By Avenell Dave
It’s been a fair few months since I’ve had time to blog – I know, I know, you’ve all missed me.
The funny thing is, looking back at the last few posts I published, nothing has really changed.
We’ve had the tense, buttock-clenching end to the season that resulted in us finishing above the Spuds and into the Champions League again.
We’ve had promises that this close season will be different, that the club will have the power to spend and spend big to challenge for top honours.
And we’ve had another interminable summer with nothing to get us excited, hope turning to frustration turning, in some cases, to anger before a ball has even been kicked.
It really is hard to know what’s going on.
The expectation levels set by CEO Ivan Gazidis coupled with new managers at the top three gave real hope that this season could not only end our trophy drought, it could see us challenging again for the title.
There’s no doubt that transfers are far more difficult now than they were a few years ago, with agents and egos slowing down the transfer of big players unless money is limitless.
You only have to look at how little activity there has been at the absolutely top level to see that.
M*nure have signed no one of note, the Ch*vs have bought one player and only Citeh have brought in reinforcements for some of those who become disillusioned by the mercenary nature of their club and the culture it spews.
Of course, with all three clubs appointing new managers, we could have stolen a march, signed Higuain, Fellaini, Bernard and a decent, versatile midfielders/defender such as Gustavo.
Imagine how excited we’d all be then?
But it hasn’t happened. Some of our targets perhaps wanted to go elsewhere or have made excessive demands that the club don’t think are value for money. But in this day and age, we have to adapt to the market or we will suffer.
While we all like a good laugh at our neighbours from down the road, they’ve signed players who would certainly have made our squad stronger and you have to wonder why so much focus has been on clearing out the deadwood at the expense of any major signings.
It’s great that we’ve got rid of all the passengers in the squad apart from Bendtner and Park but let’s face it, we’re no more than a couple of injuries or suspensions away from the same sort of situation we found ourselves in two years ago when we went up to Old Trafford with a squad full of kids that got hammered.
No Vermaelen (even if his form last season was somewhat patchy); no Arteta (the midfield lynchpin) and no strength in depth whatsoever.
We’ve seen before how important a good start to the season is and we’ve left ourselves in all sorts of trouble if anyone else gets injured or suspended.
Are there reasons to be cheerful?
If he stays fit, Jack Wilshere will be a huge asset and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a year older and more experienced and should push on this season.
I can’t imagine that Arsene Wenger is sitting on a pile of cash just to be obstinate – it would make no sense.
Nor do I think he is really trying to show who is boss to Gazidis – it would be self-harming and he must know as much as we do that we need quality new signings.
We’re all frustrated. We are all wondering what is going on.
One thing is for sure. All hell will break loose on social media and in the stadium if we don’t win comfortably tomorrow. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
Jenkinson Koscielny Mertesacker Gibbs
Ramsey Wilshere Rosicky
Walcott Giroud Podolski