So the first piece of summer business looks to be concluded. Petr Cech looks very much to be an Arsenal player. We’re waiting for the dotting of i’s and crossings of t’s in the form of an agreed fee. I still feel a little nervous as I have a fear that Chelsea may yet attempt to scupper the deal but if Lauren is now tweeting a good luck message to Cech to be a Gooner then it’s surely done. Right? Right!?
If this deal is concluded then it looks as though Ospina could well be on his way out. I think that this would be the best decision, as if I had to make a choice as to our first choice keeper without Cech in the frame I would pick Ospina. But given that he’s 27 and probably about as good as he will ever be there would be no real reason to keep him for the longer term. The Scz however has time on his side and I really do believe he will get better and will be our longer term number 1, when he is ready for it. And who better to learn from than a Premier League and European Cup winner? In players like Cech, Mertesacker, Ozil, Alexis and to a lesser extent Rosicky and Giroud, we have proven league, European and World Cup winners flowing through the team. From back to front. And it’s at the back where that’s been missing for a long time. With the signing of Cech we are so close to completing the jigsaw that has been forever missing the final few pieces. One down, two to go.
Now in addition to the goalkeeping situation we’ve had the mill churning out the defensive midfield names all over again. Carvalho, Vidal and Gundogan being banded around alongside some fairly fanciful transfer fees. The whole premiss of these stories is firmly Dick Law and co doing their jobs. Southampton are digging their heels in over the fee for Schneiderlin and we are publicly ‘interested’ in the alternatives due to the fee that Southampton want is to pay. It all seems pretty clear to me; we want to pay £20m and Southampton want £25m. It’s got a long way to run, especially with United also supposedly ‘interested’ but I firmly feel we will get our man as we have the resource as well as a more natural draw. There aren’t many French players who wouldn’t want to play under Wenger at the very top level. I simply think that both parties are trying their best to get the best value from the deal. There’s a reason why Matthew LeTisser is talking up interest from Man Utd, it’s because he wants the club to get as much as they can for the player. Why else would he say that? Surely he wouldn’t unless he knew the player was leaving? Considering United also seem to be scouring the market for a DM but with no prices mentioned seems as though Schneiderlin will not be happening for them. It’s never been mentioned by either party until now, when the deal is closest to completion. He’ll be ours if we’re willing to stump up the cash.
The more intriguing stuff has been the gossip about Raheem Sterling. Now he’s someone I would think might be an option if Walcott was on the way out, but it very much looks like Theo will stay. This considered it really looks like there’s only one team in London he seems to be interested in playing for and it looks to be us. I haven’t seen anything as to interest from our side on this but his addition would be an interesting one as we really would be the paciest team around. When you think of Walcott, Alexis, The Ox, Welbeck and add Sterling to that we really would have the meanest counter attacking force around. I have no idea how any of the above fit into a system that works, but it’s one that we should keep an eye on. To my mind City is Sterling’s best fit alongside ourselves but if he wants out of the North then it would make quite the finale of a transfer window.
Moving on. We had the Premier League fixtures released and it looks to have gone ok for us on the whole. A home game to start is always good as well as knowing there’s a home game to finish. West Ham are never an easy side to face and one with Bilic at the helm will prove to be a trickier task yet. That said, if we buy appropriately and in good time we can get our season off to a good start. West Ham, Palace, Liverpool, Newcastle and Stoke before our first Champions League tie all look to be winnable fixtures or ones where we can accumulate at least 13 points or so which would be ideal. Lord knows we love doing things the hard way but a fast start is what’s needed if we’re to have a shot at prizing the title out of Chelsea’s hands this year.
A special mention also needs to be made to my all time Arsenal hero. It was 20 years ago that we signed Dennis Bergkamp. The greatest player to have played in an Arsenal shirt in my opinion. He was the man who made time stand still on a football pitch and for that we are all eternally grateful. THAT goal vs Newcastle away was the greatest thing I’ve ever seen! A true Arsenal legend.
Not very much has happened apart from the Petr Cech stuff but that in itself has been enough to keep me coming back to Twitter in search of an update every couple of hours and it’s on that basis alone that I’ll be hoping for similar stories surrounding Schneiderlin to surface over the next 7 days.
Have a wonderful week people.
Follow me on Twitter @MiteshLakhani1