Morning folks, we all good?

Well, as good as we can be given there’s no football on at the moment and The Arsenal are still a solid six week’s away until the proper stuff starts to kick in. I thought about going along to one of the friendlies we’ve got penned in for the beginning of August, but realised The Management would probably kick my head in given I spend nine months of the year dictating what plans can be made during the full season proper. We’re away to Villa at the end of August and they’ve moved the kick off time to 5.30pm. At 7pm we’re due to be picking our friends up from Faro airport and I’ve already told the wife that she might have to go without me. Worst case scenario I’m going to need to live stream from my phone in the airport. She rolled her eyes at me when I said that.

But hey, everyone has their obsession, right? For some it is the church, for others it could be their job or running a business. For me it is The Arsenal.

IN terms of The Arsenal and news…well…there isn’t any, really. We’re now in to that point of the transfer saga with Califiore that apparently he’s just waiting for the details to be ironed out. Every day you get these semi-interesting messages about him having given the ‘green light’ to the project, or that ‘structure of the deal’ is being discussed, or the two clubs are arranging his chartered flight to London for the mdical, etc, etc, blah, blah. As fans there’s only really a few points in time in which 95% of us are interested, I’d wager, which is:

  • Official bid accepted
  • Player medical
  • Announcement

To be honest you could probably bin off even the middle bullet there. Ultimately as we all know by now transfers have so many component parts and stages, that it really doesn’t matter a jot until they’re announced on the official site, so I’m a bit reluctant to go all in on starting to pour over videos of this young Italian chap. I’ll save that for the confirmation that he’s a gunner.

I do think it’s good that the club are moving quickly though to get this first big deal done. I know the Raya deal was ‘officially’ the first deal, but we all know that was a ‘dot the i’s and cross the t’s’ kind of deal, so in my head it doesn’t really count. This will be the first move and will show a willingness from the club to be proactive this summer and I think that’s a very positive sign. It also gives me comfort in the fact that I think the club are ready to look at other parts of the squad too. Get this deal done, then we’re sorted at the back and I think other than if a new back up ‘keeper comes in, we’ll be looking at the midfield and attacking positions next. And we’ll be doing it with plenty of time on the transfer countdown clock.

It also means they aren’t doing mega scrambles to get multiple deals done over the line at once. Get this one done within the next week, then on to the next one. Then if an opportunity comes up that is too good to miss in the beginning of August, you can do that deal. But in the meantime the squad is together, assembled and is on tour building up those relationships again and working out whatever new style Arteta has in mind for the new season.

And I do think we’ll have a different style again next season. Arteta knows that basically with the quality of analysis by the clubs and the tactical evolution of the game being what it is, teams are working each other out pretty quickly these days. Armies of football analysts are spending their days analysing Premier League opponents and how to nullify their competitors and as a result, the need to constantly re-invent yourself is vital. Two season’s ago we saw the Zinchenko inverted left back. Last season at the start we inverted Partey as a right back, then we moved Havertz further forward in the latter part of last season, so I suspect Arteta will have something else up his sleeve for this season. At least I hope he does. With the margins at the top so ridiculously fine, you can’t really afford to drop points at any stage in the season any more and when you look at how tough our start is, we really need to hit the ground running, which means we need our plan and approach sorted for day one of the Premier League against Wolves. A lot of that prep will need to be done during those pre season friendlies so you’d expect experimentation, but looking good in pre season is also an indicator of what will happen in the upcoming season. Two season’s ago we had a really good pre season and it set us up for a fantastic first proper ‘go’ at the Premier League. Last season was pretty good too, although a couple of injuries to the likes of Gabriel Jesus caused a couple of challenges, so Arteta will no doubt be mindful of that. But ultimately whilst pre season games mean nothing, the importance of getting your approach and style nailed down, cannot be underestimated. Let’s hope Mikel has been doing some of that fine tuning during their summer training camp in Marbella that I believe the players have been on (those not at the Euro’s or Copa America, that is).

Right, I’ll leave that there for today I think, as I have a day of meetings and other non-Arsenal boring stuff to get through.

Have yourselves a good one and I’ll see thee all in the morrow.