Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Christmas Comes Early For Arsenal

Arsenal announced the third of their summer signings yesterday. It was no secret when Santi Cazorla was snapped up from Malaga to take their summer spending to approximately €45 million. Few other Premier League teams have invested anywhere near that amount of money in their squads for the new season yet.

Like the previous two signings Cazorla is an experienced player at the peak of his game. All three players are exactly the type of players needed to sign, and their attacking options for the new season look extremely varied. Despite the fact that Robin van Persie expressed his desire not to renew his contract the team looks like it will be considerably stronger.

RVP's claims about the direction of the club are looking just a little hollow at the moment. If he was to remain in the squad it would certainly create a situation where the manager would be spoiled for choice. It would take a massive climb down for him to do so, and I just cannot see that happening.

Cazorla joined up with the rest of the squad in Germany, as they continue their preparations for the new season. RVP is also a member of that squad in Germany, and he could possibly be a member of the Arsenal team which faces Cologne in a pre season fame this Sunday.

If RVP plays I will be listening very closely for the reaction of the Arsenal fans to their captain. Despite expressing his desire not to renews his contract RVP is still technically the captain. If he is chosen from the start on Sunday he will have to wear the armband, and I personally do not want to see that.

I suppose Arsene Wenger could get around the problem by leaving him on the bench, and handing the armband to Thomas Vermaelen. It would be very interesting to see if Vermaelen headed it over to RVP if the Dutch man were to make an appearance. They are problems Wenger will have to deal with on the day, but I'm sure he will have a plan to do so.

That game should hopefully also see Cazorla make his first appearance in an Arsenal shirt. While the signings of Lukasz Podolski and Oliver Giroud were very welcome it's Cazorla whose signing will really excite the Arsenal fans. The team was really lacking in creativity at times last season, but he looks like the player who could change that.

He can play on either wing, as well as in an attacking midfield role.His goalscoring ratio isn't exactly spectacular, but he has the ability to make things happen. Since the departure of Cesc Fabregas last summer Arsenal have needed a player who could play in his role.

Cazorla has the ability to do just that, but he isn't quite as good a player as Cesc. Then again there aren't many players in the world who are as good as Cesc. He hasn't got too long to learn to fit in with his new team mates, but quality players can play with almost any team.

If the rumours are to believed Wenger still hasn't finished his summer spending spree, as Nuri Sahin could be the next player to join the club. His projected move from Real Madrid will probably only be a loan arrangement if it happens, but it will be another signal of intent for the new season. There can be no doubt that Arsenal have decided to bring in players to improve their team, and have not waited until the last minutes of the transfer window to do so.

If they can get off to a good start they might just have the strength in depth which has been missing for the past few seasons. The return from injury of Jack Wilshere a few months into the season will be a welcome boost also, and the midfield competition in the squad is going to be intense. There is a lot of hope for the new season despite the actions of RVP, and it promises to be a very good one for Arsenal.

There are still a few defensive problems to iron out, but with Steve Bould helping out I'm hopeful that the whole team can be taught to defend better as a unit. The absence of Bacary Sagn from the start of the season will be a big loss, and hopefully Carl Jenkinson can step up to the job in hand. Surely the Arsenal defenders cannot suffer as many injuries as they did last season, and some consistency will hopefully come with a settled defence.

It would seem Christmas has come very early for Arsenal with the arrival of Santi in early August. Hopefully he won't have a clause in his contract that seems him go the way of so many other top class Arsenal players in the last few seasons.

Here's a little bit of Cazorla in action.

Finally for today don't forget to join my Fantasy Premier league for the new season with prizes for the top three teams. To join up just go to the site and use the code 17031-6252 to join my league when your team is set up. If you were in my league last season you should automatically be given a choice to rejoin it once your team is set up. There are over 400 teams in my league at the moment, and I'm hoping to match last season's total of over 1,000 teams.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.

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