It seems that Arsenal have a new watch-word - aggression. Over the past few days on the official website we have heard Vermaelen tell us that Koscielny is "strong and aggressive", the new man has, himself, recognised the need for a "physical approach", and Johan Djourou has stated that we must be "more aggressive". The sentiment is fine, but we heard similar soundbites last season and only Vermaelen (and then Sol Campbell) ever fitted the bill in this regard. The fact is that, if someone is not naturally aggressive on the field, they can not become so. The only way for Arsenal to be more aggressive is to sign combative players that will be prepared to mix it with the Stoke's and Blackburn's of the Premier League. We currently don't have those players, so the words will prove to be pretty empty.
There are now less than three weeks until we play the Premier League opener at Liverpool and yet the only signings are Chamakh and an unknown centre-half. The need for a high-standard goalkeeper, a stopper centre-half and a defensive midfielder is still there, and becoming more chronic by the day. If we go in to the new season without these players, and are stuck with the same men that failed to do the job last season, I fear horribly for Arsenal. I also fear horribly for Arsene Wenger because, make no mistake, it will be his fault if the season opens without the necessary reinforcements. I hope that, on the night before we play at Anfield, I will be previewing the new campaign with the necessary reinforcements in place (the sale of some dead-wood like Rosicky and Traore - to name but two - would also please me immensely).
When I started this blog I said that I would, from time to time, comment on non-football stuff. Which brings me to the Commonwealth Games. More specifically it brings me to the non-participation of some of England and Scotland's biggest name stars. Forget Usain Bolt deciding not to go - he is not British - but I am disgusted by Jessica Ennis, Sir Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins and Victoria Pendleton. It appears that, having won a few medals, they believe they can pick and choose when they represent the nation. This is utterly disgraceful. They all (with the exception of Wiggins who is "tired" after the Tour de France) say they are concentrating their efforts towards London 2012. I fail to see how the Olympics, two years hence, can affect your participation in a Championships in 2010. The fact is they do not want to go to India - if the Games were in Britain, Australia, Canada, South Africa or New Zealand they would be going. Their failure to represent their country should result in two things - firstly their automatic deselection from London 2012 and, secondly, the withdrawal of 100% of the National Lottery funding they currently enjoy. I suspect there would be a very quick change of mind should such a choice/ultimatum be given. Can you imagine the furore if an England footballer said he didn't want to go to the Euros in 2012 so that he could prepare for the World Cup in 2014? It would be complete nonsense, just as this is.
I'm back to work tomorrow and Arsenal are playing in the evening. I will blog again on Wednesday, unless Arsenal announce a signing in the morning tomorrow.