As the season nears

When we last left our storied football club, Sasha, he, of the remarkable feet and absence of goals, had departed the hustle & bustle of North London for the serenity and calm of Barcelona.

Once settled in this sleepy, little hamlet, he immediately kissed their badge as the last three years meant nothing. Then he was stricken with that affliction which seems to appear in players who’ve just departed Arsenal – suddenly he can talk of nothing else, including a creepy bit of subterfuge to entice Cesc to join him. Good riddance, you little ingrate!

Meanwhile, Kolo Toure returned from his holiday with a nasty souvenir, by contracting malaria. Were they all out of those, I went to the Ivory Coast and all I got was this lousy t-shirt shirts?

Or perhaps this is all part of Arsene Wenger’s plan for our back four? Because from our off-season maneuverings, I’m beginning to think our strategy to shore up our central defense is to just not bother with it.

And what of Greedybayor? First he declares himself the new Thierry Henry. Excuse me, but I have seen Thierry Henry play, and you sir, are no Thierry Henry (Arsene Wenger must be in some agreement with me as he recently handed Henry’s number 14 kit to young Theo Walcott).

Now Big Addle has discover he’s not so keenly sought after, after all, and that he’ll have to work hard to get back into the supporters good graces once the season starts. Barca could still swoop in and save him some embarrassment, but for the moment we’re stuck with him. This is not an entirely bad thing, as he was our leading striker last season, but one good season does not a saviour make.

The club has recently decided that Tomáš Rosický and Eduardo da Silva should be fused together in a landmark operation that will give us a player who can walk out on the pitch of his own accord. In truth, Little Mozart may play as soon as September, but a recent setback to Eduardo, who’d been making a remarkable recovery, means we won’t see him until October at the earliest.

Robin van Persie, whose name is Dutch for “physio bench” is fit for the start of the season, but is apparently sought after by Italian club, Juventus FC, The Old Lady of match-fixing.

Another of The Invincibles, Gilberto SIlva has left Arsenal for the Greek club Panathinaikos. Gilberto has been a good servant to the club and largely a quiet, dignified presence on and off the pitch. He will be missed.

We’ve added Samir Nasri and Aaron Ramsey to our already crowded midfield, but most of our transfer traffic has been headed away from the Emirates. If the transfer season was to end today, I’m not sure Arsenal supporters would start the season with a lot of confidence.

But this is how it’s been with Wenger & Co. in recent times. Sides full of young players, largely untested at the Premiership level, who excite, thrill and eventually have us believing, only to end the season sans silverware.

Last year, I made my one and only trip of the season to the Emirates for the last home match of the season against Everton. When I booked it, Arsenal were in sole possession of the top spot and visions of hoisting the trophy at home danced in my head. As we all know, those dreams crashed violently to earth during that dreadful springtime slump.

We’re less than a month out from the start of the season and I feel a little queasy. Pre-season butterflies is all, I’m sure. The real soap opera has yet to begin.

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