I loved the fact we got an Arsenal press conference yesterday. The day after the England game, English/Arsenal fans licking their wounds, then BAM! We get his with the reminder that for 99% of our lives we don’t even watch international football. It was the timely reminder of where the true love and loyalties reside and for me personally that it is always about Arsenal.
We’ve had a nice little distraction but that’s all it was. It meant little and now that we have the first pre season of the season we can focus on the new look Arsenal under Unai Emery.
And it certainly is a new look with the new players coming in. Quite what sort of formation and style we will adopt is still a mystery but Emery talked about certain players to suggest they are definitely going to be given starring roles. The main one of course was Aaron Ramsey and it was quite clear in that press conference that Emery has clearly given instructions to the ‘team’ doing the admin to get it sorted. He is very much in his plans and hopefully that public display of trust and enthusiasm helps Aaron to get on board.
I kind of get why he’s holding fire at the moment. The way the club completely balls’d up the Alexis situation and were then left with having to give Özil whatever he wanted was farcical. It doesn’t feel like this current team would allow a situation to escalate like that so badly, but until the situation unfolds – one way or another – we’re unlikely to know whether they have the cajonies to make a difficult decision if it comes to it.
I hope Aaron has seen enough in the new man to buy in to him though. Certainly I have based on activity, his press conferences, plus what he’s said and how he’ll approach this season. I’d sign up. But then I’m unashamedly biased.
So there will be a good mixture of experience and youth at the game this weekend and I’m quite excited. Excited enough to watch a bit of the game, even if Emery admitted that the team are about 50% of the way there. That’s the level of excitement though, isn’t it? We’re all so excited for the change that we want so much of it already. For me the new season can’t come quickly enough.
I liked that Emery also didn’t close the door on any new arrival. To be fair to Arsène he always said that too, but whereas it always felt like the conditions of said player had to be ‘perfect’ I.e. right player, right price, right time, right wages, etc, etc, etc, it feels like Emery is just focused on the right player for the team. It’s not his job to care about the transfer fee or the wages and so if the club say that they have the option to buy a player, if Emery thinks he can work with him then he’ll green light it and wait until the player arrives.
I know Arsène would have approved the Aubameyang deal and I know we shouldn’t just dismiss it wholly as the work of Sven and Ivan, but it did feel like one of their signings and that way it played out feels very much like how we see marquee signings happening in future. And for me that’s fantastic because we can leave the coach to coaching and I think it also gives us a better chance of getting some of these larger deals over the line. Like a Higuain when he was at Real Madrid, for example, or Juan Mata when he was at Valencia.
So for me this timely reminder of my true football love has been another positive point in what has been a great summer so far.
Bring on Borehamwood and bring on the new season.