By Avenell Dave
I sensed a real change in Ivan Gazidis at this year's supporters' forum.
He still spoke well but there was a steely reassurance from him that this summer Arsenal were not going to get caught out, that the debacle that meant last season was wasted was not going to be repeated.
Three major signings for a decent outlay, all senior internationals, tells its own story, even though the RvP saga has blighted the summer somewhat.
While we'd all like to see a couple more new faces, the big challenge now is to get deadwood off the wage bill.
Unfortunately everyone knows we're a selling club now, so getting decent money or even not having to subsidise wages is a tall order.
The likes of Chamakh, Bendtner, Park, Squillaci and Vela need to leave to free up some cash and help us balance the books.
But while the signing of Santi Cazorla this week is certainly one to whet the appetite, it raises questions about the rest of the squad.
The 4-3-3 formation was designed for Cesc and I'm not convinced that we should retain it.
Either way, whether as conventional wingers or wide forwards, who will be Arsene Wenger's pick?
That depends on where Cazorla is set to play, be it as a wide man or the creator in midfield.
Assuming it's the former, will Gervinho and the Ox be first choice?
There seems to be no panic nor even any rumblings of clubs interested in signing Theo Walcott, a player who blows so hot and cold I remain to be convinced that he will sign a new deal or even that we want him to.
Yes his stats are good but for me, regardless of the Nike ad, he really does rely on pace rather than skill. When did he last beat a player through trickery rather than trajectory?
Should we get anything close to what we paid for Cazorla, that would be great business, replacing inconsistency with class.
Of course, Theo may stay, but with Andrei Arshavin also set to leave, perhaps Santi was bought to replace him in the squad.
As a post script, Alex Song is another marmite player. You either love him or hate him.
Last season, particularly in Jack Wilshere's absense, he took on a more creative role and some of his chipped passes to RvP won us a load of games.
But ostensibly he's a defensive midfielder who too often thinks he's better than he is. If rumours are true and Barca offer anything close to £20m for him, we really should bite their hands off.
I'm convinced that Francis Coquelin is going to be a big player for us this year and once Emmanuel Frimpong is fit, he too will provide decent midfield cover, despite his sometimes insane twitter ramblings.