Date: 24th April 2008 at 12:46pm
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It’s Groundhog Day!

In America they say you can tell when spring is near when the groundhog sees it’s shadow. In England you can tell that summer is near when half of the Arsenal first team are preparing to leave. That’s right, joy of joys, it’s that time again for some of us to start worrying and for others to curse that ‘Hleb 13’ replica shirt you bought for you nephew’s birthday as it mocks you every time you open your wardrobe (why did I give you one of my good hangers instead of a cheap wire one – damn you God!) I’m sure this is something that most supporters will claim to have the monopoly on, what with C. Ronaldo, Berbatov and Drogba attracting some possible suitors for the second season now. However, with Arsenal it just seems to have been the case for about the last 6-7 years. From Vieira to Henry on to Fabregas and now even Flamini?!

Every year the followers of Arsenal have had to forgo the delights of the summer transfer speculation instead settling for the cold sweats as we hear stories of Henry sipping Rioja in a suggestive manner and Hleb enjoying some clandestine strolls through the streets of Milan. I really hope that this summer Le Boss decides to dust off the Arsenal cheque book and bring in some established star players worthy of Arsenal and the football they play. It’s something that really grates on me when I read that players like Kaka, Cassillas and Eto’o adore the way Arsenal play leading me to stand outside Wenger’s home shouting that we must sign one of them and…oh …what’s that? you spotted a 16yo Kenyan left back? Your right Boss, sign him instead. Why must we always do that? Preferring to spend the summer budget on fat juicy contracts for our existing loyal players. No honestly, it’s like signing a new player we’re told, well if you spend 10 million on an existing player for twelve months work I guess it is kind of like a new signing….umm isn’t it?

This summer Arsenal should use the existing funds plus whatever we get for Hleb on players like Villa to bolster the side so next season they can take the positives from this campaign and add the vitality that new signings bring. This will help a team of promising players to improve rather than hinder them as Wenger believes. We have been led to believe that money is killing football – utter nonsense. Money plus a good manager turned Chelsea from an under achieving club into one of the best in Europe, let’s hope that same cocktail will be sampled at Arsenal – starting this summer.