Thursday 23 August 2012

Ahh the EPL!

 Yes finally I have decided to come out of hibernation, and thanks to Shantanu to keep the blog alive.

The season has already begun and as every year we have the "Annual Exodus Drive" currently running at the club.Already a lot has been said about the exit of RvP, and it has hurt a lot, maybe more than Fabregas. It is like an ex-girlfriend who lives bang opposite your house and you are definite to see her more often than you like with her new boyfriend, as opposed to somebody who has shifted cities and you don't care who she landed up with.

But that is the face of reality, even though you would like to slap it, you realise that you've already been slapped by it. The more intriguing question, like every year was, who will be our next captain, a post that is becoming increasingly like the post of professor of "Defense against the Dark Arts". Almost as if it is cursed, whosoever lands up with the armband, leaves the club the next year. Which is why I thought AW would be clever enough to have realised by now that the armband should be given to Bendtner/Denilson/Chamakh/Squillaci(??).

Jokes apart, seriously, I am glad that TV is our captain and genuinely looks happy to play for the club, and on a more selfish note, is in a healthy contract position so we do not have to worry about it next summer. With Arteta assisting him, not in the literal sense of football(or maybe even in that sense), us fans can be more assured of the leadership that will be guiding the team.

We have a good summer considering the signings we have made. However there are still some holes to plug, and we cannot plug enough of them. I almost forgot to mention Song, whose departure came out of nowhere. I don't understand people justifying him leaving, who say that it is a tough choice to make when Barca calls you. Fans don't make that choice, they haven't done so for the last 7 years. Why should it be difficult for him? Then they go away and make some uncalled for remarks at their old club. At least SOng should've known better. If it wasn't for Arsene, he would probably still have been playing in the lower leagues. But that is done and dusted.

The most important thing is now to rebuild this squad, and I almost feel my fingers tremble when I type this, maybe there would be another trophy less season. We have made some new appointments in some key areas and they will need some time to gel with each other. But hoping for the best, knowing that the additions are experienced enough to understand how to react to such situations.

We don't know yet when Jack will be back, but his presence we certainly lack (without sound too poetic). Gathering from my experiences of last year with his "will he/won't he" comeback, I wont be convinced unless I see his name on the team sheet. Diaby has been looking good enough in the preseason and also against Sunderland. I sincerely hope, like RvP, out of the blues, stayed fit last season, Diaby follows suit.

Nonetheless, we still have to find replacements, and not just to make up numbers. There have been a host of suitors who are expected to be at least tracked by Arsenal. Though there were news that Arsenal have agreed terms for Nuri Sahin, we won't get carried away until everything is official. Apart from that I have a feeling that we might also sign another striker.

There is also the Theo issue, and I the feeling that he wont be signing a new contract is growing. If it had to be signed it would have been done by now. Though I think we have enough wingers, they still need time to settle and bringing in an experienced replacement would make sense. There are rumors that we might be after Jesus Navas, but we will see what happens.

We might be in a better position than last season. But it is all relative, we have to look at our competitors too.
Consider that we were at 'x' position last season and came to 'x-2' position after Fab+Nasri departures and finally ended up at 'x-1' position after new arrivals. But our competitors were at 'x+2' position at that time. This season, after the new arrivals, we came at 'x+2' position and after RvP and Song's departure we moved backwards to 'x' position. However, our competitors are now at 'x+4'. Maybe my algebra isn't good enough, but you get my point. I am not considering the potential improvement the new signings might bring, that is yet to be seen. But we have to make efforts that we prepare for contingency. Two years back we had to play Arshavin as a striker due to lack of any in our squad and that almost destroyed our season. We might have added Chamakh after that, but late(r).

I am sure that everyone has their sheets of "Lessons Learned" and there are signs of us trying to really "learn" from them. Next up is Stoke and as always it is surely going to be more of a physical game. Whether this squad can match there technicality with the physicality of Stoke, still remains to be seen.

8 days before the transfer window closes.

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