Saturday 18 August 2012

It's D-Day! Let's Go Win Something.

It's time. Let's do this, boys.
It was a flitting moment, wasn't it? That moment when Santi Cazorla was confirmed by the club and we all rose in cheer knowing that we had brought in more quality to add to Podolski and Giroud, the Sahin deal looked like it was almost done, there was still a glimmer of hope that our (ex)-captain will stay and of course there wasn't the slightest hint of a Song exit. We looked right there and then like a formidable team that was ready to challenge for honours with true intent.

One week later, our captain went off to the last team we wanted him to go to if he had to go. Song, another key player and contributor to whatever semblance of success we achieved last season is well on his way out of the club going by AW's response to questions yesterday morning at the pre-match briefing on the Song and Sahin rumours.
                 "Both could happen, but my focus is on the Sunderland game."
Rumours emerged yesterday that Song had a spat with the boss over the Barcelona interest that has made the manager consider selling him despite coming out a couple of days ago to say,
"There’s nothing going on with Song. There’s nothing in that. Song has three years contract he’s not in the same situation as RVP"
Barcelona's tactics seems to be to have their own players talk up Arsenal players they have an interest in via the media until they have the said player's head turned enough for them to start agitating. Petit, Overmars, Hleb, Fabregas and soon Song will be added to that list.
If stories that made their ways into the news are anything to go by, AW has been a raging bull these past couple of days and is dealing with players who are not willing to key into this new vision with a ruthlessness and single-mindedness that he has lacked over the past few years.

Considering that Song had three years to run on his contract, I don't think he had a leg to stand on if the club really wants to keep him. If he's leaving then he must have really pissed AW off and considering the array of midfielders at his disposal right now with Sahin set to join us too, Arsene must have decided, "you come and fuck off too".

 I made a defense for keeping Song on Wednesday but there really isn't any use keeping a player who's got the wrong attitude and can dampen the collective morale of the team. Anyone who can't look at the acquisition of the likes of Poldoski, Giroud and Cazorla and see that something has changed about the club's approach and wholeheartedly want to be a part of this new vision should be on their way. It's a fast moving train and if you're not on it then you're in its way.

I read a Paul Merson quote somewhere yesterday. He was answering a reporter's question on why he chose to leave the club for Middlesbrough which was in the lower division after spending one season under Wenger. He said,
"I was gambling a lot at the time and the move to Boro doubled my wages, but the grass isn't always greener. I regretted it within a month. Arsenal was a phenomenal club."
It's a quote worth framing and putting up on the wall of the dressing room. Arsenal is still a phenomenal club and if we have fallen behind in recent times, the players who have had faith placed in them and had the honour of wearing the red and white during these lean years must share the blame for what went wrong during that time. Running off now to El dofuckingrado "in search of trophies" doesn't cut it.

But it's a new dawn, Gunners. There's a lot to cheer. The first game of the season is only a few hours away and the thought of seeing Cazorla, Giroud and Podolski line out behind our new captain, Thomas Vermaleen Arteta and the rest of the old crew excites the hell out of me. No one can say we do not look much stronger as a team this season than we did last time out. There are a few injury concerns with Cazorla and Walcott to  face late fitness tests before the game, Koscielny and Ox are ruled out with injuries sustained from the FC Koln game. But our new found squad depth is what we have lacked for a while and hopefully everyone can step out to be counted. The Sahin loan move from Madrid should be concluded by our game against Stoke and it can only get better from there.

The boss had more to say at the press conference,"We have a massive challenge of course, because we have bought three players. Podolski, Giroud and Cazorla have all been very promising in pre-season games and we have our injured players coming back. Diaby is available again and Wilshere, Sagna are not far. There is a very positive mentality in the group and a very ambitious one as well. The Premier League is the Premier League and on Saturday we start playing for points. Therefore we want to be ready."
There's a time to criticize and we've done our bit of that; we've spent most of the summer caught between cheering new acquisitions, knocking the vision of the owners, the boardroom politics, handling of player contracts and the general running of the club's business. There may never have been a time when fans were as divided in their support of this club as we were this summer.

But there is a time to support also with everything you've got. The lads will be needing that kind of support as they line out for the first of 38 battles that will be fought for the league title. We have a part to play in each of those battles as the 12th man inside the Emirates and whatever other stadium the lads find themselves in. We do make a difference and we will make a difference.

For another flitting moment on Wednesday, it looked like gloom was descending  on the faithful but after all the spleen was vented and the skies were blue again, it's clear to see that we are an army on the rise.

Let's go win a trophy or two, Gooners!

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