Sunday 9 August 2009

Six Days And We're Off

This afternoon the Community Shield between the Mancs and the Chavs signals the opening of the new season. A season where Arsene Wenger and his squad really need to step it up and get some kind of silverware in the cabinet.

Last nights two nil defeat at the hands of Valencia was hardly the tonic we needed going into Saturdays game against Everton. I managed to see most of the game after having some first half problems with video feed. Apart from a promising first five minutes of the second half, we didn't do anything to convince anybody that the coming season is going to be any better than the previous. It was a strangely lacklustre showing in our blue golfing type polo shirts. Surely our home kit doesn't clash in any way with the home sides and was probably worn to boost sales. I for one will be sticking with my yellow top when I travel to Goodison next weekend.

Pre season has actually been fine until last night but there are still a few things I am concerned about as we approach the real stuff. A big defensive signing is absolutely essential in my opinion. How can we bank £40 million and play Silvestre? It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me at all. When he was signed, I really believed that it was a short term measure from the boss to add some experience to the squad at the tail end of the season. I expected him to be sold on to some French club in the summer to end his career. I was obviously wrong and I guess there are few Gooners who can fathom out his part in what lies ahead. He was awful last night too and I am very worried about our defensive options.

Nicklas Bentner playing wide is another thing that doesn't sit well with me. It just doesn't work in any way. I am not Bentner's biggest fan but if he is going to play, surely he is more suited to a central role or as an impact sub. He does give 100% every time he plays though and I really hate to be critical of anyone who puts forth his effort. I just have my doubts that he is good enough. Diaby is another player I have doubts about. He can either be sublime or just a big clumsy liability and unfortunately it is more often than not, the latter.

I am not going to say any more about the Valencia game as at the end of the day it was only a pre season friendly. We are six days from our opener against Everton and then we have a very tricky visit to the cauldron that is Celtic Park. My visit to Celtic Park is going to be tricky as I have to get from one side of Glasgow to the other in my Arsenal shirt. Parkhead is a very intimidating place for visiting fans. I remember when Man U played them and my partner who is a Man U fan went to the game with her son. I recieved a text from her ''This place is a jungle. Get me out?'' She has sworn never to set foot there again and she arrived home quite disgusted by the whole experience.

I am excited at the prospect of going to our first two games of the season and I am confident we can do well but we are at least two signings short of a serious league challenge so I can only hope Arsene is of the same mind.

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