What a pleasant football-less summer Iâ€™ve had to date. Thatâ€™s the main point to take from the almost one month of nothingness from me. I canâ€™t say Iâ€™ve missed it too much, frankly – Iâ€™ve even stopped watching re-runs of the cup final. Iâ€™ve made snarky comments (itâ€™s the equivalent of keeping your engine ticking over) from the sidelines but apart from that – not a whole lot.
Iâ€™m pretty relaxed because I donâ€™t subscribe to the theory that we are watching other sides tear past us as we dither and loll about in the transfer doldrums. This happens every single year – every year! – and weâ€™re only 13 days into the actual transfer window. If I let myself get fried about it this early Iâ€™d end up looking like Emmett Brown (as opposed to Gilles Grimandi, or on a bad day, Leo Sayer).
And in Petr Cech, I think weâ€™ve done an astute bit of business. (OK, I confess, I just wanted to shoehorn that headline in – apologies if Iâ€™m a month late and someone else beat me to it.) Our squadâ€™s pretty strong and for a while now, for me itâ€™s been more about how we play and set ourselves up, and less about who we actually have in our squad. I think weâ€™ve made mental strides and are less naive.
| Do we need more goals? |
Now look, if we could secure a 25-goal striker, Iâ€™d be all over it. Goals are great and goals win you games. Not one of our defeats last season was by more than two goals, and most were by one.
That said, these things are never as simple as all that.
For a start, we can expect more goals from Welbeck next season. Maybe not 20, but more than 8. We can expect more from Walcott, if he stays, and stays fit. Giroud can bag a few more and the list goes on. There are more goals in this side from our strikers and from the midfield.
But we hardly shot blanks last season – we only scored two fewer league goals than Chelsea. They just happen to be a bit more solid than us, and they have a bloody-minded mentality that we are still learning.
So do I think we will buy a new striker? If one is available, I can see Wenger being ruthless as he was with our goalkeepers. And if Walcott leaves – yes probably. But I can also see him not signing a striker, and to be honest, would that be an unmitigated disaster?
| Elsewhere |
I donâ€™t think weâ€™re done yet. I couldnâ€™t tell you who weâ€™ll get or where, but Cech aside, itâ€™s all housekeeping at the moment. New deal and loan for Jenks. A case of Poldi Lang Syne. Diaby has left the building – good luck to him. Sanogo will follow and so will others. Weâ€™re trimming the fat.
And now pre-season is upon us. Thereâ€™s a game on Sky on Wednesday in Singapore. Itâ€™s sort of kind of back!