Saturday 3 September 2011

Arsenal's reasons to be cheerful

We have two reasons to be cheerful: 1) transfer deadline day and 2) the international break.

I never thought I'd say it, but transfer deadline day was busy for Arsenal. Better late than never. Better early than late though and maybe we could have chalked up 6 points instead of 1 by this stage of the season.

So delay has cost us at least 5 points. If we win the league then no one can moan. If those 5 points would have made the difference between finishing fourth and finishing fifth I think we have the right to demand an inquest. Of course we won't get one but the club should explain itself. Very little of what it's done on the transfer front makes sense apart from the signings just before the transfer deadline.

The question is why the delay? Was it really to keep the wage bill down for as long as possible? I can see it's a safety first approach but when it comes to finances we have been careful to the point that it's actually damaged the team. Hence players that are not really ready for first team action have been thrust into the limelight too early.

Anyway it looks like the club and Arsene Wenger have listened to the fans finally. So all credit to them for that. Let's hope the new signings can save our season.

The international break has come at the right time for the club. It's a time to regroup and our new signings seem to be chomping at the bit: judging by our new number nine, Chu Young Park banging in a hat-trick for South Korea. Check out the goals, all out of the top drawer!

The old boys are doing it too: Robin van Persie scoring four for Holland and Aaron Ramsey scoring the winner for Wales. Suddenly international football feels purposeful! I've always seen it as an unwelcome distraction until now! Now it's suddenly welcome into our football calendar, as I get the feeling we're going to get maximum points this month.

I can't help but feel optimistic now. Per Mertesacker, our new number 4, is rated as one of the best in the world in his position and we got him for around £8m. Well done Arsenal!

Our new number 8, Mikel Arteta is a top quality Premier League midfielder and now we've got him. At £10m, some will say he's overpriced. I'm not so sure. He takes a better free kick than Cesc Fabregas, but in every other department he's inferior, it's true...except one! He wants to be here. Of course, we mustn't compare him to Cesc, but Arteta will thrive at our club, I feel sure of it. He's an excellent passer of the ball and will add experience to our midfield. My only fear is his work rate. I've never been that impressed with that side of his game, but maybe he just needed a change of club. Playing alongside better players should inspire him. So £10m could be a snip for a player we've long been linked with.

The loan signing of Yossi Benayoun from Chelsea, though, came straight out of the left field. What inspired Wenger to sign our new number 30? I'm not sure, but he'll be an asset. I see him as a decent replacement for Samir Nasri. Benayoun is more consistent, but on his day Nasri is completely unplayable, and I'm not sure the same applies to Yossi. Anyway, I think he'll do well for us.

Finally, there's Andre Santos our new number 11. Why do we have to give 'attacking' numbers to our defenders. I blame William Gallas! He started acting like a petulant number 10 once he got that number, let's hope a similar fate doesn't befall Santos, our new left back!

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