It is a strange time on Arsenal social media when every fourth summer the largest and most exciting festival of football has the cheek to infringe on time usually reserved for transfer rumour and gossip.
Arsenal and the new Emery regime are quietly an efficiently going about their business and making their mark. The new coach, and his new staff, announced today, are seemingly working in unison with the club’s new executive appointees, already in situ and deficiencies in the squad are being addressed one by one
LIchtsteiner has been announced, Sokratis has signed and due to be announced shortly. Now it seems these two experienced defensive additions will be joined by a new goalkeeper in Bernd Leno and a new all action defensive central midfielder in Torreira.
The senior Swiss international right back most of us will have watched play well for his country against Brazil and we all hope that we can see Torreira in Uruguay’s next match against Saudi Arabia. Footballpredictions.com have this match down as an easy 3-0 win for Uruguay, so we may not see Lucas Torreira extended defensively but I hope we see him play and can witness his creative ability. The signing of the tenacious midfielder, that the club hope to finalise soon is the most interesting because it will come on the back of Granit Xhaka announcing a new extension to his own deal. I am extremely confident that this will be followed by the news that Ramsey has extended and joined the top earners at the club. The speculation will then be around the formation Emery can utilised to play all three midfielders and what that might mean for the position in the structure for Mesut Ozil.
To be fair though this can all wait for me at least, which brings me back to the point that interests me about the World Cup. That point being that football fans can be so divided about their interest or lack of interest in international football. Club before country during the season I understand but personally I do not understand that conflict when it comes to the World Cup. I am devastated that Wilshere is not playing for his country this summer and I am delighted that Danny Welbeck made the squad. Having players from my club at the World Cup reflects well on Arsenal and makes me as a supporter proud. I still remember so well how I felt in 1982 when Graham Rix was selected for England’s squad for the World Cup and how miserable it made me when Rocky, having played in most of the qualifiers was not taken to Italia 90.
This zealous club support for some goes as far as wanting players of Arsenal’s rivals not to be selected for the Three Lions or do fail if they are selected. Again, I simply do not understand it. It is understood that I have zero personal affection for Kane or Alli, and if I am honest I am not sure what the latter brought to the party last night but when they cross the white line with the Three Lions on their chest I am willing them to excel. In fact, I have made a few World Cup predictions, placed a few small bets and one of them requires Harry Kane to score a fair few. Therefore, I am willing, cheering England on, I hope they go far in the tournament, and that their captain, a Spurs player I despise 11 months of the year hits the net continuously.
Conversely, though, it has to be said that I am quietly pleased that so many of Arsenal’s top players are not at the World Cup because they play for minnow countries, nations that narrowly missed qualification or were overlooked by their national managers. It bodes well for Arsenal that Mhkitaryan. Aubameyang, Bellerin, Lacazette and Ramsey are not in Russia and Sokratis and Bernd Leno will have a full pre-season with their new teammates.
With so much Arsenal business being done efficiently and early we can sit back and enjoy the quality of the football being played by our players who are in Russia, discover new talents we were not aware of and just soak up the feast of the sport we love. Please do not take the opportunity on social media to continue the arguments about the qualities or frailties of Xhaka or Ozil but wish them both well and hope they shine and grew in confidence. Unless of course they are playing against your country, in which case it is fine to hope they have a stinker, honest.