I’ll get straight into things with some comments from Arsene Wenger about the state of his current squad. Speaking yesterday our manager stressed his desire to keep the current squad together as well as delivering a clear indication that he wants to bring in one or two more players before next season. Sooner rather than later, too. In his own words he said:
“We don’t want to have to rebuild again, so I want to keep all the players together for next season. I don’t want to lose anyone. I want to add to the squad and have identified one or two targets. Ideally I would like to bring everybody in before we start back in pre-season training in July. I don’t want to leave it until the end of August.”
They are the sort of comments that every Arsenal supporter wants to hear because (a) he’s obviously identified that there are weaknesses in the squad (b) he wants to bring in players to fix those weaknesses and (c) he wants to bring them in quickly to ensure they are given sufficient time to adapt before the new season starts up. It’s a clear sign that Wenger means business this off season and coupled with the very early signing of Thomas Vermaelen bodes very well for the club and the fans.
His comment with regards to not wanting anyone to leave is an interesting one. The absence of Emmanuel Adebayor from the last two fixtures of last season did a lot to suggest he will be on his way but if Wenger is to believed in these comments, it now seems like there is a good chance that he’ll stay. As I’ve said time and time before, if Adebayor gets his head right then I’d absolutely love him to stay because I think he’s a class player.
However it could just be that Wenger is saying he does not want to lose anyone to ensure that any bids for our players are as high as the club can get. I think it’s fairly common knowledge that Kolo Toure is attracting interest from Manchester City as well as Adebayor from various clubs and if certain players minds are made up about leaving then it’s in Wenger’s best interests to ensure that Arsenal receive good money for the transfers. If not it means we’ll have the same squad as last season as a base and one or two astute signings in the right areas would see us in a very good position going into next season.
In other news the manager has talked up the talents of Nicklas Bendtner, stating that he has “made big improvements” and “become an important player for the club”.
I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree and am expecting a lot from Bendtner next season. He notched 15 goals last season and I think that, given the right opportunities and support from the manager and fans, he can get that up to 20 or even 25 this time around. I think it’s going to be an exciting year personally for Bendtner – particularly if Adebayor goes and no replacement is brought in – and I think he’s got exactly the right personality to take that sort of opportunity by the scruff of the neck.
I don’t want to put too much pressure on the lad but I get the feeling he’s going to make a great step up in 2009/10. His workrate is excellent and he uses his body well, all he needs is a little more refinement of his finishing and touches around the box and he’ll become an extremely effective player.
Anyway, I’m going to leave it there for today. Just a quick one before I go to say thank-you to everybody who stood up for me in yesterday’s post, it was thoroughly appreciated.
Have your say on Wenger’s plans for the squad or Nicklas Bendtner by leaving a comment.