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A few hours to go!!!

August 17, 2013

It’s Saturday morning and the 2013-14 football season kicks off in  just a few hours. I shall be making my way with my Son to the Emirates around 12.30pm. First partaking of a pie & Scotch egg at @pieburycorner  before making my way into the ground for the real action to start.

In my last blog I mentioned an Arsenal time-line.

1. Sign players by Tuesday 13th August otherwise they cannot play in Champions League Qualifier against Fenerbache (You can sign one I understand up to the day before, but that’s it).

2. Sign players by mid-day Friday otherwise they cannot play in the opening match against Villa.

3. Sign players on or before 2 September otherwise that’s it till the January 2014 transfer Window opens.

Well as it Stands 1 & 2 have gone by the wayside, which only leaves us with No.3.

Since last season ended on a high note with a good run in the league after beating Bayern at their gaff, we Arsenal fans have been fed the lines on how the club now has serious money to compete. That Arsenal will do their business early and do things that will excite the supporters this summer. I’m not one to go over-board (as there still is time for No.3) but what constitutes “do our business early” & “excite” in Arsenal language?

The only player to come in so far is Yaya Sanogo while something like 26 players have left the club in one way or another (mind you is anyone really sad that these players have left the club permanently or on loan??)

Monreal, Diaby & Vermaelen will not be starting the season. Add to that an ankle injury to a very important player as in Arteta and we’re suddenly down to the bare bones in our current squad, however, what we have left is mainly the very good/good players. Also I still believe that our first team is good enough to beat anyone.

As each passing day has gone by since 19 May 2013 (90 days) the frustration amongst some Arsenal supporters has grown to meltdown proportions. Many are no so down in the dumps, that police have been to sent to patrol Archway Bridge and Beachy Head.

What is going on at Arsenal this summer?

Well who really knows what goes on at Arsenal? We’re just supporters. We can read rumours what the media feed us about who Arsenal are interested in added with the fee’s and salaries that are attached with these rumours. Yet it seems to me so many journalists are just looking for the scoop. Arsenal themselves don’t push out much info, they like to keep themselves to themselves which I feel leaves journalists just taking the laws of average approach. Throw enough names out there and one or two may come right and then they’ll tell you “look we told you so”

ITK’s on Twitter throwing names about like confetti with almost the same approach. Get one or two right, make a meal of it and get yourself a few thousand more followers. So Arsenal get linked to 100 players of which maybe one or two have any real credence.

What I find alarming is how all these rumours cause such a rift between Arsenal fans and at times it’s hard to believe that some Arsenal fans support the same club the way they speak and abuse each other. It looks like there is more arguing/abuse going on amongst our own support than there is between Arsenal fans and Spurs fans.

For weeks now I have read blogs, seen tweets and listened to Podcasts about what Arsenal are going or not going to do this season from people who say it in a way that they know for sure what’s going happen. This is football anything can happen. Surely part of what makes it so exciting and why we follow.

Arsene as usual says “I am not afraid to spend” “The market is different now” “how he understands every frustration” yet others are making the effort to sign players. Maybe the truth is Arsenal are trying to sign players. The only thing I can think of  is everyone knows Arsenal are cash rich and hence they put the price up and Arsenal are not going for it, will not be railroaded into paying higher than they think a player is worth. If this is the case they are playing the end game. Who will the end the game? well as it stands it doesn’t look like Arsenal are winning.

I’m not saying I am happy with this approach, just saying it might be the reason.

I’m not so fussed about big name players but that is not to say I’m against them coming to Arsenal or would be dis-pleased if they arrived. I’m a believer that football is a team game and a good players playing as a team is what wins trophies. So I would like the right players to come in.

Suarez for me is a bit of a strange one. Great player, yet I’ve not seen anyone else seriously linked to him, also he cannot play in league till October. Can he be tamed if he came to Arsenal? Well if anyone can then Arsene could be that man. However Suarez is a maverick and with mavericks comes moments of madness. One more piece of madness from Suarez and you’re looking at a minimum 10 match ban, which would total sixteen for the season, almost half-a-season. £50m for missing sixteen matches. The media would have a field day on Arsenal.

I’m hoping at least three players will come in by the end of the transfer window, hopefully five. If we get these players then they should be good additions, not young kids for the future or deadwood players to make up numbers. They should be very good squad players willing to fight for their place and the team. I would be happy with five players around the £15m mark each. Players that hopefully will make the squad stronger.

After the summer break I am looking forward to this season, but then I look forward to every season. Yes! We start with what looks like a weaker squad that finished last season however, there is still a little time left to make the squad stronger. I feel confident enough to say that even with all the arguing amongst Arsenal’s huge fan base that almost all Arsenal fans agree that this squad as it stands is not big enough to play 55 (hopefully) plus games.

Surely there cannot be anymore excuses from those in charge at Arsenal, the people with the power to make the changes needed cannot say that players were not available. They may have their reasons but they would have to be bloody good and water tight for their supporters and media to believe . So if the board, Ivan and Arsene don’t bring any more players in and the team fail miserably, then all will surely be charged by the fans with gross negligence in their jobs and heads will need to roll. How or if they will roll is another matter.

We kick off with what I think a pretty good first 15 players, who hopefully can stay injury free up to September 2nd and give us a good start and therefore today, maybe we’ll all put aside the rights, wrongs and the abuse and put all our effort into getting behind the boys and getting those three important points in the bag.

Whatever way you look at it the Premier League is exciting if not the best technical football. What can we expect?

Nine months of ups & downs – hoping we have more ups than downs and that elusive piece of silverware (or two) is raised aloft by our captain in either February or May The controversial decisions, the bias and the players we will like and dislike. Will Stoke have stopped playing Rugby or changed to wrestling under Mark Hughes? Will Man Utd been seen slightly differently this season with David Moye’s in Charge and no Fergie time? Will Spurs finish in top four? Well you have to add some humour to any blog. The Special Pratt is back at CFC, will the media still be licking his arse this time round? City still spending their oil money.

Some 150 live premiership matches on Sky/BT Sport. Will we as usual see every Man Utd FA Cup match shown live on the TV. The Champions League Live on ITV and having to put up with Adrian Chiles & Andy Townsend.  Football experts on Radio & TV telling me what I already know and what I have clearly seen with my own eyes. The self-styled Jeff Stelling giving it large on Saturday afternoon. BBC MOTD – will it have changed for this season? Will Lineker still be a smug git? Twitter spats over what is being discussed about Arsenal on Talksport and add the 2m references to Arsenal having not won a trophy for 8 years on TV/RADIO and in the papers during the nine months.

Twitter meltdowns when the first Arsenal pass goes astray. Fury at Arsenal conceding a goal even if it was unstoppable. Those classic moments when after 10 minutes of an Arsenal game people are tweeting that Ramsey is playing shit and others saying he is playing well.

Will Arsene still be making subs at the 70 min mark and still making a beeline for the 4th official when all is not well??

Referee’s will have a small amount of help with goal-line technology and yet still get many other simple decisions wrong.

Managers and players giving out the same old cliché interviews. Can we please have something more original and maybe a little truth this season and much, much, more.

Yes! Welcome back football!!! Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays are not the same without you. We will argue about you. Will be laugh at you. We will cry with you. You will take us to the highest high and drag us to the lowest of lows with the best natural drug there is, but what it all comes down to is we all LOVE YOU.

Thank fuck for football.

Cheers

@harlowgooner

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