It seems increasingly likely that by this time next season, the club will be without Arsene Wenger (whose contract ends after this season) and without Cesc Fabregas (who has stated his desire to play in Spain and that he would stay as long as Wenger did). And of course there is the small matter of the greatest striker in the history of the Premiership, Thierry Henry, whom Barcelona finally bought off for 30 pieces of silver after years of effort.
Was £16 million seriously the value of Henry? One of the best players in the game (admittedly with some health issues) being bought out of a five year contract to move to one of the richest clubs in the sport and it only cost £16 million.
Yes, it sounds like a large number, but when compared to some of this offseason's transfers it is astonishing. Owen Whoregreaves cost Man Utd £17M, Darren Bent cost Tottenham £16.5M, and Fernando Torres is rumoured to be going to Liverpool for £27M.
All of these are apparently worth more than Thierry Henry. And of course, Arsenal is now left looking for a replacement using this money. Who is going to want to play for the team when it hasn't won anything in years, is being abandoned by it's star players, and has a manager who is already looking towards the exit?
At the end of the day it probably doesn't matter. With Manchester United bringing in Hargreaves, Nani and Anderson so far (and chasing Michael Owen) and not losing any of their players, they must be considered favourites to repeat. Chelsea has only bought Pizarro and Ben Haim so far, but they also are bringing back all of their team (unless they manage to pawn Robben off on some unsuspecting club).
And of course, third place Liverpool are likely bringing in Torres. Where does this leave Arsenal? Looking at another frustrating chase to secure fourth place and Champions League football.
I'm not going to blame this on Henry's departure, as he played a very small role in last season's fourth place, but unless we somehow make a splash on the transfer market (Eto'o or Torres would be a good start) I can't see the team improving on last season. So far Arsenal has lost Henry, Baptista, Aliadiere, and Lupoli and brought in a third string goalkeeper and a 16 year old Norwegian defender. Ouch.
On the plus side, Arsenal's new white kits look far better than the fluorescent yellow kits Chelsea is offering up. Small victories must be savored.