Hello all. I'm back. I needed to re-charge my blogging batteries so I stopped for the summer when Arsenal's season ended - after the champions league exit against United.
But I'm starting to get excited about next season in a most unusual way.
Normally, signings are the things that gets the modern football fan out of his seat and into the blogosphere. But this summer, it's been sales.
Two shrewd sales at the that.
Firstly getting rid of Adebayor, possibly the most reviled Arsenal player since Cashley for the stonkingly good price of £25m. £25m! He will score 10 goals for City next year and agitate for a move again. He's been forced to leave two clubs now due to attitude problems, and we won't be the last club in which he talks his way into being sold. Bendtner, Eduardo and RvP are all better players, and Vela and Walcott are also decent options. Another striker might be needed to bring some guaranteed class to the mix, though, especially given RvP and Eduardo's injury problems.
Secondly, getting £15m for Kolo is a true stroke of managerial genius. I love kolo, he is a true Arsenal legend and he never gave less than everything out on the pitch. That's why we all love kolo. But he's past it. He's not a natural defender, and his game is completely based on recovery pace. With that waning, it's a good time to sell. Unlike Ade, this is a good buy for City, but it won't be enough to take them above us next year. And £15m is a superb amount of money, all emotions side, for a player in Kolo's current state.
With the news of Eboue's imminent departure, it seems Arsene is intent on getting rid of the dead-wood in the squad. With reports of a €10m fee agreed for him, that could be £50m banked for 2 average players and one entering a decline. Great business, which gives us options.
Do we need to spend this cash? Well yes, but not as much as the media and parts of the fan-base say so. The purchase of Vermaelen means we have him, gallas, Djourou, Silvestre, song and even senderos, if he stays.
Central midfield is probably the area we need to address, a true enforcer type player is something that could really kick the team on - but i was impressed by Song at the end of last season, so perhaps this is unnecessary as well.
It's easy to forget that we were the form team in the league for much of the second half of last season. I think Vermaelen looks like an excellent purchase, and Arshavin has had a chance to bed-in already. We are not having a fire-sale; our best players are going to stay this summer.
So, in Arsene I trust, I tentatively state. With one or two more players, whom I'm sure will arrive, I think we might just have the right mix for this season. So ignore what the media say; i think we might just surprise a few people next year.