I feel as if I have written this blog before because once again my fellow Gunners and I find ourselves in the same place.
The season has just ended but in terms of transfers; already there’s action at Chelsea, who won the league and probably need to do the least, at Manchester City who were second, and at several other clubs in Spain, Italy and France. Clubs that didn’t do too badly last season. Manchester United, who we know are a threat despite finishing behind Arsenal for two years running, wrapped up their first big transfer before the season even ended.
The most action I’ve seen at Arsenal is manager Arsene Wenger letting Abou Diaby leave; a move that is about three years late. He made 138 appearances for Arsenal including pre season friendlies in his nine years at the club and scored 19 goals. He reportedly suffered 40 injuries in those nine years; is that even mathematically possible? Why Wenger kept him for so long will always be one of those mysteries we’ll never understand. Anyway because he was a Gunner I’ll wish him well. It’s tough to imagine another club will want to sign on his hospital bill at this point. Officially he’s 29 years old but I think he could probably be so many years older; hence the inability for his injuries to heal quickly. Anyway, since he’s gone on a free transfer the Gunners haven’t made any money off him. Even the masterful economist couldn’t think of a way to make money here.
Anyway I do want to take this time to say Thank you to a few Arsenal players who made the last season a joy to watch. Of course first on the list is Alexis Sanchez. Sixteen league goals wasn’t too shabby and his work rate is such a motivation to other players in the squad. I actually think Wenger should make him captain because he is obviously a leader by example. Hector Bellerin was a mystery to us until Mathieu Debuchy got injured. The 20-year old right back has proved a revelation for this Arsenal side.
His skill and fearlessness has been something to behold. His energy knows no bounds and I like the fact that he is always focused on going forward and not sideways. Francis Coquelin has been impressive as a defensive midfielder and I hope Wenger can give him enough play time to prove he truly can be a star. Olivier Giroud had impressive moments in the season but had poor ones as well. If only his good form could hold for more than a couple of weeks. I however, still don’t think he’s good enough to be our main striker. And then of course there’s Theo Walcott.
Unfortunately he spent too much time on the sidelines thanks to Wenger’s strange strategies, but when he did play, he was magical to watch. There are several other players who had great moments like Tomas Rosicky who didn’t have enough play time; David Ospina and Santi Cazorla who impressed in games rather than over months, but it wasn’t altogether a poor season for the Gunners. Who Wenger buys will however make the difference next season on whether my list of Thanks yous will be longer next year. Talk to me on @CarolRadull on twitter or www.facebook.com/CarolRadull