A lot has happened in the week I have been off.
Firstly we had Laurent Koscielny going William Gallas on us.
I always liked Koscielny. He seemed to hold himself well and was a good role model, a good captain. He seemed to understand what it means to play for The Arsenal. That is why it came as a shock when he refused to fly out to America on the pre-season tour.
With Arsenal chasing central defenders this summer, it was felt that it was important to keep hold of Koscielny for one more season.
With William Saliba set to sign and be loaned straight back to St Etienne, a second senior central defender would likely be purchased, with Shkodran Mustafi making way. Koscielny would then be kept as experience cover to the new signing, Sokratis and Rob Holding; with Saliba joining Arsenal in a year to replace his senior compatriot.
Koscielny’s actions were disappointing and will have ramifications to Arsenal’s transfer targets this summer.
It is likely that we will now lose the Frenchman and that will result in Mustafi remaining. That will mean less funds raised to buy a top central defender and could see us scrap those plans and going into the new season with Mustafi, Holding and Sokratis as our central defensive options.
Koscielny has tarnished his Arsenal legacy.
We then have the “will they won’t they” signings of Saliba and Kieran Tierney.
Both deals were reportedly very close not to long ago, but both have stalled.
Tottenham have reportedly come in for Saliba, despite a deal being agreed with Arsenal and “in the hands of the lawyers” according to David Ornstein. According to top soccer betting sites, Arsenal are still favourites for the deal
On Ornstein; he is not longer as reliable as he once was with his source within the club having left (reportedly Ivan himself). Recently he has taken to reporting what others like Sky’s Kaveh Solhekol has already broke. Take what he says these days with the same pinch of salt you would others.
Tierney deal is dragging along. Arsenal had a second bid rejected due to the structure of the deal.
Arsenal have a right to be cautious, with the Scotsman still recovering from a double hernia. £25million upfront would secure the man, but he would be unable to pass a medical. It would be a risk, which is why Arsenal are trying to do a deal where Celtic will get their £25million based on appearances.
I still think Arsenal will get the deal over the line.
You then had the fake bid for Nicolas Pepe.
Arsenal reportedly bid £72million for the Ivorian, an offer which was quickly debunked by many. Whilst I have no doubt Arsenal did not make an offer for the Lille winger, he should certainly be on our radar.
Younger and better than Wilfried Zaha, I would rather Arsenal spent £60million on Pepe than his national team mate.
Yesterday we had the launch of the #WeCareDoYou campaign by many prominent Arsenal groups.
The strongly written letter to Stan Kroenke got the attention it deserved and was picked up by every major media outlet.
With nearly 100,000 Arsenal fans backing the letter, it carries a clear and conscience undertone. We are not happy.
I have a few on Kroenke which anyone that follows me on Twitter will know. The letter is not asking him to pump billions in, nor is it spreading any fake news about him taking money out. It is calling on him to show that he cares, and lead Arsenal back on the right track.
Our identity as a club has ebbed away over the last few years. Some of it due to Kroenke’s leadership, other due to the previous custodians. Much to do with how Ivan Gazidis ran the club.
You can probably track Arsenal’s identity demise back to 2002 when Arsenal changed the badge of marketing and copywrite reasons. Since then the club has been a mess.
Now not everything that has gone wrong is Kroenke’s fault, but as sole owner of Arsenal he now has the final say in where the club is going. And the club needs to get back on course.
It will take a while, you do not turn a cruise liner on a six pence. But the letter is the start, and hopefully Kroenke (and perhaps more importantly Raul Sanllehi) does listen, does take things into account, and does show that he cares.
Finally Arsenal played last night, beating Colorado Rapids 3-0 with Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and James Olayinka getting on the score sheet.
I am not going to pretend to have watched the game, but there is a good write up on Jorge Bird’s Arsenal Youth Blog.
Arsenal’s 1st senior pre-season contained a youthful looking line up. Hopefully with another year in the Europa League we will see many of those players develop.
On Thursday Arsenal face Bayern Munich.