It was a summer of uncertainties for Arsenal Football Club. Dogged by persistent rumours of players leaving the club for greener pastures (read: better and higher pay). Alas Hleb joined Thierry Henry at Barcelona and Gilberto was shipped to Panathinaikos.
For all his goal-scoring feats of last season, Emmanuel Adebayor did not endear himself to the Arsenal legion with his non-committal to the Arsenal cause. Desired by Milan and initially Barcelona, his silence on that matter has enraged most fans. It is easy for the news to die down when the player comes out and pledge his commitment to the club. When Fabregas and Clichy can do it to kill the non-news quickly, it begs the question why the Tologese can’t do it. It was rather daft of him to start kissing badges so soon after the whole transfer debacle.
4 out 2 in. 4 experienced individuals left and were replaced with 2 inexperienced players. Aaron Ramsey shone throughout Cardiff’s fantastic cup run last season and is an all action midfielder in the mould of Steven Gerrard. The other new signing is rather more unknown, even to his ex-club. Werder Bremen fans only managed to see him in action once the whole time he was there. One wonders whether Wenger bought another sicknote or he could turn out to be another Edu who shone after some difficult first few years.
So, with all that is happening, it is understandable that there is less hype surrounding Wenger’s challenge for trophies this season. The loss of Flamini could be detrimental as he and Fabregas were by far the most effective midfield partnership across the Premiership last season. However, the same feeling could be had at the start of last season and yet the team flourished and did not succumbed to the prediction of dropping out of the Champion’s League much to Spurs chagrin.
The midfield partner for Fabregas will be the utmost priority in Wenger’s mind. Abou Diaby would be the first choice given his talent and performance in the middle of the park. However this lad is injury prone and doesn’t seem to last more than 10 games. Alex Song is the next best option. Given his rough early days, he is still only 21 and has blossomed last season since his induction into the Cameroonian team and excelling in the African Nation’s Cup. His cameo appearances in the last few games serve to show his growing confidence. Last but not least is Denilson. I must admit that I have doubts over this boy. He exploded onto the scene but never really took off. Plus he is more of an attacking player which is not what the role really needs.
The new season is very much upon us. Failure to secure any sort of trophies will put more frustration in the fans and chants for a new manager would surely not be far off. But let us give The Boss more time. Let’s remember that this is a working progress. The boys put up a great run last time out. Consistency is all Arsenal needs right now.