Posted on Friday, 5th October 2012 by Akin Nathan
Arsenal’s season so far has been one of surprise after surprise.
The season began in on August 18, but many would agree that the season had begun way before the first ball was kicked even in pre-season. For most, the hype and excitement of the new season started when the summer transfer window just opened while some of us had the anticipation that this new campaign has loads in stock starting from the imminent capture of Lukas Podolski way before the transfer window opened. His acquisition was seen as a step in the right direction for all, while the fans hoped for more top class signings. Of course we were not disappointed as further additions in the shape of Santi Carzola and Olivier Giroud. It was quite surprising to me as some never gave Arsene Wenger’s wards a chance due to lack of quality they say.
Carzola for one was on course to join Real Madrid, who opted for Luka Modric instead, and at the price Arsenal paid for him with the quality he possesses makes a top deal for Wenger, though I’m still surprised why the big-spenders did not go for the Spaniard. He easily ranks as one of the best attacking midfielders in Europe in my book.
Giroud’s acquisition on the other hand had its surprise in the shape of him being away on international duty but was allowed to leave camp and fly into London to complete his deal. It was also surprising that the club still chose to operate in the transfer market but this time it was a more familiar type of business to the football community as club captain and midfield dynamo Robin van Persie and Alex Song were sold. Though Van Persie’s sale may not come as much of a surprise as he had a year to run on his deal and stated his intention not to renew, citing reasons that sounded funny at best, the shocker in his move was actually his chosen club, Manchester United. It sounded surreal, or better yet, unbelievable to many fans as he was sold to one of our greatest rivals in the game.
The bolt from the blue in Song’s departure was not in the club he went too, as Barcelona are known to have poached Arsenal players over the years, but it was the choice to sell that baffled me as well as other fans. Song had a contract to honor till 2015 thus not in a suitable position for a club to prize him away with a better offer.
The surprises continued as Arsenal’s two first fixtures, though ended both goalless, brought in praise for the team – the assistant coach as well as the threat the team possessed in going forward and the seemingly solid rearguard. Their efficient on-field display soon resulted in goals from newbies Podolski and Carzola against Liverpool and the Arsenal were considered a very formidable threat, albeit with room to improve by blending and integrating the injured players.
The surprise story continued as Arsenal rammed six past a struggling Southampton which was a reminder of the Henry days when we were relaxed watching our game as we mostly would have hit a minimum of two goals by the 20th minute.
Though I would have preferred this team with Van Persie and Song which would have made Arsenal much stronger in the midfield and attack, their absence has left room for others to step up and showcase Wenger’s reason for their acquisition.
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Tags: Abou Diaby, Alex Song, Arsene Wenger, Bacary Sagna, Carl Jenkinson, Francis Coquelin, Luka Modric, Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud, Per Metersacker, Robin Van Persie, Santi Cazorla, Vito Mannone
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