Do you hear that? It’s Arsenal’s summer passing you by. Not with a bang but a whimper.
As Pedro said yesterday, it seems a bit trite to be complaining about matters of the foot when there is so much actual horror going on in the world.
In a perverse way, for people in the UK at least, the abundance of real news means that Arsenal’s 14th consecutive summer of ‘pffft’ is getting less attention than a party popper at the fall of the Berlin Wall.
So distracted have we been by #thenews this summer, that we’ve woken up on 16th July (one month away from the start of the new season no less) to discover we’ve still only signed one senior player.
Fear not, the rationalists say. Let’s remember we finished second last year and we’ve already signed Xhaka.
Well yeah, but…
We finished on 71 points last year which, in any other season, is the bare minimum needed to secure fourth. We did nothing in the Champions League, again. We’ve lost three senior squad players and, so far, replaced them with one. We’ve been after a top striker for five seasons and are failing to identify targets beyond the criminally obvious. There was a near mutiny in the stadium against the manager last year, and there were assurances that THIS time, finally, he had learned.
The Xhaka signing was a great start. The prospect of Vardy and Mhykatarian, electrifying. However those fell by the wayside and now we are left with the square root of zilch. Asano could be a top talent, and if based on the club’s new found love of analytics, a smart signing. However he is not what the squad needs NOW. And it is unfair to expect anything from him.
The manager, who supposedly has one season left to save his legacy, has spent most of the summer doing TV spots, as he does every other year. Maybe this judgement is unfair and he’s actually on the phone to Dick Law as soon as the cameras are off; wheeling, dealing, pushing, striving to sign the players the team really needs. But given his track record since he started his second job as a football pundit, the evidence runs to the contrary.
Despite the positive start, Arsenal have approached this transfer window with all the guile of a dog on a skateboard. Watching our competitors play the game as we slowly roll into the geraniums.
I don’t hold out hope of it getting much better. Best bet is to wake up again on deadline day to see if Arsene can strike it lucky with a Cavani or a Higuaín.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more irrepressible joy. You can follow me on twitter @aldo_doel
Have a lovely day!