Arsenal AGM – What we did and didn’t want to hear

By Avenell Dave

With rumours abounding yesterday that Thomas Vermaelen’s injury is way more serious than we might have been led to believe, the news that he faces a lengthy lay-off is of huge concern.

Arsene Wenger, always a great speaker and knowing how to say the right things at the right time, couldn’t disguise the fact at today’s AGM that the Verminator’s injury is serious.

You may recall a few years ago when he said that Tomas Rosicky may be out for a matter of days only for the Czech playmaker to miss 18 months or so.

At least where Vermaelen is concerned, we have a better idea of what his injury is, but it’s one of those Achilles injuries that has no definitive timescale.

I don’t expect we’ll see him until the new year – which at least is far better than the August rumours that were predicted yesterday.

It wasn’t all bad news, of course, with plenty said about the club’s plans to increase their revenue and the new UEFA rulings on financial fair play set to ensure that we are not only competitive but actually financial powerhouses in years to come.

In that respect, it’s no wonder that Wenger talked about making new signings in January – just what the fans want to hear.

I can just see the headlines on now. “We cannot hold back youth” or “We found no one who could improve the squad” but I’d like to think that Le Boss knows that he has to keep building and improving this side and not rely on potential alone. Especially with our injury record.

The news that Wenger expects Cesc Fabregas to remain at the club for years is another point to rejoice – and am I cynical for thinking it is unlikely to happen?

Barca are in financial disarray and the new president is blaming the last regime for messing things up (sounds like British political tactics to me!) but I can’t see them not making a marquee signing in the summer and Cesc has their DNA after all (goes off to vomit after mocking Puyol again!).

The best news of the day though, has to be the fact that Wenger will now take the cups seriously again.

Of course we know the Champions League and title are the priorities, but while the Carling and FA Cups may not have quite the same appeal, a great day out and a trophy win will have so many benefits.

We would get the ‘five years without a trophy’ monkey off our backs and the players will know what it means to enjoy success, the sort of thing that can turns hopefuls into winners. It worked in 1987 when we won the then Littlewoods Cup and set the scene for an era of success.

There is no reason why it can’t happen again.