It’s a grand old Saturday at the Emirates today as we’ve signalled our intent to correct the fallacies of last season and maybe the season before by making the defensive signing that we’ve all wanted for some time. Arsene has looked at the best defenders in Europe and we’ve known about our interests in the likes of Zapata amongst others – but the boss has decided that the Belgium International, Thomas Vermaelen is the man to fix our defensive problems.
The more you think about this signing, the more it makes sense – the player is young in terms of a footballing career, but old enough in terms of Arsenal to bring experience and maturity to the team. The player was captain of his team, which in itself brings a level of experience, leadership and confidence to the squad. His leadership skills are something that are required in a back line short of confidence and in our squad, we’re beginning to create leaders all over the pitch, something that we’ve really added with this signing and the signing of Arshavin in January.
The player and manager have been very delighted with the move and the player is also confident we can win trophies.
Players, such as Robin Van Persie, and I’m sure previlent in other members of the squad want new, decisive signings to be added and the Dutch striker has commented on his personal preference of signing Vermaelen. It’s a signal that Arsene wants to correct things in the squad that aren’t right – and if you remember Cesc saying earlier in the season, that the boss will make the signings he needs to ensure we’re challenging next season.
Something I briefly touched upon in the comments, but I think the next signing we have will be that of Van Persie – as essential it is to get new quality players in, it is equally important to keep the best of what we have and Robin definitely falls into that category.
Coupled with the signing of Vermaelen is the rumour that Kolo Toure is on his way out – to Man City – and I really hope that it’s just paper speculation. Toure is Arsenal through and through and players like that are hard to find. It’s like when you’re an employer and you’ve just hired someone, ploughed bundles of time, energy and training into getting them into the person you need them to be, and then for them to get up and leave for pastures new. I’d rather have someone who wants to stay than someone using the club as a stepping stone – we all know that Toure alongside an established centre back is a good combination – the Toure-Campbell partnership winning us Premier Leagues and getting us into the final of the Champions League – maybe Vermaelen is a more suitable partner than Gallas.
Of course, that does raise the question of which defender will leave, with Toure, Gallas, Silvestre, Senderos and Djourou the other 4 centre backs in addition to our new signing – many fans believe Senderos will be on his way out as will Silvestre – but I think the gaffer may throw a surprise with the departure of either one of Toure or Gallas. It’s hard to speculate so I’ll leave Arsene worry about it – at the moment, we’ve brought someone in who is very good and in a position we’ve been lacking, so we’ve got to keep our faith in what Arsene is doing and underatand that he can see the team issues just as much as we can.
In other news, the young hotshot tennis player, Anna Keothavong has revealed that she is a big Gunners fan – with her favourite player being Robin Van Persie – for his looks as much as his ability. The current England Womens #1 has talked about her love for the club saying:
“I haven’t been to The Emirates. I drive past it the whole time. I would love to go there and watch a game but I haven’t had the time yet. I call myself an Arsenal supporter. I should know more than I do – the rest of the family are more fanatic than I am. If anyone from Arsenal sees me playing and wants to invite me to a game, I’d love to. I’ve got a shirt with my name on the back and No 1. That’s a start.”
And I think any of the Arsenal players who follow tennis will surely be on the phone at some point next season – I’m sure Keothavong will have a lot to offer and Wimbledon may be her real breakthrough.
More reaction to come on the Vermaelen signing – but now we’ve signed him, who would you like to be next through the Emirates turnstile?