I cannot tell you how bloody good I feel today.
This summer has felt like 1996 all over again. That summer we landed Dennis Bergkamp and David Platt, which I think was pretty close to us onboarding Nike sponsor as a kit?
Back then, you used to have to hang around the bottom shelves like a perve.
‘Excuse me sir, what are you doing’
‘Nothing mate… nothing’
There was an absolute art to reading all the transfer gossip across 5 papers without buying one. I was the master of it. In fact, I would say I took a paper round at 11 years old purely to land a deep velvety fix of transfer gossip every morning. The other boys smoked and stole chocolate, I landed my kicks reading about what Arsenal were up to.
Think about how good this summer has ended up…
All the boring ITKs have had to hibernate. They’re scraping the barrel informing us about medicals they aren’t privy to. Literally no one, bar the UNTRUSTED MSM had the goods this summer, and it’s so fucking great. All these muppets that have a voice on Arsenal because they guessed a transfer correctly in 2014 need to delete their accounts and take up a new hobby.
Anyway, Raul has put on a show this summer after a really poor start.
He absolutely bodied the fans who savaged him at the Q&A, despite knowing what was coming.
He trashed the
agenda narrative I was formulating about him being a total chance who couldn’t deliver.
He took us to the Darkside with the big agents.
Think about it… we literally didn’t know ANYTHING about Nicolas Pepe. He has been a Le Grove pin-up all season. He was going to be the… ‘we’re rolling with Perisic, United sign Pepe, I hate football’, and now the Spanish papers are perving over our attacking lineup.
Big question for you, is Raul bigger than David Ornstein? He could be, he could be.
We haven’t even spoken about Dani Ceballos. He’s somehow managed to take a backseat in all of the madness. He’s a superb loan deal for us. He’s highly technical, which couldn’t always be said of Ramsey. He’s grown up in a winning environment. He can pass, shoot, move the ball through midfield at pace, and hopefully offer us lots of creativity. We just need him to hit the ground running, adapting to the pace of the league is going to be tough for him.
The Tierney deal will no doubt go through and I’m sure we’ll see something in the centre back department move as we try desperately to ship out Mustafi and Koscielny.
I think the other important point the fans miss is this: Players LOVE new players at the club. There was often talk in the Wenger days that big names on big money disrupt the dressing room. Not true. Big players want to play with big names. Don’t tell me Auba and Laca aren’t over the moon about the two new attacking additions. The new energy is also a threat to Ozil and his name at the club. He’s going to have to perform for his absence to matter this season. The whole summer now feels electrified, which will also work wonders for the fans in the stands.
The most important part of this summer for me isn’t really this year, because I still think we’re going to have a tough time of it… it’s what this summer means for next season, and the season after that, and the one after that.
There seems to be a clear strategy emerging and it’s not Dortmund+, it looks more like Bayern Munich.
We’re picking up elite youth talent (Gnabry > Saliba), we’re hunting down value from major clubs (Thiago > Dani Ceballos (bit of an ish here, but we did try to buy him)) and we’re splashing big on the right young players (Leroy Sane > Nicolas Pepe).
We’re bringing people into the fold that have Arsenal DNA. We are trying to mold the club more in the identity of London/England with select youth players.
So basically, we’re still behaving like a Champions League club and the vision is go big but in a smart way.
In normal business, if you fail to spend your budget, you don’t get it back. Maybe that’s what Raul has been up to?
That’s why this season really is important for Emery. People have made a lot of excuses for him. Statistics don’t lie. Drab football doesn’t lie. The table does lie, but it doesn’t let you off the hook luck wise two seasons running. Emery has to fix the defence, he has to implement a better style of football and he has to win another deal next year… or it’s back to Sevilla for him.
Big year ahead people, I’m very excited.