I bet you are still waiting for Luis Suarez to Arsenal stories to appear, or playing 888 Poker instead. Well stop that and get with the programme. I am going to talk right backs with you this evening.
I'm not entirely sure why Bacary Sagna's quotes to L’Equipe has made headlines today. For those unaware of what was said he basically said that he is certain that he will not be playing for Arsenal next season. Personally the fact that he had not signed a new contract with Arsenal kind of gave the game away. The evolution of this team continues as Lukasz Fabianski is heading to Swansea City which seems a good move for the lad.
I like the way Carl Jenkinson has thrown his hat into the ring.
Jenkinson said: "I feel that I am ready for it [starting at right-back]. It is never going to be easy to nail down that spot but I believe in myself and I believe in my ability. I want that position to be mine for years to come. Of course I have got a long way to go, because this is a club who look for the best players in the world. If I am going to hold down the position for as long as I want to, I have got a lot of hard work on my hands. But I believe in myself. I am the sort of player who needs to play regularly to get the best out of me. My fitness and my athleticism is a big part of my game, getting up and down the pitch. It is difficult to show what I can do when I am not playing regularly because it is hard to get into a rhythm. As far as I am concerned, you will have to drag me out of this club before I leave. I will work my socks off and hopefully next season can be a big one for me. If I have a good pre-season, work my way into the team and get a good run of games, there will be no holding me back."
I can hear his voice when reading that and it is great to have a Gooner on the books. From what I have read in recent months it seems as if Jenko has been getting a bit of the Ramsey treatment from some supporters. Little sound bites like 'He's never good enough to play for Arsenal' have been doing the rounds. In all honesty I find it astonishing how easily people can write off young players who a) have not had regular game time or/and b) have not developed into the player they will be when they reach full maturity.
I am guessing that one of the most important ingredients in a young player would be attitude, mentality and character. Players who positively tick those boxes have every chance of improving both what they are not good at and their best qualities. We've seen it with Ramsey and I wouldn't put it past Carl Jenkinson to do just the same.
I don't say that blindly though, I like to think that if a young player has shown high level performances for the club, even if it is inconsistently then I do not see why that player cannot strive for the holy grave that is consistency.
So when has Jenkinson shown he is up to it?
Do you remember when that Norwich City player re-broke Bacary Sagna's leg towards the end of a few seasons ago? Well Bac was not ready for the new season and Jenkinson had what I assume is his biggest stretch of games in the first team. He was one of our best defenders during that period. I think it was Steve Bould's first few games as assistant manager and that was when he was involved with the back four, working on the team's shape and body positions etc. I distinctly remember thinking that Sagna should not be walking back into the team given Carl's performances. Ironically that was Sagna's worst season in an Arsenal shirt if I have my dates correct.
Since then Carl has spent his days training and either sitting on the bench or in the stands, one week in 12 he might be asked to come in for a league cup tie or through (an unusual) Sagna injury. He may have been dodgy during a few of those games but what do you expect when a young player is thrown into a top level Arsenal game without any much needed match sharpness?
Do you want another example of Jenkinson showing some quality? How about our 2-0 victory in Bayern Munich? Often facing Robben he performed like an experienced International. If you've forgotten then jump onto Arsenal Player and watch that game again. I mean what else are you going to do before the World Cup?
Watching NewsNow for transfer stories? Which brings me onto Serge Aurier. The Serge Aurier smoke in this room is making it bloody difficult to breathe. I can't shake off the feeling that this deal is already in place and now we are waiting for Sagna to dot his is and strike his T's before accelerating this towards completion.
So am I now contradicting myself on Jenko?
No, not at all. We need two good dependable full backs on both sides of the pitch. I think we have that in Gibbs and Monreal at left back so the same will be needed at right back and it is down to the player in question to make the number 2 or erm 25 shirt his own.
The sooner Sagna officially departs the better, that way we can all move on with our lives and get the squad building rolling. Although it might not happen before the world cup anyway. But I jump the gun as I tend to do with these things.
That is my lot for now. There is sleep to be had.