Adeus Denilson. Ta-da for now (though I am prepared to wager that the â€˜for nowâ€™ part will become â€˜for goodâ€™).
Denilsonâ€™s departure reminded me that this summer was as much about clearing out some deadwood as it was about bringing in some alivewood [find a new word – Ed]. Heâ€™s the first of the exclusive gang to go – though who is in that gang is subjective and ebbs and flows accordingly.
Poor old Denilson was – along perhaps with Bendtner & Almunia, though it wasnâ€™t an exclusive triumvirate – the butt of things last season. Personally, as I have said before, I think Bendtner got it a bit hard. He was shoved on the wing for the most part – nuts really – and his goalscoring ratio was not that bad.
But Denilson, well Denilson was in part a victim of the emergence of the staggeringly good Wilshere and the returning Ramsey. But it was only in part: Denilson was shorn of confidence, while Wilshere brims with it. He was too timid, where Wilshere exudes forward threat. He half-tackled, half-tracked. He just never seemed to do enough. So this loan has hardly slapped us in the face. He played 153 times for Arsenal but his 51 appearances in 2008-9 seem a long time ago now.
So whoâ€™s next? We were told pre-Asia that Almunia and Bendtner were negotiating moving-on deals (theyâ€™ve clearly been imbued with the same glacial negotiating tactics favoured by the club).
I wouldnâ€™t be surprised to see Eboue go, too (if someone will have him – a foster club?) In a moment of sleeplessness the other night, I tried to name a few starting XIs across the years, and attempted to recall the line-up of the 2006 Champions League final. Eboue was right-back then (no, it didnâ€™t help me get back to sleep). But what is he now? A jobbing fill-in. Sad but true. You canâ€™t push an opponent over in your own box in the 102nd minute of a 90-minute game and carry on as normal. Or can you?
As for the rest, well I canâ€™t see much doing unless we sign a new centre-half. If we do get in Garris Samhill, I can see us ditching a centre-back (even for balsawood Arsenal, five seems a bit greedy). The Squill would be the obvious victim there, though Iâ€™m afraid weâ€™ve now entered the realm of pure conjecture.
So anyway, good luck Denilson. I hope you come good. You need to play.