Strange old day at the ranch yesterday, with Wenger choosing to saunter off to Rome to ref the Popeâ€™s Peace Match while the dildo and blow-up doll madness unfurled back in blighty. The score was 6-3, which made me laugh a bit. At least it wasnâ€™t 6-0.
And would you know it, as Wenger fiddled with his whistle [enough of that – Ed] Danny Welbeck signed for the Arsenal. As the chaps said on the Arsecast Extra, there was a curious reaction to the whole thing from many Arsenal fans. Residual doubts about his goal-scoring prowess is probably one reason why, but I do think that the frustration of an inactive second half of the transfer window played a part too.
Now that the calm of day (and subsequently night – thatâ€™s how I roll on the blogging front) has arrived, the moodâ€™s more positive. I think heâ€™s a decent signing. Heâ€™s a hard-working player at a good age, with something to prove. Itâ€™s got Arsene Wenger stamped all over it if you think about it. And of course, we need another striker, and heâ€™s a striker. On top of that he cost Â£16m, which is a bog-standard rate for an English player. New TV deals has made Â£16m an average fee, so weâ€™ve hardly gambled our life on it.
A few years back – roughly the time when Ashley Cole nearly swerved off the road – Iâ€™d have worried a bit about a young Manchester lad coming to Arsenal. We didnâ€™t have a lot of British players back then. But now there are plenty of lads heâ€™ll know from the England setup and Iâ€™m sure heâ€™ll slot in just fine.
Weâ€™re short at the back of course, more so having sold Iggy Miquel. The result is that while itâ€™s been a good window – one with a frame, and nice glass – itâ€™s got no security locks. I canâ€™t remember who it was, it might have been Alan Smith, or it just as easily could have been everyone on the internet, but it feels like weâ€™ve once again gone into autumn with the sense of the squad being a frustrating man or two short of being spot on.
It might be fine. We might make it through the next 120 days without a calamitous injury pile-up in the rear echelons of the squad. Thatâ€™s the gamble Wengerâ€™s taken – unless he thinks Bellerin and Hayden are ready to be those back-ups right now. If so, itâ€™s bold, if a little risky. (Others might say itâ€™s a dereliction of duty).
Plenty to be excited about overall. Given weâ€™ve not clicked at all, weâ€™ve got five points from nine and have qualified for the Champions League. Get the balance right (ideally by the time City come to town – no pressure Arsene) and things could get quite tasty.