I’m starting to write this just an hour before going to the airport and flying over to Jakarta, Indonesia. You don’t me to tell you the reason why. 3rd pre season in a row that I’ve been privileged to be able to watch The Arsenal. To be honest, running up to this week, the excitement hasn’t dawned on me yet. However, it is surely starting to build now.
One particular reason would be due to the team list that has been released today. The list that contains the players that I will first see on Saturday’s training session. There’s a significant interest on a personal level to see the likes of Zelalem, Olsson and Akpom in action. I know maybe don’t share my interest and I can understand why.
On the list are familiar names and that itself is a problem. Not because I don’t like the current crop of players but because there are no new names in the list (really angry that Cazorla didn’t travel along). The blog may have been inactive since the end of the season but like almost every other Gooner, I followed the news and share the disappointment of the lack (read as none) new signings.
While the club in general has realized the marketing importance of organizing an Asian Tour, they have perhaps overlooked 2 crucial points to this regard. First, the interest in the team would be magnified probably ten-fold, should there be a new signing to parade to their adoring fans. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a sizeable interest in the team but a new player would surely have increased it further.
The second trick that the missed is the new kit. Now, I absolutely love this new away kit. It’s a throwback to the past and most importantly, it’s in the right colours. I’m a bit traditional and yellow should away be the away kit colour. Why didn’t they plan the launch for earlier and get the stock in ready to be sold worldwide, when they know that fans in the cities that the team will travel to, are bound to sell like hot cakes.
Coming back to the team, as it stands,we will not be good enough to win the league, nor any cups should every major contender play their best 11. Both Manchester clubs may have changed manager and that could be a significant impact, there are no reason to suggest that we could overtake or stand on the same level as them. However, all these are hardly a revelation.
Despite our run last season and managing to finished in a Champions League spot, we know the team is lacking in several key areas all over the pitch. It is worrying that until now, we have not made any signing to rectify that situation. To my mind, we are a striker, an attacking midfielder and a centre back short, from being able to challenge for title or cups.
Of course there are rumours aplenty since the end of last season but until it is announced on the official club website, it is hard to believe any of it. There is a junction that opened in the roundabout that we seemed to be stuck in. Spend big and on high profile players, and we’ll be revered again. Keep going in the roundabout by spending medium (yes, 15M players have become average), and we will go through another season of struggling to qualify for the CL.
I read some comments this week about how we shouldn’t worry, even though we haven’t signed anyone before the preseason tour. The comment used Cazorla as an example, claiming that the Spaniard did well despite only joining a few weeks before the start of the league. Here’s the problem, Cazorla is a special player and there are few like him.
I can understand that to complete a transfer is not as easy as simply picking an item from a supermarket aisle and pay at the checkout counter. I guess, I am just hoping that the club would fore transfers through to ensure that these players get the best acclimatization to the team, as they can get. Going on tour and practically living with your team mates for 2 weeks is one of the best ways to create a camaraderie and get them used to our playing system.
Lets hope that the transfer part can be settled before the competitive matches starts again.
Jakarta, here I come.