Happy Saturday you wonderful, wonderful folks!
I’m back in the UK for a wedding, can’t get over to the Arsenal today, but interestingly, my sisters fiance is taking my dad to Watford.
He does not understand the risks.
Anyway, what has happened since the last time we conversed?
WE SIGNED PLAYERS!
Yeah, pretty excited about that. Though the deals are not penned yet, and the registrations are NOT ON THE DOT COM. It’s pretty clear we’re about the finish our summer with a centre back of promising quality and a striker that is way out of left field.
How do I feel about it? Pretty excited.
My concern is that both Mustafi and Perez are a little bit the reaction to a bad opening 2 games. I’m not sure Mustafi was on our radar before the Euros and I’m certain he’d not have been on our to-do list if it weren’t for Per and Gabriel being injured. Same for Perez, he must have been pretty low down the pecking order. Wenger says we’ve been keeping tabs on him for 2 years. I’d love to know to what degree, because he only started playing as a central striker last season.
However, why I am excited is because we have a good amount of bodies in the squad. Going into this season with a player who has had one good season playing as a forward is better than going with what we’ve had. I’d never heard of Perez until this week, but 17 goals and 12 assists is pretty positive. He looks mobile, he can switch out wide, he scores a variety of goals and there’s no reason he can’t continue his form in an Arsenal shirt, especially when you consider the service he’ll be getting.
He’s also the first example of a plan C we’ve had in a while. Lacazette might have been the more talented option, but at £60m, you have to say that would have been a pretty grim deal for Arsenal. My biggest concern here is that we’ve sought value over quality. We might get lucky and have unearthed a 30 goal a season striker, but we’ve taken a big risk because the price was small. My other slight worry is that only Arsenal were in for him, a prerequisite for most of our signings. Stroke of genius… or Chamkh-Chu-Young-before-you-Sanogo type unearthing?
Mustafi picked up average ratings from Ballague. I thought he looked pretty good for Germany and people who religiously watched the unravelling of Gary Neville seem to think he’s a smart signing. I think most of my positivity comes from his nationality…
‘German right? Should be fine’
Was he the best centre back in the market right now? I’m not sure. Koulibaly or John Stones would have floated my boat a bit more, but hey, he’s a body, his stats are pretty good, he has room to grow at Arsenal and he’s going to be way more useful than Chambers and Gabriel.
So our summer, all in all, hasn’t looked as awful as it did 10 days ago. However, let’s not kid ourselves that it’s been of the highest quality. I’m pleased we have something to be excited about and I’m pleased that we’re at least testing the features of our new scouting network. If that new Leicester chap delivers us what he delivered them… we’re in great shape. If he hasn’t, all it’ll prove is that it’s getting harder and harder to defy the market and it’ll prove that the manager may have lost his sparkle.
Important thing here is we have a squad. We’ve plugged most of the holes. We aren’t fighting for internal solutions.
Wenger’s major play this year, and the reason he didn’t upgrade failing parts, is stability.
So we’ll see.
Big game today, the manager, in waiting until now to land the right players, has changed the season from a 38 game run to a 36 game run. We’re 5 points down. We cannot afford to lose any more points, because that’ll be a major psychological blow too early on.
We’ve had a good run against Watford, the squad will hopefully have a lift from the new signings and hopefully, the boys will want to impress.
Fingers crossed. The season starts today!
See you in the comments!