I have been gripped by the computer, radio and television for the last few hours. It is not normal behaviour and it is certainly not healthy to become so obsessed by football transfers. Honestly though, I just couldn't help myself, it was utterly compulsive stuff. It's not usual for Arsenal to leave things so late and then do so much business so late in the day. this made things all the more exciting and in the end we did pretty well considering
Park Chu-Young - 26yo South Korean captain >50 caps and goal/3games for Monaco last year
Yossi Benayoun - 31yo Israeli attacking midfielder with extensive PL experience
Andre Santos - 28yo Brazilian left back with >20 caps and great attacking pedigree
Per Mertesacker - 26yo German international centre back with 75 caps and great aerial power
Mikel Arteta - 29yo creative all round ball playing midfielder with extensive PL experience
Big mistakes have been made recently and the club's strategy has been found wanting, most notably in the wage structure department. Lessons must be learnt, we must restructure our wages but this will take time as the dross is shipped out, we must also get our business done earlier next time round. Arsene and the Board must learn these lessons and adapt, we must also hold them to account and try to find out exactly why things were left so very late in the day when they should not have been.
However given the position we were in on Sunday after the 8-2 mocking at Old Trafford, any self respecting Gooner would have bitten hands off for Arteta/Mertsacker/Benayoun/Park/Santos. Arteta and Mertesacker are particularly key for me. The former has been such a key player for Everton for so many years, he can play the holding role, he can defend, he can attack, he can pass, he's a great all round player with experience. The latter is also very experienced, despite never being a league winner with Bremen, he has been a consistent performer for them for many years as they have finished high up the Bundesliga.
Overall I am absolutely delighted. Yes, things were badly managed and should not have been left this late. Yes, certain things need to be investigated and we need to change our antiquated wage structure. However I am the eternal optimist and given how bad things could have been, the last couple of days' business have been an absolute lifesaver for the club. Well done Arsene and the lads.