By Avenell Dave
The weekend’s Emirates Cup didn’t tell us a huge amount about Arsenal that we didn’t already know.
Tomas Rosicky is able to walk and has the quality to make a difference for us next season, we are still vulnerable to long balls through the heart of the defence and Andrey Arshavin could well be the best player in the Premier League next season.
The headlines went to Arshavin and Jack Wilshere, who seems to have stepped up to be a real contender for a first team place next season - and makes the possible departure of Emmanuel Eboue seem less of a loss.
While in the last 48 hours there’s been little news about the signings we are or are not going to make, one thing came to me that many seem to have overlooked.
Manu Adebayor needs to be replaced, of that there can be little doubt.
Marouane Chamakh's move from Bordeaux may or may not be imminent – although his goalscoring record leaves something to be desired. He is worried because of the low level of Arsenal's offer, and Andre-Pierre Gignac remains an option, so the papers say.
Wenger, quite rightly, talked of those players he still has at his disposal – including Robin van Persie, Eduardo, Andrey Arshavin, Nic Bendtner, Carlos Vela and Theo Walcott.
That’s not a bad line-up despite there being a few rough edges amongst the latter three.
But it seems we have forgotten about Jay Simpson and I wonder if that means he has no future at the club.
Given the UEFA rules on having more English players, the fact that he has twice impressed in loan spells including last season’s cameo at West Brom, where he scored a couple of goals, I wonder whether he may be a useful member of the squad.
He has pace, an eye for goal and is half-decent in the air and hasn’t really been given the chance to show what he can do.
I’m not for one moment suggesting we should throw him in to the Premier League, but wouldn’t it be worthwhile giving him the last 10-15 minutes of a few games to see if he could make an impact?
My main concern with young players is that we have a history of letting them go and then wondering whether we did the right thing.
Fabrice Muamba and Steve Sidwell for instance, might well have filled in gaps in our squad, although granted, they have grown since leaving.
Will Simpson have to leave before proving he can become an established Premier League player?
I recall a friendly at Wembley a few years ago when a young lad came on and half the stadium thought he’d scored with almost his first touch, only for his shot to have hit the side netting.
That player was Andy Cole, who scored a goal or two when he left.
It would be a shame if Simpson followed suit.