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There’s been another massive blank slot in my blogging compendium, but you’ll forgive me: I didn’t want to endure the daily pains of the transfer window, so I didn’t. Well that’s an element of it – another is the Olympics, the viewing of which I could safely win an Olympic gold in. Canoeing? I can now watch it and whoop. Judo? I’m jumping up and down and fist-pumping like a total arse. Shooting? Bullseye! I don’t know whether it’s because it’s just sport, or whether it’s because it’s in London, or whether it’s because there are 24 live channels available on all the machines I own bar my Commodore 64, but I have been bug-eyed in front of the whole ruddy lot.

I went along too, as you can see. Table tennis (the 3-year-old was on Angry Birds after about three minutes), hockey and water polo. Water polo! They are trying to drown each other and people are cheering. How can this be allowed?

The organisation has been exemplary, the volunteers bright-eyed, the buzz infectious. The only downside at the Olympic park were the prices, which made the Emirates look like a soup kitchen. Thai green curry in a box and a 330ml plastic bottle of Heineken? £12.80p. Don’t tell Gazidis.

What I’m trying to get to anyway, albeit roundaboutedly, is that I have only really had half an eye on Arsenal for the whole summer, and I can recommend it. Podolski and Giroud came in – top-notch experience, sorted early – and I nodded earnestly. Robin released his statement and I sighed sagaciously*. I thought then that the furrows of the summer were being ploughed sensibly by the club, and with today’s announcement about Cazorla – hardly a secret, but now it’s official – the cobwebs have well and truly been blown off.

This has all the marks of a superb signing and at a decent price. Pedigree – not in dispute (he was in Zonal Marking’s team of the season, which is good enough for me). He’s creative, he plays for Spain, he’s at the top of his game at 27, Pires and Cesc advised him to come and – dash it all – I’m all excited.

Frankly, if Pires advised me to jump off a cliff I’d do it, so it’s heartening to see that Cazorla is similarly deferential.

Maybe above all else though, this feels like a marquee signing, a statement of intent, and though there are bound to be twists and turns to come this summer, my overriding sensation is that Wenger means business and that whatever happens now, we are as prepared as we can be. I’m excited now in the way I never was last summer, and there’s nothing like pre-season optimism, is there? It’s brilliant news.

Right in time for the launch of the new purple away kit, to be launched by Rizzle Kicks. Purple! Rizzle! These are giddy times indeed.

*I’m not really sure what sagaciously means


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

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Adrian L

    We’re off to the Paralympics, mostly because the tickets were actually available plus the 6yo did some school homework on wheelchair basketball — which looks ace. I shall remember to pack some sandwiches though. Yikes.

    Cazorla, then? From the various YouTube clips he seems to specialise in spraying the ball accurately to the wingers, or reverse-clipping it diagonally for an onrushing forward. Sound familiar? Sounds ‘fab’ 🙂

  2. East Lower

    Yes, the Limpics brilliant in all aspects bar that. 

    What is this word ‘accurately’ that you use? Honestly, this is top news. That he came, that we could get him, that we are fixing. Very pleased.

  3. Adrian L

    Erm, dunno. Meant as a compliment! Him pinging it 35 yards crossfield onto the foot of an on-rushing Oxlade-Thingummy excites me beyond belief.

  4. East Lower

    Yeah I was being cynical. Not sure why. Ingrained gooner cynicism…

  5. Jeff

    I know very little about Carzola. I don’t think he’ll be under too much pressure from fan expectation, despite Zonal Marking, and David Hytner in the Guardian, who seemed equally effusive in his praise.

  6. Dylan Banks

    It’s great to read an  East Lower update that isn’t pensive, detached, or cynical.

  7. PDDD

    Cazorla is a brilliant footballer. Amazed people are saying they don’t know much about him. There’s more to the world than the Premier League people !! 🙂
    All good so far. The only downer……the Guardian reckons our interest in Sahin is only for if Song goes. i.e. we are facing into another season one injury in defensive midfield away from total meltdown.
    Honestly cannot believe that someone of Arsene’s intelligence has let his team down so badly over the same issue for more than 3 years. Reall hope he finally sees sense. If he does, we’ll have a real chance for the first time in years.

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