So Arsene's first press conference of the season is finished and for me it was one of the most intriguing ones we've seen.
It's almost like we are looking at a new Arsene. He seems to be fed up of players wanting to leave his club wheras last season he looked physically drained by the exits of the club. This has meant he has become shrewd in his business plans, and even honest in his interviews.
The 62 year old admitted that Song could be on his way out of the club in the near future, answering about possible additions and Song's exit he replied:
'both can happen. We have 6 or 7 players in midfield, we have much more freedom to make decisions.'
From Arsene Wenger that basically means he's off, and probably indicates that Song has expressed his desire to leave. The depth we have in midfield can be something to worry about though, with Wilshere, Frimpong and Diaby by no means reliable to stay fit. Thats not even considering Rosicky's perennial strains, and Coquelin's many problems last season. An addition or two will be very much needed if Song makes his way out the exit door.
He also confirmed the interest in Sahin, after news that we have made a late bid to hijack his move to Liverpool. Sahin is not exactly a like for like replacement for Song, but another big name addition like the former Bundesliga best player would be welcoming.
In terms of a proper replacement for Song though, the most likely signing is probably Lucas Biglia which has been strongly reported by Sky Sports in the last 24 hours. The Argentinian international was very impressive in the pre season friendlies against us and Southampton but will have to make a big step up from Anderlecht to the higher end of the Premier League, so may be something of a risk. If that transfer does collapse we could always reignite an interest in M'vila or even Capoue.
Back to Arsene's press conference though, and he went in to confirm that Vermaelen has been appointed as the new club captain, with Arteta being vice-Captain. It's the expected decision, and probably the right decision in terms of the leaders we have at the club, although personally I might have swapped their roles around.
As it was the first press conference since Van Persie's exit, he obviously had to answer questions on the continuous outward flow of world class talent. But, as ever, he was bullish and optimistic about the season ahead, saying:
'I know it is a massive gamble but I feel we have the quality to deal with that. I can understand people are hurt'
He stressed that the Van Persie situation was not the fault of him or the club, and that they were keen for Dutchman to sign. He clearly stated:
"it takes two sides to sign a contract. If you have one that doesn't want to sign.."
This is true to a certain extent, but going back to the compete mess that was last summer and that was not ideal preparation for trying to keep your best player at the club. But still, after all of his talk of being a "fan" and even saying "I will always be a gooner" it shows that he was practically just lying to us.
Finally, in his preview of the Sunderland game, he revealed that Koscielny is not fit due to his calf strain, whilst Theo and Chamberlain will face fitness tests. New boy Cazorla will have to be assessed after his long pointless journey halfway around the world to play in a dumb friendly.
Anyway, that is all for now. Here's to 3 points in Saturday!