Progress: To advance toward a higher or better stage; to improve steadily, often towards a set target/goal.
Just two days after Robin van Persie completed his move to Manchester United, and only half an hour after a slightly disappointing goalless draw at home to Sunderland, Arsenal revealed that the club have agreed terms to sell Alex Song to Barcelona. I think it is possible that Arsenal had intended to release the Song news after we won convincingly against Sunderland, although this plan somewhat backfired when we didn’t win.
Numerous Arsenal players (the one’s who actually still want to be at the club…) have come out and said that the squad is stronger than last year. I would have to say I think that I agree; the RvP situation aside, we have a more rounded and complete squad that now has a bench of which other teams will be at least slightly frightened. The signings of Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla have been fantastic. Cazorla adds a completely new attacking dimension to the team and, based on his performance against Sunderland, will prove to be one of the signings of the summer.
The sale of Alex Song will no doubt have irked more than a few Arsenal fans, me included. This transfer is typical of the 1 step forward 2 steps back philosophy that the club have been sticking to in the last few seasons. Just when it looks as if things are going away, Arsenal go and frustrate us yet again.
Wenger on Arsenal.com:
“He expressed a desire to go to Barcelona.
“It is frustrating, we have learnt to deal with that. I believe as well that the financial potential of some clubs is massive and that makes a difference.”
“We have [Jack] Wilshere coming back, I believe in one-and-a-half months. We have [Abou] Diaby back, we have [Tomas] Rosicky not far away and we might bring another midfielder in as well.”
Wenger to SkySports:
“He’s another good player that leaves us and there’s two things you feel always that you did your job, that we take these boys at 17 years of age and we’ve influenced their career in a positive way.
“The second is at their peak you sometimes lose them but we’ve got plenty of midfielders and we still might bring somebody in.
“Overall I hope we can compensate that because we’ve seen what we have faced today, we need quality passing out from midfield and therefore that’s a very important part of the game.”
I don’t usually say this, but Wenger’s comments are spot on. It’s frustrating to see Song go, but we have a few very talented, young, central midfielders (I am thinking in particular of Jack Wilshere and Francis Coquelin) who can play alongside the likes of Diaby, Rosicky, Cazorla and, of course, Arteta. Another world-class player would be a big bonus, but either way I still think we are stronger than last year.