So who is fiddling about with the remote control already? Not only did last season zoom to a finish within a blink of an eye but yesterday we were thrown the next season's Premier League fixture list. It is something I've paid little attention to if I'm honest. Sky and BT Sport will wreck havoc with it anyway. Perhaps once that is over and done with then I shall picture Arsenal's journey to the title in May. Don't tell me you don't do that.. oh just me then.
I wanted to pour a few thoughts down before anything new came up. It's strange because although nothing has really happened, there has actually been a lot of nothing that is probably worth a quick chinwag.
So in no particular order, before I get to my main topic of conversation. There was the new Puma kit launch. Clever stuff really isn't it? At a time where Gooners are desperate for a new Arsenal fix, a kit launch gives the fans something to talk about as well as some player interviews to digest.
Professional footballer: "I love the new fabric, gives us that extra lift to win trophies blah blah"
In all honesty, I don't care too much for new kits. I would rather they looked nice, and retained a large chunk of our history but it's the players in said kits and what they can do with the ball that grab my attention the most, I know it's a big thing these days and Puma wouldn't want it any other way. Why else did they pay the big bucks to Arsenal?
There is an awful lot of smoke wafting around the Petr Cech stories. So much so that bookies such as bookie-bonus-code.co.uk have stopped taking bets on it happening. Arsène spoke post cup final or was it before the cup final about needing to correct the fact that we were conceding too many goals from crosses. The experienced and commanding Cech would make a difference you would imagine. You just know that Mourinho is pacing up and down his bedroom frantically thinking of possible ways he can stop it from happening but hopefully it is all happening above his rather large head. We'll see how that all ends up no doubt. If Cech does come in, it will be very interesting to see who goes out. Cech, Szczesny, Ospina and Martinez will certainly not all be waiting around that's for sure.
Ox to Chelsea? hahaha moving on.
Jack Wilshere was fined by the FA for £40k or something and warned about his future conduct. Wonder what he'll do on next season's FA Cup victory parade? That will be interesting.
Wilshere's goals for England were quite exciting though ey? Hopefully it will nudge Hodgson into playing Wilshere higher up the pitch where he should be playing and not restricting one of the most gifted English players in the last 10 years.
I have always been dubious of Wilshere's shooting but he has scored three belters in his last few starts including a cracking half volley against West Brom which hilariously won goal of the season when really and truly, it shouldn't have.
I'd be more than happy if Wilshere simply stayed fit and improved the consistency of his final pass, goals like his recent collection are a much welcomed bonus.
Going back to England for a second, I get what Roy Hodgson is trying to do. Having two high energy players ahead of Jack allows the Arsenal number 10 to focus on his distribution which is obviously better than both Henderson and Delph but you cannot cage a natural dribbler like that. Wilshere's instincts are to run beyond players and disrupt the opposition in their half of the pitch. Michael Carrick or a younger passer like him should be playing in Wilshere's position with Wilshere one of the players instructed to close people down higher up and drive at opponents.
You can see what Arsène was thinking early last season with the 4-1-4-1. There were complaints that Arsène was trying to shoehorn Ramsey and Wilshere into the same team for the sake of it but I'm not sure that it was the individuals that were the issue, rather a case of the development of the team was at an early stage and many players were not yet at the level they were post Christmas. I wouldn't bet against that system working much better after a good pre season if that was the way Arsène wanted to go. The obvious obstacle to that system is the quality of Mesut Özil in a central position and I suspect Arsène would like to build his attack around the German's genius.
Which I guess is a decent segue to my main point. You thought those last few paragraphs were the main point right? Well you have to allow me today, it's been a while and I have to get it all out for my own personal sanity.
I mentioned this on Twitter the other day but this is a good chance to expand on it. There are no real conclusions here, more asking questions so hear me out.
We all agree that Mikel Arteta's legs are not getting any younger and another deeper midfield option could be important for the squad? For what it's worth, I certainly do not think shipping Arteta out is a good idea. It's clear from interviews and his behaviour that his presence and leadership behind the scenes is of utmost importance. But assuming we want someone more athletic and powerful in the team then I don't think it's as easy as just buying another defensive midfielder. Here is my reasoning.
Since his latest squad rebuild alongside higher income into the club, Arsène has repeated the line that he will only buy better than we have already. Özil, Alexis, Gabriel, Debuchy and so on go someway to proving that but Arsène being Arsène will always leave space for the young players he sees as becoming top bracket players in time. The Ox, Wilshere, Rambo and Bellerin will fall into this category. I would be very surprised if Francis Coquelin does not fall into this bracket also given the quality of his second half of the campaign. Do you really imagine Arsène buying a player and dropping Coquelin to second choice, kicking his heals on the bench after putting in a long sequence of top performances? Especially given the scope he has to grow, I just don't see a replacement and neither do I imagine Arsène wanting to buy a lesser player to sit on the bench in case of injury.
What would make sense to me and it is something that I am sure Arsène has done before, would be to buy a starter who can play another position. Makes sense right? A little like Alexis who can play both wide positions or central striker. So the most natural position for a defensive minded midfielder would be a box to box player right? Perhaps someone with physical gifts that we lack. A Kondogbia/Schneiderlin type of guy if you like. So are we agreed on the fact that Arsène isn't buying a 'DM' for £20m+ to sit on the bench? Are we also in agreement that Coquelin doesn't play the season he has just had for Arsène to cast him aside?
Do you see where I am coming from here? Aaron Ramsey is already making noises about not wanting to play on the right. Jack Wilshere is very much in Arsène's plans, because when he is fit he is always in Arsène's plans. I keep hearing that Santi could be off to Spain, well I hear that from everyone but Cazorla who said he wants to stay and is only thinking of Arsenal, Arsène Wenger said he was our best player last season so can we please smack that rumour on the head for this season at least.
Let me throw in a disclaimer here, before I get people shouting at me. I am not saying we don't need cover or someone to spell Coquelin I just don't know how Arsène juggles this one.
It is easy for me to sit here and say we get injuries and we need a massive squad but it's another thing being the manager and managing too many players for a few positions. The last thing we need is someone like Aaron Ramsey grumbling about his future and I suspect that will be the case if he does not play centrally. But on the other hand it was a crazy amount of injuries to central midfielders that gave Coquelin a chance in the first place. What's more likely to happen again? Lose them all or have them all fit? I just don't know.
It's one for the manager to take care of for sure.
Right waffle over, let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
'til the next time.