Afternoon all you lot. You find this column on the eve of Arsene Wenger’s first USA-hosted Arsenal game. New York Red Bulls and a certain Monsieur T. Henry await an Arsenal team who, once again, look a little light at the back and upfront.
With plenty of time before the transfer window closes, there is little point stressing, although I for one hope that the mooted David Ospina transfer gets confirmed fairly sharpish. Rumours of an Iker Casillas swoop would ordinarily be cause for great excitement. However, the evidence has been piling up against him that he is swiftly coming to the end of a gobsmackingly impressive career, and I hope any delay in presenting Ospina is not due to Arsenal deluding themselves into thinking that Saint Iker is the answer to their goalkeeping prayers.
What else is there to report? Well, I am on my short teacher’s holiday from today. No more early wake-ups or commuting until September. It’s a hard life but someone has to do it. A month of being a husband and father, rather than a burnt-out, drunken elbow patched jacket wearing flannel of a man for five days each week. I may take up pipe smoking and hire a keen batboy called Carruthers.
I chose, stupidly, this week to venture out into the surrounding towns to get my barnet trimmed. Apparently, Thursday is ‘Cut Your Hair Day’ in West Sussex…well, after driving and walking around in irresponsible heat, that day’s title was one letter out…
What can we expect from Arsenal after this weekend in The States? Next week, pre-The Emirates Cup, a quick trip to Austria beckons…then the aforementioned annual kick-about.
I do enjoy The Emirates Cup. I’ve been to three and seen some teams and players whom I never thought I would; Boca Juniors and Juan Roman Riquelme, being at the fore-front of that statement. Although I had seen Riquelme before, when he put in a shift at the Nou Camp against Osasuna in 2002…ahh, Kluivert…Xavi…Mendieta…
I may try to make it up to this year’s preseason tournament…but money is tighter when you start breeding and it is looking doubtful. We shall see. I know two nephews who have been pleading to go again.
I hope you are all well. Let us hope Arsenal can bring in some talent to add to this blossoming team.
Here are five things I’d like to see Arsenal do before the Community Shield match against Manchester City:
1 – Sign a decent defensive midfielder, instead of relying – yet again – on fragile internal solutions; like Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby. William Carvalho or Lars Bender would be fine.
2 – Sell Thomas Vermaelen if he wants to leave and sign TWO centre-backs. Frankly Arsenal need more bodies there. Micah Richards and Doria perhaps?
3 – Get contract negotiations started again for Theo Walcott. A ‘Sign da ting’ period isn’t too far off again.
4 – Complete the David Ospina signing. Hopefully by The Emirates Cup fixtures.
5 – Offload Nacho Monreal and Santi Cazorla *if* they really do want out. I HOPE they don’t. However if they do, Arsenal would have to replace them very quickly. I can’t imagine Gooners would appreciate Santi and his soul-warming smile departing N5. Who would I get in? Easy: Fabio Coentrao and Angel Di Maria…Real Madrid have to pay off James Rodriguez somehow!
Thanks for reading you lot,