If an invisible person is sold and noone sees it, does that mean it didn't happen?
That, readers, is the question Arsenal fans will be asking after Arsene Wenger revealed Nicklas Bendtner, Sebastien Squillaci and some guy called "Park Ju-Young" are close to going, well, somewhere.
'Bendtner, Squillaci and Park will be on their way to go somewhere,' said Wenger on Sunday. 'Arshavin, it depends. We have to sit together and talks. He could still have a future at the club.'
Of course, it is entirely possible that "somewhere" could be the forest that Arsenal hide their unwanted players. It would, after all, explain why we didn't see Manuel Almunia in, well, anything from January onwards, and where Sebastien Squillaci was chilling out last year. Perhaps the players can't be paid if the club doesn't know where they are. All are key things to consider when we discuss a player leaving the club.
There's also the interesting tidbit about Arshavin. Perhaps he won't go to the forest but I don't see what role he has at the club if we sign those players we've been rumoured to be signing. Arshavin didn't like a bench role last season, and with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain seemingly improving and new players already bought, I can't see Arshavin being anything but a bench player. Also, he just didn't have an influence last season except for an awesome cameo against Sunderland where he crossed for Thierry Henry. Sorry, Andrei, but your time is up.
There's some other interesting things too; Wenger is full of praise for Thomas Eisfeld, saying he earned "maximum points" from the Asia Tour. I can't disagree; he looks a nice little player on and off the ball, and I'd be excited to see more of him. Hopefully he can remain fit; that was his problem at Dortmund and his problem when he joined last season.
Wenger also talks about arranging a closed-door friendly next weekend to get more fitness for his players, especially Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski, who might not be fully ready for the start of the new season. That concerns me; I don't see why Giroud, Koscielny and Podolski were left at home, especially when the first two went as far as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott, and effectively played the same amount of time. I get that they may have been tired, but if Giroud's a key player next season, and I have a feeling he will be, don't you want him training and playing with his new teammates?
I think our poor start to last season, especially the way we seemed physically shattered, may have been partially due to the Asia Tour last year, and it's a concern again this year. With all the flying and photo ops and other commercial stuff to do, there isn't much time to train, and the heat, humidity and poor pitches don't make for quality training sessions. I understand that Arsenal need to do better commercially, but commercial success must be balanced with putting the team in the best position for the start of the season, and in future, these things have to be balanced.
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