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Poor old Jenkinson was standing there with a fake grin sprawled across his face in a West Ham shirt. Hopefully the boss has had a chat with Carl and has told him that he is very much part of our future and that first team football would be good for him before he returns rather than 'sorry Carl you're now surplus to requirements go and try and earn yourself a full time contract at West Ham.'

I know I ought to shift sentimental views to one side but I'm finding it difficult to do with Jenko. He was living the dream after moving from Charlton and we all lived it with him a little, at least most of us did. Whatever happens to him in future, it is great that he should be getting plenty more first team football, hopefully that will allow him to develop into the best player he can be and once he is at that level then we'd all have a better idea of his future.

The summer is certainly throwing out a few surprises from an Arsenal perspective. Thinking about it, the last season played and this following summer reminds me somewhat of the summer of 1997/98 which was Arsene's first full season.

Before Arsene has set foot at Highbury he had informed the club to bring in youngster Patrick Vieira from AC Milan reserves and the then experienced Remi Garde but that was it. He wanted to access his squad before making any further moves in the transfer market.

We were somewhat blunt in Arsene's first season, relying somewhat on our defensive stability and the guile of Dennis Bergkamp along with the scoring instincts of Ian Wright. If I remember rightly (which I might not) I think we played a back five that season.

I've just found the team that Arsene selected in his first offical game in charge at Blackburn Rovers in October.

Dixon Bould Adams Keown Winterburn
Platt Vieira Merson
Wright Hartson

In the following summer Arsene gave Dennis Bergkamp a goal scoring runner in Dutch compatriot Marc Overmars as well as a new defensive shield to partner Patrick Vieira, funnily enough another compatriot in Emmanuel Petit (I wonder if this is coincidence) this was on top of young striker Nicolas Anelka. An already strong side was given the missing outlets as well as additional power and midfield discipline to elevate the team into double winners.

Now fast forward to season 2013/14 we had a team who were strong defensively minus a few away games which shall not be mentioned on these here pages.

We had a number ten (albeit wearing 11) who was missing runners and the team in certain *ahem* away matches may have missed a mobile, disciplined midfielder. The squad had enough for a title push and an FA cup win but ultimately it wasn't quite enough to reach the very top of the table.

This summer we have bought a fast wide man who can make runs into the centre forward position just as Marc Overmars did back in our title winning season. All signs point towards Arsene wanting another quality midfielder to add that missing something to the team. Whether that be Khedira, Schneiderlin, Carvalho or Loric Cana *chuckle* it seems as if that position is high on Arsene's wish list.

It feels a lot like the return to summer 98 but with inflation. Overmars cost us £7m and Sanchez is at least £25m more. Emmanuel Petit cost us £3.5m, we won't be finding what we need in that bracket at least not someone who can be dropped in today and make the difference.

Now I am not saying that we are about to run away to the title and then beat Newcastle United in the cup final because well, the competition is a lot more than just Manchester United this year but our recruits to date feel like the final touches rather than the continuous squad sculpting that we have been doing for many years now.

There were rumours doing the rounds that Arsenal were close to signing Porto trickster Juan Fernando Quintero but it all sounds like horse poo rather than anything factual, I think.

One thing I do find interesting though is the whole Santi Cazorla business. He had recently penned a new contract at the club and I would have thought that was pretty much that until we heard his quotes before the world cup that he would see about his future after the world cup. Why would a player who had just signed a new deal talk about erm talking about his future after the world cup? It didn't make sense and as far as I am aware nobody has got to the bottom of it.

Then a few days ago a few people suggested that the Marco Reus to Arsenal story had actual legs before his injury. Apparently a move for the German was all in place but either injury or a change of heart by the player put end to that. If this was/is true then you could see why someone like Santi Cazorla could be surplus to requirements. Either the player wanted to move back home which forced us to turn our attentions elsewhere or we moved for the German and told Santi he was free to move if we completed the deal. But if the deal had fallen through for Reus then we would not be letting go of Santi hence the turn around from our little Spaniard.

I could be (and probably am) talking complete rubbish but it does make you think. Well me at least.

The summer is moving way too fast for me to keep up, I guess my sporadic blog posts have more than their part to play. I was away for a long weekend break with the family when the Arsenal played against Thierry Henry's New York Red Bulls. I managed to catch most of the game on a stream and it was nothing much to write home about because essentially it was a glorified training game which is pretty much what pre season matches are. Especially so early in pre season.

Whilst I was away we had added another player to our squad list. Calum Chambers was all over my Twitter TL and it came a little out of the blue. Which proves that not every deal is leaked and secrecy is still possible even today. I remembered reading a message a while back that Chambers would be an Arsenal player this summer but I thought very little of it because a lot of people chat absolute rubbish online. Shame I can't remember where that came from now.

He is very pricey for the amount of games he has played and certainly a deal we would have left well alone before our new Emirates and Puma deals. But Arsene is now able to push the boat out when required. It means that we have a fourth choice centre back, I wondered if we would see one come in and also back up at right back. For Chambers to be the back up at 19 after not being first choice last season requires the Englishman to hit the ground running as you never know when he will be needed in the first team. At this point we look pretty healthy at centre back. Vermaelen is an Arsenal player and remains third choice, if and when he leaves I fully expect Arsene to replace him with another good centre back. Ideally one who can play with both Mertesacker and Koscielny. If such player exists.

Right, I have things to do so I am off.

'till the next time.

UPDATE: Arsene has just ruled out a move for Quintero. Horse poo it is then.

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more