don’t think Arsene wants anybody. The unbeaten run at the end of last season has – as a lot of us feared – fooled him again into thinking his squad is much better than it is. It’s an all too familiar story…..

  6. Owen Milbury

    For most of the summer I’ve been optimiistic that something big is about to happen. It’s gotten to the point where I’m just trying, desperately, to not pay attention to transfer talk. I have absolutley no clue what we are doing at this point, and until there is some real, actual news, I’m going to sit back and wait. I’ve been thinking all summer about the 3-4 players who were on the verge of joining and making us title contenders, and now I feel stupid for letting myself imagine that.
    Weird summer so far.

  7. Jeff

    Curious. I just did some news searches on Arsenal transfer activity, and nothing came back about new signings coming in.

    Arsenal are doing such a good job keeping it quiet if they are bringing in new players.

  8. Jeff

    Today’s press conference was interesting. He definitely wants Suarez, perhaps others as well, and he rates Sanogo. I still trust Wenger enough to be encouraged when he says that Sanogo will make headlines on the pitch. At the Under 20 World Cup, which France won, Sanogo looked good (although he was a little off in the final), and with Arsene saying he looks good enough to make headlines, I’m looking forward to seeing him play for Arsenal. I don’t think I ever heard him say anything similar about Park. With Park, there was the adjustment period, where he didn’t play (the first half of his first season), then, Arsene announced that Park had completed his adjustment period, but then he still never played.

    When Sanogo was signed, I think I read that fans shouldn’t be worried that he’s young,injury prone, and unknown because he’s never going to play. Arsene made it sound like Sanogo is definitely going to play.

    He also said that he now considers Jack Wilshere fully in the squ…team. It sounds like Wilshere and Carzorla will be nailed on starters – no surprise.

    Would Suarez come right into the team at the expense of Giroud and Podolski?

    Carzola Wilshere Walcott
    Arteta Ramsey
    Gibbs Koscielny Mertesacker Sagna

    Giroud, Podolski, and Oxlade-Chamberlain off the bench.

    I’m looking at the squad being obviously thin, so I have no doubt we’re going to bring in players, but are they going to be good enough to make a difference? I doubt it. Suarez, maybe, but who in midfield would definitely oust Arteta or Ramsey? If we do well, I think it’ll be because the players we have will start playing better, like Ramsey and Walcott, but I have no expectation that we’ll challenge for trophies. A little hope, but I’m looking forward to the season so much, regardless.

  9. PDDD

    There’s very little interesting in anything Arsene says these days. It’s the same old shit we’ve heard a million times before.

    The point is Santi should be in the middle with Jack & we have no-one in the squad good enough to play with them to enable that to happen. You can’t seriously think there’s no-one out there better than Ramsey/Arteta? (Fellaini is the most often linked – are you seriously telling me he’s not a better option ?) Honestly Jeff, that is just bonkers. 100% crazy. Both should be squad players if we’re serious about closing the gap to the top teams.

    I hope one day your optimism is warranted, I really do……..but your blind faith in everything Arsene says despite all the evidence to the contrary (& not just you to be fair, you’re one of many) is the reason the term AKB has become such a term of abuse.

  10. Jeff

    I would like Fellaini. I don’t think he’s a guarantee to be successful in holding midfield, but I agree that he’d be a good signing and would probably displace Arteta or Ramsey, or maybe even both, as you suggest, which would open things up.

    Podolski Carzola Wilshere Walcott
    Gibbs Koscielny Mertesacker Sagna

    I’d still like M’Vila as well, but he’s in Russia now, so there’s probably zero financial incentive for his team to let him go, plus he’s de-railed his career by being a punk, but when you talk about having ONE player who can patrol central midfield to replace the two players who were doing the job, M’Vila is very much the right profile. Even Rio Mavuba, who’s older, might be a good signing. Also, there are many up-and-coming defensive midfielders from France. The top one right now is Matuidi with PSG, and then maybe Poga with Juve, but they’re going nowhere I wouldn’t think. Guilavogui, Kondogbia, and Kapoue are less proven options, and probably not good enough for Arsenal at this point. The player from Lyon, Gonalons, isn’t very exciting, but he’s more solid and reliable, I think, than those three.

    The back-up for Bayern Munich who’s a starter for Brazil could be a decent option.

  11. PDDD

    Fellaini has made it very clear many times that he considers himself a holding midfielder but that he played everywhere for Everton to help the team. We don’t have the same deficiencies further forward that Everton have so he wouldn’t have to move. (I also saw him intereviewed where he said Moyes agreed that it was his best position)
    That team you’ve just named is so, so far in advance of the first one. There’s no comparison. That team could challenge. With a new goalkeeper to back up Chesney (an absolute must – we cannot be one injury away from entrusting our season to Fabianski), Jenks/Vermaelen/Monreal/Arteta/Ramesy/Rosicky/Ox/Giroud….potentially another centre-half too unless take a big gamble on Miquel. Hope that Ryo/Gnabry/Sanogo do enough to be able to fill in the odd time when injuries hit.
    The question is though is Arsene content with starting with Arteta as his DM & Fabianski as no.2 keeper ? I think he is & if he is, I think he should be pushed out.
    PS I have to say it again : quality issues aside, I can’t think of any Gooner I know who wants Suarez. The guy is a loathsome individual. I just don’t know why we didn’t get Higuain.

  12. PDDD

    I have to say too…if Roma have put in a bid for Gervinho, why are we negotiating ? Just accept it & get rid !!!!!!!!

  13. PDDD

    Anyone watch the first half of the Napoli & still think Ramsey is a defensive midfield option ? If so, please consult your nearest shrink

  14. Jeff

    And Bendtner? These guys don’t even suit up anymore, do they? 16-yr-olds are knocking Bendtner further down the pecking order.

    The funny thing is, Bendtner could be at least as good as Giroud, if he were right in the head.

  15. PDDD

    Bendtner is actually one I don’t blame the club for struggling to get rid of. I think it’s fairly clear his attitude alone is making him hard to move on. This time last year, when we couldn’t get rid of him, I thought we should have brought him back into the squad as he clearly had more to offer than Gervinho. Now……he’s clearly given up on making the best of his talent & if we can’t more him on, there’s no way I’d want him brought back in. Like you say…he’s just not ‘right in the head’….and sadly won’t ever be. An awful waste of a career.

  16. Jeff

    Suarez deal looks dead. It’s going to take a miracle signing to match his game-winning potential. Fellaini looks to be on his way to Man United. Back to the drawing board, eh? They have a drawing board, don’t they?

  17. PDDD

    I think there’s one buried underneath Highbury….

  18. LilMountain

    Maybe Hig, but not Suarez. Also Malaga were desperate for cash ASAP and we had plenty on hand, a special set of circumstances

  19. LilMountain


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