Happy Saturday gooners, hope all is well in your respective worlds?

As you’d expect it’s a quiet one in the Arsenal universe, with the English footballing eyes all on United versus City today. Personally I’m not sure I’ll bother watching; it’s a cup final between two teams that I don’t like very much, so why bother? Maybe they’ll just call it off on account of how horrendous it will be that one of these teams will be crowned FA Cup winners today.

As for us, the only real news from over the last 24 hours has been the utterly abysmal leak of the away kit for next season. I mean, honestly, who on earth decided that this was a good idea:

It looks like the designers got one of the interns to just take some mushrooms and wait until inspiration hit them. After the utter triumph of this last season’s kit just gone, it’s like we’re being punished for three absolutely awesome kits. Suffice to say I’ll not be touching that kit with a barge pole for next season. What a nightmare.

Hopefully in spite of that travesty, the team and players that don that jersey next season are able to perform on the pitch and pick up some trophies this time next year. Here’s hoping.

But who will we see in that jersey? What fresh blood will be injected in to the team to be forced to put that monstrosity on?

Apparently this Sacha Boey chap has been earmarked and as a French under-21 he’ll cost upwards of £17million. He’s 22, played 30 times in the league last season, getting five goals and assists. He notched 25 shots with nine on target over that time, with 93 crosses, 51 tackles won, eight cards and one red. In the Turkish Super Lig he ranks 6th with tackles won, seventh in interceptions.

Apparently he’s on £2k per month so a deal to the Emirates would have him squarely as a back up right back. He certainly doesn’t seem like a centre half as he’s never played there and so it doesn’t seem like it’s a move that I’d have thought Arteta would be interested in, because I’d expect he’d want a player who has a little versatility and is able to play multiple positions. At one metre 78 (five foot eight) he’s also a little smaller than the profile we’ve gone for in Ben White and Tomiyasu, who are built like centre halves but play at either right back or centre half. It’s why I understand why we seem to be in for Fresnada from Sociedad. I don’t know very much about him – barely anything at all in fact – but he appears to be built in a similar fashion to Tomi and White; he’s one metre 82 (Five foot 10) and whilst that’s only four centimetres more than Boey, at 18 you’d expect he’s probably got an extra couple of inches to grow, which would suggest that he’d fit the mould a little better based on what we’ve done so far.

But perhaps that’s not what Arteta wants? Maybe he wants a different profile because he wants us to have more tactical flexibility in the team. We saw at the end of the season how Thomas Partey played in that inverted full back role, drifting in to the middle of the park like Zinchenko does. Maybe Arteta is looking at a different profile of full back so that if/when Zinchenko is unavailable, or if we need to change our style to approach games differently based on the opponent, we have that ability to do it. When we get to next season teams will have a whole year of data on us and how we play, so I suspect the approach that yielded such success this season will need to be adapted. Perhaps in some games it will still work, but you just get the feeling these days that football is such a tactically advanced game with data analysts at every club, that there is much more of an even playing field when it comes to sussing out the opposition. Sure, the best teams will still have the best players, but from a tactical perspective there will be approaches that other, ‘smaller’, teams, will be able to apply that will be able to nullify certain ways in which we play. So shifting ‘in game’ is important and I just wonder if the profiles of player we get this summer will reflect that.

It’s also why I hope we go for a different profile of striker. We need something different from Gabby Jesus. I’m still absolutely happy to have him as the main man, but I just think we should also have an alternate option. I don’t know what that is and I’m not immediately leaning to the obvious “let’s go get a big, strong, physical target man” idea, but we do need to have something else up our sleeve in attack. Just look at the different approaches City had, for example.

Anyhoo, I think I’ll call it a day today, as it’s the old mans birthday and we’re going to celebrate by consuming a fair bit of booze methinks!

So you have yourself a good one and I’ll catch you tomorrow.

Laters peeps.