It was 20 years ago. I couldn't have been more than 10 years of age, I had just finished answering a few questions in a competition I found in my local football mag. I put my answers in an envelope and mailed it. That was the beginning of my most boring and frustrating summer, a summer filled with hope that someday I would be mailed back and told I had won. A summer spent checking my mailbox every single morning and afternoon.
Big deals take time. I know they always do. Actually no, not always but with Arsenal they most certainly do. Even when we're the selling club. Remember how long we dragged the sales of Cesc, Nasri & Robin?
So I try to comfort myself and look at the last time we concluded a big deal for a big player from a big club........ok fair enough not a lot of those to look at then. What about Arshavin that was a big one, yeah maybe, Wenger actually admitted he liked him during the Euros, and when asked in Al Jazeera if he would sign him he said that his style would suit us. So it's safe to say that there was interest in the summer. We signed him deadline day......winter window!
Henry's return, everyone new we would re-sign him 16 months ago. All through December the rumors were there. We signed him one week into the transfer window! Surely it could have been done earlier. He could have played a game or two more. A memory or two more. I think I sidetracked, what was I saying? Oh yes, we take our time concluding deals so that's the comforting part, the not so comforting part is we have generally failed with deals that are big and from teams that are as big or bigger than us, Alonso, Mata, Sahin and more I think.
I get why bringing in a striker is complicated and will take time. But what about a defensive mid? A center back? Surely we could have done those by now. What about Cesar? We sold Manone for roughly the same amount that we could get a potential World Cup winner!!!! Even if he wants a pay rise how bad could it be? If not Cesar then why haven't we brought someone else?
It's safe to say I'm worried, I'm worried because I have nothing to hold on to, nothing to look back at and gain confidence we'll do the right thing. Maybe I'm overthinking it. Maybe. But having been linked with Sanogo for a while we decide to announce the deal right in the middle of his tournament without a picture of him even wearing the shirt. Maybe I'm looking too much into it but for me the timing was off and smells of frustration on our part.
Hopefully this hell of a wait ends soon. More importantly ends well. Actually I hope it ends soon and amazingly well. I hope we'll have four or five new players by the Emirates cup. That's my new deadline now, it was the end of the Confed cup, then changed to the "official" start of the transfer window, then the kit launch.
It all comes down to our willingness to pay, in my book if jovetic and Negredo are 25 million players then Higuain is a 35 million player, even if Madrid have increased the price, heck we sold adebayour for 25 mil. We don't have the luxury to rest on our laurels, we have the money and we need world class players and in my opinion regardless the price, those new players along with the much hyped English core we could potentially not need a major addition to this squad for the coming 2 or 3 years.
Twenty years ago some of my friends started getting letters that they've won. Some won footballs, some kits and others that elusive gaming console. Lets hope this summer my luck changes.
Mean Lean's Response
I understand the fear that is doing the rounds at the moment, no major business has been done at Arsenal and the concern is that we will enter the season with only Yaya Sanogo as a new addition to our squad. If we do start the season with no new players of quality on board then I will be the first to point the finger. But I would like to point out that just because a club hasn't done all or even any of their business thus far, does not mean that they will not come the close of the window.
"Big deals take time. I know they always do. Actually no, not always but with Arsenal they most certainly do. Even when we're the selling club. Remember how long we dragged the sales of Cesc, Nasri & Robin?"
I have to say, I don't understand this point. The question is do you accept £7.5m for Nasri in June because you want it over with? It is down to all parties to agree a deal, it is unlikely that we were offered the full amounts for those three players on the first day of the window opening.
I wrote a piece yesterday that may open eyes about the window and the timings of transfers called Early Birds or Dawdlers, how Arsenal compare to rivals in the transfer window it just shows that not only Arsenal at times leave deals until late, which makes me believe that quite often these things cannot be helped and it is all part of the posturing and negotiations that are continuously ongoing.
That said, we could also be doing very little or making all the wrong moves but we will not know the result of that until the window is closed. I am going to hold fire before making any judgements on this summer. The window closes on September 2nd and today is July 21st. Most of the moves are yet to happen for all clubs, we have seen only the beginning so I find it difficult to imagine that we will not be a part of that and given our cash, I struggle to see how we will not bring in players that will improve us. Why would we be shipping out so many players if that wasn't the case? To make money? With new cash coming in, that really would make little sense to me.
What I find interesting is that all the focus is on media reported targets. How many times have we been down this road only for Arsene to bring in a player that wasn't reported on once before we made our moves. It was the same with Santi last season. I am expecting a few of those. Very good players who are flying beneath the radar.
This is all conjecture of course, we are none the wiser so I am going to focus on the players we have in pre season and hope for the very best.