On a rather crazy day in London, Arsenal completed their third signing of the summer. We welcome the latest production from the Southampton conveyor belt, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to the club. Well, some of us do anyway. For others, the protracted signing of another teenager is not exactly a reason to be breaking out the Dom Perignon. I would be lying if I said I knew enough about the 17 year old to express an educated view on what he will bring to the Arsenal first team. But I do know this; with all the crap that has been flying around our football club this summer, there is no way we would be spending £12m up front on a teenager if there weren't more additions in the pipeline.
There, I said it. I hang my hat, and my reputation, on the ability of Arsène and Ivan to bring what is needed to the club before the end of this month. I know you guys won't hang around in reminding me if I get this wrong.
And let's think about this signing for a second. Yes, we all agreed at the end of last season that the defence needed improving, that we needed someone who wasn't Alex Song to sit in front of our defence from time to time. But could it not also be said, in some of our pitiful, toothless performances last season, that something needed to change in our attacking play? One paced, predictable and mechanic, that's what we'd become. So, we go out and we sign a couple of players, in Gervinho and Oxlade-Chamberlain (and yes, I know enough about him to know that he is quick) to change that. And still we complain. Early signs are that Gervinho will make a difference to our attacking play, does anyone really think Arsène is going to spend £12m on a kid that isn't good enough? Especially after being stitched up over Theo Walcott.
That last line was a joke, okay? I'm allowed one, I think. If we're going for more pace and less tippy tappy in our play, then I for one am absolutely delighted with that. Perhaps we may even now get to see Walcott playing up front, which I think we're all itching to see. We know that Gervinho can play off either flank, we've been told that Oxlade-Chamberlain is similarly versatile. He can, apparently, also play as an attacking central midfielder. As he is apparently going straight into the first team squad, you have to surmise he will be replacing someone. Samir Nasri anyone?
In the Mirror article by John Cross on the signing of Oxlade-Chamberlain, he says that Arsène is set to "upset" us Gooners by selling Nasri to Manchester City. For me, whatever the rights and wrongs of Arsenal allowing Nasri to get to within twelve months of his deal expiring, it is obvious now that Nasri should be sold this summer. There's no way, having let the situation drag on this long, he is going to sign another contract and so, rather than lose him for free, we have to get rid. Let him take his £185,000 a week and move on. I think most of us can accept that's just the way it is. Sell him and replace him. Except in this instance, perhaps the replacement is already here. A frontline taken from Gervinho, van Persie, Walcott, Arshavin and the Ox is something I can live with. Though I'd certainly take a Juan Mata if that deal can still be done with Valencia.
Returning to our defensive reinforcements, or lack thereof, I think even the most stupid person on the planet can see that selling your first choice left back and signing a teenage reserve from Charlton (we've got to give these kids something to do, eh?) is not reinforcing your defence. Arsène Wenger is far from the most stupid man on the planet, though it seems some might have you believe otherwise and so I expect at least one signing at centre back. And I do believe that man will be Gary Cahill.
There's something else to stake my reputation (I do have one, don't I?) on.
Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/rockthecasbah77
© 2000-2013 Arsenal Mania. All rights reserved. Page processed in 0.13 seconds.