A Time for Reflectionon September 3, 2011 at 12:18 pm
It’s been a crazy summer, add to that an indifferent Arsenal side that played with passion but lacked the cutting edge that had been its trademark for so long.
Patience being the virtue that it is was stretched, plucked and pulled en-route to Transfer Deadline Day. The Arsenal blogosphere screamed for signings to replace the departing players. Money had to be spent and the transfers of Gervinho and Oxlade-Chamberlain, did little to settle the furore.
In the 48 hours approaching the deadline more players departed, Bendtner, Traore and Lansbury all leaving for clubs temporary and permanent. The squad looked thinner than ever before and it seemed that for all of the promises we were in big trouble.
Step up Arsene and Park Chu Young, a South Korean Captain and Striker from Monaco. He was halfway through a medical with Lille when he was spirited to London Colney for a medical and eventual transfer to Arsenal.
The Blogosphere was naturally unimpressed, it seemed again as if Arsene had made a signing in the wrong area. He’d just sold a left-back, what was he thinking?
He was thinking Andre Santos, Brazilian left-back, Copa America winner and holder of over 20 caps for Brazil and a goals per game ratio that would make an attacking midfielder look amazing (5 in 15 games).
Santos was confirmed on the morning of deadline day. Still the Fans weren’t satisfied. Arsene was in France (spilled by Gilles Grimandi) negotiating a transfer and we needed more strength in the spine.
Almost as an afterthought, Per Mertesacker was announced on Arsenal.com – on a 4 year deal.
So, that’s a striker, a well-needed left-back and a massively experienced, massively proportioned no-nonsense Centre-back. All for a suspected 18million pounds. Excellent business.
But not enough, our lack of cover in central midfield and out wide, offensively and experience-wise was a big concern.
Then a broadside hit us like a rampaging rhino. Arteta and Benayoun. Both signed at the death of the transfer deadline. Both seasoned professional Premier League players and both creative and proven players.
I think Thursday 1st September 2011 will stick in my mind forever as probably the most relieved I have ever been at the end of a transfer window. Some excellent business completed.
I can’t wait for the international break to be over. Arsenal FC is back. Bring on Swansea.