Two months and no posts. That is without doubt the longest I have ever left it fallow since raising the mainsail on this blog, all those mixed metaphors ago.
And I tell you what – I let my mind chunter off elsewhere most summers and itâ€™s a joy. I recommend it. Yes, Iâ€™ve thrown some shoddy wordplay into Twitter from time to time before scurrying away, but not paying too much attention to the (letâ€™s be frank, limited) transfers has done me no end of good.
The result? Iâ€™ve not whipped myself up into a megafrenzy about not landing that Â£50m striker. Iâ€™m just looking forward to the season starting and getting back into the routine. Simple man, simple pleasures.
I say that, but now that I tally the fixtures with my actual life, Iâ€™m not in fact going to the first two games, so wonâ€™t be at the Emirates until 24th September for our annual home handbrake to Chelsea. That might explain my sanguine disposition.
Xhaka happened so long ago that people forget he was a Â£35m signing, but I do concede that there are yawning gaps in our squad that need filling. The mixed messages from Chief Ivan have not helped matters but itâ€™s pretty clear weâ€™re looking, as two rejections of different kinds prove (Vardy and now Lacazette).
Of course, there are those who will decry a Â£35m bid for Lacazette as low-balling and arrogant, but isnâ€™t that how prices get sorted, whether they are houses, car boot sales or players? Coming in lowish rather than slinging Â£60m at the problem as a first bid seems sensible to me. No?
So as it stands we have one ready-made in Xhaka and two â€˜prospectsâ€™ in Rob Holding and a Takuma Asano.
My guess? There will be a fair bit of activity yet. No, we might not get it all done by 14th August, but thatâ€™s the nature of the market.
And if we fire blanks until September? Well then we can all drop the panic anchor and stagger off the plank wailing.
Still looking forward to the season, though 😉