Morning fellow Gooners, and it’s the start of another Arsenal-less week. With the transfer window set to open on June the 1st (that’s about two weeks away), I’m sure we’ll see a few things happen very soon. Of course, the arrival of Maroune Chamakh is a key acquisition, which I am under the impression is all but done and due to be announced later this week.
The buzz around the transfer window of course is around various key stories that the media are publishing day after day – one being the Cesc to Barcelona story, which we get every summer and another one in Buffon to Arsenal – neither I believe will happen this season. Arsene knows the quality of Cesc and also knows the problems we have as a team without someone like Cesc in the team. He is the architect of our team and makes the team play better. We saw at the end of the season that the desire shown in adversity without leaders allows the team to drop a level. Arsene will not let Cesc go this summer, not for any money. He is on a long term contract and he has expressed his desire to stay at the club over and over again.
Buffon has stated that he may want to leave Juventus and to be honest he hasn’t had the greatest season this season. Juventus aren’t the club they used to be and they don’t have the players they once did. But his wages are very high – his desire may have waned? He’s 32 but that is the perfect age for a keeper. When Man United signed Van Der Sar, many believed he was past his best, but he went on to have quite a good few years at Old Trafford. The main problem I see will be the competition for his signature with many teams being interested. We are in a better position as Man United, Chelsea and Liverpool are happy with their goalkeepers. Personally I would be delighted if we did sign him, but having approached him and Juventus when they were relegated, I just have this feeling that he won’t come.
Last night I was glued to my set as Barcelona and Real Madrid battled it out for the La Liga title. Barcelona won 4-0 and Messi scored two to take his tally to 47 for the season. And that’s just incredible, isn’t it? One thing which was more than evident for me was the lack of playing time for Thierry Henry. We sold him for £16m and since then, he’s been a shadow of his former self. When he left Arsenal, I only wished the best for him, I wanted his to win titles and of course the Champions League. But after his stint at Barcelona, it is clear to see that Arsene sold him at the right time. And looking at Adebayor and Toure’s dismal performances this season, the £41m we received for both of them was a good return for us.
Back to the speculation around transfers and like Arsene has done before, I think he will sign two players – one goalkeeper and one defender – neither whom are high profile. In recent years, we’ve wondered why Arsene hadn’t gone in for players like Vincent Kompany, but having seen him in the Premiership, we know he’s not the greatest player in the world – and at £17m, a price too high to pay for such an average player. What we do know is that Arsene had been watching players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo since they were kids and try to sign them both, amongst other top players. There is a certain level of financial responsibility and competition which means that we won’t always sign a player of our desire, but with the extra funds now available and the experience that the kids have now gained, with the right transfers this summer and a bit of luck in the injury department, the era of winning trophies doesn’t seem to far away.
Back to the topic of today’s blog and this summer should be a bearable one… I’m football hungry like most of you guys and we’ve got a feast of football kicking off very soon. The next major game is the Champions League final, which sees Inter Milan take on Bayern Munich – that game is scheduled for next Saturday – a change to the normal Wednesday final that we’re all used to. Before that, down the Emirates this Thursday is a unique football event down at the Emirates – which is basically a 5-a-side tournament, so if you’re free, it may be worth a visit.
England is my home country and the team that I follow and of course I will be supporting them at the World Cup – we have a pre-season friendly on Monday 24th May at Wembley against Carlos Vela’s Mexico and of then a game against Japan. Of course there will be lots of countries playing lots of friendlies, so we’ll have a little bit of football before the main event kicks off (10th June) which will literally keep us busy until mid July before our first season friendly against Barnet. No worries. Loadsa football, and maybe a few transfers here or there…
Have a good one fellow Gooners, til tomorrow…