Hello there fellow Arsenal supporting friend. Happy Friday to you! 

It’s The Management’s Bon Anniversaire today, so I’ll be partaking in an evening and a weekend of festivities, before buggering off to St Lucia for 10 days on Tuesday. Lovely jubbly.

But to add to that jubbly, we got some other lovely news yesterday, which was that three first-teamers had signed new deals. Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud and Francis Coquelin all inked their names on a token piece of paper, which the club photographed as some kind of visual demonstration that we’d secured their services for another season. And do you know what? I’m pleased all three have signed a new deal.

Even Coquelin, who many really don’t see the value in, I’m pleased about. Pleased because whilst I think Wenger loves him a little too much and plays him a wee bit more than I’d like, he’s still a decent asset to have in a squad. By no means would I have him playing every week, but I wouldn’t completely bin him off, so by signing what the club call a ‘long term deal’ I think it’s a decent enough move to keep a decent player. My hopes are we can see a return to fitness of more of our central midfielders, negating the reliance we have on a player who is perhaps technically a little more limited than most others in the squad.

As for Giroud, I make that a very good decision to keep a player around who has certainly found his scoring form at the club, this season in particular demonstrating his value from both the bench and from the start. Giroud is a good player to have in a squad too. He’s not a player we want to rely on for 50 games and 30 goals, but when he’s given the challenge of keeping his place by scoring goals and he does that, it’s hard to argue that he shouldn’t continue to be a firm feature in the squad. And as I’ve already said on a previous blog somewhere, he’s the sort of player that won’t lose his key asset of pace, because he never had it in the first place! So I expect Arsenal can still continue to get peak Giroud years for at least another three.

Then finally, to the big one I think, which is that Koscielny has signed on. There were some rumours – about 18 months ago I think – that Bayern were interested in him, but by signing this deal (again quoted by the club as ‘long term’), we’re getting a player who has grown into one of the finest centre backs in not just the Premier League, but the world. He has good positioning, he makes who partners him look at least 10% better when he plays, he’s strong and at 31 he’s pretty much confirmed that by signing this deal he’s here at Arsenal until he either retires or nears retirement. It’s a brilliant move for the club.

And it’s good to get these deals announced. There are quite a number of players who are hitting the 18 months-to-go period in their contracts and with uncertainty over the manager there’s inevitably going to be uncertainty for the players. Having players commit to the club ensures a bit of succession planning should Arsène walk, but it also means the club can now focus on other deals.

It does make you wonder though: with the ‘English core’ all signing deals together a few years ago, and now the French contingent all penning their names, for Özil do we need to give Big Per a new deal so we can have all the German’s signing up? 

We probably need to sign another one just to be sure. Muller sat on the bench at the weekend Arsène, want to give him a call? 

Hopefully these deals can be the domino effect for other first teamers to sign on. I’d love to see an Alexis and Özil signature session at London Colney in the next few weeks. I doubt it’ll happen, but hey, why not speculate. This is the month for it anyway, isn’t it?

And with that my dear friends, I think I’ll say my goodbyes for another day. There’ll be a press conference today from the manager in which I’m sure he’ll answer questions about those three players, as well as the inevitable Özil question, but maybe the assembled journos will take a bit of time to actually ask him questions about the match this weekend and how he thinks Swansea will line up?

Wishful thinking, eh?

Catch y’all tomorrow.