There’s not a wealth of information coming from Arsenal’s training camp in Austria. Probably the biggest news is the return of Sol Campbell for yet another season with the Gunners. It’s either a great signing or the worst decision ever depending on the ramifications.
Sol’s return provides a great experienced defender for some of the younger players to emulate. He’s well liked and adds good character to the dressing room. But if Sol’s return means that Arsene will no longer attempt to sign a center-back, then it’s a terrible move for the club.
Sol proved last season that he has some good football left in him. His work-rate, determination and defensive nous was great to see. But he’s unlikely to be able to play two matches in any given week and his ability to hold up for an entire season is questionable. Adding him to the list of Vermaelen, Djourou, Koscielny and one of the younger players, still doesn’t add up to a defensive assortment that will inspire a lot of confidence. Arsenal need another CB in his prime who can compete for a starting role. If retaining Sol means that we’re not getting that player, then it was a bad decision. Hopefully that’s not the case.
There’s some news floating around about teams being interested in Thomas Rosicky. While it’s still possible that Rosicky could leave this summer, I think Eduardo’s departure more or less ensures that the cech will stay. He’s experienced, versatile and if he returns to form, can still add a lot to the squad. Rosicky can play in midfield or on either side of the attacking trident. Considering Wenger’s claim that he is not looking for any more midfield or attacking players this summer, I find it unlikely that he’d let Rosicky leave.
In other news, David Villa’s “tap up Cesc” contract clause has kicked in. Good for him.
The most worrying news of the day comes courtesy of John Cross in the Mirror. (Also a good fellow to follow on twitter if you’re so inclined. @johncrossmirror.) He suggests that, while we are still in for Mark Schwarzer, he is our only goal-keeping transfer target. If Schwarzer doesn’t come to Arsenal, then … wait for it … wait for it … Lukas Fabianski will start the season as Arsenal’s number 1. Sadly, this blog is not equipped with a defibrillator so you’re on your own dealing with that massive heart-attack.
There’s really no need to comment on the goal-keeping situation. I think we all know that a new goal-keeper is an absolute necessity if we have any interest in competing for top honors. This might sound blasphemous, but if we haven’t signed a keeper by the start of the season I almost hope that we lose 4-0 at Anfield with all four tallies coming from Fabianski own-goals. At least that might make Wenger realize that something must be done. But until we head to Anfield with Fabianski as our number 1, I think AW deserves the benefit of the doubt. He will sign someone. Really. He will. Don’t worry…
Finally, Theirry Henry did what he does best last night. He scored against Spuds. Henry looked a little rusty in his 45 minutes for his new club, but it was good to see the great man scoring against the scum again. Sadly, after the half, Spuds recovered to win the match 2-1. Technically that’s the first time Henry has lost to Spuds in his career. Since he only played the first half, and Red Bulls won the first half 1-0, I’m going to count it as a win for Henry. So that’s solved.
If you’re bored today, you might want to head over to gunnerblog.com. He’s been doing a series entitled “ready or not” profiling some of our youth team players. It’s good pre-season fun and gets your prepared for the kids who will be “like new signings” this season.
Happy weekend everyone.