Say What?

As we get closer to our first official match, many people have been expressing themselves. There is no shortage of quotes at the moment – a few of which have caught my attention.

“But unfortunately I cannot tell you that we are close to signing anyone at the moment.” AW

This could also mean that something is happening, but he can’t reveal it. That would be bad business practice and very un-Wenger like. Luis Fabiano anyone?

“I’m hearing Vieira, pay-as-you-play, back at Arsenal,” [Ian] Wright exclaimed on his Talksport show. “That’s what I’m hearing, and that’s what I’m hoping.”

I loved the man as a player but as a “journalist” I have as much respect for Ian Wright as I do for the fans who shout instructions to players on big screens at pubs. Generally, these are people whose analysis is fuelled by liquor and anger. Come to think of it, sometimes I wonder what fuels Ian Wright’s analysis?

If Patrick does make a return to Arsenal, I will have no problem with it. If for no other reason, it kills any hope that Harry Redknapp has of signing our legendary former captain.

“Arsène Wenger, along with the board, had weighed up the potential downside to selling Touré, along with Emmanuel Adebayor, to the club who have designs on Arsenal’s place in next season’s top four.” Oliver Kay, Football Correspondent The Times Online

I’ve read this notion that Arsenal are the vulnerable ones among the “Big Four” many times. It’s largely based on spending power (or the assumed lack thereof) but also on the fact that there are plenty of people out there who want to see Arsenal fail. Don’t be surprised if an unexpected club fall out of the “Big Four” before we do.

“The question is how much longer Arsenal can keep doing this, how much longer they can remain truly competitive while selling established players every summer…the past 18 months have seen them lose Lassana Diarra at 22, Mathieu Flamini at 24, Alexander Hleb at 27 and now Touré and Adebayor at 28 and 25 respectively, while the word on the Spanish football grapevine is that Fàbregas, the club’s captain at the tender age of 22, will rejoin Barcelona next summer. Oliver Kay, Football Correspondent The Times Online

o Lassana Diarra lacked the heart to fight for his pace at Arsenal. He has hardly been an “established” player at any point thus far. Maybe he’ll become one at Madrid but I haven’t seen that man establish anything but a path of moves from one club to another.

o Mathieu Flamini wanted to be in Italy, which means he didn’t want to play for us. A year later, we can question the move based on how infrequently he has started matches for Milan. And again, where’s the “established” player. He was probably more “established” at Marseille before having one good season at Arsenal.

o Alex Hleb has been quoted that he now regrets his move to Spain. He could end up back at Stuttgart. Make your bed, sleep in it…Established???

o As for the “Spanish football grapevine,” even the best grapes can produce vin aigre. Let’s get through this upcoming season before speculating on what Boy Wonder will do next summer.

Let’s be clear; we’ve sold two players and netted well over £30mil. Will we miss them? I want to believe that we won’t miss Adebayor’s goals but that remains to be seen. I am convinced that even if moving to City could rejuvenate Kolo, he hasn’t played well for Arsenal for three seasons. At times, he’s been awful.

We could do with that tall, cunt of a CB who’ll take no prisoners but again, we’ll see what happens. The manager has stated that if there is a need to supplement the squad with further additions, he will do so as long as the right players (as always) are available – it’s almost cliché now. Don’t forget though that we reached the last four in Europe last season and were forced to play that tie with a subpar defence. Adebayor’s goal vs Villarreal was tremendous in that effort but this time around, the addition of a fully fit Andrey Arshaviin will make us a problem for any side.

Let’s not forget that we’ve also got rid of two players who spend a good portion of the winter away on national duty for the ACN (African Nations of Nations) every other January – and a further two weeks recovering. If rumours of selling Eboue (a good utility player, IMO) are true, then we’d have just Alex Song left as an African international. That’s less to worry about squad depth-wise. Things are not as bad as some have tried to convince you my friends.

The best part of the recent transfer activity however is that there couldn’t be a worse nightmare for those who want to see us fail than Arsene Wenger with two fists full of money.

I trust Arsene. Quote me on that.

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