Santos Dos is coming to town

Open season on Arsenal’s demise continues apace: Smudger gives five reasons why we’re ‘on the slide’, the Guardian’s David Hytner on our transfer shortcomings and Martin Keown offers his blueprint on how to turn us around. The most telling thing from the latter relates to our gameplan, or defending, at Old Trafford: “There is such uncertainty over the basics”. (Lee Dixon touched on the same on MOTD). The Times suggests the pressure on Wenger to spend is now coming not just from the fans, but from the board too. Bit late, isn’t it? But better late than never.

I won’t pretend I’m not concerned, because I really, really am. A tailspin this long hints at deeper problems than poor defending or a lack of real depth to the squad.

That said, a stronger squad could be just the catalyst for re-energising us, and Wenger seems to have located his chequebook just in time. Park Chu-Young, though not announced officially, has joined and will offer another option up front. And no sooner had Armand Traore gone awol at Old Trafford (he wasn’t the only one) than rumour filtered through he was on his way to join Warnock’s revolution at QPR, to be replaced by Fenerbahce’s Andre Santos.

I know nothing about him, but at 28 he fits the right age profile, he’s got Champions League experience and he’s a Brazilian international. Some say he’s good at bombing forward but shakier at the back, and if that’s true then he fits the Arsenal full-back job spec like a glove… though I will of course reserve my judgement.

What’s certain is that the next two days promise to be busy – refreshingly busy. For once, I expect stuff to happen. Hell, it might even be happening whilst I type.

And finally, I’m hoping to be a bit more present on the blog from now on. I took the whole of August off, zipping hither and thither – one of the benefits of redundancy – and seeing that I’m now on the Senator Bob, there’s no excuse to let it fall quite so fallow…

Right, cup of team and NewsNow beckon. Busy morning ahead…


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