Many supporters, bloggers, and media pundits expect this summer to be a time of change at Arsenal Football Club. Some are calling for changes in the squad, some for changes in tactics and/or training, and some feel it is time for Arsene Wenger to leave the club.
I'll leave the discussion of tactics to those with a keener eye for the intricacies of the game, like our own BeltransMole or some of the other great Arsenal bloggers. I'd like to discuss the potential notable departures from the squad after the jump...
I think we all know without saying which summer saga could have the biggest impact on the club, both on the pitch and as a statement about the club's direction/philosophy. That is, of course, the future of Cesc Fabregas. Lord knows that horse will be tortured, given medical attention, then beaten to death, then have its corpse abused, only to be cloned and the process repeated in the coming months. So with that in my, let's see if we can come up with some simple "Might Be Going", and "I don't Recall Saying Good Luck" lists.
Might Be Going
Samir Nasri, AMF
Gael Clichy, LB
Nicklas Bendtner, ST (or is it RW?)
Andrey Arshavin, Left Side of the Oppenent's Half
Tomas Rosicky, Bench
Some Spanish midfielder I'd rather not talk about at the moment, Parts Unknown
All of these men have been linked with a move away from the club, likely with various degrees of validity. Nasri's contract has one year remaining and would likely be fancied by several high-profile clubs. Clichy has reportedly cuaght the eye of a few teams abroad; perhaps Wenger could be tempted into selling him despite Keiran Gibbs' inability to not break his metatarsals. Bendtner reportedly stated he wants to go due his role in the team. If Arsene wants to send a message/change the culture of the team, Arshavin seems a likely target; however, Wenger recently told Arsenal TV that he "expects [Arshavin] to be at Arsenal next season." Rosicky's tale is a sad one of prolonged and repeated injuries seemingly robbing him of his past quality. Knowing the club likes to keep wage expenditure's in check, Rosicky could be expendable due to the emergence of Jack Wilshere and return to health of Aaron Ramsey -- not to mention the inevitable purchase of several small, technically proficient, central-attacking players who will pushed out wide. And there's also something about an elephant that may or may not be in the room...
I Don't Recall Saying Good Luck
Manuel Almunia, In a corner blubbering while repeating only "Lehmann" over & over
Carlos Vela, FWD
First, my apologies, as I was surprisingly unable to find a picture of Kirk Van Houten being fired by the cracker factory. Second, I thought for sure there would be more people on this list, but in reviewing the squad I do not see that many "sure things" when it comes to dead weight (at least in the senior squad). We know Denilson announced he is going. Surely Almunia will be sent back to Spain and far away from Jens "The Eater of Souls" Lehmann. Despite his promise, Vela seems to be another who will not make it with Arsenal. Although, due to his age I suppose it is possible Wenger will see if the footballing equivalent of sending him to his room without TV or Playstation inspired him to, you know, try this time.
So there you have it. Much like every paper I ever wrote in college, a strong start, some promising moments, but ultimately a hasty ending without a substantial conclusion because I just want to finish the damn thing. Hopefully all of you will as generous as my professors were...