Happy Friday people. And as we all know Arsenal love a little bit of good news on a Friday. But let’s be honest here, we’re just waiting for the official confirmation on the website and the club’s socials about Gabriel Jesus, because yesterday somebody – most likely from one of the high rise flats surrounding the Emirates, put a super zoom on their smartphone and was able to zoom right in on Gabriel Jesus wearing the number nine and walking pitch side whilst talking to the assembled camera crew. So we’re now at the stage where the world’s worst kept secret is so worst kept that it’s just weird were the club to leave it until late this afternoon to announce it.
I wonder if the people who spend time putting together the videos, keeping things under wraps, preparing everything for a big unveiling, get really cheesed off when situations like Bob in flat 672B can just blow any final mystique about a possible transfer out of the water? Or do they just accept that keeping these sort of things secret is essentially impossible these days? We’ve already had the Edu meet and greet photos, the Ornstein and Romano tweets, the who kit and caboodle, so what is left?
And when it is announced, there will be a clamour for ‘cool, cool, but who’s next?’ from the fans. In our heads the Gabriel Jesus deal was done ages ago. It isn’t new ‘news’ any more and we’re already looking at players like Lisandro Martinez or reigniting the interest in Tielemans. Because as fans we are never happy!
The challenge we also have as fans, is that we get very sensitive when we think that those fantastic players who were going to improve our team – Teielmans, Raphinha, Martinez – seem to be going elsewhere, we are prone to a little overreaction. And when I say ‘we’ I absolutely include myself in this by the way. I had never heard of Martinez until about two weeks ago. I’ve always like Tielemans but it wasn’t until the journo rumours of ‘the two main targets for Arsenal this summer are Tielemans and Gabriel Jesus’ started appearing that I suddenly felt this need to covet his signing so much. The same with Raphinha, although with that one I was less fussed, because I figure we are well stocked in that position. I pretty much said as much a couple of weeks back. So whilst tomorrow I will dominate my thinking on the announcement of Gabriel Jesus and what this means to us (even though I’ve written a lot about him already, as have so many Arsenal fans and journos – check this out from Tim Stillman which I thought was very good), I will too be looking at some of the rumours of other players we’ve been after and how other clubs are stepping in now to firm up interest, with trepidation.
And this is my worry; we have our targets, we’ve gone after our targets, but what if we don’t get most of them? We’ve all spent the early part of this summer being pretty impressed with how Arsenal have been moving in the market. But a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush and as we stand right now if we get Gabriel Jesus but lose out on Tielemans (apparently United and West Ham are sniffing around), Martinez and to a lesser extent Raphinha, what does that say about the other quality of players that we will bring in? Missing out on your main targets and having to dip in to the ‘well, who else is out there?’ bin doesn’t feel as great as the beginning of the summer when we looked to be moving quickly, swiftly, trying to get deals done and people were suggesting we were looking impressive in the market. As it stands we’ve brought in a reserve goalie, a very promising versatile attacking midfielder and – pending – a very impressive forward in Gabriel Jesus. But is it enough for us to look like we could hit the big leagues?
Maybe it is. Maybe I am just having a ‘moment’ this morning. We all all humans and we are often led by our emotions and maybe this morning is irrational. But as always with this blog, it is just whatever words pop in to my head every day and this morning I’m wondering – in the absence of any official announcement of a certain Brazilian – whether all of the early summer excitement on players was misplaced because we will only end up getting 50% of our targets sorted.
And look, I’m not trying to do the club down here, because I’m sure that the club are working so hard to get everything done as quickly as possible. I believe they are working hard, I believe that they’re doing everything in their power to get us in an amazing shape for the new season and as I wrote about yesterday we still have loads of great things going for us already at the club. But if we go in to the first game of the season having looked like we wanted a striker, a left back cover, a central midfielder, another wide forward and we end up with a striker and an attacking midfielder, then it might feel as though that early summer optimism was slightly misplaced.
Anyway, it’s Friday today, we’re probably about to get a shiny new signing, so I should probably just try not to think about these things too much. Instead, let’s just keep refreshing our social media feeds awaiting for the announcement that can get us all excited for the season. And I think it certainly will.
Catch you all tomorrow. You have a good one people!