Day 84 since the end of last season, and just over 6 to go until we kick off the new one against Aston Villa. Still, our squad is in need. Plenty of time!!!
Today we have our final pre-season friendly, against Citeh out in Helsinki. I've said all along that this is really the only pre-season game where we'll get some idea as to our chances for the coming season.
A few games against nothing teams in the Far East were just a runaround. Last weekend's Emirates Cup matches were slow-paced training games and thanks to that arsehole Drogba - who came out with an outrageous dive even by his standards - we ended up with nothing but pissed off fans.
Man City have had the kind of pre-season I really wanted us to have. Early, quality signings (obviously following plenty of early prep work) and all business done a month before the start of the season. That has meant plenty of time for the new arrivals to get to know their new teammates, get used to the way the (new) manager wants them to play, and obviously their aim has been to hit the ground running. It's how a team with serious ambitions should work.
Of course we all know that for The Arsenal, it's yet another case of 'Let's Go Round Again'. Groundhog Day. Same old same old. Boring. The manager might as well make a tape recording to play at his press conferences these days, because it's the same old answers over and over and over again. The squad I have is good enough, we concentrate first on the players we have here, yes we're working hard, no we're not close to signing anybody. Oh well Ivan, maybe your words will one day mean something.
Back to the game today, I'm assuming we'll just about have enough players available for it to go ahead. Both should put out something like their strongest line-up (a few have said to me ours will be our ONLY line-up) so you'd think we'll be able to get a flavour. I have to say I'm not at all confident having seen how Citeh have been knocking the ball about in pre-season so far. A draw I'll be happy with, but let's just hope a half decent Arsenal performance doesn't skew Wenger's view as to the actual ability of this squad.
While we're out in Finland though, any chance of us seeing if Mika Hakkinen can play a bit of football?
Up The Gunners.