So today’s post is mostly going to be about your opinion on the state of the summer. We’re a little over two weeks until the start of the season, things seem like they’re shaping up and now it looks more like a case of us shuffling a few players around, so the question is, what makes a good summer for you?
I don’t have any red-hot sources, my contact has gone into hibernation, so we’re all clamouring over the same news, but it seems Arsene Wenger is going to land Juan mata, the versatile Spanish attacking midfielder and Phil Jagielka, the versatile Everton captain who can play almost anywhere across the back, including defensive midfield.
The difference between Jagielka and our other two British based targets is that he comes with more pedigree. He’s a solid international, a consistent outstanding performer for Everton and a player who is, like I said, a jack of all trades in defence. My worry is his height, we have a problem from set pieces, he doesn’t solve that. I can’t imagine he’s coming here for bench time, so the thought of Tommy V and him in the middle does worry me a little. However, that worry is offset that by the fact that he’s coming in from the hard knocks of Premiership football and he’s one more body in front of Squillaci. He knows what it means to be organised and he knows what it’s like to come in from a non-pampered back ground. I also know about the hard knocks of Northern life A few years ago I was nearly attacked in a Merseyside petrol station for wearing a particularly stylish pair of winter gloves. Sammy, if you’re staying, put the fu*king snood away…
Juan Mata is another exciting signing. I can’t quite believe we appear to be in for a player Arsenal fans could only dream of before this summer. Valencia have said he can go as they’re looking to rebuild, Juan Mata Snr has said his son wants Champions League soccer ball, ruling Spurs out. Liverpool have bought Downing, Chelsea/City don’t have enough style for the Spaniard and United aren’t interested. So he looks set. Last season, in 33 games, he scored 9 goals and bagged 15 assists. If you’re looking at things cynically, what we’ve done is sold Cesc (pretty much so) who typically scores 20 and assists 20… and we’ve bough in Mata and Gervinho who between them last year scored 19 and assisted 30.
I said replacing the Spaniard was a two-man job and it appears Wenger has taken my advice.
My gut feel is we will let Cesc go and he’ll keep Nasri on. That sounds like madness considering the £20mill we’ll be losing, but for Arsenal’s title aspirations next year, we can’t possibly sell both. Selling 3 first teamers is ripping the heart out of the team experience wise. Gervinho and Mata look to be fantastic prospects, but you can’t take 7 and 4 seasons worth of Premiership experience out of the side and not expect a negative impact.
So… Jagielka, Gervinho, Jenkinson, Mata and keeping Cesc or Nasri.
We’d obviously need a new striker to come in. If we sell Cesc for £40million, I see no reason why that couldn’t happen. Lukaku or Benzema would be the dream options. Finally, there’s a gaping hole in the middle of the park behind Alex Song. I’m not sure who’s out there, but for me, replacing Denilson with the 18 year old Frimpong really isn’t wise. We need to give the youngster some career breathing space because if we don’t sign a replacement for Denilson, I’ve no doubt the first player injured this year for 6 months will be Song.
So… if all the above happens, have we had a good summer? If not, what would constitute a great summer for you? If you looked at our squad after action like that, would it be fair to say that our squad was looking far better than the one Manchester City have? Would you be worried about the Liverpool title assault? Would we finally have the ammo to take down United and Chelsea over a full season?
Let us know!
So far you can’t argue can you? I said at the start of the summer who I was pretty sure would go and it appears we’ve made good on Eboue, Clichy, Bendtner and Denilson. Last year, bar Clichy, those were the boys grumbling in the dressing room and that’s why they’re off. I’m not sure if they’ll be anymore exits out the door, after Henderson picked up his nasty cruciate ligament problem, you wonder if Lansbury will be given a reprieve? One mans nightmare is another mans dream… as the saying I just made up goes.
As Geoff pointed out yesterday, Cesc needs to go, his behaviour this summer has been disappointing and unbefitting of a captain. I watched Alcantara the other night and I can’t for the life of me understand why Cesc wants to go back. Barcelona are about the exciting players, Cesc is exciting for me, but then again, I used to get excited watching Hleb maraude up and down the wing. Alcantara is very fast, very mobile, he’s got trickery to die for and he has a penchant for the spectacular. I know Cesc is amazing but I do wonder how much love he’d get in the Barca first team with the new kid on the block making waves?
Anyway… enough of my jabbering.
What constitutes a good summer for you now? Let us know in the comments!
P.S Yesterday was a record-breaking day by almost double our previous. Thanks for popping by!
That time of year has arrived again where we peddle a bit of Fantasy football! We have a £100 prize for the winner, which basically feels like I’m gifting myself and Geoff £50. The league comes with an app for your phone and it’s all very sophisticated! If you fancy your chances…
1. sign up the Metro Fantasy League HERE
2. The Join the below league, using the below pin!
League Name: Le Grove
League Pin: 4450
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