Thereâ€™s a football festival at the Grove this weekend, but hoarding my football tokens beneath my mattress as I am, I shanâ€™t be there. Besides, itâ€™s live on Sky Sports, and in the close season I canâ€™t escape the gut feeling that Iâ€™ve been paying Â£37 a month for hundreds of channels of tat and not much else.
So â€˜tis time for some satellite payback.
Weâ€™re not that far away from the first game of the season now â€“ a mere two weeks. So this is a much-needed ramp-up and it will be the first proper chance Iâ€™ll have had to look at the team and the new players. I wouldnâ€™t say I was demented with optimism for the forthcoming season, but nor am I pessimistic. Weâ€™ve lost something (experience), but also gained something (two new shirts, one white and one hooped).
Wengerâ€™s playing games as usual with his customarily cloudy quotes. â€œWilliam has all the ingredients needed to be a captainâ€, he said, and when confronted about whether Ljungberg would be replaced, all we got was â€œwell not necessarilyâ€ and â€œit is too early to sayâ€.
Has Gallas got a chance? Of course he does â€“ heâ€™s vocal, experienced, a defender and a good enough player that other players donâ€™t mind being told off by him. On the pitch, that works.
Trouble is, he has earned a reputation for speaking his mind off it (diplomatic speak, that is).
So my money would be on Gilberto or Kolo.
And finally, itâ€™s heartening to see that Henry has still not scored from open play for his new club.
45 minutes in a Barca shirt and just the sole penalty to show for it.