Back from a blissful non-media and non-football cocoon known as ones honeymoon, on a far distant shore from our green and pleasant land, I find myself writing this blog after an ungodly few hours due to the onset of some serious jet-lag induced insomnia.
In the two weeks since I last frequented the online world I think it’s fair to say without much fear of understatement that quite a lot has happened for us Arsenal fans since I signed off in June. The arrival of Giroud, the confirmation of Podolski officially, ‘that’ statement by our CAPTAIN and then the PR monster that has been Red and White Holdings capitalising on what is seen by all interested parties as a disastrous time at The Arsenal.
I’m sure many will have already have read the countless thoughts on the whole situation right now and so my view is, I’m sure, just one of many similar opinions expressed by Arsenal bloggers everywhere, but I still want to have my say on it anyway. It may be old news, but it’s still being talked about and so I don’t mind having my two penneth worth – if you’ll indulge me.
When I first saw the news that RvP was not signing a new deal because of differences on the way Arsenal should move forward, I had one feeling that sprung immediately to mind. And it wasn’t one I thought i’d have. The feeling?
Yes believe it or not, when the decision was made and was out in the public domain, I felt relieved. Don’t get me wrong, I was hoping for Robin to stay, that he could lead us to glory next year with some help from our two new attacking additions. But what was starting to grate on me more than anything else was the uncertainty. Last year we had it in spades. We all knew Cesc and Samir might leave the club but with the days, then hours, then minutes ticking down on the transfer window with no new players coming in it became a complete farce knowing the club were not being proactive in bringing in replacements. This time we may be looking at losing our biggest player again once more, but at least the club have attempted to address the issue early by bringing in new faces. So in that sense I am relieved that this has all come out with plenty of time until the transfer window closes. Which brings me to my next reason for relief, for which I use last years Samir Nasri situation as a case in point.
Although most people on the planet knew Nasri was not going to sign a new deal, had had his head turned by Moneychester City, and was generally behaving like the tosser we have seen even as recently as the Euros, the fact he said nothing publicly made his situation all the more grey in my mind. Right up until the fee was accepted by Arsenal I still wondered if Nasri would play for us and sign a new deal – such was the hope I had. Yes, I know it was a slightly naive viewpoint, but I held some sort of blind faith. And as the transfer window tick-tocked it’s way towards September not only did we sell, but we failed to replace. What was worse than his eventual departure for me was the uncertainty. I don’t know about you but it ate me up from the inside. However in this instance that has been taken away. Robin has ensured that everyone knows where we stand and we have been able to plan our future based on that – life without him. I realise that looks like I’m almost grateful to him for coming out and saying that, but I can assure you that is not true; for purely selfish reasons I just like the fact we know where we are and I can start getting excited about the season without him and how our new players are going to adapt. Remember when Titi left? Adebayor. Remember when he was gone? RvP. And now that Robin nears an exit? .
There is also the small notion on who will become captain now. Even if Robin does stay for some reason – and I find the probability very unlikely – surely he cannot wear the armband? So who is next? For me, there are two players that stand out, but both have big ‘ifs’ attached to them: Thomas Vermaelen and Jack Wilshire. I would place both of them in the ‘if’ category based purely on their injury record, but I see both as players that lead by example and can do a stellar job as the on field Marshall of the troops. Jack strikes me as somebody who can be in the same mould as a driving Steven Gerrard in his pomp, whilst TV5 is the no nonsense centre back who will stare down any under performers. Let’s hope Arsene does the decent thing and strip Robin of the captaincy – soon.
There’s one other point that I’d like to address as part of this whole saga: Theo Walcott. If all of the noises are true and Theo was waiting to hear what happens to Robin before committing his future to the club I would seriously consider his future at the club right now. Isn’t he the one who has voiced his desire so heartedly that he wants to play as a striker? If he isn’t looking at this whole situation and thinking he has a chance to prove himself up top then I would question his motives all along. He should be knocking on the door saying “hey boss, you’ve got me, Poldi and Giroud who can all play up top – give me a chance and I’ll make sure you quickly forget Robin – by the way, here’s the signed contract”. But perhaps he has already heard that Liverpool will give him a nice fat pay-rise over and above what Arsenal are willing to give? He should be careful about that though – ‘king Kenny’ doesn’t work there any more.
That’s all for today folks. Great to be back and will be great to chew the Arsenal fat with many of you – probably on Twitter.