By Walter Broeckx
Tomorrow it will be one month since we played our last match and won our last trophy. A second consecutive FA cup win has shut up the more fickle part of our fans. On Untold we always believed we would win things again if Wenger was given the time. Others weren’t that patient and still aren’t.
But I have noticed on the internet a few of the Wenger out shouters openly eating the humble pie. Openly admitting that they have been wrong. Finally accepting that the big difference with the Wenger from his first years was the fact that we had to build a stadium and had to pay a lot of money to pay for the concr ete and bricks and couldn’t spend it on players.
You can only spend your money once when you are a club like Arsenal. The oilers can spend their money twice, thrice or even four times when they cocked it up in the transfer market. Arsenal can’t. Once spent is spent and it takes a lot of time to maximise the chance of doing it right.
But as we are in the summer period and the transfer window is almost open people get excited about who will buy whom. Liverpool is doing what they did last summer: spending all the money they can imagine that they have, and then some. So again they will have almost a brand new team, probably only to find out that it takes time to gel so many new players and that some of those shining new players aren’t as good as they thought they were. But this spending a lot of money is enough to give their supporters some bragging rights and makes the ‘spend the f*cking money-Gooners’ envious and they want Arsenal to be like Liverpool.
Even if this were possible within the 25 man squad rules it would still not be a wise thing to do because of the fact that we do have already a rather decent squad is beyond some. “If Liverpool can spend the money, why can’t we? Is Wenger being tight again?” are really the wrong questions.
I think it might have something to do with the fact that Arsenal is a club (like it or not) that likes to do things the right way. We don’t announce the signing of a player when not all is done. Arsenal would rather wait a day longer if that last ‘i’ hasn’t been dotted properly enough according to the dotting commission, before telling the world that we signed a player.
Despite all the rumours that fly around I must say that I have been really relaxed about what will happen. Apart from Alexis who will play in the final (I really hope he does) of the Copa America, and Ospina, all our players are having a proper rest this summer. For the first time in I don’t know how many years. So I think that when the new season starts and the first training sessions take place we will have all our players (apart those two) available and fit. Not like in previous years when we started with a handful of players and then each week we had a few players coming back from their holidays after having played in a world cup.
Ok, a few youngsters have been out on duty with their national teams like Chambers, Gnabry and Jenkinson. I think it will be a pity for them if they cannot start training with the rest but we shouldn’t be depending on them as we will on some other players. I would have loved to see them play in preseason and would love them to make life difficult for Wenger by performing extremely well but we have enough players to start the pre season in a good condition.
The names that have been doing the rounds most and mentioned a lot in the funny spoof articles of Sir Hardly Anyone over the last weeks look good possible signings. I must admit I’m not getting any special feelings if we would sign Cech. Mostly because I like Szczesny and Ospina and I think they are two great keepers and I would dread losing one of them.
But if he comes I will be welcoming Cech to the Arsenal with open arms and accept the consequences. Even though I don’t really agree with it. If Wenger thinks it is the right move, who am I to say it isn’t? Only time will tell and I hope that as usual Arsène knows best.
My biggest question for the moment is not: who will we buy? The question that keeps me awake (metaphorically, not really) is: when will we start training again? I know when we will play again and that is of the highest importance (in some 14 days time!) but you cannot play properly if you haven’t trained yet. So I wonder will we start training again next Monday July 6? Or on Wednesday July 8? If we are going to play on July 15 I can’t see us start training the Monday before. That would mean come to Arsenal, run around a bit and then off on the plane to Signapore to play. Not really the good way to prepare a new season.
But it looks as if somewhere next week we will be entering the next season and have all our players back on the training field to start the new season. And that is something I really look forward to. One month without the feeling of a match is boring, but surely we are nearing the end of the boring season. With or without new signings I really am optimistic about the new season. If we can keep our most important players fit during the season I think we can go a long way in all competitions. And I think that one special manager in particular sees us as their biggest rivals to win the PL.
But that is something we will see unfold in the next months. For now the most important thing is that we slowly are coming out of the darkest part of the season and we see a little light at the end of the tunnel. A new pre-season is slowly nearing and that is what matters most for me. To see our players back out there will be a big pleasure for the eyes.
Anniversary of the Day
29 June 1971: Don Howe left Arsenal having helped guide the club to the Double as first team coach. He moved on to WBA where he stayed until 1975 before a year at Galatasaray SK after which he returned to Arsenal as manager.
Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910