I haven't scribbled much on these pages for a while now and I wouldn't be surprised if tumbleweed was the only thing to stop by this blog this evening, but I'm ready to get back to some regular writing action. I shall be joined by some new writers that I will be introducing during the season, stay tuned. Arsenal are not the only ones who have been getting on with business this summer.
The Arsenal are back and ready for a new season, usually the summer is a draining chore that seems to take forever to end but this year has been very different. Thanks impart to an excellent World Cup and an efficient summers business in the transfer market thus far.
Even though the summer has gone pretty quickly and smoothly I was more than ready for my first dose of Arsenal goodness. Before the kick off, the Boreham Wood vs Arsenal fixture excited me a hell of a lot more than the Germany vs Argentina World Cup final for example and that just reminded me that as much as I enjoy football, it is nothing whatsoever compared to Arsenal football.
The game wasn't very exciting in truth, I was hoping it would give a few more talking points but it's hardly a surprise. The first pre season game on a hot day was hardly the time to expect fast flowing synchronised combination football. Wengerball needs momentum and continuity, without it, our football is not particularly effective.
But from the little that happened that afternoon I wanted to mention a couple of talking points. Gedion Zelalem looks to have taken a physical step up well at least that is what I gleaned from my computer screen. When I first saw him he looked tiny compared to everybody else and that would be a problem until he gains power. He still has a way to go on that front, he is still only 17 so he has time on his side but he just carried himself with a bit of authority I thought. I've said on a number of times that the through pass is a skill that makes my knees a little weak so I want to see more of him with the likes of Sanchez and Walcott *licks lips* ahead of him. He only has Mesut bloody Özil to learn from though. Shame really.
You may know somebody or perhaps have watched a movie where a beautiful girl is in love with the man who treats her like dirt. He's pretty cool and all but he is a dog and continues to let her down. She knows this and yet cannot do without him and runs back to him every single time.
Well I am that girl and Abou Diaby is that guy, although poor Abou is actually quite the loving caring bloke who is not at all at fault for letting anyone down simply because it isn't his fault but every time he is fit I cannot ignore the hopeful part of my brain telling me to 'shhhh it will all be different this time, trust me'
I'm here again, I've been here before but I'm going with it, I mean my thought process won't make a blind bit of difference to our Arsenal futures unless I am far more powerful than I give myself credit for. So maybe this time Abou will get down on one knee and offer his hand in marrige which obviously translate into Diaby staying fit all season and running the show.
If Arsène was/is (depending on what you read) hoping to bring in Khedira and play two box to box pivots rather than a traditional defensive shield then I'm sorry but you can be whoever you like, if Diaby miraculously overcomes years of injury troubles then you have to displace Abou before you can get a place in the team. That's just the way this story goes like it or not.
Abou Diaby has plenty of doubters and I'm not going to argue the rangy Frenchman's case this time but should we ever see Abou Diaby have a run of games beyond 10-15 games in a row then I'd love to have that debate again because I'm absolutely certain that his doubters will have whittled down considerably.
So far we have two replacements and one addition to date, I'm sure we'll replace Vermaelen when he leaves, I do expect him to leave. The Manchester United player exchange rumour is interesting but it's only possible if the player in question agrees to the deal. I'd hope we took someone like Smalling as well as buying another centre back should our manager not deem the likes of Isaac Hayden as 1st team ready even as fourth choice.
The word on the street (Twitter) is that we are flashing our red and white knickers at Manchester City's Nastasic, although I'm not entirely sure why mega bucks City would want to sell the 21 year old is beyond me.
I don't think we are finished in the market anyway, I reckon le Boss has a few tricks up his puffy coat sleeves and perhaps deals depend on other deals as was the case with Mesut. Maybe some players will be heading out the door, maybe on loan. I like the idea of Serge Gnabry going on loan somewhere. He seems the type of player to really kick on with a run of high level games under his belt.
Interestingly the squad for our trip to New York has been announced this evening and it appears that we only have one striker going along to the States. Chuba Akpom is that man but it leaves a few question marks over Benik Afobe and Yaya Sanogo.
Are injuries the cause or have they been left behind to sort out their long term and short term futures respectively? It can only be those two options really. So if it is the latter does that present the question.. why are we letting a central striker go on loan? Are we going to go back in the market for another? Was Arsène telling Edison shaped porkies? or is my mind running away with things once more? Yup more likely the latter but still.
I guess this is the summer where we can allow ourselves to get carried away with the moment. It's sunny and our new kit is dashing. I mean really dashing. I have both and love em to bits. Plus we have Alexis fricking Sanchez who will be skipping past players in no time. Then we have Mesut Özil's second season under his belt with some new toys to play with. His favourite kind of toys as well, the fast ones that move a lot. Did I mention Aaron Ramsey who hasn't had a World Cup to concentrate on? He would have been practicing those things he is already great at and the other things he is still bloody good at as well as perfecting his new model looks. Do you remember Theo Walcott? The non footballing brain who manages to rack up more goals and assists from wide than probably 95% of other players in European football. The Ox? He is entering the age when he will kick on if fitness allows. Don't ignore how good Ox will be because we haven't seen anything yet. We are likely to have players who would have been key players in the 2008/09 squad not even on the bench. Shall I go on? Because you know I can.
I'm excited about the season, I guess you already knew that from my rambling tonight. I have a feeling we'll have more things to be excited about before the season kicks off. Oh and all the best to Thomas Eisfeld at Fulham. It's going to be tough getting into a title winning midfield, especially with Diaby fit all season. Shhhh don't wake me!
'till the next time.