Hello there again. Today is of course Monday and that means my first post for week. It’s been a massive weekend too so sit tight for a moment to digest everything that has been going on in the world of Arsenal.
Saturday night saw Arsenal start their pre-season campaign with a 2-1 win over Barnet. The boys went a goal down to a fine free kick before two of the reserve-team stars from last season – Jay Simpson and Nacer Barazite – turned the score around in the second half.
It was far from a full-strength team from the start for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger proceeded to make 13 substitutions (you heard me) during the 90 minutes. Interestingly, while the starting team was far superior on paper to the side which started the second period it was the lesser known reserve-team players who shone.
At the end of the day though, there’s not too much that can be read into a game like this. It was a good first runout for the boys and it is great to see the start of the season edge a game closer. Exciting stuff.
After the match, the manager had a lot to say about a number of issues including the Emmanuel Adebayor situation, the likelihood of further signings and his expectations of Theo Walcott going into the new season. Indeed, despite again referring to the need to stick to the current wage structure at the club, Wenger voiced his desire to hang on to Adebayor and his confidence that the Togolese striker will remain an Arsenal player:
“I fight to get the players the maximum wages, but you have to respect that we have a wage structure. I want to keep him and let’s see. He is an Arsenal player and I am very confident that he will start the new season with us.”
Which is fair enough. The manager also went on to say that he will definitely be signing at least one more player and a maximum of two before the start of the season. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that he still wants either a centre-midfielder or a centre-back and that the only reason he will be signing a second player would be if Adebayor leaves.
It might take a genius to work out just which player the manager will bring in, however. The comments he made a few weeks ago where he intimated his contentment with his defensive options and the reported interest in Gareth Barry and Xabi Alonso do suggest that it will be a midfielder rather than a centre-back that he is after.
Personally, if I was manager I would be putting the need to sign a centre-back ahead of the need to sign a midfielder. I still feel Arsenal need a Christoph Metzelder or a Per Mertesacker type of player to fill the Tony Adams role at the back. Kolo Toure and William Gallas are too similar and Philippe Senderos and Johan Djourou still lack the confidence to take on the best strikers going around (although I still have great faith in the latter).
But as I said, all indications suggest that Wenger is lining up a central-midfielder. And really, who am I to judge?
Aside from Wenger’s various comments there were a few more tidbits floating around. Alex Hleb has been talking about how much Cesc Fabregas loves Barcelona and might play for them some day while Tomas Rosicky has confirmed he will miss the start of the season.
Regarding Hleb’s comments, they’re hardly earth-shattering. Everyone knows that Cesc is a born-and-bred Barcelona boy and that he will most likely go back there at some stage in his career. As for Rosicky, I just hope he takes as long as he needs to recover because a fit and healthy Rosicky means a better Arsenal.
And that’s about it. Thanks for reading and I’ll be back tomorrow.
Have your say on Barnet, Adebayor or Wenger’s potential signings by leaving a comment.