" I am positive because we have good quality and a style of play that is known by the players. So we want to add not quality but super quality."
So said Arsene Wenger in his press conference amongst many other things including the fact that Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri did not make the flight to Benfica for Arsenal's final pre-season match. It's all down to "muscular problems". This inevitably leads to much speculation that both players are really, actually, finally on their way out.
Be that as it may. Lets focus on the above statement. What's most infuriating about it is its patent dishonesty. Have Wenger's recent signings bolstered much confidence that he's added "super quality"? Mikael Silvestre, Marouane Chamakh, Sebastian Squillaci, to name a few. Is "super quality" now code for "bargain basement, cheap as s**t " other club rejects? Why is it that he gets away unchallenged when making these statements time and time again. And yet when fans boo him they're being uncharitable. They're absolutely well within their rights and more so paying for the most expensive seats in the Premier League. Boo is so passe right now.
We might lose to a half blinded Newcastle 4-0 as Joey Barton goes amok and stabs each team mate with a lighted cigar in the eye and then Twitters about enjoying a smoked retina with a nice bottle of Chianti. What does "something might happen" even mean? Take your pick - I'll have a double double on Spain defaulting on its loans or another mastodon rampaging through an Indian city or Area 51 finally located under Donald Trump's combover.
This is obviously a rant but it really sums up the frustration and anxiety felt by many who love this club. Some of the calmer ones might see a silver lining but who can't say the Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri saga has taken up all the oxygen in that period when the team should be more proactive trimming the excess and restocking. A war chest might earn you good marks from UEFA but it won't win you games. This long long drawn out struggle over the side's best players only to see them leave comes at the detriment of an already suspect morale. No offense meant to Jack Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey who might play their hearts out but it is the older players one worries about.
The most salient feature is the number of players saddled with injuries and unsettled about their futures just a week away from kickoff. It's almost as if Wenger wants to suspend any expectations for his side at this point. Meanwhile we can only imagine Wenger's already finely tuned persecution radar going into overdrive. I wish one could say otherwise and there should be no call for it before the first touch of the ball but this really might be the season Arsenal get found out badly.